Listen To the Warnings

I recall a bad storm that hit western Florida and the press was badly criticized for not giving fair warning to residents. What would the residents have done differently? Some may have done a little more to protect their homes from the violent waves that battered them. But some may have done nothing until they saw proof of a bad storm approaching. As we meditate on the Scripture today, perhaps we will analyze how the above example displays our actions each weekend as we hear the warnings of Christ’s return. God’s chosen, or those who chose God, will be removed from the scene by His angels. Will you be included in that number?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-03-20
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 24:27; 30-31
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man[e] comes…..
30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.[h] 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world[i]—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

OBSERVATION: I recall a bad storm that hit western Florida and the press was badly criticized for not giving fair warning to residents. What would the residents have done differently? Some may have done a little more to protect their homes from the violent waves that battered them. But some may have done nothing until they saw proof of a bad storm approaching. As we meditate on the Scripture today, perhaps we will analyze how the above example displays our actions each weekend as we hear the warnings of Christ’s return. God’s chosen, or those who chose God, will be removed from the scene by His angels. Will you be included in that number?

APPLICATION: In a bad lightening storm, many are terrified because of stories they may have heard about death, or very serious injuries that folk may have sustained from lightening strikes. However, you can also appreciate that you can look into the skies and see lightening flashing hundreds of miles away. I believe that Jesus used this example to help us understand that it will be no secret that Jesus is returning to take His church home to glory. In this same chapter, we are also told that our people will be partying and having a ball, just as in the days of Noah. Today, it is very easy to listen to the news reports of large parties where police find it almost impossible to disburse the crowd and retain peace for communities. So could the return of Jesus really happen any day now? The Word declares that there will be ‘deep mourning’, and some versions say ‘people will weep’. Friends, for the child of God, I believe that we will be rejoicing with the angels that our Savior has come and to rescue us to a peaceful, happy home where we may worship God endlessly and without interference, or any type of hindrance. No more sorrow, no more loss of loved ones, but peace and contentment for evermore around the throne of God! But wait a minute, what about those who were unconcerned about the Lord and found many excuses not to give up the world and accept Jesus as Lord? Unfortunately their eternal outcome has also been decided by them, for they have chosen to give Satan control of their lives here on earth and throughout eternity. Will things get worse for them? Unfortunately I believe that the Word is true for them also, for it tells of a place of torment; of fire and brimstone; of anguish worse than anything ever experienced before. Friends, there are stark contrasts between day and night, and so is the case between heaven and hell. Does one choose to go to Hell? Yes they do – whenever they reject the invitation of Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their life, they have just responded positively to Satan and to joining him in Hell when life here on earth is over. The good news about all of this is that at this very moment, you know without a doubt where you will spend eternity, for the Bible tells you so. I pray that there will not be one reader who has not made a deliberate decision to accept Jesus as Lord. I look forward to knowing each of you personally as we glorify Jesus and His father personally around the throne. Please don’t disappoint me. If there is any doubt in your mind, please read my ‘Footnote’ carefully and allow God to convince you through His Word.

PRAYER: Because You have promised to blast a trumpet ordering Your angels to collect us from earth and join You in heaven, I believe that You are more than fair in extending Your Word out to all parts of the earth, even through the medium of daily blogs that extend worldwide through the World Wide Web. Your message is clear and it touches all mankind. Your children (believers) will be lifted up and will join You in heaven, praise the wonderful name of Jesus my Lord! Saying no to You, is saying yes to Satan, and unfortunately some have chosen to do that. Please touch the hearts of all my readers today so that they may catch a glimpse of heaven and my wonderful, amazing and awesome Savior, and that the choice will be clear and deliberate for them today: Yes to Jesus, and no way to Satan and his burning Hell. Be glorified today dear Lord as your children heed the warnings and accept You as 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. 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!

How Much Are You Worth?

Having a background in banking, I heard about the days when loans were granted based on a handshake – meaning one’s reputation. In my day in the trade, we struggled to have loans repaid properly even if we held most of the assets owned by the borrower. So often we work so hard to enable a better bank account – for a rainy day or to best take care of our family even when regular income diminishes. Today I would ask that you meditate with me as we examine our own value, as God may sees it.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-05-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Proverbs 22:1
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: A beautiful reputation[a] is more to be desired than great riches, and to be esteemed by others is more honorable than to own immense investments.[b]

OBSERVATION: Having a background in banking, I heard about the days when loans were granted based on a handshake – meaning one’s reputation. In my day in the trade, we struggled to have loans repaid properly even if we held most of the assets owned by the borrower. So often we work so hard to enable a better bank account – for a rainy day or to best take care of our family even when regular income diminishes. Today I would ask that you meditate with me as we examine our own value, as God may sees it.

APPLICATION: There is one thing that all the people of the world has in common at this very time, we are all facing the challenges of our income flow that may have been severed for an unknown number of weeks, and in many cases we can’t find items to purchase, even if we have money. During this time, there are inumerable cases where families are working together on projects, playing together for mental and health benefits, and talking more to one another, seeing that we are not distracted by the demands of work. While I realize that when our respective countries reopen, life will eventually return to ‘normal’, I also know that almost everyone in the world has been impacted by the temporary refocusing on the important things in our life. In fact, I am really hoping that the things we learned during this time of shutdown, will remain boldly in our minds, and impact our personal lives for years and years to come. We had time to be reminded of what truly is important in our lives, even when the rest of the world is out of focus, or nonexistent. Solomon was known as the wisest man in the world, and he was always known as a man who listened closely to God. Because this Proverb is found in God’s Word, I believe that He influenced Solomon to write this so that His children for all time would benefit from its truth. This is not outlandish advice, but it is something that we need to be reminded of personally on a regular basis. In fact, I would recommend that we each keep a copy of this verse, in printed form, in a very prominent place to act as a reminder that our decisions, our words, our attitudes and our will for every day belongs to God. As we plan our day, and as we talk business over the phone or in person at the shop, we remember and practice that it’s all about God and not ourselves. Imagine for a moment if we promoted God first and foremost in all that we think, all that we do and all that we say, and as a result we see where our employer or our business is becoming way more profitable and way more popular, would it not cause us to raise our hands in thanksgiving to God for being so gracious to us and to all that we are a part of? Friends, let’s be quick to remember that we can’t out-give God. And while this is often referred to in monetary terms, I want us to use it as a reminder that when we give honor, praise and credit to the One who made it all possible, then we will surely benefit from His ongoing blessings. When we concentrate on riches instead of blessings, we tend to easily cave in to Satan’s sneaky, cheating and conniving ways of overstepping those who bless us and those who need us. Our relationship with God and our daily endeavor to draw closer to Him, will go so much further than we could even consider. Trust God today dear friend and make Him a priority in your life – personally, at home, at work, at your social clubs, at the store and wherever else you may find yourself. I am convinced that He will bless you beyond anything you could imagine when you lift up His name and worship Him in the good, bad and unsure times of your life.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, it is easy to praise You when everything is going well for us and we are succeeding in every aspect of our lives. However, today we are reminded that our success in life is impacted more by our reputation than anything we might own materially. Lord, I believe that our reputation is worthless without You being a vital part of our daily lives. Please help us to be reminded of this on a regular basis, so that we might draw close to You and depend on You in the good times, as well as the most challenging times in life. For a life filled with the love of Your Son Jesus is priceless, and Your teachings are intended to attract our focus on You and all that You established for our good. Glorify Yourself in us dear Lord, and may the works of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to You oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Please use this devotional to draw men and women to the foot of the cross so that they too may meet the One who laid His life down for us, and who lives in anticipation of us joining You one day soon – in Heaven! 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!

Where Wisdom Comes From

As we meditate on this Scripture today, let me encourage you to click on the Scripture reference above and read the whole chapter, for you will not only see where Micaiah listened intently to God for his direction, but also we see the same with king Jehoshaphat. The facing challenge for us today is to determine if we are a ‘crowd pleaser’, or a true servant of God seeking to obey Him in every way that He ordains. I believe that way too often we tend to be the former, instead of the latter. Is that pleasing to God?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-03-03
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 18:12–13
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: Meanwhile, the official who had gone to fetch Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.” But Micaiah answered, “By the living LORD, I will say what my God tells me to!”

OBSERVATION: As we meditate on this Scripture today, let me encourage you to click on the Scripture reference above and read the whole chapter, for you will not only see where Micaiah listened intently to God for his direction, but also we see the same with king Jehoshaphat. The facing challenge for us today is to determine if we are a ‘crowd pleaser’, or a true servant of God seeking to obey Him in every way that He ordains. I believe that way too often we tend to be the former, instead of the latter. Is that pleasing to God?

APPLICATION: Hopefully we will see from our Scripture today that King Ahab had a lot to learn from God’s servants, and I hope that we too will take serious note of these men of integrity. Way too often we respond to people the way that we feel they want to hear, not the way that we feel prompted of God to speak. Notice in verse 6 that King Jehoshaphat did not give the automatic response that King Ahab expected of his friend. Notice in verses 12-13 that Micaiah was known for being the type person who would be obedient to God in spite of what the king or anyone else wanted to hear. This was so common for Micaiah that in vs 7 the king shared that he would just as soon not even have Micaiah come to prophesy for him, because he was known to say unexpected things. Often this strong minded, honest, dedicated type individual would meet with opposition from his peers, as seen in vs 12. But imagine the peace that Micaiah must have felt when he laid his head down at night, knowing that he laid truth on the line and allowed the chips to fall where they may. Imagine the alternative and how ineffective the prophet would have been if he merely spoke the popular word and then saw disaster follow. He could have gone into depression knowing that his faithfulness could have prevented a disaster. Friend, it is way more important to seek God’s face, listen to His voice and obey Him, in spite of possible breaks in friendships, popularity or even lack of promotion. We should strive to be popular in God’s sight, regardless of man’s opinion or desire. Our obedience to God supersedes everything else. So teachers, teach what the Word says, in spite of what might be going on in the lives of your class members. Pastors/Evangelists – preach what God lays on your heart, and especially what the Word declares. Let God speak to His people. He really don’t need you to sugar-coat things for Him. Sometimes saying it the way that it is written is far more effective, and will have more of an impact, than anything we can add to it. Let God be God and speak to, and through us as He speaks from a loving heart to His people!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for speaking so boldly to our hearts today through this Scripture and through the actions of King Jehoshaphat and through your servant, Micaiah. Ashamedly, I must acknowledge that I am often swayed by popular vote rather than always begging Your wisdom and Your direction. Please forgive me, and if there are others who read this devotional and acknowledge a similar trend in their life, please also speak to their heart about this matter today. You are Master over everything here on earth, and only You are wise enough to know what tomorrow brings. So as Your servants, please instill a sense of obedience and dependence on You, so that our decisions will make a difference for You, and remain in line with Your will. From a ‘self’ perspective, we tend to think way too much of self and our own gain. What this world needs now, is more of You and to be led in Your way through every decision and in every walk of life. Oh that Your servants may be the catalyst of seeing Your will revealed in every aspect of life in which we are involved. All for Your honor and Your glory, oh 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!

Our Miraculous God

OBSERVATION: Way too often we pray for God’s wisdom; His healing; His direction; and His protection, yet when God is on the move we tend to find explanations on why certain activity is occurring, or we may even attribute the turn in events to ‘good luck’. Oh my, where is our faith truly at? Who is our God? I have two similar Biblical characters to consider today that reacted surprisingly to God’s orders/miracles. Let’s examine our own hearts as we look at this.

Wednesday, 2019-06-12

Bible Reference: Luke 1:18-20
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is too old to give me a child. What sign can you give me to prove this will happen?19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel. I stand beside God himself. He has sent me to announce to you this good news. 20 But now, since you did not believe my words, you will be stricken silent and unable to speak until the day my words have been fulfilled at their appointed time and a child is born to you. That will be your sign!”

OBSERVATION: Way too often we pray for God’s wisdom; His healing; His direction; and His protection, yet when God is on the move we tend to find explanations on why certain activity is occurring, or we may even attribute the turn in events to ‘good luck’. Oh my, where is our faith truly at? Who is our God? I have two similar Biblical characters to consider today that reacted surprisingly to God’s orders/miracles. Let’s examine our own hearts as we look at this.

APPLICATION: In my Old Testament reading today, there was the story of Balaam. He spoke to God about whether he should visit with king Balak. God directed him not to go. However, Balak was persistent and he sent back a different team of messengers to plead with Balaam to change his mind. Although having been given a Word by God, Balaam went before God each time that Balak’s team of men asked. I can’t imagine God changing His mind, neither telling Balaam that He had made a bad call in His first response. But eventually God saw the need to teach Balaam a lesson by letting him go with the messengers. Then I turned to my New Testament study and found this story of Zechariah, who encountered a similar discipline to that received by Balaam. I’m sure it is easy for us to look down our noses at both of these servants of God and in shock wonder how on earth could they possibly respond in the way that they did. But are we truly any different in our response to God and/or His miraculous work? I don’t think so, for I believe we are equally as bad, or perhaps even worse. Now think about this: we have learned from Balaam, we have learned from Zechariah, and I’m sure there are many other similar examples throughout God’s Word, but way too often we place God in a box only as big as our vision and our capacity. How often do we go beyond those borders? I have a very personal experience, I can share with you from my church: our leaders are stretching and testing their faith in trying to solve a challenge of overcrowding. Through faith in our all-powerful and fully capable God, they are led of God to find property to relocate, or expand our ministries to meet the needs of adequately ministering to the people He is sending our way, and will send our way over the foreseeable future. To approach our God for something like this – something that is several times larger than what we have; something that will meet the needs of ongoing ministries way beyond our ability to imagine – this requires a persistent faith that is strong and immovable. Please consider praying with BFC, Sebring, FL about this need. We want to see Jesus lifted up and glorified, even through our humble efforts. We are convinced that God has blessed us with the crowds He has sent our way, even in spite of a community that is largely unchurched. However, we take the Scripture very seriously, and He has encouraged us with the words, that if I am lifted up, I will draw the people unto myself. We are in a continual mode of lifting up the name of Jesus in all that we do. As for you, may I suggest that you stand in awe of who God is, and all that He has done, plus all that He has the power to do again. Try looking beyond things that your natural eyes can see, and try trusting God in the small and in the great things. Try listening to what God wills, and allow Him to stretch your vision and your faith so that you will openly allow His work to be done for His glory alone.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for saving a sinner such as I. It is hard to imagine that a miraculous working God like You, who has the power to do all things, and see all things that are yet to come, yet You loved me enough to use even me in Your mighty work. Lord, my readers and I stand in awe of You. We want to experience your awesome work, and we want to participate in the many blessings that You shower on us each day. Please teach us to pray. Please strengthen our faith to believe and deepen our trust in You for all things. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, so that You may be glorified in all things. Thank You Heavenly Father for loving even us. AMEN!