Pray For Godly Wisdom

Paul has an awesome lesson for us today. Perhaps we can start praying for Godly wisdom in the lives of other believers, instead of constantly beating up on them and putting them down. If you don’t have this kind of encouragement for other believers, then I believe you too may be challenged by this word from God today.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-09-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Ephesians 1:15-17
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 For this reason, ever since I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks to God for you. I remember you in my prayers 17 and ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you the Spirit, who will make you wise and reveal God to you, so that you will know him. 

APPLICATION: As I read this Scripture today, I couldn’t help but think how different Paul’s teaching was, compared to what we hear at most of our churches today. I cringe when I hear preachers put down another pastor or a certain denomination. I despise that when I hear politicians do it in their political ads, and I especially dislike it when I hear it from our pulpits. Like Paul taught in this Scripture today, let the people hear of your faith and how well you are doing in following the example of Jesus Christ, not how well you do at bashing others who chose not to attend your church. Wouldn’t it be awesome for us to just preach and teach the Word of God and the awesome power that it has to save lives from the pit of Hell? You might remember what God said about His Word – it’s sharper than any two-edged sword and it will cut through the sin, mire and stubbornness that has congested the life of the sinner. It doesn’t need us pulling down the opponent so we could rise about their false teachings, pride and evil works. Wouldn’t it be a pleasing change for us to hear a pastor brag on, and rejoice in, the awesome work of his partner in the ministry just down the road from your church? Perhaps their faith is extremely great, or perhaps their love for their community is a pure example of the life and works of Jesus Christ; perhaps their giving for the work of Christ stands out in all of Christendom. Yes, I know that we are very divided in what other denominations believe, and teach about their understanding of the Bible, but did God put us in charge of pulling them down and trying to get them straight? Like Paul teaches us in today’s Scripture, let’s learn to lift up and encourage them in what they are doing well, based on their outward actions and the word on the streets about their teachings. Befriend that pastor, and try to discuss your differences as your relationship and trust develops, but bathe that in prayer so that your powerful God can help each of you to sharpen each other’s skills just like iron sharpens iron. Pray for godly wisdom for your pastor friend, and for yourself, so that you both will remain strong in the faith of our Lord Jesus, and not be swayed by denominational differences, accusations and resentment built up over the years. My desire is that all churches will work towards one goal, promoting the lordship of Jesus Christ, exposing sin as the enemy, and Jesus as the Victor – the only One that can save us from our sin and ready us for the glories of heaven. The reason why I despise pastor for criticizing other pastors, denomination and/or believers, is that it gives the appearance that we are opposed to the power of Jesus to do His job, so we jump in to do it for Him. Jesus gave us the job of winning the lost and challenging the saved, so they could go and win more souls. That’s a fulltime job for us, so let’s seek personal Godly wisdom and stick to the task at hand, God being our helper!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Never stop giving thanks for the work of Jesus Christ – in our church, and in the churches around us. It’s all about God, not about pulling down another church to make us look good, or better.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for giving Paul the wisdom to challenge us on an area that has crept into many ministries by Satan. We deal with it way too often at work, for we practice pulling down the opponent to make us look better. This has no place in Your church. Can you imagine the shock and surprised an unsaved person would have if they walked into a church and heard the pastor giving thanks for the ministry of the church down the road. I believe their eyes of doubt and questioning would be opened immediately, because they would know that this must be linked to this love of God that they’ve heard so much about, and now seeing in action. Lord God, I am keenly aware that this is not only a problem with pastors, for way too often we practice this individually, even at the disappointment of the sinner looking for the grace of God in us. Have Your will and way in our lives today Lord, may the world see You in everything that we do or say, and may they look to You and accept You in deepest sincerity, for all eternity. 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!

Careful Not To Tear Them Down

Paul was actually addressing the subject of some followers finding guilt in eating certain foods prescribed in the Old Testament as ‘forbidden’, while some had heard Jesus say that nothing He made should be considered unclean. The latter group would often come across as smearing their new-found freedom in the faces of those who were still convicted of such eating to be a sin. While this may still be an issue today, I believe there are many other things that we, as Christians, may use to unintentionally discourage others, rather than helping to lift them up. Therefore, it may be good for us to meditate on this for a moment today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-05-10
WRITTEN AT: Jupiter, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 8:11-12 (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 So because you “know it is all right to do it,” you will be responsible for causing great spiritual damage to a brother with a tender conscience for whom Christ died. 12 And it is a sin against Christ to sin against your brother by encouraging him to do something he thinks is wrong.

APPLICATION: We still have scenarios today where some believe that they could eat anything, based on the New Testament promise that anything God made and blessed is clean and good to eat. However there are some who are convinced that based on Old Testament teachings, and because Jesus said that He came to re-emphasize the former teachings and not tear down, then they should follow teachings such as the various foods mentioned that are forbidden. Friends, we are talking about items here that have nothing to do with salvation, or the path to heaven, but one group may easily insist that God will hold the other group responsible for disobeying his commands. I believe that if we are convinced in our hearts, the same heart where the Holy Spirit (God) resides to give us wisdom and direction in our earthly Christian walk and ministry, then we need to pay attention to what the Spirit would have us say or do, and not ridicule them because of pious opinions. Remember, sinful man can be reconciled with a holy God, if we would pray for them, encourage them, and help them along the way, instead of turning their eyes from anything that looks like us. God still wants us to share His love, His mercy and His grace with others, and not try to do His job. Yes, we should be passionate in discussing various philosophies and teachings that we hold close to our heart, but please friends, let’s return to placing the ‘main thing’ back into the mainstream of our witness and our preaching and teaching, for unless those who we come into contact with, know Jesus as Lord, they will die and go to Hell, whether they obey Old Testament teachings on certain food, or not. But let’s not misunderstand what Paul was teaching here in these few verses, for the Spirit of God led Him to share with us that if we hang around with friends, that believe in not eating such food that they think are declared ‘unclean’, then we who are Christ followers, should not provoke them by eating in their presence exactly what they feel convinced by the Holy Spirit is indeed unclean. Unfortunately, this concept can cover so many areas of our lives, for there are some that feel like going to the movies is a sin, or cooking on the Sabbath is a sin, or doing any kind of manual labor on that special day set aside to worship God is also a sin. Friends, let’s think back to what Paul said when he was so burdened about the unsaved in his time, he said that he would be all things to all people, if it meant that their eyes and hearts would be opened to the gospel of Jesus Christ. How far would you be prepared to go? If the only time that your friends could attend church is a Sunday evening, but you don’t normally attend any church at that time, will you make the sacrifice to make sure that they get under the preaching of the Word? Are you prepared to sit and chat with a friend who has a strong smell of alcohol on his breath, but crying over his life’s condition? People need the Lord dear friends, and this should be our priority, way more than any other personal preferences we might have. There is no teaching greater than that of salvation – please pray and be willing to do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do, in order to help someone come to know Christ!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it is challenging to know that You accepted us just as we were, yet we tend to set so many expectations on those who need to know You as Lord. In Your Word you declare that we should come ‘just as we are’ for there is no ‘cleaning up’ that we can do under our own power. For You sacrificed Your very own life, so that we might be saved. Please help us realize that only You can save us from the sin and the wretchedness of this world. There is no prescription for good living, or healthy living, or even good behavior that could save us from our sin. Nothing but the blood of Jesus, as one favorite hymn declares! Lord, thank You for saving my soul, please help me to never stand in the way of another who needs 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

How To Build Up Your Lives

I can’t imagine any of us not wanting to build ourselves up! In this small, one chapter, book of Jude, he tells us that we should lean on our faith to build ourselves up. Sounds simple, but Jude goes on to share what the results might be if we truly tap into our faith in Christ. Well worth our time to meditate on this friends.

Thursday, November 22, 2918

Bible Reference: Jude 20-23
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 20 But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. 21 Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you. Wait patiently for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. 23 Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.

OBSERVATION: I can’t imagine any of us not wanting to build ourselves up! In this small, one chapter, book of Jude, he tells us that we should lean on our faith to build ourselves up. Sounds simple, but Jude goes on to share what the results might be if we truly tap into our faith in Christ. Well worth our time to meditate on this friends.

APPLICATION: God is speaking to us through His servant Jude, as we meditate on this brief, one chapter book. I believe it is very apparent that Jude is the brother of James, because just as we heard from James about how faith will lead to action, we also see that Jude is sharing that we can be encouraged and edified through our faith. However, as this occurs, we will see some changes starting to occur in our lives, such as: (1) We will make a concerted effort to stay right with God, so that we might soak in His goodness. The Scripture says that we will not want to find ourselves out of the reach of God’s love and goodness; (2) Stand in readiness of what’s in store for us. Imagine someone standing on a corner waiting for a bus. You can look at them and know that they are not just hanging around watching the cars pass by. We also should be a prepared people waiting in anticipation of our new home prepared just for us, with our Master – our Lord and Savior, as the loving host! (3) Our demeanor should be such that, armed with the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to help those poised to argue. Imagine the change in attitude from our ‘old’ selves when we had to counter their arguments! (4) We will be more merciful to those who doubt. Remember, before Christ, how obnoxious we got with those same individuals? We can thank God every day for softening hardened hearts with rotten attitudes. (5) With God’s grace, we will see the urgency to save the lost. I love this translation that tells us to get serious about snatching some from the very flames of hell. And then (6) We will see such value in loving the sinner, but hating the sin. This is especially hard for humans, who generally feel like they have everything in life together. But let’s also remember that we are now a new people in Christ – The only One that truly has all things perfectly put together!      Friends, I believe that we could easily see from this Scripture today that all things are possible – through Christ. I believe that our hearts should also be challenged into realizing that if we are still trying to do life like we have always done, then perhaps we need to truly ask Jesus into our heart, for these changes will only occur by His grace and through His power alone. Let me encourage you today to know Christ, and know the peace, love and understanding that Jude shared with us today.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich, so blessed, so full and free. I need thee every hour, blessed Lord. Hear my cry and change my heart, my attitude and my will. For those who will read this devotional today and can’t imagine the joy that fills my soul, please help them to see You precious Lord, and have a desire to know You personally, so that You may work miraculously in their lives also. 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!

Persecutors of the Church?

I would suggest that you click on the Scripture reference and read the context in which our Scripture comes from today. You will find that the above verses are actually displaying a miracle in the life of Saul, one who was out to murder and/or arrest every Christian and worshiper of Christ. In fact, when God intervened, Saul was on his way to the synagogues at Damascus to disrupt the Christians by arresting them and taking them back to Jerusalem. Although we see God make a total change in the life of Saul, we are also reminded of persecutors of the church – perhaps even today?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 9:3-5 (GNT)

TEXT:  As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” he asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said.

OBSERVATION:   I would suggest that you click on the Scripture reference and read the context in which our Scripture comes from today. You will find that the above verses are actually displaying a miracle in the life of Saul, one who was out to murder and/or arrest every Christian and worshiper of Christ. In fact, when God intervened, Saul was on his way to the synagogues at Damascus to disrupt the Christians by arresting them and taking them back to Jerusalem. Although we see God make a total change in the life of Saul, we are also reminded of persecutors of the church – perhaps even today?

APPLICATION:   Did you click on this devotional hoping that I would give you a list of the persecutors of God’s church today? You might be disappointed, because what I believe that God wants to challenge us on today, is to make sure that we have no indicators of being persecutors ourselves. Oh Brother Ed, you have really gone overboard now, for we are workers in the church, so we would never persecute the church. Friends, here are some subtle ways that I believe we persecute the work of Christ today:

  • Supporting the Pastors of your church – these men, and possibly women, battle with the same time constraints that the rest of us do. They receive more criticism in one month than we probably receive in a lifetime. They are often expected to stretch each dollar further than mankind has ever been able to do it. They are on duty 24/7, yet expected to be fresh and at their best every time they stand before us. If you are to be a true supporter of God’s servants – pray for them and their families; support them through constant encouragement; listen close enough to their sermons that you may want to question them on a point raised during their delivery; Lift them up before your friends instead of tearing them down. These things might be more like promoting God’s work, instead of tearing down or persecuting; by finding fault complaining; not attending church; not tithing so that God’s work might go on; etc.
  • Volunteer – if you are supporting the work of Christ, volunteer to help get more done each day in the ministry. Offer to help around the church office or property; offer to call shut-ins or visit the sick or hospitalized. Idle hands will lead to ridicule, or persecution, way quicker than building up a greater desire to promote the ministry of Christ;
  • Be an encourager – Let the pastors and lay leaders know that you are praying for them. This builds up. This gives you something positive to do instead of leaning to ridicule or persecution. Send notes of encouragement. Specifically pray for someone hurting, working for the Lord, or needing encouragement, then tell them that you prayed for them.

Friends, we can either be a worker, supporter or encourager in the world, or we could be a persecutor, ready to tear down everything and anything God puts together for good. Where do you fit?

PRAYER:   Lord, I believe our default character tends to be more of a complainer or discourager. To tear down and destroy. Yet Lord, when we stop and consider that the Son of God came to earth and humbled Himself through death on the cross at Calvary, for the benefit of undeserving sinners such as I am, and you are friend. How can I but love You, my Savior and my Lord? Oh that the love of God may shine through His humble servants this day and every day, so that others may see every indication of Jesus, and never an indication of persecution of His master plan for us while here on this 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!