What’s Holding You Back?

Many years ago I was told by a young man that he shaved every hair from his arms and legs, with hopes that he would gain a few milaseconds in his swimming races! That sounded so funny to me, but as we meditate on this Scripture today, I am convinced that we will each think of something that is distracting, or slowing us down along our pathway to heaven as we live among sin here on this earth. It may not be anyone’s fault but your own, so let me encourage you to seek out the heart of God as you meditate with me.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 12:1-3
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him.

OBSERVATION: Many years ago I was told by a young man that he shaved every hair from his arms and legs, with hopes that he would gain a few milaseconds in his swimming races! That sounded so funny to me, but as we meditate on this Scripture today, I am convinced that we will each think of something that is distracting, or slowing us down along our pathway to heaven as we live among sin here on this earth. It may not be anyone’s fault but your own, so let me encourage you to seek out the heart of God as you meditate with me.

APPLICATION: Don’t we always try to find someone, or something, on whom to blame our troubles and/or distractions in life? Of course there must be someone else who caused our troubles, right? If only we could put distance between us and them, we might get somewhere in life, or we might live like Jesus, or we will have no distractions. Really?? I believe that if we were to seek the face of Jesus and be reminded of His love for us, remember the commitment we made to Him to live like Him for as long as we have breath in our bodies, then we might also be adult enough to recognize our inadequacies, our weaknesses and our pride. For you see, I believe that often we make decisions that will help us look good in the eyes of our boss, or our family, or our friends, but not necessarily righteous in the eyes of Jesus. We are reminded in this chapter all that Jesus went through on the cross, yet He came out on the other end as One who is righteous and One who always lived an upright and just life before His Father. We are also reminded of other saints who have gone on before us, who were stallworths in the faith arena. Think of the faith of Moses to stand at the edge of the Red Sea with an army that were entrusted to his leadership by God Himself, yet to look ahead he saw nothing but impossibilities – a large body of water, and to look behind he saw an onslaught of the Egyptian army. But you see, it was God who ordered Moses to lead his people towards the Promised Land, so Moses had faith that God would not turn His back on the very direction that He ordered Moses to follow. So God did that which seemed impossible to mankind in order to save His people and to stay true to His Word. For each of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have been promised the likes of Heaven around the throne of our Father. Do you suppose there is anything God would not do for us as we journey along this very challenging time here on earth? God is always true to His Word! If only we would stay true to God, I am convinced that He will help us to shake off every temptation, every distraction, every friend that tries to derail our run for the finish line, and He will give us strength, guidance and persistence for the things He has taught us, and expects from us, until we kneel in humility at His feet. For those reading this that may not know Jesus as Lord, please be encouraged by this word today, for it is an awesome reminder of why we stand in awe of our King, and why we have accepted His Son for the redemption of our sin. We can speak with confidence about what the future holds for us. Don’t you want that same assurance today? Please read my Footnote carefully, especially the Biblical references available through the links I provided. Decide today to place your faith and trust in the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, thank You for providing a way when often there seems to not be a way for us to go. You have proven Yourself so often, so placing our faith in You should therefore be easy. May our faith be so strong in You that we will boldly place our trust in You and obey whatever You ask us to do. Please Lord, give us grace to place our trust in You. Give us the faith we need each day to speak and act like You and to follow every command of yours, knowing that there is no other God but You. Please encourage those who doubt and find it challenging to follow You in faith. Oh that we may rid ourselves of everything that holds us back in our faith and in our Christian walk. AMEN!

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

God Is All-Knowing, Seek Direction From Him

God sent Samuel to pick the next king from the sons of Jesse, but it’s a good thing that God stayed in charge of the choice, as Samuel was very impressed with the very first son presented to him. However the lesson God taught to Samuel that day, still rings through to us as we seek His face for decisions we make today, so let’s examine this closer….

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 16:6-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

OBSERVATION: God sent Samuel to pick the next king from the sons of Jesse, but it’s a good thing that God stayed in charge of the choice, as Samuel was very impressed with the very first son presented to him. However the lesson God taught to Samuel that day, still rings through to us as we seek His face for decisions we make today, so let’s examine this closer….

APPLICATION: No doubt we make decisions that we later reflect on and sometimes wonder what on earth were we ever thinking of when we made that decision. Christians sometimes pray over challenging decisions they need to make, because they want to make sure that they follow God’s plan for their lives. Often we can reflect back on those decisions and see how God must have been in control, as we could see how His plans materialized for everyone involved, and for His good. I have a personal experience that fits this scenario, that I will briefly share with you. Some thirty three years ago my family and I moved to the United States from the Bahamas. We bathed our decision in prayer and felt like God was in control during the whole process. That’s until I went to tell my parents that we were moving away from our home-country. They were getting on in age by then, and my dad let me know that it hurt to see us move away at such a time in their lives. Within a year of us moving, I received a call from my sister that dad was not doing well. Dad had received help from local doctors, but nothing seemed to be helping. So we jointly made the decision to get dad over to Florida for advanced care. In about a month, after my dad had received a heart stint, Dad sat with me and acknowledged that now he could understand what God was doing in getting me moved to the US! In the example with Samuel, he saw in Eliab (the oldest son) all the attributes of what he thought a king should look like, and he was convinced to choose him. However, God not only knew the one He had chosen, but He also knew the heart of the other sons and why they were not suitable as the leader for His people. Friends, we could do little to improve our outward appearance, but it always takes God to change the inward appearance. Just a tip… if we always strive to be like Jesus, and live our lives according to His will for us, then perhaps we will gain the attributes of our loving Lord. This takes surrendering our hearts and lives to Jesus, because only then will we accept His leadership and His guidance. Will you consider doing this today friend? Read my Footnote and be sure to follow through to read the Scripture behind my links. Let me know if I might pray for you and with you about this important decision.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, on behalf of all my fellow Christian Brothers and Sisters, we approach Your throne asking that You grace us with Your presence today. May Your wisdom fill our hearts and our minds so that the decisions that we make will align with Your will for our lives. We acknowledge that in our human eyes, we often see things differently than You can when looking deep into the heart and thoughts of people that we deal with. Help us therefore to look to You in all of our decision making so that we will make decisions pleasing to You and aligned with Your will. Only You can do this Lord, so we ask this in Your precious name, and patiently await Your direction. AMEN!

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

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-10-12
SCRIPTURE  

From:

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)

Text:

6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
OBSERVATION:  
 
APPLICATION:  
 
PRAYER:  
 
FOOTNOTE:  
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Will God Be Patient With You?

Sick people run to the hospital for help, but does sin-sick people always run to God for help? National catastrophes and earth shattering acts of God normally gets the attention of most people, and they may, if only for a short while, look inward to evaluate their life and compare it to what God may desire of them. Praise God, I believe that every living person knows that there is a God who they can run to in times of trouble. But He’s not a robot, so how do you suppose He will respond to you? Let’s examine this.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-10-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezekiel 20:18-21
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 So I warned the children not to act like their parents or follow their evil ways or worship their idols. 19 I reminded them that I was the Lord their God and that they should obey my laws and teachings. 20 I told them to respect my Sabbath to show that they were my people and that I was the Lord their God. 21 But the children also rebelled against me. They refused to obey my laws and teachings, and they treated the Sabbath as any other day.

OBSERVATION: Sick people run to the hospital for help, but does sin-sick people always run to God for help? National catastrophes and earth shattering acts of God normally gets the attention of most people, and they may, if only for a short while, look inward to evaluate their life and compare it to what God may desire of them. Praise God, I believe that every living person knows that there is a God who they can run to in times of trouble. But He’s not a robot, so how do you suppose He will respond to you? Let’s examine this.

APPLICATION: Praise God that when nothing in life seems to be going right for us, our eyes are suddenly opened and we tend to seek out the only One with all of the answers – we turn to God, or at least to the church? The Israelites were exactly the same, for they went to Ezekiel after seeing many of their relatives taken away into exile. They just knew that Ezekiel’s God would have an answer for them. However, let’s assume that there is a family that you sacrificed to help over the years, but they never showed any appreciation, nor seemed to have risen above their issues. Now think for a moment what you would do if their children are standing before you seeking help. What do you suppose you would do? Yes, you might be one of the righteous ones in the community and known for your godly influence, but will you simply sit with this new generation and open up your checkbook? I believe that God’s heart was broken over the way that the freed Israelites acted in the desert after He had miraculously gotten them out of Egypt, and after tenderly taking care of their every need in the Wilderness. They persisted in their idol worship, right in the face of the God who was meeting their needs. So when the next generation came to God for help, He immediately aligned their actions, their habits and their misaligned priorities with those of their ancestors. I would encourage you to particularly read verses 29 thru 31 and look for the times that God referred to ‘you/yourselves’, for He was sure that they were following in the footsteps of their fathers. So God got my attention on this by making me think about how those who are, or will, follow in my footsteps, might be doing. If it depends on the example that I set for them, might God be pleased with them and listen to their plea for help? I know, we have no control over how our offspring will act and react, but perhaps we should look at this like Paul gave in one of his examples when he said something along these lines, ‘as far as it depends on me, may the world follow Christ as I endeavor to do, with His help, every day’. So although this Scripture was all about God’s response to the offspring, it was only because of the way that the ancestors lived. Let me encourage you to live each day in light of an eternity with God in heaven, and also knowing that others are following in your footsteps and your example. Are you leading them down a path that leads to heaven?

PRAYER: Our greatest aim is to live our lives as an example to all You have taught us, demonstrated for us, and commanded of us. That’s a tall order precious Lord, but with our hand in Your’s we are confident that You will lead us aright. Please give us boldness to live each day in line with Your teachings oh God, so that others will not be confused about whose we are., or about what You have commanded from us. It will be glorious for us to one day stand before You and hear the words ‘Well done gone and faithful servant’, but to also hear someone praise You for working through my life here on earth, will be reason for endless eternal praise to You, oh King. Please use Your servant to minister to others that I come into contact with. May Your work be accomplished through my words and in my actions. Please prompt my readers to do the same as they hear from You in today’s lesson. AMEN!

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

A ‘Truly’ Righteous Man

I know that New Testament believers will try to rightfully steer us towards aligning ourselves with the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, but after reading this Scripture in Ezekiel, I still asked myself the question: But what is it that constitutes a righteous man? Well, it still all boils down to being the man who is faithfully obedient to the Word of God and who follows the practice and commands of Jesus Christ. Let’s look closer at this today, and ask God to direct our paths so that others may see the righteousness of our Lord and Savior in us.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezekiel 18:5–9
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: But if a man is [uncompromisingly] righteous (upright and in right standing with God) and does what is lawful and right, And has not eaten [at the idol shrines] upon the mountains nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbor’s wife nor come near to a woman in her time of impurity, And has not wronged anyone but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery but has given his bread to the hungry and has covered the naked with a garment, Who does not charge interest or percentage of increase on what he lends [in compassion], who withholds his hand from iniquity, who executes true justice between man and man, Who has walked in My statutes and kept My ordinances, to deal justly; [then] he is [truly] righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.[Ezek. 20:11; Amos 5:4.]

OBSERVATION: I know that New Testament believers will try to rightfully steer us towards aligning ourselves with the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, but after reading this Scripture in Ezekiel, I still asked myself the question: But what is it that constitutes a righteous man? Well, it still all boils down to being the man who is faithfully obedient to the Word of God and who follows the practice and commands of Jesus Christ. Let’s look closer at this today, and ask God to direct our paths so that others may see the righteousness of our Lord and Savior in us.

APPLICATION: God gave the writers of the Bible His Godly influence, and He ordained them to pen the Words that God wanted His people to understand and follow until the day He calls us home to glory. So although I know that these words were written for the Israelites at a time that it was difficult to discern a righteous person whom the unsaved might relate to a life after God’s own heart, yet I also believe that these words by the prophet Ezekiel were penned with us in mind as well. For those who have been active in church life, you have probably seen just as I have, where people who struggle with a bad period in their life, might enter the back doors of the church, walk forward for salvation, and possibly even baptism, only to disappear from the church scene within a very short time, never to be heard of again. Were they saved? Only God knows that for sure. But are they living a righteous life that will influence an unbeliever? Not very lightly. There is a simple analogy given about people that follow this pattern: A pastor went to visit one such parishioner who had not attended church in a while. They sat down by the fire and the conversation was very strained. The pastor eased up by the fire and moved a vital piece of charcoal away from the fire and placed it aside. Soon the glow diminished in that piece of charcoal, and eventually it went cold. The unfaithful parishioner had no reason to question the pastor why he did such a thing, because the Holy Spirit immediately helped the man to understand that the analogy precisely patterned his life, for his spiritual fire had gone out. So he promised the pastor that he would see him at the next Sunday service! Friends, that part of the story is very revealing, but don’t you also know that the glow in several of the remaining chunks of charcoal also dimmed, because they lacked the warmth and encouragement of the missing piece? We who are called by His name, are vitally connected to others who are also called by His name. When our glow diminishes, not only are the unbelievers affected because they see no righteous men among the church, but we also leave a dampness on the remaining believers that we were helping. When we accept Jesus as Lord, it’s because we want to have Him change us from the inside out, so that we might look, sound and imitate Him in this dark and sinful world. You see, our reward is Heaven. While still here on earth, we serve a vital and important role – to convince those in our circle of influence that they also need Jesus, so that together we may walk through heaven’s portals one day and live forever with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. So let me encourage you to help me live righteously while still here on earth, while I try and do the same for you, God being our Helper, Guide and Deliverer until He is ready to have us join Him in glory!

PRAYER: Faithful Father, Jesus my Lord, thank You for showing Yourself righteous and being an example for us to follow. Thank You for the saints You sent on ahead to teach us Your values and show us Your ways. If we are truly Your children, then we must be righteous just like You are. Thank You for this Scripture today that gives us great truth into the values that make a man look righteous. Please fill us with so much of Yourself, that these values will bubble forth from us each and every day. May the righteous be encouraged and warmed by our righteousness, and may the unsaved be convinced by seeing You lived out in us. Please touch the lives of those who will read this devotional today, oh Lord. May we all strive for Your control to bring forth righteousness 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. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Faith Is….

Too often I believe we use the word ‘Faith’ without giving it a lot of thought. We might say to someone struggling financially: ‘just have faith my friend’. Do You know, or does your friend really know, what you meant by that? In our Scripture today we are not only reminded of what Faith is, but we are also given some awesome examples. Meditate with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 11:1-3
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT:  What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Men of God in days of old were famous for their faith. By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen.[a]

OBSERVATION: Too often I believe we use the word ‘Faith’ without giving it a lot of thought. We might say to someone struggling financially: ‘just have faith my friend’. Do You know, or does your friend really know, what you meant by that? In our Scripture today we are not only reminded of what Faith is, but we are also given some awesome examples. Meditate with me!

APPLICATION: Although I love the example in verse 3 that you may have already read, further in chapter 11, we are reminded of the faith of Noah. He was blessed with a meeting with God and he was told that there would be a flood coming that will wipe out life on earth as it was known at that time. To help cement the idea, Noah was told the exact material he should use to build a huge boat – an ark. He was given the measurements and all of the finer detail. But here is where ‘faith’ came into the picture:
1. Rain was a brand new item for Noah and other inhabitants – So imagine Noah trying to wrap his mind around the idea of a flood! Imagine building a huge boat on dry land, and being confident that it would one day float out of that valley!
2. The jeering by the townspeople – Day after day Noah would work on the ark. Week after week, month after month and year after year Noah labored over building this huge boat, while sharing with his neighbors about this word given to him by God. Over a period of 120 years, some were born and actually died, while all the while hearing Noah talk about this flood that would hit them one day. My friends, Noah had a lot of faith to battle with the locals, while working endlessly to complete a very big boat, and keeping his mind focused on the idea of a strange phenomenon, ‘rain’ actually coming down in torrents one day;
3. His family, and a couple of every animal type would be saved – Can you imagine the questions you would have for God? Food; Water; Disposing of waste; Exercise for humans and animals; Will this boat even float? However, Noah’s faith never wavered!
Friends, God has given you and I unique information that requires our faith in action. I had a relative say to me: ‘As smart as you are, how could you possibly think that Jesus arose from the dead? That’s unheard of. For you to stay dedicated to the church, while expecting Jesus to return one day – are you for real?’ Now let’s go back to verse 1 in our Scripture for the meaning of faith: ‘It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.’ Additionally, let’s consider why we believe that God exists, and if we can trust what He said in His Word. I believe with very high assurance, we can know without a doubt that God exists, and that He has already proven His Word to us, so there is no reason to start doubting it now. Do you have faith – just faith in general? Before you sit in a chair, do you try resting a heavy weight in the chair as a test first to make sure that it might hold your weight? I believe you have faith in many things, just like my simple example. I happen to believe that the Bible is true, and that God is faithful to His Word. He said that He will return again to take His bride (the church – those individuals who have accepted His Son Jesus) home. I have followed through in faith and accepted Jesus as my Savior so that one day I will be with Him in eternity. What has your faith done for you? It is clear that those who have not accepted Jesus, are destined for eternity in Hell. I hope that your faith is leading you to trust in Jesus, for my greatest desire is to worship at Jesus’ feet in Heaven with all those I have ministered to through ‘Nuggets’ surrounding me. Please don’t let me down.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I am so thankful for who You are, and for all You have done to prepare me for that great day when I shall see You and the Father face to face! There is no greater joy in living each day than to keep my eyes fixed on You! Please humble the hearts of all those who will read this devotional today, and please encourage them to know You personally. Noah showed us faith in action. May our faith never waiver as we wait for the day that You will call us home to glory! What a glorious day that will be! Thank You Jesus! AMEN!

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

Encourage One Another

I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:13-25
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

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

OBSERVATION: I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

APPLICATION: I believe that science will show that a person in hospital, or in a retirement facility, who never receive visitation from family or friends, will quickly wither up and die. I also believe that a worker who sits quietly in the corner of the office and works hard, will soon become discouraged and quit, if no one speaks to them or encourages them with praise and thankfulness. However, we have become such a sad bunch who tends to sit and sour in our own selfish attitudes, aches, and pains, and who badly needs support from others. So what if we followed the words of our Father through Paul? Here are some things that may benefit us, and also help us be of encouragement to the needy:
1. Take time to reflect on the hope that lives within us – What hope? How about the hope of one day being with our Lord and Savior? How about the comfort of knowing that part of the triune God lives within us – the Holy Spirit? How about reflecting on the fact that one day when everything is done on this earth, we have a heavenly kingdom to look forward to – where we will meet with royalty like we never dreamed possible here on earth?
2. Take time to reflect on the promises of God that apply to you – It is said that there are over 5,000 promises in the Bible! Why don’t we search out a few promises each day, and allow our minds to reflect on the goodness of God, instead of the many other things that distract us negatively?
3. Look for ways to motivate others towards compassion, love and good works – I believe this means that we not just follow what our neighbor, or our pastor does, but rather – look for unique ways to encourage someone else in the ways mentioned. I bet you’ll be surprised how innovative you can be! Remember, the Holy Spirit lives within you and will help you accomplish the will of God!
4. Plan to meet together – at church – I am convinced that this year of challenges brought on by the COVID virus, has drawn us away from this important aspect of our Christian walk. You see, we tend to encourage others when we see them, hug them and talk with them. They realize they are of value to someone! Yes, we can watch the church service virtually, but how many of us are calling to encourage one another?
Friends, I don’t believe it’s too late for us to still be the child of God that He expects of us. For as long as we have breath in our bodies, we could obediently follow the Word of God, if we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. I am sharing this message today primarily to myself first, so please accept the devotional as a recommendation based on God’s Word, not from one who is filled with fault. Please pray for me as I work on these matters, and I will be happy to pray for you if you make your need known through a quick update on the blog. I believe that our God is waiting to help us be obedient to His commands!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I’m sure that this will not catch you be surprise, but I believe that your children are hurting more today than perhaps any other time in their lives. We have become way too comfortable in the ways of the world, and caught up in technology, while many are hurting and need a Christian Brother or Sister to stand besides them and encourage them. Many may have even lost hope. Please speak intently to Your children today, especially everyone that reads as far as this in my devotional. May our souls be revived as we study Your Word and seek Your help so that we may be obedient to Your every command. Please help us to seek ways to provoke others towards love and good works. We all need the Lord, and we need each other for encouragement and reassurance so that our minds might be fixed on Jesus, our Author and Finisher of our faith! AMEN!

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

A Perfect Sacrifice For Imperfect People

Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:11-14.
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 11-14 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.

OBSERVATION: Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

APPLICATION: I’ve heard people remark that no matter what they do or say to old sinful Joe, they just can’t get him into church. This makes me feel like if Joe had taken them up on their offer and went to church, he may not have looked as much of a sinner, in their eyes. This follows the tradition of many who pour into churches each weekend because of a lifelong traditions. This is very similar to those who give of their money to the church, really hoping that God will see their generosity and have pity on them for their sins. We could think of many more examples, but I believe that these examples are very similar to the many sacrifices that were given, and probably still are given in some forms, all for the purpose of seeking God’s understanding and forgiveness of their sins. In earlier verses, Paul wrote that he believed God was never satisfied with sacrifices, because they never seemed to have changed hearts. Friends, God knew full well that sacrifices was a very temporary practice, and that it served several purposes well in the very early days. However, God wanted to see His children, who were created perfectly, to return to Him perfectly, and He knew that there would be only one way to achieve this, so He sacrificed a part of Himself – His Son – a perfect One. I love the way the Message reads: God sent a single gift, a one-time gift – It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. Friends, God did that for us! The debt is paid! We simply need to accept the gift and believe on His precious Son. Heaven is our ultimate home, and there is only one way to get there. Accept the gift offered by God as a sacrifice for our sin. Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul and mind, and you will be saved!

PRAYER: Lord we praise You for the outstanding love that You showed towards all mankind – the good, the bad and those even worse – even those who hated You. Love so amazing that our carnal minds would never understand. Thank You, thank You, thank You for Your amazing love. As You and Your Father discussed, there is absolutely nothing that we could do to make ourselves completely clean and free from the stench of our sin. Praise God that You worked it all out on the cross, and for those who have accepted You as Lord and Savior, thankfully we could lift up holy hands to the only true God! Lord, we want to see You, and we know that sin will always separate us, so we kneel humbly at Your feet and ask that You accept each and every one that will call out to You today. Thank You Jesus for loving even me! AMEN!

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

Describe Your Love For Him

In reading how David meticulously told God how he loved Him, I hope that this might cause us to think about doing the same. I believe we struggle in doing this with earthly friends, spouse included, so I could only imagine what a challenge this would pose for us to stop and describe to God how much, and in what ways we love Him! Let’s meditate on the love of God today, and on how we might describe our love for Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL.

Bible Reference: Psalm 123:1-2
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: O God-Enthroned in heaven, I worship and adore you!
The way I love you is like the way a servant wants to please his master, the way a maid waits for the orders of her mistress. We look to you, our God, with passionate longing to please you and discover more of your mercy and grace

OBSERVATION: In reading how David meticulously told God how he loved Him, I hope that this might cause us to think about doing the same. I believe we struggle in doing this with earthly friends, spouse included, so I could only imagine what a challenge this would pose for us to stop and describe to God how much, and in what ways we love Him! Let’s meditate on the love of God today, and on how we might describe our love for Him..

APPLICATION: I’ve seen this done at church, where the congregation was asked to give descriptive words of how they know that God loves them, and why they love God. Very often this comes with a lot of Biblical terms, churchy words, and words that you might hear from the pulpit, or over Christian radio. But I wonder how much more personal this might be if it was just you and God. If there were no devices, and no distractions, but you became overwhelmed with the thought of how powerful God is; how loving He is; how forgiving He is; and that God brought you to a point where you realized that He is an awesome God who loves you – individually, more than anything else in the world. What would you have to say to Him in return? Remember, it’s just you and God present and He wants to hear your heart. What would you say? Perhaps you’ve seen Him in the Word as you meditated on it today; perhaps in a song; perhaps in the beauty of the outdoors; perhaps a beautiful animal – one of His wonders, just ran in front of you; or perhaps your mind reflected back on the love of God, and/or how He touched you during a recent life event. Friends, our God is ever present, and I believe He is just waiting for us to praise Him for His amazing greatness, if only we will separate ourselves from the busyness of life and allow our hearts and minds to connect with our Creator. Allow these words of David to reinvigorate your heart, soul and mind and cause you to focus on your Maker. He is so worthy of our praise friends!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how can we say thanks for the things You have done for us? How can we love You near as much as You love us? How can we give to our Master who has everything? Yet You have prepared a place for us to spend eternity with You and Your Father! Praise God that in spite of our inadequacies yet You love us anyway, and You have given us life itself to enjoy while here on earth. Thank You for who You are, and for all You do and show to us precious Father. May we show love and appreciation to You in every way and as frequently as our hearts could imagine. In Jesus’ 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. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Your Debt – Paid In Full!

Having recently retired, much of my retirement funds were used to pay off debt incurred while I was in the working world. An awesome feeling to receive a statement saying ‘Paid in Full’! Can you even imagine how I may have felt if I called for a payoff and the creditor told me that the debt was repaid in full on my behalf? Yet Jesus Christ did that for us who believe on Him for eternal life! Oh what a Savior!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-10-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 9:11-14
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 ….When Christ came as the high priest of the good things we now have,[b] he entered the greater and more perfect tent. It is not made by humans and does not belong to this world. 12 Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever.
14 ….. He offered himself through the eternal Spirit[c] as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make our consciences pure from useless acts so we may serve the living God.

OBSERVATION: Having recently retired, much of my retirement funds were used to pay off debt incurred while I was in the working world. An awesome feeling to receive a statement saying ‘Paid in Full’! Can you even imagine how I may have felt if I called for a payoff and the creditor told me that the debt was repaid in full on my behalf? Yet Jesus Christ did that for us who believe on Him for eternal life! Oh what a Savior!

APPLICATION: So often we may feel indebted when we have messed up at work, in our marriage, in other relationships, or just through disobedience of the law. We try to make it up by over-compensating in our efforts to show the other party that we are sorry, and sometimes that helps. However, those foolish errors often linger in the minds of those impacted by our mistakes, and may even come back to haunt us later on. So what do you suppose happens when we disobey God and His commands? This is a daily occurrence, and the Bible is clear on how this impacts those who have no regard for the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, we must remember that we are all sinners destined for a fiery Hell, unless we humble ourselves and seek the face of the only One who can forgive us of our sin, Jesus, the Son of God. For those who have been obedient to the Word of God, and the voice of God, and asked Jesus to be Lord of their lives, I would joyfully remind you today that our Savior’s actions in today’s Scripture demonstrates that He who stood before His Father on our behalf and validated that His blood was shed for our eternal benefit. Our debt was settled because of His sacrifice! There was no need for Him to approach the throne with the blood of animals, because His precious blood was sufficient to atone for all of our sins, for all time. Yes, He demonstrated His love for all mankind when He hung on the cross at Calvary and accepted the cruelty of those who hated Him. However, Jesus knew that it was His blood that would cleanse us of our sin, so in spite of those children that hated Him, yet He sacrificed for the atonement of the sin of those that would be called by His name. Friends, that is love so amazing that we might never begin to imagine! For those who have accepted Jesus’ love and sacrifice, please use this special day of worship to praise Him, thank Him, and glorify His precious name, for in verse 13 above, we are reminded that our sin has been forgiven forever. We therefore have a date one day in Heaven with our Lord! All glory to Him who reigns on high!! For those who have chosen to ignore the love of our Savior, and therefore have nothing to look forward to, other than eternal damnation in Hell, please know that I care about your eternity, and I would very much appreciate you reconsidering the invitation from Jesus. Invite Him into your heart dear friend. He went to the extreme to provide eternal salvation for you. Please accept His sacrifice, with thanksgiving and appreciation! It will change your destiny from Hell, to the glories of Heaven! Read my Footnote carefully, including information behind the included links. You could be a changed person today!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, no one has shown us love like You did. No one can change our destination, only You. All are destined for Hell, unless they turn their eyes towards You and accept Your invitation. It’s all about You Lord. Please encourage all believers who will read this devotional that they have such a great hope to look forward to, regardless of the pitfalls of this old sinful world. Please remind those who have decided to wait, or perhaps not see the necessity of a relationship with You, that today is the day of salvation, for decisions are not possible beyond life here on earth. In deepest appreciation, I acknowledge that You are Lord of all! Thank You Heavenly Father! AMEN!

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

A Gift – Just For You!

Most people who have heard the Bible taught or preached, could probably recite verse 16! But the verses that follow go on to explain why God sent His Son, and how this whole gift has to do with our eternal destiny. This is of super importance to each of us, because it helps us to understand the whole purpose of the gospel, and how it relates to each of us. So seek God’s face as we take time to understand this clearly today!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: John 3:16-18
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

OBSERVATION: Most people who have heard the Bible taught or preached, could probably recite verse 16! But the verses that follow go on to explain why God sent His Son, and how this whole gift has to do with our eternal destiny. This is of super importance to each of us, because it helps us to understand the whole purpose of the gospel, and how it relates to each of us. So seek God’s face as we take time to understand this clearly today!

APPLICATION: If a gift was given to everyone at church, you would find where some would cherish it and recognize the value of it. They would appreciate it and cherish it for everything it’s worth. Others may take the gift home, but they may stash it away in a drawer, somewhere so it is not tarnished or broken. However there are some who will leave it in the seat at church, or throw it in the back seat of the car, because the gift is of little value to them, nor do they care to understands the necessity of the gift. Now compare this to the gift that God gave to us in verse 16. Many have accepted the gift, and perhaps you might be one of those. But what have you done with that gift? Anything? In the verses following, we are told that God saw that the sacrificial practices of the Old Testament, for the forgiveness of sin, were just not working. But God chose to give us a very valuable gift, even though it was extremely costly to Him. But God wanted to make this one-time sacrifice something that we could identify with, so that we might accept the gift that would clear the way for a right relationship between us and the Father. This Scripture is very simple, and It is extremely clear enough to us, because now we could know today where we will spend eternity. In vs 17 and 18 we are told that if we accept the gift of Jesus as our personal Savior, then we are acquitted of our sin. This qualifies us to stand before the Father as a righteous person, or a saint! Can’t you begin to see the miraculous value of this gift? However, this Scripture goes on to say that unless we take this important step, then we have personally placed ourselves under a death sentence, meaning that we will not live eternally in the beauty of life with Jesus and His Father, but instead we are condemned to death, where our eternity will be with Satan and his demons for all eternity. The choice is very clear dear friends, but it puts us in charge of our own destiny. Accepted the free gift of salvation – the precious gift of God’s Son given for all who call on His name, to be saved? Or, without making a deliberate decision, then we have personally decided to take the option of Hell and damnation. Dear friend, I write these blogs every morning hoping that no one who reads them would ever make a decision like the latter one I just explained, for I am so looking forward to rejoicing with each of you in glory one day! Because of the fact that you are reading this blog, this means that you still have a choice. However, today is the day of salvation, for you may not have the next minute or hour to make a change in your decision about where you will spend eternity. Make that decision right now, won’t you? I included help in my Footnote hoping that you would decide to make the right decision. Please contact a local pastor, or email me for help or prayer over this matter.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the Scripture is very clear. The stage has been set for us, and it is up to us to make sensible and responsible decisions, especially those that involve our lives after spending our last moments here on earth. You have made things abundantly clear. May each reader make a responsible decision today about their post earthly life – their destiny. I want them to join me in heaven with You, Lord, but I can’t make that decision for them. Tender their hearts today to Your Word, and encourage them to accept the precious gift that You gave to us, Your precious Son, Jesus. AMEN!

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