It Will Be Worth It All

There’s a saying, that if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you will likely see the same results. I believe this also means that if you do what others have done, you should expect the same results as they did. The Bible says that prophets of old were condemned and had to deal with various forms of evil, because they stood for, represented, and boldly spoke the words of God. If we do the same thing as our Christian ancestors, we should not be surprised about the way we are treated in this world. Although our Scripture today prepares us for the outcome, God is smiling, because He has a great reward awaiting for us when we arrive in heaven! Are you preparing for your reward?

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-01-10
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:11-12
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 “People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed12 Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did the same evil things to the prophets who lived before you.

OBSERVATION: There’s a saying, that if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you will likely see the same results. I believe this also means that if you do what others have done, you should expect the same results as they did. The Bible says that prophets of old were condemned and had to deal with various forms of evil, because they stood for, represented, and boldly spoke the words of God. If we do the same thing as our Christian ancestors, we should not be surprised about the way we are treated in this world. Although our Scripture today prepares us for the outcome, God is smiling, because He has a great reward awaiting for us when we arrive in heaven! Are you preparing for your reward?

APPLICATION: I believe that faith is doing what you know will give you the ultimate prize, in spite of very challenging times accomplishing the work that will be judged. Fellow Christians, we are told that people will insult us, they will hurt us, they will lie about us, and they will say all kinds of evil things about us. The natural man will immediately ask, so what must I do to avoid that, because that sounds like anything but fun, or enjoyable times. But today we stand boldly with the Word of God in hand, and our Father says that if we truly stand up for Him and the things of God, we will experience the acts aforementioned. Why is that? I believe that the world acts in ways so opposing to the Word of God, and their actions so different to Godly actions, that they tend to look at us as the odd ball. We are looked at as the group that thinks differently; acts differently; stands for everything opposite to what the world enjoys; opposes some of the funnest times that the world enjoys; or as in my case, accused of being too black and white. In fact, the world may look at us and refuse to associate with us because we are simply no fun to be around. But the great news of Jesus Christ is that there is no reason for us to go to our corner and pout when we are looked down on, or not worth hanging around, but instead rest assured in knowing that because we are bold enough to do the right thing, our Father is smiling in heaven knowing that the prize He has set aside for us is merely gaining more jewels until we arrive safely at His feet. It’s worth it dear friend. Commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ, honor Him in all your ways, and all these things will be given unto you! Heaven is a glorious place, and I would be thrilled to have you join me at the feet of the Master one day very soon!

PRAYER: Praise the name of Jesus, we have a future that includes praise, worship and prayer at Your feet forevermore! But we need You badly while we remain on this old earth, dear Lord, for we live as a prince among thieves. Please continue to give us strength and boldness to encourage and love those who despitefully use us, for we would love to see them surrender their lives to Your lordship and rule. Oh that they may accept You as Lord and use their energies for promoting the Kingdom of God instead of their evil agenda to discourage and hold back the children of God. You are bigger than all our troubles Lord, so we trust in You, and depend on You, to help us deal with, and overcome this wicked world. AMEN!

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

The Reward For Obedience

One of the things that will win the attention of a child, is for a parent to promise a reward if they would …! Almost every time that will prove to be enough incentive to win the efforts of that child to obediently follow the parent’s command. While analyzing the seven churches in Revelation the angel told John that God would honor the obedience of the church at Sardis by protecting them against the testing that will come. Ponder this thought with me today as we analyze ourselves and our church to see if God might bless us for our obedience.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-12-01
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Revelation 3:10-11
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 You obeyed my message and endured. So I will protect you from the time of testing that everyone in all the world must go through. 11 I am coming soon. So hold firmly to what you have, and no one will take away the crown that you will be given as your reward.

OBSERVATION: One of the things that will win the attention of a child, is for a parent to promise a reward if they would …! Almost every time that will prove to be enough incentive to win the efforts of that child to obediently follow the parent’s command. While analyzing the seven churches in Revelation the angel told John that God would honor the obedience of the church at Sardis by protecting them against the testing that will come. Ponder this thought with me today as we analyze ourselves and our church to see if God might bless us for our obedience.

APPLICATION: No doubt each of us have pulled something off on our parents, or someone in authority over us. For example, they assumed that you did something great, while you know that you had a lot of help on it. You don’t bother to clarify the problem, because it left you looking pretty good in the eyes of the one who calls the shots on your progress, or your job! Sounds all too familiar? I bet you hold our breath hoping that the full story will not be revealed! However, it’s not like that with God, for He knows every little detail about our comings and our goings. And while we try very hard to look our very best in the eyes of our peers, our supervisors and our relatives, yet we hold our breath wondering how blunt and forgiving God will be when we meet Him face-to-face. I also reflect on how parents say to their children: I hope that you will appreciate all that I’ve done for you! Compare this to what I believe God will say to us: My child, while you were still a sinner, I sacrificed my only child so that you might rise above the sin of this old world and live eternally in the glories of heaven with my Son and I. Having failed on occasion was expected, because of the place where you lived and the people you came into contact with, but I knew your heart and your intent. When you invited me to be Lord of your life, I gave you a new beginning and the power to overcome Satan and his cohorts, so now I am happy to welcome you home where you will be at peace for evermore. Friends, if you believe in Jesus Christ, then I believe that you can affirm my assumptions that I just shared, because you are aware of the love of our Savior and the outstanding provisions that He has made for us. Unfortunately if you have not yet sought out the love of my Savior, then you may be challenged to appreciate what God said to the church at Sardis, or what I envisioned in seeing all that God has in store for us when we see Him face-to-face. But you are empowered to correct this challenge, because the Word of God says that whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. Whosoever includes ‘YOU’ my friend. Notice also that there is no doubt in the reward, for God said that you WILL be saved. In case you’re curious, that means that you will be saved from the destiny of Hell which is reserved for all who have not accepted Jesus as Lord. My friend, I secured my destiny with Jesus and my prayer is that you too might do the same. Heaven is my eternal home, and I would love to see each of you there! Please contact me and allow me to show you the way!

PRAYER: Lord, we are thankful for all that You have done for Your children, and for what You do for us each and every day while we live here on earth. Being reminded of what You promised to the church at Sardis, reminds me that You will do the same for us when we follow You in accepting Your Son, and in closely adhering to Your commands. Please Lord, continue to lead us, direct us and guide us through every step here on earth. We look forward to being with You soon. Please keep us in Your care, following Your commands and living in full expectation of Your return to take Your church home to 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Life Improvement Key

The Holy Bible

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 2:1-6)

Thoughts:

Isn’t it interesting to watch the commercials this time of the year and learn how easy it is to improve happiness in your home, if only you would get off your wallet and buy the right gifts for your loved ones, or buy the right foods on which to splurge during the many parties and family gatherings? In a few weeks, that will change to finding happiness while improving your self-image, by losing all the pounds you gained during the holidays. Do you see the temporary results in each of these things? Paul had the same challenge with the folk he ministered to in the Ephesian church, and in these verses highlighted today you will note that he brought to their attention an important key to improve life over an entire year, not just during a particular season. Friends, this is the same choice that we can make today. Banks love it when you overspend to find those special gifts that you feel will bring happiness to your family and friends, but your budget suffers for months to come. Paul is reminding us that God, in His infinite wisdom knew what it would take to improve life on a permanent basis. He knew that it should be done out of love, and not at a financial cost to those that need it, otherwise it would be out of reach for some. In fact, this ‘improvement key’ would have to be something available to His children even though the rest of the world might look on in disbelief, because all they would see is the unworthiness of the individual. Additionally, Paul must have known that we would have gotten used to the various rewards programs here on earth, because in verse 6 he went on to encourage us with the rewards of heaven in company with the Savior of this world, Jesus, the Messiah of whom we sing in many of the Christmas carols. In other words, the rewards of this life improvement decision of which I have shared, is simply ‘out of the world’!! Friend, won’t you this Christmas season accept the best gift ever given, Jesus my Lord? He truly is the reason that we celebrate Christmas, and He is ready and willing to accept your ‘life improvement’ request today!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for going to the extreme to provide the best gift ever. One that would improve our lives forever. One that brings the rewards of heaven, and eternity with the Master of this universe. Lord You are good, and your mercies endureth forever! I love You Lord, and I life my voice, to worship You, oh my soul, rejoice; take joy my King in what You hear, may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear! Lord, may this Christmas time be a time that our lives are made complete in You, and may our family and friends also recognize the need for the gift of all gifts, the hope of glory, the key to true and everlasting happiness. For I humbly ask this in the name of Jesus, the newborn 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!

The Rewards of Giving

The Holy Bible

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 9:10-11)

Thoughts:

Over the past two days we have learned that God expects us to give out of what we receive, and to give with the right attitude. In today’s scripture we learn how God rewards us for our giving. I’m sure that many who meditated on the last two lessons may have questioned how they could possibly afford to give from the little they earn, especially considering the large amounts they owe. Friends, God answers that question in today’s scripture by reassuring you that He gives not only enough for ourselves, but also the where-with-all to supply the needs of others. In faith, we must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel, by works of giving. Remember this will be a reward to our faithfulness, and to bring praise and glory to God by others who are touched by our giving. Please also note that Paul was not just drumming up this idea of rewards to induce the giving he was asking his followers to do. For back in Matthew 10:42, Jesus told His followers that if they only give a cup of water to one of His, they would certainly be rewarded. In Hosea 10:12 we are told that if we plant righteousness (right-ness with God) we will reap a blessing! In Matthew 5:6 we are told that God will satisfy those whose greatest desire is to please Him. By now you are probably thinking that this is probably the way to go to bring you riches. To a certain degree I will agree with you, because there is nothing like building up the pleasure of our God with our obedience to His Word. Absolutely nothing like seeing those in need find reason to praise God for His wonderful gifts, knowing that we may have had a role to play in those gifts because of our obedience. I find way more delight in hearing that others are pleased with and/or blessed by something that I may have contributed to, rather than the richest dude on earth handing out $100 bills for everything they notice that I may have done. For you see, my actions are in response to God’s commands and for His glory, not for man’s attention or his returned praises to me. I would rather go unnoticed in my giving of finances or time. I am much more rewarded by hearing someone giving praise to God for answering their prayers about their needs. If God used something that I may have contributed to Him, then it is truly His to give away to a person in need. He’s the one that deserves the praise and glory. Give from a heart of obedience friend, and give it to the Lord, who gave it to you in the first place. Be ready to praise Him for the ability to give, and for the glory it might bring to a child of God in need, for your rewards are ‘out of this world’!!

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for showing us how to give, by first giving of everything You had to us. Thank You for accepting that bitter cup You mentioned in the garden, so that I might enjoy the sweet cup of fellowship with You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for blessing us daily with the love, assurances and resources that we might pass along blessings to others in need. I pray that my reader friends might, like me, gain a daily appreciation for Your goodness towards us, so that we may freely share with others and give liberally to You and Your work in response. I pray that through recognizing, and being reminded of the source of our blessings, we might be encouraged to give all the more. I so appreciate the rewards You have prepared for me, thank You Father! May we be reminded of those rewards daily so that our giving might be all the more joyful! All this I ask for You dear Lord, in Your precious and worthy name, 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 days 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!