Refresh The Hearts of Believers

In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2022-09-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:4-7
Translation: Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: I am constantly thanking God for you in my prayers because I keep hearing about your love and faith toward our Lord Jesus and all those set apart for His purposes. Here’s what I’ve been praying on your behalf:
Thank You, Father, for Philemon. I pray that as he goes and tells his story of faith, he would tell everyone so that they will know for certain all the good that comes to those who put their trust in the Anointed One.
My brother, because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been complimented for that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything more satisfying than to walk in on someone speaking something complimentary about you! I suppose the next best thing is probably to read the compliments on our character in a letter, email or newspaper. Unfortunately this hardly ever occurs until the time of our memorial service! Now, I realize that we never do the work of the Lord for man’s applause, but I also know that we each need encouraging from time to time. Paul’s applause to Philemon was all about the feedback that Paul was receiving from the church members that met in Philemon’s home. Friends, we must remember that as we strive diligently to live as an example of our Master and Lord, if no one around us notices, then how do you suppose we are doing? Philemon lived such a life of love in the presence of his congregants, that Paul likened it to something that we do to our computer screens when we ‘refresh‘ the screen! It’s like something that we diligently pray for in our churches, when we pray for ‘revival‘, for we want our hearts to be ‘refreshed‘ in the love of Jesus, and our spirits refreshed to the state of when we first met Jesus, when we fell deeply in love with Him for saving our soul. Friends, I believe that God would encourage us to not wait for our encouragement, before we bless the souls of those around us. Imagine, they may see the love of Jesus in us, even while they are alive to enjoy, and be blessed by it. They may be encouraged in knowing that Jesus is alive, and they may be rejuvenated in wanting to serve Christ even more fully. Friends, when we do the Lord’s work, we also will be encouraged. May we all learn to reach out to Jesus and desire a filling of His sweet Holy Spirit, so that His Spirit may flow through us and electrify anyone’s spirit who happens to come near us. People who need the Lord are constantly looking at those who say they have a personal relationship with Him, so they could see what a Jesus filled life looks like. How are you doing with that friend? Can others see enough of Jesus in you that they want to be around you, hoping that some of the joy and love that you exude would rub off on them! Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. In fact, He will overfill your joy and love, so that others will want to know the source of it all!

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for allowing Paul to encourage his Brother, Philemon, based on the great work that he saw from, and heard of, him. Thank You for speaking to our hearts through this Scripture today, so that our hearts might be overfilled and encouraged. May we be looking for avenues to encourage and share Your precious love with others. Please give us more love to share and many more opportunities in which to share that love with others. Draw the unsaved to Yourself Lord, and if my believing readers and listeners may be of service through some awesome act of love, then I beg You to please use us for Your service. Please have an impact on all those who will read this devotional today. 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!

My Help When Fear & Troubles Come

It seems very evident that the Psalmist spent some valuable time alone with God. It is also evident that David experienced very intimate times with God, for it helped him to conclude that God had saved him, been his rescuer, defender and his very fortress. I am convinced that this is the same awesome God that’s still available to those who know and trust in Him today! If you know Him, rejoice with me as we are reminded of His qualities. If you have not accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, tune in to the full devotional for reasons why you should accept Him as your Lord!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2022-09-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Psalm 62:1-2
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 1 I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for him to rescue me. For salvation comes from him alone. Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense and fortress. Why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?

APPLICATION: Based on our personal experiences with God, I wonder what words we might use to describe our God. Let’s look deeper at the adjectives used by David as he tried to describe his awesome God. Perhaps we could decide whether we have witnessed any of these same characteristics of God in our lives, and the value we attribute to those qualities:
~ Our salvation: Can you thank God for the salvation you found through the precious gift of Jesus – your Savior and your Redeemer? There is no other way into heaven than through the shed blood of Jesus, my friend. How often do you thank Him for that precious gift, and brag on it before others, as David did in these verses?
~ Our Rock: Solid; impenetrable; immovable; dependable; will not give in or crumble under extreme weight or pressure – these are some of the words that can be used to describe a rock. David described God as his ‘Rock’ because he had seen many of these characteristics and strengths in his relationship with God.
~ Our Rescuer: This makes me think of times that one has been in deep trouble and have been noticeably rescued from that trouble because of prayers asked of God to pull you to safety. Having a personal relationship with the God of this universe, means that He can and will rescue you even when it may seem hopeless in your own eyes. Remember, He’s the one who walked on water; He’s the one who parted the Red Sea for His people to walk safely through; and he’s the one who performed miracle after miracle in Biblical accounts and in the lives of those we know and love today. Yes, dear friend, He could certainly rescue you from your situation today if you place your faith and trust in Him!
~ Our Defender: I tend to think of someone who will defend against those intending to harm their loved ones. Our primary worry here on earth is Satan, for his intentions are simply to kill, steal and destroy us, while leading us away from God. In knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can agree with David on this, that because we serve the supreme God of this universe, He will defend us from the evil one, especially when we pray as He taught us: ‘lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil’. Ask Jesus to do this, child of God. Then be ready to brag on Him as your Defender, just like David did!
~ Our Fortress: In the Bahamas, and here in Florida, there are forts that were built to help our ancestors defend against invaders. The walls are several feet thick in some places, and were built to keep our soldiers safe from an incoming cannon ball. So, when the enemy was approaching, they all went to their ‘fortress’ for safety and protection. I believe that’s about how David felt, and I believe that’s about how we should feel. In our case, the enemy is waiting to attack every time we turn around, so being safely inside our ‘fortress’ means that we know the Head of Heaven’s Army and He knows us! He will reassure us of the safety and security of His loving arms. I trust that today you are very confident in knowing that you can run to the security of your ‘Fortress’, safe in the arms of our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ! A stranger knocking on the door of the fortress in the height of battle will not be allowed in, for they personally chose to reject that security. Let that not be your case friend. Look full into the eyes of Jesus today and accept His offer to be your Lord and Savior – your Fortress in every circumstance of life.
Can you add to this list of attributes, friends? Would you remove any of the attributes mentioned by David, because you have not experienced them in your relationship with God, yet?

PRAYER: Thank You Father for sending us Your Son to be our Salvation; our Rock; our Rescuer; our Defender; and our Fortress! Lord, I pray that today many will come to the foot of the cross and accept You as Lord and Savior, for all the reasons already mentioned in this devotional. I am proud to know that You accepted my plea for forgiveness and acceptance into Your kingdom, and I thank You from the bottom of my heart for being all of these things mentioned, and much, much more. Lord, I look forward to being with You in glory some sweet day, but while allowed to remain here on earth, I ask that You continue to watch over me and lead me to help another beggar looking for bread – the Bread of Life! 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!

Spiritual Exercise

I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain himself, and how his illustrations fit so perfectly with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, in making every effort to try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to regularly exercise ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2022-08-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: Don’t waste time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.

APPLICATION: I believe we all may have given some thought as to why we want to stay physically fit. For some, it may ease certain aches and pains; For some it may help their breathing; For some it may help avoid certain medications by keeping the heart healthy; For some, it prepares them for a huge competition that’s coming up; and a plethora of other reasons, I’m sure. So then, why do you suppose that God, through His servant Paul, found it necessary to get our attention in staying spiritually fit? Let’s first look at the pitfalls when we are not spiritually fit. I believe that this is where we are easily provoked into sin, for we have no real, current, depth and/or communication with the Master. There are really two parts to this, first of all we must know what to do and what’s expected of us. This means that we have to learn what’s expected of us by our Lord. As in the business world, this means that we not only learn the Word, but we also keep on learning and refreshing our knowledge of the Word. Secondly, we must put into action all that we learn. Imagine in the business world where you might tell an auditor that your books, practices and overall processes are in order because you read about what’s required? That will absolutely not protect you against exceptions, since your auditor will compare what you are actually doing, against what written regulations say that you must be doing. Our Christianity is much the same. God has set forth a wonderful book that details His commands, and it shows us how our Savior lived perfectly while here on earth by following the commands of His Father. For us to do the same, we must know those commands, we must be in the Bible daily so that our minds might be spiritually fit for battle against the Evil One at every opportunity that he aims to challenge us. Yes, I know that some are fast studies and therefore only need to read through the Bible once but let me assure you that the Word of God is very real and it is pointed to help us each and every day, no matter what we are facing today for the very first time in history. To practice what we learn, we must be diligent to apply God’s rules and commands in every aspect of our lives, with the Master’s help. In fact, if we aim at perfection in all our ways, then we might be mistaken frequently for the One that we are imitating. Has that happened to you recently? Friends, when we hit our finger with a hammer, our immediate response will often reflect what’s inside of us. Likewise, when we are hit with life’s challenges and the temptations of Satan, our immediate response will reflect what has filled our heart, and how close we are to the Savior – how fit we are spiritually. How are you doing friend? Seek the Lord while He may be found, and allow Him to guide your steps, your actions and your speech. May it be known to God, and obvious to all those you meet, that the blood of Jesus as washed your sins away and that Jesus lives within every fiber of your being!

PRAYER: This is a very challenging passage of Scripture Lord Jesus. One in which we are reminded that we don’t have all the answers, and we desperately need You in every aspect of our lives, every day. We are reminded that without You we can truly do nothing of value for the Kingdom. Please open our hearts and draw us to a closer walk with You and a life truly dependent on the power of Your sweet Holy Spirit. Lord, You know all too well how weak we are, but thank God You also know that You created us to be like You. So Lord, again today we beg of You to forgive us for those evil things that we do, and the awkward things that we say – our spiritual weaknesses. Please draw us close to You and melt our hearts to closely depend on You in all walks of life, so that You may be glorified in every aspect of our lives. 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!

Waiting on God

David had such a relationship with God that it seemed natural for him to speak his heart to God. David realized how much he had messed up, but He also knew the One who is perfect, and he wanted desperately to be like Him. But he could not achieve perfection on his own, so he pleaded his case before the only Perfect One. Is that not us today?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2022-05-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Psalm 25:4-5
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 
DEMONSTRATE Your ways, O Eternal One.
    Teach me to understand so I can follow.
EASE me down the path of Your truth.
    FEED me Your word
    because You are the True God who has saved me.
    I wait all day long, hoping, trusting in You.

APPLICATION: We could learn a lot from David, for we are so quick to beat up on ourselves, or seek help from every other source, before finally conceding to the One who could lead us to all truth, knowledge and understanding so that we could obediently follow the ways of our Lord and His written Word. There are a few keywords in these two verses that I wanted to expand on, hoping that we might better understand the heart of this humble servant of God. David knew that there was only One who could possibly help him, so he pleaded before his God:

  • Demonstrate – Lord, please help me to understand by showing me through real-life examples;
  • Teach – Assume that I know nothing and simply open up my mind to a full understanding of what You would have me to do, oh Lord;
  • Ease – Understanding my weaknesses and inadequacies, please go easy on me as I am slow to learn, but know that I sincerely desire to know more about Your ways and Your Word;
  • Feed – Pour knowledge and understanding into me like one would poor water into the beak of a very thirsty bird. Fill me with Your Word so that I may constantly live in obedience to all that You desire of me;
  • Wait – I am willing to wait for as long as You desire, Lord, for following Your will is just that important to me.

When all else fails, make it known to God that there is nothing more important than to obey His Word, and honor Him in everything that you do and say. Allow Him to work miraculously through you to reach the lost in your circle of influence for His glory. God referred to David as a man after His own heart, so I believe that as we apply this prayer of David’s in all sincerity, and follow the Master in all that He demands of us, we will begin to reflect the true image of God in our lives, so that we may become effect witnesses for Him. May this be your heart’s cry today precious friends, for God loves You more than you could ever comprehend!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we want to be just like You! However we have so much that separates us in that quest. There is so much that we need to surrender to You so that we might be filled with Your Holy Spirit completely and therefore be led in total surrender to Your will and Your way for us. Lord, this wicked world needs to see more of You in those who claim You as Lord. Begin with me Lord. Allow me to be so filled with Your grace and Your mercy that those in my realm of influence might desire to know the One who influences my life every day. Thank You for the lessons taught through Your servant David, May all who read this blog be encouraged to follow in the steps of David – towards being recognized by You as a person after Your own heart. May You be glorified in and through Your precious children today, is my prayer, in deepest humility, 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!

Don’t Be A Stumbling Block

In verses 24-26, Paul showed the people how God had turned some of the Jews away from the Gospel, so that the Gentiles would have a better opportunity of accepting Him. And although that was only temporary, it served the specific intention of God. In verses 33-34 Paul is celebrating the wisdom of God as he reflects back. Together this Scripture should cause us to remember that God was, still is, and always will be in charge of His creation. It seems that churches today may be hindered by some who feel like they are in charge, as they seek to gain recognition and power. As we meditate, let us look to our Creator and sustainer of earth for what He might accomplish and how we might become involved in His work!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 11:25-26; 33-34 (TLB)

TEXT: 25 I want you to know about this truth from God, dear brothers, so that you will not feel proud and start bragging. Yes, it is true that some of the Jews have set themselves against the Gospel now, but this will last only until all of you Gentiles have come to Christ—those of you who will. 26 And then all Israel will be saved…..

33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his wisdom and knowledge and riches! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! 34 For who among us can know the mind of the Lord? ……

APPLICATION:   As I meditated on the Word of God, I was reminded, in awe, of His great wisdom, and His awesome power to fulfill His Godly purpose. This particular Scripture reminded me of a sad story, but one that brought awesome results. Many years ago, my cousin, a young man about 35 years old, was electrocuted and fell to his death from a roadside electric pole. The mourning of that mother, my aunt, could be heard over most of the small town. However, before the sun set the following day, my dad (brother to the grieving mother) had surrendered his heart to Jesus! He then became a Godly influence to his five children until the day he died. What happened in this Scripture today, also reminds me an awful lot of our churches today, for it almost seems like the movement of Christ has been slowed down and possibly even dwindled some, and I wonder if it is not God dealing more intensely in the hearts of so many that are totally lost. This may not make total sense to everyone, but I wonder if God is not saying to our churches: ‘put away selfish desires, prejudices and pride. Remember, your wisdom is nothing compared to the wisdom of our awesome God. For people to gain wisdom from and in you will teach them very little however, to know Christ will gain them all eternity’. The Bible reminds us that God’s ways and thoughts are way beyond our own, so that tells me that I can’t possibly understand all that He’s up to. However, I know from the Word that God made us all to worship and adore Him, so shouldn’t our every effort be in seeking ways to know Him better, accept Him more fully and worship Him in total surrender to self and this wicked world? It just seems like we are currently facing the same dilemma that Jesus spoke of in our Scripture verses today. For we hate to look at the evening news because of all the crime, violence and acts of hatred that fills our news portals, while churches are closing their doors in record numbers because of non-attendance, lack of giving and leadership. We hear excuses such as COVID, or the effects of war, but friends, we must remember that Jesus is coming back soon to collect His church. Can you even fathom how few will be taken up to glory with Him, compared to the huge population of earth? To the church, I would say with great urgency that people need the Lord. The Gentile population has grown, and unless we who are Christian, stand firm in our faith, lift up the banner of God so that the lost may recognize God in His greatness and accept Him as Lord, then there will be a massive divide on the day that Christ returns to take His bride away with Him. It would hurt my heart to think that God may have to push Christians aside, so that the unsaved may find Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I have family and friends that I believe will be left behind if they remain unchanged. Assuming that many of you are in a similar position, I would encourage you to join me in praying to the God of this universe for a great movement upon our land. Oh that Jesus may rule and reign in our personal lives, our families, our churches, our communities and in our nations around the world, so that the people will know and believe in the sacrificial lamb of God – Jesus Christ. May the God of this universe become known as Everlasting King of this universe!

PRAYER:   Lord You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! In our Scripture today, we are reminded that although You created us to worship You, many refuse to do so. You created us in Your likeness hoping that we would live in similar fashion to Your example while here on earth, yet there are many who mock and scorn You and Your children, much like what occurred in times past. The warning signs of Your return are evident Lord, and we thank You for promising us that You will return for Your children! Heavenly Father, please soften the hearts of Your children, so that Your churches may be filled to capacity with worshipers longing to draw close to their Creator, our Everlasting God, and may this impact the unsaved like never before. 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 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 are not already connected in a local Bible teaching church, let me encourage you to find one so that you may grow in the love and stature of the King of all kings. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Warning – You May Suffer as a ‘Christ-Follower’

Suffering for something that we’re in trouble for, is very understandable. But when we suffer because we believe differently to our circle of family and friends, or even the rest of the world and, as a consequence we act more loving, kind, respectful, and truly love the God and Creator of this universe, we tend to feel like our world is very wrong. However, our Scripture today, forewarns us about impending punishment and ridicule from this world and it’s rulers. As we meditate, let us evaluate whether others will see sufficient evidence of our being a Christ-Follower to ridicule, hate, or arrest us.

Sunday, 2021-11-07

Bible Reference: 1 Peter 4:12-16
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  12 My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering, which are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory. 14 When people say bad things to you because you follow Christ, consider it a blessing. When that happens, it shows that God’s Spirit, the Spirit of glory, is with you. 15 You may suffer, but don’t let it be because you murder, steal, make trouble, or try to control other people’s lives. 16 But if you suffer because you are a “Christ-follower,” don’t be ashamed. You should praise God for that name.

APPLICATION:  I believe that when we accept Jesus as Lord, we tend to think more about what the benefits might be, than thinking about what additional controversy our decision might create, or what additional persecution might arise in our lives. Think about it, when folk are really struggling, we tend to convince them that they need Jesus. What if we told them that what they are presently going through is only a ‘drop-in-the-bucket’ compared to what will be brought on them after conversion? Do you suppose that anyone would agree to surrender their lives to Christ? However friends, we must be honest in evaluating what happened to Jesus, for He healed the sick, raised the dead and caused the blind to see, yet He was sought after like a criminal. I am also reminded of David, after he was especially kind and respectful of Saul, yet Saul desired in his heart to kill David. Regardless, this same Jesus is to be our role model. I feel like what we are taught here is that we are to do good, and be a shining example of Jesus, even if we know that controversy will arise. On the way to a business party one time I was asked by an executive why Christians abstain from drinking alcohol. I believe that it was asked in a jeering way hoping to get laughter from the other executives present, on how I would be challenged to truthfully answer. I responded honestly as I believe God would have me do, and although I waited for the repercussion, it seemed like my honest response was well accepted, and that I was respected even more for giving an honest response. I recently heard a request for prayer about persecution on the job at a local company. It really surprised me, but after reading this scripture this morning, I am convinced that although we are not expected to go out and be deliberate rebels in our workplace or at local diners, or any other place that we go, we are expected to let our lights shine for Jesus and not hide that light for the sake of popularity or because of possible persecution or embarrassment. In fact, I love the suggested attitude in verse 14 – when we feel persecuted, or picked on, or laughed at, or made fun of, because of our faith, it is a great time to praise God knowing that others are impacted by the Christian stance we just took on a matter, or the Christ-likeness that our audience just witnessed. It’s not a show-off thing, it’s our every-day Christian life being displayed in all aspects of our life. Is this always easy for us? Absolutely not, but when done in sincerity and under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, we will see great things accomplished for God. In fact, I would go as far as saying that if we feel forced into making a stand, then we need to question if it truly is a ‘God thing’, or are we doing it to impress someone about us and our strengths and abilities. Friends, please make every effort to not be half-hearted in being a Christ follower. Of course you expect God to know about your decision, but it might actually encourage someone in doubt if you stand committed in your stance to true obedience to the One you decided to follow.

PRAYER: Dear God, You gave everything You had so that we might have eternal life in glory with You and Your Son. Thank You Lord for Your goodness to me and Your invaluable gift! Lord, I pray that Your children who will meditate on this devotional today, might catch a glimpse, as I did, to the value of living our faith and making our witness known to all mankind, so that they might be convinced of our relationship with You. This witness will sometimes convince mankind of their need for a Savior, but it will sometimes offend those who are led by Satan and his demons. May we be strong in all circumstances, so that the world might know to whom we belong, and that we might be convinced in our heart that we are truly Yours – without a shadow of doubt. Lord, please have Your will and way in our lives today, and may Your glory shine through us as we stand firm in our faith in You. I ask these things in the powerful and awesome name of Jesus, and for your sake, 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!

Work At ‘Peace’ and ‘Holiness’

For the one that seems very comfortable, patient and just a ‘natural’ at what they are doing, we may say that they are a perfect fit for the job. However, God taught us in our Scripture verse today that we need to work at living in peace with those around us, and work at living a holy life. Lots to meditate on in this very short verse today, so ask God to open your mind and melt your heart to the truth of His Word.

Saturday, 2021-10-04

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

APPLICATION: I saw a greeting card that read “Short on words, but loooong on best wishes!” I found this verse to be short on words, but packed with a powerful message for us today! God’s inspired Word is warning us that living at peace with everyone and living a holy life before our Lord, does not come easy or perhaps ‘natural’ to us, but are two things necessary for the follower of Christ. Our natural tendency is to sin, therefore it is challenging for anyone to get along with us, or for us to accept everyone the way they are, to love them, and live at peace with them. In this chapter of Hebrews we are being taught to listen to God. We have been shown in this New Testament book that our ancestors accomplished a lot in faith, believing in, and depending on, the power of God. We are therefore challenged to call on, listen to, and depend on God to help us accomplish everything that He has commanded of us. In this particular command, I would dare say that God has proven Himself powerful, and able, over and over. He proved His love for us in ways that we would never have to, for He sacrificed His life for us, while the world hated Him, mocked Him, spat on Him and crucified Him. So I believe you will agree that He definitely knows all about how challenging it will be for us to ‘love’ someone who despises us, or may even hate us. So friends, when we are commanded to ‘Work at It’, be comforted in knowing that we don’t have to do this alone. For Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us – that means that He is always there for us. Therefore part of our working on these commands, must include humbling ourselves before the Master and seeking His help. Furthermore, I am convinced that my loving Jesus would never command something of us that would be impossible for He and us to achieve. We gladly work at being our best in our jobs, in our families, in our marriages and in our relationships. As an obedient servant, we must also ‘Work at’ being holy in our lifestyle so that the world will know to whom we belong. Also, we must determine in our own hearts to live at peace with each other as children of the ‘Prince of Peace’. We must ‘Work at It’ with all of our being and with the help of the King, Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our time here on earth is short, and we can therefore not afford to procrastinate on ‘Working At’ being all that You demand of us in Your Word. Holiness begets holiness, so if we are truly a son of the Holy God, then we are to represent that holiness in our everyday life. For one to meet a son, there should be good enough representation that they would tell the world that they have truly known the Father. Lord, may it be so in my life today, and may You fill the hearts and lives of all my readers and listeners that are willing to live obedient lives in conformity with Your will. Shine through us today Lord Jesus, so that our friends might see Jesus. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of Jesus, 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!

SEE Jesus and Worship Him

I hope that our eyes will be opened to the risen Christ during this devotional today, for we SEE Him in various ways each and every day. These encounters are way too important for us to brush off as anything else, for I believe God deliberately gets the attention of those seeking Him. As we meditate, let’s be sure to look inward at the opportunities we have to worship our King – the King of all kings!

Friday, 2021-09-27

Bible Reference: Matthew 28:16-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NIV)

Bible Text:  16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

APPLICATION: In our scripture reference today we see one of many instances where folk saw Jesus, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. I acknowledge that this particular instance is so miraculous that it would give reason for anyone to ‘worship’ the Master. But let’s be careful to note that Jesus was crucified, died, buried, and three days later He arose from the dead, and now He stand in the very presence of His disciples! But friends, I want us to stop and meditate on the many times that we stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus, but do we always stop and acknowledge Him and/or offer up our sacrifices of praise to Him? Matthew Henry in his commentary on this verse says “All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him.” I could almost imagine by now you are dumbfounded as to what I might be getting at here, because although the Lord Jesus stood in the presence of the disciples, you probably can’t remember the last time that He did that to you, right? Dear friends, we are presented with reminders of our Lord Jesus every day and we make personal choices as to what we do with that. If you pick up the precious Word of God and read it, you will be flooded with evidence and overwhelmed by the presence of God as you read about Him – but do you stop to worship Him and acknowledge His greatness? If you walk out of your home and stop complaining about the humidity, or the cold, or the heat long enough you will SEE the beauty of all that God has provided for you to enjoy, you might consider raising your hands in praise to Him for His miraculous touch on everything from the heights of the skies to the beautiful green grass and flowers that you see, to the cattle that produces dairy products and/or beef for your plate, to the beautiful waterfalls that make us wonder where is the water coming from so high up on a mountain, to the beautiful ocean that is filled with man’s best foods, etc. If you enter God’s house of worship and hear the stories of how God has miraculously healed and/or touched His children, you will SEE where God has been busy meeting the needs of His people, and you will worship Him knowing that there is still hope for Him to also miraculously help you through your challenges that seem insurmountable to you at times. Friends, it is time for us to stop whining and start praising. It is time for us to stop attributing God’s miracles that occur all around us every day, to happen-chance, or good luck, or any other worldly credit, and truly SEE God for who He is. It is then that we will worship Him in deep sincerity like the disciples exampled for us in this Scripture today. Jesus is still alive and He is looking for opportunities to bless you, so that you may SEE Him, if only you will let Him into your world. Won’t you do that today friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence each and every day. Please forgive us for the times that we find every other reason in the world why something special occurred in our life, before we finally realize that it truly was the God of this universe that stepped in and blessed us. You have provided lots of evidence of your miraculous hand at work in our lives and all around us. Please open our spiritual eyes so that we may SEE Your goodness, Your miracles and Your love that You want so badly for us to accept and envelope. Lord, may we truly learn to worship You in every way, because of all that You place before us as evidence of Your presence. Please also open the eyes of the non-believer today so that they will realize that there is no other explanation for the miracles around them other than the awesome power and greatness of the Almighty God. Lord I pray that our worship and our praise will come naturally, as we recognize the originator of our blessings. Thank You for being so good to us! I ask these things in the gracious and blessed name of Jesus, 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!

In Preparation For Your Mission

It appears to me like Paul was given great wisdom in helping those that he mentored in the ministry. In fact, I believe that God used Paul powerfully in his ministry, so that he could be an effective mentor to Timothy. I wonder who’s following in our footsteps? I wonder if our lives are suitable for others to follow, and they go out to be God’s representative and minister? Let’s look at some of the ways Paul felt prepared for the task at hand.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 2:14-17 (VOICE)

TEXT:  14 …... Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. 15 Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. 16 Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. 17 Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer….

APPLICATION:   I’m not sure how many of us will ever be blessed to have the honor of mentoring someone entering into a ministry role, like Paul did, but we are often part of a church where new workers are called into ministry each year, and some of us may also be blessed to be part of a commissioning service for a new minister of the gospel, like Timothy was. This advice given by Paul is great for us to consider as we look into our own lives. Hopefully as we live these out personally, we will be in a much better position to say like Paul did in one of his other teachings: “now follow me, as you try to live a godly life” or as you endeavor to serve in your new assignment. You see, it is hypocritical to suggest that a new minister, teacher, worker, do some of these things, if we are personally doing an awful job at these things ourselves. For example, how can we suggest that they not get in arguments over words, or split hairs over individual interpretations, if we are so bad at doing that ourselves? Or that they should be genuine in their walk, if we are personally accused of living a double life? Or to not be ashamed of the gospel, if we are often embarrassed to have others know that we are involved in the ministry of our local church? So friends, I would encourage you to not brush this off by thinking that we now have some good advice to give ministers and/or workers entering into the ministry of Jesus Christ, but instead that we live out these principles ourselves so that we might give sound advice as we suggest that they follow, just as we follow Christ. I believe that only then, will the church of Jesus Christ see effective workers in the local church, and well prepared ministers and/or missionaries that we send out from our local churches. Lost people are anxious to see genuine Christians. Just as we aim to be exactly that, will we be effective and genuine in sending others out, just like us.

PRAYER:   Lord, please have Your perfect will and way in the hearts of each one that will meditate on this devotional today. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. May Your kingdom become richer as a result of us sharing our genuineness with others who will be impacted today, with the character and form of the One true God. 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!

Our God Will …

If we are not careful, our world can bombard us with so much stress, that we might wonder at times if it is really worth it all. But then we are reminded in Scriptures like this one today, that life seems impossible – if we try to do it alone. We serve an awesome, all powerful God who is ready and willing to answer our cry for oneness with Him. I am convinced that He longs to receive us, love on us and take good care of us until the day He calls us to live eternally with He and the Father. Why not meditate with me today as we analyze and satisfy ourselves as to the power of our God!

Saturday, 2021-08-28

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Scripture

Bible Text:  Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.
9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

APPLICATION:  Like me, I would imagine that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what might be happening in the coming days, weeks and years, so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips – in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses of our Scripture today, let me remind you of Moses, God’s messenger and leader who had millions of people following him. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 
* Trust and reverence God;
* Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
* Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;
Just remember that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate in the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

PRAYER: Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving name of Jesus, 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!