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!

What Should You Do?

After saying the above to a crowd gathered in the wilderness waiting to be baptized, John the Baptist was still asked by three different groups what they should do. Perhaps you might be asking the same question, so I wanted to share this with you in hopes that we all might be energized into letting our lights shine for our Lord all over this earth, and that our witness will produce fruit for the Kingdom.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-01-11
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Luke 3:8-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God….
Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

OBSERVATION: After saying the above to a crowd gathered in the wilderness waiting to be baptized, John the Baptist was still asked by three different groups what they should do. Perhaps you might be asking the same question, so I wanted to share this with you in hopes that we all might be energized into letting our lights shine for our Lord all over this earth, and that our witness will produce fruit for the Kingdom.

APPLICATION: We studied this in our Sunday School class on Sunday and I was so touched by the work of John the Baptist, I thought I would share it with you! We see in many teachings by Jesus, that He taught in parables. Often this was a good way of relating something that His hearers associated with, and it helped them immediately understand what He was teaching. It seems like John also shared this message in a light that the crowd would understand, for they may have had farming experience and therefore accustomed to the idea of fruit bearing trees. But since some of the groups in the crowd needed further explanation, I thought you might also benefit from the additional information that John shared:
The crowd asked as a whole in vs 10, ‘What should we do (to prove that we have repented from our sins)?’ New Christians today might also ask the same question. So John responded in vs 11 that they should look for opportunities to help others. This sounds elementary, as folk may tend to think that they have always done this. But I believe that the moment we become Christ followers, we tend to think, act and give, like Jesus did. You see, He stopped along His path and helped blind folk, and crippled folk, and He even fed the 5,000 just from a lad’s lunch. He didn’t look for every excuse in the book as to why He couldn’t help, but rather He pulled out all the stops and helped over and beyond anything they could ever imagine. As children of God, it should be our aim to excel in our efforts to help those in need. If we recognize a need, then obviously God wants us to do something about the need. Let’s love others enough to try and satisfy their needs;
– In vs 12 the Tax Collectors asked ‘Teacher what should we do?’ I wonder if God didn’t just prick their conscience into believing that there must be something more they could do than what was told to the crowd in general, and they were right. For God knew that they were charging more than the prescribed taxes, so they could pad their pockets, and the Tax Collectors knew deep inside that they were overcharging the poor people. Some countries call this ‘Under the table, or silent bribery’. This is not right in the eyes of God, and if we are to be His imitators, then we should not tolerate bribery, nor should it ever be necessary. Let our yea be yea and our nay be nay, is the way it is described elsewhere in the Bible. Bribes should never be necessary;
– In vs 14, the soldiers asked ‘What should we do?’ Perhaps we can’t identify with the issue here, but John knew that there were some issues with the soldiers using uncalled for actions in trying to receive additional pay. John warned them to be content. I wonder, to what extent do we go when trying to force our employer’s hand for more money? As a child of the King, let’s be content in our pay, until our Lord touches the heart of employers to increase our wages. God knows what we need, let’s trust Him for all we need.
Friends, we must be careful when we teach the Word of God. Teaching it in a way that makes good sense to us, may not make it understandable for others. Try to understand your audience, and use examples that they will identify with. Make sure that they understand, even if you have to do like John and break it down for various sectors of your audience. If you preached the Word, or taught it, and you went over the heads of your audience, your words may have been in vain. Simple does it! And use examples or illustrations that they will identify with. Don’t beat around the bush, be like John and teach it like God prods you to do. It is the Word of God that you are teaching and preaching, not your glorified words that will only return void, even if it made you sound real smart.

PRAYER: Thank You for awesome example You have given us to follow dear Lord. Please embolden us to spread Your Word in ways that hearers will understand, and that Your Holy Spirit will speak through. May the lost be found, may the poor feel loved from the gifts we share with them, and may the crooked be made straight as others follow our example – a mirror of what You taught to us in Your Word. May Your Kingdom come oh Lord, and Your will be done. We have nothing more important to gain in our lives, so please lead us to teach and preach the Word of God in ways that will help our hearers to understand and apply It to their lives, so that You may be glorified on earth and in Heaven. 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!

A Vessel Used By God

There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: My brothers and sisters, I did not pose as an expert with all the answers. I did not pretend to explain the mystery of God with eloquent speech and human wisdom. I claimed to know nothing with certainty other than the reality that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who was crucified on our behalf. I was moved to utter despair during my time with you. I would find myself trembling in dread and fear. The sermons I preached were not delivered with the kind of persuasive elegance some have come to expect, but they were effective because I relied on God’s Spirit to demonstrate God’s power. If this were not so, your faith would be based on human wisdom and not the power of God.

OBSERVATION: There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

APPLICATION: I’m sure that like me, you have attended a Sunday School class and been bored out of your mind, only to arrive home and hear your spouse brag about all that they got out of the lesson that day. The same holds true with a church service. You may have been blessed beyond expectation, only to hear a friend complain about how ‘dry’ and ‘dull’ the preacher was, or how the music was too loud to enjoy and how they couldn’t stay awake during the sermon. Friends, when the Holy Spirit is at work, and has a message for one or more individuals, He could speak through an inexperienced, spoiled young man, or through a seasoned, old, dull man, and the Spirit’s word will fall on fertile ground. In our Scripture today, Paul deliberately held back on his fancy words and trying to overly impress those he was ministering to, for he knew that it was more important to plead with God to accomplish His work, even if He did it through him. Paul sounded very much like any of us, for he said that he was often fearful to stand before this crowd, and find the right words to convince them of their faithful Father. I have attempted to share the Word in a public/church setting before, and I could easily appreciate what Paul was saying. Much like this blog, some of you might read what I share some days and you may sit back and wonder where is this brother coming from? Friends, without bragging at all, I can tell you that on many occasions I have struggled to complete a day’s devotional, but because I asked God for His direction, I went ahead and posted it. Only to hear from one or more readers that they were drawn closer to God, or blessed immensely by the blog that day. Only God! There are days that God will fill me with so many thoughts that I could hardly type it fast enough. However, there are some days that God seems to give it to me in pieces. Often I share a lot of personal examples/experiences to help you understand what’s on my mind when I write the blog. Please don’t take this as bragging in any way, but seek God and ask Him to help you see what’s in store for you as you read His Word, and my thoughts. Perhaps He will use something to truly speak to your heart also and grow you in your faith. Please pray for me that I will stay on target and allow the Holy Spirit to speak boldly through me, so that you might hear from Him each day. Although I pray that God will always use me in this way, I want you to hear from Him, even though I may be shown as the author of the blog. It’s not until that happens that you will truly be blessed!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, just as Paul was used as a vessel for You to speak to the church at Corinth, I pray that it will be evident every day from the words read in my blog, that You are using me as a vessel to speak with myself and my readers. I also pray that You will use those who teach and those who preach, so that Your Word might go forth in season and out of season to those in need of hearing Your Word. Many are searching for a word from the Master during these trying times. I pray that their time will be well spent in reading what You have to share through Nuggets From God’s Word. May they see Jesus, and hear all about Your love, Your forgiveness. and Your direction for their lives. May I, in humility, avoid selfish feelings and relaying selfish thoughts, but instead wait on You and always allow You to speak through the words that I pen. Please touch our church leaders, teachers and preachers in the same way Lord, for people need the Lord, and not to learn more about any of us. AMEN.

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Value of The Scripture

Imagine your pastor pulling a young man, that shows a lot of promise, alongside of him and promises to work with him to become an effective minister of the Word of God. What are some things that you suppose your pastor, and your church might expect of this young man? Hours and hours of diligence in the Word; Seminary, or at least Bible School; etc, etc. Now, let me encourage you to look into the Word for instruction on what you should do. It seems to me, that this Scripture today is giving some direction regarding the dilemma, and possibly the answer to what your pastor is facing, so let’s look closely at this….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 3:15-17 (ERV)

TEXT:  15 You have known the Holy Scriptures since you were a child. These Scriptures are able to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. 17 Using the Scriptures, those who serve God will be prepared and will have everything they need to do every good work.

OBSERVATION:   Imagine your pastor pulling a young man, that shows a lot of promise, alongside of him and promises to work with him to become an effective minister of the Word of God. What are some things that you suppose your pastor, and your church might expect of this young man? Hours and hours of diligence in the Word; Seminary, or at least Bible School; etc, etc. Now, let me encourage you to look into the Word for instruction on what you should do. It seems to me, that this Scripture today is giving some direction regarding the dilemma, and possibly the answer to what your pastor is facing, so let’s look closely at this….

APPLICATION:   Paul, having gone through a wide range of challenges in his ministry, had lots of advice and direction for Timothy who was setting out in ministry. I believe that if we looked at everything that Paul had to offer Timothy, some might say that he had enough challenges of his own, that he would probably do everything possible to discourage this young man from the ministry, although he didn’t! Looking at this from Timothy’s standpoint, we could see where Timothy could easily approach every situation with the same mindset that he saw his local church/church leaders handle situations. However, what adds so much to this story for us is that Paul took on young Timothy as his own son. It shows where Paul cared for Timothy’s well being and for his success in ministry – both for the benefit of the kingdom, and for himself personally. So I believe that the obvious thing that Paul might tell Timothy, is to study the Bible often, and study it very deeply – and I believe that any pastor about to mentor a young ‘Timothy’ would probably do the same. In fact, I believe that any good church leadership would probably tell a young, prospective minister who felt called to the ministry to do the same, and it would be advice patterned after Scripture – today’s Scripture! So why is this important? I believe that for one to teach or preach the Word of God, and tell others about the character and life of Jesus Christ, then it is critically important to get into the Word and saturate yourself with it. There are many other books that we could read where good, qualified teachers have written about the ‘Book’, but please don’t allow that to take the place of you digging into the Word of God often and very deeply. From personal experience, I can tell you that there are days that I might read the Word and I struggle to gain anything personally from it. However, there are days that I can read back over a passage that I previously got nothing from, and God has a special message for me at that time. As I read, I tend to use a few different highlighters: green for highlighting phrases through which I felt God speaking direct to me about something; yellow for highlighting various warnings that God used to get our attention; and red to highlight specific things that God told us not to do. Did I get these ideas from some big seminary and passing them on to you to use? No, but these are tools that I chose to use, so that when I study or refer to that Scripture again, those words will ‘pop’ and quickly draw my attention to them. The other tool I use, is multiple versions of the Bible. Each time I read through the Bible I use a different version. The different ways that some translators or commentators choose to word a passage, might serve to help me better understand what is being said, or what was intended by the sometimes challenging verbiage of some older translations. Other advice I would offer is that it is ‘God’s’ Word, so ask Him to open your mind and your understanding, so that you could grasp what He wants to say to you through the words you are about to read and understand. In training an up and coming ‘Timothy’ it is way more important for him to see and understand from you when he knows that you are in the Word personally, rather than detailing what the textbook says from your seminary. As you learn from, and draw closer to God, you are in much better shape to mentor someone wanting to walk the same path that you took!

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for touching the hearts, minds and souls of men and women around the world who have committed their lives to the full time ministry of Your Word. People still need the Lord, so it is still very important that new ‘Timothy’s’ arise every day and commit themselves to serving the King of all kings! Thank You Father for drawing men and women unto Yourself, and thank You for preparing them for Your ministry. Sometimes You do this through others that might encourage, teach and set a good example for the new minister. Please bless those who fill that role every day! Please continue to bless our churches with new volunteers who will take the ministry seriously and whose sole purpose is to see Your kingdom increase and be glorified. I stand in awe of Your mercy on us oh Lord! 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 Reason We Preach and Teach

Some do it for money, some for prestige, and others do it because of their ancestors being in the ministry, but the Word of God clearly tells us what God expects from our preaching and our teaching. We will look more fully into this, but I wonder if we are wasting our time if we preach or teach for any other reason? Think about this as you study this scripture and speak with God about it, will you?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Colossians 1:27-29 (TPT)

TEXT: 27 Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!  28–29 Christ is our message! We preach to awaken hearts and bring every person into the full understanding of truth. It has become my inspiration and passion in ministry to labor with a tireless intensity, with his power flowing through me, to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ.

OBSERVATION:   Some do it for money, some for prestige, and others do it because of their ancestors being in the ministry, but the Word of God clearly tells us what God expects from our preaching and our teaching. We will look more fully into this, but I wonder if we are wasting our time if we preach or teach for any other reason? Think about this as you study this scripture and speak with God about it, will you?

APPLICATION:   In schools, I believe that we teach with expectations of seeing our kids graduate with best possible grades, and therefore able to obtain good jobs to support themselves and their families, plus make this world a better place to live in. Paul gave us the reason that we preach and teach, so that we ensure that we keep our whole ministry focused on the ultimate goal. Friends, this advice will apply to each and every believer, for whether we carry the title of ‘preacher’ or ‘teacher’, we are reminded of what we should be looking for in a church, in a teaching class, or better still – portraying in our lives. In verse 28 we are told that Christ is the reason and the message that we preach/teach. However, for this to have its fullest impact on others, notice that Paul shared that this whole purpose has become his inspiration and his passion. In other words, if its inside of you to start with, then it will be revealed and evident in everything that you preach or teach. Notice also that Paul wanted to teach with intensity and such purpose that believers would desire a closer and more intimate walk with their Master. In other words, Paul was not looking for a name for himself, although that’s exactly what happened, but he spent his life ministering so that others might see Jesus and be drawn to Him, so that God would be glorified through His people as they surrendered their lives to Him. I believe that ministry requires the most unselfish person to declare its benefits, otherwise we may tend to leave the impression that its because of us, or something we said, or we could do, that would lead them to the Savior. I believe the best that we could do is to obediently lead the lost to Christ and leave them at His feet, for it is He that will save them, and His Word that will direct their paths and mature them to a point where they also will preach and teach Jesus! So in recap, let us conclude that we are merely a messenger, a servant, a sinner saved only by God’s grace, and all we could do is to share His glory with our friends. Keep self out of the equation as we try to connect unbelievers with the only One who could save them and deliver them from Satan’s doom. Let’s learn to let go, and let God have His way with His children, for their good and His glory!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, Your Word declares that we are to live as You lived, and today we are reminded that we are to preach and/or teach in a way that would help others to see Jesus and know Him personally. Please help us to remove self out of the way, so that there are no hindrances for the child that Jesus is drawing to Himself. We are Your instruments Lord, use us for Your work that leads to Your glory. May Your kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven. 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!

 

How To Handle Praise

It is natural for us to give praise to others who have done a good job, because it serves to encourage them. It is also good for us to thank them for doing a good job. On the receiving end, it is often embarrassing to the one who did the job, because they would rather see God receive the praise. Let’s look at this dilemma and see how we believe God prefers to see this done.

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-10-23
SCRIPTURE

From:

Proverbs 27:21 (NCV)

Text:

21 A hot furnace tests silver and gold,
    and people are tested by the praise they receive.
OBSERVATION:
It is natural for us to give praise to others who have done a good job, because it serves to encourage them. It is also good for us to thank them for doing a good job. On the receiving end, it is often embarrassing to the one who did the job, because they would rather see God receive the praise. Let’s look at this dilemma and see how we believe God prefers to see this done.
APPLICATION:
I believe that we must always seek God’s face when we are searching for biblical material to use in our teaching or preaching. The reason for this is that we want to be obedient to God, in seeking His will for that particular class or congregation. For we could find things to say that would make them feel good about themselves, but only God knows what they need to touch their hearts and their current, private situation. So then, having been directed by God, or through research in various documents or websites, is it really fair to soak up the praises of our listeners without sharing with them our source of information? The best advice that I have heard on this, came just recently when a gentleman said that each evening after he has spoken to, or taught, an audience, he commits all praise to his Father. I like that, for our speaker was blessed by us thanking him and sharing our praises with him, but knowing where the real praise belongs, he passes it on to God! Friends, I would love to think that as a teacher/preacher/writer, we depend wholly and solely on the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts so that they may speak to someone who needs to hear from Jesus – either for healing, restoration, or just to feel loved and secured by Him. Please don’t be selfish in withholding all the praise from Him as it was given to you! To those on the giving end of praise, please pray for your teachers, preachers and leaders that they may be used by the Holy Spirit to speak words of encouragement and instruction to you, then as they succeed, please thank God for speaking to you through His servant, and for answering your prayers..
PRAYER:
Lord, please help us to minimize pride in our lives by habitually passing along all praise received, to You, the originator of all knowledge and wisdom. We are but instruments in Your hands dear Father, use us for Your glory. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Way To Know Truth

Jesus knew that His audience were questioning, or doubting, what He said, do He gave them a sure way of always knowing, or recognizing the truth. It seems like today we are more opinionated than ever, so I’m sure there was good reason that God authorized this discourse to be included in His Word. Let’s examine that closely and try to apply it to our lives…

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-10-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 7:16-18 (GNT)

Text:

16 Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. 17 Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18 Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him.
OBSERVATION:
Jesus knew that His audience were questioning, or doubting, what He said, do He gave them a sure way of always knowing, or recognizing the truth. It seems like today we are more opinionated than ever, so I’m sure there was good reason that God authorized this discourse to be included in His Word. Let’s examine that closely and try to apply it to our lives…
APPLICATION:
I believe there are two types of people that sit in our church congregations each weekend, and that they were represented at the location where Jesus spoke, as  mentioned in this Scripture. Think about this and consider where you stand, and if this is your ultimate goal in life:

  1. Sincere Church Attender: – You started praying for the Holy Spirit to work in the weekend services a few days before. You awoke the morning of, and you prayed earnestly for those that would attend, that they would be open to the Word of God and the wooing of the Holy Spirit. You also prayed for the pastor who would deliver the Word of God. You arrived early and prayerfully watched and prayed for each on as they entered the sanctuary. With your Bible opened, as the pastor delivers the Word you are following closely and making margin notes as the Holy Spirit speaks to you.
  2. Casual or Obligatory Attender – You’ve always attended church because you enjoy meeting people and seeing all the newest styles. Additionally, you get to hear the Bible read at least once per week. You often wish that you could find your own Bible to take to church with you so that you could try and find those scripture verses the pastor reads from. Hopefully one day!

I believe that each of us probably fit into one of the above groups. Perhaps choose the group that you feel best describes you, then try and honestly answer the point that Jesus made in the Scripture today. Those who listen to and obey the commands and will of God are more lightly to listen to, understand, discern truth and obey the teaching they hear coming from God, or the individual standing in front of them. Do you feel like all things are equal in the above two groups? Of course there is one other group, and that’s the group that never has a desire to attend church or only attends for special occasions. Friends, may I encourage you to do a self examination today, asking God to point out where you might improve in your relationship with Him. In the right relationship, you will automatically acquire the desire to be with other children of God, and possible discern truth. Without the right relationship with God, your friends and family will know that you are faking it and merely going through the motions. You will only be able to help others, if you have the real thing living and operating inside of you. This is a personal decision you must make between you and our Maker. Others will see the difference, but they can’t save you or make it all right for you.

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we are convinced of the importance to know You personally, and be in a right relationship with You. Without this, it is impossible for us to clearly understand Your Word or be in a close and intimate relationship with You. Lord, we want others to see Jesus operating in our lives so that they also may have a desire to accept You as Lord. May we be obedient to Your Word, so that we may clearly understand what we are being taught, and that it comes directly from 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!

Carefully Obey When The Master Calls

Jesus was accomplishing great things, and He had quite a following. This irritated the Jewish leaders and they began to have little conversations around the subject of ‘Who does Jesus think He is anyway’. Knowing their very thoughts, Jesus went on to explain the importance of really accepting Him and following Him in response to God’s call on a person’s life. Let’s have a closer look….

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-10-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 6:43-45 (ERV)

Text:

 43 But Jesus said, “Stop complaining to each other. 44 The Father is the one who sent me, and he is the one who brings people to me. I will raise them up on the last day. Anyone the Father does not bring to me cannot come to me. 45 It is written in the prophets: ‘God will teach them all.’ People listen to the Father and learn from him. They are the ones who come to me.
OBSERVATION:
Jesus was accomplishing great things, and He had quite a following. This irritated the Jewish leaders and they began to have little conversations around the subject of ‘Who does Jesus think He is anyway’. Knowing their very thoughts, Jesus  went on to explain the importance of really accepting Him and following Him in response to God’s call on a person’s life. Let’s have a closer look….
APPLICATION:
There are several reasons someone would follow a leader or sit under their teaching: To improve their personal skills, with hopes of one day becoming someone like the teacher; Improving personal skills to enhance their ability to help others; To discern missing attributes of their leadership skills. Spiritual skills and attributes of Jesus is often quite different, and more challenging, because the ways of Jesus is more often totally opposite to the ways of the world. This totally different concept is intentional, I believe, because our use of these added skills is for enrichment of the kingdom and not for any personal gain. Friends, I believe that it is important that we sense God’s leadership in ways that we can grow closer to Christ, learn more about Him, and seek to serve Him more faithfully through serving and encouraging others. This will bring glory to God as we encourage others to be more sensitive to the voice and will of God. Remember, those whom God calls to Himself will seek to learn more of Him and faithfully serve Him until the end. You are forced into learning at work, are you not anxious to learn more from Jesus for the advancement of the kingdom?
PRAYER:
Father in heaven, You designed us much like You, yet we easily allow the world to reshape us. Please touch Your children once again today and draw us unto the Son so that we may sit at His feet and drink from His fountain of knowledge. Lord we want to glorify You, and it is especially important to us to touch the lives of others so that they may be drawn to You also. Please lead us closer to the cross so that we may soak in every word that You would have us share with others who need You. May Your kingdom grow today as a result of Your mighty touch on the lives of Your children, 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 Penalty For Disobedience

Friday, 2016-07-15

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 3:17–19

Bible Text:  17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that way too often we find so many excuses and reasons to not do the work of God, that we tend to doubt if it was really Him who directed us to do the work in the first place. We talk ourselves out of the things we one-time thought that God may have called us to do. Friends, you will note from the above verses that Ezekiel was not only instructed what to do, but he was given the penalties up front for both himself and the people he was supposed to minister to, if he didn’t fulfill his assignment. What? Not only will I be punished for my disobedience, but the kindhearted people that I am instructed to minister to? Wow, that has put a whole new dimension on the impact of disobedience. All along, I thought that I might suffer if I chose to do ‘my own thing’ out of deliberate disobedience, but never gave a second thought that I was also bringing damnation on those I would have ministered to. However, think carefully about this friends. If you were given the foresight into the day and the hour that a disaster would hit, wouldn’t you and those around you punish, if you chose to keep that news bottled up inside of you? I believe that God is warning us, as He did Ezekiel, that there is coming a day when Jesus will return for His children – those who have accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Being filled with that knowledge and not sharing that to a point of trying to convince your family, friends or coworkers, would that not show that we are uncaring, unconcerned, unaffected by their lost condition and really don’t care if they go to Hell or not? Does that not  leave room for God to say, as He did with Ezekiel, that He will hold us responsible for the death (eternal death – Hell bound) of those individuals who were depending on us being obedient to God? Why not address this with the Master when you pray today? This really spreads to all walks of life friend. If asked to preach, teach, witness or evangelize and you do everything but your assignment, aren’t you guilty of disobedience?

Prayer

Dear God, You went to the cross willingly for us, even though You had the power to reverse that. Jesus, You showed love for us by doing Your Father’s will, knowing that this act alone would bring eternal life to Your children who would follow in obedience. Although You knew that all would not accept Your offer of love, yet You followed the commands of Your Father in total obedience. As Your children, wanting to please You in every way, we need to follow Your example of obedience. You made it clear to Ezekiel that both he and the people he was instructed to minister to, would suffer if he disobeyed. Lord, please touch the hearts of your children once again today, beginning with me, and help us to accept our responsibility seriously. We’re talking pretty serious stuff here – eternal life vs everlasting death. We know what we want, and what we desire for our family and friends, now help us to do Your will in total obedience under Your awesome strength, guidance and wisdom. In the powerful 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!