Decide For Yourself – Innocent or Guilty?

I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 12:34-37
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 34 …. How can you say anything good? What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts. 35 Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. 36 I tell you that everyone will have to answer for all the careless things they have said. This will happen on the day of judgment. 37 Your words will be used to judge you. What you have said will show whether you are right or whether you are guilty.”

OBSERVATION: I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

APPLICATION: If while driving down the road our car began to sputter, we won’t head to the dealership and trade that car in, we will take it to the repair shop and ask them to determine what is causing the problem, and then fix it. Likewise, if we discover that we just said something that might hurt a Brother, we should immediately look for ways to correct that problem. The Bible speaks of the awful danger of the tongue and how it easily and quickly causes grief to others, and especially to God. But most critical today is the matter that God will use our words to judge us when we stand before Him. That’s a frightening thought, especially when we consider the number of vain words that we speak, and the off-color jokes that we share – usually at some else’s expense. But notice how quickly Jesus identified the root of the problem. We care capable of speaking: kind words – just as Jesus spoke when He was here on earth; challenging words – especially when we recognize the solution to a problem that a fellow believer is facing; encouraging words – when we hear of the discouragement someone is facing at home or at work; evangelistic words – when the Holy Spirit enlightens us to the spiritual needs of our friends or loved ones. But in each of these cases, our ‘good’ words originate from a heart touched by Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit. So what happens when we have rejected Jesus, when we have chosen to follow the wicked path of Satan and his evil followers here on earth? Isn’t it clear to see that evil begets evil? I don’t believe it is possible for a heart that is used to dishing out evil words and evil actions, to suddenly change its course and be kind and loving to others, unless that heart has been refreshed by the God of all love. Notice how angry people say angry words, not loving and caring words of affirmation. Friends, I believe that God is encouraging us today to fill our hearts with His love and His character. A heart of love will speak words of love and caring, just like Jesus did to all that He touched. Your decision today will determine how you react to life’s circumstances, and how you will be judged on that day you stand before the God of all creation. You have no choice in the meeting, only what will influence your output here on earth, and God’s ultimate decision on where you belong for all eternity. Please read my Footnote carefully, especially the link behind ‘To Know Jesus’. Today might be the day God sets your appointed meeting with Himself – are you ready?

PRAYER: Oh Lord our Lord, thank You for giving us this truth today. May all my readers be touched by Your Holy Spirit and may we seek Your face as we analyze what Your decision will be about our eternal destination. Yes, we can put aside all excuses and indeed examine the person we have become because of the decisions we make. We were reminded that this is influenced by all that we have filled our hearts with. Please cleanse us oh Lord, and make us white as snow. Fill us with Your love and Your character, so that our hearts will overflow with gladness, with love, with caring and with everything that You stand for. We desperately want to be where You are, oh Lord. Please help us to make decisions today that will help us to live the life Your taught us to in Your Word. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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!

The Day of The Lord

The Bible says that life will be going on as usual – Christmas celebrations, Covid complications, New jobs, Retirements, New births, deaths, family celebrations and family arguments. Any of these things could be happening when the last trumpet call is heard loud and clear. Christians know that this will herald a time when they will meet their Savior face-to-face. However, Zephaniah has a stark contrast for those without Jesus Christ. Your choice today decides what you will face on the day and time of that last trumpet blast. Think about that today as we delve into the Scriptures.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-12-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Zephaniah 2:2-3
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible (AMP)

BIBLE TEXT:  ….. Before the burning and fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you,
Before the day of the wrath of the Lord comes upon you.
Seek the Lord [search diligently for Him and regard Him as the foremost necessity of your life], All you humble of the land who have practiced His ordinances and have kept His commandments; seek righteousness, seek humility [regard them as vital].
Perhaps you will be hidden [and pardoned and rescued] in the day of the Lord’s anger.

OBSERVATION: The Bible says that life will be going on as usual – Christmas celebrations, Covid complications, New jobs, Retirements, New births, deaths, family celebrations and family arguments. Any of these things could be happening when the last trumpet call is heard loud and clear. Christians know that this will herald a time when they will meet their Savior face-to-face. However, Zephaniah has a stark contrast for those without Jesus Christ. Your choice today decides what you will face on the day and time of that last trumpet blast. Think about that today as we delve into the Scriptures.

APPLICATION: We all love to have fun, and in most cases that is a good thing. However, Zephaniah wanted to make sure that that putting all the fun aside, the Judeans knew that they had a very bleak future ahead. So he shared very bluntly what they could expect that day, or on any other day that Jesus Christ returns. Way too often we show such a good face to our friends and neighbors that they would probably be willing to testify of our future prospect in heaven. However, God knows what’s under the surface and buried deep inside our ugly hearts. Although Zephaniah was deeply concerned for the Judeans, God is concerned about us all, and I believe that He insisted on this scripture being included in His Book, because He wanted us to also be reminded that very sad times are ahead for those who choose to ignore the love of Jesus Christ on the cross. Notice that the Word encourages us to seek after Jesus with all our heart – in fact, make it a top priority in our life. Why? Because we could very easily hear that trumpet blast before we could finish reading this blog. For those of us who make it a priority to ‘live right’, or obey the commandments of God, Zephaniah is encouraging us to really strive hard to improve our relationship with our King in two primary areas (probably the ones that we struggle with most):
~ Seek righteousness – Righteousness is thought of best when we honestly consider if we are ‘right with God’. Very challenging, as God is known as the only perfect One, and we realize what a stretch that would be for us. But also notice that God commanded through Zephaniah that we ‘seek after’ righteousness. In other words, evaluate self against the Word of God, and then reevaluate yourself after a challenging day to see how you did with that. When you take time to look for ways to improve your actions and determine how you could be more like Jesus, then I believe you are ‘seeking after’ ways to be ‘right with God’; and
~ Seek humility – Most would gloss over this because they are convinced that they already have this under control. But if we feel like we could brag about it, doesn’t that mean that you’re not really humble? Friends, this is a very challenging characteristic and one that we are forced to seek after until we are called home to Glory. You know what it means, and you know what it looks like as you look on others who struggle with being humble. Let me suggest that you join me in asking God at the beginning of each day to help us to be humble, like He is. Then at the end of each day, ask God to show us where we messed up, and how we may be more like Him in humility the next day.
Like Zephaniah told his people, as we strive to assume the above characteristics of our Father, then perhaps He will pardon us on the Day of the Lord, when He returns to take His church home!

PRAYER: Thank You for Your Word today Lord. Another reminder that You are not finished with us yet, but that we are a work in progress. Please Lord, impact our hearts in such a way that we will daily seek to improved our walk with You and seek after righteousness and humility – two areas that I believe we will never attain perfection in while living here on earth and being stained by the world’s sinful acts. Oh that we might be found faithful and true, for this is my humble plea for my readers and I. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, 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!

It’s Time To Go!

In the first 6 verses, time is spent introducing the legitimacy of how John became authorized to share these revelations with us. It is obvious that these words came from God, through Jesus, to John. It is also obvious that our soon coming God will be for ALL people that ever existed and who exist at the time of His coming. No need for an earthly judge to say who His coming applies to, or don’t apply to. Seeing that this will apply to all reading this devotional, it is really important that we meditate on this for just a while today.

Friday, 2018-11-23

Bible Reference: Revelation 1:7
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes (nations) of the earth will mourn over Him [realizing their sin and guilt, and anticipating the coming wrath]. [kSo it is to be. Amen.

OBSERVATION: In the first 6 verses, time is spent introducing the legitimacy of how John became authorized to share these revelations with us. It is obvious that these words came from God, through Jesus, to John. It is also obvious that our soon coming God will be for ALL people that ever existed and who exist at the time of His coming. No need for an earthly judge to say who His coming applies to, or don’t apply to. Seeing that this will apply to all reading this devotional, it is really important that we meditate on this for just a while today.

APPLICATION: At an airport, a plane will leave only with those ticketed for that flight, regardless of how many travelers are in the airport. Unlike the airport scenario, the God who created us, also provided an alternative to the flight ticket, by sending His only Son as our means of getting from earth to heaven. For those who have accepted the  gift of God’s Son, we will have a much better outlook than most, on the day that the whole world looks up and sees Jesus bursting through the clouds. Notice a few things about this truth from the very beginning of the book of Revelation: (1) Airline flights are contingent on so many things, like weather; availability of fuel; an operational airport in which to pick up its passengers, etc. However, in our verses today, we are told that Jesus IS COMING – period. In other words, there is nothing that will stop Him (praise the name of Jesus!); (2) ‘Everyone’ will see Jesus when He comes for us. Stop to think that also includes the person that you tried to witness to, and they thought you were from another planet! Also the person that follows a cult, and absolutely scorns the name of our Jesus; (3) Notice that John was told that the glorious return of Jesus will not be a time of rejoicing by all who see Him coming back to earth. My mind went on to think of what it would be like for any of us to hear of our national leader coming to our town. Some will protest, and some will rejoice and party. The Bible says that it will be much the same when Jesus returns. Some of us will rejoice endlessly that our Savior has finally come to take us home – that’s the group I will be in, because I have accepted the Gift of God’s Son – the only One, the only thing that opens the doors of heaven for an earthly sinner to claim righteousness and redemption of sin. However friends, the Bible says that some will be extremely sad, because they will finally realize that their rejection of Jesus Christ, and their disbelief in the one true God, was a BIG mistake. But the huge warning for all that may happen across this devotional today, is that, when that day occurs – and it could be today, tomorrow or even next week, but on that day, it will be a point of no turning back, or changing of minds, for it will be the day of judgment. A day set aside to judge the entire population of the world. Only you will know the verdict that will be passed down to you by God, friend. No attorney will help convince the Judge, for He already knows every little detail about every one of His creation, including the condition of our heart and to whom we belong. I’m ready to go friend, are you?

PRAYER: Come Lord Jesus come! Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and free! For Your love, forgiveness, and eternal provisions, I give You sincere thanks dear Lord. Please be an instrument of love in the hearts and lives of all who will read this devotional today. May they be inclined to get into Your Word and learn more about their Creator and their heavenly King. Lord, may no one who is reminded of Your awesome grace be in the sad, weeping crowd on the day who will look towards heaven and see You coming in the clouds. Oh Lord of heaven, may the hearts of the unsaved be softened today and drawn to You, so that they may joyously await Your return. 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 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!