The Mystery of Christians

Often times we never know what others think about us, and sometimes that is good! However, as we meditate on the Word today, let us consider how some may look at Christians and wonder about the mystery of how they became a Christian, and they may even be curious about how difficult, or easy, it is for them to become a child of the King. Today’s verses should help everyone that reads this devotional to see how simple God intended this to be. He provided the sacrifice so that we wouldn’t have to. Do you claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-03-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 10:9-10
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.

OBSERVATION: Often times we never know what others think about us, and sometimes that is good! However, as we meditate on the Word today, let us consider how some may look at Christians and wonder about the mystery of how they became a Christian, and they may even be curious about how difficult, or easy, it is for them to become a child of the King. Today’s verses should help everyone that reads this devotional to see how simple God intended this to be. He provided the sacrifice so that we wouldn’t have to. Do you claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

APPLICATION: Some times pastors will go undercover! In other words, they will introduce themselves as Dick Jones, not the Reverent Dick Jones, or Dr. Dick Jones or Pastor Dick Jones. The reason for this is often an effort to help people relax and feel open to being themselves, for asking any question on their mind, without feeling dumb. Some might feel this way when they’re around you, because they feel like you are better than them, or that you have something they wish could be theirs also. Friends, although I believe that friends will identify quicker with your actions instead of your speech, eventually you will want to share with them who Jesus is to you. In the Christian realm, we call that your testimony. You see, I could tell my friend about my pastor and what a great preacher he is, what good he does in our community and how he loves the Lord, but they will soon look at me and wonder: So what is your story? Can I quote Scripture after Scripture, and would that truly help? Perhaps, but when I share my personal story, there is no doubt about what I personally experienced. So if I share that one day in 1988 (give a rough idea of the date if you don’t remember the exact date) I discovered that I was going to Hell without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Someone shared with me that if I would announce with my own mouth that Jesus Christ is my Lord, and I believe deep within my heart that He died and rose again for my salvation, then I would be saved. I had heard that phrase many times before, so I knew if was TRUTH, and this led me to proceed with this action. I have since learned that the Bible says that this salvation is open to all who would call on His name. I would therefore extend that invitation to you, my friend. Notice that I didn’t first attend Bible School or seminary. Salvation is open to all who call on the name of Jesus Christ, as shared by Paul in today’s Scripture. Friends, this mystery is very simple. For those who have accepted Jesus as Savior, please clear up the mystery for your friends. Share your story. For those still looking at this as a mystery, please know that Jesus loves you more than anyone else that you could imagine. He created you to praise Him. Won’t you consider reading today’s Scripture again, and in all sincerity read it as if you are speaking directly to Jesus? You too can be saved today, precious friend!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You may return to take Your bride, the church, home before I could even post this devotional. Thank You for loving us enough to send Your precious Son to die on Calvary, so that I may live forever with You in glory. Just as You influenced me to cry out to you in 1988 for salvation, I pray that You would also speak to my friends, family and readers who will read this devotional. I would love to celebrate with them, as we worship together at Your feet in Heaven one day. Oh that the angels in Heaven will rejoice today because of one sinner who sought You and believed in the miracle of salvation! 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!

You Are Still God!

This chapter of Nehemiah is one that is very timely for us during the time that we are currently dealing with. The Israelites were led into times of reflection about the awesome work of the all-powerful God. This was in light of the awful time they faced with the fallen walls around Jerusalem. We too are facing very challenging and unprecedented times. It’s discouraging and very depressing, and the news media seems to make sure of that! However, let Christians meditate on the goodness of our God. Let us reflect on all that He did for us and our ancestors, and let that reassure us that He can do it again!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Nehemiah 9:32
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 32     Our True God—You who are great, majestic, and awesome,
    You who always keep Your covenant of loyal love—
        do not overlook the trouble we are facing here today.
    This trouble confronts us all:
        our kings and our princes,
        our priests and our prophets, our ancestors and all of Your people—
    From the time of the Assyrian kings until today.

OBSERVATION: This chapter of Nehemiah is one that is very timely for us during the time that we are currently dealing with. The Israelites were led into times of reflection about the awesome work of the all-powerful God. This was in light of the awful time they faced with the fallen walls around Jerusalem. We too are facing very challenging and unprecedented times. It’s discouraging and very depressing, and the news media seems to make sure of that! However, let Christians meditate on the goodness of our God. Let us reflect on all that He did for us and our ancestors, and let that reassure us that He can do it again!

APPLICATION: I love this chapter of Nehemiah! Up in verse 3 we read about how Nehemiah, Ezra and the Israelites went to the temple and for the first 3 hours of each day, they spent their time listening to the Word of God being read. After hearing from God, they spent the next 3 hours confessing their sin and worshiping the Almighty God. Friends, I don’t know about you, but I had to stop and talk with God about my complaining when our church services extend beyond their normal one hour. I had to ask Him why others and myself look for excuses not to attend certain services – especially prayer services. As the chapter progresses, we are enlightened on how Nehemiah and Ezra led the people to reflect on the awesome God they were in the presence of. All that He had done for their ancestors, and all the ways He had blessed them, in spite of their sin and evil minds. I was forced into seeking forgiveness for my complaining about the rough times we are going though worldwide, because I often fail to recognize the goodness of God in making sure that I have food on the table; grocery stores available to help me replenish my pantry; doctor’s offices available to take care of my medical needs; medical experts who are sacrificing every day to help attend to the serious needs presented by Covid 19; a comfortable bed to lie in and a place to call home. Thank You Jesus that You are still the same all-powerful God who has control of every fiber of our being. You have carefully watched over and protected us in every circumstance of life, and I have no reason to believe that You will turn away from us now. You were powerful enough to take our ancestors across a river that instantly became dry for their path; You restored sight to the blind; Healed the sick and even brought the dead back to life again. We also are Your children, and we are in dire need today. Oh that You may do it again – restore Your people to good health and our land back to a sense of normal activity. Please give us the faith we need daily to trust in You and expect the miracles that only You can perform. As told boldly in the focal verse today, please precious Lord, don’t overlook the trouble we are in today.

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, when all things around us are crashing in and life seems to be failing at every point, we know that there is One who is in total control. So we turn to you, like our ancestors did, and we ask that You please don’t overlook the trouble we are in today. Every time we listen to updates on the television we hear about how out of control our world is, and how medical experts don’t know where to turn for the needed help in the challenges of today. I know that You are still God, and I know that You are able to see us through. Please give us the confidence we need to look only to You for all of our needs, and to rest in peace knowing that You can still do all things. Oh that we may glorify You for all that You have done, all that You can do, and for all that You will do as we seek Your face. 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!

This is Why We Praise!

When disaster strikes, such as COVID 19, we hear reports of how countries all over the world are scrambling to protect and save their people. But what if something great was happening, such as the return of our Lord, where all peoples from all over the world who claim Jesus as Lord, are out in the streets overwhelmed with praise? Can you imagine the choir? Can you see the ocean of hands raised as we glorify our risen Lord? Amidst all that is currently going on, and that bears heavy on our hearts, let’s take a moment to rejoice and sing praises to our soon coming King today!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-03-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 98:7-9
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: Let the sea rumble and roar, and all the creatures it holds shout praise; let the whole world and all those who live in it join the celebration.
Let the rivers applaud and the mountains join in joyful song In the presence of the Eternal because He is coming to judge the earth. He is coming, and His judgment will be what is right for the world and just to all people.

OBSERVATION: When disaster strikes, such as COVID 19, we hear reports of how countries all over the world are scrambling to protect and save their people. But what if something great was happening, such as the return of our Lord, where all peoples from all over the world who claim Jesus as Lord, are out in the streets overwhelmed with praise? Can you imagine the choir? Can you see the ocean of hands raised as we glorify our risen Lord? Amidst all that is currently going on, and that bears heavy on our hearts, let’s take a moment to rejoice and sing praises to our soon coming King today!

APPLICATION: For the business person faced with the decision to close the doors of their business and send their staff home in order to avoid the spread of a virus, it must have been devastating. No income, no ability to open the doors and help their awesome customers. Imagine pastors who constantly struggle to get folk out to church, but now forced with the only choice of closing the doors and asking parishioners to stay at home for their own safety. Disaster and contingency plans will be updated to cover such a recurrence in the future, and businesses will be forced to ensure that they have it all covered, better than ever before. However, as indicated by David in the above verses, there is a day coming when the Creator of this universe, the one true God, the Savior of the world, will return to take His church home to glory. There are Christians on staff with many employers, and there were probably times where they were snubbed for their beliefs; and they may have often heard snickers about their decisions to not participate in certain activities. However, on the day when Christ returns, I don’t believe that they will take time to clear their desks or lock up important papers, for there will be only one thing on their mind: their Master and Lord has kept His promise and has returned to take them home to glory with Him. I believe they will be signing and shouting as they exit the building. According to our Scripture today, us Christians will be in good company, for music and rejoicing will be coming from everything God made, including the mountains and the rivers! Friends, there won’t be added pressure about how businesses will continue or what others will think as they see us rejoicing, for our long awaited King will be present and with opened arms, waiting to accept us into His kingdom! Oh what a day of rejoicing that will be! Please make sure that you are ready to be included in the resurrected number. Don’t wait for Sunday to attend church, because that may be too late. Don’t wait for the preacher, although I’m sure he would be happy to pray with you, but instead humble yourself before the Holy of hollies and surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Allow Him to rule and reign today dear friend!

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for the reminder today of that time we have to look forward to when You will return to take Your church home to glory with You. There won’t be any worry about filing unemployment or about when to reopen businesses or the church building, for Your return will be unique and clearly defined, while our hearts will be content worshiping at Your feet throughout eternity. Unlike sudden tragedies here on earth where we always try to prepare ourselves for continuing our businesses, Your return has been promised to us, and we have the blueprints on how we are to be ready. Please deal in the hearts of every reader, every friend, and every family member so that they may firm up their eternal destination today. We long to be with You precious Lord, thank You for preparing our home in advance! 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 Level of Concern For Unsaved Loved Ones

Less we become complacent about the eternal destination of our loved ones, I believe that we should be willing to publicly share how concerned we are about them and their long-term prospects. I believe there are some sure-tell ways that we could show we care, show that we are concerned and even set an example for them to follow. Paul stated his, now as we meditate, let us open our hearts before God on this matter.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 9:1-3
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: I am in Christ and I am telling you the truth. I am not lying. And my conscience, ruled by the Holy Spirit, agrees that what I say now is true. I have great sorrow and always feel much sadness for my own people. They are my brothers and sisters, my earthly family. I wish I could help them. I would even have a curse on me and cut myself off from Christ if that would help them.

OBSERVATION: Less we become complacent about the eternal destination of our loved ones, I believe that we should be willing to publicly share how concerned we are about them and their long-term prospects. I believe there are some sure-tell ways that we could show we care, show that we are concerned and even set an example for them to follow. Paul stated his, now as we meditate, let us open our hearts before God on this matter.

APPLICATION: I believe that one of the things we see with Facebook, or perhaps other similar social media, is that many people feel free to express their personal views about a situation, and sometimes about an individual. Some examples: a mom might say to a son or daughter ‘I love you to the moon and back’; a husband might say to a wife ‘life would be meaningless without you’; a friend might share ‘we are like two peas in a pod and one would not survive without the other’! Of course, there are a many other sayings that we read on social media, but as we meditate on Paul’s words in our Scripture today, I wonder how many Christians would be willing to say to a loved one: I love you so much that I have decided to fast all morning meals and use that time to pray for you to recognize the great ‘I Am’ – my Savior and my Lord, and I will maintain this stance until I hear of your change of heart; or – Life would be meaningless without you here on earth, and I’m afraid that I might feel the same way in heaven, so I am praying that you will be prompted by God to receive Jesus as Lord real soon; or – We are like two peas in a pod, and I could never imagine life without you – ever, so since we are on two different tracks to eternity, I have made it my most important goal to pray for God’s touch on your life and be drawn to Him through His Son, Jesus. Friends, Paul went further than any of these things that I’ve suggested so far, for he said that he would be willing to call for a curse on himself, if he thought that it would help his friends draw close to God. Perhaps there are some out there who might be as bold as our Brother Paul was, and that’s entirely between you and God, but I believe that the bottom line is that we might reach the stage in our lives where we might be willing to said to God and even to our unsaved relative/friend that there is absolutely nothing more important to me right now than knowing that we will be in the same location throughout eternity. When we reach that stage, we can finally say to our friend, like Paul, that it is my single purpose in life to seek God on your behalf and to plead with Him for His power in your life and to draw you to Himself. In doing so, I want to convince you that there is no greater love than this. Can you do this for your brother, sister, mother, father, spouse or best friend? Are you willing to do this with the help of our great big Father? With His help and direction, we are more than conquerors!

PRAYER: This is a serious sermon to self, more than anyone one else oh Lord, for I find it easier to talk to another friend about the serious need for salvation of another. I find it easier to smooth things over and try to stay on the ‘good side’ of my family and my best friends, and I hate conflict. Precious Lord, please strengthen me to love the people You love, and to show my love in ways that will show them my Savior who loved me enough to die on a cross. My desire is that none will be lost, none will go to Hell and therefore none will be left behind. May Jesus guide all my readers and myself to touch the lives of others today in ways like never before, so that they may see and experience the goodness of our King. 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 Eternal Destination Is Based on Your Choice Today

It is clear in our Scripture today that these verses can be easily given three subtitles: (1) Before, or Without Christ – Vs 20-21; (2) With Christ – Vs 22; and (3) The Difference – Vs 23. As we meditate, it will become very evident which area each of us fit into. As shown in section 3, the difference is very evident. But only while you are alive can you make the step from Step 1 to Step 2, with God’s help and direction. Since the present is the only gift given to you, I would suggest that you consider making that switch today, dear friends.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 6:20-23
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 In the days when you lived as slaves to sin, you had no obligation to do the right thing. In that regard, you were free. 21 But what do you have to show from your former lives besides shame? The outcome of that life is death, guaranteed. 22 But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. 23 The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.

OBSERVATION: It is clear in our Scripture today that these verses can be easily given three subtitles: (1) Before, or Without Christ – Vs 20-21; (2) With Christ – Vs 22; and (3) The Difference – Vs 23. As we meditate, it will become very evident which area each of us fit into. As shown in section 3, the difference is very evident. But only while you are alive can you make the step from Step 1 to Step 2, with God’s help and direction. Since the present is the only gift given to you, I would suggest that you consider making that switch today, dear friends.

APPLICATION: Please allow me to expand on the steps mentioned in my Observation. Many will try to defend themselves on this, because they feel like no one knows whether they have accepted Christ or not, and their argument would be undeniable. However, there are many who try to convince themselves that they have always been a good person, or they have always helped the poor, or they have always attended church, or perhaps helped a classroom teacher in Sunday School, or given generously to the church. Given these many good deeds, some might try to convince others that God will definitely accept them in His heavenly realm. The good news is that these folk have no reason to convince their pastor, their parents or their best friends, for there is only One who will decide whether they see Heaven and our wonderful Savior. The Almighty God, the One who made heaven and earth and each of us. He left us a ‘cheat-book’ – a Book with all the answers spelled out. So on the day we are called out of this world, God will simply refer to that Book (the Bible), and based exactly on what He told us in that Book, He will confirm what each of us already know, the exact category into which we fit, based on our decisions while here on earth. If you never acknowledged Jesus as Lord and invited Him as Master and Lord of your life, then the answer is clear. You are considered part of the first group – Before, or Without Christ. However dear friends, many of us have listened to the voice of God, and we have surrendered our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and we live in anticipation of the soon, and expected return of Jesus to take His bride home to heaven. We have obeyed the Word of God, we know what His response will be, and we can rejoice in worshiping our Savior in person on that glorious day! Through the writing of Paul, God tells us in verse 23 that each one will be given a verdict – eternal death (in Hell with Satan and his demons), or eternal life (in Heaven with the Father and the Son). Now that you could clearly determine where you will spend eternity, please don’t forget what I said above. It’s not too late to change from Step 1 to Step 2 right now, by inviting Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. If you are unsure, or uncomfortable in making this step alone, please call a local Bible teaching pastor, or contact me. We would be thrilled to pray with you and for you as we welcome you into the kingdom as part of the family of God.

PRAYER: I am always overjoyed to sing that chorus ‘I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God’, because I know that You have given us clear instructions on becoming a part of Your family, dear Lord. Thank You for making that provision very clear and I thank you for speaking intently to us and helping us to make the bold step from a life of sin, into Your wonderful arms of love, protection and provision. Please dear Lord, speak to those who will read this devotional who may not have accepted You as Lord. Please tender their hearts and open their eyes and ears to your call on their life. I would also ask that You do the same for my family and friends who have yet to accept You. There would be no greater joy for me than to know that none of the above will hear that fatal judgment of ‘eternal death’. Please remind them of the urgency of the hour – today is the day of decision. Thank You Jesus for providing a way for us to receive eternal life with You and the Father! 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!

Lord, In Spite of Your Love, We Have….

I believe that one of the hardest prayers we could conjure up, is one where we acknowledge that we have messed up. This could easily arise, for we not only disobey God and turn from His way, in spite of His love, but this may, unfortunately arise in scenarios with parents, spouses, siblings, friends or even coworkers. Imagine, they may think the world of us, but yet we allow influences from sources outside of our relationship to steer us in directions contrary to what we promised, or what we believe, or what we aim to do. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s try to be conscious of the exterior things that distract us in our walk/commitment.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-03-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezra 9:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 But in spite of Your love, we have abandoned Your commands, and we have no excuse. 11 You warned us through Your servants, the prophets, that the land of Canaan was polluted with pagans, that their evil actions had removed anything pure or good there, even filling up the land from end to end with horrible practices. 12 You warned us not to marry our children to theirs, to seek treaties with them, or to covet their prosperity so that we would remain strong as a nation and as individuals, eating good foods from the earth and leaving that earth to Your children always.

OBSERVATION: I believe that one of the hardest prayers we could conjure up, is one where we acknowledge that we have messed up. This could easily arise, for we not only disobey God and turn from His way, in spite of His love, but this may, unfortunately arise in scenarios with parents, spouses, siblings, friends or even coworkers. Imagine, they may think the world of us, but yet we allow influences from sources outside of our relationship to steer us in directions contrary to what we promised, or what we believe, or what we aim to do. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s try to be conscious of the exterior things that distract us in our walk/commitment.

APPLICATION: At first reading one might do a double-take on the verse where a recommendation was made to Ezra that the people divorce their wives taken from the community of non-Jews. But there is a strong message here for even us today. When God saves us, He draws us to Himself to live like He taught us through His Son; He expects us to obey His commands; and He directs us to use our mission field to win the lost for the kingdom. Inside the four walls of our church, I believe we all will agree that this would be a fairly easy task. Inside our families, and perhaps inside our group of friends who respect us – this may also be fairly easy; but to walk up to a stranger, or a new neighbor, this becomes increasingly more challenging. So don’t we tend to give in just a little so we could better fit in, with hopes of possibly getting through to them at some point? What about the case of our marriages? Can you imagine how old-fashioned our parents were to ask us to marry someone from our church, or our neighborhood, or who believed like us, or practiced the same things that we do? It is obvious that the Israelites thought just like us – they came and settled in with a people who had beautiful ladies that seem to be just like them, so why not marry them? It happened then, and it still happens today dear friends. But in our Scripture today, Ezra acknowledged before God that this whole mindset had truly put the Jewish people in a position far enough from their God, and they are left with no-one who cares about them, protects them and desires a pure relationship with them. I believe there are a few takeaways for us to meditate on today: 1). When God saved us by His grace and mercy, He set us apart as holy and dedicated to the Creator of this universe. As we mingle, let us be careful to represent the One who ‘saved’ us from the drudgery of sin, and not draw so close to sin that we would be drawn back into it again; 2). If, through God’s help, we succeed in staying dedicated to Him, but see a fellow believer being pulled away, let us seek the heart of God on their behalf, much like Ezra did for His people. This would be our only hope of our fellow believers if we were the ones being pulled away; 3). Be willing to stand up and ask God’s forgiveness for our actions first. Set the example and pray that others will follow; and 4) Be willing to love on all that you come into contact with, but never forget the love of our Savior for us, so that we may stay strong in our faith and obedient to His will. Friends, we are living in the last days before Jesus returns to take us home. Let us always seek to live like children who are ready for His return, and may that urgency create within us an ongoing desire to see those around us humble themselves, pray, and turn from their wicked ways in preparation for His return. I pray that our current worldwide, dire situation might create a sense of urgency to many, and that God’s people will stand ready to help them seek the face of Jesus for His expected return. Please read my Footnote for further instructions, dear friends, especially the link ‘To Know Jesus’, or contact me to pray with you.

PRAYER: Thank You dear Lord for leading me into this Scripture today. Just as Ezra recognized that in spite of Your love, his people had strayed, I’m afraid that the same situation has repeated itself today. For folk all around me are satisfied to do what pleases a neighbor without regard for what You have taught us. Please forgive us and never stop loving us dear Lord. We have family and dear friends who still need to meet You for the very first time. You have shown us through our current situation that the time is nearing for Your return. May we all be found expecting and ready for the day You call us home to glory. Oh what a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see! I really want my family and friends to be just as anxious and prepared for that day, Lord. Please tender their heart and guide me, or some other servant, to help lead them into a right decision before it’s too late. 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!

He’s Still God – Worship Him

Take time today to read the whole (short) chapter, Psalm 95. No, you will not find anything referenced about our current conditions, or about when things might get better. But what you will be reminded of, is that God almighty created us and everything around us. Yes, we came to this earth because of Him, and He wants us to return to Him when we leave this earth. As we meditate, let’s consider how we are doing with the time between these two events.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 95:2-7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Come before him with thankful hearts. Let us sing him psalms of praise. For the Lord is a great God, the great King of[a] all gods. He controls the formation of the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains; all are his. He made the sea and formed the land; they too are his. Come, kneel before the Lord our Maker, for he is our God. We are his sheep, and he is our Shepherd. Oh, that you would hear him calling you today and come to him!

OBSERVATION: Take time today to read the whole (short) chapter, Psalm 95. No, you will not find anything referenced about our current conditions, or about when things might get better. But what you will be reminded of, is that God almighty created us and everything around us. Yes, we came to this earth because of Him, and He wants us to return to Him when we leave this earth. As we meditate, let’s consider how we are doing with the time between these two events.

APPLICATION: If you stop and listen to a child, they will find every excuse why they are unwilling to obediently follow your commands at any given time. Unfortunately that follows us into adulthood and we continue to battle with obedience. Planet earth is going through some very rough times at this time, and it seems like Satan is winning, by feeding his world with nothing but bad news, impossibilities, deaths, losing battles of ill heath and the absence of cures to current dreaded diseases. Notice that our Scripture makes no reference to the diseases, the financial strain placed on families and businesses, and the finality of death that is hitting so many families. Did God mess up, or was He unawares of what might come, when He instructed David to write this Psalm? I would dare say that our God knew about the struggles of our ancestors, especially David, and in assembling a Book of Instruction for all times, He also knew what His children could expect for all time. However, the Psalmist shared with us what is important in the good times, like when the harvest is plentiful, and in the tough times, like when the hospitals are full to overrunning. My friends, let me reassure all of us today that our God never fails; He never stops loving us; He is still the One who created us and everything else around us; He still has a home prepared for us and waiting for us when we graduate from this old earth to a glorious place (heaven) around the feet of Jesus. So remind me again what on earth would distract us from praising our King of glory? Yes, we are human, and we tend to let things that affect other humans also affect us, but may I remind all God’s children, especially myself, that God has not lost control nor has He decided to revenge the world for its sin, yet. So let us therefore look to Him as our source of help, our primary encouragement and our hope for today and tomorrow. He owns it all, and He has allowed us to enjoy it all while here on earth. He may decide to call us home to glory at any moment because of a virus infection, or for any other reason He sees fit. Life is still all about Him, dear friend. Let us fix our eyes on Him. Let us worship the King of all kings, for He is Lord and worthy of our praise. Let’s not be distracted by all the commotion that surrounds us and confronts us every time we turn the television on. Let’s open the Word instead and be filled with Good News; encouraging Words, and be reminded of our God who loves us in spite of our everyday failures and weaknesses. Give God the glory my friend, and watch the stress meter become unnecessary! As the Psalmist so carefully encourages in this chapter today, let our hearts be filled with love and our lips with praise for the One who always was, always is and always will be – God!

PRAYER: Lord, we hear You calling – loud and clear. Please forgive us for being so caught up in the distractions of this world that we filter out the truth of Your Word that is always right on target, accurate, true and decisive. It provides direction for our path, and It guides us to green pastures, It restores our soul and helps us fear all evil. These are all totally opposite to what we allow into our minds every day from the news media and from friends who feel like everything is out of control. You are still the One that we need, because only You have the answers in the palm of Your hand. Please patiently guide us Lord to the path that we should always follow – the one that leads to the cross of Calvary where we might be reminded of true love, true power, true mercy, true grace and life eternal in the comfort of Your arms. Forgive us Lord for our weakness. We need You more today than yesterday, because You are the answer to all of life’s challenges and dilemmas. 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!