I Have Stayed The Course

Like Job, we too have gone through an awful lot over the past 2 months with the constraints of every government, in order to help protect us from the harm of Covid 19. Notice in the first chapters of Job, he became very disheartened over all that he was going through, and it was more than any of us could image. However, in this chapter, Job was able to truly face God and rejoice over His goodness, in spite of what occurred. I wonder how much rejoicing we will do as we attend our first church service following this pandemic!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-05-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Job 23:10-12
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 But he knows every detail of what is happening to me; and when he has examined me, he will pronounce me completely innocent—as pure as solid gold! 11 “I have stayed in God’s paths, following his steps. I have not turned aside. 12 I have not refused his commandments but have enjoyed them more than my daily food.

OBSERVATION: Like Job, we too have gone through an awful lot over the past 2 months with the constraints of every government, in order to help protect us from the harm of Covid 19. Notice in the first chapters of Job, he became very disheartened over all that he was going through, and it was more than any of us could image. However, in this chapter, Job was able to truly face God and rejoice over His goodness, in spite of what occurred. I wonder how much rejoicing we will do as we attend our first church service following this pandemic!

APPLICATION: Kids tend to tell you like it is! So often they will be the first to whine: ‘church again?’ or ‘I’m really too tired to get up for church today’ or ‘we have spent no time together as a family this week, why don’t we skip church and spend time together today’! However, often some adults will follow through based on these same statements, even if they don’t say them. So regardless of where you were at in your relationship with Christ on the first day of lockdown, over the past two months you no longer needed an excuse to stay home from church! You enjoyed a sense of freedom from the religious stuff! Don’t you see that last statement applies to many who might attend church occasionally? But for those who has a true relationship with the God of this universe, I wonder what changed in your relationship with Him? The accountability of a Sunday School teacher, or even your Christian friends, may have been minimal during these past months. In fact, there hasn’t been much of a daily routine! Can you honestly join with Job and say to God today that regardless of the circumstances that encumbered your life during Covid, you are convinced that He still lives; He still loves; He still rules; and that He is still on target for returning to take you home to glory? Can you genuinely say that you were faithful every step of the way (as God is fully aware) and that you still long for His return, and you are actually growing impatient in sharing Christ with your family and friends who need Him? Some of you might be precisely in the same boat as Job, where you have lost loved ones and material things due to Covid and its consequences (unemployment, illness, death, etc.). However, some of you may have unfortunately just taken a break from religion altogether. I heard a sermon once that was entitled ‘Saints on Vacation’. It was a real eye-opener, for it spoke of how different people might act when they are on vacation – out of town and possibly no one watching their every move or action. But the sermon also spoke to times when Christians, or just people at large, take a vacation from certain routines. They take a break, just to see what life is like without a particular routine. Unfortunately, I believe that we all do each of these things from time to time, and the Covid lockdown may have been the ideal opportunity for that. I hope that each of my readers could stand strong, like Job, and confirm with Jesus that you never lost sight of who your Savior is, and that you were very strong in your own faith while trying every day to share that joy with others. I wish that we could all say like Job: ‘we never turned aside, and we enjoyed being a son of the King every day and in every word and action that we shared with others’. Friends, Jesus has not changed at all! I pray that you have not changed any at all, but that you feel closer to the Lord now than you ever did before.

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for working in the hearts and souls of our pastors and church leaders so that they remained strong, and found awesome and innovative ways to reach and encourage their parishioners in ways that they never thought possible during these months that the church doors remained shut. Please continue to encourage them and give them wisdom for Your church as it emerges from this crazy time we have just come through. May our lives be so reenergized in our relationship with You that our churches will not be able to contain the overflow of people wanting to know the Christ who kept us safe and strong through the roughest of times. Oh that we may be able to emerge like Job, and shout our praises to You for helping us maintain a strong and righteous relationship with You, even when there were no pastors, preachers, teachers or friends breathing down our necks. We love You in the good times, and now we know that we could also love You in the challenging times. All glory to You, our Lord and King! 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Jesus Sees Us In Our Challenging Times

Often when we are in deepest worry, we tend to think that no one sees or understands what we are going through. But although the disciples were in a boat, away from the shore, and probably could not see Jesus, yet He not only saw them, but also saw the struggle they were having. Jesus said in His Word that He would never leave us alone, so I believe that He sees and understands our struggles today as well, and that He loves us enough that He would never leave us alone. Join me as we meditate some more on this…

DATE WRITTEN: ^day, 2020-^
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Mark 6:47-51
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 47 That night, the boat was still in the middle of the lake. Jesus was alone on the land. 48 He saw the boat far away on the lake. And he saw the followers working hard to row the boat. The wind was blowing against them. Sometime between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus went out to the boat, walking on the water. He continued walking until he was almost past the boat. 49 But the followers saw Jesus walking on the water. They thought he was a ghost, and they started screaming. 50 It scared them all to see him. But he spoke to them and said, “Don’t worry! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.” 51 When he got into the boat with the followers, the wind stopped. The followers were completely amazed.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are in deepest worry, we tend to think that no one sees or understands what we are going through. But although the disciples were in a boat, away from the shore, and probably could not see Jesus, yet He not only saw them, but also saw the struggle they were having. Jesus said in His Word that He would never leave us alone, so I believe that He sees and understands our struggles today as well, and that He loves us enough that He would never leave us alone. Join me as we meditate some more on this…

APPLICATION: Struggles and worry come in many forms, but when we feel like we are running off track, or off course, I could easily understand how we would also feel like we are being buffeted by the storms that are far over our heads. In fact, we might often feel like the storms have driven us far off course from the path that we believe God ordained for us. Jesus’ disciples were traveling in a boat across the lake to Bethsaida, when a storm arose and blew them off course. Notice that the Word says that Jesus was well aware of the struggle His disciples were going through. That in itself is rewarding because it reminds me that Jesus is aware of what I am going through. He knows where I want to be, but just as important, He knows the struggles of this world that are holding me back and forcing me off course. It may be health, or finances or family issues, or a thousand other things, BUT He knows what we are facing. The following course of action is even more exciting, because the Bible tells me that He arose from what He was doing and went to the disciples – He went to their rescue, to help them. We look at our children, see their struggles, and we want to jump in and help, but often our pride or an attitude of wanting to see them learn a lesson and actually ask for help, may prevent us from stepping forward. Jesus already knows our hearts friends, so He knows what we need, when we need it and how badly we need it. I am amazed that in spite of our worldly distractions, yet Jesus comes to our rescue and calms our waters of worry and hopelessness and fills us with His joy, His peace, and the amazing hope for eternity with Him in heaven! Wow, what an awesome God that we serve! Do you know Him personally friend? If not, please consider following the suggestion in the footnote today. Jesus wants to welcome you and care for you just like He did for the disciples in that boat!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for being my Savior. Thank You for sacrificing Your life so that I may have life eternally with You in glory! As reminded in this text today, let me also thank You for coming to my rescue when You noticed that I am running off course because of worldly struggles that distract my walk. This is way more than I could ever expect, and deserve, but thank You for loving me in this way. This is more than I can comprehend, or imagine, based on this world’s standards. I adore You dear Jesus, and I thank You for loving me this much, in spite of my human frailness. Please continue to watch out for me, and I welcome You to come to my rescue at any time. I am sure that my Christian brothers and sisters are also plagued with these same insecurities and challenges in their daily lives. Please allow this study to open their eyes to Your amazing love and concern for them. Lord, may this be a day that some lost person may come across this devotional, and be so reminded of Your love, that they might surrender their life wholly and solely to You. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord, 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, 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!