The Reason They Preach

There have been many who have speculated why pastors do what they do. I’m sure that Paul may also been questioned about his motives in his change of heart and in his ministry, but let’s take a few minutes today to try and understand why honest and purely dedicated pastors stand in our pulpits each week and do what they do. Perhaps this will help us identify better with their aim in life and how their ministries impact the lives of some who we never imagined would change their evil ways.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-07-23
WRITTEN AT: Orlando, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 4:13-16
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.

APPLICATION: Paul realized that there were many in the church who attended in bodily form, but must have left their mind and spirit at home, because they appeared blinded to the truth he was preaching. In verse 4 of the same chapter we are looking at today, Paul shared that Satan, the earth’s ruler and instigator of all evil works and attitudes, deliberately blinded the eyes of his army and dulled their minds from hearing and accepting the truth of God’s Word. Friends, you may nod your head in agreement to that statement, but this is a truth that still impacts the world today, and it is the most discouraging thing for pastors and teachers of the Gospel to understand, accept and deal with as they make every effort to share the Word of God. Paul tried to clear up any misconceptions behind his reason to preach God’s Word. Today is no different, for we hear jokes and/or jeering about why God’s messengers do what God has ordained them to do. I was touched by this Scripture today, because it reminded me of why others, together with myself, feel inspired by God to share His Word. I believe that a clearer understanding of this will help each reader and listener to gain a new perspective on the preaching, teaching and sharing of God’s Word. One would think that pastors must tire of rejection and failure in reaching the people of their community. But under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul identifies the reason, and exactly what it is that pastors are up against. The minds of the people are shut tight by the Evil One so that the truth is ignored, rejected and unclear. Yes, I am talking about people who we invite to join us in church, and also many who sit in our churches each week. Look around you this weekend while attending church, and pray that the Holy Spirit will impact each and every person present; that He will clear their minds from the celebrations of the previous night; cause their minds to not wander, but to listen closely to what God is saying through His messenger; stop judging the man in the pulpit, for he will stand before God and be held accountable even more than we will; pray for God’s messenger so that he will set aside any personal agendas and stick to what God is directing Him to share from His Word; Stop comparing self to anyone else here on earth, and allow God to help you compare your life-decisions to the instructions carefully written in His Word. Friends, the adversary is deliberate in shutting your mind and eyes to the things of God. He’s more powerful than you are, but not near as powerful as our God is, so ask God to protect you and guide you as you aim to learn and apply more of Him and His Word to your life. Please consider praying for the above even before you go to church. Don’t allow Satan to have his way. In verse 13, Paul likened himself to the Psalmist who said in Psalm 116, that because he believes in the almighty, all-powerful God of this universe, he therefore speaks on His behalf. Our pastors can only survive with this kind of determination, for all of the above things that I mentioned surely comes to mind as they stand before us and look at the blank steers and the lack of attention. Pray that your pastor will assume the determination of Paul who in vs 16, said that he will not give up, for although his outer body is deteriorating, yet his mind and soul is strengthened and encouraged every day by the Master. Friends, I believe that the reason they preach, is to follow the voice of the Master in trying to save the lost in our churches and communities. They will look into God’s eyes one day, just like you will. I pray that because they know how much God knows about them, they will say without doubt or question that they have done their best and preached the Word as It was given to them by the Holy Spirit. Pray for your pastor, and pray that God will draw you closer to Himself every time you’re under the teaching and conviction of the Holy Spirit through your pastor.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Never give up! Our spirits are being renewed every day!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, on behalf of those who stand to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, please allow me to give thanks for their commitment and for their fight against the Evil One who is constantly trying to shut them down. Please Lord, touch the hearts of those who come unprepared to try and worship you together with other believers. Open their eyes to the need to draw close to You and receive Your power to prevent the forces of evil from consuming their hearts and minds. May they find strength from Almighty God because of their submission and closeness to You, and may their dependence on You create a heart that depends on You in all things. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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!

That All May Know

In our first few verses, Paul showed the people how God had turned some of the Jews off 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 the latter verses Paul is celebrating the wisdom of God as he reflects back. Could this be what God is doing to the church today?

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? ……

OBSERVATION:   In our first few verses, Paul showed the people how God had turned some of the Jews off 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 the latter verses Paul is celebrating the wisdom of God as he reflects back. Could this be what God is doing to the church today?

APPLICATION:   As I meditate on the Word of God, it never ceases to amaze me on His great wisdom, and His awesome power to fulfill His Godly purpose. This particular Scripture has reminded me of a sad story 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 America 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. I know, it doesn’t seem to make sense to you, right? Well friend, I hate to say it, but our wisdom is nothing compared to the wisdom of our awesome God. The Bible reminds us that His ways and thoughts are way beyond our own, so that tells me that I can’t possibly understand all that He is up to. However, I know from the Word that God made us all to worship and adore Him, yet we hate to look at the evening news for all of the crime and acts of hatred that fills our news portals, while churches are closing their doors because of non-attendance, lack of giving and leadership. Friends, we know 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. 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. 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, there are few who meet to worship You. 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. Lord, all of these denials are evident in spite of the many warning signs that were left as reminders for us of Your great power. Heavenly Father, please soften the hearts of Your children this weekend, so that Your churches may be filled to capacity with worshipers longing to draw close to their Creator, our Everlasting God. 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!

 

I Want To Be Just Like You!

Paul arrived at a time that he had a conversation with God about how he really felt his life was going. He knew that he wanted to follow Christ wholeheartedly, like many of us, but he was frustrated with himself because he kept finding himself struggling from doing what he was determined to do. In fact, he was often swayed into sin, which is totally opposite from his goal. Since this is so much like us today, I thought we could take time to sort this out and look at ways that might help us stay on track for God.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 7:24-25 (Voice)

TEXT:  24 I am absolutely miserable! Is there anyone who can free me from this body where sin and death reign so supremely? 25 I am thankful to God for the freedom that comes through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! So on the one hand, I devotedly serve God’s law with my mind; but on the other hand, with my flesh, I serve the principle of sin.

OBSERVATION:   Paul arrived at a time that he had a conversation with God about how he really felt his life was going. He knew that he wanted to follow Christ wholeheartedly, like many of us, but he was frustrated with himself because he kept finding himself struggling from doing what he was determined to do. In fact, he was often swayed into sin, which is totally opposite from his goal. Since this is so much like us today, I thought we could take time to sort this out and look at ways that might help us stay on track for God.

APPLICATION:   Have you heard it said that the Holy Spirit could leave some churches and it may take a while for members to even notice that He did? Well that may sound a bit funny to some, but when we remember that the church is made up with folk like you and I, then I believe that saying becomes a lot more personal. I believe that the bottom line is for us to stop and think about the type of relationship we have with the Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously Paul had an intimate relationship with God, yet he got to a point where he felt like he had lost touch with Jesus, and that sin was having it’s better way with him. So let’s also consider how we might stay closer to God, and how we might be more obedient to the Holy Spirit that dwells withing us. My mind went onto times that I’m on a diet. I am more convinced then than ever that I should stay clear of sweets, yet if offered ice cream or cheesecake-flan I would probably take a small bit of it. No longer than I start eating it, I start chastening myself for cheating. Similarly, because I have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and through His help, I have certain disciplines around Bible Study and being faithful to opportunities at church to learn more about Him, and to draw closer to Him through other believers. When I miss any of these opportunities, or especially if I miss my personal Bible Study, I feel like I have cheated on God, or at least shorted myself of quality time together. Friends, we will speak and act from what our heart is filled with. I pray that each one reading this blog might say like myself, that our desire is to be so filled with the goodness, wisdom and love of Jesus, that we might often be mistaken for Him. There’s a song entitled ‘I want to be just like you’, and I often pray that God would give me the strength and fortitude to sing that song as I talk with Him and walk with Him each day!

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us the way to walk and talk ‘just like You’. Lord You are awesome in every way, and You have welcomed our desire to draw close to You and be like You. Please help us to set priorities for getting into Your Word so that we could learn more about You and also hear responses to our prayers. Please give us boldness in our walk and steadiness in our desire to live for You every day of our lives, so that we may set an example for others to follow. Thank You Heavenly Father! Thank You 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 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!

 

Holding On Tightly

This rich young man felt like there was something missing in his life, in spite of all his riches. Having heard the stories about Jesus, and especially about this kingdom of which Jesus spoke, he decided to ask Jesus what it would take for him to make the cut. Jesus gave him a list of commandments, and the man felt like he had been obeying them from a very early age. Then Jesus got to the very core of this man’s issue – his riches. Because he was holding tight to his riches, he stopped asking Jesus further questions and instead left very saddened.

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-05-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 10:20-23 (MSG)

Text:

20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

23 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?”

OBSERVATION:
This rich young man felt like there was something missing in his life, in spite of all his riches. Having heard the stories about Jesus, and especially about this kingdom of which Jesus spoke, he decided to ask Jesus what it would take for him to make the cut. Jesus gave him a list of commandments, and the man felt like he had been obeying them from a very early age. Then Jesus got to the very core of this man’s issue – his riches. Because he was holding tight to his riches, he stopped asking Jesus further questions and instead left very saddened.
APPLICATION:
I believe that if each of us went to Jesus today on our own, there would be something that we are holding on to tightly that He could draw to our attention. For some, it might be riches, but for others it might be your job/business, or perhaps your family or friends or parties or sports or internet, etc, etc. I believe another way to analyze your own situation is to imagine Jesus asking you to go to a mission field that might be hundreds of miles away – what would be your biggest excuse to Him as to why you can’t leave in a few days? Now that you have figured that one out, what if God told you to get up and spend a few days with a poor lonely person a few blocks away as He is calling them to salvation and wants your influence in their life for a while? What might be the factor or excuse that would cause you to decline God’s request? I know, these things that I’ve mentioned are very challenging for some to even think about, so I’ll tell you what, why not just invite your neighbors to church with you this weekend? Oh you can’t because you have a fishing trip planned? Or is it a beach day, or family in town, or your favorite team is playing on Sunday and you can’t miss one minute of the game? Friends, I believe you are probably getting the idea by now, for if God is truly a priority in our lives, because we have said ‘Yes’ to His lordship, then what would truly prevent us from responding to the Master’s call? I would suggest that although many of us are not ‘rich’ financially, we are ‘rich’ in the things of this world. Try attending a retreat out in the wild, away from internet, television and worldly hindrances and see how close you can draw to God. While there, consider the things of this world that claim your attention and hinders your time and/or obedience to God. Those things are your ‘riches’ that Jesus might be asking you to diminish in your life so that He might claim your full attention. Singing that song ‘Draw me close to You’ will not do the job friend, only your willingness to let go of those things that you hold on to more tightly than God.
PRAYER:
Lord, I am convicted through this Scripture today that there are things of this world that Satan has used to distract us from holding You first in our lives, or having You as our priority in life. If we fought as hard to make You a priority, as we do for work, or church meetings, or family, or riches, then we might be like a large ship controlled by a very small rudder, for we would be way more sensitive to Your voice and Your commands. We may not be rich, as the young ruler was, but we do have distractions galore, so please Lord, draw our attention to the things that hinder our close walk with You and draw us close to You. We need You every hour dear Lord, stay close to us and encourage us to always stay close to You. 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 Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!