The Reason They Preach

There have been many who have speculated why pastors do what they do. I’m sure that Paul may also been questioned about his motives in his change of heart and in his ministry, but let’s take a few minutes today to try and understand why honest and purely dedicated pastors stand in our pulpits each week and do what they do. Perhaps this will help us identify better with their aim in life and how their ministries impact the lives of some who we never imagined would change their evil ways.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-07-23
WRITTEN AT: Orlando, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 4:13-16
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.

APPLICATION: Paul realized that there were many in the church who attended in bodily form, but must have left their mind and spirit at home, because they appeared blinded to the truth he was preaching. In verse 4 of the same chapter we are looking at today, Paul shared that Satan, the earth’s ruler and instigator of all evil works and attitudes, deliberately blinded the eyes of his army and dulled their minds from hearing and accepting the truth of God’s Word. Friends, you may nod your head in agreement to that statement, but this is a truth that still impacts the world today, and it is the most discouraging thing for pastors and teachers of the Gospel to understand, accept and deal with as they make every effort to share the Word of God. Paul tried to clear up any misconceptions behind his reason to preach God’s Word. Today is no different, for we hear jokes and/or jeering about why God’s messengers do what God has ordained them to do. I was touched by this Scripture today, because it reminded me of why others, together with myself, feel inspired by God to share His Word. I believe that a clearer understanding of this will help each reader and listener to gain a new perspective on the preaching, teaching and sharing of God’s Word. One would think that pastors must tire of rejection and failure in reaching the people of their community. But under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul identifies the reason, and exactly what it is that pastors are up against. The minds of the people are shut tight by the Evil One so that the truth is ignored, rejected and unclear. Yes, I am talking about people who we invite to join us in church, and also many who sit in our churches each week. Look around you this weekend while attending church, and pray that the Holy Spirit will impact each and every person present; that He will clear their minds from the celebrations of the previous night; cause their minds to not wander, but to listen closely to what God is saying through His messenger; stop judging the man in the pulpit, for he will stand before God and be held accountable even more than we will; pray for God’s messenger so that he will set aside any personal agendas and stick to what God is directing Him to share from His Word; Stop comparing self to anyone else here on earth, and allow God to help you compare your life-decisions to the instructions carefully written in His Word. Friends, the adversary is deliberate in shutting your mind and eyes to the things of God. He’s more powerful than you are, but not near as powerful as our God is, so ask God to protect you and guide you as you aim to learn and apply more of Him and His Word to your life. Please consider praying for the above even before you go to church. Don’t allow Satan to have his way. In verse 13, Paul likened himself to the Psalmist who said in Psalm 116, that because he believes in the almighty, all-powerful God of this universe, he therefore speaks on His behalf. Our pastors can only survive with this kind of determination, for all of the above things that I mentioned surely comes to mind as they stand before us and look at the blank steers and the lack of attention. Pray that your pastor will assume the determination of Paul who in vs 16, said that he will not give up, for although his outer body is deteriorating, yet his mind and soul is strengthened and encouraged every day by the Master. Friends, I believe that the reason they preach, is to follow the voice of the Master in trying to save the lost in our churches and communities. They will look into God’s eyes one day, just like you will. I pray that because they know how much God knows about them, they will say without doubt or question that they have done their best and preached the Word as It was given to them by the Holy Spirit. Pray for your pastor, and pray that God will draw you closer to Himself every time you’re under the teaching and conviction of the Holy Spirit through your pastor.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Never give up! Our spirits are being renewed every day!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, on behalf of those who stand to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, please allow me to give thanks for their commitment and for their fight against the Evil One who is constantly trying to shut them down. Please Lord, touch the hearts of those who come unprepared to try and worship you together with other believers. Open their eyes to the need to draw close to You and receive Your power to prevent the forces of evil from consuming their hearts and minds. May they find strength from Almighty God because of their submission and closeness to You, and may their dependence on You create a heart that depends on You in all things. 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!

Identify Yourself With Christ

I believe that Paul’s self-introduction might cause us to reexamine what we find important enough to highlight in our biography. For example, in my bio for this blog, I chose other points of interest to help you know who I am rather than sharing about my relationship with God, so that you might better understand where I’m coming from in these daily devotionals. You will note that my bio is quite different to that of Paul’s. Think about yours as we look at these verses today!

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-03-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Romans 1:1-4
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: Greetings from Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus.
God chose me to be an apostle and gave me the work of telling his Good NewsGod promised long ago through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures to give this Good News to his people. 3-4 The Good News is about God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a human, he was born from the family of David, but through the Holy Spirit he was shown to be God’s powerful Son when he was raised from death.

APPLICATION: You’ve heard it before, a long detailed biography is read for a politician who is about to speak at a meeting you might be attending. Generally you will hear everything about the politician, their parents and everyone that might make his or her life appear important enough to gain our confidence, and ultimately your vote. For a new pastor being introduced to our church, we will hear about his largest congregations, his achievements, his theological degrees earned in seminary, and we may even hear his testimony. Paul’s primary focus was on his relationship with the Master, and how God was instrumental in his desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I looked at what commentators had to say about this introduction, and the Gospel in particular, I felt like I must share the best one I found: John Courson said:

Truly, the gospel is Good News—not just good advice. A lot of preachers, authors, and speakers try to make Christianity a bunch of good advice. Most best-selling Christian books today are full of good advice about child-rearing, financial planning, or marriage counseling. But remove the name of Jesus Christ from most of them, and it won’t affect the book at all.
We’ve got something so much better than good advice, folks. And I would encourage you to be on guard against sermons or authors, churches or organizations that give you good advice. If you can take Jesus Christ out of a sermon without affecting it, you’re probably wasting your time listening to it. If you can take Jesus Christ out of a book without affecting it, you’re probably wasting your time reading it. Paul wasn’t separated unto the good advice of Christian living. He was separated to the Good News of God.

So I gathered that perhaps the key to why Paul felt like it was important to link his authority to that given by Jesus Christ, is that his primary mission would be to share the Gospel with the folk he would minister to. For us, that seems so logical when we consider the meetings that we attend to hear the preaching of the Gospel, or the teaching of the Gospel, or we visit the sick or unchurched to share the Good News of the Gospel. It’s easy to conclude that the most important thing about us, as Christians, is that we are committed to go out and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ! I know, you’re not a preacher, right? Well guess what, might I remind you that in the same way you can’t stop telling others how you lost that weight, or about the beauty aids you use, or the wonderful recipe you found, why not also tell them the Good News of Jesus Christ – the One who died for them so that they might have eternal life in heaven? You see, the ‘preacher’ is not just the pastor who stands before you on Sunday mornings. Telling the Good News is like ‘preaching’ the Good News to hungry and needy ears. Try telling God what you feel your assignment is in His earthly kingdom, and ask Him to strongly correct any misunderstanding you might have. Try revising your bio to include who you are in Christ first and foremost. It might open the doors of opportunity for you to ‘preach’ in your interview for a job, or at public meetings!!! Why hide the fact that you are a servant of the Great I Am?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Being ‘in Christ’ and directed by Christ, helps us better identify that we are qualified to tell the Good News about Jesus Christ. With Christ, we are more than conquerers. Without Christ, we are nothing at all!

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for all You did on Calvary, for the sake of Your precious children. You created us, and because of Calvary You identified with us by fulfilling our need for a Savior, so that Eternal Life might be within reach for us. Without a Savior we would be destined for the pit of Hell. Please help us to never dissociate ourselves with that love shown through Your sacrifice. Oh that we might be like Your servant Paul, and tell the world that because of our relationship to You, and our association with You, we are more than conquerors and therefore well qualified to share the love of Jesus Christ with them. Help us to turn a deaf ear to the teachings of the evil one, who would rather us be afraid, timid, withdrawn, ashamed, and ignorant of the things of God. Your precious Holy Spirit is within us and will embolden us to overcome all of the above and instead stand firm on our faith in You – Almighty Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The world needs You. As Your representative, may we never disappoint them! 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!

What Should You Do?

After saying the above to a crowd gathered in the wilderness waiting to be baptized, John the Baptist was still asked by three different groups what they should do. Perhaps you might be asking the same question, so I wanted to share this with you in hopes that we all might be energized into letting our lights shine for our Lord all over this earth, and that our witness will produce fruit for the Kingdom.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-01-11
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Luke 3:8-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God….
Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

OBSERVATION: After saying the above to a crowd gathered in the wilderness waiting to be baptized, John the Baptist was still asked by three different groups what they should do. Perhaps you might be asking the same question, so I wanted to share this with you in hopes that we all might be energized into letting our lights shine for our Lord all over this earth, and that our witness will produce fruit for the Kingdom.

APPLICATION: We studied this in our Sunday School class on Sunday and I was so touched by the work of John the Baptist, I thought I would share it with you! We see in many teachings by Jesus, that He taught in parables. Often this was a good way of relating something that His hearers associated with, and it helped them immediately understand what He was teaching. It seems like John also shared this message in a light that the crowd would understand, for they may have had farming experience and therefore accustomed to the idea of fruit bearing trees. But since some of the groups in the crowd needed further explanation, I thought you might also benefit from the additional information that John shared:
The crowd asked as a whole in vs 10, ‘What should we do (to prove that we have repented from our sins)?’ New Christians today might also ask the same question. So John responded in vs 11 that they should look for opportunities to help others. This sounds elementary, as folk may tend to think that they have always done this. But I believe that the moment we become Christ followers, we tend to think, act and give, like Jesus did. You see, He stopped along His path and helped blind folk, and crippled folk, and He even fed the 5,000 just from a lad’s lunch. He didn’t look for every excuse in the book as to why He couldn’t help, but rather He pulled out all the stops and helped over and beyond anything they could ever imagine. As children of God, it should be our aim to excel in our efforts to help those in need. If we recognize a need, then obviously God wants us to do something about the need. Let’s love others enough to try and satisfy their needs;
– In vs 12 the Tax Collectors asked ‘Teacher what should we do?’ I wonder if God didn’t just prick their conscience into believing that there must be something more they could do than what was told to the crowd in general, and they were right. For God knew that they were charging more than the prescribed taxes, so they could pad their pockets, and the Tax Collectors knew deep inside that they were overcharging the poor people. Some countries call this ‘Under the table, or silent bribery’. This is not right in the eyes of God, and if we are to be His imitators, then we should not tolerate bribery, nor should it ever be necessary. Let our yea be yea and our nay be nay, is the way it is described elsewhere in the Bible. Bribes should never be necessary;
– In vs 14, the soldiers asked ‘What should we do?’ Perhaps we can’t identify with the issue here, but John knew that there were some issues with the soldiers using uncalled for actions in trying to receive additional pay. John warned them to be content. I wonder, to what extent do we go when trying to force our employer’s hand for more money? As a child of the King, let’s be content in our pay, until our Lord touches the heart of employers to increase our wages. God knows what we need, let’s trust Him for all we need.
Friends, we must be careful when we teach the Word of God. Teaching it in a way that makes good sense to us, may not make it understandable for others. Try to understand your audience, and use examples that they will identify with. Make sure that they understand, even if you have to do like John and break it down for various sectors of your audience. If you preached the Word, or taught it, and you went over the heads of your audience, your words may have been in vain. Simple does it! And use examples or illustrations that they will identify with. Don’t beat around the bush, be like John and teach it like God prods you to do. It is the Word of God that you are teaching and preaching, not your glorified words that will only return void, even if it made you sound real smart.

PRAYER: Thank You for awesome example You have given us to follow dear Lord. Please embolden us to spread Your Word in ways that hearers will understand, and that Your Holy Spirit will speak through. May the lost be found, may the poor feel loved from the gifts we share with them, and may the crooked be made straight as others follow our example – a mirror of what You taught to us in Your Word. May Your Kingdom come oh Lord, and Your will be done. We have nothing more important to gain in our lives, so please lead us to teach and preach the Word of God in ways that will help our hearers to understand and apply It to their lives, so that You may be glorified on earth and 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!

A Vessel Used By God

There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: My brothers and sisters, I did not pose as an expert with all the answers. I did not pretend to explain the mystery of God with eloquent speech and human wisdom. I claimed to know nothing with certainty other than the reality that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who was crucified on our behalf. I was moved to utter despair during my time with you. I would find myself trembling in dread and fear. The sermons I preached were not delivered with the kind of persuasive elegance some have come to expect, but they were effective because I relied on God’s Spirit to demonstrate God’s power. If this were not so, your faith would be based on human wisdom and not the power of God.

OBSERVATION: There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

APPLICATION: I’m sure that like me, you have attended a Sunday School class and been bored out of your mind, only to arrive home and hear your spouse brag about all that they got out of the lesson that day. The same holds true with a church service. You may have been blessed beyond expectation, only to hear a friend complain about how ‘dry’ and ‘dull’ the preacher was, or how the music was too loud to enjoy and how they couldn’t stay awake during the sermon. Friends, when the Holy Spirit is at work, and has a message for one or more individuals, He could speak through an inexperienced, spoiled young man, or through a seasoned, old, dull man, and the Spirit’s word will fall on fertile ground. In our Scripture today, Paul deliberately held back on his fancy words and trying to overly impress those he was ministering to, for he knew that it was more important to plead with God to accomplish His work, even if He did it through him. Paul sounded very much like any of us, for he said that he was often fearful to stand before this crowd, and find the right words to convince them of their faithful Father. I have attempted to share the Word in a public/church setting before, and I could easily appreciate what Paul was saying. Much like this blog, some of you might read what I share some days and you may sit back and wonder where is this brother coming from? Friends, without bragging at all, I can tell you that on many occasions I have struggled to complete a day’s devotional, but because I asked God for His direction, I went ahead and posted it. Only to hear from one or more readers that they were drawn closer to God, or blessed immensely by the blog that day. Only God! There are days that God will fill me with so many thoughts that I could hardly type it fast enough. However, there are some days that God seems to give it to me in pieces. Often I share a lot of personal examples/experiences to help you understand what’s on my mind when I write the blog. Please don’t take this as bragging in any way, but seek God and ask Him to help you see what’s in store for you as you read His Word, and my thoughts. Perhaps He will use something to truly speak to your heart also and grow you in your faith. Please pray for me that I will stay on target and allow the Holy Spirit to speak boldly through me, so that you might hear from Him each day. Although I pray that God will always use me in this way, I want you to hear from Him, even though I may be shown as the author of the blog. It’s not until that happens that you will truly be blessed!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, just as Paul was used as a vessel for You to speak to the church at Corinth, I pray that it will be evident every day from the words read in my blog, that You are using me as a vessel to speak with myself and my readers. I also pray that You will use those who teach and those who preach, so that Your Word might go forth in season and out of season to those in need of hearing Your Word. Many are searching for a word from the Master during these trying times. I pray that their time will be well spent in reading what You have to share through Nuggets From God’s Word. May they see Jesus, and hear all about Your love, Your forgiveness. and Your direction for their lives. May I, in humility, avoid selfish feelings and relaying selfish thoughts, but instead wait on You and always allow You to speak through the words that I pen. Please touch our church leaders, teachers and preachers in the same way Lord, for people need the Lord, and not to learn more about any of us. AMEN.

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Reason We Preach and Teach

Some do it for money, some for prestige, and others do it because of their ancestors being in the ministry, but the Word of God clearly tells us what God expects from our preaching and our teaching. We will look more fully into this, but I wonder if we are wasting our time if we preach or teach for any other reason? Think about this as you study this scripture and speak with God about it, will you?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Colossians 1:27-29 (TPT)

TEXT: 27 Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!  28–29 Christ is our message! We preach to awaken hearts and bring every person into the full understanding of truth. It has become my inspiration and passion in ministry to labor with a tireless intensity, with his power flowing through me, to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ.

OBSERVATION:   Some do it for money, some for prestige, and others do it because of their ancestors being in the ministry, but the Word of God clearly tells us what God expects from our preaching and our teaching. We will look more fully into this, but I wonder if we are wasting our time if we preach or teach for any other reason? Think about this as you study this scripture and speak with God about it, will you?

APPLICATION:   In schools, I believe that we teach with expectations of seeing our kids graduate with best possible grades, and therefore able to obtain good jobs to support themselves and their families, plus make this world a better place to live in. Paul gave us the reason that we preach and teach, so that we ensure that we keep our whole ministry focused on the ultimate goal. Friends, this advice will apply to each and every believer, for whether we carry the title of ‘preacher’ or ‘teacher’, we are reminded of what we should be looking for in a church, in a teaching class, or better still – portraying in our lives. In verse 28 we are told that Christ is the reason and the message that we preach/teach. However, for this to have its fullest impact on others, notice that Paul shared that this whole purpose has become his inspiration and his passion. In other words, if its inside of you to start with, then it will be revealed and evident in everything that you preach or teach. Notice also that Paul wanted to teach with intensity and such purpose that believers would desire a closer and more intimate walk with their Master. In other words, Paul was not looking for a name for himself, although that’s exactly what happened, but he spent his life ministering so that others might see Jesus and be drawn to Him, so that God would be glorified through His people as they surrendered their lives to Him. I believe that ministry requires the most unselfish person to declare its benefits, otherwise we may tend to leave the impression that its because of us, or something we said, or we could do, that would lead them to the Savior. I believe the best that we could do is to obediently lead the lost to Christ and leave them at His feet, for it is He that will save them, and His Word that will direct their paths and mature them to a point where they also will preach and teach Jesus! So in recap, let us conclude that we are merely a messenger, a servant, a sinner saved only by God’s grace, and all we could do is to share His glory with our friends. Keep self out of the equation as we try to connect unbelievers with the only One who could save them and deliver them from Satan’s doom. Let’s learn to let go, and let God have His way with His children, for their good and His glory!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, Your Word declares that we are to live as You lived, and today we are reminded that we are to preach and/or teach in a way that would help others to see Jesus and know Him personally. Please help us to remove self out of the way, so that there are no hindrances for the child that Jesus is drawing to Himself. We are Your instruments Lord, use us for Your work that leads to Your glory. May Your kingdom come on earth, as it is 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

The Simplicity of Preaching

I believe that Paul wanted the Corinthian church, and Christ followers today, to know that whatever we may undertake in our community efforts or even in our churches, it is the simple wisdom that comes from preaching and teaching the Word of God that draws mankind to God. I hope that as we meditate on this verse today, we will be reminded that we are only the humble servants of the One that can save, our Lord Jesus Christ, the awesome Son of God.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 1:21 (TPT)

TEXT:  21 … in his wisdom, God designed that all the world’s wisdom would be insufficient to lead people to the discovery of himself. He took great delight in baffling the wisdom of the world by using the simplicity of preaching the story of the cross in order to save those who believe it.

OBSERVATION:   I believe that Paul wanted the Corinthian church, and Christ followers today, to know that whatever we may undertake in our community efforts or even in our churches, it is the simple wisdom that comes from preaching and teaching the Word of God that draws mankind to God. I hope that as we meditate on this verse today, we will be reminded that we are only the humble servants of the One that can save, our Lord Jesus Christ, the awesome Son of God. 

APPLICATION:   In these verses I am led to believe that Paul is referring to two primary results that will come from preaching: (1) It is designed by God to reach the unsaved, because He will work through the preaching of His Word to save those who will believe; and (2) It will baffle the wise that something so simple could do something that the wisest man cannot do. Friends, I believe that this is one of those things that can be considered very literal for several reasons. When the Word is preached by a seminary graduate to seminary graduates, it is challenging for the simple minded person looking for a word from the Lord. When the Word is declared based on man’s interpretation and not that directed by the Holy Spirit, I believe that it misses the whole point raised in this verse. The Word of God was written under the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and unless it is taught and preached or blogged under the same Holy Spirit, our efforts are in vain. Our responsibility as agents or servants of God is to explain, preach, teach and relay the God given simplicity of His Word so that it may yield results for the kingdom. People are much more impressed and touched by God when the Holy Spirit speaks to their mind and spirit through His Word, than they are with the level of education of the person delivering the Word. So friends, the word that I believe God wants us to hear today, is that we give close attention to the man of God that is in tune with God, and not as much with the one who got the best education and depends on it possibly without a close walk with God.

PRAYER:   Lord, we are very concerned about sharing Your Word in ways that we feel led by You and that will not return to You void. Beginning with me, please open my eyes that I may see, glimpses of You in every word that I read; open my ears that I may hear whispers of truth You have for me and for those who read my blog. Please glorify Yourself in every word, and in every ‘Amen’ You may hear from my readers. Please touch hearts today as this word is broadcast over the internet. Draw unbelievers to Yourself as they hear about Your goodness and the simplicity of Your gospel. 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

How To Handle Praise

It is natural for us to give praise to others who have done a good job, because it serves to encourage them. It is also good for us to thank them for doing a good job. On the receiving end, it is often embarrassing to the one who did the job, because they would rather see God receive the praise. Let’s look at this dilemma and see how we believe God prefers to see this done.

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-10-23
SCRIPTURE

From:

Proverbs 27:21 (NCV)

Text:

21 A hot furnace tests silver and gold,
    and people are tested by the praise they receive.
OBSERVATION:
It is natural for us to give praise to others who have done a good job, because it serves to encourage them. It is also good for us to thank them for doing a good job. On the receiving end, it is often embarrassing to the one who did the job, because they would rather see God receive the praise. Let’s look at this dilemma and see how we believe God prefers to see this done.
APPLICATION:
I believe that we must always seek God’s face when we are searching for biblical material to use in our teaching or preaching. The reason for this is that we want to be obedient to God, in seeking His will for that particular class or congregation. For we could find things to say that would make them feel good about themselves, but only God knows what they need to touch their hearts and their current, private situation. So then, having been directed by God, or through research in various documents or websites, is it really fair to soak up the praises of our listeners without sharing with them our source of information? The best advice that I have heard on this, came just recently when a gentleman said that each evening after he has spoken to, or taught, an audience, he commits all praise to his Father. I like that, for our speaker was blessed by us thanking him and sharing our praises with him, but knowing where the real praise belongs, he passes it on to God! Friends, I would love to think that as a teacher/preacher/writer, we depend wholly and solely on the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts so that they may speak to someone who needs to hear from Jesus – either for healing, restoration, or just to feel loved and secured by Him. Please don’t be selfish in withholding all the praise from Him as it was given to you! To those on the giving end of praise, please pray for your teachers, preachers and leaders that they may be used by the Holy Spirit to speak words of encouragement and instruction to you, then as they succeed, please thank God for speaking to you through His servant, and for answering your prayers..
PRAYER:
Lord, please help us to minimize pride in our lives by habitually passing along all praise received, to You, the originator of all knowledge and wisdom. We are but instruments in Your hands dear Father, use us for Your 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Way To Know Truth

Jesus knew that His audience were questioning, or doubting, what He said, do He gave them a sure way of always knowing, or recognizing the truth. It seems like today we are more opinionated than ever, so I’m sure there was good reason that God authorized this discourse to be included in His Word. Let’s examine that closely and try to apply it to our lives…

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-10-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 7:16-18 (GNT)

Text:

16 Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. 17 Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18 Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him.
OBSERVATION:
Jesus knew that His audience were questioning, or doubting, what He said, do He gave them a sure way of always knowing, or recognizing the truth. It seems like today we are more opinionated than ever, so I’m sure there was good reason that God authorized this discourse to be included in His Word. Let’s examine that closely and try to apply it to our lives…
APPLICATION:
I believe there are two types of people that sit in our church congregations each weekend, and that they were represented at the location where Jesus spoke, as  mentioned in this Scripture. Think about this and consider where you stand, and if this is your ultimate goal in life:

  1. Sincere Church Attender: – You started praying for the Holy Spirit to work in the weekend services a few days before. You awoke the morning of, and you prayed earnestly for those that would attend, that they would be open to the Word of God and the wooing of the Holy Spirit. You also prayed for the pastor who would deliver the Word of God. You arrived early and prayerfully watched and prayed for each on as they entered the sanctuary. With your Bible opened, as the pastor delivers the Word you are following closely and making margin notes as the Holy Spirit speaks to you.
  2. Casual or Obligatory Attender – You’ve always attended church because you enjoy meeting people and seeing all the newest styles. Additionally, you get to hear the Bible read at least once per week. You often wish that you could find your own Bible to take to church with you so that you could try and find those scripture verses the pastor reads from. Hopefully one day!

I believe that each of us probably fit into one of the above groups. Perhaps choose the group that you feel best describes you, then try and honestly answer the point that Jesus made in the Scripture today. Those who listen to and obey the commands and will of God are more lightly to listen to, understand, discern truth and obey the teaching they hear coming from God, or the individual standing in front of them. Do you feel like all things are equal in the above two groups? Of course there is one other group, and that’s the group that never has a desire to attend church or only attends for special occasions. Friends, may I encourage you to do a self examination today, asking God to point out where you might improve in your relationship with Him. In the right relationship, you will automatically acquire the desire to be with other children of God, and possible discern truth. Without the right relationship with God, your friends and family will know that you are faking it and merely going through the motions. You will only be able to help others, if you have the real thing living and operating inside of you. This is a personal decision you must make between you and our Maker. Others will see the difference, but they can’t save you or make it all right for you.

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we are convinced of the importance to know You personally, and be in a right relationship with You. Without this, it is impossible for us to clearly understand Your Word or be in a close and intimate relationship with You. Lord, we want others to see Jesus operating in our lives so that they also may have a desire to accept You as Lord. May we be obedient to Your Word, so that we may clearly understand what we are being taught, and that it comes directly from You! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Careful To Keep Christ FIRST

In spite of John repeatedly saying that he was only the forerunner of Christ, his disciples and followers really got attached to him and trusted his ministry. So much so, that when Jesus came along – the One that John had spoken about often, John’s disciples got a little ‘bent out of shape’ and jealous of the following He was quickly getting. I am convinced that this still happens today, so let’s really examine this scripture…..

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-10-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 3:24-26 (MSG)

Text:

 John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”
OBSERVATION:
In spite of John repeatedly saying that he was only the forerunner of Christ, his disciples and followers really got attached to him and trusted his ministry. So much so, that when Jesus came along – the One that John had spoken about often, John’s disciples got a little ‘bent out of shape’ and jealous of the following He was quickly getting. I am convinced that this still happens today, so let’s really examine this scripture…..
APPLICATION:
I have a friend pastor who received so many compliments over a new suit that he sported one Sunday, that he vowed never to wear it again in the pulpit, because he was convinced that more folk looked intently at what he was wearing than listening intently to what he said! At the time, we thought it was a little comical, but he was dead serious. That story compares to another pastor who posted on his pulpit the words “Oh that they see Jesus”. Friends, I don’t know that we think about this often enough, but the man who stands in front of us each week and shares the Word of God, is merely an instrument of God. We have a dire responsibility to pray for our pastor, that he would set self aside, and be open with unhindered attention to what God would say through him to us. Pastors know a lot about their parishioners, because we place a lot of faith in them and share our hearts and our concerns with them often. However, they have no wisdom or authority to ‘fix’ us. Only God knows the heart of man, and since we are His design, only He can mend a broken heart; open the eyes of the blind; and lead one from the ways of this world to the lifesaving, eternal benefits of eternity with Him in glory. Do we love our pastor? Without a doubt, and with all of our heart, but remember that he is much like John, for he is the forerunner of the soon coming, glorious Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Let us therefore love those that pastor us and teach us the truths of our glorious Savior, but let us really please them by loving their Master, their Savior and their glorious Lord who we must claim for our own so that we may one day join our pastors at the foot of the cross singing praises to our Lord!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for blessing us with great pastors, who have a lot of patience with us and show incredible love to us through their respective ministries here on earth. Please help us to honor them by looking to You, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and the One that they have chosen to preach and share every week. They’re our coaches, leading us towards the finish line where we will spend eternity with You, praise to Your wonderful and magnificent name, 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Penalty For Disobedience

Friday, 2016-07-15

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 3:17–19

Bible Text:  17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that way too often we find so many excuses and reasons to not do the work of God, that we tend to doubt if it was really Him who directed us to do the work in the first place. We talk ourselves out of the things we one-time thought that God may have called us to do. Friends, you will note from the above verses that Ezekiel was not only instructed what to do, but he was given the penalties up front for both himself and the people he was supposed to minister to, if he didn’t fulfill his assignment. What? Not only will I be punished for my disobedience, but the kindhearted people that I am instructed to minister to? Wow, that has put a whole new dimension on the impact of disobedience. All along, I thought that I might suffer if I chose to do ‘my own thing’ out of deliberate disobedience, but never gave a second thought that I was also bringing damnation on those I would have ministered to. However, think carefully about this friends. If you were given the foresight into the day and the hour that a disaster would hit, wouldn’t you and those around you punish, if you chose to keep that news bottled up inside of you? I believe that God is warning us, as He did Ezekiel, that there is coming a day when Jesus will return for His children – those who have accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Being filled with that knowledge and not sharing that to a point of trying to convince your family, friends or coworkers, would that not show that we are uncaring, unconcerned, unaffected by their lost condition and really don’t care if they go to Hell or not? Does that not  leave room for God to say, as He did with Ezekiel, that He will hold us responsible for the death (eternal death – Hell bound) of those individuals who were depending on us being obedient to God? Why not address this with the Master when you pray today? This really spreads to all walks of life friend. If asked to preach, teach, witness or evangelize and you do everything but your assignment, aren’t you guilty of disobedience?

Prayer

Dear God, You went to the cross willingly for us, even though You had the power to reverse that. Jesus, You showed love for us by doing Your Father’s will, knowing that this act alone would bring eternal life to Your children who would follow in obedience. Although You knew that all would not accept Your offer of love, yet You followed the commands of Your Father in total obedience. As Your children, wanting to please You in every way, we need to follow Your example of obedience. You made it clear to Ezekiel that both he and the people he was instructed to minister to, would suffer if he disobeyed. Lord, please touch the hearts of your children once again today, beginning with me, and help us to accept our responsibility seriously. We’re talking pretty serious stuff here – eternal life vs everlasting death. We know what we want, and what we desire for our family and friends, now help us to do Your will in total obedience under Your awesome strength, guidance and wisdom. In the powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

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