What Have You Done With God’s Messengers

Knowing the familiarity of the Jews with the words of the prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus used a teaching by Isaiah (Isaiah 5:7) to challenge them on the way they are treating God’s messengers. I am convinced that Jesus wanted children of this world and church members to be challenged by this teaching today also. Let’s spend some time examining exactly what it is that we might be guilty of. The unsaved are watching and taking note. Our actions may even be a stumbling block to them, so this lesson is critical to us, as a part of God’s church.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-08-05
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 12:4-6
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: “The owner then sent another of his men, who received the same treatment, only worse, for his head was seriously injured. The next man he sent was killed; and later, others were either beaten or killed, until there was only one left—his only son. He finally sent him, thinking they would surely give him their full respect.

APPLICATION: Jesus found it important to connect with the people in simple, meaningful ways that they could identify with, even though I sometimes look at a parable and ponder its meaning, or what message Jesus could possibly have intended for His audience to receive! It is important that we realize that there is nothing we need to do to help Jesus clarify His teachings, for He was, and is, perfect in every way. So, the onus is on us to understand the message, and its meaning when the Scriptures are unclear to us. Just like us, the Pharisees thought they were always right, but that kind of thinking always causes us to close our minds to the actual truth when someone attempts to clarify something for us. The Pharisees were no different. However, today we must look at the Word of God and seek to understand its meaning and application for us and those alongside us, as we seek a word from the Master. Based on my study and research, I believe that Jesus might be challenging us to think about the earth and all its abundance that God has blessed us with. He also pointed us to a church body for spiritual enrichment and to know Him better, while also being a blessing to others. Just as in the story of the ‘Farmer’ sending ‘messengers’ to the lessors, Jesus has sent messenger after messenger to us – in the pulpit; through a men’s study group; through a Sunday School teacher; just to name a few. Some ‘messengers’ have been beaten up on, cursed at, written nasty letters to, discouraged through negative comments by us, reduced their salaries when they wouldn’t say what we told them to say from the pulpit, etc, etc. Friends, in John 3:16 we are told that God also sent His very own Son (as His messenger) into the world to save us from our sin. Many have also rejected Him, much like they’ve done with His other messengers (pastors, teachers, disciples, elders, deacons, evangelists, etc) He sent to share the Good News with us. How much more of this do you think that God will tolerate? He already has a place prepared and ready for those who accept Him and His messengers. The alternative is damnation in a place called Hell, where Satan is awaiting your arrival so he could kill, steal and destroy your soul. The choice seems obvious to me, but unless you individually and deliberately accept the Lord and surrender your life to Him, then your destination is set in stone. My reason for writing these blogs is to help you avoid eternal disaster, my friend. Please read my Footnote – especially the content behind the link ‘To Know Jesus’. I have provided Scripture that will confirm what I wrote above, and it will direct you to my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. He alone has the key to eternal life in heaven with He and the Father. Please don’t mistreat and/or kill the messengers, accept the chief Farmer – my Lord and Savior.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God sent us His only Son as the answer to all of life’s dilemmas. He alone is the ONLY way to eternal life with the God who created us and have a home prepared for our eternity.

PRAYER: Thank You Heavenly Father for Your amazing grace, and Your consideration in providing a means for us to avoid Hell, and instead join with the angels in sweet accord around the feet of You and the Father in Heaven. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that my fellow family and friends are very similar to the folk You ministered to in today’s Scripture, for many today tend to feel like there is more to the joys of this earth than anything that could be offered in Heaven. Please forgive us Lord when we allow Satan to convince us of his lies. Touch the hearts of those reading or listening to this devotional. Please open their eyes to the truth of the everlasting hope that could be theirs, if only they would accept You as Lord. Make our ministry today an avenue for sharing Your Good News with one who is still doubting the glories of Heaven and/or the One who could get us there. 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!

Your Complaints Against God

Hopefully no one ignored this post because they thought they were not guilty of complaining against God! Or perhaps it just irks you too much to be reminded how the Israelites complained against the God who freed them from Egyptian slavery. But I really want us to meditate on this Scripture today, because I’m not convinced that we are any different to the Israelites.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-02-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Exodus 16:6-8
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “By evening you will realize it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?” Then Moses added, “The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the Lord, not against us.”

APPLICATION: So often we complain about the heat outside, without thinking that we are really complaining to God about sending too many sun rays our way. Other days we whine and complain about the cold, without thinking that we are really complaining about God sending such misery on us without any good reason. Perhaps the meals at home were not as good as we expected, or the bed wasn’t made just right, so we complain about the woman we married, without considering that she is a daughter of the King, and God wanted to bless us beyond measure with the best He could give to us. What do we think He did wrong?? At church, we get upset because the sermon was too long and pointed at us instead of all the other sinners who needed it much worse than us! Furthermore, where are the elders? Don’t they ever do anything worthwhile for the church? Friends, God went to great lengths to provide just the right pastor, and only those elders who He felt were worthy to manage the affairs of His ministry, so why again are we complaining to God about what He did?? I believe that by now you may have been reminded about how similar you are to the Israelites. We normally think that we are making the Pastor, Elders and household members accountable, and we really don’t want them to treat others without care and concern, after all you helped to approve the church budget and want the leaders to be accountable for their actions. Friends, I am reminded that God is not only our Provider of all things, but He also answers our prayers when we petition Him for the leaders we need. When we complain, we are really telling Him that He messed up and is still uncommitted to caring for our needs through them. Let us learn to be a thankful people, consistently praising God for all His goodness and for how carefully He watches over us and cares for us. Just because God decides to handle things differently to what we expect, doesn’t mean that He’s wrong or uncaring about us. God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth. We are blessed to be recipients of His blessings, so let’s accept His goodness, His ways, His direction and His constant love.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We serve such a forgiving and loving God that He hears our cry for forgiveness even if we find ourselves as guilty as the Israelites in complaining.

PRAYER: Ashamedly I must acknowledge that I have been guilty of complaining about things that could ultimately be attributed to the works of my Master. Please forgive me Lord, and give me the strength to overcome such a degrading practice in the future. Please Lord, help my readers, listeners and myself always seek to honor You in every aspect of life. You placed us here to make a difference so that the world might see You more clearly and come to accept You as Lord. May we look, sound and represent You more fully every day, and may we live a life of love, forgiveness and thankfulness for all that You bountifully provide for us. 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!

About Your Teacher

Who is your teacher? If a child, then I’m sure you thought of your school teacher. But what about adults, who is that person who came to mind when you saw the subject of this devotional? Really, today is all about titles and what they do For those who give them, and for those called by those titles. Jesus was referred to as ‘Teacher’, and no one else is deserving of that title, nor are they any match for Jesus. Stay tuned!

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-03-29
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 23:10-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 … don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant.12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

OBSERVATION: Who is your teacher? If a child, then I’m sure you thought of your school teacher. But what about adults, who is that person who came to mind when you saw the subject of this devotional? Really, today is all about titles and what they do For those who give them, and for those called by those titles. Jesus was referred to as ‘Teacher’, and no one else is deserving of that title, nor are they any match for Jesus. Stay tuned!

APPLICATION: This is really just one of the titles referred to by Jesus as He spoke to the Pharisees about how they were making way too much over titles and self recognition than anything they could possibly accomplish for the Kingdom. But have we learned anything from that? In verse 8 of chapter 23, Jesus clarified this teaching by saying that we are all brothers and sisters, or equal to each other, and not one standing in authority, or above another. I have always compared Christianity to marriage, so once again I will do that. In a marriage, the Bible refers to the husband as the leader of the home. Does that make him better than his wife – no, for she is also a daughter of the same Father. Does that cause Him to require worship from his wife or to be exalted by his wife? Of course not, for she is an equal partner in the marriage. Similarly in the life of a believer, one might be blessed with the gift of explaining the Word of God and clarifying any mystifying parts of the Word, but because his students also have gifts in other areas that he is not blessed in, the point of superiority is automatically null and void. So why give that person a title? Friends, God placed us all here on earth as His children. Just as in your earthly family there are no favorites or superiority among siblings, it is perfected even more so in God’s family. We are all equal in His eyes. But to an even greater extent, we can see from this Scripture today that Jesus was concerned that the Pharisees were being called by titles that many referred to Him as. Jesus knew that this would soon lead to the Pharisees trying to assume the rightful place of God’s Holy Son among the people that they were in charge of. Please be careful friends to not even think about calling someone by a name that you may have heard given to Jesus or to the Father in the Bible. For there is only one God – our great God – God Almighty. There is only one Son of God – Jesus Christ. Any alternate titles given to these supreme beings are forever assigned to them and refers to them, so never find the need to call any man, or woman, by any of those names. Often we do it as a means of exalting that person for the awesome job they are doing in teaching/preaching/witnessing or just doing good work in the name of the Father. Because they are your Brother or Sister, you can simply refer to them in deepest respect as you would to your natural sibling. You diminish the value of our Lord, when you start calling mankind by any name attributed to Him at any time. Always acknowledge Jesus as Lord, for there is no other under the sun that takes His place. There are great pastors, teachers or workers for the Kingdom, but they are men and women just like you. Never make them anything more through a title you may give them. Intentionally thank God for them and ask Him to bless them richly for their efforts.

PRAYER: Lord God, You alone are holy, and You alone are God. Please help us to never attribute that authority to any man or woman, whether through title or through any other means. You have created great men and women of God who may often sacrifice their entire lives to Your ministry and to share the Good News with the world. Please help us to never feel the need to escalate their title or their worth beyond anything greater than a fellow Brother or Sister blessed of God. We may appreciate their value in knowledge, in giving or in education, but may we always show our appreciation as a sibling of the Most High God and nothing more. We want you to be honored and lifted up above all men, for You alone are God and You alone deserve our praise. We glory in Your name while we are here on earth, and we are anxious to bow at your feet and sing eternal praises when You call us home to glory. Until that time, please bless us with qualities that we can share with others that might help lead them to 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. 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!

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

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!

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!