The Importance of Prayer

To consider something that is totally different to what we have become accustomed to here on earth requires help from somewhere, or someone. God didn’t want us to get this help from just anyone, so Jesus provided answers and direction to us on the subject of prayer in our Scripture today. Have a look and see if these tips might help you enhance your prayer life.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-01-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 6:6-8; 14-15
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

APPLICATION: Don’t know about you, but I find it almost impossible to think straight and write, type, or anything else while also trying to listen to one or more people talk about their challenges and opportunities from their day. Both deserve your undivided attention, but I found it interesting that Jesus chose this as the first suggestion to enhance our prayer life! Find a secluded place to pray. The importance of this was confirmed for me when I volunteered for a time of secluded prayer during a 24-hr prayer chain promoted by a group of local churches. This placed me in a very small room with just a Bible, a few Bible verses posted on the walls and a kneeling bench where I could bow before and converse with the Lord. Notice that I wasn’t praying while I rushed around getting ready for work, nor while I drove down busy streets with unlimited cars buzzing all around me. It was just God and me in a dimly lit room without windows. This gave me a whole new perspective on ‘time alone with God’. Let me suggest that you try following what I experienced some time. It will also help you achieve the first guideline given by Jesus. Additionally, try praying for more than just a minute or two. Although you may have lots of people to pray for, you will quickly run out of words, probably because of your history of quick, instant, mini prayers. Try having a conversation with God. Begin by praising Him for who He is and for what He has done for you, your family and your friends. Try to recall a few examples of how He directed you, and thank Him in a very personal way for that. Pray the Scriptures back to Him, especially the one that you are meditating on that day. Tell Him about your plans for the day and seek His guidance in doing the right thing at the right time and place with the right folk. Remember, you are His ambassador here on earth, so you want to do and say things His way, so that others might be reminded of Jesus and desire to know Him personally. Please try not to follow preplanned prayer verbiage by some great theologian. Yes, I know make it sound so perfect, but since you don’t need something like that for conversation with your spouse, then I can assure you that you will not need that to converse with your Creator who knows everything about you. Just be yourself and converse with God in an unhurried or structured way. Leave time for God to envelope your heart and mind and fill your innermost thoughts with His direction and His character and demeanor. The world is sick of the selfishness and greed of mankind. They are constantly on guard for what you might want from them. Allowing God to work in your life and speak through you, will open the eyes and heart of your hearers in ways they, nor you, may have ever experienced before. The experience of reflecting back on your day and standing in awe about where certain words or actions came from, will totally overwhelm you. Allow God to be in control, dear friend! In the last two verses, note that Jesus wants us to know that unless we willingly forgive others, we shouldn’t expect God to forgive us. We must be willing to practice what we preach, not just apply those teachings to everyone else besides us. Communication is key to our personal relationships with family and friends. It is also the key that opens the door to a personal relationship with our Master. Talk/pray to God on a regular basis. Hearing from Him is key to a life patterned after, and directed by Him.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus will pour into you as much as , or more than, you pour into your relationship with Him! Begin to enhance that relationship with your Savior through prayer, dear friend.

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us. Please help us to be more like You in every aspect of life, so that others might know that You are alive and working actively in Your children’s lives. Please help us to dedicate ourselves to more quality time with You, especially in prayer. In our Scripture today, we are reminded of some important qualities that would enhance our prayer life – a key to our relationship. Please direct us to plan time for meeting with You, and to clear the path of every distraction as we do that. Quality time with our family and friends bring unity and increases the love we feel towards each other. Time alone with You is also super important as we seek to know You better, love You more and gain even more trust in You. Draw us close to you dear Lord, so that we may be usable by You to grow Your kingdom. AMEN!

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

I find it so interesting when we get into the Word of God and see how He addresses the very subjects that we struggle with in our daily lives. It’s like Jesus throws help, or direction right into our path for the area of life that we are struggling with, or perhaps mishandling in some way. We may not even realize our challenge until we read the Word and understand that God has a better way planned for us to show His love and His goodness. Perhaps that’s you, my friend, so tune in and study this Scripture with me today.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-01-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 5:43-48
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 43 You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44 But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45 Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46 If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors love their friends. 47 If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? 48 But you must always act like your Father in heaven.

APPLICATION: Hopefully we recognized the truth in what Jesus said in His explanation of how humans tend to love others. This requires us setting aside the ideals of how we know we should love others, compared to what we actually do. It is very challenging for us to think of loving the one who hurt us, or mistreated us in some obvious way, or who may have even deliberately hurt us. I know of a real-life story of two workers who, in spite of working on many projects together, they often felt differently about certain subjects, and although they often accomplished the same tasks differently, yet they enjoyed the success of completing tasks accurately. During one of their disagreements on a subject, one of them brought the company president in to understand why they felt the other was wrong. The boss didn’t fire the one accused of doing their job inaccurately, but this appeared to have deepened the rift between the two workers. However, just as this Scripture might do to you as a reader searching for God’s will for your life, the individual who felt wronged, was touched by a sermon one Sunday and God impressed this Scripture upon them. Pray for the individual you feel wronged you, even though you feel they may have done it to cause you harm. Each day there was sincere prayer for the other party and for their success in the company. Apparently the two went on to be great friends and compassionate coworkers! It is virtually impossible to hate someone that you earnestly pray for in a positive manner! I believe that Jesus wants us to be the kind of people where others might look on in wonder and question how we could do what seems impossible to the ordinary person. Hopefully their minds will turn towards Jesus and they will praise Him for working through His children to achieve that which seems impossible to mankind of their own accord, desires and abilities. Friends, I hope that as you meditated on this with me today, you may have gotten a glimpse of how Jesus not only set the example for us in what He said and did while here on earth, but also how He is still able to work in His children to help them achieve all that He did. As the world sees the difference in us, may they recognize that it is Jesus at work in us that helps us reach for new heights and imitate our Father which is in heaven.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: It takes Jesus and us to love those who hate us or despise us or who aim to destroy us. But in loving even them, we allow them to catch a glimpse of our Master working miraculously through us!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for recognizing how challenging it is for us to love those who love and respect us, and especially those who make it impossible to love them of our own accord. Only You Lord can save us from our sins, and only You can give us the power, strength and wisdom to overcome the evil of this world that is often out to pull us down and separate us from the blessings You have in store for us. Draw us to Yourself each and every day Lord and as You prepare our day, may we be humble and willing to seek Your face as You work out Your perfect will for us. Oh that others may see, acknowledge and receive You as Lord of their life, especially after seeing You at work in 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. 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!

To God, Anger is…

Although most of us will look horribly on ‘murder’, some of us have some interesting explanations on why we become angry. Yet it seems like God may look on each with the same disappointment, and possibly equal discipline. What then shall we do? Let’s meditate on this for a short while and see how God will direct us.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-01-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 5:21-22
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 “Under the laws of Moses the rule was, ‘If you murder, you must die.’ 22 But I have added to that rule and tell you that if you are only angry, even in your own home, you are in danger of judgment! If you call your friend an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse him, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

APPLICATION: I heard a story of a man who walked an extra block on his way home from the bus station. When questioned about this, he shared about his addiction to alcoholism earlier in life, and the main bar that he frequented was on his direct, shortest route home from the bus station. He felt like avoiding that bar would help him in his determination to remain sober. AA members are similar in their commitment to remain sober. Wouldn’t it be great if we gained such a determination in life to help us avoid repeating previous sins, or known weaknesses? In the teachings by Jesus following the beatitudes, He looked very intently at the heart. In our Scripture today, Jesus shared that the same attributes of a heart that would take the life of another, also tends to agitate a person’s anger. This could have detrimental effects at home, and we hear a lot about spousal abuse and/or child battery. When we get so angry that we spout off cruel and/or nasty names at someone, our heart has just become much like that of the person who would release their anger through murder. So what then might we do to be more like our Master? Scripture records one time that Jesus became visibly upset. He was very disturbed that the people had turned the holy temple into a den patterned by that of thieves. However, Jesus showed throughout His lifetime that His whole intent in life was to reflect love, peace and goodness. I believe this was important, because Jesus showed us that when we place our hand in His, and we we trust that He will care for our every need willingly and lovingly, then there is no need to worry, become anxious, or show remorse when life does not go in our favor, or in the direction we might anticipate. While I am not a physiological expert that could say exactly what the medical experts have determined might cause anger, I am convinced that it is agitated when things are not going our way, or as we anticipate. However, as a child of the Most High God, who has every phase of life under His control, we must learn to rest comfortably in His care and under His control. When this occurs, we learn to relax in His charge and know that there’s no need to worry. Friends, I am just simple enough to believe that this kind of contentment would help me to stay calm and not give in to emotions that would cause undue stress or to respond based on emotions. A heart totally dedicated to the Lord and experiencing prayer for His full direction, will help us to desire responses consistent with that of Jesus Himself. For others desire to see Jesus, even in us.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In our own strength we tend to either fall apart or react to life-situations erratically. However, under the love and control of the God of this universe, we can overcome the stresses of this cruel world and instead live under the peace and direction of the Master!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You know all too well how easily we come unglued and respond to life-situations in ways that are not representative of Your character and teachings. Please Lord, help us to stay focused on the only One who can help us through the ups and downs of life, rather than responding to situations more like the world. To respond with a heart of peace and contentment, regardless of the pressures of this cruel mad world, can only be done with Your help and Your peace. We depend on You Lord. Please grant us strength and determination to always seek Your will and Your help for every aspect of life. 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!

Allow God To Be Exposed Through You

If everyone acted the same what a poor, dull, unexciting world we would live in. If a person says that they are a child of God, yet they act like everyone else, what proof would you have that they are any different? I believe the world is so done with the crime, hatred and evil of this world that they are about to give up on fellow humans. BUT, praise be to God, there is hope in the Christian who willingly allows Christ to shine through them! Join me as we meditate on the difference in what the world should see in the child of God.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-01-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 5:13-16
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

APPLICATION: Many Bible students may not be happy that I chose a very plain speaking, simple translation, but as I looked for the right version to share the Good News from today, this stood out more that any other! When I think of hiding our light, I think of a time that I was boating and very much dependent on a beacon light to help me find the dock at the other end of the bay in the dark of night. For the nights that the light was not working, it was a real plunder to find the dock when you could see no more than a hundred feet ahead of you. When our men and women awake each day and question whether the only path for them to go that day is a repeat of what they did yesterday, it must be very dismal and discouraging for them. When they look to role models who boasts of having the blood of Jesus washed over them, I pray that they will see the same light that I was looking for in my pitch dark night. I needed hope, direction and assurance that I was on the right course. Our unsaved friends and family need that same assurance. It’s not something we have to study for, practice or prepare for, it’s a natural outlet for the light of Jesus to shine through us. But why do you suppose Jesus had to teach about some hiding that light? Isn’t it a shame that even today some still hide their light? Perhaps embarrassed to let their boss or friend know that they are different, and guided by different principles than most are? But think of the consequences if we are a follower of Christ and refuse to let our light shine. Jesus taught that we would appear lukewarm to Him and He would spit us out of His mouth. Way too often our actions far outweigh anything that might come from our mouth. As Jesus stated in our Scripture, when others see us freely place ourselves in very open situations and state our position with God, we will encourage those who sit on the fence about knowing God more intimately. Don’t you know how nerve wrecking it is to make a move in hesitation, or out of fear? Others are depending on us dear friends, let’s be who we say we are, so that they will welcome the opportunity to become a part of our ‘family’!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: With Jesus as our Savior, our Light, our Standard, it is important that the world is invited to partake of His goodness! Let’s invite them to join us!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, what an awesome day when You invited, encouraged me and let You into my heart! You have made such a difference in my life and I am eternally thankful for all that You are to me. Although I have nothing to brag about in self, I am higher than the clouds when I consider the difference You have made in my life. Please Lord, keep me humble, so that You might shine brightly in all that is accomplished through me. The world needs Jesus. May they see the peace that You have given to me and want to also meet and know You personally, so that on that day that we are called home to glory, we can all rejoice before Your throne. Please give me a new boldness each and every day and the wisdom to encourage others who need You. May You be glorified because of my surrender. AMEN!

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

Your Heavenly Reward

I believe that we all may have noticed how it’s the noisy and rebellious ones who attract the attention of Law Enforcement. Conversely, it’s the special kids who seek to be better in behavior than their peers that attract the jealousy and revenge of the school rebels. It’s generally those who sit on the fence and agree with both sides of every argument that go unnoticed and are hardly ever harassed. This philosophy is generally followed in families, churches, workplaces and anywhere we find ourselves with other peer groups. Jesus taught that this could be expected, so let’s look into this today.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-01-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 5:11-12
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 “How blessed you are when people insult and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me! 12 So leap for joy—since your heavenly reward is great. For you are being rejected the same way the prophets were before you.

APPLICATION: This Scripture was also referenced in Ps. 119:85–87. While I love to look at commentaries to help me better understand the Scriptures, I was totally blessed and excited when I read this comment by one on this passage: We are to live in such a way that people have to lie when they speak evil of a believer in Christ! Wow!! If only we could live in such a way that this commentator’s statement would always be true of us. Interesting that Jesus had just listed a number of contributors to a life of blessing (the beatitudes), then He followed that with this eyeopening statement – warning us that we will be hated for looking, sounding and acting like Him. In fact our friends, family and peers will even lie to accuse us falsely of not doing what we preach. This generally happens when one is envious of our lifestyle, or they wish that they could acquire some of the characteristics they see in us. What seems so opposite in this, is that our kids seem to look for the most popular peers to follow after. Most often this leads to serious trouble, as they are coerced into doing things quite different to those things taught in the home by their family. Our natural instincts would lead us to depression when others are mean to us, or show jealousy towards us. But Jesus wanted us to be encouraged when we see these things as a Christian, because it is evidence that our Christ-like behavior is having an impression upon our peers. When this happens, Jesus assured us that it is then that we should be encouraged, and rejoice, because it is a moment when we should realize that it is more than us shining through, because greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world. And although the world may seem to jeer at folk who seem different than they are, yet we should be reminded that Jesus working through us will save the lost, encourage the downtrodden and lift up the broken-hearted. Friends, if all that our friends see is plain old ‘us’, then there’s nothing to change their heart. Oh that their eyes would be opened to the love and example of Jesus in every word we speak, and every unexpected action that we take, for it is only Jesus who can make a difference in our world.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus in us and evident through us, can change a sinful and troublesome world. Let’s learn to step aside and let God have His perfect will in and through us, for His glory alone!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand and lead me through this troubled world. There are many that I will come into contact with who will need a lot more than I could ever do for them – for they need You. Please use me as an instrument through which Your light will shine, and Your love will be evident, to even the unlovable. People are looking for something better than what they find in the attention grabbing actions that they take every day. They want to make a difference in someone’s life, and that’s where You kick in, for it is only You who can change a sinful heart and a life filled with worldly desires and evil. Oh that You will create peace in the hearts of many today as you touch lives and make a difference in them for the Kingdom. May I be one of the first to be impacted positively for You and may I make a difference where there seems to be no hope. 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!

Jesus Demonstrated Effective Ministry

We often hear about the many churches that are closing their doors because they can’t meet budget, or seem to attract a crowd from the neighborhoods in which they are located. While Jesus became well known for the many attributes he displayed, I bolded three actions in today’s Scripture that seemed to have made His ministry effective. Needs still exist today, so I thought we might look deeper into Jesus’ style of ministry and see if we could learn from it. Stay with me as we dig into the Word today.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-01-19
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 4:23-25
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 Jesus traveled all through Galilee teaching in the Jewish synagogues, everywhere preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of Heaven. And he healed every kind of sickness and disease. 24 The report of his miracles spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that sick folk were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were insane, or paralyzed—he healed them all. 25 Enormous crowds followed him wherever he went….

APPLICATION: Some of you may have served in church leadership, or on a committee charged with organizing events designed to entertain different age groups in your church’s community. If your experiences were similar to those in which I participated, then you will agree with me that church leaders spend many, many hours behind closed doors in planning and organizational responsibilities. I’m not sure that we could ever succeed in ministering of the Gospel just through planning, but what if we concentrated on the proven methods of Jesus? Let’s examine the three main parts of His ministry, as mentioned in our Scripture:
—> TEACHING – We send our children to school to learn everything they need to survive in a workplace and in life overall. So, because they are lacking in these areas, we find help for them by well learned teachers. Most of us will pick up the Bible and try to read it, but we are quickly stumped by everything written. I would dare say that just as in Jesus’ day, many of us could benefit from the teaching of God’s Word. Our churches are blessed to have good teachers who do a fair job in teaching through Sunday School, Bible Study and small groups. But it is becoming more and more challenging to encourage attendees of the need to join others in this important learning experience;
—> PREACHING – I found it interesting that some translations said that Jesus ‘announced’ the Kingdom. Research shows that this means He preached about the kingdom of God. I believe this helps us to better understand why most churches still preach the Word of God. Please remember that for the preaching to be most effective to you individually, it is just as vital that you pray for your pastor or preacher, as it is to pray that God would open your heart’s door to accept what He has to say to you that day. You see, God’s Word is designed for us individually and God will speak to us personally and very directed as we tune our hearts to hear Him.
—> HEALING – I believe this is the area that you will tune into most intently, because you have seen so much fraud and false teachings/actions in this regard. I’m with you, because only God can heal, and I detest the idea of men or women proclaiming healing power of their own. However, I believe what the church needs most today is the man/woman of God who acknowledges the sole power of God in healing, and the love of God who sees the need for physical, mental and personal healing in everyone who crosses their path. For there are so many who are hurting in so many different ways, and they are hoping that the church will not only accept them as they are, but also empathize with them over their challenges in life. Especially since Covid, it seems that there is less connection between church leaders and their members who are in desperate need. Many times healing will come to hurting people just from someone who shows that they care. Leave the computer. Close the office. Call someone without worrying if you are disturbing them. People need the Lord, and their first step in that path towards the Master, is through knowing that His helpers and supporters care about, and love each other, especially in their times of need.
As I stated in my introduction, if churches spent as much time in ministering as they do in planning events, the Word of God will quickly extend to all ends of the earth, and the world will know who Jesus is, and that He cares for them, because they could see it in His representatives.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus’ ministry was effective and fruitful because He mastered three of the same areas that we try to perform today. Perhaps today we could emphasize even more on Teaching, Preaching and Healing of the whole person for even more effective ministry.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for caring enough for mankind that You were pliable in the hands of Your Father and followed through with being captured, crucified and buried so that we might know perfect love. I am in awe about Your resurrection and I praise God for such a miracle, because we are left with a risen Lord who still loves and cares for us. Forgive us Lord when we think it too much to sacrifice time to check on, and/or visit one another when there is a known need. How else will we prove Godly love for our Brothers and Sisters? You taught us how to love, and the extreme that one could go through to show love. You showed us how to minister effectively and You have blessed us with great churches, awesome ministers/pastors and also wonderful congregations who need to know about Your love for them, and see it practiced in reality every day. Please forgive us where we fail in this Lord. Help us to follow in Your footsteps for effective ministry to Your children we are blessed to associate with. AMEN!

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

Those Impacted By Your Lies

I believe there are many reasons that we lie. But do we ever stop to consider how many people are impacted when we do so? The story of Ananias and his wife Sapphira is well known, but I’m not sure that we’ve really applied to our lives how their sin impacted others, and hurt our Father. Meditate with me on this today so that we may avoid repeating what brought their downfall.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-01-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 5:3-4, 9
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: Ananias, have you allowed Satan to influence your lies to the Holy Spirit and hold back some of the money? Look, it was your property before you sold it, and the money was all yours after you sold it. Why have you concocted this scheme in your heart? You weren’t just lying to us; you were lying to God.
Why did the two of you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord?…. 

APPLICATION: Kids start at a very young age to lie in order to avoid consequences of their sin. Don’t you remember: mumbling through a mouth-full of cookies that it wasn’t you who stole from the cookie-jar?!!! Getting into your despised math class late, and trying to make up an excuse (lie) to avoid being marked ‘late’ yet again for the week? It worked a few times for you, so you may have felt like it was worth trying, but what if you heard God audibly ask why are you hurting Him again by lying? Don’t you realize and remember that He knows everything possible about you? I wonder if it would help if, when we ask for forgiveness of someone, that we also ask forgiveness of God at the same time? I truly believe that our consciences have become so hardened to lying, and to sin in general, that our lies just roll off our lips naturally and we go on about our day as usual without addressing those who may have been impacted. For the instigator of lies, I am always surprised that they think their friends are so gullible that they never even realized they were lied to. Unfortunately, we lose trust in the person who lies, for we have proven the untruth over and over again, and now we expect to question every thing they say. Let’s have a look into the scenario with Ananias and his wife. They reminded me of what we do from time to time. I have relatives in the Bahamas, and there are import duties for almost everything you take into that country. So at the airport the Customs Officer will ask the value of gifts or non-personal items you are bringing in. Unfortunately, it seems like the amount we give them, depends on the amount we believe we could make the Officer believe. In the US we file annual Tax Returns. Tax is ultimately calculated based on annual income. For regular employers, they are required to report to Internal Revenue how much they paid you, and that should match with the amount you report. However, cash payments for tips, bonuses or even salary in some cases, are not reported to IRS, as it is not recorded in the employer’s record books. It seems like Ananias felt like he was in a similar situation. After all, who would know how much he was paid for the property he sold? Surely he should be allowed to withhold some portion of that payment for all that he did to maintain and/or improve that property over the years! Friends, what do you suppose God must think of His children that He not only created in His own image, but He also provided a Book of Instruction to guide and direct us. God also sent His very own Son to be our advocate and forgive us of our sin, yet we overlook that fact and just continue on sinning. What must He think when we just can’t be honest in our speech? In all my years of reading the Bible, I have never doubted, or mistrusted, anything that Jesus said. If I am to be His follower and His earthly representative, shouldn’t others be able to trust me in exactly the same way? Ananias and Sapphira were not allowed to live because of their sin. How many around us would die today because of their sin before the Almighty? I’m sure that it would not be a pretty scene. Do your part dear friend, be honest before God and everyone you come into contact with.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God will forgive and protect those who seek forgiveness for their sin. Let’s learn to listen carefully to our conscience and recall the teachings of our Master, especially when we sin. Unforgiven, deliberate sin is an abomination before God.

PRAYER: Lord, may we never become comfortable telling a lie, nor sinning in any other form. You created us to be holy, just as You are holy; righteous, just as You are righteous; and to be Christ-followers and imitators so that the world will see Jesus instead of our prideful selves. Please forgive us where we fail in this, and give us a mind like that of Jesus, so that we may aim for holiness and righteousness at all times. Only the blood of Jesus will save a sinner, but the stained blood of sin and unbelief will distract a sinner from ever seeing Jesus. Please help us to facilitate the cleansing blood of Jesus, and never be a stumbling block to anyone who needs You. May it be obvious to everyone we come into contact with, who rules and reigns inside of us, and may they seek to know You personally, 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. 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!

The Results of What Just Happened

In our current environment we deal with no prayer allowed in our US public school system; no mention of Jesus Christ during public speeches; no public condemning of sinful acts; etc. It has become the norm, so I doubt if anyone ever questions ‘Why?’ anymore. But what if we, or our forefathers had done like Peter and John after their release from their trial for preaching about Jesus? As we meditate today, let’s consider what our world might be like if we were changed, and found a new boldness in standing up for the Jesus we love, adore, worship and long to be with.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-01-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 4:27-30
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 27 … The foreign ruler Pontius Pilate and the Jewish ruler Herod, along with their respective peoples, have assembled in opposition to Your holy servant Jesus, the One You chose. 28 They have done whatever Your hand and plan predetermined should happen. 29 And now, Lord, take note of their intimidations intended to silence us. Grant us, Your servants, the courageous confidence we need to go ahead and proclaim Your message 30 while You reach out Your hand to heal people, enabling us to perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.

APPLICATION: Based on your level of boldness, what do you suppose you would have done in Peter and John’s position? They had just been jailed and reprimanded for teaching about Jesus, and told to leave the jail knowing that they are not allowed to do that anymore. Peter and John ‘pulled no punches’ with the leaders, because they knew that what was inside could only come out! They knew that everyone in the towns they visited needed Jesus, and since they had firsthand knowledge of Him, they had an obligation to share the simple truth with everyone they met. So if you feel like you could have been bold enough to take the same stand that Peter and John took, I want you to now consider what you would have done after being released. Perhaps you would consider warning other believers to quiet down on their preaching, teaching and witnessing? Perhaps set up a private ‘home’ church where you could minister to attendees without being out in the public for the leaders to see you continuing the ministry? Perhaps leave the ministry and return to regular workplaces where you could hopefully witness to others privately? Could you in your wildest imagination consider immediately meeting up with your fellow ministers to rev up the work and reach even more people? Many churches closed their doors when Covid became such a scare, and some have not found alternate ways of ministry yet – their doors are still shut. Because of this threat, many have stayed at home, and have become very comfortable to have the TV on while they sit in front of the TV in their PJs with other devices in hand while the service plays on via TV. Many will probably never return to the church building again. Peter and John had the perfect excuse – the threat on their lives, to hang up their ministry and return to their old job of fishing, which threatened no one. However, and this is especially the part we need to take note of, they had such a passion for their Lord and for what He did for them in providing salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, that they were willing to put their lives on the line in order to get together with God’s people and worship their Lord together in one place. Friends, we have family and loved ones who are still dying every day, and they are destined for Hell unless someone shares the secret to Eternal Life with them. Nothing stopped Peter and John, not even the threat on their lives. Will you decide today to actively pursue spreading the love and work of our Savior to all who would hear you, regardless of the threat on your life through disease and/or hardship and/or danger? Remember, you were saved because of the love and concern of others who prayed and/or ministered to you. Please consider passing along that same love and concern to others.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Peter and John continued to minister, in spite of the threat on their lives. Oh that we would do the same today. Our friends are so worth it!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for our warriors who served as disciples to our Lord Jesus, and for all they they exampled before us when they continued ministering even in the threat upon their lives after being jailed. We still have threats today, even though most are very minor compared to our forefathers. Please give us a renewed boldness to minister in good weather and in the midst of storms that seem to threaten our existence. Our jobs here are incomplete until the day You call us home to glory, so please be our Guide, and strengthen us every day for the task at hand – sharing the Good News of our Savior! AMEN!

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

Always Share About The Jesus You Have Seen and Heard

There’s a few things that I love about this Scripture and how it applies to us today. I pray that you will read the Scripture carefully and ask God to impress upon you the truth of the message He knows that you need today. There are many who are unsaved, so I am convinced that this message is probably more applicable today than it has ever been. Read or listen to the whole devotional today!

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-01-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 4:13-14; 18-20
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 13-14 They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?
18-20 They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.”

APPLICATION: I believe that most will agree that too many Christians assume regular church attendance satisfies the God who saved them, and that they serve such an understanding God, He is Ok with how much, or how little they do for the Kingdom. Why is that? Do you suppose it may be that their church attendance is very similar to their habitual watching of Television, where they just sit and relax while being entertained? Let’s look at what the religious leaders faced with Peter and John, and perhaps this might open our eyes for clarity on this matter. Somehow, they were not overly threatened when they realized that these two disciples were unlearned in the Scriptures, for they had not taken extended studies on the Bible like the church leaders of their day did. While I believe that seminary serves an important role in educating the religious leaders of our day, I can find no place in Scripture where this is given as a prerequisite to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So I would encourage every reader to not sit back and leave all witnessing and outreach to your pastor, but to always do your part in sharing what Jesus has done for you. I don’t believe God ever intended for you to share what you think the Pastor will share. Instead, God wants you to share your personal experience with your Lord. Peter and John were simple fishermen, yet they not only got the attention of their hearers, but also of the town leaders. I am convinced that people respond better to our true and honest experience with the Lord, than they would to any story we might share with them. Of course using Bible stories, miracles and any other Biblical experiences only support what Jesus also did in your life, but your friends will identify better with your personal experience. I included the latter verses in our focal Scripture today, because I wanted to remind you how personal our relationship could get. Peter and John told the leaders that even if God wants them to respect their worldly leaders, there is nothing that can take away from their personal, one-on-one, intimate relationship with their Savior. Friends, I strive for that type of relationship! How about you? I believe the joy of that will just overflow through everything we share with others!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We are quick to brag on our spouse, our kids and our extended family. Why wouldn’t we also do the same for the relationship experiences with our Savior? I believe it will be a natural thing to do!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You willingly went to the cross for us, and I believe you would do it again, if it became necessary. You were never ashamed of Your Father, and Your love for us was always evident. May we never be ashamed of the One who rescued us from a life of sin, headed for eternal damnation. May this be such a part of our life that it will be evident to the lost world around us, and may our actions and words always confirm who our Master is. Forgive us Lord when we allow the distractions of this world to take priority in our witness. Please strengthen and embolden us to always be Your best witness and ambassador while allowed to remain here on earth. 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!

Preparing For Baptism

Some pastors will baptize you the day you walk the isle in surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some will come for baptism even though the pastor may never have witnessed their day of salvation. I believe that you will find it interesting how John handled this subject while at the Jordan River. Meditate with me on the important teaching John shared with the Pharisees and Sadducees, as this may still apply in our churches today.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-01-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 3:5-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.

APPLICATION: Ever noticed how some will dye their hair blue, if they see a friend or two doing the same thing, and getting attention over the strange practice? Ever noticed at an altar call in your church how challenging it is to get the first person to respond to the gospel message, and how much easier it is after the first person makes the walk down to the altar? We don’t want to be the first to make a move, but we are quick to follow the flow by our friends. People from the neighboring towns came to hear for themselves what all this ‘wild man’, John, was preaching about. His message touched their heart, so they confessed their sin and was ready to be baptized. This is still pretty customary in churches today, especially during revival or evangelistic services. But what would your church, or your pastor, do if at the baptismal service a number of people showed up for baptism who had never visited your church before? I believe we all can agree that at such special services, many might get in the spirit of what is occurring , and they may want to be baptized also. John recognized that the Pharisees and Sadducees who showed up and wanted to be baptized, felt like they were already good enough on their own reconnaissance and at least as good as the persons there who may have received forgiveness of their sin that day. However, John addressed this by drawing their attention to the change that occurs in a believer’s life. I believe John’s teaching on this is well worth our time to reflect on. Think about it – if we are a child of the King, then we will look like; sound like; and act like the King. It would be highly hypercritical of us to say that we are a child of the King, yet continue to behave like our old sinful selves. Who are we trying to fool? I also appreciate that John included the piece for his audience not to feel ‘saved’ because of them being from the seed of Abraham. You see, when we have grown up in the church, or if we happen to be a child of the pastor, deacon or elder, we may try to fool the world into thinking that because of our heritage, we too are saved. Notice what John taught here: we are each to approach the throne of God individually. Nothing done, said, or practiced by our ancestors could cleanse us of our sin and make us right with God. It is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we are saved. That’s the sole purpose in God sending His Son, and He will have it no other way. We cannot slither our way into heaven through any other means. Be encouraged today Brothers and Sisters. We may not be a son or daughter of any earthly king or queen, but as a son of the Most Hight God – King Jesus, we are born again and ready to meet our Savior whenever He calls us home to glory. We are never too bad, or never too much of a pretender for God to accept us. Repent of your sins and ask God to become alive in You so that your words, actions and witness will be all about your heavenly Master.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus can save the hardened criminal or even the one who feels like they’ve always been ‘good enough’ according to the word’s standards.He came to seek and save ALL that are lost. That includes you, me, our neighbor or the drunk down the road.

PRAYER: Father God, we are reminded that there is nothing we can do of our own selves to save ourselves from our sins and ready ourselves for the portals of Heaven. John was very blunt about this with the Pharisees and Sadducees, and he may have even found reason to preach at some of our churches today. Yes, we must be saved through the righteous sacrifice of Jesus alone. But our life will always reflect who takes center place in our lives. May that always be you, and you alone dear God. As the world see Jesus in us, they might become convinced of the power of the One who sacrificed His life for the remission of our sins. Please forgive us for trying to play the fool before You, like we so often try to get away with before our fellow man. You are the one, and the only one, that we must be honest before. Please deal in our hearts and our lives so that we may have an honest relationship with You, and the one who will naturally display to the world who controls every fiber of our being. We love You Lord and we want You to be evident in all that we are. 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!