Be Sure and Choose Wisely

How easy is it to always choose sides? Isn’t it challenging to see the good in the opposing side? There are times that we will choose a side because of a recommendation from a friend or family member, but unless you commit to their beliefs, principles and practices, it becomes a very challenging thing to commit yourself wholeheartedly to the leaders and followers of that group. This is much the same with unbelievers when Christians try to convince them of their need for salvation in Jesus Christ. Notice that Jesus said that you will have to choose sides. You will choose in whom you will serve. Think about that as we meditate together today.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-09-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 12:51-53
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 51 Do you think that I came to bring peace to earth? No indeed! I came to make people choose sides. 52 A family of five will be divided, with two of them against the other three. 53 Fathers and sons will turn against one another, and mothers and daughters will do the same. Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law will also turn against each other.

APPLICATION: When our daughter was growing up, her mom would often ask who she loved the most. Invariably, she would respond ‘both of you’! We always chuckled, but isn’t that so true in life today? Christians are called to decide on what we will do with groups and individuals who operate in total disobedience to the Word of God. More often than not, we choose to accept their beliefs, rather than standing firm on the Word given by God for us to live by. Jesus told His disciples that there was reason He had given them certain commands and guides for living, even though many of His instructions might seem totally opposite to what the world around them were doing. You might recall that some disciples were called from various occupations – tax collector; fishermen; etc, and invited to become a follower of Christ. There were many obstacles for these brothers to transition from their daily jobs to follow a man despised by the Pharisees and government leaders, so Jesus needed to do a lot of teaching and retraining. But isn’t it interesting how Jesus chose to complete this training so bluntly? It seems like today we try to pretty up the Gospel and suggest such a glorious life in accepting and serving Jesus Christ, that one might think that it is only second to working at the palace. But friends, Jesus is still calling us to choose. Will we go with the crowds; please our greedy, angry politicians; or work diligently to becoming the popular guy/girl among our peers; or will we truly accept the call to serve only our God and obey His commands that He issued for our good? We may often go a direction with Jesus that our family, friends or boss disagrees with, and we will be forced to make a decision whether we will truly follow Christ, or whether the cost is too high. Unlike us, where we stand on the fence with many choices of man, Jesus wants us to follow His example in calling a spade a spade, even if it leads us to a cross like He endured. Where do you take your stand, dear friends? Are you for God, or against Him? There’s no in-between. If His Word teaches against something, then we are called to teach/preach/witness/stand against it, even if it cost us friends, family, coworkers, job, church, etc. Are you truly on the Lord’s side?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Heaven is promised for those who place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and are willing to obey His commands, in spite of opposition and/or persecution.

PRAYER: Lord, I think of a hymn I sang as a child: ‘Who is on the Lord’s side’, never realizing that I would one day study these words of Yours to Your disciples and applying them to my life. What an eye opener today. We tend to think of You as the God of love, unity and One who creates nothing but peace and love among Your children. But as in all areas of life, we will create division when we stand firm on a point of view. Please teach us to be loyal to You in every aspect of our life and to always be obedient to Your commands, even if it causes division among those who disagree or sit on the fence of decision. I believe that You would have us love others, even through our disagreements, so please work miraculously through us as we dedicate our lives to You and live as You commanded. May all things still be done for Your ultimate 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!

The Rest of the Story!

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Revelation 21:3-8): 3 I heard a loud voice shout from the throne: God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. 4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever. 5 Then the one sitting on the throne said: I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. 6 Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. 7 All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 8 But I will tell you what will happen to cowards and to everyone who is unfaithful or dirty-minded or who murders or is sexually immoral or uses witchcraft or worships idols or tells lies. They will be thrown into that lake of fire and burning sulfur. This is the second death.

THOUGHTS: For those of you who have followed Nuggets for a while will remember that we covered from the creation of the world, to the birth of Jesus, through the miracles and life changing events that occurred during His short life, then through His death/crucifixion and resurrection. All of this happened in perfect timing, and this information has been widely available for years, to show that although we are born into a world of sin and perhaps little hope, we realize when we read the last book of the Bible that all these happenings were for a reason. They brought us hope and a promise, that if we surrender our lives to Jesus – God’s sacrificial gift to man, then we would be included in the family of God referred to in verse 3. The whole plan comes together friends! For those who wisely surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ during their lifetime, we can look forward to having God live among us in an atmosphere of peace, comfort and tranquility – no more tears, death, suffering, crying or pain. Everything new! Everything as we know it today will be finished! Fortunately we are also warned about what will happen to those who choose to do life their own way. In verse 8 these folk are given just the opposite treatment. Friends, we know the Bible is true, for it is one of the most widely printed and studied books there is, plus its content has been proven over and over again. In the financial world, if we know of impending doom we try to avoid it by investing much more conservatively. In our physical environments, we try to protect ourselves when we are warned of hurricanes and/or other acts of God. I am very concerned for the millions of people who have chosen to accept the latter conditions mentioned in verse 8. There are choices that our family and friends can make to improve their eternal destiny. Are we praying enough, or encouraging enough, or doing enough to help them make wiser choices today Christians? The end of the story is very exciting for those who have made arrangements to be in the presence of Jesus and His Father! It can be the same for those of you reading this who are not sure of your position/destiny. Please follow the steps in my Footnote to receive help and sure up your position about heaven or hell as your destination, and God vs Satan for your eternal master. I would welcome the opportunity to help!

PRAYER: Thank You Father for providing everything for Your children. It is unfortunate, but we believe that there are still many who have chosen to ignore Your gift of eternal life and settle for the Lake of Fire referenced in our scripture this morning. Many of these are our family, friends and coworkers, and we are very concerned about their sanity in this kind of decision. I realize that Satan is busy at work, distracting his followers from the truth of which I have referenced here today, but I am blessed and assured to know that Christians are following the same Savior today as will lead us on that day referenced in verse 3 above! Oh Lord, please use Your saints to be an influence in the lives of those who do not call You Lord. Please keep us from being stumbling blocks, but to stay firm in our belief and always lift up the name of Jesus in all that we do and say. May lives be impacted for You today, is my humble plea oh Lord. All this I ask in the bountiful 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!

One Choice Determines Your Destiny!

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 102:27–28

27 But you are always the same;

you will live forever.

28 The children of your people

will live in security.

Their children’s children

will thrive in your presence.”

 Thoughts:

As our kids are growing up we try to make sure they do well in school, and we prepare financially, and mentally, for them going on to college, to help prepare them for the best jobs, and therefore the best chance of making it in this challenging world. Similarly, in life, we are born a sinner, and because of a precious gift given by God, we have a choice of remaining a sinner (without Christ), or to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. We may then live the rest of our lives savoring in that love, and subsequently look forward to a glorious day when we might be with Jesus in glory. You might ask, “but how do I get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ in these life decisions”. David reminds us in this Psalm that in spite of all that changes in this world, in fact all that changes in our generation compared to that of our forefathers, it is important to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. For a moment, let us look at the death of our parents. The world looks on and they either raise their hands in celebration that the children of the deceased were taught the love of God, accepted that precious gift, and therefore have the security referenced in verse 28 above, or disappointedly they may nod their heads knowing that the children have opted to live their lives without regards for the Christ that their parent knew, and therefore has no hope of tomorrow. Friends, my God is an everlasting God that I can recommend to my child(ren) and give them the assurance of life eternally with Him. How can I do this? Because, in scripture I am assured by Jesus, when He said: “Because I live ye shall live also”. You see, Jesus has prepared a home for His children! Praise God, I have the assurance like David did, that this ‘home’ Jesus referred to is not just for Christians today, but for their children also, if they make the choice to personally accept Jesus and develop a life-long relationship with Him. No choice at all will leave you on the road to eternal destruction (Hell). Making a choice to accept Jesus as Lord, can give you the same comfort and assurance that your Christian forefathers may have had, if they knew Him. Super simple folk, but super important. I hope that you will use the contact information in the footnote and allow myself or someone else who loves you, to lead you to the cross of Jesus Christ TODAY! I would love to celebrate with you!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, just as my friends make choices that help mark the destiny of their children’s future, I pray that they will seriously consider making a super important choice, as presented above that would mark the eternal destiny for their lives. Not knowing what might happen the next hour or minute, I selfishly ask that You impact their lives immediately after being reminded of this in this devotional, so that they may have opportunity to make this all important choice. Thank You for impressing this upon my life some 38 years. You know how this would hurt me to now that anyone would be left behind, especially anyone that I love, care for, work with, or have opportunity to minister to. This includes anyone meditating on this devotional today. Thank You Lord for the provision You made for us at Calvary. I look forward to the day You decide to call me home to be with You! I am thankful, but yet plead my requests of You, and I ask all this in Your wonderful and all-powerful name, 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 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.