My Prayer For You Is…

Most often we pray for health issues, then perhaps for the wellbeing of our friends, and possibly for their financial wellbeing. But have a look at your prayer list, and the one at church, and see how many are on the list for salvation, or even for enhancing the love of the individual for Jesus and for each other. Paul and Timothy felt the need to pray for their friends at the church of Philippi so that God might see His precious saints in service for Him, not pretenders masquerading around the church trying to impress its leaders. Sounds all too familiar friends? Hang with me while we delve into this Scripture today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-07-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Philippians 1:9-11
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight, 10 for I want you always to see clearly the difference between right and wrong, and to be inwardly clean, no one being able to criticize you from now until our Lord returns. 11 May you always be doing those good, kind things that show you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord.

OBSERVATION: Most often we pray for health issues, then perhaps for the wellbeing of our friends, and possibly for their financial wellbeing. But have a look at your prayer list, and the one at church, and see how many are on the list for salvation, or even for enhancing the love of the individual for Jesus and for each other. Paul and Timothy felt the need to pray for their friends at the church of Philippi so that God might see His precious saints in service for Him, not pretenders masquerading around the church trying to impress its leaders. Sounds all too familiar friends? Hang with me while we delve into this Scripture today.

APPLICATION: Some will attend church and they might manage to speak to a fellow worshipper, but how often do we truly care about how they are doing or how we might pray for them and their relationship with God? Notice that in earlier verses Paul shared with the church that 1) He had them on his mind (Vs 3-6); and 2) He had them in his heart (Vs 7-8). So of course, it was natural that Paul would pray for them in verses 9-11. I wonder if, by late Sunday afternoon you would remember who sat on each side of you in church that morning? Did you meet the folk who sat behind you, or in front of you? Did any of them have any needs that you might pray for? Friends, please stop for a moment – I’m talking about folk who care about their soul, not folk who might be pouring out of a club and that might curse at you if you tried to socialize with them. I’m talking about the kind of folk that want to know more about Jesus. I recently went through major surgery, and although I was on the church’s prayer list, I could probably count on one hand the number of fellow believers who took the time to check on my wellbeing. I can’t put them down, because I am probably just as bad when they are out for various reasons. But why has the church (its members) today become so busy, so self-centered, and so selfish, that they (we) have no time for others? Do we not have other believers on our mind and in our hearts? Is that, perhaps, the reason we don’t pray for each other like Paul did for the church at Philippi? If one is too busy, or wrapped up in themselves to show that they care for others God has placed right beside them, do you think they will ever care about that person’s relationship with God? Friends, you were the ‘pastor’ that God sent that person to when they sat beside you. Please don’t assume that you pay your pastor to do your God-assigned work. As we study this closely, some Bible versions start off verse 10 with the words ‘so that’. Paul shared his concern, and his heart for the church in verse 9, but he didn’t want them to feel like it was for the purpose of increasing their self-worth, but instead he wanted them to know that he prayed for their spiritual wellbeing, their obedience, and their love for others, so that (or for the purpose of) their love for others might increase, and their relationship with God might become what God expects of you. Oh that we might care enough about others that they will be on our minds, and that our hearts will overrun with joy for their successes and burn with passion for their needs, especially their need to know our Jesus more intimately. Friends, when you think about the church growing in intimacy with God and each other, I believe that this formula taught by Paul in our Scripture today is far more effective than anything that the pastor might teach, preach or practice, for this is what draws one to Jesus Christ and keep them near to the cross that He hung on to show His love for us. People in our churches need to know how much we care about them. So as I pray today, I will aim to follow the example of Paul, with God as my helper and guide. Please consider joining me in this dear friend.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, my Lord. Please help us to look beyond self today. I know that we will be tempted to drown in our sorrows and our aches and pains, but please touch us once again today and help us to fix our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith. And Lord, we truly need constant reminding of our ministry that You have placed us here on earth for, yes right where we are and with everyone that we come into contact with. May we never assume that others have no needs – for we all need You in every aspect of our lives, and we may be the messenger who will deliver Your Word and show Your love as expressed so vividly in our lives. People need the Lord. Oh that they may see Jesus so prominent in our lives that they will recognize the hand of the Messiah and want to know Him intimately. May You receive glory today, even as You are glorified through each reader and myself. 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!

Making One Another Stronger

While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-07-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:11–13
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 11 ….. Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people. 12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.

OBSERVATION: While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

APPLICATION: Wow, how often do we receive a gift, told how to use it, and then rewarded for using it? I believe the part that really touches me, is that God would trust me enough to bless me with a gift from His precious hand. I believe it is awesome that God would then direct me to use that gift to enrich the life of one that I might come into contact with! Ever thought of the fact that God is constantly looking for ways to touch His children and make us stronger in the faith? Ever thought about the fact that when we accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we committed ourselves to be more like Him every day, and live to mirror His ways and His character before a lost world? So would it be impossible to think for a moment that God could actually prepare us to be a ‘holy people’ who will serve others for the benefit of making the church stronger? Friends, we might tend to think that we are nobodies and that we don’t count in God’s big scheme of saving the world, but did you also consider that the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents! Friends, we will find that a sinner repents after receiving convicting evidence that Jesus is alive and that He loves and cares for all who will call on His name in repentance. Often that conviction will come through you and I, as friends of the individual, or even as an acquaintance. God can and will use all means possible to reach the hearts of His lost children. I truly believe that you and I are a vital part of that team, fellow Christian! So when we read the Word and read the exciting news that God will strengthen and embolden us to serve His church and make it stronger, please don’t brush that aside as being the responsibility of the pastor, or the elder or deacon. Take it personally, as He can and will use all of us who are trying to be just like Him in every way to actively work in His service and strengthen the lost who are searching for the Savior of the world.

PRAYER: Lord I believe in You, so I take my role seriously that You could use even me to serve Your church and make it stronger. Lord, I can only imagine the awesome work that a ‘STRONG’ church can do in it’s community, and the impact it could have on the lost, who need a Savior. Please help us to take our role seriously. It may be as simple as sharing Your love with those who feel unlovable, or it may be as challenging as preaching or teaching Your Word, so that the world will know about You. Our abilities mean very little, but our availability to be used by the King of kings is the ultimate soul winner and encourager. May You be glorified in all that You accomplish through us, and may Your kingdom be enriched from every possible thing accomplished through us. AMEN!

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

True Fasting

Some of you will have fasted for various personal reasons, and some may have participated in a corporate fast by your church. Some may have studied the Bible to determine the meaning, and the purpose of, a fast, while others may have simply took the word of a pastor and agreed to join a group fast at church for a worthwhile purpose. Whatever your stance is on fasting, I want to share with you something that God really spoke to my heart on today about the subject. You see, He made it clear through the prophet Isaiah that He could see right through individuals who pretend, or enter into a serious matter like fasting. But best of all, He then explains what really pleases Him when we fast. Join me as we meditate on what ‘True Fasting’ is, according to God Himself.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-07-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Isaiah 58:3-4; 6-9;
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: The people ask, “Why should we fast if the Lord never notices? Why should we go without food if he pays no attention?”
The Lord says to them, “The truth is that at the same time you fast, you pursue your own interests and oppress your workers. Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. Do you think this kind of fasting will make me listen to your prayers?…..
“The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. “Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond….

OBSERVATION: Some of you will have fasted for various personal reasons, and some may have participated in a corporate fast by your church. Some may have studied the Bible to determine the meaning, and the purpose of, a fast, while others may have simply took the word of a pastor and agreed to join a group fast at church for a worthwhile purpose. Whatever your stance is on fasting, I want to share with you something that God really spoke to my heart on today about the subject. You see, He made it clear through the prophet Isaiah that He could see right through individuals who pretend, or enter into a serious matter like fasting. But best of all, He then explains what really pleases Him when we fast. Join me as we meditate on what ‘True Fasting’ is, according to God Himself.

APPLICATION: Many of you might be similar to me, where we probably learn a lot about fasting from our doctor when they want a fasting blood test! Some may have practiced fasting during a time that you wanted to purge your body of certain impurities and refill it with good healthy foods that diet fanatics always bug you about!! However, some of you may have been so burdened about a need that you found it challenging to develop an appetite for food, until you could see a resolution. But what did you do to fill your time that would have ordinarily been filled with meal times? Ever remember a time that you were so burdened about something or someone that you spent an unbelievable amount of time in the presence of God, praying about those burdens or concerns? In fact, you may have been so deep in communion with God that you never even noticed that a regular mealtime had come and gone. Let me encourage you to use my Scripture link to look at the whole chapter of Isaiah 58, for I merely chose a few verses to try and share a small portion of what God really had to say in that chapter. You see, the Israelites were no different to us at times when we go to a prayer meeting and pour our hearts out to the God of this universe, while knowing full well that we didn’t treat our coworkers well today, we left home in a sour and mean attitude with our spouse while also shouting at the kids. Do I need to remind you that our God knows all about our selfish, mean, spirit that shows itself way too often? Notice in the first few verses that God wanted the Israelites to know that they can’t pull anything off on Him, for He knows full well what they are really like. BUT, I really want you to look very closely at verses 6 & 7, for God explains what He is looking for in our fasting. Friends, I believe that for the child of God that is constantly giving to others in need, our God will gladly hear their cry for more of something, and He will be touched by their fasting for what they truly feel a need from God for. It is also clear that God is more apt to listen to His children that try every day to honor His Word, obey His commands and love others like He taught us to. This all boils down to being the child that God expects, and not just one who is willing to give up food in order to beg something of God. From a pure heart, the cry of an honest and sincere person will be heard by God and acted on by a God who knows if we need it, when we need it, and for whose pleasure it will be used. We may fool ourselves into thinking that we look good in the eyes of the pastor, or other leaders in the church, but God looks at the heart and determines how well we are doing with Him when we come before him. We can then rest assured in verse 9: ‘Then He will answer our prayers’! Praise be to God for His wisdom, love and all-powerful hand!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, how ashamed we should be at times when we bow before You and plead for things, knowing that our hearts are so tainted by the sin that has overwhelmed us over recent hours and days. Please forgive us Lord. We can’t fool You. We often beg you for things thought impossible by man, yet we feel like we could hide things from You. Whether in normal conversation with You or in deep times of fasting, please help us to always look inward first. Take care of everything that separates us from You, before asking You to favor us with answered prayer. You are most holy, and we are not. Please help us to seek Your cleansing before anything else. 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!

God is Near – Accept Him Now

In preparation for marriage, a couple will work through issues that seem impossible, and they will generally wind up marrying the person of their dreams. A mother becomes pregnant and in spite of the financial issues she and her husband currently face, they still find time and money to accommodate an addition to the family. When Jesus begins knocking on the heart’s door of an unbeliever, there will be many arguments why the individual feels undeserving and unqualified. But Jesus made it clear that His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways like our ways. This is worth spending some time meditating on, so join me, won’t you?

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-07-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Isaiah 55:6-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call upon him now while he is near. Let men cast off their wicked deeds; let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy upon them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon! This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours.

OBSERVATION: In preparation for marriage, a couple will work through issues that seem impossible, and they will generally wind up marrying the person of their dreams. A mother becomes pregnant and in spite of the financial issues she and her husband currently face, they still find time and money to accommodate an addition to the family. When Jesus begins knocking on the heart’s door of an unbeliever, there will be many arguments why the individual feels undeserving and unqualified. But Jesus made it clear that His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways like our ways. This is worth spending some time meditating on, so join me, won’t you?

APPLICATION: If you were to look at a very successful individual at work and hear their story, you may have doubt if they said that they rose up in the company from a very low-level position, with minimal education, but with great work ethics, hard work and determination. Similarly, if another individual shared their story and told you of the miraculous hand of God upon them, giving them wisdom, direction and a sound mind to succeed, you may be tempted to step aside and stop listening, especially if your mind is filled with doubt about the power of God. However, in the Kingdom of God, we are told that God’s plan is different to our plan, His thoughts are different to man’s thoughts and His ways much higher than our ways. This makes me think that any of the above scenarios might be possible with God at the helm in each of their lives. But even more important, this reminder given by Isaiah about our awesome God, is closely related to an invitation for one to turn from their wicked ways and seek the Holy of holy’s, the Lord of all lords, the King of all kings, the only ‘righteous’ One. Friends, it is virtually impossible to imagine that a simple old sinner could possibly have felt such a God, as just described, could love, accept and welcome them into His kingdom. Can’t you see why God would have Isaiah include verses 8 and 9? We all need reminding that although we can’t imagine such forgiveness, acceptance and love, our God is at a much greater level than we could ever imagine. Friends, we serve an awesome and powerful God. Let’s be reminded that if He is ready to answer the prayers of a spouse, or a loved one, and speak to the hardened hearts of their loved ones, then the Scripture is certainly reminding us that God sees that within His glorious power with a lot more confidence than we could ever dream possible. Oh that we would learn to do our part and pray for our loved ones, and trust God deeply to humble their hearts and encourage them towards the foot of the cross, where they might have a personal encounter with Him.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Leaping over many obstacles to reach a sinner like I, way back in 1976. I may have looked like a ‘good’ kid to many at the time, but You plowed through the layers of sin and reached into my hardened heart, because You loved me that much and knew the plans You had for me. Thank You Jesus! Today, as I write this devotional, I am begging You Lord to do the same for my loved ones who are struggling with life itself, and with all aspects of accepting You as Lord of their life. Although Your thoughts are much higher than mine, I believe that You have made it clear in Your Word that You want to see Your children saved, and in a right relationship with You. So Lord, I pray that You will accept the prayers of my readers and I as we plead before You today for our loved ones. We really want to see them by our side in heaven oh Lord, so please continue to work in their hearts to surrender themselves to You before it’s too late. Your love, and Your ongoing power to save, is very much appreciated. Thank You Lord 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. 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!

Live Like Children of The LIGHT

Paul made it clear that Christians are children of the Most High God. We are loved by God and in respect of that love, we should live in a way that pleases God. In the preceding verses, Paul named some sins that his audience of that day were guilty of participating in and, unfortunately, I believe that we are living in a time when those same sins, and even worse, are occurring right in our neighborhoods. However, Paul was really speaking to the Ephesian church. Do you suppose our church-goers are guilty of similar sins even today? Perhaps this is worth meditating on today. Stick with me on this, friend.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-07-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 5:8-11
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light. Light brings every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the things done in darkness, which are not worth anything. But show that they are wrong. 

OBSERVATION: Paul made it clear that Christians are children of the Most High God. We are loved by God and in respect of that love, we should live in a way that pleases God. In the preceding verses, Paul named some sins that his audience of that day were guilty of participating in and, unfortunately, I believe that we are living in a time when those same sins, and even worse, are occurring right in our neighborhoods. However, Paul was really speaking to the Ephesian church. Do you suppose our church-goers are guilty of similar sins even today? Perhaps this is worth meditating on today. Stick with me on this, friend.

APPLICATION: It seems like Paul may have had a very challenging audience to deal with in the Ephesian church, don’t you think? As you ponder that question, please stop and ponder to what degree you suppose that might be happening to pastors today. No, not at the church down the road that you have heard so much about, but right at your own church. Oh, you know everyone attending your church, so surely no such behavior is expected from your members? Dear, dear friends, having served in church leadership for much of my life, it is very unfortunate that I could tell you that not every one who enters our church doors on Sunday mornings with a big smile on their faces are as innocent as you might assume, just because they came to church. So I believe that Paul’s sermon on this subject would have been just as fitting in any of our churches, as it was to the Ephesians. Think about it, divorce rates are probably higher in the church than they are outside of the church. Many church goers wind up in prison, just like those from the outside. There are just as many vehicles that speed by us on the highway with Christian based bumper stickers as those with nasty, rude or cruel ones. However, I believe that God wanted this lesson taught through Paul to be internalized, at the time it was given by Paul, and on this very day that God has allowed me to share with you on this subject. You see, then and now, God is still against sin, and I believe that it still makes Him sick when He sees how tolerable the church has become with the sin that occurs around our churches and within. Let me encourage you to sit and chat with a Christian over 70 years of age. Ask them what is so widely acceptable now, that was totally rejected, or frowned upon, by the first church they attended. You may want to be sure you are seated and ready for the shocking response. We tend to look at the old church as having some very primitive ways that really could not survive in today’s environment. Why?? Paul taught us that individually we once brushed aside those sins committed in the dark, because we saw the light of God as it shone through the pages of His Word. And guess what, not one word has changed in the Bible. Even when current versions/translations try to make it easier for Christians today to understand the meaning behind what God had to say, the intent and meaning is still very prevalent and applicable. Therefore Paul taught that we are to shun the darkness and the sin committed therein. Instead, since we are children of the Light (the Light of the World – Jesus), then we must live like Jesus did and as He taught us to. In living like we should, it will become much more evident when sinners in our midst live in darkness. Unless the world sees a difference, then they will not see the necessity for change in their lives and in their behavior. I believe that our challenge from the Word today is that we should live so much like our Master, that the world will be drawn to Him, because they will know that only Jesus could change a dirty old sinner into a life reflecting the qualities detailed in verse 9 – every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. Praise God, I’m a child of the King! Please read through my Footnote and especially the Scripture referenced in the hyperlink, and ensure that you are a ‘child of the Light’ my friend!

PRAYER: Thank You Father for the gift of eternal life through Your Son, Jesus – the Light of the world! You knew from the start that we would struggle to live holy and righteous lives here in this old sinful world, so You sent Jesus to us as our Savior. Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. Please touch the lives of those living in the darkness of this world, may they see Jesus today, and may they reach for greater heights to know Him. Oh that Your children, who are called by Your name, will humble themselves, pray, seek Your face and Your forgiveness, then perhaps You will seek the will of the Father to forgive us our sins, heal our land and draw all men unto Yourself. We need this precious Lord. AMEN!

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

Blessed By The Lord!

A current Christian Contemporary song is out, that does an excellent job of utilizing some of the words of this Psalm – The Blessing! I have linked a children’s version of the song, so if you click on the title, you could listen to it while meditating on this devotional! I feel like this is an excellent reminder that God loves us beyond anything we could imagine or hope for. He wants to bless us, so that we may go on to bless others and draw them to a personal experience with our Maker. Take a moment to meditate with me as we look deeper into these verses

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-07-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 115:14-18
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 May the Lord richly bless both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens belong to the Lord, but he has given the earth to all humanity.
17 The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord, for they have gone into the silence of the grave.
18 But we can praise the Lord –  both now and forever! ** Praise the Lord! **

OBSERVATION: A current Christian Contemporary song is out, that does an excellent job of utilizing some of the words of this Psalm – The Blessing! I have linked a children’s version of the song, so if you click on the title, you could listen to it while meditating on this devotional! I feel like this is an excellent reminder that God loves us beyond anything we could imagine or hope for. He wants to bless us, so that we may go on to bless others and draw them to a personal experience with our Maker. Take a moment to meditate with me as we look deeper into these verses.

APPLICATION: These verses succeed a reflection by the Psalmist where he drew closer to God while remembering how much God showed the Israelites how much He had loved them. But notice that in these verses the Psalmist reminded us that the dead are unable to praise God for His goodness, but for those still living, we could praise the Lord. From the preceding verses we could tell that God will bless those who trust in Him, and those who fear Him with reverence and respect. The words heralded by the Psalmist may very well have originated from the words spoken by God to Abraham, when he was told that he would be blessed with more children than the grains of sand on the seashore. In verse 14 we are reminded that God will not only bless us, but our children and our children’s children. So I believe that our attention today should be centered around what God wants of us today, so that He might bless us in this way. Let’s be reminded that we were created in the likeness of God and for His glory. We were created to praise and worship our Designer and Maker. Are we truly living a life worthy of our King? Do we trust God enough that He is the first one we run to when the challenges of life come our way? Is He the first one we share exciting good news with and give Him praise for achieving such greatness in our lives? Or is He one that we tend to approach days after the event with words such as this: ‘Oh, by the way God, I should have returned thanks to You also for that promotion, that gift, that newborn child, etc, etc.’ Don’t we tend to do that as an afterthought more than we care to admit? Friends, I could only imagine that God must look down on us and glory in our successes, and enjoy such happy moments when He sees us leaving hospital doing 100% better than when we went there; pulling into our driveways after being protected on both sides on the highway by the powerful hand of God; and so many other instances where we might often overlook the blessing, and consider it just another successful day. Friends, from the moment that our feet hit the floor in the morning, we have so much to than God for. We trusted Him for safety and good health, and we awoke with legs and feet to stand on the floor. We arose from a warm, comfortable bed and not from a bed made of old clothes in a tent under a nearby bridge. Please help me, as I strive to remind you, that we are blessed with so much that our minutes, hours and days could be filled with worship and praise to our King for the awesome love He shows to us each day. We are truly blessed, dear friend, and your parents probably taught you to do the same as I was taught, please remember to say ‘thank You Jesus for Your goodness supplied to my every need’. To my unsaved readers, if you happened across this devotional today and cannot identify with the love of my God, please read my Footnote carefully and seriously consider accepting Jesus as your personal Savior. There is no respecter of persons in His eyes. He loves you, and He wants you to accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. You too are in line for enormous blessings my friend – you, your children and your children’s children!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I am thankful that in spite of how little we may think of ourselves at times, and how unworthy we may feel at other times, it is overwhelming to be reminded that You love us, and that You long to shower blessings not only on us, but our children AND their children! You are worthy of our praise and our faithfulness throughout all generations dear God! We long to be with You in glory and to worship and praise You endlessly each and every day! Thank You for accepting me, saving me, and blessing me! Oh that I may learn to be faithful in praising You in all circumstances of life. AMEN!

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

Cautious That These Things Won’t Sneak back In

It is one thing for us to pay close attention to the qualities God, through His servant Paul, taught us earlier in this chapter, but I would dare say that we must also be very careful not to let those old sinful qualities find their way back into our lives either. After all, we have since accepted Jesus as Lord, and invited the Holy Spirit to live within us. Imagine the hurt and disappointment that comes with reintroducing our old habits and attitudes into the presence of a holy God. Meditate with me friend, as we allow the Word of God to speak to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-07-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 4:29-32
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 29 When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. 30 And don’t make the Holy Spirit sad. God gave you his Spirit as proof that you belong to him and that he will keep you safe until the day he makes you free. 31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.

OBSERVATION: It is one thing for us to pay close attention to the qualities God, through His servant Paul, taught us earlier in this chapter, but I would dare say that we must also be very careful not to let those old sinful qualities find their way back into our lives either. After all, we have since accepted Jesus as Lord, and invited the Holy Spirit to live within us. Imagine the hurt and disappointment that comes with reintroducing our old habits and attitudes into the presence of a holy God. Meditate with me friend, as we allow the Word of God to speak to us today.

APPLICATION: As a child of God, we are to turn away from the sin that so easily devoured us before Christ, and instead make every endeavor to live the new life that God teaches us throughout His Word. It would be awesome if, from the day we accept Jesus as Lord, that we look forward to a life free of sin and filled with the awesome qualities of our Maker. However, we should never be naive enough to believe that the sin, hatred and ugliness of Satan and his demons that is happening all around us, will escape us. So although I know that God has the power to keep those who accept Him as Lord, safe and free from this world and its leader, yet I know that God has chosen to allow us free will while still here on earth. I believe this places a determination on us to stay true to the One in whom we have placed our faith and trust. I’m not sure how many ‘perfect’ ones might be out there and might even read this devotional, but according to the Word of God, there is only One who is perfect – Jesus, the Christ. Therefore, as long as we reside here on earth, and as long as we are surrounded by those who do not recognize our God, then I believe that some of their sin will drip on to us and may even cause us to stray from the Master at times. Although the list shown in verse 31 above may seem negative, and nothing that believers need worry about, I would strongly recommend that we keep this list in prominent view as a reminder. Any time that we feel our relationship with God is becoming slightly distant, check this list and ensure that some of our old ways are not sneaking back into our Holy Spirit filled lives. If it is, nip it in the bud immediately by asking God to forgive you and cleanse you of the distraction and sin, and to give you wisdom and strength on how to stay the course living totally dedicated to Him. Whatever you do, please don’t brush off the intrusion as minor, or slight, or easy enough for you to handle. God alone is the destroyer of all sin, not you. You are incapable my friend. If you still struggle with the ability to overcome, please seek an accountability partner – another Christian Brother (if you’re a man), or a Christian Sister (if you are a woman). If you are reading this devotional and can’t make sense of this, because you don’t know God, please, please, please, read my Footnote and seek to know Jesus personally. God is THE only answer to sin. Of course, I would be happy to hear from you and pray with you over this matter also, so feel free to email me.

PRAYER: It’s really easy to look back and see where You brought us from oh God. Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. While still here on earth, we see sin all around us, and way too often it tries to make its way back into our lives also, for we act up and treat others much like Paul was teaching against in our Scripture today. Please forgive us Lord, and teach us Your ways – each and every day of our lives. Please help us to quickly identify sin and do everything possible to distance ourselves from sin. As Your child, and as one who has the Holy Spirit residing inside of me, I am determined to serve You until the end of time, God being my strength and helper. Please touch the lives of those who are guilty of what is warned about above. Help us all to be pure in our relationship with You, so that unbelievers might be attracted to You. AMEN!

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

Live Worthy of the People God Has Chosen

If I was asked to live like an ‘Algreen’, I would probably evaluate often if I am living out the lessons and character traits taught To me by my parents, and I would hope that others might see enough of those characteristics in me that they may even recognize me as an Algreen! I wonder, is that the way it is in our Christian walk? That’s something for us to think about as we meditate on these verses, and on the advice that Paul gave to the Ephesian church.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-07-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 4:1-6
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each otherTry your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God’s people. We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us.

OBSERVATION: If I was asked to live like an ‘Algreen’, I would probably evaluate often if I am living out the lessons and character traits taught To me by my parents, and I would hope that others might see enough of those characteristics in me that they may even recognize me as an Algreen! I wonder, is that the way it is in our Christian walk? That’s something for us to think about as we meditate on these verses, and on the advice that Paul gave to the Ephesian church.

APPLICATION: In raising kids, it seems like it would take daily repeating ourselves to embed the character traits and advice that we wanted implanted in our kids, so that they could not only grow up to be like us, but to be respected in the community, and among their friends. Of course, this could only be achieved or worthwhile if we ourselves are perfect. But ‘perfect’ in your eyes, might be different to ‘perfect’ in my opinion. That’s why we need a plum line – something/someone that is truly perfect, and I believe that might be the explanation on why Paul chose to tell the church how God would have them, and us, live, especially among other people. So let’s examine the characteristics that Paul gave to us:
~ Be Humble and Gentle – I believe that a humble person is one who respects and appreciates the strengths of another person, and could love them in spite of the overwhelming strengths recognized in them. To be gentle, is having the ability to deal with others without giving them the impression that you’re a ‘know-it-all’ and that you are superior to them. No one appreciates an overpowering, know-it-all type of person, and we try to stay our distance from them, to avoid getting upset or mad at them. Being Humble and Gentle means that you will be deliberate about seeing the strengths of another person, while laying aside your own;
~ Patiently put up with each other and love them – so often we see so much wrong with others, that we tend to overlook what our own weaknesses and wrongs are. Some Bible translations say that we are to be tolerant with others. Friends, I believe that Paul was really trying to say that when one imperfect individual tries to meet and evaluate another imperfect individual, we will find flaws. But think about this: if each person has one thing in common, the Lord Jesus – the only perfect One, then how dare us credit ourselves with anything else than ‘servant of the Most High God’? So as we meet others, yes even with their flaws, let’s remember that we too have more than our share of flaws. So you will have to be overlooked for your weaknesses, just as much as I would have to be for mine! Let’s remember that everyone is equal at the foot of the cross – sinners saved by God’s grace, alone;
~ Let God’s Spirit keep us united – Paul gives us the source of our strength to accomplish this characteristic – the Holy Spirit, and Paul tells us how to accomplish this – through peace. Know that although we may often go to meet with someone and be ready for battle, God wants us to be ready for, and determined to be ready for, peace?
Friends, our Scripture reminds us that God called us to be His own. This means that He wanted us to be His very own. We are also reminded that Jesus practiced unity, love, forgiveness, humility and peace in every aspect of His life while here on earth. So we should never question if it’s possible for us to do so, Jesus already proved to us that it is! Most importantly, I believe that God shared these words with us through His servant Paul, because He wanted the world to see that with the power of God inside of us, we can do even those things that seem impossible to mere man. For with God, all things are possible!

PRAYER: Dear God, Your Word is so precious, for it shows us the error of our ways, the weaknesses of our minds and the unfortunate power that we allow the evil one to have in our lives. Praise God, Your Word also shows us that with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, we could be more than conquerors, and therefore depend on You to help us live our lives like children who have been called by the God of this universe, to walk, talk, and love those that might be just like us, or even worse. We obviously need You today and everyday to help us live just like You and in every respect like You taught us in Your Word. May You rule in the lives of my readers and myself today and everyday, for Your glory, honor and praise. 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!

A Gift From God

In addition to the awesome news in our focal Scripture verse today, my Old Testament reading took me into Isaiah 43:25 (NLT): “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Wow, to hear a message in the OT and then again in the NT, wouldn’t you say that God is truly getting His message across to us, that He is the One who saves, and He saves us because of His love, His ownership (sons/daughters), His grace (unmerited favor), and for His glory! This is about as good as it gets, so let’s spend some time meditating on how we could be so fortunate to be a part of this blessing!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-07-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 2:8-10
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: I mean that you have been saved by grace because you believed. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. You are not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about. 10 God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.

OBSERVATION: In addition to the awesome news in our focal Scripture verse today, my Old Testament reading took me into Isaiah 43:25 (NLT): “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Wow, to hear a message in the OT and then again in the NT, wouldn’t you say that God is truly getting His message across to us, that He is the One who saves, and He saves us because of His love, His ownership (sons/daughters), His grace (unmerited favor), and for His glory! This is about as good as it gets, so let’s spend some time meditating on how we could be so fortunate to be a part of this blessing!

APPLICATION: I have two friends Who, in response to the question ‘How are you today’, will often respond ‘Better than I deserve’. I thought of that today as I studied God’s Word, for it truly felt from God’s promises that we are blessed to receive way more, and way better, than anything we could possibly have said, done or asked for in this life. God showed the Israelites, that regardless of what sins their forefathers had committed in the Wilderness, that He would blot out their sins because of who He is. You see, God wanted the Israelites to know, and for us to know, that there is no religion we could follow, or any principles we could adhere to, that we could ever become good enough, or sanctified enough to warrant His acceptance of our dirty selves into His kingdom. God is determined to show us that there is only one reason that He allowed His precious Son to die on Calvary, and that is for the redemption of our sin. You see, He created us to worship Him and to magnify His name in all the earth. When you consider the multitudes who have chosen to deny Jesus Christ and to ignore the love that He showed for us, don’t you see that they are the ones who commit awful crimes against mankind and try every trick in the book to derail the one trying to center their lives on Christ? They work in opposition to what God had planned for them to do. They are not the ones who will recognize the awesome love and concern of a God who sacrificed His Son for us, even while we were yet sinners. I believe that it is also very obvious that it is only the grace of God that will actually speak to the heart of a rebellious child. It is He who will melt that hardened heart and draw that child away from the spoil of this earth, and remind them of the only One who loves them in spite of all that they have done. In fact, I believe that God calls us out of this world and into His wonderful kingdom. This will require obedience from a softened heart, acknowledging that you are powerless to change anything about your life in and of your own power. This requires a heart set on claiming Jesus as Lord! Are you ready to turn the corner on your life my friend? If so, God has promised that His grace is sufficient, and that only because of His grace, He will extend to you the gift of eternal life. Please read my Footnote and be prepared to accept Jesus as Lord today.

PRAYER: Physical gifts that we receive here on earth is nothing compared to the wonderful gift You gave to us when You allowed the death of Your Son, Jesus, on the cross for our sin. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Lord Jesus! Please touch our lives to never forsake the One who sacrificed for our sin, the One who gave Himself as a gift to us, so that we may not have to suffer for our sin, filth and disobedience to our Master. Lord, I am forever thankful, and look forward in great anticipation to worship You in person, in glory. Please forgive my readers and I for the times that we cave in to temptation and sin. We humbly ask that You fill us with power and wisdom so that we may stay faithful and true to You. Please soften the hearts of those who totally ignore all that You have to offer, and all that You did for them. Oh that they may desire to know You personally, and commit fully to Your precious gift – the joy of knowing Jesus as Lord and personal Savior. AMEN!

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

Praise and Thanksgiving: I am in recovery from a very serious and intensive surgery on June 9th, and thanks to God Almighty and my readers, I am doing especially well. Each day is a journey, but I seem to feel stronger and more alert to seek God’s face; open His precious Word and read it with with a sense of clarity. I will try to continue as often as I could, but would ask that you pray extra hard for me over the next few weeks. I believe God wants His children to hear from Him and receive direction for the path He would have us take each day, so that He might work in the lives of those that we come into contact with. Be blessed Brothers and Sister as we continue to meditate together through this medium.

Wisdom That Only God Can Give

I bet that most of my readers will probably say that there are multiple things that they would ask God to give them wisdom to understand, or resolve. However, as we meditate on the Word today, I trust that we will understand why Paul’s plea for the Ephesian church was that ‘they would grow in wisdom to understand Christ more’.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-07-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 1:16-19
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 16-17 I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that he has done for you. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him! 19 I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him…

OBSERVATION: I bet that most of my readers will probably say that there are multiple things that they would ask God to give them wisdom to understand, or resolve. However, as we meditate on the Word today, I trust that we will understand why Paul’s plea for the Ephesian church was that ‘they would grow in wisdom to understand Christ more’.

APPLICATION: Some of the things that we might beg for wisdom in, might be things like: to understand my spouse better!; to find the right job; to make more money; to know how to help people who are struggling in life; to be able to lead the church better; to understand more about COVID 19 and how to best avoid it; etc, etc. I’m sure that you have probably thought of a ton of things that you could add to the list of needing more wisdom in, and I believe you would find that’s pretty normal. But I believe that as we examine Paul’s desire for the Ephesian church, you and I will understand better why desiring to know Christ more fully, might help us keep our priorities in order and our worries centered around what’s really important in life. Notice that Paul just praised the church for how well they were doing in getting along – a huge achievement then and now! But Paul went on to tell them what he is praying for. Friends, having served in church leadership, I can tell you that there are times that church leaders are absolutely stumped on how to deal with some of the circumstances that arise among its members, its finances, its future, its growth and especially to make sure that its ministry is aligned with God’s will for His church at that time. There is never a time that church leaders are not totally dependent on the leader of the church – Christ. I have no reason to believe that Paul just ignored those things in his mission to help the Ephesian church, but what Paul shared with them, could very easily be shared and adapted by our churches today. Further on in chapter 1 Paul teaches us that God placed Christ as head of the church, so whenever we think about, or begin to worry about, advice on how to help the church, isn’t it easy to see that what he was really saying is that you really need to understand, and draw close to Christ? After all, why look for ways to resolve issues in the church, until you seek God on how to draw the church closer to Him (Christ) as its leader? Why look at ministry growth opportunities, unless you ask God to first of all grow the church spiritually? The church will head towards disaster without Christ as its focus and without knowing that He has led you into accomplishing His will through ministering more effectively to your growing community. Why look at ways to fill your church, if its only to entertain them and make them feel good. If Christ is truly our leader, as the Word declares, then we should thank God for giving us increased ability to minister to the ones that He is bringing through our doors, so that He may rule and reign in their hearts. Friends, as a child of the King, and as a member of His church, unless you are striving to know Him better and follow His example inside the church and outside its doors, and unless you aim to share God’s love with any and all that may come through your church doors, then Paul’s prayer may be one that we repeat often. For unless we honor Christ – the head of our church, in all that we do, we are merely meeting for a social event hoping that we’ll feel better in just being together. I believe we can look at this in another way. We may be concerned about the condition of our marriage, and we might look at many, many different ways to correct the issues, but as a child of the most high God, unless we draw close to God, and invite Him to rule and reign in our personal lives and in our marriage, then we are doing no more than the unbeliever in trying to seek a godly resolution to our issues. We may love to see our church buildings filled to capacity, and we may dream of exquisite, new, multimillion dollar buildings that may house even more people, but unless we acknowledge Christ as the chief head of our church, and that our purpose for meeting is to win the lost and grow the saved, then the new building will be nothing more than any other group meeting place where folk show up for fun and/or entertainment. Let’s remember, Jesus Christ hung on a cross voluntarily, so that we might have the means of seeking forgiveness of our sin and therefore a chance to enter heaven’s gates. I am convinced that, as head of our church, Christ would prefer that we not waste one minute in pointing attendees to the cross, to the forgiveness of sin that only Christ could offer. When our churches fill up with folk who accept our mission and make decisions regularly towards changed lives, then I believe God will open the doors of heaven and grant us His grace to build bigger buildings to accommodate the flow of people interested in following through on what we preach and teach. If our church is not all about Christ, then we should question who we have permitted to take over leadership from the Lord Jesus Christ. With Christ in His proper role, and the rest of us as servants of the Most High, I believe that then we could watch the church flourish as kingdom work is achieved. This is what we really need wisdom to identify, act on, and insist upon, God being our Helper and constant Guide.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for not allowing You to maintain Your assigned leadership in our places of worship, in our personal lives, in our families and in our day-to-day relationships. We were reminded today that Christ is the head of the church – please may our respective churches be no exception, nor one to have ousted You and replaced You with one of our own. We can’t get this order messed up, if we expect You to flourish in Your assigned role. We are merely wasting our time and providing a social atmosphere for our members. Lord, we want our friends, family and members to know You intimately. We want them to surrender to Your leadership. Please fill us with wisdom for the things of God. We are Yours and want nothing more than to see others know You as well. May we follow in obedience and submission so that You may work in our midst, for Your glory and praise. 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!

Praise and Thanksgiving: I am in recovery from a very serious and intensive surgery on June 9th, and thanks to God Almighty and my readers, I am doing especially well. Each day is a journey, but I seem to feel stronger and more alert to seek God’s face; open His precious Word and read it with with a sense of clarity. I will try to continue as often as I could, but would ask that you pray extra hard for me over the next few weeks. I believe God wants His children to hear from Him and receive direction for the path He would have us take each day, so that He might work in the lives of those that we come into contact with. Be blessed Brothers and Sister as we continue to meditate together through this medium.