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

Dangers of A Judgmental Attitude

Being critical of others and judging them for every thing they do or say, that seems different to our way of thinking, is a common thing for most of us. However, we are being warned to be careful with this, as God will use similar measurements in judging us. Since that may prove to be a very touchy situation for many of us, let’s take time to let the warnings of this judgment sink in, and hopefully, help us correct our ways.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-01-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 7:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT:  “Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment[a] will not be passed on you. For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you.[b] Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own?[c] 

OBSERVATION: Being critical of others and judging them for every thing they do or say, that seems different to our way of thinking, is a common thing for most of us. However, we are being warned to be careful with this, as God will use similar measurements in judging us. Since that may prove to be a very touchy situation for many of us, let’s take time to let the warnings of this judgment sink in, and hopefully, help us correct our ways.

APPLICATION: How many times have you wished that you could bring in the sentencing on some of the criminal cases we hear about? What about the way that young ladies dress or carry themselves when around young men, what’s been your judgment on that? Or young men who look intently on beautiful ladies passing by, ever accused them of having evil actions on their minds? And the couple who works hard, but they are spending money like you could hardly believe possible – in your mind have you ever charged them with stealing from their boss? And imagine how we doubt and accuse someone who has traditionally lied to us about various things. Can they ever tell the truth, and we accept it without question? Friends, I’m not looking down my nose at you when I say these things, because God spoke to me also as I read this Scripture. We seem to have a real weakness in overlooking our own sin, and anxiously waiting to help God do His job in dealing with others. But let us look closely at what God said He would do in judging us: In our Scripture today, God said that He would judge us using the same standards we use in judging others, and He will use the same measurement. So when we step outside our line of authority and judge someone in our minds for what appears to be a sinful act, and we think or say how we feel that act should be administered, then I believe God is saying that He will do exactly the same with us. If we decide in our heart that the act by our Brother qualifies for harsh treatment, then we could expect God to deal with us harshly. I know, yes we serve a very loving God who will forgive us of our sin, no matter how many times we ask. But the Scripture today says that we are setting our standard of punishment by the way we think about punishing others for their sin. So how can we best correct ourselves on this? We probably can’t correct it ourselves, because we have spent a lifetime developing those evil ways and harsh responses. But, we serve the God of forgiveness, strength and deliverance, and He will hear our cry for help and give us strength to overcome. I believe that when we see a Brother or Sister failing, we should quickly raise our eyes to heaven and thank God for His mercies, for if it wasn’t for His grace, we would probably be equally as bad, or worse in our thoughts, deeds or actions, just as we see in others. Take that as an opportunity to praise God, and to pray for the weaker Brother who may need help. Friends, God loved even the unlovable so much that He gave His only Son (Jesus) to die on a cruel cross so that we might be forgiven (saved from our sin), and assured of eternal life in heaven one day with He and the Father. So do I believe that God will forgive even the worst of us? You bet I do, I believe that He loves you and I more than we could ever imagine. I wish I could be that forgiving and loving to my Brothers and Sisters, don’t you? I believe that if we leave the judging and critiquing to God, and allow us more opportunity to concentrate on brotherly love, we would live in a much better place that is much better prepared to meet our Master.

PRAYER: Lord, You are so understanding of us and Your love so amazing and unconditional for Your children, even though we seem to judge everyone else with awful intention. Please forgive us for our sin and evil thoughts about others, and instead fill us with more and more of Yourself so that we might be better witnesses and examples of our Master. You loved us all, and thankfully You loved even me. Please soften our hearts so that we may love like You intended, that we may not judge others, like You commanded, and that we may encourage others to join hands and hearts as we cross the finish line together into Your gracious presence. We love You Lord! Please help us to expend every effort in loving others instead of judging them, so that we may introduce them to our Savior and Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. 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 Control What You Receive

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! Read on and be blessed friend!………

The Bible Text: 36 Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.37 “Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you.38 Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands – all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.”
The Bible Reference: Luke 6:36-38
The Bible Translation: The Good News Translation (GNT)

My Take Away: Way too often we whine about how ‘lucky’ others are, and we may even complain about how little we receive. I believe in these verses we see some prerequisites in order to receive all the blessings that God might have in store for us. Here are some things we need to improve on, if we ever expect to receive the full extent of the blessings God has in store for us:

  • Be merciful just as, and because, God is merciful – This is powerful, because it does not clarify that we are to be merciful to only those who, we feel, deserve it. God made us all, and I don’t believe He created any distinction on who He would be merciful to. He expects the same from us, friends!
  • God will not judge or condemn us, if we simply practice the same restraint when dealing with others!
  • God will forgive us, if and when we forgive others!
  • God will give to us, as we give to others. – If we are stingy in our giving (monetarily or otherwise), then don’t expect a lot from God. However, if we give generously in response to the blessings that God  has blessed us with, then we can expect God to give generously in return to us. For it is the same measure that we use in our giving, that He will use to bless us in return.

Isn’t it neat that God has given us the rules and the conditions that control how generous He will be to us? Let’s dig deep into our hearts and evaluate whether we are doing all we can, to receive all we can from our generous and loving God!

Prayer: Father God, You are so good to us each and every day. I can’t imagine how You can possibly bless me more than You do already. But after reading these verses today, I am reminded that I do not give of myself or my other possessions, near as much as You bless me with each and every day. Thank You for reminding me and my readers about the importance of sharing our gifts with others. It’s all Yours Lord, as we would have nothing without You. Please help us to freely share all that has been freely given to us, and I thank You in advance for Your promise to shower even more upon us in return. I love You Lord for You are so gracious, loving and kind to all of Your children. May You be worshiped and praised in return this wonderful day, is my humble prayer that I ask 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!

2016

God Alone Is Our Judge

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 75:5-7

Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens

or speak with such arrogance.

For no one on earth—from east or west,

or even from the wilderness—

should raise a defiant fist.

It is God alone who judges;

he decides who will rise and who will fall.

Thoughts:

Isn’t it interesting who we tend to blame when things don’t go our way? Sometimes it’s the ‘Devil’ who made me do it; or perhaps my peers who pressured me into something; or even the same bad luck that my family has always been cursed with. David is reminding us that God alone is our Judge so we need not shake our heads from east to west in defiance, or find other things to blame His judgment on. Throughout the life of David we can see how God used His judgment to correct and redirect David so that one day He could boast on him as ‘a man after my own heart’. So how does this affect Christians today? Well, I would challenge you by saying that we are quick enough to give God the credit for the good things that happen in our lives, but we should be just as quick to stop and recognize that those challenging times actually bring positive correction from God; times that He is growing us in our faith? Another challenging thing for most of us to accept is that God decides who will rise and who will fall. We are often filled with so much envy for the success of others, until it is extremely difficult for us to actually praise God for someone else and then show our sincerity by supporting God’s choice for the job. As children of God, we must always be prepared to accept His Lordship, His Judgment, and of course His Love. How are you doing in each of these areas of acceptance? Is He truly Lord over each of these in Your life and you have matured enough to accept His will in ALL things? If so, praise Him daily for His perfect will; if not, approach the throne daily and plead for help from the Father for the fortitude to accept His blessings and His judgment – His will for your life.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me enough to die for me. Thank You for daily leadership in this life here on earth. Please forgive me for the times that I willingly accept Your blessings but yet refuse to accept Your judgment on, and correction in, my life. I admit that I am not perfect, and while I always appreciate and enjoy the blessings, I know that I desperately and continually need correction from You. Please help me to stay humble and freely accept Your good judgment and Your correction. Lord, I’m afraid that this is also something that my friends reading this devotional today might also need. Please touch the heart of every one who might meditate on this devotional today. May they find rest in You and peace in every decision you might make that impacts their life. Thank You for loving us enough to correct us! I love You too dear Lord, and I lift my voice in praise and honor to You this day! I am asking this in Your holy and most worthy name, dear Lord, AMEN!

 

NOTE: 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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.

Woe To You……

Scripture: Genesis 36 – 37; Matthew 11  

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God.21 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.22 I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.23 “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today.24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”   Matt 11:20-24 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that too often we tend to think about how good we are as a church, or a nation, that God would surely bless everyone in it. I also think that we tend to take it for granted that because we go to this or that church every week we will also go to heaven. Friends, there is only one way to get there, and that is to accept Jesus as Lord of you life. Just like Jesus may have done numerous miracles in our church, or in our family, so we may be tempted to think that we too are among those blessed, and will surely reap God’s blessings. These verses tell us that although Jesus performed many miracles in these towns, yet they (the people) will surely die and go to hell if they don’t make personal decisions to accept Him. We too must turn to God, and not think for a moment that we can depend on our blessed lineage to also slip into Heaven. It just doesn’t happen that way. Woe to any that believe that way. A personal decision to accept Jesus is THE only way to ever see Jesus and/or Heaven. The one good thing is that, if you are able to read this devotional today, there is still time for you to make the type decision of which I speak about here. Don’t delay your decision friend, we are not promised one moment past the present breath. Contact me if you would like a friend to talk with about this decision. Directly from God’s Word I will find the words to help you in your decision to accept Jesus. Respond to this posting today, please?

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Thank You Father for saving my soul. please help me to be sensitive to those who have yet to make this most important decision. Please direct me to someone today that I may help in their dilemma so that they may personally know that they will see You one day, regardless of what may go on around them. Thank You for making this provision for us and providing a means for forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life.