Fed Up With Disregard for Jesus – Sin

Based on your Christian upbringing, your own Christian convictions and your understanding of God’s Word, what is it that really upsets you in what you see happening in our world today? How do you deal with it? What do you do about it? It has always been said that silence indicates consent, or agreement with the masses! I encourage you to read the chapter containing today’s focus verses and note how many times Paul was relocated from one place to another by his friends in order to protect his life, because he would not simply sit by and accept the sin that was evident. What about you friends?

Saturday, 2020-02-08

Bible Reference: Acts 17:15-16
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 15 The people leading Paul went with him to Athens. Then they carried a message from Paul back to Silas and Timothy for them to come to him as soon as they could.
16 While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he was troubled because he saw that the city was full of idols.

OBSERVATION: Based on your Christian upbringing, your own Christian convictions and your understanding of God’s Word, what is it that really upsets you in what you see happening in our world today? How do you deal with it? What do you do about it? It has always been said that silence indicates consent, or agreement with the masses! I encourage you to read the chapter containing today’s focus verses and note how many times Paul was relocated from one place to another by his friends in order to protect his life, because he would not simply sit by and accept the sin that was evident. What about you friends?

APPLICATION:  Do you run to God for his direction about the sin that you see all around you? Do you often show your opposition to the sin, or do you support those committing the sin? Do you seek God’s help and direction in showing those affected by these things that there is a better way – a way that leads to eternity with Jesus? Paul was convicted that Jesus was the only way, and that sin was sin. So he kept facing opposition from the world, yet in vs 2 we read that Paul went into the synagogue and taught about Jesus; again in vs 10 and yet again in vs 17 we read where he did the same thing after being relocated for his own safety. Would you agree with me that Paul saw a lot going on in these cities that, based on his understanding of God’s Word, he disagreed with? Would you also agree that it is evident that he was not prepared to ‘pass the buck’, but instead willing to put his neck on the line over and over again for what he knew was wrong, and to teach what he knew was right? What about you, my friend, are you willing to follow in Paul’s example? There is no question about whether things are bad enough around us, for daily we hear about the evil going on. We may not see idols everywhere, but friends when we see our friends not interested in worshiping with other believers because of other ‘idols’ in their life, should we not be concerned? ‘Idols’ is something that takes the place of God in our lives. Whenever something else takes priority over our time with God, especially on a continual basis, then I dare say that ‘something’ has become an idol in your life. God has not called us to be judge and jury, but friends it is obvious to see where ‘idols’ pop up in our own lives, and in the lives of our family and friends. It should make us question where our priority is. Like Paul, we must constantly be looking inward to see where our hearts and priorities are, and we must be willing to preach the principles of God to our friends and neighbors. We must not let Satan be the victor in our world, when we are so aware of our loving Savior and all that He sacrificed for such undeserving sinners such as ourselves. I would dare say that not many of us could be found guilty of openly spreading the gospel today, especially in areas where we know that the state has forbidden it, and unfortunately these areas are becoming way too numerous today. Jesus is coming soon friends, we must not let our friends die and go to Hell. We must live our lives in the light of eternity, and witness/teach/preach with the same intensity as Paul did. Where’s your heart dear friend? Trying to please everyone around you, or determined to carry as many as possible to heaven with you. When Jesus comes to take us home with Him, only one thing will matter – ‘is your heart right with God?’. Do you know Him friend? Do all those that you rub shoulders with, know Him? If not, work diligently till Jesus returns to help them find the way.

PRAYER: In the name of Jesus, and for Your glory, I humbly ask that You forgive me of my laxity in being a bold witness of the One who went to the cross to prove His love for me. No other love can compare to the love that You showed just for me, Heavenly Father, and I thank You sincerely for that. Please instill in me the urgency of the hour in which I live, so that I may concentrate my heart, my mind and my witness on the things that really matter – You and Your kingdom. Please touch the hearts of the folk that might meditate on this devotional today, and penetrate their hearts with the same urgency of that which I have pleaded. May we devote ourselves to winning this world for You, is my humble prayer, all for Your sake and 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, let me encourage you to visit 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!

Well Worth Our Effort

Monday, 2016-12-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 15:58

Bible Text:  58  Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Bible Translation: Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

My Take

I believe that especially at this time of the year we tend to feel so exhausted and may even cause ourselves to doubt whether, in light of everything we did at Christmas, was it really worth it all. I heard that studies show that the day that most pastors resign their churches is Monday, and I believe that this may be due to the fact that Satan ‘beats them up’ so badly and causes them to question themselves about the job they did the previous day. Paul tried to encourage the Corinthian church by reminding them of the truth about the resurrection, and about the glorious day that will be when they see the face of the Savior! Friends, this same assurance is promised to those of us who have surrendered our lives to Jesus and invited Him into our hearts! So to reiterate the thoughts of Paul in these verses today, may I remind you that in light of what God has promised to us, we should be:

  • Steadfast – Deeply rooted and built up in Christ. Established in the faith and know what we believe, sufficient that we can freely share our faith with others;
  • Immovable – Confident in our faith and not vulnerable towards evil coming between us and our Lord, while still gaining strength and assurance in remembering that nothing will separate us from the love of God!
  • Excelling – Isn’t it interesting how much time we put into our jobs, and how easily we accept going long distances to conferences or attending educational opportunities that will help sharpen our work-related skills? However, when it comes to the work of the Lord we find excuse after excuse why we can’t go to similar events that may sharpen our ministry related skills? Isn’t it interesting how we are prepared to work long hours, and even weekends, if necessary, to get our jobs done in perfect condition, yet we ‘slap together’ a lesson or a sermon as we rush into the hours right before delivery to our classes or congregations? Paul encourages us to always excel in our work for the Lord, especially knowing that our effort will not be in vain.

Friends, Galatians 6:8-10 says: …. the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9  So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10  Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith. I interpret this as a promise that we will be rewarded for all that we do for the Lord, and I especially believe this will be the case when we’ve put our all into the effort. Remember, all that’s done for Jesus will last!

Prayer

Father, there was nothing about our salvation that You took lightly, for You gave of Your very best, so that we might have the very best when we past from this world. I therefore question myself as to whether there is anything that I can do to compare with all that You have done for me? Lord, I pray that You will remind us of the gifts that You have blessed us with. There’s an awesome day coming, and we are anxious to see You, Lord Jesus! However, while here on this earth, please touch us each and every day with a strong desire to do our very best to spread the good news, and I firmly believe that unless we do that from the heart, our efforts will be in vain. Please place a passion in us to serve You better by ministering to our fellow man each and every day. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Gospel Message

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Acts 2:38-41
Today’s Bible Text: 38 Peter said to them, “Change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Then God will forgive your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you. It is also for your children and for the people who are far away. It is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 Peter warned them with many other words; he begged them, “Save yourselves from the evil of the people who live now!” 41 Then those who accepted what Peter said were baptized. On that day about 3000 people were added to the group of believers.
The Bible Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

My Take Away: These verses form the whole jest of the gospel, or the purpose for churches today. The gospel is preached, or shared with individuals, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, their hearts are stirred, and they accept Jesus as their Lord. I know that this sounds extremely simple friend, but in and of our sinful selves, we want nothing to do with Jesus, or anyone else that will challenge us or the way we live. Conversely then, whenever we hear the Word of God taught or preached, and it prompts us to question or to want to change our way of life, it is at that point that we need to listen to Peter’s response in verse 38, for it is God speaking to us. I believe that the church today is just as relevant as it was in Peter’s day. I believe that people need the Lord today as much, or more than, anyone ever needed the Lord before. I believe it is more critical than ever before that Christians, and church leaders, be sincere and persistent about preaching the Word of God in its simplest form, so that the world will know without a doubt who Jesus is. I can assure you friend, that Jesus really loves you, and so do I! I’ll be praying for all who might read this devotional today that God would be active in your decision making, for only He can change the heart of a sinner. Praise God He did it for me, so I know for sure!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for making a way for us to one day see You and spend eternity with You in heaven! Thank You for those, like Peter, and our current-day pastors who diligently deliver the message of Truth from Your Word. I pray that more of us, as recipients of that message, will share our faith with others, for the same gospel message that impacted our lives can be enjoyed by many others that we come into contact with, if we will be bold enough to share. Bless us this day with Your grace the boldness and power to share that which we have been blessed with. Please touch our pastors this weekend with power from on high, so that the world might hear and believe. In deepest appreciation for Your love and Your message of hope, I ask these things today, 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!

2016

Because He is coming To Rule as King

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 Timothy 4:1–5
Today’s Bible Text: In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and because he is coming to rule as King, I solemnly urge you to preach the message, to insist upon proclaiming it (whether the time is right or not), to convince, reproach, and encourage, as you teach with all patience. The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.
The Bible Translation: The Good News Translation (GNT)

My Take Away: Paul tried very hard to qualify to Timothy why he was giving him certain instructions. I believe that God directed this to be placed in His Word for us, because He wants us to know that in the light of all the excuses we might give for not doing something that He orders, we had best remember that one day soon He will come to rule again as King and we will be accountable  to Him for our decisions and our actions. We are urged to share the faith that comes from trusting in God – to share our salvation experience; to seek God’s face and direction in all decisions that we make; to challenge family and friends about their faith in Christ; to correct folk in love when we see them out of line with God’s instructions. I love the way that this translation says “and because Jesus is coming to rule as King” – because this encourages me to have an even deeper desire to share my faith, and to busy myself with the work of the Lord. However, less we miss a very important point, Paul encourages us to also keep control of ourselves in all circumstances. This means that we should not dare correct, rebuke or witness to another, if our lives are out of tune with God’s will for us. In another scripture, we are encouraged to remove the plank from our own eye, before challenging a Brother to consider the speck in his eye. Friends, we are reminded that in the last days we will see people looking for special traits in their teachers – they specifically want ones who will tickle their ears with things that are appealing to them. Could this possibly  be because of the hypocrisy of the teachers of the gospel? Paul has shown us that we have a responsibility to the Master, and this should be in spite of all the challenges that Satan will send our way to discourage us. May I encourage you to take the challenge with all sincerity and because of the love of Jesus for you? For even while you were still a sinner, Jesus gave up His life for you so that you might overcome sin and live eternally in glory with Him! Because He is coming soon to rule as King, let us today be found faithful and true!

Prayer: Father, I believe that it is because of the struggles You see us having, that You bring these experiences to light as we read Your Word. For the experiences of Paul is very similar to those that we face today. Pastors are becoming very discouraged, and laity is questioning whether it is worth the effort to keep on in our witness for You. Please work a miracle in the lives of Your dedicated church pastors Lord, may they find peace in doing the will of God in everything they attempt. Lord, please protect our pastors from the evil of this world. Please encourage Christians everywhere to share Your love and the teaching of Your Word with all they come into contact with, and may their attempts be fruitful because of the condition of their relationship with You. People need the Lord! May each believer play a key role is helping them find You dear Lord. 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!

2016

Teach With Your Life

The Holy Bible   (The Message – 1 Timothy 4:11-14):     Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.

Thoughts:   Paul instructed Timothy on things to be leery of. I believe that God ordered that these instructions be included in His Message to us because they equally apply to us. In these verses, I heard God saying:

  • We have a responsibility to get the word out – the Word of God, The witness of all that He has done in our lives;
  • We are cautioned that people might be prejudiced against us – it might be age, it might be color, it might be gender, or anything else that they feel might serve to block us from imposing, or sharing our message with them;
  • We must be careful to also minister to believers – Paul knew that the primary way to get through to believers would be to teach them through our actions, our words, our demeanor, our love, our faith, our integrity – just our straight out attitude and character. If Jesus is not shining through us in our outward life actions, does He truly reside in our heart?
  • Keep on keeping on – a message I’ve heard consistently over the past few months. Paul is also advising that we stay at our posts, doing what God instructs us, in spite of what the people around us may do to deflect or reject us;
  • We have a special gift – share it! This can be from a talent standpoint, or simply from a standpoint of having the gift of God’s Son inside of us and a deep desire to share Him with others;
  • Keep our gift dusted off – this reminds me that I am to stay in the Word, attend church services and training, and do my very best to be current in my relationship and experiences with the Lord. Sharing something with someone that happened to you over 10 years ago gives the impression that your God must be dead. Why hasn’t He been active in your life experiences this week? Also, witnessing about something that has occurred in your life, versus something that happened in a friend’s life, is way more powerful. So be attuned to all that God is doing for you personally.

Prayer:   Thank You Lord for the plan You had for Timothy; the plan You had for Paul to encourage and minister to Timothy; and the plan You have for my life and the lives of my readers. Thankfully You are a ‘personal’ God who loves us individually in unconditional ways. You chose us to be Your children; Your followers; Your messengers; because we have family, friends and loved ones that will listen to us and watch our very actions. Lord, may they see Jesus very evident in our life, our word, our demeanor, our love, our faith and in our integrity. In fact, may the love of God be so evident in us that others would have a desire to also have Him become a part of their lives. Just as Timothy went on to win the lost to You, may You also see results from our very existence here on this earth and particularly from our personal witness. This is my desire today Lord, and I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my King, now and throughout eternity, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE:   If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!