Let Nothing Stop You

In a marriage ceremony we commit to being loyal and honorable to our spouse whether in good or bad health, whether rich or poor, for as long as we both shall live. I wish we would commit, like Paul, in desiring to stay true to our Lord and Master, whether we live or whether we die. In this life, I believe we can add: whether in good times or in challenging times; whether in prison or through the good times of freedom; and so on. Meditate with me as we look at this Scripture today.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-11-18
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Philippians 1:20
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 

APPLICATION: This wish by Paul was expressed while still in jail. A time when most would curse God for allowing such atrocities in their life, yet Paul was praising God for using him, even while in custody. Paul had received reports that there were men trying to take his place on the streets by ministering in Jesus’ name, but Paul’s associates felt like they were false prophets/evangelists. At a time when we would become super frustrated and call for the men of the community to do something about these false teachers, Paul chose to praise God, for His name still being mentioned, even while he was in prison. Can you see where all of these things would really have rubbed us the wrong way? Yet Paul was content in his circumstances and what was going on outside the prison during his absence. However, even while admiring Paul for all of the above, I believe that the Holy Spirit got my attention with the very last words of Paul in verse 20, and it is that thought that I really want to encourage with you with today. Paul’s deep desire was that ‘… I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die.’ Think about this and try to apply this to your circumstances my friend. No matter what circumstances you are going through, what would you testify is your deepest desire? Imagine this: ‘though I lost my greatest love, yet I desire to honor Christ in everything I say or do’; ‘though I lost my job while still owing a lot of money to my debtors, yet my greatest desire is that I honor Christ in everything I do or say’; ‘though I was committed to prison without a legal reason, much like Paul was, yet my greatest desire is that I honor Christ in everything I do or say’; ‘though I spent many years of blood, sweat and tears over that awesome church, and hate to see the new philosophies implemented after they chose to replace me, yet my greatest desire is that I honor Christ in everything I do or say, whether inside that community or where I am currently located’; etc, etc. Precious friends, I believe that the principle, or the lesson that God wants us to learn from Paul, is that we need to get over ourselves and accept His perfect will for our lives. Circumstances will come, but they may all be a part of God’s perfect plan. It is our choice to praise, worship and honor our Maker in all His ways, means and circumstances. I pray that we will always accept His almighty purpose in our lives, that will ultimately bring glory to Himself. Let NOTHING stop you in your commitment to honor God in every circumstance of life!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Oh that I will always be an honor to Christ.

PRAYER: Lord, what I have shared in this devotional is virtually impossible in our feeble minds and limited abilities, so I beg of You to strengthen our will every day to face that which You will place before us. Regardless of our circumstances, let us never fail to represent You in prime fashion. The unsaved will not benefit from another one who will whine about their selfish desires, for they need a Savior to see them out of their pit. Please use us as Your holy instruments to show the world who Jesus is, and what He means to us. May Your Kingdom work be enriched because of our efforts today, and may others have reason to give You praise for seeing Your precious work fulfilled through us, in spite of our circumstances. 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!

Can’t Help Telling

Gossip is one of those evils that many of us become involved in, and we just can’t help ourselves from sharing the juicy news that we just heard from a friend! But think about it, when something miraculous or disastrous happens in our lives, we openly share that with family and friends also. Peter and John was much like us, in that they didn’t feel like anything, or anyone, could stop them from sharing the outstanding miracles they witnessed while in the presence of Jesus. As we meditate, let me encourage you to think of the miracles in your life, and whether you were as prone to share that news as our brothers (disciples) did in this story.

Tuesday, 2019-12-24

Bible Reference: Acts 4:18-20
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 18 The leaders brought the prisoners back in and prohibited them from doing any more speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. 19 Peter and John listened quietly and then replied: You are the judges here, so we’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it is right in the sight of God to obey your commands or God’s. 20 But one thing we can tell you: we cannot possibly restrain ourselves from speaking about what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.

OBSERVATION: Gossip is one of those evils that many of us become involved in, and we just can’t help ourselves from sharing the juicy news that we just heard from a friend! But think about it, when something miraculous or disastrous happens in our lives, we openly share that with family and friends also. Peter and John was much like us, in that they didn’t feel like anything, or anyone, could stop them from sharing the outstanding miracles they witnessed while in the presence of Jesus. As we meditate, let me encourage you to think of the miracles in your life, and whether you were as prone to share that news as our brothers (disciples) did in this story.

APPLICATION: Is there anything more beautiful than a newborn baby? Is there anything that will prevent that mother, father or grandparents from bragging about the new addition to their family? What about that young man who was given his death sentence by an attending physician, but later found that God had intervened, healed his body, and restored him to perfect health? Would you ever imagine him staying silent about his miracle, and the God who ordained it all? But as for our Christian friends, isn’t it amazing how we tend to listen to those leaders mentioned in verse 18, and try to avoid being offensive to anyone, or hurting the feelings of the criminal down the street, and we stay in our little corner and keep very quiet, or we try to avoid the subject of our faith while speaking in the presence of that individual. Why, in the United States, Christians sat back and allowed Satan and his followers to take God out of our school system – no prayer in schools – much like the leaders were telling Peter and John to do. At work; in the restaurants and around our business places, often you will find that patrons listen very carefully to Satan’s leaders and do their best to avoid hurting the feelings of every one else. Or is that really what Christians are afraid of (hurting the feelings of others)? Peter said that the leaders could draw whatever conclusions they wanted and/or demanded them to do, but nothing, or no one could stop them from sharing the love expressed to them, the miracles that took place right before their eyes, the intimate times of praise and worship they enjoyed with the Master, and the promises that He shared with them. In fact, it was so embedded in their minds and in their hearts, that NOTHING or NO ONE could stop them from sharing it with others. So why are we not like our Brothers (Peter and John)? Do we have something to share? If so, why would we ever allow anyone to stop us from sharing that exciting news with someone else? May I challenge you dear Christian believer, that we find it very easy to share with others what we fill our hearts and lives with? A good baseball game the night before, will result in an exciting discussion the next morning at work. A graduation party will result in a lot of bragging about our precious kids the following morning. But what about a church service where kids surrendered their sinful hearts to a holy God – the Creator and Master of this universe? They turned from the wickedness and sin of this challenging world, and decided to follow Jesus! Why listen to worldly leaders and hide that exciting news? Surely we would not opt to see them die and go eternally to Hell with Satan and his demons, while we know from experience how we might help them avoid that pitfall? What’s your stance today dear friend? What do you do in these situations? What would you prefer doing when these situations arise again?

PRAYER: For all that You are, all that You do for us, and for all that You have promised us for eternity, we give You eternal thanks oh God. You are our hope today and throughout eternity. Please continue to prompt us towards holiness and righteousness because of Jesus. Please remove every selfish desire, and give us boldness to share the love extended to us by Your Son, so that others may know You and want to serve You while still remaining on earth. We have everything to share, and nothing to fear, and with Your strength, wisdom and boldness I am convinced that we could assume the same stance as our Brothers Peter and John – nothing can stop us from sharing the love and power of our Lord that we have experienced ourselves. May You be glorified through everything we say or do oh Lord. AMEN!