|Psalm 16:7-9 (ERV)|
|7 I praise the Lord because he taught me well.
Even at night he put his instructions deep inside my mind.
8 I always remember that the Lord is with me.
He is here, close by my side,
so nothing can defeat me.
9 So my heart and soul will be very happy.…
|David sounded very content in recognizing all that God had taught him, both during the day and even at night as he acknowledged learning additional things while he rested. He was reassured by God’s presence with him at all times, and he reflected on how he had proven Him over and over that nothing, or no one, could defeat him with God as his guide, protector and everlasting Father. His heart was happy and content!|
|I believe that any of us reading this devotional, or anyone that we might connect with today, would all desire such a peace as David shared in this Psalm. As we face the world each morning, and the many challenges that a day might bring, wouldn’t our blood pressure drop several numbers if we were reassured that God’s in control, and not us? For those of us who have seen God work out His plan for our lives, including overcoming what seems like ‘battles’ in our eyes, isn’t it rewarding to be reminded of God’s power in teaching us the right things, directing our path each day, and reassuring us of His love and protection no matter what a day brings? Friends, stress will have very negative effects on our lives, especially our hearts. Knowing Jesus intimately and being assured of His leadership, love and care for us, should calm our nerves and lead us towards a peace that passes all understanding. Do you know my Lord? Do you have a sense of that peace that I am referring to? I am convinced that Jesus loves us so much that He would like nothing better than to show His love towards us in very meaningful ways such as I’ve mentioned, however He can only do that when we fully surrender to His call on our lives. May we find this peace and comfort today as we strive to surrender more and more to our Lord.|
|Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son as a sacrifice for my sin. Lord Jesus, thank You for being obedient to the Father and for loving me so much that You willingly went to the cross for sinners such as I. Your love, protection and ongoing guidance is like sunshine to a plant, for it helps us to survive the many trials and challenges of this world, and it provides life to our daily survival. Thank You heavenly Father, thank You Lord Jesus, and thank You Holy Spirit. Oh so unworthy, yet I’m a child of the King! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I love You Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship You! May my life be worthy of allowing You to work through me to reach some soul today, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer, 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!|
THE HOLY BIBLE (God’s Word Translation – James 5:13-18): 13 If any of you are having trouble, pray. If you are happy, sing psalms. 14 If you are sick, call for the church leaders. Have them pray for you and anoint you with olive oil in the name of the Lord. 15 (Prayers offered in faith will save those who are sick, and the Lord will cure them.) If you have sinned, you will be forgiven. 16 So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God’s approval are effective. 17 Elijah was human like us. Yet, when he prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell on the ground for three-and-a-half years. 18 Then he prayed again. It rained, and the ground produced crops.
THOUGHTS: Most of us feel a whole lot better if we leave our doctor with a prescription in hand, don’t we? I believe that most of us also feel better when we read God’s Word, and walk away to face our day with renewed strength, encouragement or boldness to share the Word with others, or the joy that fills our heart! I’ve heard older folk offer me certain homemade remedies and they would say, take this for anything that ails you! I always thought that was funny, but I am more and more convinced that we can take in the Word of God, apply it to our lives (not the life of another sinner who, we feel, needs it worse than us!!!!) and then stand amazed of its many applications. I will break these verses apart to emphasize the prescription of each problem mentioned, with hopes that we will reflect on this as we are affected today, or sometime in the future:
|In times of trouble||Pray to your Father in heaven;|
|In happiness||Sing praises to the Father, the instigator of our happiness;|
|In sickness||Ask your church leaders to anoint you with olive oil and pray for you (olive oil was used in setting one aside for special attention by God);|
Friends, we are further assured that the prayers of a righteous person (a person who has God’s approval) are effective, and the example of Elijah is a reminder of just how effective our prayers can be. So these are tried and proven actions that we can depend on, but just like any doctor or pharmacy today – if you don’t know them, or use their services, it is impossible to get the help that friends might tell you they received from them. So please allow me to introduce you to my Father, my Lord, my Provider, my Healer, my Counselor who will listen to my troubles and direct me in the right path, but most of all, He’s my Savior – for Jesus saved me in spite of my sinful life, when I invited Him to. Prescriptions are only acceptable by my pharmacy, if they come from my doctor. Similarly, the prescriptions noted above are only applicable to those associated with the ‘Doctor’ – Jesus Christ. He is within your reach friend! Please read my ‘Footnote’ below, especially the link to ‘How to Know Jesus’ and act on the instructions today friend. Let me know about your decision, so that I may pray with you as you make this change in your life! Jesus loves you, and so do I!
PRAYER: Father, You are my Rock – a firm foundation in which I can depend and lean on in all aspects of my life. Thank You Lord God for being there with me through the good times of life and through the challenging times. My faith has been strengthened when my prescriptions have been filled and followed as You prescribed in Your Word. Thank You for caring for Your children, even when it has been impossible to get in to my primary care physician, or when we can no longer afford medical insurance or attention. Your love for us goes way beyond the cross of Calvary, for it is shown daily in Your watchful care and concern for us. Thank You heavenly Father! Please touch the heart of each one that may take time to meditate on this devotional today, or even to the one that might ‘stumble across this’ (divinely led by You!!) in search of help for circumstances beyond their control. Lead them to the Cross, dear God. Ignite within us a new flame that will be evident to those that we come into contact with today, so that they may have a burning desire to know the source of our true happiness. All this for Your glory oh God, for I ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, with thanksgiving, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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!
The Holy Bible
It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 2:1-6)
Isn’t it interesting to watch the commercials this time of the year and learn how easy it is to improve happiness in your home, if only you would get off your wallet and buy the right gifts for your loved ones, or buy the right foods on which to splurge during the many parties and family gatherings? In a few weeks, that will change to finding happiness while improving your self-image, by losing all the pounds you gained during the holidays. Do you see the temporary results in each of these things? Paul had the same challenge with the folk he ministered to in the Ephesian church, and in these verses highlighted today you will note that he brought to their attention an important key to improve life over an entire year, not just during a particular season. Friends, this is the same choice that we can make today. Banks love it when you overspend to find those special gifts that you feel will bring happiness to your family and friends, but your budget suffers for months to come. Paul is reminding us that God, in His infinite wisdom knew what it would take to improve life on a permanent basis. He knew that it should be done out of love, and not at a financial cost to those that need it, otherwise it would be out of reach for some. In fact, this ‘improvement key’ would have to be something available to His children even though the rest of the world might look on in disbelief, because all they would see is the unworthiness of the individual. Additionally, Paul must have known that we would have gotten used to the various rewards programs here on earth, because in verse 6 he went on to encourage us with the rewards of heaven in company with the Savior of this world, Jesus, the Messiah of whom we sing in many of the Christmas carols. In other words, the rewards of this life improvement decision of which I have shared, is simply ‘out of the world’!! Friend, won’t you this Christmas season accept the best gift ever given, Jesus my Lord? He truly is the reason that we celebrate Christmas, and He is ready and willing to accept your ‘life improvement’ request today!
Lord Jesus, thank You for going to the extreme to provide the best gift ever. One that would improve our lives forever. One that brings the rewards of heaven, and eternity with the Master of this universe. Lord You are good, and your mercies endureth forever! I love You Lord, and I life my voice, to worship You, oh my soul, rejoice; take joy my King in what You hear, may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear! Lord, may this Christmas time be a time that our lives are made complete in You, and may our family and friends also recognize the need for the gift of all gifts, the hope of glory, the key to true and everlasting happiness. For I humbly ask this in the name of Jesus, the newborn King, 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!
The Holy Bible
18So be happy with your wife and find your joy with the woman you married- 19pretty and graceful as a deer. Let her charms keep you happy; let her surround you with her love. 20Why should you give your love to another woman, my son? Why should you prefer the charms of another man’s wife? 21The Lord sees everything you do. Wherever you go, he is watching.
(Bible Translation and Location: Good News Translation – Proverbs 5:18-21)
There’s an old hip-hop song with the same title I gave to our devotional today, because as I meditated on these verses this song came to mind, so I didn’t intentionally use bad English!!! However, God not only spoke to a man that He made to be the wisest man on earth, but He also inspired him to write down these wise words to share with folk that came along after he (Solomon) died. God, in His wisdom, knew that you and I should be told from His Word how to truly live holy and happy lives, even when it concerns our lives with our spouses. Now friends, there are a few things in here that really step on the toes of some that have supposedly convinced themselves of what God should have included in His Word, so they may become offended, but I would encourage them to politely and respectfully pray to God about those things. These verses follow verse 15 where Solomon gave us these words of wisdom: “Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone”, so I believe that what God is drawing to our attention in order to have happy marriages, is that:
- Men must be the husband of one wife and find your joy with her – Notice the verse didn’t indicate “one of your wives” or “one of your women”. Also note that the verse didn’t say that you will find joy waiting for you, but rather you will “find joy”. That gives me the impression that we must seek after it, or work at it. If you sow in happiness, you will reap joy! Please note that to find joy with your wife, you cannot have other women trying to win your affection, otherwise you could never give your wife the attention and love that she, and you, deserve;
- Pretty and graceful as a deer – I’m sure that no one ever married a woman because she just wasn’t pretty in your eyes. So if she was pretty when you married her, and you have tried in every way to find joy with her every step along the way, why might she not be pretty now? I am reminded of something an elderly gentlemen told me at one time when I was finding fault with a vehicle I owned. He said, it is so interesting the fault we will find with our current vehicle when we have our minds set on a new one we want to buy! Funny, but very true words that also apply to our view of our wives! They are very pretty until we set our eyes on someone else that we are becoming attracted to. One word of advice to husbands and wives, don’t look elsewhere because you feel your spouse has lost their beauty, you are also growing old at the same rate of your spouse, and you may not be getting any more handsome either!!
- God is watching – God not only hears the words we speak, but He also knows our thoughts. You absolutely cannot straighten Him out with the poor excuses you give your spouse, so live upright, honest, loving and happy lives like God intended for you.
Friends, I am not a Marriage Counselor, but I am a Christian and would be happy to rejoice with you on any happy stories this devotional may have reminded you of, or if there is an area that you are struggling with, I would be happy to pray with you. So I encourage you to use the information in the footnote to contact me and allow me to pray with you about your marriage or your relationship with the Lord.
Lord Jesus, unlike anything we can see, or ever imagine, about the condition of marriages and Christian life in general today, I am convinced that You see and know every little detail. I humbly ask that You help us to overcome our carnal minds and worldly desires. Please help us to keep our minds fixed on You, and make decisions inspired by You and for Your glory. Happy marriages will result in happy couples who will have happy children. This is not the case today, even from our eyes dear Lord, so we know that You see the weaknesses evident in Your children who claim You, especially when it is convenient or needed. Please touch the hearts and minds of Your children today, beginning with me. I believe that as we draw close to You and refocus our desire to please You in all walks of our lives, then we will live according to Your Word, without It becoming burdensome to us. Our marriages and our families are in trouble Lord. We need You more today than ever before, to heal our land, revive Your very own children, and to melt the hearts of those spouses that do not know You as Lord. Marriage is instituted and blessed by You, and I question how this could be possible if a spouse raises the stop sign to not allow You in. We need You Lord! I know that You have this under control, please give me peace to leave You at Your job, knowing that You are the Master of all things! I love You Lord, and I ask all of these things believing, and in the precious name of Jesus, Amen!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day‘s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!
The Holy Bible
12 May our sons in their youth be like plants that grow up strong.
May our daughters be like stately pillars which adorn the corners of a palace.
13 May our barns be filled with crops of every kind.
May the sheep in our fields bear young by the tens of thousands.
14 May our cattle reproduce plentifully without miscarriage or loss.
May there be no cries of distress in our streets.
15 Happy is the nation of whom this is true; happy are the people whose God is the Lord!
(Good News Translation – Psalm 144:12-15)
There are probably more ‘How To’ books and articles available for individuals today than there have ever been before. In fact, some are also called “For Dummies”, meaning that the “How to” is very simplified so that even a dummy would understand! In verse 15 David shared with us ‘How To’ be eternally happy, when he said: “Happy is the person whose God is THE GOD ALMIGHTY”. Now, before you begin thinking that I repeated this out of context, please read all the verses above. I believe you will quickly recognize that God spoke through David to tell us that when we call on Him for every aspect of our lives: our sons; our daughters; our income source and the safety and security of our cities, states and country, then not only will we be claiming God as our true, all sufficient and loving God, but we will also join the number of other Christians praying that our respective country leaders would humbly do the same, so that our nation would also be a happy (secure, safe, prosperous and caring) one. Can you imagine a ‘happy’ person living in a ‘happy’ nation, in the terms mentioned, this side of heaven? Didn’t you say that you believe in the power of prayer and of the One who answers our prayers? Then is there anything too big for our God? Friends, please don’t get caught in the trap of only asking God for as much as you can safely see the resolution to. He is much bigger than that! Remember, He created this earth and everything in it. There is nothing bigger, or more powerful than our God! We are not asked to be militant, we are to follow David’s example and Pray! If you are reading this devotional and have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you have a more urgent prayer first. Please follow the directions in the Footnote for help in resolving your dilemma, then pick this devotional back up and re-read it so that you can join the army of God praying for your own success and that of our nation. Our God loves us so much, yet unfortunately we try every other possible source for help before we finally break down our walls and seek after God. Please change that today friends!
Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I am humbled by the love that You make very evident to me every day, in spite of my pride to try everything else before turning to You for help. In any good relationship, we talk to each other about our joys and concerns before sharing that with others. Please continue to humble Your servant so that I might always interact with You about every joy and every concern that I might have. Please help me to always seek Your guidance, especially for everything that leads to my happiness and or the happiness of those around me. On earth I want to be known as a man who is happy because of my relationship with You. In heaven I would really like to be known as one who had such a relationship with You that there was nothing in life that I ever failed to first discuss with, offer praise to, or request from, You. I acknowledge that You hold the key to my success and happiness now and throughout eternity, I must learn to lean on You for all this, so that my joy may be complete in You. Please touch the hearts of those who might meditate on this devotional today with the truth of Your Word and Your everlasting love for them. I ask all this in Your dear name, Jesus. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If 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!