A Lesson From Noah on Faith and Obedience

There are so many reasons that we may desire more faith, for we’ve come through some of the most challenging times of our lives in 2020, and as we enter 2021 we are still struggling in how to deal with the unknowns. Often our faith is restricted by our willingness to obey, however in today’s Scripture we can see great examples of each of these. Noah is a well known Old Testament man of God, so let’s seek God’s face and expect to learn from Noah today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-01-09
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 7:5-7; 22-23;
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: So Noah did everything the Lord commanded him. He was 600 years old when the flood came. He boarded the boat with his wife and sons and their wives, to escape the flood.
22 everything that breathed and lived upon dry land. 23 All existence on the earth was blotted out—man and animals alike, and reptiles and birds. God destroyed them all, leaving only Noah alive, and those with him in the boat.

OBSERVATION: There are so many reasons that we may desire more faith, for we’ve come through some of the most challenging times of our lives in 2020, and as we enter 2021 we are still struggling in how to deal with the unknowns. Often our faith is restricted by our willingness to obey, however in today’s Scripture we can see great examples of each of these. Noah is a well known Old Testament man of God, so let’s seek God’s face and expect to learn from Noah today.

APPLICATION: Some of you may remember the story of Noah, and/or the Ark, as told on flannel graft in Sunday School, while some may remember the catchy tune in that old chorus ‘Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord’. But in reading the account told in the Bible, God provided a few important reasons why He felt it important that we know about Noah in an even deeper fashion. My attention was especially drawn to two very important characteristics of Noah that could serve to improve my walk with the Lord, and I pray that these may also help you:
1. Faith – Things were really bad at the time – crime, mischief, partying and carousing – perhaps very much like we experience in some of our neighborhoods today. And although we don’t read where God spoke to everyone mentioned in the Bible, yet Noah had such a relationship with God that He told Noah how upset He was with His people, and that He was considering starting all over again. There was some mention of ‘rain’ – an unknown entity at that time. There was also mention of enough rain that it would cause a devastating flood. Unimaginable to Noah, but God said it, he believed it, and was willing and ready to act on any further instructions given to him. So the mystery continued as Noah was told to build a boat – a giant boat – larger than anything imaginable at that time. If we are given all of the intricate details of the conversation God had with Noah, then it is easy to believe that Noah instantly obeyed God without question, and was ready to begin the work assigned to him. Do you see just a tiny bit of faith there? Building a huge boat in the middle of the land where there was no water, and it will eventually work just perfectly by floating with immense weight in it? Wow, is that ‘FAITH’, or is that ‘FAITH’? Do we truly have ‘faith’ to follow God, and any command He may issue to us?
2). Obedience – Build a monster ship; Peculiar wood that must be used in construction, and precise measurements; Gather pairs of all animals, birds and reptiles to take on to the ship; Take your beloved family, knowing that you will lose everything and everyone else? While Noah followed all these things in humble obedience, I don’t see where he had any questions or suggestion on items that weren’t included in God’s plan. What about food? What about waste? What should he tell folk that are sure to come and make fun of him? What about friends and extended family that would be left behind? What if his family questioned the trustworthiness of this massive ship that Noah built? No, instead we are told that Noah did just as he was told to do. Can you do that dear friend? Are you in close enough relationship with God that you will do any and every thing that He orders you to do?
I can only desire that God would make me an extension of His love, His care for others, and faith so convincing that I would follow Him in humble obedience, regardless of the earthly outcomes and in spite of what appears to be insurmountable challenges. Oh that instead of worrying about how things are possible, that instead I would confidently and faithfully accept the powerful hand of the Father and just do what He says, for His glory alone.

PRAYER: Lord, I believe that You are well aware of our strengths and our weaknesses. You know why we doubt, and You know why we fail to follow Your commands obediently. Please forgive us for our lack of faith, even though You have blessed us to see, and read about many miracles You performed. Your Word declares that with faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. You’ve proven Your strength, Your wisdom and Your might, and You have shown Your love for us in supernatural ways. So there is no Godly reason for us to doubt. Please continue to work miraculously in our lives so that we might have the faith of Noah, and so that we may act on Your instructions instinctively, just as Noah did. You are all-powerful and almighty, so we place ourselves squarely at Your disposal to do Your work, so that You may be glorified in our lives and through our witness. AMEN!

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

Blessings – A Reward For Those Who Know Christ

I wonder how many you might interview today will quickly tell you of the blessings they enjoy each day? Don’t we often fall prey to sharing all the mishaps and disappointments, hoping to seek empathy from others? David shared that for kids who belong to God, we could expect blessings! Let’s ponder how we might spur one another on through the challenges they may be facing today!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-12-09
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 144:15
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: How wonderful to have such blessings!  Yes, great blessings belong to those who have the Lord as their God.

OBSERVATION: I wonder how many you might interview today will quickly tell you of the blessings they enjoy each day? Don’t we often fall prey to sharing all the mishaps and disappointments, hoping to seek empathy from others? David shared that for kids who belong to God, we could expect blessings! Let’s ponder how we might spur one another on through the challenges they may be facing today!

APPLICATION: I grew up in just a small town, but there were some kids that had it all, some that barely had the necessities, and others that wished they had parents that just loved them. If you can identify with similar scenarios from your childhood, then you too might reflect on how you felt when you spent time around each child. You may have felt envious about some, while feeling sorry for others. In verses 12 – 14 of this chapter, David listed some things that he felt would make the lives of he and his fellow citizens a lot more bearable. This sounds a lot like us, for we make our lists for Christmas; for the store; and perhaps even a wish list for our spouse! However, David was quick to say that as children of the heavenly King, we are blessed beyond measure all the time. Often we just need to get our envious minds out of the way, and concentrate on our needs instead of our ever growing list of wants! Based on a Scripture verse that I read one morning, I created a Facebook group, hoping to encourage my friends to join me in encouraging others by mentioning daily points of blessing and thanksgiving. Friends, if we believe this Scripture, then there should never be an awkward moment where we cannot share a blessing with someone. While definitely not looking for personal accolades, last night I realized that I had not posted anything to the group site for a few days, so I questioned before God what am I thankful for today? Oh my, the words just kept coming to mind as I reflected on all that God had done for me yesterday. What about you my friend? If you removed the words ‘luck’ or ‘happen-chance’ from your vocabulary and really concentrated on the things that only God could have provided for you, can’t you see where you would quickly come into agreement with David, that as a child of the King, we are filled with blessings from our loving Lord – our Heavenly Father? Keeping the blessings confined to your internal satisfaction is like saying that you deserved those blessings and that they are yours and yours alone. Let’s learn to be appreciative of our blessings, dear friends, and let’s celebrate those blessings with others, for they need encouragement that our God is still alive and He is still watching out for, and blessing His children beyond more than they could ever imagine or ask for! Count your blessing dear friend, and see what your mighty God can do!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we are thankful for life itself and we are especially thankful for Your precious love for even us. Lord, thank You for showing us love in so many different ways and for consistently loving us through all of life good and challenging times. Please continue to bless so that we may be a blessing to others. Oh that You may be lifted up and exalted through even us. Please touch lives through our actions so the unsaved may be drawn unto Yourself. AMEN!

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

Here’s What Love Means

In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-11-21
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 John 1:5-6
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: I am writing to remind you, dear friends,[c] that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

OBSERVATION: In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

APPLICATION: In many cases it is easier to think about the outcomes when a rule, or as in this case – a command, is not followed. For example, if we don’t love others as God commanded, then we may tend to hate them, meaning that we will do everything within our power to destroy them or cause them to fail. This hatred may come in various forms: lying about them; envious of their job position; jealous of their financial success; intimidated by their educational achievements; disrespect of their church-held positions; – just to name a few. Friends if any of these things are burning up inside of you, it will be virtually impossible to love an individual. So let’s look closer at what John directs us to in the true meaning of ‘Love’:
-> Do what God has commanded you to do – In other words, who is your master? If you love Me, you will obey my commandments – Jesus said this in John 14:15. So if you instead do whatever you please, without regard for Jesus Christ, is He truly your ‘Lord’ and Savior? I believe ‘Lord’ means that you have agreed to allow Jesus to Lord, or rule over you. If you persist in still doing your ‘own thing’ in life, then I would suggest that you revisit the cross and see if you truly gave God authority over your life;
-> Remember, God commanded us to love one another – Obviously John saw that the church was in disarray caused by many of the above mentioned actions, so he saw the need to remind them of what God taught His church. You see, God loved the world so much, yes those who loved Him and those that didn’t, that He permitted His only Son to die on Calvary, so that those who believe on Him, might be assured of eternal life in heaven. He loved enough to sacrifice everything He had so that we might reap the benefits of knowing Jesus as Lord. Friends, if we are to follow Him in the way we love others, would there ever be a reason for anyone to challenge us again like John did, about our obedience to God’s commands? I dare say no, what say ye?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving us, even when we were unlovable. Thank You for providing us the assurance of our salvation. Thank You for being our constant guide and deliverer from all evil around us. Lord, we want to be like You, but there is a serious uphill battle as we fight against the evil one while still here on earth. This causes us to act in ways that surely must not be pleasing to You Lord, so we humbly ask for Your strength, Your guidance and an extra dose of Your love that we might share with others. Please Lord, impact our conscious in such a way that we will turn from our wicked ways and obediently follow Your ways and Your commands. AMEN.

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

An Eye-Witness Account

John could have told us a lot about what the prophets foretold and what his fellow disciples witnessed, but I can’t imagine that it would have affected us like hearing John talk about his own personal experiences. As we meditate, let us be mindful of what we share with others so that they might receive maximum impact of our Savior and Lord.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-13
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 John 1:1; 3-4
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: [We are writing] about the Word of Life [[a]in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.
What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may [d]realize and enjoy fellowship as partners andpartakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a [e]distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and [f]your joy may be complete].

OBSERVATION: John could have told us a lot about what the prophets foretold and what his fellow disciples witnessed, but I can’t imagine that it would have affected us like hearing John talk about his own personal experiences. As we meditate, let us be mindful of what we share with others so that they might receive maximum impact of our Savior and Lord.

APPLICATION: I might tell you about the awesome fisherman that my dad was, and perhaps even tell you about one of the largest fish I ever saw him land. I might gain your interest and may even get you excited and encouraged to give the game of fishing another try. However, if I gave you a first-hand account of my most exciting fishing trip, and if I share the excitement of catching the largest fish I ever caught, I believe that I will draw you in, and some of the excitement will rub off on you. In fact, you may even have some questions for me, such as the location where I caught the monster fish, and what type bait did the trick. Can’t you imagine that John’s account of his personal experience with Jesus is much more effective because of him sharing his personal, hands-on encounters? So what about us, dear friends? It seems so easy for us to share what we read in the Bible, and we should never neglect reading God’s Word, for that is an important and key medium through which God speaks to us; corrects us; guides us and directs our daily path. However, sharing those personal encounters with God, and adding the personal impacts that our encounter brought to our lives – those are the experiences that will speak most strongly to a friend or family member. Let’s make every effort to share these times with all who will listen. They may seem small, and even appear insignificant at times, but God may have used those times to give you a testimony to share with a friend who is anxious to hear about a current one-on-one experience with the God of this universe. If you asked God for help or direction in a matter, please be careful to share how GOD showed Himself powerfully and miraculously to you. It wasn’t luck; it wasn’t happen-chance; it wasn’t due to your location or the day of the week. If you believe in your heart that God answered your prayer, then please share the goodness of God, even if you are in the presence of an atheist. Each day, and in every godly experience, God may be preparing you to minister to someone, even if you only feel like you are merely sharing a personal experience with them. As John said in verse 4, can you imagine the joy that will fill your heart when you recognize that God just used your humble experience with Him to help a lost person realize that they too can be saved? Friends, we know from the Bible that Jesus lived on earth, performed many miracles, and now sits at the right hand of the Father. The unsaved are hoping to see Jesus actively at work in the lives of His children here on earth. While we must not conjure up ideas of things where God might be at work, we must be quick to tell of the glories of the Father, as He loves us, guides us, and works in our lives each and every day.

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for Your goodness to me and Your precious love towards even me. I have friends, family and folk that I come into contact with each day, who are unsaved and in need of a Savior. Although I cannot boast of having touched You, as John did, yet I know without a doubt that You have touched me. Please help me to be bold in sharing my experiences with those who need this to help them believe in You. Please use me, and use my readers who know You personally. May we inspire all who we meet today, so that they may see Jesus in us. Have Your perfect will and way today in our lives, and in the lives of those who need to see You 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. 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!

You Are A Slave To Whatever Controls You

Ever seen a person change drastically and you called them a brand new person? I once had a friend who was caught in a vast array of medications that different doctors had prescribed. Their behavior was impacted by the side effects and interactions of all the different drugs. However, they went under the controlled, direct care of a team of doctors who stripped away all meds and then introduced only the drugs necessary to treat symptoms. I gained a new friend, because their whole character and countenance changed when they returned home! They were enslaved by all the meds. What controls you?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-11-08
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Peter 2:17-19
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. 18 They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

OBSERVATION: Ever seen a person change drastically and you called them a brand new person? I once had a friend who was caught in a vast array of medications that different doctors had prescribed. Their behavior was impacted by the side effects and interactions of all the different drugs. However, they went under the controlled, direct care of a team of doctors who stripped away all meds and then introduced only the drugs necessary to treat symptoms. I gained a new friend, because their whole character and countenance changed when they returned home! They were enslaved by all the meds. What controls you?

APPLICATION: We look at people such as my friend mentioned above, and we begin to accuse and blame them for the addictions they may have developed. But Scripture today reminded me that way too often we become so caught up in various aspects of our lives, that we become enslaved to them. Some are so engrossed in their work, that they can’t enjoy family, or go on a vacation, or even take a lunch break, because they feel like their job will be incomplete without them. They become so enslaved to their employer that they can no longer entertain social events, or sports, or anything else that would normally help to give them balance. I had a pastor tell me one time that it’s fine if a deacon pays a visit to a hospital patient, but that church member actually expects the pastor to visit. Unfortunately, way too often we feel like the pastor lives for the good of his sheep. But let me remind those pastors that may read this devotional, that you are not exempt from being pulled away from your relationship with Jesus Christ, and becoming enslaved to the church and its members. Pray that God will bless you with good leaders who will stand in your place when your family needs you and when you need a break. I believe that Peter was actually addressing some who were leaders, because their impact on others gave cause for them to stray away from one lifestyle to lead one similar to the leader. Let me encourage you today dear friends, that you need your own personal relationship with Christ, for you can’t slide into heaven because your parents were good strong Christians. God will look at your heart, and the decisions that you have made in your lifetime. You need your own time in the Word of God so that He could speak with you, correct you, and guide you. Yes it’s good to sit under the teaching of a great man of God, but always remember who has the ultimate last word. Always have your Bible and go to the various scriptures while being taught. Prove the teaching and/or preaching based on what the Word of God says. Otherwise, Satan could very well use someone you thought you could trust, to destroy you and distract you. Oh that you would become a slave of Jesus Christ, for all others will only serve to pull you away and carry you down a wrong path. Think about marital relationships. If you are tempted by another of the opposite sex, and you go along with that under the assumption that your spouse would never know. What happens when you return to your spouse? Guilt, fault finding, disloyalty, etc. Can’t you see that the same thing happens when you give in to those things that control you, other than Jesus Christ? Let men encourage you to know Him today; stay true and loyal to Him today; and always stand firm in the commitment you make to worship and serve the risen Lord. He alone is worthy, and He alone holds the keys to eternal life.

PRAYER: Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see You. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You Lord Jesus, my Rock and my Redeemer. Please help me to do my part in staying true to my commitment to You. May there be no sinful act or person that may pull me away from my walk with You, and may others see Jesus in me every day and through every act, so that others might see and believe in the One True God who always was, and always will be! AMEN!

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

How To Improve Your Faith

When I was in the working world, I would have to undergo training for certain new products or programs so that I could help my employer do a good job of introducing our products to our customers. There are also good training seminars and conferences available to church leaders to help them sharpen their skills for the Lord’s work. But seldom do we think about pursuing our life of godliness and looking for ways to enhance our faith. Let’s stop and ponder this thought today based on the Scripture.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-09
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Peter 1:5-9
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love. If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. But if you don’t grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.

OBSERVATION: When I was in the working world, I would have to undergo training for certain new products or programs so that I could help my employer do a good job of introducing our products to our customers. There are also good training seminars and conferences available to church leaders to help them sharpen their skills for the Lord’s work. But seldom do we think about pursuing our life of godliness and looking for ways to enhance our faith. Let’s stop and ponder this thought today based on the Scripture.

APPLICATION: As I read these verses today, I was reminded that, just as a car could move if it had an engine, it is up to the driver to direct it’s path. It is also important for us to look for ways to contribute to our individual walk with, and our faith in, the Lord, so as God fills us with His awesome power, and guides us with His diligent guidance, we might aggressively contribute to a growing faith. and a closer walk with God. Here are seven important qualities that Peter directed us to add to our faith, with God’s help:
1) Goodness – Some translations also refer to this as Moral Excellence. So this revolves more around purity and uprightness of character through our obedience to God. We must aim at fulfilling our God-given purpose in a manner that would be pleasing to God and directed by Him. If we do, others will see us as a ‘good’ person, otherwise we might be called insincere;
2) Understanding – Also referred to as ‘Knowledge’, because the idea here is that the Christian must do all they can to acquire knowledge of God’s Word, and to seek after His guidance for their everyday walk;
3) Self-control – A mastery of self! Be disciplined and strive to control your desires and your passion. Remember that we were born into a wicked world, and because we live in this world we tend to like, imitate and desire the things of this world. The Christian must seek God’s help to help stay focused on, and practice the things of God;
4) Patience – Some translations also refer to this quality as ‘Perseverance’ because God knew how challenging it would be for us to keep on keeping on in spite of adversity. Let’s consider this to be patient endurance in holiness, despite our circumstance or our various tempters. You could see how badly we need God on this one;
5) Devotion to God – This might also be referred to as ‘Godliness’. Now, imagine how important it is to focus on our behavior to ensure that it reflects the character of God, while still living among the wicked;
6) Concern for others – This is also referred to as ‘Brotherly Kindness’. Thoughtful consideration for others, in spite of how they may gossip about you or treat you. Love them like God loves you – unconditionally;
7) Love – The Bible refers to love in various ways, using different Greek words. This particular word refers to the highest form of love – God’s kind of love that seeks the welfare of others ahead of self. Love reaches out to all people, those like you and those who look different. Those who believe like you and those who don’t. Remember, God loved the whole world enough that He sent His Son to die for us. That kind of love. Don’t you know that only God could inspire and help us to love like that?
The Scripture says that if we enhance our faith through adding these qualities – doing our part, then we will become useful and meaningful for the kingdom. I would hate to know that I am just here taking up space and of no worth to those that I meet, won’t you? With God’s help, we can do this friends!

PRAYER: It’s amazing how much You love us Lord, and also how much You care for us and show us how we could be more like You. Thank You for speaking through Your servant Peter to cause us to have a closer look at our faith, something we often take for granted. Lord, we need You each and every day to guide our steps and draw our attention to aligning our life with Yours. Please continue to work on us and give the strength, boldness and desire to draw close to You and Be more like You every day, so that others will be drawn to You. May the seven qualities mentioned in our Scripture become prevalent in 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. 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!

Be Consumed With What Brings God Pleasure

For the couple who weds, and they are consumed with making their partner happy, they will probably enjoy a long, blessed marriage! So of course this will also be true in friendships, work environments and most of all – in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. To do this you will have to dedicate yourself to seeking God’s will. Let’s look into this today in our study.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-11-04
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 4:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT:  Since Christ, though innocent, suffered in his flesh for you,[a] now you also must be a prepared soldier,[b] having the same mind-set,[c] for whoever has died in his body is done with sin.[d] 2 So live the rest of your earthly life no longer concerned with human desires but consumed with what brings pleasure to GodFor you have already spent enough time doing what unbelievers[e] love to do—living in debauchery, sensuality, partying, drunkenness, wild drinking parties,[f] and the worship of demons.[g]

OBSERVATION: For the couple who weds, and they are consumed with making their partner happy, they will probably enjoy a long, blessed marriage! So of course this will also be true in friendships, work environments and most of all – in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. To do this you will have to dedicate yourself to seeking God’s will. Let’s look into this today in our study.

APPLICATION: To know what brings pleasure to God, we must realize this means doing His will. May I be the first today to remind you that God’s Word is a compilation of instructions for us to follow, and He expects us to be in obedience to His will for our lives. So this means that it will bring pleasure to God if we know His Word and live in obedience to His laws and commands. It is very important that we take no shortcuts, such as waiting to see what the pastor says, instead of reading the Bible for yourself and diligently seeking God’s will for your life for each day. Why not let the Pastor do his job and teach you the Bible? I believe it is important that you analyze how many churches believe and practice the same thing differently. This means that they understand the Bible differently, or they try to soften the meaning with some of their own personal beliefs. A few cases in point: Baptism – sprinkled; dunked; baby or adult; Day of Worship/Sabbath – Saturday, Sunday or day of your choice; Dancing – yes or no; Pastors – Men only or either gender; etc, etc. The items mentioned will not be further discussed in this devotional, but I would highly recommend that, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you study the Bible personally and see God’s guidance on what you should do in your efforts to bring pleasure to Him. Please don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with talking to your pastor for guidance on any biblical subject, but study to show yourself approved as a child of the King. And don’t overlook seeking God’s Help and direction even on what might seem to be small things, for you may very well grow from seeing God respond to those things as well as the very tough decisions that you feel are God-sized. I hope that you will be impacted as much as I was in reading the Scripture today. Imagine that you have spent your whole earthly life doing the things that family, friends and coworkers tell you to try, but when you accept Jesus as Lord, please allow Him to be Lord over everything in your life. Yes you will still have friends, but allow your yes and no responses to be guided by the Holy Spirit, so that you could please God, rather than continuing in the old life of trying to please your friends. The difference will be – that you will begin to look and sound like Jesus, instead of the same old sinful ways of your friends. God created us and He has a life planned for us, but we must listen and be bold enough to obediently follow His commands, if we want to follow His will.

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for creating us in Your own image, and for Your guidance each and every day to help us stay on course. Please teach us and remind us every day to seek Your will and to make it a priority, or be consumed with, bringing You pleasure through our obedience. AMEN!

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

Men – Careful Not To Hinder Answers to Your Prayers

Preserving our right to pray, and the assurance of having our prayers answered, are probably two of the most sacred things that a Christian has to hang on to until we meet with Jesus face to face. However, God warns through His servant Peter that men/husbands stand the chance of hindering answers to their prayers if they don’t treat their wives right. Now men, that really places a strong emphasis on our marital responsibilities. Let’s think about this for a few minutes today, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-02
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 3:7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: You husbands must be careful of your wives, being thoughtful of their needs and honoring them as the weaker sex. Remember that you and your wife are partners in receiving God’s blessings, and if you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not get ready answers.

OBSERVATION: Preserving our right to pray, and the assurance of having our prayers answered, are probably two of the most sacred things that a Christian has to hang on to until we meet with Jesus face to face. However, God warns through His servant Peter that men/husbands stand the chance of hindering answers to their prayers if they don’t treat their wives right. Now men, that really places a strong emphasis on our marital responsibilities. Let’s think about this for a few minutes today, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

APPLICATION: Ever been warned by your parent that something would be withheld if you didn’t treat your sibling right? I was brought up as the eldest of five children, so whenever things got a bit testy around us, mom would warn us of possible consequences! So as I think about our loving God threatening me with the words in verse 7, I tend to especially stop what I’m doing and pay attention. Prayer is spoken of in many areas of the Bible, and there have been some amazing answers to prayer throughout the Bible and even among Christendom today. Moses prayed and water came forward from a rock. He prayed again and the waters of the Red Sea were stopped so that the Israelite army, that he was leading, could march safely across and be saved from the oncoming Egyptian army. Peter was sinking into the water when he cried out for the help of Jesus, and with an out-stretched hand, Jesus kept Peter safe. Jesus healed the sick and even brought the dead back to life, because of the prayers of His children. As a Christian, no doubt that you have also prayed to God for some very desperate things that you felt you would lose, if not for the intervention of the Lord God. So child of God, can you even imagine being told that your prayers would be hindered unless you ……..? But stop and think for a moment how important the family is to God. He created Eve from the rib of Adam. He placed them in the Garden of Eden to live happily and at peace with one another. There have been many created since our first ancestors, and there have been numerous couples brought together and blessed with Holy Matrimony, because God wanted to see His miraculous work go on. God knew that men would need women and they would enjoy life together in spite of their differences. Now imagine how disappointed God must get when He sees us trying to destroy that union. In the marriage ceremony, there are some important words spoken by a minister of the Gospel – those whom God has put together, let no man pull asunder. So how do you imagine God must feel when a husband abuses his wife, or cheats on her, or has no respect for her? I was reminded by a pastor that it is God’s child that the husband is mistreating. How do you respond when you hear of your child being abused by a man? We are told in God’s Word that He can do ALL things. But imagine Him scolding you one morning as you pray, and telling you: ‘Yes I can answer that prayer, but because you have not loved my daughter, and because you are not treating her with love and respect, I will withhold my response until further notice’. Will that help you reconcile your differences and resume a right relationship with your wife, for Jesus’ sake? Jesus loves the little children – both wives and husbands. Can we learn to love each other in similar fashion to what our Father displays to us?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for the wonderful women You have placed in my life, and the adoration they have shown to me. My heart’s desire is to love You more, and also to be so dedicated to following Your will, that it will be glaring to others that Your Holy Spirit is given full reign in my life. Please help me to also treat Your daughter this way, for I would humbly plead with You to always direct and correct me before allowing me to treat her less than royally. So many in this world today have decided to just cohabitate instead of following Your will to unite in marriage, while many others simply give up and seek divorce. Loving and cooperating families are becoming fewer, resulting in children also growing up without a stand for commitment. Please dear Lord, begin with Your men that You have set aside to lead our families. May we be more committed to the task and may we go out of our way to love our wives like You intended. AMEN!

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

Our Judge – God – He’s Always Fair

We hate it when someone accuses us when we did something illegal or hateful, but we are really hurt when they accuse us and we are innocent. Jesus faced many accusations, but He simply surrendered the situation to His Father. As His followers, Christians are probably doing the same that Jesus did, correct? Well, let’s look closer at this and see how sincere we are in following the ways of Jesus. We know and honor the same fair Judge as He did, but can we let go and let God?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-31
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 2:21-23
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 ….. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps: 22 He never sinned, never told a lie, 23 never answered back when insulted; when He suffered He did not threaten to get even; He left His case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. 

OBSERVATION: We hate it when someone accuses us when we did something illegal or hateful, but we are really hurt when they accuse us and we are innocent. Jesus faced many accusations, but He simply surrendered the situation to His Father. As His followers, Christians are probably doing the same that Jesus did, correct? Well, let’s look closer at this and see how sincere we are in following the ways of Jesus. We know and honor the same fair Judge as He did, but can we let go and let God?

APPLICATION: It happens at home, at work, at church and almost anywhere that we become involved, people falsely accuse us for one reason or the other. What are the causes? Jealousy and envy might be the two major causes, but the excuses are normally: favoritism; kissing up to the boss; given more education opportunities; etc. These all sound so familiar, and often used and misused by those who set out to attack us. Friends, at one time or another in our lifetimes, we could probably have been charged as ’guilty’ for retaliation, due to one or more of the above. Anger results as we rehearse in our minds what the person may have been thinking, planning or about to do. Revenge is something that we start to plan, for we then want the other person to hurt more than we do. But for the child of God, what aught we to do? Just keep everything bottled up inside? I don’t believe that’s what we are being taught in the Scriptures. Notice that we are taught about the character of Jesus, before being told how He handled unfair attacks against Him. So let me suggest that you pinpoint a scenario today where you would normally not handle attacks very good. Perhaps at work; at church; at a social club or even at home. Would the people in those places be able to accuse you of lying; lashing back at them verbally or perhaps threatening to get even with them? If so, do you suppose that they would trust you to judge them fairly and pass an honest verdict on their behavior? Friends, I believe that Peter wanted us to understand that if we truly model the life of Jesus, then we are more apt to follow His practices of leaving any judgment up to God on those that we feel may have persecuted or abused us. I believe that it is extremely challenging for us to rid ourselves of revenge. But what I do know is that there is One who can handle that for us. Oh that we would surrender our will to Jesus each and every day so that more of Him will come forth in our lives, for He judges fairly and He will guide us into His way of righteousness. Perhaps we should practice praying for those who persecute us, instead of fighting back or seeking revenge. The love of God will cause us to seek the very best for our opposers rather than following the world’s practices.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for showing us the way to righteousness. Thank You for showing us the source of power that will help us to live like You exampled before us. It seems so easy for us to draw conclusions about the thoughts and intentions of those that touch our lives. Please humble us to allow Your guidance and Your powerful touch to overcome and avoid evil, and to not be an instigator or agitator that may cause evil. Lord, may Your perfect will be done in and through us today and every day. AMEN!

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

Eye Witnesses

If innocent and trying to defend yourself in a traffic case or in any court battle, you will always look for and appreciate good eye witnesses. Conversely, if you are guilty, then you would hope that the defense does not have an eye witness to bring to the courts. God said through Peter that even though neighbors may accuse you, they will have no choice but to give a witness to God for your honorable and trustworthy behavior. Today’s Scripture leads us to recall what might cause us to be worthy of such honor from our neighbors. Stay with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-10-30
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 PETER 2:11-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.[i]

OBSERVATION: If innocent and trying to defend yourself in a traffic case or in any court battle, you will always look for and appreciate good eye witnesses. Conversely, if you are guilty, then you would hope that the defense does not have an eye witness to bring to the courts. God said through Peter that even though neighbors may accuse you, they will have no choice but to give a witness to God for your honorable and trustworthy behavior. Today’s Scripture leads us to recall what might cause us to be worthy of such honor from our neighbors. Stay with me!

APPLICATION: I had someone once use me in an illustration along the lines of today’s subject. They said that we should be of sufficient good character, that if our spouse or best friend was given accusatory information on us, they would, without a full investigation, refute the accusations based on their first-hand knowledge of our character. I wonder how many close friends we might have where we could be that confident about their character? There are several pointers given to us by Peter that we should bear in mind as we ponder what others might see in us:
a). We are temporary residents and foreigners here on earth – Isn’t that an interesting concept, especially considering how determined we are to work ourselves silly to make sure that we are financially fit for retirement? How much is enough? A little bit more is needed, right? Often it is for this reason that we see so many die prematurely, because of the stress placed on themselves. It is also something that leads so many into illegitimate jobs and risks so that they could supercharge their income and expedite their road to retirement. When considering how much is needed to carry you through retirement, how many years do you account for? That’s right, you have no idea. However, Peter warned us to make our short number of years here count for the Master. Don’t waste it following the residents who have no plan at all;
b). Keep away from worldly desires and pressures – for the world will try hard to win you over to their evil desires and way of life. Establish borders for yourself and decide before hand how far you will go in pleasing your fellow man, especially when your actions might encroach on your beliefs about what God expects of you. I was approached late one evening by some young men who wanted to borrow my boat so they could pull off a drug heist. Sure, I could have paid off my boat and probably taken a grand vacation from the few hours that I loaned out my boat, but was it worth more than my commitment to God to stay true to Him? If I gave in once, then my character would have been placed into question and everyone outside of that transaction would have lost faith in what I actually stood for in life. Who or what was guiding my path? God, or just another deal that I might not refuse?
Oh that God would be my everlasting guide, protection and deliver, so that He would always know in whom I believe. May others see Jesus whenever they look into my character and my life, and may they stand firm as eye witnesses for me and the man of God that I strive to be, with God’s help. May this prick the hearts of those who have not fully surrendered their lives to Jesus, and may your hearts be softened as you meditate on this devotional, so that you might also stand firm in your faith, and your stand for the Master. Others have an opinion of you. May they be an eye witness of your good works and your godly influence on them.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us and thinking so much of Your creation that You sent Your Son Jesus to provide the means for our salvation. We are made new in Jesus, and we are cleansed of all the dirt that this world has stained us with. We know that You are fully aware of our spiritual condition, but we ask that You continue to work miraculously in us so that the world might also know in whom we believe. May they be drawn to You through their dealings with us, and may their surrender to the God that we serve and long to be with. AMEN!

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