Our God of Mercy

Although the exact words are not evident, God indicates in verse 23 that He is merciful towards widows and orphans, just as he indicated in verse 27 about the poor. I wonder how conscious we are about being merciful, like our Father is? I wonder how careful we are about not coming under the wrath of God when dealing with widows, orphans and the poor? Perhaps today is a good day to consider how we are doing in following His example to be merciful. Allow the Word of God to have it’s way in your life today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-04-02
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 22:22-27
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 “You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. 23 If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.
25 “If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset. 27 This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. How can a person sleep without it? If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am merciful.

OBSERVATION: Although the exact words are not evident, God indicates in verse 23 that He is merciful towards widows and orphans, just as he indicated in verse 27 about the poor. I wonder how conscious we are about being merciful, like our Father is? I wonder how careful we are about not coming under the wrath of God when dealing with widows, orphans and the poor? Perhaps today is a good day to consider how we are doing in following His example to be merciful. Allow the Word of God to have it’s way in your life today.

APPLICATION: All throughout the Bible we could find where God thought very tenderly and mercifully towards those who struggled to take care of themselves. Brothers were told to marry the wives left behind by their deceased brother. Deacons were told to lookout for, and take good care of, widows and orphans. But I was totally amazed at the reminder in today’s Scripture again. For God warned the Israelites that if they took advantage of these individuals and, as a consequence, they came to Him about their hurt and their need, He would kill the guilty men so that their wives and children would then become widows and orphans. Men, I don’t know about you, but even though I would fear bringing on hurt or death to myself, the last thing in the world I would want to know, is that my wife and child are being left in want after my passing. But none-the-less, Jesus warned that He would be that upset if He saw His weaker children being abused. So how would this be applied to our current day situations? In your line of business, do you offer incentives or discounts to these individuals, or do you see them as a higher risk, seeing that they are without a husband/father, so you charge them more? This might be for goods, or in the case of interest on loans or credit cards, since this was dealt with next. Do you offer them a ride back home after visiting your place of business, or are you way too busy attending to the rich and giving them every possible incentive to give you more business? Friends, I believe that God has allowed us to remain on earth so that we may represent Him well. Today we have been taught a few things that really upsets the Father. What do you suppose you and I could do to stay in the good graces of our merciful God, as it pertains to widows, orphans and the poor? Sure many who read this devotion today may not be considered rich, but in the eyes of the poor and destitute, they see us as ‘rich’. Cutting our meal size in half will not only help our health, but we might then be able to share a portion with one who may not have a solid, healthy meal. With a few extra dollars on hand, instead of using that for an extra vacation, or another new suit, try helping the widow whose electric power is close to being terminated because of unpaid bills. Instead of putting that poor person under the nearby bridge down, share a jacket with him, or take the extra food to her from a meal where you cooked in excess. Show love towards these people, be a good neighbor to that child of God who needs help. Love these individuals, even as our caring, merciful God loved you while you were still steeped in sin and filth. Let it be said of you that you were merciful, just like your Father!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, I am so thankful that You know our very heart and therefore You are well aware of all that we stand for. There’s no need in us trying to tell You what we do and who we love, for You know our very heart. Please penetrate our hearts with Your Word, so that Your perfect will and way may be evident in all that we do, say and think. There are so many needs around us, and I’m afraid that we have become way too hardened by the needs. We attribute that to abuse that we may have seen, or perhaps to family members who should really jump in and help their needy members. But in today’s Scripture You gave us no escsape, for You insisted that if we see the need, or if we are aware of the need, meet it with all that we can. May we become keenly aware of the needs that we will encounter today with those that we come into contact with, and may You become very visible to those that we help. You gave it all, and we thank You for that, but please receive honor, praise and glory for any representation of Yourself today by Your children. AMEN!

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

Evil Motives – Not An Attribute Of God

For those who would like to pick apart the subject that I chose, you may first want an analysis of what ‘Evil Motives’ mean, because most Christians will try to tell us that they have none! But consider the example used by James in our Scripture today and decide whether you, or your church leadership, would act any differently! God is not happy when we act based on evil motives. Do you welcome the poor, underdressed and hungry into your home, or your church services each week? Stay with me as we meditate on this today!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-21
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 2:2-4
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: If an affluent gentleman enters your gathering wearing the finest clothes and priceless jewelry, don’t trip over each other trying to welcome him. And if a penniless bum crawls in with his shabby clothes and a stench fills the room, don’t look away or pretend you didn’t notice—offer him a seat up front, next to you. 3-4 If you tell the wealthy man, “Come sit by me; there’s plenty of room,” but tell the vagrant, “Oh, these seats are saved. Go over there,” then you’ll be judging God’s children out of evil motives.

OBSERVATION: For those who would like to pick apart the subject that I chose, you may first want an analysis of what ‘Evil Motives’ mean, because most Christians will try to tell us that they have none! But consider the example used by James in our Scripture today and decide whether you, or your church leadership, would act any differently! God is not happy when we act based on evil motives. Do you welcome the poor, underdressed and hungry into your home, or your church services each week? Stay with me as we meditate on this today!

APPLICATION: In my early church days I experienced a few church leaders who thought they would help two young men by telling them how they should dress the next time they consider coming to church. This was not a helpful thing for the church, nor the young men, because they never came back to church again. So let’s consider what might be our lesson taught in these verses today. James 2 is a parallel teaching to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 7, where Jesus taught us that we are not to judge others. I believe that James is teaching us a similar message, but he also expands the subject to include how the world sees no difference in us than it does with the unsaved when we cling to our selfish, greedy attitudes by promoting those who appear more financially able than others. Think about it: the one who drives up to the church in a Porsche is probably one who might benefit our finances that Sunday, verses the one who walks up to the church in ragged clothes, dirty and perhaps, smelly. But is that what the church is all about? What does the heart of each man look like? Have they accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior? Could one of them be Jesus in the flesh, showing us how we let earthly treasures impact our belief system and therefore cause us to treat one in our midst better than the other? In the business world, a company may hire an independent ‘shopper’ to visit their business and report on the quality of service by front-line personnel. Assume that Jesus is on the sidelines, and as a ‘shopper’ He is watching our every move and interaction with the two men referenced above. What do you suppose His evaluation will look like? In today’s Scripture He led James to tell us that we would be judging the men based on their outward appearance. Praise God He looks at the inward condition of the heart when deciding whether to allow us into heaven! Oh that He would work on us that we may do the same as our Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for looking at the dirt and scum of this man when I came to the cross asking for forgiveness. You accepted me just as I was and You crowned me as a prince of the King of glory. Oh that we may be willing and able to look beyond the outward appearance of those that we come into contact with and assume Your eyes of faith, love and hope for all mankind. Please Lord, open our hearts so that we might assume the compassion of Your eyes, and Your heart. Perhaps today You might walk up to us in the disguise of a poor, ragged beggar. Please mend our hearts in such a way that we might bow at Your feet in humility and treat You better than the richest man on earth, or the most prestigious person we know. All are precious in Your sight and in need of a Savior. May we accept them as Your creation and love them like You loved us. AMEN!

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

Are You Ready?

I’m sure that I’m not alone in wanting the very best for my life, right up to, and including my death/burial, or even beyond the grave. But what are we willing to do now, in order to achieve the very best for our lives after this point in time? Perhaps an insurance policy, or perhaps the right careperson, or perhaps if we take care of the preacher and our nearest family and friends, then they will look out for us? Surely the rich young ruler was thinking about such things when he questioned Jesus. Join me as we meditate on the response from Jesus.

Thursday, 2019-05-16

Bible Reference: Mark 10:17; 21
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:
The Question: 17 As he was starting out on a trip, a man came running to him and knelt down and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get to heaven?”
The Answer: 21 Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. “You lack only one thing,” he told him; “go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor—and you shall have treasure in heaven—and come, follow me.”

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that I’m not alone in wanting the very best for my life, right up to, and including my death/burial, or even beyond the grave. But what are we willing to do now, in order to achieve the very best for our lives after this point in time? Perhaps an insurance policy, or perhaps the right careperson, or perhaps if we take care of the preacher and our nearest family and friends, then they will look out for us? Surely the rich young ruler was thinking about such things when he questioned Jesus. Join me as we meditate on the response from Jesus.

APPLICATION: To the poor man, who might struggle to find daily food for he and his family here on earth, the thought of one day being with the Creator of this Universe might seem appealing enough to sacrifice anything that he has today. To the rich man, who must consider waking up in a place where money or riches is of no value, or the thought of giving up all earthly goods to follow Jesus – where value comes in relationships, love, commitment to serve Jesus, imitate Jesus in all aspects of life, etc. that might appear virtually impossible to consider. But friends, the challenge of this might become clear as you consider all that the rich man does today to protect himself and his net worth here on earth, while the poor man simply lives ‘from hand to mouth’. I feel like Jesus is telling us, dear friends, that at the foot of the cross all things are equal. The poor man will come as a beggar looking for food (mercy, forgiveness and the love of the Savior), and the rich man will come just as his poor Brother – nothing of earthly value, but as a sinner, or beggar, looking for mercy, forgiveness and the love of the Savior. The other important thing to consider here is that no one else can make that trip to the cross for you. It is something that you alone must do for you alone. Have you made that step yet my friend? Have you humbled yourself, forgetting all about what this world might attribute to your success, and approached the cross of Christ asking for forgiveness of your sin and acceptance into the Kingdom of God? We have no assurance of tomorrow. Do it today while you have the time and mental capacity to do so. The benefits of that decision are eternal, and ‘out of this world’!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we are mere sinners looking into the face of a perfect Savior. Please help us to understand that there is no value in any worldly possessions or actions that will help us right our relationship with our Maker, but to seek a relationship with the Savior sent to us for that purpose. You are an awesome God! Oh what a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord! Thank You Heavenly Father! Please touch the hearts of my readers today, and draw them to the cross. AMEN!

How God Prepares Us For His Service

In the preceding verses, in a dream, God caused Peter to see a sheet with many kinds of animals. Peter was astonished by this because some of these animals were ones that they (the Jews) didn’t approve of eating or being around. However God was working on Peter’s attitude, because there were certain people that they (the Jews) looked down on. This lesson was very practical, and very much needed by Peter. I wonder what God needs to work on in our lives to make us ready for His service to everyone, no matter where He sends us?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 10:33 (VOICE)

TEXT:   33 I wasted no time, did just as I was told, and you have generously accepted my invitation. So here we are, in the presence of God, ready to take in all that the Lord has told you to tell us.

OBSERVATION:   In the preceding verses, in a dream, God caused Peter to see a sheet with many kinds of animals. Peter was astonished by this because some of these animals were ones that they (the Jews) didn’t approve of eating or being around. However God was working on Peter’s attitude, because there were certain people that they (the Jews) looked down on. This lesson was very practical, and very much needed by Peter. I wonder what God needs to work on in our lives to make us ready for His service to everyone, no matter where He sends us?

APPLICATION:   We have become so accustomed to the things that we eat, the places that we sleep and the friends that we hang out with, that it might be challenging for us to overcome those familiarities and adjust to a different culture. Let me give you an example: let’s assume that you were saved in your local church, and within a year or two you made it know that you felt God was dealing in your heart to work in His vineyard overseas. Your church sent you for some local training to help you understand the culture and the language of the country to which you have been assigned. Not long into this training you realize that there will probably be some huge adjustments that you would need to make, that you never thought possible. Perhaps it’s the food that they eat, or the plain mud houses that they live in without air conditioning, or perhaps no electric at all. Of course, no doctor within a 50 mile radius is frightening, and so is the lack of telephones or internet. In fact you are beginning to wonder how on earth does people survive in that type of environment. However, you are quickly reminded of a missions trip that you took part in when you were just a teenager. It took you into a very poor third world country where you were challenged with some very strange food, and where you really doubted if you would ever survive that short trip. However, you remembered the sweetest people there, and when it was time to leave you had the hardest time leaving them behind. Suddenly the ‘stuff’ they didn’t have became a fading memory for you. Friends, we quickly assume that when we are called to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and especially to a third world country, that it’s not just ‘those poor people’ there that we need to go and try to help, but as we open up our hearts and minds to the Gospel, Jesus will also use those same ‘poor people’ to pour into us the richness of His unconditional love, under very different circumstances to those we are used to. Let’s be very careful to not place any conditions on the places we will go, or the types of people we will help. God sent Jesus for the sins of all who would believe in Him. That’s unconditional! We should love in the same way if we are striving to be more like Jesus everyday.

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for dying for sinners, even though many are just like me, and deserve nothing more than Hell itself. But Lord, You reached down in love and heard my prayer for salvation and responded to me in love. Having been personally forgiven and loved beyond all measure, who am I to put others in a box and place them below me? Lord please help me to love others in much the same way as You loved me. Please help Your children to humble themselves and be willing to step into the place where unbelievers live, so that we could feel their pain and heartache and then show them Your unconditional love. To touch a heart for You, we should be willing to do anything that You direct us to do. May that be the case dear Lord, for I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my 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 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 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!