Cautious That These Things Won’t Sneak back In

It is one thing for us to pay close attention to the qualities God, through His servant Paul, taught us earlier in this chapter, but I would dare say that we must also be very careful not to let those old sinful qualities find their way back into our lives either. After all, we have since accepted Jesus as Lord, and invited the Holy Spirit to live within us. Imagine the hurt and disappointment that comes with reintroducing our old habits and attitudes into the presence of a holy God. Meditate with me friend, as we allow the Word of God to speak to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-07-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 4:29-32
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 29 When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. 30 And don’t make the Holy Spirit sad. God gave you his Spirit as proof that you belong to him and that he will keep you safe until the day he makes you free. 31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.

OBSERVATION: It is one thing for us to pay close attention to the qualities God, through His servant Paul, taught us earlier in this chapter, but I would dare say that we must also be very careful not to let those old sinful qualities find their way back into our lives either. After all, we have since accepted Jesus as Lord, and invited the Holy Spirit to live within us. Imagine the hurt and disappointment that comes with reintroducing our old habits and attitudes into the presence of a holy God. Meditate with me friend, as we allow the Word of God to speak to us today.

APPLICATION: As a child of God, we are to turn away from the sin that so easily devoured us before Christ, and instead make every endeavor to live the new life that God teaches us throughout His Word. It would be awesome if, from the day we accept Jesus as Lord, that we look forward to a life free of sin and filled with the awesome qualities of our Maker. However, we should never be naive enough to believe that the sin, hatred and ugliness of Satan and his demons that is happening all around us, will escape us. So although I know that God has the power to keep those who accept Him as Lord, safe and free from this world and its leader, yet I know that God has chosen to allow us free will while still here on earth. I believe this places a determination on us to stay true to the One in whom we have placed our faith and trust. I’m not sure how many ‘perfect’ ones might be out there and might even read this devotional, but according to the Word of God, there is only One who is perfect – Jesus, the Christ. Therefore, as long as we reside here on earth, and as long as we are surrounded by those who do not recognize our God, then I believe that some of their sin will drip on to us and may even cause us to stray from the Master at times. Although the list shown in verse 31 above may seem negative, and nothing that believers need worry about, I would strongly recommend that we keep this list in prominent view as a reminder. Any time that we feel our relationship with God is becoming slightly distant, check this list and ensure that some of our old ways are not sneaking back into our Holy Spirit filled lives. If it is, nip it in the bud immediately by asking God to forgive you and cleanse you of the distraction and sin, and to give you wisdom and strength on how to stay the course living totally dedicated to Him. Whatever you do, please don’t brush off the intrusion as minor, or slight, or easy enough for you to handle. God alone is the destroyer of all sin, not you. You are incapable my friend. If you still struggle with the ability to overcome, please seek an accountability partner – another Christian Brother (if you’re a man), or a Christian Sister (if you are a woman). If you are reading this devotional and can’t make sense of this, because you don’t know God, please, please, please, read my Footnote and seek to know Jesus personally. God is THE only answer to sin. Of course, I would be happy to hear from you and pray with you over this matter also, so feel free to email me.

PRAYER: It’s really easy to look back and see where You brought us from oh God. Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. While still here on earth, we see sin all around us, and way too often it tries to make its way back into our lives also, for we act up and treat others much like Paul was teaching against in our Scripture today. Please forgive us Lord, and teach us Your ways – each and every day of our lives. Please help us to quickly identify sin and do everything possible to distance ourselves from sin. As Your child, and as one who has the Holy Spirit residing inside of me, I am determined to serve You until the end of time, God being my strength and helper. Please touch the lives of those who are guilty of what is warned about above. Help us all to be pure in our relationship with You, so that unbelievers might be attracted to You. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Guard My Mouth

No doubt David had given some thought to what may cause him to do and say some crazy, human things at times. Because it is evident in these verses today that David looked deep within to find the root cause of things that may have helped him to mess up. I believe that we do the same thing on a regular basis, therefore I feel it would be good to stop and meditate on this for a short while today.

Saturday, 2018-11-24

Bible Reference: Psalm 142:3-4
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: 3  Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips [to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly].  4  Do not incline my heart to [consent to or tolerate] any evil thing, Or to practice deeds of wickedness with men who plan and do evil; And let me not eat of their delicacies (be tempted by their gain).

OBSERVATION: No doubt David had given some thought to what may cause him to do and say some crazy, human things at times. Because it is evident in these verses today that David looked deep within to find the root cause of things that may have helped him to mess up. I believe that we do the same thing on a regular basis, therefore I feel it would be good to stop and meditate on this for a short while today.

APPLICATION: Kids who are generally good, will often be challenged to look deep within after being tempted, or drawn into bad behavior or wicked deeds, because they hear things from family or good friends like: What on earth got into you? Or: The devil got hold of you child, because you weren’t brought up to think like that, or do those things! It seems like David had an awakening like that in this moment of his life. I find it interesting that God led David to search inwardly first, and then to subsequently share with us, the following thoughts: Firstly, David asked for help with his mouth. Isn’t this something that still tend to generally get us into our deepest trouble today? I believe that, like David, we need the powerful hand of God to help us avoid the need to say something on every occasion, especially things that are not intended to build up. Often we have helpful things that we could lend to a conversation, but more often than not, we are simply trying to show off our knowledge, our worth or our value. I love the way that the Amplified version clarifies that we have a general tendency to speak thoughtlessly. Secondly David prayed that God would protect his heart from evil. Friends, from the heart, our mouths will speak! In other words, we will only speak what’s deep inside of our hearts. If we feed it filth, we will speak filthy. However, if we fill it with words of wisdom, love and compassion as exampled by Jesus Christ, then don’t you know that your words will be filled with these good things. David also wanted to make sure that he would stand firm when the wicked perform evil deeds or practice wickedness.  This is probably one of the most challenging to deal with, because you could very easily be called Mr. or Mrs. ‘Goody two-shoe’, or accused of knowing it all. But to sit idly by and say nothing, might indicate your condoning of the behavior, speech or evil deed. I am convinced child of God, that if we fill ourselves with the Word and person of God, then it will overflow from our lips and through our deeds. When we see something different occurring, it is high time that we draw closer to God, so that He may wash us of our worldly tendencies and fill us with the love and person of His Son.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for working in the life of David. We come humbly before You today knowing that our hearts are impacted by this old world in much the same way that David found himself. So Lord, I pray that You might wash us clean of the evil that has rubbed off on us from this world, and that being filled with Your Holy Spirit, we might instead be a lighthouse in this world for You. Lord, may You be seen in our actions, heard through our words, and experienced by those who have given You full control of their lives. Lord, may witnessing followers of Yous have a deep impact on those who have rejected You as Lord up to this point in their lives, for this is my heart’s cry 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 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!

Tactics For Fighting Savage Wolves

Paul called the elders of the Ephesian church together, as he was about to leave town. I wonder if they were aware of the items that Paul was about to warn them about? However, Paul wanted to make sure that they were aware of the challenges they might face, so he wanted to part some advice to them on those challenges. Knowing that our local churches today run so smoothly, with all ‘sheep’ super excited about they Lord and therefore getting along with each other, I know that it will be challenging to apply the truth declared in this passage, but let’s try!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 20:28-30 (NIV)

TEXT:   28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

OBSERVATION:   Paul called the elders of the Ephesian church together, as he was about to leave town. I wonder if they were aware of the items that Paul was about to warn them about? However, Paul wanted to make sure that they were aware of the challenges they might face, so he wanted to part some advice to them on those challenges. Knowing that our local churches today run so smoothly, with all ‘sheep’ super excited about they Lord and therefore getting along with each other, I know that it will be challenging to apply the truth declared in this passage, but let’s try!

APPLICATION:   Churches today split over such minor things, that I believe we could easily reflect on what God may have been showing Paul, and encouraging him to mentor the leaders he had developed in Ephesus. I believe that the easiest thing for church leaders to do today, is to bury their heads in the sand and falsely see everything working to the growth and benefit of the gospel at their church. Friends, I hate to burst your bubble, but if that’s happening, then the gospel of Jesus Christ is not being declared without compromise. For when the Word of God is preached under the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit, then it will cause men to whimper in their seats and hang their heads in shame. So what exactly might be considered ‘Savage Wolves’ in our churches today? How about: a). Gossip about pastors and elders; b). Teaching or preaching being so worldly based that the Word of God is hardly opened; c). Small Groups’ teaching material without the knowledge, or approval of church leadership; d). No follow-up or accountability to unbelievers attending, or on folks who are struggling; e). Members with other priorities, such as sports, fishing, hunting, etc; or f). lack of commitment to prayer, daily devotions, attending church, visit shut-ins, etc. It is so sad that often people have heard about the Lord, know His power, and will call on Him every time there’s an issue, but don’t expect to see them doing anything in return. Thankfully our God is much more forgiving than most of us, so He stands ready to receive Christians who have fallen prey to the above, and are now ready to serve God faithfully. Run to Him child of God, for the Savage Wolves’ are lurking at every point to distract you from your commitment to your Savior.

PRAYER:   Lord, we need You today more than ever before, for Satan has ramped up his attack on Your children. Please help us to be quick to run to You for help. We know that only You can fight the likes of Satan, and we know that anything that serves to pull us away from You, is of the Devil. Lord, we commit ourselves to You again, and we pray that our relationship with You will become so strong that Satan will have to clear all attacks through You before he could lay a hand on us. For I ask all this in the all powerful name of Jesus, my Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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 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!

 

Heeding The Warnings

In the preceding verses Jesus shared some of the signs that He will give us as indicators announcing His return to earth. However, I believe that Jesus knew beforehand how distracted and over-committed we would become here on earth. There are songs written by great Christian writers that remind us to ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’; ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ and many more. The bottom line, is that we know Jesus is coming back to take His church on home to glory. We know that He will give us indicators of His return, and we know that only those who are ready to meet Him, will actually be caught up in the air together with Him. Let’s look closer into how seriously we take all of this….

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-09-07
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 21:34-36 (TLB)

Text:

 34-35 “Watch out! Don’t let my sudden coming catch you unawares; don’t let me find you living in careless ease, carousing and drinking, and occupied with the problems of this life, like all the rest of the world. 36 Keep a constant watch. And pray that if possible you may arrive in my presence without having to experience these horrors.”
OBSERVATION:
In the preceding verses Jesus shared some of the signs that He will give us as indicators announcing His return to earth. However, I believe that Jesus knew beforehand how distracted and over-committed we would become here on earth. There are songs written by great Christian writers that remind us to ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’; ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ and many more. The bottom line, is that we know Jesus is coming back to take His church on home to glory. We know that He will give us indicators of His return, and we know that only those who are ready to meet Him, will actually be caught up in the air together with Him. Let’s look closer into how seriously we take all of this….
APPLICATION:
I’m sure that most of us can recall times that we were so engrossed in something that we totally missed an appointment, or perhaps never heard our loved one talking to us. Often times, devices are now taking more of our time than face-to-face conversations, so we are getting worse at ignoring others when they are talking to us. In our Scripture today, we are being reminded by Jesus that His Word is true and it is super accurate, so we are to listen to it and enjoy it’s benefits, or bear the brunt of disobeying the commands of God through His Word. Some of my readers will be in a similar position as I am right now, where we are being told about a large hurricane that will pass pretty close to us. We could be careless and do nothing, or we could take the warnings seriously and protect our lives from the possible onslaught of this huge, powerful hurricane. Our Scripture today gives us the warning signs to look for that will indicate the return of Jesus. Let me encourage you to be sure now that your life is under the control of our Savior and Lord. This will not only give you a desire to help others along the way, but it will give you a sweet sense of anticipation about the return of Jesus, when we hear and see the signs happening. You have a choice friends. You may not have seen the signs spoken of in the Word of God, but God has already made the provisions for us to secure our eternity with Him. Just like shopping for special occasions, often we will procrastinate until the very last moment, however in the case of Jesus’ return, He told us in His Word that not even He knows the day or the hour when that will happen. I didn’t want to take the chance of Jesus returning unexpectedly and find me unprepared, so I surrendered my life to Him back in 1976. Since that time I have enjoyed learning more about Him; experiencing His rich blessings; and sharing the joy that fills my heart, with others! I’m ready to leave this world and be with Him, whenever He makes that call! Friends, if Jesus returns and you are still in procrastination mode, the Word of God declares that your decision will place you in the pit of hell where you will suffer anguish and damnation with your leader, Satan, throughout eternity. If you have money, you probably have it safely secured and invested. Your soul is much more important, why not know that you know where you will spend eternity right now? Carefully read my Footnote and look at the Scriptures recommended for reading, through the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will either give you that assurance of your salvation, or lead you to the throne of grace to settle your account with Jesus – TODAY!
PRAYER:
Precious Savior, Jesus my Lord! Thank You for loving us enough to sacrifice Your own life as a token of our salvation. Lord thank You for not giving up on us, but instead giving us warnings to help us know the way that You would have us to go and the decisions that are super important to us. You did that for me in the years leading up to 1976, I pray that You will mightily use these words shared in this blog to encourage someone who needs You in their life. We are heeding hurricane warnings at this time, but I truly believe that heeding the warnings from You about decisions that will have an eternal impact, is way more important. May today be the day of decision for all who will read this blog and still unsure of their heavenly position. I earnest pray and ask these things in the name of Jesus, the Christ, 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!