Encouragement Brings Refreshing Times

In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:4-7
Translation: Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: I am constantly thanking God for you in my prayers because I keep hearing about your love and faith toward our Lord Jesus and all those set apart for His purposes. Here’s what I’ve been praying on your behalf:
Thank You, Father, for Philemon. I pray that as he goes and tells his story of faith, he would tell everyone so that they will know for certain all the good that comes to those who put their trust in the Anointed One.
My brother, because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything more satisfying than to walk in on someone speaking something complimentary about you! I suppose the next best thing is probably to read the compliments on our character in a letter, email or newspaper. Unfortunately this hardly ever occurs until the time of our memorial service! Now, I realize that we never do the work of the Lord for man’s applause, but I also know that we each need encouraging from time to time. Paul’s applause to Philemon was all about the feedback that Paul was receiving from the church members that met in Philemon’s home. Friends, we must remember that as we strive diligently to live as an example of our Master and Lord, if no one around us notices, then how do you suppose we are doing? Philemon lived such a life of love in the presence of his congregants, that Paul likened it to something that we do to our computer screens when we ‘refresh‘ the screen! It’s like something that we diligently pray for in our churches, when we pray for ‘revival‘, for we want our hearts to be ‘refreshed‘ in the love of Jesus, and our spirits refreshed to the state of when we first met Jesus, when we fell deeply in love with Him for saving our soul. Friends, I want to encourage us to not wait for our encouragement, before we refresh those around us that we have seen the love of Jesus in. For as we encourage them and see them rejuvenated in wanting to serve Christ even more fully, we too will be encouraged to reach out to Jesus and desire such a filling of His sweet Holy Spirit that it would electrify anyone’s spirit who happens to Come near to us. People who need the Lord are constantly looking at those who say they have a personal relationship with Him, so they could see what a Jesus filled life looks like. How are you doing with that friend? Can others see enough of Jesus in you that they want to be around you, hoping that some of the joy and love that you exude would rub off on them! Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. In fact, He will overfill your joy and love, so that others will want to know the source of it all!

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for allowing Paul to encourage his Brother Philemon, based on the great work that he saw from, and heard of, him. Thank You for speaking to our hearts through this Scripture today, so that our hearts might be overfilled and encouraged. May we be looking for avenues to encourage and share Your precious love with others. Please give us more love to share and many more opportunities in which to share that love with others. Draw the unsaved to Yourself Lord, and if I may be of service through some awesome act of love, then I beg You to please use even me. Please have the same impact on all those who will read 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!

Response By God To our Cry

God overcame many obstacles for the Israelites and provided them a land that they described as ‘flowing with milk and honey’. However, when they settled and became happy in their new land, they quickly assumed their old habits and turned their face against God. When they did this, God allowed them to become servants of the very ones God allowed to stay put in the new land, knowing that they would one day be bold enough to oppose their religion and be accepted for it. However, when the Israelites could take no more of the abuse, they made 2 Chronicles 7:14 their very own and sought the face of God. In just a few verses we recognize the fact that God never gives up on us, and He hears our cry when we cry out to Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-09-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Judges 3:9-10; 15
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge…..
15 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin.

OBSERVATION: God overcame many obstacles for the Israelites and provided them a land that they described as ‘flowing with milk and honey’. However, when they settled and became happy in their new land, they quickly assumed their old habits and turned their face against God. When they did this, God allowed them to become servants of the very ones God allowed to stay put in the new land, knowing that they would one day be bold enough to oppose their religion and be accepted for it. However, when the Israelites could take no more of the abuse, they made 2 Chronicles 7:14 their very own and sought the face of God. In just a few verses we recognize the fact that God never gives up on us, and He hears our cry when we cry out to Him.  

APPLICATION: When I meditated on these verses, I was reminded of a popular verse that is often quoted in times of national or large scale crisis, 2 Chronicles 7:14, where the Lord told us that if we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face, then we can be assured that He would hear from heaven and heal our land….. In our Scripture today, we see where God was teaching the Israelites a very difficult lesson, and I might add that it very much applies to us today. God rescued His people from Egypt in a miraculous turn of events, and allowed two men whose main qualifications were trusting in God and allowing Him to lead their every move. God brought these thousands of people through some very testing and challenging times, but He lovingly took care of them for 40 years as they plundered through the wilderness to their final destination near the Jordan River. By the time of their arrival, God was dealing with a whole new generation, so there were some important lessons that He needed to teach them. So He left some of the original inhabitants in place, while giving some strict rules to the Israelites about their interaction with them. In very similar fashion to most of us reading this blog, the Israelites had their needs met by God, and very soon they fit right into the culture and the sins of those that God warned them about. Unfortunately, I believe that we are more like the Israelites, that we read about in the Old Testament, than we might care to acknowledge. In our times of crisis, we know where to run. But as soon as we see that God is in control, we lessen our commitment to Him and wander off again. Friends, Jesus said that not even He knows the day and time of God’s return to take His remaining saints home to glory. However, what we all know, is that He will come to take only His saints with Him. These are ones who have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ and are seriously committed to Him. Do you remember the day that you made a commitment to Jesus? If you have never done this, then you are unprepared for that great evacuation. Yes, God sent a savior for the Israelites when they cried out to Him. God also sent a Savior for those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In both cases, only those who believe in the mighty works of the one sent, will be saved. If you have any doubt at all about where you will spend eternity should Jesus returns today, then I beg you to please read my Footnote and look up the Scriptures quoted in the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Please follow my suggestions, and then contact me so that I might pray with you, and rejoice with you about your decision! Yes, Jesus will rescue us when we cry out to Him, but please be sure that He will recognize your voice as one of His chosen and saved children.

PRAYER: Lord, You took the Israelites to their knees after suffering for years under the leadership of the enemy. Many in our family and network of friends have drifted off to the leadership of the enemy – Satan. Lord we cry out to You today for saints to be totally committed to You, if they have truly surrendered their hearts to You. Please show them how important this is in their witness to unbelievers. I also ask that You would once again humble the hearts of those who need to make a decision to accept You today. Crying out to You in our troubles as total strangers will invoke those sad words recorded in the Bible ‘go away, for I never knew you’. Lord, may this be the day of surrender for many who will read this devotional- PLEASE? I ask these things in faith and through the wonderful name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus 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!

The Rewards for Trust

There are certain things that frighten us and cause us to ‘shake in our boots’! However we often have opportunity to do something about the problem and either prevent the thing that frightens us, or deal with the fear of it. But what motivates us to accept help or protection? Based on what God did for the Ethiopian, Ebed-melech, I believe that God assures His children today that we too can avoid the fright of receiving due punishment for our sins on Judgment Day, if we place our faith and trust in Him, like Ebed-melech did. What’s your excuse, or reason, for refusing this assurance? Are you not sufficiently afraid yet, or do you feel like you have control over the time you have left?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-09-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 39:16-18
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT:  16 ….The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will do to this city everything I threatened; I will destroy it before your eyes, 17 but I will deliver you. You shall not be killed by those you fear so much. 18 As a reward for trusting me, I will preserve your life and keep you safe.”

OBSERVATION: There are certain things that frighten us and cause us to ‘shake in our boots’! However we often have opportunity to do something about the problem and either prevent the thing that frightens us, or deal with the fear of it. But what motivates us to accept help or protection? Based on what God did for the Ethiopian, Ebed-melech, I believe that God assures His children today that we too can avoid the fright of receiving due punishment for our sins on Judgment Day, if we place our faith and trust in Him, like Ebed-melech did. What’s your excuse, or reason, for refusing this assurance? Are you not sufficiently afraid yet, or do you feel like you have control over the time you have left?

APPLICATION: If we are afraid of sharks, then we will choose to swim only in safe waters, and we will stay safely ashore or in the middle of a boat to prevent someone from pushing us overboard! The same is true with snakes – we will stay out of the woods, or look intently while walking through the woods, in order to prevent an encounter with a possible venomous snake! To avoid being injured, or possibly killed, we will stay clear of a fight or serious argument. But we’ve been told about the God who loves us beyond imagination, yet we live reckless lives, and not afraid of sin or its temptation. We know already that we could only avoid the pit of hell, by knowing Jesus personally and holding on to His nail-scared hand daily. Yet we choose to follow a path where sin is rampant, and temptation extends out to the weak and unguarded. Do you really not care about the effects of a burning hell dear friend? Notice that our friend, Ebed-melech did not wait until a moment of threat, but instead he was ready when God warned he and the Israelites about their impending destruction. That’s similar to how it will be on Judgment Day, for no one knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return to take His chosen ones home to glory. But Jesus is coming for those who are called by His name – those who have the blood of Jesus sprinkled on their heads, for they have accepted the crucified One, and they are now awaiting the risen Lord, as He breaks through the clouds to take His children home. His coming will not need our prior approval, for God is in charge of the return of His Son. Today we know how to ready ourselves for that glorious day and we know that one day soon, Jesus will return. Friends, God saved Ebed-melech because he had already secured his salvation. God has also promised to save us from eternal condemnation if we have made things right through accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Do you feel secure in your salvation, dear one? Or are you destined for hell? It’s your choice, and I pray in all earnest that you will make your decision today, for there is no assurance about tomorrow.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, please touch the lives of Your children today. I sincerely plead with my readers to seek the Lord while He may be found, and to surrender your lives to the Master while you still have life and breath to do so. Lord, You have promised us life eternal for those who have been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank You for my salvation Lord Jesus, now please touch the heart of each one who reads this devotional and help them to seek You while You may be found. In the name of Jesus, I ask all this. 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!

The Importance of Exercise

I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain his points, and how they fit so good with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, so that they could try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to seek ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-08-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: Don’t waste time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.

OBSERVATION: I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain his points, and how they fit so good with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, so that they could try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to exercise ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

APPLICATION: I believe we all may have given some thought as to why we want to stay physically fit. For some, it may ease certain aches and pains; For some it may help their breathing; For some it may help avoid certain medications by keeping the heart healthy; For some, it prepares them for a huge competition that’s coming up; and a plethora of other reasons, I’m sure. So then, why do you suppose that God, through His servant Paul, found it necessary to Gain our attention about staying spiritually fit? Let’s first look at the pitfalls when we are not spiritually fit. I believe that this is where we are easily provoked into sin, for we have no real, current, depth and/or communication with the Master. There are really two parts to this, first of all we must know what to do and what’s expected of us. This means that we have to learn what’s expected of us by our Lord. As in the business world, this means that we not only learn the Word, but we also keep on learning and refreshing our knowledge of the Word. Secondly, we must put into action all that we learn. Imagine in the business world where you might tell an auditor that your books, practices and overall processes are in order because you read about what’s required? That will absolutely not protect you against exceptions, since your auditor will compare what you are actually doing, against what your written regulations say that you must be doing. Our Christianity is much the same. God has set forth a wonderful book that details His commands, and it shows us how our Savior lived while here on earth perfectly following the commands of His Father. For us to know those commands, we must be in the Bible daily, so that our minds might be spiritually fit for battle against the Evil One at every opportunity that he aims to challenge us. Yes, I know that some are fast studies and therefore only need to read through the Bible once, but let me assure you that the Word of God is very real and it is pointed to help us each and every day, no matter what we are facing today for the very first time in history. To practice what we learn, we must be diligent to apply God’s rules and commands in every aspect of our lives, with the Master’s help. In fact, if we aim at perfection in all our ways, then we might be mistaken frequently for the One that we are imitating. Has that happened to you recently? Friends, when we are hit with a hammer, the immediate response will often result from whatever is inside of us. Likewise, when we are hit with life’s challenges and the temptations of Satan, our immediate response will dictate how close we are to the Savior, and how fit we are spiritually. How are you doing friend? Seek the Lord while He may be found, and allow Him to guide your steps, your actions and your speech. May others see Jesus in you!

PRAYER: This is a very challenging passage of Scripture Lord Jesus. One in which we are reminded that we don’t have all the answers, and we desperately need You in every aspect of our lives. We are reminded that without You we can truly do nothing of value for the Kingdom. Please open our hearts and draw us to a closer walk with You and a life truly dependent on the power of Your sweet Holy Spirit. Lord, You know all too well how weak we are, but thank God You also know that You created us to be like You. So Lord, again today we beg with You to forgive us for those things that we do and the awkward things that we say – our spiritual weaknesses. Please draw us close to You and melt our hearts to closely depend on You in all walks of life, so that You may be glorified in every aspect of our lives. AMEN!

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

Just A Touch From The Master

Jesus was on a mission headed towards the home of Jairus to meet the need reported to Him by a very frightened dad. While enroute, there was a large crowd following, and they pressed in on Jesus’ personal space because they didn’t want to miss anything that He did. By this time, many had heard so much about the power of Jesus, that they were willing to do things such as merely getting close enough to touch His clothing, such as noted in the verses today. This was a true act of faith! Do we have that kind of faith?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-08-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Luke 8:45-48
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, so many are crowding against you. . . . ” 46 But Jesus told him, “No, it was someone who deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that Jesus knew, she began to tremble and fell to her knees before him and told why she had touched him and that now she was well. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

OBSERVATION: Jesus was on a mission headed towards the home of Jairus to meet the need reported to Him by a very frightened dad. While enroute, there was a large crowd following, and they pressed in on Jesus’ personal space because they didn’t want to miss anything that He did. By this time, many had heard so much about the power of Jesus, that they were willing to do things such as merely getting close enough to touch His clothing, such as noted in the verses today. This was a true act of faith! Do we have that kind of faith?

APPLICATION: In this Scripture today, I believe that Jesus is prompting us to reflect on how we might go about ‘touching the hem of His garment’ in our world today. Think about it friends, we often think of a ‘touch from God’ when we’re sick – beyond what we feel our doctor could handle, or about to face surgery, or lost a loved one, or can’t see ourselves through financial struggles, or when things at work seems impossible, but how do we touch the ‘hem of Jesus’ garment’, like this woman did? Well, let’s reread the verses again and remind ourselves of how this woman received help/healing. In verse 48 Jesus actually tells the woman what actually healed her. It was her faith! She knew where healing would come from, so in spite of all odds, she was determined to find the Master who had already healed through just a simple word. I believe this lady knew Jesus, knew of His awesome power and compassion on those in need, and I feel pretty sure that she probably knew the miracles He had already performed. Do you suppose she left her home that day with a good luck charm hoping that these rumors she had heard about Jesus could also possibly touch her life, if she was lucky? Do you suppose that the thought may have crossed her mind that she perhaps could stay at home in her bed and if Jesus wanted to, He would heal her? Let me share with you what my thoughts are: I believe this lady knew Jesus personally, and I believe she had lots of faith – enough to believe that Jesus could do for her everything that she had heard about Him ever doing for anyone else. However, I believe she wanted a close-up experience with her Master. Seeing that Jesus was thronged by so many people, she felt like she could never get His personal attention, but she knew that if she could only manage to get close enough to touch Him or any part of His clothing, she would be healed. Friends, that’s a lot of faith! That’s like us having faith to call on Him in our time of need, or asking our church elders to pray over you with oil, as spoken of in the New Testament. May I remind you again today that Our God’s Not Dead, Nor Has He Lost His Power To Heal! I have a friend who has an army of friends praying with her for the touch of the Master on her husband lying ill, to the point of death, from COVID. God is still in the prayer-answering business, as He cares as much about us as He has ever cared for one of His children. We serve an awesome God that hears the cries of His children. If He’s your God today friend, call on Him in your time of need. Celebrate Him when You remember His goodness and recognize His miracle working hand.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are so amazed by Your awesome power, and often wonder why You would consider even us for Your miraculous work. Please teach us the wonder of faith and the unlimited power of our wonderful God. May we always come to the Savior for salvation; the Healer with our illnesses and to our Eternal God with our desire for eternity in Heaven with You. Thank You for loving us so much dear God, our Heavenly Father! AMEN!

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

Be There For Others, As God was There For You!

Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal more so than any drug or doctor we could recommend; He’s our Guide, our Partner and our Friend when we face hard times; We are worthy of His confidence in comforting others facing similar challenges to what God has brought us through. What a Mighty God we serve!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-06-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

OBSERVATION: Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal even when there is not a drug or doctor who could; He’s also our Guide, our Deliverer, our Protector and our Friend when we face hard times; We are blessed beyond anything we deserve and we can easily be a comfort to others facing similar challenges to what God brought us through. We serve a Mighty God!

APPLICATION: When we are going through challenging times in life, as all of us do at times, we either call a friend, or a trusted counselor, like a pastor or Christian Brother or Sister. Isn’t it rewarding to read what God inspired Paul to write in these verses, and be reminded that He is:
~ A God of all mercy – which means that He will listen to even us as we petition before Him. Think about it, what have we done to deserve anything from a perfect and holy God?;
~ A God of healing counsel – I believe that this encourages me that no matter what may be going on physically or mentally with us, God designed us and He therefore has the power to heal us, and/or give us counsel for whatever is needed. I love to attend a physician that has a photo showing Jesus looking over his shoulder, indicating that Jesus is counselling the doctor on what is best for us – the patients!
~ A God who stands by us, guides and protects us – I see this as not only being our pilot in our autos, but also as we walk along every aspect of life itself. Perhaps it might be health, or perhaps a drive along a dangerous road, or we may be wandering along in the woods or just struggling to make challenging decisions. Friends, with God by our side, what have we to fear?
The biggest takeaway for us, is that God will often cause us to walk alongside someone who could benefit from our experiences where He has healed us, protected us, or just been so gracious and loving to us. I recently had a medical practitioner who was going in for back surgery, with the same facility that I had used about 8 times. His spirits were lifted as I shared first hand experience with him, as to what he might expect along each step of his surgery and recovery. This is the same scenario as in many other experiences in life, for it opens the door for you to share how God has blessed you. I hope that you are looking for those opportunities and sharing as much as you could. Promoting the God Who has blessed us, and that we love dearly, is always a good thing friends!

PRAYER: We are once again reminded of Your love Lord Jesus! There is no shortage of friends and family who need encouragement from us, and as You guide us to those individuals today dear Lord, please fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that we may have the words and gentleness of heart to share in a way that would draw that individual unto yourself. Oh how sweet the name of Jesus is to a believer’s ear! Oh that others may be convinced of that as we share Your love from sincere and blessed hearts. I ask these things in the powerful name of 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, let me encourage you to visit 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!

It’s GOD!

I believe in these verses Paul intended to help the church to know the importance of drawing close to God so that He could draw close to them and use them for the enrichment of each other. This speaks volumes to the church today, because when we go off doing our own thing it might only benefit our small circle of friends, however when we allow the Holy Spirit to direct us into action and showing love one to another, we will see the church (God’s body of believers) enriched, blessed and uplifted. How do you feel like you’re doing in this, friends?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-05-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 12:6-7
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: There are many ways in which God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work in and through all of us who are his. The Holy Spirit displays God’s power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

OBSERVATION: I believe in these verses Paul intended to help the church to know the importance of drawing close to God so that He could draw close to them and use them for the enrichment of each other. This speaks volumes to the church today, because when we go off doing our own thing it might only benefit our small circle of friends, however when we allow the Holy Spirit to direct us into action and showing love one to another, we will see the church (God’s body of believers) enriched, blessed and uplifted. How do you feel like you’re doing in this, friends?

APPLICATION: If we were to sit down and evaluate how we are doing individually, I believe that Satan will automatically drive our thoughts possibly towards the pastor and what he could be doing differently, or more of the ministry he is being paid to do. Satan might also drive us towards all that we’ve heard about other leaders in the church, or even members that we’ve always looked up to. You know what I mean, it’s everyone else’s fault – except yours. Really, friends? Do we really believe that there are any here on earth that are perfect, like Jesus Christ was? Paul took a moment to express to the church that it is only because of the grace of God, and the power of God, working in and through us (the church) that anything could be accomplished for our God. Oh that we would never be so bold and/or stupid enough to study God’s Word, or teach His Word to others or preach His Word, without the full cooperation and help of the Holy Spirit. We are His instruments, and therefore He uses us to speak to His children, so that their hearts may be drawn to Jesus. That whole encounter is a ‘Jesus thing’ that we never want to mess up. Please join me as we read or study the Word, that we may carefully apply it to our lives. Sure, we may teach what we learn to others, but oh precious Savior, may You be faithful in helping us apply every word from God to our own lives first. My prayer for each reader today is that we all be found faithful and true, so that we may be used of God to spread the gospel in all walks of life, so that Jesus might tug on the hearts of all who hear, or are touched by us, and are touched by Him.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for touching my heart, thank You for making me whole. Please give my believing readers and I, the boldness and determination to reach out to all those that we will come into contact with today, and as we merely brush up alongside these individuals, I pray that You will penetrate their hearts and draw them to Yourself. Oh that they will see Jesus today, and come to know Him personally and intimately as their Savior and Lord. Today may be the day that many will come to know You as Lord, but I also realize that today may be the day that You call many home to Yourself. May Your perfect will be done in each of our lives dear Lord, AMEN!

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

All Have Sinned…. But Jesus!

With all the rules, kids seem to look at parents as being ‘impossible’! So as kids grow into teenagers, they can’t wait to get out from their parents and live on their own! But then, as they start to drive, they find that there are rules, for the roads are policed according to the law of the land. And it seems that the law is set all around them in everything they approach. Often adults look at following God as being another set of rules and laws. Today I would like for you to meditate with me on this Scripture that details how God provided a much better alternative to the many laws that were established when the world began. Perhaps you might see some light at the end of the dark tunnel you feel stuck in.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-03-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 3:20-24
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 …. No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what the law commands. For the more we know of God’s laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying them; his laws serve only to make us see that we are sinners.
21-22 But now God has shown us a different way to heaven[f]—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. 23 Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; 24 yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.

OBSERVATION: With all the rules, kids seem to look at parents as being ‘impossible’! So as kids grow into teenagers, they can’t wait to get out from their parents and live on their own! But then, as they start to drive, they find that there are rules, for the roads are policed according to the law of the land. And it seems that the law is set all around them in everything they approach. Often adults look at following God as being another set of rules and laws. Today I would like for you to meditate with me on this Scripture that details how God provided a much better alternative to the many laws that were established when the world began. Perhaps you might see some light at the end of the dark tunnel you feel stuck in.

APPLICATION: When God populated the earth there were many laws established to help keep a semblance of order and peace among the peoples of the earth. It quickly became evident that these laws were simply indicators to man whether he was doing something right, or whether he had messed up. Are laws necessary? Absolutely, because we would live in a state of chaos if laws did not exist. However, God designed us to enjoy life here on the beautiful earth that He created, but He also knew that our time here on earth would be limited. He created us to worship Him and to live at peace with our fellow beings. But I don’t believe it was ever God’s intent to create disposable humans, meaning that once they die, their bodies would return to dust as a final disposition of that person. For God created heaven as well, a home that His beloved would gather with the Father and the Son for ever and for ever. But because He created us with a free will, He wanted us to decide what our eternity would look like, without the influence or crutch of a set of laws. If we do nothing and continue to live in sin and in harmony with the world, we will spend eternity with the ruler of the world, Satan, in the pit of Hell with he and his many demons. However, in the above verses, God declares the purpose of sending His Son, Jesus. For He said that if we place our trust in Jesus, He would forgive us of our sins and declare us not guilty. In other words, we would look to be as one who has never sinned! Other Scripture refers to this as being ‘white as snow’; or forgiven. The saved child of God is referred to as ‘holy’, ‘righteous’, or a ‘saint’. Notice that there were no other filters placed on who could call on the name of the Lord – nothing to do with a particular race, color, country of origin, gender, etc, etc. If you are walking this earth, then you are eligible to call on the name of the Lord and place your faith and trust in Jesus, my Lord! Now let me quickly give you more exciting information that is extremely miraculous – God will make a brand new person out of you. For your desires will change to live as Jesus did when He was here on earth; you will desire to turn from your wicked/sinful ways and follow His commands; you will desire to be around people of God who made a decision like you did; you will learn to love your siblings – other children of your Father/God; your lifestyle will begin to look so much like God, that others will take note and want in on what you found! I hope you could tell that I am overjoyed to be a child of the King, and that there is nothing I desire more than for you to know that the invitation is open to you to know my Savior and Lord. Please read on through my Footnote and especially visit the link ‘To Know Jesus’. I would also suggest that you call on a partner to pray with you as you commit to this new life in Christ – a Bible teaching pastor near you, or myself, would be overjoyed to help you make the right decision. Call on us, won’t you?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank You for this reminder today. Based on Your Word, I am more convinced than ever that You will return soon to take Your chosen people, Your children who chose You as their King, home to be with You. I am so thankful that You prompted me to choose You as my King, my Leader, my Deliverer many years ago. Oh God, PLEASE speak firmly to the hearts of those reading this devotional who have been lax in making this important decision. Oh that they may decide today to trust in Jesus and be assured of their eternal destination in heaven with You. I would be forever grateful, blessed and thankful. 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!

Search Me Oh God

In the preceding verses, David had just done something that many of us may find ourselves guilty of at times. He had just asked God to deal with all those around him that didn’t seem to have their act together. Then in these verses it seems like the Holy Spirit caused David to look inward, and personally, for a moment and ask God to take the board out of his own eye first. Let’s stop and look inward today, because as the day progresses, we are bound to see the evil in everyone else.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Psalm 139:23-24 (ERV)

TEXT:  23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. 24 Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

OBSERVATION:   In the preceding verses, David had just done something that many of us may find ourselves guilty of at times. He had just asked God to deal with all those around him that didn’t seem to have their act together. Then in these verses it seems like the Holy Spirit caused David to look inward, and personally, for a moment and ask God to take the board out of his own eye first. Let’s stop and look inward today, because as the day progresses, we are bound to see the evil in everyone else.

APPLICATION:   I was chatting with a coworker of mine one day about the faults of others that seem to challenge us in our workplace. Soon the coworker turned and said to me: ‘and did you know that they are saying the same things about you?’. Ooouch! I can’t remember how many years ago this happened, but those words have left an indelible impression on me. Friends, I know that many of you are probably familiar with these two little verses, but they pack a huge punch. Others who deal with you might see the smiling face, and they might see the kind deeds at times, but do they truly know your heart? No, do they really know your thoughts? Think about Jesus for a moment, and how he did kind deeds for others, knowing full well what the ultimate outcome would be. The ten lepers – He knew at the time of healing them, that 90% of them were there for the healing and nothing else, yet He healed them anyway! I’m afraid that our attitude might be that we would never look at helping a leper again, since they are generally unthankful – based on the Biblical account. It is so easy to see fault in others. I believe that is one gift that God has truly given to us with a heightened awareness! Conversely, I believe that one of the areas that Satan has really dipped his ugly nose into with Christians, is the tendency to look right over our own personal weaknesses while going on to criticize the poor guy next to us that is trying so hard to live a life pleasing to God. I believe that the only way that we could correct our dilemma is to plead daily with God to truly open our eyes to our weaknesses so that we may humble ourselves and ask for His help to overcome those things. Often I will bounce decisions off my wife, or someone close to me. This may help sometime, but often those closest to us may find it challenging to truly be constructive with us, so it is always good to seek God and His righteousness, for help in dealing with a situation that might be sensitive or might tend to pull someone else down. Imagine the positive impact of doing this, versus having to approach God after you have screwed up, to help you correct things with a hurt Brother or Sister. Let’s try to clean up the inside, then whatever comes out of us will come from a clean heart, and with loving thoughts.

PRAYER:   You know my thoughts, my mind and my intentions Oh Lord. That’s a scary thought if we have something to hide, but it is so comforting to know that my Lord and Savior still accepted me, even though He knows my heart. There is no greater love than that offered by the Master of this universe! Thank You Heavenly Father for accepting even me as Your child. Because of Your Word today, I am praying that my readers and I will kneel before Your throne in humility and obedience, and begin our time with You by asking You to search our hearts and our very thoughts. Please reveal Your Truth to us so that we may begin a cleanup job like never before. Lord we already know that You will not occupy a dirty vessel, so teach us the very basics of our Christianity – to live our lives in total obedience to Your Word. Please have Your perfect will and way in our lives Lord, for we want You to fill us with so much of Yourself that we will overflow with Your goodness. We need You 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely 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 be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!