No Greater Gift

As we near Christmas, we might question ourselves on whether we purchased the best gift possible for the one(s) that we love. But what if you were living away from town and all the stores, what might you give for Christmas? Perhaps, like Paul, we should stop and ponder what might be the greatest gift ever given to us! It might help us to stop the complaining about how little we have but instead about how much we are loved.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-12-18
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 How true it is, and how I long that everyone should know it, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I was the greatest of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as an example to show everyone how patient he is with even the worst sinners, so that others will realize that they, too, can have everlasting life. 17 Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the King of the ages, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God, and full of wisdom. Amen.

OBSERVATION: As we near Christmas, we might question ourselves on whether we purchased the best gift possible for the one(s) that we love. But what if you were living away from town and all the stores, what might you give for Christmas? Perhaps, like Paul, we should stop and ponder what might be the greatest gift ever given to us! It might help us to stop the complaining about how little we have but instead about how much we are loved.

APPLICATION: We often think of gifts at Christmas time. Those given and those received over the years. There were some Christmases where we may have been disappointed, because we didn’t receive quite the gift that we expected. But were there years that you received an awesome gift, although you weren’t expecting anything at all? Imagine this for a moment today: Saul had murdered many Christians, and had done everything imaginable to disrupt the work of God through His church. What gift would you give him? No doubt some of the very men and women that Saul persecuted, were hard core workers in the church, and possibly local pastors trying their best to share the love of Jesus Christ with the unsaved. Yet when God was ready to promote the work of His church, He didn’t choose one of the local pastors, but instead, the man that terrorized them and their ministries. Why? Why? Why? I’m sure this must have been asked multiple times while Paul began his earthly ministry under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. But can you imagine how humbled Paul was, to have avoided the pit of Hell for all the evil he committed, and instead be promoted as one of God’s key ministers? It is easy to see that this kind of love came from a level never experienced before. This was a unique love that Paul would have felt; one that the local church would have possibly questioned, but yet marveled at; a love that only God was capable of giving to an opposer of the faith; a love that you and I could look back on and better understand how God also forgave us of our sin; a love that helps us better understand how God could have permitted His only Son to hang on a murderer’s cross and die for the salvation of sinners – those that mankind would have hated or put to death. This expression of love by our awesome God, to someone that seemed so undeserving, should open our hearts and minds this Christmas season and help us to remember that there is no gift that we could give to a loved one, that compares to the tremendous gift given for our salvation, and our ultimate security in knowing that heaven is our final home – with our Savior. So let’s learn from this that instead of being quick to criticize, find fault in, dislike or even hate someone for their actions, that we should be like God in giving the greatest, unexpected gift possible, by seeking ways to forgive them and love them better, and eternally. We may have never murdered, nor fought against Christians, but like Paul, we were steeped in sin and far from God, yet He allowed His Son to die a cruel death so that we may know Him and know about His love for us. Know that you are no better than Saul was – a sinner. Know that God is the same today as He was for Saul/Paul, He loves us enough that He would turn our lives completed around and place us on a track destined for Heaven. Now that’s a ‘GIFT’ my friend! Accept it this Christmas and meet my God!

PRAYER: I am most thankful for the greatest gift ever given, one that is out of this world, and one that will last eternally – thank You Jesus! Paul told us about this gift, and many other Bible scholars have also celebrated this precious gift. It is challenging to imagine that God loved even us so much that He gave His all so that we may live with Him in heaven for all eternity. Thank You Lord for recognizing the value in Paul, and I thank You for looking on us as Your precious sons and daughters, in spite of our ugliness in sin here on earth. I’m forgiven and I praise God for His wonderful mercies and grace towards me. Please Lord, speak again today to my family and friends, especially those who will read this devotional. Draw them unto Yourself and fill them with the eternal hope of being in heaven one day soon with You. AMEN!

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

Living in line with True Christianity

At home we are raised by our parents and we will pick up every little habit of theirs. They will also insist on every little rule that they were taught when being raised by their parents. At church, we hope that our kids our taught the same principles as at home, but with a whole lot more emphasis on what God expects of them. Paul know that if Titus was to be successful in raising up a generation to be more like God, he had to not only preach the Word, but demonstrate it in his life, and teach the whole family to be more like Jesus in every way. Each member of the home is addressed in the verses we will meditate on today. Stick with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-09-16
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Titus 2:1-7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT:  But as for you, speak up for the right living that goes along with true Christianity. Teach the older men to be serious and unruffled; they must be sensible, knowing and believing the truth and doing everything with love and patience. Teach the older women to ….. These older women must train the younger women to ….. In the same way, urge the young men to ….. And here you yourself must be an example to them of good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect your love of the truth and the fact that you are in dead earnest about it.

OBSERVATION: At home we are raised by our parents and we will pick up every little habit of theirs. They will also insist on every little rule that they were taught when being raised by their parents. At church, we hope that our kids our taught the same principles as at home, but with a whole lot more emphasis on what God expects of them. Paul know that if Titus was to be successful in raising up a generation to be more like God, he had to not only preach the Word, but demonstrate it in his life, and teach the whole family to be more like Jesus in every way. Each member of the home is addressed in the verses we will meditate on today. Stick with me!

APPLICATION: I feel like it is very important that we pay attention to verse 1 above, where Titus was instructed to train his members in line with Scripture. For without this guide, we will tend to pass along for living our personal principles, that have been tainted by the world. Also in verse 7, Titus was told that he should be sure to live the life he was teaching, so that He not appear hypocritical in what he was teaching. But here are some practical steps Paul taught for each member of the family:
~ Older Men – Not to be ruffled by every little error, or argument, or mishap, but instead be sensible in knowing the Truth, understanding the Truth, and practicing the Truth in all aspects of their lives with patience and love. I believe this is how one gains respect. Yes, I know that we all lose it at times, especially when things appear to be going haywire, but when our minds are fixed on Jesus Christ, we tend to realize real quick that others are acting out because of the same flaws that are usually evident in ourselves;
~ Older Women – Teach them to be quiet and respectful, and not to go around gossiping and speaking evil of others. They must be able to teach their children the right way to live, so they must carefully do the same personally. In fact, God expects older women to set the stage for their younger counterparts;
~ Train Younger Women – Interestingly this was a responsibility given to the older women. I believe that it is especially important that our older women determine in themselves to live out the following principals, if they expect the younger women to listen and obey them: have a quiet nature; show love for their husband and children; think smartly and cleanly; spend time in their own homes; being kind to, and show obedience to their husbands; and live as God expects, so that no one can speak against them;
~ Younger Men – Urge them to live, carefully obeying God’s laws and seriously following the laws of God.
Friends, I believe that God wants us to pay close attention to what He taught through Paul in the Scriptures. Each one reading this devotional will fit into one of the categories above, so I encourage you to take responsibility for obeying the Word. Be sure that you are not looking for excuses to help explain your errors and disobedience. Others are following in your footsteps, please be sure that they are being pointed towards the cross of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for providing the Way, the Truth and the example for us to follow here on earth. Lord, our eyes are on You and our minds in the Book, please guide us to Your truths every time we open Your Word and give us the boldness and determination to live like You intended, so that others might be attracted to You. There’s a great day coming for each of us! Oh that we may be found ready for the Kingdom whenever Your trumpet sounds! AMEN!

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

Guidance for Success

Paul told his son in the ministry, Timothy, that He should consider three different professions to help him grasp the importance of his ministry, because each have impressive drives that could teach him the values of hard work and dedication that will serve to enhance his aspirations. I believe that our time spent meditating this direction from Paul might also help us, even today.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-09-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 2:3-7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, just as I do; and as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army. Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. Work hard like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop. Think over these three illustrations, and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you.

OBSERVATION: Paul told his son in the ministry, Timothy, that He should consider three different professions to help him grasp the importance of his ministry, because each have impressive drives that could teach him the values of hard work and dedication that will serve to enhance his aspirations. I believe that our time spent meditating this direction from Paul might also help us, even today.

APPLICATION: One of the things that my younger sisters dreaded while growing up, was to hear my mom tell them how she wished they would pay attention to the character and habits of their older brother! They were no different than most of us, for we tend to assume we are being told that what we are currently doing counts for nothing. But friends, notice that Paul was merely using these three professions because of the qualities that normally come forth from those who chose to follow these paths. Let’s look at each individually:
~ A Soldier – Although I have never been in the military, I am told that the first thing military leaders/trainers try to achieve, is to convince new recruits that they now belong to the military and they should therefore forget all other allegiance and everything else. When in battle, soldiers know that they are to follow the orders of their commanders and no one else. They are trained to have a one-track mind. As workers in God’s army, we must also have a one-track mind, for we are to listen carefully to His commands; and follow His orders only. Anything else will result in a half-hearted soldier who can be swayed by every distraction that Satan sends our way;
~ An Athlete – In the days that our Scripture was written, if athletes trained less than 9 months, they were disqualified from competition. Imagine if churches were to ordain leaders and pastors with very basic training and experience? Paul wanted Timothy to be fully trained and very aware of the extreme stress on himself while striving to win the battle of snatching souls from the pit of hell. Satan is very real, but our God is so much more! Strive to win and not settle for anything less, when it comes to winning the lost;
~ A Farmer – My dad was a farmer, so I know how much he dreamed about the end result when he slowly cleared the ground, planted the small seeds, and tenderly and patiently nurtured the plants through to maturity and reaping. I also remember the days of harvest, for he celebrated in seeing, reaping and selling the beautiful crop. Isn’t it very obvious to see the various levels of church work in everything I just described in farming? Paul knew that Timothy would be very familiar with farming, and would therefore apply its concepts to his ministry. This is a great reminder for us as we endeavor to share our hearts and lives in the ministry of Jesus Christ!
Friends, we each have a desire to succeed in life, but what are we prepared to do in order to win? Others have shown us through their various professions, And often all we need to do is to apply the same principles that they used, and most of all, listen closely to our Chief as we head out to do His work. To sit at the feet of Jesus and look around to see all those that we touched in some way with our lives and/or our ministry, is worth every minute of every hour that we spend here on earth in training, in executing and in celebrating successes. Oh that God may be glorified through all of our efforts, is my greatest desire!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we thank You for all that You are to us. We thank You for softly speaking to our hearts and guiding us into accepting You as Lord, and then helping us to share that love with others. But Lord, the times seem to get rougher each and every day, so I beg You to help us remember the one-track mind and dedication of a soldier; the training and aim to win, that athletes strive for, as we strive to win the lost for the Kingdom; and also help us to remember the patience and nurturing by our farmers as they wait in anticipation for the joy that comes with harvest time. Our work seems endless and often so unrewarding, but when we allow you to guide us and work miraculously in the lives of those we touch, we are confident about the joy that will come in the morning! Oh that You may be glorified today dear Lord, and oh that You may use us powerfully in Your kingdom work here on earth. This is my humble plea today for all my readers and myself! 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!

Keep Looking Up!

Many of us face challenges in this life, either personally or through the lives of family and/or friends very near and dear to us. We sometimes worry about whether there is any hope or good expectation that might come out of the situations that concern us. Until we open the Word of God and are suddenly reminded that things are looking up for the child of God who places his/her faith in the Creator of this universe. He’s still in charge and because He owns it all, He knows exactly what will occur next. That’s our God!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-11
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Acts 27:21-22
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: With our appetite for both food and life long gone, Paul took his place in our midst and said, “Friends, you really should have listened to me back in Crete. We could have avoided all this trouble and trial. But there’s no need to dwell on that now. From now on, things are looking up! I can assure you that there’ll not be a single drowning among us, although I can’t say as much for the ship—the ship itself is doomed.

OBSERVATION: Many of us face challenges in this life, either personally or through the lives of family and/or friends very near and dear to us. We sometimes worry about whether there is any hope or good expectation that might come out of the situations that concern us. Until we open the Word of God and are suddenly reminded that things are looking up for the child of God who places his/her faith in the Creator of this universe. He’s still in charge and because He owns it all, He knows exactly what will occur next. That’s our God!

APPLICATION:  Paul and his friends faced a very serious scenario out on the ship on which they were traveling. Their ship had traveled that course many times in the past, but they never faced the challenges like they faced on that fateful night detailed in our Scripture. However, one other thing was different also, they had a passenger who knew the Master of the sea and of the wind and the waves. In fact, he stepped forward to encourage the sailors with a word that he received from an angel during the night. Now I want you to stop and compare this story with the challenges that you face. You too will also face challenges that are unheard of, and you also receive warnings, that also compare to those that Paul offered the boat captain before they set sail. Think about it, we are challenged by our pastor, Sunday School teacher, Christian friends, and even family members, to set aside our life of sin and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the only One who could rescue us from the trenches of everyday sin, and keep us safe through the toils of life and the temptations of this world. But what do we do with these challenges? Way too often we continue our independence, our selfish and often obnoxious attitudes, and we snarl at anything shared with us to the contrary. This is precisely what the ship’s crew did, they had no desire to change their plans because of one man’s warnings. Unfortunately, we often face obstacles along the way, much like Paul’s hardened audience faced, and unfortunately these obstacles can sometimes be catastrophic. Sometime we may survive the catastrophes and are able to hear the warnings once again, as we are given a second chance. Notice how Paul finally got the attention of the boat crew after they had tried everything they knew to do? It is so unfortunate that some folk are only open to God after they have tried everything else. Too often our idea of having time to try ‘one more thing’ has very little surety, just as the ship could have easily been destroyed prior to Paul having another opportunity to speak with the sailors. Our take away on this story is that we should never delay responding to God. I have had young friends who have been called from this life very unexpectedly – in the prime of their lives, where it was really important for them to properly raise their young families. I’m sure they never dreamed that they would not have time for one more prayer before their lives were taken. Not all of us can count on the second chance that these sailors were blessed with. Are you ready to meet Your Maker? How will you answer the question “Why should you be accepted into God’s heaven”? Because you are reading this devotional, it means that you have been given another opportunity to surrender your life to Jesus and give Him control of your life. But friend, the warning is clear throughout God’s Word that you have no assurance of your next minute or hour. Therefore, I am very motivated to encourage you into making a decision to invite Jesus into your life, right now. Today is the day of salvation, friend. The sailors paid no attention to Paul’s warnings and almost lost their lives without Christ. Please learn a lesson from this story and delay your decision no longer.

PRAYER: Dear God, I am so thankful that You send messengers into our lives, like You did with Paul to those sailors. This story is a warning to those of us who read it, that we must listen and obey the warnings You send our way. Please help us to see the need to open our hearts and allow You to govern our lives, our desires, our wants and our future. You loved us enough to sacrifice Your very own Son so that we might enjoy eternal life with You. Lord, may we love You enough to live our lives in obedience to Your commands. I pray that my unsaved/uncommitted friends that may meditate on this devotional, may catch a glimpse of Your love and subsequently make a decision to invite You as Lord and Savior of their lives this very day. Jesus, this is an awesome task that can only be accomplished by You, so I ask this in Your most worthy, and all powerful name, 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!

Step Up To The Plate and Tell Your Story!

Saul lived a very dramatic life. He was known for persecuting and killing Christians of his day. However, in our Scripture today we can see where God completely turned this man’s life around. In fact, there was such a change that it involved Saul’s name being changed to Paul in order to identify the drastic change in the man himself. This kind of change may cause some to stay out of the public’s eye, because it would be so challenging for anyone to believe their story. But this was not the case for Paul, for he was overjoyed and wanted the world to know his story!

Tuesday, 2019-05-27

Bible Reference: Acts 22:7-11
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: As I fell to the ground I heard a voice say, ‘Saul, Saul . . . why are you persecuting me?’ “I answered, ‘Who are you, my Lord?’ “He said to me, ‘I am Jesus, the Victorious. I am the one you are persecuting.’ “Those who were with me saw the brilliant light, but they didn’t hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. 10 “So I asked, ‘Lord, what am I to do?’ “And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about all that you are destined to do.’ 11 “Because of the dazzling glory of the light, I couldn’t see—I was left blind. So they had to lead me by the hand the rest of the way into Damascus.

OBSERVATION: Saul lived a very dramatic life. He was known for persecuting and killing Christians of his day. However, in our Scripture today we can see where God completely turned this man’s life around. In fact, there was such a change that it involved Saul’s name being changed to Paul in order to identify the drastic change in the man himself. This kind of change may cause some to stay out of the public’s eye, because it would be so challenging for anyone to believe their story. But this was not the case for Paul, for he was overjoyed and wanted the world to know his story!

APPLICATION: There are several miraculous things about this experience shared by Paul:

  • It was Personal – Paul didn’t share a story with the group arresting him about a friend of his, or a story he had read in ancient transcripts, he shared his story;
  • Recognized it was God speaking – Paul’s first response to the voice he heard was “Who are you, Lord?” When God gets our attention, we know that it is divine, holy and very personal;
  • It was transformational – Paul, a persecutor of Christians and a destroyer of churches, immediately recognized it was God, and instead of cursing God, as he had been doing, he asked for further instructions!
  • It was shared without regard to the place or occasion – Paul didn’t wait until he was in the synagogue, or among fellow believers, or until it was church time. In fact, this seemed like a very odd time to share his testimony, but Paul shared his story anyway!

I believe that the whole purpose of Paul sharing his story was: that he not only wanted his captors’ eyes to be opened to the fact that he was a fellow Roman citizen, but also that they might hear, understand and come to know the God that touched, and ministered through, Paul. He was a true evangelist, both in the pulpit and out of it. Like Paul, we have a ‘story’ that we should share with folk. Often in conversations we step up to the plate and tell a story about an incident in our lives that we believe is far greater than anything said so far by anyone else. Imagine the quiet that would fill the room if, in the middle of discussions about sports, or hunting or family, we would jump in and share our story about our conversion? This is basically what happened here! Among all the confusion and excitement of calming the crowds and making an arrest, Paul asked for a moment to share his story. Wow! Friends, God can use us for His glory in any circumstance that He chooses, if we let Him. But it will only be impactful if we share our story for His ultimate glory and not ours. So why don’t we do that more often friend? We need to do this as often as we can, because we have no promise of a future moment with that individual or group that we are meeting with. Don’t be shy or afraid, God will never lead you into a situation that He will not help you through! Allow Him to do His great work through you! Be bold, yet humble in allowing all the praise to flow straight up to your Master and Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in Your precious and holy name, I come humbly before You to first say thank You for getting my attention back in 1976 and leading me to accept You as Lord of my life. Thankfully, You have since lead me through many situations and given me ample opportunities to share Your saving power with many people. Please forgive me for lost opportunities, and give me wisdom, humility, boldness and power to share my story with many more folk in all walks of life, so that others might see the glow of Your presence in and through me, and subsequently want to also accept You as Lord. Father God, it is only through Your continued grace that the wicked and lost of this earth can come to know a holy and righteous God, so I ask that You touch lives that I interface with today so that in something that I might say or do, You might impact their lives for Your ultimate glory. I ask all this in the name above all names, the King of all kings, Your one and only Son, JESUS. AMEN!

Alert For, and With Christ

In our Scripture we see where a young man fell asleep under the preaching of Paul, so we may feel like it’s not half bad if we fall asleep at one of our church services!! However, we should also look at the other times in life that we may not be fully alert to the work of God in our lives. Let’s meditate together on our daily activities and relationship with God.

Tuesday, 2019-05-14

Bible Reference: Acts 20:7-12
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text:  On the first day of the week, we all met together to break bread, and Paul spoke to the group. Because he was planning to leave the next day, he kept on talking until midnight. We were all together in a room upstairs, and there were many lamps in the room. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window. As Paul continued talking, Eutychus was falling into a deep sleep. Finally, he went sound asleep and fell to the ground from the third floor. When they picked him up, he was dead. 10 Paul went down to Eutychus, knelt down, and put his arms around him. He said, “Don’t worry. He is alive now.” 11 Then Paul went upstairs again, broke bread, and ate. He spoke to them a long time, until it was early morning, and then he left.

OBSERVATION: In our Scripture we see where a young man fell asleep under the preaching of Paul, so we may feel like it’s not half bad if we fall asleep at one of our church services!! However, we should also look at the other times in life that we may not be fully alert to the work of God in our lives. Let’s meditate together on our daily activities and relationship with God.

APPLICATION: Ever have friends over for a meal, and an evening of board games and fellowship together that might run into the wee hours of the morning? This really helps us to keep our relationships intact and rejuvenates our personal lives, doesn’t it? Isn’t it interesting though, how the least little thing will interfere with us attending a church service or a Bible Study or a Prayer Meeting? Isn’t it just as pitiful when we make the awesome sacrifice and, supposedly ‘please the preacher’ by attending a service, only to then fall asleep in the service? Isn’t it also just as pitiful that sit in church making plans for the time after church? I believe that we have made a mockery of our time with God for we have placed Him in a box – both as to what He can do, and how much time we will give Him to do it. Friends, I know that we have become a really busy people, and we just don’t have time for everything in our busy lifestyles, but should we assume that God will surely understand if we can’t get up early to meditate on His Word, or attend a Wednesday night Prayer and Bible Study service? Careful how you answer this friend, for you are not just answering a question for the writer, but you are acknowledging to the Creator of life and this world, the One who knows all things, that you have other priorities that are far more important than your time needed to spend with Him and His people. Now if you haven’t already exited from this devotional and promised yourself to never meditate on another ‘Nuggets’ devotional, I want you to try an experiment for one week. I want you to make an effort to attend Bible School and at least one weekend service and a midweek service at your church. I also want you to commit 10-15 minutes of private, quiet and undisturbed time with the Lord in prayer and Bible Study each day. Should you not make one of these times in the week, I want you to ask God for forgiveness for not making time with Him a priority in your life that day. Please DO NOT give God the excuse that you didn’t have time, but truly call it what it is: ‘a priority’. After one week I want you to analyze how you did and whether this is something you think you can continue. Know that this suggested time with God represents 0.04% of the time God blessed you with during that week! So although it sounds like a lot of time compared to what you are spending with God today, it is minute compared to the time He is blessing you with to do everything else you have to do, or want to do. In a good relationship with our spouse or our friends, we don’t place a cap on the time we spend together, please join me in not doing this in our time with God – whether at church or at home. He deserves our best! Paul went down, touched the boy who had fallen asleep in the window and fell to the ground to his death, and the boy was revived to life again. Perhaps we need to be more intent in asking God to to revive us from our sleepiness brought on by worldly desires and fun, so that we may truly concentrate on the one that matters most in our lives – Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in Your precious and holy name I ask that you please allow us another opportunity to right our relationship with You. I am ashamed that my friends and I invest so little of the time that You bless us with each week, to prayer; to actual study of Your Word; or in worship services; where we could join hearts and souls with other believers to worship You and learn more about You. We are a blessed people, yet we go on with our lives like You owe us these blessings. We take for granted You and Your precious love for us. Please forgive me, and please touch the hearts of my friends meditating on this devotional today so that we may desire more time with You. We are blessed with daily wonders and rich blessings, plus You have even provided means for us to spend eternity with You, please help us to never cheat ourselves of any time that we can spend with You and/or Your people. Thank You for loving us enough to help us draw closer to You, for it is in Your wonderful name that I pray, AMEN!

God’s Word Says….

Acts 20:7-12 (NCV)

On the first day of the week, we all met together to break bread, and Paul spoke to the group. Because he was planning to leave the next day, he kept on talking until midnight. We were all together in a room upstairs, and there were many lamps in the room. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window. As Paul continued talking, Eutychus was falling into a deep sleep. Finally, he went sound asleep and fell to the ground from the third floor. When they picked him up, he was dead. 10 Paul went down to Eutychus, knelt down, and put his arms around him. He said, “Don’t worry. He is alive now.” 11 Then Paul went upstairs again, broke bread, and ate. He spoke to them a long time, until it was early morning, and then he left.

My Thoughts…..

 

Prayer……

 

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Train Yourself To Serve God

It is interesting that Paul recognized the importance that the people of his day had, with a strong emphasis on a few extracurricular things, that seem to have taken priority over their allegiance to God. 

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-06-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NCV)

Text:

But do not follow foolish stories that disagree with God’s truth, but train yourself to serve God. Training your body helps you in some ways, but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life, too.
OBSERVATION:
It is interesting that Paul recognized the importance that the people of his day had, with a strong emphasis on a few extracurricular things, that seem to have taken priority over their allegiance to God. 
APPLICATION:
I found it fascinating that Paul would teach Timothy that we must train ourselves to serve God. That indicates that our normal selfish tendency is to serve self and get as much for ourselves as we possibly could. Thankfully most of us are very centered around healthy living, in our eating and in exercise. In fact, you can find friends along dark streets very early in the morning jogging or walking, or you might see friends coming out of the gym looking like they had a shower in their own sweat. What if we saw that kind of dedication and energy in Christians connecting with friends to introduce them to their Savior? I’ve also heard loads of excuses on why folk can’t, or won’t attend church functions. All the way from being afraid of crowds, to their only day to sleep in or be with their family. However most sports events are often sold out, even if it took a whole week’s salary to buy the tickets. Crowds are not a problem there, nor is early or late afternoon start times. You are bound to sit next to strangers, some of whom might even be obnoxious, but fans are not affected by that. To the only One who knows even our inmost thoughts, what will we tell God when He asks why could you not find priority for Me and in being with my people, or serving me, or giving to my work, or encouraging others? When we committed ourselves to our spouse, or to our job, we were able to lay aside our selfish desires and serve them unswervingly, why is it different with our commitment to God? Are there things that you need to clear up between you and God to restore that allegiance that you once promised Him, or perhaps that you would like to promise Him now?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You know us all very well. Our comings and our goings, our excuses and our level of dedication to You and Your work. Please help us to search out the Savior of this world, and for those who already know You personally, please teach us to draw close to You and allow You to guide us and train us to give priority to You in every aspect of our lives. For those who have not been concerned about their eternity, please touch them precious Lord and draw their attention to the need for a Savior. You created us to worship and lift up the name of Jesus, oh that we may be found faithful! 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!

Love In Action

As Paul wrote these words to the church at Rome, I would imagine that he was dealing with a lot of the challenges that church pastors deal with today, where most of a pastor’s heartaches come from the flock not getting along with each other. Paul’s overriding theme in these few verses is that Christians are to love one another in total honesty. Praising the good and abhorring the evil, but none the less, loving one another through it all.

Post Date:-

Monday, 2017-06-12
SCRIPTURE

From:

Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)

Text:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
OBSERVATION:
As Paul wrote these words to the church at Rome, I would imagine that he was dealing with a lot of the challenges that church pastors deal with today, where most of a pastor’s heartaches come from the flock not getting along with each other. Paul’s overriding theme in these few verses is that Christians are to love one another in total honesty. Praising the good and abhorring the evil, but none the less, loving one another through it all.
APPLICATION:
Jesus set the example for us by loving people everywhere He went. He loved the dreaded tax collectors and even had one of them follow Him as a disciple (Matthew). Jesus was falsely arrested and convicted of no crime at all, yet crucified anyway. While on the cross, in pain and agony, disgraced before an onlooking world, Jesus asked His Father to forgive His persecutors. Is it any wonder that the first order of business that Jesus gave attention to when telling us to be sincere in love, is that we stand firm for our beliefs, and to hate evil. Although, I believe that this was included so early in this discourse, so that we might be reminded that although we may hate the sin, or the evil that results from the actions of some, we must never lose sight of the soul and love them unconditionally. I believe that another reason for the attention to the evil in a person, is that if we don’t let the person know that we hate the sin they are doing, then they could easily feel like we are OK with it, or may even love that sinful aspect of them. Friends, if we cannot be a positive influence to a friend for Jesus, then we should examine ourselves for the true presence of Jesus in our lives. Often our friends may be caught in a trap and invite us over, hoping that we could help them through their problem. Imagine how disappointed they must be when we just accept their sinful act and count it as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ living. The rest of these verses gives us tips to look for in our everyday experiences with loved ones and friends. Think on these things as you prepare to visit someone, and ask God to help you love them unconditionally. After your visit, invite God to help you honestly evaluate your words and actions so that you may work even harder on correcting anything that you may have messed up on. Friends, we serve a perfect God, so as we strive to live like He taught us in this messed up and imperfect world, we run into challenges. Seek His guidance and His strength as you deal with others so that you may be a stepping stone in their quest for salvation, and not a stumbling block.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You loved us enough that You went to the cross on our behalf, even though we were so undeserving of such love. Through Your Holy Spirit, You led us to the cross for Your complete forgiveness and then offered us eternal salvation from our sin. As your children endeavoring to follow in Your example, how can we but love others and understand their struggle with sin? We have been there and done that, and in many cases have the scars to show for it. Please forgive us Lord, and help us to be a forgiving people, willing to love the unloved. May they see Jesus through our actions and in our unconditional love for them, 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!

We Have HOPE!

As Paul looked on at the troubles that his people were having and how despondent they became of the dismal outlook on things, he encouraged them to think beyond the temporary things that they were bombarded with each day and instead, keep their eyes focused on what lies ahead for those who have accepted Jesus as Lord, and the One who has gone to prepare a place for us when we graduate from this world to the other shore where we will live forever with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-05-01
SCRIPTURE

From:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (TLB)

Text:

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. 17 These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! 18 So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
OBSERVATION:
As Paul looked on at the troubles that his people were having and how despondent they became of the dismal outlook on things, he encouraged them to think beyond the temporary things that they were bombarded with each day and instead, keep their eyes focused on what lies ahead for those who have accepted Jesus as Lord, and the One who has gone to prepare a place for us when we graduate from this world to the other shore where we will live forever with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
APPLICATION:
Just over this one weekend, I was reminded that life here on this earth is very delicate, where we could be enjoying life to the fullest and the next hour be in hospital struggling for breath to stay alive. I visited a place where dust and drought was taking its toll on cattle, wildlife and plant-life. I met friends who are very challenged with continued life here on earth, yet they have made no provision for their existence after expiration here. I know of individuals who are uncertain how they will make it through life financially, yet expenses hit them hard every day.  I’m glad that you haven’t stopped reading because of all the bad news. Let me assure you that there is help and hope for everyone, because Jesus is available to everyone, as promised in John 3:16. Paul is advising us that although we deal with the struggles of life here on this earth, like partially listed above, yet there is ‘H O P E’ available to those willing to make a conscious, personal decision. No, it really isn’t automatic, it’s the other ‘a’ word – it’s available! In the Word of God, He proclaims that for all desiring this new life, and this hope for eternity, there is a Savior who laid the way for us to spend eternity in heaven. Being available to us means that, we must be willing to surrender our weak selves to Him and ask Him to be our Savior, Lord and Director of all aspects of life remaining here on this earth. In return for that, we have assurance of our salvation for all eternity! We have a heavenly home prepared for us where there will be none of the things I first mentioned! His Holy Spirit will be our personal guide while we finish up our time here on earth! The God of this universe, together with His Son Jesus, will be our welcome party and our heavenly hosts as we graduate from this world to the next! So can you please tell me again, why you would settle for struggling along in this life, alone and without any hope at all? My Jesus can be your Lord today friend! He will be your HOPE for today, tomorrow and throughout eternity! This is the ultimate achievement in life, and you deserve God’s very best that He put in place for you and I! Contact me using the information below, or see a local Bible teaching pastor for direction on how to accept Jesus as your Savior. I can only imagine that you would like to be comforted with ultimate hope for today and tomorrow!
PRAYER:
Dear Lord, how grateful we are for the many blessings You shower on your children each day, and for the sacrifice You made at Calvary so that we might live a life of HOPE, no matter what today brings, or that tomorrow might hold. A hope and a joy that will last throughout this life and even through eternity! Lord You are our HOPE and we are eternally grateful for that assurance as we hold Your hand and walk through the trials and chores of this life here on earth. We look forward to THAT DAY in awesome anticipation! 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!