Be The Instigator of Joy in Heaven

I believe if we wanted to find ways to create happiness for our spouse, or our child, or our parent, the sky would be the limit to our efforts. I also believe that if we heard there was a fire or hurricane danger to our neighborhood, we would personally go door to door giving advice or trying to help neighbors secure themselves and their property. Yet we know this old world will come to an end soon, and we have no sense of urgency for our unsaved family and friends. Perhaps this might be a reminder for us today!

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2021-09-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 15:7; 10
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus said, “In the same way there is more happiness in heaven because of one sinner who turns to God than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to.”
10 Jesus said, “In the same way God’s angels are happy when even one person turns to him.”

APPLICATION: The Pharisees were going about their day as usual, looking for ways to aggravate Jesus and hoping to catch Him in a precarious way as He responded to their silly questions. However, Jesus responded to them with two simple stories and each had a very similar ending. First, Jesus knew that many of His audience were shepherds, so He told them the story about the happy culmination when a lost sheep is found. Jesus likened this happiness to heaven, and how the angels rejoice – not just when the saved on earth gather around the throne of God, but when the one who was lost, was hunted down by friends who cared about them, and now they are able to walk up to the throne just like the others who have been saved for years and years. Think about everything you’ve seen or heard about when the angels appeared before the shepherds singing and shouting about the birth of our Savior. Now imagine the angels singing and shouting around the throne, while at the same time you are rejoicing before your church and before Jesus, about using you to witness to your neighbor, who surrendered his life to the Lord! And that’s just one soul, dear friends! Now for the second story that Jesus shared, He used the example of a lost coin. I’m of the impression that this was one of only 10 coins that the lady had. So isn’t it easy to understand how she will move everything in sight to search for her lost coin. Upon finding the coin, can you even imagine the rejoicing? She invited her neighbors to help her rejoice! This, my friend, is only a glimpse of the celebration by the angels when one soul surrenders to the lordship of Jesus Christ, for that lost one is now found! Of course, by now you could probably see more clearly why I chose the subject for today’s devotional. I believe all readers/listeners have multiple individuals in their circle of friends and family who have chosen to ignore the call of Jesus on their life. We are now reminded that if we do what Jesus has called us to do, and if we care enough about those we love, then we will not only be reenergized to share the awesome news of Jesus Christ, but we could also share about our firsthand experience with Jesus. Why not invite them to know Jesus personally and join with you in daily communion with Him?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: The angels rejoice when a lost person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior! Oh that we would love our family and friends enough to share the joy that is ours, each and every day! Perhaps we will then have a whole lot more rejoicing also!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Your great salvation so rich and free! I am sure that there are many that my readers and listeners know, who are missing out on the joy we have in knowing You as Lord. So I would humbly ask that You empower us with the boldness and wisdom to show our love for these loved ones by introducing them to the Creator of this world. We all love a time of rejoicing and we are overjoyed at the excitement that it brings. Please nudge us to share that excitement with others, as we introduce You 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 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!

In Preparation For 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 used Paul powerfully in his ministry, so that he could be an effective mentor to Timothy. I wonder who’s following in our footsteps? I wonder if our lives are suitable for others to follow, and they go out to be God’s representative and minister? Let’s look at some of the ways Paul felt prepared for the task at hand.

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….

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 that they should 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 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 sound advice as we suggest that they follow, 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. Just as we aim to be exactly that, will we be effective and genuine in sending others out, just like us.

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 us sharing our genuineness with others who will be impacted today, with the character and form of the One true God. 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!

Where Do You Tend To Hang Out?

From a very young age many of us have receive training from our parents to watch the company that we hang out with. Many times churches will teach that the place for the Christian is at church and/or around church families. No doubt this was similar to our ancestors, as they really looked down on Jesus and His disciples for hanging out with known sinners. Jesus quickly responded to this idea about the importance of who He spent time with, and I believe that this might still be good advice for us today. Let me encourage you to read the entire devotional for my thoughts on this!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-07-27
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 5:30-32
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 30 … “Why would you defile yourselves by eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners? Doesn’t Jesus know it’s wrong to do that?
31 Jesus overheard their complaining and said, “Who goes to the doctor for a cure? Those who are well or those who are sick? 32 I have not come to call the ‘righteous,’ but to call those who know they are sinners and bring them to repentance.”

APPLICATION: Part of the great divide between Christians and unbelievers might be caused by the cliques that are created, often unknowingly. Christians are taught to, and often feel most comfortable to, hang out with those of like faith. Sure, I believe that scenario will create great accountability partners, and there will probably be less room for argument, as we will seldom challenge each other on what we believe, or what we do. I see little difference in this practice when looking at the unsaved, for they tend to hang out in like groups and places. Because of this exclusivity, it seems like each group tends to look at the other group as pretenders and thinking of themselves as better than the other. To a certain extent, this may be true, especially if one fails to associate with member of the opposite group. But Jesus may have introduced us to a very unique thought in the Scriptures today. It we truly want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and do the will of the Father, wouldn’t we want to spend some time around the people we are trying to share the Gospel with? After all, how many Christians will we aim to ‘save’, again? Sure, iron sharpens iron, and we need the strength, encouragement and love from our Christian brothers and sisters, but if we refuse to mix with non-Christians and understand their needs, how will we ever discern the difference that Jesus might make in their lives? Additionally, how else will your unsaved friends know Jesus’ way of living and treating one another if you don’t give them opportunity to spend time with you? I believe that one of the most interesting changes we must consider, is that instead of feeling compelled to stay away from unbelievers in fear of adopting their bad habits, we must instead desire to be around them and ask God to let them grow in Him by seeing God at work in us. Friends, people need the Lord – those are the unbelievers. Unless we spend time around them and teach them God’s ways, how else will they see God and come to know Him personally?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus hung out with sinners, because He wanted to bring them to repentance. We should do the same!

PRAYER: Lord, please teach us to live like You demonstrated to us in Your Word. We have picked up too many earthly practices to often be of any heavenly good to our neighbors. Please help us to stay centered on Your Word and practice all that You have taught us. Much of this will be quite different for us in contrast to what we have practiced so far, so please give us strength, give us wisdom, give us boldness and most of all, give us a heart like yours. Let others experience Your awesome love and goodness through our encounters with them, and convince them of their need for a Savior. 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!

Awestruck By Your Story

I believe we will see from todays Bible story that it is more important to share our story about how Jesus Christ made a difference in our life, than to just hang with other believers and soak up more of His goodness. Hopefully this Scripture will force us to reflect on our goal in life, and redirect our efforts, if necessary, so that God may be glorified in and through us.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 5:17-20
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 … the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone! 18 So he got back into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demons begged Jesus to let him go along. 19 But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”
20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns[a] of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and they were awestruck by his story.

APPLICATION: Jesus performed a miracle by freeing a man from the demons that possessed him. He was haunted and terrorized by the demons, but Jesus made the demons come out of him. Word of this miracle quickly got back to the neighboring towns, causing curiosity seekers to rush to the area to see what could possibly be going on. This upset the Pharisees, as this one act drew more attention than their years of teaching from the Scriptures, so they asked Jesus to leave. I know, you’ve heard stories just like this about a local church near you, right? Unfortunately, in this world we are led to believe that we must be the center of attraction, and that our acts of giving, teaching or preaching is enough to draw unbelievers to church. But notice in our story, the people were drawn to the works of the Creator – God. Perhaps for some, it was just their curiosity, but I believe that for others, it may have been because they had certain personal issues that they wished the Master would also remove from their lives. This reminds me so much about our churches and our groups of Believers today, for we seem to be very inward focused in our ministries and our witness to others. But friends, I believe that Jesus is saying to us, like He did to the healed man, don’t just hang around Me and the comfortable things of life, go to your family and friends and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Did you ever stop to think about how many lives could be touched by our ‘story of salvation’, compared to the endless sermons on various parts of the Bible? Sermons tend to show Believers the truth of God’s Word and help us know our Savior more intimately. Sharing our story with an unsaved friend helps them confirm that Jesus is real and that the same Jesus that touched our life and healed our illnesses and our sin, would definitely also listen to them. You see, we feel so comfortable around other believers because they are our brothers and sisters. But when an unbeliever tries to look at our group, can’t you see how they may feel inferior, imperfect or too impacted by sin for a Holy God to even consider touching their life? We can help them break down those walls by sharing our ‘story’ with them. For even though we may not have murdered anyone, or robbed a bank, yet we were steeped in sin when Jesus found us and saved us from all our iniquities. We were, just as they are now, and if Jesus saved us, we know that He could also save them. Who knows, your friends might be just as awestruck hearing how Jesus saved you, as the friends of the demoniac was when they heard his ‘story’!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for looking beyond our faults, our disobedience, our sin, our disrespect and our lack of love for our family and friends, and You acted on our cry for salvation. Only a God like You will go that far. But God, I pray that You will make such a change in our lives that unbelievers will stop and listen to our story of meeting, and being accepted by, the Creator of our universe. Thank You Lord for our pastors, church leaders and Sunday School teachers, but please touch the lives of every believer who reads this devotional today and impress upon each one the importance of them also sharing their personal story of faith in God, dependence on Him and His response to their prayers. May sharing this story bring positive reactions from unbelievers and cause them to look closer at the living Christ who can do ALL things. May Your kingdom come today as we be about 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!

Tell Them Everything God Has Done For You

Perhaps a more appropriate title for this devotional today may have been ‘What’s your excuse?’. So many Christians today seek God, and they receive a touch from Him, or a bold miracle is performed, but their household family or next door neighbors are unaware that anything happened to them. However, in today’s Scripture we read about a man filled with demons, and those demons were miraculously eradicated. Will neighbors notice? Most definitely! Will they know what potion or spell actually worked to remove the demons? Perhaps not. As we meditate on this today, I want us to think of the times that God brought healing to our bodies, and why didn’t we tell the world about it?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-05-16
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Luke 8:38–39
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 38 The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, 39 “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.

OBSERVATION: Perhaps a more appropriate title for this devotional today may have been ‘What’s your excuse?’. So many Christians today seek God, and they receive a touch from Him, or a bold miracle is performed, but their household family or next door neighbors are unaware that anything happened to them. However, in today’s Scripture we read about a man filled with demons, and those demons were miraculously eradicated. Will neighbors notice? Most definitely! Will they know what potion or spell actually worked to remove the demons? Perhaps not. As we meditate on this today, I want us to think of the times that God brought healing to our bodies, and why didn’t we tell the world about it?

APPLICATION: I wonder how many friends will be told that you went to church this weekend? How about the message that you garnered from the Word of God during your daily devotions? What about the touch of your Master during the Praise and Worship time? Are you feeling healed today of something you and your church members prayed about? Will you be brave enough to share that with critics at work today? In our scripture story today we read where Jesus healed a man of demon possession, and we see where he was excited and ready to board a boat and travel with Jesus to continue spreading the story of his salvation. Instead Jesus asked the man to go and share his story with his family. The man was way too excited to just tell his own family, so he went all throughout the town telling his story. Let’s put this into perspective. I challenged you at the beginning to share your worship experience with your coworkers today, and especially any extraordinary interactions with Jesus from your weekend. I believe I saw some dirty looks from some of you, but I still want to take that a step further and ask you to share your experience with a store clerk, or a waitress! Isn’t it interesting how we find it easier to share information about a movie we saw or an event in our child’s life, but not about the miracle, a miraculous event, that occurred when the Savior of the world reached down in love and touched a sinner such as we are? A total transformation, yet we don’t want to offend our friends by sharing our good news with them? Friends, I am convinced that if it’s in us, it will come out of us! Our genuine experiences with God will impact our lives and everyone will notice! Perhaps if we are ashamed to share the blessings God has showered on us, He should withdraw those blessings and give them to someone who will openly share the Good News with others! What is our hang up? Why would we be embarrassed? It happened to us! Why would we fear having the right words for message we have to share? It was a personal experience! If we are intimidated by our friends and afraid to share our story, did we forget that this is a personal experience and not one that we may have mistakenly overheard from a friend? Jesus is alive my friend, and He wants us to be open in sharing our experiences with our Father! This is first-hand experience, so definitely nothing that could be manufactured. Unless you tell your story, a friend may never know about your Lord, and may wind up in Hell for having never accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.

PRAYER: The privilege of being touched by the God of this universe is much more news-worthy than anything else that could possibly hit the front page of the paper today! Please forgive us Lord for placing you in a ‘forbidden box’ when it comes to sharing our experiences with others. I believe that others will be convinced of Your power and Your love, when they see us excited about it and they hear us bubbling over with the glory of having been in Your presence. Please embolden us with great power so that we will not be ashamed of the gospel, but will gladly share how it has impacted our lives. May others see Jesus, because of their encounter with us today. I ask these things in the wonderful and miraculous name of the One who saved me from my sin, Jesus my 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!

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!

Step Up To The Plate and Tell Your Story!

Saul lived a very dramatic life. He was known for persecuting and killing Christians of his day. However, in our Scripture today we can see where God completely turned this man’s life around. In fact, there was such a change that it involved Saul’s name being changed to Paul in order to identify the drastic change in the man himself. This kind of change may cause some to stay out of the public’s eye, because it would be so challenging for anyone to believe their story. But this was not the case for Paul, for he was overjoyed and wanted the world to know his story!

Tuesday, 2019-05-27

Bible Reference: Acts 22:7-11
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: As I fell to the ground I heard a voice say, ‘Saul, Saul . . . why are you persecuting me?’ “I answered, ‘Who are you, my Lord?’ “He said to me, ‘I am Jesus, the Victorious. I am the one you are persecuting.’ “Those who were with me saw the brilliant light, but they didn’t hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. 10 “So I asked, ‘Lord, what am I to do?’ “And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about all that you are destined to do.’ 11 “Because of the dazzling glory of the light, I couldn’t see—I was left blind. So they had to lead me by the hand the rest of the way into Damascus.

OBSERVATION: Saul lived a very dramatic life. He was known for persecuting and killing Christians of his day. However, in our Scripture today we can see where God completely turned this man’s life around. In fact, there was such a change that it involved Saul’s name being changed to Paul in order to identify the drastic change in the man himself. This kind of change may cause some to stay out of the public’s eye, because it would be so challenging for anyone to believe their story. But this was not the case for Paul, for he was overjoyed and wanted the world to know his story!

APPLICATION: There are several miraculous things about this experience shared by Paul:

  • It was Personal – Paul didn’t share a story with the group arresting him about a friend of his, or a story he had read in ancient transcripts, he shared his story;
  • Recognized it was God speaking – Paul’s first response to the voice he heard was “Who are you, Lord?” When God gets our attention, we know that it is divine, holy and very personal;
  • It was transformational – Paul, a persecutor of Christians and a destroyer of churches, immediately recognized it was God, and instead of cursing God, as he had been doing, he asked for further instructions!
  • It was shared without regard to the place or occasion – Paul didn’t wait until he was in the synagogue, or among fellow believers, or until it was church time. In fact, this seemed like a very odd time to share his testimony, but Paul shared his story anyway!

I believe that the whole purpose of Paul sharing his story was: that he not only wanted his captors’ eyes to be opened to the fact that he was a fellow Roman citizen, but also that they might hear, understand and come to know the God that touched, and ministered through, Paul. He was a true evangelist, both in the pulpit and out of it. Like Paul, we have a ‘story’ that we should share with folk. Often in conversations we step up to the plate and tell a story about an incident in our lives that we believe is far greater than anything said so far by anyone else. Imagine the quiet that would fill the room if, in the middle of discussions about sports, or hunting or family, we would jump in and share our story about our conversion? This is basically what happened here! Among all the confusion and excitement of calming the crowds and making an arrest, Paul asked for a moment to share his story. Wow! Friends, God can use us for His glory in any circumstance that He chooses, if we let Him. But it will only be impactful if we share our story for His ultimate glory and not ours. So why don’t we do that more often friend? We need to do this as often as we can, because we have no promise of a future moment with that individual or group that we are meeting with. Don’t be shy or afraid, God will never lead you into a situation that He will not help you through! Allow Him to do His great work through you! Be bold, yet humble in allowing all the praise to flow straight up to your Master and Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in Your precious and holy name, I come humbly before You to first say thank You for getting my attention back in 1976 and leading me to accept You as Lord of my life. Thankfully, You have since lead me through many situations and given me ample opportunities to share Your saving power with many people. Please forgive me for lost opportunities, and give me wisdom, humility, boldness and power to share my story with many more folk in all walks of life, so that others might see the glow of Your presence in and through me, and subsequently want to also accept You as Lord. Father God, it is only through Your continued grace that the wicked and lost of this earth can come to know a holy and righteous God, so I ask that You touch lives that I interface with today so that in something that I might say or do, You might impact their lives for Your ultimate glory. I ask all this in the name above all names, the King of all kings, Your one and only Son, JESUS. AMEN!

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!