The Lens Through Which You See Life

Too often we hear that old saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’. The Word of God teaches us today that when we take in the Word of God and let it saturate our hearts and our lives, then we would expect nothing less, what others might hear from us. This also comes into play with our sight, for we could see the good in a situation, or we could look for things that tear down a person. In desiring to be more like our Master, let us look for ways that He might respond in life and then determine in our hearts to do the same…

Thursday, 2019-05-23

Bible Reference: Proverbs 7:1-3
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: My son, live according to what I am telling you;
    guard my instructions as you would a treasure deep within you.
Stay true to my directives, and they will serve you well;
    make my teachings the lens through which you see life.
Bind cords around your fingers to remind you of them;
meditate on them, and you’ll engrave them upon your heart.

OBSERVATION: Too often we hear that old saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’. The Word of God teaches us today that when we take in the Word of God and let it saturate our hearts and our lives, then we would expect nothing less, what others might hear from us. This also comes into play with our sight, for we could see the good in a situation, or we could look for things that tear down a person. In desiring to be more like our Master, let us look for ways that He might respond in life and then determine in our hearts to do the same…

APPLICATION: The last time I saw my grandmother alive, she assured me that even though she could no longer see to read her Bible, she was able to recite Scripture daily and meditate on the Word of God. Our Scripture today encourages us to write the Word upon our heart. Could it be for times such as my grandmother experienced when her sight left her? Perhaps! And I could only praise the Lord for her ability to remember, for it seems like a struggle for me to do the same! But friends, I believe this is also important at other times in our lives: What spurts from your mouth when you are caught off guard, or frightened by someone? What comes forth when you are told shocking news? What words do you share with someone when you know its the last time you might see them here on this earth? Let’s be reminded that “from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. Also remember, if it’s in you, it will come out of you! So dear one, let us be busy about the Master’s work. Let us daily commit to take in more of the Lord, by reading His precious Word. Not only will it give us direction for the day, but it gives us a path for us to walk, or a lens through which we could see the world and the richness of God’s love in this world. Let the love of God so live inside of you, that your life and your words will show evidence of that in everything you say or do. May your life count in multiple ways today as evidence of your King, to a lost and hopeless world.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand today and lead me on. May the Words that I’ve read today be a rich source of inspiration, and a witness, to someone without any hope. May they desire to know You personally and be willing to seek the source of all hope that results in eternity with You in heaven. Please touch the hearts of all who might read this devotional today, so that their hearts might be impacted by the King of all kings, my Master and my Lord. AMEN!

Forgive Before Asking God For Forgiveness

It appears like we easily place ourselves before God and ask for things, without giving any thought to what His Word says. Forgiveness is one of those things where the Word says that one must forgive others, before asking God to forgive them personally. There is a similar command on giving, but today we will focus in on forgiveness.

Monday, 2019-05-20

Bible Reference: Mark 11:25-26
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  25 And whenever you stand praying, if you find that you carry something in your heart against another person, release him and forgive him so that your Father in heaven will also release you and forgive you of your faults. 26 But if you will not release forgiveness, don’t expect your Father in heaven to release you from your misdeeds.”

OBSERVATION: It appears like we easily place ourselves before God and ask for things, without giving any thought to what His Word says. Forgiveness is one of those things where the Word says that one must forgive others, before asking God to forgive them personally. There is a similar command on giving, but today we will focus in on forgiveness.

APPLICATION: How easy is it to forgive another individual? When considering the extreme hurt caused to you, it becomes pretty challenging, doesn’t it? However, I believe that we are capable of understanding how God feels about us also. Imagine for a moment: God created human beings – you and I; He placed us on this beautiful earth that He meticulously created for us to enjoy, to live on, and the survive from everything that He placed on the earth. Yet we carelessly destroy all the beauty He created, plus we sin against one another, and even murder one another over very silly things. We are hurt by others who may be jealous over our successes, or they just may not approve of our well being, compared to their own. We are therefore provoked to stay away from them and be on guard to take any action necessary to protect our own territory. The relationship we develop with these individuals is such that we want to stay far enough away from them, and it wouldn’t hurt our feelings any if we saw them struggling along the edge of the road or about to drown in the ocean. However, praise to the Almighty, we are a holy people, and although we have sinned, we know that we can present ourselves before our Master and ask for forgiveness. STOP right there! That’s where our Scripture today becomes so vital to us. For why would God listen to a man, or woman, holding such a grudge against a Brother or Sister to the degree that they are willing to see them harmed along the roadside, or sink into the depths of the ocean? Could such a person seriously want forgiveness of their own sin, without giving thought or attention to the awful sin bound up inside against a fellow Brother or Sister? I believe that God is saying to us in His Word today, that this type of pleading from Him is unacceptable. For He expects us to clean up our own act, before asking a perfect God, who knows every little itsy bitsy thing about us, to forgive us of our own sin. I believe that God is saying to us that He will forgive us, as we have forgiven others. Only you and God can answer what that might look like: completely? fully? totally forgiven with nothing held back? There’s a song that centers around this theme and it speaks to the forgiven person being asked by God ‘What sin?’. Can you honestly ask that question of God if He questioned you about your relationship with a Brother or Sister who hurt you and caused you to harbor sin in your heart? ‘What sin are you referring to, dear Jesus? I forgave them a long time ago’. I believe that the Scripture is telling us to consider any grudge we have against another, before asking God to forgive us of our trespasses and our sin.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, we stand before You as an opened book today, knowing that You are well aware of our comings and our goings; our sin and our readiness to forgive. Please touch deep inside the hearts of all who will read this devotional today, and cause us to forgive others, so that we might receive Your forgiveness. AMEN!

How To Live A Long, Good Life

Saturday, 2019-05-18

Bible Reference: Psalm 34:12-14
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:
12–13 Do you want to live a long, good life,
enjoying the beauty that fills each day?
Then never speak a lie or allow wicked words
to come from your mouth.
14 Keep turning your back on every sin,
and make “peace” your life motto.
Practice being at peace with everyone.

OBSERVATION: With the beginning of these verses, I believe it is very obvious that this advice is for all people, for who would not want for themselves a long, good life. So I believe it is important that we take the advise God ordained through His servant David in this Scripture.

APPLICATION: I believe that God placed us here on this earth so that we might be blessed of Him, and blessed by each other. Unfortunately Satan wiggled his way into this world, and found how he could upset individuals, families, communities, churches and even larger groups, so that they would never again be happy. However, for the Christian, we have the Word of God that reminds us that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world, and we have Scripture such as this one from the book of Psalms admonishes us to practice being at peace with everyone. This tells me that we must put effort into it, and be intentional about turning our back on sin, and being at peace with everyone. Friends, I believe that if the love of God is truly inside of us, we can’t help but seeing it exude from us in every act, in every word, and in every deliberate step that we take. So how do we get there? Please allow me to remind you that Satan is much bigger than we are, and he is much more powerful than we are, so may we quickly be reminded that there is only One more powerful – God Himself. Let us therefore surrender our all before God, and let us seek His guidance, His power and His peace, and let us allow Him to guide us into a life that is so filled with Jesus and His love, that we would be overflow with His character and His peace. We live in a very troubled world, and we should do everything possible to be a light to the rest of the world, and not add to the darkness that already exists. Let us therefore seek the fullness of God and ask that we, His humble representatives be like He is. Filled with love and compassion for one another.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I come humbly before You today seeking Your power and Your grace. I would sincerely ask that You touch my life, and teh lives of those who will read this devotional today. Please fill us with Your love, give us the power to overcome, and give us teh peace that surpases all understanding, so that we might be . AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

To Passionately Pursue The Lord

All too often we hear the saying ‘why do bad things happen to ‘good’ people’, or of course, just the opposite ‘why do good things always happen to ‘bad’ people’. But our Scripture verses today reminds us that for those who sincerely, and honestly, and diligently seek after the Lord, they will never lack in any good thing. What an amazing thought to ponder today!

Friday, 2019-05-17

Bible Reference: Psalm 34:9-10
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Worship in awe and wonder, all you who’ve been made holy! For all who fear him will feast with plenty.
10 Even the strong and the wealthy grow weak and hungry,
but those who passionately pursue the Lord will never lack any good thing.

OBSERVATION: All too often we hear the saying ‘why do bad things happen to ‘good’ people’, or of course, just the opposite ‘why do good things always happen to ‘bad’ people’. But our Scripture verses today reminds us that for those who sincerely, and honestly, and diligently seek after the Lord, they will never lack in any good thing. What an amazing thought to ponder today!

APPLICATION: I’m sure that many could dissect each little word in these verses and offer their opinion on what David meant to say, or what they feel like he meant, or perhaps how these words should be applied to our lives in this modern world. However, I am innocent enough to believe; and based on my knowledge of my Lord; and the sincerity of His love for me, and all those who claim Him as Lord and Savior; that these verses meant nothing less than what His servant David said. You see, we need not be talked out of the blessing that God has in store for His chosen children – those who honestly and humbly seek to honor and obey Him, and follow His commands and His teachings. In other words, like the Scripture says in this translation – this applies to ‘those who passionately pursue Him’. So where do you stand with your relationship with God, my friend? Do you consider yourself ‘passionate’ about Your Master and King? Do you seek ways to learn more about Him and/or develop the relationship that you have with Him? Yes, even years and years after accepting Him as Lord, I believe it is still vital on your part, to: pursue the Lord and want to know Him even better; want to serve Him even more; want to act like Him even more; in fact, you are downright passionate about being His ambassador here on earth, until you are humbly at His feet in Heaven. So you may wonder why this is so important to you/us. My friend, I hope that this assures you of the love that the King of this universe has for even you! I hope that your goal to be more like Jesus every day has become more worthwhile and important to you after reading the words of David today! I hope that you have been reminded that although we will never attain perfection here on this life, our hope is in the Lord – the creator of earth, sky and each of us, and that He has a home prepared for us in Heaven – so we press on towards the mark with our greatest passion and unyielding desire, with Jesus as our helper and guide. Great things are in store for us friends, there’s no reason to ever turn back!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me – thy great salvation so rich, and free! What a blessing to know that You have so much in store for us while we are here on this earth, and especially after we join You in glory! Please continue to guide us and bless us as we deal with the challenges of this world, and until the day You call us home to glory. Oh that You may be glorified in everything we do and say, precious Lord, so that others may see, hear and believe. AMEN!

Are You Ready?

I’m sure that I’m not alone in wanting the very best for my life, right up to, and including my death/burial, or even beyond the grave. But what are we willing to do now, in order to achieve the very best for our lives after this point in time? Perhaps an insurance policy, or perhaps the right careperson, or perhaps if we take care of the preacher and our nearest family and friends, then they will look out for us? Surely the rich young ruler was thinking about such things when he questioned Jesus. Join me as we meditate on the response from Jesus.

Thursday, 2019-05-16

Bible Reference: Mark 10:17; 21
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:
The Question: 17 As he was starting out on a trip, a man came running to him and knelt down and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get to heaven?”
The Answer: 21 Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. “You lack only one thing,” he told him; “go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor—and you shall have treasure in heaven—and come, follow me.”

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that I’m not alone in wanting the very best for my life, right up to, and including my death/burial, or even beyond the grave. But what are we willing to do now, in order to achieve the very best for our lives after this point in time? Perhaps an insurance policy, or perhaps the right careperson, or perhaps if we take care of the preacher and our nearest family and friends, then they will look out for us? Surely the rich young ruler was thinking about such things when he questioned Jesus. Join me as we meditate on the response from Jesus.

APPLICATION: To the poor man, who might struggle to find daily food for he and his family here on earth, the thought of one day being with the Creator of this Universe might seem appealing enough to sacrifice anything that he has today. To the rich man, who must consider waking up in a place where money or riches is of no value, or the thought of giving up all earthly goods to follow Jesus – where value comes in relationships, love, commitment to serve Jesus, imitate Jesus in all aspects of life, etc. that might appear virtually impossible to consider. But friends, the challenge of this might become clear as you consider all that the rich man does today to protect himself and his net worth here on earth, while the poor man simply lives ‘from hand to mouth’. I feel like Jesus is telling us, dear friends, that at the foot of the cross all things are equal. The poor man will come as a beggar looking for food (mercy, forgiveness and the love of the Savior), and the rich man will come just as his poor Brother – nothing of earthly value, but as a sinner, or beggar, looking for mercy, forgiveness and the love of the Savior. The other important thing to consider here is that no one else can make that trip to the cross for you. It is something that you alone must do for you alone. Have you made that step yet my friend? Have you humbled yourself, forgetting all about what this world might attribute to your success, and approached the cross of Christ asking for forgiveness of your sin and acceptance into the Kingdom of God? We have no assurance of tomorrow. Do it today while you have the time and mental capacity to do so. The benefits of that decision are eternal, and ‘out of this world’!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we are mere sinners looking into the face of a perfect Savior. Please help us to understand that there is no value in any worldly possessions or actions that will help us right our relationship with our Maker, but to seek a relationship with the Savior sent to us for that purpose. You are an awesome God! Oh what a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord! Thank You Heavenly Father! Please touch the hearts of my readers today, and draw them to the cross. AMEN!

Just Like A Child

Jesus always welcomed children, however the disciples were challenged in wanting to keep the way cleared for Jesus to perform miracles and meet the needs of the adults. But Jesus saw, and He knew, how receptive children were in believing, without needing to know the how, what, when and where of everything that takes place, so He used His interaction with the children to teach a lesson to the adults present. We will meditate on the applicability of this to even us today.

Wednesday, 2019-05-15

Bible Reference: Mark 10:13-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 13-16 The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

OBSERVATION: Jesus always welcomed children, however the disciples were challenged in wanting to keep the way cleared for Jesus to perform miracles and meet the needs of the adults. But Jesus saw, and He knew, how receptive children were in believing, without needing to know the how, what, when and where of everything that takes place, so He used His interaction with the children to teach a lesson to the adults present. We will meditate on the applicability of this to even us today.

APPLICATION: Parents and adults are constantly searching for ways to teach children more, and also ways that would help them become a better person as they mature. But how often do we ever stop to learn from these dear ones? Jesus saw the value in these precious gifts given to mankind, for He never had a need to deal with their rejection, or their hatred, or their pride. In fact, they felt very appreciative just to sit on Jesus’ lap and listen to Him teach, or whisper kind and loving words into their ears. It didn’t matter which knee they sat on, nor did it matter if they sat at His feet, as long as they were near to Him. Friends, can you see from just those few examples how many complications sin has added to our adult minds? For how many arguments will erupt over who got to sit on His lap this week, vs last week; who got to ask questions last week vs this week; whose parents did Jesus go over and speak to; who got more attention from Jesus; etc, etc. When I think of the words of Jesus in comparing the attitudes of children to those who enter the kingdom, I tend to think of us coming to Jesus in total surrender – no one pulling us back; no worries about what we will lose by following Christ; truly coming with outstretched arms and saying to Jesus ‘here I am Lord, take me and do what you would like to’; and seeking full repentance of our sin and willing to go in a totally new and different way – God’s way. Let me suggest that you take a close look at the ways of your child and see how forgiving they are, and how appreciative they are to just receive a hand up and be satisfied that they are with someone who cares and loves them. Don’t always demand your own way, but instead trust in God – for He cares for you! He loves you, in spite of all that you have done contrary to His commands, and He has a place prepared for you when He sees fit for you to leave this world and join Him in heaven. Know Him, today dear friend, and know the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving even us. As Your child, we are blown away with the love expressed to us daily in so many ways. Thank You for the children that You place in our lives to teach us lessons about our approach to You and to heaven. Please help us to use the actions and attitudes of our children to help us see You in a different, and innocent light, while all the while correcting us in all the negative ways we have been affected by this sinful world. We are Your children dear Lord. Please help us to act like that, and love like that. AMEN!

Mother’s Life-Giving Teaching

As we head into Mother’s Day tomorrow, let us be careful to honor our mother, not just in appreciation for all they have done for us, but also in honor and obedience to what God instructed us in His Word. Notice that God was well aware that we would run into times where we might wonder if we could truly make it through this challenging life on earth. So He reminds us that the teaching we received from our mom was ‘life-giving’. Let’s try reflecting back on that godly teaching and ensure that we are applying it to our lives today!

Saturday, 2019-05-11

Bible Reference: Proverbs 6:20-23
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:
20 My son, obey your father’s godly instruction
and follow your mother’s life-giving teaching.
21 Fill your heart with their advice
and let your life be shaped by what they’ve taught you.
22 Their wisdom will guide you wherever you go
and keep you from bringing harm to yourself.
Their instruction will whisper to you at every sunrise
and direct you through a brand-new day.
23 For truth is a bright beam of light
shining into every area of your life,
instructing and correcting you to discover the ways to godly living.

OBSERVATION: As we head into Mother’s Day tomorrow, let us be careful to honor our mother, not just in appreciation for all they have done for us, but also in honor and obedience to what God instructed us in His Word. Notice that God was well aware that we would run into times where we might wonder if we could truly make it through this challenging life on earth. So He reminds us that the teaching we received from our mom was ‘life-giving’. Let’s try reflecting back on that godly teaching and ensure that we are applying it to our lives today!

APPLICATION: We are certainly going through some very challenging times right now, with crimes that we never thought possible during our lifetime. The church is also challenged to continue its mission through the discouragement of decreasing congregations, especially with our younger generation. Yes, I realize that this is a part of prophecy where the people will lose heart, and have no desire to worship God. But I believe this is also leaving our parents disheartened and disillusioned about what might they have done wrong in bringing their children up. Church leaders are constantly seeking God on what might they do differently to keep their ‘sheep’ interested in God, in the Bible, and in church ministries. Law enforcement is seeking answers on what might they do to stem the trend of increased crime and evil in our cities. Friends, I am convinced that the answers are all ‘in the Book’ – the Bible. Let’s be reminded that nothing catches God by surprise. It’s just us that always seem surprised. In addition to the wonderful, and timeless truth in our focal verses today, I was reminded in another Scripture that I read today, that when the disciples questioned Jesus on why they were not capable of ousting the evil spirit from the young man brought to them, Jesus responded that the issue was something that really required prayer and fasting. I wonder how often we manage to get over our little aches and pains at our prayer meetings, and instead go to prayer meeting after much fasting and prayer over the concerns of our young people who have chosen to ignore the teachings and leadership of their parents. Is it not serious enough for us to take such a drastic course of action? Friends, we the church, must be serious about our Father’s business, and make it a choice to attend our organized Prayer Meetings. We must be willing to make prayer a priority in our life – every day, and not just on Sundays and Wednesdays (or whatever days might be calendared by your church). To reiterate – tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I believe that there is no greater gift you can give to your mother than to hear her say ‘well done son/daughter, it is obvious to me that you are following my many years of teachings and instruction.’

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You showed us in many ways that Your love is beyond our comprehension. One of the ways that You have shown us love is by placing Your favorite daughter in our life, as our mother. I thank you for my mother – her love, her teachings and her dedication to make me the best that I could be. Please touch the heart of every son or daughter who reads this devotional, and help everyone to reflect on the godly teachings of our mother, and may we draw closer to You in ways that would make her proud and thankful that she had a part in our life. AMEN!

I Stand In Awe Of Him

A medical doctor will be recognized for his/her extraordinary study of a particular disease, and should he find a cure for that disease, he would be highly recognized and respected, in some cases, throughout the entire world. We are reminded in the Scripture that our world was without form and substance at one point, yet the Almighty God who created you and me, also created everything in this world. Let’s just meditate on, and soak in, the awesome power of our God, the very One that we call ‘Father’!

Friday, 2019-05-10

Bible Reference: Psalm 33:6-9
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:
The Lord merely spoke,
    and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
    and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries
    and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the Lord,
    and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began!
    It appeared at his command.

OBSERVATION: A medical doctor will be recognized for his/her extraordinary study of a particular disease, and should he find a cure for that disease, he would be highly recognized and respected, in some cases, throughout the entire world. We are reminded in the Scripture that our world was without form and substance at one point, yet the Almighty God who created you and me, also created everything in this world. Let’s just meditate on, and soak in, the awesome power of our God, the very One that we call ‘Father’!

APPLICATION: There are a number of hymns written about the awesome power of God. Many of these were written from personal experiences where God’s power became very real to the songwriter through a personal encounter. My prayer today is that each reader of this devotional will not just read the Scripture verses, and/or my humble commentary, but that they may catch a glimpse of the enormous power of our God, and experience the love, compassion and power of the Creator of this earth in a very personal way today. Perhaps on your way to work, or to the store, or on the hunting/fishing grounds, you might see more than just trees and animals, or possibly fish jumping from the waters. But that you may be awed by the beauty of the forest; the purpose of the animals; the variety of the fish in size, color and taste; the vastness of the ocean; and the purpose of the sun, rain, moon, etc. I pray that you may imagine a world without these things, and then be reminded of the only way that they came into existence and the great purpose for which God created them. Now, may I suggest that you re-read the focal verses again? Notice carefully how the Psalmist reminds us that God didn’t just create water and allow it to flow all over the wonderful lands that He created, but instead He formed reservoirs to retain that water, so that everything else could survive! He didn’t just create you and I, and place us on land that He created, without first providing fruit, fish, animals, water, etc. that would provide food, milk, and everything else that we need to flourish! Friends, I trust that you will catch a glimpse of my awesome God today, and that you may be refreshed as you are reminded of all that He meticulously provided for His children. Also be reminded that God has everything covered right up to, and including, our eternal destination after we leave this wonderful world. To understand more about this, and how you might be a part of this type of eternity, please read my Footnote, and take time to click on the included links. God loves you more than anything you could imagine. Allow this miracle-working God to be a part of your life both now, and throughout eternity.

PRAYER: I stand in awe of You mighty God! Thank You for allowing me to participate in, and bask in, Your awesome goodness here on earth! I am also especially grateful that You have me covered right through eternity also, and I thank You for drawing me to Yourself. Lord, You are good and Your mercies are with me always. Please humble the hearts of my readers today, so that they too may be drawn to You and the everlasting hope that only You can provide. Please forgive us Lord when we take Your many gifts, and Your precious blood for granted. Life is meaningless without You Lord, for we need You every hour of every day. AMEN!

Who Is Jesus?

Think about the television show ‘You are live on public television’ – where someone walks up to you and catches you in a surprised and unexpected moment, saying ‘you are on live public television!’ Now imagine if that same TV host walked up to you at the mall, stuck a microphone in your face and asked “So who is this Jesus that you try to ‘sell’ to others”? Do you have any idea how you might answer that – knowing that you are now standing in front of a million television viewers? We could read what Peter’s response to a similar question from Jesus was, now let us meditate on what we might respond.

Thursday, 2019-05-09

Bible Reference: Mark 8:27-29
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 27 Jesus and his disciples headed out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, he asked, “Who do the people say I am?” 28 “Some say ‘John the Baptizer,’” they said. “Others say ‘Elijah.’ Still others say ‘one of the prophets.’” 29 He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?” Peter gave the answer: “You are the Christ, the Messiah.”

OBSERVATION: Think about the television show ‘You are live on public television’ – where someone walks up to you and catches you in a surprised and unexpected moment, saying ‘you are on live public television!’ Now imagine if that same TV host walked up to you at the mall, stuck a microphone in your face and asked “So who is this Jesus that you try to ‘sell’ to others”? Do you have any idea how you might answer that – knowing that you are now standing in front of a million television viewers? We could read what Peter’s response to a similar question from Jesus was, now let us meditate on what we might respond.

APPLICATION: It is interesting to note how a story might sound when we tell it to our spouse/child, vs when we tell it to a group at work, vs when we tell it at church. We tend to be more guarded in what we say outside of the home; more general when in the presence of work associates; and we tend to use more church or Bible lingo when at church. But think for a moment with me today as we ponder what we might say in response to a question posed to us by One who knows our innermost thoughts; has seen our every action/deed; and who not only knows every intricate detail about us, but is also responsible for designing and putting us altogether. To respond to this question today, I would suggest that we not respond with what the Bible says about Jesus, or what our pastor said about Jesus, or what we heard our favorite Christian Brother or Sister say about Jesus, but to actually respond directly, personally, and intimately about who Jesus is to you. For those who are . married, think about how you would respond if asked a similar question about your spouse! How would you respond if asked about your parents? Friends, I believe that this question by Jesus really boils down to the kind of relationship that you have with Him. Your response changes from who ‘they’ say Jesus is, to who is my Jesus to me! As a husband, I love to hear my wife say who she feels like I am. Don’t you think that Jesus would consider it praiseworthy to hear us openly express our feelings about the value of who He truly is to us? I’ve always been taught that it is right to praise and adore Jesus for who He is to me, before asking Him for any needs that may exist in my life. I don’t know that I do enough of that, do you? Will you consider joining me in committing to take every opportunity to praise God for who He is to us, and to never be bashful in sharing with everyone who knows us, the awesome news about who Jesus is to us?

PRAYER: Lord, You are my Creator and therefore You know every little thing about me. Thank you for putting me together, placing me with a wonderful wife, blessing me with an awesome daughter, providing me the best employment opportunity for 32 years of my life, challenging me with ministry opportunities in and through my church, and deliberately placing friends in my life that love, care and pray for me on a regular basis. I am totally blessed, and I thank You from the very bottom of my heart. You are amazing, and beyond comprehension in Your ability to love sinners – even me. Thank You for claiming me as Your son! Please challenge my readers with an inward look at who Jesus is to them. No matter what they might read in this devotional, may they walk away today having shared with You about Your place in their heart. May this be evident to all that we come into contact with today, precious Lord. AMEN!

Stay Away From Things That God Hates

Wouldn’t you think that it would be everyone’s goal to please the very One that created us; the One who loves us so much that He sacrificed his very life for our salvation; the One who looks out for our very best each and every day? Let’s meditate on the thought of why God may have led Solomon to warn us about those things that He abhors. Surely we are not that evil, right?

Wednesday, 2019-05-08

Bible Reference: Proverbs 6:16-19
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 16 There are six evils God truly hates
and a seventh that is an abomination to him:
17 Putting others down while considering yourself superior,
spreading lies and rumors,
spilling the blood of the innocent,
18 plotting evil in your heart toward another,
gloating over doing what’s plainly wrong,
19 spouting lies in false testimony,
and stirring up strife between friends.
These are entirely despicable to God!

OBSERVATION: Wouldn’t you think that it would be everyone’s goal to please the very One that created us; the One who loves us so much that He sacrificed his very life for our salvation; the One who looks out for our very best each and every day? Let’s meditate on the thought of why God may have led Solomon to warn us about those things that He abhors. Surely we are not that evil, right?

APPLICATION: Although everything could be going really well for us, it is extremely challenging to think that anyone would despise the God of all creation. However, here in our earthly minds, how many would ever have dreamed that we would hear about a son murdering his own parents, or a daughter who would abandon her parents with no intent to visit them ever again? Or a parent that would throw their child to its death from a tall bridge? Friends, when sin (that thing that causes us to perform certain acts, and say things that are contrary to God’s initial design, and in contrast to His teachings) but when sin entered this world, it’s main purpose was to redirect our hearts and our minds away from God’s original design. Satan is it’s master designer, so his job is to redirect, steal, and misguide God’s children away from Him. Satan’s lies and deception causes us to think that there is a better way – one where we might be more powerful and better off at the end of the day. When brought into subjection by Satan, we often do the things that God abhors, that He teaches against and tries to steer us away from, for God cannot be lifted up, magnified, glorified or praised by folk under the influence of the evil one. Solomon, the author of Proverbs, tried to forewarn us about the things that God really despises, because he didn’t want us to find ourselves headed in a direction away from God, that may be extremely challenging for us to reverse. I realize that each one could read the Scripture verses for themselves, but I want to add a few comments to each of the seven things, based on my studies. Here are the things we are warned about by Solomon, that God hates: (1) Haughty, or proud eyes, belonging to one who lifts up self, at the expense of others. Jesus practiced humility to an extreme, and He wants us to do the same; (2) Being untruthful, for we will never gain the trust of our fellow man. Plus we tend to falsely accuse others through our lies; (3) Killing innocent people. I know, you’re not a murderer, right? But are you a participant or promoter of abortion. Or are you one to do everything in your power to promote ‘life’ as God has given it to us? (4) Plotting evil towards another – the Word explains that this is devising wicked schemes in our heart. Perhaps it is best to quickly seek help, as it could lead to disastrous actions; (5) Gloating over the evil you’ve done – instead of placing your head between your knees in sorrow, shame and regret over what you’ve done; (6) False Testimony – being an untrusted witness – in court, or if questioned by authorities; and (7) Stirring up strife between others – This might be friends, family or coworkers, where you have chosen to help divide, instead of bringing peace between the affected parties. Friends, no doubt you could see yourself in one or more of these seven things. Let me suggest that you speak with the God of this universe, and ask for His help, strength and guidance in overcoming the temptations of the evil one. Please join me in a desire to be more like Jesus and to follow His teachings and His will for our lives. Jesus went about doing good in every walk of life, and so should we, God being our helper!

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, we, your children, have allowed the world to sway our minds and lead us into actions that You despise. As Your child, we are embarrassed and sorrowful, so we seek Your forgiveness today and ask for invaluable strength to overcome our weaknesses. Please guide us into all truth, and remind us often of the One to whom we belong, and help us to live boldly in the light of Your teachings and Your example, so that others may see and believe in the God we serve. Please speak firmly to the unsaved today, so that they may surrender their lives to You and become one with You. AMEN!