Do You Still Not See or Understand?

I’m sure that you will listen to someone talk about a miracle that took place in their life and you may be tempted to quickly respond amicably, while all the while dealing with the doubt inside of you about whether they are honestly telling you all of the truth surrounding their health improvement. However, I also believe that you might still be very challenged to believe that God can, and will, resolve your life-challenges. So let’s try to identify with the disciples today.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-08-04
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 8:17-19
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 Knowing what they were thinking, Jesus said to them, “Why all this fussing over forgetting to bring bread? Do you still not see or understand what I say to you? Are your hearts still hard? 18 You have good eyes, yet you still don’t see, and you have good ears, yet you still don’t hear, neither do you remember. 19 When I multiplied the bread to feed more than five thousand people, how many baskets full of leftovers did you gather afterward?”

APPLICATION: The disciples had heard about the various miracles of God from their forefathers, and they themselves had witnessed miracle after miracle by Jesus since they started following Him. Yet in their time of need they totally overlooked being in the presence of this same Jesus as they pondered where they would get provisions (food) from as they travelled back over the lake. How does this compare to you? I tried to evaluate my life and my belief system as I meditated on this Scripture. I have read about the miracles God performed in the Old Testament, especially the miracles performed for Moses and the Israelites. I have read, and heard in Sunday School many times about the miracles of Jesus in the New Testament. In my lifetime: I have heard how Jesus healed a young girl’s ear because of the sincere prayers of her pastor and her prevailing faith. She found the proof on her pillow the very next morning where the poisons and abscess had oozed from her ear; I have heard of how Jesus healed a dedicated Christian lady who, in faith, pleaded with Him for healing after suffering a stroke, and how her body regained strength in record time. Her healing was expedited by the Master!; I heard how, in faith, a couple prayed during a hurricane for their safety, and how they were prompted to move out of their home, only to turn around and watch it be demolished from strong winds and water; I have personally experienced God at work miraculously as my wife and I petitioned Him for a major direction in moving from the Bahamas to the United States of America. When we told my dad of our decision, he was in shock that we would do such a thing, seeing that he and my mom were getting much older. Within a year of our move, my dad sat next to me while he was recovering from doctors help here in the US with his heart and said ‘Now I could see what God was doing in getting you over here’! Praise the Lord! But friends, I’m no different to you, nor the disciples, for despite all of the above reinforcement of my faith, I still tend to try everything in my power, before running to God. I still tend to think that miracles may be possible for the other person, but I’m on my own when needing one of my own. No doubt you have overcome this weakness my friend, so let me encourage you to share your faith in Christ with everyone you come into contact with. Celebrate your victories with everyone that you know, so that they might be encouraged to approach the throne for themselves, and their faith may be strengthened because of your witness. I am hoping that today Jesus might look at you and I and say like He did to the woman with the issue of blood: ‘Because of your faith, you are healed’. Oh that our faith will be increased every day so that Jesus will not question why we have followed in the steps of the disciples in feeling like His miraculous touch is for everyone else, except us. May it become very clear to us that because of our faith, OUR GOD CAN DO ALL THINGS!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God stands ready to hear the prayers of His faithful servants, and to respond with immediate action. Praise the Lord!

PRAYER:It’s not my brother or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer’. For I approach the throne way too often with the same mindset as the disciples. I know You did it for others, but will You even consider also listening to my prayer concerns? Oh dear Lord, please refresh my soul with power from on high, and help me to come boldly before the throne knowing that as Your precious child, there is nothing You wouldn’t do in response to my heart’s cry. Perhaps many of my readers and listeners are also burdened with this issue. Please also touch their hearts and boost their faith levels to peak performance today. Based on all that we know You have done, may we always approach Your throne knowing that You could do it again – for us! Praise to the Lord our God! 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!

Who Am I?

Perhaps you might be asked who is this Jesus who answered your prayer, when you sing His praises for answering your prayers the way you pleaded with Him. But what if Jesus answered your prayer in the way that you personally would not have preferred? In spite of His answer to your prayer being perfectly aligned with His will for your life, you can’t see that, so you may find it challenging to answer this question in a kind way ‘Who is this Jesus?’ Let’s meditate on what this might truly mean.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-05-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 8:27-29
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 27 Then Jesus and his disciples walked to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way, he posed this question to his disciples: “Who do the people say that I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptizer, others say Elijah the prophet, and still others say you must be one of the prophets.”
29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”…..

APPLICATION: Peter and his fellow disciples had been with Jesus when He did some miraculous wonders. But knowing that the Pharisees wanted Him dead, regardless of the miracles He performed in their communities. Jesus may have wondered if these mixed feelings were getting to the disciples, so He asked Peter a very important question in our Scripture today – ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Jesus could also have asked this question of Peter based on his experience to date with the Master. I wonder how we might answer that today? If we have been committed to a personal, deep relationship with the Master, then we would have rejoiced on many occasions because of His love, because of His miracles, His wisdom, His calm assurance, His wonderful blessings and His direction in helping us lead lives that mirror His example – in spite of the very challenging situations of life here on earth. For the believer who lives this kind of life, I believe that we would rejoice in our King, our Savior and our Lord, even when we are still dealt a challenging hand. I find myself using very complimentary descriptions when responding to questions about my parents, or my spouse, because they have been good to me. But do believers always paint the picture of a perfect God each time that they respond to questions about their God? Unbelievers are expected to give unkind remarks about our God, because they have chosen to turn a blind eye to Him and His unconditional love. So we expect them to respond negatively to someone who means nothing to them. But I believe that our BIG question today is not only to try and understand where Jesus is coming from with this question, but to think about where we are in our relationship with Jesus. This will determine how we respond to the question. If we are in a sweet relationship with Him, then we may be frustrated in trying to get out the many compliments stored up in our hearts. But think about this. We will also boast on our God when we are filled with happiness and the overwhelming appreciation that we feel for who He is, and for all that He has done, and continues to do for you. But I would dare say to you friend, that this same internal relational excitement will win, or convince the unsaved world that your God could be of value to them. So may I encourage you to evaluate on a regular basis ‘Who is God – to you?’ Remember, even when His answer to your prayer is different to what You asked for, He’s still on your side and, I believe that He is still providing way more for us than we deserve. Oh that we may glorify God for who He is to us – in the good times, and in those times that we don’t understand what He is doing for our good. For He is still God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God cares for us and wants to know that we are understanding His love for us, even though His answers to our prayers are way more amazing than we could ever think, imagine or ask for!

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all thy hands have made! I realized, Lord, that there are things You have made for my good, that I would never have thought to ask for. And so it is with my daily prayers, You don’t always answer my prayers in the way that I asked You to, for You love me way too much to only give me the scraps from Your table. You have way more in store for me than I could ever think or imagine! Lord, there is no God like my God! Please help me to be keenly aware of that, and to openly share Your goodness with those around me, so that they too might catch a glimpse of Your goodness. Lord, You are good and Your mercies are endless. Please help my readers and I to be aware of this, even when You answer our prayers in Your way and for Your glory. 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!

Honor God In Prayer and Fasting – He Will Reward You

Most people will go an extra mile if they know that a reward awaits them! I was traveling extra miles to receive the rewards of a gas card, until I realized it was only pennies that I was saving per gallon of gas! But many institutions offer a rewards credit card, because they know that the customer will use the card more than any other card in their wallet. Jesus told the disciples what they needed to do to receive the attention of their Master and be rewarded by Him. This is important to us today, because He will also see us and reward us appropriately.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-01-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 6:6; 17-18;
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God,[f] praying to him in secret. And your Father, who sees all you do, will reward you openly.
17–18 When you fast, don’t let it be obvious, but instead, wash your face[p] and groom yourself and realize that your Father in the secret place is the one who is watching all that you do in secret and will continue to reward you openly.”

OBSERVATION: Most people will go an extra mile if they know that a reward awaits them! I was traveling extra miles to receive the rewards of a gas card, until I realized it was only pennies that I was saving per gallon of gas! But many institutions offer a rewards credit card, because they know that the customer will use the card more than any other card in their wallet. Jesus told the disciples what they needed to do to receive the attention of their Master and be rewarded by Him. This is important to us today, because He will also see us and reward us appropriately.

APPLICATION: Although rewards come in different forms, I believe that the idea is still inviting to saints today. Imagine: If you accept Jesus as Lord, He will care for you and watch over you until you meet Him in heaven one day with the Father; If you call on the name of Jesus, He will heal you and make you whole again; If you obey His commands and live according to His will, He will bless you; etc, etc. However, I believe that our Scripture today reveals that God has some specific ways that we might best follow His commands:
1. Pray – When you pray, know that it’s not for the purpose of impressing the pastor, the Sunday School teacher nor anyone else. I don’t believe that God is trying to discourage corporate prayer, but instead He is teaching us to keep our minds focused on the One to whom we are praying. Avoid the distractions of who’s sitting next to you, or the honor of who else is in the room where you are praying, and instead focus on the God of the universe, the One who made heaven and earth and every living creature – the only One who is capable of answering your prayer. Worship Him with the honor He deserves, and respectful ask Him for the desires of your heart and as they might fit into His perfect will;
2. Fasting – I believe it is appropriate to first say that I believe the idea of fasting is to better enable you to concentrate solely on the purpose of your prayer, without having to worry about the one thing we feel is so necessary – food. In other words, you are taking a specific need to God while saying to Him that there is nothing more important in your life at that time. To do this in all sincerity, Jesus taught that it would be an agreement strictly between you and God. Your neighbor wouldn’t hear you whining about the lack of food, nor would they see you frowning over the want for something you committed to God to do without. You would not be looking for praise from anyone about your decision to Fast, so you would be strictly confidential about it. You will have no need to think how good you are to make such a sacrifice, because you will quickly realize that you are but a particle of dirt when you stand before the Great I Am.
Friends, God said that these are two important aspects of our Christian journey, and when we seek Him through our private prayer, and through our confidential fasting, He will see it and He will reward us openly. Not sure why Jesus thought to tell us that God will reward us ‘OPENLY’, but I could only assume that God will want others to see that we are blessed by Him because of the relationship we have with Him. Often this will cause someone to look on, learn and try to duplicate whatever it is that we are doing. I believe that God would quickly affirm – mission accomplished!

PRAYER: It all seems simple enough that these are things we should do as children of the Most High God. But seeing that You had the need to teach Your closest companions/helpers these basic principles, I believe that You also knew that even after we learned from You and the disciples, we too would struggle to achieve Your ideals in these areas. The distractions seem to have gotten worse for us Lord, for there are now electronic devices, Social Media, incurable diseases, etc. So Lord, we need You more today than ever before to help us stay focused on You, Your work, Your Word and our time alone with You. I am humbly asking for You to soften our hardened hearts and draw us into a deeper personal relationship with You. Oh that we might come to You more often in ways described in today’s Scripture. Perhaps we might then be more serious about our prayer life and our relationship with You. Have Your will and way in our lives dear Lord, so that You may be glorified on earth, as You are in Heaven. 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 on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 7:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

OBSERVATION: I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

APPLICATION: We have just observed what God might be saying to us in this Scripture today, but how do we apply this to our everyday life? First of all, are we consistent in our asking? Do we even find time to pray, other than when we are in crisis mode? Our method of asking, or petitioning God is through ‘prayer’, yet most churches will tell you that it’s one of the worst attended services. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. For I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. Otherwise if they want me to pray for them, I might think that they don’t have time to pray, even though they know they need prayer, and have therefore asked me to pray for them. Jesus is telling us to ‘ask’, not to have someone ask for us. Jesus is also asking us to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. This tells me that we are to be persistent in doing these things. I once met a young person working at a prominent restaurant, and I asked how they landed the job. Persistence was the word, for they showed restaurant management that they were so interested in the job that they would keep on visiting the establishment, keep on asking for a job, etc. Guess what? He landed the job and looked extremely happy in his job. Now in the teachings of Jesus I believe that we have no doubt as to what we are to ask for or seek after, for we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, therefore we will ask in line with our righteous desires and within the scope of God’s will. When you keep on knocking, you are acknowledging to God that you are once again at His feet pleading His perfect will for your life, with a deep desire to serve Him in complete righteousness. Jesus said that when we do these things, that He will not only hear our prayers, but He will meet our needs. Friends, we have so much that we ask God for, let’s aim at making those requests known to Him for the single purpose of making us, or the person we are praying for, more righteous in God’s sight, and that they, or you, may be drawn closer to God and His kingdom.

PRAYER: Lord, please continue to humble us to always and continuously seek Your face; ask for Your holy and generous hand of mercy and generosity upon our lives, so that we may be worked on and made right with You in every way. Lord, may we be consistent in knocking to ask for an audience with You on a frequent basis. May we be bold enough to join others in prayer so that we may encourage them and help them in their walk with You. Lord, please renew a great work in us today so that we may be more like You in every way, and may this attract the unsaved to desire intimacy with You. We must ask in full alignment with Your will dear Lord, because we acknowledge Your Lordship and Your sovereignty. Thank You precious Lord for accepting me as Your child. May I always live like a child of the King! 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!

Two Things I Ask

I believe that if a classroom filled with adults was asked what were their two greatest wishes, there would be quite am array of responses. As we meditate on these words from Solomon, perhaps it might come to the forefront of your mind what you might ask God for, if given the opportunity. I’m sure your requests will be impacted by what Solomon asked for, but try listing the first two things that come to mind.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-11-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Proverbs 30:7-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: O God, I beg two favors from you before I die: First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs! For if I grow rich, I may become content without God. And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.

OBSERVATION: I believe that if a classroom filled with adults was asked what were their two greatest wishes, there would be quite am array of responses. As we meditate on these words from Solomon, perhaps it might come to the forefront of your mind what you might ask God for, if given the opportunity. I’m sure your requests will be impacted by what Solomon asked for, but try listing the first two things that come to mind.

APPLICATION: As we draw near to the Christmas season, we are reminded how kids take this opportunity to tell Santa Claus how good they’ve been and give intricate details about the most important things on their list that they want for Christmas. However, as we sit with our Lord and look closely into how good we are, we can’t help but compare our actions, and our lives, with that of our perfect God. Friends, I don’t believe we could possibly ask for physical or worldly items when there is so much at stake spiritually. Solomon was a king who was the envy of all kings and queens. He was the wisest man on earth and he had every thing on earth that anyone might desire, yet when he stopped and spoke with the Creator of the world, the designer and maker of you and I, he was humbled and could only look deep inside his soul and humbly ask God for two things that could help him become better aligned with his Maker. Way too often we are filled with envy for our neighbor, or our relative, who seems to have everything on earth that could possibly make them happy. So we come before God asking that He would help us be like them, instead of asking that we be more like the God of this universe. The only time I believe that God will ask about our earthly possessions is, whether we shared them with others in need. I once heard a relative wish that they could be freed from the burden of earthly debt so that they could have available cash to give to God and the needy that are roaming our streets. So as we ponder the Scriptures this morning, and as we seek the face of God in deep concern for which way He would have us navigate today, I wonder what He might be saying to you in response to the two most important things on your mind today? Will He be pleased that the Scripture is truly speaking to You in ways that will draw you closer to Himself? Or will He conclude that the Scriptures are truly molding your mind and your character as you are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of Jesus daily? Do your part dear friend, speak with God on a regular basis – tell Him about the condition of your heart and mind, and ask Him to lead you in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Let Him know that you desire a closer relationship with Him. Then as you read the Word, be ready for His directions and His mind-provoking questions that will help you look deep inside. Remember, He created you and He wants you to be just like Him. Let Him do His work in you dear friend, and be ready to act upon His guidance and His instructions.

PRAYER: Listen to the cries of Your children today Lord Jesus as we seek Your help, Your guidance and Your instructions on how we might best align our lives with Yours. Lord, I believe that You are well aware of the tug that this world has on Your precious children, so I beg with You to help us gain a true change of heart, and protect us from the wickedness of this world, so that we might see the glories of heaven and of life eternally with You. We are so weak, but praise be to God, we serve an awesome God who is big enough and strong enough to direct our path and lead us into righteousness. We implore You Lord, to rest Your powerful hand upon us and pour out Your power and Your strength on us to enable us to walk with confidence in the ways of the cross. 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!

Time Spent In Death’s Waiting Room

There are times that we feel overwhelmed with almost every aspect of life and we go to God in prayer. Children tend to recite the Lord’s Prayer or one taught to them by a parent. Some adults tend to have certain ’canned’ prayers or phrases that they use, while others tend to either pray to impress those around them, or perhaps words that they feel God wants to hear. As we meditate on the Scripture about Hezekiah, I would suggest that you look closely at how he prayed from a very passionate heart, to a God that He knew was listening, and stood ready to respond to his honest request. I wonder, how often do we truly kneel to pray from a passionate heart about something, or someone?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-07-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Isaiah 38:1-6
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 1 ….. “God says, ‘Prepare your affairs and your family. This is it: You’re going to die. You’re not going to get well.’”
2-3 Hezekiah turned away from Isaiah and, facing the wall, prayed to God: “God, please, I beg you: Remember how I’ve lived my life. I’ve lived faithfully in your presence, lived out of a heart that was totally yours. You’ve seen how I’ve lived, the good that I have done.” And Hezekiah wept as he prayed—painful tears.
4-6 Then God told Isaiah, “Go and speak with Hezekiah. Give him this Message from me, God, the God of your ancestor David: ‘I’ve heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll add fifteen years to your life. And I’ll save both you and this city from the king of Assyria. I have my hand on this city.

OBSERVATION: There are times that we feel overwhelmed with almost every aspect of life and we go to God in prayer. Children tend to recite the Lord’s Prayer or one taught to them by a parent. Some adults tend to have certain ’canned’ prayers or phrases that they use, while others tend to either pray to impress those around them, or perhaps words that they feel God wants to hear. As we meditate on the Scripture about Hezekiah, I would suggest that you look closely at how he prayed from a very passionate heart, to a God that He knew was listening, and stood ready to respond to his honest request. I wonder, how often do we truly kneel to pray from a passionate heart about something, or someone?

APPLICATION: As I pondered how we might apply this scripture to our lives today, I realized that although Hezekiah was given his death sentence, we have been warned throughout the Bible that we have no assurance as to how many more seconds, minutes, hours, days or years we have remaining as active humans here on earth. In other words, we could very easily be in the same phase of life as Hezekiah was in when Isaiah approached him with this message from God. Seriously think about this dear ones. We hear preachers and teachers say these words all the time, but look around you today and see who is absent from this life today, that you expected to spend time with for many years to come. We have no control over accidents, various diseases that have no known cure, mishaps, etc, etc. God alone has an allotted time that He has loaned us to family and friends here on earth, but one road that we all must travel is death. It behooves us to be ready for whenever our number is called. But back to Hezekiah, I believe that he still had a lot that he wanted to do in God’s service here on earth, and he was so passionate about that work that he wasted no time in getting before God in total humility and helplessness to plead for God to grant him more time. Hezekiah was totally convinced about all the kingdom work he had done, and I believe that he merely reminded God to consider that. We should be careful to note that there is no amount of bragging we could so, or self worth that we could remind God of, that would earn God’s attention. I believe that Hezekiah was merely reminding God of all the ways that He was able to use him, and that he was always faithful to respond. Can we honestly stand before God and say the same thing today? But for as morbid as this story might appear, please notice the awesome response by our God. Among all the people of the world, and among all the prayers being lifted up at that time, God heard the prayers of Hezekiah! Notice that He saw the tears and heartache that was bearing Hezekiah down. I believe that the tears resulted from the passion Hezekiah felt about his unfinished work, and resulted from the awe that resulted from him kneeling before the God of this universe, with such a special request. Most of you reading this blog no doubt kneel before God on a frequent basis and you probably have a long list of things to request of God. When last have you stood, or kneeled, before God and just worshipped Him in thankfulness for who He is and for all that He does for you? When last have you been overwhelmed with the presence of God, and just shared your heart with Him through the tears that flowed as you worshipped Him? Did this experience bring tears to your eyes and you pondered why He would even stop to listen to one such as yourself? If you knew that You were expending the last moments of your life, are there certain things and/or loved ones that would tear your heart apart as you prayed in desperation to our holy, righteous and all-powerful God? Perhaps you should consider doing that today dear friend, for we know not what tomorrow may bring.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! In spite of Your majesty, I am convinced that You would have sent Your Son to die at Calvary if I was the only sinner on earth at the time. Oh the love of Jesus, that saved a wretch like me. Thank You Jesus for loving and caring for even me. Lord, today I ask that You might impress upon my readers and myself the importance of living out our commitments to You and our promises to serve You more, for we could very easily be in death’s waiting room, like Hezekiah was when he prayed. Please forgive us for procrastinating, and help us to always keep our eyes fixed on You, until We see You face to face in glory. Please work out Your plan in our lives, and may we be obedient to serve in ways that we feel led and directed by 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!

How Strong is Your Faith?

There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

Monday, 2020-02-03

Bible Reference: Acts 12:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 15-16 But they wouldn’t believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. “You’re crazy,” they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn’t believe her and said, “It must be his angel.” All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away.

OBSERVATION: There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

APPLICATION: Think about your prayer life. There are times that you call your pastor, or an elder, or a friend, to pray with you about a certain need, because you are so burdened for someone, or a certain need that you feel extra passionate about. However, many times, and I hope that is daily, you will pray over certain needs that God has laid on your heart, or you really desire a special touch from God over, and I pray that we could learn to pray in full release to the will of a perfect God. How often have you seen those prayers answered, resulting in a glorious praise and worship time with your Master for hearing your prayer and answering the cry of your heart? Allow me to share two experiences – the first one involves a time where Jesus told a desperate father to return home, for the son that he sought after Jesus for healing, he had been healed. When the father met a jubilant crowd coming towards him, he was told that the child awoke and raised up at the same time that Jesus told him to return home! Instant healing, my friend! The second story involves a precious old lady who was known for her fervent prayer. After telling me that she was going to pray for my shoulder, the next time that she met me she was astonished that the shoulder was still hurting some, because she had prayed for God to heal that shoulder for me! Oh the fervent, effectual pray of a righteous person availeth much, my friend! In our Scripture today, you will observe that the disciples were still skeptical, even though they had spent a lot of time praying over the protection of their Brother, and his release from prison. Dear friend, I believe that when we pray to God, we must pray that His will be done in every situation that we pray about. This should place us in the position where we know that His response might be exactly like we asked for, but at times, He might show us that He has a better way in the circumstances for which we are praying for. We might pray for the life of a family member suffering from a bad disease or health issue. Selfishly, we want that relative to return to perfect health so that we may resume our normal lifestyles. However, when God responds according to His design, He knows what is best for that individual. I believe that God will strengthen us to accept His perfect will, even if it may not align with our wishes. Knowing that a loved one is happy with the Lord, is much better than the very best day they could enjoy on this earth. So when we pray, fellow believers, do we pray believing in the all-powerful work of the Master, or do we present our wish list and hope for the best? I would ask that God might touch the hearts of each believer today, beginning with me, and that we might never be shocked when God answers our prayers – whether instantly, or in His perfect timing. Let’s remember we ask in faith for the will of God. We don’t like ‘Yes’ men here on earth, and we definitely don’t want to pray to a God who will answer our requests like we think they should be answered. May Your perfect will be done dear God in Your perfect timing, for all that we seek from You today!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, Your creation is in need of it’s Creator. We acknowledge that we are ignorant of things that will happen, or to what is best for us. Our wants often outweigh our needs, and so we often ask amiss. Please forgive us dear Lord, for we need a special touch from You. I believe that You have a special work assigned for us to do here on earth, and unless we get out of the way and allow Your will to be done, we might hinder that work. Please help us to always ask expecting the miraculous to happen, because we are asking of the only true, all-powerful God of the universe. Thank you for hearing our cry oh Lord. May we ready ourselves for rejoicing in Your handiwork, as we see You respond to the prayers and cries of Your people. May Your perfect will be done in my life and through my prayers, precious Lord. AMEN!

Consequences for Criticizing God’s Servant

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

Wednesday, 2019-11-20

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

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

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

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

PRAYER: Lord God, Almighty Father, thank You for the picture of love for Your humble servant, and the reassurance that there is no reason why You would still not protect Your servants even today. It is so easy to get caught up in complaining or whining about our leaders, especially when they don’t pat our backs just right, or say the things that we like to hear. Please help us to stay focused on Your Word, for I believe that as we do, then we will appreciate the words from the leaders You have placed in charge of ministering to us. Please teach us to be humble like Your servant Moses, and also teach us to follow Your pattern of obedience when it comes to our spiritual leaders. As church leaders, we badly need encouragement for boldness before Your people, yet humbleness to always seek Your face so that we can seek Your favor for Your people. As followers of Christ, please help us to always pray for, and encourage our church leaders as they seek to obey You and follow Your commands for our respective churches. You are holy and deserving of our praise, worship and honor, and when we do this, perhaps we won’t have time to ridicule and/or gossip about our Brothers and Sisters! I love You lord for who You are, and I ask these things in faith and in the name of Jesus my Savior, AMEN!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

God Will Give The Victory

King Jehoshaphat faced an overwhelming issue – he was about to face a huge army. Often our issues seem unreal to us also, because we see, what appears to be, an overwhelming challenge ahead of us. But the reassuring thing for us, is that the same God who promised victory to the king, is the same God that we serve today! And I believe that He is just as concerned about our victory as He was about the king’s challenge! Meditate with me on this friends!

Tuesday, 2019-04-30

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 20:15–17
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text:  Jahaziel said, “Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you. Attack them tomorrow as they come up the pass at Ziz. You will meet them at the end of the valley that leads to the wild country near Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Just take up your positions and wait; you will see the LORD give you victory. People of Judah and Jerusalem, do not hesitate or be afraid. Go out to battle, and the LORD will be with you!”

OBSERVATION: King Jehoshaphat faced an overwhelming issue – he was about to face a huge army. Often our issues seem unreal to us also, because we see, what appears to be, an overwhelming challenge ahead of us. But the reassuring thing for us, is that the same God who promised victory to the king, is the same God that we serve today! And I believe that He is just as concerned about our victory as He was about the king’s challenge! Meditate with me on this friends!

APPLICATION: King Jehoshaphat faced the reality of an approaching army that was superior to his and overwhelmingly outnumbered his army. He was accustomed to prayer, leadership by God, and the awesome power of God. But he didn’t take this for granted, he gathered his people in the temple courtyard and he personally led the prayer to God on behalf of his people. After bragging on the known accomplishments of God, in vs 7 and again in vs 12 the king acknowledged that “You are our God”, meaning that You are the proven One that we depend on; You are the One that is powerful enough to bring us victory! In response to this intense, yet humble time of prayer, God spoke through an unknown prophet in their midst, Jahaziel, who shared with the king and his people that they are not to be afraid or discouraged, the battle depends on God, not on them! Wow, what an awesome reality when we face our battles today. When we have placed the battle in God’s hands, we can rest peacefully knowing that the battle is then His, not ours! What an awesome God we serve fellow Christian! Take time to give Him praise, adoration and glory today! If you are facing a battle today, I encourage you to read this whole chapter (30 verses), and be encourage to surrender that battle over to God. Imagine the peace of knowing that He now has that issue that has been troubling you and that the battle is His, and no longer yours! Just do it friend! He is our God!

PRAYER: Lord God, You know the mountains that we need to cross, and I believe that You know the challenges that seem overwhelming to us. Please comfort the hearts of Your children tuned in to this devotional today, and give us the reassurance that we need to help us face today, and tomorrow, knowing that You are still God and that our ‘mountains’ are very crossable with You as our Guide and our Deliverer. Praise be to God for the assurance of whom we serve, and for Your awesome power to overcome. May we place our faith and trust in You at all times, for all things. AMEN!