Any Regrets?

Saul, who was well known for his accomplishments in shutting down Christianity and its churches, had a life changing event happen in his life when Jesus met up with him. He changed his name to Paul and he made a 180 degree change in what he expended his efforts on. In this reflection time by Paul in our Scripture today, it is obvious where he felt His time was best spent, and he had no regrets. Knowing that God could call you home at any moment, what might your time of reflection reveal about how you have spent your time? Is it something God might be proud of, and rejoice with you on?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-09-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: I say this because I won’t be around to help you very much longer. My time has almost run out. Very soon now I will be on my way to heaven. I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to him. And now the time has come for me to stop fighting and rest. In heaven a crown is waiting for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And not just to me but to all those whose lives show that they are eagerly looking forward to his coming back again.

OBSERVATION: Saul, who was well known for his accomplishments in shutting down Christianity and its churches, had a life changing event happen in his life when Jesus met up with him. He changed his name to Paul and he made a 180 degree change in what he expended his efforts on. In this reflection time by Paul in our Scripture today, it is obvious where he felt His time was best spent, and he had no regrets. Knowing that God could call you home at any moment, what might your time of reflection reveal about how you have spent your time? Is it something God might be proud of, and rejoice with you on?

APPLICATION: I recently retired after spending 47 years of my life in the banking industry. There were many times that I reflected over those years, and together with others who celebrated with me, we rejoiced in my achievements and my devotion to my various bosses over the years. Wouldn’t it be great if we had such a celebration in our Christian walk about every 10 years, and take time to reflect over the past 10 years to evaluate how effective we feel our time was in God’s work? Please note up front that our work in and of itself is worth nothing, but very often we will see that based on the condition of our heart, and the determination of our spirit, we will gladly get involved in the work of Christ in our family and in our community – especially our church family. In fact, this would help facilitate our memory as we stand before God and respond to the question ‘why should I permit you to enter my heaven?’. This will also serve to remind us of where we were, and how far we have come in our Christian walk. Have you advanced in the knowledge of God and His Word? Are you more at ease sharing the Gospel and your walk with the Lord, than you were 10 years ago? Do others tend to look at your Christian walk, and desire to be just like you? Do you feel like it is evident to the world whose you are? Friends, this might also be a time to reflect on how you personally feel about your walk with the Lord. Often we are so busy about church work, that I’m afraid we never stop to reflect on where we are at personally in our walk with the Lord. Unfortunately, the two things are not synonymous, for one could busy themselves in church work, without spending time alone with God to enhance their own relationship with Him. You see, it is vitally important that church leaders reflect so much of Christ in their lives, that others will pay little attention to their leadership qualities, but rather to their spiritual condition. When one sets a goal in life, the idea is that they will look towards that goal, and not the everyday hiccups that tend to knock us around while heading towards that goal. Paul’s goal was set on being in the presence of his Lord. What’s yours? Keeping your eye on your goal will help direct how you spend your days and hours reaching for that goal!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand I am tired, I’m weak, I am worn, Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the li-ight, Take my ha-and, precious Lord, Lead me home. My eyes are fixed on You dear Lord. While here on earth, please guide me on so that I may represent You well and be an influence to others in search of You. For each reader today, please draw them close, take their hand and lead them on to draw closer to You. May our goal always be to reflect on You and to worship endlessly at Your feet in glory. AMEN!

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

Your Assignment From God

While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 15:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.

OBSERVATION: While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

APPLICATION: Some churches take time to strategize the work that they feel God has given them to do. Sometimes this is good, because it helps church leaders to evaluate where they are currently at in achieving God’s plan for their community. At times it helps individual church leaders to analyze how effective they feel like they have been in achieving all that God has called them individually to do while leading His church forward, and while reaching into a lost community. Paul was convinced of the primary goal he felt God had called him to do, and in these verses today, he is reaching out for help from anyone who would dare step forward in faith, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul knew the work was God-sized, and that it would take dependence on God to achieve the awesome task assigned to him. I wonder how much differently our individual ministry would look like, if we were to focus on our assignment, like Paul did. Might this mean that folk would regret seeking us out in a crowd, because they know that we would share with them only what we are focused on? Might this mean that our spare time would be spent on seeking God for our next action that we should take in order to achieve our goal? Might this mean that our teaching and our preaching would always be brighter, because our passion for the work assigned to us will be evident in the words that we speak? I have always heard that one could look at your checkbook and see where your heart is, based on where your income is spent. I wonder if it works the same way in being able to see your passion in the words that you speak and through your actions? What if your passion was strictly driven by the assignment God has given to you while here on earth? Don’t you see where we will have a reason for everything we do, and how determined we will be in seeking God’s help to achieve our utmost for His kingdom? Consider joining me in our quest to accomplish all that God could ask of us, and that our passion would drive us to always reach for pleasing our Master. God gave His very best for us, how much more could we possibly give in trying to honor Him through completing our assignment here on earth, to His heavenly standards?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for giving to us, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Lord, I believe that You have placed us here on earth as Your servants, with assignments to stay focused on. Paul’s assignment was to love and preach to the Gentiles, who often felt left out and unloved. I believe that there are many just like that today in our world – they feel out of place and unloved, especially by the church. Deep inside I believe that each of us have a passion for that one thing that You have assigned for us to do. Please work on us Lord. Please redirect us to seek Your will and follow Your commands, as we seek to accomplish Your assignment. Based on our Word, I can only believe thatYou would have us to win the lost, and mature the saved, until the day You call us home to glory. Please fill us with wisdom and a newfound passion as we strive to accomplish the work You set out for us to do. AMEN!

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

Stay Focused On The Goal

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

The Bible Reference: Philippians 3:12-14
The Bible Text: I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
The Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take Away: Although our scripture quoted above are the words of Paul, I will seek my Master for strength to live out that same goal in my life! Will you commit to keep your eye on the goal of eternity with Jesus, friend, and will you go public with your goal? I know that some will think that we can’t do this, because it may come across as bragging, or proud, or better than most. Friends, may I encourage you to not listen to the excuses Satan will place in your mind about this. If you aim for nothing, that’s exactly what you will achieve. I would encourage you to go even one step further: instead of just sharing your goal with others, go on to use even more of Paul’s tactics. Later in this same chapter, Paul told his followers that they should follow him. Now before you criticize Paul, I want you to think of the impact of that statement. For he never wanted to hear or see his followers pointing fingers at him for preaching one thing, but doing another. This is called ‘accountability’. It reminds me of Christians who refuse to place a Christian based bumper sticker on their vehicle, because they don’t want the driver behind them to hold them accountable for their actions – speeding, passing on a solid line, pointing fingers at a driver that made a mistake, etc. Fellow Brothers and Sisters, it is time that the public recognizes from our actions who our Master, Provider, Deliverer, Director and Example is. God not only has the power to save us from our sins, promise us a mansion in His dwelling place (heaven), love us unconditionally, and much more, but He also grants us the desires of our heart, especially our desire to walk, talk and act like Him before an unsaved generation. However, our God is a perfect gentleman and He will not just dump all this on us without our permission. If you are tired of your life of sin, ask Him to forgive you and accept you into His kingdom. If you desire a closer walk with Him, talk to your Father and ask for His guidance. If you desire to ‘stay on track’ daily in your walk with the Lord, don’t think for a moment that it will be easy and that you could handle that on your own. Seek the face of Jesus, plead your case to Him and accept His outstretched hand that is filled with mercy, direction and power to lead, direct and guide you through every circumstance of life. He will help you reach your goal, if you have one, but you must ask Him and allow Him to help you. Paul was specially blessed of God, but so can we also be blessed friends, for we are children of the same God – the King of all kings!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for living out such an example of purity and obedience in Your life here on this earth. Thank You for the grace that You gave to Your servant, Paul. Just as You totally turned his life around, and just as You gave Him the power to live his life dedicated to You, I pray that You would also do that again in the lives of my readers and I who are focusing on the goal – our life with You and the Father in glory! Thank You for grace! Thank You for mercy! Thank You for the assurance of our future home with You! This is way too exciting to keep all bottled up inside, may we share our joy with others today and be accountable for the life we claim in You. These things I ask in the name of Jesus, and for His ultimate glory, 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

Run With Purpose – You’re almost There!

THE HOLY BIBLE – 24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ~ New Living Translation (NLT)

THOUGHTS: Imagine an athlete running down the track, and every time a friend shouts his name he runs off to the right to see who it is calling his name. Similarly, if a fan of his opponent calls his name, he steps off the track to check his running shoes, thinking that something is wrong. Do you think that athlete will ever reach the finish line in time to qualify? Paul drew an illustration similar to this in our scripture today. First, I believe you should settle this in your mind. Just as an athlete must meet certain qualifications to run a race, you will want to know that you have accepted Jesus as Lord of your life in order to enter the race that Paul is referring to. In other words, only Christians identify with the goal of seeing Christ face to face at the end of our race (the race of life itself), so you may consider that a prequalifier. Now when Paul refers to conditioning his body in order to run the race and endure to the end, he is referring to things like: strengthening our walk with Jesus daily so that we might know the Way, the Truth and the Life. Imagine running an athletic race without knowing the way to the finish line, or believing everything a coach tells you, or knowing for sure that the finish line exists on the other side of the track because you can’t see it from the starting line. Friends, we must remember that just as the athlete can’t purchase a ticket that will automatically take him to the finish line when the starting gun fires, so it is with the Christian life. When you invite Jesus into your life, you invite Him to save you, yes, but you also invite Him to guide your daily walk and talk so that as you travel this track (daily life here on earth) towards the goal (eternity in heaven with Jesus and the Father) so that you will look, sound and act like the athlete in competition – like a Christian ought to look – like Jesus. Friends, this is a very personal experience/relationship, so Paul reminds us that if we learn how to do this by the book, and we teach others, or preach to many, and don’t live like an athlete – a child of God, then we stand to be disqualified personally at the end of the race/life. I’m sure that you have found in life that in earthly relationships, way too many experiences arise, to possibly refer to a manual on the subject. However, if we live daily in close communion with the other party, we learn a lot about them and can generally handle the ups and downs as they arise. In our relationship with God, we must learn to communicate with Him – in prayer, Bible Study; church; fellowship with other believers; etc. so that we may condition ourselves daily to reach the goal, even if God called us home today? Think about it friend.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for making this life worth living by providing a promise for those of us that know You, to one-day reach out to grasp Your precious hand and hear You welcome us home to glory! What joy that brings to my heart today, even though I understand that the challenges of today may be even more challenging than the ones from yesterday. Lord, thank You for the assurance that You are by our side, guiding us, protecting us, encouraging us and loving us as we travel this challenging track, known as everyday life. Please continue to emphasize the importance of relationship with You, because that reminds us that it was You who took care of us and watched over us that day or that circumstance – something we really can’t attribute to happen-chance. Please speak to, and challenge my readers and I today about the need for daily conditioning, so that we may stay strong and determined to stay on course and stay the course right to the very day that You calls us home – our goal! I long to see that Day oh Lord, so I rejoice in the knowledge and expectation of that Day, yet plead for Your strong hand to be consistently upon me as I run this race. All these things I rejoice in, and ask for, in and through the precious 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!

Bumps In The Road?

The Holy Bible

That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Thoughts:

It’s so easy for me to sit and judge others for the many reasons they give for not being at church, or not taking part in Christian activities, or not doing what appears to me as their part of the work of the Lord. But I am amazed how quickly God opens my eyes and my heart to the fact that God is speaking to me through His Word that I read, so I need to first and foremost work on self! God is very capable of speaking to others who may be obviously missing the boat in their relationship with Him. So from a personal perspective, from my own heart, let me share with you what I feel God wanted us to learn from this passage today. Friends, when:

  • We stop attending church or working for the Lord, because we are discouraged by the lack of appreciation given to us, we must realize that our reason for ministry is to: “spread the Word of the Lord”; “Enrich the lives of other believers”; and to “Share hope and faith with the unbeliever as encouragement for them to accept Jesus as Lord”. Notice that “I” or “Me” or “Self” are not words used in any of those reasons for ministry, so why should that be a ‘bump in the road’ for us in our ministry?
  • We refuse to speak up for the Lord in our workplace or in our realm of influence, do we expect Jesus to be proud of us? Remember in His Word He tells us that if we are ashamed of Him here on earth, then He will be ashamed of us before His Father. Are we afraid of, or embarrassed of someone being critical about, or to, us? How do you suppose Jesus felt when He was beaten and abused on the road to Calvary where He was later crucified, just because He knew it was necessary in order that we might have life more abundantly and eternally with Him in heaven? We should be totally ashamed before the Father when we allow such small ‘bumps in the road’ to deter our walk and our talk for Jesus here on this earth.

Although just two examples, I believe that your eyes might be opened to the minor ‘bumps in the road’ that often stop us from effective ministry for our Lord. Fortunately Paul gave us the secret on how to overcome this, when he said “It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going”! I would also add that “It’s the One we minister for, rather than the one we minister to, that gives us the strength to keep on doing the work of the Lord. Our ministry should always be for the sake of the kingdom of God only, and not for anything we can personally gain, or for any recognition offered by those we minister alongside, or to. If Jesus loved us enough to suffer the cross to show how much He loved us, how many ‘bumps in the road’ are we willing to overcome to show our love to Him in return?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I am ashamed of the little things that I allow to discourage me or stop me from being all that I can be for You. There is no ‘bump in the road’ that should hinder me from opening my heart and my mouth in praise to You, and witness for You. I believe that You meant for our relationship to be pure, open and honest, please give me boldness to overcome the things of this world that distract and hinder me from openly claiming You as my King and sharing Your love with others that I come into contact with. Lord, I believe that huge distractors these days are ‘busyness’; ‘stress’ and ‘the lack of quality family time’. Please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and not allow the distractions of Satan and this world to interfere in my walk with, and witness for, You. It’s You I live for and heaven is my ultimate goal, but I need You every hour here on this earth to help me keep the main thing, the main thing! I don’t believe that I am unique in having the distractions that beset me, so I also ask that You kindly bless my readers today that they too might overcome the distractions of this world and to be a constant witness for You every day. In love and humility I kindly ask all this in the wonderful 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 days 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!

A Covenant Relationship

Scripture: Genesis 17

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! Gen 17:1-6 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Much is said in God’s Work about covenant relationships. In this particular chapter there were several covenant relationships made with Abram (Abraham) and they all were similar in form. God made a covenant that He would do certain things and this was either preceded, or followed by, certain things that would be required by Abram and/or his people. In this particular covenant God told his servant who was once fatherless, that he would become the father of countless descendants and of many nations, and to mark this his name would be changed to reflect the new him, because Abraham actually means ‘Father of Many’. Now prior to all this being revealed, God demanded of Abram that he vow to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Throughout God’s Word He makes many promises to us, the greatest of which was the gift of His Son Jesus. In this particular covenant, God sent His Son so that those of us that believe on, and accept Him as Lord of our life, would have eternal life. At Christmas time we celebrate the gift that was presented to us. I trust that for all who may read this devotional, You would truly accept this gift and complete the covenant presented by God, for I guarantee you that He will live up to His part of the covenant by opening heaven’s gates and receiving us into eternity with Him. Friend I pray that your eyes will be opened to this invitation, because the alternative is not very bright for those who refuse to accept Jesus. An eternal life of damnation and the unpleasentries of Hell is not anything that I can imagine anyone wanting to set as a goal in their life.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I thank You for the greatest gift ever given – Your Son. I thank You also for touching my life and encouraging me to accept Your gift some 35 years ago. I am concerned about the numerous number of family and/or friends and/or co-workers that have chosen to ignore Your gift and the covenant You have offered to us. I pray that this will be an important Christmas weekend in the lives of those that You have touched my life through, because I pray that You will once again overly sensitize their hearts so that they will understand how hopeless life is without You. May they experience the real meaning of the reason that we celebrate Christmas as they surrender and submit their lives to You this week.

Make God First in Your Life, then……

SCRIPTURE Studied: Matthew 4

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

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. Matt 4:18-22 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

While this seems like a miraculous thing for Jesus to call these men from what they were doing, and especially for them to leave their secular jobs and follow Him, I believe that this also occurs today. We were created by God, and while our flesh strives to live in and enjoy the pleasures of this world, I believe that our inward soul longs to be with Jesus and live a life pleasing to Him while here on this earth. Unfortunately I believe that the latter is not possible until we accept that deep longing to accept Jesus as Lord of our life. We can always stop and think of what life could be like if we weren’t so stuck on pleasing others. It is so unfortunate that we try so hard to please our peers, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our boss, our pastor and then with whatever is left in us we try to please God. Friend why not try and do this in reverse order – surrender your heart to God, give Him 100% of your effort to please Him and follow His commands, then watch how easy it will be to see others accept you for who you are. A life surrendered to, committed to and following the commands of Jesus will result in a happy, satisfied, fulfilled life with a purpose and a goal oriented mindset that will be fixed on Jesus Christ. Oh that we will do just that this Christmas season – a time on our calendar that we dedicate to the One whose birthday is the whole purpose of Christmas.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I rededicated myself anew to You this Christmas. I pray that You will direct me each and every day, especially during this busy time on my calendar. I pray that You will help me place my life in perspective – You first, and all else to follow as You direct. May I be deep into Your Word daily so that I may learn of and subsequently follow the plan You have designed for my life. May I be an influence to others, especially those that have not yet accepted You as Lord of their lives. Like Peter, Andrew, James and John, may I be obedient to Your call on my life and serve You willingly every day. Please touch the lives of all readers today that they too may first of all accept You as Lord, then submit their lives totally to You and Your service. You gave Your very best that very first ‘Christmas’, may we in turn give our very best to You this Christmas.