With A Heart For Jesus

As you ponder the above Scripture today, perhaps you will be forced to think of the attributes one might possess to be helpful to, and considerate of, those less fortunate than ourselves. Hopefully you will quickly conclude that not everyone that gives money, or donates food, or give in any other material way is doing that because of their love for God. When our hearts are molded by God and led by His Holy Spirit, we do things out of love and compassion. Remember, Jesus knows our ‘heart’!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-04-04
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 25:45-46
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 45 I tell you this: whenever you saw a brother hungry or cold, when you saw a sister weak and without friends, when you saw the least of these and ignored their suffering, so you ignored Me.
46 So these, the goats, will go off to everlasting punishment. But the beloved, the sheep (the righteous), will go into everlasting life.

OBSERVATION: As you ponder the above Scripture today, perhaps you will be forced to think of the attributes one might possess to be helpful to, and considerate of, those less fortunate than ourselves. Hopefully you will quickly conclude that not everyone that gives money, or donates food, or give in any other material way is doing that because of their love for God. When our hearts are molded by God and led by His Holy Spirit, we do things out of love and compassion. Remember, Jesus knows our ‘heart’!

APPLICATION: Not every man who shows lust after a woman, nor every woman that gives in to a man, are necessarily married. So it is with those who give to the needy. Some do it for public recognition; some for savings on their tax bill; while some will give of material goods out of excess. Are they a child of the King because they do this? God is their judge and He will deal with that one-on-one with them. In the Bible we are told about a woman who gave of her last few pennies. Jesus said that she had given more than the richest man ever gave, because she had a heart filled with the love and compassion of God. Jesus recognized His children, and the manner and heart in which they gave. He called them His beloved and considered them as His sheep. He shared with His disciples that these individuals will go on into everlasting life, for they saw like Him and acted just as He would have. From deep inside their hearts, they saw needs, and they did something about that. Imagine as a father, you saw your kids responding to needs – just as you had hoped that they were watching and learning from your actions in life? Wouldn’t you heart swell with pride and cause you to praise the Father above? Jesus was not afraid to also tell the naked truth about pride, arrogance and selfishness to those who act like they are the reason for their success in life while here on earth. Jesus was probably hurt as He witnessed them ignore the needs, even though they had plenty to share. He could tell that they not only ignored Him and His unconditional love for them, but they had none to share with those in desperate need of their help. Jesus had something to give these folk as well, but it was not a heavenly reward, but instead it was eternal punishment by the evil one. Friends, although I am convinced that our Lord is generous in blessing His children today, let me be quick to say that I believe Jesus still hates sin, the mean hearted, and those who have ignored what He sacrificed on Calvary. In fact, so much so that Jesus said in verse 46 that they will go off the everlasting punishment. Many of us will say after a very difficult day here on earth, that we had a day from Hell, but I don’t believe that we have heard or seen anything yet that compares to what Satan has in store for those who have given him full reign of their lives. I know, you have not committed ‘I do’ to Satan. But my dear friends, the Word of God says that unless you surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, then you have given full authority to Satan, because you are headed for a sinner’s domain – Hell. There is no such thing as Satan’s domain, God’s domain and your domain. You either make a firm commitment to accept and follow Jesus, or you continue on your path to Hell. There’s no better time than this Easter Sunday for you to surrender to our Risen Lord! Do it today precious one, and prepare for His gift of eternal life.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord that we are able to celebrate our Risen Savior today! Thank You for Your Word, and the reminder given to us in the Scripture today. Because I know that You are alive, and especially alive in my heart, I am looking forward to being included among the righteous that will go on into everlasting life in glory, with You and the Father. But Lord, I hurt for so many who have yet to accept You as Lord, including many of my family and friends. Please melt the hearts of my readers today, and make Your gift very visible in their eyes. Lord I am so anxious to be at Your feet in Heaven one day, and I want so bad to have all of my family and friends kneeling next to me as we celebrate our Risen Lord. Use me Lord as an instrument of Your grace to encourage the lost. and those who are discouraged, so that they may seek Your face. Oh that You may be glorified today because of the number of people who will accept Your Gift – Your precious Gift – 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. 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!

A Safe Place

I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-12-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Nahum 1:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord is good. He is a safe place to go to in times of trouble. He takes care of those who trust him.
But he will completely destroy his enemies.
….

OBSERVATION: I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

APPLICATION: Wouldn’t it make sense that for those who refuse the gift of eternal life from God, and choose to try and prove to the world that they could make it without Him, that they would also refuse to call on Him when life seems to be totally out of control? I would think so, but we know that’s not the way that life works. When disaster strikes, Christians are often called on by unbelievers to pray for them, or their loved one, who may be hurt or dying from some rare disease. How exactly might we pray? Our Scripture reminds us that Nahum was addressing the residents of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, and God revealed to him that there were some who would find it safe to anchor themselves in the shelter and protection of the Almighty, but there were some who would be totally destroyed because of their distant and hateful relationship with Him. Friends, we serve a God who is filled with love – more than we could ever imagine or understand, and while He will listen to the cry for salvation from those who despise Him, there will come a day when He would remove His hand a protection from them and allow death and destruction to take its course, unless they surrender their lives to Him. Do you think for a moment that in today’s society God will react in a different way? He has always hated sin, and I believe that He always will. I don’t know about you, but there are times that I must turn the television off, especially when I see reports of crime, vagrancy, and hatred against each other. Friends, sin abounds and individuals act in such evil ways, that God must wonder how could He possibly have been involved in their birth and upbringing. As you evaluate your life today, you should see where you will fit into one of two categories before God: 1). You’ve been washed by the blood of His precious Son and you are looked upon by God as being ’white as snow’. In fact, He sees Jesus’ perfect sinless life when He looks at you, and you are considered a son, or friend of the most High God; or 2). You have shown little concern about your sinful condition and have therefore rejected the invitation from Jesus Christ on many occasions. Because you have neglected God’s gift – His own precious Son, you have treated Him as your enemy. In verse 8 of today’s Scripture, you will note that God will destroy His enemies. To transition from group (2) over to group (1), you simply need to recognize the unconditional love that God has for His children – for you. Then accept His Son and begin celebrating the assurance of life eternally with the Master for ever! Nahum was merely reminding the Ninevehites of their plight. I feel like I have done just that for all who will read this devotional. May God grant you peace, wisdom and direction as you consider your eternity today, AMEN!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul. Thank You Lord for making me whole. Thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Words from an old song that remains as true today as when I first accepted You as Lord and Savior of my life! Now oh Lord, I come before You on behalf of many family members and friends who have taken You for granted. They’ve decided to make a go at this life, all alone. Please Lord, soften their hearts and help them see very clearly that their segregation for You makes it clear that they are rejecting Your free gift of eternal life. In our Scripture today, and throughout Your Word, You have declared that You will destroy Your enemies. It saddens me that they would reject the most precious gift available to them today and remain enemies of Yours. Lord, instead of Your plan for eternal damnation for Your enemies, may I beg You to speak softly to all who will read this devotional today and remind them once again about Your love, and Your gift. May today be the day of Salvation for many, please oh Lord. 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. 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!

Will God Identify You as His?

I love how the prophet Micah declared that Israel would stand firm for the living God, no matter how other countries around them may continue to trust in their own god. As we meditate today, I would like for us to personalize this thought. Will God identify you as a child of the Almighty God because of your daily lives here on earth? Will you declare today that Jesus is Lord and King of your life?

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-12-13
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Micah 4:5
TRANSLATION: New American Standard Bible (NASB)

BIBLE TEXT: Though all the peoples walk,
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

OBSERVATION: I love how the prophet Micah declared that Israel would stand firm for the living God, no matter how other countries around them may continue to trust in their own god. As we meditate today, I would like for us to personalize this thought. Will God identify you as a child of the Almighty God because of your daily lives here on earth? Will you declare today that Jesus is Lord and King of your life?

APPLICATION: My wife’s grandmother developed Alzheimers in her latter years. Like most people who realize someone has been impacted by this dreaded disease, we would normally ask multiple times during our visits ‘Do you know who I am?’. I always loved her response: ‘I can’t call your name, but I know you’re one of mine!’. We always chuckled when she responded like that, but I believe she recognized our facial expressions, our mannerisms and our love for her, for she came to recognize some of the traits that she taught her children and grandchildren over the years. Fortunately, God not only created us and placed us here on earth to develop whatever mannerisms we want, and to worship whatever gods or objects that comes natural to man, but He inspired His chosen prophets to write down His teachings, and He even gave some the gift of prophecy to foretell what will come to pass. Unlike parents who often wish that hospitals would give them a book of instructions when they hand them their newborn baby, God did exactly this for us! So as we grow up, we have a choice of either learning and following the instructions given to us by God, or whether we would just assimilate ourselves into our friendship and community groups that often tend to follow what feels best to them, or makes them look like the most elite in society. Based on the Word of God, I believe that God identifies His own by their commitments, their loyalties and their actions. For if we commit to the lordship of Jesus Christ, our loyalties, commitments and choices would look more like what is taught in God’s Word. If we make no changes in our lives, then we will naturally follow the desires of the flesh and try to please our fellow man. Our loyalties might then look more like one who is totally engrossed in our job, with no time for family, friends, God or the church. Or we may become so caught up in worldly fun and games, that we lose sight of the God who placed us here and continues to provide all the basics of life for us every day. Or we develop an attitude that we are untouchable by the world or its problems, and we couldn’t care less about the needs of others. Of course nothing of this is out of sight by God, for He knows our thoughts and our actions. So friends, I wonder what God might look at us and say when we stand before Him? Will congratulations be in order, and the red carpet laid out for the prince or princess to walk through to heaven? After all, as a child of the King of all kings, we would be considered a prince/princess! But for the one who had no need or time for God while here on earth, surely they wouldn’t want a part of Him on Judgment Day, right? Unfortunately there is a second place prepared for those not interested in Heaven, it is a place of eternal damnation and fire, one that is led by Satan and his demons. Sounds way too cruel? But friends, as I indicated in all that I’ve said already, you make this crucial decision while here on earth. Please be reminded that decisions could only be made by you with a sober mind while you are alive. How long will you be alive? God answered that in His Word, when He said that no one knows the day or the hour that the Master will come. This means that you are free to make a decision now, but there are no assurances that you you will be here in five minutes to make decisions then. Now is the accepted time of salvation my friend, and it is available to all that would ask! My prayer is that everyone that may read one of my devotionals will make the right decision about their eternity at the time of reading it, and immediately speak with God. Please contact me if I could be of help to you.

PRAYER: Thank You Heavenly Father for loving me enough to provide the means for my salvation. As the prophet Micah reminded us today, some may worship their respective idols today, and until You question them on Judgment Day, but Lord I promise to serve You faithfully today and every day until You return to take me home. Please touch hearts today who may read this devotional and may not have clarified their position with You yet. Remind them of the importance of making that decision today, before it is eternally too late. May Your Word, and this short devotional, not fall on deaf ears, but on hearts that are willing to establish today where they will spend eternity. 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. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Security Of Knowing Jesus

Jesus was being challenged about all the power He claimed to have. In this Scripture today, He is explaining that if one listens to Him, accepts His authority and obeys Him, then they belong to His Father, and since He and the Father are one, they are ultimately His. The neat thing about these verses is that Jesus never gives any conditions that would undo that security of belonging. Instead, He said that no one will be able to snatch them from His hand. Wow….

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-11-08
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 10:27-30 (ERV)

Text:

 27 My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give my sheep eternal life. They will never die, and no one can take them out of my hand. 29 My Father is the one who gave them to me, and he is greater than all. No one can steal my sheep out of his hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
OBSERVATION:
Jesus was being challenged about all the power He claimed to have. In this Scripture today, He is explaining that if one listens to Him, accepts His authority and obeys Him, then they belong to His Father, and since He and the Father are one, they are ultimately His. The neat thing about these verses is that Jesus never gives any conditions that would undo that security of belonging. Instead, He said that no one will be able to snatch them from His hand. Wow….
APPLICATION:
From a very early age, we have been used to the idea that anytime we mess up and let a friend down, whether by total mistake or intentionally, then we could almost count on it that we have probably lost a friend. Jesus is teaching just the opposite in our relationship with Him, for He said in our Scripture today that His sheep – meaning those who have surrendered lordship of their lives to Jesus Christ, and are known as children of God. If they would listen to His voice, He would know them, and they would follow Him. BUT Jesus went on to say that His relationship with His children (sheep) is so special that He made it an eternal relationship – meaning that they will never truly ‘die’, but instead transition from earth to glory to be with Him eternally. Now friends, He attached no conditions to this promise, for if you are His, this promise is yours – straight from the lips and heart of the Master Himself! I don’t know about you, child of God, but this reminder and promise is super exciting to me, for we know that we could count on the promises of Jesus way more than what we do with friends who are best buddies one moment, yet the next they might barely want to talk to us. Jesus has a one-of-a-kind love for His children. Are you realizing that love today friend? Have you found the way to salvation in Jesus Christ yet? I would be happy to be that Brother to help you, but you may also follow the instructions in my Footnote. One might buy life insurance to financially secure their family upon their death. However, knowing Jesus, secures His love for you today, everyday and throughout eternity as you kneel at His feet and sing praises to His honor and glory! I am looking forward to that day friends, and I hope that I can convince you to do the same.
PRAYER:
Lord, I believe! I believe in Your awesome power and in Your glorious love for me today and throughout endless ages as I worship You and the Father in Heaven. However, I still have family and friends who have not surrendered their lives to You yet, and I am concerned about their eternal destination, for You have not indicated when our last day here on earth might be. Knowing that this could be today, I humbly pray that You might soften the hearts of those that I am thinking of at this moment, and that You might draw them unto Yourself. Lord, I know that they are precious in Your sight, so I beg You to work on their hardened hearts. For it’s in the matchless name of Jesus that I ask these 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 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!

Salvation is Instant

I found it interesting that at least two of the ways that people tend to think of salvation today, occurred in these two verses. First, that if I ask for salvation today then eventually I will be saved. The second is in Jesus’ response, that today, you are saved. Because I believe that some still believe in one of these concepts and some in the other, I believe that we should examine the two….

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-09-16
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 23:42-43 (ERV)

Text:

 42 Then he (the criminal) said, “Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!”
43 Then Jesus said to him, “I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
OBSERVATION:
I found it interesting that at least two of the ways that people tend to think of salvation today, occurred in these two verses. First, that if I ask for salvation today then eventually I will be saved. The second is in Jesus’ response, that today, you are saved. Because I believe that some still believe in one of these concepts and some in the other, I believe that we should examine the two….
APPLICATION:
On the day that I was born, my mom and dad was given the date and time of my birth. They were not told that if he survives 90 days then you can start the clock running for the beginning of his life, or you will be granted a birth certificate at that time. On the day I got married, my wife and I were given marriage certificates, certifying that we were married on a given date and time in a certain place by a certain pastor. What I have found in Christianity, is that some will say that their journey began when they were influenced by this person and grew as they attended church and matured when they saw answered prayer over an illness. I wonder when the criminal might have considered himself saved if this logic was used? Perhaps Jesus would have told him: sorry buddy, you are just too late in the game? Did you notice that God had been speaking to the criminal before he spoke these words to Jesus? He knew all about the good deeds of Jesus; that he was wrongly accused, and that He was being crucified as an innocent man. I’m sure that the criminal watched the attitude of Jesus throughout the whole march up to Calvary as well. Most importantly, did you notice that Jesus didn’t regurgitate all the sins and/or crimes of the criminal when He was asked to accept him? Jesus simply said to him, what He would simply respond to the vilest offender today: today, you are Mine. Today, should you die, you will be with me in eternity! Friends, let me encourage you to think back to the day and the time that you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin and accept you as His very own son or daughter. Let me encourage you to write that down somewhere, and embed that in your mind, because as long as you are on this earth, its leader (Satan) will still be on your heels and he will cause you to doubt, or question your salvation. Take Satan back to the place, day and time where you secured your salvation with Jesus Christ, and order him to flee from you, for you serve a new Master now and it’s not him! Of course you will mature in your Christian walk as you learn more about the life, ministry and teachings of Jesus, but keep your markers in place friend regarding the day you decided to serve only Him.
PRAYER:
Father, You are all merciful and understanding of the effects that this world has on your precious children. I know that the angels rejoice when one makes a decision that they want heaven as their eternal home and You as their triumphant leader from the point of salvation and forevermore! Thank You for the awesome plan You put in place for us! Thank You for the gift of Your precious Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to guide us through this earthly life that is bombarded by sin on every turn. We are anxious for our eternal home, but until then, anxious about all that You can do through us to help yet another beggar (sinner) see the Light of the World – Jesus! Please direct us and use us as instruments molded by 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!

In A State of Readiness

Jesus truly loved His disciples and He didn’t want them to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime, the return of God the Father to take His loved ones home to glory. However, Jesus shared with the disciples, and us, that we could live knowing about this very special day, but we must be careful to live in a state of readiness at all times, as our eternal destination will be determined by our spiritual condition when He returns to take us home.

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-05-29
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 13:32-33; 36-37 (ERV)

Text:

32 “No one knows when that day or time will be. The Son and the angels in heaven don’t know when that day or time will be. Only the Father knows. 33 Be careful! Always be ready. You don’t know when that time will be.

36 If you are always ready, he will not find you sleeping, even if he comes back earlier than expected. 37 I tell you this, and I say it to everyone: ‘Be ready!’

OBSERVATION:
Jesus truly loved His disciples and He didn’t want them to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime, the return of God the Father to take His loved ones home to glory. However, Jesus shared with the disciples, and us, that we could live knowing about this very special day, but we must be careful to live in a state of readiness at all times, as our eternal destination will be determined by our spiritual condition when He returns to take us home.
APPLICATION:
I want you to imagine with me that you were taking a very special, and long awaited trip by train to visit your closest relatives that you haven’t seen in years. The only thing you could get out of the train operators is that the train should be at your station around 6am, but it has been known for the train to arrive within plus or minus 2 hours of the scheduled time, and it will leave within 3 minutes of its arrival time. I wonder how many will be at the station at 3:30, knowing that the train could arrive as early as 4am, and how many will wait until 7:45, knowing that the train could actually arrive two hours late? Also, consider that pregnant mothers are ready for their infant’s arrival months in advance of the predicted arrival date, knowing that the baby could very easily come at any time. Friends, quite often I hear people sharing their shock of someone dying young, or sharing how important it is for them to enjoy life, as eventually they will get old and depart this life. I believe that we all should be warned today, that God could call us out of this world at anytime. Sometimes because He is ready for us in heaven, and other times because we have been so careless in this world that we have compressed our earthly life duration without any thought of heaven, or preparation for our eternity. Friends, our verses today reminds us that we may meet our Maker today, tomorrow, next week, by the end of the year, or perhaps in a few more years. I will repeat the emphasis that Jesus used in our Scripture today, are you ready? Not giving a specific date is not unfair, for it should lead to us in to taking the Word of God seriously and ensuring that we are ready today. Throughout human history mankind has been known to procrastinate until the very last minute, so if they knew the specific time the deadline will actually occur, guess what would happen? May I encourage you to examine your state of readiness today friends, so that you will be ready when God is ready for you.
PRAYER:
Father, thank You for providing life itself for us to enjoy all the blessings that You pour on us every day. Thank You for preparing a home for us to look forward to when we finish up our time here on earth. Thank You for providing the Lamb – the means for us to graduate from this old wicked world, into the glories of heaven, IF we accepted Your Son – Your gift of salvation while there was still time for us to do so. Lord, please touch the hearts of family and friends who have yet to make that decision. Today truly is the day of salvation, because we want to be ready to see You face to face when called out of this world. Thank You heavenly Father, thank You Lord Jesus and thank You Holy Spirit for being our Guide each and every day. Oh that we may be convinced of our eternal destination, even if You returned today to take believers home to glory! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

A Life Dominated By The Spirit of God

Friday, 2016-10-14

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 8:5–8

Bible Text:  5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Paul shared with his Roman friends/church, and I believe that God is challenging us today as we meditate on this scripture, to consider: who, or what is dominating our lives. First of all, our minds can only be controlled by the Spirit of God when we have surrendered our own sinful nature, and accepted the free gift of eternal life, made possible through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus assumes control of our minds and our lives when He is invited, and accepted, to become our Lord and Savior. When this occurs, the Holy Spirit assumes control and sets us on a path towards a life of peace and anticipation of our heavenly home. I believe that the scripture is clear in pointing out to us that if we are not enjoying that peace, and if we still feel hostile towards God, and if we find it impossible to obey God’s laws (His instructions from the Word of God), then we must pay close attention to those red flags, as we are still under the control of our old sinful nature that will never please God. Unfortunately, this life without God will never see the face of God, nor His heavenly home – heaven. So friends, may I encourage you to take a moment and talk with God about what is dominating your life right now? If you are confident that your thoughts and your actions imitate Jesus and His teachings, and that you are always seeking to serve Him more fully, then I believe that you can use this time to praise God for His saving grace and for placing His Holy Spirit prominently in your life to guide and direct you. However, in the very next verse (9), we are warned that if we cannot identify the Spirit of God evident in our lives – our thoughts, our words, our actions and our desires, then we do not belong to Jesus Christ. Fortunately, your pastor, your spouse, your friend nor myself can judge that and question you about your eternal destination. This is a matter strictly between you and our heavenly Father – God almighty. Because this impacts your daily walk in life, and your ultimate destination even after death here on this earth, I would strongly suggest that you go before God and evaluate your position with Him urgently. Why urgently? Because you have no assurance that you will have another opportunity to do so. There is a very old hymn that addresses the subject “Is your heart right with God?”. That’s my plea that I trust you will ponder today friend. Read my Footnote and click on the menu item above to read more scripture on the matter of “To know Jesus”. There’s no greater assignment for you today friend.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I am reminded that if I am a child of an earthly monarch, then I will feel like, live like, and present myself to everyone that I meet, as a ‘prince’. My default lifestyle will imitate the sinful nature of this world in which I live. However, having accepted You as my Lord, and asked You to rule and reign in my life, then my words should sound like Yours, my actions should remind folk about Your actions while here on earth, and my thoughts should always reflect the hope, joy and love of Your sweet Holy Spirit that resides inside of me, and leads me throughout my day. My prayer is that You will not only touch my life miraculously with Your Holy Spirit every moment of every day, but Lord, may that be multiplied times over in the lives of those that may be touched by Your Word today. May the world see Jesus very much alive in Your children today, is my sincere prayer that I ask in the matchless name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Slaves to Whomever We Obey

Wednesday, 2016-10-12

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 6:15–18

Bible Text:  15 What does all this mean? Does it mean we are free to sin, because we are ruled by God’s wonderful kindness and not by the Law? Certainly not! 16 Don’t you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to him. 17 You used to be slaves of sin. But I thank God that with all your heart you obeyed the teaching you received from me. 18 Now you are set free from sin and are slaves who please God.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I believe it is safe to say that if asked the meaning of the word ‘Slave’, we would probably respond with one of the typical dictionary meanings “a person who is the property of, and wholly subject to another“, and I believe that we would immediately cringe at the connotations represented by that word. However, what do you call it when you go to work every day and do a serious of tasks that you’ve been ordered to do, that are quite contrary to your description of a happy and successful day for you personally? It sounds like you didn’t personally choose to do those tasks because they were the top 10 on your list of favorite things to do. Similarly in marriage, you are expected to change from the things most kids your age find to do together in the name of ‘fun’, to a life of dedication, support and love of another individual. In our verses today, Paul is helping us to understand that although we may have subjected ourselves to the things and leadership of our friends, to do the things that the world calls ‘fun’, our life-direction does not change and we are still destined for Hell. In fact, we become so caught up in the things of the world  (things recommended or promoted by our friends), that we find ourselves doing them without any personal desire or satisfaction. Does that sound just a little like your initial description of ‘slave’? Could it be that you may have become a ‘slave’ to the things of the world? Paul therefore saw where his audience, and many of our friends today, need to be apprised of the only alternative to this dilemma. Jesus came so that we might be free from the hold of this old world, or slavery of this old world. Jesus said that for all who accept Him as Lord and Savior of their lives, He would set them free from the slavery of this world and its ruler, Satan. In fact, Paul likens this to us being determined to become slaves of Jesus Christ, in that we surrender our will to His leadership, so that we might experience the joys of heaven and the promise of everlasting life with He and the Father. This is like comparing night to day; death to life; hell to heaven; everlasting death to everlasting life; children of Satan to a child of the King of all kings; the darkness of hell to the bright and shinning promises of Heaven. Is this really something that you need to stop and consider, or is the choice as straight forward as it appears to me? Think about it friend and make a good choice today. To whom will you commit your allegiance? Unless you decide to follow Jesus, you are a slave to this world and its leader, Satan. Is that really what you want?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for sacrificing Your life, so that I might live forever with You and the Father in Heaven. You have offered compelling reasons for us to leave the slavery of this old world and its leader of death and destruction, to follow the Savior of this World that leads us to life everlasting in heaven with You and the Father. Thank You Lord Jesus! May this renewed faith, and renewed hope, and brand new life, be so evident in the lives of Your children today that those who are still slaves to sin, will develop a new desire to know You today. May we be obedient to Your will and Your way, so that You may be glorified through us today. I ask these things in faith and because of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How To Know Who Jesus Is

THE HOLY BIBLE John 10:24-30New Living Translation (NLT): 24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

THOUGHTS: In the highlighted scripture today, Jesus told the people following Him, that it was obvious that their eyes were open, but they were choosing to ignore the work that His Father had performed through Him. These mighty works were actual confirmation, or proof, that He truly is the Messiah, but unbelief had blinded them from seeing the mighty works of God. This made me think of our churches today and our, so called ‘Christians’ today. For I believe that if most of us were questioned on Sunday afternoon about the church services we attended that morning, we would probably respond about how ‘out of it’ our Worship Leader was today, or how boring our preacher was, or how disrespectful the teen agers were. Should we not use that invitation to celebrate that the Savior who gave His very life for us, actually met us there and blessed our time together? Or perhaps, we were reassured of His power and His might, and that His sweet Holy Spirit that is so available to us every day, was perfectly evidenced in our services. Or how sweet it was in singing praises to God and realizing that He was right there, receiving our praises and smiling at the worship of His children who recognized His mighty works that week. Perhaps reassure the person asking that it was worth every bit of effort extended for us to get out of bed on our day off, and to head on over to the house of God to worship God and to hear from Him through the reading and preaching of His Word. Friends, I wish that we would deliberately attend worship services, and deliberately expect to see God there, deliberately lift up holy hands to Him and worship His holy name, and be ready to give an account to the world of how real our God is to us. Let’s not be distracted by everything else we see around us, that we totally miss the purpose of why we go to church altogether. Jesus said in verse 27 and beyond, that His sheep (you and I) – those who know Him personally and consider Him as their heavenly Father, that we will listen to what He has to say – yes even through our earthly pastors and teachers. Furthermore, He reassures us that He will know us. That’s a very personal and intimate thing friends, for that shows me that when I lift up praise and worship to Him, He will know us, expect us, and receive our worship unto Himself. What a glorious personal experience that could be! So friends, if you are missing this intimacy with your Father, may I recommend that You ask Him to help you re-examine your life and identify any wicked way or sin that may be hindering you. Remember, He knows You and is expecting you. Please don’t disappoint Him friend!

PRAYER: Father, thank You for constantly revealing Yourself to us. Please forgive us for distancing ourselves from You through the distractions of sin. If we ever expect our family and friends to receive You as their Lord and Savior, surely it is incumbent upon us to show them that we have proof of who You are. With this ‘proof’ our lives will glow with the evidence of whose we are. Lord, may this be the case in the lives of myself and all those reading this devotional today, for I sincerely believe that there will clearly be outward evidence of the inward experience that we enjoy with You, our Father, our Savior and our Lord. I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, the risen, ‘proven’ Son of God and Savior of this world, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

One Way – Trust God!

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Matthew 19:23-26): 23–24 As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.” 25 The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all?” 26 Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”

THOUGHTS: In this particular story Jesus was confronted with a lot of questions from His disciples. In the immediately preceding example, a rich young man had stepped away sad after asking what he might do, any more than he was already doing, to be saved. Jesus knew the man’s heart and where his hang-ups were, and what was necessary for the young man to truly become as a little child in faith and full commitment to his Lord. In this young man’s case, it was his belongings – his earthly possessions that he was hung up on. I wonder what ours would be today. What is it that keeps us at a distance from Jesus? What is it that, although we may not brag about it, is the one thing that tends to devour our time and our commitment more than our relationship with God? What is it that we seem to think we can’t live without? We read earlier how Jesus told the disciples that unless they gave up mother, or father or siblings. Earlier, Jesus also illustrated that unless we become as a little child. In this story He is telling the disciples that unless this man is willing to give up his riches – his accumulated ‘stuff’. Friends I believe it is evident that Jesus is teaching us to fully surrender our lives to Him. In verse 26 He even explains that this is virtually impossible on our own, and that we need the power of God to guide us into eternal faith and trust in Jesus. It is very evident that money can’t help us to buy our way into heaven; and that relatives – no matter how awesome they are, can open the gates of heaven for us. Jesus is emphasizing once again that there is only One Way into His world, and into the gates of heaven, and that way is through the grace of God and the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It’s a personal, one-on-one relationship thing. Nothing other than our hearts, will substitute or enhance that decision that we must make to secure our passage. Don’t delay making this decision friend, for we are promised only the present moment. Make much of the present by making important decisions now that will make a difference for eternity. Please let me encourage you to read the tips I have included in my ‘Footnote’ to help you in this very important decision, part of which is my offer to personally help you, so feel free to contact me today friend!

PRAYER: Father, You created us, yet gave us the freedom to do our own thing. You gave us choices and consequences. Today You have reminded us that there are grave consequences for decisions we make to live life more aligned with the world than with Your commands and Your will for our lives. You’ve reminded us that there is only One Way to experience the love of God and the heavenly home you’ve prepared for us – just trust in Jesus and His shed blood. Money won’t do it, nor will family or friends or possessions. Lord, I pray that today the eyes of my readers might be opened to the truth of Your Word and the gift of eternal life that is only possible through total surrender of all things, and pure faith in and through Jesus Christ. Please have Your will and way in our lives today oh Lord. For I ask this in the precious and strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!