Ungrateful Hearts Complain

It would be easy to read this Scripture and criticize the Israelites for their ungratefulness, but can you see yourself in the picture detailed in our Scripture? Let us consider for a few moments today whether we are among the blessed, but still ungrateful….

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-06-12
WRITTEN AT: Jensen Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 21:4-5
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

APPLICATION: Unless with a grateful heart you concentrate on the awesome blessings of God in your life each day, you might instead very easily get caught up in the idea that you only enjoy each day what is expected for each person, each day. In other words, you may take for granted all that you enjoy – more than you could every have done for yourself with the hand of God being involved, for your good. Unfortunately, when you complain, you become depressed and despondent, like the Israelites did, when things were not going the way that they expected. In spite of all God had done for them, and all that He continued to do each day for them, yet the Israelites were ready to complain/criticize God and His servant Moses. These ungrateful people looked at and complained about there not being enough variety in their meals; and not enough water; and because of their long walk, there would probably not be enough to last. But aren’t we just as ungrateful? Perhaps we should really meditate on this picture painted for us by God. Remember the morning you woke up to thunder, lightening and rain – on a day that you had other plans, and how you whined and complained about yet another day of rain, even though your neighbor had been crying for more rain to help his garden grow better? And don’t forget about the aches and pains that we complain about to all of our friends, or the quality of the food that was provided for us out of the goodness of our neighbors last night, or perhaps the diminishing eyesight as you grow older, etc, etc, etc! Friends, if we look at life as a blessing from God, which it truly is, and if we accept all aspects of life as God-directed, God-blessed, God-ordained and God’s perfect will for our lives, then we should automatically explode in awesome praise when we awake to raindrops on our window, for God must have something awesome in mind for us! Reflect on the car that won’t start for you on that morning when you had so much planned? But isn’t it praise-worthy when you later learned of an awful wreck on the same route you would have taken that day. Was God not merciful to you and protected your path? Let us always remember, friends, our God has a plan for us and He wants to protect us and bless us beyond our ability to understand or appreciate. So let us be deliberate in praising our Master every day for all things, for He truly loves us and, I believe that, He truly wants us to flourish in His many blessings that He careful pours out on us every day. Let’s learn to live with God’s perfect plan, and not mess things up by adding in too much of our wants and wishes. God is in control, and He promised to care for our every need, if only we will let Him.

PRAYER: Father God, thank You for Your loving kindness to the Israelites, in spite of their ungratefulness. Having recognized that we have not learned any good lessons from the Israelites, we must ask Your forgiveness and plead with You for Your ongoing patience with us as we learn to recognize Your goodness and Your mercy towards us. You are an awesome God, and I am thankful for Jesus and the forgiveness of my sins, so that I may call You ‘Father’. Oh how I long for my readers and I to one day look full into Your wonderful face and sing endless praises to our King! In the meantime, please help us to accept Your loving provision, direction and ultimate will for our life. You’ve got this, if only we will allow You to do Your work! 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!

With Thanksgiving

In the USA we recently celebrated Thanksgiving Day! However, although this is a day set aside to encourage its people to thank Almighty God for His goodness, it has instead become ‘Turkey Day’ for many, or a day of gluttony for most. Thankfully many still take time to share what they are thankful for, so I don’t believe the day of celebration is in vain. However, as we meditate on David’s thankful heart, I believe we can learn from him and grow in considering all that we CAN give thanks for.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2021-12-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 68:7-10
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: You set your people free, and you led them through the desert.
God of Israel, the earth trembled, and rain poured down.
You alone are the God who rules from Mount Sinai.
When your land was thirsty, you sent showers to refresh it.
10 Your people settled there, and you were generous to everyone in need.

APPLICATION: I remember conducting a prayer meeting and asking attendees to only share what they were thankful to God for. Almost immediately I started hearing needs popping in, and soon we were inundated with needs, particularly the medical needs of themselves, family members, friends, and even family of family members! It was like they just couldn’t help themselves. Now please don’t get me wrong, we should all be very concerned about the health of our loved ones, but we should never lack in sharing our love for our Lord, nor our thanksgiving for our awesome and generous God. It seems in today’s Scripture that David was overwhelmed by the goodness of God, and that he had so much to praise God for. I would suggest that you consider joining me in making more time for sharing a heart full of thanksgiving to our Lord. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could barely find time to petition God for our wants and desires, because we spend much too long in giving thanks? Wouldn’t that speak volumes to our unsaved loved ones who is looking on and wondering what’s so special about being a Christian? If we merely spend our time petitioning God, these friends might question whether God ever comes through on our prayers. We know that God is a prayer answering God, so we should not only brag about that to family and friends, but His answers should be the root cause of our prayers of thanksgiving. Mom and dad always taught my siblings and I to be sure to respond with a ‘thank you’ after receiving something. I believe that God deserves our thanksgiving more so that anyone else that we could think of!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: David celebrated in all that God had done for he and his people. Despite all the crime and troubles today, we should also be forever thankful for all that God so lovingly does for us and our relatives!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for what You did for us on Calvary, for You showed the ultimate form of love for all mankind in providing for those of us who ask for it, the means to enter heaven’s gates as a righteous and forgiven people! There is no good thing that we could do to earn this righteousness, but praise God, because of the blood of Jesus, we could live forever in heaven with He and the Father! You have also blessed us with an awesome family, who choose to love us in spite of our earthly meanness and sin. We are an amazingly blessed people, and it’s all because of our Savior! Oh that we would be consistent in our praising and singing our eternal thankfulness for being such a blessed people. May we strive to always thank You Lord Jesus, more than we could possibly ask of more 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 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!

Think About His Goodness

No doubt the Psalmist had many miraculous answers to personal prayer that he could have rejoiced in the Lord over, but he also looked beyond that and also recognized that this same God is also the God who created everything around him with such purpose, beauty, creativeness and power. So David sang out praises to the Almighty! We also serve this same mighty God who is awesome in every way, and He deserves our praise!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-05-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 104:7-12 (TLB)

SCRIPTURE TEXT: 7-8 You spoke, and at the sound of your shout the water collected into its vast ocean beds, and mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. And then you set a boundary for the seas so that they would never again cover the earth. 10 He placed springs in the valleys and streams that gush from the mountains. 11 They give water for all the animals to drink. There the wild donkeys quench their thirst, 12 and the birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees.

APPLICATION: I sometimes wonder if we truly ever slow down enough to reflect on the ways that God blesses us each and every day. For I believe that if we did, there would not be enough hours in the day for us to sing out praises and thanksgiving our Creator for all He does for us. You think about your typical day and I will share a few things that immediately comes to my mind about my typical day: 
-> I am able to rise from my warm bed each day – compared to some who sleep in the cold, on a piece of cardboard under a bridge, with or without a blanket;
-> I was blessed with air to breathe on my own;
-> I was blessed with strength and mobility to actually get out of bed;
-> I had an inside bathroom to use and didn’t have to go to an outhouse or a nearby tree!
-> I was able to put on a different set of clothes than I’ve been wearing all week, and they have been washed and prepared;
->I have a wonderful wife who prepares my meals. Yes, there was food to prepare;
-> I have been blessed with a great place to work and retire from, as opposed to those who wait on long lines at the unemployment agency;
-> I am blessed to have transportation, and not have to walk, wait for a bus service, or wait by the roadside for a ride with a friend;
-> I am thankful for the wisdom God gave to His children to make automobiles and other conveniences that we tend to take for granted;
Friends, don’t you see that we can go on and on praising teh Lord for His blessings on us? I could easily have gone on to speak about the wild life, animals and trees that I enjoy seeing every day, and the beautiful landscapes God designed and created for our benefit. Yep, He did all of this for us, plus a whole lot more, and I believe that we would have done this if we were the only ones that He wanted to bless! In our Scripture today, imagine God creating the beautiful oceans, then creating land in such a way that those waters would not rise up over it and destroy life! Only God can perform such wonders! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Our God is an awesome God! How Great Thou Art! How Great is our God! These are just a quick reminder of songs of praise we can offer up to God, and yes, He loves your singing voice just the way it is, for He never made any junk! Take time to look around and then look to God from a heart filled with thanksgiving and praise.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me! Lord, You are so good and so merciful to me, and I’m sure that as my readers meditate on this devotional today, they too will realize that even when things appear to be going sideways for them, yet they can still find so many ways that You are blessing them. Please help us to keep our minds so fixed on You and the many wonderful blessings that You bestow on us that the minor issues that we face each day would seem immaterial. Lord I know that You bless us, please help us to recognize those blessings more vividly each day, and pour out our thanksgiving to 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 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!

Your Song Of Thanksgiving

Warning – this devotional may be a little different to the ones you are accustomed to reading in Nuggets From God’s Word. To begin with, I would ask that you click on the this song and prayerfully listen to the words. This is where God sent me to after I read this Psalm this morning. It’s a song that has always touched my heart as I sing it. The Psalm is a heartfelt song of praise and thanksgiving to God, by His servant David. Immerse yourself in the blessings of God today, and worship the King of all kings, dear friends.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-03-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 18:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you,[c]
for now you’ve become my power!
You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet,
like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress,
my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape,
my tower of rescue where none can reach me.
My secret strength and shield around me,
you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside,[d]
always the champion of my cause.
All I need to do is to call to you,
singing to you, the praiseworthy God.
When I do, I’m safe and sound in you.

OBSERVATION: Warning – this devotional may be a little different to the ones you are accustomed to reading in Nuggets From God’s Word. To begin with, I would ask that you click on the this song and prayerfully listen to the words. This is where God sent me to after I read this Psalm this morning. It’s a song that has always touched my heart as I sing it. The Psalm is a heartfelt song of praise and thanksgiving to God, by His servant David. Immerse yourself in the blessings of God today, and worship the King of all kings, dear friends.

APPLICATION: David was drawn to the foot of the cross, not only because of his relationship with his God, but especially in a mindset of thanksgiving, because of the miraculous works of God in providing protection, strength and wisdom to him in some very tight and dangerous situations. David realized and acknowledged before the Father that had it not been for the goodness of Almighty God, he would have been captured, punished and killed a long time ago. Friends, our life may not have been nowhere near as dramatic as David’s life, but I am certain that if each one paused for just a few moments today, you could think of multiple situations in your life where you can now reflect back and say without a doubt that, but for the grace of God your life here on earth would have ended from certain accidents, or illnesses, or vendettas where the enemy was in hot pursuit. As you think of those things, praise God for His all powerful hand upon you and your circumstances. Worship Him for being your peace in the midst of the storms of life; for calming the seas of doubt and fear that tend to burden you during troubled times; for giving you a clam assurance in knowing that God’s not dead, because you are constantly reminded of His presence and His power, especially when life seems so overbearing. My dear friends, David was brought to a time where he found the need to worship his Creator because of His awesome works in His life. I trust that you too may be drawn close to God today – close enough to where you are reminded that He’s still God and He still loves and cares for even you. I serve an awesome God, and so do you, dear one. Join me in worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness, that He is so deserving of.

PRAYER: Oh dear God, You are awesome in every way. Who is man, who is this mere man, that You would sacrifice your only Son so that we may enjoy life eternally with You and the Father? Your love is amazing, because I’ve felt Your presence, especially at those times when I’ve needed Your warm embrace, Your healing touch, Your words of wisdom; and Your direction through the troubled times of life. I have been encouraged, protected and overwhelmingly blessed in so many wonderful ways, and I can’t find enough ways to say ‘thank you’ and share my deepest appreciation. Please dear God, touch the hearts of Your children reading this devotional today, and remind them of their Almighty Father. May we all find room in our hearts to worship, praise and adore You today for Your infinite goodness. 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!

May We Realize To Whom Thanksgiving Is Due

Through many miracles, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, fed them and provided for them during their journey, and had a new country prepared for them to live – filled with milk and honey. One would imagine that everyday was a day of Thanksgiving for the Israelites, but the biblical account is quite different. In our Scripture today God lashed out at the lack of appreciation, and in the verses that follow this, God threatened all that He would withdraw from the Israelites. Meditating with me today may help us to better prepare for Thanksgiving Day this year, for I fear that we are very similar to our ancestors.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-11-25
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hosea 2:8
TRANSLATION: New English Translation (NET)

BIBLE TEXT: “Yet[y] until now[z] she has refused to acknowledge[aa] that I[ab] was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil; and that it was I who[ac] lavished on her the silver and gold — that they[ad] used in worshiping Baal![ae]

OBSERVATION: Through many miracles, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, fed them and provided for them during their journey, and had a new country prepared for them to live – filled with milk and honey. One would imagine that everyday was a day of Thanksgiving for the Israelites, but the biblical account is quite different. In our Scripture today God lashed out at the lack of appreciation, and in the verses that follow this, God threatened all that He would withdraw from the Israelites. Meditating with me today may help us to better prepare for Thanksgiving Day this year, for I fear that we are very similar to our ancestors.

APPLICATION: I believe parents will agree that in the very early stages of child rearing, we tend to teach the idea of our kids saying thank you to anyone who gives them something. We have very special days of the year set aside to celebrate gifts given to us: 1). Christmas – gifts under the tree, and Christians also choose to give specials thanks to God for sending His one and only Son, born in deepest humility; 2). Easter – a special opportunity to thank God for raising His Son from the dead so that we may always know that we serve a risen and Savior who is alive! 3). Thanksgiving – although set aside as a time to celebrate our founding fathers who stopped and gave thanks for the new world and for God who directed their path and kept them safe, yet this has become a natural time of thanksgiving by Christians who recognize that it is only because of Jesus that we could celebrate our freedom to worship, live in prosperity and peace here on earth, and worship without government interference each Sunday. Unfortunately this has also become known as ‘Turkey Day’ because of the number of turkeys eaten by families on this day, but I pray that we will never forget to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day! So might we be drifting into being anything like the Israelites? Might God feel in the slightest that we are ungrateful, or that we worship other gods before Him? I believe that these are questions that each reader should strive to answer personally on the days above. What do you do on those days? How often each day do you strive to lift up holy hands and thank God for all that He has done, and is doing in your life? In Hosea 2:9 and following, God said that He would withdraw the things that He gave; He would put an end to the vain celebrations and that He would bring His people to their knees. Might He also do the same to us? Could God already be talking to us? I would suggest that you ponder the following events and see if you think God might be talking to us already in very bold ways: The 9-11 bombing; COVID-19; The increase of earthquakes (some in very strange and unbelievable places); The increase in hurricanes this year, etc, etc. There was a dad who once told his disobedient son ‘I brought you into the world, and I could easily take you out’! I’ve always heard people kid around about that, but don’t you know that statement applies to the God of this universe better than any man? We see story after story in the Old Testament where thousands of inhabitants were taken out by God, for various sins committed. We must be reminded that this is the same God that we serve today, so there is no question about whether He could follow through with what He says He will do. Friends, look up, for your redemption draweth nigh. Give thanks with a grateful heart this Thanksgiving Day!

PRAYER: With a heart of thanksgiving I come to You Lord Jesus and acknowledge all that You have blessed me with. Lord You are good and Your mercies are from everlasting to everlasting. Please forgive my readers and I for our bad manners – our ungrateful and unappreciative hearts, for way too often we take for granted how good You have been, and are, to us. Lord, if we will ever influence our circle of friends and family for the kingdom, we must learn to be a people who recognize You, Your awesome gifts to us, and Your promise of life eternally in heaven with You and the Father. May we be found faithful dear Lord. 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!

Be Thankful

It seems unfortunate that we tend to bash someone and find fault with everything they do, rather than concentrating on their good points and positive results. I like the way that Paul shares in these verses that it is our ‘duty’ to God. As we meditate today, let us examine where Paul may have been coming from in this statement of thanksgiving.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-08-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Dear brothers, giving thanks to God for you is not only the right thing to do, but it is our duty to God because of the really wonderful way your faith has grown and because of your growing love for each other. We are happy to tell other churches about your patience and complete faith in God, in spite of all the crushing troubles and hardships you are going through.

OBSERVATION: It seems unfortunate that we tend to bash someone and find fault with everything they do, rather than concentrating on their good points and positive results. I like the way that Paul shares in these verses that it is our ‘duty’ to God. As we meditate today, let us examine where Paul may have been coming from in this statement of thanksgiving.

APPLICATION: Ever heard someone say that they may as well do a certain evil, because that’s all that friends ever notice anyway? That’s a sad statement, because it paints a picture of who we truly have become. But why exactly did Paul see such importance in this point of thanksgiving? First of all, if Paul and his co-laborers were praying for God to move in the lives of the church, and cause them to have more faith in Him, so that they may show more love towards one another, don’t you suppose that they would be overjoyed to see the results of their prayers? I believe their hearts would be overjoyed and therefore very thankful. So this makes me question whether we take time to pray for those fellow Christians who always seem to lead the pack in causing trouble in the church. Are they such trouble makers that we tend to think they are beyond God’s help? Or is it that we find a certain amount of joy in putting others down? I trust that it is not the latter. Secondly, wouldn’t it be good practice to always give thanks when we see God at work in our midst? Whether He answers our prayer and convicts the sinner, or simply reenergize the hope that lies inside of the Christian, it is always a joy to see our God at work in our midst! Thirdly, when we know that a people is down and out, burdened by something that has happened to them, we tend to know what to expect – crying; discouragement; bitterness; hopelessness; etc. However, when we recognize just the opposite in attitudes and reactions to life, we should be energized to give thanks for what must be the miracle working God at work in their midst. You see, it is very easy for us to celebrate God when everything is going better than we deserve, but it’s an even greater joy to give thanks when we see Christians celebrating in the midst of their storm, for they are proving to us the One in whom they have placed their faith, their strength and their hope, is far greater than he that is in the world. So friends, please help me as we all try to do like Paul, in giving thanks for our respective churches, no matter what they are struggling with at this time. Let’s be willing to see the hand of God at work, even if it is in unexpected ways and quite different to anything we would ever do. Praise God, He knows our heart and He blesses and provides a way for those who truly love and obey Him, regardless of what we might see wrong with the picture.

PRAYER: You saw enough good in us that You sacrificed Your one and only Son on the cross at Calvary, dear Lord, so that we might have a chance at eternal life with You in Glory. It wasn’t something we deserved, or something we achieved in order to be forgiven, but solely because of Your love for us. Thank You, thank You, thank You dear Lord for looking down on us in mercy and through Your grace. Seeing that our desire is to be just like You, I pray that You will help us to evaluate and correct our ways, especially when it comes to relationships with others. Please help us to put aside our critical spirit, and instead look at others in love. Help us to automatically love others, just like You first loved us. Oh that we may share our hearts with them in love, so that You may be glorified. 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!

Why Discipline?

I’m sure that the Israelites must have thought, and no doubt complained about the necessity for discipline by God, if He (supposedly) loved them so much. Isn’t it interesting that we still hear that happening today? let’s meditate on this today and consider the qualities we have gained because of discipline.

Wednesday, 2019-07-10

Bible Reference: Deuteronomy 8:2-3
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: And you must remember the entire trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. He was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know what is in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. He humbled you and let you be hungry. Then he fed you with manna—something you did not know about before. It was something your ancestors had never seen. Why did the Lord do this? Because he wanted you to know that it is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says.

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that the Israelites must have thought, and no doubt complained about the necessity for discipline by God, if He (supposedly) loved them so much. Isn’t it interesting that we still hear that happening today? let’s meditate on this today and consider the qualities we have gained because of discipline.

APPLICATION: Surely you’re no different to me, in that you hated to hear your mom and/or dad say how it pained them to discipline you! For we always thought ‘then why do it?’!! As adults we now know that to discipline shows love, caring and concern for the individual you are disciplining. The easy thing to do, is to ignore the issue and hope that things will get better. But to care enough about the individual to correct them and possibly discipline them, shows that you love them enough to want them to succeed in life, and to be the best individual they could possibly be. When disciplined at home, it becomes easier for our children to respect and understand the need for discipline by an employer. None of us like to be disciplined, but let’s look at why God thought it was necessary for the Israelites. As His chosen people, God couldn’t stand it that they were being mistreated in Egypt, so in cooperation with their leaders, God decided to get them out of there and into a very chosen place that He had prepared for them. Because of their ungratefulness and disrespect during their journey, God disciplined His children in a few serious ways – food, water, obstacles in the path they traveled, etc. And time and time again, God showed love and deliverance for His people. In our verses today, the Israelites are being reminded of what they should have gained from those challenging times of discipline. And I believe that God wants to use these words to remind us of the same thing today. Like the Israelites, we are a spoiled and rotten people. We want, we want, and we want, but oh how seldom do we ever stop to recognize all that God has provided, and how He has taught us along this path called ‘life’. Do we have time to visit the sick or help the poor, or are we too busy tending shop? In other words, are we so caught up in the many material things of life, that we have no time, love, or respect for God, to seek out the needs of others? God disciplined the Israelites because He wanted them to know that there were more important things in life than their stomachs, their material things, and their selfish desires. He wanted them to see, and I believe that He wants us to also learn, that it is the very words of God that teaches us about LIFE, and not at all about what we have, what we see, or what we want. So what’s important in this life to you my friend? Would it require a good dose of discipline by the Almighty God to help us refocus on the really important things in this life? Why not stop, listen and obey today, for there’s no other way, but to trust in our Lord, and obey His commands!

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for the many gifts that You shower on us each and every day. Thank You for those times that You stop us in our tracks and, through loving discipline, You redirect us to the things of Christ. May we have that same kind of love for our brethren, for there are so many in need all around us today. We are often so caught up in protecting all that we have gained, that often we lose track of praise, honor and glory that is so deserving of the One who has blessed us. Thank You dear Lord. Please touch our hearts today. Draw us close to You and help us to use all that You have blessed us with, to bless others in return.. AMEN!

Appreciate The Good Things of God

It is so easy to read about the ungratefulness of others, especially in response to miraculous works by a leader that constantly shows their appreciation, love and direction to them. That’s the story of the Israelites as they traveled through the Wilderness under the watchful eye and protective hand of the Master. But what have we really learned from that story? Are we in constant awe and full of appreciation for what God does for us? Let’s stop to ponder that for a few minutes today.

Saturday, 2019-06-01

Bible Reference: Numbers 14:21-23
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 21 But I tell you the truth. As surely as I live and as surely as the Glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, I make you this promise: 22 None of the people I led out of Egypt will ever see the land of Canaan. They saw my glory and the great signs that I did in Egypt and in the desert. But they disobeyed me and tested me ten times. 23 I promised their ancestors that I would give them that land. But none of those people who turned against me will ever enter that land!

OBSERVATION: It is so easy to read about the ungratefulness of others, especially in response to miraculous works by a leader that constantly shows their appreciation, love and direction to them. That’s the story of the Israelites as they traveled through the Wilderness under the watchful eye and protective hand of the Master. But what have we really learned from that story? Are we in constant awe and full of appreciation for what God does for us? Let’s stop to ponder that for a few minutes today.

APPLICATION: It is so easy to read about the rescue of the Israelites from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians, and to see the miraculous works of God as He led them through years and years of travel through the wilderness. There He saved them from slaughter by approaching armys; provided food for over 1,000,000 people; gave direction and protection to them as they traveled, and held a token out in front of them by their ultimate destination being a land of milk and honey. Isn’t it extremely upsetting to think of them grumbling in the midst of all the awesome things that surrounds this story? Isn’t it good to know that we are so much better at that than they were? BUT wait, are we?? I tried to place a positive spin on the title of today’s devotion, instead of what I was really feeling like God might say to us at times – ‘Just quit the griping and complaining’!! Just in case you are blinded to really see how little we have changed, let me suggest that not a whole lot has changed. Friends, using the backdrop of the awful complaining by the Israelites in response to all the good that God was doing for them, I want us to turn our eyes to our own lives and our challenges that we deal with each day. From the time that we awaken each day, from our comfortable beds in super cool air-conditioning, we may start by complaining that it’s so warm outside, and furthermore I have to get off to work. Let’s stop right there for a moment and remind ourselves that many have no choice but to endure that warm/hot air 24 hours per day; Some are currently out of their homes because of flooding, tornadoes or simply due to financial problems, and many of these may not be able to return to their homes. So do we have something to be thankful for? Then of course our complaining continues into the choice of food we have for breakfast, or the broken down vehicle that we drive to work, or the time of day that we have to report to work. While many others could only wish that they had each of the above. Friends, may I suggest to you that we should learn from the Israelites to appreciate all that God provides for us each and every day. Yes, our greed and our selfish desires always tend to want something different and superior to what we have, but as we look into the eyes of our Master, what can we truly say? Thank You, thank you, thank You Lord for Your mercy and Your kindness to Your humble servant. Who am I to deserve such grace, and such love from such an awesome God? Please forgive us for our ungratefulness Lord. Please help us to always look at all You endured so that we might have eternal life, and a home in glory with You. Your love for us, and Your daily gifts to us are beyond anything we could measure, so may we always find room in our hearts to praise You and rejoice in all Your tender mercies, for You alone are God!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are so good! We are such a needy people and we cannot do this thing called ‘life’ here on this earth without You. There are so many things that we take for granted, but that we know you have provided for our good. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on us. Mercies that will endure day after day! We really have no room to complain, for Your goodness deserves our praise and our daily echo of thanksgiving. We worship You oh Lord, and we long to see You face-to-face in heaven one day. Until that time, please give us grateful hearts that will express your praise at every opportunity. 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!

Share More When You Make More!

Paul gets right to the point about a controversial item in his day. No doubt Paul was faced with envy by some of his church members, one towards another, because of the varying amounts that each could afford to give. Paul addressed this, and because this is still such a hot topic in today’s church, I want us to look deeper into this today.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (Voice)

TEXT:  But I will say this to encourage your generosity: the one who plants little harvests little, and the one who plants plenty harvests plenty. Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.

OBSERVATION:   Paul gets right to the point about a controversial item in his day. No doubt Paul was faced with envy by some of his church members, one towards another, because of the varying amounts that each could afford to give. Paul addressed this, and because this is still such a hot topic in today’s church, I want us to look deeper into this today.

APPLICATION:   I believe that we must first look at the example of God to derive our understanding of giving, then perhaps we could understand why we should give, how much we should give, and with what attitude we should give. Bible scholars will know that throughout the Old Testament, people found the need to sacrifice something to God, hoping that in return He would bless them. God saw many flaws with this, so in the New Testament, in John 3:16 God declared that He gave His very own Son (Jesus) as a sacrifice for our sin once and for all. Like any gift ever given to us, our part is to take delivery, or accept that gift, in an attitude of thanksgiving, and make it ours. Of course, we approach the throne, filled with the stains of this world, so we beg for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into our heart and make us more like Him every day. Once the Holy Spirit enters the heart of a believer, I believe that our conscience becomes very sensitive to the gifts of the Master.  For example, already today I can thank God for the ability to ‘rise and shine’; the opportunity to share the Word with you guys; a job that I could give of myself to my employer so that, in turn, I could earn income to support my family, and give to the needs of God’s children and His church. As shared above, the Christian will normally desire to be more like Jesus every day. So when the subject of giving arises, how much should we give, compared to what Jesus gave? Jesus was willing to give right on up to life itself, as He did on the cross. In today’s society, we know that we could give of our finances and we could give of ourselves in service. God gives us an example of how much we could give financially, but as seen in our verses today, He wants us to give in an attitude of thankfulness and happiness. But how much should I give Brother Ed, because none of us could really give it all like Jesus did for us. I’m so glad you asked, because the Bible suggests that we give 10%. OK, is that 10% of our spendable money – in other words, after paying all of our bills? Friends, that is something you will decide between you and the Lord, but I give based on my gross salary. After all, God blessed me with it all and while I have obligation to our government for taxes and to repay my loans, none of that would would have been possible had God not blessed me with my job and the good health to do things, like work. There was nothing that was discounted when Jesus went to the cross, He actually gave it all. He has promised to meet all of our needs, if we trust Him, so don’t let Satan tell you otherwise.

PRAYER:   To my all giving, all generous, blessed Savior, thank You for giving, so that I may live eternally with You and the Father. Thankfully You’ve blessed my readers and I with so much, that we want to follow Your example in giving back to Your work here on earth and, in turn, bless those in our community that are much more challenged than we are. Please teach us to follow You faithfully; to give generously; to love unconditionally; and to bless Your work financially; just as You have blessed us in earning the money. May we be obedient in all things, even as you were obedient right up to and including Your cruel death on the cross. May we shine as a Christ-follower, especially in our generosity and obedience to Your Word. 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!

 

Reflections For Praise

The Psalmist saw beyond answered prayer in his own life, or blessings showered on him personally, to also recognizing that the same God who does all of that, is also the God who created everything around us with such purpose and creativeness in mind. Our God is indeed an Awesome God and Creator!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Psalm 104:7-12 (TLB)

TEXT: 7-8 You spoke, and at the sound of your shout the water collected into its vast ocean beds, and mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. And then you set a boundary for the seas so that they would never again cover the earth. 10 He placed springs in the valleys and streams that gush from the mountains. 11 They give water for all the animals to drink. There the wild donkeys quench their thirst, 12 and the birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees.

OBSERVATION:   The Psalmist saw beyond answered prayer in his own life, or blessings showered on him personally, to also recognizing that the same God who does all of that, is also the God who created everything around us with such purpose and creativeness in mind. Our God is indeed an Awesome God and Creator!

APPLICATION:   I sometimes wonder if we truly ever slow down enough to reflect on the ways that God blesses each and every day. For I believe that if we did, there would not be enough hours in the day for us to thank our Creator for doing all of this just for us. You think about your typical day and I will share a few things that I can think of right from the start of my typical day:

  • I am able to rise from my warm bed each day – so I can praise God that I didn’t have to sleep in the cold, on a piece of cardboard under a bridge, with or without a blanket; I was blessed with air to breathe on my own; I was blessed with strength and mobility to actually get out of bed;
  • I had an inside bathroom to use and didn’t have to go to an outhouse or a nearby tree!
  • I was able to put on a different set of clothes than I’ve been wearing all week, and they have been washed and prepared;
  • I have a wonderful wife who will sacrifice her morning sleep-in to get up and prepare lunch for me. Yes there was food to prepare.
  • I have a job to go to, and had no reason to wait on long lines at the unemployment agency;
  • I am blessed to have a car to drive to work in, and not have to wait for a bus service or wait by the roadside for a ride with a friend; Thankful for the wisdom God gave to His children to make automobiles and especially hybrid powered cars;

Friends, can you see how much we overlook praising God for before we even begin our trek to work? I could easily have gone on to speak about the wild life, animals and trees that I enjoy seeing as I travel, and multiple other things that we would ordinarily pass by every day without thinking of praising God for His blessings on us. Remember, He did all of this for us, plus a whole lot more, and I believe that we would have done this if we were the only ones that He wanted to bless! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Our God is an awesome God! How Great Thou Art! How Great is our God! These are just a quick reminder of songs of praise we can offer up to God, and yes, He loves your singing voice just the way it is, for He never made any junk!

PRAYER:   Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me! Lord, You are so good and so merciful to me, and I’m sure that as my readers meditate on this devotional today, they too will realize that even when things appear to be going sideways for them, yet they can still find so many ways that You are blessing them. Please help us to keep our minds so fixed on You and the many wonderful blessings that You bestow on us that the minor issues that we face each day would seem immaterial. Lord I know that You bless us, please help us to recognize those blessings more vividly each day, and pour out our thanksgiving to 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 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!