Known as a ‘Christ-Follower’?

Suffering for something that we’re in trouble for, is very understandable. But when we suffer because we believe differently to the rest of the world, and we act more loving, kind, respectful, and truly love the God and Creator of this universe, we tend to feel like our world is very wrong. However, our Scripture today, forewarns us about impending punishment and ridicule from this world’s rulers. As we meditate, let us evaluate whether the authorities will see sufficient evidence of our being a Christ-Follower to arrest us.

Thursday, 2019-11-07

Bible Reference: 1 Peter 4:12-16
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  12 My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering, which are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory. 14 When people say bad things to you because you follow Christ, consider it a blessing. When that happens, it shows that God’s Spirit, the Spirit of glory, is with you. 15 You may suffer, but don’t let it be because you murder, steal, make trouble, or try to control other people’s lives. 16 But if you suffer because you are a “Christ-follower,” don’t be ashamed. You should praise God for that name.

OBSERVATION: Suffering for something that we’re in trouble for, is very understandable. But when we suffer because we believe differently to the rest of the world, and we act more loving, kind, respectful, and truly love the God and Creator of this universe, we tend to feel like our world is very wrong. However, our Scripture today, forewarns us about impending punishment and ridicule from this world’s rulers. As we meditate, let us evaluate whether the authorities will see sufficient evidence of our being a Christ-Follower to arrest us.

APPLICATION:  I believe that when we accept Jesus as Lord, we tend to think more about what the benefits might be, than thinking about what additional controversy our decision might create, or what additional persecution might arise in our lives. Think about it, when folk are really struggling, we tend to convince them that they need Jesus. What if we told them that what they are presently going through is only a ‘drop-in-the-bucket’ compared to what will be brought on them after conversion? Do you suppose that anyone would agree to surrender their lives to Christ? However friends, we must be honest in evaluating what happened to Jesus, for He healed the sick, raised the dead and caused the blind to see, yet He was sought after like a criminal. This same Jesus is to be our role model. I feel like what we are taught here is that we are to do good, and be a shining example of Jesus, even if we know that controversy will arise. On the way to a business party one time I was asked by an executive why Christians abstain from drinking alcohol. I believe that it was asked to embarrass me because it was asked in a jeering way hoping to get laughter from the other executives present. I responded honestly as I believe God would have me do, and although I waited for the repercussion, it seemed like my honest response was well accepted. I recently heard a request for prayer about persecution on the job at a local company. It really surprised me, but after reading this scripture this morning, I am convinced that although we are not expected to go out and be deliberate rebels in our workplace or at local diners, or any other place that we go, we are expected to let our lights shine for Jesus and not hide that light for the sake of popularity or because of possible persecution. In fact, I love the suggested attitude in verse 14 – when we feel persecuted, or picked on, or laughed at, or made fun of, because of our faith, it is a great time to praise God knowing that others are impacted by the Christian stance we just took on a matter or the Christ-likeness that our audience just witnessed. It’s not a show-off thing, it’s our every-day Christian life being displayed in all aspects of our life. Is this always easy for us? Absolutely not, but when done in sincerity and under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, we will see great things accomplished for God. In fact, I would go as far as saying that if we feel forced into making a stand, then we need to question if it truly is a ‘God thing’, or are we doing it to impress someone about us and our strengths and abilities.

PRAYER: Dear God, You gave everything You had so that we might have eternal life in glory with You and Your Son. Thank You Lord for Your goodness to me and Your invaluable gift! Lord, I pray that Your children who will meditate on this devotional today, might catch a glimpse, as I did, to the value of living our faith and making our witness known to all mankind, so that they might be convinced of our relationship with You. This witness will sometimes convince mankind of their need for a Savior, but it will sometimes offend those who are led by Satan and his demons. May we be strong in all circumstances, so that the world might know to whom we belong, and that we might be convinced in our heart that we are truly Yours, without a shadow of doubt. Lord, please have Your will and way in our lives today, and may Your glory shine through us as we stand firm in our faith in You. I ask these things in the powerful and awesome name of Jesus, and for your sake, 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Work At It Follower of Christ

For someone that seems very comfortable, patient and just a natural when doing certain things, we may say that they are a perfect fit. However, God acknowledged in our Scripture verse today that we need to work at living in peace with those around us, and in living a holy life. Lots to meditate on in this very short verse today, so ask God to open your mind and melt your heart to the truth of His Word.

Saturday, 2019-10-05

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

OBSERVATION: For someone that seems very comfortable, patient and just a natural when doing certain things, we may say that they are a perfect fit. However, God acknowledged in our Scripture verse today that we need to work at living in peace with those around us, and in living a holy life. Lots to meditate on in this very short verse today, so ask God to open your mind and melt your heart to the truth of His Word.

APPLICATION: I saw a greeting card yesterday that read “Short on words, but loooong on best wishes!” I found this verse to be short on words, but packed with a powerful message for us today. God’s inspired Word is warning us that living at peace with everyone and living a holy life before our Lord, does not come easy or perhaps natural to us, but are two things necessary for the follower of Christ. Our natural tendency is to sin, therefore it is challenging for anyone to get along with us, or for us to accept everyone the way they are, to love them and live at peace with them. However in this chapter of Hebrews we are being taught to listen to God. We have been shown in this New Testament book that our ancestors accomplished a lot in faith, believing in, and depending on, the power of God. We are therefore challenged to call on, listen to, and depend on God to help us accomplish everything that He has commanded of us. In this particular command, I would dare say that God has proven Himself powerful, and able, over and over. He proved His love for us in ways that we would never have to, for He sacrificed His life for us, while the world hated Him, mocked Him, spat on Him and crucified Him. So I believe you will agree that He definitely knows all about how challenging it will be for us to ‘love’ someone who despises us, or may even hate us. So friends, when we are commanded to ‘Work at It’, be comforted in knowing that we don’t have to do this alone. For Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us – that means that He is always there for us. Therefore part of our working on these commands, must include humbling ourselves before the Master and seeking His help. Furthermore, I am convinced that my loving Jesus would never command something of us that would be impossible for He and us to achieve. We gladly work at being our best in our jobs, in our families, in our marriages and in our relationships. As an obedient servant, we must also ‘Work at’ being holy in our lifestyle so that the world will know to whom we belong. Also, we must determine in our own hearts to live at peace with each other as children of the ‘Prince of Peace’. We must ‘Work at It’ with all of our being and with the help of the King, Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our time here on earth is short, and we can therefore not afford to procrastinate on ‘Working At’ being all that You demand of us in Your Word. Holiness begets holiness, so if we are truly a son of the Holy God, then we are to represent that holiness in our everyday life. For one to meet a son, there should be good enough representation that they would tell the world that they have truly know the Father. Lord, may it be so in my life today, and may You fill the hearts and lives of all my readers that are willing to live obedient lives in conformity with Your will. Shine through us today Lord Jesus, so that our friends might see Jesus. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of Jesus, 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Your Decisions Will Cost You

Paul was a very patient evangelist of the Gospel of Christ. He had a passion for reaching the lost, and also those who allowed other teachings to hide them from the truth of the Gospel. However, he was a very smart man, and one who was closely in tuned with the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul realized that he could not force anyone to believe on the name of Jesus, so he allowed God to direct him when to move on, so that the people would feel the absence of the Savior. This is still very prevalent today, so let’s dig deeper into this.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 18:5-6 (NLT)

TEXT:   5Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”

OBSERVATION:   Paul was a very patient evangelist of the Gospel of Christ. He had a passion for reaching the lost, and also those who allowed other teachings to hide them from the truth of the Gospel. However, he was a very smart man, and one who was closely in tuned with the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul realized that he could not force anyone to believe on the name of Jesus, so he allowed God to direct him when to move on, so that the people would feel the absence of the Savior. This is still very prevalent today, so let’s dig deeper into this.

APPLICATION:   One of the most joyous occasions in a church is to help welcome a new pastor to serve at your church. For those who dig in and work along with the pastor to accomplish the work of the Lord in His local church, one of the saddest events in a church is when a pastor feels compelled to leave your church. Way too often, it’s for reasons very similar to the scenario faced by Paul, for the people are steeped in tradition and refuses to accept the love and preaching from men who, they feel, don’t fit the mold of their personal ideals for a ‘perfect’ pastor. Unfortunately, this could mean that in spite of their gentle heart for the Lord and His work here on earth, yet the man presenting the gospel is a mortal man, and this is often reflected through his casual talk; the friends (church members) that he hangs out with during his downtime; the jokes that he uses to help demonstrate or illustrate the story being preached that day; and the casual dress throughout the week is even being brought into the pulpit. However, he has a passion for the lost; he is a student of the Word of God and faithfully communicates with God about His perfect will for your church. Friends, these same pastors leave our church because of silly things that hurt them and their family, and they go on to another church where God is at liberty to work through them to reach the people of that community. Often these pastors brush the dust off their feet when they leave your church – the dirt of distrust; lack of communication; lack of acceptance and cooperation; excessive gossip about them and/or their family; refusal to allow God in and use you as part of the ministry at your church. Oh that we might remember that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. While here on earth we should be preparing ourselves, with the help of God, to see our old selves changed into the likeness of God as we prepare for that day when we will see Him face to face. Our time here should now be spent getting rid of old habits and the tricks we played on people that hurt them so badly. Our time should be spent in developing an attitude like that of Christ, and getting along with all men and women, even those that the world might look at and wonder why do we bother. Friends, I wonder if the blood of others may not sometimes be upon our shoulders it we had a part in steering them away from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, it is so challenging to live here on earth and imitate You in every way. Often we find many excuses and reasons why we can’t, but Lord I humbly plead that You would melt our hardened hearts so that we might see our old selves with its flawed character, step aside as we assume the life that You have given to us and demonstrated for us. People need the Lord. They need to see You. They need to hear from You. If that’s not happening through us, then please teach us to step aside and not be a stumbling block to those You are trying to reach. I pray that You might be able to use me Lord, but I would rather Your will, not mine. To God be the glory, for all that You will accomplish! 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!

 

Great Advice for Great Leaders

David was at the conclusion of his reign as king, and also near death. One of his sons, Adonijah, had already ‘jumped the gun’ and made himself ‘king’, but David was reminded of a promise he had made to Bathsheba, that Solomon would become his successor. Regardless of what Adonijah had done for himself, David gave the official word to make Solomon his successor, as promised. Our Scripture today records the parting words/advice that David had for his son for a strong and substantive leadership. Advice that all great leaders could benefit from today!

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-11-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Kings 2:2-4 (TLB)

Text:

“I am going where every man on earth must some day go. I am counting on you to be a strong and worthy successor. Obey the laws of God and follow all his ways; keep each of his commands written in the law of Moses so that you will prosper in everything you do, wherever you turn. If you do this, then the Lord will fulfill the promise he gave me, that if my children and their descendants watch their step and are faithful to God, one of them shall always be the king of Israel—my dynasty will never end.
OBSERVATION:
David was at the conclusion of his reign as king, and also near death. One of his sons, Adonijah, had already ‘jumped the gun’ and made himself ‘king’, but David was reminded of a promise he had made to Bathsheba, that Solomon would become his successor. Regardless of what Adonijah had done for himself, David gave the official word to make Solomon his successor, as promised. Our Scripture today records the parting words/advice that David had for his son for a strong and substantive leadership. Advice that all great leaders could benefit from today!
APPLICATION:
Each one comes to the table with various strengths that God has blessed them with. Some might say right up front that all they ever want, is to be a follower, because they hate leadership. Others appear to be born as natural leaders. I believe that this last piece of advice that David gave to his son Solomon, is very Biblicaly based, and something that all good leaders who are striving to be the ‘best’ leader could benefit from. In fact, it is also true for every Christian, for as we follow this advice we become more Christ-like and more obedient to His will for our lives. Now friends, I really don’t believe that God will set aside the leadership skills that He has already given to you, but using the advice passed down by David, I believe God will say to us that we use those admirable skills in a setting where it is evident that we are God’s child while being a good leader. In other words, when using our leadership skills in a worldly fashion, we would be more apt to use the skills of the worldly leader, Satan, which will always result in chaos and undesired results for the people you lead. However, imagine the amazing success you can have when you use your God-given talent in a setting where you allow God to rule through your life and leadership? I believe that most business owners want us to rule with an iron fist and not consider the feelings of the employees we supervise. However, I believe that leading God’s way will earn the respect of your subordinates and allow us to become a more cohesive team to accomplish even greater things. I don’t believe our lesson for today revolves around doing what David said, but rather, to take the advise of David and grow our relationship with God to the degree that, as leaders, we would be sensitive to God’s commands and directions. This would help us to lead like God would desire of us, so that He might be glorified. Most often we expect obedience from those we lead, what if we led in obedience to our Master? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see the results from our subordinates? Try it friends, you might like it!!
PRAYER:
Father, I believe that You have taught us again today that our walk with You must be evident in all parts of our life, and not just when we are at church, or around Christian people, or when we are trying to impress our pastor. In leadership, normally we are bound to allegiance to the owner of our company, but Lord I pray that You will also give us the boldness to always pledge our allegiance to You first and foremost, and under the authority and boldness of the Holy Spirit, lead in ways that will not only please You, but also excite our owners. Lord, please grant us the wisdom and strength to always seek to find ways for others to not only see You in the midst of our leadership, but to also find reasons to praise You and give You the glory You deserve. Thank You for working through even Your humble servants 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 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!

To Bear Witness

Right at the outset of the Gospel of John, he claims that his whole purpose in existing is to be a witness for the King who sent him, and who will return to this earth to rule and reign. Wow, what a witness! Let’s apply that to ourselves…..

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-09-26
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 1:6-12 (NKJV)

Text:

 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

OBSERVATION:
Right at the outset of the Gospel of John, he claims that his whole purpose in existing is to be a witness for the King who sent him, and who will return to this earth to rule and reign. Wow, what a witness! Let’s apply that to ourselves…..
APPLICATION:
In our lives we are often compared back to one of our parents. We either look like them or act like them. Often our mannerisms, or our smile, or some of the things we say, or the way we act, might remind people of one or both of our parents. I wonder how often we are mistaken for Jesus? Without going around with a placard around our necks, I wonder how often others see the qualities of Jesus Christ in us? One of the things that we must remember when we feel led of God to be a bold witness for Him, is that we will be so totally different to this world, that they will probably feel like we are crazy, just like John was treated. You see, it was very evident to God that Satan was leading this world totally down the opposite road to what God intended. Think about it: Satan encourages lies to get your own way and try to fool the other party you are dealing with, but God wants us to always tell the truth; Satan will lead us to kill, like he did with several in the Bible stories that we read, but God wants us to value the life that He has provided in each of us, because He wants us go on being living witnesses for Him; Satan encourages trickery and deception, but God leads us to be transparent and loving to our Brothers and Sisters, because He wants us to follow His example. Friends, God sent John as the pre-runner to His first coming. I believe that He has sent us as the pre-runner to His second coming. Are you on track for the task assigned to you? There’s no time for procrastination, for I believe that Jesus could return at any moment to take His bride away to glory – that’s His children who have accepted Him as Lord and are anxiously awaiting His return. Our task is similar to that of the apostle John, let’s be busy about the Master’s work so that many will be ready to go when He returns. The alternative is Hell, a place made only for those who refuses to trust in God. Where will you go, if Jesus returned today, friend?
PRAYER:
Like John the Baptist, I feel like You have given us the heads-up on what’s ahead, Lord Jesus. Like our Brother John, we could only resign ourselves to being Your light in the midst of this dark world of sin. Please give us boldness to do Your will, to be Your witness, and to love others enough to care about their well being and their future. The options are totally opposite, and our desire is that everyone we know will see Your light today and accept You as Lord, because tomorrow may be too late. Use us, Your humble servants to be a living witness, a light to the many who need to have their world enlightened with Your grace and Your glory, 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!

Committed To Serve

In marrying the son of Naomi, Ruth had dedicated her life to his family. This became more apparent after the death of Ruth’s husband, and in these two verses Ruth clearly stated her commitment to Naomi. I believe that this was very much a part of God’s plan, as we will see how everything aligned for Ruth throughout this beautiful book. This also teaches us about being truly committed to God and to one another with a bond that cannot be broken.

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-09-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

Ruth 1:16-17 (TLB)

Text:

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t make me leave you, for I want to go wherever you go and to live wherever you live; your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God; 17 I want to die where you die and be buried there. May the Lord do terrible things to me if I allow anything but death to separate us.”
OBSERVATION:
In marrying the son of Naomi, Ruth had dedicated her life to his family. This became more apparent after the death of Ruth’s husband, and in these two verses Ruth clearly stated her commitment to Naomi. I believe that this was very much a part of God’s plan, as we will see how everything aligned for Ruth throughout this beautiful book. This also teaches us about being truly committed to God and to one another with a bond that cannot be broken.
APPLICATION:
Commitment sometimes means that we will continue our job until something better comes up; or it may mean continuing our marriage until our spouse no longer pays attention to us; or keeping our promise to have lunch with a friend as long as something better doesn’t come up. Somehow I can tell that this is not the way that Ruth was put together, for her commitment to Naomi was without conditions and whether anyone else went along to help her or not. Unfortunately, I believe that we have so much to learn from this, for we are so over committed and easily distracted today, that we often commit or promise without ever knowing if we could do all that we said we would. Unfortunately this also involves Christians, for in good gesture at church we might listen to a friend’s problems and promise to pray for them. I’m afraid that this phrase “I’ll pray for you” is so abused, for we walk away from that conversation and never think of that promised prayer again. Perhaps we should either go ahead and pray for the person right there and then, or write their name and request down on a piece of paper, so we could pray for them each day until God answers. Friends, if we claim Jesus as Lord, we commit ourselves to live like He did. We don’t find anywhere in God’s Word where He broke any promises, so in promising to be just like Him, we need to let our yea be yea and our nay be nay. Our word is our honor. How honorable are you? With God’s help we can do this friends!
PRAYER:
Lord, please prompt us to always do what we say we will do and be all that we promise we will be. Following Your perfect will always directs us along the path that You would have us follow, knowing that You will ultimately be glorified in and through us. To God be all the glory! Help us to be men and women of God – good influences/witnesses to all that we come into contact with. 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!

Strength Against Temptation

At a time when Jesus went up to the garden to pray, He gave His disciples an assignment to pray about also: Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Because this is something that we all can pray for, I wanted us to take a deeper look into this…

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-09-12
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 22:46 (ERV)

Text:

 46 Jesus said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray for strength against temptation.”
OBSERVATION:
At a time when Jesus went up to the garden to pray, He gave His disciples an assignment to pray about also: Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Because this is something that we all can pray for, I wanted us to take a deeper look into this…
APPLICATION:
I found it interesting that Jesus did not say to His disciples, pray just in case temptation comes your way. Jesus knew what was about to happen, and He knew that it could mean death for His disciples if they stuck to their witness of the Master that was so close and intimate over their time of close ministry with Him. Things are no different today friends, for we leave our times of spiritual enrichment through great praise and worship services, and awesome reminders from God’s Word, and we reenter the world of constant bombardment by Satan to turn our heads and return to the ways of the world. So what’s so wrong about that, you might ask – seeing that we have to live in this old world. Good question! I believe that it is appropriate that we be reminded that Jesus was so different to the world, that He became the center of attention for attacks by the people. I know, that’s the last thing you want, right? Well, I believe you made a mistake in wanting a part in Christianity, for the teachings and example of Jesus is totally opposed to the teachings and example of this world. You see, if you are not led by the Lord Jesus Christ, and asking Him daily to guide your life, then you have a different leader – Satan. There are many examples of where Jesus was totally different, or opposite to the ways of the world. Sometimes it made Him stand out like a sore thumb, but it’s who He was and still is. ‘Going with the flow’ often means that we wait around to see what the crowd decides to do then we will do the same thing. When Jesus asks us to stay awake and pray against temptation, I believe He is telling us to seek the face of Jesus about the best course of action for us today, not what the popular person/people does. We were told at a very young age by our parents that following the crowd will get us into trouble. Jesus declares the same thing to be true today – stay awake and not be led into temptation by the crowd, but seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and His righteousness. As Christians, we are to look like Jesus, sound like Him and act like Him in every way. In fact, we should easily be mistaken for Jesus because of our likeness of Him in our character and in our love. Let’s pray for one another friends, so that the world might see, know and believe in the same Lord that we adore and are led by.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we all face temptation from this old wicked world, but we want to be more and more like You every day. We can only do this with Your help and our determination. Please touch the hearts of Your children and help us to not only proclaim our allegiance to You in the presence of our pastor or other church members, but even at times when temptation knocks for an open door of opportunity. Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and for ever, 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!

Of One Heart and Mind

Monday, 2016-11-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 17:20-22

Bible Text: 20 “I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. 21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me—the glorious unity of being one, as we are

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that if 5 families left my city in Florida to head to Atlanta, Georgia, there would probably be several different routes taken because we all have our own ideas about what will be the fastest route, or the most scenic, or the most enjoyable due to attractions along the way that we would like to visit. However, we will all probably wind up at our final destination in Atlanta, Georgia at some point. I believe it was extremely evident to Jesus that this would be the case with His children in many walks of life, even in religious circles where we have the ultimate goal of coming face-to-face with Jesus in heaven when we pass on from this old world. I was reminded in a very bold and obvious way in our scripture today that Jesus knew right from the very beginning that this would pose a challenge for His children. I was able to see where Jesus approached the Father in much the same way as I would, if I was leaving the state of Florida on an extended retirement trip throughout the rest of the United States. There would be concerns for ministries I am involved in at my church, and there would also be concerns that my relatives would be OK with me out of the picture for an extended period of time. Now, I must quickly acknowledge that I have nothing to worry about with any of these things falling apart, because I am not the glue that holds all these things together. However, we do worry about things that mean a lot to us, if we’re not around to do our part. Friends, Jesus came to this earth for one intended purpose, to save mankind from eternal damnation. To achieve this, He showed Himself in some very bold ways – through miracles, through loving the unlovable, through sacrificing Himself so that we might not have to sacrifice anything in order to be saved from our wretched sin. However, in spite of all that He did, we went back to the Father and prayed about His concerns for the wellbeing of His church – His children here on earth. I believe that anyone meditating on this devotional today will agree that the concerns of Jesus were right on target, just like the rest of His life and ministry were. For we have such a problem here on earth in that we segregate ourselves from other believers who are headed for the same destination. In my example above, if we come across one of our friends on that long trip to Atlanta who had chosen a different route than we did, we may tease and poke a little fun at each other, but we would still welcome them and celebrate with them at the destination point. In religion, it seems like we have become so secure in our understanding of the Word of God and/or other ancillary books given to us from our respective denominations, that we erect walls between ourselves that non-Christians probably look at and wonder how many destination points are there, because obviously we are not headed to the same one! Friends, I know that this may seem like I am picking on religious denominationalism, and perhaps I am, but I believe that Jesus has shared the concern with us to ponder, that He shared with His Father when He returned to Him. What can we do about it? Jesus wants us to be ‘one’ just as He and the Father are ‘one’. We know that the trinity represents three persons all in one, meaning that they have the same attributes and same power and are the same in the eyes of the Almighty God. For us to appease Jesus in His wish for us, we must be willing to tear down the walls of hatred and separation, and love one another as we love ourselves (according to the commandment of God). Great walls separate men and women, yet they are ‘one’ in marriage. Can we please set our goals on unity in the only thing in common, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I get the distinct impression from our scripture that this would please Jesus beyond anything else we may attempt today. Please don’t wait for your church to adopt a philosophy to do this, I believe Jesus wants this to begin with you and I. Let’s personally commit to this wish of our Lord, and love one another unconditionally.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You saw this coming and You prayed for this scenario ever since the beginning of time. I don’t know that things have gotten any better, so I want to commit myself to You today asking that You open my eyes to any injustices that may occur between myself and other believers in Jesus Christ. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that regardless of what part of the world one might be from, or the color of their skin or their financial status, we all have the same channel to travel through in order to one day see You and the Father in heaven. Please help my readers and I to live today in a way pleasing to You, and in a way that we intend to live when we sit around your feet in heaven as one body of believers. Lord, may we practice today what we expect to do ‘tomorrow’ when You call us home to glory! I ask these things in the only One who can change our hearts and our minds, and the One who set the example for us while here on earth. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Temptation – Jesus’ Greatest Concern?

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Luke 22:39-40; 45-46
Today’s Bible Text: 39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: I believe that the passage surrounding these verses probably relate one of the most challenging times in the life of Jesus. I find that when we have a lot on our minds about our health, security or life in general, we tend to be concerned about the welfare of others we love at the same time. And this is exactly what happened to our Lord, for He shared with His disciples what His greatest concern was for them. In fact, I am sharing two sections of Luke 22, because in each case Jesus shared the same concern – “pray, pray, pray that you will not give in to temptation”. That tells me that Jesus knew there would be temptation, and that it would be one of the greatest challenges for His disciples to contend with. Just as I was reminded, I want to also remind you, my readers, that this is probably one of our greatest challenges each day also. I believe that we tend to think of temptation in the light of inappropriate thoughts or actions towards the opposite sex. But friends, let’s remember that Satan is out to tempt us away from the path God has designed for us in every aspect of our daily walk. Every aspect. Satan uses our family, friends, coworkers or even casual acquaintances to tempt us to lie, cheat, steal, look the other way, speak inappropriately, or any other temptation you can think of. Just as Jesus was concerned about this particular problem with His disciples, I am certain that He is also holding His breath in concern for us also. So what’s our role, you might ask. Let us keep our hearts and minds fixed on Jesus at all times. Let’s ask Him to direct our thoughts, our minds, our speech, our attitudes, our eyes and our hearts so that they may all lead us towards Christ, and not in the opposite direction. With God’s help, we can do this friends!

Prayer: Dear Father, please lead us not into temptation, but deliver us – every fiber of our being, from the evil one. For thine is the kingdom and the glory, for ever, and forever, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016

Live Today With The End In Mind

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? You will be encouraged to live in the light of eternity each and every day. We can do this friends! Read on for your ‘Nugget’ from God!

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 Peter 3:10-14
Today’s Bible Text: 10 The day of the Lord is surely coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up. 11 And so since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives we should be living! 12 You should look forward to that day and hurry it along—the day when God will set the heavens on fire, and the heavenly bodies will melt and disappear in flames. 13 But we are looking forward to God’s promise of new heavens and a new earth afterwards, where there will be only goodness.14 Dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen and for him to come, try hard to live without sinning; and be at peace with everyone so that he will be pleased with you when he returns.
The Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take Away: Without sounding too morbid today, I just want to say how interesting it is how loved ones react to the passing of their relatives. I have seen cases where close relatives want to be near to their loved ones during this time, while others rather remember them as they were. Some relatives cry and react boisterously while others mourn silently and barely shed a tear. I believe a lot that affects the reaction of loved ones is based on the relationship that the mourner and the deceased had while both were alive. There will come a time when all life here on earth will end, and Peter  wants us to catch a glimpse of what to expect at that time. For those with a purpose – a plan to be with the Master of this universe throughout eternity, we are advised to live without sinning and be at peace with everyone, while we wait for God to put His plan into motion, so that He will be pleased with us when He returns to take us home to heaven with Him. Friends, I sincerely believe that if we know Jesus as Lord, we will have a very strong desire to do just this. I believe that our daily lives will be examples of what we learn about Jesus in His Word. I believe that we will live in anticipation of the day that He returns to gather His church together for the most exciting last trip of our lives! I believe our Master will return soon, because He has given us certain landmarks, or indicators that will signal His return. May I encourage you today to live without sinning (opposing God’s commands) and be at peace with everyone today? This will be a strong indication of your faith in the Word of God, for our study verses today indicate that this will be an indicator of whose you are and the goal you are striving to achieve. Be faithful and true to the Master, friend!

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for a place called Heaven, that You have prepared just for us! Thank You also for providing a way for us get to our eternal home with You. In our study today You have reminded us that we have certain responsibilities to fulfill while we wait to be with You. Please bless us with Your presence today Lord, so that we might live in the light of our eternal destination in the presence and care of our Lord and Savior. Father, please speak again to my family and friends who do not know You as Savior. May they make the most important decision in life, this day, please? We depend on You daily to teach us Your ways so that we may live according to Your will and in full reflection of all that You did while here on earth. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, and fro His glory, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016