Obedience – Even In Light Of Opposition

I often wonder when we are so determined to please everyone around us, whether we are really capable of standing firm in our commitment to serve God alone. Asa showed us in today’s Scripture that one could serve God, whether no one else around you did. How do you do under pressure? Are you strong enough to hold strong to your own belief system, even when among strong opposition? Let’s see how Asa made out with this, and how we might apply this to our own lives.

Saturday, 2020-02-29
Written while at: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 14:2-6
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 2-6 Asa was a good king. He did things right in God’s eyes. He cleaned house: got rid of the pagan altars and shrines, smashed the sacred stone pillars, and chopped down the sex-and-religion groves (Asherim). He told Judah to center their lives in God, the God of their fathers, to do what the law said, and to follow the commandments. Because he got rid of all the pagan shrines and altars in the cities of Judah, his kingdom was at peace. Because the land was quiet and there was no war, he was able to build up a good defense system in Judah. God kept the peace.

OBSERVATION: I often wonder when we are so determined to please everyone around us, whether we are really capable of standing firm in our commitment to serve God alone. Asa showed us in today’s Scripture that one could serve God, whether no one else around you did. How do you do under pressure? Are you strong enough to hold strong to your own belief system, even when among strong opposition? Let’s see how Asa made out with this, and how we might apply this to our own lives.

APPLICATION: In the words of a former boss: it would have been ‘easy-peasy’ for Asa to come into his position as king, and do the same ole, same ole. It would have been smoother for him to do what the people were doing and just continue to worship the same old idols. But we could see from our Scripture today that Asa had a relationship with the Creator of this world, and he chose to worship and obey only God. He wasn’t about to have a meltdown and soften his stance, for He knew in whom He believed, and that He would keep him secure right to the very end. Furthermore looking at Asa’s story many years after the fact, we could see that because Asa obeyed what God led him to do, he was actually preparing himself for a day when God would actually save he and his people from total destruction. I believe that Asa decided in his heart that he would serve God, and God alone, and that he would not only listen to God from a personal perspective, but that He would depend solely on God for the decisions involving the country he was assigned to lead. Friends, I don’t know about you, but when we are hired on by a company to lead a team of workers, the challenge is not merely to understand the work, although that is very important, but more so, there is an enormous task to lead the team in working together to produce the best results for the employer. This is a much deeper challenge, for there will be staff who are like you, and wanting to do the best job possible, while working harmoniously together with other team members. However, there are some who are out for selfish gain and out to tear others down so they could get ahead. Throughout your day, you have absolutely no idea what will transpire between those team members, nor how your day may be totally disrupted by the personal issues impacting your team. If you knew what to expect, then you could pray especially for those individuals and their challenges, but more often than not, you have no idea. Over my 47 years in the workforce, I found that there was One who knew all about the things that I thought was impossible. So with my hand in the hand of the Master, I asked God to help me through each day and to give me direction, strength and wisdom to handle every circumstance in a way pleasing to Him. I remember days when I would simply sit back and say silently to God, ‘OK, what’s next God, because I have no idea where to go from here!’. I remember many days when I would reflect back on my day and simply give God praise for His handiwork, because it was evident that He gave me the words to respond in the activities of that day, and He gave me the peace to know that every little thing would be OK. You see, in our story today we could see that Asa was strengthened to do the things that he knew needed to be done. Later in this same chapter, Asa found out that the same God that helped him through the decisions included in today’s verses, He was the same God that Asa would call on when his limited sized army was challenged with the approaching army of over one million soldiers. I hope that we might be reminded today that our God is not just able to handle the smaller things that tend to get in our way, or may cause us to stumble, but He is also the God who could move mountains, raise the dead from the grave, heal the sick and cause the blind to see. There is absolutely no other, like our God my dear friend. Seeing your way through circumstances that appear impossible to you, is but a very simple resolution for our Creator! Have you placed your faith and trust in Him yet? May I please encourage you to read my Footnote and the pages that are linked in that Footnote, so that God may show you, through His Word, that He not only created you, and not only prepared a place for you after life on this old sinful earth, but He is also able, willing and ready to help you through every circumstance of life while here on earth, if you accept Him as Lord and Savior. Do this today dear friend. Jesus is waiting for your call on Him today!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, although I can thank You for life itself, there are so many times here on earth that my readers and I are so overwhelmed that we have no idea where we will turn next. Thank You for using this story of Asa to show us that the same God who defended Asa and his country from the onslaught of a huge army, is also the same God that we can place our faith and trust in for our everyday concerns. Often our concerns may seem just as large as the overwhelming army that was approaching Judah, but praise be to the One true God, we have every confidence that You can win our battles also. Please help us to stand firm in our beliefs, and to act like children of the King in every circumstance of life. May Your name be honored, lifted up and praised today by Your people, in whom You have already done an awesome work, so that we may stand in awe of the One in whom we have believed. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Importance of ‘Seeking’ God

In our 2 verses today we could see a recap of the reign of king Rehoboam. It seems like a sad, almost failed attempt at ruling a nation, because he tried to do it on his own terms and couldn’t really see a need for God. It’s really sad, because thousands of citizens probably lost their lives because of his stubbornness and disregard for the God of all nations. As we meditate on this, I believe we are bound to see a lot of similarities in our rulers today, and I believe you will see where they might be almost as bad in our stubbornness.

Friday, 2020-02-28

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 12:13-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 13-14 King Rehoboam regrouped and reestablished his rule in Jerusalem. He was forty-one years old when he became king and continued as king for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city God chose out of all the tribes of Israel as the special presence of his Name. His mother was Naamah from Ammon. But the final verdict on Rehoboam was that he was a bad king—God was not important to him; his heart neither cared for nor sought after God.

OBSERVATION: In our 2 verses today we could see a recap of the reign of king Rehoboam. It seems like a sad, almost failed attempt at ruling a nation, because he tried to do it on his own terms and couldn’t really see a need for God. It’s really sad, because thousands of citizens probably lost their lives because of his stubbornness and disregard for the God of all nations. As we meditate on this, I believe we are bound to see a lot of similarities in our rulers today, and I believe you will see where they might be almost as bad in our stubbornness.

APPLICATION: I am reminded that our God created all things, and He knows all things – even before we have the slightest inkling that something could, or will occur. I am also reminded how silly it is of us not to seek God and to understand His ways and His message to us, so that we might do it right the first time, with His help and direction. Based on the Word of God, I believe that God is looking at us with outstretched hands waiting for us to surrender to self and seek His perfect will for our lives. Being a father to a young adult, I could appreciate how it must feel for God to look at us and see some of the decisions that we make, and the stupid actions that often follow, because it is easy for me to feel the same frustration when my years of experience here on earth has helped me gain insight into the decisions that my daughter might fumble over. Jeroboam knew of God, but he allowed his world to dictate and influence him into making decisions that were based on popular belief, instead of based on the foundation of an all-knowing God. What are you seeing in your country leaders today? Do you suppose they are making decisions based on the direction and knowledge of our God? What about you? What might your life’s recap sound like? Any different to that of Rehoboam? Based on my life’s experiences, I am convinced that God not only listens to our cry for help and for direction, but I have found where God looks out for His prayed up saints. For you see, I have reflected back on decisions that I made and realized that I never had opportunity to seek God’s voice on, before making certain decisions. Yet I could see from the outcome that He was there all the time. Believe me friends, I’m not a saint, but having asked God to direct my day, and help me make sound decisions that are pleasing to Him and in line with His perfect will, I am just crazy enough to believe that He will honor the prayers of His people in His time. And I know that His timing is always perfect. Throughout the chapter in which our focal verses come from, we could see where God honored His people when He saw them humble themselves before Him, but He allowed attack and destruction when their leaders led them on an ungodly path. Our God is a just God, and He will not allow sin or disobedience to have their way in the lives of His people. Just as good parents do today: when their children, who they bore and raised according to their house rules, decide to walk away from their direction, they will allow them to feel the brunt of bad decisions. However, obedient children who are willing to follow the direction of their parents, will be honored, lifted up, praised, and looked after for life. Our God is superior to our earthly parents in every way! What an awesome God we serve! Do you know Him, my friend? If not, or if you’re not sure, please read through my Footnote, and especially dig into the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Please be assured that your relationship is such that others will be impacted positively by your decisions and actions.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for the places you have entrusted us to serve in Your kingdom work. Please direct our paths so that others may be impacted positively for You, and may we never be a stumbling block in their path, nor misguided in any way as we minister in Your name. May we be faithful in listening, obeying, serving and leading, so that You might be recognized, praised and glorified in all that we say or do. AMEN!

PRAYER:

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to attend my home church. Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Lord Has Chosen You To…

In verse 10, particularly the words bolded above, you will see that David shared with his son Solomon that his lecture outlined in the preceding verses, was to draw his attention to the important task assigned to him by God – to build a temple. For many who will read this devotional, I believe that God is knocking on your heart to do a certain work for Him. Are you prepared spiritually and relationally with God to do His work? Think about this as we delve into these verses today dear friend.

Tuesday, 2020-02-18

Bible Reference: 1 Chronicles 28:9-10
Translation: The Amplified Version (AMP)

Bible Text: “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and minds, and understands every intent and inclination of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] He will let you find Him; but if you abandon (turn away from) Him, He will reject you forever. Consider this carefully, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be courageous and strong and do it.”

OBSERVATION: In verse 10, particularly the words bolded above, you will see that David shared with his son Solomon that his lecture outlined in the preceding verses, was to draw his attention to the important task assigned to him by God – to build a temple. For many who will read this devotional, I believe that God is knocking on your heart to do a certain work for Him. Are you prepared spiritually and relationally with God to do His work? Think about this as we delve into these verses today dear friend.

APPLICATION: David had continued the rule of his ancestors and did a fine job, with the help of God. Wouldn’t you tend to think that any of his sons would be well trained and suitable for the ongoing job as king of Israel? David had already began the awesome job of gathering supplies for the construction of the temple, so wouldn’t you think that either of his sons would be great for taking charge of the actual construction? This all makes sense to us, because this is the way that we generally make decisions today. We want the most recognized men in society on our boards and we want them to be prominent leaders in our churches. Would that be because they are the most godly and best ‘called’ men in our churches? What if we asked our church leaders today to take a month or two and consider all that David outlined in verse 9, before telling us if they feel called to the position we want them to fill? But this study is not intended to be a pick on church leadership. I feel like God spoke to me and had me consider how I might be doing with Him, based on verse 9. I wanted to share this with my readers, because I believe that God might be speaking to you about filling some of the vacant positions in His church. Are you prepared? Do you have personal knowledge of the Master? Are you personally acquainted with Him? Do you understand Him, appreciate Him, heed to His commands, and cherish Him with all your heart? Do you serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind, knowing that the Lord searches all hearts and minds, and understands every intent and inclination of our thoughts? Let’s all remember, that if we seek Him, by inquiring of Him, and requiring Him to be our first and vital necessity, He will let us find Him; but if we abandon, or turn away from Him, He will reject us forever. Solomon made an awesome king and was blessed immensely by God, so David’s advice paid off and encouraged his son in his relationship with God. Don’t you know that our churches will also be blessed beyond our understanding if we also followed this wise advice from David? God placed it in His special Book of Instructions just for us, because He wanted us to take note and follow in the footsteps of His servant Solomon. I pray that God’s Word will guide our every step today. Consider this carefully, for the Lord has chosen you to …… – what might He have chosen you to do, dear friend?

PRAYER: In the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, Lord we come. We come asking for your people to receive Your Word, and to follow, as instructed, here on earth so that Your work might be accomplished in Your way and for Your glory. Lord, please help us not to allow this evil world to sneak into Your holy work in Your holy institution because of our lack of knowledge and commitment to You. Lord, we want Your work to continue in our midst. Please help us to not be stumbling blocks of that great work. We want to be just like You, Lord. May we seek Your will and follow Your commands, while allowing Your Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to attend my home church. Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Actions That Are Dependent On Obedience to God

When you are secure in your job and have been doing it for a while, it becomes challenging to accept advice from someone else. So could this be some of the same challenges that we face when we are confident in what we feel needs to be done, and someone suggests that we seek God for His direction? Granted, that challenge becomes much more palatable when we have done all that we could, and we are left with, what seems to be, no other options available to us, other than seeking what God may direct us towards. As we meditate on this today, let us place ourselves in the disciples dilemma and honestly consider how obedient we would be.

Thursday, 2019-12-12

Bible Reference: John 21:4–6
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: As the sun was rising, Jesus stood at the water’s edge, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then he asked them, “Young men, haven’t you caught anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered. He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.” So they threw the net out and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish.

OBSERVATION: When you are secure in your job and have been doing it for a while, it becomes challenging to accept advice from someone else. So could this be some of the same challenges that we face when we are confident in what we feel needs to be done, and someone suggests that we seek God for His direction? Granted, that challenge becomes much more palatable when we have done all that we could, and we are left with, what seems to be, no other options available to us, other than seeking what God may direct us towards. As we meditate on this today, let us place ourselves in the disciples dilemma and honestly consider how obedient we would be.

APPLICATION: Three of Jesus’ disciples, who really struggled with believing and obedience, are now faced with a decision that many of us could very easily face each day. Having fished all night and caught nothing, they were ready to pack up their nets and call it a night. But from the shoreline a man questions them, and begins to tell them what to do. Now I’m sure that many of you have encountered professionals before, and you know what to expect from them. Often men who know what they are doing, yet they are going through times of unsuccessful results, will snap at anyone questioning, or especially telling, them how to do their job. Yet these fishermen faced this exact dilemma. Exhausted, and tired from a long night, they approached the shoreline a man begins to hand out instructions to them. Perhaps they felt like one more attempt could have no worse results than the entire night of fishing did, so the disciples decided to give it a try. Could it have been a God inspired moment? Because through obedience to the Master of the sea and of the fish, the disciples obeyed and saw marvelous results. Interesting that at this point they then realized that it had to have been Jesus on the shoreline instructing them! Could it be that often when we feel like our Christian ministry seems to have plateaued and/or become stagnant, that it might be because we have not yet invited the Master in? We are reminded here in this Scripture that just a word is enough from Him! Reminded that our obedience to His instructions could make a world of difference. Let’s invite Him in friend, and ask for His involvement and direction. Doing this right from the very beginning will achieve God-like results that will make a difference to the kingdom, because He would be in charge. Remember, our ministry is all about Him anyway, and when we include Him perhaps we would not be so centered on our personal agendas. Oh that we may let go and let God have His perfect will in our hearts and lives – for His glory!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your grace! Thank You for Your saving power that reached into a selfish and sinful heart and showed me a better way. As my readers and I come to Your throne today, it is because we acknowledge that we cannot handle this complex, challenging, sin-controlled world that is determined to destroy Your work through us. Of ourselves, we are like the disciples who toiled all night and caught nothing. Praise God, we know the Master! We know the maker of the sea and all that is in it. We know that control of the sea and all its inhabitance is still controlled by You. The same is true with the wonderful world that You created, but which Satan has marred with his deception, lies and sinful acts. Please fill our cups Lord, and make us whole, bold and useful for Your kingdom’s sake as we walk through this dark world. May our words and deeds be used by You to impact all those we will come into contact with today, so that Your kingdom may be enriched as a result of us having been allowed to live here. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Be Open To The Voice of God

In his time of need, this official of the king knew of only one man that could make a difference in the life of his son, and it wasn’t the king’s best medical officer, nor the best magician of the king. However, the man had heard of Jesus, so he set out to find Him. Fortunately in our time of need, we do seek after Jesus. Sometimes this encounter makes an awesome change in our life, and even in the lives of those that we influence. As we meditate on the Word of God, let us seek to apply it to our lives. It may very well influence others.

Tuesday, 2019-10-08

Bible Reference: John 4:50-53
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 50 Jesus answered, “Go. Your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus told him and went home. 51 On the way home, the man’s servants came and met him. They said, “Your son is well.”
52 The man asked, “What time did my son begin to get well?”
They answered, “It was about one o’clock yesterday when the fever left him.”
53 The father knew that one o’clock was the same time that Jesus had said, “Your son will live.” So the man and everyone in his house believed in Jesus.

OBSERVATION: In his time of need, this official of the king knew of only one man that could make a difference in the life of his son, and it wasn’t the king’s best medical officer, nor the best magician of the king. However, the man had heard of Jesus, so he set out to find Him. Fortunately in our time of need, we do seek after Jesus. Sometimes this encounter makes an awesome change in our life, and even in the lives of those that we influence. As we meditate on the Word of God, let us seek to apply it to our lives. It may very well influence others.

APPLICATION: There are times of desperation and urgent need, when we reach out to whatever form of help that we could think of, to help find relief or healing. I have a relative whose wife was struggling for her life. Several suggestions were made about getting this dear lady to a certain hospital, where they may be able to help her. Without insurance, the hospital required $100,000 in cash before they would accept this patient. To this young man, this sounded like $1,000,000, because he didn’t have anything close to that, nor did he have a clue where he might get it in time to save his dearly beloved wife. However he still tried to find the money through various phone calls. This official in our story was in a similar position to that of my relative. He was helpless, and didn’t know where to turn to next for the required help. Having heard of Jesus, the official sought after him, and traveled almost 17 miles to a town where he heard Jesus may be headed to. Based on the response from Jesus, I believe that this man, or his king, may have been among those who at one time sought after Jesus for proof of who He was, or in the works He was capable of. However Jesus knew this man’s heart, much like He knows intimately about ours. For the official, his faith was tested like never before, for Jesus didn’t drop everything and follow the man home to his son, but he merely sent him home, telling him that his son will live. Wow, what would you have done with that? Can you imagine the pooched out lips and the sunken feeling in knowing that Jesus would not even consider coming with you to lay hands on your dying relative? But I believe that Jesus knew everything about this situation and so he arranged for this man’s servants to meet him on the way and cheer him up with the news that the healing hand of Jesus came over his son, just like he had asked! Think with me today beyond the joy, and the celebration over this awesome news, and feel with me what this man must have felt. For all these years he had probably mocked Jesus, and may have even worked together with his king on how they might capture Jesus, but to imagine that Jesus would look beyond the sin, and the past history of this man, and to penetrate his heart with insight for the love of the Savior who would meet him in his time of need – a man who was probably not recognized by the religious community, other than one who was out to destroy them, yet Jesus knew his most intimate need. Oh my loving Savior, what awesome love and grace You have for all those who call on You for help! Through healing this man’s son, he came to know Jesus personally – both he and his household. What about you my friend, are you listening, watching and reaching out to Jesus today for a need that may be totally unrelated to your personal afflictions? Something inside causes you to look towards Jesus in your time of need. Allow me to suggest that God sends His Spirit to work in you and draw you unto the Master. In and of our own sinful selves, you may never think of looking to God. So when you find yourself reaching out to God, please know that it is only because of the Spirit of God dealing in your life and drawing you to Himself. Thank God for loving even you and wanting a relationship with you! Please answer that call while Jesus is working in you. I can assure you that you will never regret your positive response to His call. Try Him and prove me right, won’t you?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for looking beyond my sin, seeing my need, and drawing me unto Yourself. I am very concerned about relatives and friends who have heard Your call, and continue to ignore You or refuse to answer Your call. In our story today we are told that this man and his whole household were saved because of his obedience in accepting Your call on his life. I wonder who in our families are being hindered by our disobedience and disregard of the call on our lives? Please help us Lord to be obedient to Your voice and Your call on our lives. Help us to never be a stumbling block to a child, a loved one or a friend who might be looking up to us and waiting for us to make our move. Please don’t become impatient with us Lord, but continue to soften hearts so that we may surrender to You before it’s a day too late. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Standing in the Way of Blessing?

The Israelites had the task of taking over town after town, that existed on all the land given to them by God, and they had been very successful with Jericho. However, in their attempt with Ai, they encountered some loss of life. For God was not willing to go on blessing them while there was sin in their camp. Because of one man’s sin, others loss their lives, while thousands upon thousands suffered because of the withdrawal of God’s hand of blessing. I wonder, has God’s hand of blessing upon our families, our churches, our cities and our country been impacted because of the sin or one reading this devotional today?

Monday, 2019-08-12

Bible Reference: Joshua 7:10-12
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 10 Get up. What are you doing in the dirt? 11 There’s a simple explanation: Israel has sinned. They have lied and have violated the covenant I gave them by stealing some of the property that should have been destroyed along with the rest of Jericho and by hiding it among their own belongings.
12 That is why the Israelites can no longer resist their enemies. They run from their foes because they are under a curse and doomed to destruction. I will not be with you or fight for you unless these things devoted to destruction are truly destroyed.

OBSERVATION: The Israelites had the task of taking over town after town, that existed on all the land given to them by God, and they had been very successful with Jericho. However, in their attempt with Ai, they encountered some loss of life. For God was not willing to go on blessing them while there was sin in their camp. Because of one man’s sin, others loss their lives, while thousands upon thousands suffered because of the withdrawal of God’s hand of blessing. I wonder, has God’s hand of blessing upon our families, our churches, our cities and our country been impacted because of the sin or one reading this devotional today?

APPLICATION: There seems to be increased tolerance by people and churches to accept almost any condition of society, so that we can fit into their view of what Christ’s church should look like. Fortunately for some countries, including my country, churches are not yet being forced by government to accept certain societal groups who may have beliefs that differ to our interpretation of the Bible’s standards and teachings. However, putting all this aside, I was keenly aware, and reminded, of the importance that God places on obeying Him and honoring His Word. In our story, one man decided that it was OK for him to withhold some of the loot from their raid of Jericho, which was in direct disobedience of God’s instructions. Because of this, God withdrew His power (His blessings) on their (the Israelites) next raid, as they tried to take over Ai. I believe the main takeaway for us in this passage today is that God will not bless sin. He will not bless where sin abides. He will not bless where people, or even a single person decides, apart from God, that it’s OK for them to do their own thing. Please know that this has nothing to do with creativity, for God created us to be creative and think for ourselves, however when He sets boundaries for us, and when He establishes rules and commandments for us, it’s for our own good, our own protection, and for His glory. I believe that God has designed us to be like Him, and I believe that He established guardrails to help us live, work, love, and act more like Him while here on this earth. Friends, if others never recognize Jesus in us, do you really feel like you are honestly being led/guided by Him and living according to His will and purpose? God will not tolerate sin, and since He is the same God who did not tolerate the sin of Achan (the man in our story), I have every reason to believe that He will withdraw His blessing on us when sin abides within. Will you intentionally deny the blessing of God on others because of your selfish desires and stubborn will? I pray that is not the case with any reading this devotional today.

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the many blessings that You bestow on my family, my church, my city, my state and my country, please, please, please give me strength each day to faithfully honor You, for You alone are worthy of my honor, my obedience and my praise. Because of my son-ship, please help me to always desire and aim to live a sinless life because of a deep desire to please You. Please help me to never forget that in order to receive Your rich blessings poured out daily on myself and those I love and associate with, I must do my part in honoring You and my commitment to be Your follower. Oh that we may live like You today, is my deepest desire today oh Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!