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 you 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 you 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 you 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!

Encourage One Another

I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:13-25
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises![l] 24 Discover creative ways to encourage others[m] and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. 25 This is not the time to pull away and neglect[n] meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.

OBSERVATION: I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

APPLICATION: I believe that science will show that a person in hospital, or in a retirement facility, who never receive visitation from family or friends, will quickly wither up and die. I also believe that a worker who sits quietly in the corner of the office and works hard, will soon become discouraged and quit, if no one speaks to them or encourages them with praise and thankfulness. However, we have become such a sad bunch who tends to sit and sour in our own selfish attitudes, aches, and pains, and who badly needs support from others. So what if we followed the words of our Father through Paul? Here are some things that may benefit us, and also help us be of encouragement to the needy:
1. Take time to reflect on the hope that lives within us – What hope? How about the hope of one day being with our Lord and Savior? How about the comfort of knowing that part of the triune God lives within us – the Holy Spirit? How about reflecting on the fact that one day when everything is done on this earth, we have a heavenly kingdom to look forward to – where we will meet with royalty like we never dreamed possible here on earth?
2. Take time to reflect on the promises of God that apply to you – It is said that there are over 5,000 promises in the Bible! Why don’t we search out a few promises each day, and allow our minds to reflect on the goodness of God, instead of the many other things that distract us negatively?
3. Look for ways to motivate others towards compassion, love and good works – I believe this means that we not just follow what our neighbor, or our pastor does, but rather – look for unique ways to encourage someone else in the ways mentioned. I bet you’ll be surprised how innovative you can be! Remember, the Holy Spirit lives within you and will help you accomplish the will of God!
4. Plan to meet together – at church – I am convinced that this year of challenges brought on by the COVID virus, has drawn us away from this important aspect of our Christian walk. You see, we tend to encourage others when we see them, hug them and talk with them. They realize they are of value to someone! Yes, we can watch the church service virtually, but how many of us are calling to encourage one another?
Friends, I don’t believe it’s too late for us to still be the child of God that He expects of us. For as long as we have breath in our bodies, we could obediently follow the Word of God, if we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. I am sharing this message today primarily to myself first, so please accept the devotional as a recommendation based on God’s Word, not from one who is filled with fault. Please pray for me as I work on these matters, and I will be happy to pray for you if you make your need known through a quick update on the blog. I believe that our God is waiting to help us be obedient to His commands!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I’m sure that this will not catch you be surprise, but I believe that your children are hurting more today than perhaps any other time in their lives. We have become way too comfortable in the ways of the world, and caught up in technology, while many are hurting and need a Christian Brother or Sister to stand besides them and encourage them. Many may have even lost hope. Please speak intently to Your children today, especially everyone that reads as far as this in my devotional. May our souls be revived as we study Your Word and seek Your help so that we may be obedient to Your every command. Please help us to seek ways to provoke others towards love and good works. We all need the Lord, and we need each other for encouragement and reassurance so that our minds might be fixed on Jesus, our Author and Finisher of our faith! 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 you 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 Perfect Sacrifice For Imperfect People

Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:11-14.
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 11-14 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.

OBSERVATION: Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

APPLICATION: I’ve heard people remark that no matter what they do or say to old sinful Joe, they just can’t get him into church. This makes me feel like if Joe had taken them up on their offer and went to church, he may not have looked as much of a sinner, in their eyes. This follows the tradition of many who pour into churches each weekend because of a lifelong traditions. This is very similar to those who give of their money to the church, really hoping that God will see their generosity and have pity on them for their sins. We could think of many more examples, but I believe that these examples are very similar to the many sacrifices that were given, and probably still are given in some forms, all for the purpose of seeking God’s understanding and forgiveness of their sins. In earlier verses, Paul wrote that he believed God was never satisfied with sacrifices, because they never seemed to have changed hearts. Friends, God knew full well that sacrifices was a very temporary practice, and that it served several purposes well in the very early days. However, God wanted to see His children, who were created perfectly, to return to Him perfectly, and He knew that there would be only one way to achieve this, so He sacrificed a part of Himself – His Son – a perfect One. I love the way the Message reads: God sent a single gift, a one-time gift – It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. Friends, God did that for us! The debt is paid! We simply need to accept the gift and believe on His precious Son. Heaven is our ultimate home, and there is only one way to get there. Accept the gift offered by God as a sacrifice for our sin. Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul and mind, and you will be saved!

PRAYER: Lord we praise You for the outstanding love that You showed towards all mankind – the good, the bad and those even worse – even those who hated You. Love so amazing that our carnal minds would never understand. Thank You, thank You, thank You for Your amazing love. As You and Your Father discussed, there is absolutely nothing that we could do to make ourselves completely clean and free from the stench of our sin. Praise God that You worked it all out on the cross, and for those who have accepted You as Lord and Savior, thankfully we could lift up holy hands to the only true God! Lord, we want to see You, and we know that sin will always separate us, so we kneel humbly at Your feet and ask that You accept each and every one that will call out to You today. Thank You Jesus for loving even me! 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Those Who Love The Father, Also Love His Children

Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-06-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 John 5:1-4
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: If you believe that Jesus is the Christ—that he is God’s Son and your Savior—then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love his children too. So you can find out how much you love God’s children—your brothers and sisters in the Lord—by how much you love and obey God. Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn’t hard at all; for every child of God can obey him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him.

OBSERVATION: Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

APPLICATION: Do you love God? How about God’s children, do you love them also? I bet I should have put those questions right at the end of my ’Application’, because by now you have probably answered ‘yes’ to both and about to close out of this devotional! Not So Fast Brother! Wait a moment Sister! Through John, God has actually given us the formula for measuring how well we’re doing on this! We are told in these verses today that the degree to which we love fellow believers is proportionate to how much we love and obey God. Ok, so I’m sure that you will assume you must truly love one another, because you know that you really love God. But do you really?  The Word declares that the love referenced here is not just a verbal thing, or a feeling, but instead if we truly love God, we will do what He tells us to do. For some that will be easy, because we pray and we seek God’s face through His precious Word. When we truly do this and not only listen to His commands, His teachings, His instructions for us, and His example that He set for us to follow, then we should know what to do. Friends, you may not just learn this from the pastor in a weekend sermon, or from a Bible teacher, but to know what Jesus really has in store for you, it is important that you have regular one-on-one communion with your maker. Don’t know where to start? You may want to follow a good devotional, such as the one you’re now reading, or you may want to look for a Bible Reading Plan of your own. Whatever you decide, just remember to seek God’s face first – as it takes the Spirit of God to truly open your eyes to the spiritual truths of our awesome God. Not much of a reader? It doesn’t matter, when you seek God’s face first and ask Him to open your mind to His, you will find that what may appear to be simple words on a page, actually reveals the perfect will of God for your life right where you’re at during that very moment. Highlight as He speaks to you, and make notes to remind you how He spoke to you that day. Now, todays scripture says that through loving God and obeying all that He instructs you, then you will defeat sin and evil pleasures. Your love for God will become so pure and so real, that you will also love everything that God loves and everyone that He loves. So are you struggling with any part of this today friend? Try following this instruction for at least seven days, and I believe God will give you a burning desire to continue doing the same for the rest of the time you remain here on this earth! Love and obedience to God leads to love for the brethren friend! Imagine standing before family and friends at the funeral of your dearest friend and trying to explain to them how much you loved the deceased. There will be many things that you might be inclined to share that may prove you had love for the deceased, but wouldn’t it be mind blowing if you opened this Scripture is simply quoted how God said you could prove your love for others? God being our helper, I pray that we could now more easily show others how much we care, how much we love, and how they could see proof of it, because of our relationship with the God of all love!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You not only tell us to love one another, but You have even gone the extra step of showing us just how to accomplish that. How unfortunate, that a God who sacrificed His only Son for us on Calvary, must now tell us how important it is for us to love You. How deep the Father’s love for us, in spite of our unworthiness. Yet how easy it is for us to say that we struggle in loving our Christian Brothers and Sisters, even when we don’t fully appreciate the love of our Father, or see fit to obey His simple commands. Please forgive us dear Lord and continue to draw us to Yourself with an even deeper determination to love and obey You. I sincerely thank You for Your love, and for all these things I have asked throughout this devotional, for it is in the precious and loving name of Jesus that I ask, 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Definition of ‘Love’

It would seem appropriate that Webster and other dictionary writers would have simply put as their definition for ‘Love’: See 1 Corinthians 13 in the written Word of God. Let’s take time today to really allow the beginning verses of this chapter to soak in and clarify, or remind us, of the meaning of a word we use and abuse a lot.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-05-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 13:4
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Love is large and incredibly patient.[f] Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous[g] when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.

OBSERVATION: It would seem appropriate that Webster and other dictionary writers would have simply put as their definition for ‘Love’: See 1 Corinthians 13 in the written Word of God. Let’s take time today to really allow the beginning verses of this chapter to soak in and clarify, or remind us, of the meaning of a word we use and abuse a lot.

APPLICATION: Notice that at weddings where the focus of the whole ceremony, and the whole idea of what brought a couple together, is the subject of ‘Love’. Of particular interest is the ‘go-to’ place for pastors when trying to reiterate the key word that will hold marriages together. I have not been to a ceremony where the best dictionary is taken out to help define ‘love’, but instead the Bible is always used, as the pastor aims to find the most authoritative description of this important word. Because we have so many ways that we use the word ‘love’, it becomes a challenge to really share with a couple what we are actually feel about the subject. You see, in the Bible, there are 5 different words to better define what we are saying in reference to ‘love’, but they can’t be used in a marriage ceremony, because we don’t use these words in our current vocabulary: Ahab; Agapao; Agape; Phileo; and Philadelphia. However, we know from experience that we assume several things when we think of love and we have to be very careful with that. Think about the following: a). If someone gives us an unexpected gift, whether monetary or something else of value – we may tend to think that they really love us; b). If someone really looks out for us and tries to protect us from harm, we may tend to think they love us; c). If someone is always saying nice things to us or about us, we may tend to think that they really love us; etc, etc. However, let me encourage you to read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 and be reminded of what God has to say about the subject of ‘love’. He used Paul to teach this lesson to the church in Corinth, and He had it included in the Bible so that all those that followed – you and I, could understand what true love is. In just the first 4 verses, Paul shared that he could talk all day long and even in many languages, but if he did it without love in his heart, he would merely be speaking empty words. Paul probably saw where many of his parishioners were good talkers, and they may have even done like we tend to do today, where we may say to a Brother or Sister that we love them, so he wanted them to know that they needed to speak from a heart of love. I would carefully challenge us with the same thought, and I particularly ask God to give me that kind of love and grace to speak from an honest and contrite heart. Paul also wanted to make it plain that even if he may have been gifted with great knowledge and of prophecy, but was void of love for his brethren, he gained nothing at all. God knew that we would get caught up on monetary gifts, so He had Paul address this also. Paul even took it as far as giving sacrificially, even of himself, but he clarified that if he went even that far, and did not do it in love, then he would gain nothing. Friends, I pray that as we meditate on this thought today, that our lives would be impacted by what Paul had to say in the Scripture, and in what God taught us throughout His Word. God showed us what love is, when He permitted His only Son to be sacrificed on a criminal’s cross for our good. I pray that we would learn to love with that kind of passion. Then perhaps, we might understand the true meaning of Love and be able to practice it without a sense of selfish gain.

PRAYER: Oh that we would be able to love folk that may have said something to us or about us that we didn’t appreciate. Oh that we might truly learn the type love that God showed at Calvary – unselfish and sacrificial. Lord, You have shown in Your Word that unless we love with all our heart, our efforts are useless. What the world needs now, is love. May the greatest love ever shown, be portrayed through us as we deal with others today. This is my humble plea for self and for all my readers today, oh 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Transformed Relationships

Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 12:9-12
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. 10 Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. 11 Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.
12 Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble,[e] but commune with God at all times.

OBSERVATION: Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

APPLICATION: Often times we struggle in relationships, both with family members and with friends. For there is jealousy between one another and envy and hard feelings that could quickly result, in fact, to the extent that we can’t stand to be in each other’s presence. Coworkers tend to be so competitive to reach for the top, or earn more commissions and/or recognition, so they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to prevent that coworker from doing their best. Church members want to be in charge, or favored by the pastor, or perhaps they just can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another. I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the world, or like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will rarely hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squash all evil thoughts that Satan will buffet us with. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will seek to act like Jesus. and in no way follow the path of least resistance that are led by Satan – whose aim is to kill, steal and destroy the work of God. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. You showed me how to live, and I have totally blown it. Thank You for Your servant Paul, who has reminded us that we need to live and love in ways that others might recognize as an imitation of God. This is impossible to achieve, as long as we continue to give in to the ways of this world. Father, please give my readers and I strength to be true victors in living our lives according to the model You displayed. Please help us to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from our lips, but the desires of our heart and the actions of our whole being. Lord, sadly, we must confess that we have ‘Christian’ family and friends that are living in sin, because they are acting just like Satan, and in similar ways to the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name 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!

‘Absolutely Nothing’ Can Come Between Us

In a day when we read about a spouse being dropped off to the hospital to receive help due to a serious, infectious disease, and the spouse dies and is buried without loved one being able to say their goodbyes in person, yet we can meditate on this Scripture and see where God is assuring us through His servant, Paul, that regardless of what might happen here on earth, there is absolutely nothing that could separate those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, from the love, security and everlasting communion with the Father and the Son! Praise God for that assurance and that comfort!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-04-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 8:31-35
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 31 So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? 32 If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don’t you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? 33 Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen? Especially since God’s “not guilty” verdict is already declared. 34 Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf. 35 So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing.

OBSERVATION: In a day when we read about a spouse being dropped off to the hospital to receive help due to a serious, infectious disease, and the spouse dies and is buried without loved one being able to say their goodbyes in person, yet we can meditate on this Scripture and see where God is assuring us through His servant, Paul, that regardless of what might happen here on earth, there is absolutely nothing that could separate those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, from the love, security and everlasting communion with the Father and the Son! Praise God for that assurance and that comfort!

APPLICATION: We’ve heard friends say before that they are such a wicked person, having done so much evil in their day, that a holy, loving, caring and sacrificial Father would never love them. Considering their earthly father, we might quickly agree with them, because mankind is so unforgiving deep inside. But friends, do you see the difference in how mankind tends to classify such a person, versus what Jesus said in His Word – that with Christ, absolutely nothing will separate us from the love of the Father! Can’t you see that as sinners so far removed from our perfect God, that all we ever deserved from anyone is a sentence of death and eternal damnation. Instead, in our Scripture today we are reminded that for those who seek God and accept Him as their loving Savior and Lord, will one day stand at heaven’s portals and rejoice in hearing the Master of this universe, our Lord and Savior, our God, welcome us into His domain as ‘saints’ or ‘children of God’! Oh what a day that will be, dear friends! Now, in these verses under review today we are reminded by Paul in his addressing the same question to the church at Rome, that the love God speaks of is unconditional, and according to John 3:16, it is available to all who call on His name through His Son Jesus, for they will be saved, and is loved with His everlasting and unconditional love! The ‘human’ in us causes us to question, but what if ……. happens, or what if I mess up, or what if another Christian points a finger at something we weren’t perfect at? Friends, Paul (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and for the benefit of the saints) cleared this up for us in the later part of the verses quoted above – there is nothing that can change this love that Christ has for us – nothing. Remember, His love is unconditional! We may let things or people disrupt our harmony and/or relationship with God, but absolutely nothing will place a wedge between us and the love of our Savior! He’s just that kind of God! Praise the name of the Jesus, my Lord! So what’s preventing you from approaching God, seeking forgiveness of your sin and dedicating your life wholly and solely to Him? There is no greater love than this friend? Please use the contact information at the end of this devotional to let me know if there is anything I can pray with you about, or help you work through so that you can make this vital move in your life! This is THE most important decision in a person’s life!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for accepting me as Your child, in spite of the imperfect man that existed before my decision to accept You. I am overwhelmed by Your love and Your grace You display in loving me even as I work through the things of this old wicked world. As reminded by Paul in these verses this morning, I am deeply appreciative of the love You have for me, and the security of that love that, although battered by many things of this world and of Satan himself, yet to be reminded that nothing can separate Your love for me! Wow! This is love that we can hardly comprehend, but I believe Your Word and accept that love graciously. Please touch the hearts and lives of my friends that defer their decision to accept You as Lord, because they just can’t wrap their arms around this kind of love. Please help them to understand that in accepting You as they Master and Lord, You will help them work through, and overcome, their imperfections as Your child. Thank You for loving even me dear Lord! Bless each reader with Your power this day, for I humbly ask in Your precious and holy name, 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!