Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tested To Endure

Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT)

TEXT:  Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

OBSERVATION:   Peter tells us in the verses, preceding our focal Scripture today, that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting us, where God the Father will release His blessings on us, that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

APPLICATION:   In considering a real life comparison to this Scripture today, I thought of a husband who went to prison for battery, or abuse of his wife. Misery, pain and hardship ensued while the husband was in prison, but deep inside of each spouse was a love that was first kindled when they were in high school. While the wife wanted desperately to show that love before the husband was sent away, there was a world of influence that prevented her, and it caused the husband to release anger in ways neither of them thought possible. However, during the time in prison there were folk who worked hard at rehabilitating that husband and helping him to better deal with his anger issues. To do this, they tested him with various scenarios that might cause him to doubt any therapeutic improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek on the love he had for his wife, and still flourish in those circumstances. However, upon his release from prison, his wife was waiting with open arms to welcome him back home, and promised to do all she could to help him never to return to his former life of anger and violence. The life of both spouses while the husband was in prison, could be compared to what Christians face on earth. For although we surrendered our life to Jesus, yet we are left here on this earth to weather the storms of doubt; pain; financial burdens; being picked on; victims of crime; etc. In fact, at times we may even wonder if our commitment to Christ really means anything at all. But friends, I want us to be reminded that our gift of salvation is more than our immediate ticket out of this world, for Peter reminds us that God not only wants to use us for His glory while here on earth but, when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will often look to challenge us on how we might handle the storms of life. Those storms don’t go away, we are just given a new hope in what lies beyond the storms. That husband in prison was able to endure the hardships of prison, because he knew that he had a loving, caring wife waiting for him, and ready to finish up their lives together after his release. We have the same promise in Jesus Christ dear friends! There is a loving, caring, awesome Savior awaiting us on the other side of this treacherous world. Our time here is one of testing and proving whose we are. Wouldn’t it be neat to converse with God each evening and ask: “how did we do today?” Please don’t forget that prayer provides that exact medium for you to converse with God. Keep the lines of communication opened, so that He may guide and direct you into total holiness – just as He is holy! Why is something tested? To prove its durability under pressure. An object that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks upon His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing through all of life’s tests of endurance dear friend?

PRAYER:   Lord God, thank You for reminding us that we have a purpose here on this earth, especially after we accept You as Lord, for then Your mighty works can be accomplished through us, if You choose to do so. When trials come, please continue to drive us towards You, and what You might want to accomplish through even the slightest ‘thorn in our side’. You never promised us smooth sailing and calm waters after accepting You as Lord, instead You have given us the hope that through the ups and downs of life, our Master still loves us, still waits for us, and is still our guide through every circumstance. Thank You for that love, that comfort and the peace that it gives to our soul. Oh that others may see Jesus in us, no matter the circumstances we face while on planet earth. AMEN!

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

Commit to Peace and Unity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m Not Ashamed

Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 1:11-14 (NET)

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-10-23
WRITTEN AT: Hope Hull, AL

TEXT:  11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

APPLICATION:   Many churches in America, and perhaps other parts of the world, will celebrate when one of their own commits to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some churches may even make particular mention of individuals who commit themselves to serving as elders, deacons, teachers or other leadership/servant roles in the church. Because of this recognition, often folk will be prideful of these positions, but nonetheless, committed to serve for the duration of their committed term. There are some ministry jobs and assignments that remind me a little of what Paul experienced, such as missionaries who travel to countries that they know are unfriendly to the gospel of Jesus Christ; pastors who serve in churches and they may or may not be able to pay them, yet they work endless hours to win the lost and disciple the saved, just as if they were serving the richest of congregations. Of course, all church positions require a heart for representing our Maker to those that we serve, and with hearts  and mindsets of volunteering our time, effort and complete selves. But to put this all into perspective and try to identify with Paul, I believe that we need to think about the sacrifices we may make in serving and in our volunteering, even if we knew that we would be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, cursed at, or imprisoned for what we do. Would we still be able to stand upright and share, in the words of Paul, that we are unashamed of the message and person of Jesus Christ?I believe that my biggest appeal today would be for the lay persons who might read this devotional. Sure these verses were written to Timothy who was a young pastor. Sure these are very applicable to pastors, elders, teachers and other church leaders. But friends, let me remind you that God didn’t save us so that we might shut up inside of us that good thing that He did for us. I refuse to believe that He would have to create another Red Sea phenomenon, for us to truly believe, brag on, and boast about our God. For if we have permitted the lordship of our Savior and Lord to rule and reign inside of us, and if we maintain an active and sincere relationship with Him, then a river of life would flow out through our actions, our speech and it would become very evident in our outward expression and reactions to others. Remember, we don’t want others to see how cool we are, or how rude we could be, but instead, we want them to see Jesus in and through every aspect of our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of my friend, allow that good thing that has made a difference in your life, to be revealed to others so that they may desire our Savior also. Paul made reference to ‘that day’, meaning the day that we meet Jesus face to face. May we live in such a way that we will be overjoyed and filled with celebration on ‘that day’ because of the relationship we had with Jesus while here on earth, opposed to a time of regret because we were ashamed, and we kept everything about God’s goodness locked up inside of us.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, and for making the way possible for us to see You face to face one day! In fact, we are so thankful of that precious gift, that we want to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to evangelizing that ‘good thing’ that has gotten hold of this old sinful person, and caused a complete turn around in our walk. Lord, we surrender all to You, so that You may fill us with more of Yourself, so that others will see Jesus, and not the earthly sin-filled bodies that would constitute the alternate man. People need the Lord, not more of the same old sinful world. Use us Lord as Your instruments to fulfil Your purpose here on earth. AMEN!

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

True Happiness Is…

There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-19
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC

Bible Reference: James 1:25
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 25 … the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

OBSERVATION:   There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

APPLICATION:   I often compare illustrations on marriage to help illustrate the relationship we should strive towards with our Lord. In marriage, many couples attend marriage enrichment classes, or take cruises geared towards married couples, or read books on ways to refresh our marriages. We are looking for ways to refresh our love for each other. Without this, we tend to start taking each other for granted, we relax our initial commitment to love and uphold each other through good times and through the challenging times as well. In fact, many who make no effort to keep their marriages fresh, tend to result more into divorce than ever before. James is teaching us here in this Scripture today that true happiness for mankind is found in carefully studying the perfect laws of God, as outlined in His book of instruction – the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we are taught and reminded that God loves us more than we could even imagine. He showed His love for us in many ways, but the ultimate love was shown when He willingly went to the cross as a sacrifice for us. But why did Jesus go to the cross? For all who existed at that time were not saints, nor were they deeply in love with God, but instead they were ‘dirty’, ‘filthy’ sinners. But, in love, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross knowing that it would be the means of forgiveness when we ask for it. So knowing that someone loves us so much, and without conditions placed on why He would love us, why do you suppose we would not want to obey His commands? James reminds us that through obeying God, we not only receive His wondrous love, but we become sons and daughter of the greatest person that ever lived, our Lord and Savior. The contentment this brings to us is pure, unadulterated happiness. Now if we are serious about this kind of commitment to Jesus Christ, and the happiness that results, James said that we would want to continue to study and learn from the teachings of Jesus. Further, we must always be mindful of what we have studied, for it is intended to guide our lives into total Truth. As we learn, and discern God’s will for our lives, may we strive to obey it and live it out in our lives. You see, I am convinced that God created us to illustrate to the world, what a loving, caring God looks like. How do you suppose you are doing with that? It’s very easy for us to see the good, the bad and the ugly in others, but I would suggest that we look inward today and, based on what James is teaching us, evaluate whether you think that others are seeing the ultimate happiness of our loving Lord in us!  If you feel like you are not the epitome of Christ’s happiness, then we are taught in this verse to get back to the Book and study what God intended for us.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice at Calvary. Thank You for loving us enough to offer Your life as a sacrifice for our sin. Thank You for providing Your Word so that we may be reminded of Your love, and also how we may maintain our happiness in You. Please give all those who will meditate on this devotional today, the boldness to demonstrate Your love for us, to all those that we come into contact with. May we be committed to reading Your Word, understanding it’s truth, and practicing it’s values every day in the way that we live and interact with others. May You be glorified through our humble lives today oh Lord. AMEN! 

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

God Is All-Knowing, Seek Direction From Him

God sent Samuel to pick the next king from the sons of Jesse, but it’s a good thing that God stayed in charge of the choice, as Samuel was very impressed with the very first son presented to him. However the lesson God taught to Samuel that day, still rings through to us as we seek His face for decisions we make today, so let’s examine this closer….

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 16:6-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

OBSERVATION: God sent Samuel to pick the next king from the sons of Jesse, but it’s a good thing that God stayed in charge of the choice, as Samuel was very impressed with the very first son presented to him. However the lesson God taught to Samuel that day, still rings through to us as we seek His face for decisions we make today, so let’s examine this closer….

APPLICATION: No doubt we make decisions that we later reflect on and sometimes wonder what on earth were we ever thinking of when we made that decision. Christians sometimes pray over challenging decisions they need to make, because they want to make sure that they follow God’s plan for their lives. Often we can reflect back on those decisions and see how God must have been in control, as we could see how His plans materialized for everyone involved, and for His good. I have a personal experience that fits this scenario, that I will briefly share with you. Some thirty three years ago my family and I moved to the United States from the Bahamas. We bathed our decision in prayer and felt like God was in control during the whole process. That’s until I went to tell my parents that we were moving away from our home-country. They were getting on in age by then, and my dad let me know that it hurt to see us move away at such a time in their lives. Within a year of us moving, I received a call from my sister that dad was not doing well. Dad had received help from local doctors, but nothing seemed to be helping. So we jointly made the decision to get dad over to Florida for advanced care. In about a month, after my dad had received a heart stint, Dad sat with me and acknowledged that now he could understand what God was doing in getting me moved to the US! In the example with Samuel, he saw in Eliab (the oldest son) all the attributes of what he thought a king should look like, and he was convinced to choose him. However, God not only knew the one He had chosen, but He also knew the heart of the other sons and why they were not suitable as the leader for His people. Friends, we could do little to improve our outward appearance, but it always takes God to change the inward appearance. Just a tip… if we always strive to be like Jesus, and live our lives according to His will for us, then perhaps we will gain the attributes of our loving Lord. This takes surrendering our hearts and lives to Jesus, because only then will we accept His leadership and His guidance. Will you consider doing this today friend? Read my Footnote and be sure to follow through to read the Scripture behind my links. Let me know if I might pray for you and with you about this important decision.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, on behalf of all my fellow Christian Brothers and Sisters, we approach Your throne asking that You grace us with Your presence today. May Your wisdom fill our hearts and our minds so that the decisions that we make will align with Your will for our lives. We acknowledge that in our human eyes, we often see things differently than You can when looking deep into the heart and thoughts of people that we deal with. Help us therefore to look to You in all of our decision making so that we will make decisions pleasing to You and aligned with Your will. Only You can do this Lord, so we ask this in Your precious name, and patiently await Your direction. AMEN!

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

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-10-12
SCRIPTURE  

From:

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)

Text:

6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
OBSERVATION:  
 
APPLICATION:  
 
PRAYER:  
 
FOOTNOTE:  
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Describe Your Love For Him

In reading how David meticulously told God how he loved Him, I hope that this might cause us to think about doing the same. I believe we struggle in doing this with earthly friends, spouse included, so I could only imagine what a challenge this would pose for us to stop and describe to God how much, and in what ways we love Him! Let’s meditate on the love of God today, and on how we might describe our love for Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL.

Bible Reference: Psalm 123:1-2
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: O God-Enthroned in heaven, I worship and adore you!
The way I love you is like the way a servant wants to please his master, the way a maid waits for the orders of her mistress. We look to you, our God, with passionate longing to please you and discover more of your mercy and grace

OBSERVATION: In reading how David meticulously told God how he loved Him, I hope that this might cause us to think about doing the same. I believe we struggle in doing this with earthly friends, spouse included, so I could only imagine what a challenge this would pose for us to stop and describe to God how much, and in what ways we love Him! Let’s meditate on the love of God today, and on how we might describe our love for Him..

APPLICATION: I’ve seen this done at church, where the congregation was asked to give descriptive words of how they know that God loves them, and why they love God. Very often this comes with a lot of Biblical terms, churchy words, and words that you might hear from the pulpit, or over Christian radio. But I wonder how much more personal this might be if it was just you and God. If there were no devices, and no distractions, but you became overwhelmed with the thought of how powerful God is; how loving He is; how forgiving He is; and that God brought you to a point where you realized that He is an awesome God who loves you – individually, more than anything else in the world. What would you have to say to Him in return? Remember, it’s just you and God present and He wants to hear your heart. What would you say? Perhaps you’ve seen Him in the Word as you meditated on it today; perhaps in a song; perhaps in the beauty of the outdoors; perhaps a beautiful animal – one of His wonders, just ran in front of you; or perhaps your mind reflected back on the love of God, and/or how He touched you during a recent life event. Friends, our God is ever present, and I believe He is just waiting for us to praise Him for His amazing greatness, if only we will separate ourselves from the busyness of life and allow our hearts and minds to connect with our Creator. Allow these words of David to reinvigorate your heart, soul and mind and cause you to focus on your Maker. He is so worthy of our praise friends!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how can we say thanks for the things You have done for us? How can we love You near as much as You love us? How can we give to our Master who has everything? Yet You have prepared a place for us to spend eternity with You and Your Father! Praise God that in spite of our inadequacies yet You love us anyway, and You have given us life itself to enjoy while here on earth. Thank You for who You are, and for all You do and show to us precious Father. May we show love and appreciation to You in every way and as frequently as our hearts could imagine. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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

A Gift – Just For You!

Most people who have heard the Bible taught or preached, could probably recite verse 16! But the verses that follow go on to explain why God sent His Son, and how this whole gift has to do with our eternal destiny. This is of super importance to each of us, because it helps us to understand the whole purpose of the gospel, and how it relates to each of us. So seek God’s face as we take time to understand this clearly today!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: John 3:16-18
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

OBSERVATION: Most people who have heard the Bible taught or preached, could probably recite verse 16! But the verses that follow go on to explain why God sent His Son, and how this whole gift has to do with our eternal destiny. This is of super importance to each of us, because it helps us to understand the whole purpose of the gospel, and how it relates to each of us. So seek God’s face as we take time to understand this clearly today!

APPLICATION: If a gift was given to everyone at church, you would find where some would cherish it and recognize the value of it. They would appreciate it and cherish it for everything it’s worth. Others may take the gift home, but they may stash it away in a drawer, somewhere so it is not tarnished or broken. However there are some who will leave it in the seat at church, or throw it in the back seat of the car, because the gift is of little value to them, nor do they care to understands the necessity of the gift. Now compare this to the gift that God gave to us in verse 16. Many have accepted the gift, and perhaps you might be one of those. But what have you done with that gift? Anything? In the verses following, we are told that God saw that the sacrificial practices of the Old Testament, for the forgiveness of sin, were just not working. But God chose to give us a very valuable gift, even though it was extremely costly to Him. But God wanted to make this one-time sacrifice something that we could identify with, so that we might accept the gift that would clear the way for a right relationship between us and the Father. This Scripture is very simple, and It is extremely clear enough to us, because now we could know today where we will spend eternity. In vs 17 and 18 we are told that if we accept the gift of Jesus as our personal Savior, then we are acquitted of our sin. This qualifies us to stand before the Father as a righteous person, or a saint! Can’t you begin to see the miraculous value of this gift? However, this Scripture goes on to say that unless we take this important step, then we have personally placed ourselves under a death sentence, meaning that we will not live eternally in the beauty of life with Jesus and His Father, but instead we are condemned to death, where our eternity will be with Satan and his demons for all eternity. The choice is very clear dear friends, but it puts us in charge of our own destiny. Accepted the free gift of salvation – the precious gift of God’s Son given for all who call on His name, to be saved? Or, without making a deliberate decision, then we have personally decided to take the option of Hell and damnation. Dear friend, I write these blogs every morning hoping that no one who reads them would ever make a decision like the latter one I just explained, for I am so looking forward to rejoicing with each of you in glory one day! Because of the fact that you are reading this blog, this means that you still have a choice. However, today is the day of salvation, for you may not have the next minute or hour to make a change in your decision about where you will spend eternity. Make that decision right now, won’t you? I included help in my Footnote hoping that you would decide to make the right decision. Please contact a local pastor, or email me for help or prayer over this matter.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the Scripture is very clear. The stage has been set for us, and it is up to us to make sensible and responsible decisions, especially those that involve our lives after spending our last moments here on earth. You have made things abundantly clear. May each reader make a responsible decision today about their post earthly life – their destiny. I want them to join me in heaven with You, Lord, but I can’t make that decision for them. Tender their hearts today to Your Word, and encourage them to accept the precious gift that You gave to us, Your precious Son, Jesus. AMEN!

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

Hearts and Lips Filled With Praise

David was in the wilderness at the time that he wrote this Psalm. In spite of his loneliness, David was still filled with praise and still looked to God in awe and with thanksgiving. I believe that we have a great lesson to learn from this experience…..

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Psalm 63:2-4
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text:  I have seen You in Your sanctuary
    and have been awed by Your power and glory.
Your steadfast love is better than life itself,
    so my lips will give You all my praise.
I will bless You with every breath of my life;
    I will lift up my hands in praise to Your name.

OBSERVATION: David was in the wilderness at the time that he wrote this Psalm. In spite of his loneliness, David was still filled with praise and still looked to God in awe and with thanksgiving. I believe that we have a great lesson to learn from this experience…..

APPLICATION: Generally if the atmosphere is right, the musicians top notch and the praise team in complete harmony, most church attendees would consider that they have been led to worship God. David may have been alone, but he was reflecting on his times with God – in the temple/sanctuary and in his times of prayer and praise. Without the distraction of all this world throws at us, I believe that David had uninterrupted time to reflect on the God of the universe that he was enjoying. Friends, I believe that we have to constantly be reminded that God is everywhere, and our minds could never contain all that we can praise Him for. Don’t you see that God’s people who are filled with worship and praise throughout the week, they will explode into praise by the time their weekend services rolls around? I believe that we must also learn that we don’t need to wait before praising God for His miraculous work in our lives. His Word declares that we are assured only the very moment that we find ourselves in, and nothing more. Furthermore, if someone blesses us in some way, wouldn’t we very quickly thank them and praise them for their kindness? Why then should God be any different? I believe that a sobering thought for us to consider, is that if we need any of the people or things I first mentioned above, to lead us into worship to our Father, then we should ponder if we are we truly worshiping God out of personal appreciation, and recognizing God for who He is to us personally, or are we simply being obedient to the worship leader, or ‘turned on’ by the music? Let’s remember that we have a heavenly Father who loves us more than anything that we could even comprehend (Ephesians 3:19). Can you imagine this means that in spite of our weaknesses or sin or lack of praise, He still loves us any way? Knowing this, and knowing that He has prepared a place for us to spend eternity with Him in glory, why on earth would we be bashful about praising Him for the miracles we see in our own lives and all around us. Wouldn’t it be neat for us to arrive at church early and find someone there praising the Lord – long before the service begins, because their heart is so overfilled with gratefulness? Would it have an influence on friends and coworkers if they knew us for our praise and thankfulness that we express to God everyday? They might begin to think that there is something real about this God we sometime talk about! They might begin to believe that we have a true and intimate relationship with our Lord!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness, and thank You for the hope that we have in You. Please open our hearts and minds to be fully connected to You, so that we will be faithful in our worship and praise of our Savior and Lord! May others be impacted by this and desire to know You personally. May our hearts be so filled with praise and worship that we easily burst forth in praise even at the mention of Your name. AMEN.

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

No Greater Love

In leaving his beloved Ephesians, Paul shared that in spite of everything he had dealt with throughout his letter, and while on site with them, he was really hoping that they would remember the sincere love of Jesus Christ that filled his heart before coming to visit with them, filled him while with them and even as he left them. Can’t you imagine that this sort of love will help you to overcome insults and ridicule, and to look at life’s circumstances in a much more meaningful way? Can you see how a love like this will make your life worth living?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-09-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Ephesians 3:18-20
Translation: Easy To Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 18 … I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you. 20 With God’s power working in us, he can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of.

OBSERVATION: In leaving his beloved Ephesians, Paul shared that in spite of everything he had dealt with throughout his letter, and while on site with them, he was really hoping that they would remember the sincere love of Jesus Christ that filled his heart before coming to visit with them, filled him while with them and even as he left them. Can’t you imagine that this sort of love will help you to overcome insults and ridicule, and to look at life’s circumstances in a much more meaningful way? Can you see how a love like this will make your life worth living?

APPLICATION: Like me, you may remember being spanked by your parents while being told that they were only doing that because they loved you!! That was extremely hard to understand as a child, because we thought that love equated to giving us everything good that we asked or hoped for!! Even as adults, I’m not so sure that we have really grasped the unconditional love of Jesus for us. What could you find to say to a mother that could convince her that God loves her unconditionally, even while she buries her son or daughter, or even a grandchild? What could a preacher find to say after preaching Hell and damnation to a congregation of believers, and then try to follow that by reassuring them that Jesus loves them more than anything else in this world? Consider a husband who has been struggling for years to find the right woman to make him happy, but in spite of all efforts, nothing ever materialized. Or a wife who seems to be fighting one relationship after another, but can’t seem to find love, or happiness, in anything she does, or anyone that she meets. Unfortunately, it seems like even if we start our day in God’s Word and assure ourselves of His precious love for us, it is extremely challenging for us to stay strong in the faith, especially after we are beat up on during the day. In fact, it often seems like the whole world is against us. However friends, let me encourage you to read the verses again, and particularly look for the conditions given for God’s amazing love. In finding none, I can only encourage you to stand firm in your faith and never doubt the love of God. Whether in very positive news, or very negative news – God still loves you! Whether you are on ‘cloud nine’ with very positive and encouraging things happening in your life, or quite to the contrary – remember that God still loves you! Whether things are going way better than you could ever have expected under today’s circumstances, or whether it feels like the bottom has fallen out and no one is in control today – know that God loves you unconditionally and that He is always in charge of His universe, especially you and I. Why sweat it friends? Know that God has every little thing under His complete control and that He will always look after His precious children and everything that affects us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, what a privilege to know that we serve a God who loves us in spite of who we are, and in spite of all the circumstances that may be impacting the world around us. The greatest love ever demonstrated was the sacrifice You made at Calvary so that we may have life eternally in heaven with You. Thank You Father, thank You Lord Jesus for loving us so much. May that assurance bring peace and contentment to each of Your children, in every circumstance of life. AMEN!

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