Telling Others About Jesus

I’m sure that you immediately thought about your pastor, or a popular evangelist, or a priest, in response to the subject of today’s devotional. Actually, in some translations the word ‘preaching’ is used in lieu of ‘telling of the Good News’, so you would have been close in your assumptions! But notice that nowhere in the text is it mentioned that Paul had just introduced himself in the first few words of verse 1. But for today, I would like for you to apply your name as the principal speaker of these words, and consider how you are telling others about Jesus. Hopefully this will make an interesting meditation for you today!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-09-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Titus 1:1-3
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT:  ….. I was sent to help God’s chosen people have faith and understand the truth that produces a life of devotion to God. This faith and knowledge make us sure that we have eternal life. God promised that life to us before time began—and God does not lie. At the right time, God let the world know about that life. He did this through the telling of the Good News message, and he trusted me with that work. I told people that message because God our Savior commanded me to.

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that you immediately thought about your pastor, or a popular evangelist, or a priest, in response to the subject of today’s devotional. Actually, in some translations the word ‘preaching’ is used in lieu of ‘telling of the Good News’, so you would have been close in your assumptions! But notice that nowhere in the text is it mentioned that Paul had just introduced himself in the first few words of verse 1. But for today, I would like for you to apply your name as the principal speaker of these words, and consider how you are telling others about Jesus. Hopefully this will make an interesting meditation for you today!

APPLICATION: God made a drastic change in the life of Saul, and the ‘new man’ Paul began an awesome work for the Kingdom! In today’s Scripture, Paul tells about his mentoring of another faithful servant, Titus. However while introducing himself, he gave us his credentials, and also told us about how God has used him so far. As I meditated on this, I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to reflect on the miraculous change that God had to make in my life when He got my attention as a man of the world and drew me unto Himself. Yes, I believe He wanted to see that I was redeemed by the blood of His precious Son so that I would qualify for eternal life with Him, but I also believe that He had a mission for me, and I don’t believe that His changes are altogether resolved yet, because I am still alive and finding opportunities all the time. No doubt, many of you have gone through this transformation process, just as I did. So I believe that you might identify with where I’m coming from with my self-inspection regarding the Word today. Some of you may be a Bible teacher, or a church leader, or even an evangelist, but try assuming that you are introducing yourself and you follow your introduction with the Scripture quoted from Titus 1 above. Please try to especially read slowly when you continue with the words that ‘God trusted me with that work’. Would you be content facing God today and telling Him how you feel you have done with His work? I know you might not be the preacher, but you have a story my friend. You met the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, the Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega – the Beginning and the End, the Creator of heaven, earth and each of us. In fact, I bet you are so excited about your Savior, that you would never think of seeing anyone you know, or encounter, miss the opportunity to meeting Jesus. So yes, I believe that you are very capable of completing the work that God entrusted you with, especially with His guidance, wisdom and almighty power. What are you waiting for my friend? For the unbelieving reader who have not been approached by a shy Christian, please read my Footnote and especially the links behind the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Feel free to contact me with any questions that remain in your mind. I want you to know my Lord – today, for you are precious in His sight!

PRAYER: Lord God, You created us and said it was good. You sent Your Son as a substitute for the sin of those who accept Him as Lord of their life. We have so much to be thankful for, and to share with others. Thank You for entrusting us with Your work. May we be found faithful to all that You have placed before us and called us to do. We need your mighty touch on our lives so that we may humbly accept the work You have set out before us. Please have Your will and way in our lives, so that the lost will see the Light and know You personally. Oh that You may be lifted up and praised today, is my humble prayer. 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Consequences for Criticizing God’s Servant

In today’s church environment, it seems like many will criticize the man of God for things like: his style of preaching; the volume he uses to deliver the Word of God; his dress code; if he looks at a particular section of the church while delivering his message; etc. Our Scripture today tells us that God questioned Miriam and Aaron about not being afraid to criticize His messenger, and He followed through by penalizing Miriam for her actions. As we meditate on this Scripture today, consider laying yourself honestly before God to examine you for similar actions as Miriam.

Wednesday, 2019-11-20

Bible Reference: Numbers 12:5-10
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  5 …the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say: If there were prophets among you, I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. 7 But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. 8 I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.

OBSERVATION: In today’s church environment, it seems like many will criticize the man of God for things like: his style of preaching; the volume he uses to deliver the Word of God; his dress code; if he looks at a particular section of the church while delivering his message; etc. Our Scripture today tells us that God questioned Miriam and Aaron about not being afraid to criticize His messenger, and He followed through by penalizing Miriam for her actions. As we meditate on this Scripture today, consider laying yourself honestly before God to examine you for similar actions as Miriam.

APPLICATION:  I would strongly encourage you to read the short chapter from which this scripture reference was taken, for it had a profound impact on me. Click on the scripture reference above and you will be taken to a place where you could read all 16 verses. You will get a better understanding in verse 3 why God took such a fierce stand against the sister and brother of Moses, for the Word declares that Moses was the most humble man on earth at the time. I believe this was included to help us understand that Moses would probably have loved his siblings regardless of what they may have said about him. What a humbling honor to be considered as the humblest man on earth, wow! Does that not automatically cause us to question ourselves and what we might do to be more humble in God’s eyes? However, this criticizing of God’s servant, truly angered God, and He dealt with it severely. He had Moses and his siblings go to the tabernacle, and there He called Miriam and Aaron to step forward as He was about to speak directly to them, and He wanted Moses to witness this. Friends, I want you to read verses 6 through 8 and imagine yourself in place of Miriam and Aaron for anything derogatory you may have spoken or thought about your Pastor or other called church leader. Don’t you know that these men have sacrificed their entire lives to Christ, instead of any possible worldly success? They have submitted themselves to God, and surrendered to the call of Christ to serve Him in the positions He has prepared just for them? Are we then not like Miriam and Aaron, where we are criticizing God for the man He has placed as His leader in our local assemblies? I would strongly caution you that we had better be very careful to pray for our leaders and their humbleness to closely obey God’s commands for His local church. Notice that there is no indication that Moses complained to God about the bad things his siblings were saying. God knew their hearts, He heard their words and saw their actions, and He subsequently reacted very harshly – not just with a tongue lashing, but actually imposed on the ringleader (Miriam) the horrible decease of leprosy. This caused her to be placed outside of the camp (city) for 7 days, even in spite of Moses’ plea with God to heal her. Friends, we must learn from this that we must respect God first of all and, in turn, those whom He chooses as His representatives among us – our pastors and church leaders. We must also learn that God loves His humble servants so much that He will stand in the gap for them. So if you are a called person of God and reading this devotional, please know that God has your back. Be committed to Him and serve Him faithfully, knowing that He will take care of the back-biting, gossip and ridicule. If God has truly placed you as His leader to His people, it is He who is more hurt by the backlash from His people, as they are really questioning His authority. Child of God, pray, pray, pray for the men of God that He places to serve you at your church. May we all be found faithful and true to our Master, until the day He calls us home to glory!

PRAYER: Lord God, Almighty Father, thank You for the picture of love for Your humble servant, and the reassurance that there is no reason why You would still not protect Your servants even today. It is so easy to get caught up in complaining or whining about our leaders, especially when they don’t pat our backs just right, or say the things that we like to hear. Please help us to stay focused on Your Word, for I believe that as we do, then we will appreciate the words from the leaders You have placed in charge of ministering to us. Please teach us to be humble like Your servant Moses, and also teach us to follow Your pattern of obedience when it comes to our spiritual leaders. As church leaders, we badly need encouragement for boldness before Your people, yet humbleness to always seek Your face so that we can seek Your favor for Your people. As followers of Christ, please help us to always pray for, and encourage our church leaders as they seek to obey You and follow Your commands for our respective churches. You are holy and deserving of our praise, worship and honor, and when we do this, perhaps we won’t have time to ridicule and/or gossip about our Brothers and Sisters! I love You lord for who You are, and I ask these things in faith and in the name of Jesus my 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

And Why Are You Complaining Again?

God had brought the Israelites through so much, and He had revealed Himself through miracle and after miracle to them. Yet at every opportunity, they turned their faces on God and complained about their plight. In this particular case it was about food. For those that never complain, I know it will be challenging to try and apply this lesson today, but let’s have a look!!

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-03-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 16:8 (NCV)

Text:

And Moses said, “Each evening the Lord will give you meat to eat, and every morning he will give you all the bread you want, because he has heard you grumble against him. You are not grumbling against Aaron and me, because we are nothing; you are grumbling against the Lord.”
OBSERVATION:
God had brought the Israelites through so much, and He had revealed Himself through miracle and after miracle to them. Yet at every opportunity, they turned their faces on God and complained about their plight. In this particular case it was about food. For those that never complain, I know it will be challenging to try and apply this lesson today, but let’s have a look!!
APPLICATION:
It is unfortunate, but I believe that believers are probably just as bad as non-believers when it comes to complaining and finding fault. Perhaps it’s about the pastor, because he didn’t visit us when we were sick; or he spoke on Hell instead of Heaven; or I just don’t get anything from his sermons; or I just can’t get over how everyone complains about him…. Although I know it would be challenging to admit that you participated in this type of complaining, I’m sure that you’ve heard this and a whole lot more – perhaps about the choir, praise team, elders, deacons, maintenance, janitors, etc. Ever stopped to think about the words of Moses in these verses? You see, the faithful are sincerely praying for the pastor – that he may receive a revelation from God on what his flock needs and how God might choose to meet those needs. May I encourage you to really let the words of Moses penetrate your heart and your soul, and not be guilty of complaining against what God is doing through His servants who stand in front of you each week preaching, teaching or serving in any way? May I suggest that you join those who are praying for more blessings for the same ones that you’ve been complaining about? I believe that like me, you want to hear from God at every opportunity possible, and since He has chosen to speak through His servants to us, then we must earnestly be in prayer for those who serve us, that they can step away from the world and become so entrenched in the presence of God, that they will come before us as vessels filled with a word from God, that will be applicable to us and cause us to grow in our faith and relationship with God. Something I heard a long time ago, that is still applicable today: ‘You will give out of something, as much as you have put into it’. Think about that! If you pray for your pastor and staff, perhaps you will be come away from services and teaching classes filled with the awesome power of God that you prayed down on them. May I suggest that anytime you come away from a service feeling empty and unfulfilled, ask God to reveal where you went wrong in your praying for that service? Like Moses, our pastors are nothing more than us – human beings, however the God that we pray they will be filled with, He is everything!
PRAYER:
Father, please forgive us for whining and complaining so much, when in fact we have so much to be extremely thankful for and blessed through and through about. We really should be spending our time lifting up holy hands and singing praises to You at every opportunity. Lord may we endeavor to praise and thank You more than we have ever done before. May we learn to pray for the very folk that we tend to complain about and find fault with. Lord, be glorified in our lives today, is my humble prayer, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Encourage One Another

Saturday, 2016-10-01

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 1:11-12

Bible Text:   11-12 For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that way too often we ignore the needs of the person who comes to our rescue and helps us through life’s hardest challenges. Like any good pastor today, Paul was anxious to go and deliver the Word to the Roman church, because he wanted to encourage them in their faith and their ongoing ministry. To ensure that we get the right picture, let me suggest that this may mean our local pastors being so fired up about the Word God has given them to share with us in weekend services, that they can hardly wait for the moment that they stand in our pulpit to preach the Word. Now back to the story – Paul told the people that in spite of the spiritual gift he had for them, he was expecting to also be blessed by their spiritual gift to him. Friends, for the man standing in our pulpit, preaching his heart out and speaking exactly what he feels led by God to share with us, have you ever thought about how you might minister back to him? I believe that after many corporate services, we are in so much of a rush to get to the local restaurant that we never stop to think about patting the pastor on the back to encourage him, or ask him how you might pray for him, or share with him how God is blessing you, and your hope that God would do the same for your pastor. There may be some who show little concern for their pastor, because you look at him as a paid employee who is simply doing what he is paid to do. Friends, I believe that a pastor’s job is very similar to that of a teacher, where it’s more of a heart-for-the-job attitude, than any amount of money they may be paid to do the job. I believe that pastors spend limitless hours ministering to the needs of the sheep, that most parishioners never have a clue about. I believe that most pastors are so underpaid, that they face financial challenges far worst than most of their parishioners. I believe that God is speaking to us through these verses today by simply encouraging us to not settle for what we might receive from His servants, but be constantly thinking about what we might give, or how we may encourage God’s servants – our pastors. This weekend, let’s remember what Paul was asking for, and be encouraged to respond to our pastors with encouragement before they have to ask us for it. I believe that God will especially bless us for encouraging His messengers/servants to continue on in the teaching and preaching of His Word!

Prayer

Thank You Lord Jesus for Your grace, and for Your mercy on even us. Thank You for blessing us with shepherds who have chosen to serve You by serving us and encouraging us. Lord, please touch each and every church attendee this weekend with a spirit of encouragement for our pastors. As they pour their hearts out to us, may we in turn be grateful and encourage them in return. Lord, we want to please You in every thing we do. I believe that by placing Paul’s desire for encouragement in Your Word, You wanted to remind us of the human needs of our pastors also. May we be alert to their needs, so that together we may receive every blessing that You have in store for us. May You be glorified in all that Your churches attempt to achieve this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Reason We Worship

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Revelation 19:10): 10 I knelt at the feet of the angel and began to worship him. But the angel said, “Don’t do that! I am a servant, just like you and everyone else who tells about Jesus. Don’t worship anyone but God. Everyone who tells about Jesus does it by the power of the Spirit.”

THOUGHTS: In this particular revelation (vision) John had been shown and told about the Wedding Feast of the Lamb and he was told to put it in writing that everyone is invited to the feast. John was so overwhelmed with joy about this that he dropped to his knees in worship to the angel revealing this. I believe that God particularly got my attention on what John was warned about, because I believe that we are so close to doing the same thing today in various ways. Think about the reason you give to someone you are inviting to church. Do you ever tell about the miraculous work that God is doing in and through the congregation? It seems to me that it’s always more about the beautiful church building that they must come and see, or the wonderful worship leader who provides the best entertainment this side of heaven, or the pastor who really has his act together and can keep your attention with exciting and humorous sermons. Is it any wonder why we hear of folk going to church and leaving empty, unfulfilled and getting absolutely nothing from the service, if they attend for the wrong reason(s)? I heard a young worship leader say that he always prays that he would not be a worship leader, but a leader that worships and others follow suite. I believe that many of our Christian leaders stand before us with similar heart desires. When we invite folk to come and see/worship the qualities of our leaders, then we are showing our leaders that they are totally ‘missing the point’ in their endeavors. I also believe that most unbelievers who hear us brag about anything other than Christ alone, quickly get the point that this is not what they are looking for. A lost person looking to return, or gain a relationship with Christ, wants to hear how open your church is in allowing you access, and leading you, to the Father. They find beautiful buildings around town, and they have leaders who draw attention to themselves at work every day. When the unsaved hear that we have found the King of kings and Lord of lords, and a place that we can connect with Him corporately each week, they want a piece of that because that can’t be found in their workplace or anywhere else that they frequent every day. Please join me in telling others about the joy of the Lord, not the happenings of our church, or the messenger God blessed us with to help point us to Him. Please click on the following link and be led into worship as the song plays and you prepare to address God in prayer: For He (God) alone is worthy of our worship!

PRAYER: You alone are worthy of our worship and praise oh God! May we keep our personal and corporate worship aligned with Your original design for us. May we find You in our worship, and not just a beautiful church building in which to worship, or a wonderful worship leader or pastor that has the ability to lead us into an atmosphere of worship. For it’s You that makes a difference in this world, and it’s You alone who can change a broken and contrite heart to be better aligned with Your original design. Please forgive us for allowing the things of this world to change us, instead of the creator of this world who truly has the power to change us. Please change our concept of how to invite others to corporate worship with us. Constantly remind us that it was You who changed our hardened hearts and not anything, or anyone else. As we are reminded of that, please help us to share the root of our salvation and not the after effect or result of our salvation. People need the Lord, not just another church or human leader. May we always point to You dear God, the author and finisher of our faith. I ask all these things in the name of the One who sacrificed His life for my sin, Jesus the Christ, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Church Leader-Elder-Pastor

The Holy Bible   (The Good News Translation – 1 Timothy 3:1-7): This is a true saying: if a man is eager to be a church leader, he desires an excellent work. A church leader must be without fault; he must have only one wife, be sober, self-controlled, and orderly; he must welcome strangers in his home; he must be able to teach; he must not be a drunkard or a violent man, but gentle and peaceful; he must not love money; he must be able to manage his own family well and make his children obey him with all respect. For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of the church of God? He must be mature in the faith, so that he will not swell up with pride and be condemned, as the Devil was. He should be a man who is respected by the people outside the church, so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the Devil’s trap.

Thoughts:   Because the ‘church’ is the bride of Christ, I believe that instructions for its leadership must be closely adhered to in order that it be pure, legitimate and representative of God’s image. I believe also that anytime we want to validate, or answer any questions regarding God’s intent for us, we should look to His Word for guidance and instruction. In my study of the Word this morning the highlighted verses were part of my study plan, and I felt impelled to share these verses. I have no reason to feel like any of my Pastors or Elders are faulting and specifically need to be reminded of the standards set by God for themselves, although they should always have this in the forefront of their minds. However, I don’t believe that God had Paul include these qualifications just for the purpose of our leaders, because it is incumbent upon the lay persons of the church to responsibly elect those leaders who truly qualify for the said positions, without allowing the overriding factors of wealth, community leadership or worldly skills to force an election, regardless of their spiritual or Biblical based qualifications. Furthermore, I believe you will agree that these are some very stringent guidelines in character, and involve personal decisions and choices over a lifetime. So it is vitally important that we, laypersons, keep these gentlemen foremost in our prayers, asking for God’s constant hand of mercy, leadership, guidance and protection from the Evil one. These guys are a prime target for the Devil, because they are given the task of leading God’s work in this world. However, we know that God’s power is greater than any attempts by Satan, so as we plead the hand of Jesus upon them, we are actually raising the only worthy shield against Satan. Friends, if we are to obey the full extent of God’s Word, then we are to ensure that God’s leaders are properly chosen based on His instruction, for we will be held accountable by God. Once elected, we are then to lift these leaders up in constant prayer so that they may be protected from the Evil one and continue to live Godly lives, and lead God’s church in ways that will magnify Him and win the lost to Him. All of this will lead to the preservation of the church, God’s bride, all for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ! Leaders, Elders, Pastors, only you and God know what happens in the closets of your lives, May you stand boldly before God, as an open book before Him, and without blemish. May His bride flourish through your leadership!

Prayer:   Thank You Lord for the Elders and Pastors you have blessed us with at my church! Thank You for the opportunities given to pray for these gentlemen! May I always take my responsibility seriously to pray for Your work in my area, and for the leaders given the responsibility to organize and promote Your cause through my church. May Your church be the church You intended for ministry to this area and as we travel abroad in mission work. May Your work never be hindered by leaders that disqualify themselves because of Satan, for that will not only constitute a failure on the individual(s) but also on laity for not doing our job of praying sufficiently. I pray that You will always have wide open access to the hearts of men, women and children who need to know You, and that no distraction by our leadership might intervene in Your work. Thank You Lord for Your Word, and for the assurance of Your protection as You build a hedge around our leaders who are determined to fulfill Your kingdom work in our community. May I always be a part of Your work and not a detractor. Bless my friends who will read this devotional with the same determination to pray. Please continue to bless our Pastors and Elders with Your will to live holy and upright lives that can be used by You. I pray believing, and in thanksgiving, in the name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE:   If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Worthy of Worship

The Holy Bible  (The Contemporary English Version – Isaiah 22:15): 15 My servant will make nations worthy to worship me; kings will be silent as they bow in wonder. They will see and think about things they have never seen or thought about before.

Thoughts: I believe that as a society we are facing a very challenging situation, with our churches almost going into extinction. Shocked? Well friend, I believe that you may need to move into reality and see how many churches are shutting down each week because of poor attendance or lack of necessary operating funds. So why do you suppose this may be the case? First let’s examine the makeup of the local church – it’s made up of folk just like you and I that attend, and give for the ongoing work of the Lord. So why do we attend? Perhaps some go out of tradition – meaning that it is the place to be on Saturday or Sunday morning. Others may go because they feel accountable to a family member. Still others attend out of pure devotion to God, and they look forward to not only worshiping Him for His blessings during the week, but they also want to learn more about what God has to say to us through His messenger. So why then are churches declining, and even shutting their doors? I believe that Isaiah made a very important point that we all must pay attention to. For I believe that in and of our own sinful selves, we have no desire to attend church, to be told about our sin, and stand corrected about our life styles and decisions. However, as in the day of the church that Isaiah envisioned, I am convinced that it is God who will call people to Himself and convince them of their need to worship Him. I believe that way too often our churches today come up with so many programs and tactics to attract people into their churches, that attendees remain uncommitted when their ‘program’ is weakened or discontinued. Friends, this is not a problem when we allow Jesus to remain in charge of His church. So I believe that as church leaders constantly seek Him, allow Him control, and plead for His interaction with His people, then He will have freedom to work on the worthiness of His people and the churches in which they worship. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would ‘make’ the people (nations) worthy. To do this will require getting to their hardened hearts and turning around some evil thoughts that have been permitted in. I believe that God still has the power to impact our towns, our country and our world for Himself today, friends! For those of you who know Him as Lord, may I encourage you to surrender fully to Him today, then pray for family, co-workers and friends who have not seen the need to attend church where they might join in corporate worship? If you are one of those who have not seen the need to attend worship services, may I suggest that God is already dealing in your heart friend! I say this based on the knowledge that it is only God that would have encouraged you to read all the way to this point in this devotional! So listen to the voice of God and follow through in what you feel He is prompting you to do. He has prepared a very bright future for all of us who know Him personally. I would love to see you be among the number who will see Him face to face in heaven! I am excited about the opportunity, and I pray that you will be also!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are so good to us! Thank You for loving us enough to provide the means for us to one day join You in Heaven! I plead with You today heavenly Father, that the hearts of Your children will be humbled to fully understand the love laid upon Calvary’s cross so that we might be afforded the gift of eternal life with You in glory! I pray that each person meditating on this devotional today will not only place themselves on the altar of sacrifice and worship before You, but that we might begin in deep earnest to pray for our family, coworkers and friends, so that Your church here on earth might be reinvigorated and recommitted to true and sincere worship of You. Perhaps at that stage, unsaved loved ones will be open to uniting with sincere and loyal followers freed form hypocrisy and self-righteousness. Lord You are the only one worthy of our worship! May we commit ourselves to clean and holy lives so that our worship might be a sweet aroma in your ears. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Let The Church Be The Church

The Holy Bible – The Good News Translation

1 Corinthians 12:12-13

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

My Thoughts:

Yesterday I finished my remarks with a sentence “Let the church be the church”, and after allowing God’s Holy Spirit to speak to me this morning, I was pointed to these two verses with a similar theme to what I ended with yesterday. I’m sure that Paul was, in a lot of ways, very similar to pastors and church leaders today, where they are probably sick of the ‘hand’ telling him (the pastor, or Paul) what the ‘feet’ should be doing and how they should be doing it, or least telling him every time they have stumbled. I believe the message from the Holy Spirit to churches today is that you are enormously blessed of God, you have members who have been gifted to help you achieve the ministry needed in your community that is desperately in need of the Savior. Have them respectively do their part to ensure that the combined body will be effective. To the members, I believe that the Holy Spirit would compel us to ask the Master for the wisdom, strength, boldness and power to do your part well, and pleasing to the Master, and oh, please pray for the other parts (members) to also be diligent about their part of the work, so that you can come back to your weekend service and fill your church building with worship, praise and thanksgiving to me (God). I believe that we must each discern our gift, with the help of the Holy Spirit and get to work, for the time that we have to accomplish this all is very short. Friends, fellow Christians, there is no indication that we are to gossip about our brother who may not be as strong as us; no indication that we are to get our fellow Christians together and gloat over the work that our remaining brothers are doing and how they are filling the gap for what we should be doing. Otherwise, what will you celebrate at your next church service? Yes, we can praise God for all that others have achieved, but won’t we be embarrassed and disappointed to apologize for us doing nothing for the glory of God? There’s a song that I started to hum as I paused, and the words included in that song are: “There’s a Work for all to do”, and friends, this is exactly what I discerned from this passage in 1 Corinthians 12. If you are not doing something to compliment the work of the Lord, your stagnancy can almost be considered a deterrent. Will you commit to do your part today towards building up the kingdom? You may not be the preacher or the teacher, but as a child of God your work is assigned to you! I encourage you to do it with every fibre of your being and with the help of the Almighty!

My Prayer:

Lord Jesus, Master and Almighty God, please forgive me for not always doing my part in the work of Your church here on this earth. Please give me guidance, wisdom and direction on all that I might do to edify, encourage and challenge all those that I come into contact with, so that they may feel a touch from You. I’m a part of Your enormous work here on this earth and in all walks of life I am reminded how badly ‘People need the Lord’. I can’t sit back and wait for my Brother to speak with, or impact the lives of my friends, I must use the gifts that You have blessed me with so that together with my Brother, we may impact a life for You and direct them towards the cross, where You might also give them the gift of eternal life. Please speak to Your church once again and open our eyes to the gifts that You have given to us and clearly enlighten us of the ways that we can use those gifts to bring You glory. Lord, may the church once again be the church! I ask this in the precious name of Jesus my Savior, AMEN!
**If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Who Will Stand?

The Bible – The Good news Translation

Psalm106:29–31

                 They stirred up the Lord’s anger by their actions,

and a terrible disease broke out among them.

                But Phinehas stood up and punished the guilty,

and the plague was stopped.

                This has been remembered in his favor ever since

and will be for all time to come.

Thoughts:

Phinehas was recognized a few times in the Bible: for his leadership role in a group sent out, and as an adviser in a war. So he was not a known religious leader whom one would have expected to stand up again the evil that stirred up the Lord’s anger in the verses above. This precisely brings up an important point that I would like for us to consider in response to this passage. In today’s society, we will immediately look to our church leaders to stand up for evil, because we consider them God’s point men in our churches. However, like in our homes we have kids, and sometimes, spouses that rebel against our stand against evil, I believe that church members will be the first to criticize our church leaders for the stand against the evil that they have either recognized, or been told about. You see, I believe that many of us ‘church members’ are so wishy-washy in our beliefs and especially in our stand against the norm that we go along with the flow way too often, instead of standing up against the evil that happens around us out in this evil world. We are such advocates of being politically correct – in other words ‘splashing around in the truth in order not to take a stand and/or hurting anyone’s feelings’. So if this describes our ‘church members’ in general, who again do we expect to stand with our pastors and/or church leaders when they take a stand on behalf of our church? It won’t happen friend! We have seen churches split over simple things like the paint color on the walls, so imagine how quickly members will walk when asked to stand with our church leaders on decisions made that might cause the media to point out our church for a Biblical stand that it took! In these verses we see where the effects of sin were already being felt – a terrible disease had broken out. Do we see the effects of sin in our society, and in our churches today? I dare say that we do. There are diseases caused by certain known sins such as homosexuality, yet we have churches that splash around in the truth and accept this as a way of life. In fact some churches even accept these individuals as members, leaders or pastors. Yet we wonder why God permits certain disasters upon our land? Friend, our God is no different today than He was in this scripture we are studying today. I am studying a book by a popular pastor who said that he is not allow to preach something that is not Biblical. When we surrender our lives to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, we agree to live according to His commands as detailed in His Word (the Bible). Why would we do this, but look to our ‘Christian’ brother living in sin and say it’s alright? As we take a stand for total obedience to God’s Word, we might be more apt to also join our church leaders in taking a corporate stand for Biblical truths and against SIN. Are you prepared to join the army of Christ, friend? Are you prepared to call sin what it is?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, taking a stand against the normal flow of society is very challenging. Yet when we accepted You as Lord of our lives, we agreed that we would live in agreement with Your Word, and its commands. You are very clear in Your Word on what is acceptable to You and what is sin. If there is doubt in our minds then we should consider the challenging thing as sin until we can get a clearer word from You. Many times we are so confused, I believe, because we are listening to the world for advice instead of looking to You for clarification. As we read Your Word more, we become more in tuned with what Your expectations of us. We then also understand Your commands and principles better. We learn the very heart of our Master and therefore have a much better base for the decisions that we should make, and subsequently for the stands that we should take. Please help us to stand firm on the Truth of Your Word, and that it is the only thing that would change our minds. We need more like Phineas in our world today. May I plead for Your strength and wisdom to be more like Phineas and not disagree for argument sake, but in order to stay the course for You. This is only possible through the power and mighty hand of my King, so Jesus I ask this in Your powerful and awesome name, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Make God First in Your Life, then……

SCRIPTURE Studied: Matthew 4

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too.22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. Matt 4:18-22 (NLT)

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

While this seems like a miraculous thing for Jesus to call these men from what they were doing, and especially for them to leave their secular jobs and follow Him, I believe that this also occurs today. We were created by God, and while our flesh strives to live in and enjoy the pleasures of this world, I believe that our inward soul longs to be with Jesus and live a life pleasing to Him while here on this earth. Unfortunately I believe that the latter is not possible until we accept that deep longing to accept Jesus as Lord of our life. We can always stop and think of what life could be like if we weren’t so stuck on pleasing others. It is so unfortunate that we try so hard to please our peers, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our boss, our pastor and then with whatever is left in us we try to please God. Friend why not try and do this in reverse order – surrender your heart to God, give Him 100% of your effort to please Him and follow His commands, then watch how easy it will be to see others accept you for who you are. A life surrendered to, committed to and following the commands of Jesus will result in a happy, satisfied, fulfilled life with a purpose and a goal oriented mindset that will be fixed on Jesus Christ. Oh that we will do just that this Christmas season – a time on our calendar that we dedicate to the One whose birthday is the whole purpose of Christmas.

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

Father, I rededicated myself anew to You this Christmas. I pray that You will direct me each and every day, especially during this busy time on my calendar. I pray that You will help me place my life in perspective – You first, and all else to follow as You direct. May I be deep into Your Word daily so that I may learn of and subsequently follow the plan You have designed for my life. May I be an influence to others, especially those that have not yet accepted You as Lord of their lives. Like Peter, Andrew, James and John, may I be obedient to Your call on my life and serve You willingly every day. Please touch the lives of all readers today that they too may first of all accept You as Lord, then submit their lives totally to You and Your service. You gave Your very best that very first ‘Christmas’, may we in turn give our very best to You this Christmas.