Don’t Be A Stumbling Block

In verses 24-26, Paul showed the people how God had turned some of the Jews away from the Gospel, so that the Gentiles would have a better opportunity of accepting Him. And although that was only temporary, it served the specific intention of God. In verses 33-34 Paul is celebrating the wisdom of God as he reflects back. Together this Scripture should cause us to remember that God was, still is, and always will be in charge of His creation. It seems that churches today may be hindered by some who feel like they are in charge, as they seek to gain recognition and power. As we meditate, let us look to our Creator and sustainer of earth for what He might accomplish and how we might become involved in His work!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 11:25-26; 33-34 (TLB)

TEXT: 25 I want you to know about this truth from God, dear brothers, so that you will not feel proud and start bragging. Yes, it is true that some of the Jews have set themselves against the Gospel now, but this will last only until all of you Gentiles have come to Christ—those of you who will. 26 And then all Israel will be saved…..

33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his wisdom and knowledge and riches! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! 34 For who among us can know the mind of the Lord? ……

APPLICATION:   As I meditated on the Word of God, I was reminded, in awe, of His great wisdom, and His awesome power to fulfill His Godly purpose. This particular Scripture reminded me of a sad story, but one that brought awesome results. Many years ago, my cousin, a young man about 35 years old, was electrocuted and fell to his death from a roadside electric pole. The mourning of that mother, my aunt, could be heard over most of the small town. However, before the sun set the following day, my dad (brother to the grieving mother) had surrendered his heart to Jesus! He then became a Godly influence to his five children until the day he died. What happened in this Scripture today, also reminds me an awful lot of our churches today, for it almost seems like the movement of Christ has been slowed down and possibly even dwindled some, and I wonder if it is not God dealing more intensely in the hearts of so many that are totally lost. This may not make total sense to everyone, but I wonder if God is not saying to our churches: ‘put away selfish desires, prejudices and pride. Remember, your wisdom is nothing compared to the wisdom of our awesome God. For people to gain wisdom from and in you will teach them very little however, to know Christ will gain them all eternity’. The Bible reminds us that God’s ways and thoughts are way beyond our own, so that tells me that I can’t possibly understand all that He’s up to. However, I know from the Word that God made us all to worship and adore Him, so shouldn’t our every effort be in seeking ways to know Him better, accept Him more fully and worship Him in total surrender to self and this wicked world? It just seems like we are currently facing the same dilemma that Jesus spoke of in our Scripture verses today. For we hate to look at the evening news because of all the crime, violence and acts of hatred that fills our news portals, while churches are closing their doors in record numbers because of non-attendance, lack of giving and leadership. We hear excuses such as COVID, or the effects of war, but friends, we must remember that Jesus is coming back soon to collect His church. Can you even fathom how few will be taken up to glory with Him, compared to the huge population of earth? To the church, I would say with great urgency that people need the Lord. The Gentile population has grown, and unless we who are Christian, stand firm in our faith, lift up the banner of God so that the lost may recognize God in His greatness and accept Him as Lord, then there will be a massive divide on the day that Christ returns to take His bride away with Him. It would hurt my heart to think that God may have to push Christians aside, so that the unsaved may find Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I have family and friends that I believe will be left behind if they remain unchanged. Assuming that many of you are in a similar position, I would encourage you to join me in praying to the God of this universe for a great movement upon our land. Oh that Jesus may rule and reign in our personal lives, our families, our churches, our communities and in our nations around the world, so that the people will know and believe in the sacrificial lamb of God – Jesus Christ. May the God of this universe become known as Everlasting King of this universe!

PRAYER:   Lord You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! In our Scripture today, we are reminded that although You created us to worship You, many refuse to do so. You created us in Your likeness hoping that we would live in similar fashion to Your example while here on earth, yet there are many who mock and scorn You and Your children, much like what occurred in times past. The warning signs of Your return are evident Lord, and we thank You for promising us that You will return for Your children! Heavenly Father, please soften the hearts of Your children, so that Your churches may be filled to capacity with worshipers longing to draw close to their Creator, our Everlasting God, and may this impact the unsaved like never before. 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 are not already connected in a local Bible teaching church, let me encourage you to find one so that you may grow in the love and stature of the King of all kings. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Guilty Of Following Christ’s Example

Like me, I bet you also heard your parents use the phrase ‘Practice What You Preach’ at every applicable opportunity! In today’s scripture Paul is also using this principle in his teaching to the Jews, and because it is God’s inspired Word, I believe it serves as a reminder to us as well. Paul noted that the behavior of God’s chosen people, the Jews, had a very negative impact on the Gentiles to whom he was trying to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m afraid that this may still be a real problem even today, so perhaps we should stop and meditate on what God had to say through His servant, Paul.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2022-03-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 2:21-24
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 21 … you teach others—then why don’t you teach yourselves? You tell others not to steal—do you steal? 22 You say it is wrong to commit adultery—do you do it? You say “Don’t pray to idols” and then make money your god instead. 23 You are so proud of knowing God’s laws, but you dishonor him by breaking them. 24 No wonder the Scriptures say that the world speaks evil of God because of you.

APPLICATION: I cringe when I hear folks say things like “your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying”. Because, unfortunately these folk are often right in saying these things. It hurts me deeply when I hear of church leaders caught in certain acts of sin, because they often have such a large following who is looking to them as a role model. No matter how often we tell folk that they should model their lives after Christ, not man, yet we see more fall out from church members when a pastor leaves, or a church leader is caught in an act of sin. The bottom line is that we all should be guilty of following Christ’s example so closely that people around us would see no difference between our actions and those they expect from Christ. When we surrender Lordship of our lives to Jesus, we ask Him to guide our footsteps every day so that we may walk like Him; guide our tongues each day so that we may talk like Him, and care so much for us each day that we may, in turn, love others like He would. Without Jesus Christ, it is virtually impossible to follow His ways each day in this world we live in, however, rest assured that in Christ, ALL things are possible. If friends of yours never read the first thing about the Bible, but they trust you enough to follow in your footsteps and obey your verbal instructions to them, who would they look like, Jesus Christ or the world? Remember, we are to be little ‘Christ’s’, so our friends following us could ultimately look the same! How are you doing? Do you have portions of your life still left to surrender to God, or are you comfortable that your life is in line with Jesus Christ? Please don’t let Jesus say to you on Judgment Day what Paul said to his fellow Jews, that people are cursing Christ because of you. As a parent we gloat at the times when others praise our children, because we feel a sense of pride in the job that we did in parenting. Let’s live our Christian lives following the same formula, so that Jesus may one day say “Well done good and faithful servant, when these children of Mine followed you, it was the same as them following Me, receive now the crowns I have prepared for you”! Let’s live with the end in mind friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I respectfully ask that I not be a stumbling block to anyone here on this earth. I pray that others may see enough of You in me that they will not be disappointed over their expectations of You. Lord, may I always represent You in ways that might lead others towards You. Please gently speak to my friends that may meditate on this devotional today, and lead them into a time of soul-searching and revival in their personal lives. Lord, it’s You that we live for. May that be evident in our words and actions today, is my humble prayer that I ask in Your very precious and holy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

What Will It Take For God To Heal Our Hearts?

I believe it is interesting how we have been blessed to see, yet if asked what we observed, we cannot state anything of significance that we saw. We may have also been blessed with the ability to hear well, yet if asked to repeat something that was said, one might swear that we were never present under the sound of a particular speech or teaching. Although we will observe that Paul had to rehearse with his crowd, the same thing that the Holy Spirit prompted Isaiah to share with his crowd. Yet after years and years of preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God, one might observe that still today we display the same challenges. Why is that? In the last words of our Scripture verses God said that He wished this was not the case, because He would like to heal our hearts. Would we not be quite different in our ways and successful in our methods, if only we gave God access to our heart?

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2022-03-16
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Acts 28:25-27
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 …. “The Holy Spirit stated it well when he spoke to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah:,
26 ‘I send you to this people to say to them, “You will keep learning, but not understanding. You will keep staring at truth but not perceiving it. 27 For your hearts are hard and insensitive to me—you must be hard of hearing! For you’ve closed your eyes so that you won’t be troubled by the truth, and you’ve covered your ears so that you won’t have to listen and be pierced by what I say. For then you would have to respond and repent, so that I could heal your hearts.”’

APPLICATION: Isaiah was a prophet sent and directed by God. When he prophesied under the inspiration of God, the people listened. However there came a time when God recognized that some of the folk were just not listening. Paul came across this same phenomenon in his days of ministry, so he shared this with his Jewish listeners who were challenged to believe the Word of God. I found this extremely revealing, because still today our pastors can preach the same sermon in our churches, as it is quite apparent that we’re present in the service, but from the blank stares and lack of participation, it is obvious that we are miles away. Think about it: we have folk that attend church who hear the Word of God, but they are convinced that it is for the person behind them. Their ears are shut to the application of the Word to their personal lives. However the most hurtful thing to me, are the ones that just refuse to listen and believe. It saddens me deeply how God has to send a disaster to awaken the hardened hearts of His people. Our churches were filled for a few Sunday’s after 9-11 and after our major hurricanes in Florida, as folk found the need for God to protect them and help them through that time of disaster. Then, as soon as they felt they had regained control, life went back to ‘normal’ for them. God is not trying to impose Himself on anyone, He just wants to heal us and give us the very best He has in store for us. Isn’t that a good thing that we should always desire? Friends, God has blessed us with so much, yet we use these gifts to oppose the very One who has blessed us. We have great knowledge, yet we reason away on why we are blessed, or not blessed, instead of giving all praise to God. We have great eyesight, yet like the prophet Isaiah said, we screw our eyes shut to the things of God and therefore preclude His healing and amazing blessings on us. Our hearing is perfect, yet we allow Satan to interfere and tell us that the Word of God is intended for that neighbor of ours who is much worse than us. The very last phrase of the quote from Isaiah really touched me: we have shut out everything about God because we don’t want to deal with our Maker, yet if only we would change this, He would heal our hearts! I believe this healing is one of not just our physical sickness, but also our disappointments, our brokenness, our loneliness, our defeats and ultimately, our sin. Friends, I serve a God just as I have described, and I would love to introduce you to Him. He will make your day brighter and so much more meaningful and purposeful. Please contact me if I can pray with you or help you in any way with this important decision. This could be the first of many days of joy in the security of my Lord! For those of you that know Him, please act like you do. Sing that song ‘Just a closer walk with thee’, then open the precious Word of God that He left just for us, and see what it is that He is ordering you to change or correct in your walk with Him. Open your eyes to the hurts and needs of those around you, and pray, pray, pray that God will intervene and heal His people today. They have tried the world and all it has to offer, but they are still lacking in so many ways. They need Jesus, my friend. I believe that one of His servants can help them redirect their lives today. Let it be you, dear follower of Christ!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, in spite of Your gracious hand upon Your people, and Your outstanding blessings poured out on us, yet You must be saddened by seeing us exclude You from our decision making, exclude Your active role in our lives when praise is directed towards us, and especially ignore You when You speak to us about the lost condition of our lives. I clearly got the picture in this scripture today, You want to heal our heart, yet we say ‘No thank You’. Father I thank You for softening my heart and giving me the boldness to accept You as my Lord and Savior back in 1976. I have many family and friends who are still hardened and refuse to make the necessary commitment to accept You as their Lord. Please humble them and soften their hardened hearts again today so that they may commit the rest of their lives to You and allow You full control, and ultimate healing of their sin problem. Dear God, there are important decisions we make every day, but none as important as the one that decides our eternal fate. My sincere prayer is that this will become very evident to my lost relatives today, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Prescription for Success

I believe that as an employer meditates on this devotional today, they may be reminded of why they can trust some employees to do their very best in the interest of their business; why some are happy even through very challenging times for the business; and why they can build their business around a few good employees like this because they have something solid and substantial built into their character that drives them to obedience, hard work, love for their coworkers, and always a bright hope for their employer! The formula for these promising employees is spelled right out in our Scripture today! It was proven through king Hezekiah, and it is available to each reader and listener who is obedient to God!

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 31:20–21
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 20 Throughout all Judah, King Hezekiah did what was right and what was pleasing to the Lord his God. 2He was successful, because everything he did for the Temple or in observance of the Law, he did in a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to his God.

APPLICATION: I can hardly imagine what our families, our churches, our cities and our nation would be like if we had men following the example of King Hezekiah today! We are told in verse 21 that this king was extremely successful because….. everything he did was in a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God! Wow! In Bible Studies we are often reminded about the importance of loving our spouse in complete loyalty and obedience to God, and we might hear testimonies about the difference these characteristics make in the life and marriage of couples who remain in love with each other through good, and yes, even through challenging times. I could only imagine how much better our workplaces would be if we (Christians) went to work with a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God. Friends, I know that many employers will not allow Christianity to be promoted within the confounds of the workplace, but what is inside of us cannot be taken away! We take Christ into our jobs through our lives – our actions, our stands on certain things, through our sincere dedication to our work and our bosses. Christians should be the best employees for any employer, if we do our jobs in complete loyalty and dedication to God. He will stop us from cheating, stealing, lying, gossiping, and any other ungodly actions. God will drive us towards being the best in everything expected of us by our employer. In addition to committing yourself to loyalty and devotion to God, please remember to daily pray God’s blessings on your supervisor and on your employer. Yes, even the boss that may seem hard and uncaring towards you. Just as Jesus made a difference in your life, He will also impact the life of your boss, or that difficult supervisor! As you meditate on this devotional and consider following this commitment, please notice that Hezekiah had no conditions to his commitment, and I believe we could deduce that his commitment was evident in every aspect of his life. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but our churches, our families, our workplaces, our schools and our social clubs are all suffering from the lack of commitment by those who tell the world that they belong to God. The Word says that as a result of Hezekiah’s commitment, many conditions changed for the good, and he was successful in everything he did. So will you join me in committing to be completely loyal and devoted to God in every aspect of your life? The world so badly needs Jesus, perhaps one dedicated child of God making a difference in their workplace, their homes, etc. will bring hope to those who need the Lord. Do your part dear friend, and pray for the same success that Hezekiah had!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I’m sure that You never intended for us to be an image of You for others to look on, but rather that we might imitate You in everything You have taught us though Your Word and Your actions, so that they may be convinced of their need for Jesus. Thank You for the life of Hezekiah and the commitment displayed by this servant in loyalty and devotion to You. This impacted his world! But still today, our world is in trouble and many need to see a few good men and women who are dedicated to the One they say they belong to. Lord, may they see from our commitment, loyalty and devotion to You, that Jesus is alive and well, because of the evidence they see each day in us. Please forgive us Lord for the times we have acted just like the world, and not been a pure replica of You. Please help us to never be a stumbling block that prevents Your impact on the lost. Oh that You may be glorified and recognized in us, and may You be glorified on earth, as You are in Heaven! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Don’t Be Paralyzed by Fear, Let Go and Let God Have His Way

Today we may be facing many battles. For some it might be a debilitating decease, for some it may be losing a loved one, while others may be facing the battle of divorce or separation. I believe that our leaders may be facing the battle of serious viruses, such as the coronavirus now rampant in many countries throughout the world. What shall we do? King Jehoshaphat was faced with an enormous battle and had a deep concern for the people that he ruled. Throughout this chapter from which our verse is taken, we could see how this King went boldly before the only One who has power over our battles – Almighty God. Perhaps you’re at a point where you need direction, let’s learn together from King Jehoshaphat how we must surrender our battles to the only One with perfect answers.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2022-03-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 20:15
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 15 “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, and you, O king Jehoshaphat!” he exclaimed. “The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid! Don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s!

OBSERVATION: Jehoshaphat feared the large, complex army that was facing he and his nation for which he had responsibility. Today we may be facing similar battles. Perhaps a debilitating decease; perhaps losing a loved one; or perhaps facing the battle of divorce or separation. National leaders may still be facing the challenges of Covid, while also keeping a close eye on the war and intention of Russia. If we’re not careful, we might throw our hands up as we ponder ‘What shall we do?’ Hopefully we could be reminded from our Scripture today that our peace, our hope and our rescue from all of life’s challenges lies in the powerful hands of our King, the King of all kings!

APPLICATION: Several lessons are in store for us today as we meditate on this story of king Jehoshaphat. We have more than enough challenges for each day that we open our eyes. What if we could learn to release the battles that our not ours to worry about? I believe that you, my readers, are no different to me, so I encourage you to read the whole chapter of 2 Chronicles 20 by clicking on the Bible reference link above. Here are some things that God drew to my attention:
~ The king acknowledged that he had a problem that was way over his head and beyond his capability;
~ The king was not ashamed of his inabilities. He not only went before God personally, but he called his people together and ordered a fast, so that together they might seek God’s face over this problem. The problem was bigger than the king, and he was prepared to seek someone greater who could help;
~ The king’s meeting with his people was not a time to plan their attack, but to humble themselves before Almighty God, seek His face, and ask for His direction and His powerful hand of protection;
~ In spite of the king being the main character in this story, God chose to respond through ‘just a man standing in the crowd’ as described by some commentaries. The king didn’t just pick up his toys and run on home with a disgruntled attitude about God not reporting back to him for his guided fast and his desperate prayer. A good reminder that we don’t control God, and that He uses the simple to confound the proud and the intelligent. It is always obvious that a response came from God, and not from the knowledge, abilities or self-worth of the king and/or his people;
~ There was no response back to the orders from God, other than full obedience! There was no need for the king to feel like he needed to have the last word. This was a ‘God’ thing, and nothing at all for which the king needed recognition from his people.
King Jehoshaphat was faced with a battle of proportions greater than anything he could handle. What kind of battles are you facing in your life dear friend? Do you know the God of king Jehoshaphat intimately? Are you at a place in your life where you could simply bow at His feet and lay your battles, or burdens there, being confident that He is still Lord of all and Master over all things that might impact us? Are you strong enough to ask of God, knowing that His response may not be your first choice? By asking, we know that there could be positive answers in store for us, or perhaps challenging answers that we were not expecting. Be willing to add to your prayer requests today: ‘Not my will, but Yours oh Lord – so long as You are glorified in everything today’.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are well aware of the battles we take on, especially those that we should totally surrender to You. We make ourselves sick mentally, and otherwise, because we assume lordship over these type issues. Please forgive us Lord, and strengthen us daily so that we may surrender our all to You and allow You to continue as God – the One in charge of all creation and the events surrounding every aspect of Your creation. Thank You for creating us to care about those that we connect with, but we need daily power to place them at Your feet and allow You to be God – in them, through them and over them. I praise You God for who You are, I surrender my all to You, knowing that Your love will sustain me as You work out every material indifference I may see all around me. Have Your will oh Lord, my King, my Redeemer and my Savior. Humble the hearts of all my readers and listeners. Draw them to the foot of the cross where they may look up – into Your wonderful face, and acknowledge Your awesome power. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Delays Are Costly

Delays are often very frustrating, and often cause us to lose our patience! However, last weekend there were thousands of self induced delays that members of our churches made, when presented with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Meditate with me on what happened in your respective church services recently. Most attendees heard the Word of God, but they delayed their decision to act on the invitation given at the time. The big question is, what might this delay have cost them? Perhaps they said like Felix did, “I will deal with this another time”. Will there be ‘another time’ for them?

Monday, 2022-03-04
Written at: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Acts 24:24-25
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he talked about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as Paul went on discussing about goodness, self-control, and the coming Day of Judgment, Felix was afraid and said, “You may leave now. I will call you again when I get the chance.”

APPLICATION: When travelling to another state or country by plane or train, there is often the chance of delays, for one reason or another. If the fault is attributed to the airline, then they will often provide vouchers to the stranded passengers for food, and sometimes even for hotel, if the delay will prevent travelling the same day. Can you begin to imagine the costs paid by carriers for these delays? Last weekend the message of the Gospel was presented, and thousands of attendees at thousands of churches were given the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. No doubt your church, like mine, saw folk leave without accepting the invitation of the pastor, and the Holy Spirit that tugged on their hearts. I’m sure that there were many excuses for the decisions to delay following Christ. Why some left during the singing of the last hymn, because it was more important to be the first out of the busy church parking lot, or to be the first at the popular restaurants for lunch. Priorities of the individuals! But we are reminded through God’s Word, that He is in full control of our time here on earth. Will we have another opportunity quite like the opportunity given at last week’s services? Thankfully, I made it all the way home safely yesterday. Did everyone else from your church services have that same good fortune? Perhaps they did, or perhaps they didn’t. God’s Word has very clear advice for us when it tells us that “now is the accepted time”, the only moment promised to us. Think about this friends: at our borders all those arriving with proper documentation (passports and appropriate visas) are allowed in, while others are rejected and expatriated back to their home country. This will be no different at the entrance to Heaven’s portals, because the rules are similar to those followed by our immigration officers. For entrance into heaven, only those who have personally accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior (that’s their passport and visa) will be accepted into God’s eternal home, others will be returned to their home of choice – with Satan and his band of demons. Friends, please don’t delay, it could cost you eternal life with the God of this universe and His awesome Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus, the One who loved you enough to die on a cruel cross, so that you might receive forgiveness of your sin. But you must invite Him into your heart. Your delay could cost you big time. Please let me encourage you to not even wait for the next service time, contact a pastor or Christian leader of a local church, or contact me so that I may help you, but PLEASE, don’t delay, make a decision today, for Jesus might return today to take His bride (the church) home to glory!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, many of us just attended church over recent days, and you petitioned us to accept You as Lord of our life. Today, through this illustration with Felix delaying his decision to hear more from Paul, you are again getting our attention about the cost of delaying our decision to accept Your free gift of salvation. The delays brought on by Felix cost him. I pray that my readers, listeners, and all those that we love and pray for, will accept You at Your Word, while there is time to do so. Thank You for loving us enough to have given us multiple opportunities to do this. And while we have no control over whether there will be another opportunity, I pray that many will STOP and cry out to You as they finish meditating on this devotional – even now. I praise You for not giving up on me. Today I humbly plead with You to melt the hearts of those that meditated on this devotional with me today, as they were given another opportunity to call on You for salvation. Please bring them to their senses and embolden them to make this vital decision. Please create a sense of urgency in their hearts to accept You oh Lord. For this is my humble and earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus alone, and for His glory alone. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

God’s Word To You Could Save You and Your Household

In his time of need, this official of the king knew of only one man that could make a difference in the life of his son, and it wasn’t the king’s best medical officer, nor the best magician of the king. However, the man had heard of Jesus, so he set out to find Him. Fortunately in our time of need, we do seek after Jesus. Sometimes this encounter makes an awesome change in our life, and even in the lives of those that we influence. As we meditate on the Word of God, let us seek to apply it to our lives. It may very well influence others.

Saturday, 2021-10-09

Bible Reference: John 4:50-53
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 50 Jesus answered, “Go. Your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus told him and went home. 51 On the way home, the man’s servants came and met him. They said, “Your son is well.”
52 The man asked, “What time did my son begin to get well?”
They answered, “It was about one o’clock yesterday when the fever left him.”
53 The father knew that one o’clock was the same time that Jesus had said, “Your son will live.” So the man and everyone in his house believed in Jesus.

OBSERVATION: In his time of need, this official of the king knew of only one man that could make a difference in the life of his son, and it wasn’t the king’s best medical officer, nor the best magician of the king. However, the man had heard of Jesus, so he set out to find Him. Fortunately in our time of need, we do seek after Jesus. Sometimes this encounter makes an awesome change in our life, and even in the lives of those that we influence. As we meditate on the Word of God, let us seek to apply it to our lives. It may very well influence others.

APPLICATION: There are times of desperation and urgent need, when we reach out to whatever form of help that we could think of, to help find relief or healing. I have a relative whose wife was struggling for her life. Several suggestions were made about getting this dear lady to a certain hospital, where they may be able to help her. Without insurance, the hospital required $100,000 in cash before they would accept this patient. To this young man, this sounded like $1,000,000, because he didn’t have anything close to that, nor did he have a clue where he might get it in time to save his dearly beloved wife. However he still tried to find the money through various phone calls. This official in our story was in a similar position to that of my relative. He was helpless, and didn’t know where to turn to next for the required help. Having heard of Jesus, the official sought after him, and traveled almost 17 miles to a town where he heard Jesus may be headed to. Based on the response from Jesus, I believe that this man, or his king, may have been among those who at one time sought after Jesus for proof of who He was, or in the works He was capable of. However Jesus knew this man’s heart, much like He knows intimately about ours. For the official, his faith was tested like never before, for Jesus didn’t drop everything and follow the man home to his son, but he merely sent him home, telling him that his son will live. Wow, what would you have done with that? Can you imagine the pooched out lips and the sunken feeling deep onside in knowing that Jesus would not even consider coming with you to lay hands on your dying relative? But I believe that Jesus knew everything about this situation and so he arranged for this man’s servants to meet him on the way and cheer him up with the news that the healing hand of Jesus came over his son, just like he had asked, and just at the time Jesus told him his daughter was healed! Think with me today beyond the joy, and the celebration over this awesome news, and feel with me what this man must have felt. For all these years he had probably mocked Jesus, and may have even worked together with his king on how they might capture Jesus, but to imagine that Jesus would look beyond the sin, and past the history of this man, and to penetrate his heart with insight for the love of the Savior who would meet him in his time of need! This official was probably not recognized by the religious community, other than he was the one who was out to destroy them, yet Jesus knew, and met, his most intimate need. Oh my loving Savior, what awesome love and grace You have for all those who call on You! Through healing this man’s son, the official came to know Jesus personally – both he and his household. What about you my friend, are you listening, watching and reaching out to Jesus today for a need, whether related to your personal , health or spiritual afflictions? Something inside causes you to look towards Jesus in your time of need. Allow me to suggest that God sends His Spirit to work in you and draw you unto the Master. In and of our own sinful selves, you may never think of looking to God. So when you find yourself reaching out to God, please know that it is only because of the Spirit of God dealing in your life and drawing you to Himself. Thank God for loving even you and wanting a relationship with you! Are you deserving of that, probably not, but please answer that call while Jesus is working in you. I can assure you that you will never regret reaching out to Jesus. Try Him and prove me right, won’t you?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for looking beyond my sin, seeing my need, and drawing me unto Yourself. I am very concerned about relatives and friends who have heard Your call, and continue to ignore You or refuse to answer Your call. In our story today we are told that this man and his whole household were saved because of his obedience in accepting Your call on his life. I wonder who in our families are being hindered by our disobedience and disregard of the call on our lives? Please help us Lord to be obedient to Your voice and Your call on our lives. Help us to never be a stumbling block to a child, a loved one or a friend who might be looking up to us and waiting for us to make our move. Please don’t become impatient with us Lord, but continue to soften hearts so that we may surrender to You before it’s a day too late. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Work At ‘Peace’ and ‘Holiness’

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

Saturday, 2021-10-04

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

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

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

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

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

SEE Jesus and Worship Him

I hope that our eyes will be opened to the risen Christ during this devotional today, for we SEE Him in various ways each and every day. These encounters are way too important for us to brush off as anything else, for I believe God deliberately gets the attention of those seeking Him. As we meditate, let’s be sure to look inward at the opportunities we have to worship our King – the King of all kings!

Friday, 2021-09-27

Bible Reference: Matthew 28:16-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NIV)

Bible Text:  16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

APPLICATION: In our scripture reference today we see one of many instances where folk saw Jesus, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. I acknowledge that this particular instance is so miraculous that it would give reason for anyone to ‘worship’ the Master. But let’s be careful to note that Jesus was crucified, died, buried, and three days later He arose from the dead, and now He stand in the very presence of His disciples! But friends, I want us to stop and meditate on the many times that we stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus, but do we always stop and acknowledge Him and/or offer up our sacrifices of praise to Him? Matthew Henry in his commentary on this verse says “All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him.” I could almost imagine by now you are dumbfounded as to what I might be getting at here, because although the Lord Jesus stood in the presence of the disciples, you probably can’t remember the last time that He did that to you, right? Dear friends, we are presented with reminders of our Lord Jesus every day and we make personal choices as to what we do with that. If you pick up the precious Word of God and read it, you will be flooded with evidence and overwhelmed by the presence of God as you read about Him – but do you stop to worship Him and acknowledge His greatness? If you walk out of your home and stop complaining about the humidity, or the cold, or the heat long enough you will SEE the beauty of all that God has provided for you to enjoy, you might consider raising your hands in praise to Him for His miraculous touch on everything from the heights of the skies to the beautiful green grass and flowers that you see, to the cattle that produces dairy products and/or beef for your plate, to the beautiful waterfalls that make us wonder where is the water coming from so high up on a mountain, to the beautiful ocean that is filled with man’s best foods, etc. If you enter God’s house of worship and hear the stories of how God has miraculously healed and/or touched His children, you will SEE where God has been busy meeting the needs of His people, and you will worship Him knowing that there is still hope for Him to also miraculously help you through your challenges that seem insurmountable to you at times. Friends, it is time for us to stop whining and start praising. It is time for us to stop attributing God’s miracles that occur all around us every day, to happen-chance, or good luck, or any other worldly credit, and truly SEE God for who He is. It is then that we will worship Him in deep sincerity like the disciples exampled for us in this Scripture today. Jesus is still alive and He is looking for opportunities to bless you, so that you may SEE Him, if only you will let Him into your world. Won’t you do that today friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence each and every day. Please forgive us for the times that we find every other reason in the world why something special occurred in our life, before we finally realize that it truly was the God of this universe that stepped in and blessed us. You have provided lots of evidence of your miraculous hand at work in our lives and all around us. Please open our spiritual eyes so that we may SEE Your goodness, Your miracles and Your love that You want so badly for us to accept and envelope. Lord, may we truly learn to worship You in every way, because of all that You place before us as evidence of Your presence. Please also open the eyes of the non-believer today so that they will realize that there is no other explanation for the miracles around them other than the awesome power and greatness of the Almighty God. Lord I pray that our worship and our praise will come naturally, as we recognize the originator of our blessings. Thank You for being so good to us! I ask these things in the gracious and blessed name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

In Preparation For Your Mission

It appears to me like Paul was given great wisdom in helping those that he mentored in the ministry. In fact, I believe that God used Paul powerfully in his ministry, so that he could be an effective mentor to Timothy. I wonder who’s following in our footsteps? I wonder if our lives are suitable for others to follow, and they go out to be God’s representative and minister? Let’s look at some of the ways Paul felt prepared for the task at hand.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 2:14-17 (VOICE)

TEXT:  14 …... Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. 15 Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. 16 Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. 17 Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer….

APPLICATION:   I’m not sure how many of us will ever be blessed to have the honor of mentoring someone entering into a ministry role, like Paul did, but we are often part of a church where new workers are called into ministry each year, and some of us may also be blessed to be part of a commissioning service for a new minister of the gospel, like Timothy was. This advice given by Paul is great for us to consider as we look into our own lives. Hopefully as we live these out personally, we will be in a much better position to say like Paul did in one of his other teachings: “now follow me, as you try to live a godly life” or as you endeavor to serve in your new assignment. You see, it is hypocritical to suggest that a new minister, teacher, worker, do some of these things, if we are personally doing an awful job at these things ourselves. For example, how can we suggest that they not get in arguments over words, or split hairs over individual interpretations, if we are so bad at doing that ourselves? Or that they should be genuine in their walk, if we are personally accused of living a double life? Or to not be ashamed of the gospel, if we are often embarrassed to have others know that we are involved in the ministry of our local church? So friends, I would encourage you to not brush this off by thinking that we now have some good advice to give ministers and/or workers entering into the ministry of Jesus Christ, but instead that we live out these principles ourselves so that we might give sound advice as we suggest that they follow, just as we follow Christ. I believe that only then, will the church of Jesus Christ see effective workers in the local church, and well prepared ministers and/or missionaries that we send out from our local churches. Lost people are anxious to see genuine Christians. Just as we aim to be exactly that, will we be effective and genuine in sending others out, just like us.

PRAYER:   Lord, please have Your perfect will and way in the hearts of each one that will meditate on this devotional today. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. May Your kingdom become richer as a result of us sharing our genuineness with others who will be impacted today, with the character and form of the One true God. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!