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

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

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

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

Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s What Love Means

In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-11-21
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 John 1:5-6
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: I am writing to remind you, dear friends,[c] that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

OBSERVATION: In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

APPLICATION: In many cases it is easier to think about the outcomes when a rule, or as in this case – a command, is not followed. For example, if we don’t love others as God commanded, then we may tend to hate them, meaning that we will do everything within our power to destroy them or cause them to fail. This hatred may come in various forms: lying about them; envious of their job position; jealous of their financial success; intimidated by their educational achievements; disrespect of their church-held positions; – just to name a few. Friends if any of these things are burning up inside of you, it will be virtually impossible to love an individual. So let’s look closer at what John directs us to in the true meaning of ‘Love’:
-> Do what God has commanded you to do – In other words, who is your master? If you love Me, you will obey my commandments – Jesus said this in John 14:15. So if you instead do whatever you please, without regard for Jesus Christ, is He truly your ‘Lord’ and Savior? I believe ‘Lord’ means that you have agreed to allow Jesus to Lord, or rule over you. If you persist in still doing your ‘own thing’ in life, then I would suggest that you revisit the cross and see if you truly gave God authority over your life;
-> Remember, God commanded us to love one another – Obviously John saw that the church was in disarray caused by many of the above mentioned actions, so he saw the need to remind them of what God taught His church. You see, God loved the world so much, yes those who loved Him and those that didn’t, that He permitted His only Son to die on Calvary, so that those who believe on Him, might be assured of eternal life in heaven. He loved enough to sacrifice everything He had so that we might reap the benefits of knowing Jesus as Lord. Friends, if we are to follow Him in the way we love others, would there ever be a reason for anyone to challenge us again like John did, about our obedience to God’s commands? I dare say no, what say ye?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving us, even when we were unlovable. Thank You for providing us the assurance of our salvation. Thank You for being our constant guide and deliverer from all evil around us. Lord, we want to be like You, but there is a serious uphill battle as we fight against the evil one while still here on earth. This causes us to act in ways that surely must not be pleasing to You Lord, so we humbly ask for Your strength, Your guidance and an extra dose of Your love that we might share with others. Please Lord, impact our conscious in such a way that we will turn from our wicked ways and obediently follow Your ways and Your commands. AMEN.

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

Will God Be Patient With You?

Sick people run to the hospital for help, but does sin-sick people always run to God for help? National catastrophes and earth shattering acts of God normally gets the attention of most people, and they may, if only for a short while, look inward to evaluate their life and compare it to what God may desire of them. Praise God, I believe that every living person knows that there is a God who they can run to in times of trouble. But He’s not a robot, so how do you suppose He will respond to you? Let’s examine this.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-10-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezekiel 20:18-21
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 So I warned the children not to act like their parents or follow their evil ways or worship their idols. 19 I reminded them that I was the Lord their God and that they should obey my laws and teachings. 20 I told them to respect my Sabbath to show that they were my people and that I was the Lord their God. 21 But the children also rebelled against me. They refused to obey my laws and teachings, and they treated the Sabbath as any other day.

OBSERVATION: Sick people run to the hospital for help, but does sin-sick people always run to God for help? National catastrophes and earth shattering acts of God normally gets the attention of most people, and they may, if only for a short while, look inward to evaluate their life and compare it to what God may desire of them. Praise God, I believe that every living person knows that there is a God who they can run to in times of trouble. But He’s not a robot, so how do you suppose He will respond to you? Let’s examine this.

APPLICATION: Praise God that when nothing in life seems to be going right for us, our eyes are suddenly opened and we tend to seek out the only One with all of the answers – we turn to God, or at least to the church? The Israelites were exactly the same, for they went to Ezekiel after seeing many of their relatives taken away into exile. They just knew that Ezekiel’s God would have an answer for them. However, let’s assume that there is a family that you sacrificed to help over the years, but they never showed any appreciation, nor seemed to have risen above their issues. Now think for a moment what you would do if their children are standing before you seeking help. What do you suppose you would do? Yes, you might be one of the righteous ones in the community and known for your godly influence, but will you simply sit with this new generation and open up your checkbook? I believe that God’s heart was broken over the way that the freed Israelites acted in the desert after He had miraculously gotten them out of Egypt, and after tenderly taking care of their every need in the Wilderness. They persisted in their idol worship, right in the face of the God who was meeting their needs. So when the next generation came to God for help, He immediately aligned their actions, their habits and their misaligned priorities with those of their ancestors. I would encourage you to particularly read verses 29 thru 31 and look for the times that God referred to ‘you/yourselves’, for He was sure that they were following in the footsteps of their fathers. So God got my attention on this by making me think about how those who are, or will, follow in my footsteps, might be doing. If it depends on the example that I set for them, might God be pleased with them and listen to their plea for help? I know, we have no control over how our offspring will act and react, but perhaps we should look at this like Paul gave in one of his examples when he said something along these lines, ‘as far as it depends on me, may the world follow Christ as I endeavor to do, with His help, every day’. So although this Scripture was all about God’s response to the offspring, it was only because of the way that the ancestors lived. Let me encourage you to live each day in light of an eternity with God in heaven, and also knowing that others are following in your footsteps and your example. Are you leading them down a path that leads to heaven?

PRAYER: Our greatest aim is to live our lives as an example to all You have taught us, demonstrated for us, and commanded of us. That’s a tall order precious Lord, but with our hand in Your’s we are confident that You will lead us aright. Please give us boldness to live each day in line with Your teachings oh God, so that others will not be confused about whose we are., or about what You have commanded from us. It will be glorious for us to one day stand before You and hear the words ‘Well done gone and faithful servant’, but to also hear someone praise You for working through my life here on earth, will be reason for endless eternal praise to You, oh King. Please use Your servant to minister to others that I come into contact with. May Your work be accomplished through my words and in my actions. Please prompt my readers to do the same as they hear from You in today’s lesson. AMEN!

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

Just Do It, Won’t You?

It is difficult for us to just do something we are told, without questioning the if, the why and the how! Then to do it without adding our own opinion is a whole different thing, isn’t it? But what about when God tells us to do something? I know, you are perfect and you therefore always do as you are told! Well, Jeremiah was stumped on an order he was given by God. Let’s see if we would do any better than he did.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-08-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 32:24-27
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 Jerusalem is under attack, and we suffer from hunger and disease. The Babylonians have already built dirt ramps up to the city walls, and you can see that Jerusalem will be captured just as you said. 25 So why did you tell me to get some witnesses and buy a field with my silver, when Jerusalem is about to be captured by the Babylonians?
26 The Lord explained: 27 Jeremiah, I am the Lord God. I rule the world, and I can do anything!

OBSERVATION: It is difficult for us to just do something we are told, without questioning the if, the why and the how! Then to do it without adding our own opinion is a whole different thing, isn’t it? But what about when God tells us to do something? I know, you are perfect and you therefore always do as you are told! Well, Jeremiah was stumped on an order he was given by God. Let’s see if we would do any better than he did.

APPLICATION: As you read this story you could see that God went to extra lengths to help Jeremiah know that the instructions came from Him to purchase the property. And it would almost appear like Jeremiah was actually praising the Lord for His awesome direction and power. However, read more closely and you will see that Jeremiah was just like us, for he was blown away about why God would have him use his personal money to purchase property in a city that He was really upset at, and would probably soon destroy. Yes, Jeremiah had followed God’s instructions and purchased the property, but he was obviously reluctant, as a lot of thoughts were still boiling up inside of him. I don’t know that we could conclude that God was upset at Jeremiah for questioning, but it seems obvious that He put His servant in his place. I may have said it something like this: ‘now look here Jeremiah, I am God and you are not. In fact, I created this world and all that is in it, and I rule the whole thing. Would you not think that if I told you to purchase a certain piece of property, that I knew what I was doing and exactly how I intended to use it? You see, my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are unlike your ways. Just be obedient to my commands and I will allow you to see how this all comes together for my glory. I will not tolerate the attitudes of those who curse me and work against my will, so I will take care of that bunch (the Babylonians and the disobedient Israelites who were exiled there). Praise God that you are a part of a very large picture that includes my directed plan.’ Friends, God don’t need our help in saying exactly what He wanted Jeremiah to know! However, let us all be reminded that our God will not stand for a defiant people who insist on doing their own thing, in their own time, in ways that seem right to them. If you know God, then trust in Him and be ready to obey His commands, whether they make sense to us or not. He is eternal, so His works are divine, holy and right. As His kids, we want to be aligned with His will, even if it takes us in a different direction to what we had planned. It’s God that deserves the praise. We are just servants who do as we are told. He knows what He’s doing, where we need to go, and how we will get there. Unless we follow His will and His commands, we will run astray in trying to reach our ultimate destination. Just do what He says, won’t you?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on and let me stand. For I want to do Your will and follow Your perfect commands, so that You might be lifted up in all that is accomplished from my time here on earth. Like Jeremiah, I may be willing to obey – reluctantly, but Lord I want to trust You in every aspect of my life, so that others may witness Jesus at work in my life. My readers and I are weaklings who need a Savior to help us through life, and especially to help guide us to ultimate obedience to the one true God and His precious Word. Help us to be Your hands, feet and mouthpiece here on earth, without questioning the path that You will send us down. Please reach out and touch those that we touch each day in some fashion. May they find Christ before it is too late. AMEN!

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

God’s Perfect Plan for You

In marriage, or really in any close relationship, it is always best to find out what the other person likes, and then do your very best to do those things to please them and enrich your relationship. That’s very much like being a child of God. We should be constantly searching for His will and for those things that ultimately please Him. We have three short verses to meditate on today that are packed with tips for us to know and follows God’s perfect plan for our lives!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-08-19
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Let joy be your continual feast.[j] 17 Make your life a prayer. 18 And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.[k]

OBSERVATION: In marriage, or really in any close relationship, it is always best to find out what the other person likes, and then do your very best to do those things to please them and enrich your relationship. That’s very much like being a child of God. We should be constantly searching for His will and for those things that ultimately please Him. We have three short verses to meditate on today that are packed with tips for us to know and follows God’s perfect plan for our lives!

APPLICATION: In almost any relationship, I’m sure there are ‘Ooops’ as we readjust our speech or our actions in order to please the other person. Marriage is always a great example of this, for you see where two people of the opposite sex are coming together, often from different cultures, sometimes from different faiths, and almost always from a different family upbringing. It’s always a challenge when one states that a certain issue was not resolved that way in their home! However, we soon learn that the things I learned, plus the things my wife learned in her upbringing, now constitutes the basis for us to decide which way we will handle things in our new life together. As Christians, we will also bring into the equation, what God’s Word says about the situation under discussion. However, God gave Paul these words to share with the church at Thessalonica, and to be of value to the church at large, until Jesus returns. So let’s pay close attention to what truly pleases God:
~ Joy – As a kid growing up in Sunday School, I learned a song: ‘I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart….’ Do you suppose this meant that I was one who went around giggling all the time after singing that song? Of course not! It meant that the believer in Christ, is filled with everything that make them happy here on earth, and gives them outstanding expectations of what they could expect in heaven. As this translation indicates, let this ‘Joy’ be your continued/ongoing feast, in your life. Let it drive who you are and what drives you through life. Being filled with, and enjoying life to the fullest, knowing whose you are, will make you one happy person whose happiness will overflow onto others every time you come into contact with them!
~ Prayer – Paul taught over and over how important prayer was to him. So from a life impacted by prayer, he is being led to direct us towards this greatest communication tool with the Father. When you’re happy – pray in thanksgiving to the One who fills you with the happiest moments imaginable. When you’re sad – pray to the only One who has all of the answers, and therefore knows why something is occurring that makes you sad. Knowing that God understands why you are uneasy, unhappy, confused, disappointed, sad, etc. means all the world to us, because we know that regardless of what we are feeling, God is in control, and He will help us through to a successful ending – life eternally with He and His Son, Jesus. That long term result helps us put perspective on the temporary things that seem so huge to us now. May we be so constant in prayer that we may be looked on as this translation puts it ‘that our lives will be a prayer’!
~ Give Thanks – Not just at Thanksgiving, and not just when everything is going according to our plan, but let us be a people who will give thanks in ALL things at ALL times. It makes a huge difference when we remind ourselves that ‘God’s got this!’ For then we could relax and give thanks for whatever the outcome might be. If it pleases God, surely it will please us!
Friends, no doubt you will conclude that only children of the most holy God will benefit from the above, through a close relationship with God. That’s true, however, if you have not yet made a decision to follow Christ, there is still time for you to change that. But don’t delay making that decision, as this very moment is the only time promised to you by God. Without Christ, you will not only endure hardships and trials here on earth, but your destiny in Hell will only worsen your thought of eternity. Meet my Jesus today dear friend, and know that peace, joy and happiness that passes all understanding today and forevermore.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, there is nothing I desire more, than to serve You faithfully the rest of my days here on earth, to impact the lives of those who have not accepted You as Lord, and to live eternally in Heaven worshiping You endlessly. Please touch the lives of those who have chosen to ignore You and Your call on their lives. Oh that they may surrender totally to the God of this universe, and the God we will face in eternity. Please touch all who will read this devotional, and may Your Holy Spirit work miraculously, so that they will surrender their all to You even today. May You be glorified in all aspects of this ministry. AMEN!

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

Wisdom – Where to Begin

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-07-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 111:10
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 The way to become wise is to honor the Lord;[a]
    he gives sound judgment to all who obey his commands.
He is to be praised forever.

OBSERVATION: Where do you get your smarts from young man? Most responses might be from his mother or his father. But in our Scripture today the Psalmist has identified for us where we are to seek out wisdom for all of life’s challenging questions, dilemmas and happenings. It’s not from the best university, so no need to run to Google to question which has the best record of success. Our world was created by God, and His wisdom continues to be right at the top of everything we may seek wisdom for, even today. Hang in there as we look deeper into the Word today.

APPLICATION: I remember an elderly relative coming in the house for his lunch, and he brought along bones and the knee joint of an animal he found while working his garden. He was in awe as he showed us God’s handiwork through the intricacies of that joint. Unfortunately, I felt like my relative was a bit ‘off’ as he went on and on about how awesome God is, and how His handiwork is shown even through things that we tend to pass off as ‘normal’ and ’expected’. But as I read this Scripture today, God showed me how that anytime we question something in nature or in creation as a whole, we are to look to acknowledge how that thing, person or animal was designed and by whom. In other words, we are to always give God the credit that He deserves for His involvement in every aspect of life. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a doctor come to your bedside and explain that what they saw inside of you is unexplainable by anything he ever learned in medical school. And that he could show through imaging that your body was in a certain condition yesterday, which is totally different to what he saw today as he prepared for surgery, and that the only way to explain the difference is that God must have intervened and healed your body? Wouldn’t it be equally as amazing if you always recognized God for His awesome existence and for all that He created anytime that you came up with questions? It seems that we always go to the ‘G’ word with our questions, but it’s Google, instead of God! Think about this: my doctor may suspect that I may have cancer. As a born again Christian, wouldn’t it make more sense to approach the One who designed and made us, the One who rested His hand upon us, kept us from harm, decease and destruction, led us in the right path each and every day of our lives and led us along the path that we should follow, even when our minds were filled with doubt? Obviously we know that more than anything else, God has been and always will be in charge of every aspect of our lives. So when we choose to brush that aside and instead follow our own will that is filled with endless uncertainties, what else could we possibly expect but failure from sources that give us advice with an empty knowledge base? For those who have a personal relationship with my Savior, we know the One who created it all, and the only One who understands and knows about what tomorrow will bring. He knows what He has in store for us, so His direction and revelation (if He sees fit to reveal it to us) could only lead to righteousness, healing, and satisfaction in life. You see, God has a plan for us. So if we follow His design for us, obey His commands and follow His will, then in health, sickness or death, we will walk towards the plan that God has designed especially for us. I don’t know about you, precious friend, but that’s enough for us to lift up holy hands in praise to the Almighty each and every day, as the Psalmist indicated in the above verse. To be wise, and to grow in wisdom, we must be reminded that it all comes from God, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Moving forward in His wisdom exceeds anything and everything we could ever acquire from any other source on earth.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, my God, You are the only true and wise God. You made everything around me, You know how it works, You know what will happen to it, and to us, and when that will occur. Please soften our thick and hardened minds so that we will always acknowledge You as our Creator, Keeper, Revelator and soon coming King. No one else is as wise, so help us to be smart in always seeking Your face for every question that may arise in our weak minds. Oh that You may rule and reign over your children everyday and in ever aspect of life. Touch those who need to know our Savior so that they too might accept You as their Lord and everlasting Savior. AMEN!

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