Eye Witnesses

If innocent and trying to defend yourself in a traffic case or in any court battle, you will always look for and appreciate good eye witnesses. Conversely, if you are guilty, then you would hope that the defense does not have an eye witness to bring to the courts. God said through Peter that even though neighbors may accuse you, they will have no choice but to give a witness to God for your honorable and trustworthy behavior. Today’s Scripture leads us to recall what might cause us to be worthy of such honor from our neighbors. Stay with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-10-30
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 PETER 2:11-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.[i]

OBSERVATION: If innocent and trying to defend yourself in a traffic case or in any court battle, you will always look for and appreciate good eye witnesses. Conversely, if you are guilty, then you would hope that the defense does not have an eye witness to bring to the courts. God said through Peter that even though neighbors may accuse you, they will have no choice but to give a witness to God for your honorable and trustworthy behavior. Today’s Scripture leads us to recall what might cause us to be worthy of such honor from our neighbors. Stay with me!

APPLICATION: I had someone once use me in an illustration along the lines of today’s subject. They said that we should be of sufficient good character, that if our spouse or best friend was given accusatory information on us, they would, without a full investigation, refute the accusations based on their first-hand knowledge of our character. I wonder how many close friends we might have where we could be that confident about their character? There are several pointers given to us by Peter that we should bear in mind as we ponder what others might see in us:
a). We are temporary residents and foreigners here on earth – Isn’t that an interesting concept, especially considering how determined we are to work ourselves silly to make sure that we are financially fit for retirement? How much is enough? A little bit more is needed, right? Often it is for this reason that we see so many die prematurely, because of the stress placed on themselves. It is also something that leads so many into illegitimate jobs and risks so that they could supercharge their income and expedite their road to retirement. When considering how much is needed to carry you through retirement, how many years do you account for? That’s right, you have no idea. However, Peter warned us to make our short number of years here count for the Master. Don’t waste it following the residents who have no plan at all;
b). Keep away from worldly desires and pressures – for the world will try hard to win you over to their evil desires and way of life. Establish borders for yourself and decide before hand how far you will go in pleasing your fellow man, especially when your actions might encroach on your beliefs about what God expects of you. I was approached late one evening by some young men who wanted to borrow my boat so they could pull off a drug heist. Sure, I could have paid off my boat and probably taken a grand vacation from the few hours that I loaned out my boat, but was it worth more than my commitment to God to stay true to Him? If I gave in once, then my character would have been placed into question and everyone outside of that transaction would have lost faith in what I actually stood for in life. Who or what was guiding my path? God, or just another deal that I might not refuse?
Oh that God would be my everlasting guide, protection and deliver, so that He would always know in whom I believe. May others see Jesus whenever they look into my character and my life, and may they stand firm as eye witnesses for me and the man of God that I strive to be, with God’s help. May this prick the hearts of those who have not fully surrendered their lives to Jesus, and may your hearts be softened as you meditate on this devotional, so that you might also stand firm in your faith, and your stand for the Master. Others have an opinion of you. May they be an eye witness of your good works and your godly influence on them.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us and thinking so much of Your creation that You sent Your Son Jesus to provide the means for our salvation. We are made new in Jesus, and we are cleansed of all the dirt that this world has stained us with. We know that You are fully aware of our spiritual condition, but we ask that You continue to work miraculously in us so that the world might also know in whom we believe. May they be drawn to You through their dealings with us, and may their surrender to the God that we serve and long to be with. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

God Is Attentive to The Prayers of His People

Tuesday, 2020-02-25

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. From now on I’m alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place. 

OBSERVATION: I believe that way too often we read into the Scriptures what we want to hear, or perhaps we might use the content of a verse to make sure that it is understood in the manner we feel it should read. Re-reading these frequently used verses might remind us of the emphasis God places on ‘HIS’ people. As we meditate on these verses today, please allow the Word of God to penetrate your heart and speak to your very soul.

APPLICATION: For so long I have heard reference to verse 14, but when you read the preceding verses, especially verse 13, it becomes very evident that God is saying that He may very well withhold blessings from us when we stray, or when we sin. However, He also tells us that when we pray, and when we repent of our sin, and when we turn away from our sin, then praise God, He will hear our prayer, forgive us of our sin and make us (our land) prosperous again. It seems so out of sorts the way that we try to make this work. God is the Master and He dictates how it will work. We are the servants, the followers, the beggars, we need to listen and obey, to see the results of God’s response to our prayers! I don’t believe that these verses were intended that the lost might awaken from their sin, surrender their lives to God and then see Him work miraculously in their lives, although I believe that God is very capable of doing that. I have the distinct impression that God told Solomon that the new temple was dedicated in service for the work of the Lord. However, he should let the people know that there may come a time when God may choose to strike their farms, or even send a plague among his people. This is not a time for the people to strike out against the evildoers or the Satan followers, but rather it is a time that believers should look to God and seek His forgiveness for their sin, their pettiness, their ugliness to their family, friends and coworkers. A time that they must look inward and face God in shame for their lack of obedience to His commands, their lack of caring about the elderly and those in need, their shame for keeping the King of all kings bottled up inside – their sin, yes be sorry for their own sin, and to seek the Master for forgiveness and for strength to serve Him, worship Him, and exemplify Him in ever fiber of their being. Friends, I believe that God is saying that we are to look inward as a church, and get our act together, so that we might represent Him honorably before a lost world. In other words, let’s get inside the four walls of our churches squeaky clean before we feel like we could be an influence to those on the outside. Many might respond that they are not dirty, they are not evil, they don’t hate others, but let me remind you that we are to compare ourselves to, and aim to live a perfect life like, the only begotten Son of God – Jesus our Lord. When you do that, can you see where God might want us to clean up our act? God told Solomon, that when we – the church, do what we are called to do, then He will hear from heaven and bless our land. This reminds me of an old Christian song, ‘It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. It’s not my brother or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer’. Fellow believers, join me in drawing closer to God today. I believe that He wants to bless our land, but He said that He wants us to have our house in order before He does so. Let’s not be a stumbling block in the good work of the Lord.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray that my readers will join me today in being obedient to Your precious Word. May we humble ourselves, turn from our wicked ways, pray, and seek Your face, like we seriously want a move from You, and like we seriously want You to heal our land of its sin, its deceases, its wickedness, and its lack of desire for our King. Please heal us – Your church, and draw us unto Yourself, so that You may eventually heal our land. We are tired of the crime and many sins that are evident and that seem to worsen every day, and we are frightened by the unknown deceases for which our doctors fail to find a cure. Our land is in much need of a touch from You oh God. Please begin by healing Your children – even today, 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Fed Up With Disregard for Jesus – Sin

Based on your Christian upbringing, your own Christian convictions and your understanding of God’s Word, what is it that really upsets you in what you see happening in our world today? How do you deal with it? What do you do about it? It has always been said that silence indicates consent, or agreement with the masses! I encourage you to read the chapter containing today’s focus verses and note how many times Paul was relocated from one place to another by his friends in order to protect his life, because he would not simply sit by and accept the sin that was evident. What about you friends?

Saturday, 2020-02-08

Bible Reference: Acts 17:15-16
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 15 The people leading Paul went with him to Athens. Then they carried a message from Paul back to Silas and Timothy for them to come to him as soon as they could.
16 While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he was troubled because he saw that the city was full of idols.

OBSERVATION: Based on your Christian upbringing, your own Christian convictions and your understanding of God’s Word, what is it that really upsets you in what you see happening in our world today? How do you deal with it? What do you do about it? It has always been said that silence indicates consent, or agreement with the masses! I encourage you to read the chapter containing today’s focus verses and note how many times Paul was relocated from one place to another by his friends in order to protect his life, because he would not simply sit by and accept the sin that was evident. What about you friends?

APPLICATION:  Do you run to God for his direction about the sin that you see all around you? Do you often show your opposition to the sin, or do you support those committing the sin? Do you seek God’s help and direction in showing those affected by these things that there is a better way – a way that leads to eternity with Jesus? Paul was convicted that Jesus was the only way, and that sin was sin. So he kept facing opposition from the world, yet in vs 2 we read that Paul went into the synagogue and taught about Jesus; again in vs 10 and yet again in vs 17 we read where he did the same thing after being relocated for his own safety. Would you agree with me that Paul saw a lot going on in these cities that, based on his understanding of God’s Word, he disagreed with? Would you also agree that it is evident that he was not prepared to ‘pass the buck’, but instead willing to put his neck on the line over and over again for what he knew was wrong, and to teach what he knew was right? What about you, my friend, are you willing to follow in Paul’s example? There is no question about whether things are bad enough around us, for daily we hear about the evil going on. We may not see idols everywhere, but friends when we see our friends not interested in worshiping with other believers because of other ‘idols’ in their life, should we not be concerned? ‘Idols’ is something that takes the place of God in our lives. Whenever something else takes priority over our time with God, especially on a continual basis, then I dare say that ‘something’ has become an idol in your life. God has not called us to be judge and jury, but friends it is obvious to see where ‘idols’ pop up in our own lives, and in the lives of our family and friends. It should make us question where our priority is. Like Paul, we must constantly be looking inward to see where our hearts and priorities are, and we must be willing to preach the principles of God to our friends and neighbors. We must not let Satan be the victor in our world, when we are so aware of our loving Savior and all that He sacrificed for such undeserving sinners such as ourselves. I would dare say that not many of us could be found guilty of openly spreading the gospel today, especially in areas where we know that the state has forbidden it, and unfortunately these areas are becoming way too numerous today. Jesus is coming soon friends, we must not let our friends die and go to Hell. We must live our lives in the light of eternity, and witness/teach/preach with the same intensity as Paul did. Where’s your heart dear friend? Trying to please everyone around you, or determined to carry as many as possible to heaven with you. When Jesus comes to take us home with Him, only one thing will matter – ‘is your heart right with God?’. Do you know Him friend? Do all those that you rub shoulders with, know Him? If not, work diligently till Jesus returns to help them find the way.

PRAYER: In the name of Jesus, and for Your glory, I humbly ask that You forgive me of my laxity in being a bold witness of the One who went to the cross to prove His love for me. No other love can compare to the love that You showed just for me, Heavenly Father, and I thank You sincerely for that. Please instill in me the urgency of the hour in which I live, so that I may concentrate my heart, my mind and my witness on the things that really matter – You and Your kingdom. Please touch the hearts of the folk that might meditate on this devotional today, and penetrate their hearts with the same urgency of that which I have pleaded. May we devote ourselves to winning this world for You, is my humble prayer, all for Your sake and Your glory, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, let me encourage you to visit 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!

A Prayer for Each Other

The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 13:20-21 (ERV)

TEXT:  20-21 I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.

OBSERVATION:   The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

APPLICATION:   What I found extremely interesting in these verses is that we are taught to really pray great blessings on each other, but as we look closely at the ‘so that’ we will see that these prayers are not just to make us look righteous to the church, or in our community, but rather to glorify Christ. I had a pastor who wore a handsome looking suit for the first time, on a Sunday morning. After his sermon, he received so many compliments on his new suit that he promised never to do that again, because it was obvious that his congregants paid more attention to his new suit than they did to the message God gave him to deliver! Sounds funny, but anytime we do, or say, something that glorifies or promotes our own self worth, we have totally missed the point of promoting Christ. I love the beginning of these verses, for it demands that we pray that our Brother or Sister would have every good thing they need. Isn’t that about the best thing you could pray for someone? But notice that there is not a period after that phrase, but instead goes on to give the ‘so that’, and that the purpose of such a prayer is not for the benefit of making your object of prayer the best person in the congregation, community or workplace, but rather for the benefit of doing what God wants. So an example of this might be that you may very well pray that someone be enriched with wisdom, or perfect discernment, but for the one who loves God and seeks to please Him in everything, that may not be for the sake of choosing the right numbers and winning the lotto, but rather, it may bless them with the aptitude to serve on an important team at church in which God is looking to draw people unto Himself in an unusual and miraculous way. You have no idea how God will use that person for His glory, but as you pray in accordance with what God has laid on your heart, be content in knowing that God will bless so that His perfect will might be achieved. The other part of that wonderful prayer is that you will find reason to glorify your heavenly Father for listening to the prayer of His humble servant to achieve His greatness! The last part of verse 21 is also achieved in my example, for God used His blessing to you, to accomplish His work, for His glory. I believe that the awe in these verses for us, is that when we pray for the benefit of God’s glory, we will see our prayers answered, but we will also see gratified hearts through the blessings of God on us and those we pray for. So pray to the Father, through His Son, for His ultimate glory, and for the uplifting and blessings of the one we are praying for.

PRAYER:   Dear God, thank You for the many friends You have blessed me with, and for those You have placed in a position to guide me, manage me, and encourage me. Please bless each of these richly today, so that Your glory might shine through them and bring even more praise to You by multiple others. Please help us to live holy and upright lives, so that Your presence in our lives will shine through every word and every action. People need the Lord more today than ever before. Use us Lord to be You light and Your encouragement to them. 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!

Now What?

In capsule form, the writer of Hebrews is reminding us that for those of us that have sought out the Lord Jesus, and been blessed with the gift of salvation, that this is not the time for us to stay away from church meetings, but instead, attend all the more so that we might encourage those who are struggling in their relationship with the Savior of the world. Imagining that few who read this devotional are probably perfect at this, I believe it would do us well to meditate on this for a short while today.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 10:23-25 (TPT)

TEXT:  23 So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises! 24 Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. 25 This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.

OBSERVATION:   In capsule form, the writer of Hebrews is reminding us that for those of us that have sought out the Lord Jesus, and been blessed with the gift of salvation, that this is not the time for us to stay away from church meetings, but instead, attend all the more so that we might encourage those who are struggling in their relationship with the Savior of the world. Imagining that few who read this devotional are probably perfect at this, I believe it would do us well to meditate on this for a short while today.

APPLICATION:   I believe that as we reflect back on some of the stories told in the Word we may wonder what kind of people our ancestors must have been. However, as we draw close to God and enhance our hearts and minds with the mind of Christ, there is little doubt to us that mankind has probably become more stubborn than they have ever been before, and Satan has become more intense at getting to children of God to dilute our witness, causing us to have little to no impact on our world that is quickly going to Hell. Friends, our Scripture reminds us of the value in recognizing the King of all kings – our Savior and Lord. We are also shown how we contribute to the deterioration of the church, and the distraction of the lost to our Savior. I know that none of us would set out to accomplish this on any day, but friends, when we allow Satan to distract us from attending church because our pastor said something in his sermon last week that totally ticked us off, or he may have explained the Scripture differently to anything we would ever say, or the multiple reasons that Christians choose not to attend church, can’t you see from today’s Scripture that we lose most of our opportunity to encourage those that come to church hoping to find Christ, and His earthly children? Yes, as these folk fellowship with us and they see Jesus alive in our actions and our encouragement, they realize that Christ is indeed alive and well. When they see that we, just like all other humans, suffer in this world, and how we deal with challenges, but we manage to stay dedicated to our Lord, then they see that our extreme strength must come from the One who lives within us. As we look around us each day, we could easily see more and more each day, that people still need the Lord. They may never know Him if we miss out on the appointment that God established between us and the individual who attended church just for that reason. God has full power to save us, without any help from our friends, but if God chooses to use us to help draw a friend unto Himself, let’s not mess that up. Like our military, let’s be ready to show our presence and serve at every opportunity. We serve an awesome God, and there is lots to brag about and encourage someone with. So let us be faithful to our calling as a child of the King! No time for us to say ‘Yes we are saved, but what shall we do now?’. Let the glory of God who lives within us, shine out to the world through us!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, thank You for saving my soul. Thank You for giving me hope for a future – one filled with the opportunity of spending eternity with You and our Father! Being reminded through this Scripture today, that I now have a responsibility to encourage another beggar looking for the same nourishment that I found in You, I humbly ask that You strengthen and embolden me to always encourage, always look for the opportunity to bless someone else and be Your hands and feet before them. Lord, may others be drawn to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as fellow believers and I exemplify You in every aspect of our lives today. 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!

 

A God-filled, God-honoring Life

In the first 10 verses of this chapter, Paul shares with Titus the importance of teaching older men, older women, younger men and younger women, how to live a God-filled, God-honoring life, and the importance of doing so. This teaching has never been more critical than it is for us today, so as we meditate on this, let’s try to apply it – for the kingdom of God is at hand!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Titus 2:11-14 (MSG)

TEXT:  11-14 God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.

OBSERVATION:   In the first 10 verses of this chapter, Paul shares with Titus the importance of teaching older men, older women, younger men and younger women, how to live a God-filled, God-honoring life, and the importance of doing so. This teaching has never been more critical than it is for us today, so as we meditate on this, let’s try to apply it – for the kingdom of God is at hand!

APPLICATION:   Telling a politician, or a public figure to include something on ‘right living’ in their political agenda, would almost seem hypocritical compared to the backbiting, hatred and name calling they normally do. Telling an evangelist to hit the streets and demand this lifestyle of those coming out of the bars and dance halls would probably be meaningless to a people are already living the best lifestyle they know how to live. But I believe that just as Paul gave this advice to his fellow laborer and Brother in the Lord, and expected him to share this with those that he found in the local church, we too must be prepared to give this advice to our pastors, teachers and leaders of our churches today. The whole reason for this, comes down to our churches empowering our people not just with the awesome power of God’s Word, but also asking its parishioners to live and practice the life that they are being taught from God’s Word. So in effect, we are encouraging each one to become the church to all those that they come into contact with! I believe that it is our responsibility to live like ‘little Christs’, before all those we come into contact with, especially if we are God-filled, and if we are giving every effort to honor God with our speech, behavior and character. I just love the latter part of this Scripture where we are told that God gave up everything, when He allowed His precious Son to die on the cross for us, for He wanted to make it possible and easy for us to make Him proud of us. How do you feel about your day friend? Did you make God proud in everything that you did? Would others conclude that you are a ‘God-filled’ person, and that you honor God through the things that you say and do? The Word says that when we strive towards these things, we develop an appetite and excitement about the glorious day when our Lord will return! God saw the need for Titus to hear these words from Paul, and I believe that He wants us to also get the picture He is portraying for us today about our earthly condition, in preparation for our heavenly celebration and our eternal home!

PRAYER:   Oh that your people may know about You Lord! Oh that we, who are called by Your name, will seek Your face, humble ourselves and pray, and allow ourselves to be so filled with Your presence, Your character, Your love and to seek Your Holy Spirit for every decision in life, so that we may be God-filled and so that we may honor You in all things. Please anoint us today with Your power, so that we may look more like You in the eyes of those searching for the Master. 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!

 

Effective In Your Mission

It appears to me like Paul was given great wisdom in helping those that he mentored in the ministry. In fact, I believe that God had us in mind as He worked through Paul in ministering to Timothy. However, I believe that we will see clearly that our advice is most effective when we can give it from a life that is living out the advice being offered to others. 

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 2:14-17 (VOICE)

TEXT:  14 …... Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. 15 Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. 16 Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. 17 Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer….

OBSERVATION:   It appears to me like Paul was given great wisdom in helping those that he mentored in the ministry. In fact, I believe that God had us in mind as He worked through Paul in ministering to Timothy. However, I believe that we will see clearly that our advice is most effective when we can give it from a life that is living out the advice being offered to others. 

APPLICATION:   I’m not sure how many of us will ever be blessed to have the honor of mentoring someone entering into a ministry role, like Paul did, but we are often part of a church where new workers are called into ministry each year, and some of us may also be blessed to be part of a commissioning service for a new minister of the gospel, like Timothy was. This advice given by Paul is great for us to consider as we look into our own lives. Hopefully as we live these out personally, we will be in a much better position to say like Paul did in one of his other teachings: “now follow me, as you try to live a godly life” or as you endeavor to serve in your new assignment. You see, it is hypocritical to suggest that a new minister, teacher, worker, do some of these things, if we are personally doing an awful job at these things ourselves. For example, how can we suggest that they not get in arguments over words, or split hairs over individual interpretations, if we are so bad at doing that ourselves? Or be genuine in their walk, if we are personally accused of living a double life? Or to not be ashamed of the gospel, if we are often embarrassed to have others know that we are involved in the ministry of our local church? So friends, I would encourage you and I to not brush this off by thinking that we now have some good advice to give ministers and/or workers entering into the ministry of Jesus Christ, but instead that we live out these principles ourselves so that we might give this advice and happily follow with the idea that they follow us, just as we follow Christ. I believe that only then, will the church of Jesus Christ see effective workers in the local church, and well prepared ministers and/or missionaries that we send out from our local churches. Lost people are anxious to see genuine Christians. Do you fit the bill my friend?

PRAYER:   Lord, please have Your perfect will and way in the hearts of each one that will meditate on this devotional today. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. May Your kingdom become richer as a result of souls that will be impacted today, is my heart’s cry, dear Jesus. 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!

 

Purify Your Inner Life

It appears like James may have been dealing with a group of believers just like many of us, where we accept Jesus as Lord, but still hang on to portions of the world that tickle our fancy. James declares that we will never get totally aligned with God as long as we are hanging on to our past and giving Satan his claim on portions of our life. Please read on as we discuss the seriousness of this matter…..

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   James 4:7-10 (Msg)

TEXT:  7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

OBSERVATION:   It appears like James may have been dealing with a group of believers just like many of us, where we accept Jesus as Lord, but still hang on to portions of the world that tickle our fancy. James declares that we will never get totally aligned with God as long as we are hanging on to our past and giving Satan his claim on portions of our life. Please read on as we discuss the seriousness of this matter…..

APPLICATION:   I often compare marriage to our Christian life, for both involves total commitment to someone else. So with that in mind, imagine for a minute a young couple that marries, and after their honeymoon, you spot the groom at the movies with an old flame, and they are all over each other. After calling him several different names, you may stop and ponder what on earth is he trying to prove. For he married your best friend and has turned his back on her already….. So now switch to a friend with a new found relationship with God. Wouldn’t you advise them to daily seek God’s face as you try to know more about Him and His character? Wouldn’t it be important to remind them that the tempter will continue to knock at their door, but because of the strength and courage of the One who lives inside of them, they must quickly shoo Satan away, as they are not the man/woman that they used to be? It is so serious for your friend, and for each of us to quit playing the field. If we have truly surrendered our life to Jesus Christ, then leave the things of this world alone. Say a loud ‘NO’ to Satan and tell him outright that you’re a Jesus’ kid now, and your desire is to serve only Him, from this day forward, and depend on His strength to help you fight away every temptation.

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we are reminded again to be the person that looks most like our Creator, our Savior and our Lord. There are many who are struggling today, and many of these are Christians. Oh that they may see Jesus today because they have associated with us in some way. May they be drawn to Jesus, because of the difference they see that He has made in our lives, fellow believers. To God be the glory! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the 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!

 

What’s Your Role In the Plan?

We are taught here that there is a process for someone to receive the Word of God and act on it, and as I read through it I pondered where you and I might fit into the various steps of getting God’s Word to the unsaved. Let’s look deeper into this….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 10:13-15 (NLT)

TEXT: 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

OBSERVATION:   We are taught here that there is a process for someone to receive the Word of God and act on it, and as I read through it I pondered where you and I might fit into the various steps of getting God’s Word to the unsaved. Let’s look deeper into this….

APPLICATION:   Let’s think back to the day we found Jesus. Do you remember the excitement that you felt in knowing the King of all kings and Lord of lords? To know the One who has promised to love you unconditionally for the rest of your life here on earth, then through the joys of heaven as you unite with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit! Now, imagine keeping that all bottled up inside of you. Will you be able to contain yourself? Well, I don’t believe that God saved you to then force you onto a seat where you could sit, soak and sour. Throughout His Word, He teaches us to go and spread the Good News. So reflect on the verses and notice how someone is anxiously waiting to hear the Good News, if someone will tell them. In fact, they can’t believe in One that they’ve never heard of. I believe that this also means that they need to hear from someone who knows Christ personally and experientially, because they want to believe in someone who’s real. Friends, it’s through hearing the Word of God and your personal experience with Him, that one will come to know Him as Savior and Lord. You can play a vital role by simply sharing what you have. God’s love is given to share with others, not to keep it bottled up inside.

PRAYER:   Lord, please touch the lives of my readers today that have accepted You as their Lord and Savior. Please give us all the opportunity to let the light of Jesus shine brightly through us today, so that all of our unsaved friends might hear about You, see You in action through us, and accept You as their personal Savior today. This is my humble prayer today, especially in light of the verses that we meditated on. Thank You Lord Jesus for being willing to use even us to help grow Your kingdom. 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!

 

Basic Truths of the Faith

Peter and John were used by God in the healing of a lame man. Fortunately this happened in sight of the Jewish leaders who had put no relevance in the Lord Jesus Christ. In today’s Scripture I bolded some of the basic truths of the Christian faith: Salvation is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ; For those who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. Their bragging about Him, and encouraging the lost to be saved, is just as effective as the smartest preacher of the largest church on earth. The Jews were amazed by the effectiveness of these simple, uneducated, laymen! Each one of us live right in the middle of this discussion, let’s look closer at how we might apply ourselves…..

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-12-23
SCRIPTURE

From:

Acts 4:12-14 (MSG)

Text:

12 Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one (Jesus).”

13-14 They (the Jewish leaders) couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?

OBSERVATION:
Peter and John were used by God in the healing of a lame man. Fortunately this happened in sight of the Jewish leaders who had put no relevance in the Lord Jesus Christ. In today’s Scripture I bolded some of the basic truths of the Christian faith: Salvation is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ; For those who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. Their bragging about Him, and encouraging the lost to be saved, is just as effective as the smartest preacher of the largest church on earth. The Jews were amazed by the effectiveness of these simple, uneducated, laymen! Each one of us live right in the middle of this discussion, let’s look closer at how we might apply ourselves…..
APPLICATION:
I believe that way too often we (Christians) give in to the ways and wishes of the world. At Christmas-time we have gotten used to their wish to not have ‘Christ’ included in the word, so it has become Happy Holidays, or Fall Break, instead of Christmas. When everyone is convinced that God is involved in an activity, it becomes ‘the man upstairs’ instead of giving credit to the God of this whole universe. The God who lovingly created the very one trying to ignore His precious name. In our Scripture today, it is refreshing to be reminded that Peter and John were simple ‘laymen’, a title given to those who try to share God’s Word without having been educated in theology or ordained as a pastor or preacher. That explains the title for many of us that will meditate on this devotional today. So pray tell why so many of us cower up and leave the telling of Jesus to the pastor, or the Sunday School teacher? There is a lot of difference in me telling my friends that Jesus touched me and healed me last Sunday while at church, than the pastor telling those same friends that God moved powerfully in our service last Sunday and Ed was healed. My story would be personal, whereas the Pastor’s story would be a third party story that he would relay for me. Our responsibility is to share what God has, and is doing in our lives. Sure we can say what else God is doing in our church, but the thing that will impact our friends is what happened in the first person – to us! The other thing that will impact our witness, is for others to see what God has done for us. If we say that we are saved, friends should see what we are saved from. If from Satan, then they should see God in everything we say or do – every aspect of our character. If from the sin of this world, then they should see us saying ‘No’ to many of the things that we did when controlled by Satan. The Jewish leaders saw that Peter and John had been with Jesus. Can our friends say the same thing about you and I? We shouldn’t have to tell them, they should see it in our ways, our thoughts and our deeds. Evidence of our experience with Jesus will be the same as the healed man standing there between Peter and John – proof positive!
PRAYER:
At this time on our earthly calendar, we celebrate Your birth Lord Jesus. Thank You for the miracles that surrounded your birth, and thank You for the miracle of new birth every time a sinner surrenders their life to Your Lordship. Lord we adore You and worship You with our whole being. May the world see enough of Your love and Your character in us that they would like to also know You personally. There were angels singing and wise me seeking You to worship you. May we hear the angels sing again today and every day as loved ones and friends find You in us and give their lives to You for eternity. 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!