The Temple – A Place Of Prayer

Jesus was upset at what He found going on in the Temple. In fact, so upset that it triggered an angered reaction from Him. Would you be happy if Jesus visited your church today? Do you suppose that He would have been happy, proud and excited if He walked in over the weekend for your awesome worship services? Would He have seen any indication of why you considered your church to be ‘A House of Prayer’? Let’s stop and ponder this Scripture for a few moments today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-07-12
WRITTEN AT: Kingman, AZ

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 21:12-13
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 12 Jesus went into the Temple area. He threw out all those who were selling and buying things there. He turned over the tables that belonged to those who were exchanging different kinds of money. And he turned over the benches of those who were selling doves.13 Jesus said to them, “The Scriptures say, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are changing it into a ‘hiding place for thieves.’”

APPLICATION: While I sincerely believe that Jesus walked into a sanctuary, or at least the courtyard that led into the sanctuary, upon reading this my mind also went on something else referred to in the Bible as ‘The Temple of God – where the Holy Spirit resides’ – our bodies. In the case of what we call the sanctuary, or the church today, how many of us can say that prayer plays a crucial part in our ministries? In churches that I have attended, we could hardly keep the doors opened on a prayer meeting night, for only the very few faithful ones would show for that meeting. In fact, one elder member told the pastor of one church that he would stop attending on Wednesday nights if he turned it into a night of prayer alone, for he wanted to hear the pastor teach on that night. Friends, when at home we receive instant gratification from turning on the television. If we don’t get the kind of entertainment we want, we simply change the channel. Doesn’t that sound like the same scenario as the real-life example I just shared with you? Many just can’t be bothered to ‘make the sacrifice’ to attend one additional service each week. Oh dear friends, imagine us feeling like we are making ‘a sacrifice’ to join with other believers to praise God, and to thank Him for His goodness towards us? If we were not included in the blessing, one could possible understand the refusal to go and thank God, but no matter how much we want, and how badly we see the need for certain things, yet there is so much that Almighty God has blessed us with. I remember being admitted into my workplace one morning and asked how I was doing after my long drive to work. With a smile. I responded how thankful I was about the awesome day that God had given to us, and for the job He blessed me with! I was quickly shut down, because they were expecting complaints about having to come to work! Here’s a thought to consider: If you added the following words after your church name outside of your church ‘A House of Prayer’, would you be the mockery of the town, or would that attract many others to stop and worship with you? On another note, what if Jesus was referring to ‘the Temple’ as our bodies? Surely our own personal prayer life is well oiled and happens like clock-work, right? Although Jesus could easily see the challenges with the church, He knows how well we do in our personal prayer life, right? Friends, let me be the first to remind you today, that the church/temple prayer meetings suffer because of the lack of prayer in our personal lives/temple. Only a renewed personal/individual relationship with the Creator could solve both problems. Won’t you be the first to do that today? If for no other reason, show your appreciation for all that God has blessed you with. That alone is sufficient to praise Him in the morning, at noontime and evening!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God’s ‘TEMPLE’ = House of Prayer (Isaiah 56:7).

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving of Your very life so that I may live eternally. Thank You for blessing me with good health each and every day so that I might enjoy everything You have provided for Your children here on earth. Please Lord, help my readers and listeners to never think much of bowing the knee in thanksgiving to our Provider of every good gift from above. Please be a motivator for us to leave everything behind and find ourselves in group prayer meetings so that iron might sharpen iron – we might encourage one another in all that You have done for us. Please help us to be a grateful people who are always ready to join hearts and hands in thanksgiving to our generous God! 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!

Prayer – A Plea To God

Often in our prayers we will thank God for our food, thank Him for His blessings on us, ask Him to bless our family, etc. But there are times of desperation where we plead with God about circumstances beyond our control that often bear heavy on our heart. As we meditate on this passage I pray that we will be reminded of the love of our Savior in our good times, where it seems like blessings abound, and in our most challenging times when we desperately need Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-04-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 27:7-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation!

OBSERVATION: Often in our prayers we will thank God for our food, thank Him for His blessings on us, ask Him to bless our family, etc. But there are times of desperation where we plead with God about circumstances beyond our control that often bear heavy on our heart. As we meditate on this passage I pray that we will be reminded of the love of our Savior in our good times, where it seems like blessings abound, and in our most challenging times when we desperately need Him.

APPLICATION: Most people remember God and they remember to pray to Him when they see no way out in the critical circumstances of life. Imagine leading up to a a car wreck, all passengers are drinking and having the time of their life. The driver falls asleep and the inevitable occurs – a head on collision with a tree. At least one passenger has life-threatening injuries. What do you suppose is the first thing the remaining occupants will do? I agree, probably pray. I’m not qualified to say whether God hears their prayer, and answers their pleas, but the Bible has many instances where we are warned that no one knows the day or the hour where our life here on earth will end, and that we should be ready to meet our Maker at all times. David faced many challenges in his short life, but he had a very intimate relationship with his Maker. Because of his relationship with God, he mentioned how he heard in his heart that God wanted him to pour out his heartfelt needs to Him. Like us, David was afraid that God was not hearing him, and even worse, he was afraid that God would reject him. Don’t try to knock David down for his feelings, because while we could read a lot from the Bible about David, and it all seems honorable and it makes David look very good, we must remember that only David knew what was going on in his life. He was able to open his heart to God, because he knew that God knew all too well about the good, bad and indifferent in David. This is important for us to take note of, for we might try to pull the wool over the eyes of our parents, our spouse, or our good friends, but we can’t do that with God. For God not only knows everything about us, but He also sees everything we do, He hears every word we say, and even more frightening – He knows our very thoughts. So there is no need to beat around the bush when conversing with God, but instead be honest and hold nothing back. He is waiting to see if you will be honest with Him. Also, when you go before God in prayer, remember He is the Master and you are the servant. You are asking Him for whatever needs are impacting your life, so don’t tell Him how to do His job. Respect Him as God of the universe, and speak to Him as One who knows all about what your needs are. He has the power to forgive, and He alone can heal and forgive us of our sins. Listen carefully for His answer, as it may not align with your desired response. He’s better than that, and He will answer in a way that far exceeds anything we could ask or expect. Let me encourage you to cast your cares upon the Lord, and expect His supernatural response.

PRAYER: Although we are afraid to tell our friends everything that bothers us, Lord we realize how You already know about our good times, our wishes, our desires, and our wants. Please speak intently to us so that we may not ask astray. We are thankful that You know what’s best for us ahead, and You know the perfect timing for those things. Please humble our hearts to talk with You in all honesty, and to be patient as we wait for Your response and direction. Thank You for the life of David, and thank You for his honesty in speaking with You during his intimate times with You. We have no one to impress, so help us to just be ourselves as we come before You in prayer. Please continue to bless us, and bless those that we pray for, so that You may be glorified here on earth, as You are in Heaven. 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!

Do You Hear Me Now?

A mom or dad might respond to the pleas of an unruly child ‘don’t even talk to me right now’ and the child will know exactly that there is something that made mom/dad upset. I don’t know that God was upset with David why He made him feel that his prayers were falling on deaf ears, but often there are very good reasons why God may not immediately answer our prayers in the manner we are demanding. Let’s use this scripture as a reminder of the God who hears our every prayer!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-04-01
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 22:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: My God, my God, why have You turned Your back on me?
    Your ears are deaf to my groans.
O my God, I cry all day and You are silent;
    my tears in the night bring no relief.
Still, You are holy;
    You make Your home on the praises of Israel.

OBSERVATION: A mom or dad might respond to the pleas of an unruly child ‘don’t even talk to me right now’ and the child will know exactly that there is something that made mom/dad upset. I don’t know that God was upset with David why He made him feel that his prayers were falling on deaf ears, but often there are very good reasons why God may not immediately answer our prayers in the manner we are demanding. Let’s use this scripture as a reminder of the God who hears our every prayer!

APPLICATION: Hopefully not many of you will pick up your cellphones and shout the theme that I chose for today into your phone, like the advertiser did in their commercial! But doesn’t it remind you of that, especially at those times that you are hurting or in desperate need? Don’t you feel like shouting ‘is anybody out there’? Perhaps if we do a better job of thanking God for answers to all challenges, even smaller ones, and not overlook talking to God about the simple things of life, we might develop a sense of confidence in the God who can do ALL things, including bringing the dead back to life as He did with Lazarus. Friends, when we develop an intimate relationship with God, we will know what it means when it seems like He’s not listening and when it seems like He is not hearing or answering our prayers. We must also be very careful to remind ourselves that we are praying to God – the One who knows ALL things and will do only what He knows best for His beloved children. My point is that we don’t want to interfere with God’s plan by trying to tell Him how to correct our issue. There is no doubt that His ways far exceed anything that we might think or ask for, so simply lay your burden at His feet; share with Him how much you are hurting; and also share with Him how you wish for the best in your circumstances, even though you are more than happy to receive what He knows is best. Remember, you’ve built a relationship with your Creator and you know that He has your best interest at heart, so don’t be afraid to share your feelings, even though you want to always accept His perfect will for you. Often, these times of quiet by God is because of sin that you have allowed into your life, or because He wants you to draw closer to Him, or at even other times He is simply wanting to see you dig into His Word and be drawn to a closer walk with Him. God’s ways are always perfect, for He knows the plan that He has for us. Our ways are often diluted with sin and the evil of this earth, so when we pray, let’s remember to draw close to God first. This will help us to not only give in to His will, but it will give us opportunity to align our hearts with His, so that we may be less lightly to ask awry. A sure lesson for us to learn is found in verse 3, for in spite of David’s frustration in the first two verses, yet he acknowledged that God is almighty and all-powerful and deserves the praise of His people. This teaches me that I have no reason to be upset with God, for He deserves my praise – period! It’s me oh God, standing in the need of prayer. Please help my readers and I to concentrate on the awesome God of this universe, and refrain from trying to blame You when our prayers seem to fall on deaf ears and have not been responded to as we may have humanly and erroneously asked for.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your unending patience with me. Thankfully, You created me and You know my weaknesses, just as You did with Your servant David. Please forgive me when I lower my expectations of You to a level where it seems that You need my help. You are God, and I am not. May I always remember to respect You for the awesome God that You are. Of course You hear my prayer, please help me to be patient and wait for You to do just that. May each reader be drawn closer to You today, is my humble prayer as we all depend on You in prayer. 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!

Honor God In Prayer and Fasting – He Will Reward You

Most people will go an extra mile if they know that a reward awaits them! I was traveling extra miles to receive the rewards of a gas card, until I realized it was only pennies that I was saving per gallon of gas! But many institutions offer a rewards credit card, because they know that the customer will use the card more than any other card in their wallet. Jesus told the disciples what they needed to do to receive the attention of their Master and be rewarded by Him. This is important to us today, because He will also see us and reward us appropriately.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-01-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 6:6; 17-18;
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God,[f] praying to him in secret. And your Father, who sees all you do, will reward you openly.
17–18 When you fast, don’t let it be obvious, but instead, wash your face[p] and groom yourself and realize that your Father in the secret place is the one who is watching all that you do in secret and will continue to reward you openly.”

OBSERVATION: Most people will go an extra mile if they know that a reward awaits them! I was traveling extra miles to receive the rewards of a gas card, until I realized it was only pennies that I was saving per gallon of gas! But many institutions offer a rewards credit card, because they know that the customer will use the card more than any other card in their wallet. Jesus told the disciples what they needed to do to receive the attention of their Master and be rewarded by Him. This is important to us today, because He will also see us and reward us appropriately.

APPLICATION: Although rewards come in different forms, I believe that the idea is still inviting to saints today. Imagine: If you accept Jesus as Lord, He will care for you and watch over you until you meet Him in heaven one day with the Father; If you call on the name of Jesus, He will heal you and make you whole again; If you obey His commands and live according to His will, He will bless you; etc, etc. However, I believe that our Scripture today reveals that God has some specific ways that we might best follow His commands:
1. Pray – When you pray, know that it’s not for the purpose of impressing the pastor, the Sunday School teacher nor anyone else. I don’t believe that God is trying to discourage corporate prayer, but instead He is teaching us to keep our minds focused on the One to whom we are praying. Avoid the distractions of who’s sitting next to you, or the honor of who else is in the room where you are praying, and instead focus on the God of the universe, the One who made heaven and earth and every living creature – the only One who is capable of answering your prayer. Worship Him with the honor He deserves, and respectful ask Him for the desires of your heart and as they might fit into His perfect will;
2. Fasting – I believe it is appropriate to first say that I believe the idea of fasting is to better enable you to concentrate solely on the purpose of your prayer, without having to worry about the one thing we feel is so necessary – food. In other words, you are taking a specific need to God while saying to Him that there is nothing more important in your life at that time. To do this in all sincerity, Jesus taught that it would be an agreement strictly between you and God. Your neighbor wouldn’t hear you whining about the lack of food, nor would they see you frowning over the want for something you committed to God to do without. You would not be looking for praise from anyone about your decision to Fast, so you would be strictly confidential about it. You will have no need to think how good you are to make such a sacrifice, because you will quickly realize that you are but a particle of dirt when you stand before the Great I Am.
Friends, God said that these are two important aspects of our Christian journey, and when we seek Him through our private prayer, and through our confidential fasting, He will see it and He will reward us openly. Not sure why Jesus thought to tell us that God will reward us ‘OPENLY’, but I could only assume that God will want others to see that we are blessed by Him because of the relationship we have with Him. Often this will cause someone to look on, learn and try to duplicate whatever it is that we are doing. I believe that God would quickly affirm – mission accomplished!

PRAYER: It all seems simple enough that these are things we should do as children of the Most High God. But seeing that You had the need to teach Your closest companions/helpers these basic principles, I believe that You also knew that even after we learned from You and the disciples, we too would struggle to achieve Your ideals in these areas. The distractions seem to have gotten worse for us Lord, for there are now electronic devices, Social Media, incurable diseases, etc. So Lord, we need You more today than ever before to help us stay focused on You, Your work, Your Word and our time alone with You. I am humbly asking for You to soften our hardened hearts and draw us into a deeper personal relationship with You. Oh that we might come to You more often in ways described in today’s Scripture. Perhaps we might then be more serious about our prayer life and our relationship with You. Have Your will and way in our lives dear Lord, so that You may be glorified on earth, as You are in Heaven. 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!

Men – Careful Not To Hinder Answers to Your Prayers

Preserving our right to pray, and the assurance of having our prayers answered, are probably two of the most sacred things that a Christian has to hang on to until we meet with Jesus face to face. However, God warns through His servant Peter that men/husbands stand the chance of hindering answers to their prayers if they don’t treat their wives right. Now men, that really places a strong emphasis on our marital responsibilities. Let’s think about this for a few minutes today, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-02
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 3:7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: You husbands must be careful of your wives, being thoughtful of their needs and honoring them as the weaker sex. Remember that you and your wife are partners in receiving God’s blessings, and if you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not get ready answers.

OBSERVATION: Preserving our right to pray, and the assurance of having our prayers answered, are probably two of the most sacred things that a Christian has to hang on to until we meet with Jesus face to face. However, God warns through His servant Peter that men/husbands stand the chance of hindering answers to their prayers if they don’t treat their wives right. Now men, that really places a strong emphasis on our marital responsibilities. Let’s think about this for a few minutes today, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

APPLICATION: Ever been warned by your parent that something would be withheld if you didn’t treat your sibling right? I was brought up as the eldest of five children, so whenever things got a bit testy around us, mom would warn us of possible consequences! So as I think about our loving God threatening me with the words in verse 7, I tend to especially stop what I’m doing and pay attention. Prayer is spoken of in many areas of the Bible, and there have been some amazing answers to prayer throughout the Bible and even among Christendom today. Moses prayed and water came forward from a rock. He prayed again and the waters of the Red Sea were stopped so that the Israelite army, that he was leading, could march safely across and be saved from the oncoming Egyptian army. Peter was sinking into the water when he cried out for the help of Jesus, and with an out-stretched hand, Jesus kept Peter safe. Jesus healed the sick and even brought the dead back to life, because of the prayers of His children. As a Christian, no doubt that you have also prayed to God for some very desperate things that you felt you would lose, if not for the intervention of the Lord God. So child of God, can you even imagine being told that your prayers would be hindered unless you ……..? But stop and think for a moment how important the family is to God. He created Eve from the rib of Adam. He placed them in the Garden of Eden to live happily and at peace with one another. There have been many created since our first ancestors, and there have been numerous couples brought together and blessed with Holy Matrimony, because God wanted to see His miraculous work go on. God knew that men would need women and they would enjoy life together in spite of their differences. Now imagine how disappointed God must get when He sees us trying to destroy that union. In the marriage ceremony, there are some important words spoken by a minister of the Gospel – those whom God has put together, let no man pull asunder. So how do you imagine God must feel when a husband abuses his wife, or cheats on her, or has no respect for her? I was reminded by a pastor that it is God’s child that the husband is mistreating. How do you respond when you hear of your child being abused by a man? We are told in God’s Word that He can do ALL things. But imagine Him scolding you one morning as you pray, and telling you: ‘Yes I can answer that prayer, but because you have not loved my daughter, and because you are not treating her with love and respect, I will withhold my response until further notice’. Will that help you reconcile your differences and resume a right relationship with your wife, for Jesus’ sake? Jesus loves the little children – both wives and husbands. Can we learn to love each other in similar fashion to what our Father displays to us?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for the wonderful women You have placed in my life, and the adoration they have shown to me. My heart’s desire is to love You more, and also to be so dedicated to following Your will, that it will be glaring to others that Your Holy Spirit is given full reign in my life. Please help me to also treat Your daughter this way, for I would humbly plead with You to always direct and correct me before allowing me to treat her less than royally. So many in this world today have decided to just cohabitate instead of following Your will to unite in marriage, while many others simply give up and seek divorce. Loving and cooperating families are becoming fewer, resulting in children also growing up without a stand for commitment. Please dear Lord, begin with Your men that You have set aside to lead our families. May we be more committed to the task and may we go out of our way to love our wives like You intended. 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!

Hearts and Lips Filled With Praise

David was in the wilderness at the time that he wrote this Psalm. In spite of his loneliness, David was still filled with praise and still looked to God in awe and with thanksgiving. I believe that we have a great lesson to learn from this experience…..

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Psalm 63:2-4
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text:  I have seen You in Your sanctuary
    and have been awed by Your power and glory.
Your steadfast love is better than life itself,
    so my lips will give You all my praise.
I will bless You with every breath of my life;
    I will lift up my hands in praise to Your name.

OBSERVATION: David was in the wilderness at the time that he wrote this Psalm. In spite of his loneliness, David was still filled with praise and still looked to God in awe and with thanksgiving. I believe that we have a great lesson to learn from this experience…..

APPLICATION: Generally if the atmosphere is right, the musicians top notch and the praise team in complete harmony, most church attendees would consider that they have been led to worship God. David may have been alone, but he was reflecting on his times with God – in the temple/sanctuary and in his times of prayer and praise. Without the distraction of all this world throws at us, I believe that David had uninterrupted time to reflect on the God of the universe that he was enjoying. Friends, I believe that we have to constantly be reminded that God is everywhere, and our minds could never contain all that we can praise Him for. Don’t you see that God’s people who are filled with worship and praise throughout the week, they will explode into praise by the time their weekend services rolls around? I believe that we must also learn that we don’t need to wait before praising God for His miraculous work in our lives. His Word declares that we are assured only the very moment that we find ourselves in, and nothing more. Furthermore, if someone blesses us in some way, wouldn’t we very quickly thank them and praise them for their kindness? Why then should God be any different? I believe that a sobering thought for us to consider, is that if we need any of the people or things I first mentioned above, to lead us into worship to our Father, then we should ponder if we are we truly worshiping God out of personal appreciation, and recognizing God for who He is to us personally, or are we simply being obedient to the worship leader, or ‘turned on’ by the music? Let’s remember that we have a heavenly Father who loves us more than anything that we could even comprehend (Ephesians 3:19). Can you imagine this means that in spite of our weaknesses or sin or lack of praise, He still loves us any way? Knowing this, and knowing that He has prepared a place for us to spend eternity with Him in glory, why on earth would we be bashful about praising Him for the miracles we see in our own lives and all around us. Wouldn’t it be neat for us to arrive at church early and find someone there praising the Lord – long before the service begins, because their heart is so overfilled with gratefulness? Would it have an influence on friends and coworkers if they knew us for our praise and thankfulness that we express to God everyday? They might begin to think that there is something real about this God we sometime talk about! They might begin to believe that we have a true and intimate relationship with our Lord!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness, and thank You for the hope that we have in You. Please open our hearts and minds to be fully connected to You, so that we will be faithful in our worship and praise of our Savior and Lord! May others be impacted by this and desire to know You personally. May our hearts be so filled with praise and worship that we easily burst forth in praise even at the mention of Your name. 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!

My Prayer For You Is…

Most often we pray for health issues, then perhaps for the wellbeing of our friends, and possibly for their financial wellbeing. But have a look at your prayer list, and the one at church, and see how many are on the list for salvation, or even for enhancing the love of the individual for Jesus and for each other. Paul and Timothy felt the need to pray for their friends at the church of Philippi so that God might see His precious saints in service for Him, not pretenders masquerading around the church trying to impress its leaders. Sounds all too familiar friends? Hang with me while we delve into this Scripture today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-07-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Philippians 1:9-11
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight, 10 for I want you always to see clearly the difference between right and wrong, and to be inwardly clean, no one being able to criticize you from now until our Lord returns. 11 May you always be doing those good, kind things that show you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord.

OBSERVATION: Most often we pray for health issues, then perhaps for the wellbeing of our friends, and possibly for their financial wellbeing. But have a look at your prayer list, and the one at church, and see how many are on the list for salvation, or even for enhancing the love of the individual for Jesus and for each other. Paul and Timothy felt the need to pray for their friends at the church of Philippi so that God might see His precious saints in service for Him, not pretenders masquerading around the church trying to impress its leaders. Sounds all too familiar friends? Hang with me while we delve into this Scripture today.

APPLICATION: Some will attend church and they might manage to speak to a fellow worshipper, but how often do we truly care about how they are doing or how we might pray for them and their relationship with God? Notice that in earlier verses Paul shared with the church that 1) He had them on his mind (Vs 3-6); and 2) He had them in his heart (Vs 7-8). So of course, it was natural that Paul would pray for them in verses 9-11. I wonder if, by late Sunday afternoon you would remember who sat on each side of you in church that morning? Did you meet the folk who sat behind you, or in front of you? Did any of them have any needs that you might pray for? Friends, please stop for a moment – I’m talking about folk who care about their soul, not folk who might be pouring out of a club and that might curse at you if you tried to socialize with them. I’m talking about the kind of folk that want to know more about Jesus. I recently went through major surgery, and although I was on the church’s prayer list, I could probably count on one hand the number of fellow believers who took the time to check on my wellbeing. I can’t put them down, because I am probably just as bad when they are out for various reasons. But why has the church (its members) today become so busy, so self-centered, and so selfish, that they (we) have no time for others? Do we not have other believers on our mind and in our hearts? Is that, perhaps, the reason we don’t pray for each other like Paul did for the church at Philippi? If one is too busy, or wrapped up in themselves to show that they care for others God has placed right beside them, do you think they will ever care about that person’s relationship with God? Friends, you were the ‘pastor’ that God sent that person to when they sat beside you. Please don’t assume that you pay your pastor to do your God-assigned work. As we study this closely, some Bible versions start off verse 10 with the words ‘so that’. Paul shared his concern, and his heart for the church in verse 9, but he didn’t want them to feel like it was for the purpose of increasing their self-worth, but instead he wanted them to know that he prayed for their spiritual wellbeing, their obedience, and their love for others, so that (or for the purpose of) their love for others might increase, and their relationship with God might become what God expects of you. Oh that we might care enough about others that they will be on our minds, and that our hearts will overrun with joy for their successes and burn with passion for their needs, especially their need to know our Jesus more intimately. Friends, when you think about the church growing in intimacy with God and each other, I believe that this formula taught by Paul in our Scripture today is far more effective than anything that the pastor might teach, preach or practice, for this is what draws one to Jesus Christ and keep them near to the cross that He hung on to show His love for us. People in our churches need to know how much we care about them. So as I pray today, I will aim to follow the example of Paul, with God as my helper and guide. Please consider joining me in this dear friend.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, my Lord. Please help us to look beyond self today. I know that we will be tempted to drown in our sorrows and our aches and pains, but please touch us once again today and help us to fix our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith. And Lord, we truly need constant reminding of our ministry that You have placed us here on earth for, yes right where we are and with everyone that we come into contact with. May we never assume that others have no needs – for we all need You in every aspect of our lives, and we may be the messenger who will deliver Your Word and show Your love as expressed so vividly in our lives. People need the Lord. Oh that they may see Jesus so prominent in our lives that they will recognize the hand of the Messiah and want to know Him intimately. May You receive glory today, even as You are glorified through each reader and myself. 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!

Your Identification With Christ

It is reported from various survey experts that there is little difference in the number of divorces, and abortions among God’s church, as in the world. WHAT??? Could this record possibly be right? Why? How could this be? Paul found that his church members argued and had cliques among themselves, just like the world itself has. But as we meditate on these verses today, let’s concentrate on the reason Paul found for this.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-05-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 11:17-19
TRANSLATION: English Standard Version (ESV)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,[e] 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized

OBSERVATION: It is reported from various survey experts that there is little difference in the number of divorces, and abortions among God’s church, as in the world. WHAT??? Could this record possibly be right? Why? How could this be? Paul found that his church members argued and had cliques among themselves, just like the world itself has. But as we meditate on these verses today, let’s concentrate on the reason Paul found for this.

APPLICATION: Paul said that if it was not that factions arose in the church, how else might we know that sincere children of God exists. Wow! What a thought! But as I meditated on this, unfortunately I came across other actions that tend to flush out the real vs the pretend Christians. Ever notice how things like gossip, favoritism, prejudices and a strong desire for leadership, is just as prevalent in the church today as we might find at our workplaces, social clubs or elsewhere in the world? So even though we see Paul’s explanation for this, I wonder what you, my readers and my friends might think of the problem? Having been actively involved in church work for many years, I know first hand that there are so many things that affect the progress of God’s church, but I never looked at it quite like Paul described. Let’s look at a few challenges that seem to hinder the work of the Lord in His ministry, and see what would happen if God’s children would truly be loyal to their King and be His warriors in prayer and in growth as a Christian. Paul mentioned cliques, and unfortunately these are just as prevalent today. But what if a child of God stood up to the group and refused to continue in the group unless he was able to include whoever he wanted to, or what if that Christian felt open to correction by a member of the clique for what was said, or inferred about another church member? What about gossip? Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone told you news about someone else and you asked them to join you as you met with that person to discuss the matter? Another popular challenge of Christians is to place their pastors and church leaders under a microscope instead of acknowledging them as a fellow human being and praying diligently for them and the role they are called to fulfill for the Master. The results of our prayers are always evident. When someone complains about the job done by a pastor or teacher, I believe you will find it interesting if you ask them how did they pray for the pastor before he taught or preached. I have found that most times people will neglect praying for the glory of God to shine through their pastor as he brings the Word at church that day, yet they complain when they get nothing from the sermon. Is that not what they prayed for – nothing? Friends, I realize that none of us are perfect, nor can we expect perfection here on earth, but I wonder how often God looks on us and stands proud of His child who stood firm in their faith and trusted God for the challenges at hand instead of complaining or whining about it. I had a situation once in life where someone stopped me in my tracks from talking about a team of employees, and told me that these employees were saying the same things about me. That had a lasting impression on me, and has helped me many times when tempted to go along with slander, or whining or complaining or spreading lies. I believe that it is time for God’s children to stand firm for the One in whom they believe. Let Jesus be Lord of all – every situation, or not Lord at all. We represent an awesome God. Let’s not misrepresent Him, or what He stands for.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I pray that we might stop long enough today to think through our relationship with You. I’m sure that we will quickly humble ourselves before You as we recognize our downfalls and our shortcomings. Lord, it seems like we are weak in so many areas of our lives, and we realize that we could only gain the needed strength from You. In much †he same way as we tend to judge others, they are also watching us under a microscope. Lord, I truly want them to see You in me – in every action and every word that I speak. I pray that You will see Your children who are serious about their relationship with You shine through in every aspect of life. Please help us not to be a stumbling block to anyone looking for Jesus. We need You precious Lord, please be our guide and our deliverer in every aspect of life today. 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!

Show Mercy & Snatch Friends From Danger

I was reminded of a popular old hymn entitled ‘Rescue the Perishing’ as I read this Scripture today, and with everyone locked in and caring about themselves, and possibly their significant other, I wonder how soon we will return to the idea of caring about others, and trying to rescue them from the path on which they are headed. Without the Lord Jesus Christ, one is headed to a dark and burning Hell, but we are called on to rescue them by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Oh that we would have mercy on those we care about, like God had for us.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-05-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Jude 1:20–23
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

OBSERVATION: I was reminded of a popular old hymn entitled ‘Rescue the Perishing’ as I read this Scripture today, and with everyone locked in and caring about themselves, and possibly their significant other, I wonder how soon we will return to the idea of caring about others, and trying to rescue them from the path on which they are headed. Without the Lord Jesus Christ, one is headed to a dark and burning Hell, but we are called on to rescue them by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Oh that we would have mercy on those we care about, like God had for us.

APPLICATION: Interesting how God used Jude to not only share this with his church as he prepared to leave them, but also to have this included in His Word for our ongoing benefit. Friends, have you ever stopped and thought real good about the folk that God directs your way for your weekend services? They are looking to escape the cruelty and hatred of their world, and hoping to find the opposite at your church – God’s House. As they walk in, some might look them up and down because their dress code may not be quite like that of your regular church membership, or perhaps they may not have had water turned on at their place, and able to take a shower. I’m hoping that you too may have been touched by this Scripture from Jude. Let’s examine it closely: “Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit”, in other words don’t depend on feelings, or personal ideal you have established, but consider praying under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that is alive in you. I believe God, through His Holy Spirit, will direct your thoughts to be better aligned with His thoughts, so that you might see the heart of that visitor to your church, or that person trying to befriend you, without being impacted by any personal feelings. Fill yourself with God’s Holy Spirit and you will speak His words without having to worry about saying something that may otherwise upset someone. You will quickly see the spiritual need of the individual without being distracted by, or worrying about their immediate physical needs. Friends, Jude also goes on to encourage us to deal with believers from a Spirit filled heart. This is where we show mercy and love towards a Brother who is drifting away and not always living up to the mark. Satan is working seriously on the person and unless you intervene and gently speak to, and love on that person, they will be torn away by the forces of evil. In fact, it will be just like you are snatching that weaker Brother or Sister from the flames of Satan and his wicked and evil judgment. Please focus on the heart today friend. The words and the actions may appear ugly and extremely sinful, but as the heart of the individual is touched, the outside stuff will be cleaned up as they invite God in. At the end of the day, this also helps you to reconcile with God about where your heart is. Interested in the restoration of a soul for Christ, or satisfied to look on in pity as they drift off into eternity with Satan and his demons. People need the Lord, my friend, and unless you tell them about your loving, precious Savior who died and rose again for the forgiveness of your sin, they may never be introduced to your Friend. If they were drowning, or if they were in a burning house, you wouldn’t think twice about snatching them to safety. Please join me as we try to do the same for those who are in danger of dying with hope.

PRAYER: Lord, this is serious business for Your children, for our words and our actions can either serve to help restore one who has fallen, or one who is desperately looking for a better way, OR we could totally turn them off from ever wanting to know You at all. That’s quite a responsibility Lord Jesus, however we have been reminded that we must become better aligned with You, so that Your Holy Spirit may lead us to snatch them from danger of eternal death. My readers and I need You Lord Jesus, because we tend to be so critical of those that just don’t seem to have their act together quite as good as we think we do. Please forgive us for acting this way, for we have seen so often that mankind will fail in and of their own merits. Only things that are done for Jesus will last, and only things directed by Your Holy Spirit will lead to spiritual goodness that could be used for Your glory. Please have Your will and way in our lives this day, Oh Lord. For I ask these things in the all-powerful name of 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!

How Strong is Your Faith?

There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

Monday, 2020-02-03

Bible Reference: Acts 12:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 15-16 But they wouldn’t believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. “You’re crazy,” they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn’t believe her and said, “It must be his angel.” All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away.

OBSERVATION: There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

APPLICATION: Think about your prayer life. There are times that you call your pastor, or an elder, or a friend, to pray with you about a certain need, because you are so burdened for someone, or a certain need that you feel extra passionate about. However, many times, and I hope that is daily, you will pray over certain needs that God has laid on your heart, or you really desire a special touch from God over, and I pray that we could learn to pray in full release to the will of a perfect God. How often have you seen those prayers answered, resulting in a glorious praise and worship time with your Master for hearing your prayer and answering the cry of your heart? Allow me to share two experiences – the first one involves a time where Jesus told a desperate father to return home, for the son that he sought after Jesus for healing, he had been healed. When the father met a jubilant crowd coming towards him, he was told that the child awoke and raised up at the same time that Jesus told him to return home! Instant healing, my friend! The second story involves a precious old lady who was known for her fervent prayer. After telling me that she was going to pray for my shoulder, the next time that she met me she was astonished that the shoulder was still hurting some, because she had prayed for God to heal that shoulder for me! Oh the fervent, effectual pray of a righteous person availeth much, my friend! In our Scripture today, you will observe that the disciples were still skeptical, even though they had spent a lot of time praying over the protection of their Brother, and his release from prison. Dear friend, I believe that when we pray to God, we must pray that His will be done in every situation that we pray about. This should place us in the position where we know that His response might be exactly like we asked for, but at times, He might show us that He has a better way in the circumstances for which we are praying for. We might pray for the life of a family member suffering from a bad disease or health issue. Selfishly, we want that relative to return to perfect health so that we may resume our normal lifestyles. However, when God responds according to His design, He knows what is best for that individual. I believe that God will strengthen us to accept His perfect will, even if it may not align with our wishes. Knowing that a loved one is happy with the Lord, is much better than the very best day they could enjoy on this earth. So when we pray, fellow believers, do we pray believing in the all-powerful work of the Master, or do we present our wish list and hope for the best? I would ask that God might touch the hearts of each believer today, beginning with me, and that we might never be shocked when God answers our prayers – whether instantly, or in His perfect timing. Let’s remember we ask in faith for the will of God. We don’t like ‘Yes’ men here on earth, and we definitely don’t want to pray to a God who will answer our requests like we think they should be answered. May Your perfect will be done dear God in Your perfect timing, for all that we seek from You today!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, Your creation is in need of it’s Creator. We acknowledge that we are ignorant of things that will happen, or to what is best for us. Our wants often outweigh our needs, and so we often ask amiss. Please forgive us dear Lord, for we need a special touch from You. I believe that You have a special work assigned for us to do here on earth, and unless we get out of the way and allow Your will to be done, we might hinder that work. Please help us to always ask expecting the miraculous to happen, because we are asking of the only true, all-powerful God of the universe. Thank you for hearing our cry oh Lord. May we ready ourselves for rejoicing in Your handiwork, as we see You respond to the prayers and cries of Your people. May Your perfect will be done in my life and through my prayers, precious Lord. AMEN!