The Reason I Live

Thursday, 2020-01-23

Bible Reference: Philippians 1:20-24
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 21 For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! 22 But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! 23 Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! 24 But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!

OBSERVATION: We are often so sad over the death of a loved one, and rightfully so, for we worry about how we will survive everyday life without them. But in our Scripture today, Paul directs us to consider our value while alive and also after we move from this life to the next. Paul found it very challenging to determine if his life was more valuable here on earth, or with His heavenly Father. As we meditate, let’s not be concerned about what we could get out of either side of heaven, but rather, what we might give – for the sake of the Master.

APPLICATION: Of special note regarding this scripture: Paul is in prison at the time of this writing! So if Paul has the fortitude and determination to live so that He could do more of the Master’s work, even from within four prison walls, how much more those of us who are ‘free’ should be striving to do the Master’s work? Friends, we whine and we complain about so much, but do we should really have the heart of Jesus, or of Paul, in wanting to see as many won to the Lord as possible? In the above scripture, I bolded a few sentences that, I believe, is worthy of note:
* Living means opportunities for Christ – it is only while we have breath in our bodies that we can be witnesses for the Lord, or care about sinners. Let’s not wait any longer friends, we’re on the winning side and it is our privilege, our honor, and our responsibility to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord;
* Living will give more opportunities to win people to Christ – Often we will find that it’s the threat of impending death that gives us incentive to share the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please allow me to awaken  you to the fact that we have no assurances about the next minute. The moment of opportunity is the present. Please share the love of Christ who lives inside of you with all that you care about and/or come into contact with today!
* I can be of more help to you by staying – Only Jesus Christ has power beyond the grave. He is allowing us to remain here on earth so that we can glorify Him and spread the Good News about the Savior who loved us enough to die for us. In a nutshell friend, this is our mission!
Friends, we remain on this earth to be shining examples of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not about politics, gossip, sports, the lotto or any other purpose, so use every opportunity with everyone you know, that the reason you live is to represent Jesus, and try to evangelize the lost, before it is eternally too late.

PRAYER: The reason that I live is …….. Lord, as we complete that sentence today in humility and prayer before You, I ask that You will take those completed sentences and correct any misgivings about our mission, compared to the one You have assigned to us. I am pretty convinced that our mission is similar in nature to what Paul shared with the Philippians, because throughout Your Word we are told the importance of surrendering our lives to You, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to others and convince them of their need for our Savior. Please work on us today and guide us to do Your perfect will, for this is my sincere and humble plea. It’s in Your beautiful and bountiful name that I ask all this, dear Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

The Joy of Knowing Jesus

Paul is teaching us in this passage that it is not until we are willing to make Jesus the primary focus in our lives, and release our grip on earthly things, that we would truly embrace Him and be embraced by Him.

Thursday, 2019-01-25

Bible Reference: Philippians 3:8-9
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.

APPLICATION:  I love the illustration Paul used to show how much he valued the relationship he had with the God of this universe. A few years ago my family and I had the daunting task of moving out of our home of 27 years into a much smaller accommodation. We had to evaluate all of our earthly possessions and conclude that each item must either: 1). Go with us – meaning we had to find space for it in our smaller accommodation, or 2). We would hold on to the item in storage until we decide if we would ever need it, or are willing to dispose of it, or 3). We could no longer see a need to hang on to the item, and were willing to sell it or give it away. Think about that, together with the mindset of Paul, who was once a valuable resource to earthly kings and nobles, because of his readiness to destroy anything or anyone attributing its value to Jesus Christ. What Paul did could be likened to the example given above about my personal experience, dumping everything we once had, and starting from scratch. Paul did this in giving his total allegiance to Jesus Christ, without the possibility of any interference from anything he may have owned in his past. Paul said that he ‘dumped it all in the trash, so that he could fully embrace the unencumbered grace of Christ’. Friends, it was not until my family and I came to the place that we realized that our earthly belongings was merely ‘stuff’, and added no value to our eternal destination, that we were able to commit to our move. Paul is teaching us in this passage that it is not until we are willing to make Jesus the primary focus in our lives, and release our grip on earthly things, that we would truly embrace Him and be embraced by Him. Jesus went to the cross with only the wrappings around His body, but He did it because of His supernatural love for us, and to provide the means for the forgiveness of our sin. How much are you willing to sacrifice today to truly enhance your relationship with such a Savior as this?

Prayer: Jesus, You are my King – my soon coming King! Thank You for humbly following the Master’s will, to prove Your love for myself and all mankind who would choose You as the focus of our lives. You gave it all for us oh Lord. Please use this reminder by Paul to help us examine our motives and our intentions. Whether we choose to publicize our decision like Paul did, or whether we commit one-on-one with You, I pray that at the end of the day we will reflect back on the decisions we made. Each day we make decisions, some are very deliberate and very firm, while others are simply made by doing nothing at all and being satisfied with status-quo. Touch Your children today oh God and cause them to deliberately make decisions that will draw them to Yourself and to a glorious promise of one day being with You in heaven. I love You Lord and I thank You for first loving me beyond my wildest imagination. These things I ask in the name of Jesus, the Christ, 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!

2016

The Value of Knowing Jesus

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

The Bible Reference: Philippians 3:8-9
The Bible Text: Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.
The Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take Away: I love the illustration Paul used to show how much he valued the relationship he had with the God of this universe. A few months ago my family and  had the daunting task of moving out of our home of 27 years into a much smaller accommodation. We had to evaluate all of our earthly possessions to conclude that each item either: 1). Must go with us – meaning we had to find space for it in our smaller accommodation, or 2). We would hold on to the item in storage until we decide if we would ever need it, or are willing to dispose of it, or 3). We could no longer see a need to hang on to the item, and were willing to sell it or give it away. Think about that, together with the mindset of Paul, who was once a valuable resource to earthly kings and nobles, because of his readiness to destroy anything or anyone attributing its value to Jesus Christ. What Paul did could be likened to the example given above about my personal experience, dumping everything we once had, and starting from scratch. Paul did this in giving his total allegiance to Jesus Christ, without the possibility of any interference from anything he may have owned in his past. Paul said that he ‘dumped it all in the trash, so that he could fully embrace the unencumbered grace of Christ’. Friends, it was not until my family and I came to the place that we realized that our earthly belongings was merely ‘stuff’, and added no value to our eternal destination, that we were able to commit to our move. Paul is teaching us in this passage that it is not until we are willing to make Jesus the primary focus in our lives, that we would truly embrace Him and be embraced by Him. Jesus went to the cross with only the wrappings around His body, but He did it because of Him supernatural love for us, and to provide the means for the forgiveness of our sin. How much are you willing to sacrifice today to truly enhance your relationship with such a Savior as this?

Prayer: Jesus, You are my King – my soon coming King! Thank You for humbly following the Master’s will, to prove Your love for myself and all mankind who would choose You as the focus of our lives. You gave it all for us oh Lord. Please use this reminder by Paul to help us examine our motives and our intentions. Whether we choose to publicize our decision like Paul did, or whether we commit one-on-one with You, I pray that at the end of the day we will reflect back on the decision we made. Each day we make decisions, some are very deliberate and very firm, while others are simply made by doing nothing at all and being satisfied with status-quo. Touch Your children today oh God and cause them to deliberately make decisions that will draw them to Yourself and to a glorious promise of one day being with You in heaven. I love You Lord and I thank You for first loving me beyond my wildest imagination. These things I ask in the name of Jesus, the Christ, 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!

2016

Because of You….

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10): 7 You became an example for all the Lord’s followers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 And because of you, the Lord’s message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don’t have to say a thing about it. 9 Everyone is talking about how you welcomed us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. 10 They also tell how you are waiting for his Son Jesus to come from heaven. God raised him from death, and on the Day of Judgment Jesus will save us from God’s anger.

Thoughts: Through this scripture, I was challenged with the question: So what is your role in spreading the gospel today – in your home, your church, your workplace, your community and the world? Friends I believe that we will find ourselves in one of the following categories:

  1. A stranger – perhaps because you may not have personally invited Jesus to be a part of your life, to lead, guide and direct you. You know Him from a distance, in name only, but no personal experience with Him. At times you are much like Saul, where you put down Christians and object to the joy that you see in them. You contribute to the part of society for whom the church was created, and intended to minister to;
  2. Passive – for you were really pushed by a family member to accept Jesus during a revival or crusade, but He really plays no role in your life. In fact, most folk would never guess that you are a Christian;
  3. Follower – You attend church every weekend, but you pay the preacher to evangelize and teach! You just feel obligated, either through tradition, habit or fashion, that the place for you at least once each weekend is in a church somewhere. You try to be ‘good’ in the presence of family, friends and coworkers, but they would never guess that it is because of your faith in Jesus Christ;
  4. On Fire for the Lord – As in the case of a spark that causes a fire, that then spreads to surrounding areas, so it is with this type Christian. You know the Lord; He knows you by name; Others know You are a child of God and yet others want what you have because of the qualities they see God using in and through you. This is the quality that Paul saw in the Thessalonian Christians, and this is what Paul attributed to a growing ministry in the region!

I believe that God challenged me to think about which category do I see myself in, and which category do I think that He wants to see His child in. I believe that He wanted me to challenge you with identifying where you stand today, and I believe He really wants each of us to surrender fully to Him so that He might place us in the category where He can best use us for His glory. I hope that you are willing to do that today! Think about it friend! Pray about it buddy! Surrender yourself fully to Jesus and allow Him full control of your life. Be the Christian He intended, don’t just meddle in Christianity, be sold out for the cause of Christ. Use information in the ‘Footnote’ to let me know if there is anything that I can pray with you about to help you draw closer to the Lord.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be a light that shines for You, and so filled with You that others that I might touch in one way or another would seek after the source of that light – You, oh Lord. Jesus, I also pray that as our churches are filled up this week that folk willing to move up in the list noted above until they are confidently in the #5 category. People all around us need the Lord, and while You are very capable of showing Yourself to them in very real and tangible ways, I believe that they would be seriously impacted by seeing You at work in their family, friends and church-goers. How awesome it would be to hear You say “my child, it was because of you that this one first recognized me, accepted me and surrendered their hardened life to me”! For those of us striving to be a #5 Christian, I pray that even though we may never know the lives impacted by God through us, that Jesus is welcoming new ones into the kingdom each and every day …because of us! I ask these things humbly, and believing in the power of the Son of God, for it is You alone that I worship and serve oh Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each 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!