Don’t Be A Stumbling Block

In verses 24-26, Paul showed the people how God had turned some of the Jews away from the Gospel, so that the Gentiles would have a better opportunity of accepting Him. And although that was only temporary, it served the specific intention of God. In verses 33-34 Paul is celebrating the wisdom of God as he reflects back. Together this Scripture should cause us to remember that God was, still is, and always will be in charge of His creation. It seems that churches today may be hindered by some who feel like they are in charge, as they seek to gain recognition and power. As we meditate, let us look to our Creator and sustainer of earth for what He might accomplish and how we might become involved in His work!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 11:25-26; 33-34 (TLB)

TEXT: 25 I want you to know about this truth from God, dear brothers, so that you will not feel proud and start bragging. Yes, it is true that some of the Jews have set themselves against the Gospel now, but this will last only until all of you Gentiles have come to Christ—those of you who will. 26 And then all Israel will be saved…..

33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his wisdom and knowledge and riches! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! 34 For who among us can know the mind of the Lord? ……

APPLICATION:   As I meditated on the Word of God, I was reminded, in awe, of His great wisdom, and His awesome power to fulfill His Godly purpose. This particular Scripture reminded me of a sad story, but one that brought awesome results. Many years ago, my cousin, a young man about 35 years old, was electrocuted and fell to his death from a roadside electric pole. The mourning of that mother, my aunt, could be heard over most of the small town. However, before the sun set the following day, my dad (brother to the grieving mother) had surrendered his heart to Jesus! He then became a Godly influence to his five children until the day he died. What happened in this Scripture today, also reminds me an awful lot of our churches today, for it almost seems like the movement of Christ has been slowed down and possibly even dwindled some, and I wonder if it is not God dealing more intensely in the hearts of so many that are totally lost. This may not make total sense to everyone, but I wonder if God is not saying to our churches: ‘put away selfish desires, prejudices and pride. Remember, your wisdom is nothing compared to the wisdom of our awesome God. For people to gain wisdom from and in you will teach them very little however, to know Christ will gain them all eternity’. The Bible reminds us that God’s ways and thoughts are way beyond our own, so that tells me that I can’t possibly understand all that He’s up to. However, I know from the Word that God made us all to worship and adore Him, so shouldn’t our every effort be in seeking ways to know Him better, accept Him more fully and worship Him in total surrender to self and this wicked world? It just seems like we are currently facing the same dilemma that Jesus spoke of in our Scripture verses today. For we hate to look at the evening news because of all the crime, violence and acts of hatred that fills our news portals, while churches are closing their doors in record numbers because of non-attendance, lack of giving and leadership. We hear excuses such as COVID, or the effects of war, but friends, we must remember that Jesus is coming back soon to collect His church. Can you even fathom how few will be taken up to glory with Him, compared to the huge population of earth? To the church, I would say with great urgency that people need the Lord. The Gentile population has grown, and unless we who are Christian, stand firm in our faith, lift up the banner of God so that the lost may recognize God in His greatness and accept Him as Lord, then there will be a massive divide on the day that Christ returns to take His bride away with Him. It would hurt my heart to think that God may have to push Christians aside, so that the unsaved may find Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I have family and friends that I believe will be left behind if they remain unchanged. Assuming that many of you are in a similar position, I would encourage you to join me in praying to the God of this universe for a great movement upon our land. Oh that Jesus may rule and reign in our personal lives, our families, our churches, our communities and in our nations around the world, so that the people will know and believe in the sacrificial lamb of God – Jesus Christ. May the God of this universe become known as Everlasting King of this universe!

PRAYER:   Lord You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! In our Scripture today, we are reminded that although You created us to worship You, many refuse to do so. You created us in Your likeness hoping that we would live in similar fashion to Your example while here on earth, yet there are many who mock and scorn You and Your children, much like what occurred in times past. The warning signs of Your return are evident Lord, and we thank You for promising us that You will return for Your children! Heavenly Father, please soften the hearts of Your children, so that Your churches may be filled to capacity with worshipers longing to draw close to their Creator, our Everlasting God, and may this impact the unsaved like never before. 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 are not already connected in a local Bible teaching church, let me encourage you to find one so that you may grow in the love and stature of the King of all kings. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

When You SEE Jesus

Some of you may have met your current spouse over the internet, but usually it’s when you ‘see’ the person, learn more about them and their ways, that you truly feel convinced that you could marry them. I believe that it happens just this way with Jesus also. Let’s meditate on the ways that we ‘see’ Him, accept Him and know Him better.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2021-12-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: John 6:38-40
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 38 I didn’t come from heaven to do what I want! I came to do what the Father wants me to do. He sent me, 39 and he wants to make certain that none of the ones he has given me will be lost. Instead, he wants me to raise them to life on the last day. 40 My Father wants everyone who sees the Son to have faith in him and to have eternal life. Then I will raise them to life on the last day.

APPLICATION: I often hear couples say ‘From the time I placed my eyes on her/him, I fell in love with them’. ‘Seeing is believing’ is another popular saying! But how do we ‘see’ Jesus? Many of us will say that we have great luck in certain aspects of life. However, when we meet up with our parents or grandparents, they will tell us that they have been praying earnestly for us. So did we have ‘luck’, or were the prayers of our ancestors being answered? Could it be that Jesus was showing Himself to you in miraculous ways? While visiting the beach we often marvel over the beauty, tranquility and serenity of the calm, beautiful waters and the perfectly manicured beach. Ever stop to consider how it got that way? It’s just another way of us seeing the handiwork of God in nature. I recently visited the Grand Canyon. What an awesome and beautiful site to behold! Unlike Disney, there is no way that man could ever have designed and built such magnificence. I was reminded of the handiwork of my God! Based on our Scripture for today, I believe it is super important for us to carefully acknowledge God in life as we note things that could only have come from Him as Designer and Creator. For it is as we ‘see’ Him at work that we learn to trust in Him for ALL things in life. Jesus said that as we ‘see’ Him, we will trust Him and have faith in Him – His abilities, His love, His creativity, His caring attitude, and our everlasting hope in life eternally with He and the Father. Dear friends, we sometimes sigh in our troubles, hard work and everyday labors and we may say ‘there has to be more to life than this’! Jesus has reminded us in His Word today that there is a lot more to life! See the Creator, Know the Master Accept Him as Your Lord, and live in anticipation of eternity in heaven with the Father and the Son! Jesus assures us that for all who accept Him as Lord, He will raise us up on the last day – that glorious Day that we are assured of in the Bible when we will see Jesus face-to-face and celebrate around the throne of God every day – forever! If you are wondering how to accept Jesus, please refer to my Footnote and follow the link for ‘To Know Jesus’. Otherwise, feel free to contact me by email, as noted below. It would be a blessing to pray with you!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In spite of our troublesome time here on earth, Jesus was sent as our Advocate and our heavenly Father. Praise Jesus for His love!

PRAYER: I can gladly rejoice in the words of an old favorite hymn – ‘I am so glad that my Father in heaven, tells of His love in the Book He has given….’ Oh what a Savior, You’re the One who loves us just as we are, and just where we’re at. Thank You Lord for making Yourself known to us in so many ways. We ‘see’ You Lord, and we must know You intimately, for You love us even when no one else sees value in us to love us unconditionally. Please make Yourself known to our family and friends that we pray for. Oh that they may accept You today, is my heartfelt and sincere 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!

A Proper Introduction

No doubt most of you who happen across this devotional today would have heard about the name – ‘JESUS’. However, in our Scripture today I have bolded a sentence to remind you that you must do more than hear about Him, for unless you accept Him as Lord of your life, you have been given a death sentence – eternal death in Hell. So please do yourself a favor and listen closely to this popular verse again, with hopes that it will change your eternal destiny!

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2021-11-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: John 3:16-18
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

APPLICATION: A new pastor presented an excellent sermon on his first Sunday at his new church. The leaders were convinced that they had chosen the right man to lead them spiritually. However, on the next 2 or 3 Sundays the pastor repeated the same sermon. This caused the leaders to question him about his repertoire of sermons, to which the new pastor responded: ‘Once I am convinced that the congregation has received and applied the Word to their hearts and lives, I will then move on to my next sermon!!’ That sounds a lot like John 3:16, for it is probably one of the most quoted verses of the Bible, but I wonder how many simple know the words, but haven’t really applied them! I would like for you to carefully read this popular verse in the contemporary translation I chose to present the Scripture today. Perhaps hearing it afresh in simpler terms, may draw your attention and cause you to question God, like Nicodemus did, on what must you do to be saved. You see, unless you make this bold step and present yourself humbly before God, you are still under the death sentence mentioned in our Scripture. Why is that? Well, the Bible says that unless you accept this free gift given to us by God, and believe on His one and only Son, Jesus, then you are under a death sentence – eternity with Satan and his army of fallen angels in Hell where you will receive eternal punishment through fire and brimstone. Friends, this is not just vain religious threats to have you join a church, these are facts presented by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Out of perfect love for His children that He created, God sent His Son miraculously into this world, to bring hope and the means of us one day making our way back to heaven to be with God the Father and His precious Son, Jesus. If we receive the Son, by inviting Him to be Lord and Master of our lives, then we will be accepted into Heaven when we cease to live here on earth. If we don’t, then God has warned us that there is only one other place – Hell. Besides this Scripture today, I have also provided Scripture references through the link ’To Know Jesus’, referenced in my Footnote. Please consider the open invitation from God, through His Word. I have, and I would love to have every reader and listener join me around the throne of God in heaven. The choice is yours dear friend, please make the obvious, right, choice today – before it’s eternally too late.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Although we may deserve eternal damnation from Satan, yet God loved us so much that He has given us the opportunity to live in n His ‘palace’ – the portals of heaven, where He and His Son lives and reigns forevermore!

PRAYER: Normally we have to work extremely hard to have a home here on earth, but Lord I thank You for Your love and Your mercy in providing the means for our entry into Heaven, plus the assurance of eternity with You and the Father. Thank You for Your Word, Your promises, and for the place You have prepared for those who love You and allow You to rule and reign in their lives. Please use Your Word to touch the hearts of many who will read this devotional today. May they immediately fall to their knees and seek Your face as they ask You to rule and reign in their lives. Be glorified today in knowing that others will recognize You as Lord, and that they will accept You as Lord 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. 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!

In Preparation For Your Mission

It appears to me like Paul was given great wisdom in helping those that he mentored in the ministry. In fact, I believe that God used Paul powerfully in his ministry, so that he could be an effective mentor to Timothy. I wonder who’s following in our footsteps? I wonder if our lives are suitable for others to follow, and they go out to be God’s representative and minister? Let’s look at some of the ways Paul felt prepared for the task at hand.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 2:14-17 (VOICE)

TEXT:  14 …... Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. 15 Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. 16 Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. 17 Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer….

APPLICATION:   I’m not sure how many of us will ever be blessed to have the honor of mentoring someone entering into a ministry role, like Paul did, but we are often part of a church where new workers are called into ministry each year, and some of us may also be blessed to be part of a commissioning service for a new minister of the gospel, like Timothy was. This advice given by Paul is great for us to consider as we look into our own lives. Hopefully as we live these out personally, we will be in a much better position to say like Paul did in one of his other teachings: “now follow me, as you try to live a godly life” or as you endeavor to serve in your new assignment. You see, it is hypocritical to suggest that a new minister, teacher, worker, do some of these things, if we are personally doing an awful job at these things ourselves. For example, how can we suggest that they not get in arguments over words, or split hairs over individual interpretations, if we are so bad at doing that ourselves? Or that they should be genuine in their walk, if we are personally accused of living a double life? Or to not be ashamed of the gospel, if we are often embarrassed to have others know that we are involved in the ministry of our local church? So friends, I would encourage you to not brush this off by thinking that we now have some good advice to give ministers and/or workers entering into the ministry of Jesus Christ, but instead that we live out these principles ourselves so that we might give sound advice as we suggest that they follow, just as we follow Christ. I believe that only then, will the church of Jesus Christ see effective workers in the local church, and well prepared ministers and/or missionaries that we send out from our local churches. Lost people are anxious to see genuine Christians. Just as we aim to be exactly that, will we be effective and genuine in sending others out, just like us.

PRAYER:   Lord, please have Your perfect will and way in the hearts of each one that will meditate on this devotional today. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. May Your kingdom become richer as a result of us sharing our genuineness with others who will be impacted today, with the character and form of the One true God. 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!

His Name

It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the part of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife Mary; The most humble of people were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus – the shepherds. On and on the story went about one miracle after another that resulted in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s Savior. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-12-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 1:21-23
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.” (Immanuel means “God with us.”)

OBSERVATION: It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the role of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife, Mary; The most humble of people, the shepherds, were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus. On and on the story goes, with one miracle after the other, all resulting in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s eternal hope. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

APPLICATION: As declared in my ‘Observation’, God went to great extents to bring His precious Son into the world, and throughout the Bible we read about all that He did while here on earth, and the whole purpose of His life here on earth. Of course we also know the ultimate reason that Jesus came, because we remember His death every year at Good Friday, and we remember His resurrection at Easter. The big question for each of us as we meditate on the extraordinary names of Jesus is: ’what are we known as?’ To our face, we may be called by our nickname. When our parents are upset with us, they may call us by our full legal name. Based on our habits and our character, we may be known as a thief, or a criminal, or a kind person, or a caring person, a hypocrite, or hopefully a man/woman after God’s own heart. Why all of these names? Because it identifies our character when someone is speaking to a friend and they make reference to us. Notice from the names, that while one name will drive that person away from you, one might interest them in knowing you, or at least speaking with you. Just from the name selected for you! Although folk will easily identify us based on the words we speak and with the tone used, but I pray that the actions they experience with you will convince them of whose you are. May the Jesus, born in a humble stable and lived on earth as the living Son of God, be evident in your character today and every day. Stay closely in tuned with Him through the Word of God and in daily communication (prayer) with Him, so that you may be ‘topped off’ each day with even more of Jesus. Keep it fresh and exciting friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank You for coming to earth as a baby, so that you would complete the purpose of the Father in providing everlasting hope for us. For there is no other way for us to see the gates of heaven without first accepting You as our Savior. You were introduced to us very early in the Bible, and many of us have accepted You as our Savior and Lord, so that we might celebrate with You one day in heaven! As we are reminded once again this Christmas of the hope that you bring, may we learn to truly celebrate even now, so that one day soon we will be comfortable in celebrating before our Father in heaven. Please touch the hearts of those who have not accepted You as Lord yet. May this be the first Christmas that they will truly be aware of the One whose birthday we celebrate! 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!

Tested To Endure

Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT)

TEXT:  Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

OBSERVATION:   Peter tells us in the verses, preceding our focal Scripture today, that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting us, where God the Father will release His blessings on us, that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

APPLICATION:   In considering a real life comparison to this Scripture today, I thought of a husband who went to prison for battery, or abuse of his wife. Misery, pain and hardship ensued while the husband was in prison, but deep inside of each spouse was a love that was first kindled when they were in high school. While the wife wanted desperately to show that love before the husband was sent away, there was a world of influence that prevented her, and it caused the husband to release anger in ways neither of them thought possible. However, during the time in prison there were folk who worked hard at rehabilitating that husband and helping him to better deal with his anger issues. To do this, they tested him with various scenarios that might cause him to doubt any therapeutic improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek on the love he had for his wife, and still flourish in those circumstances. However, upon his release from prison, his wife was waiting with open arms to welcome him back home, and promised to do all she could to help him never to return to his former life of anger and violence. The life of both spouses while the husband was in prison, could be compared to what Christians face on earth. For although we surrendered our life to Jesus, yet we are left here on this earth to weather the storms of doubt; pain; financial burdens; being picked on; victims of crime; etc. In fact, at times we may even wonder if our commitment to Christ really means anything at all. But friends, I want us to be reminded that our gift of salvation is more than our immediate ticket out of this world, for Peter reminds us that God not only wants to use us for His glory while here on earth but, when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will often look to challenge us on how we might handle the storms of life. Those storms don’t go away, we are just given a new hope in what lies beyond the storms. That husband in prison was able to endure the hardships of prison, because he knew that he had a loving, caring wife waiting for him, and ready to finish up their lives together after his release. We have the same promise in Jesus Christ dear friends! There is a loving, caring, awesome Savior awaiting us on the other side of this treacherous world. Our time here is one of testing and proving whose we are. Wouldn’t it be neat to converse with God each evening and ask: “how did we do today?” Please don’t forget that prayer provides that exact medium for you to converse with God. Keep the lines of communication opened, so that He may guide and direct you into total holiness – just as He is holy! Why is something tested? To prove its durability under pressure. An object that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks upon His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing through all of life’s tests of endurance dear friend?

PRAYER:   Lord God, thank You for reminding us that we have a purpose here on this earth, especially after we accept You as Lord, for then Your mighty works can be accomplished through us, if You choose to do so. When trials come, please continue to drive us towards You, and what You might want to accomplish through even the slightest ‘thorn in our side’. You never promised us smooth sailing and calm waters after accepting You as Lord, instead You have given us the hope that through the ups and downs of life, our Master still loves us, still waits for us, and is still our guide through every circumstance. Thank You for that love, that comfort and the peace that it gives to our soul. Oh that others may see Jesus in us, no matter the circumstances we face while on planet earth. 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!

Commit to Peace and Unity!

Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-26
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 13:11-12 (TPT)

TEXT:  11 ….. beloved friends, be cheerful! Repair whatever is broken among you, as your hearts are being knit together in perfect unity. Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you. 12 Greet and embrace one another with the sacred kiss.

OBSERVATION:   Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.  

APPLICATION:   So often we look for Christian advice in the Bible, but then question every other resource for ways to do better in our family, friends and work life. I believe that you will find this Scripture helpful to you in general, so listen closely to the word of God. In earlier days of the church, some Might recall days, and sometimes weeks of revival services and/or evangelistic services, where there was a strong emphasis on reviving the saints and evangelizing the lost of the community. Because of the strong emphasis on prayer leading up to and during the times of these special services, there was usually a very strong presence of the Holy Spirit and many lives were impacted. Often at the end of the services, there was a sense of sadness to see the services end, so at the parting service there would be very similar sentiments, and challenges offered like these that Paul shared with his followers. Why was revival services needed? I believe that the answer is summed up in a phrase that I heard an old pastor say: “because, as Christians, we tend to leak!” Friends, it is very challenging to keep a good healthy church surviving as such, for there are many personalities working together – or at times against one another. There are so many who feel like they have all the right answers and therefore they should be the boss in most areas of the church. There are so many with chips on their shoulder, and if you only look at them seriously they may become very upset and threaten to leave the church, because they figured out exactly what that look meant! Aren’t most of these things very, very silly? Think about the one true God, whose Son we endeavor to exemplify. Jesus came into an imperfect world, as the perfect Son of God, filled with godly wisdom, and with love for everyone, as only God Himself could do. And this perfect Savior, He taught among the elite of society, as well as carefully and lovingly attending to those in need along the street and in the crowds that followed Him. He healed those that we may have considered ‘worthy’ and some who we tend to disassociate with, because they may not be ‘just like us’. He ate with sinners, and He chose some to follow Him that many would have turned up their noses at. However, for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord, and are committed to His teachings and commands, we strive to be just like Him. Why then do we tend to be so much unlike Him in so many ways? Are we still that needy, or is it that we have not totally turned away from our earthly master yet? In verse 11 of today’s Scripture, Paul warns us that we should repair whatever is broken among us. I believe this starts with our relationship with our Lord, for if we have a healthy relationship with Him, He will direct our paths, if we let Him, and that includes relationships with one another. Friends, here’s how important I believe this is: If we expect to be instrumental in our family and friends’ lives, to encourage them into a relationship with our Lord, then we must be living like Jesus. We could ‘tell’ them all we want, but unless they see it evident in our lives, they won’t listen to, or follow us. How much is a soul worth to you? There is absolutely nothing more important to me than to see my family and friends make a decision to follow Christ. When they, and me, leave this world, I want us all to be ready to meet Jesus in the air! I hope that you feel the same way!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You more today than ever before. I believe that Paul realized how much impact Satan was having on Your children in his day, and I’m sure Satan is still impacting the lives of our people today. Lord, I know that You are such a strong and awesome God and that there is nothing that You can’t handle, so I beg You to work miracles in the lives of Your children – embolden us to be more like you in our character, our words and our actions. Humble the hearts of the proud into total surrender to You. I know that we don’t have a perfect world, but I am convinced that we have a perfect God, so I beg with You to work on us imperfect beings, all for benefit of Your kingdom, 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!

I’m Not Ashamed

Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 1:11-14 (NET)

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-10-23
WRITTEN AT: Hope Hull, AL

TEXT:  11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

APPLICATION:   Many churches in America, and perhaps other parts of the world, will celebrate when one of their own commits to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some churches may even make particular mention of individuals who commit themselves to serving as elders, deacons, teachers or other leadership/servant roles in the church. Because of this recognition, often folk will be prideful of these positions, but nonetheless, committed to serve for the duration of their committed term. There are some ministry jobs and assignments that remind me a little of what Paul experienced, such as missionaries who travel to countries that they know are unfriendly to the gospel of Jesus Christ; pastors who serve in churches and they may or may not be able to pay them, yet they work endless hours to win the lost and disciple the saved, just as if they were serving the richest of congregations. Of course, all church positions require a heart for representing our Maker to those that we serve, and with hearts  and mindsets of volunteering our time, effort and complete selves. But to put this all into perspective and try to identify with Paul, I believe that we need to think about the sacrifices we may make in serving and in our volunteering, even if we knew that we would be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, cursed at, or imprisoned for what we do. Would we still be able to stand upright and share, in the words of Paul, that we are unashamed of the message and person of Jesus Christ?I believe that my biggest appeal today would be for the lay persons who might read this devotional. Sure these verses were written to Timothy who was a young pastor. Sure these are very applicable to pastors, elders, teachers and other church leaders. But friends, let me remind you that God didn’t save us so that we might shut up inside of us that good thing that He did for us. I refuse to believe that He would have to create another Red Sea phenomenon, for us to truly believe, brag on, and boast about our God. For if we have permitted the lordship of our Savior and Lord to rule and reign inside of us, and if we maintain an active and sincere relationship with Him, then a river of life would flow out through our actions, our speech and it would become very evident in our outward expression and reactions to others. Remember, we don’t want others to see how cool we are, or how rude we could be, but instead, we want them to see Jesus in and through every aspect of our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of my friend, allow that good thing that has made a difference in your life, to be revealed to others so that they may desire our Savior also. Paul made reference to ‘that day’, meaning the day that we meet Jesus face to face. May we live in such a way that we will be overjoyed and filled with celebration on ‘that day’ because of the relationship we had with Jesus while here on earth, opposed to a time of regret because we were ashamed, and we kept everything about God’s goodness locked up inside of us.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, and for making the way possible for us to see You face to face one day! In fact, we are so thankful of that precious gift, that we want to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to evangelizing that ‘good thing’ that has gotten hold of this old sinful person, and caused a complete turn around in our walk. Lord, we surrender all to You, so that You may fill us with more of Yourself, so that others will see Jesus, and not the earthly sin-filled bodies that would constitute the alternate man. People need the Lord, not more of the same old sinful world. Use us Lord as Your instruments to fulfil Your purpose here on earth. 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!

True Happiness Is…

There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-19
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC

Bible Reference: James 1:25
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 25 … the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

OBSERVATION:   There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

APPLICATION:   I often compare illustrations on marriage to help illustrate the relationship we should strive towards with our Lord. In marriage, many couples attend marriage enrichment classes, or take cruises geared towards married couples, or read books on ways to refresh our marriages. We are looking for ways to refresh our love for each other. Without this, we tend to start taking each other for granted, we relax our initial commitment to love and uphold each other through good times and through the challenging times as well. In fact, many who make no effort to keep their marriages fresh, tend to result more into divorce than ever before. James is teaching us here in this Scripture today that true happiness for mankind is found in carefully studying the perfect laws of God, as outlined in His book of instruction – the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we are taught and reminded that God loves us more than we could even imagine. He showed His love for us in many ways, but the ultimate love was shown when He willingly went to the cross as a sacrifice for us. But why did Jesus go to the cross? For all who existed at that time were not saints, nor were they deeply in love with God, but instead they were ‘dirty’, ‘filthy’ sinners. But, in love, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross knowing that it would be the means of forgiveness when we ask for it. So knowing that someone loves us so much, and without conditions placed on why He would love us, why do you suppose we would not want to obey His commands? James reminds us that through obeying God, we not only receive His wondrous love, but we become sons and daughter of the greatest person that ever lived, our Lord and Savior. The contentment this brings to us is pure, unadulterated happiness. Now if we are serious about this kind of commitment to Jesus Christ, and the happiness that results, James said that we would want to continue to study and learn from the teachings of Jesus. Further, we must always be mindful of what we have studied, for it is intended to guide our lives into total Truth. As we learn, and discern God’s will for our lives, may we strive to obey it and live it out in our lives. You see, I am convinced that God created us to illustrate to the world, what a loving, caring God looks like. How do you suppose you are doing with that? It’s very easy for us to see the good, the bad and the ugly in others, but I would suggest that we look inward today and, based on what James is teaching us, evaluate whether you think that others are seeing the ultimate happiness of our loving Lord in us!  If you feel like you are not the epitome of Christ’s happiness, then we are taught in this verse to get back to the Book and study what God intended for us.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice at Calvary. Thank You for loving us enough to offer Your life as a sacrifice for our sin. Thank You for providing Your Word so that we may be reminded of Your love, and also how we may maintain our happiness in You. Please give all those who will meditate on this devotional today, the boldness to demonstrate Your love for us, to all those that we come into contact with. May we be committed to reading Your Word, understanding it’s truth, and practicing it’s values every day in the way that we live and interact with others. May You be glorified through our humble lives today oh Lord. 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!

God Is All-Knowing, Seek Direction From Him

God sent Samuel to pick the next king from the sons of Jesse, but it’s a good thing that God stayed in charge of the choice, as Samuel was very impressed with the very first son presented to him. However the lesson God taught to Samuel that day, still rings through to us as we seek His face for decisions we make today, so let’s examine this closer….

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 16:6-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

OBSERVATION: God sent Samuel to pick the next king from the sons of Jesse, but it’s a good thing that God stayed in charge of the choice, as Samuel was very impressed with the very first son presented to him. However the lesson God taught to Samuel that day, still rings through to us as we seek His face for decisions we make today, so let’s examine this closer….

APPLICATION: No doubt we make decisions that we later reflect on and sometimes wonder what on earth were we ever thinking of when we made that decision. Christians sometimes pray over challenging decisions they need to make, because they want to make sure that they follow God’s plan for their lives. Often we can reflect back on those decisions and see how God must have been in control, as we could see how His plans materialized for everyone involved, and for His good. I have a personal experience that fits this scenario, that I will briefly share with you. Some thirty three years ago my family and I moved to the United States from the Bahamas. We bathed our decision in prayer and felt like God was in control during the whole process. That’s until I went to tell my parents that we were moving away from our home-country. They were getting on in age by then, and my dad let me know that it hurt to see us move away at such a time in their lives. Within a year of us moving, I received a call from my sister that dad was not doing well. Dad had received help from local doctors, but nothing seemed to be helping. So we jointly made the decision to get dad over to Florida for advanced care. In about a month, after my dad had received a heart stint, Dad sat with me and acknowledged that now he could understand what God was doing in getting me moved to the US! In the example with Samuel, he saw in Eliab (the oldest son) all the attributes of what he thought a king should look like, and he was convinced to choose him. However, God not only knew the one He had chosen, but He also knew the heart of the other sons and why they were not suitable as the leader for His people. Friends, we could do little to improve our outward appearance, but it always takes God to change the inward appearance. Just a tip… if we always strive to be like Jesus, and live our lives according to His will for us, then perhaps we will gain the attributes of our loving Lord. This takes surrendering our hearts and lives to Jesus, because only then will we accept His leadership and His guidance. Will you consider doing this today friend? Read my Footnote and be sure to follow through to read the Scripture behind my links. Let me know if I might pray for you and with you about this important decision.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, on behalf of all my fellow Christian Brothers and Sisters, we approach Your throne asking that You grace us with Your presence today. May Your wisdom fill our hearts and our minds so that the decisions that we make will align with Your will for our lives. We acknowledge that in our human eyes, we often see things differently than You can when looking deep into the heart and thoughts of people that we deal with. Help us therefore to look to You in all of our decision making so that we will make decisions pleasing to You and aligned with Your will. Only You can do this Lord, so we ask this in Your precious name, and patiently await Your direction. 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!

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-10-12
SCRIPTURE  

From:

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)

Text:

6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
OBSERVATION:  
 
APPLICATION:  
 
PRAYER:  
 
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!