God Knows Our Hearts

Based on conversation with our children, we know what they like, and what they wish for. Imagine how much more God knows what we need and what we wish for! For adults, who have pretty much gotten over the idea of gifts on every occasion, hopefully we have a list of loved ones that we wish God would get a hold of and bring them to their senses. What, or perhaps who, is at the top of your wish list today? As you still your heart before Him, may you see God answering your deepest wishes.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-12-15
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 145:16-19
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 When you open your generous hand, it’s full of blessings,
satisfying the longings of every living thing.
17 You are fair and righteous in everything you do,
and your love is wrapped into all your works.
18 You draw near to those who call out to you,
listening closely, especially when their hearts are true.
19 Every one of your godly lovers receives
even more than what they ask for.
For you hear what their hearts really long for
and you bring them your saving strength.

OBSERVATION: Based on conversation with our children, we know what they like, and what they wish for. Imagine how much more God knows what we need and what we wish for! For adults, who have pretty much gotten over the idea of gifts on every occasion, hopefully we have a list of loved ones that we wish God would get a hold of and bring them to their senses. What, or perhaps who, is at the top of your wish list today? As you still your heart before Him, may you see God answering your deepest wishes.

APPLICATION: A heart that has been surrendered to God and steeped in the Word of God, will often long for and desire to see God also work in the life of a relative or loved one. We may often pray in deepest sincerity for the loved one, and we may even visit with them to encourage change in their life, but our hearts are burdened for them and we will often sigh in trying to express to our Heavenly Father our deepest desires for that loved one. We are reminded by David that we serve an awesome God, who is fair and righteous in all He does. Isn’t this encouraging to know that God’s decisions are not twisted by our selfish and evil desires at times? We tend to be so driven by vendettas and selfish desires that often we make decisions that are not always in the best interest of the other party. But God respects and loves the sincere hearts of His children, and will therefore listen closely to our cry for help, and for the desires of our humble and contrite hearts. How do we stay humbled for what God expects from His children? We stay in His Word and aim to be more like Jesus in every aspect of life. You see, He was the only perfect One. So there are no others that we may try to imitate who will help us to also lean towards perfection in our lives. Learn to share your heart with the Master dear friend. This will help you realize what God must be seeing in you.

PRAYER: Way too often we could be accused of seeking Your hand for all that You might give to us, instead of seeking Your face in recognition of the awesome God that You are. Thank You Lord Jesus for blessing us, even at times when we didn’t ask for it. You know our very hearts and our innermost thoughts, so You know our desires and our intimate wishes. Because David reminded us of Your fairness and Your awesome love for us, I humbly ask that You touch the hearts of all my readers and myself, so that You might not find selfish desires within us, but instead, always seeking to see our family and loved ones accept You as Lord and Savior of their lives. Thank You Lord for saving my soul. Please teach me to always seek to know You better and be concerned about the salvation of all those within my realm of influence, all for Your glory and honor. 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!

Blessings that are showered on Us!

Scripture: Genesis 32

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’10 I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps!   Gen 32:9-10 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Jacob had worked very hard for his father-in-law Laban over the years, and because of his hard work he was rewarded with a lot of livestock. This never went to his head, but at this time when Jacob was worried about the possibility of there being trouble ahead for him, and especially knowing that he was following God’s instructions, he stopped to pray again to God for some reassurance. This was admirable for Jacob to do this, but what caught my attention was the humbleness of his prayer. He felt unworthy of all the blessings that God had showered on him over the years. While I don’t feel like I am anywhere near the humility level of Jacob, I often reflect on the poor around me and wonder in amazement about the ways that God has seen fit to bless me. I am convinced that God is in control and that He loves us so much that if we would only open our hearts to Him and surrender our stubborn selves over to the control of His mighty hand, we will stand back, like Jacob, in amazement and count our blessings and give God the praise that He alone deserves. Whether we live in what some may consider ‘a mansion’ , or whether we live in what some may consider ‘a shack’ let us thank God for His awesome mercy and blessings on our lives. Our pausing to recognize our blessing before God may never be recognized in print like Jacob’s experience was, but what is important is for God to know that our hearts are filled with amazement and thanksgiving for all that He does for us each and every day. Our God is awesome, there is no one like He is!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Thank You Father for all that You do for me each and every day. I can’t imagine what I must do to deserve Your love, Your protection, Your provision and Your will manifesting itself in and through me. The amazing thing is, that I don’t need to understand all this, but rather just to know that You love me so much that although You sent Your one and only precious Son to die for me, You would go to any extent to continue extending Your love towards me. Thank You for all that You do for me, thank You for providing the means for me to one day worship at Your feet in glory! I have so much to look forward to today and every day because of Your love. Thank You Jesus!

A Covenant Relationship

Scripture: Genesis 17

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! Gen 17:1-6 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Much is said in God’s Work about covenant relationships. In this particular chapter there were several covenant relationships made with Abram (Abraham) and they all were similar in form. God made a covenant that He would do certain things and this was either preceded, or followed by, certain things that would be required by Abram and/or his people. In this particular covenant God told his servant who was once fatherless, that he would become the father of countless descendants and of many nations, and to mark this his name would be changed to reflect the new him, because Abraham actually means ‘Father of Many’. Now prior to all this being revealed, God demanded of Abram that he vow to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Throughout God’s Word He makes many promises to us, the greatest of which was the gift of His Son Jesus. In this particular covenant, God sent His Son so that those of us that believe on, and accept Him as Lord of our life, would have eternal life. At Christmas time we celebrate the gift that was presented to us. I trust that for all who may read this devotional, You would truly accept this gift and complete the covenant presented by God, for I guarantee you that He will live up to His part of the covenant by opening heaven’s gates and receiving us into eternity with Him. Friend I pray that your eyes will be opened to this invitation, because the alternative is not very bright for those who refuse to accept Jesus. An eternal life of damnation and the unpleasentries of Hell is not anything that I can imagine anyone wanting to set as a goal in their life.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I thank You for the greatest gift ever given – Your Son. I thank You also for touching my life and encouraging me to accept Your gift some 35 years ago. I am concerned about the numerous number of family and/or friends and/or co-workers that have chosen to ignore Your gift and the covenant You have offered to us. I pray that this will be an important Christmas weekend in the lives of those that You have touched my life through, because I pray that You will once again overly sensitize their hearts so that they will understand how hopeless life is without You. May they experience the real meaning of the reason that we celebrate Christmas as they surrender and submit their lives to You this week.

Intent of the Heart and Obedience to the Word

Scripture: Matthew 5

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!  Matt 5:17-20 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that today we know many who try everything to get around the law, or they try to see how close they can come in doing something without getting arrested or caught for actually doing the crime. Take for instance speeding on the highways. We know that we could get a pricy ticket if we are caught, so we purchase a ‘fuzz buster’ to tell us when we are approaching a highway patrolman. Now in God’s records, can we be accused of breaking the law of the land? Of course we can. Just because we may hide behind a ‘fuzz buster’ or a lie, or anything else, God knows what actually took place. In fact, Jesus taught that even if we are angry enough to murder, we have sinned, even if we didn’t actually pull the trigger, or plunge the dagger. These were the type of folk that Jesus was teaching in this passage, and I believe that as I described, our folk that He would be teaching today. Even though I can’t think of how this applies to me, what caught my attention is verse 19, where Jesus teaches that if we ignore in the least, one of His commands, and we teach others to do so, then we would be considered one of the least in His Kingdom. I trust that I will be devoted to serving Christ to the fullest and obeying His commands each and every day, and that this will be so evident in my life that others will not be misled. If our hearts have been hardened to the Word of God, may we be blessed with a man of God to preach the Word to reveal our shortcomings this week.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I know that many times we will do something often enough until we will lose sight of whether it is wrong or not. I pray today that You will open my mind and my understanding to anything that I may do that is not in line with Your Word and in obedience to Your commands. I pray that my every word and every action will be from a heart devoted to You and with the intent of leading others to know You and understand Your teachings. Please touch my heart daily and give me the desire to obey Your commands, followed by the actions that would display the intent of Your Word.

God is still God!

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 12

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants. ” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him.8 After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord.9 Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. 10 At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner. Gen 12:7-10 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

At the beginning of this chapter it is so amazing to see God at work in Abram’s life, and also Abram being so obedient to leave his hometown and all the people that he knew, to move to a foreign land far away. In these verses, it is also interesting to note that during Abram’s journey everything was not rosy, no, everything did not go without a hitch and/or challenges. In fact, while passing through Canaan there was a great famine that hit the area. Now in a perfect world, most of us would say that if this was a journey destined by God, led and directed by Him, then why would there be obstacles. Friends this is the same way it is today. Just because we surrender our hearts to the Lord, we are not exempted from all the trials and tribulations of this world – at least as long as we live in this world! Often challenges will come our way – the question, or challenge for us is to determine is, which way will we go? A life totally surrendered to God will always do like Abram did, we will wait for further instructions, while during the interim challenge, looking to God for direction and depending on Him for strength to overcome. I believe that often our faith is determined by how we handle trials, not just on how well we do during the times of blessings and riches. God is still God during the highs, and during the lows of our lives. We must insure that our faith holds strong daily, because we don’t know what may be in store for us each day. Let’s think in terms of a partnership, we don’t jump ship on our partner on a day when things are rough, nor do we when our partnership celebrates its highs. A true partnership stays in tact during both good and bad times. So should our relationship with God. What are you facing today? Trust only in God and never lean on your own understanding, for only He knows what lies ahead for us. I love the words of that gospel song “God of the Mountain”, listen to it and be blessed as you reflect on the words of this Bible passage.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Like in the case of Abram, You bless me beyond measure each day oh God, and this morning I want to say thank You with all of my heart. Please forgive me when I worry about the challenges I see in life from the small perspective of my personal abilities. Please help me to stay so focused on You that I will always look through Your eyes and therefore face life’s challenges with the benefit of Your unlimited power and Your everlasting love for me. I believe that as I place my faith totally in You, I will always receive Your protection and You will bring me through life’s challenges in ways that will bring You glory. I know that this may not always come in the way that I may personally desire, but Lord I pray that You will help me to hide behind the cross and allow Your glory to shine through in all that I do or say. Self is insignificant in the whole scheme of things, for only those things that are done for Christ will last. May Your love shine through in all that is done in Your name this Christmas time! Thank You for sending Your Son as a babe, so that we may ultimately be re-born into life with You, and accepted into Your kingdom!

A Promise To The Righteous

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 5 – 7 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die.18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives.19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood.20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive.21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.” Gen 6:17-21 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Although I have heard and read the story of Noah many times before, I was touched by this again today. God made man in His own image and in these chapters studied I found where men were still having sons well over 100 years of age, plus living in excess of 900 years. However God became very upset over the increasing evil that He saw in man and vowed to maximize his life to 120. Still, evil continued to the extent that it angered God into wiping out all living things made by Him on this earth. However, He was able to find one righteous man, Noah. The covenant He made with Noah is similar to the one that he makes with those of us that accept Him as Lord and then strive to live righteous lives. Throughout all the destruction of all living things – water on this earth of more than 22 feet above the highest mountain, yet He kept Noah and his family plus a limited number of animals, safe. Later in God’s Word He provides another covenant for those of us that accepts His Son as Lord of our lives, and this covenant is that we may live eternally with Him in glory! I don’t know about you, but to have the love of the Father – our creator, poured out on me as a child of His here on this earth, plus to also be assured of eternity with Him in glory is enough to make this life tolerable and  worth every moment of every day facing the everyday challenges of this temporary world. Noah was saved, together with his family, because He followed the will of God and lived a righteous life in the eyes of God. We can do the same today if only we will follow the plan outlined by God. Do you know this Savior of whom I speak of here? The invitation is open to ALL who believe and accept Jesus as Lord of your life. Read John 3:16 to understand the full depth of God’s promise. Won’t you covenant with God today friend? Read though this help page for directions, or contact me by responding to this post. Jesus loves you, and so do I!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because of what He said here today?)

Father, You have shown in Your Word how important it is for Your creations to dedicate themselves to their creator. Thank You for the awesome job You did in wonderfully making me and then providing a means for me to have life eternally with You. I pray that everyone that reads this post today will be convinced of Your love, and that their hearts will be troubled enough to not let the sun set today before making a commitment to accept You as their Lord and Savior and to live a righteous life in Your sight, during the time they have left here on this earth. May You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives today!