My Determined Purpose Is….

What a thought to ponder today! For the non-believer, I’m sure we would hear quite a variety of things that they are determined to accomplish during the time they expect to be here with us. But for the believer in Jesus Christ, how would you respond? Not to me, but to God! I believe that Paul spoke from what was bearing on his heart at the time. Stop and think about what your automatic response might be if you were asked this question while you are out and about today!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-08-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Philippians 3:10
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[b]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

OBSERVATION: What a thought to ponder today! For the non-believer, I’m sure we would hear quite a variety of things that they are determined to accomplish during the time they expect to be here with us. But for the believer in Jesus Christ, how would you respond? Not to me, but to God! I believe that Paul spoke from what was bearing on his heart at the time. Stop and think about what your automatic response might be if you were asked this question while you are out and about today!

APPLICATION: We often become sidetracked with the things of life that just pop up unannounced and unplanned, but our Scripture today shows that Paul was a very committed and determined man, so it is important that we meditate closer on this to see what Paul had to say. He was not content in just telling the church at Philippi what they needed to do, for he said in other Scripture that we could safely follow him, as he follows Christ. In this case he wanted the church to know how serious he was about his intimacy with Christ, and what his determined purpose in life was. I believe that we tend to feel more apt to listen to someone who is practicing what they preach! In the bracketed commentary we see where Paul wanted to become increasingly more intimate in his relationship with God. He wanted to grasp the depth of God’s heart – the One who loves men and women, even though they may have totally disregarded Him. Yes. You see, God was willing to sacrifice His precious and only Son to save dirty, unloving, uncaring, sinners such as you and I, my friend. I believe that Paul went to this depth not only as a man who wanted a closer relationship with the Savior of the world, but also because of all that was displayed by the Master on the cross. For those who need reminding, out of total obedience to the Father, Jesus endured beatings by the authorities, shame and mistreatment as He was marched through the streets of Jerusalem with a heavy cross on His beaten and bruised back. In spite of His power to call a legion of angels to His defense, He suffered through having His hands nailed to a cross and His side pierced with a sword. He hung and died on that cross between two criminals, while His mother looked on painfully. Jesus did this out of mere love for all those He created, who would ever seek redemption of their sin and desire a life dedicated to God. This was no ordinary man, dear friends, and Paul desired nothing more than to know Jesus – yes, to know Him so intimately that he would live the rest of his life imitating the Savior who demonstrated His love in this way. But friend, this is the same Savior who showed such love for you and I also. Are we committed enough to sacrifice our time, our talent, our money and our desires to spend time in His Word getting to know Him better; open up ourselves to Him as we go before Him in prayer; and share our story with all that we come into contact with? If He was the president of your country, I believe you would tell the world of your experiences together. Jesus is the King of the world, won’t you also consider telling everyone about His miraculous touch on your life? Paul wanted to grow into the type person that would love like Jesus did while on the cross. What is your determined purpose in life?

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, You gave the ultimate for us – life itself, even through the cruelty of the cross. Our ancestor, Paul, shared that he wanted nothing more than to be like You – especially like You demonstrated at Calvary. This leaves us to consider: what are we willing to commit to in appreciation for all that You did out of love for us? Oh God, may there never be any doubt as to whose we are, and as a demonstration of our love and commitment to You, may our actions and our commitment be such that the world will know, and may be encouraged to know, the One in whom we believe, and the One that we serve faithfully every day. Often we are challenged to get into Your Word, or pray, or even attend church, and yes, we could attribute that to lack of time. But Lord, I believe that we find time for the things of our heart. Oh that You may be so prominent in our hearts, that my readers and I will be totally committed to serving You and reflecting Your character and teachings all the days of our life. We need You precious Lord. Please embolden us, and above all, help us to make You a priority in our lives every day. 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

A Precious Treasure – Its Purpose in Our Lives

What ’treasure’ is Paul referring to in our Scripture today? Why do we need this ‘treasure’? What are the benefits of having this ‘treasure’? These are all great questions that we will meditate on today, and hopefully walk away feeling enriched because of the ‘Treasure’ that is ours through Jesus Christ – God’s one and only Son.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-06-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us[c]—is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. 10 These bodies of ours are constantly facing death just as Jesus did; so it is clear to all that it is only the living Christ within who keeps us safe.[d]

OBSERVATION: What ’treasure’ is Paul referring to in our Scripture today? Why do we need this ‘treasure’? What are the benefits of having this ‘treasure’? These are all great questions that we will meditate on today, and hopefully walk away feeling enriched because of the ‘Treasure’ that is ours through Jesus Christ – God’s one and only Son.

APPLICATION: There was such a vacuum left for the Christian when God allowed His Son to die on Calvary’s cross, that He proceeded with something that He promised, He gave us the Comforter. In this reference ‘us’ means the Christian. So at the moment that we invite Jesus to rule and reign in our lives, the Holy Spirit/Comforter comes in to not only rule and reign, but to lead, direct, comfort and help us maintain a right relationship with God right here on earth. Because the Holy Spirit resides inside of us, we can look at that place of residence as a ‘container’ in which the Holy Spirit lives. The type ‘container’ referred to by Paul in verse 7 above. When this happens, Paul gives a few illustrations of the benefits to us:
1. Paul assures us that the power within us is then far greater than anything we have ever experienced before, for it is not our own power but that of the God who created the whole world;
2. Paul assures that although we may be under intense pressure, and feel like we are being pressed in by the extreme weight of the world, yet we could expect to stand firm, and not be crushed or broken!
3. Paul told us that we will still feel intense stress over the various things that occur all around us, but we will be comforted and never want to give up or give in!
4. Paul said that we may still feel like we are, at times, hunted down like animals, but the Holy Spirit will constantly remind us to never abandon our faith, or the God who loves us unconditionally!
5. Paul reminded us that we will feel knocked down at times and we are merely waiting for the count, but we have a comforter who stands battle for us and we will therefore get back up, and moving on to continue God’s work, until He comes!

Friends, know that our Redeemer lives and that He has the power, grace and love to give us our own bodyguard, encourager and friend to see us through the rest of this life. Perhaps you might be struggling in one or more areas mentioned above. If you are a child of the King, please be reminded that God has you covered. He protects His own, supplies our every need and defends us while here on earth. Look up my friend, for my Redeemer lives, and He will soon return to take His children home to glory to be with Him throughout eternity. We have that assurance, so there is no need for worry while we wait for His return!

PRAYER: What an assurance that Jesus is mine! What an assurance that Jesus will return for me someday soon! What an assurance that Jesus provided everything I need here on this old wicked earth, so that I may be safe in His arms even while still here. Thank You, thank You, thank You Lord Jesus for loving this old humble man. My friends will read this blog and they will need a similar assurance as I received this morning. Please Heavenly Father, touch the hearts and souls of all who will stop by and ponder this today. Please draw them unto Yourself and fill them with the assurance of salvation that leads to life eternally in heaven with You. I love You Lord, and I life my voice in worship and praise to You, my King! 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

So That…

Wednesday, 2016-11-23

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philippians 1:9-11

Bible Text:  I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Bible Translation:The New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Perhaps you hear it all the time and never noticed. A friend will ask you to pray about their weight. So how do you pray for them? I might assume and pray that they add some weight on so they will qualify for the wrestling or weightlifting team, because of something I overheard that talking about, however what they really wanted me to pray with them for: is to pray that they could drop 20 pounds so they could be in better shape for hip surgery in 3 months. Notice that God showed us through His servant Paul how we should really pray for one another. Paul prayed that the Philippians’ love might increase more and more, so that they would get out of the mode of self pity and, so that it would be transparent to him, and the rest of the world, what really matters in their life. Paul prayed this specifically, so that they could then live pure and blameless lives until the day Christ returns. Wouldn’t it be neat to always pray with the end result in mind? I believe this would help us to be more intentional in our praying for our family and friends. As an example only, let’s learn to not just pray for the aches and pains of those that ask us to pray, but for what they could achieve should their health be improved. Think about it friend, and unless you have talked long and deep enough with the individual, I would suggest that you ask what might be accomplished if God answered your prayer on their behalf, please don’t assume.

Prayer

Heavenly, loving and almighty God, You know the very depths of our heart, so you know our reason for asking You for all that we bring before You in prayer. Please cleanse us from deep within, so that we may ask with the specific purpose in mind of seeing Your kingdom grow, and that You might use even us to touch lives so that they may grow in, and draw closer to, You. Please help us to be more specific in our prayers for one another so that we may not take our obligation to pray for one another too lightly, but that through our prayers others may come to know You, or be drawn closer to You. We have only one life to live here on this earth, Lord may we be an instrument of Your love that will attract others to know You personally, and enjoy an even deeper relationship with You. May You be glorified as a result of our prayers for one another, oh Lord! AMEN!

Footnote

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

The Reason I Live

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

The Bible Reference: Philippians 1:20-24
The Bible Text: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 21 For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! 22 But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! 23 Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! 24 But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!
The Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take Away: Of special note regarding this scripture: Paul is in prison at the time of this writing! So if Paul has the fortitude and determination to live so that He could do more of the Master’s work, even from within four prison walls, how much more those of us who are ‘free’ should be striving to do the Master’s work? Friends, we whine and we complain about so much, but do we should really have the heart of Jesus, or of Paul, in wanting to see as many won to the Lord as possible? In the above scripture, I bolded a few sentences that, I believe, is worthy of note:

  • Living means opportunities for Christ – it is only while we have breath in our bodies that we can be witnesses for the Lord, or care about sinners. Let’s not wait any longer friends, we’re on the winning side and it is our responsibility to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord;
  • Living will give more opportunities to win people to Christ – Often we will find that it’s the threat of impending death that gives us incentive to share the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please allow me to awaken  you to the fact that we have no assurances about the next minute. The moment of opportunity is the present. Please share the love of Christ who lives inside of you with all that you care about and/or come into contact with today!
  • I can be of more help to you by staying – Only Jesus Christ has power beyond the grave. He is allowing us to remain here on earth so that we can glorify Him and spread the Good News about the Savior who loved us enough to die for us. In a nutshell friend, this is our mission!

Friends, we remain on this earth to be shining examples of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not about politics, gossip, sports, the lotto or any other purpose, so make it known to everyone you know that the reason you live is to represent Jesus, and to evangelize the lost, before it is eternally too late.

Prayer: The reason that I live is …….. Lord, as we complete that sentence today in humility and prayer before You, I ask that You will take those completed sentences and correct any misgivings about our mission, compared to the one You have assigned to us. I am pretty convinced that our mission is similar in nature to what Paul shared with the Philippians, because throughout Your Word we are told the importance of surrendering our lives to You, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to others and convince them of their need for our Savior. Please work on us today and guide us to do Your perfect will, is my sincere and humble plea. For it’s in Your beautiful and bountiful name that I ask all this, dear Jesus, AMEN!

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

2016

God’s Plan – Our Purpose

The Holy Bible (The Message – Colossians 1:15-18): We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

Thoughts: At times we might purchase something, use it for whatever we intended, or had in mind when we purchased it. After seeing it break down and fail so often, we might pull out the instruction book and discover that there were some important steps we were neglecting, that could easily have caused a failure in the expected life of the item. Now, re-read the scripture verses and see if it doesn’t spell out for us why we fail individually, and especially why our churches are failing to reach the masses. Friends, it is obvious that all things were created by God and for Him. Being made by his power, we were made according to His pleasure, and for His praise and glory. He not only created us, but it is by the word of His power that we are sustained or upheld. Christ as Mediator is also Head of the body of believers, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is His body. So who are we to interfere with God’s plan – His purpose for us? I want to challenge you today to look inward at yourself (not your sister or your brother) and ask God to examine you and highlight the parts of your life that you have not totally surrendered to your Maker and Designer. There may be good reason why you are struggling with worshiping God or representing Him fully to your unsaved loved ones. If you truly belong to God, then according to these verses, I believe that you should be a miserable person anytime you are doing something other than worshiping or serving God. He made you to worship Him. Your very existence is purposed in Christ. The last part of these verses speak to unity in the church (the body of believers in Christ). Friends, if you are upside down in your relationship with God, don’t you know that you will also have the same negative impact on anything that you take part in, even church leadership? Always remember and respect who the head of the church is. The last thing you want to be guilty of is having a negative impact on the work of God’s church to reach, minister and glorify Him, through the ministry of Christ, to the folk that He died for. So I believe that the message in these verses today is that we reevaluate our relationship with the Lord. Are we glorifying Him in everything we do in or out of the church? Do we recognize the local church as God’s body of believers that He put in place to glorify Him? Be sure not to place self in the middle of that friend!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for placing me here on this earth with such honorable purpose. Please reveal to me areas of my life that I must seek Your help on. Areas that I must reevaluate and allow You to change so that I might glorify You more completely. Please forgive me if I have allowed self to step in the way of Your work in and through Your local church. I beg Your guidance so that I might give glory to You for being head of any church that I become a part of and through which I seek to serve You. I know that You are head of the church, and I must therefore always seek Your will and Your guidance to be a part of it and it’s ministry to my community. Thank You for the church in which I now serve! Thank You for all the churches represented by readers of this devotional. May we all take our rightful places and honor You with our praise and worship so that You might receive glory from us individual and corporately. For I believe it is then that You will have freedom to reach into our families and minister to the unsaved. I am seeking Your favor oh God, through asking all this in the precious name of Jesus, with thanksgiving, AMEN

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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 my church home, Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!