Sincerity of the Heart in Prayer

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Kings 20:1-6 (ERV)

TEXT: 1 …. “The Lord says, ‘You will die soon, so you should tell your family what they should do when you die. You will not get well.’”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall that faced the Temple and began praying to the Lord. Lord, remember that I have sincerely served you with all my heart. I have done what you say is good.” Then Hezekiah cried very hard.

Before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, he received this message from the Lord, “Go back and speak to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I heard your prayer and I saw your tears, so I will heal you. On the third day you will go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add 15 years to your life….

OBSERVATION:   Hezekiah had been very diligent in serving God faithfully as he ruled over Judah, so the news of his impending death came as a quick, shortened life, decision to him. In fact, he was so determined to carry out more of his plans, that he quickly turned to God in very earnest prayer, to ask for more time. God gave him 15 more years, but take note in vs 5 that God not only heard his wish for more time, but He saw his tears. You may pray in secret to the Father, but always remember that He knows the innermost thoughts of each one who approaches His throne of grace.

APPLICATION:   Often we will allow anything to roll from our lips that we feel like the audience might expect to hear from us, or that we think they really need to hear at that moment. Unfortunately I believe that corporate prayer pulls that sort of prayer from saints. Friends, I believe that if we could go before the Master with all walls broken down, and in total openness and transparency, then God will hear the cry of our hearts without all the frills. In fact, I would dare say that we would be willing to share the ‘un-edited’ version of our prayers! Notice also that in a public setting, we may not be willing to allow our emotions to show. In our Scripture, the king (Hezekiah) prayed so sincerely that he ‘cried very hard’. This sounds like a prayer filled with emotion, and I believe that we will do the same when we pray to the Father in a private setting, just as we might do when discussing intimate things with our spouse. In other words, I believe that we would be more apt to be ‘real’ when in private and desperate prayer with our Father. Now friends, please know that I am not condemning corporate prayer, for it is times like that, where you will realize that God is still answering prayer, that He still hears the prayers of His children, and the sweetness in hearing someone else lifting up your prayer need before the Master and ultimate Healer. These are the times that young Christians learn to pray; they will also gain encouragement from hearing your prayer and knowing that they too can ask God for their own wishes. I heard someone say at one time, that we should pray for needs as if it was our son or daughter in need of prayer! Do you see how we might get more sincere,serious, and urgent about a prayer like that? I believe that it was that kind of deep sincerity that king Hezekiah went before God with.

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, there are many needs that we may come before You with, and we will often keep them in such general form that I’m sure You must wonder how serious we are. I pray in deepest earnest that You may touch the hearts of each church member in my city, county, state and nation. If we were playing church, then we would become a member and continue doing what we’ve always done. While this may, unfortunately, be exactly what many have done, I want to plead with You from the bottom of my heart that the church will be ‘the church’ – ‘Your church’. Others will have no desire to know You, if they see us pretending, or uncommitted, or pleasing the crowd instead of preaching,  teaching and praying Your Word. Please touch the hearts of Your children today, and help us to seriously petition the throne of grace for the unsaved and the uncommitted, and may Your church catch fire from the revival that will result! I ask these things believing in the power of the Almighty, 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!

 

When Jesus Looks Into Your Eyes

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-09-13
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 22:60-62 (TLB)

Text:

 60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And as he said the words, a rooster crowed.
61 At that moment Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered what he had said—“Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times.” 62 And Peter walked out of the courtyard, crying bitterly.
OBSERVATION:
In earlier verses Peter swore that he would do anything and everything to show his loyalty to Jesus. But he was cautioned by Jesus, as He knew what would happen when Peter was really squeezed by the local people to claim his allegiance. Of course Jesus knew what He was saying, and unfortunately for Peter, Jesus was present when it happened the third time when Peter heard the rooster crow, just as Jesus had predicted to Peter. Let’s apply this to our own lives…
APPLICATION:
As a child, I knew when mom’s eyes meant she was proud of me, or when she was upset at me, or when I was really in trouble. At school, I knew the same traits of my teacher. Now that I’m older, I can see how silly it was of me to try and hide certain things from either of these people, because they knew me so well, and they were certainly smart enough to see guilt in my eyes. Reading these verses, I was reminded that Jesus sees me as His loving child, and when I try very diligently to obey Him and do His perfect will. However. I was also reminded that He also sees when I willfully disobey His commands and His instructions, and when I make promises to Him but totally disregard them when I think that no one knows me or sees me. Am I alone in this? Am I the only one that didn’t learn from this embarrassing moment of Peter’s? Friends, each of us must face God for ourselves. It won’t matter how much of a godly mother we had or that our dad was a pastor, God will look into our eyes (individually) and judge us for who we were and for all the words we said or thoughts that may or may not have provoked our actions. If that was to happen today, how would that go for you? May I remind you that this could be the exact scene for you or I today? We all have lost friends this year that we never suspected that they would be called home so early in life. So may I encourage you today to know that you know Jesus personally, and to live as if today will be the day that Jesus looks fully into your eyes and makes a final decision on you, based on what He knows to be the case.
PRAYER:
Father God, we come humbly before You today and confess that way too often we are probably way too much like Peter. Lord, I believe that we all will confess that we would much prefer being the ‘perfect’ child and that we have been totally obedient to you in mind, action and daily walk. Please forgive us for trying to ‘pull the wool’ over our parent’s eyes, our teachers, our friends and for foolishly thinking that we could do the same with You. I believe that our greatest desire as Your child today is that we become more and more like You every day, and that friends we witness to will see us the same in the dark as they see in the daytime; the same in town as they might see out of town; the same in our workplaces as they see in church and that Your character will be evident in and through us at all times. Lord, may You rule and reign supremely in us at all times, is my humble prayer, 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!

Things that Anger God

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-08-29
SCRIPTURE

From:

Judges 2:10-14 (TLB)

Text:

 10 But finally all that generation died; and the next generation did not worship Jehovah as their God and did not care about the mighty miracles he had done for Israel. 11 They did many things that the Lord had expressly forbidden, including the worshiping of heathen gods. 12-14 They abandoned Jehovah, the God loved and worshiped by their ancestors—the God who had brought them out of Egypt. Instead, they were worshiping and bowing low before the idols of the neighboring nations. So the anger of the Lord flamed out against all Israel. He left them to the mercy of their enemies, for they had departed from Jehovah and were worshiping Baal and the Ashtaroth idols.
OBSERVATION:
God had been so patient with the Israelites. Rescuing them miraculously from Egypt; Bringing them through the wilderness, feeding them, defying nature to defeat their enemies; and held back rivers of water so that they could walk across on dry land to their destination. God did this while having to deal with their sin every time that Moses and Aaron turned their heads. However, in our Scripture today we will see where at one time God gave in to their wishes and left them to their own vices. Why would such a ‘loving’ God allow His people to suffer like this? Let’s have a look, and also see if this applies to us today…..  
APPLICATION:
One of the hardest things for a parent to do, is to let go of their grown children and allow them to grow from their own experiences. I believe that one of the more satisfying things a parent might hear from their grown child is: “You warned me over and over that this might happen, and yes it happened just as you said. I wish I didn’t have to deal with the consequences,” Friends, this is exactly how God works. He sent His very own Son to die a cruel death, but to satisfy the debt of our sin if we ask for God’s forgiveness. He provided us a Book of Instruction by which the child of God might learn what pleases God and what creates a stench in His nostrils. So why then would we be in danger of Hell and damnation you might ask. Well, how are you doing with your admission of guilt? How submissive are you? Are you willing to surrender self control and allow God to lead you in the right paths of life? Where’s your Bible? Is it accumulating dust or do you use it way too often for that to occur? Do you bring up your kids in the fear of the Lord and understanding God’s Word to be their guide for life? Remember, we agreed a long time ago that we don’t want our school system spoiling them with that good stuff? That last one is interesting, because since that decision was made, there seems to be no end, or surprise to the quantity and variety of sins that are occurring right inside of our schools. If it starts there, do you think for a moment that it gets better when these kids hit the streets and have no supervision at all? Friends, the Israelites suffered from their rebellion and as a result of their sin. Might the things that are happening in our land and in our world be a reflection of our sin? More and more people tend to find solace in their own little world building their own little kingdoms. Fewer and fewer attend church, and more and more kids are getting into trouble because of imitating all that they see and hear from their adult counterparts. More and more churches are closing its doors while more and more prisons are needed to handle their overcrowding. Our God is in control. I believe that He will quickly and gladly hear your cry of forgiveness and accept you as His very own child. However, I believe that He will also regrettably allow you to wander and sin if you reject Him. Sin cannot enter heaven, so if you choose the latter, know that the only alternative is eternity in Hell. If you haven’t decided yet what you will do with Jesus, may I recommend Him to you friend? I have known Him personally for over 40 years and I live as a complete example of what He can do with a sinner saved by His grace! Make your decision today friend, for my Lord can return at any moment. It is at that point that He will decide to do with you. You can make that decision today and live in peace throughout eternity. Do it friend!
PRAYER:
Lord God, I can’t imagine going to the airport knowing that I am going to a dreaded place where I will live in misery with lots of regrets. But many of my friends, family, and perhaps some of my readers, live this way every day. Please tender hearts today, so that they might be reminded of the urgency of getting their hearts right with You and allowing You kingship over their lives. Use Your Word to minister to their hearts, I pray, in the all powerful name of Jesus, Your precious Son, 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!

The Desire For, and Joy of Restoration

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-08-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 51:7-13 (TLB)

Text:

 Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. And after you have punished me, give me back my joy again. Don’t keep looking at my sins—erase them from your sight. 10 Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. 11 Don’t toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to other sinners,……
OBSERVATION:
David had sinned in his acts with Bathsheba and in the murder of her husband. Terrible sins for which many would be challenged to forgive. But there came a time that David knew that if he would ever expect to see the joy of his relationship with God restored, then he needed to seek forgiveness from Him first of all. And when things were right with God, David could then go in boldness to seek forgiveness of others he may have hurt. It’s only with a clean and upright heart that David could truly be a witness again for God.
APPLICATION:
Like David, I believe that many Christians suffer today in their witness for God because of sin that they know is hiding in their life, but may feel it is tucked away and unknown to most people, maybe even God. Friends, let me remind you that nothing is hidden from God, so if you have un-confessed sin, you may as well break down the walls of pride and self-will, seek God’s face, and have a little talk with Him. Just as David feared that his sin may have been impacting his people, you may be surprised to hear how your sin may have walls built around you that prevent your witness being evident; your love being experienced; and the warmth and power of God’s love being expressed through you. David wanted to be an influence for his God and spread the joy that God brings to the Christian, but for some reason that just doesn’t happen through a broken vessel filled with sin. David remembered the sweet, open and rich fellowship that he enjoyed with God and he badly wanted that relationship restored. I truly believe that God desires that of each one of us that are separated from Him by sin. But friends, may I suggest that if you are not deeply desiring to see that relationship restored, there may never have been one? I know, you were a deacon in your church, or you may have been in the choir, or you may have attended every service while a certain pastor was at your church. Don’t be fooled by this, for our church doors, like many other churches, are opened to whosoever will come. None of what I mentioned are qualifications for making you right with God. The Bible is very clear on this, and I would encourage you to click on the link in my Footnote ‘To Know Jesus’ to be reminded of what the Bible says. When you truly ask God to forgive you of your sin, and you develop a loving relationship with Him, it turns into a daily communion with Him. You bless Him with your praises and thanksgiving, and He blesses You with endless goodness and mercy to live each day looking more and more like Him. That’s the kind of life you will long for if it is broken by sin that causes you to wander. Seek God my friend and ask Him what stands in the way of your relationship with Him, if anything. Then work it out with Him. This brings joy to any soul willing to ask and follow through with His demands!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, oh how sweet the name! Lord Jesus, the name that is above all names! The name represented by perfect love, and a relationship that is only damaged by our sin. Churches have hundreds on their membership roles, yet they are seldom full. This makes me think that there are broken relationships with You that result in them staying away instead of seeking restoration with You. Lord please work on Your flock first. Allow us to draw closer to You and commune with You each and every day, so that as we speak with the unsaved, we will give in to Your Holy Spirit and speak from personal experience, if appropriate. To You oh Lord be all glory, honor and praise! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Your Walk Is Under Scrutiny

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 1 Peter 2:11–12
Today’s Bible Text: 11 Dear brothers, you are only visitors here. Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls. 12 Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when Christ returns.
The Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take Away: I believe there are really two things that can result from today’s scripture challenge. People that you hang around will have one of the following to say about you:

  1. You are who you say you are – This means that your life around them has proven who they thought you were, or who you claim to be. This is where they have seen proof of your Christian walk, and your talk has aligned with the Word of God. Friends, I have seen this go both ways, for there have been proclaimed Christians who have lived among friends with no distinct witness. In other words, you could not tell the difference. However there have been times where Christians have lived their claim to the gospel in front of their friends, just like they would do in front of their pastor. I believe that Peter is reminding us that we must be very careful not to be a stumbling block to those we hang around, for although they may live like the devil himself, they will not consider changing that lifestyle if they are afraid of being hypercritical like they may see in you and I. In another part of scripture we are told that we should let our yes be yes and our no be no. Don’t say that we are a child of God, but not evidence that in our character. It should be evident to those we hang around, even without walking around with a huge Bible under our arms.
  2. You are indeed a fake, just like everyone suspected – Friends, this is probably the worse thing that could happen to us. Our neighbors have seen us rushing out of our homes to go to church at the appointed times, yet they can’t get to sleep most weekends because of our loud parties. They refuse to let their kids hang around us because of our foul language. They wish everyday that they would have the opportunity to speak with your pastor, so they could really tell him who his parishioners really are. Do you suppose that you could ever witness to that neighbor and ask them to accept your Lord as their Savior?

I believe that Peter is telling us that it is best that we live in such a way, that if someone is spreading gossip about us possibly fitting the 2nd description, that there is enough evidence preceding that incident, that your non-Christian friends would speak up and try to correct the false statements about you. So where do you think that you stand friend? Do you live the life that you claim to your Christian friends? Others will watch your actions a whole lot closer than they would listen to your words. May I encourage you to be sure that your life always reflects whose you are? Be careful to not cave in to the things of this world when backed into a corner with a bunch of friends. Be a Christian at work, at home and at play, just as you are in church.

Prayer: Precious Lord, You stood up to all opposition and hesitated enacting Your awesome power on the cross because of Your commitment and obedience to the Father . Please help us to be just as committed to following You in obedience and dedication to our Lord and Savior, especially out in the world as we hang around folk that need to see physical proof of You in and through Your children. Lord, may it always be evident whose we are, even when it may mean us standing out from the crowd. May our lives always be about You and in full obedience to You. I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, my Master and my Lord, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016

Seeking, or Abandoning God?

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 7:14–15
Today’s Bible Text: Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer….
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: Solomon had just spent a number of years building the temple and now at its dedication he prayed that God would use it for His glory and for the salvation of His people. In the verses immediately preceding the ones above, God spoke to Solomon and said that He would hear his prayer, but there might be times that He might withdraw His hand of blessing from the people because of their sin. However, all they had to do was to humble themselves; pray; seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways, then God promised that He would hear from heaven, forgive their sins and restore their land. That sounds so simple a process for Christians to follow, and such a neat reward from God in return! In fact there are many church revivals designed around this very verse. But you might ask: but what happens if we continue in our sinful ways, or are not committed to do exactly what God has demanded? Well, God actually covers this in the verses following these, for He knew that with the individual minds that He gave to each of us, some might choose to remain in the lust and evil of this world for the sake of presumed ‘happiness’. In verse 19, God actually called this abandonment. In other words, you may decide to abandon the Creator and Designer of this universe, and ‘do your own thing’. Friends, as you can imagine, and as you will read in the caution given in verses 20-22, God will respond in quite different ways than He promised in verse 14 above. So I would challenge you to consider two things with me today:

  1. When we hear about the atrocities occurring in our nation today, do you think of a ‘seeking’ nation of people, or one of ‘abandonment of God’? What role are you playing – living the life and praying for a turn around, or are you a part of the problem?
  2. Would you consider that your church is flourishing in the good graces of God, or floundering as if many have abandoned the faith? Are you part of the problem, or an agent of change praying diligently for the Master to heal your church?

I really don’t see any ‘in between’ in these two options friends. I believe that we are either in (as in staying true to our commitment to serve God faithfully and therefore praying for His hand of mercy), or you are part of the problem where you are falsely thinking that God will bless – in spite of your sin and disobedience. God knows your heart, and He wants you to reconcile your position with Him. Will you do that today friend?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am ashamed that often I and many ‘who are called by Your name’, often straddle the fence and act as though we are in control of our own destiny. We are quick to call on You when it is apparent that things are not going as well as we want them to, otherwise we are often a part of the roadblock to the revival that is needed in our churches and in our land. Please forgive us Lord. Please soften our minds to always recognize Your awesome power and perfect will for our lives. May we be aides of godly change in our churches and in our land, especially in a year of elections that so often tends to divide. I pray earnestly that I may be obedient to Your perfect will in my life, so that I may do my part to encourage my church, my city. my state and my country towards faithfulness to You and Your commands. I ask this in the name of the only One with power to change and effect such a change, Jesus my Lord and Savior, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016

Living A Godly Life

Arbuckle

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 Timothy 3:12
Today’s Bible Text: Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: On reading the subject of this devotional, one may have thought that I would be giving you reasons to worship today, because surely I would be rejoicing over the joys of being a follower of Christ! And yes, there is much to rejoice in as we, Christians, think about our eternal home in glory with our Master. However, what Paul is warning about in this short verse, is what we might expect to see while Christian remains here on earth. Of course you might respond that of course, we spread the joy of the Lord with everyone, and we worship and adore our Savior at every opportunity. As true as that may be friend, notice carefully the verbiage used by Paul, for he said that for us to live a ‘GODLY’ life, we should expect persecution. Living a ‘godly’ life means that you are not just going to obey the commands of God, but you have committed to study His Word carefully and then live your life patterned after Jesus. Think about this friends, Jesus was not a ‘yes man’ to all that the Pharisees expected of Him, for He showed them the true meaning of unconditional love; of unselfish leadership; of placing others before themselves; of standing up for God, even if it may have damaged their political careers; and of changing certain rituals because they were not in the image or expectation of Jesus Christ. In short, Jesus upset the ‘apple cart’ every time He recognized wrong or ungodly living, regardless of who was caught in the crossfire. Let’s look at this from our current scenario. In almost every conversation with Christians, we recognize that we have mellowed a lot from the ways of our ancestors, because we have calculated that their ways were just too strict, or too literal of Biblical teachings. We allow things in our churches now that were unheard of in the early church. When last have you heard of a summit where church leaders would humble themselves before God and surrender totally to His will for the churches they are leading? How long would church leaders be permitted to stay in their roles, if they returned from a conference and started making changes, because they felt God was wanting them to help steer His church back to Him? Are we ready to challenge our work bosses because we see the need to stand up for what we discern to be ungodly principles and/or practices? I don’t believe we will find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus caved in to the practices of the day because He was being too literal with the commands of His Father. If we have committed ourselves to live just like Jesus, should we cave in to worldly practices and demands? How will we explain that to God on Judgment Day?

Prayer: Dear God, You have placed Your perfect Son before us so that we might have the pattern for life that would be pleasing to You. Yet, much like the Pharisees, we have designed our own pattern of living. Unfortunately not all aspects of our design meets the standards that were demonstrated by Jesus. Father, we want our lives and our churches to be aligned with You, yet we tend to place our own little spin to the perfections You have taught us. Please forgive us for doubting; for changing Your ways to conform with the ways of this world; and for assuming Your role, when we should really be seeking Your face and Your will. To win the world for Jesus Christ, I feel like we should first be willing to demonstrate before them a sincere ‘godly’ life so that they can clearly see what they are committing to. Lord Jesus, please have Your will and Your way in the lives of Christians today, beginning with me. Please work miraculously in our churches so that we may truly be the cornerstone of Your worldwide mission to reach the lost while we wait for Your Big Day when You will come to take us home with You. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016