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!

Listen, Understand & Accept

You will find a few great points in this Scripture today. The people who attended this teaching by Paul were ones who had some knowledge about the Messiah already. Some listened, got it, and accepted the message, while for some it made them angry that their beliefs were in question. Do any of these reasons sound like your story from last weeks worship and teaching or preaching services that you attended? Let’s have a deeper look…

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-02-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 17:2-4
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.

APPLICATION: Paul ‘reasoned’ with the people! Isn’t that an interesting translation? Some Sunday School, or Small Group teachers will slow down and reason with their students, but seldom do we see a preacher or pastor do that! What I like about this word, versus ‘preaching’ is that the teacher is trying to make sure that their students have all their questions answered about the Scriptures. I believe that most ‘preaching’ is delivered from the speakers understanding and belief system, and generally from a very dictatorial perspective. Getting down to the level of understanding by the audience is so important, I feel. For if we fail to help them grow in their understanding and in their relationship with Jesus, what good has it been for them to hear you speak? I love, love, love interactive teaching, for students will sometimes lend a personal perspective of what God has done in their life regarding the Scripture being studied. I know, the good teacher will know when to nip a conversation in the bud when an individual is merely showing off their own personality and/or value, but I believe it helps everyone to stay awake and alert to the teaching as they try to apply it to their own lives. I believe that to understand the heart of the congregation is to know that each one comes to church for their own reason, and expectation. Mom, dad or a spouse might force one to attend church out of traditional beliefs that it’s the place for all good people to be at least for one hour per week. Some may want to satisfy an obligation made to the pastor, or a friend, who invited them to church. But I believe that Paul was especially addressing the needs of the ones who knew about God, and His Son, but still had a lot of questions. In fact, most Jews tend to struggle with the idea of Jesus being the Messiah, and/or being equal with God. In reasoning with them from the Scriptures, Paul was using the inspired words of God Himself to spell out the truth of the Messiah and that Jesus was indeed that Messiah. Just as we walk away from church sometimes, and feel the need to rush home and study the Scriptures more, to make sure that we could believe what the preacher said that morning, the Jews also made some very critical decisions about Paul’s teachings. For some believed, and followed Paul and Silas, while some got all heated and wanted no further discussion, but instead they wanted to continue their fight of getting rid of these evangelists. Each week we have the same sort of crowds, for: some will stay at home unconcerned about hearing anything more about Jesus, because all is well in their family and they have no immediate need for Jesus; some will reluctantly go to church, because they feel obligated to their parents, spouse, friends or even the pastor; some will be at church in bodily form, but their minds are on the fishing, hunting or play grounds; but some might be interested in understanding the Word of God better, for they have seen over and over again how God has delivered, directed and comforted them through His Word. Friends, those that love you are already praying and encouraging you to go to church with them next weekend. In helping you decide, let me encourage you to go with the intent of better understanding the Word of God and applying it to your life in a way that He will personally speak to you about. If you do this, I am convinced that you will see such value in the teachings of God’s Word that you will be ready to lead the way for your family to learn from God’s Word every week going forward.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God’s Word is invaluable for the one who desires to grow closer to Him, and to the one who needs more in life that worldly belongings. Listen to the teachings for God, and as you understand them, be obedient to what He is calling you to do.

PRAYER: Please help us Lord to keep our minds and desires fixed on You as our Lord and Mediator. May our desire to grow in knowledge of You become more intense each week. Help us to strive towards righteousness instead of finding fault with our pastor/preacher/teacher. May we, like the Jews who accepted the teaching of Paul and Silas, decide to follow You whole heartedly. 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!

Jesus Demonstrated Effective Ministry

We often hear about the many churches that are closing their doors because they can’t meet budget, or seem to attract a crowd from the neighborhoods in which they are located. While Jesus became well known for the many attributes he displayed, I bolded three actions in today’s Scripture that seemed to have made His ministry effective. Needs still exist today, so I thought we might look deeper into Jesus’ style of ministry and see if we could learn from it. Stay with me as we dig into the Word today.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-01-19
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 4:23-25
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 Jesus traveled all through Galilee teaching in the Jewish synagogues, everywhere preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of Heaven. And he healed every kind of sickness and disease. 24 The report of his miracles spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that sick folk were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were insane, or paralyzed—he healed them all. 25 Enormous crowds followed him wherever he went….

APPLICATION: Some of you may have served in church leadership, or on a committee charged with organizing events designed to entertain different age groups in your church’s community. If your experiences were similar to those in which I participated, then you will agree with me that church leaders spend many, many hours behind closed doors in planning and organizational responsibilities. I’m not sure that we could ever succeed in ministering of the Gospel just through planning, but what if we concentrated on the proven methods of Jesus? Let’s examine the three main parts of His ministry, as mentioned in our Scripture:
—> TEACHING – We send our children to school to learn everything they need to survive in a workplace and in life overall. So, because they are lacking in these areas, we find help for them by well learned teachers. Most of us will pick up the Bible and try to read it, but we are quickly stumped by everything written. I would dare say that just as in Jesus’ day, many of us could benefit from the teaching of God’s Word. Our churches are blessed to have good teachers who do a fair job in teaching through Sunday School, Bible Study and small groups. But it is becoming more and more challenging to encourage attendees of the need to join others in this important learning experience;
—> PREACHING – I found it interesting that some translations said that Jesus ‘announced’ the Kingdom. Research shows that this means He preached about the kingdom of God. I believe this helps us to better understand why most churches still preach the Word of God. Please remember that for the preaching to be most effective to you individually, it is just as vital that you pray for your pastor or preacher, as it is to pray that God would open your heart’s door to accept what He has to say to you that day. You see, God’s Word is designed for us individually and God will speak to us personally and very directed as we tune our hearts to hear Him.
—> HEALING – I believe this is the area that you will tune into most intently, because you have seen so much fraud and false teachings/actions in this regard. I’m with you, because only God can heal, and I detest the idea of men or women proclaiming healing power of their own. However, I believe what the church needs most today is the man/woman of God who acknowledges the sole power of God in healing, and the love of God who sees the need for physical, mental and personal healing in everyone who crosses their path. For there are so many who are hurting in so many different ways, and they are hoping that the church will not only accept them as they are, but also empathize with them over their challenges in life. Especially since Covid, it seems that there is less connection between church leaders and their members who are in desperate need. Many times healing will come to hurting people just from someone who shows that they care. Leave the computer. Close the office. Call someone without worrying if you are disturbing them. People need the Lord, and their first step in that path towards the Master, is through knowing that His helpers and supporters care about, and love each other, especially in their times of need.
As I stated in my introduction, if churches spent as much time in ministering as they do in planning events, the Word of God will quickly extend to all ends of the earth, and the world will know who Jesus is, and that He cares for them, because they could see it in His representatives.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus’ ministry was effective and fruitful because He mastered three of the same areas that we try to perform today. Perhaps today we could emphasize even more on Teaching, Preaching and Healing of the whole person for even more effective ministry.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for caring enough for mankind that You were pliable in the hands of Your Father and followed through with being captured, crucified and buried so that we might know perfect love. I am in awe about Your resurrection and I praise God for such a miracle, because we are left with a risen Lord who still loves and cares for us. Forgive us Lord when we think it too much to sacrifice time to check on, and/or visit one another when there is a known need. How else will we prove Godly love for our Brothers and Sisters? You taught us how to love, and the extreme that one could go through to show love. You showed us how to minister effectively and You have blessed us with great churches, awesome ministers/pastors and also wonderful congregations who need to know about Your love for them, and see it practiced in reality every day. Please forgive us where we fail in this Lord. Help us to follow in Your footsteps for effective ministry to Your children we are blessed to associate with. 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!

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!

Closed To The Message Of Christ?

Jesus knew that in ministry we would face opposition, just as He faced when He ministered in the synagogue among the Pharisees. They closed themselves to His message’ and I’m afraid that this may be all to familiar to us today….

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-04-29
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 6:1-3 (Voice)

Text:

 1 Jesus went back into His own hometown where He had grown up, and His disciples followed Him there. When the Sabbath came, He went into the synagogue in Nazareth and began to teach as He had done elsewhere, and many of those who heard Him were astonished.

Those in the Synagogue: Where did He gain this wisdom? And what are all these stories we’ve been hearing about the signs and healings He’s performed? Where did He get that kind of power? Isn’t this Jesus, the little boy we used to see in Joseph’s carpenter shop? Didn’t He grow up to be a carpenter just like His father? Isn’t He the son of Mary over there and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their sisters? Who does He think He is?

And when they had thought about it that way, they became indignant and closed themselves to His message.

OBSERVATION:
Jesus knew that in ministry we would face opposition, just as He faced when He ministered in the synagogue among the Pharisees. They closed themselves to His message’ and I’m afraid that this may be all to familiar to us today….
APPLICATION:
All the time we hear stories of people that don’t like church, or would rather not hear of our Lord, and this may often discourage us. However, had we not have been just as stubborn, we might struggle in overcoming the disappointment in trying to witness to those kind of friends. The struggle faced by the Pharisees was that the same Jesus who stood teaching them, was the same one born to their neighbor, or hometown friends. The same one who may have run around playing with their children. In fact the kid, whose brothers are known around all of the neighborhood circles. Some of us might have similar experiences, where one of our own have returned from seminary to minister among us. Are you accepting of them? When one has been radically changed and returns to minister to you, are you accepting of them, or do you struggle to see beyond their past? Would you have been able to accept the apostle Paul, after all he did in his life before Christ as Saul? Friends, God changes things, and He also changes people way beyond anything we can do for ourselves, or anything we could imagine. Please remember that when we pray for our pastor and teachers that God might speak through them to us, we must look beyond the inabilities of the man standing before us and look to the God who created this world and each of us. The God who gave His all for our eternal appointment with He and His Father in heaven. It’s not about us, or the man who stands in the pulpit, but its about the Master who has a word to share with us, encourage us with and/or direct us towards. Please don’t allow anything to close your mind to what our God has to share with you.
PRAYER:
Lord, thank You for loving us enough to accept our plea for forgiveness. So often we allow the vices of Satan to affect us and distract our listening to You God and the blessings that You have in store for us. Please forgive us for allowing the forest to blind our vision from the awesome blessings You have in store up ahead for us. Thank You for still radically changing the hearts of mankind and using even the most challenging ones to declare the kingdom of God to us, so that we might otherwise turn our eyes to the Savior of this world. Please continue to minister among us so that all may come to a saving knowledge of the Master. 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!