Your Call To Ministry is Personal

As parents and church leaders, we may do an individual a disservice by trying to ‘push’ them into ministry for reasons that feel are logical or well-suited for them. Notice in today’s Scripture that God spoke to Samuel personally – no one else heard the call, not even his mentor, Eli, who was nearby. I believe that not all calls to service are audible, so meditate with me as we study this today.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2021-10-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 3:8-11
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord called Samuel for the third time. Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “I am here. You called me.”
Then Eli realized the Lord was calling the boy. So he told Samuel, “Go to bed. If he calls you again, say, ‘Speak, Lord. I am your servant and I am listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in bed.
10 The Lord came and stood there and called as he had before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel said, “Speak, Lord. I am your servant and I am listening.”
11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Watch, I am going to do something …..

APPLICATION: As a young boy I remember hearing a lot about ghosts, especially if a townsperson was buried that day! Often this would frighten kids enough to force them into refuge pretty close to mom and dad, especially for that night! Working around Eli, I’m sure that Samuel must have heard a lot about Eli’s encounters with God, so I wonder if, in the back of his mind, he didn’t suspect that it was God he was hearing from, and not a ghost, especially when he senses God standing over him. However, since this was a message about Eli, I could also believe that God wanted Eli to know that He was dealing with his student, Samuel. The interesting thing is, that Eli did not hear God speaking to Samuel, so he knew that God’s message was intended for Samuel and not for himself. Generally when we are speaking to just one person, it is a personal message intended just for them. By the third time God spoke to Samuel, he felt God standing over him, and just as earlier calls, God called him again. Based on advice from Eli, Samuel knew how to respond, and I am so impressed with the specific words used by Samuel. I believe that the application for us today, is that we must not shrug off the call of God on our life. For some this might be through signs and wonders; or through other children of God who will validate something that we suspected for a time, based on the work of the Holy Spirit in our life; yet for others it may be that God will point us to a specific passage of Scripture that affirms Your plan for us. Friends, God may choose to speak to us in a still small voice, like He did with Samuel, but to really get our attention, He may speak very boldly to us in a way that we will know that it is God Almighty. I have heard of stories where men have lived very miserable lives, because they chose to ignore the voice of God and the path He was leading them to. Let me encourage you today, that no matter what you have personally planned for tomorrow, be willing to set it all aside as naught if you receive a word from God. Listen to His voice; look for the confirmations throughout your day, and act on His instructions knowing that if God takes you to an assignment, He will surely help you through it. Remember the stories of Jesus sending His disciple out on mission? He told them to take nothing with them, yet He also told them to stay for as long as it takes. Jesus wanted them to learn to depend on Him for all good and necessary things that they needed in order to do His will. The disciples proved to us that it could be done, just be willing, like Samuel, to surrender your plans to follow the will of the Father. “I’m Your servant Lord, I’m listening and willing to obey whatever You would have me to do.” Saying those words to God will place you plum in the middle of God’s plan, and although He will change and remold you, I doubt if you will ever be bored again! Know that God could use anyone, so don’t assume that you misunderstood the call if He has other ministry opportunities for you that may, or may not include preaching, teaching or pastoring. ‘I’ll work til Jesus comes’ is the title of an old Sunday School chorus that was undoubtedly written by someone who surrendered it all to a call from Jesus on their life! Listen for God’s call, and be willing to obey His commands, dear child of God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Eli was the priest, so Samuel could have assumed that God was talking to him, but He was not. Our call is personal and intended for only us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! Just listen, obey, and don’t find excuses to wiggly out of what God has in store for you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive us when we assume that there is nothing we can do in Your kingdom work here on earth. Moses tried to wiggly out of his call, yet he wound up leading a multitude of people across a desert land because of his faith in the power of God. That same power is available to those who accept Your call today, so I pray that You will change our hearts and minds from the inside out. When we accept Your call, it’s no longer us doing the work, but You. Many of us need that reassurance today Lord, not because we doubt Your power, but often we are bashful, or we might be perfectionists who must insure that everything is done to our perfection, or we feel totally inadequate for the job assignment. Please make Your will very clear to each reader today, and fill us with Your power to accept Your call and complete the mission as You carefully instruct us to do. Oh that Your kingdom will experience growth as You challenge us, and use us for Your glory. 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!

Our God Will …

If we are not careful, our world can bombard us with so much stress, that we might wonder at times if it is really worth it all. But then we are reminded in Scriptures like this one today, that life seems impossible – if we try to do it alone. We serve an awesome, all powerful God who is ready and willing to answer our cry for oneness with Him. I am convinced that He longs to receive us, love on us and take good care of us until the day He calls us to live eternally with He and the Father. Why not meditate with me today as we analyze and satisfy ourselves as to the power of our God!

Saturday, 2021-08-28

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Scripture

Bible Text:  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.
7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.
9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

APPLICATION:  Like me, I would imagine that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what might be happening in the coming days, weeks and years, so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips – in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses of our Scripture today, let me remind you of Moses, God’s messenger and leader who had millions of people following him. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 
* Trust and reverence God;
* Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
* Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;
Just remember that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate in the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

PRAYER: Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

What Does God Require of You?

To make sure that we are doing everything right in our home, we try to ensure that we know what our parents want from us, or our landlord, our spouse expects of us. For those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, shouldn’t we also determine what Jesus requires of us? But where do we begin with that? Moses wanted to make sure the Israelites knew what God required of them, and so should we determine in our hearts to know what God expects of us. Stay with me as we pursue this.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-07-25
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 10:12-13; 16
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to listen carefully to all he says to you, and to obey for your own good the commandments I am giving you today, and to love him, and to worship him with all your hearts and souls?
16 Therefore, cleanse your sinful hearts and stop your stubbornness.

APPLICATION: For a child who gives the excuse ‘he thought that he had a good idea or what might be best in a situation’, mom or dad might quickly inform the child that they don’t make the rules around the home, they just follow the rules as already established by the parents! Similarly, when an employee decides to do something ‘their way’ instead of the established written procedure, they might expect to be fired for disobeying company rules and regulations. The Israelites had quite a record of ‘doing their own thing’, instead of obediently following the commands of God, the God who provided safety during their travels, food when they were hungry and water when thirsty. Yet through the whole journey to freedom, they were under the leadership of God’s faithful servants, Moses and Aaron. But now comes a very critical time, when they would be released to their own cognizance. Want to try one guess about what will happen? Moses knew that on their own, they would soon be in sad shape morally and relationally, for they would immediately fall back to their former gods and idols. So like any good Shepherd would do, Moses had a pep talk with the Israelites to outline what God expected of them. As I pondered the short list, I concluded that there was nothing extraordinary about the list that God would not also require of us today. It reminded me that God included these type lessons in His Book, so that all His children will learn about His truths and how to live until He calls us home to glory. So for our own good, here is a list of the instructions given by Moses:
~ Listen carefully to all He says to you – This will generally come through reading God’s Word, for He speaks intently through His Word to His children;
~ Obey the commandments given to us by God – There was purpose in God giving us His commandments. Obey them, dear children;
~ Love Him – When you consider how much God loved us, should we not love Him in return, with all our heart, soul and mind? To know Him, is to love Him;
~ Worship Him with all your heart and soul – On earth we say thank you, and we compliment folk all the time. For the God who has the power to do it all, give us all and be everything to us, we can only humbly kneel in prayer before Him, or offer up praise and worship to Him. Recognize Him for who He is, and we will quickly bow at His feet in worship;
When we find ourselves in awe of His goodness, and obedient to His call on our lives, then in our hearts we are forced to do as verse 16 says: ‘Cleanse our sinful hearts and stop our stubbornness’. Just accept His lordship and seek to faithfully follow Him all of your days!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: To know what the Master requires of us brings peace and contentment, because we then know what to aim at, and accomplish, in order to please Him in total obedience.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank You for who You are, and I thank You for not only giving the Israelites clear vision of what You require, but by placing this in Your Word for Christians of all times, I believe that You have also graced us with Your vision for how Your children should live. Please give us boldness to each day find the battle of sin here on this earth, and instead strive to live as You commanded., knowing that there will be many who will object to our methods and our practice. We want to honor You oh Lord. Please help us to stand firm among those who practice quite the opposite, for our goal will always be to please You oh King and obey Your commands. May You always be evident in every aspect of our lives, so that others will see Jesus working through us and give You glory as You deserve. 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!

Who Does He Think He Is?

I bet from the subject, you were probably curious to see who I was going to ‘talk’ about today! It’s not me who is planning to ‘talk’ about anyone, but I wanted to tell you about a man of God whose brother and sister-in-law chose to ‘talk’ about him, and the consequences that resulted for them. God is serious about His work, and I believe that He protects those who choose to earnestly and honestly do His work for His glory. For that person, stay tuned for the reminder. For those who choose to talk about God’s messengers, stay tuned for a story about the consequences of such behavior.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-06-13
WRITTEN AT: Florence, IN

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 12:1-4
TRANSLATION:Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 1-3 Although Moses was the most humble person in all the world, Miriam and Aaron started complaining, “Moses had no right to marry that woman from Ethiopia! Who does he think he is? The Lord has spoken to us, not just to him.”
The Lord heard their complaint and told Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to come to the entrance of the sacred tent.

APPLICATION: There is nothing more desirable than to be known by family, friends and coworkers as ‘the most humble person’ they ever knew. I believe that would be a life patterned after Jesus himself. But Moses was also considered ‘the most humble person in the world’, so it may be safe in following his example also. However, anytime someone looks at us as having ‘more of anything’ compared to them, then they will probably be out to destroy our credibility. But friends, we all are scrutinized and watched closely by others, especially those whom we least suspect. This was the case with Aaron and his wife, for they became very jealous of Moses and his stance on the things of God. You see, following the ways of God will never point us to prideful acts or words, for God’s Word teaches just the opposite. However, Aaron and Miriam listened one time too many to the adversary (Satan), so they started to follow his evil tactics against their very own brother. At this stage it would be good for us to remember that God is fully aware of our words, actions and thoughts, even when we think we are privately obscure to the world. God became angry at the idea of this couple’s jealousy and hatred, so He brought all three people together for His disciplinary actions. Do you suppose that there would be fewer church splits today if God was to continue this practice when He noticed our actions at times against our pastor or church leader? Friends, I agree that some church leaders, and perhaps even some pastors, are out for personal recognition and/or gain, and some churches deal with them very pointedly on this. However, the majority of God’s workers are striving to represent Him completely. Many workers are even depending on God to help them live according to His will and in obedience to His commands. Yes, we all wish that we could follow the example of the ‘perfect’ leaders, and receive the blessings that they enjoy through serving, but may I suggest that we try serving them by: praying for them; encouraging them; and giving to their cause? This would ease their stress and help them concentrate even more on the ministry God has called them to. As you join them in the ministry of our Master, know that you will also be blessed of God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Moses was protected by the God that he served! I believe that God will also bless us as we seek ways to serve Him and follow in obedience to His commands!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are merciful and filled with compassion for Your obedient and humble servants. You showed this in Your dealings with Aaron and Miriam as they complained about Moses, and I believe that You will also protect us as we seek to serve You today. Please bless those who are serving You today in our churches and on the mission field. Sure, they’re not perfect, but as they make every effort to be more like You every day, I pray that You will protect them, encourage them, and bless them immensely. Please speak to the heart of every reader today as they read Your Word, become excited about Your teachings and Your commands, and seek to follow in obedience. Oh Lord God, may You be glorified by Your subjects 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. 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!

Obedient To God’s Commands

As young kids many of us were trained to obey everything taught by our parents. Usually there were rewards for obedience and consequences for disobedience. As children of the Almighty God, we quickly learned that He had many more commands for us to follow, but it may have been more difficult to see and understand His guidance, rewards and consequences in response to our level of obedience/disobedience. I believe that today God will help us to see how His work among the Israelites is no different to His work among us. Invite God to speak to you personally as you meditate on His Word.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-06-09
WRITTEN AT: Orlando, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 9:15-18
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 When the congregation tent was finally erected and assembled, the cloud of the presence of God covered it and the place where the terms of the covenant were kept. In the dark of night, the presence of God looked like a fire and marked the spot until morning. 16 And so it continued—cloud cover by day, and something like fiery storm clouds at night. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted up, the Israelites would pack up and move, and wherever the cloud stopped, they would settle. 18 This is how the Eternal One indicated when the Israelites should travel and where they should set up camp. As long as the cloud stayed still over the congregation tent, the Israelites also stayed at their tents.

APPLICATION: In today’s environment we see where the strongest nation militarily, and/or financially, receives the attention of other nations not quite as fortunate in these areas. In our churches, I believe that we see where some churches really have a lot going for them in man’s eyes, and the crowds seem to be looking for a church that has a lot going on for children and adults – the whole family structure. But I am convinced that God is still after touching each heart individually and personally, and He is still looking at how well we obey Him and His commands. Finding a good church home is a vital part of seeking to obey God’s commands, because in any good church you will hear God’s Word taught and explained; You will meet fellow believers who will encourage you in your walk with the Lord, and their testimony will convince you that God’s not dead, because you could see where He is alive and well in His people; You will also be given the opportunity to obey God by giving to His ongoing work here on earth through your tithes and offering. Now compare this to what happened with the Israelites: God considered them His chosen people, so when He saw how badly they were being treated in Egypt in slavery, He went to bat for them and not only freed them from the hand of Pharaoh, but made them aware of a Promised Land He had prepared especially for them. Moses was chosen as God’s leader for the Israelites, but because he was mere man, God guided him and gave him great power. In today’s Scripture we are told that the Israelites moved when God told them to – through moving the Cloud from over the congregation tent. But as long as the Cloud remained there, the people obediently stayed there. Can you even imagine how mankind today would react to that? We have numerous denominations today, because every leader had his own ideas and understanding of what God wanted. Do you think for a minute that everyone would stay united waiting for a Cloud to move? I specifically chose this translation for our Scripture today because they had ‘Cloud’ capitalized – to show that it represented God’s presence! Friends, what do you suppose it would take for us to unite as children of the Most High God? As such, we may be apt to join hearts and hands and obey the commands of our God, no matter how insane it may sound to us, and no matter how much we feel our neighbor may disagree with God’s commands. God stayed true to the Israelites because they learned to be obedient to Him and follow His commands. I believe He has a place prepared for us also, and He is anxiously awaiting our arrival. But now while here on earth, we must learn to be obedient to the will of the Father and follow His commands. Can He count on you?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Just as God led the Israelites all the way from slavery in Egypt to a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. He has also promised us a land where the streets are made of pure gold. Our job is to obey His commands and place our faith and trust in Him alone! What a mighty God we serve!

PRAYER: Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Oh that we would follow in strict obedience to Your commands dear Lord, and learn to trust in You for all things. The Israelites were forced to depend solely on You while in the desert. Thank You for blessing us with jobs, family, friends and everyone else that provides for us daily. But most of all we stand in awe at Your goodness. Thank You for sending Your Son to offer such a sacrifice so that we may one day worship at Your feet and enjoy our heavenly Home that You have prepared for us. Come Lord Jesus come and take us home to be with You and the Father! 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!

An Example For Those Who Follow

It’s not Father’s Day, but yet a good time to remind our fathers that others are following in their footsteps. Perhaps a son, daughter, or even an employee under your supervision – they will do what you do and in the same manner that you do it. They will listen to you and respond like you would to life’s circumstances. Are you proud of what they might do or say? Let’s look at the example of Isaac and his father, Abraham, today as we meditate on our Scripture verses.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-01-31
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 26:23-25
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 When he (Isaac) went to Beer-sheba, 24 Jehovah appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of Abraham your father,” he said. “Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you, and will give you so many descendants that they will become a great nation—because of my promise to Abraham, who obeyed me.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar and worshiped Jehovah;….

OBSERVATION: It’s not Father’s Day, but yet a good time to remind our fathers that others are following in their footsteps. Perhaps a son, daughter, or even an employee under your supervision – they will do what you do and in the same manner that you do it. They will listen to you and respond like you would to life’s circumstances. Are you proud of what they might do or say? Let’s look at the example of Isaac and his father, Abraham, today as we meditate on our Scripture verses.

APPLICATION: I have a young relative who, I thought was not paying attention to what I was saying to the adults in the room, when I challenged the men to lead the way in taking their families to church. A few weeks later, there was a discussion in the car between this relative’s parents about whether they would attend church the next day. My nephew spoke up from the back and reminded them of what his uncle had said to them!! He was listening to what his uncle said!! I have a few other examples, and you probably have as well, so I believe we know that others are listening and watching what we say and do. But why do we sometimes still say and do things that we immediately wish that our younger audiences would ignore? Perhaps the same things that we wish God would also ignore! I was first shocked to be reminded in verse 7 that Isaac did the exact thing as his father by introducing his wife as his sister, so that the same king, Abimelech and his men would not kill him, in envy over his beautiful wife. His dad did it, so why should he not follow in his dad’s footsteps? But with that being a negative trait, I want to draw your attention to verse 24 above. Because of the obedience and faithfulness of the father (Abraham), God promised to bless the son (Isaac) with enough dependents to form a great nation! It’s unfortunate that we often feel like we are doing our very best to please our God, and hoping to influence our children, but feeling like no one ever notices our good deeds or our faithfulness. I believe that this is a day that we could be reassured that God sees and knows all things. Yes, the good and the bad. But what we do for Him will last for all eternity. Others look on us and follow our example. It is unfortunate that this sometimes include the things that we wish we had never said or done, but they tend to pick that up also. But friends, I can assure you that if we seek God’s face and His righteousness, and we obey His commands by meditating on His Word and doing what it says, then we can’t go wrong in feeding good to those who follow in our footsteps. It’s not too late dear friend. The good you do for Jesus Christ for the rest of your life, could very easily outweigh the unfortunate bad things that you did up to this point In your life. Seek God while you still have breath in your body, draw close to Him, and follow in all that He teaches you for the rest of your life. He could wind up blessing your ancestors because of your faithfulness! There is nothing I wouldn’t do in order to leave a good influence on my daughter, son-in-law, and others who watch me, how about you precious friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it was said in the New Testament that anything we do of our own accord is like ‘dirty rags’ in the Kingdom, but those things done under the influence of the Holy Spirit for the sake of the Kingdom, will last forever. It was also said that God even uses the ‘foolishness of preaching’ to win some. Praise God, I believe that anything we do for You, and under Your leadership, will not only leave a good influence for those that follow in our footsteps, but I believe You will honor Your obedient children, just as You honored Abraham. Oh that others may see Jesus in all that we say and do, and may they be drawn closer to the cross where they will come face-to-face with our risen Lord. 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 Will Of The Father

I was born into my natural family, lived with them for 17 years, learned their ways and followed their rules. I believe that I could legitimately say that I am an Algreen, even after living on my own for almost 50 years. Lets’s stop to think about our sonship in the Kingdom of God today as we study this passage. Was our decision just a passing fancy, or have we truly listened to, and obeyed, the will of our Father in Heaven.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-01-21
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 7:21-23
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven. Simply calling Me “Lord” will not be enough. Only those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven will join Me in heaven. 22 At the end of time, on that day of judgment, many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive demons out of the possessed in Your name? Did we not perform miracles in Your name?” 23 But I will say to them, “I never knew you. And now, you must get away from Me, you evildoers!”

OBSERVATION: I was born into my natural family, lived with them for 17 years, learned their ways and followed their rules. I believe that I could legitimately say that I am an Algreen, even after living on my own for almost 50 years. Lets’s stop to think about our sonship in the Kingdom of God today as we study this passage. Was our decision just a passing fancy, or have we truly listened to, and obeyed, the will of our Father in Heaven.

APPLICATION: I remember pulling into a gas station on a neighboring Bahamian island to where I was brought up. A young man came out and confidently said that I must be Cloide’s (my dad) son. I believe the resemblance in looks and demeanor reminded him of my dad. What if I would have entered the same station ablaze with cursing and loud music? That would not have related to my earthly father at all, and it may have been extremely confusing for the young worker, knowing who my dad was but seeing me act totally different to him. Do you suppose that this is similar in description to what Jesus taught in our Scripture today? Could it be that Jesus is teaching us to not only say that we are His, but to also show it through our dedication to Him, by following through in obeying His commands, and to seek His will daily so that we may strive to do what He wills for our lives. Friends, I believe that in verses 24 and following, Jesus went on to affirm that when we seek His face, and when we strive to learn and follow His will, THEN we will truly stand on a solid foundation – on solid rock, and He will know that we are His. Conversely, Jesus went on to illustrate that when we merely say we are His but show no signs of that, we are walking on shaky, or sandy ground, and we will ultimately fail and fall. We can’t fool God dear friends. Our Pastor may think we are good, and our family may vouch for our Christian heritage, but unless God is convinced that even beyond our earthly accountability, we are still strong in our faith and determined to follow His will, then we are merely spinning our wheel, but going nowhere at all, like a hamster. Let me suggest that you reflect on your life as a Christian, and write a bio that you might hand to Saint Peter as your credentials for getting into heaven. See if you are convinced, and honestly evaluate whether you feel like you have lived up to the will of God in such a way that God will know whose you are. Please don’t get distracted by retorting that you are not answerable to Saint Peter, as this is merely an exercise for you to evaluate your own life. Perhaps there is room for God to work in your life afresh so that you may not only say the right thing, but actually do the will of our Master and Lord.

PRAYER: You know every little detail about our lives dear Lord. We may brag to the world that we are a Christian, but precious Lord, I believe that it is way more important for You to know that we are seriously doing the will of our Father. Please open our eyes and allow us to see our shortcomings, so that we may be diligent about fulfilling the most important part of our relationship with You. Oh that we would study Your Word daily in search of all aspects of Your will, so that our walk might be carved in love for You and our fellow man, our praises be lifted up to You regularly and that our lifestyle will imitate You in every aspect. This is in hopes that others will be drawn to You through our relationship with them, and not turned off by any hypocrisy that exists in our walk with 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!

Make A Difference For the Kingdom

We are looking at three different commands that Jesus issued to His disciples while enjoying some teaching moments on the mountain. Since there is such great truth in these lessons, I thought we might benefit from these today as we meditate on what God might have us do in 2021. Especially after being told that if we practice (obey) these commands and teach them to others, we will be highly considered by the Master in heaven.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-01-12
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:13-14, 19
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 You, beloved, are the salt of the earth…..
 14 And you, beloved, are the light of the world……
 19 Anyone who breaks even the smallest, most obscure commandment—not to mention teaches others to do the same—will be called small and obscure in the kingdom of heaven. Those who practice the law and teach others how to live the law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

OBSERVATION: We are looking at three different commands that Jesus issued to His disciples while enjoying some teaching moments on the mountain. Since there is such great truth in these lessons, I thought we might benefit from these today as we meditate on what God might have us do in 2021. Especially after being told that if we practice (obey) these commands and teach them to others, we will be highly considered by the Master in heaven.

APPLICATION: As we learn from our Master and share our experience and our knowledge with others, I believe that we too can be classified a ‘disciple’ of Jesus Christ. So I believe that these commandments taught by Jesus are very applicable to us still today. Here are three very important commands that I believe will help us make a difference in our world, and in our circle of influence:
1. You are the Salt of the earth – Salt was very well known to the original disciples, and it is still well known and commonly used today. It makes a huge difference in the flavor of our foods. Tasting food that was not seasoned in salt, is tasteless to those who use it on a regular basis. Jesus used this as a parable to help us realize that lives not infused with the power, love and image of Jesus Christ is bland, and has very little impact on the rest of the world, because they see no difference in our behavior. However, although many will not claim knowledge or acceptance of Jesus Christ, yet they are quick to recognize a Christian in their midst, as they see a difference in their mannerisms and their life choices, plus they know that they have a connection with the King of the universe. I believe Jesus wants us to stand for what He has taught us and be different, if we need to be, just as salt makes a difference in our food;
2. You are the light of the world – I found this one very interesting, because in John 8:12 and in John 9:5, Jesus said that He is the Light of the world as long as He is here in the world. The Bible says that we are to be like Jesus to the world, so I’m sure that by us also being commanded to be the light of the world, we would be following very closely in His footsteps. Jesus likened this to being a light on the top of a hill. Don’t you see that this means that the whole world could see the light that shines high on a hilltop? Don’t you know that in a room of people, the child of God must be an example, or a bright light for the rest of the world to see, respect and follow after? I believe this means that when the world is not sure where to turn next, or what they should do in certain circumstances, they should be able to ask those discipled by Christ which way to turn, knowing that the Bible and It’s Master is guiding us through each and every decision every day;
3. Practice God’s Commands and Teach them to others – This is clearly not a case of ‘doing as I say, not as I do’! For we are told that we should be obedient and living out the commands of Jesus. In other words, whether we say something about a situation, or if we just act in obedience to what God is leading us to say or do, He will be glorified and He will follow through with His promise to make us ‘great’ in His kingdom. There is nothing better than that dear friends!
So let me encourage you today to make a difference in the world around you. As Jesus lives inside of you through the Holy Spirit, be bold in declaring whose you are. Live like Him and allow Him to live through you to save a world that is otherwise dying and going to Hell.

PRAYER: Living here on earth is challenging in many ways, but when we are obedient to our Master and Lord, we can rest assured that He will only lead us towards loving, encouraging and challenging others to know Him as Savior. Thank You Lord for giving us our marching orders in today’s Scripture. May we be sincere and obedient to Your commands in everything we do and say, so that others will see proof of the Master right here on earth. Oh that Your kingdom may come soon, so that we may freely glorify You in all Your majesty at the right hand of the Father, where we will remain for all eternity. 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 Reward For Obedience

One of the things that will win the attention of a child, is for a parent to promise a reward if they would …! Almost every time that will prove to be enough incentive to win the efforts of that child to obediently follow the parent’s command. While analyzing the seven churches in Revelation the angel told John that God would honor the obedience of the church at Sardis by protecting them against the testing that will come. Ponder this thought with me today as we analyze ourselves and our church to see if God might bless us for our obedience.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-12-01
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Revelation 3:10-11
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 You obeyed my message and endured. So I will protect you from the time of testing that everyone in all the world must go through. 11 I am coming soon. So hold firmly to what you have, and no one will take away the crown that you will be given as your reward.

OBSERVATION: One of the things that will win the attention of a child, is for a parent to promise a reward if they would …! Almost every time that will prove to be enough incentive to win the efforts of that child to obediently follow the parent’s command. While analyzing the seven churches in Revelation the angel told John that God would honor the obedience of the church at Sardis by protecting them against the testing that will come. Ponder this thought with me today as we analyze ourselves and our church to see if God might bless us for our obedience.

APPLICATION: No doubt each of us have pulled something off on our parents, or someone in authority over us. For example, they assumed that you did something great, while you know that you had a lot of help on it. You don’t bother to clarify the problem, because it left you looking pretty good in the eyes of the one who calls the shots on your progress, or your job! Sounds all too familiar? I bet you hold our breath hoping that the full story will not be revealed! However, it’s not like that with God, for He knows every little detail about our comings and our goings. And while we try very hard to look our very best in the eyes of our peers, our supervisors and our relatives, yet we hold our breath wondering how blunt and forgiving God will be when we meet Him face-to-face. I also reflect on how parents say to their children: I hope that you will appreciate all that I’ve done for you! Compare this to what I believe God will say to us: My child, while you were still a sinner, I sacrificed my only child so that you might rise above the sin of this old world and live eternally in the glories of heaven with my Son and I. Having failed on occasion was expected, because of the place where you lived and the people you came into contact with, but I knew your heart and your intent. When you invited me to be Lord of your life, I gave you a new beginning and the power to overcome Satan and his cohorts, so now I am happy to welcome you home where you will be at peace for evermore. Friends, if you believe in Jesus Christ, then I believe that you can affirm my assumptions that I just shared, because you are aware of the love of our Savior and the outstanding provisions that He has made for us. Unfortunately if you have not yet sought out the love of my Savior, then you may be challenged to appreciate what God said to the church at Sardis, or what I envisioned in seeing all that God has in store for us when we see Him face-to-face. But you are empowered to correct this challenge, because the Word of God says that whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. Whosoever includes ‘YOU’ my friend. Notice also that there is no doubt in the reward, for God said that you WILL be saved. In case you’re curious, that means that you will be saved from the destiny of Hell which is reserved for all who have not accepted Jesus as Lord. My friend, I secured my destiny with Jesus and my prayer is that you too might do the same. Heaven is my eternal home, and I would love to see each of you there! Please contact me and allow me to show you the way!

PRAYER: Lord, we are thankful for all that You have done for Your children, and for what You do for us each and every day while we live here on earth. Being reminded of what You promised to the church at Sardis, reminds me that You will do the same for us when we follow You in accepting Your Son, and in closely adhering to Your commands. Please Lord, continue to lead us, direct us and guide us through every step here on earth. We look forward to being with You soon. Please keep us in Your care, following Your commands and living in full expectation of Your return to take Your church home to glory. 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!

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 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!