Your Efforts Could Be Crowned with Success

God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

Monday, 2021-02-22

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:4-6
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  4-5 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

OBSERVATION: God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

APPLICATION: From the moment we are born, our mother and father begins drilling into us those things that we should, or shouldn’t do, if we want to please them, make them happy and/or proud of us. The more independent we become, we realize that there is a lot more to life than just making our parents happy, although that is at the very top of our list of priorities. Think about the idea of attending a school where no one really cares about us, because of our selfish or rotten attitude. Shouldn’t we strive to improve that? Then we start our career path and we can’t keep a job because no one could get along with us, or there might be some character flaws that the boss decides that they will not allow us to poison the other workers with. Wouldn’t we want to seek help on ways to correct those issues so that we could fit in and get along with everyone? Friends, I believe that our Scripture today has some answers for these issues that plague many today. For we are a people who strive to be independent, and do life our own way. However, in doing this, we tend to multiply our issues rather than solve them. Solomon is telling us that before we could gain the trust, respect and love of others, we must first allow the God of this universe to have an impact on our lives. In other words, acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers, and then align ourselves with the only One who not only knows about today, but also has control of what tomorrow holds. Friends, our God created these complicated bodies in which we live, and He has a plan for each and every one of us, with the end goal of us living in such a way that He might be glorified through us. A reward is already established also – that whosoever believes in Him, then we will spend eternity in Heaven with He and His Father (God). So think about this as a resolution to the above dilemma: God created us; He established a plan for our lives here on earth that will glorify Him; And He has prepared a place for us to go when we pass on from this world to the next. This sounds like an awesome plan that is perfectly designed for our complete happiness and peace of mind, so why would we seek to do life on our own without any foreknowledge of tomorrow? Let’s follow God’s design for us and our wonderful life here on earth! Remember, if you want favor with God and with your fellow man, then trust in God and not in yourself. Put God first in everything you do, and He will direct your path and crown you with success! What an awesome God we serve!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are more wonderful than anything we could even imagine. Your Word today has reminded us of the plan You established for our happiness here on earth and in Heaven. Please humble us to the point of understanding Your plan, and grant us willing hearts to obediently follow Your plan. You designed us, and You sacrificed Your one and only Son for our eternal salvation. We are convinced that You have our best interest at heart, so please help us to accept the fact that mortal man will only fall deeper and deeper into the trap of Satan and his eternal destination of Hell. Please touch my readers and myself with Your marvelous love, and draw us to Yourself precious Lord, so that together we might all rejoice when we see You face to face. Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see! AMEN!

Easily Distracted

In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

Sunday, 2021-02-14

Bible Reference: Matthew 14:29-33
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. 30 But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. 31 Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus. They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

APPLICATION: There are so many things we could learn from this story of Peter. I believe that most of us will share the reflection that this story shows us the faith of a man as he attempted something that defies nature, and that he had never thought possible before. Of his own power, perhaps the disciples expected Peter to jump out of the boat in the middle of the sea, as he prepared himself for the intake of water through the nose and mouth, or if he could swim, perhaps he would quickly assume the swimming position! However, things were a bit different with Peter, for: a). He had already experienced the power of the Almighty, and he knew that Jesus had the same power to do even those things that are impossible in the eyes of the world; b). He paid attention to what Jesus was doing, and knew that if Jesus could walk on the water, He had power and authority to empower him (Peter) to do the same; and c). Peter heard the command by Jesus, and in spite of the yelling from his fellow disciples, he obeyed Jesus. So what happened? Why does Peter’s effort seemed to have failed? I am convinced that Jesus already knew how quickly Peter would become cocky about being given this special power, so Jesus demonstrated to Peter, and to us, that faith requires that we keep our eyes fixed on the author of our faith – Jesus, and His Father God, lest we fall into the trap of bragging about our own power. I had a friend dying of cancer, and she traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by a TV evangelist who showed on public television that he had powers to heal. WRONG. Stop right there. Friends, as demonstrated in this story with Peter, and as we already know about healing powers – it is God, through His Son Jesus that spoke the word for Peter to walk on water, and it was Jesus who rescued him as he began to sink; it is God alone who heals a body that He created from dust, and restores it to perfect health so that He may be glorified. Our responsibility is to look to Him for all things and keep our eyes fixed on the author and creator of life itself, knowing that through His power, lives might be healed, souls might be restored to the Kingdom, and that the unsaved may recognize the grace and power of our God. It’s all about ‘God’, my friend. We are just instruments of His love and servants of our majestic King. The Master deserves all the praise for all that He does, for nothing of our own is merited, or worthy of praise, but only what He has done. Please be careful of the distractions that Satan will place before us. For Peter, it was the wind, the rough waters and perhaps self-confidence, that caused him to take his eyes off the Master. For us, unfortunately we live in a world that is totally filled with distractions that Satan places before us. Think about our pride; trying to impress our peers; being called names (like Jesus freak, etc); believing in things that defy nature; eccentric for believing in someone we can note see, etc. Remember that our distractions are often forces that draw us away from God – our primary power source. Don’t let Satan win over you my friend. In verse 31 we are reminded to not let ‘doubt’ win in our battle to ‘believe’. Trust in God, and all of this, plus a whole lot more could be yours, child of God!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are my God! The same God that created this wonderful world, and also created all of creation. I acknowledge again today that there is nothing that You can’t do. Please forgive me for my doubt and my lack of faith. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that You had the power to walk on water to get over to Your disciples. I wonder what You must travel over, or through, at times to get to my readers and I, and the trouble we find ourselves in at times. But I am assured that just as we saw where the water didn’t stop You from getting to Your followers, we need not let anything hinder our requests today, for many things will appear to be impossible to us, but with renewed assurance today, we KNOW that we can come before the throne of God and plead our case before an all-knowing, all-powerful, forever-loving God who says that ALL things are possible with God! You are our King, and we adore You and worship You today oh Lord, not just for what You can do for us, but for who You are! AMEN!

Analyzing For entry into God’s Kingdom

The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out Too get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

Friday, 2021-02-12

Bible Reference: Matthew 13:41-43
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42 Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43 But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!

OBSERVATION: The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out to get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

APPLICATION: To read that there are thorns among the wheat, and that these thorns will stunt the growth of the wheat, if left there during the growing period, is mind boggling. Yet we are told that the thorns should remain there. What do we make of this? I believe we would understand it very clearly if the Scripture said that those thorn bushes must be removed and burned, so that the wheat would mature without hindrance from the weeds. But that’s not exactly what Jesus said, is it? In my studies, I found out that back in verse 24 and following, Jesus told His audience that these weeds were planted to look just like the wheat, as they grew together. But let us consider this idea in its proper context. For example, in our beautiful, plush and proper churches today. Wouldn’t it be extremely challenging to look out over our congregation, or even rub shoulders with many of them, and try to imagine that some will produce fruit (wheat) during their lifetime, while others are uncommitted and are their as decoys (known as ‘weeds’ in this Scripture). However, Jesus reminds us that because everyone walking through our doors are dressed just like us, look just like us, sing just like us, and may even give to the ministry just like us, we must not conclude that they are children of the kingdom. In Psalm 1:5, we are told that “sinners will have no place among the saved” on Judgment Day. Therefore let us pay close attention to what Jesus is teaching here. Friends, I believe that way too often we look at what our coworker is succeeding at, or how happy that new Sunday School member seems to be in their life, and we start emulating their lifestyle, or we join them in the things that seem to successfully bring joy in their life. But Jesus is teaching us today that we have only one role model, only one Savior and only one Lord. He tells us throughout His Word how we are to seek His righteousness, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim. I believe that when we start desiring what another person has – whether it’s happiness, a great spouse, wonderful children, a healthy lifestyle, an expensive car, etc., then we are permitting ourselves to seek our happiness and pleasure in another person (wheat or thorns), rather than in the joy, peace and wisdom of our almighty God, who proved His love for us on Calvary. In our times of meeting at church, or any gathering, with fellow believers, or those we assume are fellow believers, we tend to lift up and encourage each other. But let us always remember that we are there for one purpose only – to corporately lift up the name of Jesus and worship Him from the very depths of our heart. It’s a given fact that some fellow church members may have more knowledge than us about the teachings of God, and some may even have experienced miracles from God, but if you miss your one-on-one encounter with your Maker, and if you confuse His direction that He has planned for your life, by following the lead of your fellow worshipper, then you are missing out on the importance of corporate worship. Remember, He has laid out a plan for you, and that plan will involve experiences that you may totally miss, if you receive your guidance and leadership from a friend. We all must accept Jesus individually, and we all must seek His perfect will for our individual lives, if we are to live the perfect life He has in store for us. How are you doing with this dear friend? Do you have a really intimate relationship with Jesus, and listening to His every command for your life? If not, let me encourage you to seek Him while He may be found. Draw near to Him, my friend, and He will draw near to you. You are the apple of His eye. He loves You and would like nothing better than to welcome you through the gates of Heaven when He calls you out of this world. Sure things up today, won’t you?

PRAYER: A challenging parable, but a much needed message for each of us today, dear God. Thank You for speaking to us in such unexpected, but important ways throughout Your Word. Thank You for drawing our attention to the real source of revival in our land. It’s not my brother, or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer and needing to draw even closer to You. Please speak to the hearts and souls of Your people today. Draw us to yourself, so that all doubt will be removed whether we are Yours – redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Lord, may those who are considered ‘weeds’ in our midst be reminded of the One in whose name they’re are known. Encourage them to grow in their relationship with You and cement their decision to follow You until Your return. People still need the Lord – yes especially those who feel comfortable in church, even without ever having experiencing You in their lives. May today be the day that they are introduced to the Master, and may they surrender their whole being to You and to Your will for their life. AMEN!

For Christ or Against Him?

This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

Tuesday, 2021-02-06

Bible Reference: Matthew 12:30
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 30 ……he who is not with Me is against Me, and he who is not doing the Father’s work of gathering up the flock may as well be scattering the flock.

OBSERVATION: This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

APPLICATION: A piece of advice given by my wife and I several times over the years is ‘be careful, blood is thicker than water’. This applied to situations where the individual was talking to a family member about one of their relatives. That family member might be upset with their relative, and they may gossip about it to another relative, but they refuse to hear an outsider say something derogatory about them! Jesus witnessed the spiritual leaders of the day (the Pharisees) looking for every opportunity to entrap Him and/or imprison Him. He heard them speak evil about the good that He was doing in their community, yet they walked around pretending to be more holy than anyone else. Aren’t you glad that with our advanced education system, and our many computers and smart people, that we have learned to overcome this weakness in the church today? Ha, hopefully I received no ‘Amens’ to that statement, because it was really meant to highlight that even after all these years; after having the Word of God to show us the errors of our past generations, yet churches today are torn apart by the same wickedness. Imagine with me for a moment what might happen if Jesus walked down the isles of our churches next weekend and pointed out the folk who are promoting Kingdom growth, and then asked those to leave who were destroying His work here on earth. How’s your confidence level on whether you will be allowed to stay and continue your work for the Kingdom? Will the church grow after such a separation, or will it dwindle in numbers? Friends, please allow me to remind each one reading this blog, that when God is working inside of us and using us for His purpose and the good of His kingdom, then no matter what position we hold in church, or in our community, we would work together with other believers to promote the awesome love, power, wisdom and saving grace of the one true God – our Lord, and our Savior. When you are for Him, you will pray for those who open their mouths to speak for Him; you will lift up and encourage those who sing His praises; you will renounce evil and promote the goodness of God. There will be no need to look around to see who’s nearby when you speak of, or to your neighbor, because your words will be intended to lift up, and not tear down. Friends, there are many in my community who need the Lord, and I bet your community is very similar. They may be looking at the proof of God’s work in our midst, before they listen to our teaching or our preaching, or even watch for the sincerity of our walk, before they show interest in knowing Christ personally. They are probably tired of hearing the talk, but not seeing the walk of a child of the Kingdom. I believe that our takeaway today is that if we are for God, then let’s be extremely dedicated to living like He taught us, and like He exampled for us while here on earth. Jesus made it clear that we live out our beliefs, because when we don’t, it becomes clear that we are against Him. Talk with God today and allow Him to open your spiritual eyes to discern whose side you’re really on, both in words and in your actions.

PRAYER: Lord, may others see so much of Jesus in my speech and in my actions, that there will be no reason to question who guides me, who teaches me, who directs my path, and the direction in which I am headed for eternity! May all those meditating on this blog today be of the same mind and spirit, and may our dedication and commitment to you be contagious for all to see and subsequently follow. May we say like Paul did, if you want to see Jesus, follow me! AMEN!

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

Use Virtues of God to Set Your 2021 Goals

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

Monday, 2020-12-28

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

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

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

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

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Your Word is a light unto our path oh Lord, may we read it, take it to heart and be obedient to it, with Your amazing help! As we depend on You for all that 2021 brings our way, may we never cease to stop asking You for help in living life here on earth as You intended for us. May others see Your virtues in us before we ever open our mouths to evangelize with words! AMEN!

His Name

It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the part of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife Mary; The most humble of people were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus – the shepherds. On and on the story went about one miracle after another that resulted in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s Savior. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-12-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 1:21-23
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.” (Immanuel means “God with us.”)

OBSERVATION: It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the role of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife, Mary; The most humble of people, the shepherds, were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus. On and on the story goes, with one miracle after the other, all resulting in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s eternal hope. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

APPLICATION: As declared in my ‘Observation’, God went to great extents to bring His precious Son into the world, and throughout the Bible we read about all that He did while here on earth, and the whole purpose of His life here on earth. Of course we also know the ultimate reason that Jesus came, because we remember His death every year at Good Friday, and we remember His resurrection at Easter. The big question for each of us as we meditate on the extraordinary names of Jesus is: ’what are we known as?’ To our face, we may be called by our nickname. When our parents are upset with us, they may call us by our full legal name. Based on our habits and our character, we may be known as a thief, or a criminal, or a kind person, or a caring person, a hypocrite, or hopefully a man/woman after God’s own heart. Why all of these names? Because it identifies our character when someone is speaking to a friend and they make reference to us. Notice from the names, that while one name will drive that person away from you, one might interest them in knowing you, or at least speaking with you. Just from the name selected for you! Although folk will easily identify us based on the words we speak and with the tone used, but I pray that the actions they experience with you will convince them of whose you are. May the Jesus, born in a humble stable and lived on earth as the living Son of God, be evident in your character today and every day. Stay closely in tuned with Him through the Word of God and in daily communication (prayer) with Him, so that you may be ‘topped off’ each day with even more of Jesus. Keep it fresh and exciting friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank You for coming to earth as a baby, so that you would complete the purpose of the Father in providing everlasting hope for us. For there is no other way for us to see the gates of heaven without first accepting You as our Savior. You were introduced to us very early in the Bible, and many of us have accepted You as our Savior and Lord, so that we might celebrate with You one day in heaven! As we are reminded once again this Christmas of the hope that you bring, may we learn to truly celebrate even now, so that one day soon we will be comfortable in celebrating before our Father in heaven. Please touch the hearts of those who have not accepted You as Lord yet. May this be the first Christmas that they will truly be aware of the One whose birthday we celebrate! AMEN!

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

Christmas Gift Ideas

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

Friday, 2020-12-08

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!