What Does God Require of You?

To make sure that we are doing everything right in our home, we try to ensure that we know what our parents want from us, or our landlord, our spouse expects of us. For those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, shouldn’t we also determine what Jesus requires of us? But where do we begin with that? Moses wanted to make sure the Israelites knew what God required of them, and so should we determine in our hearts to know what God expects of us. Stay with me as we pursue this.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-07-25
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 10:12-13; 16
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to listen carefully to all he says to you, and to obey for your own good the commandments I am giving you today, and to love him, and to worship him with all your hearts and souls?
16 Therefore, cleanse your sinful hearts and stop your stubbornness.

APPLICATION: For a child who gives the excuse ‘he thought that he had a good idea or what might be best in a situation’, mom or dad might quickly inform the child that they don’t make the rules around the home, they just follow the rules as already established by the parents! Similarly, when an employee decides to do something ‘their way’ instead of the established written procedure, they might expect to be fired for disobeying company rules and regulations. The Israelites had quite a record of ‘doing their own thing’, instead of obediently following the commands of God, the God who provided safety during their travels, food when they were hungry and water when thirsty. Yet through the whole journey to freedom, they were under the leadership of God’s faithful servants, Moses and Aaron. But now comes a very critical time, when they would be released to their own cognizance. Want to try one guess about what will happen? Moses knew that on their own, they would soon be in sad shape morally and relationally, for they would immediately fall back to their former gods and idols. So like any good Shepherd would do, Moses had a pep talk with the Israelites to outline what God expected of them. As I pondered the short list, I concluded that there was nothing extraordinary about the list that God would not also require of us today. It reminded me that God included these type lessons in His Book, so that all His children will learn about His truths and how to live until He calls us home to glory. So for our own good, here is a list of the instructions given by Moses:
~ Listen carefully to all He says to you – This will generally come through reading God’s Word, for He speaks intently through His Word to His children;
~ Obey the commandments given to us by God – There was purpose in God giving us His commandments. Obey them, dear children;
~ Love Him – When you consider how much God loved us, should we not love Him in return, with all our heart, soul and mind? To know Him, is to love Him;
~ Worship Him with all your heart and soul – On earth we say thank you, and we compliment folk all the time. For the God who has the power to do it all, give us all and be everything to us, we can only humbly kneel in prayer before Him, or offer up praise and worship to Him. Recognize Him for who He is, and we will quickly bow at His feet in worship;
When we find ourselves in awe of His goodness, and obedient to His call on our lives, then in our hearts we are forced to do as verse 16 says: ‘Cleanse our sinful hearts and stop our stubbornness’. Just accept His lordship and seek to faithfully follow Him all of your days!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: To know what the Master requires of us brings peace and contentment, because we then know what to aim at, and accomplish, in order to please Him in total obedience.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank You for who You are, and I thank You for not only giving the Israelites clear vision of what You require, but by placing this in Your Word for Christians of all times, I believe that You have also graced us with Your vision for how Your children should live. Please give us boldness to each day find the battle of sin here on this earth, and instead strive to live as You commanded., knowing that there will be many who will object to our methods and our practice. We want to honor You oh Lord. Please help us to stand firm among those who practice quite the opposite, for our goal will always be to please You oh King and obey Your commands. May You always be evident in every aspect of our lives, so that others will see Jesus working through us and give You glory as You deserve. 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Obedient To God’s Commands

As young kids many of us were trained to obey everything taught by our parents. Usually there were rewards for obedience and consequences for disobedience. As children of the Almighty God, we quickly learned that He had many more commands for us to follow, but it may have been more difficult to see and understand His guidance, rewards and consequences in response to our level of obedience/disobedience. I believe that today God will help us to see how His work among the Israelites is no different to His work among us. Invite God to speak to you personally as you meditate on His Word.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-06-09
WRITTEN AT: Orlando, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 9:15-18
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 When the congregation tent was finally erected and assembled, the cloud of the presence of God covered it and the place where the terms of the covenant were kept. In the dark of night, the presence of God looked like a fire and marked the spot until morning. 16 And so it continued—cloud cover by day, and something like fiery storm clouds at night. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted up, the Israelites would pack up and move, and wherever the cloud stopped, they would settle. 18 This is how the Eternal One indicated when the Israelites should travel and where they should set up camp. As long as the cloud stayed still over the congregation tent, the Israelites also stayed at their tents.

APPLICATION: In today’s environment we see where the strongest nation militarily, and/or financially, receives the attention of other nations not quite as fortunate in these areas. In our churches, I believe that we see where some churches really have a lot going for them in man’s eyes, and the crowds seem to be looking for a church that has a lot going on for children and adults – the whole family structure. But I am convinced that God is still after touching each heart individually and personally, and He is still looking at how well we obey Him and His commands. Finding a good church home is a vital part of seeking to obey God’s commands, because in any good church you will hear God’s Word taught and explained; You will meet fellow believers who will encourage you in your walk with the Lord, and their testimony will convince you that God’s not dead, because you could see where He is alive and well in His people; You will also be given the opportunity to obey God by giving to His ongoing work here on earth through your tithes and offering. Now compare this to what happened with the Israelites: God considered them His chosen people, so when He saw how badly they were being treated in Egypt in slavery, He went to bat for them and not only freed them from the hand of Pharaoh, but made them aware of a Promised Land He had prepared especially for them. Moses was chosen as God’s leader for the Israelites, but because he was mere man, God guided him and gave him great power. In today’s Scripture we are told that the Israelites moved when God told them to – through moving the Cloud from over the congregation tent. But as long as the Cloud remained there, the people obediently stayed there. Can you even imagine how mankind today would react to that? We have numerous denominations today, because every leader had his own ideas and understanding of what God wanted. Do you think for a minute that everyone would stay united waiting for a Cloud to move? I specifically chose this translation for our Scripture today because they had ‘Cloud’ capitalized – to show that it represented God’s presence! Friends, what do you suppose it would take for us to unite as children of the Most High God? As such, we may be apt to join hearts and hands and obey the commands of our God, no matter how insane it may sound to us, and no matter how much we feel our neighbor may disagree with God’s commands. God stayed true to the Israelites because they learned to be obedient to Him and follow His commands. I believe He has a place prepared for us also, and He is anxiously awaiting our arrival. But now while here on earth, we must learn to be obedient to the will of the Father and follow His commands. Can He count on you?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Just as God led the Israelites all the way from slavery in Egypt to a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. He has also promised us a land where the streets are made of pure gold. Our job is to obey His commands and place our faith and trust in Him alone! What a mighty God we serve!

PRAYER: Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Oh that we would follow in strict obedience to Your commands dear Lord, and learn to trust in You for all things. The Israelites were forced to depend solely on You while in the desert. Thank You for blessing us with jobs, family, friends and everyone else that provides for us daily. But most of all we stand in awe at Your goodness. Thank You for sending Your Son to offer such a sacrifice so that we may one day worship at Your feet and enjoy our heavenly Home that You have prepared for us. Come Lord Jesus come and take us home to be with You and the Father! 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

If You Obey, I Will… Otherwise I will ….

Having worked a little in programming, there were many occasions that If-Then formulas were used to direct programs on how to deal with data meeting certain criteria. Long before computer programming, God gave us an If-Then condition for us to analyze, and He gave us what the results will look like for the specific condition we decide to follow. This is a good time to review our options today as we study the Word together!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-05-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Leviticus 26:3-16
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Faithfully obey my laws, and I will send rain to make your crops grow and your trees produce fruit.
I will bless your country with peace, and you will rest without fear.
You will chase and destroy your enemies, even if there are only five of you and a hundred of them, or only a hundred of you and ten thousand of them.
14-15 If you disobey me and my laws, and if you break our agreement, 16 I will punish you terribly, and you will be ruined. You will be struck with incurable diseases and with fever that leads to blindness and depression……

APPLICATION: God provided freedom to His people, the Israelites, who were enslaved in Egypt. To make the transition, I’m sure God had to lead them in every walk of freedom, including those things that trigger His gifts and generosity. Often as we tune in to the evening news and hear of everything that is creating havoc for our respective families and country, we may be forced to ponder what on earth have we done to deserve all the bad things that occur every day. For the sake of brevity, I only included highlights from Leviticus 26. Let me encourage each reader to click on the Scripture reference above and read the whole chapter. There are things promised by God that I’m sure we would wish to enjoy and flourish in today. However, there are also warnings that God gave about His reaction to our disobedience, and we could only stand back in shock about how real these are even in our current day situation. Notice that God warned about incurable diseases that He will allow to affect us – perhaps cancer, COVID, or other such diseases. Weather conditions that will impact growth of our natural food items. And these forms of punishment will be multiplied as we continue our stubborn and disobedient streak. Friends, I found this extremely interesting as I read this today. Yes, this related how God spoke to the Israelites. But I believe it was placed in His Book of Instruction, so that we might know how He operates. Simply put, I believe God is saying to us that if we recognize Him as our Creator/God and we obey His commands, He will bless us beyond our ability to comprehend. However, beginning in verse 14, God is telling us that if we choose to go our own way, ignore the Almighty God who created us, and live according to the world’s standards and beliefs, then He will release His fury on us. No doubt we will ponder why on earth will anyone choose to be punished. Ever since the very beginning of time, Satan has misled mankind into thinking that they know better than the God who created them. Unfortunately, Satan is still whispering words of deceit to many today, for until some are challenged with unusual or burdensome things that serve to destroy them or their families, they usually opt to continue their rejection of the Great I Am. I believe that it is extremely obvious as to God’s intentions, and His positive reaction to our obedience. But He is strongly against our disobedience, so if it’s up to you, then why would you choose death over life; or evil over goodness; or damnation over the goodness of a loving and caring God? Friends, God has made His decision on the outcome, it’s up to you now to choose your ultimate destination and whether it will be blessings in store for you, or curses. I know you are smart and that you will make the right decision, God being your helper and provider.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In spite of accepting us in a very sinful state, God saved us from the pit of Hell and, as promised to the Israelites in today’s Scripture, He has many, many blessings in store for His children. We serve such an awesome God!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul…. Thank You also for Your promises of ongoing blessings just like You promised the wicked Israelites who stubbornly worshiped idols, even while You provided their food and passage to a new and wonderful, free land. Please Lord, touch Your people once again today so that our eyes might be opened and our hearts refreshed to Your many blessings. Please give us boldness to stay in Your Word and apply it to our lives every day. May the source of our strength and our divine guide be obvious to all those around us, so that they may also seek after You. 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Obey God. Don’t Try To Take His Place

I was always tickled in the workplace when told that the CEO ordered that we do something, for that phrase was frequently used, and abused, to place creditability in doing what that individual wanted done! Siblings sometimes use that tactic in demanding that something be done, because mom or dad said so! In our Scripture today Moses was trying just the opposite tactic, as he was trying to wiggle out of God’s command to speak to the wicked king. As we meditate on the Word today, perhaps we should reassess our intentions when we try to share Jesus’ commands to the world.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-03-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 6:28-30
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: 28 On the day when the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, 29 The Lord said to Moses, I am the Lord; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.
30 But Moses said to the Lord, Behold, I am of deficient and impeded speech; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me?

OBSERVATION: I was always tickled in the workplace when told that the CEO ordered that we do something, for that phrase was frequently used, and abused, to place creditability in doing what that individual wanted done! Siblings sometimes use that tactic in demanding that something be done, because mom or dad said so! In our Scripture today Moses was trying just the opposite tactic, as he was trying to wiggle out of God’s command to speak to the wicked king. As we meditate on the Word today, perhaps we should reassess our intentions when we try to share Jesus’ commands to the world.

APPLICATION: At times we try so hard for personal satisfaction and recognition, that we tend to overwhelm the audience we are trying to reach, or we may even under-whelm, or convince them. God – the Creator of the world, and the One who had already proven Himself to Moses and the Israelites, is now ordering Moses to go and speak with the Egyptian king. Notice the emphasis on who is ordering the king – I underlined it in the Scripture. So the orders are already written for Moses, from the highest authority. It was almost like Moses was off the hook, for he would just be the messenger. But instead of just doing what he was told to do, Moses quickly came up with excuses. Not that God didn’t know what He was telling him to do, but how useless he (Moses) was, and how ineffective he would be in speaking to the king. In applying this today, how many do you think would attend church if it was only an avenue for a preacher to share his personal success, or his achievements, or his desire for the people? We attend church for the sake of knowing that we will meet with God and hear what He has to say through His messenger who shares the Word of God for His people. Friends, no one can take the place of God, for He is all powerful, holy and righteous. It should always be the desire of a preacher, or every Christian, to seek the heart of God and share what He has to say through His powerful Word to each of us. It is always best that we seek God, put self aside, and share the unadulterated Word of God with others. God is powerful enough to stand firm on His own; to speak Truth and correction through His written Word; and to soften the hardened hearts of the sinner to hear His voice calling each one unto Himself. If God chooses to use a messenger (pastor, preacher, fellow Christian, etc) to do that, then we must know in advance that the effort is all about God, with no credit or praise expected for self. God called me to salvation many years ago, and only He can call you. I pray that God will use His followers to encourage sinners today to listen closely to His call and obey the call on their life. This is especially true for each of you that will read, or listen to this devotional today. Listen closely to the voice of God and be quick to obey Him.

PRAYER: It is so unfortunate that we put so much pressure on ourselves to say the right thing, instead of just sharing the Word of God as He designed it. There was nothing that Moses could have said to the powerful king of Egypt to cause him to change his mind. But thank You Father for convincing Moses to simply carry Your message to the King, and You did the rest. You knew how many attempts the king would make to try and discourage Moses, and You knew what would finally cause the king to stop and listen. You created the king and You knew all about him, just as it is with each of us. Please speak intently to us today so that we may listen, obey and follow Your commands just as You intended. Thank You for being patient with us, just as You were with Moses. We need You each and every day, dear Lord, and I believe that You will work with us. Thank You Heavenly Father! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Knowing When God’s Commands Overrule

My first subject for today read ‘First Abortions Ordered By The King’. I found it satisfying that God ordained it in the minds of Shiphrah and Puah that it is wrong to kill another human whom He created. I could only pray that as we study the Word today, we will gain even more incentive to pray for more people like these two women who chose to obey God, in spite of the commands from the highest authority on earth. Today we know this as abortion and it is exactly that same type of murder. May God grip the hearts of today’s midwives and doctors.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-03-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 1:15-17
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 Pharaoh, Egypt’s king, called for some of the Hebrew midwives. Their names were Shiphrah and Puah.
Pharaoh: 16 Listen closely. Whenever you are looking after a Hebrew woman who is in labor and ready to deliver, if she gives birth to a son, then kill the baby. If it is a daughter, then allow her to live.
17 But the midwives respected God more than they feared Pharaoh, so they did not carry out the Egyptian king’s command. Instead, they let all the boys live.

OBSERVATION: My first subject for today read ‘First Abortions Ordered By The King’. I found it satisfying that God ordained it in the minds of Shiphrah and Puah that it is wrong to kill another human whom He created. I could only pray that as we study the Word today, we will gain even more incentive to pray for more people like these two women who chose to obey God, in spite of the commands from the highest authority on earth. Today we know this as abortion and it is exactly that same type of murder. May God grip the hearts of today’s midwives and doctors.

APPLICATION: I know that this is a very controversial issue in today’s society, but one challenge of reading through God’s Word is that you will find a variety of subjects. It is up to us if we choose to skip some and apply the rest, but personally I believe that the Book was provided for our guidance in life to ultimately lead us to the cross of Calvary. As a reminder, sin is not allowed in Heaven, and if we disobey God, it is sin. Praise God, I am looking forward to kneeling at His feet in heaven one day soon, and I pray that each reader of this devotional will be challenged to that same truth each and every day that you are alive. While blessed with life here on earth, we each have a daily challenge to either believe in and obey God’s Word, or follow the crowd in doing what they do, even if it is sin. It is very challenging to obey God, for it often causes one to stand out, for His Word often contradicts what the world feels is OK. I could go on to give loads of examples, but for the child of God, we have access to the playbook. In God’s Word you will find direction, and answers to, every walk of life. Furthermore, God sent a part of Himself, the Holy Spirit, to live inside of the Christian to Help us in determining right from wrong, and also direct us towards the risen Christ – daily. So we would be hard pressed to give the excuse of ‘oops, I didn’t know that’s against God’s will’. There are some funny expressions that arise from movies, but one of them applies here: ‘I knew it was wrong, but I doed it anyway’. This might be because we want to remain ‘cool’ with our peers, or we don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb, etc. Jesus lived a very challenging life while here on earth, and we can’t expect our time here to be much better than His. So yes, living the Christian life comes with its challenges. However, for the person who wants to remain true to the God who sacrificed His only Son for our salvation, then we will seek His help to keep us strong in difficult times; to heal us when hard-pressed with challenging health issues; with giving us the power to say ‘no’ to sin; and the power to overcome evil, even if it appears like ‘fun’ in our worldly eyes. In the verses following our quoted Scripture, we are told that these midwives were blessed richly because of their stance in doing the godly thing, even after being ordered by the king to do otherwise. I can only imagine that there are probably great books written with loads of rich blessings by doctors of today who have stood their Biblical grounds for not doing an abortion, or moms who chose to raise a child under very difficult circumstances, but lived to see that child become a very prominent citizen who she was very proud of. Friends, it’s still wrong to kill an unborn or newly born child, and I believe that there are still multitudes of blessings awaiting for those who overcome the temptation and instead trust in God to help them through the battles of life while obeying His commands.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You sacrificed Your life for our salvation. Thank You! Please give us strength to overcome the feeling that we need everything done our way, even when, at times, we know that may involve actions that do not align with Your Word. You went to the extreme to show Your love for us, please help us to always do our best in living our utmost for Your highest honor. Oh that we may always stay strong like the midwives mentioned in our Scripture today. For there is no greater peace than to be obedient to to You, Faithful God, even when the pressure is terribly on us by the world around us. You blessed the midwives, and I sincerely believe that You will bless us in our faithfulness. Thank You Lord Jesus. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

True Happiness Is…

There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-19
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC

Bible Reference: James 1:25
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 25 … the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

OBSERVATION:   There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

APPLICATION:   I often compare illustrations on marriage to help illustrate the relationship we should strive towards with our Lord. In marriage, many couples attend marriage enrichment classes, or take cruises geared towards married couples, or read books on ways to refresh our marriages. We are looking for ways to refresh our love for each other. Without this, we tend to start taking each other for granted, we relax our initial commitment to love and uphold each other through good times and through the challenging times as well. In fact, many who make no effort to keep their marriages fresh, tend to result more into divorce than ever before. James is teaching us here in this Scripture today that true happiness for mankind is found in carefully studying the perfect laws of God, as outlined in His book of instruction – the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we are taught and reminded that God loves us more than we could even imagine. He showed His love for us in many ways, but the ultimate love was shown when He willingly went to the cross as a sacrifice for us. But why did Jesus go to the cross? For all who existed at that time were not saints, nor were they deeply in love with God, but instead they were ‘dirty’, ‘filthy’ sinners. But, in love, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross knowing that it would be the means of forgiveness when we ask for it. So knowing that someone loves us so much, and without conditions placed on why He would love us, why do you suppose we would not want to obey His commands? James reminds us that through obeying God, we not only receive His wondrous love, but we become sons and daughter of the greatest person that ever lived, our Lord and Savior. The contentment this brings to us is pure, unadulterated happiness. Now if we are serious about this kind of commitment to Jesus Christ, and the happiness that results, James said that we would want to continue to study and learn from the teachings of Jesus. Further, we must always be mindful of what we have studied, for it is intended to guide our lives into total Truth. As we learn, and discern God’s will for our lives, may we strive to obey it and live it out in our lives. You see, I am convinced that God created us to illustrate to the world, what a loving, caring God looks like. How do you suppose you are doing with that? It’s very easy for us to see the good, the bad and the ugly in others, but I would suggest that we look inward today and, based on what James is teaching us, evaluate whether you think that others are seeing the ultimate happiness of our loving Lord in us!  If you feel like you are not the epitome of Christ’s happiness, then we are taught in this verse to get back to the Book and study what God intended for us.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice at Calvary. Thank You for loving us enough to offer Your life as a sacrifice for our sin. Thank You for providing Your Word so that we may be reminded of Your love, and also how we may maintain our happiness in You. Please give all those who will meditate on this devotional today, the boldness to demonstrate Your love for us, to all those that we come into contact with. May we be committed to reading Your Word, understanding it’s truth, and practicing it’s values every day in the way that we live and interact with others. May You be glorified through our humble lives today oh Lord. AMEN! 

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Government Leaders = God’s Servants – Obey Them

As we read through God’s Word, there will be times where we will come across passages where God speaks to our heart, but its a subject that is so sensitive that we would rather not teach or preach about it. Over the years I have found that I must be obedient to God first and foremost. So if God speaks to me through His Word, then I feel compelled to share it with you, from a heart that was blessed by God. We don’t always like what the Bible is teaching us, but for the child of God, we know that it’s something that God finds worthy of impressing upon our hearts and minds for our own good. Meditate with me on this whole chapter and see what God impresses upon you, won’t you?

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 13:1-2; 4
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: All of you must obey the government rulers. Everyone who rules was given the power to rule by God. And all those who rule now were given that power by God. So anyone who is against the government is really against something God has commanded. Those who are against the government bring punishment on themselves…. Rulers are God’s servants to help you. But if you do wrong, you have reason to be afraid. They have the power to punish, and they will use it. They are God’s servants to punish those who do wrong. 

OBSERVATION: As we read through God’s Word, there will be times where we will come across passages where God speaks to our heart, but its a subject that is so sensitive that we would rather not teach or preach about it. Over the years I have found that I must be obedient to God first and foremost. So if God speaks to me through His Word, then I feel compelled to share it with you, from a heart that was blessed by God. We don’t always like what the Bible is teaching us, but for the child of God, we know that it’s something that God finds worthy of impressing upon our hearts and minds for our own good. Meditate with me on this whole chapter and see what God impresses upon you, won’t you?

APPLICATION: Most challenging Scripture verses for us to follow, because we tend to look at the corruption and evil that goes on in government, and the laws that are put in place that, often times seem to really hurt Christians. It is obvious from the first 6 verses in Romans 13 that Paul encountered Christian brothers and sisters who thought very much the same as the way we tend to think today. I believe that anytime a law is instituted that works against our bottom line, we tend to send ‘hate vibes’ towards our senators, or authorities who had anything to do with the new law. In fact, at re-election time we have the availability to look into a candidate’s record and see exactly how they voted on certain items. Not a bad idea, but it also helps to build a wall of hatred and/or disrespect towards that person. I believe what Paul is teaching here actually goes very deep, because I believe he is telling us that if we are doing everything above board, then we have nothing to fear of our government leaders. I also believe that if we follow other Biblical references to pray for God’s direction as we vote, and yes Christians you must lead the pact in going out to vote, then our prayer, in faith, will play a part in having God’s man/woman elected. Further, I believe that if we had to publicly pray for our elected officials more than we complain about them, then perhaps they will tend to lean more on God for understanding, wisdom and right choices, and God will intervene in their decision making and guide them into right decisions that will be pleasing to Him. Bottom line is that our officials are in place as God’s representatives/servants for our good (vs 4), and we are to obey them and support them so that God’s work might be accomplished through them. Friends remember, our initial instructions come from God, so our obedience, respect and prayerful support towards our leaders is a sign of obedience to God. Key points – prayer before voting; prayer while these folk are in power, as God’s servants, and our leaders; then follow in obedience and support of those servants of God for whom we are praying daily. Let’s get before God in prayer and ask Him to tender our hearts so that we can be obedient to Him in all things, and all those who are in authority over us.

PRAYER: Lord, this is very challenging for us, so I humbly ask You to help us to get out of the ‘driver’s seat’ and allow You to control our government leaders/Your servants in place for our good. To do this I must first personally ask that You help me to totally surrender to You as my authority, because when I try to do your job I am showing lack of faith and trust in You. Please forgive me for that, and build my faith to a level where I can trust You in ALL things. Lord. I am embarrassed by some of the comments I hear from other Christian leaders about Your servants, please speak to these friends and co-laborers in Your work here on earth and help us all to submit to Your authority and will for our every concern, especially our government leaders. I must acknowledge that You are God over ALL things in our lives, not just the pieces that go our way and seem to benefit us personally. Please remind us of that when we tend to question those in authority. Needing Your help in such a powerful way, I humbly ask this in Your holy and most worthy name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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 at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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!