Jesus Also Knows About Our Struggles

Whether we are meditating on the Word regularly, or not, it is easy to fall into natural doubt and sometimes wonder ‘where is God?’. But for the child of God who, through relationship with the Creator, you know that God is still very much in control and that His perfect will is being worked out in the lives of His children every day. Like the disciples, who had been with Jesus every day, panic sets in when God’s timing is different to ours. Meditate with me on the Scripture and seek a refreshing from the God who loves you, and will give you peace that He is working out His perfect plan for you.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-16
WRITTEN AT: Nassau, BAHAMAS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 6:47-51
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 47 During the night, as the disciples in their boat were out in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land, 48 he saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves.
About three o’clock in the morning he walked out to them on the water. He started past them, 49 but when they saw something walking along beside them, they screamed in terror, thinking it was a ghost, 50 for they all saw him.
But he spoke to them at once. “It’s all right,” he said. “It is I! Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat and the wind stopped!

APPLICATION: It is easy to praise God the Father when we’re on a mountain-top experience and we could clearly see that God has been working miraculously in our lives. The disciples had experienced times like this. In fact, they had just been a part of a miraculous feeding of the five thousand, so they knew without a doubt that Jesus was the true Son of God and that He was capable of performing God-sized miracles. But now their faith is being tested, for Jesus’ disciples were traveling in a boat across the lake to Bethsaida, without Jesus being on board the boat with them, when a storm arose and blew them off course. Notice that the Word says that Jesus was well aware of the struggle His disciples were going through. You see, He not only knows where we want to go, but even more importantly, He knows the struggles of this world that are holding us back and forcing us off course. It may be health, or finances or family issues, or a thousand other things. Just as He knew what His disciples were facing out in the middle of that lake in the middle of the night, HE also KNOWS what we are facing. The following course of action is even more exciting, because the Bible tells me that He stopped what He was doing and left where He was spending time in prayer and went to the disciples – He went to their rescue, to help them. Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus already knows our hearts and He knows what we need, when we need it and how badly we need it. I am amazed that in spite of our worldly distractions yet, because we are His children, Jesus comes to our rescue and calms our waters of worry and hopelessness! Just as the rough waters of the lake subsided when He entered the boat with His disciples, I truly believe that He meets our needs, calms our fears, fills us with His joy and His peace, and then He tops that all off by giving us hope for eternity with Him in heaven! It seems like the writer of that old hymn ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ may have encountered this kind of peace, and perhaps wrote that longtime favorite for Christians even today, so that we may glorify our God for His everlasting hope, peace of mind in knowing that our future is secure with our Savior because of our souls are at peace with Him. Are you experiencing this kind of peace my friend? If you know Jesus as Lord, I pray that His peace is with you through every circumstance of life. If you do not know Him, I pray that you will take a few minutes to click on the link in my footer ‘To Know Jesus’, for there you will find Scripture that will introduce you to my Savior and how you too might become secure in the salvation offered only by Jesus!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus loved His disciples enough that He walked on water to get to them and help them through their circumstances. Imagine how quickly and carefully He will rush to the needs of His other children – us! Oh what a Savior!

PRAYER: From the bottom of the heart of one who needs the love, peace and joy of my Savior on a daily basis, I will be the first to say thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me – thy great salvation so rich and free. How would I ever manage without the peace of knowing the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords, and the comfort of knowing who leads my way each day. Lord, oh how I wish that all my readers will share my joy today because of their faith in You. I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to You in honor and 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 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!

I Will Praise You Forever!

I can only imagine what our church services would be like if we went prepared to worship our Lord and Savior with the enthusiasm that David had developed, and with what he shared with us in our Scripture today! Often it takes a really nice band, an overly enthused director and a sweet blend of a praise team working together to eventually build up excitement in most churches, how about yours? As we meditate, let us consider what may have been different in David’s case.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-05-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 30:11-12
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 You changed my sorrow into dancing. You took away my clothes of sadness, and clothed me in happiness. 12 I will sing to you and not be silent. Lord, my God, I will praise you forever.

APPLICATION: I remember a time or two in my lifetime where I was committed to earnest prayer for very dire situations. Being blessed to come out successfully and favorably on the other side of that situation, I remember that it was a natural reaction to praise the Lord with all of my being. David had gone through some very similar situations, but he stuck to his plan in pleading before God about his concerns. In just the early part of Psalm 30, David was in such fear of his life, and unsure if God was really protecting him, until he questioned what good would it do God if he died. Often when we are in a hopeless mood and on an uncertain path, we start to feel sorry for ourselves. In fact, we may even start to feel like God has forsaken us. But I believe that God places us in the path of Scripture such as this one, where we are reminded that our problems have been very, very minor compared to those that David faced, yet he realized that the God of this whole universe noticed a little spec like himself and filled his heart with joy and amazing hope. Friends, this is the same God that we serve! Have you really face unsurmountable problems during the week, or have you just not seen your life unfold the way that you imagined, or wanted? What if you met a friend, like I did, who is a paraplegic, yet he encourages other men each week in their walk with the Lord? Do you suppose that you may then feel like your problems really were insignificant, and that God really has been faithful to you in many supernatural ways? God has been dealing with me about this daily devotional format recently, for He led me to think about adding a section to declare His blessings in each Scripture that we look at. You see, I have been focusing way too much on the areas of correction God may want us to carefully look at, and while this is very important, we must never overlook His blessings to us and the encouragement we receive from His word. So stay tuned for that enhancement!! As for today’s Scripture, please allow me to encourage each reader to look for the blessings of God each and every day – even those days when it seems like the bottom has fallen through for you. Praise God for those blessings each day, and be prepared to praise Him with the corporate body when you meet for weekend services. Remember, He is the God of the mountain, and the God of the valleys also. Never feel like He has left you hanging, for He may be giving you room to grow in your relationship with Him. Praise Him for each day, no matter how uplifted you feel, or how little you feel like you accomplished that day. Knowing that you’ve had Jesus by your side and leading the way for you, is enough to praise Him with all of your heart. In the words of David – praise Him forever!

PRAYER: I am reminded of an old hymn ‘Oh For A Thousand Tongues to Sing the glories of my King’, for You are so deserving of all my praise in every circumstance of life, dear God. I remember two distinct times where my family received calls about the death of loved ones. Very sad times, and it would have been extremely challenging to praise You Lord in those times. But in one of those cases, my dad gave his heart in full surrender to You, Lord, and there is no greater cause for praise than to know that a loved one was called from a world of darkness into the kingdom of light as a born again Christian! Please encourage us to not question You in Your infinite wisdom, for you not only know about today, but You are the Designer of our tomorrows also. Thank You for Your faithfulness Lord. We praise You in our storms, because we know that You are waiting our arrival on the other side. Help us to share our blessings with others so that they might want to know You in a personal and intimate way. Thank You Lord Jesus! 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!

Become All Things To All People

Paul realized that he could share the Good News of Jesus Christ with every Christian gathering and they would totally get it, but should he walk down the street or around the corner, folk might wonder if he was from a different planet! I don’t believe that has changed, for we sometimes speak a totally foreign language, compared to the ordinary person on the street or the executive who has his nose in the financial books most of his life. Let’s see what we could glean from this scripture and how we might apply it….

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-05-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 
TRANSLATION: East-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 To those who are weak, I became weak so that I could help save them. I have become all things to all people. I did this so that I could save people in any way possible. 23 I do all this to make the Good News known. I do it so that I can share in the blessings of the Good News.

APPLICATION: First of all, let me emphasize that I firmly believe Jesus came to save all  people groups of the world, no matter your education status; your skin color; your culture; your financial status; the sin you have committed; etc, etc. Paul saw a challenge, that I believe still exists today – who will tell them? There’s an old proverb that says ‘Birds of a feather flock together’. There may be many applications for that proverb, but I believe the primary fault with it, is that we tend to become a very exclusive group of folk that either worship together, or play together, or visit one another. I almost left out the last option, because so few of us visit one another anymore. So what does this all boil down to? Well, unfortunately, I believe that it points to the idea that we quickly form little groups of like minded, like cultured, like financially,  type people. These are the folk that we worship with, visit and feel closest to. However, we also know that God came to seek and to save ALL that are lost, all that are hurting and need a Savior. So if we are His missionaries and His hands and feet on the ground, what will we find to respond when asked about serving or ministering to the unlikely person stuck with living under that nearby bridge, or sleeps outside of the liquor store for the convenience of being there when it opens next morning? How do you suppose you would think about these scenarios if you were to follow Paul’s example? How do you feel like you could reach these unlikely folk for Jesus? Will you have a satisfactory response for Jesus when He questions you about your work on earth, including ministering to all people in need? Please know that our response to God concerning that man we pay a salary to at church to do all of this, will probably not be what God is looking for. We are all called to ‘go into all the world and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as the only saving grace from our sins’. If you truly want to understand that person from another culture, ask if you could join him for a day, so that you might walk in his shoes and understand the challenges that he faces each day.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior and Friend. Thank You for His demonstration of humility in meeting the needs of people from all walks of life. I’m not sure how we got separated from that and have formed such exclusive groups that often do not include all of society, but Lord You have opened my eyes and reminded me of the need to reach the whole world for Your kingdom’s sake. Please give us wisdom and boldness to tear down those walls of division and rejection. You are known for Your love; encouragement; humbleness; caring; and everlasting hope, among many other attributes. Please help us to be imitators of You, and spread these same attributes to all people, without any walls, so that the world might know You and see You lived out in our lives every day. Thank You Lord Jesus! 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!

Just A Touch From The Master

Two stories in our Scripture today, and in both cases we could see that the individuals were convinced that a ‘touch from the Master’ would take care of their respective problems. As we meditate on this neat Scripture though, I want you to think about how the individuals knew about the source of their healing. They heard it from somewhere! Are you sharing the love and power of your God with those you come into contact with?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-05-11
WRITTEN AT: Jupiter, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 5:22-23; 27-28
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 The person in charge of the Jewish meeting place was also there. His name was Jairus, and when he saw Jesus, he went over to him. He knelt at Jesus’ feet 23 and started begging him for help. He said, “My daughter is about to die! Please come and touch her, so she will get well and live.”
27 The woman had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him in the crowd and barely touched his clothes28 She had said to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well.” 

APPLICATION: At one point, a pastor of a church I attended, at each baptismal service, had everyone stand who ever had a part in that person’s life. It was amazing – from Nursery workers, to Sunday School Teachers, to Youth workers, to Deacons and family members, they all stood as a witness. As I meditated on this Scripture today, I first thought about the Jewish worker from the temple. If they believed that Jesus was not truly the Messiah, why would the Jew feel like Jesus had the power to heal his daughter? Could it have been that many friends bragged on Jesus and shared their overwhelming joy of seeing loved ones healed by this Son of God? Could it be that for years his friends had been especially good to him and shared with him the love of Christ, even though they knew what He believed about Jesus? Now step into the feet of this Jew. What if temple worshippers saw him approaching Jesus? Would he be mocked for the rest of his life? What about you my friend? Are you willing to befriend and encourage an unbeliever, or a person of another denomination or even a cult? How will they know, if you don’t tell them about your Lord? Don’t wait, depending on a friend to tell them. In our second story, we see where a woman who had been sick for a very long time, knew that her chances were slim in getting close enough to Jesus to actually petition Him for healing, but she had heard enough about His healing power, and she had enough faith to believe that if she could only get close enough to touch His robe, she would be healed. Where did this confidence come from? Perhaps friends had shared with her about the One who could heal from a distance by merely speaking the word; One who could heal various diseases and issues like He did for the blind man, the crippled and the man lowered down through the roof. People had undoubtedly shared the good news with her about this Savior of the world. All of this was so touching to me, until I tried to compare it to what we do today. Some may still share the awesome news of Jesus Christ, but isn’t our story often smothered by our whining and complaining? You know, about the ugly suit the preacher had on this week; how you felt like he would never finish his sermon; how the person who sat next to you in church was rude and unfriendly. Wouldn’t our sharing be more productive to the lost friend, or the hopeless person if we told them about the love of God that you were reminded of as you heard the Scriptures read once again, and how you now understand better all that God portrayed through a certain Scripture? Friends, it is so easy to notice the things that are wrong, or that doesn’t fit your expectations, especially when you went to church unprepared to meet with, and celebrate the King of all kings. A pastor of mine had a note stuck to his pulpit with the words ‘O that they might see Jesus’. What if we had those words implanted in our hearts and made them our goal throughout every day? Wouldn’t the people you come into contact with hear more about the love and power of your Lord, rather than the ranting and complaining about your church service or the attendees? Many of our contacts need a touch from the Master, for one reason or another. I pray that each of us will aid them in finding the Master, and not hinder their search through our negative attitudes and ugly actions, God being our helper.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for the assurance we have of salvation; the proof that we can show of our healing; and the awesome comfort from a God who loves us beyond anything we could imagine. So many are hurting, need healing, and long to know that someone loves them, but they are hopeless on where to turn for either of these. Lord, You have been so good to my readers and I. Please provoke us to share Your love with others and to share our story about the God who saved us, even while we were deep in sin. You encouraged us, You loved us and You gave us amazing hope. Sharing that with a friend who is hurting and in need of a Savior, will make all the difference in the world. It changed the life of the dad who needed healing for his daughter, and for the lady with a blood issue. I believe that there isn’t anything that You can’t do dear Lord. Help me to share that reassurance, especially with those who hurt and feel destitute. 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!

Careful Not To Tear Them Down

Paul was actually addressing the subject of some followers finding guilt in eating certain foods prescribed in the Old Testament as ‘forbidden’, while some had heard Jesus say that nothing He made should be considered unclean. The latter group would often come across as smearing their new-found freedom in the faces of those who were still convicted of such eating to be a sin. While this may still be an issue today, I believe there are many other things that we, as Christians, may use to unintentionally discourage others, rather than helping to lift them up. Therefore, it may be good for us to meditate on this for a moment today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-05-10
WRITTEN AT: Jupiter, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 8:11-12 (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 So because you “know it is all right to do it,” you will be responsible for causing great spiritual damage to a brother with a tender conscience for whom Christ died. 12 And it is a sin against Christ to sin against your brother by encouraging him to do something he thinks is wrong.

APPLICATION: We still have scenarios today where some believe that they could eat anything, based on the New Testament promise that anything God made and blessed is clean and good to eat. However there are some who are convinced that based on Old Testament teachings, and because Jesus said that He came to re-emphasize the former teachings and not tear down, then they should follow teachings such as the various foods mentioned that are forbidden. Friends, we are talking about items here that have nothing to do with salvation, or the path to heaven, but one group may easily insist that God will hold the other group responsible for disobeying his commands. I believe that if we are convinced in our hearts, the same heart where the Holy Spirit (God) resides to give us wisdom and direction in our earthly Christian walk and ministry, then we need to pay attention to what the Spirit would have us say or do, and not ridicule them because of pious opinions. Remember, sinful man can be reconciled with a holy God, if we would pray for them, encourage them, and help them along the way, instead of turning their eyes from anything that looks like us. God still wants us to share His love, His mercy and His grace with others, and not try to do His job. Yes, we should be passionate in discussing various philosophies and teachings that we hold close to our heart, but please friends, let’s return to placing the ‘main thing’ back into the mainstream of our witness and our preaching and teaching, for unless those who we come into contact with, know Jesus as Lord, they will die and go to Hell, whether they obey Old Testament teachings on certain food, or not. But let’s not misunderstand what Paul was teaching here in these few verses, for the Spirit of God led Him to share with us that if we hang around with friends, that believe in not eating such food that they think are declared ‘unclean’, then we who are Christ followers, should not provoke them by eating in their presence exactly what they feel convinced by the Holy Spirit is indeed unclean. Unfortunately, this concept can cover so many areas of our lives, for there are some that feel like going to the movies is a sin, or cooking on the Sabbath is a sin, or doing any kind of manual labor on that special day set aside to worship God is also a sin. Friends, let’s think back to what Paul said when he was so burdened about the unsaved in his time, he said that he would be all things to all people, if it meant that their eyes and hearts would be opened to the gospel of Jesus Christ. How far would you be prepared to go? If the only time that your friends could attend church is a Sunday evening, but you don’t normally attend any church at that time, will you make the sacrifice to make sure that they get under the preaching of the Word? Are you prepared to sit and chat with a friend who has a strong smell of alcohol on his breath, but crying over his life’s condition? People need the Lord dear friends, and this should be our priority, way more than any other personal preferences we might have. There is no teaching greater than that of salvation – please pray and be willing to do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do, in order to help someone come to know Christ!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it is challenging to know that You accepted us just as we were, yet we tend to set so many expectations on those who need to know You as Lord. In Your Word you declare that we should come ‘just as we are’ for there is no ‘cleaning up’ that we can do under our own power. For You sacrificed Your very own life, so that we might be saved. Please help us realize that only You can save us from the sin and the wretchedness of this world. There is no prescription for good living, or healthy living, or even good behavior that could save us from our sin. Nothing but the blood of Jesus, as one favorite hymn declares! Lord, thank You for saving my soul, please help me to never stand in the way of another who needs 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 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!

Awestruck By Your Story

I believe we will see from todays Bible story that it is more important to share our story about how Jesus Christ made a difference in our life, than to just hang with other believers and soak up more of His goodness. Hopefully this Scripture will force us to reflect on our goal in life, and redirect our efforts, if necessary, so that God may be glorified in and through us.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 5:17-20
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 … the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone! 18 So he got back into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demons begged Jesus to let him go along. 19 But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”
20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns[a] of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and they were awestruck by his story.

APPLICATION: Jesus performed a miracle by freeing a man from the demons that possessed him. He was haunted and terrorized by the demons, but Jesus made the demons come out of him. Word of this miracle quickly got back to the neighboring towns, causing curiosity seekers to rush to the area to see what could possibly be going on. This upset the Pharisees, as this one act drew more attention than their years of teaching from the Scriptures, so they asked Jesus to leave. I know, you’ve heard stories just like this about a local church near you, right? Unfortunately, in this world we are led to believe that we must be the center of attraction, and that our acts of giving, teaching or preaching is enough to draw unbelievers to church. But notice in our story, the people were drawn to the works of the Creator – God. Perhaps for some, it was just their curiosity, but I believe that for others, it may have been because they had certain personal issues that they wished the Master would also remove from their lives. This reminds me so much about our churches and our groups of Believers today, for we seem to be very inward focused in our ministries and our witness to others. But friends, I believe that Jesus is saying to us, like He did to the healed man, don’t just hang around Me and the comfortable things of life, go to your family and friends and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Did you ever stop to think about how many lives could be touched by our ‘story of salvation’, compared to the endless sermons on various parts of the Bible? Sermons tend to show Believers the truth of God’s Word and help us know our Savior more intimately. Sharing our story with an unsaved friend helps them confirm that Jesus is real and that the same Jesus that touched our life and healed our illnesses and our sin, would definitely also listen to them. You see, we feel so comfortable around other believers because they are our brothers and sisters. But when an unbeliever tries to look at our group, can’t you see how they may feel inferior, imperfect or too impacted by sin for a Holy God to even consider touching their life? We can help them break down those walls by sharing our ‘story’ with them. For even though we may not have murdered anyone, or robbed a bank, yet we were steeped in sin when Jesus found us and saved us from all our iniquities. We were, just as they are now, and if Jesus saved us, we know that He could also save them. Who knows, your friends might be just as awestruck hearing how Jesus saved you, as the friends of the demoniac was when they heard his ‘story’!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for looking beyond our faults, our disobedience, our sin, our disrespect and our lack of love for our family and friends, and You acted on our cry for salvation. Only a God like You will go that far. But God, I pray that You will make such a change in our lives that unbelievers will stop and listen to our story of meeting, and being accepted by, the Creator of our universe. Thank You Lord for our pastors, church leaders and Sunday School teachers, but please touch the lives of every believer who reads this devotional today and impress upon each one the importance of them also sharing their personal story of faith in God, dependence on Him and His response to their prayers. May sharing this story bring positive reactions from unbelievers and cause them to look closer at the living Christ who can do ALL things. May Your kingdom come today as we be about Your work. 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!

Make Good Use of Your Time

Unbelievers reading today’s devotional will probably try to think of ways to confuse a Christian as they test them on their ‘faith’. Christians may sometimes wonder ‘what’s the big deal about pretending to be something that others want you to be?’. Jesus said that if we have been touched by the God, we should be ready at all times to give an account of all that He did for us. Let’s examine what Paul was really teaching us in today’s Scripture.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-05-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Colossians 4:5-6
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Walk in the wisdom of God as you live before the unbelievers, and make it your duty to make him known. Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith.

APPLICATION: What do others see in you during their encounters with you? Yes, they will probably see you without pretense, for you always try to live by the motto ‘what you see, is what you get’! I believe that if we were preparing a timeline that would show the influences in our lives, there may be specific mention of parents; siblings – especially older siblings; grandparents and other older family members such as aunts and uncles; school teachers; Sunday School teachers; pastors and other church leaders; spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend; employers; special coworkers; friends – good, bad or indifferent; and of course, Jesus. To ensure that I take no one for granted, I understand that some readers would not include one or more of these people into their timeline, and some will be able to add others that I have not thought of. It would be a great exercise to add under each person, what attributes you feel they added to your life! In our Scripture Paul is teaching us from his present stand, not only as a prisoner, but from his personal experiences and as a messenger of the Gospel. Let’s remember that his former name was Saul – a persecutor of the Christians. So right away we are confident that He speaks to us from a life of varied experiences. Paul also knew that during his time as a prisoner, other prisoners could have looked at him as just another criminal, or for the qualities that they saw in him. He recommended that we (Christians) make a goal for ourselves: ‘to make our Lord known to all that we come into contact with’. To do this, our whole perspective on others will change, for we will see them as valuable in God’s eyes – whether they are a prisoner, a criminal, a dad who abandoned his children or a person who is constantly conjuring up evil thoughts about attacking God’s kids. Paul also gave us great advice about how we are to speak – especially with unbelievers:
-> First, let our words be drenched with grace. Only God can fill our hearts with grace. So from a heart filled with the power and humbleness of our Lord Jesus, carefully speak words filled, or drenched with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit;
-> Words tempered with truth and clarity – no need to try and impress the unbeliever. Let Jesus complete His work through you. Keep it simple, filled with only the facts – truth. Make sure that the hearer not only hears you, but understands what you are sharing with them. As a Christian, you may have developed quite a vocabulary of ‘church’ lingo that an unbeliever may simply not understand. Make sure that you and your hearer is on the same page and understand each other as you speak. To speak volumes with someone and they didn’t understand what you said, is an unfortunate waste of your time, and most unfortunate in neglecting to share the Gospel truth;
Friends, others will surely want to know why you are different and why you believe the way you do. Using the above tips from Paul, he warned us to be ready to share as the opportunity presents itself. Wouldn’t it be neat if today God gave you the opportunity to share why you believe the way that you do, and why God is so important in your life? Be ready, dear friend!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You know exactly what today will bring forth, You know the people we will meet and even their heart’s condition. Please prepare my readers and I so that we may share Your love, Your character, and Your saving grace effortlessly with those we meet. Please place them in our path today, and give us peace and wisdom to share what You would have them hear in order to make a decision to accept You as Lord and Savior of their lives. Please bless Your children today and all that will be accomplished in Your 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 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!

Be Like Your Father – HOLY

Many of us admire the good things in our earthly dads and we strive to imitate those good things as we grow into adulthood. When we accept Jesus, its often because we saw characteristics in Him that we admired and we want to mirror His character. But in being His child, He wants us to be ‘Holy’, just like He is. Whether you feel like you have attained this perfection, or not, this Scripture today will speak volumes to most of us. Please allow me to share my thoughts on the matter.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-05-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Peter 1:14-16
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Obey God because you are his children; don’t slip back into your old ways—doing evil because you knew no better. 15 But be holy now in everything you do, just as the Lord is holy, who invited you to be his child. 16 He himself has said, “You must be holy, for I am holy.”

APPLICATION: No doubt some of you might be an adoptive parent, just like me. When we saw our perfect gift from God, we undoubtedly felt like we had something to share with that child that far exceeded what they may have encountered so far in this life. Things such as love, respect, caring, giving, were probably at the top of our list, plus we wanted them to see life in a manner that they perhaps never saw before. This wish list would have impacted us as parents also, for we would have committed ourselves to be consistent in these things each and every day. Because we wanted that child to experience our way of life, is evidence that we felt like there was something worthwhile in our family that would benefit that child. We felt like we had something to offer that would improve that child’s character and perspective on life. Now, if you will, turn your perspective to the Christian life. Without Christ, we were much like that adoptive child. Life was hopeless because we felt all alone; out of control, because we were allowed to do whatever we wanted; unhappy, because of the void in our life; and meaningless, because we often failed at most things that we attempted to do. But Jesus knocked on our heart’s door (He got our attention) and showed us that there is One who is perfect in every way and who brings hope to a lost and dying world. You see, this whole Truth became evident to the Israelites back in Leviticus 11:44, for the God who brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, told them that they were to follow His example as He led them to freedom and into a promised land filled with hope and prosperity. In our Scripture from 1 Peter, God continues this same call through the ministry of His servant, Peter. In today’s world, mankind is still grasping for someone who will help them overcome the weaknesses of mortal man. We can read where some have said that they sinned, because the devil made them do it. Wife murderers will say that their spouse provoked them to commit murder. Children will say that because of their upbringing, they learned to hate others and chase after riches. Although you too might have endless excuses why sin abounds in your life, Jesus cries out to us with the comforting words, ‘but I have this all worked out for you, just give me a chance’. And as we do, we submit ourselves to being taught and molded by the only perfect One, the only holy One, the only One who loves us enough to willingly sacrifice His life for us. ‘Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. As we succumb to this awesome God who is perfect, and who has overcome the world and its failures, we find that He is holy, and that He desires for us to reach for that same ideal – a life of holiness. There is light and hope at the end of the tunnel dear friend, won’t you accept His invitation today? You will find a link in my Footnote ‘To Know Jesus’. Click on it for a variety of Scripture verses that will introduce you to my Savior and it will help you as you surrender your life to Him. Do it today precious one.

PRAYER: We are to be holy, as You are holy! From our stand, this seems like an impossible task, especially while living in a world filled with sin, temptation, hatred and greed. But God, we know that You would not have demanded this of us, knowing that we could never achieve it. Praise God, You have taught us that ALL things are possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. So Lord, I am humbly asking today that You might empower me to always seek that holiness of which You have taught us about. I pray also that You would miraculously touch every individual who reads this devotional today, for we are all in the same boat, we need a holy God to empower us with holiness; a loving God to empower us with love towards our fellow man; and a righteous God to call us out of a wicked world into the righteousness of Heaven. Oh that Your awesome holiness and power would envelope us today so that we may represent You well and demonstrate to the world that You are well and alive, because You live in us. 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!

Think About His Goodness

No doubt the Psalmist had many miraculous answers to personal prayer that he could have rejoiced in the Lord over, but he also looked beyond that and also recognized that this same God is also the God who created everything around him with such purpose, beauty, creativeness and power. So David sang out praises to the Almighty! We also serve this same mighty God who is awesome in every way, and He deserves our praise!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-05-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 104:7-12 (TLB)

SCRIPTURE TEXT: 7-8 You spoke, and at the sound of your shout the water collected into its vast ocean beds, and mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. And then you set a boundary for the seas so that they would never again cover the earth. 10 He placed springs in the valleys and streams that gush from the mountains. 11 They give water for all the animals to drink. There the wild donkeys quench their thirst, 12 and the birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees.

APPLICATION: I sometimes wonder if we truly ever slow down enough to reflect on the ways that God blesses us each and every day. For I believe that if we did, there would not be enough hours in the day for us to sing out praises and thanksgiving our Creator for all He does for us. You think about your typical day and I will share a few things that immediately comes to my mind about my typical day: 
-> I am able to rise from my warm bed each day – compared to some who sleep in the cold, on a piece of cardboard under a bridge, with or without a blanket;
-> I was blessed with air to breathe on my own;
-> I was blessed with strength and mobility to actually get out of bed;
-> I had an inside bathroom to use and didn’t have to go to an outhouse or a nearby tree!
-> I was able to put on a different set of clothes than I’ve been wearing all week, and they have been washed and prepared;
->I have a wonderful wife who prepares my meals. Yes, there was food to prepare;
-> I have been blessed with a great place to work and retire from, as opposed to those who wait on long lines at the unemployment agency;
-> I am blessed to have transportation, and not have to walk, wait for a bus service, or wait by the roadside for a ride with a friend;
-> I am thankful for the wisdom God gave to His children to make automobiles and other conveniences that we tend to take for granted;
Friends, don’t you see that we can go on and on praising teh Lord for His blessings on us? I could easily have gone on to speak about the wild life, animals and trees that I enjoy seeing every day, and the beautiful landscapes God designed and created for our benefit. Yep, He did all of this for us, plus a whole lot more, and I believe that we would have done this if we were the only ones that He wanted to bless! In our Scripture today, imagine God creating the beautiful oceans, then creating land in such a way that those waters would not rise up over it and destroy life! Only God can perform such wonders! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Our God is an awesome God! How Great Thou Art! How Great is our God! These are just a quick reminder of songs of praise we can offer up to God, and yes, He loves your singing voice just the way it is, for He never made any junk! Take time to look around and then look to God from a heart filled with thanksgiving and praise.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me! Lord, You are so good and so merciful to me, and I’m sure that as my readers meditate on this devotional today, they too will realize that even when things appear to be going sideways for them, yet they can still find so many ways that You are blessing them. Please help us to keep our minds so fixed on You and the many wonderful blessings that You bestow on us that the minor issues that we face each day would seem immaterial. Lord I know that You bless us, please help us to recognize those blessings more vividly each day, and pour out our thanksgiving to 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 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!

Your Mindset When Listening

As you meditate with me on the Word today I would ask that you not look for how this parable refers to the Brother next to you, or the Sister behind you in church, but rather, how this applies to you. Having taught the Bible in a Sunday School setting, I could look across an audience and see that almost every student was in a different mindset about being there: who’s teaching; who’s sitting next to them; and whether they wanted to be there, or not. Each of these things impacted what they received from the lesson. Allow God to speak with you about your heart’s condition today.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-05-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 4:3-9
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: “Consider this: A sower went out to sow (seed). As he sowed some fell along the beaten path and soon the birds came and ate it. Some fell onto gravel with no topsoil and quickly sprouted since the soil had no depth. But when the days grew hot, the sprouts were scorched and withered because they had insufficient roots. Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. But some fell onto good, rich soil that kept producing a good harvest. Some yielded thirty, some sixty—and some a hundredfold! If you understand this, then you need to respond.”

APPLICATION: I find it absolutely amazing how we could have read a passage of Scripture all our lives, heard sermons on it, had Sunday School lessons on it, yet today God has a new revelation for you in that very passage! God’s Word is alive and active! Yet in today’s Scripture, I am reminded that no matter how hard I aim at applying the Word of God to my life first and foremost, yet I am caught off-guard at times where God will say ‘are you listening good?’ Or as our Scripture ended ‘you need to respond’. I don’t believe that I am all that different to most of you that will read this devotional, for we read, or we listen to the Word being read, and immediately we start applying it to those around us. I have always looked at this parable so differently by applying it to people who appears to be in various states of mind in their relationship with God. Of course the unbeliever wants nothing †o do with the Word of God, for they are so wrapped up in the things of this world, and their minds are so twisted by the evil one. The Word of God will therefore most often fall on their deaf ears because of their lack of interest. But what about the Christian who comes to church unprepared to meet the King of all kings, our Teacher, the God of the universe, Healer, the Author of the most powerful Book ever written. Will they/we truly receive the Word God designed for us to hear in that service? Will it penetrate deep enough to affect our lives any? Will we recognize and acknowledge the reason we attended church that day, or that we were standing on holy ground in the presence of the only Holy God? You might say later, I know, there was one thing that the preacher kept shouting and pounding away on, so you might leave remembering those specific words from his sermon, right? But did God really penetrate our heart with that word, or was it like the seed that landed on rocky ground, where it really had no impact on our way of living? However on other occasions there are times that we will head out to church after a week of trials that resulted in us arguing with our relatives, shouting at our spouse and kids, and wishing that we would never have to return to our workplace. Our minds are racing on all the ways that the world seems out to ‘get us’. Then we enter the doors of the sanctuary. Do we have a switch that automatically cuts off the awful activities and interactions of our week, so that we could now concentrate on the Master? Not so easy, is it? We are reminded of this parable where the Good News is entering a crowded and choked up mind. Can we truly receive the Word and allow it to impact our lives for the glory of God? Friends, Jesus knew fully well that His children are in the world, and way too often we are of this world and struggle to truly connect with His awesome goodness towards us. We are at church in body, but our minds are way too preoccupied to truly be blessed of God. What then shall we do? Jesus said in verse 9 that if we find ourselves in the dilemma illustrated above, we are to respond. Seek the Lord while He may be found. Know that He alone is God and can do ALL things for His glory. In being our Father, He would never want us to be unsatisfied, unhappy and distant from Him. But He will not force Himself into our lives. He wants us to respond – ask Him to settle our minds; give us better attitudes with those we live with, work with, and come into contact with throughout the week. Most of all, give us settled minds so that we could approach the Father in humility and without remorse for our neighbor (those around us). It’s up to you to respond my friend. Don’t wait, do it today so that You may once again enjoy a right relationship with the Father.

PRAYER: Into Your hands I commend my spirit oh God. Cleanse me, correct me, and draw me close to You. Help me to always represent You in this world so that the world will know my Savior and my Lord. May my eyes be opened, my heart softened and my mind be alert to receiving Your Word and applying it to my life so that I may obey Your commands and follow Your example in life. May Your Word be received in ways that it will have an impact on me so that I may go on to bless others in Your name. Bless my readers Lord, and offer them the benefits of Your Kingdom, just as I have asked for. 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!