|Matthew 12:34-35 (NLT)|
|34 … How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.|
|In the context of these verses, some folk were referred to as a ‘brood of snakes’ or ‘vipers’ because there was so much evil in them. And because there was evil in them, they often spoke evil words, especially about the things of God. Knowing that folk would often reflect on this and wonder how would God know about what they speak, Jesus assured His hearers, and those of us that would follow, that we had best be careful what our hearts are filled with, as it will infest the words that we speak and therefore make us accountable before God for every evil word spoken. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? So what then shall we do?|
|It is often said that our eyes are the mirrors into our souls, because folk can determine the honesty of what we say and the sincerity from which we say it. Now, Jesus said that there’s another way that He determines the content of our heart, and it also becomes very apparent to those we make contact with. We could never find something uplifting, or encouraging, or Godly to say when our minds are filled with the filth of this world and the evil of its ruler. It just doesn’t work that way. The evil one is out to kill, steal and destroy those who find joy in the Lord. When we make contact with someone who has nothing encouraging, loving, uplifting or Godly to say, then we had best protect ourselves with the full armor of God, because we are facing the evil one, or one of his cohorts. The Bible tells us that we are to flee from the presence of evil, and that’s because God wants to protect His children from the contamination of Satan himself. Why is that? It’s really pretty simple, for if you fill yourself with the evil attitude and character of an agent of Satan, your mouth will begin transmitting words that hurt, destroy, breakdown, discourage and humiliate – and the love of God will no longer prevail through the words you speak or the actions that you portray. Friends, these things have a very serious impact on the good that God is endeavoring to accomplish in and through us, and that’s why I believe He told us to therefore be prepared to account for every evil thing that comes from our mouth. I want to build up, and never tear down, so I must protect myself from all that might hinder me in my goal, or that would aid the very thing that I want to steer away from. Will you join me in asking God to renew within us a fresh desire to be filled with His love, His goodness and His words, so that the unsaved might hear, know and believe? Oh that we might return to our mission and fight off every inkling of evil.|
|Lord Jesus, our hearts and our minds are filled with whatever we bring into them. May we who are called by Your name, be so indulged in Your Word that we will have a strong desire to fill our hearts and minds with even more words from our Master each and every day. Lord teach us to meditate on Your Word and to communicate with You often, so that we might be filled with Your goodness and be obedient to Your commands. We want others to know You personally, and we have a strong desire that You use us in Your work here on earth. As we are filled, so may we share with those looking to fill their cup. May the lost come into contact with believers who are filled with the Spirit of God and not a mixed bag of goods that confuse them. Lord, may we be usable vessels for Your great work here on earth, is my humble plea, all for Your glory and praise, AMEN!|
|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 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!|
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!
The Holy Bible
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 5:25-28)
For those who are following these daily devotionals, I’m sure you are aware that I am intentionally and strategically reading through the entire Bible, a certain reference in the Old Testament and from the New Testament each day, therefore no scripture is left unread. This section of Ephesians is part of my strategic reading for today, so if you feel like I must have an issue with God-ordained relationships, please instead look inward, as God may be saying something to you about your particular relationship, or some other person to whom this was intended, because He is strategic in bringing scripture to us at very necessary times in our walk with Him! Also, this is not targeted at men, because the theme/subject obviously reads both wives and husbands. So with that disclosure behind me, let me share what I believe God is saying to us in this scripture. Marriages are encouraged and designed around the Bible and were always intended to be between a man and a woman. Husbands have a humongous responsibility in the family and particularly in marriage, as we will see clearly in this study today, but wives also have a great responsibility, and I shared more on that yesterday. I believe that when each are properly aligned with God’s Word in their respective area of responsibility, the result is a happily married couple that represents God before all others who might be considering such a union, and before those who have gone sideways in their relationship. While wives have the responsibility of being submissive to her husband, husbands are ordered to be submissive to God, and to follow the same example of love, devotion and sacrifice shown by Him to the church. Friends, fellow husbands, I question how could we do this if we know not the One that we are supposed to imitate? Although this particular passage referenced above is pretty direct, we must know the mind of Christ in order to do those things that we believe that He would do, and the ways that He would react to circumstances that arise. When we bring two distinctly different genders together with all the various thoughts and beliefs about everything in life, I would dare say that it is God that keeps us on the same page and continuing to love one another in spite of our differences. The infatuation, bliss and lust that comes from young ‘puppy’ love will often last until the first disagreement or upset. The Corinthian 13 type love, and the love spoken of in this chapter of Ephesians, comes from two lives dedicated to God and desiring to serve Him and honor His Word, even in our marriages. Christ loved the church enough that He willingly and lovingly laid down His life for its survival and ongoing dedication to God. Husbands, are you willing to lay down the hunting, the bowling, the fishing, the play buddies, the extraordinary church responsibilities or the 80-hour week job, for the survival of your marriage and in order to show the ongoing love and devotion to your wife, like God showed, and continues to show to His church? Are you able to look deep within your marriage and find ways to make your wife shine in her holiness, in her happiness in being married to you, and stand tall among her friends in being your wife? These things don’t automatically happen because you are the ‘male’ in the marriage. It is through your dedication to God and your ongoing dependence on Him, that you are able to overcome the pride of selfishness and instead look to raise up your wife, as Christ does for the church. I believe that a happy marriage is one built around the principles of God and His leadership. We need Him in our individual lives, and in our marriages. Do you know Him friend? Have you strayed away from Him and see the effects of it in your marriage? Please follow the tips in the ‘Footnote’ for help in resolving these issues. Jesus will return soon, and I want you to hear Him say ‘Well done good and faithful servant’ because of all that you have done to draw closer to Him and in building a happy and godly marriage!
Lord, You created us to worship You; to honor You and to follow in the example You set before us. Please touch Your children today, particularly our marriages, and help us to take our commitments seriously, one to another. Paul obviously saw issues in his day and addressed them in this scripture. Divorce rates are at an all-time high, so we know that there are deficiencies in our marriages today as well. Please help us to re-examine our personal relationships with You and better align our individual responsibilities with Your Word so that we may see happier marriages, loving families, growing churches and the lost won to You because of what they see in Your children. Fortunately the world sees hypocrisy in us much like You see, and they have therefore chosen to stay in their world of sin instead of following You or us. I am ashamed that this happens, because I know that the time is drawing close for Your return and only those who have accepted You will leave this earth with You. Please touch Your children once again today, and this year, so that we may not be a stumbling block to anyone seeking You. May they instead see Jesus in all that we are, so that they may welcome every opportunity to accept You and follow You. Please use even us to help grow Your kingdom, especially through our humble, obedient and respectful relationship with You and with each other. For all things are possible through Him who died that we might live eternally, and I ask these things in His name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!