How To Be Pure and Innocent Children of God

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

The Bible Reference: Philippians 2:13-16
The Bible Text: God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him. Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything that they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world, as you hold firmly to the message that gives life.
The Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take Away: Friends, there’s some powerful stuff packed into these few verses that Paul is sharing with the church at Philippi, and that God has placed in His Word to get our attention today. Let us concentrate on a few of these things and be encouraged by them:

  • God is working inside of us to make us willing, and able to obey Him – This is so powerful, because we tend to often worry that we could never withstand the temptations of the evil one working through his earthly agents. Notice how very right we are in thinking that way? Paul reminds us that it is only God that can help us with that. It is God that we must look to for strength, direction and power to overcome the evil one. I believe that it is incumbent upon us to seek God’s face and surrender our will to His. Let Him do His work in us. That’s the only way that we will stand a chance in this old wicked and perverse world.
  • Do everything without grumbling and complaining – I am ashamed at how much I grumble and complain. Generally, I am a very positive person, but friends, you and I can do a whole lot better than we are doing, if only we will place our total faith and trust in God and consider it all joy when things are not necessarily going the way that pleases us. It’s not about us. It’s all about what pleases our God. Many times our wishes are very selfish, God’s ways will lead a person to the cross of Calvary where they may be saved. His ways will correct a person’s ways so that they might be better identified, or recognized as His child, so that the lost might see and believe. We grumble and complain because things are not being done to our liking or the way of our selfish will. Take note of the subject again, and remind yourself that we are to be pure and innocent children of God. It is for His glory and His honor, and it is God who will receive praise when His children obey Him.
  • Although living among evil and perverse people, we must stay away from things they think is wrong – This one really caught my eye, but then I suppose that if the world thinks something is wrong, imagine how wrong it must really be in God’s eyes! I realize this means that the world probably has us ‘in a box’ and that they are examining our every move. But friends, hopefully this means that they have a perfect image of God, and therefore they are looking for perfection in those of us who claim to represent Him.
  • Be a bright and shining light in a dark world – Unless the world sees something different about us, why would they follow us to the cross? They may as well follow their other friend that has no hope at all.

I believe that unless we depend on God, and personally strive to be obedient to His will for our lives, we will never be pure and innocent children before God, nor before the wicked world in which we live. If it’s to be, it’s up to you, friend.

Prayer: Just as we strive to see perfection in our children, Father I believe that Your desire is to see Your children aim towards perfection in following Your will and Your way before a lost and dying world. There’s so much to be done before this world will truly see, submit to, accept and follow the ways of our Master. However, with Your grace dear Father, and with Your help, I believe that the process can begin by us agreeing to be Your hands, Your feet, Your witness and Your innocent representatives. Please have Your will and way in our lives today Oh Lord, beginning with me. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, and for Your sake Oh Lord, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 could 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, 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!

2016

Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve

THE HOLY BIBLE – New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Deuteronomy 7:5-6 You must break down their pagan altars and shatter their sacred pillars. Cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols. For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

THOUGHTS: I believe that we have gotten into such a feeling of ‘trying to fit in’, that we would do almost anything to please our friends. Some say, “we don’t want to be a stick in the mud”, while others say, “I just don’t want to call attention to myself by being different”. Friends, God brought the Israelites through a wilderness over a period of 40 years, and during this time they depended on God for their next drop of water, and their next morsel of food, in order to survive. Do you suppose that they learned how to depend on God? Do you suppose this changed the hearts of these people to trust in God for everything? Do you suppose they learned very quickly what actions pleased God and which ones really upset Him? Do you think that in this world that we now live in where everything is placed at our fingertips, that we could identify with the Israelites? These chosen verses made me think of a current day scenario where a parent is about to release their adult child ‘into the wild’. In other words, from their family home, into a world where they would make their own home and own decisions. For then a parent feels like no matter how thoroughly they may have raised the child in a godly home, they just want to make sure that the child will continue to live as they were taught, as they now ‘fly the coop’! It’s nerve wrecking because we worry that we may not have done enough! In this scripture today, the Israelites were reminded how important it would be for them to stay away from the traps of Satan, and to stay true to the teachings and practices of God, and to not tolerate the things of Satan that may be attractive to them. Friends, this opened my eyes to consider the same challenges that we face each day. There are things that we know we should do that would please God. We know there are practices, places and/or people that we will come into contact with that will distract us from our walk with the Lord. I believe that God is telling us today that ‘we are to choose ye this day whom you will serve’. We may not face pagan altars and Asherah poles, but we will face worldly practices that Satan will use to distract us away from the Holy One, God Almighty. What will you do with Jesus? He gave His life so that we might live eternally with Him in heaven. What will you do today in appreciation for that?

PRAYER: Dear God, Your servants have become so comfortable with the things of this world, that it must be challenging for the world to clearly discern to whom we belong. I am convinced that ‘children of God’ who act like ‘children of the world’ will never impact the world for You, because nothing different is noted. May I be bold enough to ask You today dear God, to please touch Your children – those who have surrendered their lives to You for the sole purpose of being used by You, and renew a right spirit within us; draw us closer to You; direct us to be more like You; so that the world might be reminded of the love; patience; determination; dedication and strength of our Master. You are different to anything we see in this wicked world. May Your children strive to be the same, God being our strength, our helper and our guide. For this is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Your Son, Jesus, so that we may impact the world for You, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

What Is Best For Others

THE HOLY BIBLE – 23 You are certainly free to eat food offered to idols if you want to; it’s not against God’s laws to eat such meat, but that doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and do it. It may be perfectly legal, but it may not be best and helpful. 24 Don’t think only of yourself. Try to think of the other fellow, too, and what is best for him. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-33 ~ Living Bible (TLB)

THOUGHTS: Glance back at today’s title again and think about how ‘worldly’ that statement sounds. Not at all, right? That’s because this is an attribute of a child of God, friends. Paul used this in teaching the Corinthian church, where members who had accepted Jesus as Lord, realized that there were some traditional practices where they had recognized they may have been questioning God’s authority to bless and/or authorize them to eat. The problem Paul saw in that, is that they chose to eat these meats in the presence of weak Christians or even those who had yet to accept Christ. This created an air of unacceptance or separation by the unsaved, where it could have become almost impossible to break through their barrier, to teach them anything about the Lord. Let’s put this into a current, practical application. Assume with me that you invited a person to your church who is unsaved, but have always felt ‘religious’ convictions about eating pork, because they had at one time in their life been taught that the pig was ‘unclean’. So after the worship service, at the church-provided luncheon you filled your plate up with pork chops and proceeded to sit next to your invited friend to gorge yourself on this delicious meat. You noticed that after excusing themselves several times to make trips to the bathroom, your friend finally told you bye, and they left. Your eating of a food that made them sick to their stomach, not only put a wedge between the two of you, but could very easily have placed such a disgust in the mind of that friend for Christians as a whole, that they would never again accept an invitation to your church. This is an example of something being OK (legal) in your mind, but it totally offended your friend that you invited to church. Food is not the only thing that offends, or turns a prospect off from the Jesus you have been trying very hard to share with your friends. However, may I suggest to you that if you stick to the things of God and the practices taught by His Precious Son, then you can’t go wrong. You have developed a hardness in your heart against those things that may offend God, things that you automatically do in the presence of weaker Christians and/or prospects, causing them to question what kind of God could you possibly be serving. Right or wrong, non-Christians have their view about what a ‘perfect’ follower of Christ should look and act like. We have a responsibility to God to act and talk like Him so that He might use us to minister and/or encourage those that we come into contact with. We are to be ambassadors for Christ and learn to stay pliable by Him. This will lead to a life where our friends will see the difference in us, and not question to whom we could possibly belong. If you are truly on the Lord’s side, may I encourage you today to seek His face and desire to live according to His Word and His will for your life. Time is short before the Lord returns. We can’t afford ‘mess-ups’ like given in the example above. We are on mission for Jesus Christ, not on a self-pleasing mission for personal pleasure or gain. Join me, won’t you?

PRAYER: Father You sent Your Son to this earth to witness how far we had strayed, and to teach us how we should live obedient lives that are pleasing to You and therefore be individuals who are usable by You. Lord, this old sinful world has such a tug on Your children, especially when we lose sight of Your goodness and Your teachings. Lord, personally, I want to be just like You. I want my life to be a living example of all that You have taught us in Your Word, so that others touched by me would have touched the hand of God extended through me. I pray that You will multiply this request over and over, as individuals read this devotional today and share a desire to also be Your committed servant. Touch Your people once again dear God, so that we might become servants that You can be proud of, and usable instruments in Your hand – all for Your ultimate glory and honor. For these blessings I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

Accountability Matters

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Matthew 25:19,29): 19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

THOUGHTS: In today’s society we are very investment conscious, because we want to see our retirement dollars stretch as far as possible. To make sure that this occurs, we are trained to look for the best investors – people we can trust to achieve the same goals that we set for ourselves, and we hold them accountable to do just that for us, or we consider changing to a different investor. This is similar to what occurred in this story, for Jesus used an illustration of giving three individuals money, then returning to see whether they were responsible with the money. May I suggest that God has also given each of us great talents, gifts, abilities and opportunities and He will one day look for our response on how well we’ve done with those gifts? There’s a popular saying that if you don’t use a gift you might lose it. I wonder how many of us have already lost most of what God has blessed us with, because we have refused to invest our lives into the needs of others. When we give a gift to a kid, then see them abuse it and destroy it in no time at all, it often frustrates us and makes us angry. Do you suppose that God should feel any different? In verse 29 Jesus said that if we choose to ignore and not use the gifts we are blessed with, we will lose them. Please consider using all that you have, to bless as many as you can. I believe it is clear from verse 29 that our remaining gifts will be multiplied, not the opposite like the world might expect. It matters to God what we do with our gifts, He holds us accountable. Let’s make Him proud today as we seek to serve Him by helping others.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your blessings on me! Thank You for the gifts You shower on me and thank You for opportunities every day to use those gifts to bless others. Please touch the hearts of those who will meditate on this devotional today. May we all recognize our gifts and be willing to see them multiplied, by helping others in every way possible. We want to hear your words of affirmation “Well done good and faithful servant” when challenged by you with our accountability question. Please grant us grace to be obedient in every way to the needs You present to us every day. Thank You Lord for being so good to us. May we be faithful to You. For I ask this in the strong and faithful name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

Don’t Miss The Boat

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Matthew 7:21-23): “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

THOUGHTS: To take a ride on some boats or ships you need to have purchased a ticket. On others you need to book your passage and be there on time. On smaller boats, in particular parts of the world, you may be required to wear a life jacket (vest) and remain seated throughout the ride, for your own protection. Jesus warns us that merely saying that Jesus is Lord, or hopping on to the boat without having first-hand knowledge of the Captain and accepted His invitation, will not provide you safe passage on the boat to its final destination. Of course Jesus was talking about heaven, and His point here is that if we have truly accepted Him as Lord and Savior of our lives, then we would be obedient to Him. Our instructions come from the Word (the Bible). Friends, the whole idea behind ‘Nuggets From God’s Word’ is to share with you how the writer feels God has touched him during the reading of His Word. You see, we can read and re-read a passage of scripture, and if God needs to get a word of wisdom, or direction or encouragement across to us, He could even use something in a familiar passage to reveal the Truth to us, if we remain open to Him and willing to be obedient to Him. It is very clear in this scripture this morning that God wants more than lip service, He wants obedient children. Don’t just call on the name of Jesus when it’s convenient or when you feel it is necessary, but live life in total obedience to what we understand He demands in His Word. Let that understanding come from personal Bible study and time with the Lord, not just what I might share with you, or what you might learn from your pastor or Bible school teacher. As God speaks to you, highlight it in your Bible, or make notes of what you heard from God. The next time you read that passage you will not only receive a current word from the Lord, but you will be reminded of what He said to you when you last read that same passage of scripture. Remember, we don’t impress God. He loves us just the way we are, and He wants our total dedication and obedience to all that He commands of us. The rules are clear as to what will see us safely on to the glorious ‘boat’ to glory. Please don’t miss the boat!

PRAYER: Lord God, we are so spoiled in getting our own way when we know someone in charge. In fact, we sometime lean on folk like that to get us on board, even if we have not met all of the rules and conditions. In this passage of scripture You have warned us not to expect this from You, but instead You are looking for our obedience to all that You have taught us. Lord, this is very challenging for us, because often this involves us having to do just the opposite to what our friends, or the crowd is doing. Please help us to stop, listen and decide this day whom we will serve. If it’s You Lord, then help us to commit to that and depend on You to direct us towards total obedience. A great part of our survival here on earth, is the expectation of one day being in Your presence and hearing the words “Well done good and faithful servant”. This will result from our obedience to You while here on earth. Please help us to be totally committed to You and faithful to obey all that You command of us in Your Word. Please protect us from the evil one while remaining here on this old earth. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!