Encouragement Brings Refreshing Times

In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:4-7
Translation: Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: I am constantly thanking God for you in my prayers because I keep hearing about your love and faith toward our Lord Jesus and all those set apart for His purposes. Here’s what I’ve been praying on your behalf:
Thank You, Father, for Philemon. I pray that as he goes and tells his story of faith, he would tell everyone so that they will know for certain all the good that comes to those who put their trust in the Anointed One.
My brother, because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything more satisfying than to walk in on someone speaking something complimentary about you! I suppose the next best thing is probably to read the compliments on our character in a letter, email or newspaper. Unfortunately this hardly ever occurs until the time of our memorial service! Now, I realize that we never do the work of the Lord for man’s applause, but I also know that we each need encouraging from time to time. Paul’s applause to Philemon was all about the feedback that Paul was receiving from the church members that met in Philemon’s home. Friends, we must remember that as we strive diligently to live as an example of our Master and Lord, if no one around us notices, then how do you suppose we are doing? Philemon lived such a life of love in the presence of his congregants, that Paul likened it to something that we do to our computer screens when we ‘refresh‘ the screen! It’s like something that we diligently pray for in our churches, when we pray for ‘revival‘, for we want our hearts to be ‘refreshed‘ in the love of Jesus, and our spirits refreshed to the state of when we first met Jesus, when we fell deeply in love with Him for saving our soul. Friends, I want to encourage us to not wait for our encouragement, before we refresh those around us that we have seen the love of Jesus in. For as we encourage them and see them rejuvenated in wanting to serve Christ even more fully, we too will be encouraged to reach out to Jesus and desire such a filling of His sweet Holy Spirit that it would electrify anyone’s spirit who happens to Come near to us. People who need the Lord are constantly looking at those who say they have a personal relationship with Him, so they could see what a Jesus filled life looks like. How are you doing with that friend? Can others see enough of Jesus in you that they want to be around you, hoping that some of the joy and love that you exude would rub off on them! Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. In fact, He will overfill your joy and love, so that others will want to know the source of it all!

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for allowing Paul to encourage his Brother Philemon, based on the great work that he saw from, and heard of, him. Thank You for speaking to our hearts through this Scripture today, so that our hearts might be overfilled and encouraged. May we be looking for avenues to encourage and share Your precious love with others. Please give us more love to share and many more opportunities in which to share that love with others. Draw the unsaved to Yourself Lord, and if I may be of service through some awesome act of love, then I beg You to please use even me. Please have the same impact on all those who will read this devotional 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Response By God To our Cry

God overcame many obstacles for the Israelites and provided them a land that they described as ‘flowing with milk and honey’. However, when they settled and became happy in their new land, they quickly assumed their old habits and turned their face against God. When they did this, God allowed them to become servants of the very ones God allowed to stay put in the new land, knowing that they would one day be bold enough to oppose their religion and be accepted for it. However, when the Israelites could take no more of the abuse, they made 2 Chronicles 7:14 their very own and sought the face of God. In just a few verses we recognize the fact that God never gives up on us, and He hears our cry when we cry out to Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-09-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Judges 3:9-10; 15
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge…..
15 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin.

OBSERVATION: God overcame many obstacles for the Israelites and provided them a land that they described as ‘flowing with milk and honey’. However, when they settled and became happy in their new land, they quickly assumed their old habits and turned their face against God. When they did this, God allowed them to become servants of the very ones God allowed to stay put in the new land, knowing that they would one day be bold enough to oppose their religion and be accepted for it. However, when the Israelites could take no more of the abuse, they made 2 Chronicles 7:14 their very own and sought the face of God. In just a few verses we recognize the fact that God never gives up on us, and He hears our cry when we cry out to Him.  

APPLICATION: When I meditated on these verses, I was reminded of a popular verse that is often quoted in times of national or large scale crisis, 2 Chronicles 7:14, where the Lord told us that if we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face, then we can be assured that He would hear from heaven and heal our land….. In our Scripture today, we see where God was teaching the Israelites a very difficult lesson, and I might add that it very much applies to us today. God rescued His people from Egypt in a miraculous turn of events, and allowed two men whose main qualifications were trusting in God and allowing Him to lead their every move. God brought these thousands of people through some very testing and challenging times, but He lovingly took care of them for 40 years as they plundered through the wilderness to their final destination near the Jordan River. By the time of their arrival, God was dealing with a whole new generation, so there were some important lessons that He needed to teach them. So He left some of the original inhabitants in place, while giving some strict rules to the Israelites about their interaction with them. In very similar fashion to most of us reading this blog, the Israelites had their needs met by God, and very soon they fit right into the culture and the sins of those that God warned them about. Unfortunately, I believe that we are more like the Israelites, that we read about in the Old Testament, than we might care to acknowledge. In our times of crisis, we know where to run. But as soon as we see that God is in control, we lessen our commitment to Him and wander off again. Friends, Jesus said that not even He knows the day and time of God’s return to take His remaining saints home to glory. However, what we all know, is that He will come to take only His saints with Him. These are ones who have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ and are seriously committed to Him. Do you remember the day that you made a commitment to Jesus? If you have never done this, then you are unprepared for that great evacuation. Yes, God sent a savior for the Israelites when they cried out to Him. God also sent a Savior for those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In both cases, only those who believe in the mighty works of the one sent, will be saved. If you have any doubt at all about where you will spend eternity should Jesus returns today, then I beg you to please read my Footnote and look up the Scriptures quoted in the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Please follow my suggestions, and then contact me so that I might pray with you, and rejoice with you about your decision! Yes, Jesus will rescue us when we cry out to Him, but please be sure that He will recognize your voice as one of His chosen and saved children.

PRAYER: Lord, You took the Israelites to their knees after suffering for years under the leadership of the enemy. Many in our family and network of friends have drifted off to the leadership of the enemy – Satan. Lord we cry out to You today for saints to be totally committed to You, if they have truly surrendered their hearts to You. Please show them how important this is in their witness to unbelievers. I also ask that You would once again humble the hearts of those who need to make a decision to accept You today. Crying out to You in our troubles as total strangers will invoke those sad words recorded in the Bible ‘go away, for I never knew you’. Lord, may this be the day of surrender for many who will read this devotional- PLEASE? I ask these things in faith and through the wonderful name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Importance of Exercise

I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain his points, and how they fit so good with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, so that they could try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to seek ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-08-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: Don’t waste time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.

OBSERVATION: I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain his points, and how they fit so good with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, so that they could try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to exercise ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

APPLICATION: I believe we all may have given some thought as to why we want to stay physically fit. For some, it may ease certain aches and pains; For some it may help their breathing; For some it may help avoid certain medications by keeping the heart healthy; For some, it prepares them for a huge competition that’s coming up; and a plethora of other reasons, I’m sure. So then, why do you suppose that God, through His servant Paul, found it necessary to Gain our attention about staying spiritually fit? Let’s first look at the pitfalls when we are not spiritually fit. I believe that this is where we are easily provoked into sin, for we have no real, current, depth and/or communication with the Master. There are really two parts to this, first of all we must know what to do and what’s expected of us. This means that we have to learn what’s expected of us by our Lord. As in the business world, this means that we not only learn the Word, but we also keep on learning and refreshing our knowledge of the Word. Secondly, we must put into action all that we learn. Imagine in the business world where you might tell an auditor that your books, practices and overall processes are in order because you read about what’s required? That will absolutely not protect you against exceptions, since your auditor will compare what you are actually doing, against what your written regulations say that you must be doing. Our Christianity is much the same. God has set forth a wonderful book that details His commands, and it shows us how our Savior lived while here on earth perfectly following the commands of His Father. For us to know those commands, we must be in the Bible daily, so that our minds might be spiritually fit for battle against the Evil One at every opportunity that he aims to challenge us. Yes, I know that some are fast studies and therefore only need to read through the Bible once, but let me assure you that the Word of God is very real and it is pointed to help us each and every day, no matter what we are facing today for the very first time in history. To practice what we learn, we must be diligent to apply God’s rules and commands in every aspect of our lives, with the Master’s help. In fact, if we aim at perfection in all our ways, then we might be mistaken frequently for the One that we are imitating. Has that happened to you recently? Friends, when we are hit with a hammer, the immediate response will often result from whatever is inside of us. Likewise, when we are hit with life’s challenges and the temptations of Satan, our immediate response will dictate how close we are to the Savior, and how fit we are spiritually. How are you doing friend? Seek the Lord while He may be found, and allow Him to guide your steps, your actions and your speech. May others see Jesus in you!

PRAYER: This is a very challenging passage of Scripture Lord Jesus. One in which we are reminded that we don’t have all the answers, and we desperately need You in every aspect of our lives. We are reminded that without You we can truly do nothing of value for the Kingdom. Please open our hearts and draw us to a closer walk with You and a life truly dependent on the power of Your sweet Holy Spirit. Lord, You know all too well how weak we are, but thank God You also know that You created us to be like You. So Lord, again today we beg with You to forgive us for those things that we do and the awkward things that we say – our spiritual weaknesses. Please draw us close to You and melt our hearts to closely depend on You in all walks of life, so that You may be glorified in every aspect of 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Just A Touch From The Master

Jesus was on a mission headed towards the home of Jairus to meet the need reported to Him by a very frightened dad. While enroute, there was a large crowd following, and they pressed in on Jesus’ personal space because they didn’t want to miss anything that He did. By this time, many had heard so much about the power of Jesus, that they were willing to do things such as merely getting close enough to touch His clothing, such as noted in the verses today. This was a true act of faith! Do we have that kind of faith?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-08-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Luke 8:45-48
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, so many are crowding against you. . . . ” 46 But Jesus told him, “No, it was someone who deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that Jesus knew, she began to tremble and fell to her knees before him and told why she had touched him and that now she was well. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

OBSERVATION: Jesus was on a mission headed towards the home of Jairus to meet the need reported to Him by a very frightened dad. While enroute, there was a large crowd following, and they pressed in on Jesus’ personal space because they didn’t want to miss anything that He did. By this time, many had heard so much about the power of Jesus, that they were willing to do things such as merely getting close enough to touch His clothing, such as noted in the verses today. This was a true act of faith! Do we have that kind of faith?

APPLICATION: In this Scripture today, I believe that Jesus is prompting us to reflect on how we might go about ‘touching the hem of His garment’ in our world today. Think about it friends, we often think of a ‘touch from God’ when we’re sick – beyond what we feel our doctor could handle, or about to face surgery, or lost a loved one, or can’t see ourselves through financial struggles, or when things at work seems impossible, but how do we touch the ‘hem of Jesus’ garment’, like this woman did? Well, let’s reread the verses again and remind ourselves of how this woman received help/healing. In verse 48 Jesus actually tells the woman what actually healed her. It was her faith! She knew where healing would come from, so in spite of all odds, she was determined to find the Master who had already healed through just a simple word. I believe this lady knew Jesus, knew of His awesome power and compassion on those in need, and I feel pretty sure that she probably knew the miracles He had already performed. Do you suppose she left her home that day with a good luck charm hoping that these rumors she had heard about Jesus could also possibly touch her life, if she was lucky? Do you suppose that the thought may have crossed her mind that she perhaps could stay at home in her bed and if Jesus wanted to, He would heal her? Let me share with you what my thoughts are: I believe this lady knew Jesus personally, and I believe she had lots of faith – enough to believe that Jesus could do for her everything that she had heard about Him ever doing for anyone else. However, I believe she wanted a close-up experience with her Master. Seeing that Jesus was thronged by so many people, she felt like she could never get His personal attention, but she knew that if she could only manage to get close enough to touch Him or any part of His clothing, she would be healed. Friends, that’s a lot of faith! That’s like us having faith to call on Him in our time of need, or asking our church elders to pray over you with oil, as spoken of in the New Testament. May I remind you again today that Our God’s Not Dead, Nor Has He Lost His Power To Heal! I have a friend who has an army of friends praying with her for the touch of the Master on her husband lying ill, to the point of death, from COVID. God is still in the prayer-answering business, as He cares as much about us as He has ever cared for one of His children. We serve an awesome God that hears the cries of His children. If He’s your God today friend, call on Him in your time of need. Celebrate Him when You remember His goodness and recognize His miracle working hand.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are so amazed by Your awesome power, and often wonder why You would consider even us for Your miraculous work. Please teach us the wonder of faith and the unlimited power of our wonderful God. May we always come to the Savior for salvation; the Healer with our illnesses and to our Eternal God with our desire for eternity in Heaven with You. Thank You for loving us so much dear God, our Heavenly Father! 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Making One Another Stronger

While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-07-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:11–13
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 11 ….. Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people. 12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.

OBSERVATION: While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

APPLICATION: Wow, how often do we receive a gift, told how to use it, and then rewarded for using it? I believe the part that really touches me, is that God would trust me enough to bless me with a gift from His precious hand. I believe it is awesome that God would then direct me to use that gift to enrich the life of one that I might come into contact with! Ever thought of the fact that God is constantly looking for ways to touch His children and make us stronger in the faith? Ever thought about the fact that when we accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we committed ourselves to be more like Him every day, and live to mirror His ways and His character before a lost world? So would it be impossible to think for a moment that God could actually prepare us to be a ‘holy people’ who will serve others for the benefit of making the church stronger? Friends, we might tend to think that we are nobodies and that we don’t count in God’s big scheme of saving the world, but did you also consider that the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents! Friends, we will find that a sinner repents after receiving convicting evidence that Jesus is alive and that He loves and cares for all who will call on His name in repentance. Often that conviction will come through you and I, as friends of the individual, or even as an acquaintance. God can and will use all means possible to reach the hearts of His lost children. I truly believe that you and I are a vital part of that team, fellow Christian! So when we read the Word and read the exciting news that God will strengthen and embolden us to serve His church and make it stronger, please don’t brush that aside as being the responsibility of the pastor, or the elder or deacon. Take it personally, as He can and will use all of us who are trying to be just like Him in every way to actively work in His service and strengthen the lost who are searching for the Savior of the world.

PRAYER: Lord I believe in You, so I take my role seriously that You could use even me to serve Your church and make it stronger. Lord, I can only imagine the awesome work that a ‘STRONG’ church can do in it’s community, and the impact it could have on the lost, who need a Savior. Please help us to take our role seriously. It may be as simple as sharing Your love with those who feel unlovable, or it may be as challenging as preaching or teaching Your Word, so that the world will know about You. Our abilities mean very little, but our availability to be used by the King of kings is the ultimate soul winner and encourager. May You be glorified in all that You accomplish through us, and may Your kingdom be enriched from every possible thing accomplished through us. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Be There For Others, As God was There For You!

Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal more so than any drug or doctor we could recommend; He’s our Guide, our Partner and our Friend when we face hard times; We are worthy of His confidence in comforting others facing similar challenges to what God has brought us through. What a Mighty God we serve!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-06-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

OBSERVATION: Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal even when there is not a drug or doctor who could; He’s also our Guide, our Deliverer, our Protector and our Friend when we face hard times; We are blessed beyond anything we deserve and we can easily be a comfort to others facing similar challenges to what God brought us through. We serve a Mighty God!

APPLICATION: When we are going through challenging times in life, as all of us do at times, we either call a friend, or a trusted counselor, like a pastor or Christian Brother or Sister. Isn’t it rewarding to read what God inspired Paul to write in these verses, and be reminded that He is:
~ A God of all mercy – which means that He will listen to even us as we petition before Him. Think about it, what have we done to deserve anything from a perfect and holy God?;
~ A God of healing counsel – I believe that this encourages me that no matter what may be going on physically or mentally with us, God designed us and He therefore has the power to heal us, and/or give us counsel for whatever is needed. I love to attend a physician that has a photo showing Jesus looking over his shoulder, indicating that Jesus is counselling the doctor on what is best for us – the patients!
~ A God who stands by us, guides and protects us – I see this as not only being our pilot in our autos, but also as we walk along every aspect of life itself. Perhaps it might be health, or perhaps a drive along a dangerous road, or we may be wandering along in the woods or just struggling to make challenging decisions. Friends, with God by our side, what have we to fear?
The biggest takeaway for us, is that God will often cause us to walk alongside someone who could benefit from our experiences where He has healed us, protected us, or just been so gracious and loving to us. I recently had a medical practitioner who was going in for back surgery, with the same facility that I had used about 8 times. His spirits were lifted as I shared first hand experience with him, as to what he might expect along each step of his surgery and recovery. This is the same scenario as in many other experiences in life, for it opens the door for you to share how God has blessed you. I hope that you are looking for those opportunities and sharing as much as you could. Promoting the God Who has blessed us, and that we love dearly, is always a good thing friends!

PRAYER: We are once again reminded of Your love Lord Jesus! There is no shortage of friends and family who need encouragement from us, and as You guide us to those individuals today dear Lord, please fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that we may have the words and gentleness of heart to share in a way that would draw that individual unto yourself. Oh how sweet the name of Jesus is to a believer’s ear! Oh that others may be convinced of that as we share Your love from sincere and blessed hearts. I ask these things in the powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, let me encourage you to visit 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!

It’s GOD!

I believe in these verses Paul intended to help the church to know the importance of drawing close to God so that He could draw close to them and use them for the enrichment of each other. This speaks volumes to the church today, because when we go off doing our own thing it might only benefit our small circle of friends, however when we allow the Holy Spirit to direct us into action and showing love one to another, we will see the church (God’s body of believers) enriched, blessed and uplifted. How do you feel like you’re doing in this, friends?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-05-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 12:6-7
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: There are many ways in which God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work in and through all of us who are his. The Holy Spirit displays God’s power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

OBSERVATION: I believe in these verses Paul intended to help the church to know the importance of drawing close to God so that He could draw close to them and use them for the enrichment of each other. This speaks volumes to the church today, because when we go off doing our own thing it might only benefit our small circle of friends, however when we allow the Holy Spirit to direct us into action and showing love one to another, we will see the church (God’s body of believers) enriched, blessed and uplifted. How do you feel like you’re doing in this, friends?

APPLICATION: If we were to sit down and evaluate how we are doing individually, I believe that Satan will automatically drive our thoughts possibly towards the pastor and what he could be doing differently, or more of the ministry he is being paid to do. Satan might also drive us towards all that we’ve heard about other leaders in the church, or even members that we’ve always looked up to. You know what I mean, it’s everyone else’s fault – except yours. Really, friends? Do we really believe that there are any here on earth that are perfect, like Jesus Christ was? Paul took a moment to express to the church that it is only because of the grace of God, and the power of God, working in and through us (the church) that anything could be accomplished for our God. Oh that we would never be so bold and/or stupid enough to study God’s Word, or teach His Word to others or preach His Word, without the full cooperation and help of the Holy Spirit. We are His instruments, and therefore He uses us to speak to His children, so that their hearts may be drawn to Jesus. That whole encounter is a ‘Jesus thing’ that we never want to mess up. Please join me as we read or study the Word, that we may carefully apply it to our lives. Sure, we may teach what we learn to others, but oh precious Savior, may You be faithful in helping us apply every word from God to our own lives first. My prayer for each reader today is that we all be found faithful and true, so that we may be used of God to spread the gospel in all walks of life, so that Jesus might tug on the hearts of all who hear, or are touched by us, and are touched by Him.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for touching my heart, thank You for making me whole. Please give my believing readers and I, the boldness and determination to reach out to all those that we will come into contact with today, and as we merely brush up alongside these individuals, I pray that You will penetrate their hearts and draw them to Yourself. Oh that they will see Jesus today, and come to know Him personally and intimately as their Savior and Lord. Today may be the day that many will come to know You as Lord, but I also realize that today may be the day that You call many home to Yourself. May Your perfect will be done in each of our lives dear 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Describe How BIG Or Awesome Your God Is

If you were preparing your heart to meet with someone, to encourage them, and to really share the power and the width and the breadth of your God, where would you begin? When you prepare yourself to kneel at the feet of Jesus and place your petitions before Him, how convinced are you that He could handle your needs? In verse 31 of this same chapter, Isaiah shares the following: But those who trust in the Lord will become strong again. They will be like eagles that grow new feathers. They will run and not get weak. They will walk and not get tired.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-05-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Isaiah 40:12–14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 12 Who measured the oceans in the palm of his hand? Who used his hand to measure the sky? Who used a bowl to measure all the dust of the earth? Who used scales to measure the mountains and hills? 13 Who could know the Lord’s mind? Who could be his teacher or give him advice? 14 Did the Lord ask for anyone’s help? Did anyone teach him to be fair? Did anyone teach him knowledge? Did anyone teach him to be wise?

OBSERVATION: If you were preparing your heart to meet with someone, to encourage them, and to really share the power and the width and the breadth of your God, where would you begin?  When you prepare yourself to kneel at the feet of Jesus and place your petitions before Him, how convinced are you that He could handle your needs? In verse 31 of this same chapter, Isaiah shares the following: But those who trust in the Lord will become strong again. They will be like eagles that grow new feathers. They will run and not get weak. They will walk and not get tired.

APPLICATION: Friends, this scripture today is intended to remind us that no matter how burdened we are about circumstances, or about our needs, or about our finances, or how needy we or our family members really are, we have a great BIG awesome God who has successfully managed to handle a whole lot more than any ‘mountain’ we may be facing today! There are over 100,000 deaths in the USA from Covid, many are worried as to who will be next. Many of us have relatives in the hospital and we are beside ourselves worrying about how remaining families might survive if that hospitalized individual is never discharged alive. But let me encourage you to stop for a moment, dear friend, and look at the examples given by Isaiah in verses 12-14 above. Let it really sink in, and convince yourself once again of the supernatural God who loves you, who cares for you, who ‘goes to bat’ every day for you, and be reminded that there is nothing too big for Him. Furthermore, I pray that each of you will ask God to illumine your heart and your mind, so that you may be reminded of all that He has done for you already in life; that He loves you individually; and that more than anything God is so looking forward to having you join Him in glory someday soon. Friend of God, I believe that when you are able to look beyond your current problems and challenges, and see the outstretched, loving hands of Jesus ready to welcome you home for all eternity, then you will be able to trust Him in full confidence with everything that is currently before you! You see, no matter what Satan may try to tell us, or frighten us with today, we KNOW in whom we have believed, and we KNOW whose we are, and we KNOW who hold every tomorrow in place for us! We are children of the King and regardless of our current situation, our long range plan outweighs everything we might experience here on earth, because nothing is greater than the love of our Savior for His dear children. So don’t hold back friend, take your needs before God and be ready to praise Him as you evidence His hand at work in miraculous ways. Share that confidence with those who have no hope! Be ready to give good examples of how awesome Your God has been to you, and all that you have to look forward to! He’s just  t h a t  BIG, dear friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we bow before You in adoration of who You are, and for all You have done for us. Though so unworthy, still I’m a child of the King! Praise be to my almighty, all-powerful, ever-loving, incredibly great BIG God! Please continue to bless Your kids again today, especially since we have been reminded of your outstanding power and the magnitude of Your awesome love. Oh that we may see Your power at work in the lives of those that we touch today! We will be eternally grateful dear God, for we ask these things in faith, and through the powerful name of our almighty Savior, 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Recognizing God’s Awesome Power!

Anytime we feel like God has abandoned us, the book of Job would be a good book to reflect on. Further, if there was ever a time when you may have felt like you really had this ‘life’ thing figured out, I believe that this particular chapter, and conversation God had with Job, would be a great reminder of how you need to get a grip on yourself, open your heart and mind to what God has to say and make every effort to surrendecontrol of your life back to God.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-06-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Job 38:4-9
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements? How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise? And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night.

OBSERVATION: Anytime we feel like God has abandoned us, the book of Job would be a good book to reflect on. Further, if there was ever a time when you may have felt like you really had this ‘life’ thing figured out, I believe that this particular chapter, and conversation God had with Job, would be a great reminder of how you need to get a grip on yourself, open your heart and mind to what God has to say and make every effort to surrender control of your life back to God.

APPLICATION: I believe that Job felt like God and everyone around him had withdrawn their love and relationship from him, so for several chapters Job had really been criticizing God and blaming Him for wrongful punishment. His friends had made attempts to love on, and correct Job, but it seems like he was really having a hard time snapping out of it. God finally had enough and decided to give Job some perspective on who He really is. Friends, I believe that We have excellent reminders here of how God carefully, intricately and powerfully put this planet together, then He created us to enjoy its many blessings. If He loves us that much, won’t He all the more take care of our problems, concerns and difficulties while we live here, if we would only humble ourselves and ask Him to? Friends, I was reminded in a recent sermon from Isaiah 40:7-12 that although this earth is made up of two thirds water, yet God said that the oceans and its water is held in the cup of His hand. The earth’s dimensions are measured across the span of His fingertips! Whom, or what then shall we fear? When old Satan tries to distract us with untruths we need to remind ourselves and Satan that our God is so much bigger than our largest problem or concern. I believe also that His love is greater than anything we could ever imagine. So with all this in mind, why would we ever follow in Job’s footsteps and worry about our problems, or blame God for our circumstances. It is so important that we learn to worship God before we ever start to ask Him for anything or complain about anything. When we praise Him, we remind ourselves of His awesome love and power. Don’t you suppose that our problems become less of an issue or worry to us when we remind ourselves of the awesomeness of our beautiful, wonderful, matchless, all-powerful God? I certainly believe so!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for often trying to take the reins of life from You. It is very obvious that You created me and all that is around me, so please forgive me when I whine and complain. I am but Your humble servant, You are the Potter, and I am but the clay that is moldable and usable by You. As I recognize You and allow you control of my life, I can actually be at peace, and my problems then would seem to disappear. Lord, I believe this is vital to our witness, for if the unsaved world see us worrying as much about the concerns of this life as they do, we are showing them that we are as lost and uncared for as they are. This is very wrong, so I ask forgiveness, and I ask for added strength every day to stay focused on You and Your wondrous love for me. For my friends that might meditate on this devotional today, please fill their hearts with Your peace, and the determination to overcome evil, and worldly problems with the love and dedication that only You can provide. Thank You Jesus for loving us this much! All this I therefore ask, in the matchless name of Jesus, my 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!