Live Worthy of the People God Has Chosen

If I was asked to live like an ‘Algreen’, I would probably evaluate often if I am living out the lessons and character traits taught To me by my parents, and I would hope that others might see enough of those characteristics in me that they may even recognize me as an Algreen! I wonder, is that the way it is in our Christian walk? That’s something for us to think about as we meditate on these verses, and on the advice that Paul gave to the Ephesian church.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-07-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 4:1-6
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each otherTry your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God’s people. We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us.

OBSERVATION: If I was asked to live like an ‘Algreen’, I would probably evaluate often if I am living out the lessons and character traits taught To me by my parents, and I would hope that others might see enough of those characteristics in me that they may even recognize me as an Algreen! I wonder, is that the way it is in our Christian walk? That’s something for us to think about as we meditate on these verses, and on the advice that Paul gave to the Ephesian church.

APPLICATION: In raising kids, it seems like it would take daily repeating ourselves to embed the character traits and advice that we wanted implanted in our kids, so that they could not only grow up to be like us, but to be respected in the community, and among their friends. Of course, this could only be achieved or worthwhile if we ourselves are perfect. But ‘perfect’ in your eyes, might be different to ‘perfect’ in my opinion. That’s why we need a plum line – something/someone that is truly perfect, and I believe that might be the explanation on why Paul chose to tell the church how God would have them, and us, live, especially among other people. So let’s examine the characteristics that Paul gave to us:
~ Be Humble and Gentle – I believe that a humble person is one who respects and appreciates the strengths of another person, and could love them in spite of the overwhelming strengths recognized in them. To be gentle, is having the ability to deal with others without giving them the impression that you’re a ‘know-it-all’ and that you are superior to them. No one appreciates an overpowering, know-it-all type of person, and we try to stay our distance from them, to avoid getting upset or mad at them. Being Humble and Gentle means that you will be deliberate about seeing the strengths of another person, while laying aside your own;
~ Patiently put up with each other and love them – so often we see so much wrong with others, that we tend to overlook what our own weaknesses and wrongs are. Some Bible translations say that we are to be tolerant with others. Friends, I believe that Paul was really trying to say that when one imperfect individual tries to meet and evaluate another imperfect individual, we will find flaws. But think about this: if each person has one thing in common, the Lord Jesus – the only perfect One, then how dare us credit ourselves with anything else than ‘servant of the Most High God’? So as we meet others, yes even with their flaws, let’s remember that we too have more than our share of flaws. So you will have to be overlooked for your weaknesses, just as much as I would have to be for mine! Let’s remember that everyone is equal at the foot of the cross – sinners saved by God’s grace, alone;
~ Let God’s Spirit keep us united – Paul gives us the source of our strength to accomplish this characteristic – the Holy Spirit, and Paul tells us how to accomplish this – through peace. Know that although we may often go to meet with someone and be ready for battle, God wants us to be ready for, and determined to be ready for, peace?
Friends, our Scripture reminds us that God called us to be His own. This means that He wanted us to be His very own. We are also reminded that Jesus practiced unity, love, forgiveness, humility and peace in every aspect of His life while here on earth. So we should never question if it’s possible for us to do so, Jesus already proved to us that it is! Most importantly, I believe that God shared these words with us through His servant Paul, because He wanted the world to see that with the power of God inside of us, we can do even those things that seem impossible to mere man. For with God, all things are possible!

PRAYER: Dear God, Your Word is so precious, for it shows us the error of our ways, the weaknesses of our minds and the unfortunate power that we allow the evil one to have in our lives. Praise God, Your Word also shows us that with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, we could be more than conquerors, and therefore depend on You to help us live our lives like children who have been called by the God of this universe, to walk, talk, and love those that might be just like us, or even worse. We obviously need You today and everyday to help us live just like You and in every respect like You taught us in Your Word. May You rule in the lives of my readers and myself today and everyday, for Your glory, honor and praise. AMEN!

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

Show Me Your Way Oh Lord

We know from the life of David that there were many ups and downs, or highs and lows in his life, and perhaps that’s why many of us can identify with David so much. However, David became pretty special to God though, and we can see from our verses today that David’s heart was one of humbleness before God. He had a desire to learn more of God’s Word, and His perfect will for his life, feeling like if he could only understand it, he would put his whole heart into being obedient to it.

Saturday, 2020-02-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 119:33-34
Translation: The Voice Translation (VOICE)

Bible Text: 33 Eternal One, show me how to live according to Your statutes,
    and I will keep them always.
34 Grant me understanding so that I can keep Your law
    and keep it wholeheartedly.

OBSERVATION: We know from the life of David that there were many ups and downs, or highs and lows in his life, and perhaps that’s why many of us can identify with David so much. However, David became pretty special to God though, and we can see from our verses today that David’s heart was one of humbleness before God. He had a desire to learn more of God’s Word, and His perfect will for his life, feeling like if he could only understand it, he would put his whole heart into being obedient to it.

APPLICATION: Ever had a time in your life where you were about to get upset with a child because they were about to do something that you had corrected them on many times before? Then you realized that they were doing their very best to do what they probably understood from you, but just not as perfectly as you were hoping for? Isn’t that the way it is with God’s Word sometimes? You want to do things according to your understanding of God’s teachings, yet you become confused by all that is being taught from various pulpits, classrooms or media platforms. Friends, I believe that we need to pay close attention to the method used by David. Notice how he went to the Source to ask for wisdom and understanding? Notice how he had determined in his own mind that with this understanding and additional wisdom, came a determined heart to be obedient to whatever God revealed to him? I believe that often we become so hung up on wanting to hear an explanation of the Bible that fits our own personal desires and wishes that we tune out the teachings and explanations that are contrary to predetermined ideas. I believe that when we seek God’s face, like David did, we will often be led in opposite directions to what was determined in our minds, because God’s ways are so different to our ways. The bottom line for us though, is that only what’s done for Jesus will last. Only when we do what’s pleasing to Him and in full obedience to Him, will we truly align our lives with His will for us. So shall we seek to follow David’s example and seek God’s face, asking for Him to clarify exactly what it is that we need to do, so that we may be a pleasing fragrance in His nostrils? It’s not about what self wants or desires. It’s all about pleasing God in all that we do, friends, so that His perfect will might be accomplished through even us – His humble servants.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, You have demonstrated Your love for us by sending Your only Son as a sacrifice for our sin. Yet we love grudgingly and with many strings attached. You gave us Your Word – Your book of instructions for life, so that we might know the way to eternal life, and that we might know what pleases the Father. Yet we often choose to do our own thing, in hopes of selfish returns and personal achievements. Your servant David demonstrated through this Psalm today, that it’s not until we stop and surrender wholeheartedly to You, and Your perfect will for our lives, that we truly become a pleasing aroma to You and usable instruments by You to reach unsaved loved ones. Lord, may this be a day that You will be busy at work in our understanding of Your statutes and commands, whether we are sitting to ‘soak in’ the words from Your Holy Bible, or whether driving along being blessed by all that You have made, or whether through the spoken word of another believer. Lord, may Your will become perfectly clear to us today, is my honest plea and heart’s desire, with total thanksgiving for all that You will do today, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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 Your Character Should Look Like – Because of God

This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

Friday, 2020-01-31

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:30-32
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 30 Don’t cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete. 31 Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.

OBSERVATION: This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

APPLICATION: Many people look at the Bible as a Book of ‘don’ts’ for there is so much that we are told not to do. This could be the case for those who have a guilty conscience for all that they are doing that probably do not please our Maker. For I have found in several cases where, although we are told about our wrong doings, we can also find even stronger teachings on what we should be doing that would please God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told the Ephesians, and I truly believe that his Words are still echoing to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ today, that there are some things that we do that are so contrary to the will of Christ, that it downright sorrows, or grieves the Holy Spirit. No doubt there are tons of guilty consciences hitting each reader by now, for that same sweet Holy Spirit speaks to us personally about what displeases Him. But let’s have a look at what Paul taught, and let’s particularly draw a parallel between what the Holy Spirit dislikes, vs what pleases God:
* Instead of being mean; bad-tempered; angry; quarreling, using harsh words; and displaying obvious dislike for others….
* Try instead to be kind to each other; tenderhearted; and forgiving one another;

Now, although Paul didn’t say that the first list of characteristics were not of Christ, he did say that the second list – especially forgiveness, was the image, or practice that imitates how God has forgiven us because we belong to Christ. Friends, we must always keep in mind that our natural, sinful selves will lead us towards the characteristics mentioned in the first bullet. A surrendered life, seeking to please the Master – Jesus Christ, will always seek to do the things mentioned in the second bullet. It may be a good idea to keep the two lists posted in a prominent place to remind us when we are acting ungodly and displeasing the Holy Spirit, so that we may quickly seek God’s help to overcome and change our evil ways. Being a child in the Algreen home, caused me to always strive to please my Algreen parents. Being a child of the King of all kings, should always cause you and I to strive towards pleasing Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. There’s a song that includes the words ‘they will know us by our love’, meaning that the world will recognize Christians by our love – the love and character of Jesus Christ. How are you perceived by others, Brother and Sister? Is it obvious to whom you belong, based on your actions and characteristics?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You set an awesome example for us to follow. So in reading this passage today, and hearing Paul teach on the characteristics that please the Holy Spirit, we can reflect back on Your Word and see example after example where You demonstrated these characteristics. Although the qualities on the ‘don’t’ list are all ones that You warned about in many of Your teachings, may we use this Scripture as a reminder of what pleases the Holy Spirit, and what grieves Him. Please touch Your children today so that we may make wise decisions in every aspect of our lives, especially in our character. May we please You by obeying Your teachings and Your example. In humbleness of heart and seeking to serve You obediently today, I ask these things in the worthy name of Jesus, my Savior and 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Confident In Prayer

David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

Wednesday, 2020-01-29

Bible Reference: Psalm 17:3-6
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
    You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
    I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
    which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
    I have not wavered from following you.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.

OBSERVATION: David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

APPLICATION: Oh to have the heart, determination and will of David! Too often we barge into conversations with God, demanding our own way and expecting God to respond like a puppet would, to all of our wishes and demands. But what if God truly responded to us exactly in the same way that we think things should go? What an awful mess that would be, friends! I believe our attitude for prayer must be one of honor and gratitude for who God truly is. Then there is Scripture that guides us into the remaining attributes of prayer, for in 2 Chronicles 7:14 we are told that if we are truly known as His children, in fact, if we are called by His name, and if we get off our ‘high horses’ and humble ourselves and pray with every intention and determination to turn from our wicked and sinful ways, then He would hear from the Father and heal us and all those around us (our land). Friends, this is not rocket science, nor is it unreasonable, for which of you will walk up to a total stranger and ask for anything substantial with full confidence that they would reach into their treasury of physical assets and just start handing them over to you? May I suggest to you that although my Savior knows each of us intimately and, while I am convinced that He will hear our cry, I believe that He is wanting most of all to know that our heart is totally in tuned with Him, and that He has the liberty to work freely in our lives. Friends, if you are not seeking God’s face as your own personal Savior and Lord, then no matter what your other needs are today, you must settle the ownership question first – you must be born again – new birth in Jesus Christ. This requires a conversation (prayer) with the Master, where you would surrender yourself to Him, and invite Him to rule and reign in Your life. There is no greater need of mankind today friend, and there is nothing more important, for what if you gained the whole world through your own efforts and finances, but yet have no hope of tomorrow, or a Savior who loves you more than anyone else in this world, and who is looking forward to your arrival in heaven one day. Jesus is the key to heaven friend, know Him and know total peace for today and always. I would be tickled to death to introduce my Lord to you! Drop me a note using the contact information below. I might also suggest that you click on the link below ‘To Know Jesus’ and there you will find scriptural references on what you might do to have eternal life. I look forward to meeting you in the most exciting worship service ever – at the feet of Jesus when we graduate to heaven!! Oh, what a day that will be!!

PRAYER: Lord You are good, and Your mercies are everlasting. You have opened the means of us communicating with You and seeking Your face. You have shown us the way to Your throne and ultimately to the glories of heaven with You and Your Father! What a blessed people we are! Lord, I am concerned about my friends that might read this devotional and brush off the truths of Your Word. There may be some that will seek Your hand for all they may need or want, but who may ignore the fact of first knowing You intimately. Please soften the hearts of the hardened, and please touch the hearts that simply read and choose to ignore a relationship with You. Thank You Lord for being available to us, and for loving us enough to demonstrate it through the sacrifice You made on Calvary. I am eternally thankful, and I desperately want to see all my readers, friends and family accept You as Lord, so that we may one day rejoice together around Your eternal throne. I commend them to You Lord. Thank You dear Lord Jesus! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Washing Ourselves Daily of The Effects of This World

Although foot washing is not widely practiced in today’s churches, every time I read this story I see humility symbolized in a very real way. However, Jesus not only teaches humility, but also the need for cleansing, especially as we are impacted daily by the filthy effects of Satan on his followers. Because we rub shoulders with these folk on a regular basis, we should consider how critical it is to plead with the Master daily for cleansing.

Saturday, 2019-11-16

Bible Reference: John 13:6-8
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text:
Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches): Lord, are You going to wash my feet?
Jesus: Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.
Peter: You will not wash my feet, now or ever!
Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.

OBSERVATION: Although foot washing is not widely practiced in today’s churches, every time I read this story I see humility symbolized in a very real way. However, Jesus not only teaches humility, but also the need for cleansing, especially as we are impacted daily by the filthy effects of Satan on his followers. Because we rub shoulders with these folk on a regular basis, we should consider how critical it is to plead with the Master daily for cleansing.

APPLICATION: My spiritual curiosity was peaked when I read verse 8, so I studied the meaning of these words deeper. I loved the way this is explained in the Matthew Henry Commentary and wanted to share it: All those, and those only who are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be washed by Christ. Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts and powers, made pure. The true believer is thoroughly washed when he receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the daily care of those who, through grace, are in a justified state, and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from daily guilt; and to watch against everything defiling. This should make us the more cautious. From yesterday’s pardon, we should be strengthened against this day’s temptation. Within pain and filth, there is an opportunity to extend God’s kingdom through an expression of love, humility, and service. This simple act of washing feet is a metaphor for how the world looks through the lens of Jesus’ grace. He sees the people—the world He created—which He loves. He also sees the filthy corruption in the world that torments everyone. His mission is to cleanse those whom He loves from those horrors. This is His redemptive work with feet, families, disease, famine, and hearts. When Jesus sees disease, He sees the opportunity to heal. When He sees sin, He sees a chance to forgive and redeem. When He sees dirty feet, He sees a chance to wash them. Oh for wonderful grace of our Savior to cleanse ourselves daily. With sin in our lives, we are like Peter, guilty and embarrassed for Jesus to look inside and see our filth. With a regular cleansing from Jesus, we would feel honored and proud to be in the presence of our holy God, because we are happy to be living a holy life before Him. Christianity is not like some men say about their marriage – I told her at the altar that I loved her, and unless something changes, that word remains true without the need to repeat myself daily!! That is not true love, and it definitely does not define a true relationship with Jesus. He deserves our commitment to honor Him every day and to commune with Him daily to keep our relationship in good, fresh order. Dear friend, if you have not been to Jesus for cleansing yet today, may I encourage to keep your priority items first on your to-do list? He deserves our first, and our best!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, living in a world filled with the filth of Satan and his demons, it becomes increasingly challenging to allow my light to shine as a beacon for all that represents my loving Savior. Like Peter, I acknowledge that there is a strong need for me to be washed by You on a regular basis. You washed my sin away, when I asked you to, back on 1976. But Lord there is a daily influx of evil that fills my eyes, my mind and tempts me with evil thoughts. Please wash me Lord, so that my mind will remain fixed on You and that I may remain immersed in Your precious love, forgiveness and mercy. Lord, I plead also for my readers that they too may receive a word from You today, and that they may be drawn to You more closely than yesterday. Our wicked world needs You, dear Lord, and I believe it would really help if they could see You in every action by Your representatives her on earth. Use us Lord as Your loyal, honest and dedicated representatives before our family and friends who desperately need 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Cleansed and Ready to Worship

Friday, 2019-10-04

Bible Reference: Hebrews 9:13-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow were sprinkled on those who were no longer pure enough to enter the place of worship. The blood and ashes made them pure again—but only their bodies. 14 So surely the blood sacrifice of Christ can do much more. Christ offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make us completely clean from the evil we have done. It will give us clear consciences so that we can worship the living God.

OBSERVATION: Too often we ‘attend’ a church service and then we tell everyone that we had been to ‘worship’. Really? Did you visit a place where others were worshiping, or did you really go there and worship with them? Try reading the Scripture for today and honestly evaluate if you were pure, or completely cleansed, from the evil and sin in your life, in order to stand in the presence of our holy God and ‘worship’ Him. According to our Scripture, it is only then that our consciences would be cleared so that we could honesty ‘worship’ the Master of this universe – our God.

APPLICATION:  I believe that every Bible Teacher or Pastor’s wish would be, that their hearers are getting as much from a lesson as they received when they studied the lesson being taught. I also believe that every Worship Pastor would love to know that the folk they are leading in a time of worship were participating from the deepest parts of their heart and receiving a blessing like they receive when leading us. Often we will go to our corporate worship services and while sometimes being totally blessed and pulled into the worship time through full participation, yet at other times we just attend but don’t feel a closeness to our Lord as we worship. These are the times we find fault with the person next to us or behind us, or with the worship leader, or perhaps the volume of the instrumentalists! But friend, if you especially read verse 14, you will notice that as long as we enter God’s house with stained consciences, there just may not be an opportunity for you to connect with God and His Holy Spirit that day in worship. You might remember from God’s Word that God will not be present where sin abounds. I believe that another way of understanding verse 14 might be in the following way: “One cannot worship the Living God without a clear conscience” or “Unless one has already settled with God concerning their sin, they cannot come face-to-face with God in a sacrifice of praise, or worship”. There’s a worship song that has been around for a long time “There’s A Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place“. After reading verse 14, I’m not so sure that we could experience that ‘Sweet Spirit’ and sincerely worship our Lord. Perhaps we should have a confession service first, then, perhaps, the Spirit of God might find clean hearts and consciences in which He is free to move and to bless. Let’s keep this in mind the next time that we go out of our way to ‘worship God’. Clean hearts will draw close to God, as it is the only way that He will draw close to you and I.

PRAYER: How dare us attempt to enter Your presence in sin, Oh God, especially thinking that we can block/hide the hindrances (our sin) while we attempt to worship You. It’s not enough for us to conjure up a time of ‘worship’ Lord Jesus, for we want to be where You are, and we want to worship You in sincerity of heart, soul and mind. Please forgive us for attempting to worship You, the One who never sinned, while we are yet burdened with sin in our hearts. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness, so that as I might approach Your throne with a clear conscience and without sin. Please touch the hearts of my readers Lord, so that they too might be enlightened of any sin that not only separates them from You, but also blocks their true worship of You. Lord, may You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives and especially prepare us for frequent times of worship to You. I love you Lord, and I lift my voice and heart in worship to You alone. My prayer is offered in and through the precious name of Jesus, the only one is holy and worthy of our worship and praise, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

God Will Take Care of You!

No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

Friday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:2-4
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

OBSERVATION: No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

APPLICATION:  I Love that old gospel song: “Be not dismayed …. God Will Take Care of You“! On reading these verses this morning I was reminded that for all those times that we feel so worn, or so distraught about life’s circumstances – perhaps the loss of a loved one that leaves us wondering how on earth can we possibly go on without them; or perhaps because of financial woes that make us feel so trapped into thinking that we work to satisfy bills only; or perhaps unemployment that makes us look inward and question our own personal worth; no matter the circumstance, we tend to wonder ‘Why me, Lord’ and then question how can we possibly overcome our particular circumstance. Friends, I wish you would take time to read the whole passage linked in the scripture reference, because you will see the reason why God sent Elijah to the Jordan River bank to hang out in the first place, then you will also see what other miracles God performed to take care of Elijah, even beyond this feeding miracle at the Jordan River. Whether Elijah realized it or not, he was at a crossroads to where he may not have survived the drought if God had not intervened and taken care of him. I rejoiced in seeing how God worked through Elijah later on to bring a young man back to life, because it made me realize the importance of not giving up on God, and instead allowing Him to work on us, in us, and through us for the purpose of His greater accomplishments – for the kingdom, and at a time pleasing to God. Friends, our ways are not God’s ways, so we are called on to be faithful and sure in our faith, knowing that what He works out in and through us will serve to benefit Him and bless us tremendously. So may I encourage you dear friend to stand firm in your faith, depend on God, and open yourself to the wondrous things He will do through You. Please know that your personal circumstances may look totally different to what God has in store for you. Trust Him, wait on Him and allow Him to be God in your life. Know that when You place your faith, trust, and total life in His hands, He WILL Take Care of You!

PRAYER: To the loving, caring, awesome God that I serve; thank You Father for watching over me, taking care of me, and guiding my footsteps each and every day. Because I am still alive, I know that Your work is still in progress and I trust in You for whatever You would have me do. Please have Your will and way. Please continue to take care of me, and especially on those days when life seems impossible to me, or the future seems so questionable. Lord, there are many who will stop by to read this devotional today, please reinforce to them how much You care for them, and remind them of the enormous love that You have for them. Lord, I ask these thinks in faith, and in the precious name of Jesus, Your Son and my Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Trust God and He Will …

Tuesday, 2019-08-27

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Scripture

Bible Text:  Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.
9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

OBSERVATION: If we are not careful, our world can bombard us with so much stress, that we might wonder at times if it is really worth it all. But then we are reminded in Scriptures like this one today, that life seems impossible when we try to do it alone. We serve an awesome, all powerful God who is ready and willing to answer our cry for oneness with Him. I am convinced that He longs to receive us, love on us and take good care of us until the day He calls us to live eternally with He and the Father. Why not meditate with me today as we analyze and satisfy ourselves as to the power of our God!

APPLICATION:  Like me, I would imagine that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what might be happening in the coming days, weeks and years, so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips – in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses, let me remind you of Moses, who had millions of people following him, as God’s messenger and leader. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 
* Trust and reverence God;
* Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
* Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;
Just remember that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate in the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

PRAYER: Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A Reflection of Oneness

Wednesday, 2019-07-24

Bible Reference: John 17:20-23
Translation: God’s Word Translation (GW)

Bible Text:  20 “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. 23 I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

OBSERVATION: The world will look to the church in hopes of seeing Jesus. Will they see enough oneness to know that Jesus abides there, or will they tell from the division and backbiting that Jesus has no place there? Let’s consider how well our church is doing today in the light of the desire of Jesus in the Scripture today.

APPLICATION:  In this chapter Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples and the church at large. In these verses He prayed in all sincerity that those (Christians) who know Him would be in such unity, that the people to whom they speak (the unsaved world), would believe in Him and accept Him as the Savior of the world sent by God the Father. Friends, I often reflect on what the opposite effect must have, and also how that must have an impact on the unsaved as they fight the will of God. That leads me into considering what happens to the ministry of Jesus Christ when children of God can’t agree – when they fight and bicker among themselves so much that the unsaved world wants no part of the confused mess they see occurring in and among churches. Is it any wonder sometime why we stop and ponder why our ministries are ineffective? It seems like even among ‘friendly’ denominations, we go out to minister in Jesus’ name, and wind up putting down another denomination. Oh my, friend, that is not a sign of ‘oneness’. When our job description dictates that we spread the love of God, and our lives reflect the joy of the Lord living inside of us, doesn’t that mean that we should be so busy praising and bragging on our Lord that there will be very little time or desire to find fault with another believer who may not show their Christianity in exactly the same way that we do? In fact, when I reflect on this prayer of Jesus and really gain the breadth and depth of His heart as He prays to His father, I see where He really wants us to reflect the ‘oneness’ that He portrays with His Father. There is no where in scripture that Jesus puts down His Father or speaks evil against Him or disagrees with Him. Instead, it is just the very opposite, for He respects the role of the Father in ultimately making decisions (especially about the second coming of Jesus), and He speaks as one and the same when conveying the truth and love of the gospel. So where do we get off at in being His follower, imitating Him in every way, yet being critical of fellow disciples who are working towards the same goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? This type behavior or ministry will not serve the ultimate wish of Jesus in verse 21 when He prayed that we will go out and minister in such unity that the world (the unsaved) would know that God truly sent the One in whom we believe, and the One we are spreading Good News about. ‘Oneness’ points to us truly representing Jesus, who was sent in the likeness of His Father. Anything else tears down the ministry of Jesus Christ and promotes the intent and heart of Satan. I believe we all know what we should be busy doing today and every day of our life. Let’s get to work – unified in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our weakness in allowing so much of this world to indwell us, and interfere in the ministry, that You have assigned to us. As these verses today reflect, You actually prayed for us to be one with You and You are with Your Father. Our lack of success in ministry is a direct result of our disobedience to You and Your Word, and caused by our selfish desire to tear down another while trying to promote our selfish goals. Reading these verses today causes me to seriously consider keeping these pinned in an obvious place for daily inflection, and as a guide towards my daily goal. Lord, I need Your power to overcome the desire to tear another down in order to promote self. May I ask that You grant me strength to overcome this weakness, but also to touch the heart of Your followers today and embed a deep desire within them to also do the same. Please strengthen and guide us towards ‘Oneness’ – the kind that You exampled before us in being ‘One’ with the Father. I ask this knowing that Your desire is that through our ‘Oneness’ the world will know that You were sent by the Father to save them. May this be accomplished today in and through your earthly representatives, for this is my pray that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Our Part In Preparing For Our Blessing

Our Youth & Families Pastor recently challenged 28 youth to leave their devices at home so that they might truly seek God’s face in very primitive living conditions at a camp, while they worked hard to help the poor in that community. Do you suppose that this gave our youth some uninterrupted time with God? You may quickly respond that you don’t have that problem. May I suggest that you sign up for the next trip with our Pastor? I wonder if this would help us on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and evenings? Read on as we meditate on this Scripture!

Thursday, 2019-07-18

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 11:18–21
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  18 ….. I want you to clear the land of all disgusting idols. 19 Then I will take away your stubbornness and make you eager to be completely faithful to me. You will want to obey me 20 and all my laws and teachings. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 21 But those who worship idols will be punished and get what they deserve. I, the LORD God, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: Our Youth & Families Pastor recently challenged 28 youth to leave their devices at home so that they might truly seek God’s face in very primitive living conditions at a camp, while they worked hard to help the poor in that community. Do you suppose that this gave our youth some uninterrupted time with God? You may quickly respond that you don’t have that problem. May I suggest that you sign up for the next trip with our Pastor? I wonder if this would help us on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and evenings? Read on as we meditate on this Scripture!

APPLICATION:  I have a relative who surrendered his heart to the Lord, and immediately went home and broke up his music records and tapes, and burnt up all of his cigarettes that he had on hand. He felt like these were ‘idols’ that would tempt him back into sin. In our scripture today, there are many Israelites that were scattered away from their home country and God told Ezekiel that He would bless them when they returned, provided that they first clear the land of the idols. This made me think about the idols that may be interfering with our blessing today. I know, we don’t have the huge idols that some people go up to and worship, as if they have power to help them overcome some issue they might be going through. But friends, these chosen verses today really spell out what types of idols may be applicable to us today, for God actually explains to Ezekiel what He will do to actually bring the people more in line with himself. Here are some of the things, with a few ideas from me:
—-Take away stubbornness – Isn’t this brought on by us wanting our own way? Wanting our own will, instead of totally surrendering to the will of a righteous and holy God?
—-Eager to be completely faithful to God – I wonder what all God would need to de-clutter from our lives so that we might be completely faithful to Him? How about things like: televisions; phones; tablets; cars; boats; finances; shopping; etc? Friends, when you stop and think real good about it, God (and the things that tend to draw us closer to God) often takes second place to many other things in our lives, some of which I just gave you as an example.
Isn’t it unfortunate that God really only moves into first place on our priority list, when a need arises that we can’t solve via Google, or that our TV shows really haven’t addressed yet? I realize that all of this probably don’t apply to all of my precious readers, but may I ask you anyway to consider the following: First thing each morning, do you reach for your Bible, or some idol (device)? After getting your cup of coffee or tea, do you stop and get energized for the day mentally through the Word of God, or do you depend on what you are fed from your idol (TV; Mobile Device; Newspaper; etc)? In spite of God’s Word declaring that we should assemble ourselves together for worship and fellowship on our Sabbath, which of your idols tend to interfere with that? God said that He would really bless when we get rid of our ‘idols’. May I encourage you to take a missions trip to a third world country where many of these idols are not readily available and see how this might feel? It’s amazing how we easily find uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord! It can be done friends! Are you ready for your blessing?

PRAYER: Father, You have blessed us beyond measure and I thank You. It is so unfortunate that we are now idolizing the very things that You have blessed us with, and often to the extent that we are excluding You, or at least distracted from all that You have to share with us. Please open our eyes to all that we have allowed ourselves to become, and please help us to become more in love with the One who sacrificed His very own Son so that we might have a way into heaven. Lord, be glorified in us today. Help us to place aside our ‘idols’ for very specialized and personalized time with You. I ask this humbly in the Name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!