The Joy Of Seeing Others Grow!

I believe that churches (Christians in our churches) today are missing out on excellent opportunities to encourage, or as the Word says ‘spur one another on to good works’, therefore it seems like church attendees walk out the back door quicker than we could welcome new ones through the front door. John shared with his good friend Gaius that his (John’s) heart was blessed and encouraged whenever he received encouraging words back about his (Gaius’) spiritual growth. As we meditate on God’s Word today, I trust that you will think with me about whether we do enough to encourage one another towards greater spiritual growth.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-11-22
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 3 John 1:4
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT:  It is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth!

OBSERVATION: I believe that churches (Christians in our churches) today are missing out on excellent opportunities to encourage, or as the Word says ‘spur one another on to good works’, therefore it seems like church attendees walk out the back door quicker than we could welcome new ones through the front door. John shared with his good friend Gaius that his (John’s) heart was blessed and encouraged whenever he received encouraging words back about his (Gaius’) spiritual growth. As we meditate on God’s Word today, I trust that you will think with me about whether we do enough to encourage one another towards greater spiritual growth.

APPLICATION: I love my church, and I can’t imagine life without the church, so please know that I am approaching this topic from that standpoint. Throughout my Christian life I have been heavily involved in the life of the church, including some key leadership positions. In my younger days, I actually found that I was drawn more into the sermon while I served as a sound technician, than I would have done in just sitting in the pew listening. In some roles, I did quite a bit of visitation, but it was often to the sick, or to members upset with someone at church. As I reflect, I don’t remember calling someone to encourage them in the spiritual growth evidenced in their life, nor called to compliment a teacher or a preacher for the good job they had done. However, I have been in their place, and often wondered if anyone heard or cared about what I taught. I believe that often Satan will use those moments of doubt to ’egg’ us on towards thinking that we are wasting our time in what we do ‘in Jesus’ name’. I know that people don’t go to church, or get saved, so that they might receive praise or recognition from other members. But I do know that what John is teaching us here in his ministry to Gaius, serves an important purpose in encouraging others in their service to their Lord. However, I feel like Christians as a whole must be encouraged in their walk with the Lord. Let’s find something constructive and encouraging to say to each one. Many times our words of encouragement to them will minister to them as much as the sermon did. Often they are looking for someone who cares that they are present, so simple things like how their smile or their warm presence made you think of the warmth and presence of Jesus. Just simple things like that will encourage someone to hang in there and remain faithful. Also, we use our phone for many different things these days. Why not consider using it for the simple purpose of calling someone just to let them know that you care about them. Imagine the lost feeling of being in hospital, or being home sick, or just falling away from attending church and not hearing from anyone. Did it really matter to anyone that you were there at one time? Of course you will feel like no one missed you, nor did they ever care about you. I believe the best thing we can do to help one another through this life dear friends, is to let them know that you care about them. Way too often we sit back and sulk instead of reaching out to encourage others. As we bless others, God will bless us. Just as you are so very proud of your children, we too become very connected to those whose lives we have touched or helped in some way, especially those we may have helped guide, or lead them, to the Lord. I believe that God will help us bless others if we ask for His help and His guidance.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You have been good to us and we are so appreciative of the love You have shown for us in so many wonderful ways. Thank You Lord for all those You have allowed us to cross paths with. Our lives have been enriched by their encouragement, and they have often energized us into service for You Lord. Please work diligently in our lives so that we may look for ways to encourage others towards love and good works. Just as John’s ministry to Gaius had a long lasting impact on his life, I believe that our words and actions will also serve to enrich and encourage those in our circle of influence. Help us never to assume that they are strong and don’t need a word of encouragement, for they are human just like we are. Please help us to love like You loved us. 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!

Here’s What Love Means

In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-11-21
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 John 1:5-6
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: I am writing to remind you, dear friends,[c] that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

OBSERVATION: In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

APPLICATION: In many cases it is easier to think about the outcomes when a rule, or as in this case – a command, is not followed. For example, if we don’t love others as God commanded, then we may tend to hate them, meaning that we will do everything within our power to destroy them or cause them to fail. This hatred may come in various forms: lying about them; envious of their job position; jealous of their financial success; intimidated by their educational achievements; disrespect of their church-held positions; – just to name a few. Friends if any of these things are burning up inside of you, it will be virtually impossible to love an individual. So let’s look closer at what John directs us to in the true meaning of ‘Love’:
-> Do what God has commanded you to do – In other words, who is your master? If you love Me, you will obey my commandments – Jesus said this in John 14:15. So if you instead do whatever you please, without regard for Jesus Christ, is He truly your ‘Lord’ and Savior? I believe ‘Lord’ means that you have agreed to allow Jesus to Lord, or rule over you. If you persist in still doing your ‘own thing’ in life, then I would suggest that you revisit the cross and see if you truly gave God authority over your life;
-> Remember, God commanded us to love one another – Obviously John saw that the church was in disarray caused by many of the above mentioned actions, so he saw the need to remind them of what God taught His church. You see, God loved the world so much, yes those who loved Him and those that didn’t, that He permitted His only Son to die on Calvary, so that those who believe on Him, might be assured of eternal life in heaven. He loved enough to sacrifice everything He had so that we might reap the benefits of knowing Jesus as Lord. Friends, if we are to follow Him in the way we love others, would there ever be a reason for anyone to challenge us again like John did, about our obedience to God’s commands? I dare say no, what say ye?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving us, even when we were unlovable. Thank You for providing us the assurance of our salvation. Thank You for being our constant guide and deliverer from all evil around us. Lord, we want to be like You, but there is a serious uphill battle as we fight against the evil one while still here on earth. This causes us to act in ways that surely must not be pleasing to You Lord, so we humbly ask for Your strength, Your guidance and an extra dose of Your love that we might share with others. Please Lord, impact our conscious in such a way that we will turn from our wicked ways and obediently follow Your ways and Your commands. 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!

Two Things I Ask

I believe that if a classroom filled with adults was asked what were their two greatest wishes, there would be quite am array of responses. As we meditate on these words from Solomon, perhaps it might come to the forefront of your mind what you might ask God for, if given the opportunity. I’m sure your requests will be impacted by what Solomon asked for, but try listing the first two things that come to mind.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-11-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Proverbs 30:7-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: O God, I beg two favors from you before I die: First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs! For if I grow rich, I may become content without God. And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.

OBSERVATION: I believe that if a classroom filled with adults was asked what were their two greatest wishes, there would be quite am array of responses. As we meditate on these words from Solomon, perhaps it might come to the forefront of your mind what you might ask God for, if given the opportunity. I’m sure your requests will be impacted by what Solomon asked for, but try listing the first two things that come to mind.

APPLICATION: As we draw near to the Christmas season, we are reminded how kids take this opportunity to tell Santa Claus how good they’ve been and give intricate details about the most important things on their list that they want for Christmas. However, as we sit with our Lord and look closely into how good we are, we can’t help but compare our actions, and our lives, with that of our perfect God. Friends, I don’t believe we could possibly ask for physical or worldly items when there is so much at stake spiritually. Solomon was a king who was the envy of all kings and queens. He was the wisest man on earth and he had every thing on earth that anyone might desire, yet when he stopped and spoke with the Creator of the world, the designer and maker of you and I, he was humbled and could only look deep inside his soul and humbly ask God for two things that could help him become better aligned with his Maker. Way too often we are filled with envy for our neighbor, or our relative, who seems to have everything on earth that could possibly make them happy. So we come before God asking that He would help us be like them, instead of asking that we be more like the God of this universe. The only time I believe that God will ask about our earthly possessions is, whether we shared them with others in need. I once heard a relative wish that they could be freed from the burden of earthly debt so that they could have available cash to give to God and the needy that are roaming our streets. So as we ponder the Scriptures this morning, and as we seek the face of God in deep concern for which way He would have us navigate today, I wonder what He might be saying to you in response to the two most important things on your mind today? Will He be pleased that the Scripture is truly speaking to You in ways that will draw you closer to Himself? Or will He conclude that the Scriptures are truly molding your mind and your character as you are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of Jesus daily? Do your part dear friend, speak with God on a regular basis – tell Him about the condition of your heart and mind, and ask Him to lead you in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Let Him know that you desire a closer relationship with Him. Then as you read the Word, be ready for His directions and His mind-provoking questions that will help you look deep inside. Remember, He created you and He wants you to be just like Him. Let Him do His work in you dear friend, and be ready to act upon His guidance and His instructions.

PRAYER: Listen to the cries of Your children today Lord Jesus as we seek Your help, Your guidance and Your instructions on how we might best align our lives with Yours. Lord, I believe that You are well aware of the tug that this world has on Your precious children, so I beg with You to help us gain a true change of heart, and protect us from the wickedness of this world, so that we might see the glories of heaven and of life eternally with You. We are so weak, but praise be to God, we serve an awesome God who is big enough and strong enough to direct our path and lead us into righteousness. We implore You Lord, to rest Your powerful hand upon us and pour out Your power and Your strength on us to enable us to walk with confidence in the ways of the cross. 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!

Love Like God Loves

There are many illustrations that can be used to help us understand that we become like those we hang around. We will find ourselves speaking like them and we will respond very much like them to situations that might arise. The same is true, if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you accept Him as Lord, and you spend time with Him, you will learn from the only perfect and righteous One, and you will start to follow His commands and the principles that He lived out in His life. This includes loving others in much the same way as He loves you. Are you anywhere close, dear friends?

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-11-18
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 John 4:7-8; 20-21
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love.
20 If anyone says “I love God,” but keeps on hating his brother, he is a liar; for if he doesn’t love his brother who is right there in front of him, how can he love God whom he has never seen? 21 And God himself has said that one must love not only God but his brother too.

OBSERVATION: There are many illustrations that can be used to help us understand that we become like those we hang around. We will find ourselves speaking like them and we will respond very much like them to situations that might arise. The same is true, if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you accept Him as Lord, and you spend time with Him, you will learn from the only perfect and righteous One, and you will start to follow His commands and the principles that He lived out in His life. This includes loving others in much the same way as He loves you. Are you anywhere close, dear friends?

APPLICATION: In learning from the perfect Savior, our conscience is severely impacted when we choose to stray away from His teachings and practices, and follow our old habits and way of life. John teaches that the very nature of God is ‘love’. In fact the word ‘Love’ is a name that our God is known by, for the Bible teaches that God is love. So what might be wrong with the picture where a ‘Christian’ – a child of God saved thru acceptance of His precious Son, acts like the devil and hates like him too? How would that picture fit into our Scripture teaching today? It would be classified as one described by John in verse 8 – he doesn’t know God; or in verse 20 – he is a liar by claiming his sonship with Jesus Christ. So what might it look like if we were to love like Jesus? Remember, He met with sinners – people that were looked down on by his very disciples. On the contrary, don’t we tend to mix with people just like us, and often in line with our income range? Don’t we tend to stay on our side of town and away from the poor, hungry and destitute? Remember, Jesus stopped a parade where He was being honored, so that He could meet a lame man sitting along the path of the parade. On the contrary, don’t we tend to ignore the poor man begging for food or money at the very corner where we must stop for a red light? Don’t we drive speedily along, even if a poor man is limping along a lonely road? Dear friends, if we are truly going to love like Jesus, wouldn’t we imitate those noble acts like Bible writers shared with us about Jesus? John felt so strongly about this that he wanted us to question our relationship with Jesus if we are not loving others like He did. So if we know Him, and we learn from Him as we study His Word, won’t we love like Him? Won’t we act like Him? Won’t we care for others like He did – even if it’s in an area of town where we were warned to stay away from? Even if it’s the dirty old man who sits by the road and beg? Even if it’s the lady that spread lies about you to everyone at work, or to all your close friends? Surely it’s time for us to use the Word of God to speak truth into our lives. Let it wash us from the habits we developed from our time in the world, and direct our path to imitate Jesus. Oh that we would be guided by our Master to live and love just like Him!

PRAYER: Loving Jesus, You are all-knowing, so I’m sure that You must hurt when You see all that Your kids are doing here on earth. We are led way too easily by the life we used to live, and without ever minding the impact that Your life, Your love and Your perfect ways have had on us. Many are studying Your Word, so being constantly reminded of Your love and Your character, yet we hate; we despise our neighbors because they believe differently on certain aspects of life; we pass by hungry and destitute people and depend on the other person to help them; we are afraid to get our hands dirty, even if it means helping a shut-in or a helpless elderly person. Lord, we are a ’sorry’ people, and we desperately need You, the only perfect One, to embed into us righteousness and grace so that we may look more like Jesus in the eyes of the one who never met You. May You be glorified because of the difference You make in our lives precious Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Evidence Of Your Love

For my readers who are happily married, as I am, we might hear the words occasionally ‘well, show me that you love me by….’! As adult children, we might also hear a parent say that if we truly love them we would….! As a Christian, we are examined by the world, as if through a glass door, for others want to place our love for one another under a microscope and decide if we are truly a Christian. Meditate with me as we examine how John tries to clarify this principle and show us how we might pass the examination.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-11-17
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 John 3:16-18
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other. 17 If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God. 18 Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.

OBSERVATION: For my readers who are happily married, as I am, we might hear the words occasionally ‘well, show me that you love me by….’! As adult children, we might also hear a parent say that if we truly love them we would….! As a Christian, we are examined by the world, as if through a glass door, for others want to place our love for one another under a microscope and decide if we are truly a Christian. Meditate with me as we examine how John tries to clarify this principle and show us how we might pass the examination.

APPLICATION: Try to imagine how, as a teenager, you tried to evaluate whether a guy, or girl, may have loved you and/or was serious about you. I’m sure that you also would probably have looked for the ways that they showed love to you, especially through every little action they took! This powerful word ‘love’, is something examined by everyone at one time or another in our lives, and often our evaluation will result in more love from us, or perhaps less love, if we feel like the other person is trying to distance themselves from us. But this powerful word, that has far-reaching effects, began as the primary focus of who God is. He created us, knowing that with a mind of our own, we would sometimes practice love for Him and each other, while at other times display dislike towards each other. Throughout the Bible, God demonstrated His love for us, and showed us which things bring pleasure to Him and which things truly upset Him. In spite of all that I have shared already, I believe that God knew that mankind would naturally tend to think selfishly and only try to please his fellow man for his own benefit. God knew that seeking to show love to those in need, and towards our Creator, might fall way to the bottom of our priority list. But God was determined to give mankind a means of turning from his sin, surrender himself to the Almighty, and eventually follow God’s plan for his life. So God allowed His righteous, and only Son to be born. He also allowed that Son to die on a cruel cross so that through His death and resurrection, eternal life might become possible to all who would surrender to Him. This demonstration of love was extended in spite of mankind showing nothing but hate towards the God who created us. In John’s reflection on this awesome sacrificial love, he said that we too must be willing to follow God’s example by loving even those who despite fully use us, or despise us. In fact, we should love them enough that we would also be willing to arrive at a point of sacrificing our lives for their good – their benefit, if necessary. John felt like this might evidence the love that should reside deep inside our heart for a fellow Christian. In my working career, I was evaluated each year on how I was doing compared to expectations. If God was to evaluate you at this time, on your level of love for His sons and daughters, do you suppose He might find any exceptions for you to work on? John said that talking about love is not enough, we must show love for others whether we feel they deserve it, or not.

PRAYER: Oh Lord God, You defined the word ‘love’ by showing us first hand how we should love one another. You demonstrated love perfectly for us, yet we try to add so many conditions to it. I pray that You might once again touch the heart of each reader so that the love You placed in us through creation, may be stirred up and resurrected to a new level. May others recognize You by the love they see demonstrated in us. May we rid ourselves of selfish desires and instead look for ways to love those around us, whether we think they deserve it or not. In 1 Corinthians 13 we are taught that love never fails. Because the King of love resides inside of us, I pray that our love for others will always be evident. 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!

The Miraculous Good News!

This message was addressed to all world leaders that reported to the him, from a king who could not get a handle on the power of God Almighty. King Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream, but after trying every other source available to him for an interpretation of his dream, and only upon hearing from a stubborn young man (Daniel) that he had imprisoned, but who trusted and believed in God for his wisdom, did the king clearly receive an interpretation of his dream – a miracle in his eyes! The news was worthy of sharing with everyone!

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-15
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Daniel 4:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT:  ….May peace and prosperity be yours! I am pleased to be able to tell you about all the signs and miracles the Most High God has done for me. 3 How great are His signs; how powerful are His miracles! His kingdom will endure forever; His reign will last from generation to generation.

OBSERVATION: This message was addressed to all world leaders that reported to the him, from a king who could not get a handle on the power of God Almighty. King Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream, but after trying every other source available to him for an interpretation of his dream, and only upon hearing from a stubborn young man (Daniel) that he had imprisoned, but who trusted and believed in God for his wisdom, did the king clearly receive an interpretation of his dream – a miracle in his eyes! The news was worthy of sharing with everyone!

APPLICATION: It was very clear that it was God who gave the king the interpretation, for Daniel was just a humble man imprisoned by King Nebuchadnezzar for refusing to obey his orders, and instead standing firm in his faith. Before I challenge us to look inward and compare our witness with that of Daniel, let’s first look at the initial encounter the king had with Daniel. The king had ordered all the strong, wise and promising men be brought into his palace for indoctrination into the riches of royalty, but for the sake of servant leadership. The food, the lifestyle, the workouts and of course the ways of the king. Daniel was chosen as one of the special men fitting the kings description, but the first thing Daniel had to deal with was the food, for it was quite different from the diet he was directed by Scripture to follow. There is an old proverb ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’, but Daniel was not willing to compromise his walk with God – even in his diet. Surely most individuals would have been afraid to speak up about the rich food being offered to them in the king’s palace, but under the inspiration of the God that he served, Daniel asked for a compromise by the guards. I wonder if right from the very start, the king may have been impressed by this young man with principles that he was not willing to compromise? What do we do? All within our power to save our lives and promote ourselves in our jobs or in the environment in which we find ourselves, correct? You know, it may please the boss for a moment, when we compromise our ‘stand’ on a subject to agree with him or her, but imagine what must really be going through the mind of the boss? Perhaps something like: he/she really has no firm principles. They will surrender to my will as soon as I speak, or especially after I throw a few dollar signs in front of them. But what does this type of behavior say to God about your relationship with Him? You often count on God, especially when times are rough. But can He depend on you, and especially on the commitment you made to Him? In Daniel we see similar behavior to that of Joseph, who also interpreted dreams. Neither were push-overs. What might you be considered in the eyes of those who have authority over you? Can they proudly tell the world about a man, or a woman, who is truly faithful to their Lord and, although respectful, will not cross over that fine line of what they believe to be their God-given responsibility and choice?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for all that You did, and continue to do for me. Lord I am so ashamed that I am not as bold in my witness and testimony as I should be in sonship. I pray that just as Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses and saw the power of God through his humble servant Daniel, that I too might be awakened to Your awesome power and Your mighty works all around me. Please Lord, speak to each reader. May your Word become alive in our lives, and may others know that Jesus Christ is alive and well because they see His wondrous works in and through us. 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!

An Eye-Witness Account

John could have told us a lot about what the prophets foretold and what his fellow disciples witnessed, but I can’t imagine that it would have affected us like hearing John talk about his own personal experiences. As we meditate, let us be mindful of what we share with others so that they might receive maximum impact of our Savior and Lord.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-13
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 John 1:1; 3-4
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: [We are writing] about the Word of Life [[a]in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.
What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may [d]realize and enjoy fellowship as partners andpartakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a [e]distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and [f]your joy may be complete].

OBSERVATION: John could have told us a lot about what the prophets foretold and what his fellow disciples witnessed, but I can’t imagine that it would have affected us like hearing John talk about his own personal experiences. As we meditate, let us be mindful of what we share with others so that they might receive maximum impact of our Savior and Lord.

APPLICATION: I might tell you about the awesome fisherman that my dad was, and perhaps even tell you about one of the largest fish I ever saw him land. I might gain your interest and may even get you excited and encouraged to give the game of fishing another try. However, if I gave you a first-hand account of my most exciting fishing trip, and if I share the excitement of catching the largest fish I ever caught, I believe that I will draw you in, and some of the excitement will rub off on you. In fact, you may even have some questions for me, such as the location where I caught the monster fish, and what type bait did the trick. Can’t you imagine that John’s account of his personal experience with Jesus is much more effective because of him sharing his personal, hands-on encounters? So what about us, dear friends? It seems so easy for us to share what we read in the Bible, and we should never neglect reading God’s Word, for that is an important and key medium through which God speaks to us; corrects us; guides us and directs our daily path. However, sharing those personal encounters with God, and adding the personal impacts that our encounter brought to our lives – those are the experiences that will speak most strongly to a friend or family member. Let’s make every effort to share these times with all who will listen. They may seem small, and even appear insignificant at times, but God may have used those times to give you a testimony to share with a friend who is anxious to hear about a current one-on-one experience with the God of this universe. If you asked God for help or direction in a matter, please be careful to share how GOD showed Himself powerfully and miraculously to you. It wasn’t luck; it wasn’t happen-chance; it wasn’t due to your location or the day of the week. If you believe in your heart that God answered your prayer, then please share the goodness of God, even if you are in the presence of an atheist. Each day, and in every godly experience, God may be preparing you to minister to someone, even if you only feel like you are merely sharing a personal experience with them. As John said in verse 4, can you imagine the joy that will fill your heart when you recognize that God just used your humble experience with Him to help a lost person realize that they too can be saved? Friends, we know from the Bible that Jesus lived on earth, performed many miracles, and now sits at the right hand of the Father. The unsaved are hoping to see Jesus actively at work in the lives of His children here on earth. While we must not conjure up ideas of things where God might be at work, we must be quick to tell of the glories of the Father, as He loves us, guides us, and works in our lives each and every day.

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for Your goodness to me and Your precious love towards even me. I have friends, family and folk that I come into contact with each day, who are unsaved and in need of a Savior. Although I cannot boast of having touched You, as John did, yet I know without a doubt that You have touched me. Please help me to be bold in sharing my experiences with those who need this to help them believe in You. Please use me, and use my readers who know You personally. May we inspire all who we meet today, so that they may see Jesus in us. Have Your perfect will and way today in our lives, and in the lives of those who need to see You 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!

Our God – Filled With Wisdom and Power

God can do even what mankind finds to be impossible. Daniel needed to know what the king dreamed and what it meant. There was no earthly person that Daniel could have arranged to visit for such wisdom. On being given the answer to his dilemma, Daniel acknowledged that God placed the king there in the first place, so of course He knew his very thoughts and his dreams. Wait a minute, God put the king there? Does He still do that even today? Let’s search the heart of God for His wisdom on this today.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-11-12
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Daniel 2:20-22
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 Daniel said: “Praise God forever and ever, because he has wisdom and power. 21 He changes the times and seasons of the year. He takes away the power of kings and gives their power to new kings. He gives wisdom to those who are wise and knowledge to those who understand. 22 He makes known secrets that are deep and hidden; he knows what is hidden in darkness, and light is all around him.

OBSERVATION: God can do even what mankind finds to be impossible. Daniel needed to know what the king dreamed and what it meant. There was no earthly person that Daniel could have arranged to visit for such wisdom. On being given the answer to his dilemma, Daniel acknowledged that God placed the king there in the first place, so of course He knew his very thoughts and his dreams. Wait a minute, God put the king there? Does He still do that even today? Let’s search the heart of God for His wisdom on this today.

APPLICATION: There are so many things that we can look at, and so many miracles that we see almost daily that reminds us of the power of our awesome God. Daniel had this kind of relationship with God, so He knew that he could call on Him for the ultimatum that the king had placed on he and his friends. But notice with me a few things about Daniel’s praise items:
1. God changes the times and seasons of the year – If any readers took this for granted and feel like anyone could change up the calendar, I would suggest that you try and change the proof of seasons also. In other words, have cold either in June and July or hot weather in December and January. Only God can do this, my friend;
2. He chooses the kings/presidents/prime ministers – We might ask why might God get involved in politics? But please be reminded that many times God will use earthly vessels to change the course of life for a nation. Look back on Scripture and be reminded how some kings were in total opposition to what God wanted to do, and God allowed many Christians to be killed and many places of worship to be destroyed, while all the while they promoted the things of Satan. It is often times like that when people of God will cry out to Him for mercy and will recognize His mighty works among them. We very easily take for granted the wondrous works of God, when everything is rosy and going our way. God may place leaders in place to lead us towards Him, or He may place them for our punishment, if needed. Yes, He is more than willing to guide us towards voting for His leader, but the Word of God is clear, that God will place His leader in charge of nations, and we (Christians) are to pray for our leaders so that they might be open to the leadership of their King – King Jesus!
3. God gives wisdom and knowledge to those who can handle it – Wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who understand;
4. He makes known those secrets that are deep and hidden – Often we will stop and ponder why certain things occur, or how some things come about. Daniel praised God for giving us peace about these uncertainties. Knowing that our God is in control of all things and that He may reveal answers to us, is something worth waiting for.
Friends, these are just a few examples of things that Daniel gave praise to God for. How many can you come up with? As children of the Most High God, we have many things we can praise Him for instead of whining and complaining about the things that we have no control over. Sing that old hymn ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’, and be reminded that blessings are not happen-chance, they come from God, so we are to praise Him for all our blessings, even those that we didn’t give our approval on!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord, for Your blessings on me. Blessings that I may not see right now, and blessings for the things that I would have done very differently in my ignorance. Lord You are good, and Your mercies endure forever. Thank You for placing our government leaders in place for Your purpose. May we learn to be thankful and patiently ask for Your guidance and direction, so that we may surrender our will in obedience to the laws enacted by our governments. Please bless our leaders and humble their hearts to seek Your face and obey Your commands. 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!

To Be Determined In Your Heart

Many of us probably ‘go with the flow’, and therefore might be considered crowd pleasers. But what if you are a child of the Most High God and have set your aim at striving every day to be like Him – follow in His footsteps and please Him by obeying His commands? Do you suppose that you could still be a ‘crowd pleaser’? Something to seriously consider today as we look at a man who was ‘determined in his heart’ to honor God.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-11-11
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Daniel 1:8-10
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: Although the king ate only the finest Babylonian fare, Daniel was determined not to violate God’s law and defile himself by eating the food and drinking the wine that came from the king’s table; so he asked the chief of the royal eunuchs for permission not to eat the food. Now God had given Daniel special favor and fondness in the eyes of the king’s chief eunuch. 10 Still the eunuch was concerned…..

OBSERVATION: Many of us probably ‘go with the flow’, and therefore might be considered crowd pleasers. But what if you are a child of the Most High God and have set your aim at striving every day to be like Him – follow in His footsteps and please Him by obeying His commands? Do you suppose that you could still be a ‘crowd pleaser’? Something to seriously consider today as we look at a man who was ‘determined in his heart’ to honor God.

APPLICATION: I’ve seen recovering alcoholics determine in their hearts that they will not drink, nor even taste alcohol again, for fear of resurrecting their addiction. So they set that limitation for themselves, while in some cases being accountable to a recovery group, and they stick to it. Daniel spent quality time with his God and he was determined to obey His commands and live a life worthy of his calling. Because of his good health and his noble character, he was chosen for further training to serve his earthly king. Being of such noble character and in recognition of his abilities, one might think that Daniel may have done anything the king asked of him, but that was not the case. It all began with the food the king chose for him. It did not meet the standards Daniel had become accustomed to in his efforts to follow the Word of God. At that point Daniel had a decision to either join with all the king’s men and eat the rich palace food, or to insist on doing what he already knew that God wanted him to do. We all know the story, Daniel insisted on eating like he felt led of God to do, because he knew deep inside that was the right thing to do. Now Daniel could have gone on to pretend that he was eating the food, and then discard it, but no, he felt solid enough in his faith that if God took him to it, He would help him through it. So he gained the faith and courage to ask the guard for special favors in his diet. Isn’t it amazing, and even victorious, that when we determine in our hearts to obey and follow God, that He will make a way, even when it seems like there is no way? God prepared the heart of the guard, and gave him boldness to help Daniel, even at the possible expense of his own life. Wow, what a mighty God we serve! So what is there in your life that you have cowered over because of the fear of not being so popular with the crowd, or the fear of getting someone else in trouble for helping you maintain your Godly aspirations? Where is your faith dear Brother or Sister? When you reflect back over your life and remind yourself of all the many ways that God protected you, all the ways that He guided your path, all the ways that He healed your afflictions, could He possibly have lost His power? Oh dear friends, I believe this Scripture was placed before us today to remind us that we must not wait for the time of temptation, or the time of challenge and then use our circumstances to guide our decisions. Instead we must trust in God today – the One who created heaven and earth; the One who sacrificed His only Son for our salvation; and the One who loves us more than anything else in the world, and we must allow Him to hold our hand, guide our hearts and our lips, and reassure us of His protection in life, no matter the circumstances, and no matter how impossible things appear in our eyes. Know that God loves you my friend; know that He has power to do more than we could even imagine; and know that one day soon we will join with the angels around the throne where we will sing and shout His praises for ever and for ever! Go ahead, trust in Him! He can, and He will meet your needs and guide you through your life of commitment to Him!

PRAYER: When our hand is placed firmly in the powerful hand of our Master, we have nothing to fear. Thank You precious Lord! It seems so natural to worry, and so in line with the world to just go along with the crowd, even when we know that we have committed our life to the lordship of our King, Jesus. Please Lord, keep us humble and help us to keep our eyes fixed on You through all of life’s circumstances. Please give us confidence to trust in the power of our awesome God, no matter what challenges face us. You are all-powerful and all-wise. We need you precious Lord, because we know that You can do all things. May You be glorified through us dear Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

You Are A Slave To Whatever Controls You

Ever seen a person change drastically and you called them a brand new person? I once had a friend who was caught in a vast array of medications that different doctors had prescribed. Their behavior was impacted by the side effects and interactions of all the different drugs. However, they went under the controlled, direct care of a team of doctors who stripped away all meds and then introduced only the drugs necessary to treat symptoms. I gained a new friend, because their whole character and countenance changed when they returned home! They were enslaved by all the meds. What controls you?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-11-08
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Peter 2:17-19
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. 18 They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

OBSERVATION: Ever seen a person change drastically and you called them a brand new person? I once had a friend who was caught in a vast array of medications that different doctors had prescribed. Their behavior was impacted by the side effects and interactions of all the different drugs. However, they went under the controlled, direct care of a team of doctors who stripped away all meds and then introduced only the drugs necessary to treat symptoms. I gained a new friend, because their whole character and countenance changed when they returned home! They were enslaved by all the meds. What controls you?

APPLICATION: We look at people such as my friend mentioned above, and we begin to accuse and blame them for the addictions they may have developed. But Scripture today reminded me that way too often we become so caught up in various aspects of our lives, that we become enslaved to them. Some are so engrossed in their work, that they can’t enjoy family, or go on a vacation, or even take a lunch break, because they feel like their job will be incomplete without them. They become so enslaved to their employer that they can no longer entertain social events, or sports, or anything else that would normally help to give them balance. I had a pastor tell me one time that it’s fine if a deacon pays a visit to a hospital patient, but that church member actually expects the pastor to visit. Unfortunately, way too often we feel like the pastor lives for the good of his sheep. But let me remind those pastors that may read this devotional, that you are not exempt from being pulled away from your relationship with Jesus Christ, and becoming enslaved to the church and its members. Pray that God will bless you with good leaders who will stand in your place when your family needs you and when you need a break. I believe that Peter was actually addressing some who were leaders, because their impact on others gave cause for them to stray away from one lifestyle to lead one similar to the leader. Let me encourage you today dear friends, that you need your own personal relationship with Christ, for you can’t slide into heaven because your parents were good strong Christians. God will look at your heart, and the decisions that you have made in your lifetime. You need your own time in the Word of God so that He could speak with you, correct you, and guide you. Yes it’s good to sit under the teaching of a great man of God, but always remember who has the ultimate last word. Always have your Bible and go to the various scriptures while being taught. Prove the teaching and/or preaching based on what the Word of God says. Otherwise, Satan could very well use someone you thought you could trust, to destroy you and distract you. Oh that you would become a slave of Jesus Christ, for all others will only serve to pull you away and carry you down a wrong path. Think about marital relationships. If you are tempted by another of the opposite sex, and you go along with that under the assumption that your spouse would never know. What happens when you return to your spouse? Guilt, fault finding, disloyalty, etc. Can’t you see that the same thing happens when you give in to those things that control you, other than Jesus Christ? Let men encourage you to know Him today; stay true and loyal to Him today; and always stand firm in the commitment you make to worship and serve the risen Lord. He alone is worthy, and He alone holds the keys to eternal life.

PRAYER: Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see You. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You Lord Jesus, my Rock and my Redeemer. Please help me to do my part in staying true to my commitment to You. May there be no sinful act or person that may pull me away from my walk with You, and may others see Jesus in me every day and through every act, so that others might see and believe in the One True God who always was, and always will be! 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!