Life’s Guide Book

In life we tend to live by certain principles, either from what we were taught as a child; what impressed us in school; was taught by teachers; or what is demanded of us at work. Many leaders will teach based on the rules handed to them, mixed with their own personal principles of life. For those who have been fortunate enough to have parents, teachers, or work coaches who had faith in God, then we were probably taught many Biblical truths along the way. Our lives today portray whatever principles we were taught and that we continue to hold on to. God’s Word is still that one truth that we could trust today, to guide us along the right path of life. Stay with me as we study this principle.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT:  16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

OBSERVATION: In life we tend to live by certain principles, either from what we were taught as a child; what impressed us in school; was taught by teachers; or what is demanded of us at work. Many leaders will teach based on the rules handed to them, mixed with their own personal principles of life. For those who have been fortunate enough to have parents, teachers, or work coaches who had faith in God, then we were probably taught many Biblical truths along the way. Our lives today portray whatever principles we were taught and that we continue to hold on to. God’s Word is still that one truth that we could trust today, to guide us along the right path of life. Stay with me as we study this principle.

APPLICATION: In my career, there were always guide books that not only showed me how to best handle certain dilemmas, but if I did so, I would stay out of trouble with regulators, examiners and auditors. At one point in my career, I was an examiner/auditor, and as such I was on a team that would enter a bank and compare what was being done, to what was instructed in the bank’s rules and procedures. And, or course, we had to make sure that the bank’s demands were in line with government regulations. If we found something that seemed out of line, we would have to write an exception and list the very rule that was not followed. Often when we found a bank branch that had very few exceptions, it was also a branch that was well run, pleased its customers, and escaped errors – because they were following the rules. Although we rarely take time to look at, and analyze, our own lives closely, I believe that each of us could see times when we simply followed what our parents taught us without fighting with them in rebellion. It felt good when we didn’t have to keep looking over our shoulder for retribution from them. It felt good that there was little to no stress when we just simply followed the rules! In our Scripture today, Paul continues to mentor his son in the ministry, Timothy, and God included this in His Book so that each of us that followed after Timothy, would be taught how simple life could be if we just follow His instructions. I don’t believe that God had Paul teach us that if we open His Book and search for answers to throw at people that seek our guidance, they will behave and do better. But what I do believe that God intended here, is that we must saturate our lives with His Word, for it contains the very basis of how we should live our lives; the things that we should avoid; and the right way of handling certain life-issues, knowing that if we follow the instructions given to us be God, then the results will be favorable and pleasing to God. In order to saturate ourselves with the Word of God, it means that we must be consistently reading it, studying its principles, and listening closely to what God is telling us. You see, I believe that when we open the Word after asking the Holy Spirit to indwell us and lead us through the Word, then we will find that it is in season and right on time. Meaning that God will show us how He wants us to respond to life’s challenges that day. I have found that often I will hear a sermon or teaching that aligns perfectly with what I meditated on that morning. Coincidence? No way, for we are providentially blessed by the Almighty God, and He will reemphasize what He wants, in order to impress strongly upon our hearts, what He want us to do, say, or follow. I’m sure that like me, you have experienced times where you’ve been asked to pray about certain life issues going on in a coworker’s life – just out of the clear blue sky. Then you remember your Scripture reading that morning where God saturated your life with reassurance of His love, protection and direction. Suddenly you open your mouth in obedience to pray, and the words just pour forth. Friends, let me encourage you today, to saturate your lives each and every day with the Word of God. Don’t just run to it in the middle of a crisis. What’s inside your heart, will be helpful to you as you stop to say a prayer for a friend. Scrambling to find a good Bible reference will tell them that you are one who goes to the Book on an as needed basis and therefore your help might very well be superficial. Make it real dear ones, be filled with the Word every day, so that God might bring to memory the reassurance you need in times of trouble; the right words to respond, that are filled with His wisdom for the time needed; and you could do this from a heart filled with the love of the One you make it a priority each and every day. We are assured in verse 17 that filling our heart with the Word of God, prepares us and equips us for the work that God has planned for us. Are you ready? Do you have a good reading plan to follow each day? Drop me a note and I will be happy to help you!

PRAYER: Lord, it is obvious that You didn’t save us to sit and sour. You told us in Your word that You want us to let our lights shine brightly so that the world might see where that ‘light’ originates. Please God, touch each reader today. May we all be made keenly aware of the importance of a right relationship with You, and that regular maintenance is needed daily through Your Word that is very much alive, and it will teach us Your ways for the circumstances we will face that day. Your Word is a light unto my feet, and a light unto my path, When I feel afraid, Think I’ve lost my way… Oh that we would keep our eyes on Jesus, and our mind in the Book! 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. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Principles Of Interpersonal Relationships

A common theme used when raising children is: ‘It takes a town’! This is no different in the church, for it takes all leaders and workers to help disciple and mature the saints, and minister to the unsaved. This becomes extra important when there is trouble brewing among the members. Paul wanted to prepare Timothy spiritually for the challenges he would face. As we meditate, let’s examine, and reassure ourselves of whose we are, and be sure that we are building relationships like God intended.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-09-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 5:1-3
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Never speak harshly to an older man,[a] but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of[b] any widow who has no one else to care for her. 

OBSERVATION: A common theme used when raising children is: ‘It takes a town’! This is no different in the church, for it takes all leaders and workers to help disciple and mature the saints, and minister to the unsaved. This becomes extra important when there is trouble brewing among the members. Paul wanted to prepare Timothy spiritually for the challenges he would face. As we meditate, let’s examine, and reassure ourselves of whose we are, and be sure that we are building relationships like God intended.

APPLICATION: At a point in my working career, I became keenly aware that instead of getting upset at my younger staff for not doing things right, that it was vitally important that I do my part in coaching them along in life. For example: it was against bank rules for a staff member’s account to be overdrawn. Instead of getting upset at a younger member of my staff, I found it necessary to help them balance their checkbook to prevent overwriting their account balance. In all areas of life, we need to look at relationships in this way, for way too often others will not respond the way we were expecting, or complete a project in the way we wanted it done. Instead of becoming agitated or upset, it then becomes necessary to train them in the way you want to see the project completed. Paul knew that as Timothy began his ministry, he would encounter different people in different cultures that would prove to be quite challenging for him. Doing this correctly and as God intended, is best when it’s done right the first time. So Paul warned Timothy, and admonishes us today, to earn the respect of others and represent God well, with all people types. Her are some tips that Paul gives: Older Men – Don’t speak harshly or angrily to them, but treat them as you would your dad. With respect, and in a calm and mild-mannered way. As if you were looking to earn their respect. Yes, you may have one up on them educationally, or you may be in a higher paid job, but they will treat you respectfully for all your advantages, if you show respect to them. Younger Men – Think about your younger brothers. How would you treat them? Hope you can do a lot better than the many horror stories I hear about today where siblings have not seen each other in years, and they rarely talk via telephone. Older Women – Think about your mother – how would you treat her. My wife was told that she should look at the way her prospective husband treated his mom, for he will probably treat her the same way. Younger Women – Think purity, like you would tend to think about your younger sisters. Be respectful of young ladies, for they may become your daughter-in-law! Widows – Imagine that you lost your dad. How would you want young men to treat your mom? Some take advantage of them, don’t they? Know that all due respect is owed to ladies having to suffer the loss of their husband. No doubt they are helpless in many areas in which their husbands filled the leadership role. They need lots of hand-holding by people they could trust, in order to get through the new challenges they are presented with. So what does this all serve to do for the man who follows Paul’s instructions? I believe that you will find better church leaders, better work leaders for their employers, men who law enforcement never have to chase or worry about, and men who respect their community and its people. If this is not taught in our homes, supported by our teachers and reinforced by our church leaders, then we may understand why we have such a high crime rate and lack of respect for authority and our elderly today. May God grant us mercy to see this turned around in our lifetime, because adults like you and I chose to stand firm on the Word of God and insist that our younger generation do the same.

PRAYER: Oh Lord God, You see the mess that we have on our hands today. Please forgive us for waiting so long to teach our younger folk about Your principles and Your direction in relationships. I pray that as relationships are bonded, that You will be in the midst of them and that Your Word will be opened and obeyed so that solid relationship will develop by trustworthy individuals. This could all begin by each person committing to do their part in their circle of influence. Please speak intently to each reader as this blog is read and meditated on. May we all rededicate ourselves to the work of the good Lord, so that our relationships will be cemented in Your truths, and therefore bonds will develop where respect will shine across our land. Oh that You may once again be glorified in each land represented in my readership, so that lost folk will see and believe that You still rule and reign among Your people and their relationships. 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. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Concern, Impact and Action

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: Nehemiah 1:3-7
Today’s Bible Text: 3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said,

“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: I want you to look at our scripture today in three  different, but important sections. In the blue font, vs. 3, lets consider that containing the concern of Nehemiah; In the purple font, vs. 4 let’s consider that the impact on Nehemiah; and in the green font, vs. 5-7, let’s consider that the action taken by Nehemiah. As we study this, I want to share with you how this challenged me in connection with the politics of our own country at this time. For those not in the USA, perhaps you might find an application for your particular situation.

The Concern: I believe that some of us may simply turn our heads to the concerns of our land, because we are afraid to become involved. We are so accustomed to segregating our job from the other person’s job, that we have become numb, or unconcerned about what is happening under someone else’s watch. Nehemiah wanted to know what was happening to his people so that he could be sure to do all within his power to improve their conditions.

The Impact: Perhaps we should open up ourselves to be impacted by our current conditions and/or our future. If things continue to deteriorate at the rate they are now happening, AND if our hearts are in gel with God and His Good Book, then I believe we will be brought to our knees in deep sorrow before God, our only hope. Throughout the Bible God has promised to love and care for His people who would choose to serve Him wholeheartedly.

The Action: If impacted, whether physically or emotionally, then we will be led to some very positive action. Of course, if a believer in Jesus Christ, then we will be forced to our knees in prayer before the Almighty God. Let me point out a few interesting things about Nehemiah’s prayer, as I believe that it could help us as we pray about such a major concern: Nehemiah took responsibility. He didn’t try to find someone to blame. Friends, when there’s sin in our house, let us be careful to seek personal forgiveness, before ever thinking about praying about the faults or shortcomings of our neighbor, or our government or our president. We must insure that they have something good to work with or work for, if we expect them to do a good job. If we had a godly leader/president, but an evil, sinful, ungodly people, what do you suppose they could accomplish for God? Nehemiah prayed that he and his people would obey God and His commands, not that the king would do better for them. Don’t you suppose that based on the experiences noted in God’s Word, that if we, the people, were to humble ourselves, seek God’s face, and pray for Him to make us more aligned with His commands, that perhaps then He would hear from heaven and heal our land? God’s Word said that He would do exactly this, just as He did in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

My wish is that we, the people, would spend more time seeking God’s face and listening closely to what He is teaching us in His Word, on how to be better aligned with Him, rather than making a fool of ourselves in trying to be politicians. Yes we should vote, but if we are closely aligned with God, then we will vote for the candidate that God wants in office to deliver the next round of events He has in store for us personally, and/or our state, and/or our country or even the world.

Prayer: Lord God, I believe that You spoke very clearly to Your servant Nehemiah, and after the above mentioned prayer He became a useful instrument in helping to improve life for his fellow citizens. Please help us to get beyond ourselves and to clearly understand how critical it is that we depend on You, especially during times of earthly challenges, such as politics. We are demanded to obey our government servants, as they were put in place by You for such a time as this. Please help us all to look beyond the debates and mud-slinging, and to seek Your guidance in all things. Thank You for loving us enough to help us through events such as elections. Only You know what tomorrow brings, so Lord we place ourselves and our decisions and our obligation to vote, in Your hands as we seek Your face and Your guidance. May Your perfect will be done, and may we be obedient to every part we take while here on earth. I ask these things in faith, and through the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016