Stop, Reflect and Rest

Saul, who was well known for his accomplishments in shutting down Christianity and its churches, had a life changing event when Jesus confronted him and demanded his attention. It was such a drastic change, that Jesus even changed his name to Paul. Our Scripture today share a reflection time by Paul. It is obvious that Paul felt His time was well spent, and he had no regrets. Knowing that God could call you home at any moment, what might your time of reflection reveal about how you have spent your time? Is it something God might be proud of, and rejoice with you on?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2022-09-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: I say this because I won’t be around to help you very much longer. My time has almost run out. Very soon now I will be on my way to heaven. I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to him. And now the time has come for me to stop fighting and rest. In heaven a crown is waiting for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And not just to me but to all those whose lives show that they are eagerly looking forward to his coming back again.

APPLICATION: A few years ago, I retired after spending 47 years of my life in the banking industry. There were many times that I reflected over my job, and then at retirement my coworkers and supervisors celebrated with me, and we rejoiced over such things as my achievements and my devotion to my various bosses over the years. Wouldn’t it be great if we had such a time of reflection in our Christian walk about every 10 years, and take time to reflect and evaluate how effective we feel our time was in God’s work? Please note up front that our work in and of itself is worth nothing, but very often we will see that based on the condition of our heart, and the determination of our spirit, we will gladly get involved in the work of Christ in our family and in our community – especially our church family. In fact, this would help facilitate our reflection as we stand before God and respond to the question ‘why should I permit you to enter my heaven?’. These times of reflection here on earth help to remind us of where we were, how far we have come in our Christian walk, and seek God’s face on directing us to where we need to go, or what we need to do next. Have you advanced in the knowledge of God and His Word? Are you more at ease sharing the Gospel and your walk with the Lord, than you were 10 years ago? Do others tend to look at your Christian walk, and desire to be just like you? Do you feel like it is evident to the world who your Master is? Often, we are so busy about church work, that I’m afraid we don’t stop to reflect on where we are at personally in our walk with the Lord. Unfortunately, the two things are not synonymous, for one could busy themselves in church work, without spending time alone with God to enhance their own relationship with Him. You see, it is vitally important that church leaders reflect so much of Christ in their lives, that others will pay little attention to their leadership qualities or positions, but rather to their spiritual condition. When one sets a goal in life, the idea is that they will look towards that goal, and not the everyday hiccups that tend to knock us around while heading towards that goal. Paul’s goal was set on ultimately being in the presence of his Lord. What’s yours? Keeping your eye on your goal will help direct how you spend your days and hours reaching for that goal!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand I am tired, I’m weak, I am worn, Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light, Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home. My eyes are fixed on You dear Lord. While here on earth, please guide me on, so that I may represent You well and be an influence to others in search of You. For each reader today, please draw them close, take their hand and lead them on to draw closer to You. May our goal always be to reflect on You and to worship endlessly at Your feet in glory. 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!

Has God Turned Away?

Almighty God looks down on our world every day. He created it perfectly, but don’t you know that He knows precisely what its current state of affairs is right now? Would it be awful for God to compare us to Judah and Jerusalem? What horrible memories that must conjure up in His mind. What if God has already started punishing us for the sin or our respective countries? This might come in the form of a global disease that would eliminate many, or unexpected wars that does the same, or any othe rmethod God chooses. Are you satisfied with spending eternity in the lake of fire, or have you confirmed your position in heaven through accepting God’s Son as your Savior? We have a lot to consider in today’s devotional, so plan to read the whole thing today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2022-09-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 44:21-23
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 “Do you think the Lord didn’t know that you and your fathers, your kings and princes, and all the people were burning incense to idols in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 22 It was because he could no longer bear all the evil things you were doing that he made your land desolate, an incredible ruin, cursed, without an inhabitant, as it is today. 23 The very reason all these terrible things have befallen you is because you have burned incense and sinned against the Lord and refused to obey him.”

APPLICATION: If your teenage daughter, who may be traveling abroad, had to call you from the Atlanta airport and say that her flight stopped there for 2 hours and will continue at that time, if the weather subsides, you would probably be besides yourself with worry, and you would be on the phone endlessly as you give her warning upon warning about the huge airport, getting lost, and making sure that she returns to the gate in lots of time for her next flight! As I read this Scripture today, my heart sank as I considered that God gave us His very special Book – the Bible, that contains everything about how He created the world, and mankind in His very own image, yet He dreadfully watches each day as mankind chooses to go his own way and commit crimes against His commands, and even worse crimes against the laws of the land. Griends, our God loves us so much that He shared with us how upset He got with our ancestors, and how it caused Him to retaliate exceedingly. You see, I firmly believe that God ordained it for all this to be included in His Book in order to warn us that the same thing could happen to us, if we sin like our ancestors. Well guess what, it seems like the sin being committed in our cities, and in our states, and in our country as well as other countries around the world, far exceeds anything our ancestors could possibly have done. Additionally, look at the number of churches we have today, where pastors are standing several times a week to simplify what the Bible says, so that we could never claim that we didn’t know. Sadly, I would dare say that our county is no different to others in this world, for it is estimated that mankind has become so proud of his own accomplishments, that the see little reason for God. Why, statistics have revealed that less than 10% of our population attends church each week, and this was recorded prior to COVID. So basically, our people have either refused to read the Bible, or otherwise chosen to totally ignore the warnings, and they won’t attend church because they consider it antiquated, and not appealing to them. Dear friends, I’m not meaning to paint a picture of doom and gloom, but just like in the example of the mother, who warned her child who was traveling, I feel compelled to share these warnings from God with you, because I don’t want anyone to be left behind. Obviously God is seeing how He has been rejected, and how awful His servants are being treated by so many that refuses to hear or obey their warnings, and the wonderful news of God’s love. Please don’t wait any longer to make a decision for Jesus Christ, the Bible is clear that no one knows the day or the hour, but God could decide to call His church home to glory before you ever finish reading this devotional. There are many things in the Bible that tell us about the return of Jesus for His church. Many, if not most, of these things have already been put in place. If you have not taken time to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, may I encourage you to not wait, but instead seek Him now, while He may be found. Please take time to read my Footnote below, especially the information you will find by clicking on ‘To Know Jesus’. Alternately, stop by and see a local pastor, or drop me a note, we will be overjoyed to help you with your decision!

PRAYER: Loving Savior, thank You for making a way for us, and thank You for speaking to the hearts of each one about accepting You as Lord. Lord, I’m ashamed at all that is occurring in our world today. It seems worse than anything we have every read or heard about in Bible days, or in our past history, and it seems to only be getting worse. Please Lord, use simple things like our churches, your ministers, and even these types of devotionals, to help people see and understand the need for the Savior of the world. Please Lord, don’t give up on us yet, but I kindly ask that You melt the hearts of those who need You. Draw them close Lord, and cause them to seek Your face while You may be found. You wiped out the cities of Jeremiah’s time, and it may take that to get the attention of some today, but I plead with You to once again speak gently to the souls of my family, friends, listeners and readers. 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!

You Belong to God, So….

As I meditated on this chapter, my mind went on to ponder what type things distract us today from our walk with the Lord. What tends to distract us from the work of the Lord? How does this leave the people who Give in to these distractions? Are they still good witnesses for the Lord, and dependable workers for the church? Many of these things that distract God’s people are ‘evil’, as Paul referred to them in verse 11. Meditate with me as we delve into the Scriptures!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2022-09-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 6:9-11
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: People who want to be rich fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them. 10 The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.
11 Timothy, you belong to God, so keep away from all these evil things. Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. 

APPLICATION: Thank God for His messengers, such as Paul, who saw the complexity of things that his new son in the ministry would be faced with, and then went on to coach him on staying righteous, even when the situation around him was tough. Seasoned pastors would be challenged when faced with these issues, but Paul had gone through a lot with the churches that he started and also in dealing with many of the individuals in those churches. Why do you suppose Paul forged ahead with giving this difficult advice to Timothy? Often times these problems will fester and create a monster problem, unless the issue is dealt with timely. As with many of our churches today, there were at least a few of the folk who were rich, or at least distracted by the idea of getting rich. This becomes a huge issue for pastors today, for soon these folk tend to feel like they’ve sent their money, so they don’t need to be there every time the doors open. But some churches find that too frequently these same folk will withhold tithes and offering until the church leadership becomes attuned to their likes and dislikes. This creates jealousy, envy and strife among the membership of the church, because they soon witness favoritism and cliques, while their faithful workers are overburdened to work harder to fill the gap for those who can’t be bothered to attend. As Paul taught this to Timothy, I’m so happy that he also went a step further to tell him what he should do differently, and this is still very applicable to us today. You’re a man of God Timothy, so stay clear of these evil things. In other words, yes, the church could really benefit from the finances of the rich, but you should never allow their influence to cause you to depend on them instead of God. Know that the ministry is about winning souls for Christ and edifying the saved among you, so that together you may lift up holy hands and hearts in worship to the King of all kings. Remember that if He (God) be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. Never allow anything to hinder your praise to the Almighty. Paul reminded us of godly characteristics that are super important as we strive to represent Christ. These are the important qualities we should concentrate on, as opposed to the things that really distract our dedication to, and love for, the Lord. Today I’m sure that our distractions are numerous, but the truth remains – be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. Most of all dear friends, love God more than anything else in this world, and seek to show Him your love with every fiber of your being. I believe if this was taught to prospective and/or new members, they would develop a different start in unifying themselves with a local body of believers. We meet for no other reason but to lift up the name of Jesus and to learn so much about Him that we will make it our aim to look and sound just like Him!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your very life on Calvary so that we might have life eternal. Please help us to never hesitate to give of ourselves as we dedicate ourselves to You and as we seek to share our witness with a broken and lost world. Please give us boldness to withstand the distractions that come our way, so that we may always strive to represent You best. Please soften the hearts of those who feel like it’s enough to give financially to Your work, or to just have financial worth and filled with worldly advantages. There is nothing more important than serving You and showing our love for You. We need You every hour of everyday Lord, to be by our side and fill us with more of Your love. May lost ones be encouraged to see and believe that God is alive and well! 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!

My God is….

When deciding who to vote for, it always helps to know something about the person and their accomplishments. When trying to convince others about the power or love of our God, try telling them about His attributes and the accomplishments you know of firsthand. They’re more apt to pay attention when they know that you have experienced Him personally.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2022-08-28
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 31:35-36
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 35 It is the Lord who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and this is what he says: 36 “I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature!”

APPLICATION: Try convincing a stranger to believe in your dad, and only share his name with them. Do you suppose that you will get their attention? However, try sharing some firsthand attributes and accomplishments of your dad, and suddenly you will see the lights turn on in their eyes, because they will begin to understand the passion you feel so strongly about him. So why don’t we do that when we try to assure friends that God will be their powerful defender and/or healer in their earthly struggle? Way too often we quickly respond to Christians or unbelievers in much the same way: ‘may God be your comfort during this time’, or ‘I will pray for your mom’. Think with me for a moment what the unbeliever might be thinking at the time of hearing your well wishes. Try to understand that if you give them a personal experience about this awesome God that you are referencing, it will help convince them that since you are speaking from a current, personal experience, they too might expect to believe that this same God could also help them in their time of need? Notice what Jeremiah did in our Scripture today: he spoke of the power of God in causing the sun to shine by day and the moon by night; He causes the oceans to tumble and roar; and He is the Lord of Heaven’s armies! Friends, with that type of reference, would you believe that He could keep your country safe, like He did for the Israelites? What if you were reminded that the same God who made the bodies of waters, also had the power to speak to that water and have it stand back so His people could cross safely on dry land? But let me suggest that you not use this as a reference point when trying to assure your family or friends today. Yes, this could possibly help, but what will help even more is a personal, current experience. When they know that the God you are referring to was just actively involved in your life last week, then obviously He is still available to help them today. I believe it is also important that you share your relationship with this miraculous God. You see, while it is urgently important for them to depend on God for a matter that is at hand, you want them to know that they can place their full faith and trust in God for today, tomorrow and through all eternity. Often God will allow these friends to call on you, so that you could help them see that a personal relationship with Him is vitally important. Don’t disappoint them, nor God who sent them to you. So how do you describe God? How will you convince someone that He is YOUR God? I pray that it will be in a very intimate and relational way. He sacrificed a lot for you, so don’t be timid about sharing His worth to anyone when the opportunity presents itself.

PRAYER: A song comes to mind as I meditate on this thought today: ’I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand’. (The words are underlined allowing you to click and listen to this old hymn.) Lord, I truly believe that our friends will need that kind of assurance when we try to convince them of Your power and Your love for them. Praise You God for speaking through Your servant Jeremiah to assure the Israelites. But I praise You even more for also loving me and working miraculously through me. More than ever before Lord, I humbly pray that You would make Yourself known to unbelievers, and the uncommitted, today as they meet with Your saints to worship. It may just be honoring a praying mother for her child to attend church, but I pray that You will show Yourself to them in a very personal way today. Draw them to the foot of the cross dear Lord and convict them of their sin and ungodliness. We will be eternally thankful! 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!

A Heart That is Humbled And Sorry For Sin

Throughout the Old Testament we see where there were sacrifices for almost any sin committed, and there were even some for praises to God. As we meditate on these verses today I hope that we will concentrate on those things that are a part of our relationship with God that may be considered sacrifices.

Tuesday, 2022-08-16

Bible Reference: Psalm 51:16-17
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 16 You are not pleased by sacrifices, or I would give them. You don’t want burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit.
    God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin.

OBSERVATION: Throughout the Old Testament we see where there were sacrifices for almost any sin committed, and there were even some for praises to God. As we meditate on these verses today I hope that we will concentrate on those things that are a part of our relationship with God that may be considered ‘sacrifices’.

APPLICATION: I believe that a good explanation for the act of sacrificing might be when we offer up something as payment for an action performed by us that may not meet the requirements of the person, or God, who sets the rules. Another meaning might be that we are willing to give up something we love very much, so that someone else could benefit from that thing we are willing to give up. So let me mention a few things that I believe we ‘sacrifice’ in place of something near and dear to us: 1). Some may go to church to please someone bugging them to attend church. So they sacrifice time and go through the motions in order to make that person happy, or at least get them off their back! 2). Some may give to the church, or even to the work of God. So they may sacrifice monetarily with hopes that God might credit them for giving to His causes; 3). Some may ‘send’ missionaries to foreign countries. So they sacrifice monetarily, and give time in prayer for them so that the Great Commission (go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel) might be fulfilled. These are just a few examples of sacrifices that we make. I also believe that in all the examples given, these sacrifices might be noble, and even recognized by God, if done in the spirit of sacrifice and holiness. But in the Psalm we are meditating on, David shares what he found to be noble and trustworthy in a life that is truly after pleasing God. In verse 17 David shared that we must have a broken spirit in order to arrive at the very depth of our heart. I believe this means that we must be at a state where we are willing to let go and let God have His will and way in our lives. But I believe a warning may come with that. For God may remind us of His many blessings and we may get up and attend church without being asked to, or regardless of the way someone looked at us the last time we attended! It may help us to openly declare that since God has blessed us with a good job and a fair income, we will be obedient to His Word and give at least 10% of our gross income, in thanksgiving for His goodness and out of an act of true obedience! We may decide to actually join a missions trip, instead of sending others! Our spirit might become one that is pliable by God. Friends, I believe it is only then that we will be open to hearing God’s voice and obedient to His commands, or pleasing to Him. Are you willing to make this kind of sacrifice for the God who sacrificed His very own Son for you? Isn’t this the least that we could do?

PRAYER: Spirit of God, please descend upon us, Your children, and have Your perfect will and way in our lives today. Please direct our hearts and our minds towards Jesus, and may we be willing to sacrifice self, and become fully obedient to Your perfect will for our lives. Lord, our hearts are broken and desirous of everything You might require of us. Please use us in ways that will bring honor and glory to You oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer! 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!

You’ve Sinned, But Jesus can Save!

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

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2022-03-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

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

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

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

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

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

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog 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!

What Will It Take For God To Heal Our Hearts?

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

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2022-03-16
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

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

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

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

PRAYER: Dear Lord, in spite of Your gracious hand upon Your people, and Your outstanding blessings poured out on us, yet You must be saddened by seeing us exclude You from our decision making, exclude Your active role in our lives when praise is directed towards us, and especially ignore You when You speak to us about the lost condition of our lives. I clearly got the picture in this scripture today, You want to heal our heart, yet we say ‘No thank You’. Father I thank You for softening my heart and giving me the boldness to accept You as my Lord and Savior back in 1976. I have many family and friends who are still hardened and refuse to make the necessary commitment to accept You as their Lord. Please humble them and soften their hardened hearts again today so that they may commit the rest of their lives to You and allow You full control, and ultimate healing of their sin problem. Dear God, there are important decisions we make every day, but none as important as the one that decides our eternal fate. My sincere prayer is that this will become very evident to my lost relatives today, 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!

Just as You Abandoned God, He will Abandon You

For the Christian, there is nothing quite so awful as to imagine that God might not be there for us. But to ever imagine that God is not there because of something that we have done, that must leave us with a feeling of regret that is hard to imagine. In our Scripture today, we can read where Zechariah received a word from God: ‘because the people had abandoned God, He has also abandoned them’. During our meditation let us think about various scenarios where we would dread imagining that God is not available to us. I believe this will be a real eye-opener for us.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2022-03-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Chronicles 24:18-20
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 …. the people stopped worshiping in the Temple of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and began to worship idols and the images of the goddess Asherah. Their guilt for these sins brought the LORD’s anger on Judah and Jerusalem. 19 The LORD sent prophets to warn them to return to him, but the people refused to listen. 20 Then the spirit of God took control of Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood where the people could see him and called out, “The LORD God asks why you have disobeyed his commands and are bringing disaster on yourselves! You abandoned him, so he has abandoned you!”

APPLICATION: Let’s think about critical times that we look forward to God being by our side, and how He intervenes on our behalf; then let us consider what we would do if He was not available to us:
a) When we are sick or injured and doctors don’t seem to know where to turn for answers – Christians turn to God in prayer, knowing that the same power He used to heal the blind man and to cleanse the leper, He could also make that healing available to us. But if God was not available to us we might become disheartened and disillusioned as the pain or discomfort from our illness worsens;
b) When we lose our job and the bills keep mounting up – Christians look to God for His invincible hand and ask Him to open doors to help us meet our financial responsibilities, just like He provided for the widow with just a morsel of food left in her jar. But if He is no longer available, we may be forced into begging on the street, or perhaps selling what little we might own in material possessions in order to buy food;
c) When our kids are in trouble – either financially, with health issues or perhaps losing a child – Christians turn to God in prayers of desperation, for if we were able, we would give up our last penny or our best shirt, if we thought it would provide their need, or answer their dilemma. But we pray because we know that ALL things are possible to the God that we love, know and adore. What if God was not available to the cry of His children, I can’t imagine what we would do.
Lest we take for granted the power of our God, and the presence of our God, and the love of our God for His precious children, we might struggle to identify with the people that Zechariah was tasked to deliver this horrifying message. However, in spite of their persistent disobedience, even after being forewarned by God, they continued along the evil path they were traveling. Friends, our pastors stand in our church pulpits each and every week, and they warn us of what lies ahead for those who reject Jesus, and for those who have hardened their hearts to His instructions. Are you paying attention? Are you following through in obedience to the invitation of your pastor and the commands of God? I trust that you will connect with God and begin by readying your heart for a holy God; then I pray that you will join me as we seek His guidance, wisdom and power to overcome the temptations of this world and to be obedient children of the King. Believe me, the last thing we need in this world is to ever search for God, and find that He has abandoned us because of our unfaithfulness. We absolutely don’t want to go there.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am thankful for You providing a way for us, even when we were traveling down a dark world of sin and disobedience. While still here in this world we struggle to separate ourselves and live according to Your Word. Please give us determined minds, and strengthen us to follow Your commands that You have put in place to help us live according to Your will and example. Thank You Jesus for accepting us as we are, and presenting us to the Father cleansed by Your precious blood. We need You every hour of every day, Lord. May Your will be done as we await Your kingdom some day soon! Please continue to bless us with Your Your presence, power, and Your precious love. 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!

Don’t Be Paralyzed by Fear, Let Go and Let God Have His Way

Today we may be facing many battles. For some it might be a debilitating decease, for some it may be losing a loved one, while others may be facing the battle of divorce or separation. I believe that our leaders may be facing the battle of serious viruses, such as the coronavirus now rampant in many countries throughout the world. What shall we do? King Jehoshaphat was faced with an enormous battle and had a deep concern for the people that he ruled. Throughout this chapter from which our verse is taken, we could see how this King went boldly before the only One who has power over our battles – Almighty God. Perhaps you’re at a point where you need direction, let’s learn together from King Jehoshaphat how we must surrender our battles to the only One with perfect answers.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2022-03-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 20:15
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 15 “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, and you, O king Jehoshaphat!” he exclaimed. “The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid! Don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s!

OBSERVATION: Jehoshaphat feared the large, complex army that was facing he and his nation for which he had responsibility. Today we may be facing similar battles. Perhaps a debilitating decease; perhaps losing a loved one; or perhaps facing the battle of divorce or separation. National leaders may still be facing the challenges of Covid, while also keeping a close eye on the war and intention of Russia. If we’re not careful, we might throw our hands up as we ponder ‘What shall we do?’ Hopefully we could be reminded from our Scripture today that our peace, our hope and our rescue from all of life’s challenges lies in the powerful hands of our King, the King of all kings!

APPLICATION: Several lessons are in store for us today as we meditate on this story of king Jehoshaphat. We have more than enough challenges for each day that we open our eyes. What if we could learn to release the battles that our not ours to worry about? I believe that you, my readers, are no different to me, so I encourage you to read the whole chapter of 2 Chronicles 20 by clicking on the Bible reference link above. Here are some things that God drew to my attention:
~ The king acknowledged that he had a problem that was way over his head and beyond his capability;
~ The king was not ashamed of his inabilities. He not only went before God personally, but he called his people together and ordered a fast, so that together they might seek God’s face over this problem. The problem was bigger than the king, and he was prepared to seek someone greater who could help;
~ The king’s meeting with his people was not a time to plan their attack, but to humble themselves before Almighty God, seek His face, and ask for His direction and His powerful hand of protection;
~ In spite of the king being the main character in this story, God chose to respond through ‘just a man standing in the crowd’ as described by some commentaries. The king didn’t just pick up his toys and run on home with a disgruntled attitude about God not reporting back to him for his guided fast and his desperate prayer. A good reminder that we don’t control God, and that He uses the simple to confound the proud and the intelligent. It is always obvious that a response came from God, and not from the knowledge, abilities or self-worth of the king and/or his people;
~ There was no response back to the orders from God, other than full obedience! There was no need for the king to feel like he needed to have the last word. This was a ‘God’ thing, and nothing at all for which the king needed recognition from his people.
King Jehoshaphat was faced with a battle of proportions greater than anything he could handle. What kind of battles are you facing in your life dear friend? Do you know the God of king Jehoshaphat intimately? Are you at a place in your life where you could simply bow at His feet and lay your battles, or burdens there, being confident that He is still Lord of all and Master over all things that might impact us? Are you strong enough to ask of God, knowing that His response may not be your first choice? By asking, we know that there could be positive answers in store for us, or perhaps challenging answers that we were not expecting. Be willing to add to your prayer requests today: ‘Not my will, but Yours oh Lord – so long as You are glorified in everything today’.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are well aware of the battles we take on, especially those that we should totally surrender to You. We make ourselves sick mentally, and otherwise, because we assume lordship over these type issues. Please forgive us Lord, and strengthen us daily so that we may surrender our all to You and allow You to continue as God – the One in charge of all creation and the events surrounding every aspect of Your creation. Thank You for creating us to care about those that we connect with, but we need daily power to place them at Your feet and allow You to be God – in them, through them and over them. I praise You God for who You are, I surrender my all to You, knowing that Your love will sustain me as You work out every material indifference I may see all around me. Have Your will oh Lord, my King, my Redeemer and my Savior. Humble the hearts of all my readers and listeners. Draw them to the foot of the cross where they may look up – into Your wonderful face, and acknowledge Your awesome power. 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!

Delays Are Costly

Delays are often very frustrating, and often cause us to lose our patience! However, last weekend there were thousands of self induced delays that members of our churches made, when presented with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Meditate with me on what happened in your respective church services recently. Most attendees heard the Word of God, but they delayed their decision to act on the invitation given at the time. The big question is, what might this delay have cost them? Perhaps they said like Felix did, “I will deal with this another time”. Will there be ‘another time’ for them?

Monday, 2022-03-04
Written at: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Acts 24:24-25
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he talked about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as Paul went on discussing about goodness, self-control, and the coming Day of Judgment, Felix was afraid and said, “You may leave now. I will call you again when I get the chance.”

APPLICATION: When travelling to another state or country by plane or train, there is often the chance of delays, for one reason or another. If the fault is attributed to the airline, then they will often provide vouchers to the stranded passengers for food, and sometimes even for hotel, if the delay will prevent travelling the same day. Can you begin to imagine the costs paid by carriers for these delays? Last weekend the message of the Gospel was presented, and thousands of attendees at thousands of churches were given the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. No doubt your church, like mine, saw folk leave without accepting the invitation of the pastor, and the Holy Spirit that tugged on their hearts. I’m sure that there were many excuses for the decisions to delay following Christ. Why some left during the singing of the last hymn, because it was more important to be the first out of the busy church parking lot, or to be the first at the popular restaurants for lunch. Priorities of the individuals! But we are reminded through God’s Word, that He is in full control of our time here on earth. Will we have another opportunity quite like the opportunity given at last week’s services? Thankfully, I made it all the way home safely yesterday. Did everyone else from your church services have that same good fortune? Perhaps they did, or perhaps they didn’t. God’s Word has very clear advice for us when it tells us that “now is the accepted time”, the only moment promised to us. Think about this friends: at our borders all those arriving with proper documentation (passports and appropriate visas) are allowed in, while others are rejected and expatriated back to their home country. This will be no different at the entrance to Heaven’s portals, because the rules are similar to those followed by our immigration officers. For entrance into heaven, only those who have personally accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior (that’s their passport and visa) will be accepted into God’s eternal home, others will be returned to their home of choice – with Satan and his band of demons. Friends, please don’t delay, it could cost you eternal life with the God of this universe and His awesome Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus, the One who loved you enough to die on a cruel cross, so that you might receive forgiveness of your sin. But you must invite Him into your heart. Your delay could cost you big time. Please let me encourage you to not even wait for the next service time, contact a pastor or Christian leader of a local church, or contact me so that I may help you, but PLEASE, don’t delay, make a decision today, for Jesus might return today to take His bride (the church) home to glory!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, many of us just attended church over recent days, and you petitioned us to accept You as Lord of our life. Today, through this illustration with Felix delaying his decision to hear more from Paul, you are again getting our attention about the cost of delaying our decision to accept Your free gift of salvation. The delays brought on by Felix cost him. I pray that my readers, listeners, and all those that we love and pray for, will accept You at Your Word, while there is time to do so. Thank You for loving us enough to have given us multiple opportunities to do this. And while we have no control over whether there will be another opportunity, I pray that many will STOP and cry out to You as they finish meditating on this devotional – even now. I praise You for not giving up on me. Today I humbly plead with You to melt the hearts of those that meditated on this devotional with me today, as they were given another opportunity to call on You for salvation. Please bring them to their senses and embolden them to make this vital decision. Please create a sense of urgency in their hearts to accept You oh Lord. For this is my humble and earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus alone, and for His glory alone. 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!