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!

 

The True Worshipper

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider even us, to nourish us for His glory! Read on and be blessed!………

The Bible Translation: The Good News Translation
The Bible Reference: Psalm 50:22-23
The Bible Text: “Listen to this, you that ignore me, or I will destroy you, and there will be no one to save you. Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me, and I will surely save all who obey me.”

My Take Away: In my first read through these verses I was convinced that verse 22 was referring to a non-believer and verse 23 to a believer in Jesus Christ. If you got the same impression, may I encourage you to click on the scripture so you could see the whole chapter. You will quickly agree with me that the whole chapter is referring to those who ‘worship’ God. This was quite an eye opener for me, for I quickly recognized that just as David saw people coming to the temple to offer a sacrifice to the living God, I believe there are still some today who offer similar sacrifices through the money they give to the church, thinking that surely God will be satisfied with them if they give a little from the excess they have earned. There may be others who give, or ‘sacrifice’, of their time, or even attend church services. Friends, when your heart belongs to God, it means that you have surrendered your whole self to God – body, soul and spirit. If everything about you belongs to God, then who do you suppose owns your money? There is no ‘sacrifice’ in what you give to God, when you truly belong to Him. Perhaps, instead you are to be thankful for the 90% that He allows you to keep for your earthly obligations. When you surrender your all to Jesus, you are acknowledging that everything you are, or have, now belong to God, so you are in a continual mode of thanksgiving for the mighty works that you recognize Him doing through you. Why else would you be blessed with a job, when so many others are struggling to find one? Why else would you have the opportunity to witness to someone for Jesus, when they live right next door to the pastor? God has vowed to destroy, or as some translations read, “He will rip you apart” if you ignore Him and His gracious hand in your life. There’s no pretending, lying, or hiding anything from God friend. You are an ‘open book’ in His eyes, and therefore it really upsets Him when you think for a moment that you could ‘pull the wool over His eyes’. A totally surrendered life will be one looking for ways to worship God for His awesome power and love to you. It will be one to recognize God’s handiwork and His blessings in your life and praise Him continually for His unmerited grace. This is what pleases God and honors Him. This is what is referred to in verse 23 when we see God reaching out His hand to save us! Is there anything you need to clear up before approaching the throne of God friend?

Prayer: Lord God, You are so merciful to us. You are so patient with us, especially when we try to convince ourselves that it was our knowledge, or our health or because of the people we know, that we are surviving in this rough old world. Please sober our confused minds for ever thinking that we could do anything, or survive any day, without Your ongoing grace in our lives. There is no way that we can save anyone, but based on Your Word Lord, I believe that You will work through those who have presented themselves before You with a heart that is contrite, and has been washed by Your blood, and that is totally surrendered to You. Please allow Your Holy Spirit to work on us today so that we may clear up any misconceptions that Satan may have planted in our minds. It is only then that You will find room to work through us to minister to Your children. Lord, please open the hearts of my readers today, so that they might draw closer to You and present themselves faultless before the Father one day. These things I ask in the strong and sacrificial name of Jesus, the Christ, 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

The Value In Experiencing God

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – John 9:24-25): 24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.” 25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

THOUGHTS: Try asking me what it was like to land on the moon the very first time, and I would have to look to the internet and/or the local library to find information on the first landing. No doubt I would share some of the personal feelings of those first pioneers as they landed and as they walked around on the surface of the moon. Now, think about the difference in that story versus the response I might write to the question: “what is it like to live in the Bahamas?” You see, I am originally from the Bahamas, having lived the first 33 years of my life there. So I don’t need to do research in order to share a valid response with you. In my response to the first question I would share feelings and facts from the hearts of the first adventurers that landed on the moon. In response to the second question, you would hear about those things I personally experienced, and more about the physical descriptions of the beautiful waters and beaches. You will quickly discern the passion in my response, because my life was, and always will be, impacted by the people and places of the country where I was raised. In our Bible verses today, we see where a man who was once blind, is passionate about Jesus who impacted his life forever. For through His majestic touch, this man could now see for the first time in his life. In fact, the man is getting very frustrated because the Jewish leaders are trying to convince him that the healer is a fraud and that there must be something erroneous about his experience. Friends, this is representative of what happens in Christianity. To those of us who have surrendered our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we have experienced His saving power; His love that was poured out for us on Calvary, in spite of our sin and evil ways; and the eternal hope that is ours to one day unite with Him around the throne of grace in heaven. Anyone carrying the title without the personal experience or interaction with their Master and Lord, can tell you about a Savior they read about or heard testimony of, but they can be easily swayed and distracted to another story that may sound more convincing. A personal experience is embedded in us and will help us to stay firm in the faith and true to our commitment until the day we are called away to be with the Lord in glory! As in any relationship, this experience will only happen as we dedicate ourselves to true and honest servanthood to the One we have surrendered our lives to. I pray that each of you reading this devotional will stop the pretense and seek a personal relationship/experience with a very personal, yet powerful God, through His Son Jesus Christ. Please use information in the ‘Footnote’ to contact me with any questions this may have aroused for you. It is super important that we each seek and experience a ‘personal’ relationship with Jesus. Today can be the day for you, friend!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for reaching down from the glories of heaven to touch my life in such miraculous ways that I can declare today that I know my Redeemer Lives, because He is Alive in me. Lord, may this be evident in every aspect of my life so that others will experience the risen Lord, and not just hear about an event that may have impacted my life. Although I know that You are our main defense against the enemy, I believe that our personal and intimate relationship with You brings peace, solidarity and a witness that will stand firm against the attacks of Satan and his earthly cohorts. May others look to us with a hope today, and not consider us just another hypocrite. I thank You for saving my soul Lord Jesus. May my life exemplify You so vividly today that others will be convicted of their sin and want to know you personally. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

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

Why You Believe What You Believe

THE HOLY BIBLE (Easy To Read Version – 1 Peter 3:15-16):15keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have. 16 But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ, and those who say bad things about you will be ashamed of what they said.

THOUGHTS: I believe that it would be amazing to ask, as a survey of those exiting our church buildings over the weekend, “Why do you believe in Jesus Christ?” or “Why do you believe what you believe?” The importance in these questions become very important when we are asked by a coworker first thing Monday morning: “So what did you do over the weekend?” I find that often I will talk about everything else besides the blessing I received at church, or the refueling I received in worshiping with other believers. What about the close call you had in driving down wet roads over the weekend? What do you attribute that to when explaining it to your coworkers? In the case of most of my readers, I believe that it is probably still safe in each of our countries to attribute the blessings just suggested, to the powerful hand of the Master that watches over us, keeps us, protects us and loves us so very much. Why then would we try to avoid giving credit where credit is due? Imagine that most of you are blessed, as I am, to have a wonderful wife. When asked about your happiness, or how well your clothes look, or your packaged lunch looks that you brought from home, do you find every way to avoid giving credit to your wife. What will that say about the great wife that you married, and your relationship with her? What if your wife was in an adjacent room hearing you trying to avoid giving her credit? Further, Paul cautioned us to also keep our attitudes in check. Don’t be obnoxious in the way you respond, for you may win a Brother, or encourage a Sister, if you handle the response humbly and respectfully give credit to Your Savior. Remember, it is only the grace of God why He would bless you in such a rewarding way. Nothing deserving, based on your goodness. The other caution that Paul gave, is that we respond with a clear conscience. I interpret this as meaning that we are totally honest and totally upfront with our response. Don’t respond in a way that you think the inquirer wants to hear, but respond from the depth of a thankful and appreciative heart. It is amazing how folk can see through pretense, but how quickly they feel sincerity and honesty. We have nothing to be ashamed of in our responses friend. Our Savior died so that we might live eternally in the glories of heaven. How can we be anything short of appreciative when talking about our Savior? The scripture says that if we are ashamed of our Savior here on earth, He will be ashamed of us before His Father in heaven. I believe that the opposite is also true, which is that our Savior will boast of His saints before His Father when He sees our obedience and boldness in telling others about His goodness and mercy! You have a choice today friend!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for boldly showing Your love for us when You willingly surrendered to the cruelty of the cross. Thank You for Your patience with us as we try to be politically correct in our responses to loved ones and coworkers and find every possible explanation for our blessings, instead of giving You supreme credit. Lord, You are so good to us – every day and through every circumstance of life. We are quick to call on You in times of trouble and despair, please help us to be equally as quick to give You credit for answers to those prayers and so much more, for we are such a blessed people! I believe that people who need the Lord, must be convinced that we have the real thing before they will want to know that One of whom we speak. This should be evident in our speech and in our actions, so oh Lord I ask that You saturate us with Your love and bless us with boldness to proclaim that it’s You we live for and You who bless us daily beyond anything we deserve. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, while thanking Him sincerely for all His manifold blessings, AMEN!

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

So That We Might Know

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – 1 John 3:4-10): 4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. 7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

THOUGHTS: You would think that mankind would know if they had surrendered their heart, their life, and their whole being over to God. However, we also know that when placed under peer pressure, or the constant nagging of a parent or even a pastor, we tend to make certain decisions in order to get them off our back. I’m not saying that the only excuse we make is peer pressure, for some of us just renege on the decision we made because we have been distracted by the things of this world. This is pretty normal for many, where they will stick to one thing as long as nothing better comes up! But friends, I want you to put all of the excuses aside today and concentrate on what the Word of God says. It is very simple, and we don’t need a theological degree to understand it, or to apply it to our lives. If we break God’s laws, or commands detailed in His Word, then we sin, and sin will never enter heaven. However, we are well aware that Jesus never sinned, and if we are to live like Him and follow His example wholeheartedly, then we also must make every effort to avoid sin. If we don’t, and if we keep on sinning, then the Word is clear – see verse 6 – that we are truly not children of the King. We also know that when a person invites Jesus to take charge of their life, that God sends the Comforter (His Holy Spirit) to take up residence in their lives. However, we also know from God’s Word that He will not reside in a temple where sin abides. So friend, as our subject declares today: there are indicators for us to confirm that we are children of God and, unfortunately, there are ‘sin’ indicators that help us to identify, or recognize our lost condition. The BIG challenge that I believe we face today is: now that we know the Truth, what will we do with it? Jesus could return to take us home at any moment friend, and He will only take those who have honored His Word and sought after His righteousness. Are you a part of that group that will be taken up to meet Jesus in the air, or have you determined in your heart that you would rather hang on to things of this world – of Satan? These Bible verses today takes away the doubt of where you will spend eternity. Only you, with God’s help, can change that and make it right today!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the decisions we make today sets the stage for where we will spend eternity. We can’t fool You. And based on this scripture today, we are probably an open book to everyone around us, because they can see if our lives truly reflect any decision we may have made in sincerity to follow You. Please help us to get real, to do away with the pretense and to make honest, heartfelt decisions today that will impact our future destination. May we live in the light of Your Word today, and may our minds be set on one day uniting with You around the throne. This is my desire Lord, and I humbly ask that You will impact the hearts of all of my readers today also. For I ask this in faith, in Your holy name, believing in You as my Lord and everlasting 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

An Unshakable Kingdom

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Hebrews 12:25-29): 25–27 So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—he’s told us this quite plainly—he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.” The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.

28–29 Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!

THOUGHTS: Don’t you suppose that some of the super-powers in our world today wished they could say that they have ‘An Unshakable Kingdom’? We are warned that God shook up His kingdom once before when He showed the Israelites that although He preserved and cared for them in the wilderness for 40 years, most of them would not be allowed into the Promised Land because of their continued sin and disregard for God. Friends, here we are thousands of years later still being warned that we must listen and take note of the awesome God that we know and serve, because He has a side that imitates a raging fire, and just as He shook up the Israelites, He will once again shake up the earth’s population. In fact, it sounds like He is specifically speaking to the church here, because He refers to the many things we have put in place to supposedly encourage people to worship, yet those very things built and/or developed to attract our worship often breakdown the intended purpose for which we put them into place. Let me explain: many churches have split apart over the color of the church walls or the location of the piano, many more have split over the arguments that develop between members – the very persons that the ‘church’ was designed to bring together to worship and adore the one, true Lord that we all call ‘Our Father’. Friends, we are being warned in these verses that God has a much different kingdom in place for His children, but only after a good shakedown to cleanse His church – for those who are sincere in their relationship with God, and who prove it in their daily walk, talk and relationship with their fellow brothers and sisters. Where does that leave you Brother? Will you be in the group that is sifted out Sister, or are you secure in your relationship with God and His people? According to Deuteronomy 4:24, our God is not to be trifled with, for He is a consuming fire and a jealous God. We might fool our pastor or others in the congregation, but God knows our inmost thoughts and our every action – even the intent behind our actions. Often we might realize how those very close to us can see straight through our actions, so imagine how much more powerful God is. In all sincerity friends, let us get our lives in order and truly practice worshipping the one true God here on earth, so we will be ready for an eternity of praising Him in heaven.

PRAYER: With great reverence and with utmost respect I come before You this morning, knowing that in spite of Your loving and caring nature, yet You know my inmost thoughts, decisions and intentions behind everything I say or do. Please forgive me for the times that I have been less than upright or fully forthright before You and/or my fellow man. I am convinced that not only do I need You as my Savior and Lord, but I am in constant need of Your guidance, protection, wisdom and everlasting love. I need You Every Hour, as that good old hymn says. I cannot do this thing called ‘life’ without Your everlasting presence. I hope that my friends reading this devotional are in much better shape in all of these areas than I am, but I pray that You might clear the cobwebs from their minds and show them any shortcomings they might have. Lord, we don’t want to bury our heads in the sand and ignore our faults and/or our sins, because we want to stand before You one day and hear You say “well done good and faithful servant”, for we want to know that even today “It is well with my soul“. Thank You for this reminder Heavenly Father, please help us to be true to You and in our earthly relationships, and we will carefully give You all the credit and praise, for I ask these things in the matchless 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Knowing the Heart of Man

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Titus 1:15-16): 15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.

THOUGHTS: Paul warned Titus about what to expect when he went to minister to the people of Crete. Ever stop to ponder what the Elders or Deacons might warn a new pastor or evangelist coming to minister at your church, about you? Chew on that for a few moments! There is an old saying: ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time’!! I’m afraid that we may convince ourselves that our outward appearance and actions at church might have everyone convinced how good we truly are, but friends may I remind you that it is God who truly knows us, and since it is He that we supposedly go to worship at church, then it is He that we must convince of our goodness and worth. This presents a challenge, because He knows our heart, our intentions, and our façade. We just can’t fool Him. We might try to put on a smile to avoid depressing friends at church, but God truly knows the hurt deep inside of us. Please don’t get me wrong friends, I’m not suggesting that we go before God’s people with long drawn out faces when it seems like life is unfair. But as I share the Word of God with you, I believe you will reflect on His goodness; the assurance of His presence; the comfort of His touch on your life; and the worthiness of His honor – for which you will burst forth in praise and adoration, in spite of life’s circumstances! We must remember that when it appears like we have been dealt a ‘lemon’ in life that we are to make lemonade, or lemon meringue pie, and not to complain about the sour lemon we seem to have inherited. I believe that Paul is warning us that for those with impure hearts (non-believers in Jesus Christ), they are detestable to God and therefore cannot do anything truly ‘good’ in His sight. How is it with you today friend? Will God see your actions and your attitude from a heart filled with His grace and mercy today? Or is He still seeing you from an impure state and merely doing good from a worldly standard and for personal praise and attention? Knowing my Savior not only assures us of honesty in our demeanor today, but provides a bright future for us in knowing that we will be with Him eternally in heaven! Invest in your day and in your future by searching out my Lord today. He loves you and wants His very best for you, but you must surrender self and accept Him as your Master – your Lord and Savior. Please refer to the ‘Footnote’ for any help needed in making this vital decision friend!

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, God Almighty, thank You for providing a sacrifice for us, because You knew that we could never handle this thing called ‘life’ on our own. Thank You for doing that in spite of the sin of mankind. Thank You for loving me in spite of the worldly things I do and think at times. Humbly I ask that You might fill me with so much of Your Son that my mouth will constantly overflow from the abundance of grace, love and adoration that fills my heart. Lord, I want others to see Jesus in everything that I do and in everything I say, so that You might be magnified and that others might be drawn to You. This scripture reminds me again of Your dislike of hypocrisy, especially in Your church, and in the lives of those who claim You as Savior and Lord. Please warm the hearts of Your saints to once again be pure in spirit and in the grace of Your amazing love. Fill us Lord, and use us for Your glory. We want to know You better and we want to be an influence in the lives of relatives and friends that have not accepted You as Lord. Please endow us with so much of You that our lives might overflow with the love of our Savior! I ask all this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

 

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