Character Reflective of God

Like me, I bet you also heard your parents use the phrase ‘Practice What You Preach’ at every applicable opportunity! In this passage of scripture Paul is also using this principle in his teaching to the Jews, and because it is God’s inspired Word, I believe it serves as a reminder to us as well. I believe that this is still a very real problem for us even today. Please meditate further with me as we contemplate this scripture from the book of Romans today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Romans 2:23-24
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 23 If you pride yourself in having God’s law, then stop dishonoring God by failing to keep its teaching. 24 Here’s what it says: “Because of you, God’s reputation is slandered by those outside the covenant.”[b]

OBSERVATION: Like me, I bet you also heard your parents use the phrase ‘Practice What You Preach’ at every applicable opportunity! In this passage of scripture Paul is also using this principle in his teaching to the Jews, and because it is God’s inspired Word, I believe it serves as a reminder to us as well. I believe that this is still a very real problem for us even today. Please meditate further with me as we contemplate this scripture from the book of Romans today.

APPLICATION: I cringe when I hear folks say things like “your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying”. Because, unfortunately these folk are often right in saying these things. It hurts me deeply when I hear of church leaders caught in certain acts of sin, because they often have such a large following who is looking to them as a role model. No matter how often we tell folk that they should model their lives after Christ, not man, yet we see more fall out from church members when a pastor leaves, or a church leader is caught in an act of sin. The bottom line is that we all should be guilty of following Christ’s example so closely that people around us would see no difference between our actions and those they expect from Christ. When we surrender Lordship of our lives to Jesus, we ask Him to guide our footsteps every day so that we may walk like Him; guide our tongues each day so that we may talk like Him, and care so much for us each day that we may, in turn, love others like He would. Without Jesus Christ, it is virtually impossible to follow His ways each day in the world we live in, however, rest assured that in Christ, ALL things are possible. If friends of yours never read the first thing about the Bible, but they trust you enough to follow in your footsteps and obey your verbal instructions to them, who would they look like, Jesus Christ or the world? Remember, we are to be little ‘Christ’s’, so our friends following us could ultimately look the same! How are you doing? Do you have portions of your life still left to surrender to God, or are you comfortable that your life is in line with Jesus Christ? Please don’t let Jesus say to you on Judgment Day what Paul said to his fellow Jews, that people are cursing Christ because of you. As a parent we gloat at the times when others praise our children, because we feel a sense of pride in the job that we did in parenting. Let’s live our Christian lives following the same formula, so that Jesus may one day say “Well done good and faithful servant, when these children of Mine followed you, it was the same as them following Me, receive now the crowns I have prepared for you”! Let’s live with the end in mind friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I respectfully ask that I not be a stumbling block to anyone here on this earth. I pray that others may see enough of You in me that they will not be disappointed over their expectations of You. Lord, may I always represent You in ways that might lead others towards You. Please gently speak to my friends that may meditate on this devotional today, and lead them into a time of soul-searching and revival in their personal lives. Lord, it’s You that we live for. May that be evident in our words and actions today, is my humble prayer that I ask in You very precious and holy name, 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, The Same Yesterday, Today and Forever!

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: Psalm 102:27–28
Today’s Bible Text: But you are always the same; you will live forever. The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT

My Take Away: I believe there are many things that we can reflect on from our past that we really liked, and that we wish was still around in lieu of the sometimes faulty things that we have available today to give, or refer to our kids. In fact, there were places that we once frequented that we can no longer refer to our kids, because they are no longer around. There are wise old folks – you know, like our grandparents and others, that we can no longer refer our descendants to, because they are no longer around. However, there were some stories told by grandparents who knew the Lord, that we have proven over our lifetimes, and as David reveals in this Psalm today, we can afford to share these with our kids and grandkids, because it is not only a sure thing, but God’s love will be available to those that would have Him, for as long as life here on earth continues. Friends, the beauty of this is that the stories passed on down to us are not just stories, but they are real experiences that took place during the lifetime of our ancestors. Similarly, there are stories we can pass down about the work of God in our lives – the work He is currently doing right in our lifetimes. The experiences that our kids and grandkids can experience are then reassured based on the stories of our experiences that we share with them! However friend, the stories that will be meaningful to them are the ones telling our our rich experiences with the Lord Jesus Christ, for those are very personal, and still very much available to our kids today. Do you know this Jesus that I am referring to? Can you share with your kids about the rich personal experiences you have encountered during your lifetime? We can enjoy the relationship with Him forever, if we have made the necessary commitment to be with God even after this life here on earth. Where do you stand friend? This is far more important that trying to store up a fat bank account for them to fight over, and this treasure of which I spoke, is everlasting, and it never fails!

Prayer: Father, I pray that the experiences our kids will discern from us and cherish during their lifetimes, would be the characteristics that they saw in us. The godly lives that we lived and the sincerity of living what we taught them to do. Please touch lives today, including mine, so that I may live the life that I claim in You. May others be drawn close to You because of Your character being lived out in me. You, oh Lord, are my all in all! Thank You for loving me and providing for my everlasting happiness! In Jesus precious name, 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

Proof of Whose You Are

The Holy Bible

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.

(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 6:3-6)

Thoughts:

Whether we like it or not, folk that knew (or know) your ancestors can easily identify you, and it may not always be because you look so much like them! Often it’s because of the way you act, the things you say, or even the way you look at life. As a young couple I remember my wife and I commenting about some of the things that her mom and dad said and did. Today we marvel at my wife when she does and/or says some of the very same things that we particularly noted as a young couple! I always admire the heart of Paul in wanting to do the right thing and to do it in a way pleasing to God while not allowing it to be a hindrance to someone else. Besides this passage, remember Paul also said that he would just as soon be anything God wants him to be in order that some might recognize and accept Jesus as their Savior. In this passage though, I was particularly moved by verse (6) where he listed the attributes by which he and his coworkers proved whose they were. Because these are character attributes spoken about elsewhere in the Bible as well, I believe that these are being pounded into our minds as Godly attributes, that we should frequently examine our own lives to insure that they exude from us in our everyday lives. Think about it friends these very characteristics were demonstrated by Jesus and taught by Him as ones that we should strive for and make a part of our character. Here they are: Purity (moral uprightness, of a single mind towards God); Understanding/Knowledge (understanding what you believe and what God expects of you. Being sensitive to the will of God); Patience (dealing with even the most challenging people without getting upset with them); Kindness (being sympathetic towards others, and allowing that to reflect in your actions); and Love (genuine love is the desire to do what is best for those around you). So friends I believe that my ‘dare’ to us today is that we ‘dare’ be bold in our witness for God. May we constantly pray for these characteristics to be prevalent in our lives, to the extent that others will recognize our Master through our actions, and therefore desire to know Him in a very personal way. In this way, they also may go on to exude the same attributes in their lives. Being ‘Christian’ means being just like Christ (little ‘christs’). For those that know Him, and live these characteristics out in their lives, they will be well on their way to their goal. To my friends that have not accepted Jesus yet, please consider accepting Him today. He will also help you to mature into a person who can reflect His image, so that you too can help someone else along. Use information in the footnote to receive help, should you need it.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I thank You for all you did for me on Calvary so that I might have life eternal with You! Thank You for the example You showed to me, and for all those saints who have influenced my walk for You. I am well aware that if ever this world needed to see You in action, through Your saints alive and included in these challenging days, is today. I pray for Your strength, Your direction, Your wisdom, and Your almighty touch so that others might see Your character lived out in my daily walk and in my talk. I pray for my readers that they also will develop a yearning to know You better and desire a character aligned with the example You set for us, and that You remind us of in Your Word. As Paul and all of the saints gone on before us have demonstrated to us, may we also be an example to those that watch us and follow our footsteps daily. I am proud to be known as Your child, Lord Jesus, may I represent You well. Please be especially challenging to my readers today, so that they too may have a deeper desire to depict You in all areas of their lives. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord, 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 days 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!

Strive for Perfection, Just as Christ is Perfect!

Scripture: Matthew 5

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

At the conclusion of a chapter devoted to telling us how to live a true Christ-like life, Jesus tells us that we are to strive for perfection like the only perfect One – Himself. I feel like there are several things to consider here:

  1. In Character: When we continually sin and just shrug it off to excuses like: “Well I’m sorry, after all I’m just human” or “It’s OK, I know that God will forgive me”or “Well, there’s always another chance for me to try and do this right”, then I believe that we are giving in to being a child of this world and accepting the pitfalls and weaknesses of this world rather than placing our faith solidly in the hands of the almighty and striving wholeheartedly to be like Him. Let’s aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. He will see our sincerity and help us through our human flaws;
  2. In Holiness: In striving to be more like Christ, we will find that love for, and service to others, become a priority in our lives. God showed mercy and love even to those who hated Him and chose to fight against Him. Look at how He healed the soldier in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s remember that we are chosen by God to carry His love into this sick world and represent Him in all of our interaction with sinners.
  3. In Maturity: Christ-like maturity doesn’t happen instantly. Just like we expect more from a teenager than we do from a child, or more from an adult than we do from a teenager because of the years of maturing into adulthood, so it is as we study God’s Word, learn more about Him and how we can become more like Him. We should be showing signs of maturing more and more each day. Friends, we don’t mature into adulthood strictly by what we learn in school – we learn it from our everyday living. So it is with maturing as a Christian – don’t depend solely on what you may learn from a weekly sermon. Get into the Word (God’s book of instruction) and learn daily what it is that God is teaching you that day to help you mature in Him.
  4. In Love: We must seek to love others with the same love that Christ loved us. He gave His life for us, while we still hated Him, while we plotted to kill Him, while we spat in His face and mocked Him. We weren’t deserving of His love, yet He gave it all to show His love for us. That’s the kind of love we must have for those that we come into contact with daily.

Christ calls us to rise above mediocrity and be perfect even as He is perfect. When we strive for this perfection we stop accepting anything less. One day we will be perfect, just as He is perfect!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I serve the only perfect one. My desire is to daily grow to be, or mature to be, more like You in every way. This means that I am striving to also be perfect. This requires my daily time on Your Word and my ultimate desire to overcome the things of this world that will distract me in every way possible. However, I have the confidence in knowing that I serve the only One who could give me the strength, wisdom, desire, boldness and power to overcome the sinfulness of this world and strive for ultimate perfection in You. Please give me a constant desire to be more like You so that others may see Jesus in me and want to also know You. thank You for providing such an example for me to follow and mature in.