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 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!

Cleansed and Ready to Worship

Friday, 2019-10-04

Bible Reference: Hebrews 9:13-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow were sprinkled on those who were no longer pure enough to enter the place of worship. The blood and ashes made them pure again—but only their bodies. 14 So surely the blood sacrifice of Christ can do much more. Christ offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make us completely clean from the evil we have done. It will give us clear consciences so that we can worship the living God.

OBSERVATION: Too often we ‘attend’ a church service and then we tell everyone that we had been to ‘worship’. Really? Did you visit a place where others were worshiping, or did you really go there and worship with them? Try reading the Scripture for today and honestly evaluate if you were pure, or completely cleansed, from the evil and sin in your life, in order to stand in the presence of our holy God and ‘worship’ Him. According to our Scripture, it is only then that our consciences would be cleared so that we could honesty ‘worship’ the Master of this universe – our God.

APPLICATION:  I believe that every Bible Teacher or Pastor’s wish would be, that their hearers are getting as much from a lesson as they received when they studied the lesson being taught. I also believe that every Worship Pastor would love to know that the folk they are leading in a time of worship were participating from the deepest parts of their heart and receiving a blessing like they receive when leading us. Often we will go to our corporate worship services and while sometimes being totally blessed and pulled into the worship time through full participation, yet at other times we just attend but don’t feel a closeness to our Lord as we worship. These are the times we find fault with the person next to us or behind us, or with the worship leader, or perhaps the volume of the instrumentalists! But friend, if you especially read verse 14, you will notice that as long as we enter God’s house with stained consciences, there just may not be an opportunity for you to connect with God and His Holy Spirit that day in worship. You might remember from God’s Word that God will not be present where sin abounds. I believe that another way of understanding verse 14 might be in the following way: “One cannot worship the Living God without a clear conscience” or “Unless one has already settled with God concerning their sin, they cannot come face-to-face with God in a sacrifice of praise, or worship”. There’s a worship song that has been around for a long time “There’s A Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place“. After reading verse 14, I’m not so sure that we could experience that ‘Sweet Spirit’ and sincerely worship our Lord. Perhaps we should have a confession service first, then, perhaps, the Spirit of God might find clean hearts and consciences in which He is free to move and to bless. Let’s keep this in mind the next time that we go out of our way to ‘worship God’. Clean hearts will draw close to God, as it is the only way that He will draw close to you and I.

PRAYER: How dare us attempt to enter Your presence in sin, Oh God, especially thinking that we can block/hide the hindrances (our sin) while we attempt to worship You. It’s not enough for us to conjure up a time of ‘worship’ Lord Jesus, for we want to be where You are, and we want to worship You in sincerity of heart, soul and mind. Please forgive us for attempting to worship You, the One who never sinned, while we are yet burdened with sin in our hearts. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness, so that as I might approach Your throne with a clear conscience and without sin. Please touch the hearts of my readers Lord, so that they too might be enlightened of any sin that not only separates them from You, but also blocks their true worship of You. Lord, may You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives and especially prepare us for frequent times of worship to You. I love you Lord, and I lift my voice and heart in worship to You alone. My prayer is offered in and through the precious name of Jesus, the only one is holy and worthy of our worship 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Future Prospects

Jesus had done a good job explaining to the Jewish leaders how their lives on earth should exemplify Him, but now He is sharing how their decisions today will impact their eternity. He showed them the effect this would have on the living and on the dead. This acts as a warning to us today, because the rules have not changed.

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-10-11
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 5:24; 28-30 (NLT)

Text:

24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.
OBSERVATION:
Jesus had done a good job explaining to the Jewish leaders how their lives on earth should exemplify Him, but now He is sharing how their decisions today will impact their eternity. He showed them the effect this would have on the living and on the dead. This acts as a warning to us today, because the rules have not changed.
APPLICATION:
All ears were attentive to the radio and television as recent hurricanes headed our way in the southern United States. Homeowners went and bought plywood to protect large windows in their homes, while other owners tied down add-on porches and Florida Rooms. They did all they could to protect their investment and ultimately, their future. Jesus shared in the Bible how we could best protect our own lives, and our future life. Pastors and other Bible scholars have come along and have continued to share the words of Jesus, just in case folk have not read the Bible. In this blog, my aim is to get out the words of Jesus so that we might know, or at least be reminded of what we should be doing in order to protect our future. My deep desire is that all my readers will be as careful to secure their own destiny, as they were about securing their properties during the storms on earth. This requires having a secure connection to the Creator of you and I, and of this earth. God sent His Son so that we might seek Him for the forgiveness of our sin for all eternity. Let me encourage you to seek ye first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness. Ask God’s forgiveness of your sin and to make you right with Him. That sincere request secures His gift of eternal life and unites your unholy and unworthy soul to be one with Him. Praise be to God!
PRAYER:
Father God, in our world of temporary and half-hearted gifts it is hard for us to fathom that You would simply forgive us of our sin and give us life eternally with You in heaven! Wow! Oh what a Savior! Blessed be Your holy name forever! Thank You Lord from the bottom of our hearts. Oh that we may be as forgiving, as caring, as loving and as giving as You are. Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and Your righteousness until we see You face to face in glory! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Guard Your Heart

Solomon was able to share these Godly words to us, but also speak from the experience of his father about the results of letting our minds and imagination run wild, and how it impacts the heart and controls your actions. This matter was close to home for him, experientially, plus you might remember that Solomon was the benefiter of very Godly wisdom. So even though most people feel like they have life under control, Solomon’s advice is still rock solid even today.

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-04-01
SCRIPTURE

From:

Proverbs 4:20-23 (Voice)

Text:

20 My son, pay attention to all the words I am telling you.
    Lean in closer so you may hear all I say.
21 Keep them before you; meditate on them;
    set them safely in your heart.
22 For those who discover them, they are life.
    They bring wholeness and healing to their bodies.
23 Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it
    because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life.
OBSERVATION:
Solomon was able to share these Godly words to us, but also speak from the experience of his father about the results of letting our minds and imagination run wild, and how it impacts the heart and controls your actions. This matter was close to home for him, experientially, plus you might remember that Solomon was the benefiter of very Godly wisdom. So even though most people feel like they have life under control, Solomon’s advice is still rock solid even today.
APPLICATION:
From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks! That’s one of many sayings that come to mind as we meditate on this Scripture today. I realize that the first barrier each of us will face with this advice, is that we think we are all ‘good’ people and our intentions are always good, very clear, and abundantly obvious to the person we are dealing with, correct? If you answered ‘yes’ to that question, then I would suggest that after you get up from kneeling before your Maker in sincere repentance, that you re-read the Scripture and possibly this blog! Friends, in case you haven’t noticed: if you hang around drunks, they will soon have you drinking; if you hand around company that curse at every opportunity, you will soon be sneaking in a few curse words in almost  every  sentence; if you hang around children of God and hear about their many blessings that they attribute to Jesus’ love and mercy, then you will soon be wanting to know about the same and apply it to your life. When you see the scales tipping towards righteous thoughts, words and deeds, then I believe that it will confirm that you are on the right track. If not, I believe that God is opening your mind and heart to realize that something is lacking – perhaps inadequate time in His Word, or perhaps way too much time hanging around folk that answer to a different leader than you do. Yes, I am saying that you will deal with a spiritual battle, if the Holy Spirit lives within you and is leading you in the right path. Friends, if your heart is filled with the love, actions and thoughts of our Lord, then you will act like Him and talk as He would. Conversely, if your heart is polluted with the devil and his evil attitudes and deeds, then you find yourself frustrated, because you have asked Jesus to come and live within you, yet you are heating up the internal battle by pouring in the ways of the world and it’s ungodly leader – Satan. There’s a little chorus I sang in children’s Sunday School “O be careful little eyes what you see”. If you know that chorus, you will remember that it also includes what you hear, what you do and where you walk. In other words, learn, speak, act and look at things that are Godly so that you may guard your heart – the internal barometer of your whole being!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for not only living among us and showing us how to live in a way that is pleasing to Your Father, but also for leaving with us the Comforter – the Holy Spirit, who will guide us into righteous living, and help us guard our hearts that belong to You. Lord, may we be found righteous and sold out to You in every aspect of life. May it be evident to everyone that we come into contact with, and may You be glorified because of everything that You accomplish in us, and through 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

What You Do for Others is Noticed By God

In evaluating the people in front of Him, Jesus divided them into two groups: the unrighteous; and the righteous. The righteous were recognized for the heart they demonstrated like that of Jesus Christ. In fact, so much so that Jesus concluded that all the things they did proved their righteousness.

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-03-24
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 25:37-40 (NLT)

Text:

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

OBSERVATION:
In evaluating the people in front of Him, Jesus divided them into two groups: the unrighteous; and the righteous. The righteous were recognized for the heart they demonstrated like that of Jesus Christ. In fact, so much so that Jesus concluded that all the things they did proved their righteousness.
APPLICATION:
While I realize that Jesus knows and sees all things, I wonder if we had to evaluate our actions over the past week, would there be enough evidence to convince Jesus that we are among the righteous? There is a saying: from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. I believe that a heart filled with the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, will respond to needs around us like our Savior responded. For there was no respecter of persons in Jesus’ eyes; He is well known as ‘Love’, because of His amazing love towards all mankind; He is Healer; He is our Shepherd; He is the Restorer of our souls; He leads us in the path of righteousness, especially when we are so prone to stray; He set the example for us in all aspects of life – mixing with sinners, standing firm for what He knew was Truth, loving and ministering to sinners at every opportunity; Used the Word of God as His defense – when tempted. Friends, not only has the example been set for us, but our Savior stands ready to bless us, guide us, empower us and embolden us so that we might be His hands, His feet and His love to this lost and dying world in which we live. To do this, Jesus needs our commitment to serve Him no matter what. He needs us to be trusting and pliable, because His ways are not our ways, and if we are truly going to be used by Him, we must totally surrender our will to Him. I would like to challenge you with the question I started with: is there enough evidence in your actions and your words, that Jesus and/or your friends would be convinced that you are among the righteous, and being truly directed by God each day?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we come humbly before You today, knowing that we are not capable nor worthy to be looked on as ‘righteous’, especially by the righteous Son of God. However, we are reminded through this teaching today that loved ones, friends, or any one still searching for the Lord, must see and experience enough of Jesus in us, for them to truly know that the Word is true and that You are still alive and powerfully working in your children – Your righteous ones who have committed their lives wholeheartedly to You. Lord, please complete Your work in Your way, for Your kingdom, even through us, Your humble servants, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Persistent in Asking, Seeking and Knocking

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-01-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 7:7–8 (NLT)

Text:

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
OBSERVATION:
I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?
APPLICATION:
We have just observed what God might be saying to us in this Scripture today, but how do we apply this to our everyday life? First of all, are we consistent in our asking? Do we even find time to pray, other than when we are in crisis mode? Our method of asking, or petitioning God is through ‘prayer’, yet most churches will tell you that it’s one of the worst attended services offered by churches. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. In one case I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. The other means that they don’t have time to pray, however they know they need prayer, and have asked me to pray for them. Jesus is telling us to ‘ask’, not to have someone ask for us. Jesus is also asking us to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. This tells me that we are to be persistent in doing these things. I once met a young person working at a prominent restaurant, and asked how they landed the job. Persistence was the word, for they showed restaurant management that they were so interested in the job that they would keep on visiting the establishment, keep on asking for a job, etc. Guess what? He landed the job and looked extremely happy in his job. Now in the teachings of Jesus I believe that we have no doubt as to what we are to ask for or seek after, for if we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, then we will ask in line with those desires. When you keep on knocking, you are acknowledging to God that you are once again at His feet pleading His perfect will for your life, with a deep desire to serve Him in complete righteousness. Jesus said that when we do these things, that He will not only hear our prayers, but He will meet our needs. Friends, we have so much that we ask God for, let’s aim at making those requests known to Him for the single purpose of making us, or the person we are praying for, more righteous in God’s sight, and that they, or you, may be drawn closer to God and His kingdom.
PRAYER:
Lord, please continue to humble us to always and continuously seek Your face; ask for Your holy and generous hand of mercy and generosity upon our lives, so that we may be worked on and made right with You in every way. Lord, may we be consistent in knocking to ask for an audience with You on a frequent basis. May we be bold enough to join others in prayer so that we may encourage them and help them in their walk with You. Lord, please renew a great work in us today so that we may be more like You in every way, and may this attract the unsaved to desire intimacy with You. We must ask in full alignment with Your will dear Lord, because we acknowledge Your Lordship and Your sovereignty. Thank You precious Lord for accepting me as Your child. May I live like a child of the 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How To Be Made Right

Thursday, 2016-10-06

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 3:22-25

Bible Text:   22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

As one reads through the Bible you will see where people sacrificed animals and various other things in order to make themselves right. But while all of this gave some the feeling of satisfaction that they were pleasing their gods, it never did give them any assurance of ever being in heaven one day and worshiping at the feet of Jesus and His Father. It never gave any hope to a new and different life filled with the love and leadership of Jesus and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Paul saw that this was still causing issues in his day, with the added pressure of his Jewish audience feeling superior to the Gentiles when it came to being right with God. Paul had to clear this up for his audience, and I believe this was placed in God’s Word to help us clear up any misconceptions. There is no magic formula, nor does it apply only to a certain group or nationality. The Word of God says in John 3:16 that ‘whosoever believes on the name of Jesus’. Verse 22 above says that ‘for everyone who believes’. We all have one thing in common – we all have sinned. The solution to that problem also applies to all of us, for in verse 24 and 25 we are reminded that Jesus came so that we might be freed from our sin, and the way that this happens is when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – especially the sacrifice He made at Calvary, including the shedding of His precious blood. Sounds easy, right? It definitely was not easy of Jesus, but God wanted this to be straightforward for us. So as you examine your life today friend, know that unless you have submitted your life totally to the King of kings, and believe wholeheartedly on the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are still wallowing in the stench of your sin and destined for hell with Satan as your tormenter and destroyer. This creates a great divide between you and those relatives and friends who have accepted Jesus. This is an individual choice, but friends I hope that each of you would have made the right choice today, and allowed God to make things right for your eternity, for I want to see you in glory!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I pray that not one who reads this devotional today will gloss over the decision that they need to make in order to know without a shadow of doubt that they are destined for Heaven for a glorious meeting with our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Some are facing grave danger today, and for some this may be the last day they will have an opportunity to accept Jesus as Lord. I pray that there will be no wasted opportunities by my friends who read this. Please remind them that today is the day of salvation, as they have no assurance of tomorrow. Lord, I believe, please help me overcome any unbelief. 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!

May Only The Sinless Accuse The Sinful

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – John 8:4-7): 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 

THOUGHTS: We are so easy to ridicule others, but yet our own lives are so riddled with sin also. I believe that our pastors’ offices would be very manageable if they truly took the stand of Jesus and posted a sign on their doors that only those who have no sin are allowed in to talk about another member! What if we practiced that in our everyday lives? Don’t you suppose that there would be a whole lot less gossip among so called ‘Christians’? Friends, we can clearly see why Jesus taught this lesson. It totally agrees with everything else He taught about how to treat your Brother. For there were many lessons on love; good works; encouraging one another; lifting up one another; praying for one another. Don’t you know that for Jesus to have taught all these great and positive things, then to turn around and entertain such an accusation from individuals who were practicing sin themselves, would be a very strong contradiction? So is it any different with us today friends? Why do we entertain gossip, and worse still, why do we nod our heads in agreement when one is clearly putting down or accusing another of sin? I had a pastor who encouraged us to not even mention out loud the reason we were asking for prayer for another person, because often the prayer meetings would become a huge gossip center around all that’s wrong with another person. Our God knows way more about the needs of the individual than we could ever attempt to inform Him. Just mention the name, God knows the needs. Let us learn to care for one another and pray for them by name, while allowing God to meet all their needs. Let’s be sure to ask God’s forgiveness for our own shortcomings and sin so that we might come boldly before His throne in prayer. There’s a wonderful own hymn I love to sing “Cleanse Me Oh God and Know my Thoughts I pray, see if there be any wicked way in me”. May this be our prayer today I pray!

PRAYER: Father only You know how truly sinful we are. Yet we have the audacity to come before You with the sin of others. We pester our pastors with accusations about one another. Please Heavenly Father, touch the hearts and lives of Your children today and help us to be more like You in every way. We have a full-time job on our hands trying to keep ourselves in line with Your teachings and following in Your footsteps. Yes, I believe we should care enough to pray for our Brother and our Sister and the many things that beset them, but please help us to not be critical and accusing, but to lovingly pray for their welfare and to seek Your desire for their lives. Lord, may be be so busy about Your work, and have such a desire for the Godly attitudes of Your children that we will have no time to accuse others or point fingers to their shortcomings. I need You each and every hour of each and every day so that I might be more like You, dear God. Please touch the lives of my readers in a similar way, I pray. For I ask these things in the wonderful and precious name of Jesus, my 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 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 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!

Hindrances to Worship

THE HOLY BIBLE (Easy-To-Read Version – Hebrews 9:13-14): 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow were sprinkled on those who were no longer pure enough to enter the place of worship. The blood and ashes made them pure again—but only their bodies. 14 So surely the blood sacrifice of Christ can do much more. Christ offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make us completely clean from the evil we have done. It will give us clear consciences so that we can worship the living God.

THOUGHTS: I believe that every Bible Teacher or Pastor’s wish would be, that their hearers are getting as much from a lesson as they received when they studied the lesson being taught. I also believe that every Worship Minister would love to know that the folk they are leading in a time of worship were participating from the deepest parts of their heart and receiving a blessing like they receive when leading us. Often we will go to our corporate worship services and while sometimes being totally blessed and pulled into the worship time through full participation, yet at other times we just attend but don’t feel a closeness to our Lord as we worship. These are the times we find fault with the person next to us or behind us, or with the worship leader, or perhaps the volume of the instrumentalists! But friend, if you especially read verse 14, you will notice that as long as we enter God’s house with stained consciences, there just may not be an opportunity for you to connect with God and His Holy Spirit that day. You might remember from God’s Word that God will not be present where sin abounds. I believe that another way of understanding verse 14 might be in the following way: “One cannot worship the Living God without a clear conscience” or unless one has already settled with God concerning their sin. There’s a worship song that has been around for a long time “There’s A Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place“. After reading verse 14, I’m not so sure that will even happen for us if we present ourselves for worship with sin in our life. Perhaps we should have a confession service first, then, perhaps, the Spirit of God might find clean hearts and consciences in which He is free to move and to bless. Let’s keep this in mind the next time that we attempt to worship God. Clean hearts will draw close to God, as it is the only way that He will draw close to you and I.

PRAYER: How dare us attempt to enter Your presence in sin, Oh God, especially thinking that we can block the hindrances (our sin) while we attempt to worship You. It’s not enough for us to conjure up a time of ‘worship’ Lord Jesus, for we want to be where You are, and we want to worship You in sincerity of heart, soul and mind. Please forgive us for attempting to worship You, the One who never sinned, yet with sin in our hearts. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness, so that as I approach Your throne I can do so with a clear conscience and without sin. Please touch the hearts of my readers Lord, so that they too might be enlightened of any sin that not only separates them from You, but also blocks their true worship of You. Lord, may You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives and especially prepare us for frequent times of worship to You. I love you Lord, and I lift my voice and heart in worship to You alone. My prayer is offered in and through the name of Jesus, the only one worthy of my worship and praise, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 www.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 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!

Obedience Results in Rewards

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 6:4; 6; 14-15; 17-18; 33): 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

THOUGHTS: I found a common theme in reading Matthew 6. God had some awesome teachings, and He emphasized, or stood behind His teaching so strongly that He added rewards after each area of His teachings. Beginning in verse 4, on the subject of Christian based giving, I believe that if I am led to give to a person in need, God uses me to respond to the prayers of that needy person. While I might be eternally grateful for the opportunity to respond in giving, the act of me giving from my overflow of blessings is not intended for me to boast, but instead to allow praises for answered prayer from the recipient, so that God might be magnified. Then on the subject of prayer, we are taught to pray in private. Imagine the irreverence in telling our spouse everything, intimate or not, in a public setting? We are to have an intimate relationship with our Savior, so we are to pray to Him in private. In verse 6 we are promised that God will then reward us, or grant our sincere desires, as they fit within His perfect will for us. I included verse 14 because I wanted us to be reminded that God is not a push-over, or a Santa Claus just waiting to reward us no matter how we act or respond to His goodness. He tells us that He will forgive us based on our degree of forgiving one another. We must be willing to ask, pray and forgive in a manner pleasing to God, not for our own selfish reasons. Our submission to fasting is another example for us to show our humility to the God that we serve, and to reveal the honesty in the very reason for which we are fasting. When we do this in the right spirit and for the right purpose, God says that He will once again reward us. Friends, when we seek the Kingdom of God more than everything else, and when we live righteously before a righteous God, He promised that He will give us everything we need! Are you there yet? If you are not being rewarded in one of these areas mentioned above, then perhaps there are self-inflicted roadblocks preventing God’s outpouring of His rich blessings that He would really like to shower on us. Friends, let’s clear the path to blessings! God wants to bless His children, I believe. We just need to do our part to be vessels worthy of His blessings!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our littleness, our selfishness and our desire to please and promote self, instead of You. It is evident that You have such awesome rewards in store for Your children. Now if only we can learn to be humble and obedient servants so that You may freely pour out Your blessings on us. You alone are worthy oh Lord, and we cannot do this thing called ‘life’ without You. We are fully dependent on You, yet Satan is so determined to distract us from all the rich blessings You have in store for us. Please forgive us for our desire for independence, and help us instead to be totally dependent on the God who can do all things. We’re at Your mercy dear Lord. Please fill us with more of You and Your promised rewards. I humbly ask all this in the strong and powerful name of the only One worthy and able to intercede for us, Jesus my 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 www.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 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!