When God Leaves us Alone

I thank God that we can turn to His Word for every situation in our lives. Based on this passage of scripture, it is evident that Paul faced the same evil with the Romans as many pastors do today. I would dare say that one of the most challenging things about any job involving coworkers, or just people in general, is the matter of bad attitudes, jealousy, gossip, fighting, lying and just thinking the worst of each other. The exact characteristics that Paul spoke of! So let’s look closer at what Paul said was the root cause of these problems.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-18
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Romans 1:28-30
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 28 People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do. 29 They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness, and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and thinking the worst about each other. They gossip 30 and say evil things about each other.

OBSERVATION: I thank God that we can turn to His Word for every situation in our lives. Based on this passage of scripture, it is evident that Paul faced the same evil with the Romans as many pastors do today. I would dare say that one of the most challenging things about any job involving coworkers, or just people in general, is the matter of bad attitudes, jealousy, gossip, fighting, lying and just thinking the worst of each other. The exact characteristics that Paul spoke of! So let’s look closer at what Paul said was the root cause of these problems.

APPLICATION: I believe that every person alive knows of God, and knows of His power, His love, and His creation. For some, it begins with them having a desire to know more of God, learn His teachings, and a strong desire to know Him more intimately. For others, they often choose to know Him from a distance and just leave Him out of their lives until needed. This is very evident today for we are suffering from declining church attendance because people have lost the desire to know God more intimately. Friends, God will not force Himself on us, however He is available to us if we seek Him and have a desire to draw close to Him. As we turn away from Him and He lifts His hand of love and protection from us, we assume more of the characteristics and attitudes of the world, such as those listed in our Scripture. So what we really face today is like Paul faced back in his day, we the people, need God in a personal way in our individual lives each and every day. More of God will result in less of the world and its evil characteristics. There is an old hit song titled something like “All we Need is Love”. I believe that the formula for much of today’s worldly characteristics that have crept upon us, is a plea to God along the lines of the popular hit song that may have the title – “All we Need is God”. Paul presented this thought for us in the scripture written under the inspiration of God, so that we may realize what is lacking when we notice the decline in moral values and Godly attributes that tend to bring us down as a people. For this relationship with God idea impacts each and every one of us. For those who work, you can see it in the attitudes and actions of coworkers. For those who shop, you can see it in the store employees and in the shoppers. Everywhere we turn we can see, like Paul, what impacts an individual’s character. Friends, it is critical that we awaken ourselves from our sinful, sleepy stupor and get our lives in line with God and His perfect will for our lives. As we take in more of God, we will replace our ungodly attitudes and character with the wonderful message of the cross and our loving Savior. I would strongly urge each one to look to the Master, our Creator, the one and only Jesus Christ, while there is still time. Life is more challenging that any of us could handle alone, we need Jesus, friends. As a reality check, we must look at our lives and insure that we are an image of God and not of this sinful world in which we live.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, we are such weak examples of You, because we have allowed so much of this sinful world in. Please forgive me for not doing more to saturate my life with You and Your divine qualities. Thank You for reminding me of this today. Please guide me into Your way, and please touch the hearts of Your children reading this devotional today so that we may become stronger witnesses and soldiers of Yours here on this earth. Lord, we want to do Your will. We need You in our lives – more than ever before. We can’t even imagine what our destiny would be if You turned Your face from us. We’re Yours Lord, and we want to be the best representative that we could be. We need You to guide and direct us, please? I ask all this in Your precious and holy name, Lord Jesus, our Healer and Sustainer of all 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Praise God, He Doesn’t Give Up on Us!

Often we will try everything possible, and everything in our power to try and correct a situation over which we are losing control, or have lost control. Manasseh, a new young king, had a plan for how he would run his nation – until he got captured and lost all control, THEN he thought to call on ‘GOD’, the One who was so good to His dad and forefather (David). I encourage you to read the preceding verses as you meditate with me on these thoughts today. Like me, I believe that your eyes may be opened to think about the many things that we try first, before taking our failures to God for resolution.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-03-17
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Chronicles 33:12-13
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 12 From this position of complete powerlessness, Manasseh finally humbled himself and begged the forgiveness of the Eternal God of his fathers. 13 He heard Manasseh’s prayer and found it sincere; He returned Manasseh to the throne in Jerusalem. From that day forward, Manasseh never doubted that the Eternal was the True God.

OBSERVATION: Often we will try everything possible, and everything in our power to try and correct a situation over which we are losing control, or have lost control. Manasseh, a new young king, had a plan for how he would run his nation – until he got captured and lost all control, THEN he thought to call on ‘GOD’, the One who was so good to His dad and forefather (David). I encourage you to read the preceding verses as you meditate with me on these thoughts today. Like me, I believe that your eyes may be opened to think about the many things that we try first, before taking our failures to God for resolution.

APPLICATION: In our limited eyesight, and in our great big minds, we seem to always have a plan for how we would do things, if we were in control. It is extremely challenging for us to accept the status quo and just follow the successful paths of our predecessors, or what God directs us to in His Word. Manasseh came to power at age 12, so wouldn’t he know everything that his dad never figured out during his reign? Was he expected to feel important in being able to change things that his dad had put in place? Was there anyone quite as important, knowledgeable or powerful as he? Perhaps giving those who look up to you a chance to appreciate all that you are returning to ‘normal’ may help you feel wanted, respected and needed. But it is obvious that Manasseh neglected to see that there was one greater than himself. Perhaps he thought that he had no one to answer to when he placed his handmade idol in the temple of God, so that his people had something related to him (Manasseh) to worship – something that was tangible. Friends, you will find in our Scripture that God will only take so much, and no more. Manasseh soon found out that the God in whom his father trusted in, and depended on for his success, is the God who is in control of everything alive on this earth. He’s the one who sets the stage for who will reign our nations and what they will be allowed to do, or not do. Manasseh soon found out that he was wrong, and that he had crossed over the line of respecting the Creator of this world and its inhabitants; the Author of everything that will happen today and tomorrow; the Healer of all diseases; the Restorer of sight and all other senses that have been dulled by sin or harmed by mankind, plus, He is the only One who could restore our soul from our life of sin into the life of one following their Savior and Lord. Friends, there is no one else to turn to, only Jesus. Manasseh saw this, for during his time in captivity there was no one to rescue him. He was in a ‘pickle’ – much like we are today with diseases for which mankind has found no cure. It served no purpose for Manasseh to call on another king to save him, for he realized that only THE KING could save him. That’s precisely our position today dear ones. Only Jesus can save us. Because He is in charge, He may choose to save us from our worldly problems and leave us here to minister in His name, much like Manasseh did. However, He may also choose to use our circumstances to call us home to Himself where we will be free from the struggles of this world, where we could be in complete harmony with each other, and at peace at the feet of Jesus worshiping He and the Father for all eternity. However, should the latter be the case, He has forewarned us in His Word that only those who have been obedient to His Word and accepted Him as Lord and Savior, will be allowed in heaven. We have a very loving and powerful Savior, friends, but He is a just God and will do as He said He would. Have you taken Him at His word? Do you believe? Have you said ‘Yes Lord’ to His invitation to accept Him? If not, death will have a much different ending for you. Please read my Footnote and be sure to click on the link ‘To Know Jesus’, so you could be reminded of what He said, what He promised and what He will do for those who know Him. Remember, God created you, He proved His love for you on Calvary, and He is waiting with opened arms to accept you, should you choose to accept Him. He accepted Manasseh’s call for help to save him. Won’t you also do this today friend, I implore you!

PRAYER: Lord God, You showed Manasseh that You alone have the power to do all things, including the grace and power to forgive those who have tried to do life their own way and under their own rule. Lord, we acknowledge You as Lord over everything there is, especially over us – Your humble servants. We acknowledge You as King, for You are King of all kings and Lord of all Lords. You have set the example for forgiveness, so we ask You to fill us with that kind of love, humility and boldness so that we might forgive others. Thank You for never giving up on us Lord, for we need You every hour of every day. It is only You that we depend on and ask for Your continued strength, guidance and healing of all our diseases. Forgive us Lord where we fail to honor You and recognize Your power, and we humbly ask that You resume first place in every aspect of our lives, so that You may be glorified and lifted up through all that we do and 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

So That I Could Heal You, Says The Lord

I believe it is interesting how we have been blessed to see, yet if asked what we observed, we cannot state anything of significance that we saw. We may have also been blessed with the ability to hear well, yet if asked to repeat something that was said, one might swear that we were never present under the sound of a particular speech. Although we will observe that Paul had to rehearse with his crowd, the same thing that the Holy Spirit prompted Isaiah to share with his crowd. Yet after years and years of preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God, one might observe that still today we display the same challenges. Why is that? In the last words of our Scripture verses God said that He wished this was not the case, because He would like to heal our hearts. Would we not be quite different in our ways and successful in our methods,if God was able to get through to us?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Acts 28:25-27
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 …. “The Holy Spirit stated it well when he spoke to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah:[l],[m]
26 ‘I send you to this people to say to them, “You will keep learning,[n] but not understanding. You will keep staring at truth but not perceiving it. 27 For your hearts are hard and insensitive to me—you must be hard of hearing! For you’ve closed your eyes so that you won’t be troubled by the truth, and you’ve covered your ears so that you won’t have to listen and be pierced by what I say. For then you would have to respond and repent, so that I could heal your hearts.”’

OBSERVATION: I believe it is interesting how we have been blessed to see, yet if asked what we observed, we cannot state anything of significance that we saw. We may have also been blessed with the ability to hear well, yet if asked to repeat something that was said, one might swear that we were never present under the sound of a particular speech. Although we will observe that Paul had to rehearse with his crowd, the same thing that the Holy Spirit prompted Isaiah to share with his crowd. Yet after years and years of preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God, one might observe that still today we display the same challenges. Why is that? In the last words of our Scripture verses God said that He wished this was not the case, because He would like to heal our hearts. Would we not be quite different in our ways and successful in our methods,if God was able to get through to us?

APPLICATION: Isaiah was a prophet sent and directed by God. When he prophesied under the inspiration of God, the people listened. However there came a time when God recognized that some of the folk were just not listening. Paul came across this same phenomenon in his days of ministry, so he shared this with his Jewish listeners who were challenged to believe the Word of God. I found this extremely revealing, because still today our pastors can preach the same sermon in our churches, as it is quite apparent that we’re present in the service, but from the blank stares and lack of participation, it is obvious that we are miles away. Think about it: we have folk that attend church who hear the Word of God, but they are convinced that it is for the person behind them. Their ears are shut to the application of the Word to their personal lives. However the most hurtful thing to me, are the ones that just refuse to listen and believe. It saddens me deeply how God has to send a disaster to awaken the hardened hearts of some people. Our churches were filled for a few Sunday’s after 9-11 and after our major hurricanes in Florida, as folk found the need for God to protect them and help them through their personal problems. Then, as soon as they felt they had regained control, life went back to ‘normal’ for them. God is not trying to impose Himself on anyone, He just wants to heal us and give us the very best He has in store for us – His children. Isn’t that a good thing that we should always desire? Friends, God has blessed us with so much, yet we use these gifts to oppose the very One who has blessed us. We have great knowledge, yet we reason away on why we are blessed, or not blessed, instead of giving all praise to God. We have great eyesight, yet like the prophet Isaiah said, we screw our eyes shut to the things of God and therefore preclude His healing and amazing blessings on us. Our hearing is perfect, yet we allow Satan to interfere and tell us that the Word of God is intended for that neighbor of ours who is much worse than us. The very last phrase of the quote from Isaiah really touched me: we have shut out everything about God because we don’t want to deal with our Maker, yet if only we would change this, He would heal us! I believe this healing is one of not just our physical sickness, but also our disappointments, our brokenness, our loneliness, our defeats and ultimately, our sin. Friend, I serve a God just as I have described, and I would love to introduce you to Him. He will make your day brighter and so much more meaningful and purposeful. Please contact me if I can pray with you or help you in any way with this important decision. This could be the first of many days of joy in the security of my Lord! For those of you that know Him, please act like you do. Sing that song ‘Just a closer walk with thee’, then open the precious Word of God that He left just for us, and see what it is that He is ordering you to change or correct in your walk with Him. Open your eyes to the hurts and needs of those around you, and pray, pray, pray that God will intervene and heal His people today. They have tried the world and all it has to offer, but they are still lacking in so many ways. They need Jesus, my friend. I believe that one of His servants can help them redirect their lives today. Let it be you, dear follower of Christ!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, in spite of Your gracious hand upon Your people, and Your outstanding blessings poured out on us, yet You must be saddened by seeing us exclude You from our decision making, exclude Your active role in our lives when praise is directed towards us, and especially ignore You when You speak to us about the lost condition of our lives. I clearly got the picture in this scripture today, You want to heal us, yet we say ‘No thank You’. Father I thank You for softening my heart and giving me the boldness to accept You as my Lord and Savior back in 1976. I have many family and friends who are still hardened and refuse to make the necessary commitment to accept You as their Lord. Please humble them and soften their hardened hearts again today so that they may commit the rest of their lives to You and allow You full control, and ultimate healing of their sin problem. Dear God, there are important decisions we make every day, but none as important as the one that decides our eternal fate. May this become very evident to my lost relatives today is my sincere prayer, that I ask in the name of Your only Son, Jesus the Christ, 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Successful Men Look Like This

I don’t know that you will learn anything new from this devotional today, but I believe that you will be reminded of why you might have an employee who is very successful and doing well for your company, or you might be challenged with something that is lacking in your life that prevents you from succeeding in your job. The formula is spelled right out in our Scripture, but fearing that you might gloss right over it, I want us to meditate on the necessary qualities, and how these were evident in king Hezekiah.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-03-14
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 31:20–21
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 20 Throughout all Judah, King Hezekiah did what was right and what was pleasing to the Lord his God. 2He was successful, because everything he did for the Temple or in observance of the Law, he did in a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to his God.

OBSERVATION: I don’t know that you will learn anything new from this devotional today, but I believe that you will be reminded of why you might have an employee who is very successful and doing well for your company, or you might be challenged with something that is lacking in your life that prevents you from succeeding in your job. The formula is spelled right out in our Scripture, but fearing that you might gloss right over it, I want us to meditate on the necessary qualities, and how these were evident in king Hezekiah.

APPLICATION: I can hardly imagine what our families, our churches, our cities and our nation would be like if we had men following the example of King Hezekiah today! We are told in verse 21 that this king was extremely successful because….. everything he did was in a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God! Wow! In Bible Studies we are often reminded about the importance of loving our spouse in complete loyalty and obedience to God, and we might hear testimonies about the difference these characteristics make in the life and marriage of couples who remain in love with each other through good, and yes, even through challenging times. I could only imagine how much better our workplaces would be if we (Christians) went to work with a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God. Friends, I know that many employers will not allow Christianity to be promoted within its confounds, but what is inside of us cannot be taken away! We take Christ into our jobs through our lives – our actions, our stands on certain things, through our sincere dedication to our work and our bosses. Christians should be the best employees for any employer, if we do our jobs in complete loyalty and dedication to God. He will stop us from cheating, stealing, lying, gossiping, and any other ungodly actions. God will drive us towards being the best in everything expected of us by our employer. In addition to committing yourself to loyalty and devotion to God, please remember to daily pray God’s blessings on your supervisor and on your employer every day. Yes, even the boss that may seem hard and uncaring towards you. Just as Jesus made a difference in your life, He will also impact the life of your boss! As you meditate on this devotional and consider following this commitment, please notice that Hezekiah had no conditions to his commitment, and I believe we could deduce that his commitment was evident in every aspect of his life. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but our churches, our families, our workplaces, our schools and our social clubs are all suffering from the lack of commitment by those who tell the world that they are involved with one or more of these groups. The Word says that as a result of Hezekiah’s commitment, many conditions changed for the good, and he was successful in everything he did. So will you join me in committing to be completely loyal and devoted to God? And that we will ask Him to prompt us into a strong commitment in everything that we do, so that there would be an impact on those around us for the glory of Christ!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I’m sure that You never intended for us to be an image of You for others to look on, but rather that we might imitate You in everything You have taught us though Your Word and Your actions. Thank You for the life of Hezekiah and the commitment displayed by this servant in loyalty and devotion to You. This impacted his world! Yet today, our world is in trouble because of our lack of commitment, loyalty and devotion to You. Please forgive us Lord, and as we seek Your face, please be faithful to show us the way. We desire nothing personal in any of these things, but that You might be glorified and recognized by those impacted by our actions. Your is the glory, and all for Your kingdom’s sake, oh 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Preparing To Meet

Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-13
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 30:18–19
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 18-19 Many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not prepared themselves in the right way for the Passover Festival. They did not celebrate the Passover the right way, as the Law of Moses says. But Hezekiah prayed for the people. So he said this prayer, “Lord God, you are good. These people sincerely wanted to worship you in the right way, but they did not make themselves clean as the law says. Please forgive these people. You are the Lord, the God our ancestors worshiped. Forgive them, even if some did not make themselves clean as the rules of the Most Holy Place say.” 

OBSERVATION: Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

APPLICATION:  Ever heard a parent say to their child ‘well if you’re going to the fair with me looking mad and upset, then we may as well stay at home, because you couldn’t possibly have a good time with that attitude’? But don’t we sometimes go to church with a similar attitude? Imagine for a moment if, 30 minutes prior to leaving the house, we were to go before God and lay ourselves before Him and seek His face and ask His forgiveness of our sin, our littleness and our selfishness. Additionally ask God to bless us individually and expand our personal borders so that we might touch the lives of others. Can you possibly dream, or imagine, what our prayer meetings and church services would look like and sound like? Can you imagine the outlook on everyone’s face when they walk out of the sanctuary refreshed in their relationship with God and ready for a week of service in His kingdom work? Rushing to that favorite diner would be the last thing on our minds, instead of the only thing we tend to think on each week! Friend, we will never encounter free, unhindered, personal worship when we depend on the Praise Band to build the excitement and raise the entertainment level so that we may become involved in and excited about worshiping. We can’t build our excitement from what we feel in the band, our excitement builds from all that lies within. If we haven’t cleaned up the ‘junk’ in our lives, how can we possibly go before a ‘HOLY’ and ‘Righteous’ God and expect to be excited about it? Remember, He knows our every deed and thought. When we haven’t cleaned up those things, we go before Him with the same guilt that we would have if we went straight to church from a cocktail party hoping that no one will smell the alcohol on us! God said that we are to be holy, even as He is holy. Why not join me in doing our best to make sure that we go in a prepared way to meet with Him and worship Him this weekend? He would be overjoyed, and we would be blessed beyond measure.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how ashamed we should be about the important things that we take for granted. We will make time for every meeting we plan to attend or participate in, but somehow we feel like You will show up no matter how little we do in preparation. Forgive us Lord, and help us to really focus on our time with You, for You created us in Your own image and You love us beyond anything we could imagine. Hezekiah prayed for his people who had not prepared themselves to meet with You, may this be a reminder for us that You are holy and therefore we should approach Your throne in a spirit of holiness. This is contrary to the atmosphere in which we live daily and only You could cleanse us and make us worthy of being in Your presence. Lord we beg Your powerful work in our lives, so that we may be effective in all that we do in Your holy name. Amen!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

This is Why

I believe that many of our churches would hire a ‘king Hezekiah’ to come and analyze why…… Just as king Hezekiah was bold enough to see what was wrong in his day, if we are honest with ourselves we should be able to analyze our challenges today, but it takes ‘guts’ and it takes a heart closely in tuned with God, and bold enough to speak up and make changes based on what God says to us. Is that your church and your church leaders? If you are part of your church leadership team, think about whether this describes you. All of us are impacted, just as the Israelites were, in our Scripture today.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-03-12
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Chronicles 29:4-9
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: “Levites, listen! Consecrate yourselves and consecrate The Temple of God—give this much-defiled place a good housecleaning. Our ancestors went wrong and lived badly before God—they discarded him, turned away from this house where we meet with God, and walked off. They boarded up the doors, turned out the lights, and canceled all the acts of worship of the God of Israel in the holy Temple. And because of that, God’s anger flared up and he turned those people into a public exhibit of disaster, a moral history lesson—look and read! This is why our ancestors were killed, and this is why our wives and sons and daughters were taken prisoner and made slaves.

OBSERVATION: I believe that many of our churches would hire a ‘king Hezekiah’ to come and analyze why…… Just as king Hezekiah was bold enough to see what was wrong in his day, if we are honest with ourselves we should be able to analyze our challenges today, but it takes ‘guts’ and it takes a heart closely in tuned with God, and bold enough to speak up and make changes based on what God says to us. Is that your church and your church leaders? If you are part of your church leadership team, think about whether this describes you. All of us are impacted, just as the Israelites were, in our Scripture today.

APPLICATION: We ask a lot of questions today about why such evil things are happening to us and our children, but I hope that by the time you have read today’s Scripture and grasped the challenge that Hezekiah faced at 25 years of age, your minds may have been opened to the things we have accepted, and the challenges for which we can’t seem to find answers. Unfortunately, unless we are very honest with ourselves, this Scripture may have little impact on us individually, because we have accepted things as they are. But let us stop for a moment and think about similar things in our society, that may also get Hezekiah totally upset, should we hire him today: (1) We may hire him to help us evaluate why our schools are plagued with shootings; why students disrespect their teachers and each other; why so many fail to graduate, etc, etc. But don’t you know that Hezekiah will quickly find out that we stopped public prayer in our schools, and that we promote the idea of students having their own rights in so many areas that often prevent teachers from disciplining the children? (2) We may hire Hezekiah to evaluate why church attendance has fallen, and why there is such a lack of commitment by members or attendees. But don’t you know that Hezekiah will quickly determine that many of these current members were dropped off to church by their parents, and that they also struggle with commitment in their homes and in their jobs? He might also find that many of these members have programmed church attendance into their calendars for one hour per week, and asking them to attend additional meetings often constitutes a hardship on them, or at least in the mind. Friends, I’m sure that you could think of many other things that we easily recognize as roadblocks in our society and in our churches. Hezekiah was willing to face the challenges and to do something to correct the problems. What’s your role in making a better way to reach the lost, discipline the saved and minister to the hearts of those who limit the blessings of God? Hezekiah was willing to take on the challenges that his ancestors created and the stumbling blocks they placed in the path of God’s work. We have churches today that are closing their doors, and many that are barely surviving because they need folk like you and I to be more committed to God’s commands. It’s not the other guy’s fault, but it’s you standing in the need of prayer, it’s me in need of a closer walk with Christ. Be willing to say like Paul did: ‘follow me as I follow Christ’. The world needs more men and women willing to take that challenge. God sent His Son so that we might be saved, and I know that He would be overjoyed to see His children (you and I) commit to giving our all in order to promote His mission in our local communities and churches also.

PRAYER: You created us in Your image dear God, yet so often we find ourselves shrugging our responsibilities and allowing Your mission to falter here on earth. Lord, we see things deteriorating at church, in our schools, in our workplaces, our families and our communities, while we sit around and wait for the next guy, or gal, to do something. Please forgive us, and guide us into Your path so that Your work might be accomplished among us. Please give us a heart like Your servant Hezekiah so that we do our part in the awesome work that often goes undone here on earth. Help us to place ourselves in a position of faith, trust and diligence in Your work so that Your kingdom work might be accomplished in our little circle of the world. May this be the heart-cry of each child reading this devotional today. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Keep Looking Up!

Many of us face challenges in this life, either personally or through the lives of family and/or friends very near and dear to us. We sometimes worry about whether there is any hope or good expectation that might come out of the situations that concern us. Until we open the Word of God and are suddenly reminded that things are looking up for the child of God who places his/her faith in the Creator of this universe. He’s still in charge and because He owns it all, He knows exactly what will occur next. That’s our God!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-11
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Acts 27:21-22
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: With our appetite for both food and life long gone, Paul took his place in our midst and said, “Friends, you really should have listened to me back in Crete. We could have avoided all this trouble and trial. But there’s no need to dwell on that now. From now on, things are looking up! I can assure you that there’ll not be a single drowning among us, although I can’t say as much for the ship—the ship itself is doomed.

OBSERVATION: Many of us face challenges in this life, either personally or through the lives of family and/or friends very near and dear to us. We sometimes worry about whether there is any hope or good expectation that might come out of the situations that concern us. Until we open the Word of God and are suddenly reminded that things are looking up for the child of God who places his/her faith in the Creator of this universe. He’s still in charge and because He owns it all, He knows exactly what will occur next. That’s our God!

APPLICATION:  Paul and his friends faced a very serious scenario out on the ship on which they were traveling. Their ship had traveled that course many times in the past, but they never faced the challenges like they faced on that fateful night detailed in our Scripture. However, one other thing was different also, they had a passenger who knew the Master of the sea and of the wind and the waves. In fact, he stepped forward to encourage the sailors with a word that he received from an angel during the night. Now I want you to stop and compare this story with the challenges that you face. You too will also face challenges that are unheard of, and you also receive warnings, that also compare to those that Paul offered the boat captain before they set sail. Think about it, we are challenged by our pastor, Sunday School teacher, Christian friends, and even family members, to set aside our life of sin and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the only One who could rescue us from the trenches of everyday sin, and keep us safe through the toils of life and the temptations of this world. But what do we do with these challenges? Way too often we continue our independence, our selfish and often obnoxious attitudes, and we snarl at anything shared with us to the contrary. This is precisely what the ship’s crew did, they had no desire to change their plans because of one man’s warnings. Unfortunately, we often face obstacles along the way, much like Paul’s hardened audience faced, and unfortunately these obstacles can sometimes be catastrophic. Sometime we may survive the catastrophes and are able to hear the warnings once again, as we are given a second chance. Notice how Paul finally got the attention of the boat crew after they had tried everything they knew to do? It is so unfortunate that some folk are only open to God after they have tried everything else. Too often our idea of having time to try ‘one more thing’ has very little surety, just as the ship could have easily been destroyed prior to Paul having another opportunity to speak with the sailors. Our take away on this story is that we should never delay responding to God. I have had young friends who have been called from this life very unexpectedly – in the prime of their lives, where it was really important for them to properly raise their young families. I’m sure they never dreamed that they would not have time for one more prayer before their lives were taken. Not all of us can count on the second chance that these sailors were blessed with. Are you ready to meet Your Maker? How will you answer the question “Why should you be accepted into God’s heaven”? Because you are reading this devotional, it means that you have been given another opportunity to surrender your life to Jesus and give Him control of your life. But friend, the warning is clear throughout God’s Word that you have no assurance of your next minute or hour. Therefore, I am very motivated to encourage you into making a decision to invite Jesus into your life, right now. Today is the day of salvation, friend. The sailors paid no attention to Paul’s warnings and almost lost their lives without Christ. Please learn a lesson from this story and delay your decision no longer.

PRAYER: Dear God, I am so thankful that You send messengers into our lives, like You did with Paul to those sailors. This story is a warning to those of us who read it, that we must listen and obey the warnings You send our way. Please help us to see the need to open our hearts and allow You to govern our lives, our desires, our wants and our future. You loved us enough to sacrifice Your very own Son so that we might enjoy eternal life with You. Lord, may we love You enough to live our lives in obedience to Your commands. I pray that my unsaved/uncommitted friends that may meditate on this devotional, may catch a glimpse of Your love and subsequently make a decision to invite You as Lord and Savior of their lives this very day. Jesus, this is an awesome task that can only be accomplished by You, so I ask this in Your most worthy, and all powerful 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!