Awestruck By Your Story

I believe we will see from todays Bible story that it is more important to share our story about how Jesus Christ made a difference in our life, than to just hang with other believers and soak up more of His goodness. Hopefully this Scripture will force us to reflect on our goal in life, and redirect our efforts, if necessary, so that God may be glorified in and through us.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 5:17-20
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 … the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone! 18 So he got back into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demons begged Jesus to let him go along. 19 But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”
20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns[a] of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and they were awestruck by his story.

APPLICATION: Jesus performed a miracle by freeing a man from the demons that possessed him. He was haunted and terrorized by the demons, but Jesus made the demons come out of him. Word of this miracle quickly got back to the neighboring towns, causing curiosity seekers to rush to the area to see what could possibly be going on. This upset the Pharisees, as this one act drew more attention than their years of teaching from the Scriptures, so they asked Jesus to leave. I know, you’ve heard stories just like this about a local church near you, right? Unfortunately, in this world we are led to believe that we must be the center of attraction, and that our acts of giving, teaching or preaching is enough to draw unbelievers to church. But notice in our story, the people were drawn to the works of the Creator – God. Perhaps for some, it was just their curiosity, but I believe that for others, it may have been because they had certain personal issues that they wished the Master would also remove from their lives. This reminds me so much about our churches and our groups of Believers today, for we seem to be very inward focused in our ministries and our witness to others. But friends, I believe that Jesus is saying to us, like He did to the healed man, don’t just hang around Me and the comfortable things of life, go to your family and friends and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Did you ever stop to think about how many lives could be touched by our ‘story of salvation’, compared to the endless sermons on various parts of the Bible? Sermons tend to show Believers the truth of God’s Word and help us know our Savior more intimately. Sharing our story with an unsaved friend helps them confirm that Jesus is real and that the same Jesus that touched our life and healed our illnesses and our sin, would definitely also listen to them. You see, we feel so comfortable around other believers because they are our brothers and sisters. But when an unbeliever tries to look at our group, can’t you see how they may feel inferior, imperfect or too impacted by sin for a Holy God to even consider touching their life? We can help them break down those walls by sharing our ‘story’ with them. For even though we may not have murdered anyone, or robbed a bank, yet we were steeped in sin when Jesus found us and saved us from all our iniquities. We were, just as they are now, and if Jesus saved us, we know that He could also save them. Who knows, your friends might be just as awestruck hearing how Jesus saved you, as the friends of the demoniac was when they heard his ‘story’!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for looking beyond our faults, our disobedience, our sin, our disrespect and our lack of love for our family and friends, and You acted on our cry for salvation. Only a God like You will go that far. But God, I pray that You will make such a change in our lives that unbelievers will stop and listen to our story of meeting, and being accepted by, the Creator of our universe. Thank You Lord for our pastors, church leaders and Sunday School teachers, but please touch the lives of every believer who reads this devotional today and impress upon each one the importance of them also sharing their personal story of faith in God, dependence on Him and His response to their prayers. May sharing this story bring positive reactions from unbelievers and cause them to look closer at the living Christ who can do ALL things. May Your kingdom come today as we be about Your work. 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

But God….

Being around some young people recently and hearing their stories of challenges that kids are dealing with today, it reminded me how easily our minds are swayed by peers. It sounds like kids today are challenged with believing in God, because they are confused why God would do God-like things – such as hating sin; loving everyone – even sinners; disciplining those He loves – as any good father would do; etc. As we meditate on the encounter Moses had with God, and the God-sized task given to him, let’s carefully examine our own lives and especially the times that we question God.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-03-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 3:9-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 
Eternal One: The plea of Israel’s children has come before Me, and I have observed the cruel treatment they have suffered by Egyptian hands. 10 So go. I’m sending you back to Egypt as My messenger to the Pharaoh. I want you to gather My people—the children of Israel—and bring them out of Egypt.[c]
Moses (to God): 11 Who am I to confront Pharaoh and lead Israel’s children out of Egypt?
Eternal One: 12 Do not fear, Moses. I will be with you every step of the way, and this will be the sign to you that I am the One who has sent you……

OBSERVATION: Being around some young people recently and hearing their stories of challenges that kids are dealing with today, it reminded me how easily our minds are swayed by peers. It sounds like kids today are challenged with believing in God, because they are confused why God would do God-like things – such as hating sin; loving everyone – even sinners; disciplining those He loves – as any good father would do; etc. As we meditate on the encounter Moses had with God, and the God-sized task given to him, let’s carefully examine our own lives and especially the times that we question God.

APPLICATION: Allow me to share a few personal experiences that may help me better illustrate what I believe happened in the life of Moses when he encountered God on Mount Horeb. The job I held in the Bahamas took me to several Family Islands. At one of them, I found my way to the house of God on Sunday, as was my custom. I was told that there was no preacher for the following Sunday, so there would either be no church service, or Brother Ed (myself) could volunteer to lead us. Like Moses, I responded in awe and quickly told them that I was not a preacher. BUT GOD in His infinite wisdom, gave me a word to share with His people the following Sunday, and for several Sundays while I was employed on that island. At another island, there was a similar experience with leading the Youth Group at the church we attended. God convinced me to serve there, and He was consistently by my side as the young people were ministered to each week. At yet another island, there was a need in the radio broadcast from the church we attended. Absolutely no experience, BUT GOD led me to help in that work for the years I served on that island. Coming to the USA, there was first a need to teach a Sunday School class. Again, no experience with that, BUT GOD in His wisdom gave me the necessary skills to teach for about 25 years while at that church. Additionally, a need arose for a Music Director. I loved to sing, but had no clue about the different notes or timing or anything else about music, BUT GOD gave me the wisdom to not only lead the congregation, but also the choir, for a number of years. I could go on bragging on God, but I believe you may have gathered from my examples that God is merely looking for our availability and not our abilities. I felt a lot like Moses in that the people knew it had to be God doing the work, because Moses wasn’t qualified in what he was called to do, nor was I. It is natural for us to look at our qualifications and experience when called on to complete a job, but as children of God we must never forget that it’s God who should be credited for the job we do, as we are way too much like Moses – we’re not qualified; we’re just a nobody; the authorities probably have never even heard of us; etc. BUT GOD is infinite in knowledge, wisdom, mercy, and His great love for everyone that He created. I trust that as you meditate on this word today, you will reflect on all that God has proven, promised and completed already, and that you will be reassured that even though you have no personal qualifications for the work needed at your church and in your community, you serve an awesome God who can do all things in and through those who place their trust in Him. He’s a great BIG GOD who can do way more than we could think or imagine. Trust Him today dear friend. Know Him today dear sinner, and experience the love that surpasses all understanding!

PRAYER: From a burning bush You challenged Moses with a task that seemed totally impossible to him. He had no governmental experience nor any passes for the royal palace, yet You chose him to stand in Your stead before the king who was responsible for mistreating Your people. Most readers will probably feel like they would never be asked to take on such a challenge, however we were reminded of the power of our awesome God who used a simple messenger like Moses to not only deal with a wicked king, but also lead a multitude out of Egypt. What a mighty God we serve! AMEN!

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

Overwhelmed By The Power of Jesus

Think about a time in your life where you witnessed the awesome power, love and/or grace of the Master. As you do, I believe you will better identify with the disciples who had just witnessed the miracles of: walking on the water; saving a distracted disciple and calming the rough and troubled waters around them. Perhaps you also will be refreshed in your spirit and led to the feet of the Master where you will simply and sincerely worship Him, because you are reminded of the true Son of God!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-02-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 14:32-33
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 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.[j] They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!

OBSERVATION: Think about a time in your life where you witnessed the awesome power, love and/or grace of the Master. As you do, I believe you will better identify with the disciples who had just witnessed the miracles of: walking on the water; saving a distracted disciple and calming the rough and troubled waters around them. Perhaps you also will be refreshed in your spirit and led to the feet of the Master where you will simply and sincerely worship Him, because you are reminded of the true Son of God!

APPLICATION: What might your ‘rough waters’ look like today? You know, the ones that may be causing you to feel all alone – even by the Master? These might be: Perhaps sickness – for we have sure heard about more complex, no cure type sicknesses lately; Perhaps loss of loved ones – for this COVID virus has been responsible for many deaths, including some of our very closest relatives; Perhaps rough financial waters – for many have been unemployed over the past year while businesses closed to help ward off the spread of the deadly COVID virus. Whatever it is, we just hurt, and we feel so alone – in fact, we sometimes feel like Jesus must have passed right on by us. As we reflect on this Biblical story, I believe that Jesus must be amused at times with His children! I’m sure that when the storms arose on the lake that night, the disciples must have been crying out to God for help? Yet when Jesus approached, the disciples were afraid that it was a ghost! Were they not expecting God to respond to their cries for help? What about us, don’t we seem just as shocked and surprised when we see help coming our way? In fact, don’t we tend to immediately think that we have fallen into ‘good luck’? Oh for the faith of Peter once he received confirmation that it was Jesus approaching the boat, for Peter asked Jesus if he could also walk on water towards Him. Yes, he asked Jesus to perform a miracle by having him do the impossible in man’s eyes – walk on water. There are a lot of sermons preached around the idea of this miracle and all that took place, but I would rather have us apply this scenario to our own personal situations where we cry out to Jesus in our times of need. How often are we willing to ‘step out of the boat’ (a secure place) and trust God to do all that He is capable of doing? My mind goes to a kidney donor who knows that they could save the life of a loved one or friend if they donate their kidney to them, but how many are willing to risk their own lives in the bold effort to donate and extend life for a loved one? There are some neat examples of the power of our awesome God in this story that might give us confidence: The disciples had been rowing all night (it was about 4am when Jesus met up with them) yet Jesus got to them just in time to help save them. He may have walked the whole way from the edge of the lake, or He may have just appeared a short ways from the boat. Nonetheless, He miraculously caught up with them without a boat. These men had never before seen anyone walk on water, as they were always of the understanding that was impossible, yet Jesus did it, and He authorized Peter to do it. This was no ordinary man! As Jesus and Peter entered the boat, the rough waters subsided. God made the waters, and only He could manage their actions, so the men immediately knew that Jesus was indeed God. So what about us? Do we need a personal miracle like Peter and the disciples witnessed? Or can we, in faith, believe that the same Jesus who walked on water, had Peter walk on water, and calmed the waters of the lake, is the same Jesus who we call on for our respective needs today? Friends, our Father is very capable of still performing miracle after miracle even for us. There’s no problem or difficulty that God can’t handle, and we know that He loves us immeasurably, so we must have faith to believe that He will ‘walk on water’ or take whatever steps necessary to help us in our time of need, hurt and/or difficulty. Like the disciples who witnessed all that took place that night, imagine how we also will bend our knees before the Father and worship Him from the overflow of blessings, healing and love poured out on us. Friends, we serve an awesome, all-powerful God who is able to not only meet our needs, but to exceed our wildest expectations. Let us worship Him from the very depths of our heart for all His goodness today and every day.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I have no doubt that You are well aware of the ‘rough waters’ my friends and I are facing these days here on earth. Thank You for reminding us about the way You arrived on the scene of trouble for Peter and his fellow disciples at just the right time. Many times we feel like we are in a state of urgency and need You here with us at your earliest convenience. What a comfort to know that our Father is all-powerful and very capable of handling our ‘rough waters’ when we call on You. Please continue to guide us, protect us and reassure us of Your love, and that You will once again walk on water, if need be, to meet with us and handle our emergency. We love You Lord, and look forward to being in Your presence where we might worship You endlessly. While here on earth, please use us for Your glory, to encourage others who need You. AMEN!

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

No Worries – I’ve Got You!

Just this past weekend family and friends encouraged a loved one, as he felt like there was not much value in his continued presence here on earth without his dear wife, whose death seemed eminent. Perhaps you’ve felt like that a time or two also, for the burden seemed harder than anything you could handle, and life beyond that point, without a miracle, seemed hopeless. But In our Scripture today, God spoke very soberly to Paul and made him aware that his continued presence here on earth would become even more meaningful, as he, and others, looked on in amazement at what God could truly do, even through broken man. Join me as we look deeper into the Scriptures today and apply them to our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-06-29
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you,[j] and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.[k] 10 So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

OBSERVATION: Just this past weekend family and friends encouraged a loved one, as he felt like there was not much value in his continued presence here on earth without his dear wife, whose death seemed eminent. Perhaps you’ve felt like that a time or two also, for the burden seemed harder than anything you could handle, and life beyond that point, without a miracle, seemed hopeless. But In our Scripture today, God spoke very soberly to Paul and made him aware that his continued presence here on earth would become even more meaningful, as he, and others, looked on in amazement at what God could truly do, even through broken man. Join me as we look deeper into the Scriptures today and apply them to our lives.

APPLICATION: I believe there are at least two things in this Scripture today for us to meditate on: 1). How Paul found himself in this dilemma, and 2). How God chose to answer Paul’s prayer. So let’s dig in: 1). Paul had been privileged to speak with a man who had witnessed the joys of Heaven, and of course he was ecstatic about the experience. He had already decided that although this was an awesome privilege afforded to him, he would refuse to boast of the experience. God recognized that this was an extraordinary privilege given to Paul, and He didn’t want this to create such a pride in Paul that it may caused him to feel more blessed than most other men who had never been so lucky. So To make sure that Paul gave credit only to God for His wondrous acts, God placed an obstacle in Paul’s life that caused him to attribute praise to God alone. Paul was an awesome preacher/pastor and, no doubt, could have used his experience as an awesome example, but God would not have it. On three different occasions Paul asked that he be excused of this ‘thorn’/obstacle, but now we will look at how God chose to answer Paul’s request; 2). In response to our prayers, we normally expect a ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Not yet’ type of response, but God told Paul that there was no need to request removal of the ‘thorn’, as His precious grace, God’s undeserved favor towards Paul, was sufficient for his every need. So let me suggest that you consider joining me in using this scenario in our personal experience. Let’s assume that you or I are following the call of Christ and ministering in a very challenged area of our country, or overseas. We were blessed to see a miracle transpire – one that you and fellow believers prayed diligently for. Now we are ready to let the world know that our prayers were effective, but it seems like every opportunity that we make to share that joy is either canceled, or distracted in a major way. In fact, God makes it very clear to us that we are not to mention our involvement in prayer at all, for it was ONLY His miraculous grace and power that brought about the healing miracle. Can you begin to see what Paul may have encountered? Friends, this is a very real problem. I’ve seen friends spend thousands of dollars to travel hundreds of miles to attend a healing service of a TV Evangelist, because they saw over and over how powerful his healing services were. Do you see who is receiving the praise in that? Our God is present and available to bring about a miracle anywhere that we ask in His name, believing that He alone has the power. Sure we could ask others to pray with us, or even over us. But don’t think for a moment that individual has any special healing power. God alone is the Healer, the Giver of life and the only One who could save us of our sin. Unless we connect directly with Him, we are merely wasting our time. So I believe that our lesson from this text today is that we must always remember our position, our strength and our weaknesses. Yes we know an awesome God and have a great relationship with Him, but we must never fail to let Him be God and do those things that are only possible by God. Praise God, we serve an awesome and all powerful God!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You designed us and you know every little intricate detail about us. You know our needs before we could even ask, but yet I believe that You patiently listen to us and desire to see us whole again. Please Lord, help us to pay close attention to what Paul encountered, and especially to what you gave to him in return for his request to rid him of the ‘thorn’ placed in his side. We are so weak Lord, and incapable of hardly taking good care of ourselves, much less trying to make ourselves whole again. So we depend wholly and solely on You Lord. We need You every moment of every day, and we especially need Your awesome power to heal us of our diseases, heal our broken bodies and clear our minds so that we look only to You when we need a touch from God. Lord, You are awesome. Please forgive us of our littleness and our weaknesses. We are constantly reminded of our need for the grace and power of our King. Please be a constant reminder to us of whose we are, and who has the power to make us whole again. For it’s in Your name alone that we pray, You alone that we depend on, and You alone that we lift up our praises to. AMEN!

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

The Invaluable Testimony of Eyewitness

I believe that Moses realized that the younger generation of Israelites might be entering into the Promised Land without ever having witnessed the powerful hand of God through the many miracles in Egypt, and in the wilderness. I believe that the older generation were probably content in their tents knowing that they had witnessed a lot in their day and that hopefully their children would never have to face those challenges again. We will consider the application to our current day situation, as we reflect on the dilemma Moses saw with his people, at such a celebrative time in their history….

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-07-10
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 11:1-2; 7 (ERV)

Text:

 “So you must love the Lord your God. You must do what he tells you to do and always obey his laws, rules, and commands. Remember today all the great things the Lord your God has done to teach you. It was you, not your children, who saw those things happen and lived through them. You saw how great he is. You saw how strong he is, and you saw the powerful things he does.

It was you, not your children, who saw all the great things the Lord did.

OBSERVATION:
I believe that Moses realized that the younger generation of Israelites might be entering into the Promised Land without ever having witnessed the powerful hand of God through the many miracles in Egypt, and in the wilderness. I believe that the older generation were probably content in their tents knowing that they had witnessed a lot in their day and that hopefully their children would never have to face those challenges again. We will consider the application to our current day situation, as we reflect on the dilemma Moses saw with his people, at such a celebrative time in their history….
APPLICATION:
Gossip generally starts when one is trying to relay a story based on something they thought they heard someone else say. Exaggerations are generally added, especially to slant the belief of the hearer towards the feelings of the story teller. But if experiences are never shared with others, the lessons that you learned will not help others, or give them a ray of hope through all that they are facing. God brought the Israelites through so much that their experiences are spread across several books in the Bible, yet this younger generation was preparing to enter into uncharted territory, facing huge obstacles, and Moses was afraid that they would probably face these with little hope or trust in the God from whom their forefathers witnessed miracle after miracle. Has things changed? Do our kids know about the miracles in the lives of our parents and grandparents? Do they know about the faith as demonstrated by your uncle? Do they know that the same God who raised Lazarus from the grave, is the same God available to them today and they too can experience His awesome grace and power? Don’t forget friends, there are folk that will deliberately get into conversation with you today, because they may have seen your faith at work, or they’ve heard of the faith that you may have in your Master. Don’t brush them off because you’re at work, or you’re at the grocery store. God arranged the meeting place and the circumstance so that someone might hear your story today. Don’t let Him down! Family will probably call or stop by today and although there might be several reasons for their visit, one might be that they want some of your faith to rub off on them. Let me encourage you to share wherever and whenever you can. The obvious place is at church friends, for most people attend, looking for hope, for answers, for a better way. Be interested in those that you speak with, and not just a casual handshake or smile, for they may enter their future without ever having been touched by the blessings God showered on you. Your sharing with them might be the final thing that convinces them to meet the originator of miracles – our God! Do your part by share what God has done for you personally friend. There is nothing like an eyewitness account!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You bless us immensely each and every day, and You have not only performed miracles in our own lives, but also in the lives of relatives that have shared experiences with us. Please help us to share with others how You have blessed us, and Lord, please use those circumstances to draw folk to you. Help us to share in simple form what You have miraculously done for us. No need for exaggeration, Your power is enough to draw folk to You and to save the most hardened sinner. Lord, I look forward to sharing with others today, God being my helper, 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 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!

How Easily We Forget

Many crowds followed Jesus because of all the miracles they had heard of Him performing, and at times these crowd would stick around for days on end. Those closest to Him – His disciples, were with Him on two occasions when the crowds stayed overnight without food. The disciples had personally witnessed and participated in the first miracle, yet when the second opportunity presented itself, they acted as though it had never happened. Let’s look into whether we do any better today.

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-05-08
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 8:1-5 (MSG)

Text:

1-3 At about this same time he again found himself with a hungry crowd on his hands. He called his disciples together and said, “This crowd is breaking my heart. They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they’ll faint along the way—some of them have come a long distance.”His disciples responded, “What do you expect us to do about it? Buy food out here in the desert?”

He asked, “How much bread do you have?”

“Seven loaves,” they said.

OBSERVATION:
Many crowds followed Jesus because of all the miracles they had heard of Him performing, and at times these crowd would stick around for days on end. Those closest to Him – His disciples, were with Him on two occasions when the crowds stayed overnight without food. The disciples had personally witnessed and participated in the first miracle, yet when the second opportunity presented itself, they acted as though it had never happened. Let’s look into whether we do any better today.
APPLICATION:
Right up front I want us to be reminded that Jesus is not like Santa Claus who will give us a treat once a year, if we’ve been good. Neither is He a puppet that will respond the same way in every scenario at our every whim. He is God and He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. What is very much the same for us today is that the credentials of our Lord, are nothing less that miraculous and totally outstanding! What this means for us is that we should have learned by now that God is in control, and not we ourselves. Based on His record of miracles in the Bible, and what we have heard from fellow believers, we should come before Him asking in the name of Jesus, in accordance with His perfect will, knowing that He has the power to do whatsoever we might ask. To simplify this thought, imagine us praying that God would make a blind person to see, if He has an awesome ministry for that person to achieve – especially because of their blindness. Imagine us praying for our daughter to marry a prince, when God already has everything aligned for her to marry a future president of a very large country, or marry a young man whom God will use powerfully in ministry with an awesome young lady by his side, like our daughter! I believe the impact of this story is that in spite of the mountains, or impossibilities that may blind us from seeing all that God can do, we should never forget that He’s in control, and that there is absolutely nothing that is impossible with God. His timing is perfect, so please don’t ask Him to do something next week that He may see better results from in handling the situation today. Let’s learn to quote past occurrences of miracles such as the one we are asking for, and let’s not limit our God to the restricted use of our humanly vision. He is God, and if He fed over 5,000 before with just a few fish and loaves of bread, we have confidence that He could do it again, if this is His will. Let’s be the cheerleaders to a God that can, not sinful doubters that something might be beyond His reach. If He walked on water before, we have no reason to doubt that He could do it again!
PRAYER:
Although we limit our requests of You to what seems possible in our eyes, oh Lord, I pray that as Your dedicated, loyal followers, we might learn to stay attuned to all You have already accomplished, and the wide opened possibilities that are Yours because of who You are. Please help us to remove doubt and our limitations from the equation, knowing that ALL things are possible with our God. Please grant us faith to place our trust whole heartedly in You Lord, so that all doubt will be removed and instead Your children be filled with power from above to simple trust and obey. 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 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!

The Main Attractors

THE HOLY BIBLEJohn 12:17-19 – New Living Translation (NLT): 17 Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. 18 That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!”  

THOUGHTS: Like the folk in Jesus’ day, we also have many folk today who are anxious to know what this ‘Jesus’ is all about, that they keep hearing friends talk about. But I wonder, what are they seeing? Are they seeing any difference in Christians than what they see in their sinner friend from work or in their friends they meet at the local bar? Let’s take a moment and consider some of the similarities and/or differences between the folk in the story told by John and in our particular scenario today. Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the grave, and they were spreading the good news to others they came into contact with. Now granted, most of us may not have actually seen someone brought to life, but what about the answer to prayer for various challenges in your life that you have no explanation for, other than a miracle from God? Here’s my challenge for you: how many family or friends have you shared the good news about this miracle? If like me, I bet you’re ashamed to respond that you have shared no where near as much as you should have, considering the unbelievable miracle(s) that occurred in your life. So friend, what have we done to encourage those in our realm of influence to gain a desire to want to see, or meet our Jesus? Just like the Pharisees did, wouldn’t it be exciting to hear Satan’s cohorts give up in disgust, or throw their hands up in surrender, because there is nothing else they could think of that would help them regain their power over God’s children? Friends, the unsaved will be encouraged to see our Jesus, if they believe that we have enough value in our relationship with Him that might be attractive to them. But how will they know, if we don’t make that known? I was challenged in reading this because I realized that the welfare of others may be contingent upon my openness to share the goodness of my Savior. How about you?

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for hearing our prayers and answering so powerfully in so many ways and in so many circumstances. Please forgive us for keeping that awesome news to ourselves and not sharing that openly with our friends. Just as John shared how the crowd showed up to see You because of the publicity by those who saw Your miraculous works, I pray that the ‘crowds’ today will have a greater desire to meet You and know You, because of our witness and the awesome story of Your great works. I ask all this in the wonderful name of Jesus, the great healer and miracle worker, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Faith That Leads to Obedience

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – John 4:47-50): 47 ..when the man heard that Jesus had come from Judea, he went and begged him to keep his son from dying. 48 Jesus told the official, “You won’t have faith unless you see miracles and wonders!49 The man replied, “Lord, please come before my son dies!” 50 Jesus then said, “Your son will live. Go on home to him.” The man believed Jesus and started back home.

THOUGHTS: There are several things about this story that caught my attention:

  • Reputation: Notice that the official had heard about Jesus and His mighty works in the past, otherwise why would it have mattered if he heard that Jesus was coming to his town? People are burdened with needs today. Have they heard enough about Jesus and His mighty works in our churches and our families that they would become as determined as the official to take their concerns to Jesus? Is this our first stop – to take our deepest needs and concerns to Jesus?
  • Need: The official recognized a need that existed in his family, and he wanted to have it resolved. I believe that when we glorify God for all the good that He does every day, then we will automatically turn to Him in our needs also. Furthermore, I believe it is vital that we redirect our attention from the small selfish things and concentrate on the needs of others – especially our family members. Jesus, our role model, was always more concerned about others than of Himself;
  • Our view of Miracles: The official had predetermined ideas of what Jesus could, or could not do. Jesus chose to change His previous history of ‘hands on’ miracles, to merely heal the official’s son based on the faith of the father who asked and believed. That tells me that we must simply share our concerns with the Lord and not try to tell Him how, or when, to do His mighty works. God declares in His Word that His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. He is the potter, and we are merely the clay subject to His molding every day. In His molding process, He can fix broken or marred pieces along the way;
  • Faith and Obedience: Notice that the official didn’t turn away angry because Jesus didn’t do what he asked him to do. He had faith to believe in God and obediently follow His instructions. Will we just as easily turn aside and head back home with just a ‘go back home’ from the Lord? Where is your faith, friend? In this case, the obedience of the official resulted in extreme faith by he and his whole family, for in verse 53 we are told that they all placed their faith and trust in Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear God, Your Word is filled with proof that You are the great Physician; Healer and Miracle Worker. Yet You are also our Creator; our Savior and our Lord. Thank You for reminding us of being obedient to You even when You don’t respond exactly as we expect or may even demand. Thank You for the example of this official, for we are reminded that we are to be the obedient followers and not the demanding children trying to tell the Almighty God what to do or how to do it. This official simply followed Your command and great things happened. Lord, may we too be obedient servants, and simply let You be God. You know our needs and concerns today. Please have Your will and way in each of these and in growing us to be more like You every day, so that others may see, and believe in You. For I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Woe To You……

Scripture: Genesis 36 – 37; Matthew 11  

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God.21 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.22 I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.23 “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today.24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”   Matt 11:20-24 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that too often we tend to think about how good we are as a church, or a nation, that God would surely bless everyone in it. I also think that we tend to take it for granted that because we go to this or that church every week we will also go to heaven. Friends, there is only one way to get there, and that is to accept Jesus as Lord of you life. Just like Jesus may have done numerous miracles in our church, or in our family, so we may be tempted to think that we too are among those blessed, and will surely reap God’s blessings. These verses tell us that although Jesus performed many miracles in these towns, yet they (the people) will surely die and go to hell if they don’t make personal decisions to accept Him. We too must turn to God, and not think for a moment that we can depend on our blessed lineage to also slip into Heaven. It just doesn’t happen that way. Woe to any that believe that way. A personal decision to accept Jesus is THE only way to ever see Jesus and/or Heaven. The one good thing is that, if you are able to read this devotional today, there is still time for you to make the type decision of which I speak about here. Don’t delay your decision friend, we are not promised one moment past the present breath. Contact me if you would like a friend to talk with about this decision. Directly from God’s Word I will find the words to help you in your decision to accept Jesus. Respond to this posting today, please?

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Thank You Father for saving my soul. please help me to be sensitive to those who have yet to make this most important decision. Please direct me to someone today that I may help in their dilemma so that they may personally know that they will see You one day, regardless of what may go on around them. Thank You for making this provision for us and providing a means for forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life.

Think about your ‘Marker’

Scripture: Genesis 33-35 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

14 Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil.15 And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.   Gen 35:14-15 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Jacob went to Bethel because he was reminded of how God revealed Himself to him there when he originally escaped from his brother Esau over 20 years earlier. While there the second time, God gave Jacob a new name, Israel, gave him renewed strength to repopulate the land, and gave him much of the land that He (God) had once given to Abraham and Isaac. I got the impression that God was giving Jacob/Israel a new beginning, and telling him “Now go and get busy for me”. We just celebrated the beginning of a New Year. It started much like the old year ended, without much ado. It sure would have been nice to, and probably is not too late to, recommit ourselves to God as His children looking to restart our respective ministries and seek God’s direction for what He would have us do this year with all that He has blessed us with. I believe that if each of us reflect on the blessings that God has showered on us over the past year, then plant a marker to remind us of those blessings, then in all earnest seek to be involved in God’s direction for more successes in 2011, our churches would not be able to contain the overflow of His blessings. I feel like we need to set aside our personal agendas and ‘business as usual’ attitudes, and be willing to let God work mightily through us. We know the awesome spiritual needs of our community, and we believe that we know the God who holds all the answers to all of life’s problems and shortcomings. This is the same God that we, as Christians, have accepted as our King. Let’s let go of our selfish desires and let God perform miracles in and through us, so that His work can be accomplished in our community.   

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Praise be to God for His mighty hand and for all that He does for me each and every day. In being reminded of how You worked in the past dear God, I pray that You will again work in and through me and my church, and the churches of my community. There is no reason for us to have lost people in this community, or sinful acts a part of our neighborhood, for You are more powerful than anything or anyone else that we know. You are bigger than all these problems and challenges that we see, and You hold the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. I pray that You will find me faithful. I pray that You will find all those that worship You each week around Avon Park, Florida, willing and ready to bow before You, recognize Your Lordship and Your Kingship and that we will get off our personal thrones and allow You to be God, while we, as Your humble servants, stand ready to let You use us to do greater things for the Kingdom than we ever thought possible. May this be a year that we will look on as a ‘marker’ that future generations will come back to spiritually when they want to be reminded of Your power and move on a people and a community. Begin a renewed work in me, dear Lord, is my humble prayer.