Pass Along The Message of Hope

There is a beautiful chorus that I learned as a child, ‘Pass It On’. There was also a funny game that I learned as a child, ‘gossip’, and my friends and I enjoyed seeing how a message passed on from one person at a point in the circle ended up totally disguised by the time the last person received it! However, I am confident that in our Psalm written by Asaph, he meant for the message of the glories of our God and King to be passed on in ways that everyone would understand and effect change in their lives because of it. But unless we take this challenge to heart, we may think that this idea of passing along our message of hope is a lost art. Stay tuned!

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-05-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 78:2-8
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 2-3 … I will show you lessons from our history, stories handed down to us from former generations. I will reveal these truths to you so that you can describe these glorious deeds of Jehovah to your children and tell them about the mighty miracles he did. For he gave his laws to Israel and commanded our fathers to teach them to their children, so that they in turn could teach their children too. Thus his laws pass down from generation to generation. In this way each generation has been able to obey his laws and to set its hope anew on God and not forget his glorious miracles. Thus they did not need to be as their fathers were—stubborn, rebellious, unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.

APPLICATION: Take a moment to consider the sort of messages that are passed along to our kids? I distinctly remember a few messages my daughter received first hand while in my house: 1). I arrived home from work one day and my daughter asked permission to share something with me that she had learned. She proceeded to recite the ABC’s! I was excited, but as I looked over to my wife, she clarified the question that was obviously written across my face, ‘she heard it repeated so much by ‘Barney’ on TV that she picked it up’! I was thankful, but I was ready to punish myself for not teaching her myself! 2). I was playing ball with her one day, and she wanted me to pitch. After about 2 missed strikes, she turned around and spit, then positioned herself for the next pitch. I asked what that was all about? My young daughter reported ‘that’s the way the players get to hit the ball on TV’! It soon became evident that my daughter was learning more from TV than from her mom and I. But are we unique in that? I wonder if you sat down each Sunday and analyzed what your child(ren) learned from you over the past week, what might that list look like? Did they see you read your Bible? Did they overhear your prayer? Did you drop them to church and showed them that learning about Jesus is for kids, but adults could indulge in anything they want? Has your dinner table discussion been more about the fights you are having with relatives, Facebook updates, and TV shows, than about how God was evident in your life that day? Notice from our Scripture today that Asaph had the privilege of sharing from the history of what his ancestors did. The lives of many were punished and often lost because they ignored the awesome works and power of God, and they became even more reprobate in their every-day life. The miracles performed by God was not discussed, so the younger generation knew nothing of His power and therefore saw no need to call on Him. With a sorrowful heart today, I’m most afraid that this might be the issue with our children today. They are seeing way too much of our disobedience, our hatred, our selfish desires, our refusal to love one another – especially those who should be closest to us, and hardly anything of our miraculous God. Are we really teaching our kids and grandkids to repeat our mistakes, our bad decisions, our hatred for mankind, and our lack of faith? Many of you reading or listening may have gone through a dedication service for your child, or been a part of one for your grandchild. Have you stayed true to the promises you made that day? I firmly believe that if you stop your busy day long enough to refresh yourself on what you promised to God in that baby dedication, you may sincerely seek the powerful hand of Jesus upon your life to make your promises true. Let’s be diligent about seeking God’s favor, and let’s never forget to pass along His blessings to our children. That’s our responsibility! Since they have a similar responsibility, let’s be sure that they pass along the good stuff that God has done for us because of our faithfulness to Him. Like the Israelites, their very lives may depend on it.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Children will learn from our actions what we know in our heart. Fill our hearts with God, then our kids will come to know our Savior, and our Lord. They lives may be dependent on the role God plays in their life.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding us through Your Word today the importance of recognizing the key role You play in our lives, and the importance of us setting an example of whose we are. The Israelites lost battles, and lost lives because they refused to recognize Your power available to them. Lord, may we always share Jesus through our example and in our teaching so that our children, and theirs, will know first hand about You and about Your powerful hand. Others are always watching us, Lord. May they always see Jesus in me, for this is my honest and sincere plea. 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!

Refer Only What You Have Proven

Imagine referring a friend to a bank, or a hairdresser because you believe they are good at what they do. Wouldn’t they be a lot more convinced if you gave them examples of how those businesses treated you exceptionally and how they have gone above and beyond to take care of your needs? The latter is the scenario David gave, and in verse 8 he was able to conclude with ‘Believe me when I tell you’. That’s the kind of reference you need from someone referring you to a business, or to their ‘Jesus’!

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2021-10-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 62:5-8
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: I am standing in absolute stillness, silent before the one I love, waiting as long as it takes for him to rescue me. Only God is my Savior, and he will not fail me. For he alone is my safe place. His wraparound presence always protects me as my champion defender. There’s no risk of failure with God! So why would I let worry paralyze me, even when troubles multiply around me? God’s glory is all around me! His wraparound presence is all I need, for the Lord is my Savior, my hero, and my life-giving strength.
Trust only in God every moment! Tell him all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to him. Believe me when I tell you—he will help you!

APPLICATION: When we are at our wits end and feel like there is no where else to turn, we often look for advice from family and friends that we believe care about us. There are times that many Christians will only want to speak with a pastor, when times are especially stressful and seem out of control. Like David, I believe that it is vitally important for others to know that we have first-hand experience about the subject we are asked to counsel on and share a reference on. For example, our personal testimony about what the Lord has done for us, is way more important to a friend than any Bible story we might share, or any recent story shared by our church pastor or leader. The latter is a third party reference, and we may leave out certain details, or we may add to the story to make it sound believable. In telling our own story, or testimony, we may show the emotions of the moment that we are sharing, or we may throw in some very personal feelings into the story. I am always thrilled at the way that David shares from such a sweet personal relationship with God. He personalizes the story and speaks of His Father in the first party. I might say that he (David) stood in silence before his God, the One whom he loved very deeply. David instead spoke of standing in the presence of the One I love! You may find room for error, or questioning in my story, but in David’s story it was very personal. Because David had such a personal relationship with the Father, he was able to safely say to others, I could afford to tell you to trust in God, because I did so, and He created for me a clear, safe path, fit for a king. I am confident as I suggest that you share your troubles with this loving God of mine, because I did so and He calmed me and made me rest besides still, peaceful waters. It seems like David was sharing that ‘you could go to the bank with this – He will help you if you only ask and believe in His awesome power. Friends, let me encourage you to share a first-hand experience with those you are witnessing to. I believe that they would rather know that this is a proven formula you are giving them! When you tell someone to ‘give it to Jesus’, hopefully you can support that with an example of something you gave to Jesus and you witnessed His awesome love in response to your request. Sure I might have a good story you might find worth sharing with your friends, but there is absolutely nothing better than your own personal experience with your Savior and your Lord!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: If Jesus did it for me, I am convinced He can do the same for you, if you believe and trust in Him. Teach us Lord to share all that You have done for us so that others will be encouraged to also ask You for help in their situations of life.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the peace that passeth all understanding. Thank You for the love that surpasses all other love, and thank You Lord for the assurance of knowing that one day soon we will meet You and the Father in Heaven, where will will sing and shout with the angels about our finally being ‘home’! Lord, You have been so personal to us in taking care of us and watching out for our every dilemma. Help us Lord to share these blessings with others. It’s always good to share how You blessed others, but may we make it a point to follow David’s example in sharing our story, our relationship with You, and our many blessings that we have been recipients of. Often we will share about many other earthly trips we have taken, gifts given to us, and people we have met, but we seem to shy off from sharing about how You have blessed us, Lord. Others need to know about You. May those we know, hear about our Lord because of the many times that we share our story with them. Reach out and touch your people today Oh Lord, so that the unsaved will be drawn to You and the saved will be encouraged. 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!

Share What Jesus Has Done For You

Putting aside all challenges, and every heartache you might have, can you look into the face of Jesus and thank Him for all His kindness, His miraculous touch on your life, His protection in the storms of life and the pain-free, perfect place He has prepared for you when you leave this world? If you feel like you could do that, may I challenge you to consider how many family, friends, coworkers or others that you have shared that with? Think about that today with me dear friends!

DATE POSTED: Wednesday, 2021-08-11
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 8:38-39
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 38 But the man who had been set free begged Jesus over and over not to leave, saying, “Let me be with you!”
Jesus sent him away with these instructions: 39 “Return to your home and your family, and tell them all the wonderful things God has done for you.” 
So the man went back and preached to everyone who would listen about the amazing miracle Jesus had worked in his life.

APPLICATION: This is a very similar lesson to the one we encountered in yesterday’s devotional, so perhaps God is really working at our hesitancy to share about His goodness. Unfortunately, we each know of friends, and perhaps family as well, that did not make it through the challenges of COVID. But we all know of folk that did well, and survived this dreaded disease. We are thankful for the latter, and I’m sure those who overcame are also very thankful and probably share the highlights of their healing with family and friends. Now imagine for a moment that you were in the shoes of the demon possessed man. He was fortunate enough, and blessed to have met Jesus and enjoy His comfort and His healing. In fact, there was such a turn around for this man that he asked to remain in the presence of Jesus. No doubt he felt like there were enough other maladies in his life that hanging with Jesus for a longer period might restore perfection in his life once again. But notice that true to a previous statement by Jesus, where He said that He didn’t come to hang with those who are well, but instead with the sick and oppressed, so Jesus told the man that he must instead go and tell his family what Jesus had done for him. So think with me about the life of this man before he was touched by Jesus. He had no control over his life and his movements because of the demons that controlled him, so no one wanted to come anywhere close to him. Then this man found Jesus and received a healing touch from Him. Can you imagine the difference that must have occurred in this man? I’m sure that people must have looked at him and, seeing such a turnaround in his body and the control he now had over his movements, they must have immediately determined that he must have been in the presence of Jesus, the Healer and all-powerful Son of God. Friends, we are embarrassed to tell others of our many aches and pains because we don’t want them to feel sorry for us, but aren’t we ready to shout it from the mountain tops when our bodies are healed and our minds are at peace in knowing that we’ve been in the presence of Jesus? The demonic man expanded his outreach and wound up telling the whole town, not just his family, about all that Jesus had done for him. While this sounds very logical, isn’t it interesting the word used by the Passion Translation – he ‘PREACHED’ to everyone? You know, we all hide from this term because we don’t feel like we are well versed in the Bible, but we all can share about our experience with Jesus. Let me encourage you dear reader or listener, just tell them what Jesus has done for you – ‘preach’ this good news to them. Jesus will do the rest in drawing them to the foot of the cross to meet this Jesus who healed us, touched us, saved us, cared for us and returned us to society in best form.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Just share what Jesus has done for you! Share the good news with all you come into contact with. ‘Preach’ to them!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, what have we done to deserve God’s own Son? Who are we that He should live and die for us? Just as You healed the demonic man, You have also healed many of us reading Your Word today, and we are most appreciative for You loving us so much. Lord, we just can’t keep this inside, we must share the mercies of the Lord with others or we will burst. Please give us boldness to share the joy that fills us, and brag on Your goodness with all those we come into contact with. Just as You commanded the healed demonic to go and share what You did for him, I believe You are saying the same to Your children again today, so that the unsaved world will hear about Jesus and know Him personally. May Your kingdom come, even through our personal encounters with 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!

Boast Only On The Lord

In the ministry of Jesus Christ, I’ve seen where churches and pastors have separated themselves from other believers since they are not of like faith, or under the same pastorate. Is that Christian, or is that aligned with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? As we meditate on the Scripture today, I believe that we will be reminded that only what’s done for Jesus will last, or make a difference in the hearts and lives of mankind. So even when we are commissioned to carry out the message of Jesus Christ, we must always seek to follow Paul’s example, when he said: ‘Oh that You may increase Lord, so that I may decrease!’

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-06-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 11:17-18
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 As the Scriptures say, “If anyone is going to boast, let him boast about what the Lord has done and not about himself.” 18 When someone boasts about himself and how well he has done, it doesn’t count for much. But when the Lord commends him, that’s different!

OBSERVATION: In the ministry of Jesus Christ, I’ve seen where churches and pastors have separated themselves from other believers since they are not of like faith, or under the same pastorate. Is that Christian, or is that aligned with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? As we meditate on the Scripture today, I believe that we will be reminded that only what’s done for Jesus will last, or make a difference in the hearts and lives of mankind. So even when we are commissioned to carry out the message of Jesus Christ, we must always seek to follow Paul’s example, when he said: ‘Oh that You may increase Lord, so that I may decrease!’

APPLICATION: Jesus tells us in the Scripture that if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. Our Scripture today tells us that boasting of ourselves really counts as naught. So I believe that we could easily gather from the Scriptures that the work and ministry of the Lord Jesus is one that point others to Him and to the empty cross and tomb. We are mere carriers of the Gospel message. One beggar teller another beggar where to find bread. I once had a pastor who, after preaching His heart out, was greeted by multiple attendees that complimented him on the nice (new) suit he was wearing that day. The pastor told his leaders that he would never wear that suit again, because he felt like the people never heard a word the Holy Spirit spoke through Him that morning. Does that happen to you? Are you so caught up in the outfits, the pretty ladies or the handsome men who attend church, to really hear what the pastor is sharing from God’s Word? Another point to consider is that in accomplishing the work of our Master, we may cover some of the same ground already covered by another minister over recent weeks, months and years. However, if we choose to preach the gospel and Christ only; and if we choose to lift up Christ and Christ alone; and if we choose to allow Christ to speak through us and use us to reach those who need a Savior, then hearts will be drawn to the Mighty One. But I am convinced that this only works when it’s Christ and Christ alone that we minister about and lift up. When it becomes important for us to seek recognition, then we begin transitioning from Christian Ministry, to a cult that teaches one needs Christ plus what they have to offer. Think about it friends, when Christ saves us from our life of sin and selfish desires, and His Holy Spirit moves in to control and direct our lives, then its easy to see that when we open our mouths, our words are those of the One living in us. Our actions are so influenced with His motives and His ways that others will think of Jesus Christ only. I believe that the last thing we want anyone to gain from us, is our bad habits, thoughts and deeds done in private. Jesus is the only One worth passing along dear friend! So honor Him today and let Him have His will and way through you in everything you do or say, so that the world will become more like Him – and not us. Our jobs always entail spreading the joy of Jesus and His soon return, not the disappointing news of self with daily examples of how we fail. When we teach, preach and practice the life, works and saving power of Jesus, His work continues until He returns to take us home to glory. Churches often fall apart when the pastor leaves, who has lifted up and promoted self too much during his time while ‘ministering’ in your midst.

PRAYER: What a privilege is ours to have You reside in us and teach us Your ways, Holy Spirit. What an honor is ours to know Jesus, the One who hung on a cross as a demonstration of Your love for us. You provided the means for a sinner to seek forgiveness of sin and to be found righteous by our holy God. Thank You Jesus for doing that for even me. As I share that awesome news with others around me, may You touch lives and draw them unto yourself. Lord, please humble all those that spread Your Word, may we always seek to lift You up and give You praise for all that You are. This ministry is all about You precious Lord, may I always keep You first in my life and allow You to accomplish Your work, without my interference or distraction. 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!

Do It Well – While You Can

I once heard a senior employee ask ‘What’s the least we could do, and still get by without being fined for missing the mark on that new regulation?’. I am convinced that this is the attitude of many employees who try to do just enough to not be challenged by management. What about your Christian life, do you have it down to a science on the minimum that God might approve of? The wisest king that ever lived was used by God to tell us that whatever we find to do, give it our all, because this might be the only opportunity to do it at all. Let us seek the wisdom of God as we meditate on this thought today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-06-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: So here is what you should do: go and enjoy your meals, drink your wine and love every minute of it because God is already pleased with what you do. Dress your best, and don’t forget a splash of scented fragrance. Enjoy life with the woman you love. Cherish every moment of the fleeting life which God has given you under the sun. For this is your lot in life, your great reward for all of your hard work under the sun. 10 Whatever you find to do, do it well because where you are going—the grave—there will be no working or thinking or knowing or wisdom.

OBSERVATION: I once heard a senior employee ask ‘What’s the least we could do, and still get by without being fined for missing the mark on that new regulation?’. I am convinced that this is the attitude of many employees who try to do just enough to not be challenged by management. What about your Christian life, do you have it down to a science on the minimum that God might approve of? The wisest king that ever lived was used by God to tell us that whatever we find to do, give it our all, because this might be the only opportunity to do it at all. Let us seek the wisdom of God as we meditate on this thought today.

APPLICATION: Whether you are an employee, or an employer that happened across this devotional, I believe that it doesn’t take long to recognize those employees who: can’t do enough for their employer; while others will do only enough to maintain their job and earn a paycheck; while others really don’t care enough about whether they keep their job or not, for they are just not going to kill themselves over a job! The company/employer will go a long ways in successfully achieving its goals with some employees, while battling to stay in business with other employees. But what about the church? Supposedly filled with people who are trying to live up to the principles taught by Jesus, yet undependable and uncommitted to the work of the Lord. Oops, too harsh? Perhaps, but folk it is time that we take it seriously what Jesus ordered in Matthew 28:19-20, that we are to: 1) Go into all the world; 2) Baptizing those that we come into contact with, and influence; and 3) Teach them to obey all the commands given by the Master. So please allow me to ask you a very pointed, but important question: Since accepting Jesus as your personal Savior, which of the three commands above have you flourished in and which do you struggle in? Does church attendance satisfy either of these commands? What about the banner that you carry that reads: ‘I’m a Christian’ – does your display of that banner count as obedience to either of these commands? Please stop for a moment and carefully analyze how you would rate yourself in responding to today’s Scripture on being a Christian, or obeying the commands of our Savior. Are you doing well with the honor of being a child of God? Notice that Solomon said that you only have today to do it well. When your time here on earth expires and you have been laid to rest, you will no longer have opportunity to Go, Baptize nor Teach those that need the Lord. Is your time well spent now dear friend? Neither in the Matthew reference nor in the Ecclesiastes reference does God give you the opportunity to ask the pastor, or your Sunday School teacher, or your elder, or a good friend to do these things for you. As you meditate today, let me encourage you to think about how you will respond to God when He asks how you did in these areas. Will you be proud to report, or will you be ashamed and disappointed that you never even tried? It’s not too late, ask your pastor how you might get involved in ministry at your church. After you pick him up off the floor he will gladly steer you in the right direction. He wants you to be involved in ministry!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please forgive us for doing only enough to get by and perhaps look good in the eyes of our pastor. We are reminded that You sacrificed Your one and only Son, Jesus, because of Your love for us. Yet we find excuse after excuse why we can’t do something in your vineyard. We ignore the pleadings from our pastors for help in many areas of ministry. We find it impossible to commit to giving of our time or finances. Please embolden Your church and speak to our hearts once again about the need for ministry right in our own homes, in our neighborhoods, our churches and our country. Oh Lord, how will they know if we don’t tell them. Please help us to be so proud of our Father that we will gladly share about Him and our relationship with Him, so that You may be honored and praised even here on this old earth. 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!

The Importance of the Here and Now

It seems like there was never a time where it was more important to be concerned about the here and now. Yes it is always a joy to study future prospects and try to know today what would happen tomorrow, but let’s take some time to remind ourselves about why Jesus taught us to be concerned about today, and allow God the Father to take full responsibility for what lies ahead.

Saturday, 2019-12-14

Bible Reference: Acts 1:7-8
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: He answered, “The Father is the one who sets the fixed dates and the times of their fulfillment. You are not permitted to know the timing of all that he has prepared by his own authority. But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power.[k] And you will be my messengers[l] to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces[m]—even to the remotest places on earth![n]

OBSERVATION: It seems like there was never a time where it was more important to be concerned about the here and now. Yes it is always a joy to study future prospects and try to know today what would happen tomorrow, but let’s take some time to remind ourselves about why Jesus taught us to be concerned about today, and allow God the Father to take full responsibility for what lies ahead.

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything quite as bad as living with regrets for not having taken advantage of a situation that presented itself at a given time. Often this might be caused by us being preoccupied and more concerned about what would happen tomorrow. As we take a few moments to think about it, I believe that each reader will quickly realize at least one time in their life where this occurred, and it probably hurts to even think about it. Had we studied harder in high school and college, we would be much further ahead today and In the weeks ahead. Had we spoken to a friend about the Lord yesterday, we may have convinced them of their need for the Savior, before they passed away last night, but we wanted them to speak with our pastor on Sunday. Had we befriended that neighbor at our neighborhood party last weekend, it may have helped save them from self injury last night. However, whether we look back, or try to find ways to look forward, I believe we are totally distracting ourselves from what is actually occurring currently, or especially at what we should currently be doing to help further the kingdom of God. Conferences tend to fill up quickly when a speaker brings in the latest timelines and news on prophecies related to end times. Important? Absolutely. But in our Scripture Jesus tells us that His all-powerful Holy Spirit will come upon us and we would become His messengers in our neighborhoods, our hometowns, our states, our country, and throughout all parts of the world – wherever His children are. Friends, I believe that Jesus is saying: look, I want you to pay attention to the prophecies I have given to my prophets, but it is far more important that you become my messengers for the times in which we find ourselves right now. What sorts of things would messengers do? Take the message of Jesus wherever he is sent; Represent Jesus so that there will be no confusion on the part of the hearers about whose messenger came to them. I believe this means acting like Jesus in every way taught through His Word; sharing the Word of God as taught in His Word; and loving people just like God first loved us. I hope that no one will walk away thinking that I am opposed to prophecies, because I am a strong believer in God’s Word, and He said that He would give the gift of prophecy to some. But I was reminded in our Scripture today that most of us reading this devotional today, are actually considered ‘messengers of the Heavenly King’, yet we casually make our way to church like we are doing God a favor, and we do everything possible not to impose our religion on others – or is that the same as saying that we don’t want to share our ‘Jesus’ with anyone? Friends, I believe that God is saying to us that He has a plan for us today, and He has kids that He wants us to share Christ with today. Let’s try and share the precious love of the same Savior that has blessed us beyond measure yesterday, today, and who has promised to bless us until He returns. Today is the day of salvation!

PRAYER: Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever, has blessed us so that we could bless others. Thank you for trusting us with today, dear Lord! We have been reminded of the importance of where we are at right now. Thank you for opening our eyes to those in our path that need to know you personally. We have been reminded of the importance of today, please humble us to be obedient to Your voice and to the opportunities that exists right here, right now. Please help us to be mere instruments of Your love and allow others to see You in all of Your glory. Precious Lord, oh how sweet, hope of earth and joy of heav’n; Precious name! Oh, how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heav’n. AMEN!

Key Responsibilities for the Christian

We hear a lot about family divisions, church splits, and of course divorces, but in God’s Word He tells us that we are to stay away from quarrels and always seek to live holy lives before the Lord. Oh, and while aiming for that perfection, make sure that no one in your group wanders away from God’s best blessing, and creates a point of bitterness, envy, distrust, that may therefore cause others to avoid the rich blessings of the Lord.

Tuesday, 2019-07-30

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14-15
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 14 Try to stay out of all quarrels, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.

OBSERVATION: We hear a lot about family divisions, church splits, and of course divorces, but in God’s Word He tells us that we are to stay away from quarrels and always seek to live holy lives before the Lord. Oh, and while aiming for that perfection, make sure that no one in your group wanders away from God’s best blessing, and creates a point of bitterness, envy, distrust, that may therefore cause others to avoid the rich blessings of the Lord.

APPLICATION: In life, we hear a lot about how people look out for themselves – how they earn as much money as they possibly could, so that they could have everything they desire, and go places that others barely think of. This may prove to be a successful path for some, while for others the same path may lead them into selfish attitudes, who may think that they worked so hard, so that they could make it to the top, and they deserve everything that they have, so that they could enjoy travel and the other joys of life that they have dreamed of over the years. Very successful people, you might say, for they set their goals and worked hard to achieve them. I will not try to disagree with how you might feel about your friends that you identified in my description above, but as a Brother in Christ I feel compelled to draw your attention to what the Scripture demands of us individually, in hopes that we will never find ourselves in that ‘selfish’ corner. I believe that God created us to be successful, but first and foremost, I believe that God created us in His own image, so that we might never lose sight of our creator. In fact, I believe that He has built into us a deep desire to obey and imitate Him, and to even worship Him as our Creator. These things will cause us to always remember Him as our Father. When we place ourselves in the position of the created one, the worshiper and the obedient servant, why do you suppose that we would desire anything that displeases our Master and Lord? Friends, this whole devotional can be summed up in short by admonishing you to: Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior; worship Him in humility as your Lord; Obey His every command; follow in His footsteps, guided by His Word, so that you may act, look and sound just like Him to a lost and dying world. When you do this my friend, you are bound to avoid the things He avoided, live the way He lived, and desire the ‘good life’ for others around you, just the way that He chose you and called you unto Himself. I love the way that verse 15 admonishes us to feel secure in our relationship with the Lord, and to show proof of our oneness with God by looking out for our neighbor – those around us, just like He did with us. If our neighbors neglect the Lord, or if Satan tempts them in ways that affect their good standing, then we had best look at supporting them and encouraging them, before their negativity, hatred or other hideous actions start to affect us. Furthermore, when that neighbor hurts, we should also hurt and we should be drawn to help them turn their life around. So yes, we must stay in close relationship with God so that we might mirror His goodness here on this earth, BUT we also have a responsibility to look on and help our neighbor as well. I trust that you will make every effort to help your neighbor along this tough road of life, just like God held out His hand and pulled you up from the sin that held you back.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole. Thank You Lord for giving to me, thy great salvation so rich and free! Now I beg You Lord, to help my readers and I to not only boast in that oneness with You, but to share that love, and Your salvation, with all those around us – our neighbors. People need the Lord, amen? May they see our Savior so prevalent in our lives that they will want to know Him, accept Him and serve Him the rest of their lives. AMEN!

Share God’s Glory

An awesome verse that portrays the great love that God has for us. He wasn’t satisfied just leaving us as we were, sinners in a world controlled by the evil one. So He sent His Son, made Jesus a perfect Savior, so that those who want a better life, those who want to go to Heaven, those who want to accept Him, would become God’s children and share in His glory! This is miraculous news that should encourage the hearts of anyone capable of grasping this truth! Oh what a Savior! Oh what awesome love our Father has for us! Wow!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 2:9-10 (ERV)

TEXT: ….. Because of God’s grace, Jesus died for everyone. 10 God—the one who made all things and for whose glory all things exist—wanted many people to be his children and share his glory. So he did what he needed to do. He made perfect the one who leads those people to salvation. He made Jesus a perfect Savior through his suffering.

OBSERVATION:   An awesome verse that portrays the great love that God has for us. He wasn’t satisfied just leaving us as we were, sinners in a world controlled by the evil one. So He sent His Son, made Jesus a perfect Savior, so that those who want a better life, those who want to go to Heaven, those who want to accept Him, would become God’s children and share in His glory! This is miraculous news that should encourage the hearts of anyone capable of grasping this truth! Oh what a Savior! Oh what awesome love our Father has for us! Wow!

APPLICATION:   I wonder how many of us come across someone in our daily walk, that feels unloved, unappreciated, despondent, without hope and living in a world where all they feel is frustration, hatred, revenge and just totally alone? Could the only thing that’s missing be, that they need to be encouraged and told about a Father who loves them, a Savior who cares for them, and a place called heaven that awaits those who accept Jesus as their Savior? Do they know that you care about them? Friends, please don’t automatically assume that because you’ve known this all of your life, that those you come into contact with will know this also. A friend was telling me just last Sunday that he had ministered in an Asian country, and it always blew him away when he would speak to someone about our Lord Jesus, and all he got was blank stares, for they had no idea what he was talking about. Do you sometimes wonder why God places you in the presence of some of the folk that you meet? Could it possibly be because you have the answers to ‘life eternal’ and to the many questions that your new acquaintance may have in their everyday life? I believe that our Scripture today serves two primary purposes: 1). It contains a reminder for you and I, that God, who created us to worship and serve Him, has done everything necessary to have us return to Him in glory to celebrate eternally with He and His Father; and 2). God will place people in our path, not by accident, but divinely, because He wants us to show His love to them, or share His Word with them, or tell them about Jesus who loved them enough that He died for them. Now, if only we can stay on task and welcome the work of Jesus in and through us so that He may be glorified!

PRAYER:   Thank You dear Lord for Your Word, Your love, and Your concern for even me. Lord I believe! I believe that You can and will use Your children, like my readers and I, to also be Your witness to the lost world in which we live. As we approach family and friends today Lord, may they see You and know You personally. Most will probably protest that they need no-one, but use us Lord to show them that there is only one way to heaven, and that’s through the Savior that they truly need. Please use us as Your instruments 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 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 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!

 

Share More When You Make More!

Paul gets right to the point about a controversial item in his day. No doubt Paul was faced with envy by some of his church members, one towards another, because of the varying amounts that each could afford to give. Paul addressed this, and because this is still such a hot topic in today’s church, I want us to look deeper into this today.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (Voice)

TEXT:  But I will say this to encourage your generosity: the one who plants little harvests little, and the one who plants plenty harvests plenty. Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.

OBSERVATION:   Paul gets right to the point about a controversial item in his day. No doubt Paul was faced with envy by some of his church members, one towards another, because of the varying amounts that each could afford to give. Paul addressed this, and because this is still such a hot topic in today’s church, I want us to look deeper into this today.

APPLICATION:   I believe that we must first look at the example of God to derive our understanding of giving, then perhaps we could understand why we should give, how much we should give, and with what attitude we should give. Bible scholars will know that throughout the Old Testament, people found the need to sacrifice something to God, hoping that in return He would bless them. God saw many flaws with this, so in the New Testament, in John 3:16 God declared that He gave His very own Son (Jesus) as a sacrifice for our sin once and for all. Like any gift ever given to us, our part is to take delivery, or accept that gift, in an attitude of thanksgiving, and make it ours. Of course, we approach the throne, filled with the stains of this world, so we beg for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into our heart and make us more like Him every day. Once the Holy Spirit enters the heart of a believer, I believe that our conscience becomes very sensitive to the gifts of the Master.  For example, already today I can thank God for the ability to ‘rise and shine’; the opportunity to share the Word with you guys; a job that I could give of myself to my employer so that, in turn, I could earn income to support my family, and give to the needs of God’s children and His church. As shared above, the Christian will normally desire to be more like Jesus every day. So when the subject of giving arises, how much should we give, compared to what Jesus gave? Jesus was willing to give right on up to life itself, as He did on the cross. In today’s society, we know that we could give of our finances and we could give of ourselves in service. God gives us an example of how much we could give financially, but as seen in our verses today, He wants us to give in an attitude of thankfulness and happiness. But how much should I give Brother Ed, because none of us could really give it all like Jesus did for us. I’m so glad you asked, because the Bible suggests that we give 10%. OK, is that 10% of our spendable money – in other words, after paying all of our bills? Friends, that is something you will decide between you and the Lord, but I give based on my gross salary. After all, God blessed me with it all and while I have obligation to our government for taxes and to repay my loans, none of that would would have been possible had God not blessed me with my job and the good health to do things, like work. There was nothing that was discounted when Jesus went to the cross, He actually gave it all. He has promised to meet all of our needs, if we trust Him, so don’t let Satan tell you otherwise.

PRAYER:   To my all giving, all generous, blessed Savior, thank You for giving, so that I may live eternally with You and the Father. Thankfully You’ve blessed my readers and I with so much, that we want to follow Your example in giving back to Your work here on earth and, in turn, bless those in our community that are much more challenged than we are. Please teach us to follow You faithfully; to give generously; to love unconditionally; and to bless Your work financially; just as You have blessed us in earning the money. May we be obedient in all things, even as you were obedient right up to and including Your cruel death on the cross. May we shine as a Christ-follower, especially in our generosity and obedience to Your Word. 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 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!

 

Tell Everyone What Jesus Did For You

The appointment that Jesus had with the demon possessed man led to a total change in his life. He knew that he would benefit from being around Jesus even more, so he pleaded with Him to allow him to travel with Him. That would have been safe, secure and perhaps filled with ongoing miracles, but Jesus had a much bigger mission in mind for this man – to share his miracle of ‘new life’ with others, so that they too might see and believe – just like our personal witnessing/ministry today!

Post Date:

Thursday, 2018-04-26
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 5:18-20 (TLB)

Text:

18 So he got back into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demons begged Jesus to let him go along. 19 But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and they were awestruck by his story.
OBSERVATION:
The appointment that Jesus had with the demon possessed man led to a total change in his life. He knew that he would benefit from being around Jesus even more, so he pleaded with Him to allow him to travel with Him. That would have been safe, secure and perhaps filled with ongoing miracles, but Jesus had a much bigger mission in mind for this man – to share his miracle of ‘new life’ with others, so that they too might see and believe – just like our personal witnessing/ministry today!
APPLICATION:
Imagine how small Christendom would be if, when folk went into a place like a church, they found Jesus, accepted Him as Lord and personal Savior, and never came back outside. Not only would the outside world never hear their gripping story, but they would think the worst of what must have become of them. Friends, it is one thing for the world to hear about some of the things that go on inside places of worship, but it is a totally more convincing fact for them to witness what happened in a life that was totally torn by sin, but have since seen a 180 degree change in their conviction, their lifestyle and in their demeanor. So often we hear the saying ‘what’s inside will come out’, and we see that materialize through the various ones that we encounter each day, but I must also share with you that if a change occurred inside of you, and you are not living out that change, then one might question if anything ever truly changed in you. Let’s consider briefly an example – a frequent visitor to the local pub, who most evenings have to be driven home because he would get too intoxicated to walk straight or drive home. This gentleman was introduced to Jesus and he accepted Jesus as Lord of his life. While a total change came about in his life, and he had no more desire to hang out in places where the Holy Spirit would not feel comfortable, he comes across his bar-hoping buddies from time to time. Much like the demon-freed man, this new convert made it a point to get in the way of his buddies, and he openly shared his story with them. Friends, this gentleman didn’t automatically become a preacher, but he had a story about how his life was changed. Sharing your story with others is often more powerful than reading the scriptures to your friends. Imagine, you are sharing a personal experience you had with God, not just about a prophet or healing that took place thousands of years ago that Bible writers told you about. Please don’t misunderstand, the Bible is the Holy Word of God and it always has the power to save and draw people to Christ. However, when you have bathed yourself in the Word, your personal story will be especially important to share with folk who need to know that our Savior lives, and He is active in our lives even today!
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace that saved a wretch like me, who was steeped in sin and had no hope of eternity. Much like the demon possessed man in our story, You accepted my plea for salvation and forgave me of my sin. I am eternally grateful for that dear Jesus. Much like our subject today, I am most comfortable around Your people who think much the same way as I do. But praise be to God, You allow me opportunities to ‘go back home’ and share the Good News of my Savior. Many of you reading this blog may fit into a similar mold as described. Let us pray that as we are taken outside of our comfort zone, that God would provide the opportunities to share Christ and to bring Light into the darkest lives of those who need a change. Out story is super important, please help us to ensure that it becomes very evident to the hearer that it is You who influence our lives each day, and You who saved us from a life destined for Hell and transformed us into a child of the King! Lord, may this be the day that ‘our story’ will lead someone to knowing more about 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 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!