Make Your Church Attractive to Your Community

I believe that every reader will have a short list about why they chose the church they are attending. If asked by a friend about why you like your church, I’m sure you will be quick to tell them about the great praise and worship team, or perhaps the preaching, or even other things that you like about your church. But what do you think will attract the unbeliever? Spend time in the Word with me as we note the reason crowds were drawn to Jesus. Perhaps this will help us better respond to questions about our church!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-05-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 3:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus went away with his followers to the lake. A large crowd of people from Galilee followed them. Many also came from Judea, from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from the area across the Jordan River, and from the area around Tyre and Sidon. These people came because they heard about all that Jesus was doing.

OBSERVATION: I believe that every reader will have a short list about why they chose the church they are attending. If asked by a friend about why you like your church, I’m sure you will be quick to tell them about the great praise and worship team, or perhaps the preaching, or even other things that you like about your church. But what do you think will attract the unbeliever? Spend time in the Word with me as we note the reason crowds were drawn to Jesus. Perhaps this will help us better respond to questions about our church!

APPLICATION: When we think that a friend likes great music, we will promote the great band that our church has, and the exciting Worship Leader who lends energy to our services each week. For the friend who likes to read, we may tell them about the emphasis our church has on studying the Bible. For the friend going through a rough time, you may tell them about the emphasis your church has on prayer. Of course, we all may have heard people brag about the love and care of the church members/attendees, and how they rallied around them on so many occasions of distress and heartache. But although many of these examples represent things that Jesus may have influenced in the lives of believers, isn’t it strange how seldom we give Him credit for all that He is doing in the church? Notice how, in our story today, that the people came from areas all around because of what they had heard about Jesus. Yes, this could mean that they came because of what others shared in their efforts to get them to meet their Savior, but friends, I believe that some of the first words from our mouth, when asked about our church, our ministries, our pastor, or our worship leader, is that Jesus is still the same today, as He was yesterday and the day before, and that we look forward to meeting with Him every time we go to church. Share how He healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, encouraged the down-trodden and gave hope and life to those who were discouraged and ready to give up. In fact, it is very evident that He meets with us each week as we open His Word, for our minds are made to understand; in prayer we speak with Him as One who is right there in our presence and we are encouraged to go on, knowing that the King of all kings still reigns, still loves and still cares for us like no one else could. Friends, this is not just words that we should speak, but rather experiences that we should share. In fact, this becomes reality as we leave our homes where Jesus has been present each and every day through our times of devotion, through our ups and downs of life, and through the answers to prayer for the sick and discouraged of our family. Then as we head to church to lift up His name and sing praise to our wonderful Lord, we are prepared to welcome Him in our midst and ready our hearts for a time of communion with our Lord – the Master and all gracious God. I believe that we have become way too dependent on entertainment, on things that bring us good feelings, on people who give money or things to us, and we go to church for more of the same. Please consider an intimate relationship with this great God of ours. Please consider going to church to lift up His holy name and bless others who need encouragement, and not for the selfish sake of getting your fill of blessings, although that will come when you do the things mentioned. Friends, this same God who created us and provides sunshine and food for us each day, loves us passionately and has a brand new home prepared for us, where we will enjoy His presence in band new bodies without pain and heartaches. Let’s learn to brag on Him more, and for all that He does through His humble servants at our respective churches. May He be glorified in and through us today, and every day.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are so good to me. You bless me beyond anything I can imagine. You even gave up Your life so that I might live eternally in Heaven. Please touch the hearts and souls of Your people today oh Lord. May we all be able to rejoice because of the Savior who loved us more than life itself; because of the Prince of Peace that calms us when life turns our world upside down; because You hear our cry for help and You answer our prayers with more than we could ever imagine or ask for. We just serve an awesome God, and we are forever thankful for knowing You as King and Lord of our lives. May all this cause an outflow of love and blessings to others that we come into contact with oh God. Be magnified in and through us, is my humble prayer. AMEN!

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

How To Win Praise From God

As Jesus continued to speak with the Jewish leaders, He was really speaking from an insider perspective, because unlike their priests, Jesus was speaking from a first-hand knowledge of their attitudes, actions and thoughts. He knew of their jealous ness, and He knew of their selfish intentions. This, friends, is the same God that we serve today, so let’s see how this may apply to us….

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-10-13
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 5:41-44 (GNT)

Text:

 41 “I am not looking for human praise. 42 But I know what kind of people you are, and I know that you have no love for God in your hearts. 43 I have come with my Father’s authority, but you have not received me; when, however, someone comes with his own authority, you will receive him. 44 You like to receive praise from one another, but you do not try to win praise from the one who alone is God; how, then, can you believe me?
OBSERVATION:
As Jesus continued to speak with the Jewish leaders, He was really speaking from an insider perspective, because unlike their priests, Jesus was speaking from a first-hand knowledge of their attitudes, actions and thoughts. He knew of their jealous ness, and He knew of their selfish intentions. This, friends, is the same God that we serve today, so let’s see how this may apply to us….
APPLICATION:
There are some pretty awful names that we call people who try to please others to gain favor with them and get what they want, yet we see that happening all the time, especially in the workplace. We are good at making it up to our spouse, or good friends, when we know that we have done something that would upset them. In our Scripture today, we are being challenged by Jesus Himself that we don’t do anything to win praise from our Savior; the Creator of this world, and you and I. Let that sink in for a moment, then I would like for you to continue in thought with me as we contemplate what it is that we might do to please God, and gain His praise. I know that some will disagree with me on some of these things, but I just want to share with you some of the things that my heart is troubled by, when either I do these things, or others do them. Troubling my heart is nothing friends, but I am speaking from a perspective of what I feel God may be troubled by, especially from those who have accepted Him as Lord (Christians):

  • When we find it a chore to meet with other believers  – going to church;
  • When we put limitations on how often we are prepared to go to church – one service, or perhaps one hour per week;
  • When our Bible study consist of whatever is studied or discussed at church. Friends, God’s Word is alive and represents God’s voice back to us. Reading the Word allows God to speak back to us. Listening to the Word corporately is a lesson in obedience and in teaching to help us understand what the Word is really saying;
  • When it’s time to make a decision whether to attend church or do something else. Church attendance will not save anyone, but those attending church stand a much better chance of being saved, and/or learning the depths of God’s Word, and/or learning to fellowship and help other believers who are struggling in life, just like you. When other decisions win out over attending church, what message is God receiving from that? Can He praise you for that distraction from church?

Friends, as you all can imagine, I’m not God, so for each of the above and so many other reasons, you will personally settle that with God, and I won’t even know the resolution, for I have many of my own that I need to deal with God on. This is merely written to encourage you to look full into the loving eyes of Jesus and answer the question He posed in this Scripture today: Do you believe in Me (Jesus)? If so, how are you showing that I am top priority in your life and how much you really do love Me? Is it more than anything, or anyone else in the world? Can I praise you for the dedicated love that you show towards Me every day?

PRAYER:
Dear Lord, we are humbled by Your love for us, and for all that You did to prove that love for us. Please touch our lives to rid ourselves of all personal desires, other than the one to serve You with all of our heart, mind and soul. From a heart filled with unconditional love for You, may we learn to obey Your commands and please You in every way possible. Oh how we look forward to the day when we see You face to face and hear those words “Well done good and faithful servant”. This is my desire Lord. May I serve you faithfully and love You intensely all the days of my life here on earth. Please touch the lives of all of my readers so that they may make similar statements to you today, based on their renewed allegiance. 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!

Marriage Without Divorce

To question charges for a driving infraction, one would go before a judge. To question about a Christian wedding, or marital problems, where God was invited to be a part of that three-party agreement, one would go to God, and/or His Word to understand the implications. This was the case with the Pharisees, for they wanted to know about the implications of breaking that three-party agreement. As in other areas of questioning Jesus, He quoted scripture to answer man’s questions.

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-28
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 19:3-6 (Voice)

Text:

So some Pharisees approached Jesus and asked Him this tricky question about divorce:

Pharisees: Is it ever lawful for a man to divorce his wife?

Jesus: Haven’t you read that in the beginning God created humanity male and female? Don’t you remember what the story of our creation tells us about marriage? “For this reason, a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” If a husband and wife are one flesh, how can they divorce? Divorce would be a bloody amputation, would it not? “What God has brought together, let no man separate.”

OBSERVATION:
To question charges for a driving infraction, one would go before a judge. To question about a Christian wedding, or marital problems, where God was invited to be a part of that three-party agreement, one would go to God, and/or His Word to understand the implications. This was the case with the Pharisees, for they wanted to know about the implications of breaking that three-party agreement. As in other areas of questioning Jesus, He quoted scripture to answer man’s questions.
APPLICATION:
Some of you might skip right over this devotional after reading the subject, because you are afraid that there may be so much of my own feelings debated in this blog that you really don’t want to hear it, perhaps again. One of the beauties of reading through the Bible, vs choosing specific topics, is that you will come across every topic addressed in the Bible. Of course you can choose to ignore some topics and just move on, but what I share with you each morning friends, are things that I feel God lays on my heart. I am convinced that these things first speak to my own heart, but I believe that God has me share these thoughts so that He might also use my thoughts to penetrate your heart and speak Truth to you. Sin has become so rampant in our world, and most people have become so tolerable of sin, that we often find ways to condone many things, among Christian circles and even in our churches. I am convinced that the Bible is our Rule Book, and it makes no consideration for the acts of sinful man, but instead gives us the words of God that addresses all of our actions, thoughts and questions. The main reason we (Christians) should have for going to a counselor, or a pastor, is to seek help in finding out how the Word of God addresses our situation. Remember, it’s our Rule Book! Unfortunately, we concoct enough to build our case as to why we believe we are right, because we want someone to validate, or take our side, so that our sin won’t hurt so badly. Friends, I believe that the moment we feel like sin is affecting either spouse, we must address it then – urgently. For sin is similar to a boil, it starts out small and it will irate just a little, but very soon it becomes an eating sore where it erodes the area of our body and infects our whole being. Friends, I am happily married, so it may seem like it must be easy for me to say all of the above, but may I remind you that sin affects us all, and it is only through a close, daily, and committed relationship with God that we stand a chance of learning from Him, seeking His help with life and His direction for every walk of life. Although some of you might be perfect in this area, I must admit that this is a daily walk for me. I need Christ in all areas of my life, and I need His help and guidance every day and in every aspect of life. May I recommend that you do the same, for I strongly believe that it is through Christ alone that we can live a life that would come close to imitating Him. I would also like to extend an invitation to all those who live near Sebring, Florida, to attend a monthly group meeting for couples at Bible Fellowship Church, Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL, the 4th Sunday of every month at 5:00pm. This might encourage you in your marriage, or you might encourage some else. Why not join us and allow God to do His work in your marriage!
PRAYER:
Father, thank You for loving us enough to create areas of happiness in our lives, then to provide the Rule Book on how we might best participate and enjoy all that You have created for us. Thank You for our spouses and for the happiness, contentment and friendship that we enjoy together in having You at the center of our lives and our relationships. Please forgive us for the many times that we have tried to have our own way and do our own thing. Although this often ends in disaster, we thank You for intervening in time to save our marriages. Please continue to impress upon Your children the importance of a daily encounter with You, so that we might become more aligned with Your ways and Your rules for life. We want to be more like You Jesus, so we humbly place ourselves at Your feet for a deep infilling of Your Holy Spirit. Use us for Your glory until we see You face to face. 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!