Determined to see Jesus

There are at least two ways that we could look at the theme I chose for this devotional today. (1) How determined/diligent am I to see Jesus during my day; and (2) How determined/diligent am I in letting go and letting God reign in my life so that others might see Jesus and believe on Him. No doubt God may give you even greater insight in this Scripture, but let’s at least explore these two!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 2:2-5
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Soon there were so many people crowded inside the house to hear him that there was no more room, even outside the door.
While Jesus was preaching the word of God, four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man. But when they realized that they couldn’t even get near him because of the crowd, they went up on top of the house and tore away the roof above Jesus’ head. And when they had broken through, they lowered the paralyzed man on a stretcher right down in front of himWhen Jesus saw the extent of their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are now forgiven.”

OBSERVATION: There are at least two ways that we could look at the theme I chose for this devotional today. (1) How determined/diligent am I to see Jesus during my day; and (2) How determined/diligent am I in letting go and letting God reign in my life so that others might see Jesus and believe on Him. No doubt God may give you even greater insight in this Scripture, but let’s at least explore these two!

APPLICATION: This is a very popular Bible story. In fact, I remember as a child seeing this miracle demonstrated on flannel-graph! However, as I meditated on the Word today, I was forced to consider all that took place in this story, and I would encourage you to also seek God and ask Him to truly speak intimately to you as you meditate on this. Think with me about my insights that I believe God got my attention on:
-> Seeing Jesus in my day: The men who carried the lame man knew that only Jesus could heal their friend, based on the miracles they had already heard about Him. First of all, we could see great faith here because, just as we see today, there are many who still can’t walk. Did they never get close enough to Jesus, or did He decide not to heal them? But for these men, there is no indication that anything negative ever crossed their minds, for they had a friend who needed Jesus and they were determined to get him in the presence of the great Healer. How are we doing in our faith? Anywhere close to what the men in our story showed? Do we just give up when it seems like doctors are hopeless with our diseases and our ailments? Are we quick to judge when we see loved ones who experienced healing or a touch from God, or do we praise God with them over the miraculous touch of the Master? Do we automatically fall back to things like ‘good luck’; ‘happen-chance’; or just ‘great doctors’ when we see someone overcome pain and suffering, or are we the first to raise our hands in thanksgiving to the God who can? Dear friends, we still serve the same awesome God who can still touch broken hearts and still heal our diseases. Do we have the kind of faith that prompts us to seek out the Master Healer first?
-> Letting others see Jesus: Notice how Jesus decided to heal the bed-ridden man based on the faith demonstrated by he and his friends. What do you suppose our friends conclude about our faith? Do they see that we are confident in our faith? Is it something that they wish that they had, because of what they see in our life? Would you have dared tear a hole in the roof large enough to let a man and his bed down, because of the depth of your faith in the Great Healer inside the room below?
Friends, I believe that our words and our actions will reveal to others the extent of our faith. I trust that each reader has such a determination to see Jesus, and that you are so filled with faith, that you are in constant contact with Him throughout your day. As you are reenergized in your faith, those who are close to you will desire what you have and will grow to desire the King that you love and adore. Oh that our faith will be evident through our actions every day.

PRAYER: You saw the faith of the paralyzed man and his friends and you honored their steps of faith by healing the paralyzed man. Lord, I pray that You would touch our lives in such a way that our faith would be energized and that our pride will be set aside, for You alone are worthy of our praise and honor. It’s You in whom I believe, and I pray that my readers would would also acxklnowledge their extreme faith in You. For Your praise only, I pray that You might be recognized and glorified in and through us. May unbelievers witness our faith and be so reminded of You that their hearts will be stirred to surrender to You precious Lord. 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Master’s Touch

Most people will quickly turn to the medicine cabinet for over-the-counter drugs that might give relief for most common physical issues that arise. But what do we do when our problem is recurring or more advanced than a common cold or a sore muscle? In Jesus’ day, there were no doctors with quick cures, so from our two examples in today’s Scripture, we could see that people sometimes sought the help of their Designer and Manufacturer – Almighty God. Have you gained confidence in knowing that a ‘Touch from God’ is all you need?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-01-28
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 9:18-22
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 18-19 ….. a local official appeared, bowed politely, and said, “My daughter has just now died. If you come and touch her, she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, his disciples following along.
20-22 Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned—caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” …..

OBSERVATION: Most people will quickly turn to the medicine cabinet for over-the-counter drugs that might give relief for most common physical issues that arise. But what do we do when our problem is recurring or more advanced than a common cold or a sore muscle? In Jesus’ day, there were no doctors with quick cures, so from our two examples in today’s Scripture, we could see that people sometimes sought the help of their Designer and Manufacturer – Almighty God. Have you gained confidence in knowing that a ‘Touch from God’ is all you need?

APPLICATION: There are two important pieces to each of the encounters with Jesus in our Scripture today: Faith, and Healing. Notice the ‘If’ statements to see faith in action. ‘If You come and touch her’ – in other words, I believe the official was saying to Jesus from a heart filled with faith: If you come and touch her, I know she will come back to life again. Friends, that is huge. Mend a broken heart, or heal a broken arm, or cause her to see again, those are all things that Jesus had done already, but to bring the dead back to life again? That’s a whole new dimension of faith. In the second example: ‘If I could just put a finger on His robe’ – it was like the lady was convinced that she would be healed, if only she could get close enough to touch any part of this powerful God-man. In both of these cases, Jesus saw that there was great faith being exemplified. He turned to the lady who had touched his garment and assured her that because of her faith she was healed. Just a touch from the Master! At the home of the official Jesus simply helped the young girl up. Just a touch from the Master! Of course we could rejoice beyond measure about these miracles, but what about the circumstances that you and I face? We serve the same Master, and I believe He has the same power today as always. But how is our faith? Many don’t find the time or have the desire to attend church, so will they really walk along the road to find the Master So that He may meet their urgent needs? Do any of us have the faith to boldly approach Jesus and ask for healing for ourselves or our family? Not only faith to ask, but faith to believe that it’s worth asking, because we know Jesus has the power to heal, and we are ready (in faith) to acknowledge His healing? Friends, I am convinced that if we truly believe in Jesus, and we acknowledge that His healing power demonstrated in the Bible, then I can only believe that we should have faith to know that He can do it again, even for us. We have many diseases where a cure is either non-existent or not available to man, but is there anything too big for our God? He is greater than all our problems and diseases, let’s just seek refuge in Him and seek His healing touch as and when needed. Peter had faith, and he walked on water. Moses had faith, and the sea parted before him. Show God your faith dear friends and watch Him perform miracles right before your eyes.

PRAYER: Thank you for your awesome touch on my life dear God. From a life of sin and rejection, You touched me and made me whole – righteous in the sight of a holy God. My readers and I stand before You again today, knowing that we have family and friends dying from such awful diseases as cancer and COVID. We are reminded in today’s Scripture that You healed the lady with an issue of blood, just through her simple touch of your garment. Plus we were reminded that even death itself has no hold over Your awesome power, as You simply touched the young dead child, and helped her up again. What a blessing to be reminded of the super powers of our Almighty God, and to know that we are a vital part of Your family. We believe dear God, please help us in any unbelief that may exist. We have faith dear God, please help us in any doubts we may have. May others see and believe. Because of the faith they see in action in our lives. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

When Do You Seek Out The Master?

As I read the Word of God today, I was reminded that our Covid patients over the past year went to doctors, knowing that there was no known cure for COVID. They were admitted to hospital with lots of positive vibes, hoping that they would keep them comfortable while they experimented with various drugs. But the leper in our story had neither of these at his disposal, so he went straight to the source of life itself, knowing that He was the only healer of all bodily diseases.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-01-22
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 8:2-4
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Suddenly, a leper walked up to Jesus and threw himself down before him in worship[b] and said, “Lord, you have the power to heal me . . . if you really want to.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the leper and said, “Of course I want to heal you—be healed!” And instantly, all signs of leprosy[c] disappeared! Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t speak to anyone, but go at once and find a priest and show him what has happened to you. Make sure to take the offering Moses commanded so they can certify your healing.”[d]

OBSERVATION: As I read the Word of God today, I was reminded that our Covid patients over the past year went to doctors, knowing that there was no known cure for COVID. They were admitted to hospital with lots of positive vibes, hoping that they would keep them comfortable while they experimented with various drugs. But the leper in our story had neither of these at his disposal, so he went straight to the source of life itself, knowing that He was the only healer of all bodily diseases.

APPLICATION: Many times we try to avoid the expense of specialty doctors or expensive hospitals, so we try to find the nearest and cheapest clinic that may offer us some relief from our ailments. Two things I would share on this: 1). A major insurer told us the larger the building, the more expense we could expect! 2). When I refer to ‘urgent’ matters that need attention. Some will say that it’s considered ‘Urgent’ or ‘Major’ if something is wrong with me, but ‘Minor‘ or unimportant if you have a problem! However, notice how this leper went straight to the Creator of our bodies. Notice how it’s always best to go straight to the manufacturer of a product to be sure that you get the recommended best parts and or repairs? Most people probably wanted nothing to do with the leper, because they wanted to try and keep themselves protected by that awful disease. That’s the same with COVID, no one on earth knew how it originated, nor how to cure it or prevent it. Medical experts will treat COVID patients like they have a plague, because they want to remain protected from it. But I wonder how many patients prayed to their Creator for healing, and restoration of their bodies? Notice also the faith of the leper. He stood in the path of Jesus and told Him that he knew that He could heal Him, if He wanted to. I believe that Jesus responded to the leper just like He would still respond to us today: Of course I want to heal you! Friends, our Lord loves us, not only because He created us, but remember, He also gave up His very own Son so that we could be healed from something much worse than leprosy – the sin that has rubbed off on all of us from those that we live around and associate with. I believe that God said to the leper, and to those of us that ask: look, I am willing to do anything to get your attention, and make you whole again – like I am. If He went to that extreme, would He not also want to see us well and being used for His glory here on earth? I believe we would be astonished to stop and consider what are some of the triggers that drive us towards the Master. I trust that we will not wait until we develop an incurable disease, for each day we arise from our beds, we are entering a sinful world – one that bears all the cancers, COVID, leprosy, etc. that could easily cause our transition from this old earth. Of course, there are crimes and accidents that could easily take us out much quicker than any disease we may contract. So it is critically important that we have a right relationship with our Maker – one that will enable our transition to heaven, should our time here on earth come to an unexpected conclusion. Friends, please be reminded that the leper found his way to Jesus while he still had the breath and strength to do so. Please do the same today. Don’t wait for a critical disease, or a tragic accident, for you may not have the strength or stamina to seek Jesus at that time. Know Him today, and be ready for whatever may come your way.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for being there for the leper, just as I am confident that You are there for us today. Please humble the hearts of Your children Lord, so that we may seek Your face while we have the strength and will to do so while in good health. You were not afraid to be in the presence of the leper, nor to touch him. I believe you looked at the leper with admiration, since he was your creation, and I don’t believe that You were the least bit scornful of him, nor afraid of catching what He had. The world may go to extremes to protect themselves from us when we are carriers of a disease, but I praise You Father for taking our hand, healing our bodies, and welcoming us into Your kingdom, no matter what maladies we may have. We are Your precious children, and You are our awesome, all-powerful God that we long to be with one day! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Prayer of Desperation

I believe that every reader will identify with the need for going before God in desperate prayer at one time or another in your life. David too found the urgent need for God’s protection and direction, but I love the way he went about it. As we meditate today, perhaps God will speak to us about our prayer life and about our desperate need for drawing close to Him – the only One who could answer our prayers.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-12-05
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 143:8, 10
TRANSLATION: World English Bible (WEB)

BIBLE TEXT: Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning, for I trust in you. Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

OBSERVATION: I believe that every reader will identify with the need for going before God in desperate prayer at one time or another in your life. David too found the urgent need for God’s protection and direction, but I love the way he went about it. As we meditate today, perhaps God will speak to us about our prayer life and about our desperate need for drawing close to Him – the only One who could answer our prayers.

APPLICATION: We tell our kids that temper tantrums are not allowed in our presence, because we know that they will show their ungrateful attitudes and their selfish demands. Much like us in the desperate times of our lives, David felt like the whole world was against him, so he was hiding out from all human existence. But David went before God in appreciation of all that God is, and for all that He provides each and every day. He realized that it was him personally that needed to appreciate God more, so that praises would flow from his lips and his heartfelt respect of our awesome God would warm his soul and comfort him into believing and trusting in the all powerful God. I love the words used by this translation: ‘cause me to hear’; ‘cause me to know’; ’teach me to do Your will’; ‘lead me…’. This showed me that David acknowledged: that God was all loving; that God knew the way He should go; that God had him in mind, and therefore a perfect will for him to obey; and that God had a righteous land prepared for David to settle in. Friends, we have no authority over God, so we can’t demand anything from Him; nor tell Him where we should go. We must always remember that God created us; He loves us unconditionally; He watches over His children and will guide His children in the path of righteousness. Where the BIG question mark is evident in the equation is: are we prepared to accept God; His love; His directions and obediently follow His path. It’s us dear ones, not God. That’s why I loved it when David asked God to cause him to hear, to know, to follow His will, and to accept the path laid out for him. As a reminder, let’s also convince ourselves that God has no favorites, so if He did all this for David and comforted him with His glorious presence, God will do it again – for you and I. But let’s not forget that we must always work on self, and not on God. He is the only perfect One, who has all power and knows all things – including our direction for a perfect path that leads us to Him! Trust Him today dear friends!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for showing us in Your Word today that You are able! We were reminded by David that You are the way, the truth and the way. When life seems hopeless to us, we must remember that You are still in control. Just as David turned to You in desperation, my readers and I also turn to You in much the same way today. Lord, our family, friends, churches, cities and indeed countries are desperate, for this awful virus has taken hold of our people and they are either quarantined, hospitalized, or dying by the thousands. We acknowledge, like David, that this problem is much bigger than any man or woman from any country could clear up for us, so we beg of You, Almighty God, to please smile on us again and heal our land. I realize that this may come in the form of healing from our sin-sickness first, but I can boldly say that only You know exactly what we need. So we trust in Your almighty power, Your healing, and Your direction, because only You are capable and able to do anything about our problem. You took good care of David, please now, take good care of us. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Just A Touch From The Master

Jesus was on a mission headed towards the home of Jairus to meet the need reported to Him by a very frightened dad. While enroute, there was a large crowd following, and they pressed in on Jesus’ personal space because they didn’t want to miss anything that He did. By this time, many had heard so much about the power of Jesus, that they were willing to do things such as merely getting close enough to touch His clothing, such as noted in the verses today. This was a true act of faith! Do we have that kind of faith?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-08-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Luke 8:45-48
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, so many are crowding against you. . . . ” 46 But Jesus told him, “No, it was someone who deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that Jesus knew, she began to tremble and fell to her knees before him and told why she had touched him and that now she was well. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

OBSERVATION: Jesus was on a mission headed towards the home of Jairus to meet the need reported to Him by a very frightened dad. While enroute, there was a large crowd following, and they pressed in on Jesus’ personal space because they didn’t want to miss anything that He did. By this time, many had heard so much about the power of Jesus, that they were willing to do things such as merely getting close enough to touch His clothing, such as noted in the verses today. This was a true act of faith! Do we have that kind of faith?

APPLICATION: In this Scripture today, I believe that Jesus is prompting us to reflect on how we might go about ‘touching the hem of His garment’ in our world today. Think about it friends, we often think of a ‘touch from God’ when we’re sick – beyond what we feel our doctor could handle, or about to face surgery, or lost a loved one, or can’t see ourselves through financial struggles, or when things at work seems impossible, but how do we touch the ‘hem of Jesus’ garment’, like this woman did? Well, let’s reread the verses again and remind ourselves of how this woman received help/healing. In verse 48 Jesus actually tells the woman what actually healed her. It was her faith! She knew where healing would come from, so in spite of all odds, she was determined to find the Master who had already healed through just a simple word. I believe this lady knew Jesus, knew of His awesome power and compassion on those in need, and I feel pretty sure that she probably knew the miracles He had already performed. Do you suppose she left her home that day with a good luck charm hoping that these rumors she had heard about Jesus could also possibly touch her life, if she was lucky? Do you suppose that the thought may have crossed her mind that she perhaps could stay at home in her bed and if Jesus wanted to, He would heal her? Let me share with you what my thoughts are: I believe this lady knew Jesus personally, and I believe she had lots of faith – enough to believe that Jesus could do for her everything that she had heard about Him ever doing for anyone else. However, I believe she wanted a close-up experience with her Master. Seeing that Jesus was thronged by so many people, she felt like she could never get His personal attention, but she knew that if she could only manage to get close enough to touch Him or any part of His clothing, she would be healed. Friends, that’s a lot of faith! That’s like us having faith to call on Him in our time of need, or asking our church elders to pray over you with oil, as spoken of in the New Testament. May I remind you again today that Our God’s Not Dead, Nor Has He Lost His Power To Heal! I have a friend who has an army of friends praying with her for the touch of the Master on her husband lying ill, to the point of death, from COVID. God is still in the prayer-answering business, as He cares as much about us as He has ever cared for one of His children. We serve an awesome God that hears the cries of His children. If He’s your God today friend, call on Him in your time of need. Celebrate Him when You remember His goodness and recognize His miracle working hand.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are so amazed by Your awesome power, and often wonder why You would consider even us for Your miraculous work. Please teach us the wonder of faith and the unlimited power of our wonderful God. May we always come to the Savior for salvation; the Healer with our illnesses and to our Eternal God with our desire for eternity in Heaven with You. Thank You for loving us so much dear God, our Heavenly Father! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

No Worries – I’ve Got You!

Just this past weekend family and friends encouraged a loved one, as he felt like there was not much value in his continued presence here on earth without his dear wife, whose death seemed eminent. Perhaps you’ve felt like that a time or two also, for the burden seemed harder than anything you could handle, and life beyond that point, without a miracle, seemed hopeless. But In our Scripture today, God spoke very soberly to Paul and made him aware that his continued presence here on earth would become even more meaningful, as he, and others, looked on in amazement at what God could truly do, even through broken man. Join me as we look deeper into the Scriptures today and apply them to our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-06-29
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you,[j] and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.[k] 10 So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

OBSERVATION: Just this past weekend family and friends encouraged a loved one, as he felt like there was not much value in his continued presence here on earth without his dear wife, whose death seemed eminent. Perhaps you’ve felt like that a time or two also, for the burden seemed harder than anything you could handle, and life beyond that point, without a miracle, seemed hopeless. But In our Scripture today, God spoke very soberly to Paul and made him aware that his continued presence here on earth would become even more meaningful, as he, and others, looked on in amazement at what God could truly do, even through broken man. Join me as we look deeper into the Scriptures today and apply them to our lives.

APPLICATION: I believe there are at least two things in this Scripture today for us to meditate on: 1). How Paul found himself in this dilemma, and 2). How God chose to answer Paul’s prayer. So let’s dig in: 1). Paul had been privileged to speak with a man who had witnessed the joys of Heaven, and of course he was ecstatic about the experience. He had already decided that although this was an awesome privilege afforded to him, he would refuse to boast of the experience. God recognized that this was an extraordinary privilege given to Paul, and He didn’t want this to create such a pride in Paul that it may caused him to feel more blessed than most other men who had never been so lucky. So To make sure that Paul gave credit only to God for His wondrous acts, God placed an obstacle in Paul’s life that caused him to attribute praise to God alone. Paul was an awesome preacher/pastor and, no doubt, could have used his experience as an awesome example, but God would not have it. On three different occasions Paul asked that he be excused of this ‘thorn’/obstacle, but now we will look at how God chose to answer Paul’s request; 2). In response to our prayers, we normally expect a ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Not yet’ type of response, but God told Paul that there was no need to request removal of the ‘thorn’, as His precious grace, God’s undeserved favor towards Paul, was sufficient for his every need. So let me suggest that you consider joining me in using this scenario in our personal experience. Let’s assume that you or I are following the call of Christ and ministering in a very challenged area of our country, or overseas. We were blessed to see a miracle transpire – one that you and fellow believers prayed diligently for. Now we are ready to let the world know that our prayers were effective, but it seems like every opportunity that we make to share that joy is either canceled, or distracted in a major way. In fact, God makes it very clear to us that we are not to mention our involvement in prayer at all, for it was ONLY His miraculous grace and power that brought about the healing miracle. Can you begin to see what Paul may have encountered? Friends, this is a very real problem. I’ve seen friends spend thousands of dollars to travel hundreds of miles to attend a healing service of a TV Evangelist, because they saw over and over how powerful his healing services were. Do you see who is receiving the praise in that? Our God is present and available to bring about a miracle anywhere that we ask in His name, believing that He alone has the power. Sure we could ask others to pray with us, or even over us. But don’t think for a moment that individual has any special healing power. God alone is the Healer, the Giver of life and the only One who could save us of our sin. Unless we connect directly with Him, we are merely wasting our time. So I believe that our lesson from this text today is that we must always remember our position, our strength and our weaknesses. Yes we know an awesome God and have a great relationship with Him, but we must never fail to let Him be God and do those things that are only possible by God. Praise God, we serve an awesome and all powerful God!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You designed us and you know every little intricate detail about us. You know our needs before we could even ask, but yet I believe that You patiently listen to us and desire to see us whole again. Please Lord, help us to pay close attention to what Paul encountered, and especially to what you gave to him in return for his request to rid him of the ‘thorn’ placed in his side. We are so weak Lord, and incapable of hardly taking good care of ourselves, much less trying to make ourselves whole again. So we depend wholly and solely on You Lord. We need You every moment of every day, and we especially need Your awesome power to heal us of our diseases, heal our broken bodies and clear our minds so that we look only to You when we need a touch from God. Lord, You are awesome. Please forgive us of our littleness and our weaknesses. We are constantly reminded of our need for the grace and power of our King. Please be a constant reminder to us of whose we are, and who has the power to make us whole again. For it’s in Your name alone that we pray, You alone that we depend on, and You alone that we lift up our praises to. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

So That I Could Heal You, Says The Lord

I believe it is interesting how we have been blessed to see, yet if asked what we observed, we cannot state anything of significance that we saw. We may have also been blessed with the ability to hear well, yet if asked to repeat something that was said, one might swear that we were never present under the sound of a particular speech. Although we will observe that Paul had to rehearse with his crowd, the same thing that the Holy Spirit prompted Isaiah to share with his crowd. Yet after years and years of preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God, one might observe that still today we display the same challenges. Why is that? In the last words of our Scripture verses God said that He wished this was not the case, because He would like to heal our hearts. Would we not be quite different in our ways and successful in our methods,if God was able to get through to us?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Acts 28:25-27
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 …. “The Holy Spirit stated it well when he spoke to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah:[l],[m]
26 ‘I send you to this people to say to them, “You will keep learning,[n] but not understanding. You will keep staring at truth but not perceiving it. 27 For your hearts are hard and insensitive to me—you must be hard of hearing! For you’ve closed your eyes so that you won’t be troubled by the truth, and you’ve covered your ears so that you won’t have to listen and be pierced by what I say. For then you would have to respond and repent, so that I could heal your hearts.”’

OBSERVATION: I believe it is interesting how we have been blessed to see, yet if asked what we observed, we cannot state anything of significance that we saw. We may have also been blessed with the ability to hear well, yet if asked to repeat something that was said, one might swear that we were never present under the sound of a particular speech. Although we will observe that Paul had to rehearse with his crowd, the same thing that the Holy Spirit prompted Isaiah to share with his crowd. Yet after years and years of preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God, one might observe that still today we display the same challenges. Why is that? In the last words of our Scripture verses God said that He wished this was not the case, because He would like to heal our hearts. Would we not be quite different in our ways and successful in our methods,if God was able to get through to us?

APPLICATION: Isaiah was a prophet sent and directed by God. When he prophesied under the inspiration of God, the people listened. However there came a time when God recognized that some of the folk were just not listening. Paul came across this same phenomenon in his days of ministry, so he shared this with his Jewish listeners who were challenged to believe the Word of God. I found this extremely revealing, because still today our pastors can preach the same sermon in our churches, as it is quite apparent that we’re present in the service, but from the blank stares and lack of participation, it is obvious that we are miles away. Think about it: we have folk that attend church who hear the Word of God, but they are convinced that it is for the person behind them. Their ears are shut to the application of the Word to their personal lives. However the most hurtful thing to me, are the ones that just refuse to listen and believe. It saddens me deeply how God has to send a disaster to awaken the hardened hearts of some people. Our churches were filled for a few Sunday’s after 9-11 and after our major hurricanes in Florida, as folk found the need for God to protect them and help them through their personal problems. Then, as soon as they felt they had regained control, life went back to ‘normal’ for them. God is not trying to impose Himself on anyone, He just wants to heal us and give us the very best He has in store for us – His children. Isn’t that a good thing that we should always desire? Friends, God has blessed us with so much, yet we use these gifts to oppose the very One who has blessed us. We have great knowledge, yet we reason away on why we are blessed, or not blessed, instead of giving all praise to God. We have great eyesight, yet like the prophet Isaiah said, we screw our eyes shut to the things of God and therefore preclude His healing and amazing blessings on us. Our hearing is perfect, yet we allow Satan to interfere and tell us that the Word of God is intended for that neighbor of ours who is much worse than us. The very last phrase of the quote from Isaiah really touched me: we have shut out everything about God because we don’t want to deal with our Maker, yet if only we would change this, He would heal us! I believe this healing is one of not just our physical sickness, but also our disappointments, our brokenness, our loneliness, our defeats and ultimately, our sin. Friend, I serve a God just as I have described, and I would love to introduce you to Him. He will make your day brighter and so much more meaningful and purposeful. Please contact me if I can pray with you or help you in any way with this important decision. This could be the first of many days of joy in the security of my Lord! For those of you that know Him, please act like you do. Sing that song ‘Just a closer walk with thee’, then open the precious Word of God that He left just for us, and see what it is that He is ordering you to change or correct in your walk with Him. Open your eyes to the hurts and needs of those around you, and pray, pray, pray that God will intervene and heal His people today. They have tried the world and all it has to offer, but they are still lacking in so many ways. They need Jesus, my friend. I believe that one of His servants can help them redirect their lives today. Let it be you, dear follower of Christ!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, in spite of Your gracious hand upon Your people, and Your outstanding blessings poured out on us, yet You must be saddened by seeing us exclude You from our decision making, exclude Your active role in our lives when praise is directed towards us, and especially ignore You when You speak to us about the lost condition of our lives. I clearly got the picture in this scripture today, You want to heal us, yet we say ‘No thank You’. Father I thank You for softening my heart and giving me the boldness to accept You as my Lord and Savior back in 1976. I have many family and friends who are still hardened and refuse to make the necessary commitment to accept You as their Lord. Please humble them and soften their hardened hearts again today so that they may commit the rest of their lives to You and allow You full control, and ultimate healing of their sin problem. Dear God, there are important decisions we make every day, but none as important as the one that decides our eternal fate. May this become very evident to my lost relatives today is my sincere prayer, that I ask in the name of Your only Son, Jesus the Christ, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

How Strong is Your Faith?

There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

Monday, 2020-02-03

Bible Reference: Acts 12:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 15-16 But they wouldn’t believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. “You’re crazy,” they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn’t believe her and said, “It must be his angel.” All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away.

OBSERVATION: There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

APPLICATION: Think about your prayer life. There are times that you call your pastor, or an elder, or a friend, to pray with you about a certain need, because you are so burdened for someone, or a certain need that you feel extra passionate about. However, many times, and I hope that is daily, you will pray over certain needs that God has laid on your heart, or you really desire a special touch from God over, and I pray that we could learn to pray in full release to the will of a perfect God. How often have you seen those prayers answered, resulting in a glorious praise and worship time with your Master for hearing your prayer and answering the cry of your heart? Allow me to share two experiences – the first one involves a time where Jesus told a desperate father to return home, for the son that he sought after Jesus for healing, he had been healed. When the father met a jubilant crowd coming towards him, he was told that the child awoke and raised up at the same time that Jesus told him to return home! Instant healing, my friend! The second story involves a precious old lady who was known for her fervent prayer. After telling me that she was going to pray for my shoulder, the next time that she met me she was astonished that the shoulder was still hurting some, because she had prayed for God to heal that shoulder for me! Oh the fervent, effectual pray of a righteous person availeth much, my friend! In our Scripture today, you will observe that the disciples were still skeptical, even though they had spent a lot of time praying over the protection of their Brother, and his release from prison. Dear friend, I believe that when we pray to God, we must pray that His will be done in every situation that we pray about. This should place us in the position where we know that His response might be exactly like we asked for, but at times, He might show us that He has a better way in the circumstances for which we are praying for. We might pray for the life of a family member suffering from a bad disease or health issue. Selfishly, we want that relative to return to perfect health so that we may resume our normal lifestyles. However, when God responds according to His design, He knows what is best for that individual. I believe that God will strengthen us to accept His perfect will, even if it may not align with our wishes. Knowing that a loved one is happy with the Lord, is much better than the very best day they could enjoy on this earth. So when we pray, fellow believers, do we pray believing in the all-powerful work of the Master, or do we present our wish list and hope for the best? I would ask that God might touch the hearts of each believer today, beginning with me, and that we might never be shocked when God answers our prayers – whether instantly, or in His perfect timing. Let’s remember we ask in faith for the will of God. We don’t like ‘Yes’ men here on earth, and we definitely don’t want to pray to a God who will answer our requests like we think they should be answered. May Your perfect will be done dear God in Your perfect timing, for all that we seek from You today!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, Your creation is in need of it’s Creator. We acknowledge that we are ignorant of things that will happen, or to what is best for us. Our wants often outweigh our needs, and so we often ask amiss. Please forgive us dear Lord, for we need a special touch from You. I believe that You have a special work assigned for us to do here on earth, and unless we get out of the way and allow Your will to be done, we might hinder that work. Please help us to always ask expecting the miraculous to happen, because we are asking of the only true, all-powerful God of the universe. Thank you for hearing our cry oh Lord. May we ready ourselves for rejoicing in Your handiwork, as we see You respond to the prayers and cries of Your people. May Your perfect will be done in my life and through my prayers, precious Lord. AMEN!

To Become A Holy People Dedicated To The Lord

Listening to the evening news, I believe we will all conclude that Satan has overpowered the world and has taken control of the minds of our people. However, in reading our Bible, God reminds us of what He promised the Israelite people as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. Because God wanted this printed in His Word, I believe He is saying to each one whose country is represented by my readers, that He could do it again! What a glorious thought for us to meditate on today!

Saturday, 2019-07-27

Bible Reference: Deuteronomy 28:9-10
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: He will change you into a holy people dedicated to himself; this he has promised to do if you will only obey him and walk in his ways. 10 All the nations in the world shall see that you belong to the Lord, and they will stand in awe.

OBSERVATION: Listening to the evening news, I believe we will all conclude that Satan has overpowered the world and has taken control of the minds of our people. However, in reading our Bible, God reminds us of what He promised the Israelite people as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. Because God wanted this printed in His Word, I believe He is saying to each one whose country is represented by my readers, that He could do it again! What a glorious thought for us to meditate on today!

APPLICATION: Don’t you feel like our world can’t get much worse in terms of the evil that we hear about through a multitude of criminal activities; the hatred displayed and lived out by many; the prejudices portrayed against people of different races, countries and economic statuses; and the overall disrespect for life itself? I would highly recommend that each reader take time to read the entire chapter linked in the above Scripture, for we can see clearly how God responds to His people when they are obedient to His Word, and to the contrary, when they choose to do their own thing and ignore the instructions of God. Friends, it is clear that God honors His people when they love Him, honor Him, and obey His commands. It is also clear that since He brought us into this world, He could very easily take us out, at His command. In addition to this eye-opening Scripture, I would also refer you to 2 Chronicles 7:14 where we are taught by God that if we humble ourselves, pray, and honor Him, He will heal our land of it’s sin-sickness and set us on a good path. I am so convinced that it is time for Christians to wake up and honor God’s Word, so that He may hear our sincere cry and heal our land. Lord, begin this great work in me – PLEASE, and may this become the prayer of many reading this blog today.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for you many blessings on me! I’m sure that most of your children will easily echo that praise today, for You are so good to us precious Lord! With the eye-opening reminder from Your Word on the reason for our setbacks and our struggles, I pray that You will help us to seek You personally and commit personally to beg for Your work to begin in us. Yes, we can look at all those around us who fail, but let Your work begin in us. For one by one, under the influence of Your power and love, we can become more than conquerors as You heal our land and draw us unto Yourself. AMEN!

Oh How We’ve Changed

In contrast to believers today, the leper could not contain the joy in his heart over the miracle that took place in his life. His joy was overflowing and it was obvious that a ‘God-thing’ had occurred in this man’s life. I don’t believe that this is exactly what our coworkers and friends see in our lives today, is it? Let’s let this sink in real good as we meditate on God’s Word today.

Saturday, 2019-04-13

Bible Reference: Mark 1:40-45
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened….

OBSERVATION: In contrast to believers today, the leper could not contain the joy in his heart over the miracle that took place in his life. His joy was overflowing and it was obvious that a ‘God-thing’ had occurred in this man’s life. I don’t believe that this is exactly what our coworkers and friends see in our lives today, is it? Let’s let this sink in real good as we meditate on God’s Word today.

APPLICATION: A man scorned by society, but who realized where his healing might come from, found his way into the presence of the Master. Just as he was assured of, Jesus had mercy on him and healed him. However, because Jesus didn’t need any more publicity, He demanded that the man simply go directly to the priest and follow the traditions passed down by Moses, concerning his clean bill of health. But being so full of joy, the man made it known everywhere what had miraculously happened to him. So just for a moment, I would like to explore how this story compares to the trends of Christians today. For we attend church, and are encouraged to go and spread the good news of what Jesus has done for us. But isn’t it shocking how many believers live alongside non-Christians and, other than seeing us rushing out to church, they may never know what is different about us. Do they really know that a prince/princess lives next door? Yes, as sons of the King of all kings, we are automatically a ‘prince’ or ‘princess’. How about our coworkers, do they know that they are working alongside royalty? How about the many friends, who walk along hopelessly, and with no vision of what lies in their future, yet we walk alongside them with knowledge of the greatest story ever told, and the everlasting hope of tomorrow inside of us. Friends, we know full well that the same Jesus who died and rose again, would like nothing better than to see us share His story with those who need hope. Our command is just the opposite of what Jesus commanded the leper, He wants us to share His story, so that others may experience His love and the hope of life after death here on earth. A future that includes an eternity of worship around the throne of God. No more pain, envy or strife, but peace and communion with our God and His precious Son! Praise be to God!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for the promise of heaven – a time to look forward to where Your children will spend eternity worshiping You. We are instructed in just the opposite way to that of the leper, for we are instructed to go into all the world and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. To all my readers, and all those who love my Lord, may we unseal our lips, raise our hands in joyous thanksgiving, and celebrate the Healer of all our diseases, the only Savior of this world, the One through whom Salvation is possible, so that others might see the glory of God in us, and have a desire to meet our Savior! There is no other Savior – no other means under Heaven that man might be saved, than through the precious name of Jesus. AMEN!