Rewards For Seeking Righteousness and Purity

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-09-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 22:21-25
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 21     The Eternal One rewarded me because I sought righteousness;
        He rewarded me because I kept my hands clean.
22     He rewarded me because I kept the ways of the Eternal
        and have not walked away from my True God in wickedness.
23     For all His laws were there before me,
        and I did not push His statutes away.
24     I made myself blameless before Him;
        I kept myself from guilt and shame.
25     That’s why the Eternal has rewarded me for seeking righteousness;
        He’s rewarded me because He sees I have remained pure.

APPLICATION: Standing before the righteous God of this universe and presenting yourself as innocent, pure and righteous is a bold step. For God knows: every word we speak, and the underlying thoughts while saying those words; every action we perform and the, often, ulterior motives we sometimes have for our actions; and every thought that we have, whether acted upon or not. Many of us have pretty much perfected the way that we present ourselves to the public, for we have a certain image that we want them to see in us, but God knows our heart, soul and mind. In fact, the closer we get to God, the more we become aware of how far we have drifted away from Him; how our attitudes suck; how many of our actions are probably frowned upon by God. But Satan is good at promoting these reasons right in our face whenever we even think we are righteous, innocent or pure in the sight of God. This is where we could then do like Jesus did on the mountain when tempted by Satan, we could quote 2 Corinthians 5:21 or Revelation 12:10, that assures us that we are righteous because of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who was perfect in every way. Friends, I don’t believe that we could ever be used wholeheartedly by God in this world until we have developed a deep relationship with God and acknowledge that it is only because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we could ever be righteous. So whenever you are questioned about your claim to righteousness, say what David taught us in verse 22 above: Praise God, I have not walked away from the true righteousness of God! I believe it is more important today than ever before that we determine in our hearts who we will follow for the rest of our days on earth, then seek the help of God to carry out our desire to serve Him faithfully throughout all eternity. As stated above, God knows all about us, but of equal importance is that others here on earth are watching. Your actions will help them decide their course of action for their lives. I pray that they will see enough of Jesus in you, and they will determine in their heart to surrender lordship of their life to Jesus and seek to serve Him until the end of time here.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: It is only because of Jesus that we could ever be considered righteous in the sight of God! Praise God for getting my attention and drawing me to His Son for forgiveness of my sin! Praise God, I’m redeemed, saved and considered righteous by Him!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You opened the doors of heaven for us, and we are forever thankful for that. We praise You for such awesome examples as David, to whom You portrayed Yourself powerfully. Like David, I pray that we will stop for a few minutes of our busy lives each day to commune with You, through intake from Bible study, and through output in prayer and communication with You. We have so much to praise You for Lord, but living in this world gives us urgency of need, encouragement, reassurance, wisdom and love from You each and every day. Lord, we want to be just like You in our speech, attitude, thought and actions, and we can only do that by fully acknowledging the source of our power and righteousness on a regular basis. We humble ourselves at Your feet, Lord, and we stand ready and willing to accept Your direction, so that the lost will see Jesus in action every time they make contact with 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!

The Righteous Person

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-06-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 37:30-31
TRANSLATION: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

BIBLE TEXT: 30 The mouth of the righteous person reflects on wisdom. His tongue speaks what is fair. 31 The teachings of his God are in his heart. His feet do not slip.

APPLICATION: I wonder if, in the eyes of a stranger, they would know who our Master is? Who or what drives us and influences our decisions. If they met us for the first time while we were stressed to the limit, would they recognize who is influencing our defiance, or our calm spirit, even in the midst of our ‘storm’? The Psalmist reminds us that our mouth will reflect the wisdom of the One we claim as our Master; our tongue will speak out of fairness if we claim the only true and fair God as our Lord and Savior. He goes on to give us the reason why these good things gloriously occur in our lives – because of the teachings of our God that we have allowed to indwell our hearts and control our very lives. David declared that when we allow such an influence in our lives, we stand on a solid footing and our lives will reflect the God in whom we place our faith and our trust. Friends, our lives will reflect the One in whom we place our faith and our trust. The decisions that we make and the words that we speak will be a reflection of the teachings that we have permitted to dwell deep within our hearts and souls. If we fill ourselves with evil and the things of this world, then we will make decisions based on those bad ideas and evil principles. If, however, we have filled our lives with the things of Christ, His words, His example and His character will influence the decisions we make and the words we speak. Please allow me to be the first to tell you today that the world is carefully watching you, and they are ready to jump on you with great judgment when they see you acting contrary to what they expect from a Christian. So I believe our challenge is, that when we react to a situation, we must ensure that our words and actions are aligned with Christ. This will convince the unsaved who may want to know the Source of our wisdom, our good judgment, our love for others, and our careful use of words, that the Holy Spirit resides inside of us and directs us to be good representatives of our Master. That’s the only way that we will fulfill His purpose, and help the unsaved to know Jesus. Preaching to them, or at them, will have minimal impact on them, compared to what they experience from our words and through our actions. i believe another way of saying what David shared is: Because of our sure footing in the Lord Jesus Christ, we stand firm in the will and ways of the One we serve. To see and hear us, is to see and hear Jesus! God being our helper in every situation of life!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, please help us to be more like You in every phase of our life. We know that Your ways are perfect, and that we will only reflect the attitude and character of the One that we love, adore and serve. Please inspire the lives of my readers and myself, so that others will see Jesus in everything we do or say. It’s all about You dear Lord, Oh that we may be a living example of You in every day and in every way. 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!

How To Be Considered ‘Righteous’ By God

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-03-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Romans 4:20-25
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

APPLICATION: On the basis of our Scripture, if you believe Jesus was raised from the dead, you are exercising the same quality of faith as did Abraham—a hero of faith. Think about that – at age 86, Abraham was informed by God that he would have a child later in life! Sounds almost like a joke to us today, right? But like Mary did when she was told she would be the mother of Jesus, Abraham just pondered these things in his mind. My friends, if God says it, we could believe it! Think about the pressure you might be under at this time, or the problems you might be facing, they’re nothing in comparison to the incredible faith you have already demonstrated in and through the precious name of Jesus Christ. Once a believer grasps the fact that he’s already done the hard stuff—that his belief in the Resurrection sets him apart as a hero of faith—then any other pressure or problem is a piece of cake, minute in comparison to the fact that he has already embraced the victories of the impossible. Now, if you’re a believer, your faith and salvation are based upon the Resurrection. You didn’t see it visually. You haven’t touched Jesus physically. You haven’t heard His voice audibly—but somehow you believe it. And, even though our culture mocks it, science disputes it, people doubt it—because God has graced you with faith to believe what the world doesn’t understand—anything else you’re struggling with is easy and stress-free. Compared to believing in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, it is nothing to believe in victory over whatever giant is before you, or whatever pressure is upon you! God knew from the very beginning of time, how challenging it would be for us to wrap our tiny brains around the idea of being righteous, like Abraham was righteous, and like Jesus was righteous. He gave us these two as mentors in the faith, but He also gave us His Word so that we might consider all things, to help remind us of His power, and the grace that He bestows on us each and every day. Jesus was the righteous Son of God. Abraham was considered righteous because of his faith, and so can we follow in Abraham’s footsteps because of our faith. How are you doing with that dear reader and/or listener?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: That mere man can be found ‘righteous’ before a holy and righteous God.

PRAYER: Who are we that a King would live and die for? Who are we that a Savior would consider ‘righteous’ while here on earth? What a blessed people we are, that God sent His one and only Son to die, so that we who believe on Him might live righteously as we anxiously await our heavenly home! Lord You are good, and Your mercies endures forever and forever! You worked miraculously in Abraham’s life, and You have been so gracious to us also. Thank You dear Lord! Please continue Your hand upon us so that others may see Jesus and want to know You personally. 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 Righteousness in God’s Sight

DATE POSTED Monday, 2021-12-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 22:21-25
TRANSLATION: New International Version (NIV)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;  according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I am not guilty of turning from my God.
23 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees.
24 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.

APPLICATION: I remember as a teenager I went home for lunch, and wanted to return to school early, so that I could play with the other kids before school resumed for the afternoon session. Mom reluctantly allowed me to return early, provided that I assured her of my good behavior until the official start of afternoon school. Saying ‘yes’ to mom allowed me to get I wanted, so I ran to school. After much hard playing, I fell and cut my arm open on a broken bottle. Right away I concluded that I could not go home to mom, who didn’t want me to return to school early anyway, so I went to a favorite aunt who patched me up. Upon arriving home after school that afternoon, it was comical to see how I tried to hide my arm behind my back so mom wouldn’t see my mishap!! Doesn’t that remind us how it will be when we walk before the King of all kings? But I was amazed by David in our Scripture today, for he knew that he was guiltless and could therefore approach God boldly, and he would be considered righteous before God. Of course this made me ponder how the guilty, and the non-guilty would do in their approach with God, for you see – He not only knows about those things we fell like the world knows, but He also knows about those things we thought were hidden from everyone else, plus God knows our very thoughts and ill feelings that we harbor against our neighbors/friends. So, surely God would not have us live in such misery and die in shame, would He? It is clear from all that God did for us that He would rather do just the opposite. We just celebrated the birth of God’s precious Son that He miraculously sent to earth to save us from our sin and the guilt associated with our sin. This gift was not just made available to the best of mankind – those who try to obey every law and be gracious to every neighbor. But God’s gift, Jesus, is available to ALL who believe on Him. In John 3:16 we are told that ALL who believe on Jesus, will have everlasting, or eternal, life! For the one who accepts this gift, and the promise of the Father associated with this gift, we become righteous just as He is. We then become just like David, where we could praise God every day for the freedom we have in standing before Him as a righteous son or daughter. Friends, it is possible, but only through the wonderful work of Jesus. Without accepting the gift of God, we are unrighteous, and deserve the only alternative destination – Hell. What’s your destiny – heaven, or hell? It depends on whether you are righteous (because of Jesus), or if you are unrighteous? You determine, my friend!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: David was convinced that God saw him blameless because he had kept himself from sin, and that He consequently had rewarded him for his righteousness. Wow, we too could be that confident and assured before God!

PRAYER: Lord, I believe that You designed us with our own guilt meter! For we know full well when we decidedly disobey Your commands and Your will for our lives. This has sometimes led to our hearts being hardened, and our minds being buried in total guilt. Please Lord, direct us to Your Word daily, and help us to stay focused on what You would have us do each day. For I believe that this is what leads us into ministering to others and encouraging them to look towards the Kingdom, where only You could cleanse us of our sin and make us righteous in Your sight. The lost is looking for Your followers who exemplify You in every way. May we be true to our calling and allow You to have Your will and way in our lives everyday, so that Your ministry might be fulfilled even through humble men and women who love and serve 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!

No One Likes Separation

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-07-02
WRITTEN AT: Gallup, NM

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 13:47-50
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 47 Or think of it this way: the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea, a net that caught a world of flickering fish. 48 When the net was full, the fishermen hauled it to shore. They separated the good fish from the bad, placing the good fish in a bucket and throwing out the inedible fish. 49 That is what the end of time will be like. The heavenly messengers will separate the good from the bad, the righteous from the wicked, the repentant from the prideful, the faithful from the hard-hearted50 The badthe wickedthe prideful, and the hard-hearted will be thrown into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

APPLICATION: In preparing for a fun time of volleyball, we ache when the team captains pick their teams, and we are the last to be chosen. We feel like there is something about us that didn’t catch the fancy of the team captains. But what if we were rejected? Imagine neither team captain wanting us on their team? I believe that everyone knows that the world was created by God, and that He also created each of us. So why then might God accept one into His Kingdom when we leave this world, but not accept another? There’s no need for guessing, my friend, God kept nothing secret from us. He inspired great writers/saints to record His teachings and His commands, so that we will not be caught off guard or claim that we didn’t know. Our Scripture today is very clear when It says that at a time known only by God Himself, the angels will be instructed by God to separate the righteous from those who have chosen to reject Jesus. I know, you immediately shouted back as you read this or heard this in my podcast, that you never rejected Christ. Please allow me to clarify this dilemma for you. In God’s Word, He acknowledged creating you, but He said that when you come to an age of understanding, you will learn that God sent His Son, Jesus, for the purpose of saving mankind from their sin, and for those who accept Him as Lord and Savior, they will assume the righteousness of Christ. So if you have not seen the need to make that step, you are considered to be living under the power of sin, and sin is not permitted in Heaven. There will come a day when you will meet God, but there will not be an opportunity to explain your decision, or have your attorney represent you before God. You see, God knows everything about us – even our thoughts, so He knows that you are not washed in the blood of His Son, Jesus. There is no holding place. You will either be ushered into heaven, or directed to the Evil Place – Hell. Notice that Jesus helped the unsaved understand what to expect in Hell. He used such words as: fiery place; furnace; weeping; grinding/gnashing of teeth; etc. In other words, Hell is not a place you would choose for your next vacation, so why settle for spending eternity there? Friends, please consider never being rejected again. Ready yourself for heaven, with the One who created you. If interested in doing that today, please read my Footnote, especially the Scripture included in the link ‘To Know Jesus’. You may also want to speak with a local Bible teaching pastor, and/or contacting me by email. I would love to introduce you to my Savior, and pray with you about this most important decision.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God has a place prepared for those who have accepted His Son Jesus, and I believe He is longing to welcome us home! Because I believe that Judgment Day is very near, I believe that God has blessed you with one more opportunity to accept Jesus – TODAY! Please?

PRAYER: We go to extremes in preparing for a special day, and we are so very excited for that day to arrive. Lord, I want to always be that excited on the day you take me out of this world to spend eternity with You! I am so troubled over my friends who have chosen to accept the pitfalls of Hell and the awful snares of the Evil One. Please Lord, place such an urgency in my heart for my family and friends that I would do my part to encourage their decision. I would also ask that You do the same for all of my readers who share this concern today. Lord, be glorified in us today, and touch all those that we come into contact with today. 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!

Don’t Cheat

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-12-31
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Malachi 2:13-16
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 13-15 And here’s a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don’t cheat on your spouse.
16 “I hate divorce,” says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t cheat.

OBSERVATION: I believe that God blessed me with the best wife, when we made our vows before Him on November 7, 1975. I believe that God has also blessed our work for Him over the years, and in the daughter He blessed us with. But little did I realize the full extent of this Scripture, until today. Please know that I am not here to criticize anyone whose marriage fell by the wayside, but I thought it important that we see what the Word of God says about this important aspect of two lives becoming one in holy matrimony.

APPLICATION: I don’t believe that things have changed very much at all. Malachi dealt with the whining and complaining of the Jews on why they were feeling so empty in their worship to God. Malachi, in speaking the word of the Lord, immediately recognized that something was blocking the communion of the saints with their Father as they worshipped. Isn’t it interesting how still today we could go through the motions, but yet feel very empty inside, as if we never truly worshipped? You see, we might take off the dirty filthy clothes worn all week and we may put on our very best clothes, but will that truly bring us close to God? We might attend the biggest and best rated church in town, or we may decide to visit a small, quaint, secluded church that claims to have the best pastor, but in either case we could very easily leave as empty as when we walked in, even though we were convinced that God was just not there. We may decide to get involved at our church – singing in the choir, helping in a Bible Study class, or working with the children, but yet we might drown in our sorrows, feeling like we have not connected with God. Obviously we must know that God never reneges on His Word. He said that He would be with us through every stage of life and be there to accept us as we leave this world, so what might trick our brains into thinking that we have a disconnect between us and God? Friends, God made it clear in His word that He will not reside where sin is, and He will not approve of sin in any form, for He has never sinned, nor will He ever sin, seeing that He is the righteous Son of God. We may immediately think of sin, like we see in our neighbor or our friend, but in our example today of how sin could separate us from God, Malachi dealt with divorce – breaking the covenant agreement made between a man and a woman in the presence of the Almighty. Friends, our fleshly minds will tell us that everything we did was legal, and furthermore we even had a Notary pronounce our wedding vows. I’m sure that makes you feel that your actions are therefore more legitimate because of that, but because we are talking about a right relationship with God, I believe it behooves us to think about how our relationship was injured when we totally ignored the covenant we made with Him and our spouse. Why do you suppose this is important to God? He became a party to our vows and He blessed our union with our spouse, so that we could produce godly children. So through divorce, we not only broke our covenant agreement with God, but we also made it impossible to give Him what He desired from us – godly children. Without looking down my nose in the slightest at any divorcee, let me just say that God’s Word is exactly that – it’s His Word, and not mine. I am merely the messenger reminding you of what the Word has to say about everything – today being about marriage. Please read the Word of God and endeavor to live by it, God being your helper. Take your petitions before God and seek His forgiveness, guidance and His perfect will for your life.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for making us in Your own image. We were placed here on earth being weak and fully susceptible to sin. You are the only One without sin, and You are the only One to whom we must give an account of what we have done with all You have blessed us with. Unfortunately we have messed up a lot, and it is so challenging to approach Your throne in such an ugly, sinful manner. But praise be to the Father, You are the only One capable of forgiving us of our sin and making us right with You and the Father. Please renew within us a right spirit and a righteous and holy respect for You in every phase of life – one that You could use to bless others who need an example to follow. Oh that You may be lifted up, magnified and praised today because someone may have realized their need for a Savior. 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!

Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 7:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible 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. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. For I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. Otherwise if they want me to pray for them, I might think that they don’t have time to pray, even though they know they need prayer, and have therefore 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 I 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 we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, therefore we will ask in line with our righteous desires and within the scope of God’s will. 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 always live like a child of the King! 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!

Anger Does Not Promote Righteousness

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 1:19-20
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. 20 For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].

OBSERVATION: In the Bible there is a challenge that states ‘the innocent should throw the first stone at a man being charged by them.’ That is a reminder today as we look at these verses, for we all become angry at some point in our lives, and we act in ways that later cause us shame. Anger is an emotion built into humans by God, but like with anything else in life, how we use that emotion makes all the difference in the world. Join me as we meditate on this as part of our devotional today.

APPLICATION: As we begin the study, let me encourage you to stop and ponder the times that you’ve seen others react to something in a state of rage, or anger. More than lightly it was ugly, and you probably wished several times that you would never embarrass yourself quite like that, correct? Why? Because it often brings out the worse in us, regardless of who we are, or what commitments we have made to God, to therapists, to family or to friends, that we would always try to deter anger before it controls us. What has been some of the results of anger? Fights, murder, not speaking to that person again, finding it impossible to show love towards that person, etc. So why do you think it was so important for God to have Paul share this word with us about this awful reaction? I believe that God draws us unto Himself, so that we might commune with Him; so that we might learn from His Word with our minds centered on Christ; so that we might imitate His reactions to life as recorded in His Word. Let’s remember, we were created in His image so that we might become like Him through faithful obedience to His teachings and commandments. Things that enable a close relationship is best for the believer. However, things that distract from our new desire to follow Jesus and be like Him, are often directed by the evil one so that our fellowship with God might be broken, or at least seriously fractured. Furthermore, God intended for us to show the world proof of who we believe in. When we do that, the world is comparing us to their image and not their expectations of a holy God. Although it is recorded of a time that Jesus became angry, it was considered a righteous anger, as He could not believe the neglect and disrespect as He saw what the merchants were doing in the temple courtyard. In our Scripture today we are told that this awful emotion does not promote the righteousness of God. So if we are trying to live a life that looks like our Master and Lord, we truly mess up when we allow anger to show its ugly head in our actions. I love how the Word tells us to accomplish a character that will promote our Lord: Be quick to listen – a ready listener. So many family and friends just need someone that they could talk to, without judging them or becoming angry at them; Slow to speak – We have two ears and just one mouth. It would make sense that we should listen twice as much as we speak. Waiting for the other person to have their full say on something might have a drastic influence on what we say in response to them; Slow to take offense – When someone is giving their opinion, it is exactly that. It may not be the same opinion to which we uphold, but they are sharing their mind with us. Take no offense to that, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion; Slow to become angry – Knowing that God knows the heart and mind of each person, should satisfy us. He will deal with that person in all righteousness – even in their unrighteous actions. It’s not our job to angrily react to what they believe. Remember, our job is to remain righteous, and promote the righteousness of God! The ‘other’ person may not even be a Christian. Will they see the righteousness of God in our reaction, or will they see that we are just as bad as the rest of their worldly friends?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, this is a topic that most of Your dear children battle with. I am definitely not exempt from showing my anger, and I apologize for failing to represent You well in those times. Unless the unsaved see the righteousness of God in our actions and reactions, they may struggle to see Jesus here on earth. Please Lord, promote within us a righteous mind, and cleanse our hearts so that our lips will only spew out the righteousness of our heart. May others be encouraged to accept You as Lord, because they had an encounter with us. Oh that You may be glorified today, even through Your saints on earth who strive to live like You taught us to. 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!

A ‘Truly’ Righteous Man

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezekiel 18:5–9
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: But if a man is [uncompromisingly] righteous (upright and in right standing with God) and does what is lawful and right, And has not eaten [at the idol shrines] upon the mountains nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbor’s wife nor come near to a woman in her time of impurity, And has not wronged anyone but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery but has given his bread to the hungry and has covered the naked with a garment, Who does not charge interest or percentage of increase on what he lends [in compassion], who withholds his hand from iniquity, who executes true justice between man and man, Who has walked in My statutes and kept My ordinances, to deal justly; [then] he is [truly] righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.[Ezek. 20:11; Amos 5:4.]

OBSERVATION: I know that New Testament believers will try to rightfully steer us towards aligning ourselves with the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, but after reading this Scripture in Ezekiel, I still asked myself the question: But what is it that constitutes a righteous man? Well, it still all boils down to being the man who is faithfully obedient to the Word of God and who follows the practice and commands of Jesus Christ. Let’s look closer at this today, and ask God to direct our paths so that others may see the righteousness of our Lord and Savior in us.

APPLICATION: God gave the writers of the Bible His Godly influence, and He ordained them to pen the Words that God wanted His people to understand and follow until the day He calls us home to glory. So although I know that these words were written for the Israelites at a time that it was difficult to discern a righteous person whom the unsaved might relate to a life after God’s own heart, yet I also believe that these words by the prophet Ezekiel were penned with us in mind as well. For those who have been active in church life, you have probably seen just as I have, where people who struggle with a bad period in their life, might enter the back doors of the church, walk forward for salvation, and possibly even baptism, only to disappear from the church scene within a very short time, never to be heard of again. Were they saved? Only God knows that for sure. But are they living a righteous life that will influence an unbeliever? Not very lightly. There is a simple analogy given about people that follow this pattern: A pastor went to visit one such parishioner who had not attended church in a while. They sat down by the fire and the conversation was very strained. The pastor eased up by the fire and moved a vital piece of charcoal away from the fire and placed it aside. Soon the glow diminished in that piece of charcoal, and eventually it went cold. The unfaithful parishioner had no reason to question the pastor why he did such a thing, because the Holy Spirit immediately helped the man to understand that the analogy precisely patterned his life, for his spiritual fire had gone out. So he promised the pastor that he would see him at the next Sunday service! Friends, that part of the story is very revealing, but don’t you also know that the glow in several of the remaining chunks of charcoal also dimmed, because they lacked the warmth and encouragement of the missing piece? We who are called by His name, are vitally connected to others who are also called by His name. When our glow diminishes, not only are the unbelievers affected because they see no righteous men among the church, but we also leave a dampness on the remaining believers that we were helping. When we accept Jesus as Lord, it’s because we want to have Him change us from the inside out, so that we might look, sound and imitate Him in this dark and sinful world. You see, our reward is Heaven. While still here on earth, we serve a vital and important role – to convince those in our circle of influence that they also need Jesus, so that together we may walk through heaven’s portals one day and live forever with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. So let me encourage you to help me live righteously while still here on earth, while I try and do the same for you, God being our Helper, Guide and Deliverer until He is ready to have us join Him in glory!

PRAYER: Faithful Father, Jesus my Lord, thank You for showing Yourself righteous and being an example for us to follow. Thank You for the saints You sent on ahead to teach us Your values and show us Your ways. If we are truly Your children, then we must be righteous just like You are. Thank You for this Scripture today that gives us great truth into the values that make a man look righteous. Please fill us with so much of Yourself, that these values will bubble forth from us each and every day. May the righteous be encouraged and warmed by our righteousness, and may the unsaved be convinced by seeing You lived out in us. Please touch the lives of those who will read this devotional today, oh Lord. May we all strive for Your control to bring forth righteousness in us. 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….

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!