Pray, Don’t Sin

There are a number of verses that teach us to pray one for another, but it was not until I read vs 23 in our focal passage that it hit me how it would actually be a sin to not pray one for another. God designed us to not only love Him with all our heart, soul and mind, but to also love one another like we love ourselves. So of course it would be a sin for us not to pray for one another. Join me in meditating on God’s Word today!

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2021-10-19
WRITTEN AT: Kissimmee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 12:22-24
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 For the sake of His reputation, He will not cast away His chosen people. Before you ever chose Him, the Eternal One chose you as His own because it pleased Him.
23 As for me, the last thing I would ever do is to stop praying for you. That would be a sin against the Eternal One on my part. I will always try to teach you to live and act in a way that is good and proper in His eyes24 Make this your one purpose: to revere Him and serve Him faithfully with complete devotion because He has done great things for you.

APPLICATION: When we take on Kingdom responsibility here on this earth, in God’s work and especially around His church, it would be awesome to think on these things that Samuel shared with his people. Let me encourage you to really soak in the words shared by Samuel at this very critical time in the leadership of this great nation. I will expand a little, hoping that you will also see what God might be saying to us:
—> From Judge to King – The Israelites were tired of being different to other nations around them, so they asked that they have a king just like other nations. Although Samuel did an awesome job as a Judge over Israel, they felt it was time that they be like everyone else and have their own king. God told Samuel to go along with them, knowing full well that they would soon turn away from Him – again, very soon;
—> God’s Reputation – His reputation stands consistent and firm. To the Israelites, because God chose them long before they decided to choose Him. We may tend to question God’s love at times, especially when we recognize that His ways are not our ways and that He may chose to do things a lot differently that we do. We often choose to do things in ways that might bring glory to ourselves, but Jesus is fully in control and deserves our praise – at all times;
—> Pray for one another – just as Jesus prayed for the Father’s will in the garden before His arrest, so should we pray in love for the will of the Father and the benefit of our fellow man;
—> Disciple those in our circle – Samuel promised to teach his people and live out a life that is pleasing to God. Live out what you teach, dear Brother and Sister;
—> Make this your purpose in life – to revere, worship and serve the creator and sustainer of all life. Recognize His great works and and obey His commands, knowing that He does all things for our good.
Friends, know that God loves you more that you could ever imagine. Only God ever sacrificed a part of Himself for our benefit. He gave His very own Son so that we may ditch this old sinful world and be fit for the glories of heaven. How about making your greatest goal of life, to accept Jesus, and live a life dedicated to Him until God calls us home to be with Him in heaven? I have information in my Footnote that will help you make this a reality!

BLESSINGS NOTED: So many blessings included in our Scripture today. God chose us long before we decided to choose Him! God commanded that we pray one for another – He designed us to care about our Brother/Sister! Because He has done so many good things for us, we should desire to faithfully revere and worship Him all of our life!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for loving, caring and encouraging me! You created me, and You care for me while I’m allowed to spend time here on this earth. Please teach my readers, listeners and myself to always stand firm in our faith and to live out our purpose for which You placed us here. May others see so much of Jesus in us that they will desire to know You and and purposefully live for You as they seek to disciple others while await their call to glory! 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

Are You Ready To Go?

Airlines have set times for their flights, and we know that falling short on our arrival time at the airport could cause us to miss our flight. But what would you do if the airlines operated like NOAA and could only tell us that they will have a flight leaving your favorite airport some time on a certain date? Will you still catch that flight? Jesus explained to His disciples that their ministry would be based on His eminent return some day. Are you doing your part to evangelize the lost to be ready for that day?

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2021-09-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 17:26-27
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 26 “When I return the world will be as indifferent to the things of God as the people were in Noah’s day. 27 They ate and drank and married—everything just as usual right up to the day when Noah went into the ark and the Flood came and destroyed them all.

APPLICATION: For those who strive to evangelize the lost and guide them into a relationship with Jesus Christ, you will find yourselves much like the disciples, in that you will encourage the lost to accept Jesus today, as He could return anytime after the very moment that you share the Good News. But even in Bible stories, we read about the excuses that people quickly came up with when they are asked to accept the Lord, so I’m sure that the excuses will flow rapidly from the mouths of those that we set out to encourage. For the disciple’er I would suggest that you think back to the days when you tried to encourage your spouse to marry you. Although they may have initially had some doubt, you went through a long courtship to try and convince them that you two belonged together. So let me encourage you to do a little courting of your closest family members, or your dearest friends, so that you may gain their confidence to believe the urgency of the message you want to share with them. Also, let’s remember that Jesus warned His disciples, and us, about the uncertainty of the day and the hour, so getting the message out today could make the difference between eternal life, or eternity and damnation in Hell for that dear person. To the one who might be reading this and you have chosen to ‘wait and see’, I believe that there has never been a time in our history where we are reminded daily how death is knocking on the door of our family and friends almost daily, and without regard to age, gender, health condition, or anything else. Please realize dear friends that your time could be next. Please be ready for the day that Jesus comes back, even if it’s today. Just as airport officials only admit passenger who are ready to travel when the flight departs, so will Jesus have a similar decision when He returns to take us home. Are you ready to go?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: For those who are ready to go, Jesus can come today, tomorrow or anytime and you will be ready to join with the rest of His chosen children to accompany Him into heaven! No greater joy!

PRAYER: Lord, Your warning is clear, and for many we are ready to join with You and the angels in Heaven when You come to take us home. The urgency is also clear for our unsaved loved ones, so in all humility I ask that You bestow upon all Christians the importance of showing how much they care about loved ones, by showing them the only way to Heaven. Lord, with urgency evident to both the evangelist and the hearer, may we be busy about our Father’s work. We may say that we love and care about our family and friends, but may that be apparent by us showing them the way to Heaven. Please forgive us when we fail, or when we are timid, but Lord we depend on Your wisdom and Your strength to guide us 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

Lord, In Spite of Your Love, We Have….

I believe that one of the hardest prayers we could conjure up, is one where we acknowledge that we have messed up. This could easily arise, for we not only disobey God and turn from His way, in spite of His love, but this may, unfortunately arise in scenarios with parents, spouses, siblings, friends or even coworkers. Imagine, they may think the world of us, but yet we allow influences from sources outside of our relationship to steer us in directions contrary to what we promised, or what we believe, or what we aim to do. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s try to be conscious of the exterior things that distract us in our walk/commitment.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-03-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezra 9:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 But in spite of Your love, we have abandoned Your commands, and we have no excuse. 11 You warned us through Your servants, the prophets, that the land of Canaan was polluted with pagans, that their evil actions had removed anything pure or good there, even filling up the land from end to end with horrible practices. 12 You warned us not to marry our children to theirs, to seek treaties with them, or to covet their prosperity so that we would remain strong as a nation and as individuals, eating good foods from the earth and leaving that earth to Your children always.

OBSERVATION: I believe that one of the hardest prayers we could conjure up, is one where we acknowledge that we have messed up. This could easily arise, for we not only disobey God and turn from His way, in spite of His love, but this may, unfortunately arise in scenarios with parents, spouses, siblings, friends or even coworkers. Imagine, they may think the world of us, but yet we allow influences from sources outside of our relationship to steer us in directions contrary to what we promised, or what we believe, or what we aim to do. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s try to be conscious of the exterior things that distract us in our walk/commitment.

APPLICATION: At first reading one might do a double-take on the verse where a recommendation was made to Ezra that the people divorce their wives taken from the community of non-Jews. But there is a strong message here for even us today. When God saves us, He draws us to Himself to live like He taught us through His Son; He expects us to obey His commands; and He directs us to use our mission field to win the lost for the kingdom. Inside the four walls of our church, I believe we all will agree that this would be a fairly easy task. Inside our families, and perhaps inside our group of friends who respect us – this may also be fairly easy; but to walk up to a stranger, or a new neighbor, this becomes increasingly more challenging. So don’t we tend to give in just a little so we could better fit in, with hopes of possibly getting through to them at some point? What about the case of our marriages? Can you imagine how old-fashioned our parents were to ask us to marry someone from our church, or our neighborhood, or who believed like us, or practiced the same things that we do? It is obvious that the Israelites thought just like us – they came and settled in with a people who had beautiful ladies that seem to be just like them, so why not marry them? It happened then, and it still happens today dear friends. But in our Scripture today, Ezra acknowledged before God that this whole mindset had truly put the Jewish people in a position far enough from their God, and they are left with no-one who cares about them, protects them and desires a pure relationship with them. I believe there are a few takeaways for us to meditate on today: 1). When God saved us by His grace and mercy, He set us apart as holy and dedicated to the Creator of this universe. As we mingle, let us be careful to represent the One who ‘saved’ us from the drudgery of sin, and not draw so close to sin that we would be drawn back into it again; 2). If, through God’s help, we succeed in staying dedicated to Him, but see a fellow believer being pulled away, let us seek the heart of God on their behalf, much like Ezra did for His people. This would be our only hope of our fellow believers if we were the ones being pulled away; 3). Be willing to stand up and ask God’s forgiveness for our actions first. Set the example and pray that others will follow; and 4) Be willing to love on all that you come into contact with, but never forget the love of our Savior for us, so that we may stay strong in our faith and obedient to His will. Friends, we are living in the last days before Jesus returns to take us home. Let us always seek to live like children who are ready for His return, and may that urgency create within us an ongoing desire to see those around us humble themselves, pray, and turn from their wicked ways in preparation for His return. I pray that our current worldwide, dire situation might create a sense of urgency to many, and that God’s people will stand ready to help them seek the face of Jesus for His expected return. Please read my Footnote for further instructions, dear friends, especially the link ‘To Know Jesus’, or contact me to pray with you.

PRAYER: Thank You dear Lord for leading me into this Scripture today. Just as Ezra recognized that in spite of Your love, his people had strayed, I’m afraid that the same situation has repeated itself today. For folk all around me are satisfied to do what pleases a neighbor without regard for what You have taught us. Please forgive us and never stop loving us dear Lord. We have family and dear friends who still need to meet You for the very first time. You have shown us through our current situation that the time is nearing for Your return. May we all be found expecting and ready for the day You call us home to glory. Oh what a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see! I really want my family and friends to be just as anxious and prepared for that day, Lord. Please tender their heart and guide me, or some other servant, to help lead them into a right decision before it’s too late. 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!

On Visiting The Sick and Shut-Ins – Listen!

For those considering a visit to a sick friend, a shut-in or hospitalized, I would challenge you today with the words of Job, please don’t fill the room with chatter but listen to the person. You are visiting to help them feel better, this might very well be best served by listening to them. This reminds me of our times with God, is that time spent mostly allowing yourself time to unload, or do you give yourself time to listen to God?

Monday, 2019-05-13

Bible Reference: Job 13:5-6
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 
I wish you would just stop talking;
    then you would really be wise!
Listen to my argument,
    and hear the pleading of my lips.

OBSERVATION: For those considering a visit to a sick friend, a shut-in or hospitalized, I would challenge you today with the words of Job, please don’t fill the room with chatter but listen to the person. You are visiting to help them feel better, this might very well be best served by listening to them. This reminds me of our times with God, is that time spent mostly allowing yourself time to unload, or do you give yourself time to listen to God?

APPLICATION:  Ever have someone visit you and they don’t stop talking long enough for you to get a word in about how you are really feeling? Frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve been on both sides, so I believe I can identify with Job’s friends and with Job. As the visitor, we tend to feel like it is our responsibility to visit and make the person feel better. So we gather information about the person, then we either build up a wall of defense, just in case they decide to tear us apart, or we load up our minds with what we think they need mentally to help them feel better. As the sick or hurting person, Job in this case, we need someone that we can talk with and possibly identify with us. So if the visitor would just listen and nod their head occasionally to show they are listening or identifying with us, we would feel like we are not alone in our struggle. The last thing we need is a visitor, friend, pastor, elder or deacon, to visit and beat up on us about what we should have done, or how another church member never overcame the illness that they had similar to ours. We don’t want false hope, because although sick, we can quickly see through lies or false pretenses. Fortunately Job listened to all his friends had to say, but now he is lashing back at them. A visit to the unknown, and this would include a visit to a friend or fellow church member, is like walking into the unknown. Pray and ask God for wisdom, a listening ear and a kind word to encourage the person with. Remember, the sick person has been shut up in a room all day and needs someone to just listen to all they’ve been thinking about. Ask God to take away your desire to make them feel better with unending talk. There may be stuff the sick person would lay on the visitor that they want you to pray for and possibly help them find ways to deal with, like family matters or unresolved differences or best of all, to know Jesus personally! If we don’t listen, we will leave without knowing the heart of the one we visited!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in Your precious and wonderful name, I ask that You humble us to listen more and speak less. You are the designer and maker of each person, so You know how prone we are to build ourselves up and show off our knowledge and our experiences, yet You placed us here on earth to worship and praise You, and to be a blessing to others. Please help us to get off our ‘soap boxes’ and to show humility in all things, like You did, especially in our dealings with others. Yes, we may have something important to add to a conversation, but I know that we need to be more like You and place You at the very top, or leader of all things, then place others before ourselves. No matter how uneducated the other person is, they are a valued child of our King, please help us to always bear that in mind and learn from them and their experiences. As You lead us with the right words to say, may we be obedient and loving in sharing, so that You may ultimately receive honor and praise from all involved. We can only accomplish this with Your guidance and Your help dear Lord, so I ask this in Your powerful, yet loving name, Jesus my Lord. AMEN!

Jesus–The ‘Light’ at the end of your dark tunnel

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: Job 8:5–7
Today’s Bible Text: 5 But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, 6 and if you are pure and live with integrity, he will surely rise up and restore your happy home. 7 And though you started with little, you will end with much.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: In reading the encouraging words from Job’s friend, Bildad, I believe that God gave me more wisdom to encourage and help those who have come through the past few years of discouragement due to losses – jobs, homes, families, vehicles, etc. For those who were blessed to keep their jobs, and therefore hang on to those things that are precious to us, it may be challenging for us to identify with these friends and/or family. Praise God, His Word is so applicable for every aspect of life, therefore I thank Him for directing me to this passage today and I am hoping this might especially encourage those folk who may have felt much like Job did, after losing everything. I am also hoping that this might also help those of us that God has chosen to walk alongside these individuals to encourage, and/or lift up, and/or restore, and/or redirect. For those that have, it is easy to say to those who have fallen: “Come on pull your socks up and move on with life” however, unless we can do that from a heart of love, or a heart burdened by God to really help that individual, our intended ‘encouragement’ may not be accepted as we hoped it would. Notice that Bildad pointed Job to God and gave him specific instruction on how to draw closer to God – the source of his help. This applied to Job, and could also apply to our friends seeking to overcome months and months of discouragement with loss of hope for the future. Here are tips given to Job by Bildad that I want you to consider:

  • Pray to God – Though earthly things may seem dismal, there is One who cares about every concern of His children. Pray, pray, pray to God;
  • Seek favor from the Almighty – God knows what you’re going through, but just as Jesus asked the blind man what was he seeking from Jesus, I believe He wants to hear your heart. Plead your case before Him. Ask Him for what you need in your life and the life of your family;
  • Put your purity and integrity in check – Our God is holy and righteous and pure. Please follow His ways and live your life in all purity and with full integrity as a child of God. Don’t let the circumstances of this earth interfere with the relationship you have with your Father. Live in such purity and integrity that the world will have no idea what you are presently going through. Even on the cross, and after suffering much cruelty and hurt, yet Jesus blessed the criminal hanging next to Him. Let that be your example friend.

Like Job, I believe that you too can see happiness restored to your home and your financial worth restored. My God loves you just as much as He loved Job. Let me encourage you to live like Job did, and see how God reacts to your dilemma!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I have no news for You today that You are not already fully aware of. Many of my readers and I have friends and/or family who are hurting because of the results of bad deals dealt to them by today’s society and perhaps bad choices by them. These are Your precious kids that You sacrificed Your life for at Calvary, so I beg You to touch them in a very special way today dear Lord. I dare not ask You how or why, but merely to trust in Your goodness to be the loving and caring God that You are. We will praise You tirelessly for Your goodness to these that we love and care about, 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 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!

2016

How Much Do You Care?

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – John 1:40-41; 43-45): 40 One of the two men who had heard John and had gone with Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and tell him, “We have found the Messiah!” The Hebrew word “Messiah” means the same as the Greek word “Christ.” 43-44 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. There he met Philip, who was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter. Jesus said to Philip, “Come with me.” 45 Philip then found Nathanael and said, “We have found the one that Moses and the Prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

THOUGHTS: As I read this passage this morning I was moved to compassion for all my family members who may not know the Lord, and for my friends that I come into contact with on a daily basis. Perhaps you didn’t get it the first time reading through the above verses. Check this out: Andrew was moved by the preaching of John and he followed Jesus – the one of whom John spoke. In other words, it’s like Andrew was at church last weekend and accepted Jesus as Lord after hearing the Word of God proclaimed! The first thing that Andrew did, was to find his brother, Simon Peter. Friend, who did you think of the day that you got saved? Would you be ashamed to face Jesus and declare to Him that your family and friends didn’t make it into heaven because you were too busy, or didn’t care enough to tell them about the Lord? Then in verse 44 Jesus called Philip, and immediately he went to find his buddy Nathanael. Friends, who do you care enough about that you would want them to come in out of the rain; be protected from the onslaught of a huge natural disaster like a hurricane or an earthquake? Who would you morn over if you knew that they were headed for a destructive fire and you saw it up ahead but didn’t opt to warn them about it? May I humbly say that this is exactly what your family and friends are facing, if you don’t become a ‘Andrew’ or ‘Philip’ and convince them of the saving grace of Jesus Christ? You have the ‘key’ friend – the answer to help them avoid the depths of hell. Do you care enough to share the answer with them? What’s stopping you? You may fear that they might reject your offer and perhaps laugh at you? And that may be a reality, but will God accuse you of not even trying, or loving them enough to care about their eternal future?

PRAYER: Father God, I believe that often we don’t relate ‘neglect’ or ‘priorities’ as being uncaring or unloving, because we use buzz words like: too busy; fear of rejection; they just won’t listen to me; they are a total atheist; or they have everything they need and refuse to listen to anything about God. I pray that You will open our hearts today Lord, to make decisions based on our relationship with You and Your call on our heart for action, not what we suspect the other person may say, or what they might think, or what they believe, or their ethnicity or proclaimed beliefs are. I pray that when the day comes for us to face You in judgment, that we can honestly and boldly declare like Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7:  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. This can only be accomplished with our hand in the hand of the One who calmed the waters, who died on Calvary for our sins, and showed love beyond anything we can think of imagine. I ask all this in that very name, the name of Jesus, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 www.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!