Man-Made vs God’s Laws

I try very hard to share commentary on Scripture where God has spoken to me first. Perhaps God will also use this devotional to draw your attention to what He wants to share with you today. Try clicking on my Scripture link so that you could read all of chapter 15, just to make sure you don’t take my chosen verses out of context. Let God minister to you today through His Word.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-02-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:5-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 5-6 But you say, ‘Even if your parents are in need, you may give their support money to the church[a] instead.’ And so, by your man-made rule, you nullify the direct command of God to honor and care for your parents. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, ‘These people say they honor me, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is worthless, for they teach their man-made laws instead of those from God.’[b]

OBSERVATION: I try very hard to share commentary on Scripture where God has spoken to me first. Perhaps God will also use this devotional to draw your attention to what He wants to share with you today. Try clicking on my Scripture link so that you could read all of chapter 15, just to make sure you don’t take my chosen verses out of context. Let God minister to you today through His Word.

APPLICATION: Over time, mankind has honed in on certain Scriptures that various leaders ‘hang their hat on’, and because of differences of opinion, these leaders split off and started respective denominations. I Have no doubt that there are numerous great preachers out there, and perhaps we should permit them to use their God-given gifts to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ In whatever setting they see fit. However, for the poor sinner who might be trying to decide on which church to become a part of, it must be extremely challenging for them to decide, based on the various beliefs out there, and the tone of the various worship services. I’m not here to promote either one in particular, nor am I here to denounce any. However, I would implore you to examine the teachings of any church you are looking to attend, and be sure that they are aligned with the Word of God. In our Scripture today Jesus found a case where some were giving to the church in accordance with their teaching, however this was at the expense of not adhering to the teachings of God to rightfully care for their loved ones. Friends, it is important that you get into a personal study of the Bible, for It is God’s word to you about His commands that He wants you to follow, and His character that He wants you to imitate. When we try to accomplish each of these things, God will give us wisdom to identify teachings that may tend to misguide us. I know, you are just a simple individual with limited education and the Bible seems so complex to understand. I will agree with that statement, especially when you approach the study and understanding of the Word on your own wisdom and abilities. Let me suggest: try using a translation that is easy for you to understand; seek God before you study, and ask Him to give you wisdom to see and understand what He has in store for you to learn; Ask God to soften your heart so that you may apply the Word to you first. Way too often we could easily see how badly others need correction, while all the while overlooking how badly God needs to work in our life. I sincerely pray that you will not become more confused in hearing my advice to check out the belief’s of your church, or one you are looking to attend. But Brothers and Sisters you must understand that the Preachers, Teachers and leaders running your church, are fellow human beings, and while many will painfully seek God’s wisdom on what He would have them do and say, there are many who do not. You have an obligation to the Master to understand His Word correctly so that you may obediently follow in the path He has set out before you. Have your Bible with you in Bible study and in church services, so that you may validate what the Word says about a subject and not jut be gullible to what the preacher says. Jesus found that His people were allowing their loved ones to perish for lack of financial means, while being obedient to their local churches in providing for their means. There is a fine line here with the subject of tithing, so please seek the face of God for direction on what changes you should make, if any, in your giving to the work of the Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I’m afraid that we have become so accustomed to instant service through fast food drive-thrus; through microwaves; and through prepackaged meals, that we hardly want to take the time to study the Bible for ourselves, so that we might receive direction from you. We may tend to think that it is so much quicker to let someone else teach us the Word. Please help us to always remember that You took no shortcuts for us, for You suffered beatings, scorn from the crowds and total humiliation when You hung on the cross at Calvary. If we are sincere in our commitment to give You rule over our lives and to honor and praise You always – whether here on earth and in eternity in heaven, then the most important thing we could do is to devote ourselves to reading Your Word and waiting patiently for Your still small voice. Please Lord, assume Your rightful place in our hearts and direct our lives as You see fit. 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. 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 Lens Through Which You See Life

In all of life’s decisions there is a plumb line by which we make decisions. In many work areas we are governed by city, state and national regulations. We are reminded in this Proverb that we who are called by God’s name, should be governed by His teachings.

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-05-24
SCRIPTURE

From:

Proverbs 7:1-3 (VOICE)

Text:

 My son, live according to what I am telling you;
    guard my instructions as you would a treasure deep within you.
Stay true to my directives, and they will serve you well;
    make my teachings the lens through which you see life.
Bind cords around your fingers to remind you of them;
    meditate on them, and you’ll engrave them upon your heart.
OBSERVATION:
In all of life’s decisions there is a plumb line by which we make decisions. In many work areas we are governed by city, state and national regulations. We are reminded in this Proverb that we who are called by God’s name, should be governed by His teachings.
APPLICATION:
My mom often said that you could tell if a child was brought up or drug up, by the way they acted in public and whether they obeyed what they were told by their parents in public, without stumping their feet as a demand to have it their way! I love this translation that says in verse 2 that we should view life and live it through the lens of God’s teachings. So let’s look closer at this today, by evaluating a few examples. If you fill yourself of the world all week and only find time to hear a few verses from God’s Word when your pastor takes his text from it on the weekend, which lens is most prevalent for you to view the things of this world or the decisions you make? To put this in perspective, there are 168 hours in every week. If only 1 hour is spent learning of God’s directives and 167 in filling your eyes, your ears and your mind, don’t you think that you would be 99.4% more likely to follow the ways of the world? In addition to looking like a parent, a child can often be recognized by the way they act, and the decisions they make, because they imitate their parents. They look at the world through the same lens that their parents did. The Word of God says that to know the Word of God and to defy it and do our own thing is sin. Let me remind you that sin cannot enter into God’s presence or into His heaven. Although we may be imperfect vessels here on this earth, God knows our heart. He knows the lens through which we make our decisions and our very intentions. It’s easy to fool some people into believing anything you say to them, but God not only knows the truth, but He also knows your intentions – the lens through which you made your decisions. Are you a child of God seeking daily to live for Him, living through the lens of His Word, and looking forward to the rewards of Heaven? If so, then I am so looking forward to being with you around the throne of God. If you are not one who has invited Jesus to be your Lord and King, then looking through the lens of your god – Satan, will unfortunately, not only cause you to act irrational and ungodly here on earth, but your future leads to hell and damnation for eternity. Not a pretty destination friend. Please read my Footnote for information that could help you make a change today.
PRAYER:
Dear Father, thank You for accepting me as Your very own son. Thank You for giving me parents and a community that led me towards the cross, where I found Your Son and accepted Him as my Savior. Thank You for churches and Christian family and friends that taught me more of Your teachings so that I would have the correct lens through which to live this life, as I prepare for meeting You in the next! Please help me to live this life more through the lens of Your teachings and expectations than the influence of this wicked world. Lord, please draw the unsaved unto yourself today, so that You may rule in their lives and direct them along the paths directed by You. May You be glorified in every way today, is my humble cry, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Your Faithfulness Will Prove To Whom You Are Faithful

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – John 8:30-32): 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. Jesus and Abraham 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

THOUGHTS: I believe that the phrase where I bolded two items (in verse 31) is really very applicable to many areas of life. For one will be fired if they were not loyal to their employer; or military authorities would not permit a soldier to serve unless he could be loyal to his/her country. So why then would we ever think that the God of this universe, the Creator of everyone and everything, would sit idly by and permit us to serve any god we want, or to blatantly disobey His teachings and still be acceptable in His sight? Friends, in the very words of Jesus, the evidence of whether we are His followers, or His disciples, is whether we remain faithful to His teachings. So what is your evaluation about yourself? Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? Often a good accountability partner would be very helpful to you with this, for they will look beyond your excuses and compare your actions with the Word of God – God’s teachings. If you don’t have an accountability partner, may I suggest that you look for one? Make sure this is not a ‘Yes’ man or woman, because you need their honesty and you need them to help you draw closer to God and His Word, not make you feel better about what you are doing. Friends, the time for us to meet one on one with Jesus is drawing near, for the signs of the times are very near. Please look closely into God’s Word and be obedient to His teachings. It’s for your own good! Based on your actions yesterday, to whom do you suppose the world think that you are faithful to?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your awesome Word – Your directions for righteous living and for testifying of Your love and care for mankind. Please work in my life today that I may be honest in all my ways and may my actions be a true reflection of You and show obedience to Your teachings. For all my readers, family and friends today, Lord may their eyes also be opened to the importance of declaring their loyalty to You through the things they say, do and practice. You know our hearts Lord, so You know where we stand. May it be evident to our family and friends through our actions today, I pray. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful and outstanding name of Jesus, my Lord, Savior and soon coming King, 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!