Stay Alert and Pray

The reasons why Jesus took only three disciples closer to the point where He would pray to the Father is a bit unknown, but being reminded that God does everything in His perfect will and for our purpose, is sufficient. Jesus was very burdened about the hour fast approaching where He would be arrested, beaten and crucified. If we were encountering due rest, we would want our most trusted prayer partners with us, yet the three disciples fell asleep, as if nothing was concerning them about the burden Jesus was bearing . Let’s try to understand why it was important for the disciples to stay alert, so that we might do the same.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-04-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 26:40-41
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 40-41 When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

OBSERVATION: The reasons why Jesus took only three disciples closer to the point where He would pray to the Father is a bit unknown, but being reminded that God does everything in His perfect will and for our purpose, is sufficient. Jesus was very burdened about the hour fast approaching where He would be arrested, beaten and crucified. If we were encountering due rest, we would want our most trusted prayer partners with us, yet the three disciples fell asleep, as if nothing was concerning them about the burden Jesus was bearing . Let’s try to understand why it was important for the disciples to stay alert, so that we might do the same.

APPLICATION: It may seem like we try hard to let our minds wander when troubles arise, because we really don’t want to deal with the drama, and in most cases, the sorrow or disappointment that result from critical times. We could see in verse 38 that Jesus instructed the 11 disciples to stay and pray, while He went on a bit further to also pray. Surely the disciples saw from the Master’s countenance that He was heavily burdened, or sad, about something. The three disciples chosen to go even further with Jesus must have surely felt entrusted by Jesus to be His closest ally in this time of deep concern, yet it seems like they may have taken that trust way too lightly. But why would Jesus warn them about temptation? As in every case of Jesus’ ministry, he chose just the right opportunity/moment, or the gathering, to apply His principles in a way that would open the eyes of His hearers. Jesus saw that the disciples had let their guard down and they lost track of what was actually going on in their Master’s mind and heart at the time. Temptation is most effective based on the condition in which it finds us. If we are weak and powerless, then there’s is a greater chance for temptation to have its way with us. We know from experience that temptation overcomes just about anyone, for it impacts us all with no respect for the person weakened by sin or laziness. That’s why presidents, pastors, priests, bosses, parents and children comes too mind as being impacted by temptation, and many have fallen because of that impact. Jesus knew that He had only asked the disciples to stand by Him – support Him mentally, prayerfully and through encouragement. Obviously their take on His trust meant little to them, because they all fell asleep. God has given us the opportunity and responsibility of being His faithful servants here on earth while we’re here. I wonder how He might rate us on our faithfulness to His tasks? Have we fallen asleep because of lack of concern and/or commitment? Will He praise us as He welcomes us into His kingdom when life on earth is over, or will He scold us as He did with the disciples? We serve a loving, forgiving Father, but while He blesses us to be His witness here on earth, let’s make every effort to not fall into temptation, but instead be diligent about His work and alert for His return.

PRAYER: We are always saddened when we remember how You suffered and died for our Salvation Lord Jesus, but we are forever thankful and grateful. Thank You for the reminder in Your Word today about the importance of staying alert and ready for Your return, and in doing so, build a solid defense against temptation. It is so unfortunate that Satan tempts Your children so much, and has caused a certain amount of disgrace to Your good name. Please Lord, fill us with Your grace each day and empower us to stand strong in our Christian walk so that others will see Jesus and nothing of the weakness that we are made of. In Christ we can do all things – for Your glory. Of our own power we are very prone to temptation and misrepresenting the name of Jesus. Oh that You may rule and reign in us Lord Jesus for Your glory alone. 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!

About Your Teacher

Who is your teacher? If a child, then I’m sure you thought of your school teacher. But what about adults, who is that person who came to mind when you saw the subject of this devotional? Really, today is all about titles and what they do For those who give them, and for those called by those titles. Jesus was referred to as ‘Teacher’, and no one else is deserving of that title, nor are they any match for Jesus. Stay tuned!

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-03-29
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 23:10-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 … don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant.12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

OBSERVATION: Who is your teacher? If a child, then I’m sure you thought of your school teacher. But what about adults, who is that person who came to mind when you saw the subject of this devotional? Really, today is all about titles and what they do For those who give them, and for those called by those titles. Jesus was referred to as ‘Teacher’, and no one else is deserving of that title, nor are they any match for Jesus. Stay tuned!

APPLICATION: This is really just one of the titles referred to by Jesus as He spoke to the Pharisees about how they were making way too much over titles and self recognition than anything they could possibly accomplish for the Kingdom. But have we learned anything from that? In verse 8 of chapter 23, Jesus clarified this teaching by saying that we are all brothers and sisters, or equal to each other, and not one standing in authority, or above another. I have always compared Christianity to marriage, so once again I will do that. In a marriage, the Bible refers to the husband as the leader of the home. Does that make him better than his wife – no, for she is also a daughter of the same Father. Does that cause Him to require worship from his wife or to be exalted by his wife? Of course not, for she is an equal partner in the marriage. Similarly in the life of a believer, one might be blessed with the gift of explaining the Word of God and clarifying any mystifying parts of the Word, but because his students also have gifts in other areas that he is not blessed in, the point of superiority is automatically null and void. So why give that person a title? Friends, God placed us all here on earth as His children. Just as in your earthly family there are no favorites or superiority among siblings, it is perfected even more so in God’s family. We are all equal in His eyes. But to an even greater extent, we can see from this Scripture today that Jesus was concerned that the Pharisees were being called by titles that many referred to Him as. Jesus knew that this would soon lead to the Pharisees trying to assume the rightful place of God’s Holy Son among the people that they were in charge of. Please be careful friends to not even think about calling someone by a name that you may have heard given to Jesus or to the Father in the Bible. For there is only one God – our great God – God Almighty. There is only one Son of God – Jesus Christ. Any alternate titles given to these supreme beings are forever assigned to them and refers to them, so never find the need to call any man, or woman, by any of those names. Often we do it as a means of exalting that person for the awesome job they are doing in teaching/preaching/witnessing or just doing good work in the name of the Father. Because they are your Brother or Sister, you can simply refer to them in deepest respect as you would to your natural sibling. You diminish the value of our Lord, when you start calling mankind by any name attributed to Him at any time. Always acknowledge Jesus as Lord, for there is no other under the sun that takes His place. There are great pastors, teachers or workers for the Kingdom, but they are men and women just like you. Never make them anything more through a title you may give them. Intentionally thank God for them and ask Him to bless them richly for their efforts.

PRAYER: Lord God, You alone are holy, and You alone are God. Please help us to never attribute that authority to any man or woman, whether through title or through any other means. You have created great men and women of God who may often sacrifice their entire lives to Your ministry and to share the Good News with the world. Please help us to never feel the need to escalate their title or their worth beyond anything greater than a fellow Brother or Sister blessed of God. We may appreciate their value in knowledge, in giving or in education, but may we always show our appreciation as a sibling of the Most High God and nothing more. We want you to be honored and lifted up above all men, for You alone are God and You alone deserve our praise. We glory in Your name while we are here on earth, and we are anxious to bow at your feet and sing eternal praises when You call us home to glory. Until that time, please bless us with qualities that we can share with others that might help lead them to You. 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!

How To Handle Temptation

For the Christian, it seems like Satan turns up the heat a little each time that we seem to get closer to the Lord. For the non-believer, it seems like Satan will do the same when he notices that you are beginning to listen to the voice of God. So how are we to deal with this problem? The answer is included in our verses today, so let’s take time to meditate on the Word of God, for He alone is able!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-05-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 12 So be careful. If you are thinking, “Oh, I would never behave like that”—let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin. 13 But remember this—the wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation’s power so that you can bear up patiently against it.

OBSERVATION: For the Christian, it seems like Satan turns up the heat a little each time that we seem to get closer to the Lord. For the non-believer, it seems like Satan will do the same when he notices that you are beginning to listen to the voice of God. So how are we to deal with this problem? The answer is included in our verses today, so let’s take time to meditate on the Word of God, for He alone is able!

APPLICATION: Some of the worse examples of temptation that we see, is when a pastor, or shepherd, or protector of the flock, or messenger of God is drawn into temptation. For we see not just the individual filled with embarrassment, but his wife and kids will often leave town because of the hurt and embarrassment; churches are often drastically impacted by the bad press and the embarrassment THEIR pastor has brought on them; and the word seems to standby jeering at the individual and the church for a ‘holy’ man doing just as badly as a son of the world who has never darkened the doors of a church. So we see where temptation could be brought upon the Christian as well as the world. Why? Why would God not protect His own messengers? Friends, I believe that God was very deliberate in having this lesson included in His Word, because He knew that His servants/His children/His church members, as well as His other kids that refuse to recognize Him as Lord, would continue to face temptation until the day He returns to take us out of this sinful world. But why would God make individuals with this weakness? I believe that God created man in His own image, for the purpose of worshiping his creator. Throughout God’s Word we could see where He did everything possible to facilitate man turning to a right relationship with the one true God, and although some believe, many still don’t believe in God nor do they allow Him lordship over their lives. As in this case where Paul had to deal with believers in the Corinthian church being drawn into temptation, God knew that this would continue as long as we are around sin. So in Revelation 3:10 God promised us that He would keep us from temptation. Friends, I believe that God wants more than anything, for us to be what He designed us to be. It is very obvious He would do whatever is needed to help us be obedient to His Word, worship Him and be with He and the Father in glory some day soon. Temptation is very high on the list of things that throw His children who are trying to live worthy of our calling. Let us therefore seek to be more like Jesus in everything that we do or say, and to seek His power in every aspect of our lives, for His glory alone. Perhaps when we do this, unbelievers will see Jesus in action and be convinced to surrender their all to Him also.

PRAYER: Lord, please lead us not into temptation, for thine is the glory, the honor and the praise. You promise to keep us faithful and strong from the sin that temptation brings into our lives, Lord. So I humbly pray that You may be very real to my readers and I today as we enter into this wicked world that is poised to temp us and try us. May Your holiness and Your power be evident in everything we do and say, and may we submit to Your direction in everything we do so that You may freely keep us from all harm and temptation. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while 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!

Guarding The Temple of God

Most of us will do everything possible to protect and respect God’s house, the church – His temple. There are certain things we would not permit inside, such as alcohol, drugs, wild parties, etc. And there are several things that we would always carefully control – selling material items, the wearing of caps/hats by men, etc. I believe we do this because we look at our church sanctuaries as a place where God lives, and He is hallowed there by His people. But since Paul is referring to our personal bodies as a place where God (the Holy Spirit) resides, are we quite as careful to protect and respect His holy temple in that respect?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-04-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Don’t you understand that together you form a temple to the living God and His Spirit lives among you? 17 If someone comes along to corrupt, vandalize, and destroy the temple of God, you can be sure that God will see to it that he meets destruction because the temple of God is sacred. You, together, are His temple.

OBSERVATION: Most of us will do everything possible to protect and respect God’s house, the church – His temple. There are certain things we would not permit inside, such as alcohol, drugs, wild parties, etc. And there are several things that we would always carefully control – selling material items, the wearing of caps/hats by men, etc. I believe we do this because we look at our church sanctuaries as a place where God lives, and He is hallowed there by His people. But since Paul is referring to our personal bodies as a place where God (the Holy Spirit) resides, are we quite as careful to protect and respect His holy temple in that respect?

APPLICATION: Doctors who are really concerned about the lives of their patients, will often get on our case about the condition of our health, that is mostly impacted by what we permit to enter our bodies and/or whether we condition it with regular exercise. Ranking much higher in importance is our spiritual bodies. When Jesus was crucified, God sent His Holy Spirit to reside inside of us as our helper until He returns to take us home to glory. So I wonder, how much have we changed the conditioning of our bodies, and how much different do we strive to be in protecting our bodies from the evil one? Are we as careful about protecting our bodies, the temple of God, as we are about protecting our church sanctuaries, now that part of the Trinity is occupying His temple inside of us? Although this may be elementary, we must remind ourselves that the Trinity means that Father, Son and Holy Spirit is ONE. Which means that God resides inside of us as our Comforter, Guide, Deliverer, Friend and everlasting Father. So are you always proud of where you take the Holy Spirit? Do we protect what goes inside of our bodies and our minds, knowing that the Holy Spirit resides inside – such as drugs, alcohol, filthy movies, bad language, hatred, disrespect, etc.? Is there anything we subject our bodies to, that we would not want present when we kneel at the feet of Jesus in Heaven? The Bible says that we are the temple of God, and it also says that God resides in His temple. Do we love, respect and honor our God enough to protect His place of residence from anything untoward? I believe that our Scripture today is a good reminder that our God reigns, and He lives and reigns inside of us. We needn’t wait until we get to church to behave, to honor, obey and respect God, for He is present right now, right where we’re at. Thank You Father for going to the extent of the cross for my sin. Please be a constant reminder in my life of the One to whom I belong, and the One who lives and reigns inside of me. There are many who acknowledge You as Lord, oh that we all may stand boldly before Your throne knowing that we did everything possible to protect, honor and respect Your place of abode, especially where it was so within our personal control.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for sending Your comforter to live inside of me. Please forgive me for failing to always respect Your presence and Your everlasting love for me. As You have reminded my readers and I today through Your Word, may we all be consciously aware of the One who lives inside of us and may we always treat You with the same respect that we expect to give on the day we see You face-to-face. You are our King, and we praise You Heavenly Father for all that You are to us. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while 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!

Standing in the Way of Blessing?

The Israelites had the task of taking over town after town, that existed on all the land given to them by God, and they had been very successful with Jericho. However, in their attempt with Ai, they encountered some loss of life. For God was not willing to go on blessing them while there was sin in their camp. Because of one man’s sin, others loss their lives, while thousands upon thousands suffered because of the withdrawal of God’s hand of blessing. I wonder, has God’s hand of blessing upon our families, our churches, our cities and our country been impacted because of the sin or one reading this devotional today?

Monday, 2019-08-12

Bible Reference: Joshua 7:10-12
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 10 Get up. What are you doing in the dirt? 11 There’s a simple explanation: Israel has sinned. They have lied and have violated the covenant I gave them by stealing some of the property that should have been destroyed along with the rest of Jericho and by hiding it among their own belongings.
12 That is why the Israelites can no longer resist their enemies. They run from their foes because they are under a curse and doomed to destruction. I will not be with you or fight for you unless these things devoted to destruction are truly destroyed.

OBSERVATION: The Israelites had the task of taking over town after town, that existed on all the land given to them by God, and they had been very successful with Jericho. However, in their attempt with Ai, they encountered some loss of life. For God was not willing to go on blessing them while there was sin in their camp. Because of one man’s sin, others loss their lives, while thousands upon thousands suffered because of the withdrawal of God’s hand of blessing. I wonder, has God’s hand of blessing upon our families, our churches, our cities and our country been impacted because of the sin or one reading this devotional today?

APPLICATION: There seems to be increased tolerance by people and churches to accept almost any condition of society, so that we can fit into their view of what Christ’s church should look like. Fortunately for some countries, including my country, churches are not yet being forced by government to accept certain societal groups who may have beliefs that differ to our interpretation of the Bible’s standards and teachings. However, putting all this aside, I was keenly aware, and reminded, of the importance that God places on obeying Him and honoring His Word. In our story, one man decided that it was OK for him to withhold some of the loot from their raid of Jericho, which was in direct disobedience of God’s instructions. Because of this, God withdrew His power (His blessings) on their (the Israelites) next raid, as they tried to take over Ai. I believe the main takeaway for us in this passage today is that God will not bless sin. He will not bless where sin abides. He will not bless where people, or even a single person decides, apart from God, that it’s OK for them to do their own thing. Please know that this has nothing to do with creativity, for God created us to be creative and think for ourselves, however when He sets boundaries for us, and when He establishes rules and commandments for us, it’s for our own good, our own protection, and for His glory. I believe that God has designed us to be like Him, and I believe that He established guardrails to help us live, work, love, and act more like Him while here on this earth. Friends, if others never recognize Jesus in us, do you really feel like you are honestly being led/guided by Him and living according to His will and purpose? God will not tolerate sin, and since He is the same God who did not tolerate the sin of Achan (the man in our story), I have every reason to believe that He will withdraw His blessing on us when sin abides within. Will you intentionally deny the blessing of God on others because of your selfish desires and stubborn will? I pray that is not the case with any reading this devotional today.

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the many blessings that You bestow on my family, my church, my city, my state and my country, please, please, please give me strength each day to faithfully honor You, for You alone are worthy of my honor, my obedience and my praise. Because of my son-ship, please help me to always desire and aim to live a sinless life because of a deep desire to please You. Please help me to never forget that in order to receive Your rich blessings poured out daily on myself and those I love and associate with, I must do my part in honoring You and my commitment to be Your follower. Oh that we may live like You today, is my deepest desire today oh Lord. AMEN!

Spontaneous Worship

David had a knack for speaking honestly to God. But one thing I observed is that if David started a Psalm in deepest concern and honestly sharing his upset mind, before the end of the Psalm he was praising God for who He truly is. I believe the emphasis in our Scripture today, is that David truly wanted to live and obey the truths of God, culminating into the most important thing of life – to worship God. To do this it seems like David realized that he should be saturated with the Word of God. Wow, what a desire!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Psalm 86:11-12 (ERV)

TEXT:   11 Lord, teach me your ways, and I will live and obey your truths.
Help me make worshiping your name the most important thing in my life.
12 My Lord God, I praise you with all my heart. I will honor your name forever!

OBSERVATION:   David had a knack for speaking honestly to God. But one thing I observed is that if David started a Psalm in deepest concern and honestly sharing his upset mind, before the end of the Psalm he was praising God for who He truly is. I believe the emphasis in our Scripture today, is that David truly wanted to live and obey the truths of God, culminating into the most important thing of life – to worship God. To do this it seems like David realized that he should be saturated with the Word of God. Wow, what a desire!

APPLICATION:   I wonder how many of us make it a priority to seek God’s face before each worship service and ask Him to open our hearts and minds so that we may understand and absorb His teachings! And as He does, do we promise to obey and worship Him sincerely? In fact, we want our worship to God to become the highlight of our day and the most important thing that we do. Notice I didn’t say the highlight of our Saturday or Sunday, but of every day! Can’t you imagine friends, that if we were led by the Holy Spirit each day during our time with the Lord, and we took time to just praise the Almighty and worship the Creator and King of this universe, then imagine what a time of rejoicing that will be when we lock arms with several others at our weekend church services? Oh my, I don’t believe that the four walls of our sanctuary would contain us! But isn’t that how true worship truly works? If you don’t learn to worship God each day in response to His Word, or His presence, or His handiwork, or in return for all that He has done for us, then you honestly feel like at our corporate services you will respond to a pastor or worship leader simply saying ‘OK, let us stand and worship God’? Is that the way you acted when you saw your fiancee only on the weekends? Can’t you see why so many worship services are dry and dull and often meaningless to so many? Let’s be sure to remember that we arrive at weekend services, after enjoying a daily, living and meaningful relationship with the One who loved us enough to send His one and only Son to die on a cross, just so that we would know that we now have the means of getting to heaven, through the Son, Jesus Christ. David concluded these verses by saying that he would praise God from the bottom of his heart, and that he would honor Him eternally. I believe that we can honestly boast of the same, if only we did better on our daily relationship with this wonderful Savior of ours! Ask Him to help you attain this worthy goal, friend!

PRAYER:   To God be the glory, great things He has done! Lord we acknowledge that this is our daily cry of worship and praise, in response to all that You do for us daily. Please teach us Your Word, Your ways and Your will. Remind us of Your love for us and Your daily provisions that You provide for us, just like You do with the birds of teh air and the wild animals all over the world. As we worship You today Lord, may that effort be multiplied 10 times over on Sunday as we worship You with other believers who are also met to worship. You deserve our worship and our praise dear Lord. May we be obedient and bring our praises to You each and every day. 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 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 Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

What The Lord Hates

The Bible is very clear on what displeases God. We know that He hates sin, so I believe that we can conclude as we look at each item listed in our Scripture that they are either sinful acts, or a result of sinful acts. As in any relationship in which we love someone, we should endeavor to always avoid the things that God hates.

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-05-06
SCRIPTURE

From:

Proverbs 6:16-19 (ERV)

Text:

16 The Lord hates these seven things:
17     eyes that show pride,
    tongues that tell lies,
    hands that kill innocent people,
18     hearts that plan evil things to do,
    feet that run to do evil,
19     witnesses in court who tell lies,
    and anyone who causes family members to fight.
OBSERVATION:
The Bible is very clear on what displeases God. We know that He hates sin, so I believe that we can conclude as we look at each item listed in our Scripture that they are either sinful acts, or a result of sinful acts. As in any relationship in which we love someone, we should endeavor to always avoid the things that God hates.
APPLICATION:
In the case of our parents, our spouse or even best friends, we would do our very best to always avoid doing those things that they hate, despise, or dislike. So having read that God hates to see certain things going on in our lives, what then shall we do about that? I know you can read the verses above, but let’s just break these things down and have a closer look:

  • Eyes that show pride – generally refers to the actions of one whose heart is filled with pride. With their eyes, they tend to look down on people, and think less of them than they do of themselves;
  • Tongues that tell lies – referring to the one who, as part of their normal speech, tells untruths to promote self, or deceive others;
  • Hands that kill innocent people – this is self explanatory;
  • Hearts that plan evil things to do – hearts filled with wicked imagination that often lead to actions that are evil;
  • Feet that run to do evil – From the content of the heart the mouth speaketh and the feet will be anxious to rush to scenes that will lead to evil doings. Notice how investigators often find criminals who escaped prison, they find them at scenes where evil, or criminal things occurred?
  • Witnesses in court who tell lies – a false witness is one that has no value for truth and justice and they will do anything to help like minded individuals escape due justice, including lying for them;
  • One who causes family members to fight – God created the family to be an example to the world of His relationship to his Son. He also created man and woman uniquely to bring mutual happiness to each other. Children born to that union demonstrates necessary leadership by the father and obedience by the child. This makes it easier and understandable when we are taught that we are to  obey our heavenly Father. Yet we see many cases of folk deliberately trying to destroy families and cause strife between family members. God hates this.

All of these things are understably hated by God. If we have a personal relationship with God, we will do everything within our power to love Him and please Him. Therefore, if He hates the above things, we are to avoid them at all cost. He can help us with that if we struggle to do it on our own.

PRAYER:
Lord, there is nothing we would like more than to please You in every aspect of our lives. Yet as we read this scripture, we are reminded that we sometimes fall into the trap of displeasing You. Please give us strength and wisdom to overcome our weaknesses. In return, please direct us towards pure hearts and minds that are so filled with Your goodness that we would strive to please You in everything we do and say. We want the world to see You in every aspect of our lives, and we know that this would be impossible without them seeing evidence of Your teachings in every fibre of our being. So we beg for Your filling today oh 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 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!

What Belongs To God?

Jesus immediately saw through the questioning that the Pharisees/Herodians were trying to entrap Him with, and follow through with a reason to arrest Him. However in Jesus’ response to their questioning He actually gave them something to ponder about themselves. In fact, this continues to challenge believers today, so let’s explore this in our application…

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-03-11
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 22:17-21 (MSG)

Text:

So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”18-19 Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? Do you have a coin? Let me see it.” They handed him a silver piece.

20 This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”

21 They said, “Caesar.”

Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”

OBSERVATION:
Jesus immediately saw through the questioning that the Pharisees/Herodians were trying to entrap Him with, and follow through with a reason to arrest Him. However in Jesus’ response to their questioning He actually gave them something to ponder about themselves. In fact, this continues to challenge believers today, so let’s explore this in our application…
APPLICATION:
A previous pastor once told his flock that after praying earnestly for a car, his dad gave him a new one when he headed off to seminary. Of course, this became the envy of those he befriended, so they tried to entrap him by asking to borrow the car. To their surprise, he whipped out the keys, but as he handed them to his friend, he said “here you go, but this car belongs to Jesus, treat it that way”. Some may find this amusing, but friend, I want you to consider the question from Jesus, and my little story, and I really want you to stop and consider all that you can attribute to a direct gift from Jesus, or in response to prayer to Him. Let me share a few of mine to help stir your memory, or thought process: God gave me qualities to work in the financial sector, and some 45 years ago I started that career, should I whine and complain when I go to work each day, or should I praise God once again for blessing me for over 45 years of preparing and/or working in this field? Next, my wife and I were prompted to apply for entry into the US some 30 years ago, and we were quickly approved. This was much to the dismay and disappointment of my aging parents. However, we saw many things that God had stored up for us after our move: Within one year this paved the way for doctors to save the life of my dad; Shortly afterwards the life of another relative was saved; then we had a lifelong dream come true as we added a child to our family. Friends, I could go on, but suffice to say that because we allowed Jesus to lead, He showed us how awesome He truly could be to His children. This is true in many of your lives also, for who brings that beautiful sun up each day? Who allows you to have a job and another may still be struggling to find one at the moment? Who allows you to be up and moving around when another just like you, is bedridden with so some serious health issue? Who keeps you safe on the roads each day while you pass wrecks along the way? So as you evaluate these thoughts today, the question becomes: what do you do in response to all God has given, and continues to give, to you? He showed His redeeming love for you when He died on a cruel cross at Calvary, and He continues to love you as He blesses in unlimited ways that you may have thought of after reading this blog. What do you give to Him in return? How much of your time each week do you give to the Lord? How about your finances resulting from the job He directed you to and blesses you with each day? May I suggest a God-honoring, proven method on this topic? Try this: Give God at least 10% right off the top from each and every paycheck (I give on the gross), through your local church, and give it joyfully and thankfully. No worries about being able to meet the rest of your budget, for God will honor your obedience to His commands, and He will take care of the rest. If you are a God-honoring, thankful person, then be sure that you meet together with other believers at a local church at least once or twice a week, and try to bless and encourage someone there. God will see to it that blessings will be returned to you many times over! Friends, you can’t out-give God!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You have given to me and the doors of opportunity You have opened to me. Lord, it seems like we are quick to honor all that’s expected of us from government, our employer and our family, yet we often wait until our luck has run out to look to You. Please forgive us for our ungrateful hearts, and teach us to become loyal to the source and giver of all things, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 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 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!

How to Obtain Success for Yourself and Your Children!

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-01-12
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 5:29 (CEV)

Text:

29 I wish they would always worship me with fear and trembling and be this willing to obey me! Then they and their children would always enjoy a successful life.
OBSERVATION:
The Israelites went to their leader, Moses, after hearing the voice of God coming from the mountain, and asked him to go and speak to God again on their behalf. This time with a message – that they would be obedient to whatever commands God conveys to Moses for the people to do. Our merciful God didn’t respond with a whole list of commands that would enslave the people until their death, but instead simply responded that He would desire that they respectfully honor, or fear Him from a heart of respect – to the degree that they would come before Him trembling, and that they would always seek to be obedient to Him. Knowing how much humans like to be rewarded, God promised that if the Israelites honored these things and strived to live in this way, He would see to it that they, and their children would live and enjoy a successful life! Wow, what an awesome God we serve!
APPLICATION:
There are probably more books written, and more seminars offered, on the subject of ‘How to be more successful in life’, than perhaps any other subject that one could think of. Yet, in the Bible, God gave the answer to Moses for the Israelites, and He had this unique formula included in the best-selling book of all times, ‘The Bible’, because He wanted us to know about this also. Friends, it is very simple to understand, for we can research reasons why God created us in the first place, and we will learn that it was to worship and honor Him as Lord and creator of all mankind. Like the Israelites who found more attraction to making their own gods, and then chose to worship those idols, rather than the God of this universe, we too have chosen to travel down every other path for success, rather than looking to the original plan that God designed. Notice that God didn’t tell Moses that the people would be more successful in His temple, or in His temple work, although I’m sure this was all included in His promise, but He simply said that they and their children would enjoy a successful life, period. Friends, this is one of the basics of life – meaning that this simple command from God is a prerequisite to all other things in life that we might attempt to do. So check this simple command out: ‘Worship God’ – recognize Him for who He is and give praises to Him for all that He has done, is doing and has promised to do for us. This is not just a church-type worship thing, but a mindset for the individual; Do this ‘With fear and trembling’ – know that your God is a holy and righteous God and above all other powers of this world, therefore come into His presence to worship Him with respect and honor, recognizing Him for who He is. When we do this, we will learn very quickly that He controls our destiny, so we learn to chat with Him about those things that are on our mind – both concerns, and our ideas/desires for the future, and we will therefore ask Him to direct our path so that we might always honor and praise Him. God’s promise to the Israelites, and to His children at large, is that He will bless us with success personally, and even bless our offspring. What is it that you would not do in order to see success for your children? God has made it easy for us to do just that. Trust Him friend, and be obedient to worship Him in fear and trembling, for He will give you and your children success!
PRAYER:
Father, You are more precious than silver or gold, and we worship You Almighty God, for there is none like You! Thank You for making life so simple for us, and please forgive us for making it so complex and stressed. There is much to praise You for, because You have been so good to us. We respect You heavenly Father, for You are our righteousness and our Protector and our Deliverer from all evil. Lord, may we wrap our minds around this and be obedient to You in every way. Yes, we want success for ourselves, and especially for our kids, but more than anything else, may we be ever mindful of Your love and Your sacrifice that You were kind enough to make for our eternal salvation. Lord, You are so deserving of our worship, our respect and our hearts that should always be humbled to trembling. We love You Lord and we long to be with You in glory, but while here on this earth, may our minds be so directed towards You that Your joy will overflow through every act of love that we express towards others, so that they may be drawn to You. 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 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!

Always Praising God

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Psalm 75:9-10
Today’s Bible Text: But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: I wish that one day people will be able to look around and observe from the positive attitudes and the praising mindset, that certain folk are true children of God. Most folk are so accustomed to people whining and complaining that they almost expect it. In fact, we have to be extra careful that we don’t encourage it! I believe that we often need to take a closer look at those saints who preceded us. Take, for example Paul, who declared the glory of God even while in chains, inside of a cold, damp prison, and he won prison guards to the Lord! In our scripture today, David shares that he would always brag about what God had done, and sing His praises. Friends, David had some pretty trying times, but yet he vowed to honor God and praise Him. I believe that when we learn to praise God in ALL circumstances of life, we acknowledge that He is in charge, even when things don’t go our way. It also shows that we have confidence that our God will be with us through every phase of life here on this earth, until He calls us home to be with Him. Sinners will notice when we praise God even in our storms of life, for they are so used to the cursing, whining and complaining from folk all around them, when times are tough. They will instantly recognize the power of God in us. Let me be quick to follow this by saying that we don’t just praise for the purpose of showing others, for it’s through our sincere praise, and our worship to God that others will recognize whose we are. We should never have to tell anyone that we are a Christian, for it should be evident in our lifestyle, our priorities, our words and our actions. If Christ abides within, His joy, His peace, His love and His glory will exude from us in all aspects of our life. I trust that your praises, will be a meter to indicate how blessed you are by the King of all kings, our Lord and our Redeemer!

Prayer: Jesus, You are more than amazing, more than wonderful, more than worthy to me. I am blessed beyond measure and so amazed by Your love for me. Please touch the hearts of Your children today so that they may acknowledge Your presence in their lives, and then allow the overflow of blessings to pour forth from them, so that others may be drawn to You. Lord, You are worthy of our lifelong praise! May we be found faithful in lifting holy hands to praise You in love and sincerity of heart, because of who You are and for all that You do for us every day. May Your name be glorified today oh Lord, for this is my humble plea on behalf of myself and all of my readers, 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. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016