How To Test For The Genuine Spirit of God

Ever been questioned, or have you ever questioned whether a Brother is genuine, or a Sister is sincere in her faith and teaching? I was in awe this morning as I read the Word, for John gives us pointers about this very matter.

Tuesday, 2021-03-16

Bible Reference: 1 John 4:2–3
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God.

OBSERVATION: Ever been questioned, or have you ever questioned  whether a Brother is genuine, or a Sister is sincere in her faith and teaching? I was in awe this morning as I read the Word, for John gives us pointers about this very matter.

APPLICATION: Not only will this help us identify the Spirit of God in others, but I believe this also helps us to examine ourselves and the kind of witness we portray to others. Some of the key points we are to consider and/or portray to determine, or prove, the genuine Spirit of God are: (1) Confesses openly about his/her/my faith in Jesus Christ; (2) Acknowledges that Jesus is the genuine, only Son of God; (3) Believes and declares that Jesus came to this earth in human form; (4) Believes that Jesus Comes from God; Belongs to God; And, as verified in other scriptures, He is also God. Friends, we are well aware of the awful feelings we have when we discover that we’ve been given a fake check, or a fake currency note, or perhaps encounter a person claiming to be someone they truly are not. The latter is comparable to us bringing damnation on ourselves when we claim to be a messenger, or witness, or representative of God, without having a first-hand experience with His Son Jesus. Friends, others will see straight through our fake-ness. Our Christianity is evidenced on the outside from a heart experience on the inside. Have you given Your heart to Jesus? Has He been allowed to control Your innermost emotions, convictions and decisions? Have you invited Jesus to take charge and to speak and work through you wholeheartedly? Can others see and feel the Spirit of God working in and through you on the outside and confirm the points suggested by John? Will they know you are a child of the King, or do you need to tell them? Will you commit to speak to God about this? He deserves genuine believers, because He showed His genuine love for us on Calvary in that He offered Himself, in obedience to His Father, to be a sacrifice for those who despised and hated Him. He showed real, genuine, love beyond anything mankind has ever experienced. He loved us with wide, outstretched arms! Do you love and appreciate my Lord enough today to be bold in your witness and tell others of His great love, even if you are certain that they will make a mockery of you? Will they recognize the spirit of God residing inside of you?

PRAYER: Dear God, I am amazed at the genuine love shown for me on Calvary’s cross. You were miraculously born into this world, lived among men and in spite of Your love for them, they crucified You. This is the unfortunate evidence of Your human experience here on earth. Thank You for continuing to accept humans into Your kingdom, and I especially thank You for accepting me. Please forgive us when we allow our peers to distract our walk with You. Lord, I am seeking Your help to make me more like You in every way while here on earth, so that others will not be distracted by a sense of false identity. I desire for them to see the hands and feet of Jesus, so that they may be drawn to You oh Lord. Please deal deeply in the hearts of those who will meditate on this devotional today, so that we might not only know You as Lord and Savior, but that we may follow Your example in everything we say and do. To God be the glory, for all that our surrendered, and fully dedicated lives might yield for the Kingdom of God. AMEN!

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

Is It The Right Thing To Do?

I believe that people are waiting around the corner to test us and see what we’re made of. They did it to Jesus, and they set out to kill Him. When their suspicions become a reality in our situations, I wonder what our ‘friends’ hope to achieve? As we meditate on this Scripture today, let us become more aware of those around us, but more so, let us be ready at all times to obey God’s commands so that He might achieve His perfect will in their lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-02-07
WRITTEN AT: Avon Park, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 12:9-13
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus left and went into one of the Jewish meeting places, 10 where there was a man whose hand was crippled. Some Pharisees wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong, and they asked him, “Is it right to heal someone on the Sabbath?”
11 Jesus answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you lift it out? 12 People are worth much more than sheep, and so it is right to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then Jesus told the man, “Hold out your hand.” The man did, and it became as healthy as the other one.

OBSERVATION: I believe that people are waiting around the corner to test us and see what we’re made of. They did it to Jesus, and they set out to kill Him. When their suspicions become a reality in our situations, I wonder what our ‘friends’ hope to achieve? As we meditate on this Scripture today, let us become more aware of those around us, but more so, let us be ready at all times to obey God’s commands so that He might achieve His perfect will in their lives.

APPLICATION: I know you might wonder why on earth should we be concerned about what others think of us and our decisions. But just looking at the example of Jesus, we could see that His actions ultimately led to His crucifixion, even though He never did any criminal acts. It’s interesting, for people will not think twice about an unbeliever saying or doing anything, for they expect that person to follow the ‘anything goes’ attitude of the world. However, when it comes to Christians, we become their focus, as the world wants to see if we could truly live up to their expectations of a Christian. But who are we here to please? If we truly focus our attention on being an image of Jesus Christ, and seek His help in directing our path, then we will prove to Him that our commitment is real and our intent is to live like Him, even under extreme circumstances here on earth. Friends, I am convinced that Christians live in ‘glass houses’, for we are being monitored by all those that we come into contact with. Pleasing God and following His commands, will make us so different to the rest of the world that our friends will begin to watch carefully to try and conclude what is ‘wrong’ with us! However, when this world takes its toll on our friends, and they have developed proven faith in us, I believe that they will then turn to us for an introduction to our Lord, our Leader and our Savior. While still here on this earth, we will mess up. Please know that the Jesus we asked to lead our life has not deserted us, but rather, He stands with outstretched hands to help us back up. Our friends might take a turn at mocking us for not being perfect, but I believe that they will also carefully watch how we rebound, to know whose we are and where our strength actually comes from. If we are to truly be like our Master, then we can see where He never wavered from His dependence on the Father. He knew that it was OK to heal the man in our Scripture today, but He knew it was important to also handle the Pharisees in a way that would not give them reason to question His heart for ministry. Sure they questioned, and of course they used the incident to convict Jesus of breaking their man made laws. But Jesus didn’t come to break God’s laws, even if the wicked leaders chose to hold Him guilty of breaking one of their man made laws, and personal convictions. So where are you at today dear friends? Will the crowd (the ‘Pharisees’ of today’s society) find you guilty of being just like Jesus and strongly following His commands? It might be the only thing that will truly minister to them!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for standing strong in Your convictions and teachings to the Pharisees on the importance of doing the right thing at the right time. Surely You see the ‘Pharisees’ who are watching and judging us also, precious Lord, so I humbly ask You to prepare us for doing and saying the right thing. May You be prominent in our actions and may the ‘crowd’ recognize You in us above all else. May we be much more concerned about spoiling our witness for You, than our own reputation. The world needs You more than anything else. Help us Lord to reflect You in everything we do and say at all times. AMEN!

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

Doing The Right Thing

Isn’t it funny to watch a child try to wiggle out of their guilt when caught by a parent? Isn’t it heartbreaking to watch an adult in the courtroom when they are being tried for a crime? God Has designed our emotional system to respond one way when things are good and we are happy, but in a totally different way when we are upset, sad or disillusioned. As you meditate with me on this Scripture today, I hope that God will open our eyes of understanding and help us recognize those areas of our life that curtail our happiness.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-01-05
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 4:6–7
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 6 The Lord said to Cain: What’s wrong with you? Why do you have such an angry look on your face? 7 If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling. But you did the wrong thing, and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you, but don’t let it!

OBSERVATION: Isn’t it funny to watch a child try to wiggle out of their guilt when caught by a parent? Isn’t it heartbreaking to watch an adult in the courtroom when they are being tried for a crime? God Has designed our emotional system to respond one way when things are good and we are happy, but in a totally different way when we are upset, sad or disillusioned. As you meditate with me on this Scripture today, I hope that God will open our eyes of understanding and help us recognize those areas of our life that curtail our happiness.

APPLICATION: Notice how we never wish anyone a sad day, or an unhappy future. We know that our bodies react best to happiness, and our minds are most content when we are not sad. Yet we find ourselves doing things that we know will result in sin and unhappiness all the time. Jealousy seems to be a huge culprit in pushing us towards revenge and/or payback – in other words, we want to hurt the other party back for the hurt they caused us. This all started back with one of our very first ancestors – Cain. He became jealous of his brother Abel, so he thought that he would just terminate him altogether. The death of a loved one always makes us sad, but imagine how much worse that would be if we realized that we were responsible for the death of a loved one. I believe that leads to a double dose of unhappiness, as our conscience pricks us for disobeying God’s law about murder, plus our heart aches for the loss of one who spent time with us, albeit often challenging times. Friends, God not only knows all things, but He sees all things and also knows our innermost thoughts. So don’t you know that God was well aware of why Cain was so sad inside, despite any smiles he may have tried to force onto his face? God knew that if Cain had done the right thing, you know – chosen to discuss his hurt feelings with Abel and perhaps look to him for advice on what he might do better in providing more pleasing sacrifices to God, then there would have been contentment in Cain’s heart, and contentment leads one to happiness. Doing those things opposed to God’s laws, means that you sin by doing them. In spite of one becoming hardened to sin, deep inside they will still have a feeling of sadness and disappointment, because they know that they have hurt God, and in most cases hurt a fellow human being. Friends, I bet this all seems philosophical to some, but I believe that God wants us to know that the same thing occurs in the life of an individual today. While you may not have killed a brother, or anyone else, if you have done something that is sinful in God’s sight, then you have displeased Him. If you have sinned and done something wrong, I could only believe that it has also impacted the life of one or more other individuals. Why live with that guilt and unhappiness dear friend? God loves you and I believe that nothing will please Him more than to know that His child is happy and content with all that He has blessed you with. Let me encourage you to read the Word and seek to understand and apply it to your life this year. As you fill your heart with the Word of God, your desire to sin and displease Him will begin to disappear from your life. Unhappiness and stress will affect your heart and other vital body functions. Do the right thing, stay right with God, and live a long and happy life. God will be glorified in your life and it will impact others around you.

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for life itself, and for providing a wonderful world around us to enjoy. We are blessed to meet some of the kindest and nicest people wherever we go, and it becomes so evident that Your love exudes from them in amazing ways. Your laws are perfect, and I am convinced that they were put in place to help us live a long, happy life, so that we could be a blessing to others. Please help us to stay strong and not be so determined to have our own way and do our own thing, but instead stay strong in the power of Your might, Your power, and Your will. I believe that true happiness comes from You, but we need Your strength to overcome the power of Satan to live like You. Please be our Guide, Protector, Friend and Savior until You call us home to glory. AMEN!

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

Lord, In Spite of Your Love, We Have….

I believe that one of the hardest prayers we could conjure up, is one where we acknowledge that we have messed up. This could easily arise, for we not only disobey God and turn from His way, in spite of His love, but this may, unfortunately arise in scenarios with parents, spouses, siblings, friends or even coworkers. Imagine, they may think the world of us, but yet we allow influences from sources outside of our relationship to steer us in directions contrary to what we promised, or what we believe, or what we aim to do. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s try to be conscious of the exterior things that distract us in our walk/commitment.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-03-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezra 9:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 But in spite of Your love, we have abandoned Your commands, and we have no excuse. 11 You warned us through Your servants, the prophets, that the land of Canaan was polluted with pagans, that their evil actions had removed anything pure or good there, even filling up the land from end to end with horrible practices. 12 You warned us not to marry our children to theirs, to seek treaties with them, or to covet their prosperity so that we would remain strong as a nation and as individuals, eating good foods from the earth and leaving that earth to Your children always.

OBSERVATION: I believe that one of the hardest prayers we could conjure up, is one where we acknowledge that we have messed up. This could easily arise, for we not only disobey God and turn from His way, in spite of His love, but this may, unfortunately arise in scenarios with parents, spouses, siblings, friends or even coworkers. Imagine, they may think the world of us, but yet we allow influences from sources outside of our relationship to steer us in directions contrary to what we promised, or what we believe, or what we aim to do. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s try to be conscious of the exterior things that distract us in our walk/commitment.

APPLICATION: At first reading one might do a double-take on the verse where a recommendation was made to Ezra that the people divorce their wives taken from the community of non-Jews. But there is a strong message here for even us today. When God saves us, He draws us to Himself to live like He taught us through His Son; He expects us to obey His commands; and He directs us to use our mission field to win the lost for the kingdom. Inside the four walls of our church, I believe we all will agree that this would be a fairly easy task. Inside our families, and perhaps inside our group of friends who respect us – this may also be fairly easy; but to walk up to a stranger, or a new neighbor, this becomes increasingly more challenging. So don’t we tend to give in just a little so we could better fit in, with hopes of possibly getting through to them at some point? What about the case of our marriages? Can you imagine how old-fashioned our parents were to ask us to marry someone from our church, or our neighborhood, or who believed like us, or practiced the same things that we do? It is obvious that the Israelites thought just like us – they came and settled in with a people who had beautiful ladies that seem to be just like them, so why not marry them? It happened then, and it still happens today dear friends. But in our Scripture today, Ezra acknowledged before God that this whole mindset had truly put the Jewish people in a position far enough from their God, and they are left with no-one who cares about them, protects them and desires a pure relationship with them. I believe there are a few takeaways for us to meditate on today: 1). When God saved us by His grace and mercy, He set us apart as holy and dedicated to the Creator of this universe. As we mingle, let us be careful to represent the One who ‘saved’ us from the drudgery of sin, and not draw so close to sin that we would be drawn back into it again; 2). If, through God’s help, we succeed in staying dedicated to Him, but see a fellow believer being pulled away, let us seek the heart of God on their behalf, much like Ezra did for His people. This would be our only hope of our fellow believers if we were the ones being pulled away; 3). Be willing to stand up and ask God’s forgiveness for our actions first. Set the example and pray that others will follow; and 4) Be willing to love on all that you come into contact with, but never forget the love of our Savior for us, so that we may stay strong in our faith and obedient to His will. Friends, we are living in the last days before Jesus returns to take us home. Let us always seek to live like children who are ready for His return, and may that urgency create within us an ongoing desire to see those around us humble themselves, pray, and turn from their wicked ways in preparation for His return. I pray that our current worldwide, dire situation might create a sense of urgency to many, and that God’s people will stand ready to help them seek the face of Jesus for His expected return. Please read my Footnote for further instructions, dear friends, especially the link ‘To Know Jesus’, or contact me to pray with you.

PRAYER: Thank You dear Lord for leading me into this Scripture today. Just as Ezra recognized that in spite of Your love, his people had strayed, I’m afraid that the same situation has repeated itself today. For folk all around me are satisfied to do what pleases a neighbor without regard for what You have taught us. Please forgive us and never stop loving us dear Lord. We have family and dear friends who still need to meet You for the very first time. You have shown us through our current situation that the time is nearing for Your return. May we all be found expecting and ready for the day You call us home to glory. Oh what a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see! I really want my family and friends to be just as anxious and prepared for that day, Lord. Please tender their heart and guide me, or some other servant, to help lead them into a right decision before it’s too late. AMEN!

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

Needed–A Pure Heart and A Right Spirit

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! Read on and be blessed friend!………

The Bible Text: 10-13 Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. Do not send me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation. Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit. Then I will teach your ways to those who do wrong, and sinners will turn back to you.
17 The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin.
The Bible Reference: Psalm 51:10-13, 17
The Bible Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

My Take Away: Sin is something we do, or say, or think, that is contrary to the command and will of God. David had just committed sin through an unlawful act with Bathsheba, that resulted in the birth of a child, and the child being taken by God as punishment to David and Bathsheba. Now, after just what I’ve written so far, most of us would dismiss any conviction of sin in our lives, because most of us would probably say “thank God, I’ve never done anything quite that bad”. Before you get too pious friend, let’s be reminded again about what sin is. You see, we are quick to compare our acts, thoughts or deeds to the guy next to us, or the lady across the street, or even David, as described in God’s Word. But I must humbly remind you that sin is something against God, so when you go before a righteous and holy God, there is no need to compare yourself to anyone else, and no need to tell God about the provocation by the other person that may have caused you to sin. He only wants to hear how your heart got out of sync with Him, His design and His commands. Getting our hearts right again with God will return a ‘right spirit’ within us and cause us to desire reaching out to teach others the ways of God, so that they may surrender their hearts to God. Verse 17 reiterates that God will not reject a heart that is broken. One that is sad about the sin that has occurred in our lives. There’s a song that is written based on these verses, click here to listen to it as you continue to meditate on this devotional today! I pray that today you will get together with God and ask that He renew a right spirit within you, and that you will be willing to ask Him to cleanse you of any sin that might prevent that ‘right spirit’ within you.

Prayer: Dear God, no matter how hard we try, we will not succeed in sharing Your love and Your forgiveness with others, especially when there is enmity and sin in our hearts. This is not what we want oh God, for we want sin removed and we want the temptation of sin to be taken away from us. Please create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. Please return to me the joy of my salvation, and may that joy overflow in me so that others might see and believe in You. Its all about You God, but please cleanse my heart so that You can easily and freely use me as Your instrument to reach those around me. I pray the same for me readers today Lord, for the world needs more of You to be seen in more of us. I ask these things of my awesome God, through the name of Your awesome Son, 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