Transformed Relationships

Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 12:9-12
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. 10 Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. 11 Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.
12 Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble,[e] but commune with God at all times.

OBSERVATION: Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

APPLICATION: Often times we struggle in relationships, both with family members and with friends. For there is jealousy between one another and envy and hard feelings that could quickly result, in fact, to the extent that we can’t stand to be in each other’s presence. Coworkers tend to be so competitive to reach for the top, or earn more commissions and/or recognition, so they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to prevent that coworker from doing their best. Church members want to be in charge, or favored by the pastor, or perhaps they just can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another. I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the world, or like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will rarely hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squash all evil thoughts that Satan will buffet us with. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will seek to act like Jesus. and in no way follow the path of least resistance that are led by Satan – whose aim is to kill, steal and destroy the work of God. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. You showed me how to live, and I have totally blown it. Thank You for Your servant Paul, who has reminded us that we need to live and love in ways that others might recognize as an imitation of God. This is impossible to achieve, as long as we continue to give in to the ways of this world. Father, please give my readers and I strength to be true victors in living our lives according to the model You displayed. Please help us to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from our lips, but the desires of our heart and the actions of our whole being. Lord, sadly, we must confess that we have ‘Christian’ family and friends that are living in sin, because they are acting just like Satan, and in similar ways to the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name and for Your sake, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Our Intercessor

As many of us reflect on the events of this year, this month and even today, it may be clear that we didn’t know how to pray for all that has, and is occurring. In the workplace things may change strategically that we don’t hear about until it’s time for us to be involved. In our families, we look back and often say ‘wow, now who could have imagined that my spouse, or my daughter may have been changed in such a way today. We are reminded over and over that God has blessed us with the present as a gift, while tomorrow He may be ready to bless us with His presence in heaven. God gave us His Holy Spirit to steer us straight when we accept Him and place our trust in Him. As we meditate on these beautiful reminders today, let’s learn to have the faith of a child and release ourselves to God to accomplish His will in our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-04-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 8:26-28
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 26 …..by our faith[e]—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.

OBSERVATION: As many of us reflect on the events of this year, this month and even today, it may be clear that we didn’t know how to pray for all that has, and is occurring. In the workplace things may change strategically that we don’t hear about until it’s time for us to be involved. In our families, we look back and often say ‘wow, now who could have imagined that my spouse, or my daughter may have been changed in such a way today. We are reminded over and over that God has blessed us with the present as a gift, while tomorrow He may be ready to bless us with His presence in heaven. God gave us His Holy Spirit to steer us straight when we accept Him and place our trust in Him. As we meditate on these beautiful reminders today, let’s learn to have the faith of a child and release ourselves to God to accomplish His will in our lives.

APPLICATION: There is such peace in these verses! Actually these verses reminds us of the peace we have in knowing God as our personal Savior! When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He provides His Holy Spirit to live inside of us and to commune with God on our behalf. Paul reminds us that even when we are about to give up (tired of waiting), the Holy Spirit is there praying for us. When we have totally run out of words to pray, the Spirit interprets our moans and our groans before the throne on our behalf. In fact, He knows us so well that He is petitioning the throne of grace on our behalf. He has our best interest at heart, and knowing that we really want to step above our weak sinful selves, He keeps us represented before God. Friends, as we live our lives loving God, praising Him and glorifying Him, every aspect of our lives is worked into something good, something beautiful for God! Whom then shall I fear? Why then should I worry or complain? There is no god like this God of ours friend! Know Him today and know the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Experience His love that surpasses all other descriptions of love that you can imagine. Know that everything is under control with God in charge of your life, because these verses so vividly reminds you of that. I believe that real peace comes from knowing God and allowing Him full control of our lives, and every circumstance, even when the world seems totally out of control. Are you tired of living life under your own power, and would like to know this Jesus of mine in a personal way? I would be honored to work with you and/or pray for you, if you would drop me an email using the contact information at the very end of this devotional. I would love for you to know this peace that is ours as children of God!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how can I say thanks enough for all You do for me? So undeserved, yet You loved me enough that You turned Your world upside down by sacrificing Yourself in humility, all because of Your awesome love, and that I might have peace in knowing You. Thank You Lord Jesus! Please tender the hearts of those that might read this devotional today and may not have ever invited You to be their Mediator and Lord. Father, I know that they have no control over the time they have left to make such a decision, please may it be today that they allow You to take charge of their life? I humbly ask all this in Your precious and all powerful name, Jesus my Lord and soon coming King, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

What Your Character Should Look Like – Because of God

This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

Friday, 2020-01-31

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:30-32
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 30 Don’t cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete. 31 Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.

OBSERVATION: This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

APPLICATION: Many people look at the Bible as a Book of ‘don’ts’ for there is so much that we are told not to do. This could be the case for those who have a guilty conscience for all that they are doing that probably do not please our Maker. For I have found in several cases where, although we are told about our wrong doings, we can also find even stronger teachings on what we should be doing that would please God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told the Ephesians, and I truly believe that his Words are still echoing to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ today, that there are some things that we do that are so contrary to the will of Christ, that it downright sorrows, or grieves the Holy Spirit. No doubt there are tons of guilty consciences hitting each reader by now, for that same sweet Holy Spirit speaks to us personally about what displeases Him. But let’s have a look at what Paul taught, and let’s particularly draw a parallel between what the Holy Spirit dislikes, vs what pleases God:
* Instead of being mean; bad-tempered; angry; quarreling, using harsh words; and displaying obvious dislike for others….
* Try instead to be kind to each other; tenderhearted; and forgiving one another;

Now, although Paul didn’t say that the first list of characteristics were not of Christ, he did say that the second list – especially forgiveness, was the image, or practice that imitates how God has forgiven us because we belong to Christ. Friends, we must always keep in mind that our natural, sinful selves will lead us towards the characteristics mentioned in the first bullet. A surrendered life, seeking to please the Master – Jesus Christ, will always seek to do the things mentioned in the second bullet. It may be a good idea to keep the two lists posted in a prominent place to remind us when we are acting ungodly and displeasing the Holy Spirit, so that we may quickly seek God’s help to overcome and change our evil ways. Being a child in the Algreen home, caused me to always strive to please my Algreen parents. Being a child of the King of all kings, should always cause you and I to strive towards pleasing Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. There’s a song that includes the words ‘they will know us by our love’, meaning that the world will recognize Christians by our love – the love and character of Jesus Christ. How are you perceived by others, Brother and Sister? Is it obvious to whom you belong, based on your actions and characteristics?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You set an awesome example for us to follow. So in reading this passage today, and hearing Paul teach on the characteristics that please the Holy Spirit, we can reflect back on Your Word and see example after example where You demonstrated these characteristics. Although the qualities on the ‘don’t’ list are all ones that You warned about in many of Your teachings, may we use this Scripture as a reminder of what pleases the Holy Spirit, and what grieves Him. Please touch Your children today so that we may make wise decisions in every aspect of our lives, especially in our character. May we please You by obeying Your teachings and Your example. In humbleness of heart and seeking to serve You obediently today, I ask these things in the worthy name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Confident In Prayer

David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

Wednesday, 2020-01-29

Bible Reference: Psalm 17:3-6
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
    You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
    I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
    which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
    I have not wavered from following you.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.

OBSERVATION: David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

APPLICATION: Oh to have the heart, determination and will of David! Too often we barge into conversations with God, demanding our own way and expecting God to respond like a puppet would, to all of our wishes and demands. But what if God truly responded to us exactly in the same way that we think things should go? What an awful mess that would be, friends! I believe our attitude for prayer must be one of honor and gratitude for who God truly is. Then there is Scripture that guides us into the remaining attributes of prayer, for in 2 Chronicles 7:14 we are told that if we are truly known as His children, in fact, if we are called by His name, and if we get off our ‘high horses’ and humble ourselves and pray with every intention and determination to turn from our wicked and sinful ways, then He would hear from the Father and heal us and all those around us (our land). Friends, this is not rocket science, nor is it unreasonable, for which of you will walk up to a total stranger and ask for anything substantial with full confidence that they would reach into their treasury of physical assets and just start handing them over to you? May I suggest to you that although my Savior knows each of us intimately and, while I am convinced that He will hear our cry, I believe that He is wanting most of all to know that our heart is totally in tuned with Him, and that He has the liberty to work freely in our lives. Friends, if you are not seeking God’s face as your own personal Savior and Lord, then no matter what your other needs are today, you must settle the ownership question first – you must be born again – new birth in Jesus Christ. This requires a conversation (prayer) with the Master, where you would surrender yourself to Him, and invite Him to rule and reign in Your life. There is no greater need of mankind today friend, and there is nothing more important, for what if you gained the whole world through your own efforts and finances, but yet have no hope of tomorrow, or a Savior who loves you more than anyone else in this world, and who is looking forward to your arrival in heaven one day. Jesus is the key to heaven friend, know Him and know total peace for today and always. I would be tickled to death to introduce my Lord to you! Drop me a note using the contact information below. I might also suggest that you click on the link below ‘To Know Jesus’ and there you will find scriptural references on what you might do to have eternal life. I look forward to meeting you in the most exciting worship service ever – at the feet of Jesus when we graduate to heaven!! Oh, what a day that will be!!

PRAYER: Lord You are good, and Your mercies are everlasting. You have opened the means of us communicating with You and seeking Your face. You have shown us the way to Your throne and ultimately to the glories of heaven with You and Your Father! What a blessed people we are! Lord, I am concerned about my friends that might read this devotional and brush off the truths of Your Word. There may be some that will seek Your hand for all they may need or want, but who may ignore the fact of first knowing You intimately. Please soften the hearts of the hardened, and please touch the hearts that simply read and choose to ignore a relationship with You. Thank You Lord for being available to us, and for loving us enough to demonstrate it through the sacrifice You made on Calvary. I am eternally thankful, and I desperately want to see all my readers, friends and family accept You as Lord, so that we may one day rejoice together around Your eternal throne. I commend them to You Lord. Thank You dear Lord Jesus! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Here’s Why One May not Listen To God

Jesus explains why one may sit under His teaching and not understand what is being said. I believe the same scenario is true with those who attend church and say that they got nothing from the service. Notice in the last verse above, Jesus said that if one is not of God, they will not listen to Him. I hope that you will read all the way to the end of today’s devotional as we allow God’s Word to take root in our lives and clear the cobwebs from our eyes of sin and the world, today.

Tuesday, 2019-10-29

Bible Reference: John 8:44-47
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 44 You are the children of your father, the Devil, and you want to follow your father’s desires. From the very beginning he was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies. 45 But I tell the truth, and that is why you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you can prove that I am guilty of sin? If I tell the truth, then why do you not believe me? 47 He who comes from God listens to God’s words. You, however, are not from God, and that is why you will not listen.”

OBSERVATION: Jesus explains why one may sit under His teaching and not understand what is being said. I believe the same scenario is true with those who attend church and say that they got nothing from the service. Notice in the last verse above, Jesus said that if one is not of God, they will not listen to Him. I hope that you will read all the way to the end of today’s devotional as we allow God’s Word to take root in our lives and clear the cobwebs from our eyes of sin and the world, today.

APPLICATION: If I had a talk on hunting, and you were not into sports, or if your parents never liked hunting, you would probably have no interest in attending my talk. Plus, if you got stuck in the room where I had my lecture, you would probably argue with almost everything I said. In our society today, we have parents who have no connection to God, so He is not spoken of around the house, nor do they make any attempt to take their children to church. But what if Jesus came to your town, and what if He was speaking at a local church, don’t you think that many people from your town would make a special effort to go out and see Him? They may want to settle their curiosity that this Jesus, that their coworker or neighbor is always talking about, and that He really does exists. But how do you think they would react when He speaks on matters that really hits close to home? Why Jesus may even say the same thing to our people as He said to the Jewish leaders – you are challenged to believe me, and to visit your local church, because your personal leader does everything he could to discourage you from learning about Jesus, and to hear His message of love, faith, peace and forgiveness. Friends, as you read today’s verses, you may assume that this does not apply to you because you never gave Satan control of your life. Please allow me to clear that up for you. When you are born into this world you are a natural being controlled by the leader of the natural world. And it’s not until you are introduced to Jesus, that you ever know that there is another, and a better leader. But the path to Jesus is one where each individual has to make a personal decision to accept the gift of salvation that He offers. So if a pastor, or as in our story today, Jesus, was there speaking, and He called you a child of Satan, it’s because He knows that you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior yet. But I’m sure that you may be full of questions as to what difference does it make. The difference is huge, for if you maintain your natural stance and keep Satan as your ruler, you wind up spending eternity in the place he has prepared for you – hell, with all of its terror and total damnation. Conversely, Jesus has also given us a glimpse of what His eternal home looks like, and it is detailed in His very own written Word – the Bible. There we learn that His home is free from sorrow, heartache, pain and disappointment, and filled with the glorious light of His Father (God), which prompts endless praise and rejoicing from His people (us). So my dear friend, I pray that you will make the best decision, based on what I have shared with you. I pray that you will listen to the voice of God as He calls your name, and that you will surrender your life to Him. As this occurs, you will clearly understand what Jesus meant in the last verse above – now you will hear His voice and obey His commands, for you are His! If you have not made the decision I mentioned above, please read on to my Footnote below and click on the links referenced. You will receive more Biblical help on making that very important decision.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please hear our cry today for we are Your children looking forward to spending eternity with You. Some may read this devotional today and are undecided about changing their allegiance from Satan, to you. Please tender their hearts today and draw them unto yourself, so that they may tear down the barriers that are preventing their decision. Oh that they will know You today, is my humble plea. Thank You Jesus for loving us enough to pave the way for our eternal peace with the Father. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A Reflection of Oneness

Wednesday, 2019-07-24

Bible Reference: John 17:20-23
Translation: God’s Word Translation (GW)

Bible Text:  20 “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. 23 I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

OBSERVATION: The world will look to the church in hopes of seeing Jesus. Will they see enough oneness to know that Jesus abides there, or will they tell from the division and backbiting that Jesus has no place there? Let’s consider how well our church is doing today in the light of the desire of Jesus in the Scripture today.

APPLICATION:  In this chapter Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples and the church at large. In these verses He prayed in all sincerity that those (Christians) who know Him would be in such unity, that the people to whom they speak (the unsaved world), would believe in Him and accept Him as the Savior of the world sent by God the Father. Friends, I often reflect on what the opposite effect must have, and also how that must have an impact on the unsaved as they fight the will of God. That leads me into considering what happens to the ministry of Jesus Christ when children of God can’t agree – when they fight and bicker among themselves so much that the unsaved world wants no part of the confused mess they see occurring in and among churches. Is it any wonder sometime why we stop and ponder why our ministries are ineffective? It seems like even among ‘friendly’ denominations, we go out to minister in Jesus’ name, and wind up putting down another denomination. Oh my, friend, that is not a sign of ‘oneness’. When our job description dictates that we spread the love of God, and our lives reflect the joy of the Lord living inside of us, doesn’t that mean that we should be so busy praising and bragging on our Lord that there will be very little time or desire to find fault with another believer who may not show their Christianity in exactly the same way that we do? In fact, when I reflect on this prayer of Jesus and really gain the breadth and depth of His heart as He prays to His father, I see where He really wants us to reflect the ‘oneness’ that He portrays with His Father. There is no where in scripture that Jesus puts down His Father or speaks evil against Him or disagrees with Him. Instead, it is just the very opposite, for He respects the role of the Father in ultimately making decisions (especially about the second coming of Jesus), and He speaks as one and the same when conveying the truth and love of the gospel. So where do we get off at in being His follower, imitating Him in every way, yet being critical of fellow disciples who are working towards the same goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? This type behavior or ministry will not serve the ultimate wish of Jesus in verse 21 when He prayed that we will go out and minister in such unity that the world (the unsaved) would know that God truly sent the One in whom we believe, and the One we are spreading Good News about. ‘Oneness’ points to us truly representing Jesus, who was sent in the likeness of His Father. Anything else tears down the ministry of Jesus Christ and promotes the intent and heart of Satan. I believe we all know what we should be busy doing today and every day of our life. Let’s get to work – unified in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our weakness in allowing so much of this world to indwell us, and interfere in the ministry, that You have assigned to us. As these verses today reflect, You actually prayed for us to be one with You and You are with Your Father. Our lack of success in ministry is a direct result of our disobedience to You and Your Word, and caused by our selfish desire to tear down another while trying to promote our selfish goals. Reading these verses today causes me to seriously consider keeping these pinned in an obvious place for daily inflection, and as a guide towards my daily goal. Lord, I need Your power to overcome the desire to tear another down in order to promote self. May I ask that You grant me strength to overcome this weakness, but also to touch the heart of Your followers today and embed a deep desire within them to also do the same. Please strengthen and guide us towards ‘Oneness’ – the kind that You exampled before us in being ‘One’ with the Father. I ask this knowing that Your desire is that through our ‘Oneness’ the world will know that You were sent by the Father to save them. May this be accomplished today in and through your earthly representatives, for this is my pray that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would 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!

God Loves the Repentant Heart

From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

Monday, 2019-04-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 51:16-17
Translation: The Voice (Voice)

Bible Text: 16 I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret, but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings. 17 What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest.

OBSERVATION: From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

APPLICATION: “Lord, I’m sorry for my sin”, might come quite naturally when introduced to Jesus, but how sorry are we, really, when we turn around and do the same thing over and over again. David, the Psalmist, was confronted about his awful sin with Bathsheba, and while he could very easily spurt those famous words out to Nathan the prophet, David had to face his all-knowing God with this sin. Now we should be reminded that God didn’t only know the fact that Nathan just presented to David, but God knows even our thoughts and the intent of our heart. So do you really think that it would have helped for David to sacrifice a sheep or a goat on the altar as his way of saying I’m sorry? For the world, that may have been enough, because from all apparent evidence, David would have acknowledged his sin and paid the price for his forgiveness. But just like you and I, David not only needed this to look good in the eyes of his friends and the local priests, but in true repentance, he wanted a clean heart in the presence of his God. So friends, we not only need to ask for forgiveness from our earthly friends, family and the impacted one(s) for our sin, but in order to right our heart and resume our oneness with God, and to one day present ourselves faultless before our King, we must get before God in humility and deepest sincerity and ask for His forgiveness. Like David, we must always be aware that God desires:

  • A broken spirit – this means that we must be willing to break down our pride of thinking we know everything, and thinking that what occurred was a private matter between two consenting adults. We must acknowledge that we recognize that our hearts and our lives are transparent before an all-knowing God, so we may as well ‘come clean’ and ask His forgiveness for everything we have done or said or thought that may be contrary to His perfect design and will. There is nothing we can hide from God, so may I encourage you to break down the walls of pride and secrecy and be totally open with God;
  • A humble heart that honestly regrets the past (our sin) – Our acts may have been fun at the time, or our words may have revenged the individual we were out to get back at, but I believe that when the God of this universe looks into our eyes and our hearts, and He sees unconfessed sin, then we will be pushed aside or rejected from His presence, as sin cannot enter His kingdom.

I was at a conference recently where we were reminded that when we stand before God, we will deal with our personal condition in the face of a righteous, all-knowing God. The normal tendency of our actions here on earth is to try and compare to another individual, or pointing out their sin, while pushing ours under the table. This is not the way God will handle our judgment on that day that we stand before Him, for that will be a one-on-one conversation. It won’t matter what the neighbor did, or the deacon said, it will only matter how in sync our heart is with a righteous and perfect God. If that was to happen today, and it could very easily happen, what would God challenge you with? Consider getting that straight today friend, for we have no assurance of a second chance to do so tomorrow.

PRAYER: Father God, You created us, including our heart, our soul, our mind and our intellect. Why would we ever think that we could hide anything from You is most astonishing to our sober minds as we try to escape Your wrath. Please speak to those who seek after you today. Lord Jesus, may the words from our lips and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Savior and our Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, 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!

Joy that will last forever!

Bible Reference: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. 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! 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.

APPLICATION:  No one had as much opposition as Paul did, yet he found hope in knowing that there was great hope in all that he was doing. Paul found a greater purpose in life, for he found God – the one who sacrificed His very own Son to bring hope, salvation and ultimate love for mankind. As much as we despise rules/commands/guidelines, yet it is obvious that God’s commands are to help us; mold us into His image; and prepare us for the day when we graduate from this earth into our new, eternal home, with Jesus in Heaven! Friends, when we realize that kind of hope, when we are reminded of the joy that is ours in seeing our blessed Savior face-to-face, and to receive His praises for things we have done, or people we have touched because of His love inside of us, then we have a new determination to serve Him all the more while here on earth. I am in no way minimizing your struggles here on earth Brother, nor the backbiting, envy and strife that you may face Sister, but what I am telling you is that no matter what we face today, it is nothing compared to the joy that will be ours when we are welcomed into the presence of Jesus! There’s an old hymn entitled ‘Oh That Will Be Glory For Me“! Friends, there may be trouble for a time, but if You are a committed child of God, there is joy that comes in the morning. So let’s endure the day, knowing that there is hope ahead for the Christian. These days here on earth become more and more stressful, it seems. But may I remind you that these struggles are only for a moment. We have brighter days ahead friends! Much brighter, if you have invited Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord! If you haven’t made this step, please read my ‘Footnote’ carefully and know that I am available to pray with you or help you in any way that I can, as you consider making this most important decision and commitment. Jesus loves you dearly, and I believe that He is longing to welcome You as His child!

PRAYER: Lord, I rejoice in the fact that there is hope for the Christian! I thank You that You gave Your all for me. Please help me to not complain about the challenges of life that I face in this world, because they are nothing compared to the persecution that Paul faced, or the torture that You went through for me. The great news is that, like Paul, I too can survive the stresses of today knowing that my hope lies in what is yet to come – graduation to heaven where I will live eternally with You! ‘Oh I want To See You, Look Upon Your Face‘! Lord, please remind Your children of the hope that is ours, so that we might easily deal with our daily challenges here on this earth. Please especially humble the hearts of those yet to acknowledge You as Lord. May they find peace in knowing that they can surrender their lives to You even today. Tomorrow may be too late, as You have not assured us of tomorrow. I rejoice in knowing Jesus as my Savior and Lord. I pray that all of my readers can do the same, or make a decision today that will give them that assurance. I ask these things in the wonderful name of Jesus, the new-born King, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, 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!

Light Up The World

In the Word of God, Jesus was referred to as ‘The Light’. Those who know Jesus and seek to live like He exampled for us, must also live as the ‘Light’ to those around them. Let’s meditate on what this might look like, and whether we are anywhere close to being a ‘Light’ that may guide others.

Tuesday, 2018-12-25

Bible Reference: Matthew 5:14-16
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: “Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place? Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. So don’t hide your light!]Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.”

OBSERVATION: In the Word of God, Jesus was referred to as ‘The Light’. Those who know Jesus and seek to live like He exampled for us, must also live as the ‘Light’ to those around them. Let’s meditate on what this might look like, and whether we are anywhere close to being a ‘Light’ that may guide others.

APPLICATION: There are so many examples of being a light in this world. In my younger days I owned a boat, and sometimes travelled at night to help a minister return home to the mainland from an island church that he may have ministered at that day. Across the harbor was a light that indicated the location of the dock to which I was traveling. On several occasions that light was out, so you could only imagine what a plunder, and danger, it was to find that dock on a dark, cold night, and avoid hitting other boaters returning from that dock. In similar fashion, the Bible says that we are to follow the example of Jesus and be a light in this ‘dark’ world in which we live. But how exactly may that be accomplish this, you might ask. Friends, I believe that when we are looked upon as true children of God, then others are recognizing the Fruits of the Spirit in us. Until this is achieved, or earned, others will look at us as hypocrites, or in worst shape than they are spiritually. So why do I look at this as ‘Light’ to a lost and fallen world? Let me encourage you to think about traveling down a long dark road. Think about the bumps and bruises you have already suffered from the inability to see where you are going, and what is standing in your way as obstructions. But suddenly you hear a voice calling you to follow them off to the right, however you can’t even see them, or where they are headed. Off to your left you see the form of a person beckoning you to follow them, and they are surrounded by light, and off in the distance you could see a well lit building, that you are convinced they are heading to. I believe that your decision has been made for you, for you are looking for relief from the darkness that has plagued you in your travel. The same is true with our everyday lives, friends. For people of the world, are looking for a way to improve/enhance/brighten their challenging walk here on earth. Why follow off to the right for more of the same? But to follow one on the road to the left (as in my above example), they must have seen evidence in your life that you have been with the Light of the World and that you know where you are going. If you have not experienced The Light, then it is impossible to reflect that light for others to follow. God knew that the world was filled with the darkness of sin, and had no Light form to run to and be guided by, so He sent His Son, Jesus, born as a baby so that we could identify with Him. May we truly be the Light of the World – The Light that represents God Himself, this Christmas and celebrate it like never before. For Jesus, the Light of the World, was miraculously born with every intention of saving us from the darkness of sin, and opening the gates of heaven for all who believe in Him, to rule and reign in our lives. Merry Christmas friends! Go now and be a LIGHT to the world!

PRAYER: Light brought into a dark room spells ‘Relief’ and saves us from hurting ourselves because of the absence of light. Thank You Father for rescuing us from the darkness of sin in this old wicked world, by sending us the ‘LIGHT’ needed to overcome darkness/sin. Because of that Light, we can now boast of eternal life with the Creator of this universe – with God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. Now oh Lord, may we go and be Light to all those around us who walk in darkness. May they see Your beauty, Your glory and Your everlasting peace, in every aspect of our lives who claim You as Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, 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!

Ask for it

Monday, 2018-11-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 14:12-14

Bible Text: 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.

Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

My Take

Ever noticed that your son may go and ask a friend of equal age to do something that both he and you feel is the best thing to do, but it may have little relevance to the friend, until he brings down the power by saying that my dad asked that we do this right away? Bringing the dad’s name into the equation always adds power to the instructions being given. Ever noticed also that as a son, you may tell your buddies to do something that sounds different to what they know your dad has always preached, and they will give you a funny look and wonder where are you coming from with those instructions? Jesus had just introduced the Comforter to His disciples as He (Jesus) prepared Himself to go and be with the Father. Jesus assured His disciples, as He still assures us today, that He will be sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, and that He will receive glory from the Father as His children carries on His work here on earth with the help of the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit. Notice that great emphasis is directed to the fact that even though we stand to do things even greater than He (Jesus) did while here on earth, we must never lose sight of who we are representing, and whose power resides with us to enable the work. Remember that in Acts 19:13-16 there were some who went around trying to cast out demons in Jesus’ name, but even the demons recognized that they were not of Jesus and not speaking on His behalf. Friends, it is safe to say, based on the Word of God, that if any miraculous work is to be done, it will be the power, and the work of Jesus Christ portrayed through us to do the work, with the results being totally for His glory. I believe that there are two important things to remember about being blessed with the power of Jesus working through us: (1) That doing the work of the Lord, demonstrates our love for Him, and not what we might be able to brag on, or benefit from personally; and (2) Miracles are performed in order to bring people to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ. Not for any gain of ourselves, and not for the purpose of relieving our friends from some earthly burden, but that they might know Jesus as their Lord and personal Savior. Please note that there is nothing mentioned about the obedient servant who God uses to stand in His stead and allow His miracle to be transmitted through. But I can assure you that for those who will do this, we will be blessed beyond anything words can describe. To God be the glory for all the great things He can do through even us who believe in Him, and are willing to be used by Him!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that we, Your children, in our meager faith tend go from one extreme to another way too often. For I believe we recognize our powerlessness and know that we can do nothing miraculous by ourselves. However, I also believe that there are times that our ego steps in at times and we want so badly to see our friends overcome obstacles that we tend to jump in there and pray peace and/or healing over them so they could return to a sense of normalcy. I was recently reminded by a pastor when He said that we could very easily step in the way of You actually disciplining someone, by trying to humanly help them correct or overcome their situation. This scripture has once again opened my eyes to the fact that we must be so driven by the Spirit of God that the things we say and the things we do, are very much aligned with His will and His purpose. I also believe that if the Holy Spirit leads us to a miraculous scenario with our friends that will demonstrate the love of God for them and bring them to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ, then we must, in obedience, seek your leadership and carry out Your work, particularly among the unsaved. Lord, I am concerned that there are so many in each of our circle of friends that don’t know You as their Lord and personal Savior. If it takes a miracle to convince them of Your love and power today, I pray that Your will may be done. Please speak clearly to Your children today so that we may in obedience do Your perfect will. 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!