|Mark 3:31-35 (NIV)|
|31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
|The mother and brothers of Jesus went to search for Him to make sure that He was safe, and not getting into any trouble. At first glance, these verses may seem like Jesus was not respectfully recognizing his family members, but on closer observation, it is clear that He was using their appearance as a ministry opportunity.
|When close family members come to town, we often halt many activities in order to spend quality time with them. Some may take a few days off work; others may not attend church; while others go out of their way to find extra special activities or shows to attend and therefore entertain their guests. How does this compare to the effort we assume to win a sinner to Christ, or to entertain a new believer and disciple them in the faith? Do you see the connection that Jesus made between the two? We have no question about who our blood relatives are, but please be reminded that for those of us that call God ‘Our Father’, we automatically become brothers and sisters, for that’s what children of the same father are called, and considered. So let’s look the the parallel again with this in mind. I jumped on a plane and traveled about 150 miles to see my sick mom recently, and to encourage her in her spirit. I wonder how quickly I would be willing to sacrifice the dollars and precious PTO days off work, if that was a Christian Brother in the same condition that my mom is in? Jesus considered the connection one and the same. Don’t you think that if we considered our Christian Brothers and Sisters like Jesus did, and showed no prejudice to one or the other, that more Christians might be encouraged in their everyday lives, and be drawn closer to God because of the ministry one brother or sister to another? There’s a song entitled ‘I’m So Glad I’m a part of the Family of God’, I love that little song, but it really speaks volumes to the theme of this devotional today. I pray that each one reading this will do their part to treat mother, father, brothers and sisters so that the world will see evidence of our Father in action through us – His children!
|Father/Dad/Loving Lord, thank You for adopting me into Your family and treating me like a son. Lord You are good, and Your mercies are endless and beyond anything I could ever desire or ask for. As Your son, may I please ask that You speak to the heart of Your children, as You did with me this morning. Please help us to invest our time into the lives of other brothers and sisters who need to draw close to You, or may be struggling with something beyond their control. I don’t believe we can help others, if we are personally struggling to survive the discouragement, hatred and depression brought on by Satan and his suppressors. Please help us to look heavenward to the Creator of this world and all human beings. May we see the welcoming face of our Father and be willing to share that same love with others as if they were our closest blood relative. Be glorified through Your children today oh Lord, especially this humble servant, AMEN!
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Posts tagged ‘brothers’
May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………
Today’s Bible Reference: 1 John 3:16-18
Today’s Bible Text: We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation
My Take Away: I’m sure that I am slower than most, therefore the reason that I overlooked exactly the point that God was trying to get across to us in this passage today! So I wanted to share with you how I feel like God revealed Himself to me, and the instructions He made clear to me. The first part of verse 16 is a given, in that we have always been taught that what Jesus did on the cross was not a win for the king and his people that ordered the crucifixion of our Lord, but Jesus went to the cross in total obedience to His Father, in total love for us. John 3:16 is probably the best known verse in the Bible, because it explains the love of Jesus in dying for every sinner, and the everlasting hope offered as a result of that sacrifice. Now, back to verses 17 & 18 of our highlighted verses today, we (Christ’s followers) are challenged to do the same thing for our fellow man. Go to the cross for another, you might ask? No, although we may not be forced to give up our life, we certainly might be called on to volunteer our time to help someone who is incapable of helping themselves. OR, someone that might be hungry when we have more than enough to sacrifice our next meal to give it to them. OR, perhaps another nation is unable or unwilling to fully care for their orphans, and even though we may not be able to feed them all for a week, perhaps we could join or support a local missions group who will go and work around the orphanage so that monies given to the orphanage can be used to better feed or clothe the orphans. OR, if called on to give financially to those in need, perhaps we can give of our excess, or sacrifice the money we would ordinarily spend on items we could easily do without. Think about it friend, when we consider our ‘life’ we generally consider all those things that make it worthwhile for us to get up each morning, or to keep on slaving away at work each day. How much of that are you willing to give up for the sake of a person in need? I believe we had best be very careful to not find excuses when God asks us to be His hands and His feet, and to minister in His name. Let us always remember that He gave it all so that we might have life eternally in heaven. Anything we are challenged with should be in the light of that sacrifice, and done with the love of that sacrifice. Only then will an unbeliever truly understand the love of our Savior that we might tell them about.
Prayer: Lord, please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and not on our circumstances. Please help us to give, because You first sacrificed everything as You gave it all for us. Please help us to stop thinking so selfishly about the benefits of our greed and finding so many excuses about all that we could give to others, if only we would deal with our selfishness and give up the wants of self gratification. Forgive us Lord for being inconsiderate of the needs of others, especially while we gloat in the excess blessings that You have showered on us. Please teach us to follow Your ways, even when it causes us to sacrifice. Your love oh Lord, reaches to the heavens. May Your love be evident in everything we do or say, so that You may be glorified here on earth. I ask these things in the precious, holy, sacrificial name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, AMEN!
Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
The Holy Bible
16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Ephesians 1:16-18)
Unfortunately you will not find a model prayer for Christians to recite in this devotional today, but what God got my attention on, is the importance of continuing to pray for fellow Christians. Let me give you a worldly comparison/preview of what I saw as I meditated on this. Can you imagine a citizen walking down a main street of a town under siege? They would look like any other citizen of that country and would probably be allowed to travel on. Now, imagine a visitor, or stranger, doing the same walk. Don’t you think they would be questioned more thoroughly about their choice of places to be, or dangerous streets to travel? Now imagine a soldier trying that march in uniform. He may be shot on sight, or imprisoned just for poking around an area where he shouldn’t be. This is much like Christians when we exit the safety and security of the church building, we become easy targets for Satan and his cohorts as we mingle in their areas of business. Therefore Paul is teaching us, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to pray for spiritual wisdom and insight so that we may become strong in the knowledge of God, and that our faith might be strengthened to withstand the temptations of Satan that are ready to weaken our stand and distract our walk. In doing this Paul is reminding us that we will each become confident in the hope that is ours – our rich and glorious inheritance (our eternal home in heaven, where we will join with the angels and sing endlessly at the feet of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ)! Oh what singing! Oh what shouting! On that happy day when my Savior I will see! So friend, I share your sentiments in seeking the lost and praying earnestly for that one that needs the Lord, but please don’t forget to pray just as earnestly for your Christian brothers and sisters for help, guidance and strength to stay strong in their faith and continue to be a light in their world of darkness where friends, family, coworkers and others are without Christ and desperately needs to see faith in action through a true representative of Christ’s. We may be the only Bible that teaches them or that may reach them. In our sermon yesterday a particular clause spoke personally to me – the person that God has designed for us to speak with today may never be touched or spoken to, if we refuse to take our responsibility seriously. Wow! Let’s do our part today friend, so that God may not be disappointed in us!
Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me of the importance of praying for my Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord. We have such a long list of friends that we pray for salvation, and often neglect praying for those who already know You, and who are prime targets for Satan each day. Please may I ask that You protect Your children today, build a hedge of protection around us so that Satan’s darts and arrows may be kept at bay, yet our witness and representation of You will be very evident and inviting to those that need You. I need Your strength today Lord, please help me, and those that join me in this prayer, to be great warriors for the kingdom, and awesome representation of You among the saved and unsaved so that Your kingdom might be fulfilled this Christmas season. All glory to the new born King! For it is in this holy name that I pray, Jesus, Emanuel, God with us, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
SCRIPTURE Studied: Matthew 4
18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too.22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. Matt 4:18-22 (NLT)
APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
While this seems like a miraculous thing for Jesus to call these men from what they were doing, and especially for them to leave their secular jobs and follow Him, I believe that this also occurs today. We were created by God, and while our flesh strives to live in and enjoy the pleasures of this world, I believe that our inward soul longs to be with Jesus and live a life pleasing to Him while here on this earth. Unfortunately I believe that the latter is not possible until we accept that deep longing to accept Jesus as Lord of our life. We can always stop and think of what life could be like if we weren’t so stuck on pleasing others. It is so unfortunate that we try so hard to please our peers, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our boss, our pastor and then with whatever is left in us we try to please God. Friend why not try and do this in reverse order – surrender your heart to God, give Him 100% of your effort to please Him and follow His commands, then watch how easy it will be to see others accept you for who you are. A life surrendered to, committed to and following the commands of Jesus will result in a happy, satisfied, fulfilled life with a purpose and a goal oriented mindset that will be fixed on Jesus Christ. Oh that we will do just that this Christmas season – a time on our calendar that we dedicate to the One whose birthday is the whole purpose of Christmas.
PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Father, I rededicated myself anew to You this Christmas. I pray that You will direct me each and every day, especially during this busy time on my calendar. I pray that You will help me place my life in perspective – You first, and all else to follow as You direct. May I be deep into Your Word daily so that I may learn of and subsequently follow the plan You have designed for my life. May I be an influence to others, especially those that have not yet accepted You as Lord of their lives. Like Peter, Andrew, James and John, may I be obedient to Your call on my life and serve You willingly every day. Please touch the lives of all readers today that they too may first of all accept You as Lord, then submit their lives totally to You and Your service. You gave Your very best that very first ‘Christmas’, may we in turn give our very best to You this Christmas.