Our God of Mercy

Although the exact words are not evident, God indicates in verse 23 that He is merciful towards widows and orphans, just as he indicated in verse 27 about the poor. I wonder how conscious we are about being merciful, like our Father is? I wonder how careful we are about not coming under the wrath of God when dealing with widows, orphans and the poor? Perhaps today is a good day to consider how we are doing in following His example to be merciful. Allow the Word of God to have it’s way in your life today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-04-02
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 22:22-27
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 “You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. 23 If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.
25 “If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset. 27 This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. How can a person sleep without it? If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am merciful.

OBSERVATION: Although the exact words are not evident, God indicates in verse 23 that He is merciful towards widows and orphans, just as he indicated in verse 27 about the poor. I wonder how conscious we are about being merciful, like our Father is? I wonder how careful we are about not coming under the wrath of God when dealing with widows, orphans and the poor? Perhaps today is a good day to consider how we are doing in following His example to be merciful. Allow the Word of God to have it’s way in your life today.

APPLICATION: All throughout the Bible we could find where God thought very tenderly and mercifully towards those who struggled to take care of themselves. Brothers were told to marry the wives left behind by their deceased brother. Deacons were told to lookout for, and take good care of, widows and orphans. But I was totally amazed at the reminder in today’s Scripture again. For God warned the Israelites that if they took advantage of these individuals and, as a consequence, they came to Him about their hurt and their need, He would kill the guilty men so that their wives and children would then become widows and orphans. Men, I don’t know about you, but even though I would fear bringing on hurt or death to myself, the last thing in the world I would want to know, is that my wife and child are being left in want after my passing. But none-the-less, Jesus warned that He would be that upset if He saw His weaker children being abused. So how would this be applied to our current day situations? In your line of business, do you offer incentives or discounts to these individuals, or do you see them as a higher risk, seeing that they are without a husband/father, so you charge them more? This might be for goods, or in the case of interest on loans or credit cards, since this was dealt with next. Do you offer them a ride back home after visiting your place of business, or are you way too busy attending to the rich and giving them every possible incentive to give you more business? Friends, I believe that God has allowed us to remain on earth so that we may represent Him well. Today we have been taught a few things that really upsets the Father. What do you suppose you and I could do to stay in the good graces of our merciful God, as it pertains to widows, orphans and the poor? Sure many who read this devotion today may not be considered rich, but in the eyes of the poor and destitute, they see us as ‘rich’. Cutting our meal size in half will not only help our health, but we might then be able to share a portion with one who may not have a solid, healthy meal. With a few extra dollars on hand, instead of using that for an extra vacation, or another new suit, try helping the widow whose electric power is close to being terminated because of unpaid bills. Instead of putting that poor person under the nearby bridge down, share a jacket with him, or take the extra food to her from a meal where you cooked in excess. Show love towards these people, be a good neighbor to that child of God who needs help. Love these individuals, even as our caring, merciful God loved you while you were still steeped in sin and filth. Let it be said of you that you were merciful, just like your Father!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, I am so thankful that You know our very heart and therefore You are well aware of all that we stand for. There’s no need in us trying to tell You what we do and who we love, for You know our very heart. Please penetrate our hearts with Your Word, so that Your perfect will and way may be evident in all that we do, say and think. There are so many needs around us, and I’m afraid that we have become way too hardened by the needs. We attribute that to abuse that we may have seen, or perhaps to family members who should really jump in and help their needy members. But in today’s Scripture You gave us no escsape, for You insisted that if we see the need, or if we are aware of the need, meet it with all that we can. May we become keenly aware of the needs that we will encounter today with those that we come into contact with, and may You become very visible to those that we help. You gave it all, and we thank You for that, but please receive honor, praise and glory for any representation of Yourself today by Your children. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Treasured People

Often we will ask God for things, and expect a whole lot from Him, but how often do we dig into His Word, learn about His commands and obediently follow His instructions? Let’s meditate on how this compares to God’s conditional promise to the Israelites that is detailed in Exodus 19:5.

Monday, 2021-03-15

Bible Reference: Exodus 19:5-6
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: Now if you will hear My voice, obey what I say, and keep My covenant, then you—out of all the nations of the world—will be My treasured people. After all, the earth belongs to Me. You will be My kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart.”

OBSERVATION: Often we will ask God for things, and expect a whole lot from Him, but how often do we dig into His Word, learn about His commands and obediently follow His instructions? Let’s meditate on how this compares to God’s conditional promise to the Israelites that is detailed in Exodus 19:5.

APPLICATION: I wonder how many of us would pass up on a good deal, that we knew depended only on a few provisions that were within our ability to achieve? Here’s an example, or a scenario that some might quickly jump to: If you move from Florida to Georgia, you will become rich from working the soil there (farming) because of the natural minerals and nutrients, and you will enjoy much cooler weather in which to farm! Wouldn’t you think that some of our Floridians would pack up and begin the move to Georgia, to enjoy the new life that would include the riches of the land there? So let’s consider what we would do if God said to us something similar to what He told the Israelites: (a) ‘If you hear my voice’ and I believe this means that we would be required to not just say that we hear God’s voice, but that we would allow His words to penetrate our very being and have an impact on our lives; and (b) ‘If you obey what I say’ and I believe this means that we would be prepared to stop assuming that the Word is for our wicked neighbor, or for that unfriendly guy down the street, but rather that we, personally, would be prepared to respond to God’s Word by obeying what He tells us to do; and (c) ‘Keep my covenants’ – I believe that this means that we stop pretending that we are obedient to His written Word, but instead decide to truly obey His covenant that God set forth for us. All three of these things sound simple enough, but God added a reward for the Israelites, and I believe that He would do the same for us, if we truly follow His conditions – we would be His treasured people. Yes among all the people of the world, He would choose to honor and treasure us. Friends, this scenario is very much aligned with what God did for us on Calvary, by sacrificing His very own Son. He made such a sacrifice as a reward for us, if we accept His Son as Lord and Savior. The reward is that we would spend eternity with the Father and the Son in heaven, singing praises to the King of all kings and Lord of all lords For all eternity. This is not just a reward dear one, but in comparison to the alternative – eternal damnation under the leadership of Satan, our choice/offer by God is the only one that anyone of sound mind would deliberately choose. Friends, think about this and be blessed today. For those who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender lordship of your life over to Him, you will be considered a ‘Treasured People’ by the Creator, and you will join with the angels around the throne singing sweet hallelujahs to the King forever and forever. My prayerful desire today is that all who will read or listen to this devotional today will be among those treasured by God. If you have not accepted Jesus as lord of your life yet, let me encourage you to read my Footnote carefully and follow the steps that will lead you to find Him and accept Him as Lord!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for providing the means for us to find eternal peace, and eternal salvation through Your precious Son, Jesus. May all who read this devotional today be reminded of the importance of making peace with You so that Your eternal reward may fill their heart with joy and everlasting hope. Please soften the hearts of those who will read this, but have yet to agree to the simple plan of salvation. To know You is to have peace everlasting! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

God’s Plan

God built into us a conscience to help us recognize when we have done something that really hurts another person, especially mentally. I’m sure that the brothers of Joseph knew that their time had come when they realized that Joseph knew who they were, and he had the power to revenge himself. But God – full of mercy and love, melted the heart of Joseph and caused him to love his brothers more than anything else. Think of a time that God totally controlled your mind to act completely opposite to what the world would expect. This may help you fully grasp what God did in this reunion of Joseph and his brothers.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-03-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 45:4-5; 7-8
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT:  …. “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives. 
God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way and to make sure that you and your descendants survive. So it was not really you who sent me here, but God…..

OBSERVATION: God built into us a conscience to help us recognize when we have done something that really hurts another person, especially mentally. I’m sure that the brothers of Joseph knew that their time had come when they realized that Joseph knew who they were, and he had the power to revenge himself. But God – full of mercy and love, melted the heart of Joseph and caused him to love his brothers more than anything else. Think of a time that God totally controlled your mind to act completely opposite to what the world would expect. This may help you fully grasp what God did in this reunion of Joseph and his brothers.

APPLICATION: Imagine facing someone, where you may have been responsible for the death of their spouse, child or very close relative. You biggest nightmare would be with them pulling a gun on you and getting even. But what if they acted totally opposite and greeted you in a loving and forgiving manner? You might worry that they have lost their mind, or totally don’t recognize you, right? Can you truly picture this: the brothers of Joseph approaching the King’s assistant (Joseph, the governor) in hopes that he would allow them to purchase food to help their family survive the drought. Surprisingly, Joseph asked way more questions about their family structure than they ever expected, but he seemed more than willing to sell them provisions. But what would you make of the governor then inviting them to his chambers for dinner, and then asked his attendants and guards to leave? Could it be that the Governor wants to eliminate these foreigners personally? But he seems emotionally attached to them, what’s with that? I could only imagine that the brothers were more on edge about the unknown than anyone could possibly understand. But the final blow comes when the governor tells them his true identity – their long lost, or presumed dead, brother? No doubt the brothers are sure of the repercussion they are about to face from Joseph, for they dropped him in a deep well to die of natural causes. They changed their minds and sold him to a passing group Of warriors. But friends, don’t you find it interesting that God used even the wickedness of Joseph’s brothers to fulfill His perfect will for Joseph, for the king, and for Egypt and the neighboring countries? Wouldn’t it have been awful for Joseph to hold a grudge and possibly kill his brothers who were a vital part of God’s ultimate plan for Joseph, his dad and his family? Remember how Joseph gave credence to God while in prison and in foretelling the meaning of dreams? Remember how Jospeh gave credit to God when he gave the meaning of the King’s dreams? Remember how God gave confidence to the king to trust Joseph with being governor at this critical time? Think of the times that you reflect back on your life and could now see clearly how God was clearing the path for the fulfillment of His will in your life. Isn’t it amazing how awesome our God is? For my readers who may have enjoyed this story, but due to lack of relationship with God, you may not be able to identify; let me encourage you to have a little talk with Jesus. Consider reading my Footnote below, especially the underlying scriptures behind the link ‘To Know Jesus’. I pray that you will be convinced of your need for submission to the King of this universe – Jesus, my Lord! He has a plan for your life also, just as He did in the life of Joseph.

PRAYER: Lord You are good, and Your mercies are never ending. You care for us, even in our stubbornness and disobedience. You love us unconditionally, like you did Joseph, and even in spite of who we are. Thank You Jesus! Please forgive us for being less than perfect, and give us more strength, wisdom and power to overcome our weaknesses. May today be a brand new day of seeing us imitating You and obeying Your commands. The world needs to see Jesus in us today. May they not be disappointed, Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while 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!

Use Virtues of God to Set Your 2021 Goals

Around this time of the year we begin to reflect on the accomplishments, failures, heartaches and missed goals of the year about to end, and many of us will begin to set goals for the incoming year. It’s always good to have something to reach towards, for without that, we might tend to merely exist and settle for anything that comes our way. What if we chose some spiritual goals for 2021? Let’s meditate on the ones listed in today’s Scripture and see what God might be directing us towards.

Monday, 2020-12-28

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:12-14
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 12 You are always and dearly loved by God! So robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. 13 Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. 14 For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark[k] of true maturity.[l]

OBSERVATION: Around this time of the year we begin to reflect on the accomplishments, failures, heartaches and missed goals of the year about to end, and many of us will begin to set goals for the incoming year. It’s always good to have something to reach towards, for without that, we might tend to merely exist and settle for anything that comes our way. What if we chose some spiritual goals for 2021? Let’s meditate on the ones listed in today’s Scripture and see what God might be directing us towards.

APPLICATION: I believe that we unconsciously set New Years’ goals for ourselves, depending on our audience at the time. For we tend to concentrate on spiritual goals when we are with God or His people; and we tend to drift more into financial and other personal goals when we are with our friends and family. This may not be a bad philosophy, but we might question ourselves as to why is there a need to compartmentalize depending on the audience. I believe that when God listens to the cry of His precious child’s heart, He listens for everything that might be troubling that child, or being celebrated by them. After all, if we are going through financial woes, don’t you know that subject will be foremost on our minds as cry out to God about our disappointments in 2020 and when we speak with God and seek His perfect will for our lives in 2021? On another note, don’t you know that our attitudes will be drastically impacted when we are struggling in our relationship with God? But isn’t it awesome to know that God is more than willing to speak with His children about all aspects of our life, as we seek His direction and try to establish goals for the New Year? After all, He’s the only One who truly knows what will transpire next year, so His guidance is vital. However friends, I believe that God has given us some virtues to concentrate on in the days ahead. Think about these things: be holy as our Father is holy; be merciful as we seek to understand others; be compassionate and show kindness to others, as you take the focus off self and all that you want; be gentle; be humble; be so patient with others that you would never offend them; learn to tolerate the weaknesses of believers, for you are also flesh and blood, and you could also easily fall short in multiple ways; God has forgiven you, so learn to also forgive others, especially for their faults; and love – remember, your love for others will be a sign of your maturity in Christ. Friends, can you imagine how much better our world will be, if we choose to seek God’s help in achieving these virtues in 2021? Can you imagine the reduction in stress levels for us individually when we strive for these goals? I believe that as we work towards these goals, we will see God also bless us with the other things He knows that we need, such as financial freedom; good decisions about people and events that we are a part of, etc. As our priority shifts towards our God and His righteousness, I believe that we will see more clearly how truly serious we are about Him, and be reminded of how gracious and kind He is to us.

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 and free! Your Word is a light unto our path oh Lord, may we read it, take it to heart and be obedient to it, with Your amazing help! As we depend on You for all that 2021 brings our way, may we never cease to stop asking You for help in living life here on earth as You intended for us. May others see Your virtues in us before we ever open our mouths to evangelize with words! AMEN!

God is able to Orchestrate Everything For Our Good!

As we approach the end of the year and begin thinking back to all that has taken place in our lives in 2020, unfortunately others may hear us moaning about the ups and downs of COVID or the hardships brought on because of that dreaded virus. However, there could be a much brighter view if we review the year based on our Scripture today. Join me for a time of reflection on the mercies of our awesome God!

Wednesday, 2020-12-27

Bible Reference: Romans 8:27-28
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 27 Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God? 28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

OBSERVATION: As we approach the end of the year and begin thinking back to all that has taken place in our lives in 2020, unfortunately others may hear us moaning about the ups and downs of COVID or the hardships brought on because of that dreaded virus. However, there could be a much brighter view if we review the year based on our Scripture today. Join me for a time of reflection on the mercies of our awesome God!

APPLICATION: For some, who may have won the lotto, or been immensely blessed in many ways, it may be easy to reflect on how good God is, and the many ways in which He has blessed. But there are some who may have experienced great life events, that may have involved losing a loved one; or medical challenges that may have almost caused separation from life to death for a precious family member; or losing a house or a car because of devastating financial burdens; or any number of things that you may have wished were more ‘normal’ or in line with others. However, if we look at the year in light of what today’s Scripture is teaching us, how might we answer this question of ‘blessings’ more appropriately, or how might we understand more clearly how God’s hand was right plumb in the middle of our circumstances? Friends, the Word of God says that our Savior is ‘pursuing and exploring our heart’ and petitioning the Father on our behalf that we may stay aligned with His will for our lives. Is it any wonder why we reflect on circumstances and wonder why we chose to take a certain road home in lieu of another, after hearing of the awful accident around the time of our travel home? Or that we chose to go to the hospital for expert medical help, instead of playing doctor and treating our chest pains with aspirin? Or that we chose to share our testimony with our best friend, at a time that God was already working out His salvation plan in her life? Friends, for each of these examples we may easily brush them off as just being something you would have done anyway, or we may call them coincidence or good luck, but please notice again from the Scripture that neither of these words are used – not even in this modern translation of the Bible. There is nothing haphazard about God’s plan, or about His actions in working out His plan in our lives. Remember, we are His workmanship, and for those who have accepted Him as Lord, we are His prized possession on loan only to this world for just a little while longer. So let’s look for, and expect to see His love and His caring touch work through us in miraculous ways. Verse 28 is a commonly recited verse, but I pray that it takes on a more enriched meaning for you as you are reminded of these verses today. I love the way that the Voice has translated the condition in verse 28: ‘when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan’. So friends, whether you reflect on 2020, or look towards 2021, try creating a sense of accountability with God on whether you could honestly say that you have loved Him sincerely, and you have accepted His plan for your life. Learn to praise Him unconditionally for everything that has transpired in your life, even if something devastated you at the time, because you know that He has worked it out with the Father for your good!

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us! You amaze us with Your love and Your goodness, so much so that we may tend to question ‘why me Lord?’. Thank You for the lessons taught in these special verses today, for we are reminded of Your unconditional love for us, and how You love us enough that You keep us constantly before the Father, for our good. Help us Lord to keep this awesome reminder in mind, especially when things don’t appear to be going our way. May we be encouraged to share that special love with those that we come into contact with today. AMEN!

Christmas Gift Ideas

At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

Friday, 2020-12-08

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:12-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. 13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. 14 Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. 

OBSERVATION: At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

APPLICATION: Most children are probably looking forward to Christmas because of the gifts they have asked for, and expect to receive. As adults, Paul has reminded us of the gracious gifts that are ours, in being a child of the most high God! Here are some of the gifts mentioned by Paul: 1). God has made us His holy people – imagine that – steeped in sin and very much a part of Satan’s army, yet when we felt the call on our life by Jesus, and surrendered our life to Him, we were adopted into the sonship of the Most Holy God! That is beyond comprehension, and could only be imagined through faith in the truth of God’s Holy Word; 2). God loves us – ‘Love’ is an awesome word that we use, and even abuse in our lifetime, but it takes on such a special meaning when the holy Son of God loves a child that has been so blatant in sin, and asked for His forgiveness. Oh that we may find it in our hearts to love like that this Christmas! But because of all that God blessed us with, here are some gifts that we may give to others, knowing that He will continue pouring out His gracious love to us: Show mercy towards others; Be kind to others; Be humble towards others; Be gentle to others; Be patient with others; Don’t be angry with others; Forgive others; and LOVE others. Friends, the best news of all about these godly gifts, compared to our usual gift giving, is that there will be no increase in credit card bills whatsoever!  So why not read over this devotional again as Christmas draws closer, and concentrate on all the gody gifts that you can extend to family and friends. Be instrumental in teaching them God’s ways and His teachings through your example this Christmas! Others just may see that you have a heart like that of Jesus, because you showed that you cared for them!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Christmas, and the precious gift of Your Son! Thank You for teaching us about the many precious gifts that You bless us with, and then through your servant Paul, teaching us how we might extend to others the many gifts that You have showered on us. Please help us to make someone’s Christmas special this year, simply by showering them with the character of Your Son, and the godly gifts mentioned in our Scripture today. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. 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!

Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 7:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

OBSERVATION: I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

APPLICATION: We have just observed what God might be saying to us in this Scripture today, but how do we apply this to our everyday life? First of all, are we consistent in our asking? Do we even find time to pray, other than when we are in crisis mode? Our method of asking, or petitioning God is through ‘prayer’, yet most churches will tell you that it’s one of the worst attended services. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. For I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. Otherwise if they want me to pray for them, I might think that they don’t have time to pray, even though they know they need prayer, and have therefore asked me to pray for them. Jesus is telling us to ‘ask’, not to have someone ask for us. Jesus is also asking us to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. This tells me that we are to be persistent in doing these things. I once met a young person working at a prominent restaurant, and I asked how they landed the job. Persistence was the word, for they showed restaurant management that they were so interested in the job that they would keep on visiting the establishment, keep on asking for a job, etc. Guess what? He landed the job and looked extremely happy in his job. Now in the teachings of Jesus I believe that we have no doubt as to what we are to ask for or seek after, for we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, therefore we will ask in line with our righteous desires and within the scope of God’s will. When you keep on knocking, you are acknowledging to God that you are once again at His feet pleading His perfect will for your life, with a deep desire to serve Him in complete righteousness. Jesus said that when we do these things, that He will not only hear our prayers, but He will meet our needs. Friends, we have so much that we ask God for, let’s aim at making those requests known to Him for the single purpose of making us, or the person we are praying for, more righteous in God’s sight, and that they, or you, may be drawn closer to God and His kingdom.

PRAYER: Lord, please continue to humble us to always and continuously seek Your face; ask for Your holy and generous hand of mercy and generosity upon our lives, so that we may be worked on and made right with You in every way. Lord, may we be consistent in knocking to ask for an audience with You on a frequent basis. May we be bold enough to join others in prayer so that we may encourage them and help them in their walk with You. Lord, please renew a great work in us today so that we may be more like You in every way, and may this attract the unsaved to desire intimacy with You. We must ask in full alignment with Your will dear Lord, because we acknowledge Your Lordship and Your sovereignty. Thank You precious Lord for accepting me as Your child. May I always live like a child of the King! Amen!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while 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 Improve Your Faith

When I was in the working world, I would have to undergo training for certain new products or programs so that I could help my employer do a good job of introducing our products to our customers. There are also good training seminars and conferences available to church leaders to help them sharpen their skills for the Lord’s work. But seldom do we think about pursuing our life of godliness and looking for ways to enhance our faith. Let’s stop and ponder this thought today based on the Scripture.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-09
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Peter 1:5-9
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love. If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. But if you don’t grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.

OBSERVATION: When I was in the working world, I would have to undergo training for certain new products or programs so that I could help my employer do a good job of introducing our products to our customers. There are also good training seminars and conferences available to church leaders to help them sharpen their skills for the Lord’s work. But seldom do we think about pursuing our life of godliness and looking for ways to enhance our faith. Let’s stop and ponder this thought today based on the Scripture.

APPLICATION: As I read these verses today, I was reminded that, just as a car could move if it had an engine, it is up to the driver to direct it’s path. It is also important for us to look for ways to contribute to our individual walk with, and our faith in, the Lord, so as God fills us with His awesome power, and guides us with His diligent guidance, we might aggressively contribute to a growing faith. and a closer walk with God. Here are seven important qualities that Peter directed us to add to our faith, with God’s help:
1) Goodness – Some translations also refer to this as Moral Excellence. So this revolves more around purity and uprightness of character through our obedience to God. We must aim at fulfilling our God-given purpose in a manner that would be pleasing to God and directed by Him. If we do, others will see us as a ‘good’ person, otherwise we might be called insincere;
2) Understanding – Also referred to as ‘Knowledge’, because the idea here is that the Christian must do all they can to acquire knowledge of God’s Word, and to seek after His guidance for their everyday walk;
3) Self-control – A mastery of self! Be disciplined and strive to control your desires and your passion. Remember that we were born into a wicked world, and because we live in this world we tend to like, imitate and desire the things of this world. The Christian must seek God’s help to help stay focused on, and practice the things of God;
4) Patience – Some translations also refer to this quality as ‘Perseverance’ because God knew how challenging it would be for us to keep on keeping on in spite of adversity. Let’s consider this to be patient endurance in holiness, despite our circumstance or our various tempters. You could see how badly we need God on this one;
5) Devotion to God – This might also be referred to as ‘Godliness’. Now, imagine how important it is to focus on our behavior to ensure that it reflects the character of God, while still living among the wicked;
6) Concern for others – This is also referred to as ‘Brotherly Kindness’. Thoughtful consideration for others, in spite of how they may gossip about you or treat you. Love them like God loves you – unconditionally;
7) Love – The Bible refers to love in various ways, using different Greek words. This particular word refers to the highest form of love – God’s kind of love that seeks the welfare of others ahead of self. Love reaches out to all people, those like you and those who look different. Those who believe like you and those who don’t. Remember, God loved the whole world enough that He sent His Son to die for us. That kind of love. Don’t you know that only God could inspire and help us to love like that?
The Scripture says that if we enhance our faith through adding these qualities – doing our part, then we will become useful and meaningful for the kingdom. I would hate to know that I am just here taking up space and of no worth to those that I meet, won’t you? With God’s help, we can do this friends!

PRAYER: It’s amazing how much You love us Lord, and also how much You care for us and show us how we could be more like You. Thank You for speaking through Your servant Peter to cause us to have a closer look at our faith, something we often take for granted. Lord, we need You each and every day to guide our steps and draw our attention to aligning our life with Yours. Please continue to work on us and give the strength, boldness and desire to draw close to You and Be more like You every day, so that others will be drawn to You. May the seven qualities mentioned in our Scripture become prevalent in our lives. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while 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!

Our Judge – God – He’s Always Fair

We hate it when someone accuses us when we did something illegal or hateful, but we are really hurt when they accuse us and we are innocent. Jesus faced many accusations, but He simply surrendered the situation to His Father. As His followers, Christians are probably doing the same that Jesus did, correct? Well, let’s look closer at this and see how sincere we are in following the ways of Jesus. We know and honor the same fair Judge as He did, but can we let go and let God?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-31
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 2:21-23
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 ….. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps: 22 He never sinned, never told a lie, 23 never answered back when insulted; when He suffered He did not threaten to get even; He left His case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. 

OBSERVATION: We hate it when someone accuses us when we did something illegal or hateful, but we are really hurt when they accuse us and we are innocent. Jesus faced many accusations, but He simply surrendered the situation to His Father. As His followers, Christians are probably doing the same that Jesus did, correct? Well, let’s look closer at this and see how sincere we are in following the ways of Jesus. We know and honor the same fair Judge as He did, but can we let go and let God?

APPLICATION: It happens at home, at work, at church and almost anywhere that we become involved, people falsely accuse us for one reason or the other. What are the causes? Jealousy and envy might be the two major causes, but the excuses are normally: favoritism; kissing up to the boss; given more education opportunities; etc. These all sound so familiar, and often used and misused by those who set out to attack us. Friends, at one time or another in our lifetimes, we could probably have been charged as ’guilty’ for retaliation, due to one or more of the above. Anger results as we rehearse in our minds what the person may have been thinking, planning or about to do. Revenge is something that we start to plan, for we then want the other person to hurt more than we do. But for the child of God, what aught we to do? Just keep everything bottled up inside? I don’t believe that’s what we are being taught in the Scriptures. Notice that we are taught about the character of Jesus, before being told how He handled unfair attacks against Him. So let me suggest that you pinpoint a scenario today where you would normally not handle attacks very good. Perhaps at work; at church; at a social club or even at home. Would the people in those places be able to accuse you of lying; lashing back at them verbally or perhaps threatening to get even with them? If so, do you suppose that they would trust you to judge them fairly and pass an honest verdict on their behavior? Friends, I believe that Peter wanted us to understand that if we truly model the life of Jesus, then we are more apt to follow His practices of leaving any judgment up to God on those that we feel may have persecuted or abused us. I believe that it is extremely challenging for us to rid ourselves of revenge. But what I do know is that there is One who can handle that for us. Oh that we would surrender our will to Jesus each and every day so that more of Him will come forth in our lives, for He judges fairly and He will guide us into His way of righteousness. Perhaps we should practice praying for those who persecute us, instead of fighting back or seeking revenge. The love of God will cause us to seek the very best for our opposers rather than following the world’s practices.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for showing us the way to righteousness. Thank You for showing us the source of power that will help us to live like You exampled before us. It seems so easy for us to draw conclusions about the thoughts and intentions of those that touch our lives. Please humble us to allow Your guidance and Your powerful touch to overcome and avoid evil, and to not be an instigator or agitator that may cause evil. Lord, may Your perfect will be done in and through us today and 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. 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!

Commit to Peace and Unity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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