An Attitude of Appreciation

As children, we are often taught to show our appreciation for things given to us, by saying ‘thank you’! As adults, we often try to repay one kindness with another of some sort. But God blesses us each day with gifts of varying types, so how do we show our appreciation to Him? Perhaps today’s Scripture may open our eyes and enlighten our hearts to new ways that demands our praise and our worship. God Almighty is our Provider!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-08-06
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 7:44-47
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love….

APPLICATION: Although our Scripture seems longer than normal, it is packed with a challenge from our Savior about what He sees as appreciation from His children. I believe that each week when we meet in church services, we always make sure that we’re dressed properly, we have our Bible with us, and that our favorite preacher will be in the pulpit that day at church. We arrive at church and we carefully examine all the new fashions on display by attendees, and we pay close attention to who will come over and greet us. Most of the time we will participate in the worship songs, if they are appealing to our ears, and we anxiously wait for the preacher’s ‘entertainment’. We are the first out, so we could avoid the traffic in exiting the property, and it also allows us first dibs at the local restaurant. If the pastor requests a visit to our home, it must be cleared in advance to allow us time to make our home presentable. Sounds pretty typical, right? But how well will you handle variances? What if the local drunk barges in while the pastor is visiting? What if a known prostitute walks right up to a front row seat in your sanctuary? Will you need help staying composed? How do you suppose Jesus would handle either of the aforementioned examples? Friends, these are scenarios that we could possibly face any, or every day. Our response will be based on what’s in our heart. If Simon’s heart was overflowing with the love of God, I believe He would have welcomed anyone who came to worship his Lord, or wash His feet, instead of being critical of who the person is, or from what background they may have come from. She’s a sinner, but so was Simon before He found Jesus. Well guess what? That’s exactly the same case with you and I. God sacrificed His only Son for us – even while we were still sinners, so what are we willing to endure? How appreciative should we be to a generous and sacrificial God? My friend, we don’t have time to look around and judge others, we have a full time job getting ourselves ready for the Kingdom and staying in a shape of readiness each and every day. When we call ourselves ‘Christian’ or a ‘follower of Christ’, it means that we vow to live here on earth just like He did. We will obey His commands and follow His example, so that we may look just like Him. Jesus accepted the prostitute just as she was, doesn’t that mean that we should do the same? In other Scriptures, Jesus said that He came to minister to, and save, the broken and the vilest sinner. If we are truly determined to follow His example, then we too must be willing to accept the vilest sinner. When our hearts are humbled to this degree, I believe that we will then live in appreciation of all that our Lord has become to us, and we will then look forward to personal worship to our King, and for His love and appreciation for us as a church. Search deep inside my friend, and reexamine the reasons for seeking God out each day. Recognize His goodness, then you will praise Him in all honesty for His goodness. Allow me to encourage you to especially love those who seek after our Lord, for they are our Brothers and our Sisters!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus lovingly welcomed the prostitute and accepted her gifts of worship. We must be willing to do the same to sinners of all professions. All are equal in the eyes of the One who created them!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I’m ashamed to say today, but as I look over the roster of my church, I would place certain members at the top, some at the middle and others at the very bottom of my list of ‘great’ members. But I believe that You showed us in our Scripture today that You created all of us, and You love each of us equally. Please help us to be as neutral as You are in loving all Your children, and please help us to welcome sinners into our midst with open arms as we sing praises to the One who created them. Help us to look at our times of worship with one purpose in mind – to glorify our King! I believe that when we concentrate on You, our eyes are distracted from others around us that we tend to criticize and pull down. Please help us to love others like You did, and to be more like You in every way, every day! 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!

Dedicated to Serve Christ

Paul was dealing with issues of Christians getting distracted from serving Christ, to instead meddling in the business of others. This was not only pulling down the other person, but also disappointing to believers and also to God, I believe. Anything we do in love, for the benefit of the other person, and for the glory of God, is most often done through the strength and encouragement of God so that the believer can please Him. Let’s apply that dear friend…..

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 14:17-20 (MSG)

TEXT: 17-18 God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you. 19-20 So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was dealing with issues of Christians getting distracted from serving Christ, to instead meddling in the business of others. This was not only pulling down the other person, but also disappointing to believers and also to God, I believe. Anything we do in love, for the benefit of the other person, and for the glory of God, is most often done through the strength and encouragement of God so that the believer can please Him. Let’s apply that dear friend…..

APPLICATION:   In my days of growing up, I would hear adults talking about a neighbor being on their ‘high horse’ again, while they are busy putting someone else down. I struggled to understand that, but now I do! Today, I believe it’s more about us looking down our proud noses at ones that may not be as well educated as we are, or could verbalize their feelings as good as we feel we could; or perhaps about our desire to excel, while we look around us and watch others gaining ground. When these things happen to us, unfortunately, I believe, it’s a ‘red flag’ to show us that we are drifting further away from God’s Word, for these verses today, and others very similar to them, teach us that God prefers that we seek ways to bring Him praise, and there is nothing in our jealousy, retaliation, envy or pay-back that brings glory to God. Please read the verses again friend, and when you get to the sentence that is bolded, repeat it several times. Our single most important task to achieve while here on earth, is to serve Christ. Lift Him up, bring Him glory! Shout to the mountain tops ‘What A Mighty God We Serve’! Show so much love to others that they will mistake you for Jesus, the Son of God! These are the things that will bring God glory, friends! These are the things that we must be busy doing til Jesus comes!

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for showing us what humbleness is all about. Thanks for setting the example for us to follow. Your commands are therefore very reasonable when we reflect on how You first exampled them, before ever asking us to be the humble one and let our actions still bring You glory. Oh, Lord may we be imitators of the One that we love, the One that we adore, the One that we long to see in Heaven one day! 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!

 

By Your Love, They Will Believe You

There are a few perful lessons here in this Scripture, beginning with the audacity of the paralyzed man’s friends to get their friend in front of Jesus in spite of any obstacles that might present itself. The second thing is to notice that Jesus’ first priority was to meet the man’s greatest need – forgiveness of his sin. Let’s apply this to our challenges of today….

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-11-20
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 13:34-35 (NLT)

Text:

34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
OBSERVATION:
As long as Jesus was in the world, and the disciples hung around with Him and followed Him, they were known as ‘Jesus followers’. However Jesus was preparing to return to His Father in heaven, so He told His followers what would make them distinctly different in the world – enough to be linked with Jesus, even after his departure. This is still a challenge for Christians today, for how are we recognized by the world, as being children of the King?
APPLICATION:
Others might know that we are married because of the wedding band that we wear, or the way that we treat the lady that is always with us. The same will apply to our children. However, I am thankful that God also showed us how the world will recognize us as His children – His followers – His disciples! This highlights one of the greatest commandments that God gave to us, for it tells us that we are to imitate Jesus when judging whether we truly love others. So how then are we to love others? Of course we know that Jesus willingly gave up His life for us – so that we may seek forgiveness of our sin, and through the washing of blood that was shed for us on Calvary, our sins would be washed away, leaving a pure, clean, revived child of God, in His sight. So how did the actions of Jesus prove His love for us? Well, He voluntarily gave up His life for us, even while we were yet sinners with no hope. Imagine for just a moment that you thought about giving up your son as a sacrifice for your whole city, but as you turn on the news channel each night you hear the bad news about how cruel everyone is, and how they are stealing and committing unheard of crimes. Would you still be OK with your decision to sacrifice your son for the whole city? Probably not, but in our Bibles Jesus has taught us to love one another – everyone you come into contact with, and to such a degree that they would recognize you as a Jesus-follower, – one who has been with Jesus. Friends, to do this you must know Jesus personally and have accepted Him as Lord. You should daily seek His face to help you meet the challenges of the day and to put aside prejudices and personal desires, so that you could love others like He did. The Bible says that by your fruit, or your actions, you will be known. Please don’t act like the world, and expect that others will see Jesus in you because you told them you had made a decision to accept Jesus earlier in your life. If He truly is invited into your life, and you recognize Him as your Lord and Savior, there will be enough evidence that others will have no need to ask whose you are!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we are thankful for the provisions You made for us while we were yet sinners. I pray that You will now work a miracle in our lives, so that we might put aside how we feel about this world, and see all children as Your precious jewels that we should love just as You loved us. Lord, may each one reading this devotional receive a wonderful blessing today as we strive to align our love for others, like You loved us. May this all be done to bring more glory, honor and praise to You dear Father, for I ask this in the precious name of Your Son 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 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!

The Path of Blessing

Jesus had just completed washing the feet of His disciples – the same guys that watched Him perform miracle after miracle; the one they called Master, and Lord, and Savior. Then after performing such an act, Jesus told the disciples to make a good mental note, because He wanted them to continue that practice, as the principle is one that would lead them to great blessings. Oh, what a lesson for us today…

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-11-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 13:15-17 (TLB)

Text:

 15 I have given you an example to follow: do as I have done to you. 16 How true it is that a servant is not greater than his master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends him. 17 You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing.
OBSERVATION:
Jesus had just completed washing the feet of His disciples – the same guys that watched Him perform miracle after miracle; the one they called Master, and Lord, and Savior. Then after performing such an act, Jesus told the disciples to make a good mental note, because He wanted them to continue that practice, as the principle is one that would lead them to great blessings. Oh, what a lesson for us today…
APPLICATION:
Can’t you imagine this picture in your mind? You arrive at work, as usual with so much on your mind about what needs to be done that day, but as you enter the front door, the owner of the company you work for, is sitting just inside with a towel on the floor on which a basin of water is placed. With another towel thrown across his knee, the owner beckons for you to come over so that he could wash your feet. After propping up your bottom jaw, what type of inner feelings do you suppose would come over you? Do you think that you would ever look at your boss the same way again? Do you realize how proud we have become to have others share their gifts with us? Whether it’s money, or helping us take care of our home while we are off our feet with illness. We tend to become embarrassed about others giving to us in one form or another. Jesus said that as we humble ourselves and deliberately do things for one another, without regard for pride or stature or position, we are on a mission for a great blessing. When last have you evaluated who might be greater than you in your family, or in your workplace or in your church? Perhaps you should plan a foot-washing time with everyone that never crossed your mind as being greater than you. I believe that our lesson for today is to remind ourselves that everyone is equal at the foot of the cross, so why should we feel otherwise here on earth. We may have less money than our neighbor, and because of that they might have a much nicer house or car, but at the feet of Jesus we both will appear as Christ followers saved by His grace. Of course, if one of us have allowed our pride to get the upper hand of us and we have not acted like Jesus while here on earth, then chances are that there may be one missing around the throne, and having to now deal with Satan in the pit of Hell. In analyzing our position today, may I suggest that you first go back to the day and hour that you surrendered your heart to the Lord Jesus. Secondly, I would recommend that on a daily basis we evaluate our lives in comparison to the teachings of Jesus Christ (not our neighbor) to see what areas need improvement. We all want to be on the path of blessing, but to be there we have a lot of self evaluation, humility and love to work on with those we tend to look down at.
PRAYER:
Lord, we read so much about Your humility, and we want to express that in our own lives every day. We see many examples of Your love for all mankind, and although we struggle with that sometime, we are convinced that You can make a sinners heart clean, so we have no doubt that You can also help us to love everyone. We want to be just like You Lord, but we need extreme help from You to do that. Please guide us so that our path in life will lead to blessing. 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!

Your Story

Wednesday, 2016-07-06

Scripture

Bible Reference: Acts 22:6–8

Bible Text:  6 “As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’  8 “ ‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.
“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.’

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that workplaces, and just about all groups in general, were probably a buzz with stories from the holiday weekend events. From the backyard barbecues to the fireworks to the parties. I bet everyone had a story to tell, whether prompted or not! Paul had the opportunity to tell his ‘Story’ about how his life was eternally changed, and he didn’t hesitate, even though he realized that he was in a very vulnerable position and could have been killed for acknowledging that it was Jesus who impacted his life. Fortunately, we live in a much calmer and tolerable world, where we may get some weird facial expressions, or possibly some verbal opposition after sharing our story, but how often do you hear a Christian sharing their story? We have become such a weak, uncaring, selfish, bunch that we just as soon keep our awesome news to ourselves, to avoid confrontation with someone running from the Lord. Wait a minute, is this not the same as standing idly by, seeing our friend enter a busy street, without seeing the oncoming vehicles, but we feel helpless to shout out to them, or snatch them back from the traffic, because we don’t want to get our feelings hurt if they shout obscenities back at us. Will you truly be able to sleep that night if they are killed by the oncoming traffic? Yet we lie down at night without any guilt about a friend possibly dying that night without the comfort of the Holy Spirit and destined for a dark and dreary Hell. Since we have no control over when our friends will be called from this world, shouldn’t we be busy about the Lord’s work and share our story with everyone at every opportunity? 

Prayer

Lord God, please impress upon us the urgency of the hour for all of us living on planet earth. Please draw our attention to the spiritual needs of our friends and help us to feel compelled to share our story with them, so that they might know the reality of a life truly dedicated to You, and therefore destined for eternity in the safety of Your arms. This is all GOOD News, so help us to not listen to the tactics if Satan that tries to prevent us from opening our mouths, when we need to. Lord we will all be eternally grateful in knowing that our family and friends are by our side, and not headed in the opposite direction towards eternal damnation and destruction. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 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!