Here’s What Distracts Our True Worship

Isn’t it interesting how Satan distracts us from worship to our God by placing small petty things in our way to get our attention? The Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church in Jesus’ day, were keenly aware of the disciples not washing their hands before meals, but they were blinded to the sins that kept them from a right relationship with God. Unfortunately this may apply to us still today, more than we would care to recognize. Oh that the Word of God might open our eyes today as we meditate on our Lord.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:15-20
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Jesus then said: …. 17 Don’t you know that the food you put into your mouth goes into your stomach and then out of your body? 18 But the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. And they are what make you unfit to worship God. 19 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. 20 These are what make you unclean. Eating without washing your hands will not make you unfit to worship God.

OBSERVATION: Isn’t it interesting how Satan distracts us from worship to our God by placing small petty things in our way to get our attention? The Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church in Jesus’ day, were keenly aware of the disciples not washing their hands before meals, but they were blinded to the sins that kept them from a right relationship with God. Unfortunately this may apply to us still today, more than we would care to recognize. Oh that the Word of God might open our eyes today as we meditate on our Lord.

APPLICATION: As a teenager, I remember a situation where two sons of a prominent church member came to worship services one Sunday. One of the ushers immediately ridiculed the young men about their dress code not being appropriate for God’s house. There’s no telling how long parents and friends had prayed for these young men to return to church, but the ridicule pushed them further away from the church than they ever were before. How on earth would dress code prevent a person from hearing the Gospel or worshiping their Lord? If you have relatives who live by certain dietary restrictions, especially if they feel there are Biblical reasons, then you have probably been preached at for sinfully eating the wrong things. No doubt there are many other examples where people are considered ruthless sinners because they do not adhere to all of the church rules created for their ‘guidance’. Jesus found the opportunity to speak to religious leaders over an issue very similar to what we experience today. As a child I was trained to always wash my hands before coming to the table to eat, but the Pharisees took this to the extreme by making it a sin if you didn’t wash before eating. But just as in the case of the Pharisees, Jesus is very aware of what the real sin is in our lives also. Furthermore, He is teaching us in the Scriptures today, that sin against God has a serious adverse effect on our worship to the only holy and righteous God. But where does sin originate? As I read this teaching by Jesus, my mind immediately went on to think about what a person does when his heart is continually topped off with anger over certain things that he feels strongly about. I believe it would be virtually impossible for that person to respond in love, in happiness, in kindness and in a spirit of helpfulness. An angry heart invokes angry actions. You will note that Jesus used several other descriptors to help remind us that we will speak or react based on the mode of our heart. Unless we fill our hearts with the attitude and character of Jesus Christ, then we cannot except to respond like He would. Take ‘love’ for example – Jesus went willingly to the cross for you and me, even while we were still steeped in sin. When we love like Jesus did, we can do it regardless of the circumstances around us, or on what may have impacted us up to that very moment. To worship God in spirit and in truth, means that we can stand honestly before the King with no regrets, or worries, about what may have provoked us into temptation. The Psalmist asked God to create in me a clean and upright heart. Perhaps we should seek God’s face in similar fashion so that we may stand before Him in all honesty and truth, with a clean and contrite heart.

PRAYER: I believe that the only heart that is clean when it comes into the presence of our Holy God, is a heart that has been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, and one that has sought the face of Jesus for a renewed cleansing from the battle scars of this old world. So Lord, I beg of You to cleanse my heart and renew within me a right spirit, so that I may stand before You in worship without the distractions of this sinful world. Please also touch the heart of my readers so that they also might find peace in knowing You, and may they desire a renewed cleansing that would present them faultless before the King of all kings. Forgive us Lord for trying to worship You through our distractions and our sin. May we not only come face-to-face with You in holiness, but may our lives be more usable by You when clothed in Your righteousness. 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!

What To Do When Tested

The Israelites were about to branch off into a ‘new world’, at least to them, where they would have to decide who they would serve, who they would honor, and who they would allow to guide their heart. Moses, through the help and direction of God, gave the Israelites instructions, and God saw fit to have these included in His Word, because He knew that you and I would face the same challenges that the Israelites were about to deal with. Let’s concentrate on the advice given so that we might be best prepared for what our day might hold in store for us.

Tuesday, 2019-07-16

Bible Reference: Deuteronomy 13:3-4
Translation: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Bible Text: The Lord your God is testing you to find out if you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul. Worship the Lord your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him.

OBSERVATION: The Israelites were about to branch off into a ‘new world’, at least to them, where they would have to decide who they would serve, who they would honor, and who they would allow to guide their heart. Moses, through the help and direction of God, gave the Israelites instructions, and God saw fit to have these included in His Word, because He knew that you and I would face the same challenges that the Israelites were about to deal with. Let’s concentrate on the advice given so that we might be best prepared for what our day might hold in store for us.

APPLICATION: In my younger days, I worked for a company that relocated me every few years to manage their business on several Bahamian islands. At each island, my wife and I had to face the challenge of ‘going with the flow’, or maintaining our faith, in spite of vast variances in culture. In reading today’s Scripture, I now wonder if we were presented with challenges by God to see if we truly loved Him and were willing to serve Him, even under very diverse situations that we may had found ourselves in? There are also other situations that we often find ourselves in. While chatting with friends, someone invariably will turn to bad-mouth a close neighborhood friend of yours. Do you stop them in their tracks, or could that have been a time where God was testing your loyalty to that neighborhood friend? Perhaps God wanted to see how much you would tolerate in hearing your friend belittled or destroyed verbally, before standing up for them? So what does this testing do to those of us involved? Surely it is a test of our loyalty and friendship. But what about the child of God that once heeded to His voice and surrendered their life to His Lordship. What happens when that person faces a challenge in life and is hurt by someone at church? How do you help that person overcome the fear of rejection, and bitterness against the whole Christian faith? Unfortunately this is so prevalent that I believe that each of us have at least one friend or family member who refuses to enter a church door again, because of past hurts. Don’t you know dear friends, that God saw this coming as His precious children entered a land where its people knew every god but the holy God of heaven? Don’t you know that it would have become the inhabitants’ main object to see what these newcomers were made of, and to convert them into thinking the way they did? God certainly saw this coming, so He had Moses sit down and prepare the Israelites for what’s ahead. Unfortunately not a whole lot has changed, for whenever Christians walk outside of their church doors, they are bombarded by a world filled with sin, false gods, hatred, enemies of God, people who have been hurt by someone called by the same name as us – Christian. How well prepared are you to face the opposition? Perhaps it’s your turn to be tested on your love for Jesus – the One who sacrificed His very life so that you might receive forgiveness of sin and face eternal life with He and the Father – God. I believe verse 4 details how we are to stay true to our Lord and Savior – Worship the Lord your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we have been placed on this earth as ‘light’ into a dark world of sin, hatred and unbelief. It is often challenging – much like the Israelites were about to face as they entered into the Promised Land, where the inhabitants served every other god except You. But Lord, You gave Moses encouraging words for the Israelites as well as our current generation – worship You, fear You, obey Your commands, listen to what You have to say to us, and to serve You in sincerity and loyalty. Please help us to stay on track with what You ordered through Your servant, so that we may never become distracted with the evil things of this world and its leader. You are our King oh Lord, may it be evident in everything we do to avoid the distractions that Satan sends our way. 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!

What Hinders You From Knowing Christ Intimately?

In our effort to reach the finish line well, we will face many temptations and the ‘filth’ and ‘garbage’ of this world on a daily basis. If we know the Master, then we are plugged into the powersource that will help us overcome the ‘garbage’ that may tend to hold us back. This is worth taking a few minutes to meditate on before God!

Wednesday, 2019-06-05

Bible Reference: Philippians 3:8-10
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  8 Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. 10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life.

OBSERVATION: In our effort to reach the finish line well, we will face many temptations and the ‘filth’ and ‘garbage’ of this world on a daily basis. If we know the Master, then we are plugged into the powersource that will help us overcome the ‘garbage’ that may tend to hold us back. This is worth taking a few minutes to meditate on before God!

APPLICATION:  Some of us are living ‘on top of the world’ – having the time of our lives with: great jobs; awesome friends; lots of ‘things’ for entertainment and/or enjoyment. However, there are some who are struggling to make it each day because they struggle to enjoy anything in life. At the foot of the cross, both types of individuals come with the same problem if they have yet to accept Jesus as Lord, for they come to the cross laden in sin. Believe it or not, Paul (aka Saul) was the chiefest of sinners in his day, yet God used him to show us through this scripture that just as he surrendered, or gave up everything to follow Christ, so will we have to give up the sin in our lives. Often this involves the things that have always led us to sin, or distracted us from knowing God. This challenged me, and I am sharing this with you so that you may be challenged, to think about this also. What is there in our lives that hinders our relationship with God? Is it time to throw out the ‘garbage’ so that our minds and our lives might be freed of the pull of sin? This could be hindering your acceptance of the Lord, or if we know Him already, this could be distracting and/or hindering our intimacy with Him. I want you to commit with me, as Paul did in verse 10, that from this very moment in life, we will reach for the finish line, to stand before God without any fear of shame, or rejection, or penalty from Him. The distractions that we will face getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ are the sins that we have to watch out for, and avoid, each day. Will you join me in going before Jesus each and every day to ask for His strength, His guidance and His power to overcome the ‘garbage’ that will try to trip us up each day? For we want to see Jesus! We want to know Him and the awesome power that raised Him to life! Let us therefore run this race of life with God at the center of all we do. Let us lean on His awesome power to help us stay ‘garbage free’ and strive to serve Him faithfully each and every day!

PRAYER: Lord You have allowed us to stay on this earth so that we might represent You and witness to others who need Jesus. You know all about the ‘garbage’ that we have allowed to enter our lives that really stinks and repels the sinner from wanting to know You. We are ashamed that we have been so weak and ineffective. I was convinced in Your Word today that others, in the heart of a ‘garbage’ pile, really don’t want more ‘garbage’, for they are looking for a way out, a cleansing, a new and better life. Lord Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life for those looking for a new life. Thank You for opening my eyes to this truth over 40 years ago. Please help me to keep my eyes and my life fixed on You and determined to avoid the ‘garbage’ that will easily and quickly pollute my life. Please touch the lives of my readers with a renewed desire to know You and to live for You in a closer and more dedicated way. May Christians today truly represent the God of their Christianity and fight off the distractions, or the ‘garbage’, that will try to trip them up and distract their walk with You. Please touch the hearts of those that do not know You, with a softened heart and a strong determination to dump the ‘garbage’ in their lives and refill it with Your holiness, love and compassion. I ask all this in faith, believing in the Son of God, for it is only He that can help us be all that He desires of us. AMEN!

The Distraction Caused By Sin

As a mentor to Timothy, the apostle Paul tried to provide him the best advice possible to stay on track for the Lord Jesus – a mission to help him reach the lost in the communities in which he ministered, and to ensure that he personally remained a good witness for the Savior in whom he had found peace and steadfast hope. God knew that we would be in very similar circumstances today, so I believe that he had this advice included just for us. Let us therefore meditate on it and reflect on what God desires of His messengers.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Timothy 6:11-12 (NLT)

TEXT:  11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

OBSERVATION:   As a mentor to Timothy, the apostle Paul tried to provide him the best advice possible to stay on track for the Lord Jesus – a mission to help him reach the lost in the communities in which he ministered, and to ensure that he personally remained a good witness for the Savior in whom he had found peace and steadfast hope. God knew that we would be in very similar circumstances today, so I believe that he had this advice included just for us. Let us therefore meditate on it and reflect on what God desires of His messengers.

APPLICATION:   Growing up at home, we were mentored by our parents to live life in similar form to what they lived. Of course, we probably thought that their ideas were archaic and that there were much better ways of handling circumstances, according to what we learned from our friends!! However, the older we become, we realize that our parents were very much on target with their beliefs, their practices and their advice. In fact, we see where they may have truly loved us more than we ever imagined, and the advice shared with us was not only godly, but also came with a whole lot of love, and resulted from many trial and errors by them. So imagine if we had similar mentorship in the church? Wouldn’t it be good to reflect on the advice given to us in love, knowing that God probably gave that Brother or Sister a mission to work on us and help guide us to righteousness and to Himself? Perhaps we could start by focusing on the advice that Paul gave to Timothy, for I am certain that it still pertains to us today, and could go a long ways in teaching us to be more like Christ in our walk here on earth. Here’s the advice that I believe God would have us pay attention to:

  • Run from the evil mentioned in the first 10 verses of 1 Timothy 6 – False teachings and wealth; 
  • Instead, learn and strive to do the following:
    • Live righteously – center yourself on being right with God, and live according to His example shown to us in His Word;
    • Test your faith, and grow in as you watch God at work in your life;
    • Pursue love – go after it. Look for ways to express the love given to you by the Almighty. Let others see the love of God, through the ways that you express that love to them;
    • Perseverance – Be so patient with others that they will see the power of God inside of you, working through you, for their good;
    • Pursue gentleness – something that takes the power of the supernatural. Especially when others try their best to trip us up and want to see us lose our patience and godly character;

Friends, I find it so exciting that Paul even goes on to remind us of the reward that’s in store for those who love the Lord, and have given Him full reign in their lives. I’m even more excited that, through God’s calling on my life, I am assured of those rewards! Are you, my friend? If not, please read my Footnote for tips on how to assure yourself of this wonderful gift from my loving Savior. He loves you dearly, and would rather nothing less than seeing you commit your life to His lordship. Why not today dear one?

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank You for working in and through Your servant Paul. Thank You for having Paul share this discovery in writing so that we might read it and be reminded of its value to us today. Please speak to all those who will read this devotional, and especially to those who are ignoring Your precious love, or have chosen the road led by the evil one. Lord You are good, and Your mercies are precious to us in every way. May we be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. 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 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!

 

Be Passionate In Ministry

The Holy Bible   (New Living Translation – 1Timothy 4:7-10): Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle (or continue to suffer), for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

Thoughts:   In our everyday conversations we often find ourselves ‘chasing rabbits’ – getting off the subject at hand. Often, if we are not careful, our little side-tracked conversations could actually turn into a total distraction from what we intended to say. I believe that Satan works exactly like that friends. I believe that he is most upset when he is losing the battle and we are succeeding in sharing the gospel with a non-believer, so he gets us off on to something irrelevant. Paul saw where this was challenging Timothy, so he warned him to not get caught up in it. Instead, he wanted Timothy to become proficient in his faith and to work steadily and faithfully to be godly in every way. Doesn’t the various distractions, which tend to side-track Bible studies or other Christian based enhancement studies, amaze you? Let’s be cautioned about the originator of the distractions, and instead be steadfast in declaring the Word of God as He intended for us to do. Remember also that this is not restricted to studies taking place at our churches. This will happen when you are determined to witness to a friend or loved one. But let’s keep in mind that through our passion for the Lord and/or leading the unsaved to Him, that there is no greater purpose. Be reminded of what Paul said in verse 8, the benefits will bless us in this world, and in the next. So be prepared and determined to prevent distractions from getting in your way of sharing the gospel today. There is a greater purpose, and there are great rewards for those of us who believe, and are willing to share the joy with others! Be passionate and determined, and ask God to be your guide as you work for Him. Remember, it is for His glory that you share His name, not yours.

Prayer:   Lord, You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! Whom then shall I fear? Why should I doubt when I see distraction occurring? Please help me to stay focused and passionate towards the work that You have assigned to me. Please help me to be careful not to distract those trying to share the gospel, instead please teach me to pray in all earnest that You may speak through the words of mere man to reach a soul for You. Please encourage us today, and give us boldness to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through all that we may say or do with all that we may come into contact with. Please teach us to stay focused on the goal – spending eternity with You, and give us a deep desire to do everything possible to encourage those we love to be present on that day when You will gather us around Your throne. Lord, You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! Praise the name of the Lord! Thank You for being so good! Thank You for hearing the cry of Your humble servant today, for I ask all this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, all for You sake and Your glory, 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 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!

Living ‘Garbage Free’ Lives

The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Philippians 3:8-10): Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. 10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life.

Thoughts: Some of us are living ‘on top of the world’ – having the time of our lives with great jobs, awesome friends, lots of ‘things’ for entertainment and/or enjoyment. However, there are some who are struggling to make it each day because of just the opposite. At the foot of the cross, both types of individuals come with the same problem if they have yet to accept Jesus as Lord, for they come to the cross laden in sin. Believe it or not, Paul (aka Saul) was the chiefest of sinners in his day, yet God uses him to show us through this scripture that just as Paul surrendered, or gave up everything to follow Him, so will we have to give up the sin in our lives. Often this involves the things that have always led us to sin, or distracted us from knowing God. This challenged me, and I am sharing this with you so that you may be challenged, to think about this also. What is there in our lives that hinders our relationship with God? Is it time to throw out the ‘garbage’ so that our minds and our lives might be freed of the pull of sin? This could be hindering your acceptance of the Lord, or if we know Him already, this could be distracting and/or hindering our intimacy with Him. For a moment, I want you to commit with me, as Paul did in verse 10. Now this means that starting from your current place in life, your goal is to reach the finish line in life at a point where you will stand before God without any fear of rejection or penalty from Him. Those distractions that you will face from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ are the sins that we have to watch out for, and avoid, each day. Will you join me in going before Jesus each and every day to ask for His strength, His guidance and His power to overcome the ‘garbage’ that will try to trip us up each day? For we want to see Jesus! We want to know Him and the awesome power that raised Him to life! Let us therefore run this race of life with God at the center of all we do. Let us lean on His awesome power to help us stay ‘garbage free’ and strive to serve Him faithfully each and every day!

Prayer: Lord You have allowed us to stay on this earth so that we might represent You to others who need Jesus. You know all about the ‘garbage’ that we have allowed to enter our lives that really stinks and repels the sinner from wanting to know You. We are ashamed that we have been so weak and ineffective. I was convinced in Your Word today that others, in the heart of a ‘garbage’ pile, really don’t want more ‘garbage’, for they are looking for a way out, a cleansing, a new and better life. Lord Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life for those looking for a new life. Thank You for opening my eyes to this truth over 30 years ago. Please help me to keep my eyes and my life fixed on You and determined to avoid the ‘garbage’ that will easily and quickly pollute my life. Please touch the lives of my readers with a renewed desire to know You and to live for You in a closer and more dedicated way. May Christians today truly represent the God of their Christianity and fight off the distractions of the ‘garbage’ that will try to trip them up and distract their walk with You. Please touch the hearts of those that do not know You with a softened heart and a strong determination to dump the ‘garbage’ in their lives and refill it with Your holiness, love and compassion. I ask all this in faith, believing in the Son of God, for it is only He that can help us be all that He desires of us. 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 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!

Bumps In The Road?

The Holy Bible

That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Thoughts:

It’s so easy for me to sit and judge others for the many reasons they give for not being at church, or not taking part in Christian activities, or not doing what appears to me as their part of the work of the Lord. But I am amazed how quickly God opens my eyes and my heart to the fact that God is speaking to me through His Word that I read, so I need to first and foremost work on self! God is very capable of speaking to others who may be obviously missing the boat in their relationship with Him. So from a personal perspective, from my own heart, let me share with you what I feel God wanted us to learn from this passage today. Friends, when:

  • We stop attending church or working for the Lord, because we are discouraged by the lack of appreciation given to us, we must realize that our reason for ministry is to: “spread the Word of the Lord”; “Enrich the lives of other believers”; and to “Share hope and faith with the unbeliever as encouragement for them to accept Jesus as Lord”. Notice that “I” or “Me” or “Self” are not words used in any of those reasons for ministry, so why should that be a ‘bump in the road’ for us in our ministry?
  • We refuse to speak up for the Lord in our workplace or in our realm of influence, do we expect Jesus to be proud of us? Remember in His Word He tells us that if we are ashamed of Him here on earth, then He will be ashamed of us before His Father. Are we afraid of, or embarrassed of someone being critical about, or to, us? How do you suppose Jesus felt when He was beaten and abused on the road to Calvary where He was later crucified, just because He knew it was necessary in order that we might have life more abundantly and eternally with Him in heaven? We should be totally ashamed before the Father when we allow such small ‘bumps in the road’ to deter our walk and our talk for Jesus here on this earth.

Although just two examples, I believe that your eyes might be opened to the minor ‘bumps in the road’ that often stop us from effective ministry for our Lord. Fortunately Paul gave us the secret on how to overcome this, when he said “It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going”! I would also add that “It’s the One we minister for, rather than the one we minister to, that gives us the strength to keep on doing the work of the Lord. Our ministry should always be for the sake of the kingdom of God only, and not for anything we can personally gain, or for any recognition offered by those we minister alongside, or to. If Jesus loved us enough to suffer the cross to show how much He loved us, how many ‘bumps in the road’ are we willing to overcome to show our love to Him in return?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I am ashamed of the little things that I allow to discourage me or stop me from being all that I can be for You. There is no ‘bump in the road’ that should hinder me from opening my heart and my mouth in praise to You, and witness for You. I believe that You meant for our relationship to be pure, open and honest, please give me boldness to overcome the things of this world that distract and hinder me from openly claiming You as my King and sharing Your love with others that I come into contact with. Lord, I believe that huge distractors these days are ‘busyness’; ‘stress’ and ‘the lack of quality family time’. Please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and not allow the distractions of Satan and this world to interfere in my walk with, and witness for, You. It’s You I live for and heaven is my ultimate goal, but I need You every hour here on this earth to help me keep the main thing, the main thing! I don’t believe that I am unique in having the distractions that beset me, so I also ask that You kindly bless my readers today that they too might overcome the distractions of this world and to be a constant witness for You every day. In love and humility I kindly ask all this in the wonderful 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!