What Say Ye? Whom Will You Serve?

On this website, there is a list of 12 countries where it is considered ‘Extremely Challenging’ to worship God, and there are an additional 38 countries where it is ‘Difficult’ to worship God. I believe that most of you who will read, or listen to, this devotional probably attend worship services at least 3 times per year, I wonder how you might classify your reasons for not always join with God’s people for cooperate worship?

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2021-09-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 24:19-23
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Then Joshua said, “You are not able to serve the Lord, because he is a holy God and a jealous God. If you turn against him and sin, he will not forgive you. 20 If you leave the Lord and serve other gods, he will send you great trouble. The Lord may have been good to you, but if you turn against him, he will destroy you.”
21 But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.”
22 Then Joshua said, “You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”
The people said, “Yes, we are.”
23 Then Joshua said, “Now throw away the gods that you have. Love the Lord, the God of Israel, with all your heart.”

APPLICATION: Do you tend to feel uneasy in the company of certain individuals? Perhaps they are very rich, compared to you. Or perhaps they are overly educated, compared to you. In some of Joshua’s final talks with the Israelites, he challenged them to consider their acts of worship to a holy and jealous God. How might you respond to that question? I for one, feel very uneasy if I flippantly miss attending corporate worship, or a daily reading of the Word of God, or daily communication with God in prayer. Some might quickly respond that I may be too legalistic about my relationship with God, but I could only evaluate my own feelings towards my holy and righteous God, and so should you. Notice that Joshua gave a reason why the Israelites may not be worthy of worshipping God – idols. I know, we don’t build idols for people to go and worship, but don’t we honestly allow certain things in life to interfere with our time alone, or corporately with God? Joshua knew that some Israelites collected idols from the countries they had captured, and they worshiped those idols at times. But Joshua felt such a love for his people that he wanted to warn them one last time that our Heavenly Father will not tolerate split allegiances. Why do you suppose? I believe we could look at a very familiar relationship, husband and wife, and understand why no one tolerates this. Imagine a cheating husband. Can a wife notice the difference in their relationship when a man is also having relations with another woman? Although she may not care to acknowledge why her husband is trying to please two women, she would really have to be blind in many ways to not feel and understand that someone else is in the picture. Our God sacrificed His only Son for our salvation, so He will become very jealous of one who shows only half-hearted praise and allegiance in return. I believe that when we split allegiance, we are saying that the primary party no longer meets our needs. Could we truly say that to God? But don’t we do exactly that when we consider other pleasures ahead of the pleasure of worshiping our Savior and Lord? There are many ‘excuses’ that we use to explain why we chose not to read our Bibles, or pray, or attend corporate worship. I find it very interesting when children start using the excuses of their parents when asked if they went to church. But isn’t that what we are doing when we tell our kids to watch closely and do what we do? Paul also said something like that, but he was referring to his walk with the Lord. Oh how I wish we could set aside all excuses (idols) and be so committed to God that we could say openly to those who know us, just follow me as I follow God. Wow, don’t you know that God will smile with pride for his kids who are so dedicated to Him?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Joshua challenged the Israelites to always choose God and do away with idols. In one of their last promises to Joshua, the people assured him (vs 21): ‘we will serve the Lord’. God still blesses the nation that sets aside its idols and collectively say ‘we will serve the Lord’!

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that with our mouths we may say like the Israelites ‘We will serve the Lord’, and then set aside our idols and worship only You! To do this as a nation, we will have to set aside our petty differences between each other so that we could encourage each other to also set as their primary goal: Worship to the Father and to the Son, for as long as we all are left to wander on this earth. Please soften our hearts Lord and teach us to set our priorities straight. God comes first, even if it means less TV or less online activity, or less partying, or less beach time. Unfortunately, it seems like everything else is a priority, even though You gave it all for us. Please forgive us Lord, and please deal in our hearts to always keep You first in every aspect of our lives. 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!

Come Together To Worship

I wonder what God must think about us having the TV on to Facebook Live while our church service is aired, while we kid around and almost ignore the service playing in the background. Did we truly ‘worship the Creator of the universe’? I realize that we are happy to have the privilege of tuning in to services rather than risk COVID infection, but is this not just one of many excuses we use to not get up, get dressed and worship our Maker together with other believers? The excuse seems relevant for corporate worship, but not work or any other activity during the week!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Leviticus 23:23-25; 36-37
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 The Lord told Moses 24-25 to say to the people of Israel: The first day of the seventh month must be a day of complete rest. Then at the sound of the trumpets, you will come together to worship and to offer sacrifices on the altar.
36 For seven days, sacrifices must be offered on the altar. The eighth day is also to be a day of complete rest, as well as a time of offering sacrifices on the altar and of coming together for worship.
37 I have chosen these festivals as times when my people must come together for worship and when animals, grain, and wine are to be offered on the proper days.

APPLICATION: I was amazed at finding so many times in my Old Testament reading where God emphasized how He expected His children to ‘come together to worship’. I shared just a few examples from the verses I read today, but there are many more instances where God told Moses to share this expectation with the Israelites. Was this word just for the Israelites? Just as I believe the Bible is for all to read and adhere to God’s commands, I also believe that God wanted us to pay attention to what blesses Him. Readers may tend to believe that I specifically chose this Scripture and theme because of this being primary days for corporate worship. That’s not the case, but I strongly believe that God will place His Word before us when He desires for us to read, understand and obey His Word. I also believe that we will be drawn to important commands of God when we see Him repeat it multiple times in His Word. So what might God have to say to us today about assembling ourselves together for worship?
~ Firstly, that it is important for us to worship our Maker. He created us; loves us unconditionally; cares about our every need; cares about our ability to overcome sin so that we may one day join with Him in Heaven, and He did this by sacrificing His very own Son. I believe that worshipping together is important, because a brother may bless you by sharing what all God did for him during the week. And you may bless a sister by caring about the stresses of life that she is dealing with. Promising to pray with her, and/or check on her to make sure she handles that stress properly. That might be just what she needs to deal with her stress and overcome;
~ Secondly, the Israelites sacrificed animals in their seeking after forgiveness and in blessing God for His mercies. We may have to sacrifice certain things to enable specific time for us to rest, and to come together to worship God with other believers. This may mean taking full advantage of our other day(s) off to hit the beach or the theater, etc. This may mean shutting down our devices so that we may concentrate on everything that God has blessed us with. This may mean looking out for the needs of others, as a reminder of all that God does in looking out for us;
~ Thirdly, God set worship times as a requirement for His people. I believe that God might want us to also establish not only daily worship to Him, but also an established time to come together with other brothers and sisters to worship. Friends, we grow spiritually when God helps us, and when we help others. So establish a time to worship corporately and make it a priority to stick to that schedule. Satan will do everything possible to distract you and draw you away from worship.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Those who recognize their blessings from God will be drawn to worship Him. God demanded that the Israelites come together to worship, and I’ve grown to also see the importance of corporate worship!

PRAYER: Way too often we tend to sit back in our own little world and assume that everything is ‘peachy’ with everyone else. Thank You Lord for reminding me today how important it is for us to obey Your commands and come together with other believers to worship. It seems like fellow believers bless me and encourage me way more than I could ever have hoped for. So I pray that You might give each reader and myself wisdom on ways to be a blessing to others so that we may all celebrate Your many gifts together. You are precious in our sight oh Lord, please touch our lives and help us to share that with You as often as we should, and may that time always be a priority. 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!

Our Mission

Multiple times we see where Jesus emphasized to His disciples what their ongoing mission would be, but in our Scripture today we see where Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that our mission would be the same as His was. So one might ask: ’Well, would you kindly encapsulate that for me?’ As we meditate on these verses today, let us consider what our mission here on earth might be.

Tuesday, 2019-12-10

Bible Reference: John 20:21-23
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 21 Jesus repeated his greeting, “Peace to you!” And he told them, “Just as the Father has sent me, I’m now sending you.” 22 Then, taking a deep breath, he blew[l] on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.[m] 23 I send you to preach the forgiveness[n] of sins—and people’s sins will be forgiven. But if you don’t proclaim the forgiveness of their sins, they will remain guilty.”[o]

OBSERVATION: Multiple times we see where Jesus emphasized to His disciples what their ongoing mission would be, but in our Scripture today we see where Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that our mission would be the same as His was. So one might ask: ’Well, would you kindly encapsulate that for me?’ As we meditate on these verses today, let us consider what our mission here on earth might be.

APPLICATION: I am often recognized as a son of my earthly father, because of the things that I do, or the corny jokes that I tell, or just the things that I say in general. Jesus reminds us in today’s Scripture that just as He was sent by His father, spoke only those things ordered by His Father and did only those things directed by His Father, His followers should also follow His (Jesus’) pattern in life while He was here on earth with us. I believe that establishes our direction, or mission for life, so let us seriously look into what this might be. I believe that it is important to notice right at the very beginning that the New Testament is filled with the words, actions and directions of our Savior, and the Old Testament is filled with prophecies of what would be expected of us. So the best way for us to learn, or be reminded of certain actions of our Lord, is to deliberately spend intimate, quiet, God-directed time seeking the will and direction of God each day, by studying His Word. I know, you really don’t have time to sit and read large chunks of the Bible every day – right? I understand dear friend, but please allow me to suggest to you that when you get in conversation with God again, consider replacing the words ‘I didn’t have time’ with something like this: ‘Dear God, please listen to your son/daughter who didn’t make it a priority to seek Your direction from Your Word today…..’ I bet by now you are ready to close this devotional because you feel like I am trying to lead you on a guilt trip, but friend of God, may I suggest that the ‘lack of priority’ words I used, really explains why there was not time to study God’s Word and seek His direction for your life that day? For we found it a priority to: Spend extra time in preparing ourselves for work; Spend time watching the morning news so we could be on top of our game while speaking with business leaders each day; And spend time at the local coffee bar to be encouraged by true leaders that meet there each morning. However, it was not a priority to seek the will of the Creator of this world, the One who ordains everything that will occur today, the One who could guide us to success here on earth AND to our heavenly kingdom that He has especially prepared for those who know Him. Many years ago I was prompted to accept the love and direction of my Savior. In a very deliberate act of maturity in my relationship with Jesus, I was prompted, and I followed in obedience, to make it a priority to spend time in God’s Word each day. To do this, and still leave home in time for work, I had to get up earlier. In being led to also make Nuggets From God’s Word available to the world, I deliberately awoke 2 hours earlier so that my commitment would be a priority. This information was not intended to brag to you dear friend, but instead to help you see how you might make time alone with God a priority in your busy life’s schedule. If it’s important to you, I believe that you will make it a priority. Reading God’s Word each day will lead you to pattern your life after His Son that was sent for this purpose. In our verses today, Jesus told us that He did what His Father told Him to do. As you learn from God’s Word what you should be doing each day, you will one day say like Paul: ‘follow me as I follow Christ’! Please consider making this a priority in your life precious child of God!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have shown us in Your Word that there was nothing more important than you giving up Your life in order that we might have life eternally in heaven one day with You and Your Father. You have also taught us many things that should be a priority in our lives so that we might pattern our after Yours. As You observe our lack of priority to spend time alone with You, but yet a glimpse of our desire to reflect You in all aspects of our life, please open our hearts to be willing to make the main Thing the main thing. In every walk of life here on earth, our lives are pulled towards every lust and material obsession that our neighbor or coworker might desire or boast of. Please help us to be leaders, by making You a priority in our life – something that will draw others towards a similar commitment and a firm desire to be a child of the King in every aspect of life. YOU are our King! May it be evident in the choices we make and the way we spend our time. AMEN!

THE Most Important Commandment

Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

Wednesday, 2019-09-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 22:36-40
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

APPLICATION:  Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two very carefully:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. To consider this being a priority, means that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very innermost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more and more, or ways to love Him better and better, than anything else.
2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is prideful, and could easily lead to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.
Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought ‘yes’, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish that day! Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and that You display ‘Love’ in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

Our Priorities – In Light of Eternity

Sunday, 2019-08-18

Bible Reference: Luke 16:27-31
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 27 “Then the rich man said, ‘O Father Abraham, then please send him to my father’s home— 28 for I have five brothers—to warn them about this place of torment lest they come here when they die.’
29 “But Abraham said, ‘The Scriptures have warned them again and again. Your brothers can read them any time they want to.’
30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham, they won’t bother to read them. But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.’
31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even though someone rises from the dead.’”

OBSERVATION: To totally miss the boat (of Salvation) while here on earth, is a sad commentary about the priorities of a person while alive. Could it be that the friends they hung around distracted them from things that their heart is really burdened about? I’m sure that reaching a state of eternal damnation would suddenly bring more regrets than anything we could even imagine, but in our Scripture today, Jesus teaches how we might quickly reflect on our missed opportunities. If only I would have…. then perhaps I could have helped….. I hope that as we meditate on this Scripture today, our eyes will be opened to the opportunities presented to us each and every day, and on the things of life that we often control our priorities!

APPLICATION: At the end of any given day, we may reflect on missed opportunities, and we may often attribute those to lack of time. I am a firm believer that we should really call these what they are – lack of priority. Notice how, in our Scripture, the rich man saw the urgency of getting word to his siblings after he had passed on and experienced the results of his own damnation? Let us think about our own siblings – how often have we sat down and talked with our siblings about their salvation? Isn’t it easy for us to look on these scenarios as embarrassing moments, or times that we just couldn’t muster up the courage to say something to them? How might we deal with our inner feelings if we heard that one of our siblings died a very cruel, unexpected death, without us ever having the opportunity to speak seriously with them about the condition of their soul? The other important thing for us to learn from these verses is that the rich man was not exempt from reconciliation with the King of the Universe. He also was held accountable about the choices that he made while here on earth. Friends, please be reminded that regardless of our financial position, or our regularity of attending church, or how kind we are to those in need, yet there is one thing, and only one thing that God will look at on Judgment Day – the heart of the individual. What if the question was asked of you today: Is your heart right with God? Have you invited Jesus Christ to assume lordship of your life? What if you never made it pass the next hour here on earth and God asked you why should He let you into His kingdom? May I suggest that you set your priorities straight my friend, be ready for your encounter with God, for it may easily be today.

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, there is no greater priority than our meeting with You, for this life is worthless without the assurance of our future in heaven with You. Thank You that we could have the assurance of our salvation, so that we could know without a doubt, to whom we belong. May we, without hesitation or lack of words, confidently claim the One who died for us at Calvary and saved us from our sin as we boldly step before the throne of God one day! AMEN!

Time to Meet With The Lord

This is an interesting meeting Moses had with the Lord. After the last similar meeting, Moses returned to his people, and became so angry at finding them worshiping idols again, that he threw down the stones upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. God had Moses write the Commandments on the stones this time, but He also ordered Moses to gather the men together and meet with Him (God) three times per year while they attended festivals. It sounds like God wants time together with His leaders!

Wednesday, 2019-04-03

Bible Reference: Exodus 34:23-24
Translation: New International Version (NIV)

Bible Text: 23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.

OBSERVATION: This is an interesting meeting Moses had with the Lord. After the last similar meeting, Moses returned to his people, and became so angry at finding them worshiping idols again, that he threw down the stones upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. God had Moses write the Commandments on the stones this time, but He also ordered Moses to gather the men together and meet with Him (God) three times per year while they attended festivals. It sounds like God wants time together with His leaders!

APPLICATION: It is extremely challenging to get men out to church on the weekends, and especially at midweek prayer and Bible study. However, some time ago we were able to take a group from our church to a Bible based, Spirit led, prayer conference for approximately two full days. These days were filled with the Word of God, as Scripture was shared by each participant; songs prompted by the Holy Spirit; and prayer from the heart of each attendee, as prompted by God. No agenda, just waiting before the Lord and obeying the leading of His Holy Spirit. What might seem amazing to many, is that the crowd doubled in size the second year! What a sweet, Holy Ghost filled, time with the Lord! We returned to our church fired up, renewed and ready for the Lord to continue His work in and through us. Being a part of our two days of prayer, helped me to identify with what God was telling Moses to do. I wonder, if your pastor organized a get-away at your church: How many men would sacrifice vacation time to go and spend devoted time with the Lord? How many wives or girlfriends would encourage husbands or boyfriends to please go and participate? How many employers would welcome the time off for employees that they suspect would return and pray for the success of their business? Friends, I wonder how many gods we place before the God of this universe when we can’t find time for church services over the weekend or a discipleship class during the week? We tend to blame it on ‘time’, but perhaps the word ‘priority’ might better explain your shortcoming! Imagine: Lord, please forgive me that I made it a priority to take my family to the beach today/took my wife shopping today/went to have lunch with old friends today; played golf today…. but didn’t make it a priority to take my family to church. Can we, in all good conscience, add to the end of those excuses: ‘but bless me anyway and guide the thoughts of my troubled son/daughter this week’??? Friends, I believe that we are either all for God, or we’re not. I know that we can’t be at every single church gathering, but sincerely before God, we must be ready to answer His question on the priorities of our lives. Please consider taking time away to draw close to God, so that He might draw close to you. I don’t believe that there could be one thing more strengthening for your relationship with God, which will also enrich your relationship with your family and coworkers.

PRAYER: Lord God, please forgive us for the many excuses we come up with regarding our priorities. Too often You are placed at the bottom of the list, or as a last resort. This must be turned around if we ever expect to draw close to You, or encourage/convince an unbeliever. Please give us strength, boldness and self-determination to serve You wholeheartedly and without excuses. You gave up Your life for us, how much more can we do in return? Give Your children boldness and commitment today I sincerely beg of You dear God, AMEN!

Protect Your Heart From Anything That Might Replace God

Safe in the arms of Jesus is where I want to be when this life is over, but I would dare say that my goal each day is to be secure in His arms – protected by Him, loved by Him, encouraged by Him and directed by Him. Child of God, I believe that our Scripture reaffirms that when we are securely His and when we surrender wholeheartedly to His will, He will fill us with so much of Himself that there will be little room for anything else. However, to get there we must surrender to His will and His Lordship. A place where all believer should strive to be – daily.

Monday, 2019-03-25

Bible Reference: 1 John 5:18-21
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely, and the devil cannot get his hands on him. We know that we are children of God and that all the rest of the world around us is under Satan’s power and control.And we know that Christ, God’s Son, has come to help us understand and find the true God. And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is eternal Life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. Amen.

OBSERVATION: Safe in the arms of Jesus is where I want to be when this life is over, but I would dare say that my goal each day is to be secure in His arms – protected by Him, loved by Him, encouraged by Him and directed by Him. Child of God, I believe that our Scripture reaffirms that when we are securely His and when we surrender wholeheartedly to His will, He will fill us with so much of Himself that there will be little room for anything else. However, to get there we must surrender to His will and His Lordship. A place where all believer should strive to be – daily.

APPLICATION: I was drawn to the first part of this scripture that assures me that if I am truly a child of the King, I am held securely in His hand and under His protection from the Evil One. Then John clearly delineates who truly is controlled by Satan, and I pray that each one reading this devotional have made a firm commitment to graduate from that dark, sinful world, into the welcoming, loving, forgiving arms of our Lord and Savior. If you are still struggling with sin dear friend, then I would recommend that you go back to step one and check your son-ship with the Father. Was that an automatic thing you assumed because you were attending church every time the doors were opened? Was it something where you felt pressured into making a decision, or did you ever feel drawn by God’s Holy Spirit to surrender your old life of sin, and accept Him as Your personal Savior? May I encourage you to use the place, date or time of your adoption into the kingdom of Light, especially the next time that Satan tries to cause you doubt about whose you are? But friends, in spite of all the great insight already mentioned, the very last sentence is a powerful statement. When I think of what might take God’s place in our hearts, I tend to think of anything that might interrupt our personal time with the Lord. These are the times where you are spiritually refueled to go on stronger in the faith. And if anything steps into that space, or disrupts the time you had set aside to be with God, then I wonder if perhaps that’s what John was cautioning us about? For any relationship to flourish, I feel it is important for daily time together. When you are not meeting those committed times, then obviously something else is taking priority over your time alone with God. Perhaps another area might be church attendance. I know, just as staying in your garage overnight will not turn you into a car, so church attendance will not save you! However, I believe that a true child of God would want to be with God’s people at every opportunity. In fact, the Word infers this to be a characteristic of a believer. Furthermore, church attendance gives you the opportunity to praise and worship our Creator – the giver of all good things in this life; you also have the opportunity to be blessed by hearing how God has blessed others and answered their prayers; plus you have the opportunity to minister to others by sharing your God experiences with them. So if you’re not there, will someone go lacking that night, or that day? Will God be understanding of what took priority over Your time with Him? Is another ‘god’ slipping into the picture?

PRAYER: Lord I pray that You might use this devotional to awaken me to the desires of my heart and my relationship with you. May I be found faithful in all things oh God, and may You have prominence in all that I am. Touch the hearts of my readers dear Lord. May each of us be reminded of the priority You placed on making sure that our sins are forgiven, forever. With that same determination, commitment and priority may we be extra careful to not let anything interfere with the overwhelming and powerful role that You play in our lives. I believe that others will see and believe! Thank You gracious and loving God for loving us so much. AMEN!

More Important Than Food

Facing a New Year with our priorities in order should go a long ways, provided that we carefully and prayerfully seek God’s direction for those priorities. Jesus told His disciples that for himself, it was more important than food. Let’s consider this in our meditation today.

Thursday, 2018-12-27

Bible Reference: John 4:31-34
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  31  While this was happening, Jesus’ disciples were saying to him, “Teacher, please eat something.” 32  But Jesus told them, “I have food that you don’t know anything about.” 33  His disciples started asking each other, “Has someone brought him something to eat?” 34  Jesus said: My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do.

OBSERVATION: Facing a New Year with our priorities in order should go a long ways, provided that we carefully and prayerfully seek God’s direction for those priorities. Jesus told His disciples that for himself, it was more important than food. Let’s consider this in our meditation today.

APPLICATION: There is a saying I’ve heard around churches, “if you feed them, they will come”! That sounds bad, but it is so true of many folk who attend church today! I believe you will even see this proven at weddings where a couple decides not to have a reception, for attendance is generally down, compared to the weddings that offer a feast afterwards at a reception. Why, even to funerals are now followed by a huge reception that attracts most attendees to eat, rather than spend quality time with the mourning family members. It is unfortunate that we have gotten our priorities so twisted. Perhaps as we face the coming of a brand new year, we may look to the Word of God to make sure that our priorities are in order. Here are some examples for us to take note of, and follow as God leads:

  • John 4:31-34 – In today’s focal passage, Jesus saw an opportunity to speak with unsaved Samaritans, and this was far more satisfying to Him than any amount, or quality, of food that He could physically eat at the time. If it was important to Jesus, should it not be for us also?
  • Matt. 14:15–17; John 4:8; Luke 18:28 – The Disciples were always concerned about the physical need, particularly food!
  • Luke 11:11-13 – Jesus taught the disciples to first remember that God will provide exactly what they need, even though their tendency was to worry about food and physical needs primarily. Imagine pleading and pleading for a hamburger, when God wants to give you a ranch where you could have all the beef you want! He will supply our needs, friends! Praise the wonderful name of Jesus!

Friends, when we get our priorities straight and do what Jesus commands in Matthew 6:33 – seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then perhaps He will see to it that ALL of our need are met, not just our physical needs of nourishment. Perhaps the next time we become so concerned over whether to have a meal in order to attract folk to an event, particularly a church event, we should read Romans 14:17-18 and remind ourselves of what’s important to the kingdom of heaven! Perhaps if we concentrate more on our spiritual needs and the desire of God for our lives in 2019, we will not only trim some fat, but we will gain a whole lot more faith, hope, love for each other, and gain a closer walk with the Lord than we have ever had before. Friends, can we make this our goal in 2019, God being our helper?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive us for allowing our priorities to drift away from the most important person, and the most important thing. We are very close to being blessed with a brand new year, where we have the opportunity to make a brand new start in our spiritual lives. We need to draw close to You Lord, for living in this old wicked world has poisoned us into following the ways of Satan instead of the righteousness that would please You, the one who sacrificed Your very own life for us. Please renew within us a right spirit, so that we might get our priorities straight, and may this all happen so that You might be glorified in all things. AMEN!

Why Trust In God

It is so important for us to be reminded that rulers and bosses and supervisors and workplaces are all temporary, just like we are. While we owe a large degree of allegiance to each of these, it is so important that we focus primarily on the BIG picture, on the eternal destination and benefits that lie ahead for us – those people and things that will always be there. Throughout the busyness of this season let’s ask for help in refocusing on the most important things in life! Today let’s consider what those things are….

Saturday, 2018-12-15

Bible Reference: Psalm 146:3-6
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: Do not put your trust in the rulers of this world—kings and princes. Do not expect any rescue from mortal men. As soon as their breath leaves them, they return to the earth; on that day, all of them perish—their dreams, their plans, and their memoriesBlessed are those whose help comes from the God of Jacob, whose hope is centered in the Eternal their God — Who created the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all that lives within them; Who stays true and remains faithful forever;

OBSERVATION: It is so important for us to be reminded that rulers and bosses and supervisors and workplaces are all temporary, just like we are. While we owe a large degree of allegiance to each of these, it is so important that we focus primarily on the BIG picture, on the eternal destination and benefits that lie ahead for us – those people and things that will always be there. Throughout the busyness of this season let’s ask for help in refocusing on the most important things in life! Today let’s consider what those things are….

APPLICATION: God’s Word is timeless, and beyond description in power and wisdom! Think about the reasons why some become disconnected in their faith, and please, I would ask that you not look at this as judging, but merely as an illustration, and possible reminder to look inward for signs of distraction in your own trust. I believe that way too often we lose that intimate connection with God for reasons such as: I am way too busy at work, and I need all the rest at home that I could get; I need my short evenings with my family, so I don’t have time for church meetings; Sundays are my only days to visit with family, and that’s more important than church; We pay our pastors to study the Word and feed it to us at church, so I see no value in personally reading the Bible; I have no time to read the Word of God, I’m a working man/woman… Friends, if you did not see your excuse listed, please understand that there are tons of excuses that we use from time to time about what constitutes a priority in our lives. I’m not being supercritical by looking at your reasons for failure as a non-priority, but please do me a favor and consider those things that you do accomplish – that they were a priority to you. Please do me another favor child of God: before you lay down each evening, reflect with God on your day’s activities. Give Him thanks for all those things that you achieved; then explain to Him why your time with Him in prayer (talking to Him), and Bible Study (receiving responses, wisdom and direction from Him) was not a priority to you. That sounds tough, but I believe that the popular excuse of ‘lack of time’ equates to ‘lack of priority’. It’s just much easier to give the excuse that ‘you didn’t have time’, instead of the fact that ‘it was not a priority to me today’. Friends, when our workplace is no longer in business, or we have retired, God is still there. When we make it a priority to read God’s Word, we receive wisdom and direction for our day that helps us handle situations better, and keeps our mind focused on the God who cares, loves and directs our every word and deed. The bottom line is, that there is no earthly thing that we could find comfort in, or depend on, that could ever take the place of our all-powerful God. May I recommend that you trust Him today in all things, and in all areas of your life?

PRAYER: Lord, You are worthy of our praise; dependable; trustworthy; and You are our everlasting Savior! Thank You for always being there for us in every way and throughout every day. Please help us to always be reminded of the truth and significance of that, so that we may keep our priorities straight. You are our Rock, and our everlasting Father, on whom we could place our full trust and hope, in every circumstance of life. Lord, we need You, and we want You in every part of our life. Please keep us in tuned with You and continually looking up – for Your return, AMEN!

Just Do It

David was ‘a man after God’s own heart’, so we should pay close attention to his actions and his words. In these two verses we could tell how closely in tuned he was with God, because he spoke to Solomon as if directly from the lips of God. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had an individual like David in our lives, who would be so open with us and share so honestly with us what God revealed to them, and especially what He revealed to them about us?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (AMP)

TEXT:  “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and minds, and understands every intent and inclination of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] He will let you find Him; but if you abandon (turn away from) Him, He will reject you forever. 10 Consider this carefully, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be courageous and strong and do it.”

OBSERVATION:   David was ‘a man after God’s own heart’, so we should pay close attention to his actions and his words. In these two verses we could tell how closely in tuned he was with God, because he spoke to Solomon as if directly from the lips of God. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had an individual like David in our lives, who would be so open with us and share so honestly with us what God revealed to them, and especially what He revealed to them about us?

APPLICATION:   For any of us that have, or had, parents that were so close to God that they would speak words of wisdom to us, and try to enrich our spirit at every opportunity with the love, protection and wisdom of God, we are truly blessed! Wouldn’t we have a special appreciation for them, and develop a spirit of trust, love and respect for them, that we would easily listen and quickly follow their advice? From memories of answered prayer, don’t you know that we would make it a point to follow their advice and return love to them in every way possible? Friends, as we meditate on these verses today, I believe that we will also receive a clear understanding of the intimacy of a true relationship with our Lord. For as we are filled to overwhelming with the Spirit of God and the sweet fellowship of His Holy Spirit, not only will it impact our own lives, but we would have a deep and sincere desire to see friends and loved ones do the same. I love the way that the Amplified Version of the Bible helps us to soak in the real meaning of every word, that we might otherwise have quickly read over and not given much thought to. I believe that these words that David shared with his son, are intended to enrich our experience with God and with each other. Who are you praying for, and when last have you gotten with them to see how they’re doing, and what God may have given you to share personally with them? Doesn’t it seem like this world has sucked us into the busyness of its demands, that we hardly have time in our busy schedules anymore to visit, or even call family and friends to show that we care, or to tell them what we feel God is saying to them? I’ve always said that it’s not a matter of time, but of priorities. So will you end the day in prayer by telling God that it really wasn’t a priority to visit that Sunday School member in hospital today? What if He challenged you back by suggesting that your television wouldn’t work tomorrow so that that member will receive more priority from you than the Olympic games? Please know that only God is perfect, so your Brother is being preached at just like you, as we think about the things that please God. I will end by repeating to us what God said through David to his son – Be courageous and strong and just do it!

PRAYER:   Lord God, I am so sorry that we confuse priorities with the familiar excuse that we didn’t have time to do Your work. Please help us to practice changing our vocabulary to help us realize the impact of not making Your work a priority in our lives. May the work of Your Holy Spirit be evident in our lives today oh Lord, and may we always prioritize Your work above all else. All for Your glory, Your honor and Your praise, 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!