God Loves the Repentant Heart

From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

Monday, 2019-04-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 51:16-17
Translation: The Voice (Voice)

Bible Text: 16 I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret, but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings. 17 What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest.

OBSERVATION: From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

APPLICATION: “Lord, I’m sorry for my sin”, might come quite naturally when introduced to Jesus, but how sorry are we, really, when we turn around and do the same thing over and over again. David, the Psalmist, was confronted about his awful sin with Bathsheba, and while he could very easily spurt those famous words out to Nathan the prophet, David had to face his all-knowing God with this sin. Now we should be reminded that God didn’t only know the fact that Nathan just presented to David, but God knows even our thoughts and the intent of our heart. So do you really think that it would have helped for David to sacrifice a sheep or a goat on the altar as his way of saying I’m sorry? For the world, that may have been enough, because from all apparent evidence, David would have acknowledged his sin and paid the price for his forgiveness. But just like you and I, David not only needed this to look good in the eyes of his friends and the local priests, but in true repentance, he wanted a clean heart in the presence of his God. So friends, we not only need to ask for forgiveness from our earthly friends, family and the impacted one(s) for our sin, but in order to right our heart and resume our oneness with God, and to one day present ourselves faultless before our King, we must get before God in humility and deepest sincerity and ask for His forgiveness. Like David, we must always be aware that God desires:

  • A broken spirit – this means that we must be willing to break down our pride of thinking we know everything, and thinking that what occurred was a private matter between two consenting adults. We must acknowledge that we recognize that our hearts and our lives are transparent before an all-knowing God, so we may as well ‘come clean’ and ask His forgiveness for everything we have done or said or thought that may be contrary to His perfect design and will. There is nothing we can hide from God, so may I encourage you to break down the walls of pride and secrecy and be totally open with God;
  • A humble heart that honestly regrets the past (our sin) – Our acts may have been fun at the time, or our words may have revenged the individual we were out to get back at, but I believe that when the God of this universe looks into our eyes and our hearts, and He sees unconfessed sin, then we will be pushed aside or rejected from His presence, as sin cannot enter His kingdom.

I was at a conference recently where we were reminded that when we stand before God, we will deal with our personal condition in the face of a righteous, all-knowing God. The normal tendency of our actions here on earth is to try and compare to another individual, or pointing out their sin, while pushing ours under the table. This is not the way God will handle our judgment on that day that we stand before Him, for that will be a one-on-one conversation. It won’t matter what the neighbor did, or the deacon said, it will only matter how in sync our heart is with a righteous and perfect God. If that was to happen today, and it could very easily happen, what would God challenge you with? Consider getting that straight today friend, for we have no assurance of a second chance to do so tomorrow.

PRAYER: Father God, You created us, including our heart, our soul, our mind and our intellect. Why would we ever think that we could hide anything from You is most astonishing to our sober minds as we try to escape Your wrath. Please speak to those who seek after you today. Lord Jesus, may the words from our lips and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Savior and our 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 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!

An Obedient Heart

Friday, 2019-02-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 119:33-34
Translation: The Voice (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 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, or skip over those things that God might truly be trying to teach us. I believe that when we seek God’s face, like David did, we could be led in opposite directions to what we had 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 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!

Jesus – Most Important

Wednesday, 2019-01-23

Bible Reference: John 3:27-30
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  John replied: No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it. You surely remember how I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am only the one sent ahead of him. At a wedding the groom is the one  who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom’s voice. That’s why I am so glad. Jesus must become more important, while I become less important.

APPLICATION:  John’s disciples were rather indignant that the crowds who once followed John, were now hot on the trail of Jesus. However, John quickly reminded his followers that he was only sent as the precursor, the one who would prepare the hearts of the people for the Messiah. And that whenever He came, that his ministry (John’s) would decrease as Jesus became known to the people. This made me think of ministry today, for we often attribute the success of the church to the pastor, or the music minister, or something other than God. I heard of a great preacher from our past who, while preaching, had a team of prayer warriors in the church basement praying for God to soften hardened hearts and impact lives while the gospel was being proclaimed. That church was especially successful in ministry, but I believe that we will hear Jesus say that it was more because of the people praying, than the preacher who tried hard to proclaim the Word of God in a form that would touch lives for the Creator. I believe that churches that succeed in ministry today, are those who lift up the name of Jesus, and who give Jesus full charge of their church. Logically speaking, I believe we can safely say that church attendees will only see Jesus when they hear the Sunday School teacher talk more about Jesus than anything else. When the Music Minister clearly gives control of the praise and worship time to Jesus and that the lyrics declare Jesus more than anything else. When the preacher concentrates on the Word of God and does his very best to apply Biblical principles to everything that members face, and struggle with today. When invitations are given to accept Jesus, more than to join the church. When giving is tied to Biblical principles more than the wants of the church leaders for bigger buildings or more comfortable pews. Friends, I believe by now you are probably getting the picture. This Christian life, and the ministry of the Christian church, is more about God than anything else. We must decrease – the church, its leaders, its members, its followers. Jesus must be promoted and/or increased. Then, perhaps there may be a breakthrough for unbelievers who are searching, and then perhaps, the eyes of church attendees looking for answers to life’s challenges might be opened. It’s not about us friend. It’s all about our Savior who sacrificed His life just for us, and for those we think that we can minister to. Let’s give the reins back to God friends.

PRAYER: Lord, I thank You for allowing Your humble servant to mix with others and proclaim Your praises in many different ways. Please touch my life that I will never promote self for any achievements of my own, but to give You full charge over all that I say and do. Lord may You be lifted up in everything that my readers and I attempt today. May it be obvious that our lives are all about You, and that it’s only because of Your grace that we can even claim You as Lord. Father, there are many in our circles that need to know You as Lord, may they be inspired by our actions and/or our words to reach out to the Savior that we know, and have surrendered to. We want You to rule and reign in our lives, our families, our churches and our workplaces so that You may touch lives of individuals that we touch. We love You Lord, we lift up our voices to You, we claim You as Lord, and we ask our deepest desires in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

2019

What God Requires of Us

A new year, a new beginning! Famous words that we hear around the beginning of each new year, but what does that actually mean? For some, it refers to diet. For others it may pertain to correcting the wrong attitudes of the past year; or putting aside hatred and striving to love one another; or a number of other things that we would like to start afresh on. What about the child of God? What might we want to do differently, or better? Let’s look to the Bible for our guide on this…

Friday, 2019-01-04

Bible Reference: Micah 6:6-8
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text:  What shall I bring to the Lord, the God of heaven, when I come to worship him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to him? Will the Lord be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my first-born child to pay for my sins? No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.

OBSERVATION: A new year, a new beginning! Famous words that we hear around the beginning of each new year, but what does that actually mean? For some, it refers to diet. For others it may pertain to correcting the wrong attitudes of the past year; or putting aside hatred and striving to love one another; or a number of other things that we would like to start afresh on. What about the child of God? What might we want to do differently, or better? Let’s look to the Bible for our guide on this…

APPLICATION: When we set the rules on something, we can usually win, because we make the expectations within eyeshod of what we might attain. I don’t believe there is a human alive that sets goals to make sure they will lose the fight to attain them. However, when God has expectations for us, people of faith, should exercise that faith as they put forth every effort, with the help of the Master, to please God. Friends, let’s be reminded right up front that there ain’t nothing that you and God can’t do! Remember that He is the One who created this world very carefully so that you and I would survive on all that He provided. He created humans so that we may reproduce and be very much like Himself. He smashed the head of Satan and put him in his place. So since our God has proven Himself in so many ways, why is it again that you feel defeated; or so challenged to love others; or so unwanted that you feel like there is no relationship between you and God? Why have you not called on the name of the Lord in praise and thanksgiving when you have seen His hand at work in your life? Why have you not anchored yourself at the feet of Jesus, begged Him for forgiveness of your sin, and acknowledged in humility that you are nothing without Him? Won’t you try calling on the Lord Jesus to fill you with His awesome forgiveness, power, direction and unending love that leads to life eternally with Him in glory? Our Scripture reminds us of what God expects of us: (1) Do what is just – treat your neighbor as yourself, without prejudice or covetousness. In other words, treat others the way that you have seen God treat you, and others you know; (2) Show continuous love to others. Love as God has loved you. He gave His life for you, so what are you prepared to give for others in need around you? and (3) Live in humble and obedient fellowship with God. Humility means that you don’t have all the answers, and you are dependent on God. It means that you put aside any assumptions of what you feel others need, or the world deserves, and totally surrender to God for all that He commands. He’s in charge my friend! We’re just His humble servants carrying out His orders. Now that He has shown us what He requires of us, how will this change your direction, or goals for 2019? Try talking to Him about what He would have you do, will you?

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, please forgive us for the plans we make, knowing full well that we have no idea about tomorrow, yet without consulting You – the One who has tomorrow in the palm of Your hand. You have reminded us in Your Word again today what You require of us Lord. May we be faithful in assuming our roles as obedient servants, ready to act on Your orders, and may we seek to be more like You in everything we do, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer, 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!

Ask for it

Monday, 2018-11-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 14:12-14

Bible Text: 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.

Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

My Take

Ever noticed that your son may go and ask a friend of equal age to do something that both he and you feel is the best thing to do, but it may have little relevance to the friend, until he brings down the power by saying that my dad asked that we do this right away? Bringing the dad’s name into the equation always adds power to the instructions being given. Ever noticed also that as a son, you may tell your buddies to do something that sounds different to what they know your dad has always preached, and they will give you a funny look and wonder where are you coming from with those instructions? Jesus had just introduced the Comforter to His disciples as He (Jesus) prepared Himself to go and be with the Father. Jesus assured His disciples, as He still assures us today, that He will be sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, and that He will receive glory from the Father as His children carries on His work here on earth with the help of the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit. Notice that great emphasis is directed to the fact that even though we stand to do things even greater than He (Jesus) did while here on earth, we must never lose sight of who we are representing, and whose power resides with us to enable the work. Remember that in Acts 19:13-16 there were some who went around trying to cast out demons in Jesus’ name, but even the demons recognized that they were not of Jesus and not speaking on His behalf. Friends, it is safe to say, based on the Word of God, that if any miraculous work is to be done, it will be the power, and the work of Jesus Christ portrayed through us to do the work, with the results being totally for His glory. I believe that there are two important things to remember about being blessed with the power of Jesus working through us: (1) That doing the work of the Lord, demonstrates our love for Him, and not what we might be able to brag on, or benefit from personally; and (2) Miracles are performed in order to bring people to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ. Not for any gain of ourselves, and not for the purpose of relieving our friends from some earthly burden, but that they might know Jesus as their Lord and personal Savior. Please note that there is nothing mentioned about the obedient servant who God uses to stand in His stead and allow His miracle to be transmitted through. But I can assure you that for those who will do this, we will be blessed beyond anything words can describe. To God be the glory for all the great things He can do through even us who believe in Him, and are willing to be used by Him!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that we, Your children, in our meager faith tend go from one extreme to another way too often. For I believe we recognize our powerlessness and know that we can do nothing miraculous by ourselves. However, I also believe that there are times that our ego steps in at times and we want so badly to see our friends overcome obstacles that we tend to jump in there and pray peace and/or healing over them so they could return to a sense of normalcy. I was recently reminded by a pastor when He said that we could very easily step in the way of You actually disciplining someone, by trying to humanly help them correct or overcome their situation. This scripture has once again opened my eyes to the fact that we must be so driven by the Spirit of God that the things we say and the things we do, are very much aligned with His will and His purpose. I also believe that if the Holy Spirit leads us to a miraculous scenario with our friends that will demonstrate the love of God for them and bring them to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ, then we must, in obedience, seek your leadership and carry out Your work, particularly among the unsaved. Lord, I am concerned that there are so many in each of our circle of friends that don’t know You as their Lord and personal Savior. If it takes a miracle to convince them of Your love and power today, I pray that Your will may be done. Please speak clearly to Your children today so that we may in obedience do Your perfect will. AMEN!

Footnote

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

‘GUILTY’ of Praying?

I wonder how God must feel when He looks at our corporate prayer meeting attendance, for He said through His servant in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ‘Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus, to live’.

Tuesday, 2018-11-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Daniel 6:10-11

Bible Text: 10 When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God. 11 The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Many of us meditating on this scripture today probably don’t have any state laws prohibiting us from any religious activities, but I wonder when last we could have possibly been found guilty of ‘praying’? Over in Philippians 4:6 we are told to not fret or worry about anything, but instead ‘pray’ about everything, yet in a country where we are free to pray and worship the God of this universe, we probably deal more with depression and anxiety than anything else. Daniel shows us that in spite of man’s efforts to hinder his relationship with his God, that nothing would separate him from the love of his Lord. I would encourage each of us to take particular note of this, because it doesn’t take much to hinder us in our prayer life. Of course I could only speak to our corporate prayer life, but it is sad that our midweek prayer and Bible study is attended by only a very small percentage of our congregation. In fact, so poorly attended that I am reminded by the words of a pastor in my younger life, who said that it looks like the church at large has voted to cancel the service, for the absence of the vast majority speaks volumes about how they feel about corporate prayer meetings. In fact, I wonder how God must feel when He looks at our corporate prayer meeting attendance, for He said through His servant in 1 Thessalonians 5:18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus, to live‘. So friends I would challenge you to seriously consider and declare who you are claiming as your King; your Lord; and your Master. Have you personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? God’s Word tells us that if you have, then you would have a desire to ‘pray all the time’. If your ‘love-for-God’ meter is measured by your prayer life, are you proud of the love you show to God every day? How about your concern for the church as a whole, do you attend corporate prayer enough to support its survival and its outreach into your community? Is your pastor empowered because of your prayers for him? Daniel maintained his prayer life in spite of a new law being enacted that he knew could have led to his imprisonment. How valid do you feel your excuses are for not attending your corporate prayer services, compared to Daniel’s commitment in the circumstances he was under?

Prayer

Lord God, we are a sorry bunch, considering all the gracious gifts that You bless us with every day, compared to the uncaring attitude we extend in returning thanks to You. Friends are dying every day without Jesus, and ashamedly we acknowledge that our prayers and our influence in their lives could have made a difference. We have read, heard and seen the power of prayer, yet many have chosen to ignore its power through their attendance and commitment to pray corporately. Please forgive us Lord. I feel like we are witnessing the greatest need for revival probably in the life of Your church here on earth. Only those who have actually accepted you as Lord can be ‘revived’, so Lord, please begin a great work in the life of Your church – Your people. May Your children be reminded of the power of prayer, and their obligation to converse with their Master. We need you heavenly Father, revive Your church again, I pray. AMEN!

Footnote

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

Concerned Enough To Pray

Thursday, 2018-11-10

Scripture

Bible Reference: Nehemiah 1:2–4

Bible Text: Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven

Bible Translation: New International Version (NIV)

My Take

Ever shared your burden with a friend, and they promised to pray for you, but never followed up with you to see how you’re doing? Ever stood in a line of folk entering or exiting a church, and while telling one parishioner that you will be praying for them, you are already looking at the next person and greeting them? I am not your judge on whether you follow through with those promised prayers for someone, but I can honestly share with you that I have said those words many times before and now stand ashamed before God acknowledging that I have often not followed through with praying for the needs that I promised someone I would pray for. Nehemiah’s actions in verse (4) really spoke to me, but what equally ministered to me, was the action that he took in verse 2, where he asked about the condition of his Jewish brothers who had survived the exile. How many times do you leave church upset that the pastor never even asked you how you were feeling? Now, may I ask you a more challenging question, how many times in the last 4 weeks have you asked how things are going at the church at a very high level, or how might you pray for your pastor? Friends, too often we want to know what’s going on because we want every little piece of gossip we could get. I believe that Nehemiah is teaching us to settle for an answer like “I am really struggling today, please pray for my health”, or “I am feeling discouraged today, please pray for me”, or a pastor may say “I am feeling overwhelmed today because I am concerned about so many parishioners who are hurting emotionally or perhaps sick”. I believe that if we could settle for prayer needs such as that, instead of needing to know every little detail, then more pastors and/or Brothers and Sisters would share their high level prayer requests with us. But remember, most won’t share their prayer requests with us if we don’t care enough to ask. Now let me draw our attention to the depth of Nehemiah prayer. For he not only cared enough to ask about the condition of his people, but he followed through with days of mourning, fasting and praying before God for the needs of his people. Some months ago I took part in a prayer chain, where I committed to enter into God’s presence for one hour, praying over some heartfelt concerns. Because I have been accustomed to short, quick conversations with God, that hour felt like an eternity. Look at the condition of Nehemiah’s heart over this concern for his people – he mourned, he fasted and he prayed for days. May I challenge you to dig deep into your heart, yes even those of you that are trying to have hearts like your Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and consider the last time that you were burdened enough about your church, or pastor, or unsaved loved one that you found it more important to pray than to eat, and your heart was so burdened for the need that you wept uncontrollably before God in prayer for hours and days before you felt a breakthrough? Let’s care enough to actually pray about those things that concern us, and/or concern those that we love and care about. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man/woman avails much. Communion with God will best prepare us for dealings with mankind!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, please touch Your people once again. Draw us unto Yourself so that with Your heart and Your love and Your concern for Your children, we too might become more devoted to caring for one another and praying sincerely for the needs of others. Regrettably, we have become such an instant, fast-paced people that we hardly leave time for showing deep concern for one another, for our pastors and for our churches. Please forgive us Lord, and teach us to pray in a way pleasing to You, and that consequently reaches the hearts of those that we pray for. Our prayers are to You and for Your glory, so help us to never lose sight of our Savior by slacking in our prayer life. The world needs You, heavenly Father, and Christians need more of You to be effective witnesses for You. Please renew a right spirit within us, beginning with me, so that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart will be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. AMEN!

Footnote

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

Sin – An Object Of Cursing From God

Based on scripture, I believe that God wants us to turn away from our sin (stop doing it and look at God’s plan for us), humble ourselves before the almighty God, seek His face and His heart’s desire for us, and pray for a revived spirit within us individually and, as a family, as a church, as a city and indeed as a nation.

Wednesday, 2016-10-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 44:22–23

Bible Text:  22 Today, your land is an object of cursing, a horror, a lifeless ruin because the Eternal could no longer stand your wickedness and the detestable things you did. 23 Take a good look at the disaster that has come upon you. It happened because you burned incense to other gods and sinned against the Eternal. It happened because you refused to obey His voice or follow His law and His decrees, because you ignored His warnings.

Bible Translation: The VOICE 

My Take

Just from the title you probably had no incentive or desire to open this devotional and read more. That’s pretty normal, because we are creatures of so much stress each day that the last thing we want to hear is another challenge or critical point of view. Sorry friends, but as followers of Christ we must be obedient to the Holy Spirit and stop to meditate on a passage of scripture such as this, when presented with it, because God could very well be getting our attention to warn us of what our own outcome may look like, if we continue in sin and disobedient to His commands. Based on scripture, I believe that God wants us to turn away from our sin (stop doing it and look at God’s plan for us), humble ourselves before the almighty God, seek His face and His heart’s desire for us, and pray for a revived spirit within us individually and, as a family, as a church, as a city and indeed as a nation. Friends, at this time of the year we become so caught up in politics, in Thanksgiving celebrations, and begin thinking about Christmas. If we’re not careful, I’m afraid that we could easily lose our passion for what is really critical in God’s eyes – that we know Him; honor Him; obey Him and seek sincerely to follow Him. In doing this friends, we will earn a deep, sincere, desire to see our family and friends also ‘make the cut’, or generate a desire to know the Savior that we love, adore and live in great expectation of uniting with one day! Friends, as we grow closer to God and live more like Him here on this earth, perhaps He may save our land from desolation and destruction. Most of us would desire that God bless our respective native country, so I sincerely believe that we would also truly regret it if God removed His hand of blessing from us and allowed our land to become an object of His cursing – just because of our neglect of God and His commands. God says in His Word that He puts our leaders in place for His purposes. Let us therefore be sure that we seek His face as we vote on our leaders, and more importantly, let us seek to know God better, understand His directions for us, and seek to follow His will and His way. I believe that this will please God and perhaps earn His blessing rather than His curse, as He did with the disobedient and rebellious Israelites.

Prayer

Lord, please forgive us for getting so caught up in our own agendas at the expense of our obedience to You and Your commands to us. I am convinced that You are far more interested in our heart, and the desires of our heart, than any earthly concern that we may have influence over. We love our respective home-country and would ask that You bless us immensely in every way. That’s a selfish request because we happen to live here, and whatever happens to our country, affects us. Lord, I also want to ask that You touch the hearts of Your children today so that we may be a vital Christian influence in our country that is representative of the Savior who loves and controls us. I realize that we don’t deserve this Lord, but I ask this so that Your work might be accomplished in our country, in spite of us. I pray that Your children will lift Your banner high so that the world might know the One who reigns over us! AMEN!

Footnote

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

Staying Encouraged In A Challenging World

Perhaps before you walk out of the door to your home this morning you already realized that there will be many challenges that you will deal with today. Perhaps there is overflow from the challenges you dealt with yesterday. There may even be unresolved contention that you know you must deal with today.

Monday, 2016-10-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:8-9

Bible Text:  Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Perhaps before you walk out of the door to your home this morning you already realized that there will be many challenges that you will deal with today. Perhaps there is overflow from the challenges you dealt with yesterday. There may even be unresolved contention that you know you must deal with today. You may be deliberating: why is it that you must awake from your ‘perfect’, ‘protected’, ‘uncomplicated’ dream of contentment and peace at home, and face the reality and cruelty of this wicked world. Friends, I want you to be encouraged with the words from God, through His messenger Paul, for I believe this can apply to all who are reading this devotional today:

  • First of all, to the believer in Jesus Christ, here are some tips from our Scripture on how to handle life under God’s leadership, strength, wisdom and guidance today:

    • Don’t allow your minds to be swayed by this world and it’s leader – Satan. Instead, aim towards being like Jesus, for He is true (so important in this world filled with lies, hatred and deception); pure (there is no ‘make-believe’ with Jesus Christ, for He is the real deal. He loved us when we were still steeped in sin, and He gave up His own life to provide the means of us living eternally with the Father in heaven); right; holy (remember Jesus is one with God, so He is holy just as God Almighty is holy); friendly; and proper;
    • Think about everything that is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise – in other words, we are to seek God’s help to not be pulled into the gutter of gossip; hatred; and the evil deeds associated with Satan himself. In other words, if we find ourselves thinking about something that we cannot truly praise God for, then we are probably ‘off-track’ with what God is teaching us here. For we are to think on those things that are ‘worthy of praise‘ to our heavenly Father!
  • Secondly, I believe that there is help here for the non-Christian. Think about it friend: how can you possibly deal with life without the power of the Holy Spirit who is at work in the life of the believer? Without the power of Christ, Satan is free to beat up on you all he wants. Christians are not super beings with the capability of handling every aspect of life that is thrown at them. However, we are super excited about the promise that we can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens us and guides us to all truth, through the awesome power and guidance of His Holy Spirit who controls us. I believe that your encouragement today is knowing that as long as you have life, there is hope in the option to also accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Know Jesus and know peace! That’s my recommendation to you today so that you may gain His everlasting joy and contentment in everyday living here on this earth.

Prayer

There are a few sayings that cross my mind dear Lord, “you are now entering your mission field” and “you are now entering the ‘real’ world”. I believe that most of us feel fairly secure and at peace in our own homes, and we fear the challenge of what this bitter world holds in store for us as we step into it today. Thank You for the encouragement given to us in this passage of scripture today. Lord, we believe in You, and we lift high the banner of truth contained in Your Word. We are more dependent on You today than ever before Savior, for we can only handle today’s challenges with You powerfully working inside of us, and helping us to be more like You. Lord, how will the world know about You if we don’t tell them? Oh that they may see everlasting hope and the love of Christ in all that we do or say today. For this is my humble prayer that I ask in and through the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

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

Prayer – Our Most Powerful Tool!

Unlike many of us that may spend less than 3 minutes in prayer, this whole chapter in Daniel highlights most of the content of Daniel’s conversation/prayer to God, for he was burdened for his people and his land and he knew that the only one who could do anything about the stubbornness of hearts, would be the Eternal God. Daniel took God seriously at His Word, that ‘If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, then God……’.  True to His Word, Daniel found out that the minute he humbled himself, opened his mouth in prayer, then God began acting in response!

Post Date:

Friday, 2018-06-08
SCRIPTURE

From:

Daniel 9:20-23 (TLB)

Text:

20 Even while I was praying and confessing my sin and the sins of my people, desperately pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain, 21 Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, flew swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice 22 and said to me, “Daniel, I am here to help you understand God’s plans. 23 The moment you began praying a command was given. I am here to tell you what it was, for God loves you very much. Listen and try to understand the meaning of the vision that you saw!
OBSERVATION:
Unlike many of us that may spend less than 3 minutes in prayer, this whole chapter in Daniel highlights most of the content of Daniel’s conversation/prayer to God, for he was burdened for his people and his land and he knew that the only one who could do anything about the stubbornness of hearts, would be the Eternal God. Daniel took God seriously at His Word, that ‘If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, then God……’.  True to His Word, Daniel found out that the minute he humbled himself, opened his mouth in prayer, then God began acting in response!
APPLICATION:
A question often asked in Christian circles is: ‘Does God really listen to my prayers, and is it possible that He would ever act on ‘my prayers’? Fortunately we don’t control God, or the prayers that He chooses to answer. But as for our prayers, I would suggest a few tips that I believe Scripture teaches:

  • Don’t go to God as a stranger out of desperation. Go before Him reverently, acknowledging that He is God (in charge) and that you are His humble servant, saved only by His grace, in need of Him, once again today/this week/etc;
  • When no personal relationship exists, it is very challenging to have a sincere, meaningful conversation with someone – especially God. Relationships flourish when there is ongoing conversation between both parties; when there’s giving sacrificially to the other party, and receiving humbly from that party. God is no different, honor His Word by reading it daily and allowing God to speak with you and direct your paths; Pray to God about everything and be willing to accept His response, that may not always agree with our personal desire;
  • Be willing to act on what God directs you to do – obedience;
  • Learn to go before God looking at His face, and not for His outstretched hand. Yes, I believe He wants to give you the desires of your heart, but looking into His face will encourage you to worship Him and recognize Him for who He is. Then if you are in need of something, you will recognize that you are placing your most private thoughts and most urgent needs before a very worthy God.

God does answer prayer, friends. Do your part to ensure that you are asking of a very personal God with whom you have a very deep relationship with. Daniel did this and God acted immediately. Our God’s not dead, He’ll do the same for you!

PRAYER:
Lord, thank You for answered prayer! Thank You Lord for accepting me as Your precious child, and for Your continued care and answers to my prayers. On behalf of all who may read this devotional and myself, please continue to work on us with building a closer and stronger relationship with You. I believe that You care about every little concern of ours, so I pray that we will present our cares of all sizes at Your feet and seek Your will and Your blessing. Thank You for being there in so many ways for Daniel and thank You for the promise that You will be with us always. Praise to our wonderful Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!