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!

Renew Your First Love

THE HOLY BIBLE (New English Version – Revelation 2:2-5): 2 I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! 5 Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first;….

THOUGHTS: In reading verses 2 and 3, I believe that most of us would be envious of the testimony of a church that does that well! I believe that most of us are very proud of our churches, but personally, we are such poor members – in that we are overly obligated in our homes, work and community and barely find time to attend a church service, much less becoming actively involved in the ministry of the church to our community. But wait just a minute. Isn’t that exactly what God is referring to in this message to the church at Ephesus? That they have allowed other things to interfere in their relationship with their ‘First Love’? Well, let’s examine some of the attributes of our ‘first love’. I believe that if we remind ourselves of our first earthly love (girlfriend or boyfriend), I believe we will quickly reflect on how ‘our world’ stopped so that we could cater to that first love. We couldn’t move without that person being at our side, and our minds were just consumed with finding more ways to show that person how much we really love that person! When we first accepted Jesus as our Savior, it was very similar. For we would have climbed the highest mountain for Him or sailed the roughest seas to spread the word about our very best Friend. In fact, we were consumed with the things of God and looked in every way to find bigger and greater ways of showing our love for Him. So what happened? Where did our gusto go? I believe this is exactly the point that God is giving to the Ephesian church in verse 4, for it seems like they had, as we have, lost our ‘first love’ – our enthusiasm and love for our Lord. Friends, losing our enthusiasm for the Lord is similar to what happens in a marriage when divorce, or at least marriage counseling is approaching. We need help! Whether in struggling marriages or in a Christians spiritual life, this loss of our ‘first love’ feeling leads to an easy door for sin to enter, and that will lead to even greater division. In marriages, we are normally counseled to spend more time together; look for creative ways to show our love and appreciation for our spouse and open the lines of communication. May I recommend that we try and do the same in our spiritual lives when we recognize that we are not as excited about our ‘first love’ (Jesus) as we were the day we got saved? Spend time together – this is not always equal to church attendance, although I feel that is super important, but get into God’s Word and get direction from Him for your life. Understand His character and aim to imitate it as best you can. Creative way to express you love for God – this entails thinking about how you can love Him more, and how you can show that love through every word and action. This will impact the lives of those that you come into contact with, as it will be evident to whom you belong! Communicate with God – pray, pray, pray! This includes praising Him for His manifold blessings; praying for His direction for Your life (His perfect will) and for His miraculous hand upon your witness and in every aspect of your life.

PRAYER: Dear God, ashamedly we come before You realizing that we have really slackened in our relationship with You – our ‘First Love’. Thank You for drawing this to our attention in scriptures such as this one today. Just as it is of super importance that we renew and refresh our first ‘earthly love’ with our spouse, we realize that it is even more important that we do the same with You. This begins with asking your forgiveness – as we have turned our backs on the One that first loved us; the One who loved us even when we were unlovable by the world; the One who sacrificed Your only Son so that we might have life eternally with You and Your Father. Please renew within us a right spirit, so that we might desire Your Truth/Your Word and that we might rededicate ourselves to living in light of Your commands and for Your sake alone. You gave Your very best for us, and we deserve to give our very best to You. Please help us to do just this with every ounce of our being. Renewing our ‘First Love’ relationship could make us brand new disciples in this old world that is so enveloped in sin. Please grant us faith, power and the will to do just this today oh Lord. For I ask this in faith, and in the name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or 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!

On Being A Follower of Christ

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Luke 14:25-27): 25 Large crowds were walking along with Jesus, when he turned and said: 26 You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life. 27 You cannot be my disciple unless you carry your own cross and come with me.

THOUGHTS: The words used in my Bible as a caption for these verses are “…Disciple of Christ”, but I chose the above caption or subject instead, because I didn’t want anyone to feel like this didn’t apply to them. We have only read about male disciples, so I didn’t want my female readers to feel like this was only for their male counterparts! Friends, I believe that the whole idea behind Jesus saying these words is to get the point across to us that true dedication to Him is even more important than the sacrifice we make in dedication to our parents, or our children or our spouse. Think about it: if you go into marriage while still hanging on to other boyfriends or girlfriends, won’t you be divided in your mind when attempting to dedicate your life completely to your spouse? Won’t you have trouble deciding whether to attend church with your spouse or take off to the beach with your friends who might be drinkers or party animals enticing you to go to the beach to tease the opposite sex? Friends, there is no difference when we commit to accepting and following Jesus. You will be divided in thought and in action, if others take priority in your life. Let’s put the ‘shoe on the other foot’ for a moment, as we think about how undivided Jesus was in committing Himself to us: In the Garden of Gethsemane He anguished before His Father over going to the cross, yet He concluded that if it was the Father’s will He would do it. This was the Father’s will because He knew that Jesus needed to die for the redemption of our sin – so that we might have a means for the forgiveness of our sin and the only path into Heaven. There were no ulterior motives, nor were there any distractions, this was done out of mere love for us. Surely we are not so unappreciative that we would place conditions on our relationship with this same Savior who sacrificed everything for us, right? Jesus said in these verses that if we are to accept Him and mean it, then we are to fully dedicate ourselves to Him, with no other distractions or ‘weeds’ to choke out our commitment to Him. When I applied for citizenship into this country, I had to swear allegiance to this country even if at some point this country had to wage war against my birth country. We must equally be so dedicated to our Lord and Savior that we are prepared to say ‘no’ to all earthly allegiances when it’s time to say ‘yes’ to Jesus. Are you truly or totally ready to wholly and solely, be a follower of Jesus Christ? Can you honestly wear the banner ‘Disciple’ today and Jesus know that you are honest in that allegiance? If not, why not? We are either ALL His, or we’re not His – because of our split allegiance. May I suggest that you examine your life, in the light of eternity with Jesus Christ and His Father, and commit yourself totally to Him? The rewards are ‘out of this world’!!

PRAYER: Father in heaven, I am ashamed that I allow so many distractions in my life that often reflect that You do not maintain first place, or priority in my life. Please give me a new determination today to make You, the One who sacrificed life itself for me, first place and extreme priority in my life. Thank You for loving me so much that You gave it all. Thank You Jesus for providing a means for me to one day join You and Your Father in heaven where I might worship at You feet for ever and ever! Lord, my readers will need to evaluate their lives in light of this message today also, please humble them as they read and evaluate their life. May they clearly see the distractions that come before their allegiance to You, and may they decide today who will have first place in their lives. You gave it all for us, may we, in turn, give of our very best to You. I ask all this in the precious and worthy name of Jesus, who sacrificed everything for me, 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 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!

Our Unshakable Devotion to God

Through your actions and words, show the world to whom you belong. Daniel did, and so can you friend!

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – Daniel 3:28): 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their God has sent his angel and saved his servants from the fire! These three men trusted their God and refused to obey my command. They were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god other than their own.

THOUGHTS: From the subject, I hope that no one gets the impression that this faith of ours is automatic, or that because of our faith in God, all Christians are as devoted to, and stands firm in their faith like Daniel and his buddies did. Yes, we should all be that devoted to our God who sacrificed so much for us, but I believe that for many Christians, we stay way too long in the transitionary stage of releasing all of Satan’s pull on our lives, to a full and dedicated, unshakable faith in God. The reason I believe this is true, is because I don’t believe there are very many people today who, claim that they are ‘Christian’, will be willing to ‘take a bullet’ for their faith. I believe I am safe in going as far as to believe that most church goers are probably in ‘the same boat’, for often we attend church as a ‘status thing’, or as a way to please someone else who places pressure on us, rather than attending to return thanks, worship and learn from the preaching of the Almighty God through His earthly servants. Friends, just take a moment and meditate on the chosen verse very carefully. Notice how the same king who despised the god of Daniel and his friends, was totally changed and even broke out into worship and praise to their God, when he saw their faith in action? Let us remember, that there are no other Gods besides our Master and our King. Daniel was willing to go the distance with his God, even if it meant being burned to death in a fiery furnace. There is no indication of Daniel’s thoughts as he was thrown into the furnace, but I get the distinct impression that there was not a worry of any sort on the mind of Daniel for he knew, like other saints have declared in the Bible, that whether he lived or whether he died, blessed be the name of the Lord. He knew that if this was the time that God would declare him absent from this world, he would be welcomed into a new world in the presence of Jesus and His Almighty Father. A better world, prepared for all of God’s true followers! A bright future that we can all look forward to! The question for each one today is: are you dedicated enough in your walk with the Lord, that you are willing to risk everything – all worldly desires and pleasurers, to truly show Jesus, and this world, to whom your life is devoted, committed as you live in anticipation of His call to join Him at the Father’s feet soon? This type of devotion solidifies our relationship with God and has an awesome impact on those around us who might be watching to see if we are a sincere, truly dedicated child of God, or just another hypocritical, wishy-washy person who claims the title of ‘Christian’ when convenient, or needed? If you are doubtful as to where you stand friend, then it would benefit you to read my Footnote and sure things up with the Lord. In spite of all who you might fool about your relationship with the Lord, He knows the ‘real’ you and wants to help you be truly committed to Him today and until the day He calls you home to himself. Get ‘real’ with yourself friend, for God knows the ‘real’ you!

PRAYER: Father, I believe that there is nothing more disgusting in Your sight than to look at a self-serving, uncommitted, wishy-washy person who claims the name of Jesus for personal gain, rather than in total commitment to You and available for ministry in spreading Your love to all that they come into contact with. Lord, Daniel has shown us that being ‘real’ and standing firm in our commitment to You, will impact even the most challenging persons, as Your love is expressed through Your servants, encapsulates the sinner, and convinces them of Your perfect love, and Your unswerving desire to see them totally surrender themselves to You. Thank You for not giving up on us, but instead expressing unexplainable love towards us while we serve out our time here on this earth. Please use us as Your servants, Your agents of change, Your representatives, as we walk our talk each day. You are in control, so we totally surrender our self-will to You and ask for Your perfection in us as You guide, protect and use us. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my Master, my King and soon coming 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 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 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!