Temptation – Jesus’ Greatest Concern?

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: Luke 22:39-40; 45-46
Today’s Bible Text: 39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: I believe that the passage surrounding these verses probably relate one of the most challenging times in the life of Jesus. I find that when we have a lot on our minds about our health, security or life in general, we tend to be concerned about the welfare of others we love at the same time. And this is exactly what happened to our Lord, for He shared with His disciples what His greatest concern was for them. In fact, I am sharing two sections of Luke 22, because in each case Jesus shared the same concern – “pray, pray, pray that you will not give in to temptation”. That tells me that Jesus knew there would be temptation, and that it would be one of the greatest challenges for His disciples to contend with. Just as I was reminded, I want to also remind you, my readers, that this is probably one of our greatest challenges each day also. I believe that we tend to think of temptation in the light of inappropriate thoughts or actions towards the opposite sex. But friends, let’s remember that Satan is out to tempt us away from the path God has designed for us in every aspect of our daily walk. Every aspect. Satan uses our family, friends, coworkers or even casual acquaintances to tempt us to lie, cheat, steal, look the other way, speak inappropriately, or any other temptation you can think of. Just as Jesus was concerned about this particular problem with His disciples, I am certain that He is also holding His breath in concern for us also. So what’s our role, you might ask. Let us keep our hearts and minds fixed on Jesus at all times. Let’s ask Him to direct our thoughts, our minds, our speech, our attitudes, our eyes and our hearts so that they may all lead us towards Christ, and not in the opposite direction. With God’s help, we can do this friends!

Prayer: Dear Father, please lead us not into temptation, but deliver us – every fiber of our being, from the evil one. For thine is the kingdom and the glory, for ever, and forever, 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

Be Filled With Mercy

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – James 4:17-18): 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

THOUGHTS: The love of God, and the wisdom of God combined with the sweet Spirit of God that indwells us, helps us to overcome the evil desires of this world and to live a life filled to overflowing with mercy that produces wonderful fruits of good works and deeds. How is this accomplished? Jesus said that if we abide in Him and He abides in us, we will be capable of doing many mighty things! So we must learn to call on, and depend on the source of our power, Jesus Christ. In these two verses we are told that God’s wisdom is:

  • Pure – when I think of this I think of our lives being free from the impurities of this world that is filled with hatred, jealousy and strife. Scripture refers to us presenting ourselves blameless before the Master. Pure!
  • Loving – Our Role Model loved everyone, even those who despitefully used Him. With God’s help, we must strive to do the same, for scripture tells us that even the adversary can love those who love and follow him. It takes God’s power to love those that seem to strive towards destroying us.
  • Gentle – I believe that God would have us approach others in a respectful and loving way, that will show consideration for the other person, and that you are looking out for their best interest. In this way, our approach and our handling of situations involving others will be filled with gentleness.
  • Yielding – Others first, you last. Be willing to give in to what the other person wants, if it aligns with God’s will and purpose for you. It doesn’t have to always be done your way!
  • Not showing favoritism – Similar to the characteristic of ‘yielding’. Treat everyone with the same respect as you would expect. Treating one sex, or one race or one nationality any different will not reflect the love that God has for ALL His children.
  • Sincere – Don’t do the above things because Brother Ed told you to do them, or your mom may have taught you to act that way since early childhood. Let these characteristics melt your heart and your way of thinking. Our natural character will reflect the ways of the world, however if we are truly a child of God, we will display the character of God.

Please be conscious of these characteristics each and every day. Ask God for a fresh indwelling of His Holy Spirit every day, so that you may think like Him and act like Him. Be filled with the holy wisdom of God, friend!

PRAYER: Father, as I listed those characteristics above, I was reminded of the awesome God that You are, because these describe Your very nature, yet they highlight our ungodly weaknesses. We need a touch from You Father. We need Your Holy Spirit to constantly work on our hardened hearts and to fill us with Your wisdom and Your grace. If others are to see Jesus in every aspect of our lives, we need help badly. I acknowledge that we will never be God, but I humbly plead for Your grace and Your power, so that we may consistently display the qualities taught and modeled by Your Son Jesus. I believe that the world must see a difference in Christians, if we ever expect them to see the need to change their evil ways. May we be Your ambassadors today Lord, is my humble plea that I ask in the name of Your awesome, powerful Son, Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 www.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!

Knowing the Heart of Man

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Titus 1:15-16): 15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.

THOUGHTS: Paul warned Titus about what to expect when he went to minister to the people of Crete. Ever stop to ponder what the Elders or Deacons might warn a new pastor or evangelist coming to minister at your church, about you? Chew on that for a few moments! There is an old saying: ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time’!! I’m afraid that we may convince ourselves that our outward appearance and actions at church might have everyone convinced how good we truly are, but friends may I remind you that it is God who truly knows us, and since it is He that we supposedly go to worship at church, then it is He that we must convince of our goodness and worth. This presents a challenge, because He knows our heart, our intentions, and our façade. We just can’t fool Him. We might try to put on a smile to avoid depressing friends at church, but God truly knows the hurt deep inside of us. Please don’t get me wrong friends, I’m not suggesting that we go before God’s people with long drawn out faces when it seems like life is unfair. But as I share the Word of God with you, I believe you will reflect on His goodness; the assurance of His presence; the comfort of His touch on your life; and the worthiness of His honor – for which you will burst forth in praise and adoration, in spite of life’s circumstances! We must remember that when it appears like we have been dealt a ‘lemon’ in life that we are to make lemonade, or lemon meringue pie, and not to complain about the sour lemon we seem to have inherited. I believe that Paul is warning us that for those with impure hearts (non-believers in Jesus Christ), they are detestable to God and therefore cannot do anything truly ‘good’ in His sight. How is it with you today friend? Will God see your actions and your attitude from a heart filled with His grace and mercy today? Or is He still seeing you from an impure state and merely doing good from a worldly standard and for personal praise and attention? Knowing my Savior not only assures us of honesty in our demeanor today, but provides a bright future for us in knowing that we will be with Him eternally in heaven! Invest in your day and in your future by searching out my Lord today. He loves you and wants His very best for you, but you must surrender self and accept Him as your Master – your Lord and Savior. Please refer to the ‘Footnote’ for any help needed in making this vital decision friend!

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, God Almighty, thank You for providing a sacrifice for us, because You knew that we could never handle this thing called ‘life’ on our own. Thank You for doing that in spite of the sin of mankind. Thank You for loving me in spite of the worldly things I do and think at times. Humbly I ask that You might fill me with so much of Your Son that my mouth will constantly overflow from the abundance of grace, love and adoration that fills my heart. Lord, I want others to see Jesus in everything that I do and in everything I say, so that You might be magnified and that others might be drawn to You. This scripture reminds me again of Your dislike of hypocrisy, especially in Your church, and in the lives of those who claim You as Savior and Lord. Please warm the hearts of Your saints to once again be pure in spirit and in the grace of Your amazing love. Fill us Lord, and use us for Your glory. We want to know You better and we want to be an influence in the lives of relatives and friends that have not accepted You as Lord. Please endow us with so much of You that our lives might overflow with the love of our Savior! I ask all this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus my 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 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!

How to Live

The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Philippians 4:5-8): Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

Thoughts: From time to time I will come across a ‘Nugget’, as evident in these verses, and I will print it out and tape it to my monitor at work as a constant reminder. This would be a great example, as Satan constantly attempts to throw us off track in our Christian walk each day and destroy our witness in any way possible. Paul is giving us some tips on godly living that has helped him, for he said that we can follow his example. So although this might seem repetitious, I want to expound briefly on the tips given by Paul:

  • Always be gentle, or patient with others – Be willing and ready to set aside your agenda for the good of others, as this will better display the message of the gospel to them. Don’t let them find you as selfish and impatient as everyone else they come across. Show them the love of Jesus;
  • Don’t worry – The Christian has the awesome resource of Jesus Christ at hand, so if we trust Him to save us, and if we trust him enough to pray to Him, then why would one worry? If we truly believe in Him, we must trust Him for all things and in every circumstance;
  • Pray from a thankful heart – Someone once said, don’t whine over the one broken arm when you can be thanking God for the proper use of the other arm! As we look around us, we often see others who are much worse off than we are. Furthermore, we are really undeserving of anything from God, after all, who caused the death of His precious Son on the cross? Let us therefore always be thankful and appreciative for all things, for our God is SO GOOD to us!
  • Keep our minds filled with the character of Jesus – Everything that is true, pure, right, holy, friendly and proper;
  • Never stop thinking about these true and worthwhile things – For they lead to joy, praise and thanksgiving.

Friends, don’t you know that this wicked world will look strangely at us when we follow Paul’s teaching/tips? However the bottom line is that they will know that there is something different about us. Some supernatural power within us that helps us, and drives us to think differently and act just the opposite from the evil and wicked minds of the unsaved. They will want to know more about the One who controls and leads us!

Now, for my friend reading this devotional who might wonder if we belong to a ‘closed’ or ‘exclusive’ club, I will refer you to John 3:16 that plainly tells us that Jesus came so that whosoever believes on Him will be saved. This means that you too can join the redeemed of the Lord, receive power to live like explained above, and live with the joy of knowing that one day soon you too will rejoice around the throne of God with all the saved of this world. It is very important that you don’t delay your request for salvation friend, for none of us know the day or the hour that Jesus will call us home, or that He might return to gather up His saints and take us on home to be with Him. Therefore, may I urge you to be prepared at all times, even today! Please review my tips in the ‘Footnote’ to help you with this very important decision.

Prayer: I am constantly amazed by the awesome love You showed on Calvary dear Lord, so that my sins might be forgiven and therefore receive the promise of eternal life with You in glory one day! Thank You, thank You, thank You! I am also appreciative of Your Word and all that You led saints, such as Paul, to write for our encouragement and direction so that we might live holy lives that lead others to the foot of the cross where we surrendered ourselves to You as our Savior. Living in this manner requires greater strength than we can muster up oh Lord, so I beg You to provide the strength, the power, the boldness and the direction so that we might be like You in every aspect of our lives. May others see, hear and feel the love of Jesus when they are around us. May we represent You unashamedly and with great pleasure, is my humble plea that I ask in the holy and wonderful name of Jesus, my King, 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!