Encourage One Another

I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:13-25
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises![l] 24 Discover creative ways to encourage others[m] and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. 25 This is not the time to pull away and neglect[n] meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.

OBSERVATION: I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

APPLICATION: I believe that science will show that a person in hospital, or in a retirement facility, who never receive visitation from family or friends, will quickly wither up and die. I also believe that a worker who sits quietly in the corner of the office and works hard, will soon become discouraged and quit, if no one speaks to them or encourages them with praise and thankfulness. However, we have become such a sad bunch who tends to sit and sour in our own selfish attitudes, aches, and pains, and who badly needs support from others. So what if we followed the words of our Father through Paul? Here are some things that may benefit us, and also help us be of encouragement to the needy:
1. Take time to reflect on the hope that lives within us – What hope? How about the hope of one day being with our Lord and Savior? How about the comfort of knowing that part of the triune God lives within us – the Holy Spirit? How about reflecting on the fact that one day when everything is done on this earth, we have a heavenly kingdom to look forward to – where we will meet with royalty like we never dreamed possible here on earth?
2. Take time to reflect on the promises of God that apply to you – It is said that there are over 5,000 promises in the Bible! Why don’t we search out a few promises each day, and allow our minds to reflect on the goodness of God, instead of the many other things that distract us negatively?
3. Look for ways to motivate others towards compassion, love and good works – I believe this means that we not just follow what our neighbor, or our pastor does, but rather – look for unique ways to encourage someone else in the ways mentioned. I bet you’ll be surprised how innovative you can be! Remember, the Holy Spirit lives within you and will help you accomplish the will of God!
4. Plan to meet together – at church – I am convinced that this year of challenges brought on by the COVID virus, has drawn us away from this important aspect of our Christian walk. You see, we tend to encourage others when we see them, hug them and talk with them. They realize they are of value to someone! Yes, we can watch the church service virtually, but how many of us are calling to encourage one another?
Friends, I don’t believe it’s too late for us to still be the child of God that He expects of us. For as long as we have breath in our bodies, we could obediently follow the Word of God, if we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. I am sharing this message today primarily to myself first, so please accept the devotional as a recommendation based on God’s Word, not from one who is filled with fault. Please pray for me as I work on these matters, and I will be happy to pray for you if you make your need known through a quick update on the blog. I believe that our God is waiting to help us be obedient to His commands!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I’m sure that this will not catch you be surprise, but I believe that your children are hurting more today than perhaps any other time in their lives. We have become way too comfortable in the ways of the world, and caught up in technology, while many are hurting and need a Christian Brother or Sister to stand besides them and encourage them. Many may have even lost hope. Please speak intently to Your children today, especially everyone that reads as far as this in my devotional. May our souls be revived as we study Your Word and seek Your help so that we may be obedient to Your every command. Please help us to seek ways to provoke others towards love and good works. We all need the Lord, and we need each other for encouragement and reassurance so that our minds might be fixed on Jesus, our Author and Finisher of our faith! 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!

Lives Filled With Good Works

God sent us His precious, one and only Son, to show us what good works He would demonstrate to us while here on earth. He then gave each of us opportunity to accept Jesus as our Lord, and to become His ‘sheep’, who would look to their leader for leadership and mentorship. As His sons and daughters, we too have been created for good works that our Master has prepared just for us. Let us contemplate those good works and how we might respond to the work God has laid out for us!

Saturday, 2018-12-22

Bible Reference: Ephesians 2:10
Translation: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Bible Text:  10 God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.

OBSERVATION: God sent us His precious, one and only Son, to show us what good works He would demonstrate to us while here on earth. He then gave each of us opportunity to accept Jesus as our Lord, and to become His ‘sheep’, who would look to their leader for leadership and mentorship. As His sons and daughters, we too have been created for good works that our Master has prepared just for us. Let us contemplate those good works and how we might respond to the work God has laid out for us!

APPLICATION: Christmas would not be merry if we didn’t, or don’t, know the end of the story. In like manner, our efforts to be kind, loving, supportive, and God-like, would be of no value unless we stop to reflect on: all that God has already done for us; all that He has promised to us while here on earth; and the home He has prepared for us in Glory! Friends, as we reflect on the miracles of Jesus Christ, and as we reflect on the many times that He has answered our prayers, even though so unworthy of His mighty works, who are we to go into this Christmas season expecting anything, or thinking that we deserve anything? You know, when we consider all the ‘gifts’ given to us, especially this year, could we not turn this Christmas into a second Thanksgiving Day this year? However, notice again what our focal verse says. It reveals what God expects from us, for it says that He expects us to live life in a state of readiness to do the good works that He has already prepared for us. Now let me say that I don’t believe that you will awaken each day and find your list of God-things to do on your kitchen counter. Rather, I believe that your surrendered life will be led by the One you have surrendered to, and that He will lead you into circumstances where you will just open the flood gates of heaven, and allow God to become real in the lives of those you encounter. Not sure about you friend, but there is no way that I could prepare my daily schedule knowing full well who I will encounter and what their needs might be. So I am convinced that our relationship with Jesus Christ must be one of trust and dependence on Him. In fact, we might start each day with the words of an old chorus: ‘wherever You lead, I’ll go’, because unless we are led by Him, we will wind up getting together with friends to jive around and chat about things of mutual interest; unless we are led by our Lord, we will mix with those who tickle our fancies, and bless us in some way. It is so important for us to remember that if God has already prepared the things for us to do, then we must look to Him for His orders, His direction and His leadership. I believe that each of our families will be blessed beyond measure this Christmas, if we are obedient to the things already planned for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Oh that He may rule and reign in us, and through us, this Christmas!

PRAYER: Lord God, please show me what You have ordained for me to do over the next few days, and please give me the humility, strength, wisdom and desire to be obedient to Your will. I believe that I can safely say that my readers and I would like nothing more than to humbly obey Your will for our lives. Please tender our hearts and make us especially sensitive to Your direction as we seek to be Your hands and feet in the lives of others this Christmas. May it be obvious to those we come into contact with, that the baby we especially honor this time of the year, is also the King who rules all other kings, and Lord of all who seek to know Him more intimately. 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 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 Value of Encouraging One Another

THE HOLY BIBLE: Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. If you do this, none of you will be deceived by sin and become stubborn. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭12-13‬ GW)‬‬

THOUGHTS: As God spoke to me about this passage of scripture this morning, I can only conclude that Satan is very busy among God’s body of believers. In other words, I believe we have convincing information here to show that God would much rather see His people get along; encourage one another; love and respect each other, so that it would be evident to the world to whom we belong. In fact, the writer goes as far as saying that when we (Christians) use every possible opportunity to encourage one another in the faith and in the spiritual condition of each other’s lives, we help prevent sin from hardening into our lives. I believe this means that the encouragement from a Christian Brother or Sister will help us fight off sin, and especially fight towards preventing sin from becoming a permanent part of our lives. Friends, I believe that we have to always be aware that although we might belong to God, Satan is always on our trail, trying every trick in his book to win us back; placing obstacles in our way to hinder our walk with the Lord. However, with God’s help, we are expected to help each other fight against the evil one, by prompting each other towards good works; by promoting the studying of God’s Word so that we might be filled with His righteousness and not the evil promoted by the world and Satan; by encouraging each other in the things of the Lord and not allowing Satan and his cohorts to keep pushing negativism, evil and malice in the face of God’s children. I believe our challenge for the day is to stop and question ourselves whether we are helping our friends to prevent, fight off, or stay away from sin, or are we pushing them towards it. If we are a part of someone’s life, we will have one of these effects on them. Please ask God to make you an encourager that will provoke your friends to love and good works – towards the things of God, and not just a ‘bump on the log’ that causes them to stumble and fall.

PRAYER: Father, I am thankful for the positive influences of folk that You have placed in my life. I am especially grateful for those that encourage me and provoke me towards the things of God. I need Your help today to identify those who need my encouragement, and Your guidance in how I might encourage them. Please help me to repoint them to You and Your Word, for it is the means to life everlasting in glory with You and the Father. As I strive towards staying close to You every day, may I always be made aware that my life is to be a living example of You and an encouragement to others, so that together we may stay strong in the faith and of value to each other while still here on this earth. Thank You for loving me enough to send an encouraging Brother along side of me to show me the cross and lead me towards salvation. May I be that kind of encourager today! Bless those that will meditate on this devotional today, that they also may be encouraged, then prompted to encourage others towards the cross of Jesus Christ, for it is in His name that I ask all this, 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 http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!