Led By The Holy Spirit To Be Tempted?

‘Led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted’? That seems quite the opposite to what we presume today when we’re tempted, isn’t it? But we know not to question God for what He does. His timing of everything done by Jesus was perfectly ordained. No doubt, a very high point in the life of Jesus Christ, and in the relationship between He and His Father, was His baptism. Imagine Jesus being told by His Father at His baptism that He (Jesus) was the beloved Son in whom He (God) is well pleased! Don’t you know that this must have been an awesome boost for Jesus that would last a lifetime! Let’s see what encouragement lies ahead in this for us!

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-06-27
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 4:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 1–2 From the moment of his baptism, Jesus was overflowing with the Holy Spirit. He was taken by the Spirit from the Jordan into the lonely wilderness of Judea to experience the ordeal of testing by the accuser for forty days. He ate no food during this time and ended his forty-day fast very hungry. It was then the devil said to him, “If you are really the Son of God, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread for you.”

APPLICATION: I’ve heard friends talk about the kind of challenging day they had, and they attributed that to their absence in the Word of God that day. I’ve also heard just the opposite – about the peace one may have had after an intimate time with God in prayer and in the Word. However, I believe the message in this Scripture for us today, will remind us of a few things:
1). Jesus was so pumped up after experiencing God in baptism in the Jordan river, that He willingly and obediently went into the wilderness, knowing that the same God who reassured Him of His love, would also be with Him through the most challenging times of life, and especially in the wilderness;
2). There are no respecter of persons in Satan’s world. If anything, Satan will make it a point to go after God’s chosen children, because the others are already his! But we are reminded in Scripture that ‘greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world’. Our part is to stay in fellowship with the One that we choose to follow, so that there is no doubt in our minds, or question of confidence in the power, protection and willingness of our Master.
Friends, I’m here to tell you and/or remind you, that there is no other god like my God, for He is the One that came down in the form of a dove, blessed and encouraged His Son, then strengthened, directed and protected Him in the wilderness, so that you and I might be reminded of the power of our God in all circumstances of life. The other lesson I see in this Scripture for our meditation is that temptation came upon Jesus when He was ready in His spirit, His mind, and in the current circumstances of His life. What about us? How prepared are we for the temptations of Satan? Can we truly lean upon and depend on a sound, totally committed relationship with God? Have we been consistently worshipping Him and depending on each word from His Book every day? Have we been consistently obeying His command to join in worship with other believers as often as they come together? If not, can we truly feel secure in His promises to even us? I can’t be sure about your situation, but when my spouse and I are at odds, or I have chosen to ignore God in my daily life, I am hesitant to approach God with my ‘wants’ list. God is not a puppet that we could hide in our pocket when we are ashamed to show Him off to our friends, but then the ‘King of all kings’ when we desperately need His help. In a honest and committed relationship with Jesus, we can do like Jesus did when He boldly walked into the Wilderness. We become confident in whom we serve, and in whom we could depend. How spiritually and mentally prepared are you for the temptations and challenges of your day? Do you have a support team standing besides and behind you, that includes a friend like our awesome and powerful Savior? Let me encourage you to read my Footnote and the associated links included, to see if God might have some additional decisions for you to make today? We know from Scripture that our God is able, will you can test that today by surrendering your life to Him? I implore you do do that today, my friend!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, it is evident that Satan is still very much alive today, just as he was in the Wilderness when he tempted and tried You. We carefully read from Your Word how You overcame the temptations of Satan, and we have reminded ourselves how this is still a BIG problem for us today. Having been given the answer to this dilemma, I pray that we will humble ourselves before You, seek your face, and surrender our lives before You. Please Lord, touch the hearts of my readers whose hearts are hardened to the things of Christ. Help them to understand that the answer to all of life’s challenges lie at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. May we surrender our all to you today, is my humble plea. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Brand New Body!

Many who approach death, long to shed the pain, misery and failures of their earthly bodies, and they stand anxious to be with the Lord in honor of His Word in brand new heavenly bodies! As we are reminded of this glorious act by our Father in Heaven, let’s be mindful of who will take on immortality, for this is promised only to those have shown an interest; have accepted Jesus as Lord; and want to be with God after this life is over. Consider your state of readiness as we meditate on these verses today.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-06-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting how, in our unique human form and intelligence, we decide when it’s time to go see a doctor or rush to the hospital to receive help, or a cure for our ailments? Some may also build a home, and before construction ever starts, they call their insurance company to make sure that their investment is protected. Yet, each of us have relatives and friends who are mentally alert and generally make fairly good decisions in life, yet they are unconcerned about their eternal welfare. Some might give the excuse that this whole Christian life seems like too much of a sacrifice for them to decide to assume while they have so much time left here on earth. Some might say that this is something that might become appealing to them when they enter the hospital for the very last time. While others will go as far as saying ‘let the chips fall where they may’, if they go to Hell, there will be many of their friends already there. Friends, I am desperately hoping that each ready or listener will have a conversation with our Lord today and ask Him to help us identify those in our circle of influence who are not prepared for Heaven, so that we might intensify our prayer life to include a humbling in their spirit that will cause them to look towards the Master and petition before Him in earnest for our loved ones. In our Scripture today, notice that Paul used no ‘if’ statements, for just as we are born, so we will also die. For those who die without having accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are promised an eternity in Hell with it’s evil master – Satan. However, for those who have accepted the lordship of Jesus, their bodies will assume immortality so that they might live forever in Glory with the Father (God), the Son (Jesus) and all the saints who have gone on ahead of us. So to my unsaved friends who might come across this devotional, let me just challenge you for a moment: if you believe in your heart that something could happen – just out of the blue, to your home, or to your car, that caused you to purchase insurance to protect your investment, isn’t it much more important to protect your soul and ensure your eternity? The former things are just that – ‘things’, but the latter is your very soul – body, mind and spirit. Convince yourself which is more important. Please don’t wait for what might be your last hospital stay, for many never made it to the hospital to die near doctors and nurses. Age is of no significance to death, for children and adults are buried every day of varying ages. Please know that anytime while in your sinful body you think of eternity, that’s the voice of Jesus speaking intently to you about the decisions you have made about securing your future after this life. You are important to God, and loved by Him, because He wants a relationship with you, so of course your decisions are important and concerning to Him. Being my friend, you are also important to me. So with all the love in my heart, let me encourage you today to accept and follow Jesus, just as I did almost 50 years ago. I look forward to having you kneel with me around the throne in heaven!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Enough of this old battered and ailing body, my next body will be fit for eternity with my Lord and Master – Jesus Christ! Praise the Lord forever!

PRAYER: Lord, I am anxiously awaiting my heavenly body, and the opportunity to join all the saints around Your throne! Thank You for this assurance, and thank You for this reminder today. Oh that this may penetrate the hearts and minds of readers or listeners who have yet to decide on their eternal fate. Thank You God for considering us when You sent Your Son into this world for our redemption. We await Your call and are ready for our new body and our new home, but most of all we want to see You in all Your glory and majesty! To God be the glory, for all You have done! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Lifestyle Change

John the Baptist addressed the crowds that came to be baptized by him. However, when he saw the religious leaders and the onlookers, he realized that they may have had ulterior motives. So in a plea to help them understand that he was not promoting a ‘spectator sport’, but rather a lifestyle change, he told them what their lives should look like if they truly want to demonstrate a committed stand for Jesus. This is still very applicable today, so let us meditate on this for a few moments.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-06-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 3:7-9 
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: John the Baptist: You bunch of venomous snakes! Who told you that you could escape God’s coming wrath? Don’t just talk of turning to God; you’d better bear the authentic fruit of a changed life. Don’t take pride in your religious heritage, saying, “We have Abraham for our father!” Listen—God could turn these rocks into children of Abraham! God wants you to bear fruit! If you don’t produce good fruit, then you’ll be chopped down like a fruitless tree and made into firewood. God’s ax is taking aim and ready to swing!

APPLICATION: Have you ever been in a store, or at work, or at the mall, and found yourself near enough to overhear an individual tearing another employee apart verbally? Then, as you drew near enough to the heated conversation, you saw that it was someone from your church? I know, church attendees are human, and they could still become agitated, frustrated, unhappy and upset over certain circumstances just like everyone else, right? So why then do you suppose that John addressed this problem, and why would God have instilled this in the heart of Dr. Luke to present this as part of the Gospel? I believe it all goes back to a phrase that became very popular some years ago ‘what would Jesus do’ (WWJD). For circumstances will present itself as a test so the world could see what we are made of. In this teaching today, we could see that Luke used a similar tactic to that of Jesus, where he demonstrated a truth to the religious leaders through a parable. He likened their lives to that of a tree that bears fruit. For a farmer will cut down a tree that bears no fruit, so that the fruit bearing trees might flourish. But how would this apply to people, you might ask. I believe that you would be upset if a child for whom you paid years and years of tuition fees to gain their medical degree, finished school, and did nothing more than hang around the house without a desire to work in his/her profession. They may have a medical degree, but if they refuse to work in that profession and keep up with their trade, are they really a doctor? The same example holds true when looking at a married person who refuses to sleep at home, take care of their spouse, and continue to flirt with everyone walking into a nightclub. So what about one who felt a nudge from the Master, and surrenders their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ? The Bible says that the Holy Spirit then resides inside that individual and leads them in a life dedicated to God’s commands, His teachings, His example as told in the Bible, and they will therefore operate in accordance with God’s will, and His direction for their life. When all of this is in place and the individual decides to ignore the Holy Spirit’s leadership and do his/her own thing, how do you think God must feel? Don’t you know that these Pharisee Leaders showed up for no other reason but to trap John, poke fun of his teaching and baptism, and retain the allegiance of their people? Don’t you think that John was probably spot on with his accusation of them being a brood of vipers? Friends, I believe that our take away today is that we must be true to what we claim as our life’s influencer. If this is Jesus Christ, then others will see ‘fruit’ in our actions, our priorities, our words of encouragement, our prayers, the books we read, the places we frequent, and the results of all these things will impact our outlook on life and the love we show towards others. At the time of conversion to our new Master, we will learn to stay in tune with Him through reading His Word; communicating with Him through conversation (prayer); and through a solid commitment to honor Him through our words and actions. If there is no lifestyle change, can we truly prove to Jesus and to our family and friends that there has been a change in our lives? These new changes are displayed as proof, or ‘fruit’, of our lifestyle change. In our new relationship with Jesus Christ, we have chosen to imitate Him! When this happens, the world will know that we are authentic in our Christianity, and John sensed that this was not the case with the Pharisees. If God is your Lord, your Savior, and your Master my friend, seek His help and He will also be your Guide and your Deliverer in every circumstance of life! And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that you and God can’t do!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please touch Your children today and help us to never take for granted all that You did so that we might have life everlasting. Oh that we may take our commitment seriously to give you FULL control of our lives, and that we may be obedient in every way to Your Word – Your Book of Instructions for the Christian. As we follow You, I believe that our lives will reflect the very image of Jesus – fruit (evidence) that the world will see, know and appreciate in our lifestyle change. But we need You to do this in our lives Lord, for in and of ourselves we are helpless in overcoming the evil that’s all around us. I know You can, and I believe You will, so I thank You in advance dear Jesus. Be glorified today because of Your committed children being obedient to You, Your Word and the Holy Spirit.  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!

Everything You Do Will Succeed

I believe that everyone alive might have a desire to know what it takes for them to live a happy and fulfilled life, knowing that their daily labors will lead to success! Many of us may already clip reminders on our refrigerator to help remind us of what’s best for us, and what to try and avoid that day. God does exactly that throughout His Word, so let’s meditate on what the Psalmist has to say today, and how we might apply God’s Word to our individual lives.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-06-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 1:1-3
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT:  1 Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night. They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don’t die. Everything they do will succeed.

APPLICATION: In the Word of God, we are told that God himself called David a man after His own heart. In other words, David’s life imitated what God expected from His creation. I believe this should be every Believer’s goal, for we know that when we follow God’s commands and His teachings, then it must be pleasing to God! In this very first Psalm, David gives us some attributes, or indicators of a blessed and successful person, and I wanted to draw attention to these qualities so that today we may strive to achieve these qualities ourselves:
1).  They don’t listen to the wicked – this might happen when we listen to what the world is directing us to do for happiness. Unfortunately, every time we turn on the TV, we are given these options;
2).  They don’t go where sinners go – they don’t go to a place where you might be embarrassed to take Jesus with you. Remember, you invited Him into your heart. Remember He lives and reigns in us, through His Holy Spirit. Will you really take Him into a questionable place?
3).  They don’t do what evil people do – the ’evil people’ are those who don’t know Jesus nor are they concerned about Jesus in the things that they do. Our actions are to be compared to what Jesus did, and what He taught us to do. Pilots and doctors follow their text book for obvious reasons. We should be doing the same thing – those things that God has taught us to do or that His Holy Spirit is directing us to do. These will be totally opposite to what the evil person might lead us to do;
4).  They meditate on the Word of God, love His teachings and continually think about them – God’s Word is our textbook. It is our guide to living like Jesus expects of us. To keep it fresh in our minds and to follow its directives, we must make it a priority to read it and meditate on it regularly. When we prepare for a test, we study the text book thoroughly and consistently. In this life, we are tested every day. Making the Bible a part of our mental abilities, we will tend to use its advice whenever we are tested by the world.
So often we tend to feel like it all depends on what we say to a person that may convince them of the Truth of God’s Word. Notice that David only emphasized actions? Isn’t it yet another reminder that people will watch our actions more intently than our words? David said that when we follow the above, we become strong in our faith and committed to God’s commands – successful servants of God. We will not be easily eroded away like a tree beside the water’s edge, but we will stand firm so that others might catch a glimpse of what Jesus actually looks like, and how, through faith, our lives are living examples to the unsaved.
Let me encourage you to reflect back on your life over the past few days, who have you imitated? Does your life reflect the ways of Christ, or just the general public (this world)? Did your life show enough of the qualities of Jesus that you were accused of being a ‘Christian’? Friend, you shouldn’t have to tell someone you are a Christian, they should know you are by your actions, and your demeanor. Let us all commit to live our lives with the teachings of the Psalmist very prominent in our character and our actions. Then, perhaps, others will see Jesus and want to also know Him personally.

PRAYER: Lord, we your children need You. We need You desperately to help us live in this world, yet to not live like the world. Living in Your example is like swimming upstream here on earth, for it’s like doing just the opposite of what the rest of the world does. And this has become quite a challenge for us. Please mold us into the person that You need here and now to touch the hearts of the folk that are still in need of you. We need the same power that You gave David. The characteristics to be called a man after Your own heart. You also gave Moses the fortitude to stand firm for You, even when his people were plotting to kill him. I know that You can still give that kind of strength and fortitude to each reader and listener, so I ask for Your grace to help us stand firm against the evil of this world. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, I humbly plead in Your precious and holy name. 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!

Warning – They Will Treat You Like They Treat The God You Represent

We may often take the weight of the world on our shoulders, and too often we may assume that everyone is out to get us. For they seem to reject our message and our lifestyle. In fact, it just seems like they don’t like us, and therefore won’t listen to us! But be encouraged today, for our Scripture gives an example of where God helped His servant realize that it really wasn’t him they were rejecting, but God. Unfortunately, it becomes obvious to us that the more we become like Christ, the more this will happen to us also. Here’s how we should handle this…

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-06-20
WRITTEN AT: Ocean Breeze, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 8:6-8 
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance.
7 “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me (God) they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.

APPLICATION: Times have not changed very much, for when we consider our churches, and how they treat their pastors when they are true to preaching the unadulterated Word of God, without regards to whose toes they might step on, then I believe that we could easily identify with Samuel and the Israelites. Friends, it is so unfortunate that we tend to blame someone else for issues that we have caused. It is likewise unfortunate when we look beyond the issues in our own lives, or the condition of our family, or our church or our group, and see so much wrong with others. Let’s think for a moment about issues with a church. Of course, we all know that it’s not the building where the church meets that is the problem, for the challenges exists because of folk like you and I that attend the church. Thats where the challenges begin. So look no further than inside yourself when issues arise, or at that ‘friend’ who sits next to you at church. Some may feel like the church should changing the pastor, or the style of music, or update the sanctuary building, but according to our story today, the people will be unsatisfied until we give in to the demands of the people, much like when God told Samuel to go ahead and give them what they wanted. Friends, because our family and the people in our circle of friends rejects Jesus each and every day, the more we commit and dedicate ourselves to becoming more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives, then we could expect nothing different to what Jesus felt and saw when the people rejected Him. Becoming one with Jesus, means a perfect life, a life without sin – and that should be our aim every day friends. Only then will we contribute positively to our churches and the groups that we become involved in. Remember, the world hates Jesus. Always have, and always will. So if we look enough like Jesus, they will hate us also, just like God told Samuel. So what shall we do? Determine this day who you will serve, and give it all you have. Oppose sin and promote Jesus to this lost and dying world. Be determined to serve only God and His righteousness, so that He might be glorified in everything we do and say!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Although the pressures of this sinful world might steer us away from our goal to be like Jesus, always remember that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

PRAYER: Lord we so desperately need You in our lives. We want to add positively to groups that we become involved in, because of Your love that is steeped in to everything we do and say. Anything else would only add to the confusion and the hatred that normally results. Unfortunately, this also happens in church groups we join, so we are seeing churches that are marred terribly by the impact of this evil world, instead of seeing a church that is always ready to forgive, always looking out for the best in the other person, always contributing to the best in others, always praying for and supporting their pastor/shepherd/leader. Lord, it is very obvious that we need more of You in our lives individually so that we can see more of You in our churches, so that we can see Your church effectively reaching out to the lost community that we serve. We need You in our lives personally Lord, please humble us to earnestly seek Your face and allow You to rule in our lives. 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!

God’s Grace Makes The Difference

As we look at these verses today, let’s stop and consider what qualities we tend to look for in selecting a new pastor for our church. Then, let’s consider what others must see in us as they judge our ‘output’ – our character, compared to who we claim to be. How accepting would we be of an individual with a very rough and questionable background, but by the grace of God in their lives they are applying for a pastoral position in your church? Try talking to God about your feelings on each of these things as you meditate with me today!

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-06-19
WRITTEN AT: Ocean Breeze, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 15:9-10
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: You see, I am the least of all His emissaries, not fit to be called His emissary because I hunted down and persecuted God’s church. 10 Today I am who I am because of God’s grace, and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted. I have worked harder, longer, and smarter than all the rest; but I realize it is not me—it is God’s grace with me that has made the difference.

APPLICATION: Throughout the Bible we will find stories of how God used ordinary folk to do extraordinary Kingdom work. But Paul seems to stand out in many ways. He was one who persecuted Christians and who tried to destroy anything that represented Jesus Christ. He boasted about the tyrant that he was, and he backed that up in many ways, including beating and even killing Christians. What if Paul applied for a pastoral position at your church and his only qualifications he could share with your search committee was that God appeared to him and totally turned his life around from the scars I just described, to a man willing to follow the commands of Jesus? Do you suppose that any of your committee members would be firm enough in their faith to accept Paul’s new-found faith? Would Paul be permitted to assume your pulpit responsibilities in the next worship service? In my short lifespan I have served on many Pastor Search Committees. We have used many recommended questionnaires filled with tons of questions for our candidates, and we spent many hours discussing the responses given on those questionnaires. We set applications aside for, what appeared to us as, unqualified responses. I’ll be the first to tell you that any candidate telling us that they had served in no churches yet, and that their background consisted of killing Christians and denouncing the work of churches, his application package would have been destroyed and given no further attention. Yet we see that God saved Saul/Paul for a special purpose – a work that only Paul could accomplish after having gone through his life-experiences without Jesus. So is there any surprise why we are reading about Paul’s effort to clarify his qualifications to serve? Friends, I believe that if for no other reason, Paul’s background and his affirmation of his qualifications to serve, might really stir the hardened hearts of Christians serving on a Search Committee, because it would serve to show us that we should be looking at what God did in a man’s life to qualify him to serve in God’s church, rather than all the scholastic and personal achievements that may attribute to his abilities to serve. Unfortunately, one of the ugly things that seem to be the hardest to release when we find Jesus, is the judgmental attitude that we bring along from our past. It is hard to overlook our personal observations and our ideas of perfection, and to simply see what God has done and continues to do in the life of His chosen child. Perhaps we should be reminded regularly that God’s Grace, like that which was given to Saul (Paul) is God’s unmerited favor. In other words, God’s grace had nothing to do with Saul’s learned abilities, or his scholastic achievements. God simply saw a man destined to write many books in His Word; Win many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; and bold enough to speak to those with very hardened hearts. God created us uniquely for His good purpose, and only He could qualify us for truly sharing the Gospel with hardened sinners who feel like they have life all figured out. God knew that Paul would eventually come to himself and recognize the awesome God of this universe. He knew that Paul would go on to convince many hardened crusaders that looked and operated much like he did in his day. Friends, God also has you and I pegged for a specific Kingdom work here on earth. Like Paul, I believe that the work God chose for us to do, is specially formulated just for us. So let’s listen closely to His call, and be obedient to His instructions as He directs our path towards the work He has in store for us. Let’s make every effort to minimize our excuses, for His grace will make all the difference for us, and for those who will respond to His call through us.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God’s grace makes all the difference in our life, and especially in our career of winning the lost to Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, every day we are reminded of, what seems to be, such an unlimited number of folk that have not accepted You as Lord. Unfortunately they see us, and they hear us, but they see nothing that convinces them of the change they need to make in their life. We often say that it may take ‘a ton of bricks’ to change the minds of some, but You created us Lord, so You know full well what it takes to get our attention and theirs. May Your grace given to us, be obvious to others – especially those who need to make a change in their life. It may be something very simple – much like a simple bumper sticker that opened the eyes of a good friend and contributed to him seeking salvation. But please provoke us to faith and obedience to our Heavenly Father so that You may use even our weak vessels to do miraculous things in the lives of those who need You. May today be the day for many to make decisions for Jesus Christ, because of Your grace in our lives. 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!

Protected By The Almighty

After a tornado has hit a certain area, my first question when I check-in to a campground in that area is ‘Where is your safe-house, in the event that another tornado hits while my family and I are at your park?’. Children tend to run to their parents for safety, and wives generally run to their husbands for safety when a storm, or potential danger arises. In our Scripture today we will see David’s recommendation for a safe place where we might find ultimate protection. Let’s pay attention to David’s recommendation.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-06-18
WRITTEN AT: Jensen Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 91:1-3
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: Those who go to God Most High for safety
    will be protected by the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
    You are my God and I trust you.”
God will save you from hidden traps
    and from deadly diseases.

APPLICATION: I believe that most of us who find ourselves in trouble, will run to God to bail us out and save us. But notice that David suggested a slight, but distinctly different process for us to adopt in seeking help from the Lord. Only God knows the number of times that David sought His help, so it seems like David should be in good position to offer expert advice to us! David actually recommended that we use the same process that we use with our parents and/or our spouse. Because we have a relationship with them and have built a sense of trust in them, we feel confident calling on them for protection and/or help. So if we use that same philosophy in our relationship with God, it might indicate that because we maintain a daily, one on one relationship with the Master, then we are comfortable and confident that He cares for us in much the same way that we worship and adore Him on a regular basis. And because of that intimate relationship with our Maker, we feel like we could call on Him in our time of need, and we could immediately feel sheltered under His wings knowing full well that He will care for His own. But imagine for a moment that you have found no purpose or meaning in having a real and intimate relationship with God. How could you feel confident that He would do anything for you? You see, we can find repeatedly throughout God’s Word where He promises to care for His own, and that He will honor the request of those that demand distance from Him, especially when things are going smoothly and they feel safe in doing ‘their own thing’. Friends, our God is not a puppet who stands ready to jump when you have exhausted every effort to handle the situations of life you find yourself in. God created us in His image, so although He is God, He can still identify with us. He desires relationship with us, not to be available on an ‘as-needed’ basis. He told us that He will honor our request to be left alone. But more importantly, David reminds us in the Psalm today, that when we are in regular relationship with the Almighty, He will shelter us under His wing and protect us from all harm. In human relationships we enjoy speaking with someone over the phone, emailing them and possibly texting them, but there is absolutely nothing quite like being reunited with them in person. So it is with God. He wants that intimate relationship we could develop with Him while we’re here on earth, but I believe He longs for us to unite with Him in glory some sweet day! I hope and pray that each reader and/or listener has that assurance of one day joining with the angels in collective praise to our God in heaven. This is only possible if you have accpeted the gift of His Son who was sent to save us from our sin and ready us for heaven. If you are not assured of your position with God, please carefully read my Footnote and especially click on the link ‘To Know Jesus’. The Scriptures will show you what you must do to be saved and be reassured of your heavenly destiny. My desire with each devotional, is that every recipient will one day join me at the feet of Jesus in glorious praise! I hope to see you there precious friend!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Lord, You are my God – my place of safety and protection!

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for reminding me that You want relationship with me! Too often we strive hard to please You with our actions, and we call on You in urgent times of need. Please teach us Lord to spend time with You each day and develop an intimate relationship with You. Not only do we want this so that we could know You better, but we want to take the advice given to us through Your servant, David. What a comfort and joy to know that You will watch over, protect, guide and love on those of us that have chosen to love, accept and honor You. We are far from perfect Lord, but we know You – the only ‘perfect One’ and so we depend on You to help us flourish in our relationshiop with You. Please help us to show the unsaved world the importance of relationship – especially our relationship with You! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Seeing Others Clearly

I am fascinated how we could read through the Scriptures and today, I might see something in a totally different light to what I have seen over the past 8 times reading the same Scripture. I feel like it helps to reinforce the age-old belief that we were given the ‘Living Word of God’! We know that we worship and adore our ‘living’ Lord, but how rewarding to know that His Word is forever new and afresh to us whenever we open it’s pages and are guided by the Holy Spirit! Meditate with me as we look into the importance of really seeing others in much the same.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-06-17
WRITTEN AT: Jensen Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 8:22-25
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch and heal him. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and spat upon his eyes, and laid his hands over them. “Can you see anything now?” Jesus asked him.
24 The man looked around. “Yes!” he said, “I see men! But I can’t see them very clearly; they look like tree trunks walking around!”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands over the man’s eyes again and as the man stared intently, his sight was completely restored, and he saw everything clearly, drinking in the sights around him.

APPLICATION: At first glance of this miracle, one might think that this is an example of progressive healing. Doubters may think that Jesus didn’t successfully heal the blind man on His first try, so He had to try again. But friends, I am more convinced than ever, that every word in the Bible is deliberately intended for our benefit, learning and application. You see, when one is convicted of their sin and accepted into the kingdom of heaven, we see Jesus clearly for who He is. But in 1 John 4:21, we are told “God himself has said that one must love not only God but his brother too”. Now, although we see no evidence that the blind/miracle man hated his neighbor, after his initial touch by Jesus he received his sight, but he became much like Christians today, for he saw people in the distance – blurry and walking about like tree stumps. When we are ignoring people, we do something very similar – we give only a glancing eye to them, and it would take a solid brick to awaken us to their needs. It is glorious for us to experience Jesus and the wonderful, eye-opening miracle of salvation He gives to us! But let’s never forget the words of 1 John 4:21. Let’s learn to love our brother/neighbor/sister so deeply – in fact, much like Jesus loves us, and then perhaps we will understand their life-challenges, feel their hurts, experience their pain in life and their desire for love and appreciation from others. Remember, their eyes are the mirror of their soul, so get up close and personal and either see the peace in their eyes, or empathize with them over the challenges of life you will see reflected in their eyes. This can be summed up in just a few words: love them enough to show that you care about them, and then be their brother or sister through the good and challenging times of life. Be deliberate in loving others, just as you love and appreciate the Great I Am – our wonderful and powerful Almighty God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Oh to see our brothers and sister very clearly! Even to their hurts and anxieties that are deep inside of them. Enough of the casual glances. Let’s see them like Jesus sees them.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for opening the eyes of the blind man in our story today, and also for opening our eyes to the way that we merely glance at some folk, instead of truly following in Your example to know their heart. Our aim each and every day is to be more like You Lord, so we humbly pray that You will also look deep inside our hearts that have been blinded to the real needs of our fellow Brothers and Sisters. May it be evident to them that it’s all about You when we show that we care, because we want them to know that there is One who lives and loves deeper than a brother. Have Your will and way in our lives precious Lord, we want to be like You! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Remind Us Of Your Goodness, Lord

Often we will go to bed feeling like we have just ended another awful day of troubles and trials. With that in mind, we may arise with worry about how much worse can today possibly be. Moses, the writer of today’s Psalm, had seen some very rough and challenging days in the Wilderness, but he also saw first hand the many miracles performed by God to deliver His people safely into the Promised Land. In this prayer, Moses sounds a lot like us, where we would just as soon experience a day of solid ‘highs’ like we’ve seen God do before. Today could be that kind of day for you, if you ask God for it!

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-06-15
WRITTEN AT: Jensen Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 90:14-17
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
    so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
    Replace the evil years with good.
16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;
    let our children see your glory.
17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval
    and make our efforts successful.
    Yes, make our efforts successful!

APPLICATION: Moses may have heard a lot of stories about how God blessed his ancestors. But more importantly, Moses experienced some pretty miraculous things in his own lifetime. Often the overwhelming pain and disappointments of failures and/or hard times might be enough to create a very cautious outlook on life, for we know how bad things could get. But what might cause a good and honest man of God to concentrate on the good in a day, vs the many bad things that could occur? Friends, when we have a close and intimate relationship with our God, and we remind ourselves of His authority and power over all things, then we are more apt to reflect back over the apparent bad things that occurred and see very clearly how God accomplished super important things through those challenging times. Alternately, we could give in to the mockery of Satan and believe that he could make things even worse for us, so our hope sinks to a new low. Notice how Moses cried out to God to just please ‘do it again’! In other words, just as You provided manna for us to eat yesterday and allowed me to strike a rock, from which You permitted water to flow for Your people, then please Lord, do that again. We currently have many examples of ‘hard times’ that could easily provoke us to whine and complain while expecting more of the same. Crime, inflation, fuel costs and health challenges are all at extremely high levels, and the pessimist, or unbeliever, has every reason to think that these things will only worsen. But for those of us who have walked in the same shoes as Moses, we know that God moved waters aside and provided a dry road for His people to walk across open waterways; He created and made available manna for His people – millions of them, to eat each day; He impregnated a young virgin girl with His precious Son, knowing that we needed a way out of our sin and our horrifying destination – Hell; He healed the sick, made the blind to see again and the lame to pick up his bed and walk again – lots of evidence that our God is a miracle working God who provides for His children in ways that we could hardly imagine or ask for. So when we ask God to see us through our current problems and to prepare us for our reunion with He and His Son, don’t you know that we could easily arise each morning in much the same light as Moses prayed for – knowing that God has control, and He is more than willing to prepare us for the wonderful and blessed day He has prepared for us? My dear, dear friends, only God can heal the bodies of those who are still suffering from Covid; only God can provide for those of us who might look at the declining stock markets and remind us that He will supply ALL our needs; only God can mend the broken hearts of those who have lost dearest loved ones over recent months and years from the very unexpected effects of Covid; only God can encourage the increasing numbers of homeless souls who each day awaken to their new lifestyle and apparent hopelessness, into an exciting hope that He has a glorious home prepared for each of them that will outshine the best and most extravagant homes that we could walk by and dream of here on earth. Please Lord, show us Your goodness once again today so that we may start our day in bright hope of all that You have planned for us today, and throughout eternity!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In spite of dismal current events and projections, believers in Jesus Christ has a hope that outshines everything this world can dish out to us. For our hope and future is in the hands of our Creator, who is also our Finisher and Preparer of a much brighter tomorrow!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, we stand amazed in the presence of Jesus our Lord, knowing that all we see facing us today is temporal and, even worse, the evil work of the adversary. Please encourage us with the boldness to always stand in Your presence knowing that we have a hope – a hope for a bright tomorrow, whether here on earth, or in the glories of heaven! Moses saw first-hand the many miracles You performed to deliver he and his people. Today we are blessed with an array of ancestors who have shared the miraculous stories of all You did in their lives. This, in addition to all that You have done in our own lives, convinces us of Your amazing power to heal, bless and encourage us towards a future filled with Your goodness and a hope that we need so badly today. Come quickly Lord Jesus, for we need You more today than ever before. 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!

LOVE – What It Is and What It’s Not

Love – the word rolls off our lips so easily as we tell others ‘we love them’! But what do we really mean? Paul saw the need to help clarify this word for us, because he saw where people who supposedly ‘loved’ each other, were really running into some serious challenges. Paul’s words were not just his casual observations and impressions, but they were God-ordained, so I have no reservation in recommending that we take a close look at this, with hopes that it will guide us into truly loving our spouse and one another, as God intended.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-06-14
WRITTEN AT: Jensen Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
TRANSLATION: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

BIBLE TEXT: Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end….

APPLICATION: I will endeavor to share a comparison between the list of items taught by Paul to help us discern good habits of loving each other vs things that normally create a sense of pretense – a false pretense.
What love is: Patient; Kind; Happy about the truth; Never stops – being patient, believing in others, hoping, nor giving up on people we love; Love never ends.
What Love is not: Jealous; Sing its own praises; Arrogant; Rude; Selfish (doesn’t think of itself); Irritable; Keeping track of others’ wrongs; Being happy with injustices done to others;
One of the things that I have always found helpful in my Christian walk, is to keep a list of the negative aspects of something front and foremost as a reminder to me. Why? Because when I see any of those negative things sneaking into my life or my character, then I realize that I must seek the face of God immediately to help me overcome that bad characteristic and instead seek to do the things that God desires of me. I believe that you will recognize when either of the items in the second list is happening in your marriage or relationship, for things are not really at its best in your home. Something needs work, or correcting. I believe you will also see that homes and/or relationships are broken when one of the habits from the second list goes unnoticed or ignored by the individuals. Friends, when we surrender our life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we commit to being obedient to His will, and we surrender our own will to the will and design of our new Master. Similarly, when we commit our lives to our spouse, we promise each other that we will set aside our selfish desires and we will love that person as ordained by God in His Word – just like our Scripture dictates today. Let’s try to remember that God’s will is for us to live and love like Jesus did, and to follow His commands as He shared through His Word. When we take things into our own hands, we screw things up. Is it any wonder why we fail in so many ways to love another creation of God? The first few words of verse 8 had a lasting impact on me – Love never ends. So many times we have heard about ‘love turning to hate’, for when we can’t have our own way in love, often we will turn to revenge, and that leads to actions that totally aggravates the other person and often leads to hatred. Friends, the example set by Jesus Christ is that: love leads to sacrifice; love will continue even if the other party rejects us; love is unconditional, meaning that one will love even if they are not loved in return, in the way they feel is necessary. Questions may sometimes arise in your mind about the love of the other person for you, but it is your responsibility to ensure that your love is persistent and everlasting. Only you can decide in your heart to love someone Jesus’ way, no matter how much others try to persuade you to do it ‘their way’.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Love never fails. It didn’t fail in the way Jesus loves us, and I will claim today to love others just as Jesus loves me, God being my helper.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for creating us to love one another the way You demonstrated true love to us. Thank You for having Your servant Paul detail in Your Word how we should love. May we examine ourselves and determine in our heart to follow Your example. Loving others in total sincerity leads to a happy and satisfied life that undoubtedly pleases You, for You created us to be just like You – including Your devotion to love us in spite of our efforts to make sure that no one loves us. Forgive us Lord when we so easily assume the characteristics of this wicked and sinful world. Your ways and Your teachings are perfect. Help us to aim for that same perfection that You intended when you placed us here in our current situation, for we want to look, sound and love just like You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!