To Be First; Great and Supreme

I wonder if national leaders have servants who teach their children what it means to be the son/daughter of the greatest person in that nation? Or the first one that their people will think of as their leader? Or the supreme leader in not just their country, but a strong world leader? Do you do something like this with your children? In our Scripture today Jesus teaches how His children attain greatness; top level leadership; and supreme in our personal achievements. Meditate with me as we mull this over and apply it to our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-03-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 20:25-28
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 So Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. 26 This, however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest; 27 and if one of you wants to be first, you must be the slave of the others— 28 like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”

OBSERVATION: I wonder if national leaders have servants who teach their children what it means to be the son/daughter of the greatest person in that nation? Or the first one that their people will think of as their leader? Or the supreme leader in not just their country, but a strong world leader? Do you do something like this with your children? In our Scripture today Jesus teaches how His children attain greatness; top level leadership; and supreme in our personal achievements. Meditate with me as we mull this over and apply it to our lives.

APPLICATION: Having served in church leadership roles, I had to apply this Scripture to my own life as I read the words of Jesus this morning. More importantly, as followers of Christ, I believe that Jesus wants us to apply His Word to our lives each and every time that we study the Bible, or hear it taught/preached. This Scripture was provoked because of a visit from the mother of James and John (two of the disciples), who asked Jesus to promote her sons to top ranks in His kingdom. The ten remaining disciples became angry, out of jealousy about this request. So Jesus knew this was an issue He had to deal with for the disciples, and for all those who would follow. It is so disconcerting that in this world, we tend to feel superior when we take charge. But look again at what Jesus taught – why would we feel superior, when we should follow His example and be a servant to those over whom we have assumed charge? Imagine walking into a banquet as a leader. You would assume that the head table is set for you and that you are to be seated and served first. But Jesus said that as a slave to the people, we should be serving them without expecting any recognition from them. Over the past year we heard the president of the USA being referred to as the leader of the ‘Free World’. That may be as close to anything we might call ‘supreme’ here on earth, but Jesus meant it in a whole new realm of thinking. You see, He was the son of the Most High God, yet instead of promoting that, He instead sacrificed His own life for the benefit of all who would believe on Him for eternal life. So I believe the question for us to ponder today about our position in life is: how sincere are we in our relationship with the King of all kings? Is He first in our lives? Is it evident to others who we belong to, based on our servanthood? In knowing everything about us, is it evident to God that we are following in the steps of Jesus and His ministry, His servant attitude, and His love for all those that He served?

PRAYER: Lord, I can’t say that I ever thought about being superior in any way while serving in leadership roles, for it was often a heavy load to carry. But this Scripture today has invoked a sense of urgency and commitment to concentrate on serving, way more than any possible benefit from leadership roles. My desire is to be just like You in all that I do or say, so I plead with You to direct me each and every day to achieve that desire and to walk the walk and talk the talk, as You would have Your followers to do. I also plead with You to impact the lives of my readers, oh that they too might seek Jesus above everything else in this world, and may we all glorify You name on earth, as it is in heaven. 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!

But God….

Being around some young people recently and hearing their stories of challenges that kids are dealing with today, it reminded me how easily our minds are swayed by peers. It sounds like kids today are challenged with believing in God, because they are confused why God would do God-like things – such as hating sin; loving everyone – even sinners; disciplining those He loves – as any good father would do; etc. As we meditate on the encounter Moses had with God, and the God-sized task given to him, let’s carefully examine our own lives and especially the times that we question God.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-03-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 3:9-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 
Eternal One: The plea of Israel’s children has come before Me, and I have observed the cruel treatment they have suffered by Egyptian hands. 10 So go. I’m sending you back to Egypt as My messenger to the Pharaoh. I want you to gather My people—the children of Israel—and bring them out of Egypt.[c]
Moses (to God): 11 Who am I to confront Pharaoh and lead Israel’s children out of Egypt?
Eternal One: 12 Do not fear, Moses. I will be with you every step of the way, and this will be the sign to you that I am the One who has sent you……

OBSERVATION: Being around some young people recently and hearing their stories of challenges that kids are dealing with today, it reminded me how easily our minds are swayed by peers. It sounds like kids today are challenged with believing in God, because they are confused why God would do God-like things – such as hating sin; loving everyone – even sinners; disciplining those He loves – as any good father would do; etc. As we meditate on the encounter Moses had with God, and the God-sized task given to him, let’s carefully examine our own lives and especially the times that we question God.

APPLICATION: Allow me to share a few personal experiences that may help me better illustrate what I believe happened in the life of Moses when he encountered God on Mount Horeb. The job I held in the Bahamas took me to several Family Islands. At one of them, I found my way to the house of God on Sunday, as was my custom. I was told that there was no preacher for the following Sunday, so there would either be no church service, or Brother Ed (myself) could volunteer to lead us. Like Moses, I responded in awe and quickly told them that I was not a preacher. BUT GOD in His infinite wisdom, gave me a word to share with His people the following Sunday, and for several Sundays while I was employed on that island. At another island, there was a similar experience with leading the Youth Group at the church we attended. God convinced me to serve there, and He was consistently by my side as the young people were ministered to each week. At yet another island, there was a need in the radio broadcast from the church we attended. Absolutely no experience, BUT GOD led me to help in that work for the years I served on that island. Coming to the USA, there was first a need to teach a Sunday School class. Again, no experience with that, BUT GOD in His wisdom gave me the necessary skills to teach for about 25 years while at that church. Additionally, a need arose for a Music Director. I loved to sing, but had no clue about the different notes or timing or anything else about music, BUT GOD gave me the wisdom to not only lead the congregation, but also the choir, for a number of years. I could go on bragging on God, but I believe you may have gathered from my examples that God is merely looking for our availability and not our abilities. I felt a lot like Moses in that the people knew it had to be God doing the work, because Moses wasn’t qualified in what he was called to do, nor was I. It is natural for us to look at our qualifications and experience when called on to complete a job, but as children of God we must never forget that it’s God who should be credited for the job we do, as we are way too much like Moses – we’re not qualified; we’re just a nobody; the authorities probably have never even heard of us; etc. BUT GOD is infinite in knowledge, wisdom, mercy, and His great love for everyone that He created. I trust that as you meditate on this word today, you will reflect on all that God has proven, promised and completed already, and that you will be reassured that even though you have no personal qualifications for the work needed at your church and in your community, you serve an awesome God who can do all things in and through those who place their trust in Him. He’s a great BIG GOD who can do way more than we could think or imagine. Trust Him today dear friend. Know Him today dear sinner, and experience the love that surpasses all understanding!

PRAYER: From a burning bush You challenged Moses with a task that seemed totally impossible to him. He had no governmental experience nor any passes for the royal palace, yet You chose him to stand in Your stead before the king who was responsible for mistreating Your people. Most readers will probably feel like they would never be asked to take on such a challenge, however we were reminded of the power of our awesome God who used a simple messenger like Moses to not only deal with a wicked king, but also lead a multitude out of Egypt. What a mighty God we serve! 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!

Why Me, Lord?

Ever been asked to do something that is totally out of your experience, talent or God-given abilities? I’m sure that you were probably way more likely to take on the challenge than I, for if it’s not a proven thing, I would have lots of questions and objections, since I don’t want to mess up. This was the option first taken by John, for he didn’t feel worthy to do such an honorable task as baptizing the King of the universe, the One in whose name John was actually baptizing others. I pray that our thoughts today would center around doing what God demands, even if it’s outside of our talent or knowledge base.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-01-07
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 3:13-17
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John kept objecting and said, “I ought to be baptized by you. Why have you come to me?” 15 Jesus answered, “For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do.” Then John agreed. 16 So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. 17 Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.”

OBSERVATION: Ever been asked to do something that is totally out of your experience, talent or God-given abilities? I’m sure that you were probably way more likely to take on the challenge than I, for if it’s not a proven thing, I would have lots of questions and objections, since I don’t want to mess up. This was the option first taken by John, for he didn’t feel worthy to do such an honorable task as baptizing the King of the universe, the One in whose name John was actually baptizing others. I pray that our thoughts today would center around doing what God demands, even if it’s outside of our talent or knowledge base.

APPLICATION: I believe that many of us have a multitude of excuses that we pull from when asked to take on yet another job at church. I’ve never done that before; I have never been trained to do that; I don’t believe I’m suitable for that; I have too many irons in the fire already; Can’t you find someone else to do that? Those are probably some of the most common excuses we would give to the pastor, or the nominating team when approached about taking on additional responsibility at church. BUT, what if it was Jesus who approached us to do a specific task? He knows everything about us, including what He could do with a willing, obedient heart willing to serve God in whatever He asks. Wouldn’t you think that perhaps God has a special work to accomplish through you, and only for you? In other words, you may think that your friend Susie might be best suited for that, only to find out that God has a different mission for her. In fact the task He presented to you may not be suitable for anyone else but you, so unless you allow Him to complete His mission through you, that particular task may not be fulfilled. How would you then feel? Supposing your declination may prompt God to ask you if you don’t trust Him enough to complete the task He asked you to do? But look at the story of Jesus again, the prophets foretold it, and Jesus particularly went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. Although without sin, Jesus was prompted by the Father to be baptized as a sign of His identification with the Father. John had preached to the people that One would come whose sandals he was not worthy to untie. So John knew that this action requested by Jesus might look like he was overstepping his authority. John knew that it just appeared wrong for the servant to baptize by the Creator. Why me, Lord? John asked it, and I’m sure that many times we ask it, when approached to take on a task that seems outside of our comfort, talent and knowledge area. BUT, I believe that God enables the one that He calls to handle His work. I believe that as we surrender ourselves to the Master each day, God uses us to complete His work in much the same way that He wanted it done. He calls us into service and He enables us in our service to Him, so that His work may be completed supernaturally, even through His messengers. What if we determined in ourselves, with God’s help, to turn this little phrase around from ‘Why me, Lord?’ to ‘Why not me, Lord?’. Don’t you think that God will then see the willingness in us to do whatever He demands? What if John responded to Jesus: ‘why of course Jesus, I would be honored to follow Your command, even though I feel so unworthy’? Trusting in God often means that we are trusting Him to do far greater things than we could ever accomplish on our own.

PRAYER: As Your humble servant stands before You today Lord, I acknowledge that talent, knowledge and trust is limited without You. Please encourage my readers to join me in taking the hand of the One who calmed the waters; who parted the Red Sea; who caused the blind to see again and so much more, for with You all things are possible. Many are dying without hope and they need to know our Savior. Please give us strength, wisdom, boldness and power to overcome the expected opposition of the evil one and instead keep our eyes and trust fixed on You. It was determined that John should baptize You from the very desire of the Father. I believe that He also gave us Jesus so that we could do mighty and powerful things through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Use us Lord so that Your work may flourish in our midst, even through using humble servants such as 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!

Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 7:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

OBSERVATION: I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

APPLICATION: We have just observed what God might be saying to us in this Scripture today, but how do we apply this to our everyday life? First of all, are we consistent in our asking? Do we even find time to pray, other than when we are in crisis mode? Our method of asking, or petitioning God is through ‘prayer’, yet most churches will tell you that it’s one of the worst attended services. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. For I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. Otherwise if they want me to pray for them, I might think that they don’t have time to pray, even though they know they need prayer, and have therefore asked me to pray for them. Jesus is telling us to ‘ask’, not to have someone ask for us. Jesus is also asking us to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. This tells me that we are to be persistent in doing these things. I once met a young person working at a prominent restaurant, and I asked how they landed the job. Persistence was the word, for they showed restaurant management that they were so interested in the job that they would keep on visiting the establishment, keep on asking for a job, etc. Guess what? He landed the job and looked extremely happy in his job. Now in the teachings of Jesus I believe that we have no doubt as to what we are to ask for or seek after, for we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, therefore we will ask in line with our righteous desires and within the scope of God’s will. When you keep on knocking, you are acknowledging to God that you are once again at His feet pleading His perfect will for your life, with a deep desire to serve Him in complete righteousness. Jesus said that when we do these things, that He will not only hear our prayers, but He will meet our needs. Friends, we have so much that we ask God for, let’s aim at making those requests known to Him for the single purpose of making us, or the person we are praying for, more righteous in God’s sight, and that they, or you, may be drawn closer to God and His kingdom.

PRAYER: Lord, please continue to humble us to always and continuously seek Your face; ask for Your holy and generous hand of mercy and generosity upon our lives, so that we may be worked on and made right with You in every way. Lord, may we be consistent in knocking to ask for an audience with You on a frequent basis. May we be bold enough to join others in prayer so that we may encourage them and help them in their walk with You. Lord, please renew a great work in us today so that we may be more like You in every way, and may this attract the unsaved to desire intimacy with You. We must ask in full alignment with Your will dear Lord, because we acknowledge Your Lordship and Your sovereignty. Thank You precious Lord for accepting me as Your child. May I always live like a child of the King! 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!

Wrap An Apron of Humility Around You

In today’s Scripture, I believe that the answer is given to us on what is required for us to receive the uplifting hand and blessing of our Father. But there is particular action for us to seek after, if we are to receive God’s blessing in this way – humility. Open your heart to God as you reflect on this Scripture with me today as you search for His grace and favor.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-11-05
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 5:5-7
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: ….. In every relationship, each of you must wrap around yourself the apron of a humble servant. Because: God resists you when you are proud but multiplies grace and favor when you are humble.[h] If you bow low in God’s awesome presence,[i] he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands. Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.[j]

OBSERVATION: In today’s Scripture, I believe that the answer is given to us on what is required for us to receive the uplifting hand and blessing of our Father. But there is particular action for us to seek after, if we are to receive God’s blessing in this way – humility. Open your heart to God as you reflect on this Scripture with me today as you search for His grace and favor.

APPLICATION: To ask for help, we have to come to a clear understanding that there is someone available to help that is more powerful and/or more knowledgeable than we are, and that they may be willing to help us under certain circumstances. We must also acknowledge that the problem is bigger than we could handle ourselves. To do this, you would think that we would be humbled by this overpowering realization, but is that what actually occurs? I am so disappointed at seeing some people with a sense of feeling like the world owes them something in return for all they have done, or given. There are some who demands from others, even if they are the ones in need of help. God said that we are to wrap ourselves with a cloak of humility As we seek His face. Also, God said that He would resist the proud (those who are not humble). I get the impression that God turns His face away from the proud. Ignores their need. We are to envelope ourselves with humility dear ones. I love the way that the Amplified Bible includes the following explanation for humility: demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation. Notice the reminder also that the timing of God’s response is up to Him, and not the instant rate that we will demand. Friends, when we get our priorities straight, and when we recognize who’s in charge, then we may be ready to simply take our burdens to the foot of the cross and leave them there, knowing that our God tenderly cares for us and will answer our prayers in His time in accordance with His will. So with a humble heart, how do you feel like you’re doing in Your relationship with each other, and with your Heavenly Father? Are you cloaked in humility? There is hope my friend, just let go and let God!

PRAYER: Father, we acknowledge that we have no power except from Your power, no intelligence about the future except for our all-knowing God. We are worthless to man because of our inadequacies, but because of You, we are worthy and appreciative of our lives, we know that we can do all things because of You. We have been admonished to bring our burdens to the cross and leave them there. Especially in this year of strange occurrences, we seem to have more burdens than we could ever handle, so Lord we bring our burdens to you and leave them there. Our future is only known to You, so in Your perfect timing, answer our prayers as You see fit, and please guide and direct us through the rest of this year so that You might be lifted up, praised and magnified for Your great works. Thank You Lord Jesus for being my Savior and my 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. 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!

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 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!

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!

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!

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!

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!