Pray, Don’t Sin

There are a number of verses that teach us to pray one for another, but it was not until I read vs 23 in our focal passage that it hit me how it would actually be a sin to not pray one for another. God designed us to not only love Him with all our heart, soul and mind, but to also love one another like we love ourselves. So of course it would be a sin for us not to pray for one another. Join me in meditating on God’s Word today!

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2021-10-19
WRITTEN AT: Kissimmee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 12:22-24
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 For the sake of His reputation, He will not cast away His chosen people. Before you ever chose Him, the Eternal One chose you as His own because it pleased Him.
23 As for me, the last thing I would ever do is to stop praying for you. That would be a sin against the Eternal One on my part. I will always try to teach you to live and act in a way that is good and proper in His eyes24 Make this your one purpose: to revere Him and serve Him faithfully with complete devotion because He has done great things for you.

APPLICATION: When we take on Kingdom responsibility here on this earth, in God’s work and especially around His church, it would be awesome to think on these things that Samuel shared with his people. Let me encourage you to really soak in the words shared by Samuel at this very critical time in the leadership of this great nation. I will expand a little, hoping that you will also see what God might be saying to us:
—> From Judge to King – The Israelites were tired of being different to other nations around them, so they asked that they have a king just like other nations. Although Samuel did an awesome job as a Judge over Israel, they felt it was time that they be like everyone else and have their own king. God told Samuel to go along with them, knowing full well that they would soon turn away from Him – again, very soon;
—> God’s Reputation – His reputation stands consistent and firm. To the Israelites, because God chose them long before they decided to choose Him. We may tend to question God’s love at times, especially when we recognize that His ways are not our ways and that He may chose to do things a lot differently that we do. We often choose to do things in ways that might bring glory to ourselves, but Jesus is fully in control and deserves our praise – at all times;
—> Pray for one another – just as Jesus prayed for the Father’s will in the garden before His arrest, so should we pray in love for the will of the Father and the benefit of our fellow man;
—> Disciple those in our circle – Samuel promised to teach his people and live out a life that is pleasing to God. Live out what you teach, dear Brother and Sister;
—> Make this your purpose in life – to revere, worship and serve the creator and sustainer of all life. Recognize His great works and and obey His commands, knowing that He does all things for our good.
Friends, know that God loves you more that you could ever imagine. Only God ever sacrificed a part of Himself for our benefit. He gave His very own Son so that we may ditch this old sinful world and be fit for the glories of heaven. How about making your greatest goal of life, to accept Jesus, and live a life dedicated to Him until God calls us home to be with Him in heaven? I have information in my Footnote that will help you make this a reality!

BLESSINGS NOTED: So many blessings included in our Scripture today. God chose us long before we decided to choose Him! God commanded that we pray one for another – He designed us to care about our Brother/Sister! Because He has done so many good things for us, we should desire to faithfully revere and worship Him all of our life!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for loving, caring and encouraging me! You created me, and You care for me while I’m allowed to spend time here on this earth. Please teach my readers, listeners and myself to always stand firm in our faith and to live out our purpose for which You placed us here. May others see so much of Jesus in us that they will desire to know You and and purposefully live for You as they seek to disciple others while await their call to glory! 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!

The Prayer of One Man

We’ve heard over and over that our one vote really does count in an election, and in many cases could even elect a particular candidate. But have you ever stopped to imagine that God paid such close attention to His one servant Joshua, that He willingly stopped the sun in motion for hours, just because Joshua asked for it? Can you even imagine how much more important your cry is for that unsaved loved one, or that dying dad or that mother who, in spite of having a killer disease, also has little children to raise? Be reminded today of the importance of your single prayer!

DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-08-27
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 10:13-14
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT:  13 ….So the sun stopped in the heavens and stayed there for almost twenty-four hours! 14 There had never been such a day before, and there has never been another since, when the Lord stopped the sun and moon—all because of the prayer of one man. But the Lord was fighting for Israel. 

APPLICATION: There are some folk that we talk to and it seems like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. They can’t accept your invitation to the beach, because they have ‘this’ to do, and ‘that place’ to go, and ‘this person’ to see, or preparations to make for a planned meeting later that day. I was almost this bad one day, and I said to my fellow deacons that I just could not make enough time available to also read my Bible or visit the shut-ins. A quick suggestion from one of the deacons burned into my heart and changed my perspective forever: ‘you just haven’t made it a priority’. Although this means the same as my excuse, I would sooner tell God I didn’t have time, before I could possibly tell Him ‘It just was not a priority’. Have you also gotten yourselves so busy, that it has become a very minor priority to pray for the very important people in your life? Family and friends are dying every day, and some may even be going to Hell because we didn’t make it a priority to share the love of our Lord with them. I believe that Joshua was a man on his knees, because I could see that God was especially keen to hear his cries and respond to his needs. I would encourage you to click on today’s Scripture reference and read the whole chapter. You will see that true to God’s promise to Joshua, He was delivering on winning the battle against 5 kings and their armies. Joshua was so into the battle that he didn’t want the day to end, so he asked for additional daylight so he and the Israelites could continue in battle. God immediately heard his cry and stopped the sun and moon from moving. Yes, this gave Joshua more time in battle, but I was overjoyed to read how God was coming through on His promises, for more were being killed from God’s actions than Joshua and his army of Israelites. Friends, we can’t outdo God. When we ask Him to be in charge, we can count on Him like no other. Let me also remind you that Our God not only sees our needs and knows what really hurts our heart, but I believe that He is all to ready to jump in and help ease our pain and our heartfelt concern for our loved ones. Let me encourage you dear friend, to make it a priority to pray for every concern that you might have. Remember that from the prayers of one man, God stopped the sun and moon in motion. Imagine how much more He will do in response to your prayers!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Nothing is impossible with God! Joshua received a positive response to his request, that would seem impossible to any man. Doctors may give up on our family and friends in hospital, but with God, ALL things are possible!

PRAYER: Lord, please teach us to have such a relationship with You, that we can ask anything in Your name and it shall be done. God,You proved this through Your response to Joshua’s impassioned plea, and we are confident that You could do this again and again for those who place their faith and trust in the Almighty. Lord, we stand in desperate need, for our family and friends are dying from this Covid disease, and from unusual crime and war. Please give our medical teams wisdom from on high so they could stem the spread of this disease, and teach us Lord how to best protect ourselves to help in this dilemma. I know that nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with You Lord, so I ask this in faith, on behalf of many who are hurting today. Please complete Your work among us and make us well. Draw the unsaved to Yourself so that they may know and believe in the God of this universe. May Your name be praised and lifted up today. 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 Still Not See or Understand?

I’m sure that you will listen to someone talk about a miracle that took place in their life and you may be tempted to quickly respond amicably, while all the while dealing with the doubt inside of you about whether they are honestly telling you all of the truth surrounding their health improvement. However, I also believe that you might still be very challenged to believe that God can, and will, resolve your life-challenges. So let’s try to identify with the disciples today.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-08-04
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 8:17-19
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 Knowing what they were thinking, Jesus said to them, “Why all this fussing over forgetting to bring bread? Do you still not see or understand what I say to you? Are your hearts still hard? 18 You have good eyes, yet you still don’t see, and you have good ears, yet you still don’t hear, neither do you remember. 19 When I multiplied the bread to feed more than five thousand people, how many baskets full of leftovers did you gather afterward?”

APPLICATION: The disciples had heard about the various miracles of God from their forefathers, and they themselves had witnessed miracle after miracle by Jesus since they started following Him. Yet in their time of need they totally overlooked being in the presence of this same Jesus as they pondered where they would get provisions (food) from as they travelled back over the lake. How does this compare to you? I tried to evaluate my life and my belief system as I meditated on this Scripture. I have read about the miracles God performed in the Old Testament, especially the miracles performed for Moses and the Israelites. I have read, and heard in Sunday School many times about the miracles of Jesus in the New Testament. In my lifetime: I have heard how Jesus healed a young girl’s ear because of the sincere prayers of her pastor and her prevailing faith. She found the proof on her pillow the very next morning where the poisons and abscess had oozed from her ear; I have heard of how Jesus healed a dedicated Christian lady who, in faith, pleaded with Him for healing after suffering a stroke, and how her body regained strength in record time. Her healing was expedited by the Master!; I heard how, in faith, a couple prayed during a hurricane for their safety, and how they were prompted to move out of their home, only to turn around and watch it be demolished from strong winds and water; I have personally experienced God at work miraculously as my wife and I petitioned Him for a major direction in moving from the Bahamas to the United States of America. When we told my dad of our decision, he was in shock that we would do such a thing, seeing that he and my mom were getting much older. Within a year of our move, my dad sat next to me while he was recovering from doctors help here in the US with his heart and said ‘Now I could see what God was doing in getting you over here’! Praise the Lord! But friends, I’m no different to you, nor the disciples, for despite all of the above reinforcement of my faith, I still tend to try everything in my power, before running to God. I still tend to think that miracles may be possible for the other person, but I’m on my own when needing one of my own. No doubt you have overcome this weakness my friend, so let me encourage you to share your faith in Christ with everyone you come into contact with. Celebrate your victories with everyone that you know, so that they might be encouraged to approach the throne for themselves, and their faith may be strengthened because of your witness. I am hoping that today Jesus might look at you and I and say like He did to the woman with the issue of blood: ‘Because of your faith, you are healed’. Oh that our faith will be increased every day so that Jesus will not question why we have followed in the steps of the disciples in feeling like His miraculous touch is for everyone else, except us. May it become very clear to us that because of our faith, OUR GOD CAN DO ALL THINGS!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God stands ready to hear the prayers of His faithful servants, and to respond with immediate action. Praise the Lord!

PRAYER:It’s not my brother or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer’. For I approach the throne way too often with the same mindset as the disciples. I know You did it for others, but will You even consider also listening to my prayer concerns? Oh dear Lord, please refresh my soul with power from on high, and help me to come boldly before the throne knowing that as Your precious child, there is nothing You wouldn’t do in response to my heart’s cry. Perhaps many of my readers and listeners are also burdened with this issue. Please also touch their hearts and boost their faith levels to peak performance today. Based on all that we know You have done, may we always approach Your throne knowing that You could do it again – for us! Praise to the Lord our 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!

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!