The Incomprehensible Love of God!

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!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Psalm 103:8-16
Today’s Bible Text: 8 He is merciful and tender toward those who don’t deserve it; he is slow to get angry and full of kindness and love. 9 He never bears a grudge, nor remains angry forever. 10 He has not punished us as we deserve for all our sins, 11 for his mercy toward those who fear and honor him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west. 13 He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him. 14 For he knows we are but dust 15 and that our days are few and brief, like grass, like flowers, 16 blown by the wind and gone forever.
The Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take Away: Because of the larger than normal chunk of verses, I won’t comment a lot in this devotional, but I just had to share with you how awesome the love of our God is! Notice that the Psalmist is awestruck by the incomprehensible love of the God of this universe. Notice that God is actively loving His children, even though He has to deal daily with the mess-ups and the tendency of His children to run from Him in spite of His great love. In fact, think about the cruel people, and the soldiers who beat Him, led Him up to the hill of Golgotha and hung Him on a wooden cross, like we would do to an animal we are about to slaughter. Yet Jesus loved those same soldiers enough that He never petitioned to His Father to strike them down or eliminate them, but He suffered and died for even their salvation. Friends, we have never seen love like this before! And this is not just a story from the greatest book ever written, for He loved even me and welcomed me into His family when I sought His forgiveness. He will do the same for you friend, no matter what you may be guilty of here in this life so far, connecting with our Savior and asking for His forgiveness will create in you a change that could only compare to the difference of darkness and light. Total transformation, but a very bright and promising one! Do you know this Savior of which I speak friend? Will you surrender to Him today, please? Read through my ‘Footnote’ for help and direct you in this very critical decision. Failing to do this, and remaining in your life of sin, will result in eternal damnation in the pits of Hell. This is all in the Book friend. The choice is yours, but the differences in your decision is eternal and totally opposite. I pray that you will make the wise and proper decision today, God being your helper and guide.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your perfect, sacrificial, eternal love for even me. Thank you for one day having prompted me with a message similar to the one presented here today. Please tender the hearts of those that I love and respect today, and the hearts of those reading this devotional. May they make a wise and permanent decision to accept Your offer of salvation today, for this is my humble prayer that I ask with thanksgiving, 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

Our God Is …..

THE HOLY BIBLE – 25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. 26 To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. 27 You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. 28 You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. 29 In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. 30 God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. ~ Psalm 18:25-30 ~ New Living Translation (NLT).

THOUGHTS: This is another case where I would encourage you to read the whole chapter of Psalm 18, for David has just gone through many verses praising God for His goodness and His care and protection. Based on his first-hand experience, David is now trying to help those of us who are struggling to comprehend exactly what we can expect from God, and why our experiences may differ, based on our relationship with God. In fact, let me challenge us with a sobering thought – based on our current relationship with God at the very moment you read these words, what aspect(s) of your life do you suppose God would challenge you on, if you were standing before Him? Unfortunately, this applies to the Christian or non-Christian, for I believe that Christians may sometime get the false impression that their ticket for heaven is bought and they are just waiting on the flight. May I suggest to you, Christian Brother or Sister, that you never went to the altar to purchase a ticket, you went to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and accept you into His family. You promised Him to leave the ugliness (sin) of this world behind and show love towards Him in every way possible. Unfortunately, many of you have seen that your stubbed toe did not take you to the hospital, so you returned to the acts that gave you the stubbed toe. Of course I am using this analogy to show you how we treat sin, and wind up damaging our relationship with Jesus. What can you possibly accept back in return from Jesus when you turn your back on Him? He has given us the freedom of choice, but read this chapter to be reminded of your consequences when you disobey. You don’t like it when your earthly child disobeys you, why do you suppose that it will be any different for the Savior who gave His life for your forgiveness of sin, when He sees you doing the same? To the unbeliever: I am convinced that you are well aware of the Jesus to whom I have devoted this entire blog, because many of you will quickly look for Him, or someone who knows Him personally and willing to intercede for you, when something goes wrong in your life, or when things may not be going right for you. With all the love I can muster up today, I must tell you that our God is not a God of convenience, He is looking for a relationship with you. Just as you can’t purchase home insurance if a hurricane is already in route, God is looking for a relationship with you before you approach Him with your grocery list of needs. My Father takes care of His children, even if our earthly fathers may fail in this. Will He recognize you as His child when you call upon Him? I used today’s blog title based on a recent prayer conference, where we were encouraged to use scripture in our prayer life. May I encourage you to complete the following sentence based on today’s scripture? “My God is __________ because _________, praise be to God”!

PRAYER: My God is loving because He saw my need for a Savior and sent angels to convict me of my sin and lead me to a wonderful, life-long relationship with Him, praise be to God! Thank You Jesus for loving even me! Thank You dear Jesus for loving each one who reads this devotional today. I am convinced that You are standing with opened arms right now waiting to respond to their prayer, especially the prayer for salvation. Lord You are worthy and we are so needy. We need You every minute of every day, and we long to draw closer to You each and every day. Please patiently lead us towards a more intimate and sincere relationship with You, so that we may have a godly impact on all that we come into contact with. I ask these things in the wonderful 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 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!

Your Faithfulness Will Prove To Whom You Are Faithful

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – John 8:30-32): 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. Jesus and Abraham 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

THOUGHTS: I believe that the phrase where I bolded two items (in verse 31) is really very applicable to many areas of life. For one will be fired if they were not loyal to their employer; or military authorities would not permit a soldier to serve unless he could be loyal to his/her country. So why then would we ever think that the God of this universe, the Creator of everyone and everything, would sit idly by and permit us to serve any god we want, or to blatantly disobey His teachings and still be acceptable in His sight? Friends, in the very words of Jesus, the evidence of whether we are His followers, or His disciples, is whether we remain faithful to His teachings. So what is your evaluation about yourself? Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? Often a good accountability partner would be very helpful to you with this, for they will look beyond your excuses and compare your actions with the Word of God – God’s teachings. If you don’t have an accountability partner, may I suggest that you look for one? Make sure this is not a ‘Yes’ man or woman, because you need their honesty and you need them to help you draw closer to God and His Word, not make you feel better about what you are doing. Friends, the time for us to meet one on one with Jesus is drawing near, for the signs of the times are very near. Please look closely into God’s Word and be obedient to His teachings. It’s for your own good! Based on your actions yesterday, to whom do you suppose the world think that you are faithful to?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your awesome Word – Your directions for righteous living and for testifying of Your love and care for mankind. Please work in my life today that I may be honest in all my ways and may my actions be a true reflection of You and show obedience to Your teachings. For all my readers, family and friends today, Lord may their eyes also be opened to the importance of declaring their loyalty to You through the things they say, do and practice. You know our hearts Lord, so You know where we stand. May it be evident to our family and friends through our actions today, I pray. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful and outstanding name of Jesus, my Lord, Savior and soon coming King, 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!

No Turning Back

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Voice – Hebrews 6:4-8): 4-6 It is impossible to restore the changed heart of the one who has fallen from faith—who has already been enlightened, has tasted the gift of new life from God, has shared in the power of the Holy Spirit, and has known the goodness of God’s revelation and the powers of the coming age. If such a person falls away, it’s as though that one were crucifying the Son of God all over again and holding Him up to ridicule. 7 You see, God blesses the ground that drinks of the rain and then produces a bountiful crop for those who cultivate it. 8 But land that produces nothing but thorns and brambles? That land is worthless and in danger of being cursed, burned to the bare earth.

THOUGHTS: I believe that the same types of problems that were being dealt with in the early church, are very evident in our churches and our world today. I believe the hardest part of this scripture is to imagine that one might be turned away at the cross. However, after closer study of this, I concluded that this is definitely referring to one who had given their heart to the Lord, enjoyed His blessings and His goodness, then went in a totally different direction that led to a very strong falling away from the faith. I don’t believe that there is a discussion as to whether the person is saved or not, but rather more about restoration of the heart. When one drifts away it is as if they are ignoring, or perhaps even denouncing the God in whom they claimed to have enjoyed a relationship. In fact, in this passage of scripture it suggests that this person is then very similar to the one that would have participated in the crucifixion of Christ, for they are literally denouncing the truth of what transpired in their life, and in the life that God provides to those who believe in Him. In fact, I believe that this deceiving action is the same as denouncing the Holy Spirit – the one unforgivable sin. Therefore I question if that’s not partially the reason why the writer felt like “it is impossible to restore the heart of one” such as described. I’m sure we’ll know when we sit at the feet of Jesus and can discuss all these questions in detail for a few hundred years!! However friends, the main thing I want to challenge you with today is that we should make every effort to not fall into the trap of falling away. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His part of that covenant is to keep us secure in His hand throughout eternity. Why should we mean anything different? My greatest desire is that we will not fall into the trap of some who make a decision to do something, and that decision stands – until something better comes up. We expect God to keep His end of the covenant, I would encourage you to mean nothing less on your end of the same covenant.

PRAYER: Dear God, You have been so faithful to us, and I thank You very deeply for Your love in remaining faithful, even when I know that we have disappointed You. Please strengthen us with Your love and Your guidance today so that we may remain strong in the faith and totally committed to serving You all the days of our life. We tend to think of those who have chosen to step away from the faith, especially when we study scripture like the one today. However, if not for the grace of God, this could easily be us. So loving Jesus, please give us strength to be overcomers and totally committed to the everlasting covenant that we agreed to in accepting You, our everlasting Savior with whom we plan to spend eternity. I ask these things in the wonderful and blessed 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!

How To Be Faithful in Following Jesus

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 4:18-22): 18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

THOUGHTS: Imagine for a moment if Peter and Andrew had concluded after meeting Jesus that He was a good man and would make a wonderful Savior for many people, especially for those who had time to follow Him around and observe His marvelous works. Imagine how little impact Jesus would have had on these two men if they chose to continue making a living and left Jesus alone to go and impact the brothers up the road who had nothing better to do. James and John had similar choices to make in verses 21 and 22, but like Peter and Andrew, these guys immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Friends these stories were included in the Word to show us the impact of total surrender. I don’t believe for a moment that God intends for every Christian to give up our jobs to be obedient followers of His. However, I do believe that God is showing us that it is important for us to take a 180 degree turn from what we did as a sinner, so that we might prove to whom we now belong. We don’t need to prove it to God, for He knows our very inmost thoughts and desires, but we need to convince ourselves that we have seriously redirected our lives to following the Savior, the King of all kings, Jesus Christ. We need to prove it to our friends. We can’t continue doing the things of this world (Satan approved things) and still expect our friends to see a difference in our lives. Think about everyday scenarios: what do you do when you go on a diet? You can’t lose weight eating the same junk food and sweets that brought you to your obese state in the first place. What do you do when you get married? You can’t hang out with your buddies until the wee hours of the morning and expect to go home and find your new spouse happily waiting for you. So what about the Christian walk? I would dare say that you can’t live like the Devil and say that you are a Christian. We have to leave the garbage behind, much like the disciples left their nets and their boats behind, and choose to give God our all – our undying allegiance, our unwavering love and dedication. Show Him that You are serious about the decision you made to follow Him – perhaps He will use you like He did in the case of the disciples mentioned! Won’t that be awesome!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for being patient with us. I’m afraid that too often we tend to try and continue doing what we’ve always done, yet expect different results, or worse still – try to convince ourselves that our allegiance has changed. Lord, I believe that these four disciples were so sold out to you that they gave up their fishing careers to become ‘fishers of men’ in your kingdom work. I am convinced that we need more folk like this today Lord, so that the world might know without a doubt who rules in our lives. Please work on us today and convict us of any shortfall You see in our lives and our commitment to You. May we be usable instruments in Your hands to reach the lost. I ask this in the strong and unwavering 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!

How to Shoo the Devil Away

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – James 4:4-7): 4 You people aren’t faithful to God! Don’t you know that if you love the world, you are God’s enemies? And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 Do you doubt the Scriptures that say, “God truly cares about the Spirit he has put in us”? 6 In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say, “God opposes everyone who is proud, but he is kind to everyone who is humble.” 7 Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.

 THOUGHTS: Isn’t it interesting how we get so fed up with Satan, but yet we are unwilling to change anything about our own character and/or life to change that? I was drawn to these verses, especially after just reading Ezekiel 20 – which I would encourage you to read if you are touched in any way by this passage in James. For God gave the Israelites rules and instructions on how to please Him and live together in peace and harmony. After the parents failed, God attempted to help the children become different in their endeavors, but they also failed, and faced destruction. Here in James, God saw where the problem was continuing and He once again gave instructions on how children of God can draw closer to Him and resist the devil. Friends, I would dare say that even in our day, after all that has gone on before us, we still are faced with selfish motives and greed, to the extent that old Satan is attacking us from every side. Unfortunately this appeal especially pertains to Christians, because Satan fears that we may be too involved with Jesus Christ. In this scripture, James is warning us that our relationship with God is weakened when: a). We are unfaithful to God; b). We love the world; c). We are God’s enemies, because He will not reside where sin abounds; d). We doubt the scripture too often and try to handle obedience to it under our own terms; and e). We are proud – assuming that there is something personally that accounts for all we have accomplished or are enjoying. Friends, the return of Jesus is near, and the Bible is clear that we will either face a welcoming smile from our Savior, or we will be turned over to Satan, because of our disobedience and lack of regard for the Savior who died to bring us life everlasting. Are you successful in shooing Satan away? Are you prepared to totally surrender your life to Jesus Christ and allow Him to save you from your sin, and guide you into life everlasting in His presence? If it’s to be, it’s up to you! Please read the help in my ‘Footnote’ on how to make a change in your life. The benefits are ‘out of this world’!

 PRAYER: Thanks for being so patient with us dear God. I can’t imagine how our lack of appreciation, and lack of desire to please You, must hurt You, especially considering all that You have done for us and our ancestors. Thank You for Your forgiveness, Your undying love and Your amazing grace. Thank You for loving us in spite of our failures. I pray that You will especially ignite a renewed fire within the lives of my readers and myself, so that we may totally surrender ourselves to You and subsequently reap the rewards of being a child of the King. Oh how I look forward to one day being in Your holy presence and worshiping before You in person! Please impact the lives of my readers and I today, is my humble and sincere prayer that 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 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!

The Evidence & Results of True Faith

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 11:13-16): 13 Every one of those people died. But they still had faith, even though they had not received what they had been promised. They were glad just to see these things from far away, and they agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth. 14 When people talk this way, it is clear that they are looking for a place to call their own. 15 If they had been talking about the land where they had once lived, they could have gone back at any time. 16 But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven. That’s why God wasn’t ashamed for them to call him their God. He even built a city for them.

Thoughts: I believe I was renewed in my faith as I read this scripture, and was reminded of the faith shown by our forefathers. The writer reminds us that all the faith shown by these powerful men of God, such as Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob was not necessarily on the promises that would be revealed to them during their lifetime, but because their minds were not fixed on eartly things and/or places, God was not ashamed of their human failures and instead prepare a heavenly home for them that, no doubt, was their ultimate goal. I am reminded of a saying that often we are so earthly minded that we are of no heavenly good!! It sounds just the opposite for these great saints, and I believe that this may be much of the reason why they were particularly made a part of the scriptures – to help show us what 'true faith' really looks like. To my readers, let me encourage you to join me in re-evaluating the level of our faith. Let's begin with evaluating our priorities – are they more earthly minded than heavenly? Do our actions reflect the qualities learned from our relationship with Christ, or those inherited from our earthly interactions? Would God be ashamed for us to say that He is our God, or would He be proud of His children? We have a hope friends! We have a heavenly home and a gracious heavenly Father that awaits our arrival in His presence. Are you ready? Let's make Him proud of us as long as we are allowed to remain on planet earth, and may others be drawn to our Savior through the faith they see in us!

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for the awesome experience of knowing You, and being blessed by the many ways that You have already touched my life. Please help my readers and I to place our relationship with You as our very top priority, and please help us to learn from the faith of our ancestors, while giving us the urgency to also allow our faith in You to be so obvious in us that those following in our footsteps would see more of Jesus than of our sinful selves. May our lives be so focused on You, oh Lord, that You would be proud to hear us call You our Father and our God. May all who come behind us find us faithful! I ask this in humility and in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Savior and 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!

 

 

Concentrate on the Essentials

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Titus 3:8-10): I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone. Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere. Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him.

THOUGHTS: Paul knew that Titus would face the same challenge that we see in many of our church meetings today, because he (Paul) had been there and experienced it personally. I believe that there is so much in the Bible for God’s people to learn, and so much there to help us grow and mature our faith in, that old Satan becomes very upset and throws a wrench in the wheel of pastors’ efforts through ‘chasing rabbits’ and sidelining Godly growth for often meaningless chatter about various world events or even unrelated theological myths and questions. Paul referred to these disruptions as ‘mindless and pointless’, and that really describes the value often achieved from such discussions. I sincerely believe that there is no substitute for the Christian hearing the unadulterated Word of God taught and/or preached. This may become repetitive to the teacher and/or preacher, but for the Christian, or for those interested in learning the truth about God, real ‘meat’ is served and growth in Christ is achieved through such means. I believe it also teaches us that our answers to life’s issues are contained in the Word of God, and He is our source of strength, direction and wisdom. Last evening I participated in a Marriage Enrichment class, and the Bible was interspersed throughout the teaching. That reminded me that I invited God into my marriage on my wedding day, and God is still as necessary in the success of my marriage even today. So it is with life, friend, for I believe that as we allow our God to direct our path and motivate us with His love and His direction, then others will experience His love shining through us in word and deed. It is then that our witness might be relevant to that unsaved friend that we come across during our day. It is then that family members might learn to respect our stand on life’s issues and might actually create a trust between them and us about the sincerity of the relationship we have with God. Paul assured us that being blown away by the distractions will get us nowhere. I believe that we are way too smart to spend our days going ‘nowhere’, so may I encourage you to stand firm in your faith and speak up when you feel like a class is being distracted with useless, mindless discussions and/or quarreling. A day that starts seriously in God’s Word, grows through interaction with other believers, and reinforced by teaching and/or preaching from God’s Word, is a successful day for the believer! Are you there yet, friend? If not, you now have tips on how to correct those things that may distract you in your walk with the Lord!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word that drew me to the foot of the cross where I begged for forgiveness of my sin and acceptance through the shed blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. My life since that day of conversion has been enriched by the teaching and preaching of Your Word, not by mindless and/or pointless distractions. Please help me to stay on track in my teaching others about Your love and Your grace in all aspects of our lives. Please give my pastors and/or teachers a very similar goal dear God, so that our time here on earth will be well spent and used to glorify You and/or encouraging others towards the cross where we first found You and accepted You. Thank You for the seriousness of Your life and Your sacrifice so that I might have eternal life. May we be found faithful in sharing that same love, and in directing others to You, so that Your kingdom might be fulfilled. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my 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!

Contented

The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Philippians 4:11-13): 11 I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. 13 Christ gives me the strength to face anything.

Thoughts: I would imagine that if someone asked us today what they might give us to enhance our happiness and contentment, we would have a long laundry list, right? Now for a moment, take time to consider what Paul said in verse ‘4’ of this chapter and what he followed up on in the verses referenced above and decide, then let us conclude which of the times in Paul’s life was he happiest. Doesn’t it seem like Paul was indicating that he could care less about the material things of this earth but that it was the deep spiritual contentment of God that truly made all the difference for him? It would appear that he gained his independence from his dependence on God! You might recall that even under the circumstances of imprisonment Paul was still content/happy. In fact, the very guards who had responsibility for his imprisonment were converted as a result of Paul’s preaching and his witness to them. Friends, I believe that we must come to a maturity level in our relationship with God that we can honestly say as Paul did in the very last verse above, it is Christ who gives me strength each day. It is He who saved me and He who protects, guards, loves and directs me daily, enabling me to face anything that comes my way. Enough of the pity party that many of us resort to. It is Christ who gives us strength and a deep happiness in knowing that He will be with us until the end – through the good and bad of this life. We are children of the King! What more can we ask for? Let’s learn to place our total faith and total trust in our Savior, the One who died on Calvary’s cross especially for our eternal happiness! If you are not experiencing this outstanding happiness today, please allow me to refer you to the ‘Footnote’ below for directions on obtaining this assurance.

Prayer: With the assurance given to us in Your Word, oh Lord, we should have no reason to be discontent. Most of us cannot identify with the serious ups and downs that Paul experienced, because You have been so merciful to us. Please forgive us for whining anyway. May we truly dig into Your Word, may we truly let Your Word minister to us, so that we may catch a glimpse, or be reminded of the many ways that You have expressed Your love for us, and how You continue to look out for us each and every day. May we learn to be content in all things, because of our relationship with You, as You are of greater importance than the sum total of everything else that we might consider as aids for our happiness. Thank You Lord for all You have done and provided for me. May I be faithful in my love and servitude, giving You praise and thanksgiving always. Please speak to all reading this devotional today. May they be drawn to You, or into a closer walk with You. For I ask all this in faith, and in the name of Jesus Christ, my king, my Lord and 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 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!