If You Have Faith

I’m sure that almost every reader/listener will immediately think of a time when they wished they had more faith. There are times that we say a quick prayer for a concern that we have. But then there are times that we take to our knees and plead with God for certain urgent and critical concerns. Jesus told His disciples that faith is the secret to our prayers having feet or substance. How’s your faith? Let’s meditate on this Scripture and see what God has to share with us that might help.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-07-10
WRITTEN AT: Kingman, AZ

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 17:19-20
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

APPLICATION: This Scripture comes at a time when I am visiting the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA. We can read about God creating mountains and canyons, but until we see these things in person, it is so difficult to truly fathom His awesome works. In reading this Scripture I quickly concluded that God was simply using mountains as an illustration for us to understand how powerful our faith truly is, to the one who believes on teh Lord Jesus Christ. But as I looked at those beautiful mountains, I could only think that I would have no reason to have a mountain move, for it is very obvious that they were placed meticulously and perfectly by God. In all humility, I just beg of God to give me faith to heal certain diseases that hinder enjoyment of life by so many, even the health of my very own family. Think about it – COVID; Cancer; Alzheimer’s; Blindness; Deafness; the awful position of many who are lame or crippled, etc, etc. Friends, you may look at my list and say that in the realm of human capability, those diseases are just as huge as mountains, for they have been around for a while now and they seem to be beyond help by doctors, much less normal laity like you and I. But unless we go beyond the faith of the disciples, Jesus would repeat His explanation to us all over again as He did to the disciples. We currently have every reason to take God at His word in saying that ‘Nothing is impossible’, for we have seen where He performed miracle after miracle,and we know that all things are possible with Him. But I had a friend who would stop and pray that God would help him find his car keys, or show him the right path to take in his business. He said by turning everything over to God, it provided him with a foundation upon which to stand while asking God for the BIG things in life that may otherwise seem impossible in the eyes of man. Whatever it takes to syke up our minds to let go and believe in God with all of our heart, soul and mind, we must do it dear friend, for He cares for us and loves us more than anything we could even imagine. In some biblical translations a verse is added as vs 21, and it says that having this kind of faith may require us to fast and pray in deepest faith. So just as in the case of building physical strength, where we start small in our weightlifting and then increase as we could handle it, let’s plan to do the same on our Spiritual journey of faith. Develop your faith by trusting God in the small things, and watch how He will strengthen you to trust Him even in the times that may seem impossible, especially to unbelievers.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Just a little amount of faith will go a long way. Have faith, believe, and nothing will be impossible!

PRAYER: Lord, we often say that we believe in God, and that is admirable. But may we have such faith in You that our Scripture today will become a reality – Nothing is impossible with God, and for the one who believes in God with all their heart, soul and mind. Please embolden us with Your love, Your miraculous touch, and the everlasting hope that brighten the day of every believer in Christ. Please work miraculously through us, and grant us the boldness to know that ALL things are possible through the powerful and strong name of Jesus Christ. 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!

Faith and Persistence

Persistent in our faith is one thing, but being persistent because of our faith is even a step closer to getting the attention of Jesus Christ. Not that Jesus is deaf and needs us to repeat our petitions, but I believe that He wants to know that we are serious about what we are asking. Stay with me as we dig into our Scripture today, and develop this thought. This word still very much applies to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-05-21
WRITTEN AT: Nassau, Bahamas

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 7:25-30
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 … a woman whose daughter had a demon spirit heard he was there, she came and threw herself down at his feet. 26 She was not Jewish, but a foreigner, …. She begged him repeatedly to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 Finally he said to her, “First let my children be fed and satisfied, for it isn’t fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
28 She answered, “How true that is, Lord. But even puppies under the family table are allowed to eat the little children’s crumbs.”
29 Then Jesus said to her, “That’s a good reply! Now, because you said this, you may go. The demon has permanently left your daughter.” 30 And when she returned home, she found her daughter resting quietly on the couch, completely set free from the demon!

APPLICATION: It is important that we not only read today’s Scripture, but also read Matthew 15:21-28 to hear the extra details offered by Matthew’s perspective. There were several things that I believe the Holy Spirit ministered to my spirit about in this story, and although you may receive even more enlightenment as you read the Scripture, I wanted to share my thoughts with you, in hopes that you might be encouraged:
~ In spite of feeling like a foreigner to the ministry of Jesus, this mother still knew about the power of God through His Son, and because of her desperate need, she dared go to Jesus with her issue. For us, I am impressed that she didn’t go to the priest for prayer for her daughter, nor to ask that him to accompany her when she journeyed to see Jesus. It seems like we are so quick to call the pastor, or an official of the church to ask them to pray for our sick child. And while I know that the prayers of the righteous children of God availeth much, we should never expect that kind of request to supersede our deepest moments in prayer to the powerful God that we know, and believe in. Remember, the veil has been removed, and we have direct access to the Father. He wants to hear from us and to minister directly to us, in addition to any needs that we may bring before Him;
~ In spite of the disciples pushing her away and trying to protect the time of their Master, she was persistent enough that she caught the attention of Jesus. While helping our daughter to find a job, we asked a young waiter in a popular restaurant how did he secure his job there. I believe I will always remember his response: ‘I am convinced that because of my persistence, my employer saw that I truly wanted the job, and if I was that persistent about my application, they could only imagine how persistent I would be about my job, if employed by them.’ Do you convince Jesus that you truly care about, and want a response from Him because of your persistence? If you are a church leader, are you ever guilty of ‘pushing a desperate parishioner away’ because of the way they look, smell or act, or do you help everyone seeking Jesus to truly find Him and develop a relationship with Him? Please don’t be a stumbling block to any of Jesus’ children seeking to draw near to Him;
~ In spite of Jesus’ first response to this mother, she insisted on making sure that there was no misunderstanding about what she wanted. Her daughter was terrorized by a demon, and she wanted that stopped. Knowing that Jesus was the only one who could perform that miracle, the lady continued in persistent faith to call on Jesus. Don’t you feel like we often give up too soon when we are pleading our case before the Lord? Although the Bible teaches us to not continue in repetitive prayer lines, I am convinced that this refers to recorded lines by local religious officials. I know that when I pray from a sincere heart, because of a strong personal relationship with my Lord, He will hear my cry and He will respond in ways that will keep me in the center of His will.
Dear friends, Jesus is not deaf to the pleas of His children. Seek earnestly today and be persistent in asking according to Your desperate needs. Jesus loves you as His very own child and He will strive to show that love better than our earthly father or mother could ever have done. Keep on keeping on, my friend!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We are all God’s precious children. Although not a Jew, Jesus still found time to visit with the desperate mother about her daughter who was terrorized by a demon. I believe He still listens keenly and intently for the cries of His children today!

PRAYER: Often we feel like our problems are too minor to bother the Creator of the entire universe, but Lord, I believe that You are way more concerned about every issue that bothers us. Our earthly fathers try hard to provide for our needs and love us unconditionally, but because of earthly distractions they sometimes failed. Praise God, Your love for us is greater than anything we could imagine, so I must ask that You kindly place a refreshing spirit within us to call on You, and chat with You about our every need, and to never neglect to praise You for Your many blessings on us. Your action on those things that we consider ‘minor’ will build our faith to seek only You in those serious times that seem impossible to us. Please draw us close to You oh God and deliver us from the evil of this world in which we live, so that our relationship with You will be enriched and we will come to depend on You as our constant source of help in our time of need. 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!

Do It Again, Lord

David had witnessed the power of God in His life many times, yet he didn’t take that for granted. We see in this Scripture today, that David is asking God to intervene – one more time. The powerful thing about these verses is that David is not approaching God as a stranger, for he shares with us lessons that he had previously learned. Hopefully we can approach God with that same confidence today!

Sunday, 2021-04-18

Bible Reference: Psalm 27:13-14
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Yet I totally trust you to rescue me one more time, so that I can see once again how good you are while I’m still alive! Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!

OBSERVATION: David had witnessed the power of God in His life many times, yet he didn’t take that for granted. We see in this Scripture today, that David is asking God to intervene – one more time. The powerful thing about these verses is that David is not approaching God as a stranger, for he shares with us lessons that he had previously learned. Hopefully we can approach God with that same confidence today!

APPLICATION: Hopefully we all can remember a time that God was especially real to us. It may have been a time when we couldn’t figure out where to turn next, or who to turn to for help, when suddenly we sensed the power of God intervening in our life and giving us purpose to go on. At some point we may have learned that someone was praying especially hard and persistent for us, and that convinced us even more that it was the hand of God that touched us in our time of need. Friends, I believe that God especially gives us times of refreshment like that, so that we might have a memorial to refer back to and be encouraged by. For He saw our need and responded to our prayers when times were really challenging for us. The glorious truth is, that He could very easily ‘do it again’, if only we would seek Him and depend on Him. While I believe that these very special times might be refreshing times for us individually, I also believe that they sometimes serve as a tool that we may use to encourage others that may encounter similar challenges. Another real purpose that these special experiences might serve, is to encourage our own selves when challenges come our way. Have you ever experienced a time when you sat down and almost cried, because the burden seemed so heavy? The need for power, or for encouragement, or perhaps healing may have been overwhelming. You may not have known which way to turn next – until the Holy Spirit suddenly brought to remembrance a time where God clearly responded to a similar need in your life. It was times like this, that you regained purpose in your relationship with the Master, and you were able to return humbly before the Lord and seek His forgiveness as you acknowledged your need and your weakness before the Creator of this universe, the Master of the land, sea, and every living thing. Friends, it is unfortunate, but way too often we try to assume control over our circumstances for which we have no power. And it’s not until we humble ourselves and rededicate ourselves completely to the lordship of Jesus Christ in total surrender, that we make room for Him and His awesome power to move mightily in our lives. I believe that God is waiting for us to surrender, or re-surrender ourselves to His will, so that He might move in our lives personally, and corporately, one more time. I need that, friends. I hope and pray that you will also see the need to be totally surrendered to Jesus – yes, especially today!

PRAYER: In Your awesome expression of love, humility and power, You reached down and touched my life, and I thank You for loving even me that much. Oh that I may be reminded of whose I am, every time that Satan tries to discourage and pull me down. Lord, I believe that many who will read this devotional may have experienced similar times of discouragement, and may honestly desire a touch from You once again. May this reminder from David be something that may return peace and encouragement to many who allow Your Word to penetrate their hearts today. Oh that they may be reminded of the mighty work You have already accomplished in their life, and may they be encouraged to seek You yet again, even in their current circumstances, knowing that You could just as easily ‘do it all again’! May You be glorified because of our surrender today dear Lord! AMEN!

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

A Treasured People

Often we will ask God for things, and expect a whole lot from Him, but how often do we dig into His Word, learn about His commands and obediently follow His instructions? Let’s meditate on how this compares to God’s conditional promise to the Israelites that is detailed in Exodus 19:5.

Monday, 2021-03-15

Bible Reference: Exodus 19:5-6
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: Now if you will hear My voice, obey what I say, and keep My covenant, then you—out of all the nations of the world—will be My treasured people. After all, the earth belongs to Me. You will be My kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart.”

OBSERVATION: Often we will ask God for things, and expect a whole lot from Him, but how often do we dig into His Word, learn about His commands and obediently follow His instructions? Let’s meditate on how this compares to God’s conditional promise to the Israelites that is detailed in Exodus 19:5.

APPLICATION: I wonder how many of us would pass up on a good deal, that we knew depended only on a few provisions that were within our ability to achieve? Here’s an example, or a scenario that some might quickly jump to: If you move from Florida to Georgia, you will become rich from working the soil there (farming) because of the natural minerals and nutrients, and you will enjoy much cooler weather in which to farm! Wouldn’t you think that some of our Floridians would pack up and begin the move to Georgia, to enjoy the new life that would include the riches of the land there? So let’s consider what we would do if God said to us something similar to what He told the Israelites: (a) ‘If you hear my voice’ and I believe this means that we would be required to not just say that we hear God’s voice, but that we would allow His words to penetrate our very being and have an impact on our lives; and (b) ‘If you obey what I say’ and I believe this means that we would be prepared to stop assuming that the Word is for our wicked neighbor, or for that unfriendly guy down the street, but rather that we, personally, would be prepared to respond to God’s Word by obeying what He tells us to do; and (c) ‘Keep my covenants’ – I believe that this means that we stop pretending that we are obedient to His written Word, but instead decide to truly obey His covenant that God set forth for us. All three of these things sound simple enough, but God added a reward for the Israelites, and I believe that He would do the same for us, if we truly follow His conditions – we would be His treasured people. Yes among all the people of the world, He would choose to honor and treasure us. Friends, this scenario is very much aligned with what God did for us on Calvary, by sacrificing His very own Son. He made such a sacrifice as a reward for us, if we accept His Son as Lord and Savior. The reward is that we would spend eternity with the Father and the Son in heaven, singing praises to the King of all kings and Lord of all lords For all eternity. This is not just a reward dear one, but in comparison to the alternative – eternal damnation under the leadership of Satan, our choice/offer by God is the only one that anyone of sound mind would deliberately choose. Friends, think about this and be blessed today. For those who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender lordship of your life over to Him, you will be considered a ‘Treasured People’ by the Creator, and you will join with the angels around the throne singing sweet hallelujahs to the King forever and forever. My prayerful desire today is that all who will read or listen to this devotional today will be among those treasured by God. If you have not accepted Jesus as lord of your life yet, let me encourage you to read my Footnote carefully and follow the steps that will lead you to find Him and accept Him as Lord!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for providing the means for us to find eternal peace, and eternal salvation through Your precious Son, Jesus. May all who read this devotional today be reminded of the importance of making peace with You so that Your eternal reward may fill their heart with joy and everlasting hope. Please soften the hearts of those who will read this, but have yet to agree to the simple plan of salvation. To know You is to have peace everlasting! AMEN!

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

Little Faith Can Overcome Overwhelming Obstacles

If we were to ask Jesus today why our prayers for someone failed to bring the desired results, I wonder if His answer would be any different to what He said to His disciples in today’s Scripture? I doubt it, because in John 14:12 Jesus said that if we have faith, we will have power to do all that He did, and even more! So a lot hinges on this small word ‘Faith’. Let’s try to understand what God expects of us in this regard.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-03-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 17:19-20
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Later the disciples came to him privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we cast out the demon?”
20 He told them, “It was because of your lack of faith. I promise you, if you have faith inside of you no bigger than the size of a small mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move away from here and go over there,’ and you will see it move![q] There is nothing you couldn’t do![r]

OBSERVATION: If we were to ask Jesus today why our prayers for someone failed to bring the desired results, I wonder if His answer would be any different to what He said to His disciples in today’s Scripture? I doubt it, because in John 14:12 Jesus said that if we have faith, we will have power to do all that He did, and even more! So a lot hinges on this small word ‘Faith’. Let’s try to understand what God expects of us in this regard.

APPLICATION: A child standing on a high wall will jump into the arms of one that he/she has gained faith in. Walking into a room, you will probably have faith in the chair set out for you, if others are sitting in similar chairs. In reading God’s Word, we gain the faith to believe that Jesus was miraculously born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, Judea. Through faith, we believe Him when He said in His Word that He has gone to prepare a place for us, so that one day we could be where He and the Father is. Through faith, we have no problem believing that Jesus turned water into wine; Raised Lazarus up from the grave; Made the blind to see again; etc, etc. Huge faith is exercised to truly believe all of the aforesaid. Why then do doubt and unbelief come our way when Jesus affirms that His disciples could tell a mountain to move from one location to another; Or to heal a demonic filled boy; Or that we (His followers) could do the same miracles Jesus did, and even greater things? I believe that in a pure environment where just Jesus and us are, we would attempt anything in the name of Jesus. However, when Satan pokes his ugly, demonic head into our midst, we tend to become more like Peter when he started failing in his walk on the water. I believe that most of us have faith to believe that Jesus can do anything. However, in our own strength, we know that we are powerless. When we allow Satan to fill our heads with doubt and convince us of our sinful condition, suddenly our self-worth and our purity becomes questionable, and we become weakened by all the ungodly things that causes us to take our eyes off Jesus. Miracles happen because of the power of God, and not from any rabbit we might pull from our hat. Unless our eyes of faith are fixed on Jesus, and nothing else, then we will be just like the disciples, wondering why can’t we (humanly) do any miraculous works. I believe that one of the primary reasons Jesus allows His children to remain on earth, is to facilitate His work in ministering to those of little faith. Be reminded dear friends, people of little or no faith would never believe in a Savior that they have never seen. But when they see Jesus alive in us, they suddenly begin to believe that He is still alive and well in our world. Have faith in God, He is all powerful and He is still alive and well, waiting for our arrival in heaven for all eternity!

PRAYER: Lord, without faith many may never read this devotional. But because of faith, I am asking that You touch the hearts of those that need this message today. Remind them of Your existence and of Your awesome power. Please develop their faith so that they can see and experience You. Please continue to develop the faith of Your followers so that we can take You at Your word, without question, and be obedient to Your commands. May You be lifted high today, especially by those who doubt in their faith. AMEN!

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

Your Efforts Could Be Crowned with Success

God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

Monday, 2021-02-22

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:4-6
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  4-5 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

OBSERVATION: God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

APPLICATION: From the moment we are born, our mother and father begins drilling into us those things that we should, or shouldn’t do, if we want to please them, make them happy and/or proud of us. The more independent we become, we realize that there is a lot more to life than just making our parents happy, although that is at the very top of our list of priorities. Think about the idea of attending a school where no one really cares about us, because of our selfish or rotten attitude. Shouldn’t we strive to improve that? Then we start our career path and we can’t keep a job because no one could get along with us, or there might be some character flaws that the boss decides that they will not allow us to poison the other workers with. Wouldn’t we want to seek help on ways to correct those issues so that we could fit in and get along with everyone? Friends, I believe that our Scripture today has some answers for these issues that plague many today. For we are a people who strive to be independent, and do life our own way. However, in doing this, we tend to multiply our issues rather than solve them. Solomon is telling us that before we could gain the trust, respect and love of others, we must first allow the God of this universe to have an impact on our lives. In other words, acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers, and then align ourselves with the only One who not only knows about today, but also has control of what tomorrow holds. Friends, our God created these complicated bodies in which we live, and He has a plan for each and every one of us, with the end goal of us living in such a way that He might be glorified through us. A reward is already established also – that whosoever believes in Him, then we will spend eternity in Heaven with He and His Father (God). So think about this as a resolution to the above dilemma: God created us; He established a plan for our lives here on earth that will glorify Him; And He has prepared a place for us to go when we pass on from this world to the next. This sounds like an awesome plan that is perfectly designed for our complete happiness and peace of mind, so why would we seek to do life on our own without any foreknowledge of tomorrow? Let’s follow God’s design for us and our wonderful life here on earth! Remember, if you want favor with God and with your fellow man, then trust in God and not in yourself. Put God first in everything you do, and He will direct your path and crown you with success! What an awesome God we serve!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are more wonderful than anything we could even imagine. Your Word today has reminded us of the plan You established for our happiness here on earth and in Heaven. Please humble us to the point of understanding Your plan, and grant us willing hearts to obediently follow Your plan. You designed us, and You sacrificed Your one and only Son for our eternal salvation. We are convinced that You have our best interest at heart, so please help us to accept the fact that mortal man will only fall deeper and deeper into the trap of Satan and his eternal destination of Hell. Please touch my readers and myself with Your marvelous love, and draw us to Yourself precious Lord, so that together we might all rejoice when we see You face to face. Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see! AMEN!

Easily Distracted

In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

Sunday, 2021-02-14

Bible Reference: Matthew 14:29-33
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. 30 But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. 31 Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus. They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

APPLICATION: There are so many things we could learn from this story of Peter. I believe that most of us will share the reflection that this story shows us the faith of a man as he attempted something that defies nature, and that he had never thought possible before. Of his own power, perhaps the disciples expected Peter to jump out of the boat in the middle of the sea, as he prepared himself for the intake of water through the nose and mouth, or if he could swim, perhaps he would quickly assume the swimming position! However, things were a bit different with Peter, for: a). He had already experienced the power of the Almighty, and he knew that Jesus had the same power to do even those things that are impossible in the eyes of the world; b). He paid attention to what Jesus was doing, and knew that if Jesus could walk on the water, He had power and authority to empower him (Peter) to do the same; and c). Peter heard the command by Jesus, and in spite of the yelling from his fellow disciples, he obeyed Jesus. So what happened? Why does Peter’s effort seemed to have failed? I am convinced that Jesus already knew how quickly Peter would become cocky about being given this special power, so Jesus demonstrated to Peter, and to us, that faith requires that we keep our eyes fixed on the author of our faith – Jesus, and His Father God, lest we fall into the trap of bragging about our own power. I had a friend dying of cancer, and she traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by a TV evangelist who showed on public television that he had powers to heal. WRONG. Stop right there. Friends, as demonstrated in this story with Peter, and as we already know about healing powers – it is God, through His Son Jesus that spoke the word for Peter to walk on water, and it was Jesus who rescued him as he began to sink; it is God alone who heals a body that He created from dust, and restores it to perfect health so that He may be glorified. Our responsibility is to look to Him for all things and keep our eyes fixed on the author and creator of life itself, knowing that through His power, lives might be healed, souls might be restored to the Kingdom, and that the unsaved may recognize the grace and power of our God. It’s all about ‘God’, my friend. We are just instruments of His love and servants of our majestic King. The Master deserves all the praise for all that He does, for nothing of our own is merited, or worthy of praise, but only what He has done. Please be careful of the distractions that Satan will place before us. For Peter, it was the wind, the rough waters and perhaps self-confidence, that caused him to take his eyes off the Master. For us, unfortunately we live in a world that is totally filled with distractions that Satan places before us. Think about our pride; trying to impress our peers; being called names (like Jesus freak, etc); believing in things that defy nature; eccentric for believing in someone we can note see, etc. Remember that our distractions are often forces that draw us away from God – our primary power source. Don’t let Satan win over you my friend. In verse 31 we are reminded to not let ‘doubt’ win in our battle to ‘believe’. Trust in God, and all of this, plus a whole lot more could be yours, child of God!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are my God! The same God that created this wonderful world, and also created all of creation. I acknowledge again today that there is nothing that You can’t do. Please forgive me for my doubt and my lack of faith. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that You had the power to walk on water to get over to Your disciples. I wonder what You must travel over, or through, at times to get to my readers and I, and the trouble we find ourselves in at times. But I am assured that just as we saw where the water didn’t stop You from getting to Your followers, we need not let anything hinder our requests today, for many things will appear to be impossible to us, but with renewed assurance today, we KNOW that we can come before the throne of God and plead our case before an all-knowing, all-powerful, forever-loving God who says that ALL things are possible with God! You are our King, and we adore You and worship You today oh Lord, not just for what You can do for us, but for who You are! AMEN!

Analyzing For entry into God’s Kingdom

The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out Too get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

Friday, 2021-02-12

Bible Reference: Matthew 13:41-43
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42 Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43 But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!

OBSERVATION: The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out to get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

APPLICATION: To read that there are thorns among the wheat, and that these thorns will stunt the growth of the wheat, if left there during the growing period, is mind boggling. Yet we are told that the thorns should remain there. What do we make of this? I believe we would understand it very clearly if the Scripture said that those thorn bushes must be removed and burned, so that the wheat would mature without hindrance from the weeds. But that’s not exactly what Jesus said, is it? In my studies, I found out that back in verse 24 and following, Jesus told His audience that these weeds were planted to look just like the wheat, as they grew together. But let us consider this idea in its proper context. For example, in our beautiful, plush and proper churches today. Wouldn’t it be extremely challenging to look out over our congregation, or even rub shoulders with many of them, and try to imagine that some will produce fruit (wheat) during their lifetime, while others are uncommitted and are their as decoys (known as ‘weeds’ in this Scripture). However, Jesus reminds us that because everyone walking through our doors are dressed just like us, look just like us, sing just like us, and may even give to the ministry just like us, we must not conclude that they are children of the kingdom. In Psalm 1:5, we are told that “sinners will have no place among the saved” on Judgment Day. Therefore let us pay close attention to what Jesus is teaching here. Friends, I believe that way too often we look at what our coworker is succeeding at, or how happy that new Sunday School member seems to be in their life, and we start emulating their lifestyle, or we join them in the things that seem to successfully bring joy in their life. But Jesus is teaching us today that we have only one role model, only one Savior and only one Lord. He tells us throughout His Word how we are to seek His righteousness, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim. I believe that when we start desiring what another person has – whether it’s happiness, a great spouse, wonderful children, a healthy lifestyle, an expensive car, etc., then we are permitting ourselves to seek our happiness and pleasure in another person (wheat or thorns), rather than in the joy, peace and wisdom of our almighty God, who proved His love for us on Calvary. In our times of meeting at church, or any gathering, with fellow believers, or those we assume are fellow believers, we tend to lift up and encourage each other. But let us always remember that we are there for one purpose only – to corporately lift up the name of Jesus and worship Him from the very depths of our heart. It’s a given fact that some fellow church members may have more knowledge than us about the teachings of God, and some may even have experienced miracles from God, but if you miss your one-on-one encounter with your Maker, and if you confuse His direction that He has planned for your life, by following the lead of your fellow worshipper, then you are missing out on the importance of corporate worship. Remember, He has laid out a plan for you, and that plan will involve experiences that you may totally miss, if you receive your guidance and leadership from a friend. We all must accept Jesus individually, and we all must seek His perfect will for our individual lives, if we are to live the perfect life He has in store for us. How are you doing with this dear friend? Do you have a really intimate relationship with Jesus, and listening to His every command for your life? If not, let me encourage you to seek Him while He may be found. Draw near to Him, my friend, and He will draw near to you. You are the apple of His eye. He loves You and would like nothing better than to welcome you through the gates of Heaven when He calls you out of this world. Sure things up today, won’t you?

PRAYER: A challenging parable, but a much needed message for each of us today, dear God. Thank You for speaking to us in such unexpected, but important ways throughout Your Word. Thank You for drawing our attention to the real source of revival in our land. It’s not my brother, or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer and needing to draw even closer to You. Please speak to the hearts and souls of Your people today. Draw us to yourself, so that all doubt will be removed whether we are Yours – redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Lord, may those who are considered ‘weeds’ in our midst be reminded of the One in whose name they’re are known. Encourage them to grow in their relationship with You and cement their decision to follow You until Your return. People still need the Lord – yes especially those who feel comfortable in church, even without ever having experiencing You in their lives. May today be the day that they are introduced to the Master, and may they surrender their whole being to You and to Your will for their life. AMEN!

For Christ or Against Him?

This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

Tuesday, 2021-02-06

Bible Reference: Matthew 12:30
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 30 ……he who is not with Me is against Me, and he who is not doing the Father’s work of gathering up the flock may as well be scattering the flock.

OBSERVATION: This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

APPLICATION: A piece of advice given by my wife and I several times over the years is ‘be careful, blood is thicker than water’. This applied to situations where the individual was talking to a family member about one of their relatives. That family member might be upset with their relative, and they may gossip about it to another relative, but they refuse to hear an outsider say something derogatory about them! Jesus witnessed the spiritual leaders of the day (the Pharisees) looking for every opportunity to entrap Him and/or imprison Him. He heard them speak evil about the good that He was doing in their community, yet they walked around pretending to be more holy than anyone else. Aren’t you glad that with our advanced education system, and our many computers and smart people, that we have learned to overcome this weakness in the church today? Ha, hopefully I received no ‘Amens’ to that statement, because it was really meant to highlight that even after all these years; after having the Word of God to show us the errors of our past generations, yet churches today are torn apart by the same wickedness. Imagine with me for a moment what might happen if Jesus walked down the isles of our churches next weekend and pointed out the folk who are promoting Kingdom growth, and then asked those to leave who were destroying His work here on earth. How’s your confidence level on whether you will be allowed to stay and continue your work for the Kingdom? Will the church grow after such a separation, or will it dwindle in numbers? Friends, please allow me to remind each one reading this blog, that when God is working inside of us and using us for His purpose and the good of His kingdom, then no matter what position we hold in church, or in our community, we would work together with other believers to promote the awesome love, power, wisdom and saving grace of the one true God – our Lord, and our Savior. When you are for Him, you will pray for those who open their mouths to speak for Him; you will lift up and encourage those who sing His praises; you will renounce evil and promote the goodness of God. There will be no need to look around to see who’s nearby when you speak of, or to your neighbor, because your words will be intended to lift up, and not tear down. Friends, there are many in my community who need the Lord, and I bet your community is very similar. They may be looking at the proof of God’s work in our midst, before they listen to our teaching or our preaching, or even watch for the sincerity of our walk, before they show interest in knowing Christ personally. They are probably tired of hearing the talk, but not seeing the walk of a child of the Kingdom. I believe that our takeaway today is that if we are for God, then let’s be extremely dedicated to living like He taught us, and like He exampled for us while here on earth. Jesus made it clear that we live out our beliefs, because when we don’t, it becomes clear that we are against Him. Talk with God today and allow Him to open your spiritual eyes to discern whose side you’re really on, both in words and in your actions.

PRAYER: Lord, may others see so much of Jesus in my speech and in my actions, that there will be no reason to question who guides me, who teaches me, who directs my path, and the direction in which I am headed for eternity! May all those meditating on this blog today be of the same mind and spirit, and may our dedication and commitment to you be contagious for all to see and subsequently follow. May we say like Paul did, if you want to see Jesus, follow me! AMEN!

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

Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 7:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

OBSERVATION: I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

APPLICATION: We have just observed what God might be saying to us in this Scripture today, but how do we apply this to our everyday life? First of all, are we consistent in our asking? Do we even find time to pray, other than when we are in crisis mode? Our method of asking, or petitioning God is through ‘prayer’, yet most churches will tell you that it’s one of the worst attended services. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. For I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. Otherwise if they want me to pray for them, I might think that they don’t have time to pray, even though they know they need prayer, and have therefore asked me to pray for them. Jesus is telling us to ‘ask’, not to have someone ask for us. Jesus is also asking us to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. This tells me that we are to be persistent in doing these things. I once met a young person working at a prominent restaurant, and I asked how they landed the job. Persistence was the word, for they showed restaurant management that they were so interested in the job that they would keep on visiting the establishment, keep on asking for a job, etc. Guess what? He landed the job and looked extremely happy in his job. Now in the teachings of Jesus I believe that we have no doubt as to what we are to ask for or seek after, for we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, therefore we will ask in line with our righteous desires and within the scope of God’s will. When you keep on knocking, you are acknowledging to God that you are once again at His feet pleading His perfect will for your life, with a deep desire to serve Him in complete righteousness. Jesus said that when we do these things, that He will not only hear our prayers, but He will meet our needs. Friends, we have so much that we ask God for, let’s aim at making those requests known to Him for the single purpose of making us, or the person we are praying for, more righteous in God’s sight, and that they, or you, may be drawn closer to God and His kingdom.

PRAYER: Lord, please continue to humble us to always and continuously seek Your face; ask for Your holy and generous hand of mercy and generosity upon our lives, so that we may be worked on and made right with You in every way. Lord, may we be consistent in knocking to ask for an audience with You on a frequent basis. May we be bold enough to join others in prayer so that we may encourage them and help them in their walk with You. Lord, please renew a great work in us today so that we may be more like You in every way, and may this attract the unsaved to desire intimacy with You. We must ask in full alignment with Your will dear Lord, because we acknowledge Your Lordship and Your sovereignty. Thank You precious Lord for accepting me as Your child. May I always live like a child of the King! Amen!

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