Is God Testing You?

The Israelites were about to branch off into a ‘new world’, at least to them, where they would have to decide who they would serve, who they would honor, and who they would allow to guide their heart. Moses, through the help and direction of God, gave the Israelites instructions, and God saw fit to have these included in His Word, because He knew that you and I could very well face the same challenges that the Israelites were about to deal with. Let’s concentrate on the advice given so that we might be best prepared for what might be in store for us.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-07-20
WRITTEN AT: Colorado City, TX

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 13:3-4
TRANSLATION: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord your God is testing you to find out if you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul. Worship the Lord your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him.

APPLICATION: In my younger days, I worked for a company that relocated me every few years to manage their business on various Bahamian islands. At each island, my wife and I had to face the challenge of ‘going with the flow’, or maintaining our faith, in spite of variances in culture that were quite different for us. In reading today’s Scripture, I now wonder if at those islands we were presented with challenges by God to see if we truly loved Him and were willing to serve Him, even under very diverse situations that we may had found ourselves in? But each of us find ourselves in situations almost daily that we never dreamed we would face. While chatting with friends, someone invariably will turn to bad-mouth a close neighborhood friend of yours. Do you stop them in their tracks, or could that have been a time where God was testing your loyalty to that neighborhood friend? Perhaps God wanted to see how much you would tolerate in hearing your friend belittled or destroyed verbally, before standing up for them? So what does this testing do to those of us involved? Surely it is a test of our loyalty and friendship. But what about the child of God that once heeded to His voice and surrendered their life to His Lordship? What happens when that person faces a challenge in life and is hurt by someone at church? How do you help that person overcome the fear of rejection, and bitterness against the whole Christian faith? Unfortunately this is so prevalent that I believe that each of us have at least one friend or family member who refuses to enter a church door again, because of past hurts. Don’t you know dear friends, that God saw this coming as His precious children entered a land where its people knew every god but the holy God of heaven? Don’t you know that it would have become the inhabitants’ main object to see what these newcomers were made of, and to convert them into thinking the way they did? God certainly saw this coming, so He had Moses sit down and prepare the Israelites for what’s ahead. Unfortunately not a whole lot has changed, for whenever Christians walk outside of their church doors, they are bombarded by a world filled with sin, false gods, hatred, enemies of God, people who have been hurt by someone called by the same name as us – Christian. How well prepared are you to face the opposition? Perhaps it’s your turn to be tested on your love for Jesus – the One who sacrificed His very life so that you might receive forgiveness of sin and face eternal life with He and the Father – God. I believe verse 4 details how we are to stay true to our Lord and Savior – Worship the Lord your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him. When we practice what God teaches us in His Word, I believe that it is then that friends and family will note the awesome love and power of God at work within us.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Be the image of God to a lost and dying world. Be strong and depend on the Lord Jesus to live in us and work through us so that the lost might see Jesus – even here on earth.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we have been placed on this earth as ‘light’ into a dark world of sin, hatred and unbelief. It is often challenging – much like the Israelites were about to face as they entered into the Promised Land, where the inhabitants served every other god except You. But Lord, You gave Moses encouraging words for the Israelites as well as our current generation – worship You, fear You, obey Your commands, listen to what You have to say to us, and to serve You in sincerity and loyalty. Please help us to stay on track with what You ordered through Your servant, so that we may never become distracted with the evil things of this world and its leader. You are our King oh Lord, may it be evident in everything we do to avoid the distractions that Satan sends our way. 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!

A Test Of Your Faith

When faced with challenges that are far greater than we could humanly see the answers to, what do you do? Are you more apt to do like Philip and start the wheels turning as you try to resolve the matter through financial means? Or are you more like Andrew and will start in earnest to see what material goods might be available to help solve the challenge? Or will you do like Jesus and not worry about how it will be resolved, but rather, as you see the need, know that God will resolve and meet the needs in His time? Meditate with me as we ponder our response to the tests of our faith. Take time to study these verses together with me.

Monday, 2019-10-14

Bible Reference: John 6:5-9
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: Jesus looked up and saw a crowd of people coming toward him. He said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough bread for all these people to eat?” He asked Philip this question to test him. Jesus already knew what he planned to do.
Philip answered, “We would all have to work a month to buy enough bread for each person here to have only a little piece!”
Another follower there was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Andrew said, “Here is a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish. But that is not enough for so many people.”

OBSERVATION: When faced with challenges that are far greater than we could humanly see the answers to, what do you do? Are you more apt to do like Philip and start the wheels turning as you try to resolve the matter through financial means? Or are you more like Andrew and will start in earnest to see what material goods might be available to help solve the challenge? Or will you do like Jesus and not worry about how it will be resolved, but rather, as you see the need, know that God will resolve and meet the needs in His time? Meditate with me as we ponder our response to the tests of our faith. Take time to study these verses together with me.

APPLICATION: I can share a very real scenario with you, as we delve into this study today. I know a church who became overwhelmed by the influx of young people that God placed in their laps to learn about He and His precious Son. Their leadership felt the call by God to begin the search for property as He needed to see the church reach even more of the unsaved of their community. In the initial stages, the leadership was challenged much like Phillip was. For there was a lot to consider – the beautiful building that they currently occupy; the perfect location they are in, surrounded by a great neighborhood; and of course, money, money, money – for it is so expensive to purchase commercial property in a location near enough to meet the spiritual needs of their (mostly) lost community; it is also unbelievably expensive to build a sanctuary and supportive buildings to meet the growing needs of the ministry; etc, etc. This must have been very much like Andrew thought, for this church was also looking at the means they have, or could possible acquire, in order to make this humongous project possible. They truly felt a lot like Andrew was feeling, for there is just no way they could make this happen. Fortunately friends, it is not until we have exhausted all of our efforts, and our thinking process, that we lay ourselves before our Master and admit that it will have to be Him feed the 5,000+ crowd. It would have to be God who will find a suitable property for this church and build a ministry center to reach the lost of their community. Praise God, it is evident from our written text, that Jesus did that which seemed impossible in the eyes of his disciples, for He fed over 5,000 people multiplying just a morsel of food, so that it was more than enough to feed them. These folk came to hear Jesus teach and perform miracles, but I really wonder if their imaginations ever stretched enough to think that one of Jesus’ miracles would be performed on them? For this church that I referenced, I am very close to it so I know that God has pointed their leadership towards a property of the same size they felt led to look for; in an area that is surrounded on three sides by homes where families might be reached for the Lord; near enough to many other locations in the city where many other ministry opportunities exist; and a purchase amount where they will be able to purchase the property from funds already provided by God! Now, will they find the money to build a modern Ministry Center? Let’s just say that it was not a question in feeding the 5,000 and I am happy to join with the church in believing that He will miraculously provide the means for extending God’s work in the manner in which the leadership was first led. Friends, we can’t out-give God, and we could never imagine how He will work in our midst over the needs that we have, and the needs that He leads us to. I don’t believe that God will ever lead us to a place of ministry, where He will not also lead us through every circumstance in getting to the final destination of which He has called us. I have every reason to believe that some of you reading this devotional today may be at a crossroads in your life where you feel called to do more for the Lord, but you may be struggling in your spirit as to how, and why. Please be encouraged that the same God who tested Philip and Andrew about their faith, is the same God that may be testing you. Please remember how He provided for the 5,000, and know that He is still God, and that He is still very capable of providing for you. Trust Him my friend, for He loves you more than you could ever imagine. I believe that He wants to hold your hand and help you through whatever you feel might be an impossible next move in your ministry! Only God can do that.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You looked at the awesome crowd and You saw their need. There is no indication that anyone was falling down from weakness due to starvation, nor that the people were begging You for food or a miracle. However You knew their need and You provided what they needed. Thank You Lord for convincing us today of the awesome God that we serve. We go to great extent to try and analyze what we feel like we need, and how far we could stretch the dollars that we’ve saved. But as we consider the miracles already performed by You, I am convinced that You have all this already figured out. Please help us to simply place our faith in You; surrender self to You; and allow You to control our destiny in the way that You have designed for us, knowing that You will lead us through all that You have called us to. Please rule and reign in full authority over us precious Lord. AMEN!

Tested, Tried and Proven

Psalm 18:30 (AMP): 30 As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him.

So… you think that you’ve been tested, or perhaps you might feel that you are currently being tested beyond anything you could handle. How are you doing with that? Feeling really alone and overwhelmed about how you might overcome life’s circumstances that are hitting you real hard right now? Where do you turn to for help? Perhaps a spouse, or a brother or sister, perhaps a parent, or perhaps you are blessed with good friends who are willing to stand by your side. Are they more knowledgeable, wise or powerful than you, and therefore offers comfort to you? I have an acquaintance who just lost his wife, what words of wisdom might I offer him? My friend, let me share from my personal experience: you see, I’m human just like you, so I face all of the challenges that I just presented to you above. Yes, I depend on friends and family to help me through times of despair also, but one thing that I’ve discovered is that they are just as limited as I am in trying to explain the reasons why the events of this life occur as, and when they do. So while I’m comforted that they care, there is only ONE that I can turn to and say like The Psalmist – Your ways are perfect oh Lord, thank You for creating me and blessing me with wonderful folk who love and care for me. But Lord, You know my every breath, You know the reasons for every event in my life, You alone know what tomorrow holds and the reason why I must travel the road You’ve prepared just for me. Oh Lord, may You be honored, praised, magnified and lifted up through every word and action that You allow me to project here on earth. Life will be worth it all if You are glorified by all who are touched by Your reflection in my life. May they desire to know You personally and intimately so that they, in turn, may bless others for the kingdom.

Prayer: Lord, May You be glorified through every act of love and every blessing that You continue to shower on me today. Please humble my friends who need You, and if one word expressed in this devotional can be used to draw others unto You, I pray that the glory will be all Yours and may the kingdom increase as a result of sharing Your Word and my humble thoughts. AMEN!

Extreme Testing

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Be thinking in advance how you would act under pressure today. Satan wants to see you fail. However God wants you to be His hands and feet on the ground! What’s inside will surely come out when put under pressure. I pray that nothing but the character of Jesus Christ will pour out from you today!…….

Today’s Bible Reference: Job 1:12
Today’s Bible Text: “All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: Right at the very beginning of the book of Job. in the very first verse, Job was announced as a blameless man filled with total integrity. Hopefully you know a few men that you would feel comfortable in calling them ‘men of integrity’. In fact, I once heard a preacher say that it is the same as someone coming up to you and telling you all sorts of evil about this ‘man of integrity’ that you have in mind right now, and you saying to them that although you weren’t on the scene, you can comfortable vouch for your ‘man of integrity’ knowing that he was not involved in any sort of evil. That’s about the impression of what I discerned in verse 1, only realizing that God knows even our deepest thoughts, intents and purposes, and still He announced Job as a man of deep convictions to which he was totally committed. So in this verse 12, we see where God is so confident in Job that He allows Satan permission to test him and try him. Knowing the successive verses that this testing became extreme, this whole thought made me stop and ponder: what if God wanted me to dig deep into my  thoughts, my words and my actions to see if I am truly all that I claim to be before the church, before my family, my friends or my coworkers? I wonder what His evaluation of me reveal? Will I past the test and still be strong in my witness for the Lord even through such extreme times? What about you friend? There’s a song ‘I’m Standing on the Solid Rock’. Are you truly where you need to be with Christ, or have you just been successful in fooling the world around you? I’ve been married over 40 years, and there’s no fooling my wife. She knows when something is bothering me and she knows when I am feeling ‘on top of the world’. I pray that I will never assume that God is anything less than my wife and that I can act any differently before folks in my world than who I truly am deep inside. I pray that I will constantly be confused for Jesus, because my character mirrors His character so closely. Where are you at friend? Will anything be revealed that would surprise others should you be put under this type test?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for giving us free will, but I also thank You for hearing our heart’s cry when we call out to You. I pray that my readers will join me in pleading with You to give us the boldness and stamina to stand firm in our faith, and may we not just pretend but rather, that our lives in every way will reflect our hearts that are filled in every way with Your character. We would prefer not to be tested to the extreme that Job was tested, yet we know that Satan is ready to pounce on us each and every day to discredit our witness for You. I ask for Your ongoing strength and guidance to always prove Satan wrong and instead to be a total witness to You before a hurting and dying world. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, my Everlasting Strength, Protector, Guide and Loving Savior. AMEN!

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

2016