How To Be Considered ‘Righteous’ By God

It always thrills my heart when reading the Old Testament and noticing the number of times that prophets would not make a decision without first hearing from God. For I believe that is a good indicator of a right relationship with God. Paul clarified this even further when he taught what one must do to be considered ‘righteous’ by God. Let me encourage you to delve into the Scriptures with us today as we look at this discourse by Paul. I believe it will allow you the opportunity to consider your righteousness before a holy and righteous God.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-03-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Romans 4:20-25
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

APPLICATION: On the basis of our Scripture, if you believe Jesus was raised from the dead, you are exercising the same quality of faith as did Abraham—a hero of faith. Think about that – at age 86, Abraham was informed by God that he would have a child later in life! Sounds almost like a joke to us today, right? But like Mary did when she was told she would be the mother of Jesus, Abraham just pondered these things in his mind. My friends, if God says it, we could believe it! Think about the pressure you might be under at this time, or the problems you might be facing, they’re nothing in comparison to the incredible faith you have already demonstrated in and through the precious name of Jesus Christ. Once a believer grasps the fact that he’s already done the hard stuff—that his belief in the Resurrection sets him apart as a hero of faith—then any other pressure or problem is a piece of cake, minute in comparison to the fact that he has already embraced the victories of the impossible. Now, if you’re a believer, your faith and salvation are based upon the Resurrection. You didn’t see it visually. You haven’t touched Jesus physically. You haven’t heard His voice audibly—but somehow you believe it. And, even though our culture mocks it, science disputes it, people doubt it—because God has graced you with faith to believe what the world doesn’t understand—anything else you’re struggling with is easy and stress-free. Compared to believing in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, it is nothing to believe in victory over whatever giant is before you, or whatever pressure is upon you! God knew from the very beginning of time, how challenging it would be for us to wrap our tiny brains around the idea of being righteous, like Abraham was righteous, and like Jesus was righteous. He gave us these two as mentors in the faith, but He also gave us His Word so that we might consider all things, to help remind us of His power, and the grace that He bestows on us each and every day. Jesus was the righteous Son of God. Abraham was considered righteous because of his faith, and so can we follow in Abraham’s footsteps because of our faith. How are you doing with that dear reader and/or listener?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: That mere man can be found ‘righteous’ before a holy and righteous God.

PRAYER: Who are we that a King would live and die for? Who are we that a Savior would consider ‘righteous’ while here on earth? What a blessed people we are, that God sent His one and only Son to die, so that we who believe on Him might live righteously as we anxiously await our heavenly home! Lord You are good, and Your mercies endures forever and forever! You worked miraculously in Abraham’s life, and You have been so gracious to us also. Thank You dear Lord! Please continue Your hand upon us so that others may see Jesus and want to know You personally. 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!

Our Tolerance For Wrongdoing

It seems in every generation we could hear folk commenting on how things have changed, and how that things which are accepted today would never have been tolerated in their ancestor’s day. Although our Scripture verses are lengthy today, I believe that we might question ourselves on whether we would have reacted to Tamar’s misfortune like her brother and father did, or whether we might have responded differently. Think about your reactions to things accepted today my friends…

DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-12-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 13:11-13; 20-21
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 
THE OFFENSE: 11 ….. he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me!” 12 She answered, “No! Please don’t force me! This sort of thing isn’t done in Israel. It’s too disgusting! 13 Think of me. I’ll be disgraced forever! And think of yourself. Everyone in Israel will say you’re nothing but trash! Just ask the king, and he will let you marry me.”
THE FAMILY RESPONSE: 20 Tamar’s brother Absalom said to her, “How could Amnon have done such a terrible thing to you! But since he’s your brother, don’t tell anyone what happened. Just try not to think about it.” Tamar soon moved into Absalom’s house, but she was always sad and lonely. 21 When David heard what had happened to Tamar, he was very angry. But Amnon was his oldest son and also his favorite, and David would not do anything to make Amnon unhappy.

APPLICATION: Three real-life individuals are included in this story today. Let’s be reminded of who they were, and how they acted. Perhaps we might try placing ourselves in their ‘shoes’, and decide how we might have reacted:
1. AMNON – The eldest and favorite son of David. It sounds like he was spoiled, as he was allowed to go after what he wanted and not receive the severe repercussions that we see in so many other Old Testament stories. He wanted relations with his step sister and it seems like he didn’t care how anyone was impacted by his actions;
2. TAMAR – The beautiful daughter of David; sister of Absolom; stepsister of Amnon. As in most Old Testament family structures, she was subject to the rule of her dad, and any other men who had reason to rule over her. But Tamar was a daughter of our God and deserved the respect that is due to any other human being;
3. ABSOLOM – The son of David, and also the blood brother of Tamar.
It appears like Amnon was used to having his own way, regardless of who got run over in the process. He fell in love, or perhaps seriously lusted after his stepsister, Tamar. Following through on a suggestion by his friend, Amnon lured Tamar into his bedroom under false pretenses, and proceeded to force himself on her, even after she tried to reason with him. I hope that none of us meditating on this devotional today ever experienced such an incident in our family. But if you are anything like me, then you would have become very angry with Amnon for such a move on his stepsister. Out hearts would be deeply moved for Tamar as we stop to imagine what she must have felt inside as she lost her dignity because of the selfish desires of her stepbrother. But as I meditated on this I realized that we have similar atrocities occurring today, and I’m afraid that our hearts may have become hardened to what is going on around us. In a job I once held, I learned of Human Trafficking; Human organ reaping and selling; Prostitution of young girls, boys and adults; and many other hideous crimes. To hear about these things probably makes most respectable humans angry inside, but what if similar crimes were happening in our very neighborhoods? Do we just accept them as ‘normal’ for the times we’re in, or do we work with the authorities even if it may endanger our own lives in dealing with the unfortunate crimes? What if one of your siblings, or children, were a part of the crime ring? Are you willing to stand for right, and order, even if it meant seeing your relative imprisoned or possibly shot during a raid? Remember, we are the righteousness of God. Are you truly righteous, or just when it’s convenient?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: David and Absolom were faced with a challenging situation that tested their credibility and their stance as a righteous person. We are faced with similar challenges every day. May we always stand for the same things that God stands for and approves of.

PRAYER: Lord, if we are righteous just as You are, then I wonder how far we are willing to go in showing Your power in and through every decision we make? Was David’s response to the bad decision by Amnon one that aligned with Your will? We have a ton of questions Lord! But yet we know that Your ways are perfect, and we know that You always have our best interest at heart. Please teach us to be so engrossed in all that You teach, all that You command and all that You desire of us. May we always seek to do Your will for Your glory, even in circumstance where it may hurt us in our human form. Please teach us Your ways so that we may be more like You oh Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Saying ‘NO’ to Evil

David had first-hand experience with the wicked, for they chased him from city to wilderness, from valley to mountain and even more. In His conversation, or prayer/song to God, David shared how concerned he was that these rebels had no fear of God nor man. This sounded so much like our world today that I believe it would do our hearts well to meditate on this for just a few minutes.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-06-19
WRITTEN AT: Florence, IN

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 36:1-4
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: Deep in the hearts of the wicked a voice tells them to do wrong. They have no respect for God They lie to themselves. They don’t see their own faults, so they are not sorry for what they do. Their words are wicked lies. They have stopped doing anything wise or good. They make wicked plans in bed at night. They choose a way of life that does no good. And they never say no to anything evil.

APPLICATION: It seems like every day we hear reports of more and more things happening where there is no regard for God, family, the church, nor fellow mankind. Crimes become more bizarre, and hatred become more evident among mankind. So many times I have heard Christian leaders say ‘surely we must be nearing the end of time here on earth’, and I believe that’s because they feel like things can’t get much worse. So what do you suppose has happened? We often hear the elderly among us talk about ‘the good old days’, and we resolve in our minds that they are merely challenged with accepting progress, growth and change. But is that really the case? If you look at a body of cloudy water and conclude that it is disgusting, and that it can’t possibly get any worse, you might be surprised to return to that body of water in a few weeks after continued infusion of waste, and you will see that the condition of the water has worsened. So it is with sin, my friend. Notice in our Scripture that each verse contains attributes that David felt added to the sinful condition of his adversaries. Since David’s time we could probably add a few more attributes to the list of things that seem to add to a worsening condition of sinners and their despicable actions. But let us take time to see where this puts us today. But for the grace of God, any of you reading this devotional could also be affected by sin, and therefore acting in ways representative of the evil one. But what has changed our personal situation? Could it be that Almighty God heard the prayer of a loving and caring mother, father or good friend, and He softened our hardened hearts so that we realized the need for Jesus – the Savior of all mankind, who has power over our sin? Could it be that we have a very personal and active relationship with our Master, and through daily communion with Him, He guides us into the truth of His Word and the power of His grace? Could it be that because of the power of our God, we have learned that it is only because of Jesus that we could have power over the evil that so easily besets us and is out to entrap us? Notice that David said in verse 4 that the wicked makes plans at night in their bed. That means that they are stirring up evil in their hearts and preparing to unleash their hatred and anger on an innocent world, where some might be trying to live peaceably through Christ. How’s your heart friend? Are you able to say ‘NO’ to evil every day? It is only through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ that you can do this. For He alone has the power over sin. Is your relationship with God such that you could hear His still small voice directing you to righteousness and peace with your God? If not, let me encourage you to join me in drawing close to God, so that He could draw close to us and work through us to fight the pull of Satan. For the Christian, we serve a righteous and holy God, who wants His followers to be the same as His is. He is our source of strength and righteousness, so we must maintain an honest and upright relationship with Him as long as we are here on earth among the evil of mankind.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: David experienced the evil of mankind. Jesus came to provide hope and the joy of eternal life for those who place their faith and trust in Him. Praise God, we have that hope, because things seemed to have worsened since the days of David.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is so easy to look around us and see the handiwork of the evil one. Thank You Jesus for the great hope that You give to those who place their faith and trust in You. What a joy to be reminded that Your peace and Your joy goes beyond our everyday victories and into an eternity with You and the Father. Please soften the hearts of unbelievers so that they might see the hope that exists beyond the strife of our daily lives here on earth. May they accept You today Lord, so that they too might be filled with Your love and everlasting joy! Oh that You may be glorified today because Your Word is going out and being accepted by those touched by You. 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!

A ‘Truly’ Righteous Man

I know that New Testament believers will try to rightfully steer us towards aligning ourselves with the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, but after reading this Scripture in Ezekiel, I still asked myself the question: But what is it that constitutes a righteous man? Well, it still all boils down to being the man who is faithfully obedient to the Word of God and who follows the practice and commands of Jesus Christ. Let’s look closer at this today, and ask God to direct our paths so that others may see the righteousness of our Lord and Savior in us.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ezekiel 18:5–9
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: But if a man is [uncompromisingly] righteous (upright and in right standing with God) and does what is lawful and right, And has not eaten [at the idol shrines] upon the mountains nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbor’s wife nor come near to a woman in her time of impurity, And has not wronged anyone but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery but has given his bread to the hungry and has covered the naked with a garment, Who does not charge interest or percentage of increase on what he lends [in compassion], who withholds his hand from iniquity, who executes true justice between man and man, Who has walked in My statutes and kept My ordinances, to deal justly; [then] he is [truly] righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.[Ezek. 20:11; Amos 5:4.]

OBSERVATION: I know that New Testament believers will try to rightfully steer us towards aligning ourselves with the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, but after reading this Scripture in Ezekiel, I still asked myself the question: But what is it that constitutes a righteous man? Well, it still all boils down to being the man who is faithfully obedient to the Word of God and who follows the practice and commands of Jesus Christ. Let’s look closer at this today, and ask God to direct our paths so that others may see the righteousness of our Lord and Savior in us.

APPLICATION: God gave the writers of the Bible His Godly influence, and He ordained them to pen the Words that God wanted His people to understand and follow until the day He calls us home to glory. So although I know that these words were written for the Israelites at a time that it was difficult to discern a righteous person whom the unsaved might relate to a life after God’s own heart, yet I also believe that these words by the prophet Ezekiel were penned with us in mind as well. For those who have been active in church life, you have probably seen just as I have, where people who struggle with a bad period in their life, might enter the back doors of the church, walk forward for salvation, and possibly even baptism, only to disappear from the church scene within a very short time, never to be heard of again. Were they saved? Only God knows that for sure. But are they living a righteous life that will influence an unbeliever? Not very lightly. There is a simple analogy given about people that follow this pattern: A pastor went to visit one such parishioner who had not attended church in a while. They sat down by the fire and the conversation was very strained. The pastor eased up by the fire and moved a vital piece of charcoal away from the fire and placed it aside. Soon the glow diminished in that piece of charcoal, and eventually it went cold. The unfaithful parishioner had no reason to question the pastor why he did such a thing, because the Holy Spirit immediately helped the man to understand that the analogy precisely patterned his life, for his spiritual fire had gone out. So he promised the pastor that he would see him at the next Sunday service! Friends, that part of the story is very revealing, but don’t you also know that the glow in several of the remaining chunks of charcoal also dimmed, because they lacked the warmth and encouragement of the missing piece? We who are called by His name, are vitally connected to others who are also called by His name. When our glow diminishes, not only are the unbelievers affected because they see no righteous men among the church, but we also leave a dampness on the remaining believers that we were helping. When we accept Jesus as Lord, it’s because we want to have Him change us from the inside out, so that we might look, sound and imitate Him in this dark and sinful world. You see, our reward is Heaven. While still here on earth, we serve a vital and important role – to convince those in our circle of influence that they also need Jesus, so that together we may walk through heaven’s portals one day and live forever with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. So let me encourage you to help me live righteously while still here on earth, while I try and do the same for you, God being our Helper, Guide and Deliverer until He is ready to have us join Him in glory!

PRAYER: Faithful Father, Jesus my Lord, thank You for showing Yourself righteous and being an example for us to follow. Thank You for the saints You sent on ahead to teach us Your values and show us Your ways. If we are truly Your children, then we must be righteous just like You are. Thank You for this Scripture today that gives us great truth into the values that make a man look righteous. Please fill us with so much of Yourself, that these values will bubble forth from us each and every day. May the righteous be encouraged and warmed by our righteousness, and may the unsaved be convinced by seeing You lived out in us. Please touch the lives of those who will read this devotional today, oh Lord. May we all strive for Your control to bring forth righteousness in us. 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!

Nothing Is Impossible With God

I’m sure that like me, you are challenged daily with things you don’t know; things you have no power over; and circumstance you simply don’t understand. But imagine being told that a childless couple just received word from God that they would have enough children to start up another nation? I believe that as you meditate with me today, you will be reminded that we serve a great big, limitless God. Don’t you feel like you need Him every day?

Thursday, 2019-09-05

Bible Reference: Genesis 15:4-6
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  4 Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” 5 Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” 6 And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that like me, you are challenged daily with things you don’t know; things you have no power over; and circumstance you simply don’t understand. But imagine being told that a childless couple just received word from God that they would have enough children to start up another nation? I believe that as you meditate with me today, you will be reminded that we serve a great big, limitless God. Don’t you feel like you need Him every day?

APPLICATION:  In spite of all the special skills given to man, there are still times that we throw our hands up and surrender to the fact that a problem is beyond our God-given abilities, or out of our reach. Yet very early in the pages of this awesome book that God has inspired to be our guide through life, we have already learned that God took a mass of darkness and formed this world – earth, water, stars, etc.; He created man, followed by a help mate – woman; He took a couple who was childless, and promised to make a great nation from their offspring. In this passage today I was also encouraged to note that no matter how much power is revealed to us by God, yet He is always still so very mindful of us, and desiring our sincerity and obedience so that we may draw close to Him. In fact, Abram believed that God would do what appeared impossible to him, and this resulted in God considering him ‘righteous’ (right with God). To gain what I believe is the best meaning of a phrase, I like to consider its impact if the opposite were true. So in this case, if Abram would have laughed at God or showed doubt about what God would do, then perhaps God would have considered Abram ‘unrighteous’? How often would God consider us ‘unrighteous’ because of our unbelief and doubt? Friends, unbelievers may laugh at our faith, because they simply have not been around this awesome God of ours, to build faith in His abilities and to understand His unlimited and awesome love for us. But for those of you that know Jesus, what’s your excuse? Can God consider you ‘righteous’ because of your overwhelming faith in Him? Do you truly believe in Him? If not, may I introduce you to this Savior that I know, love and adore? Remember, only those who are right with God (righteous) will be allowed into heaven. May I count on seeing you there friend? I have provided a guide for you in my ‘Footnote’, and would be thrilled to personally help guide you towards meeting my Lord in a very personal and intimate way. Please make this choice a priority today, it truly is that important!

PRAYER: Father God, Your ways are so much greater than our ways, yet You have sacrificially provided the means for us to overcome sin and one day join You in heaven. Please forgive us when we doubt, and use those incidences as stepping stones to lead us into a deeper faith that will draw us even closer to You. Lord You are good and Your mercies endureth forever and forever. Please keep our ‘faith’ tank filled and energized to trust in You in all circumstances of our lives. You have proven that things that seem impossible to us are handled with just a spoken word by You. Again today I am reminded that Nothing is Impossible when I place my faith and trust in You. Please touch the heart and life of each one that will meditate on this devotional today. May we all draw strength from being reminded of the awesomeness of our mighty God again today, and may we use this to help us confidently spread the joy of our salvation with all those we come into contact with. I ask in the wonderful, powerful and loving name of my King, the King of all kings, Jesus the Christ, AMEN!

God’s Discipline

I am reminded that discipline comes in many forms, and from almost every person in authority over us. Jesus (the Amen, as referenced in several translations) saw the need to say this to the church at Ladocia because they ‘sat on the fence’ – they were not hot, or cold. For they said they were servants of God, but they didn’t allow Him to be God in their own lives. Could God be bringing this to our attention today so that we may closely examine our own lives, and that of our own churches?

Thursday, 2018-11-29

Bible Reference: Revelation 3:19
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 19 I continually discipline and punish everyone I love; so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God.

OBSERVATION: I am reminded that discipline comes in many forms, and from almost every person in authority over us. Jesus (the Amen, as referenced in several translations) saw the need to say this to the church at Ladocia because they ‘sat on the fence’ – they were not hot, or cold. For they said they were servants of God, but they didn’t allow Him to be God in their own lives. Could God be bringing this to our attention today so that we may closely examine our own lives, and that of our own churches? 

APPLICATION: From a very early age, good parents will discipline their children, as a way of stopping wrong doing, and guiding children towards the right way to act and do things. As children mature, they go to school and teachers are forced to instill discipline in their lives also. As young adults, they then find the need to test the systems outside of the home and school systems. So law enforcement and the courts come into play. Then they enter the work environment, where supervisors or managers take responsibility for guiding them as adults, and holding them accountable for their actions. Imagine what a parent will do if the young man who just landed a job, went home one evening and ignored everything his parents asked him to do around the home? In fact, all that he learned in growing up seemed to have drained out of the young man, for he is also ignoring his manners, respect and chores that were assigned to him. So the parents are looking at their son from birth, yet his attitude has changed into something they just can’t identify with. They want to love him, because of his ‘sonship’, yet they don’t want to reward unappreciated, rotten  behavior with their precious love. In our Scripture, Jesus is looking at a church that He gave up His very life for, yet He is disappointed at their disregard for His teachings; their refusal to participate in a number of church meetings that were designed to grow Christians; their withdrawing from certain activities that particular families are a part of, because they just don’t like them. Imagine the lack of appreciation Jesus must feel, knowing that He loved the church so much that He freely gave up His life for their good, and for their victory in overcoming the world’s weaknesses, and living with the promise of eternal life in heaven with Jesus and His Father? Do you suppose that He would be tempted to spew them out of His mouth, and possibly start over with a new group that may show signs of hope? What kind of discipline do you feel might be most appropriate for a church such as I described? Do you feel that you would be one who is caught up in the worldly actions described, or one of the few that may be praying for God to help them clean up their mess and live righteously before a holy God? Friends, I would encourage you to look inward before criticizing the church at Laodicea, or trying to pin the actions I raised on certain individuals. Does Jesus see an individual with a clean and contrite heart, filled with His righteousness, and appreciative for all that Jesus did for the church, when He looks intently into your heart? Precious Lord, may it be so for myself, and for many who will read this devotional. Please teach us to alway seek the truths of Your Word, and to humbly obey Your teachings.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for giving wholeheartedly of Yourself so that we might be saved from the attractions of this world. Thank You for helping us to look with joy at the realization of heaven and the wonder of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, welcoming us home as a ‘son’ or a ‘daughter’! Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy over the promise and expectation of this, as we patiently await Your return to take us home with You precious Lord. Please ‘jerk our chain’ as we lose sight of whose we are, so that we would never be tempted to stray away from the commands of our General – our Lord and Savior. Thank You Lord for loving us enough to bring us through this challenging world with our eyes fixed on You. Please help us to maintain ‘tunnel vision’, so that the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of Your glory and grace! AMEN!

What You Do for Others is Noticed By God

In evaluating the people in front of Him, Jesus divided them into two groups: the unrighteous; and the righteous. The righteous were recognized for the heart they demonstrated like that of Jesus Christ. In fact, so much so that Jesus concluded that all the things they did proved their righteousness.

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-03-24
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 25:37-40 (NLT)

Text:

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

OBSERVATION:
In evaluating the people in front of Him, Jesus divided them into two groups: the unrighteous; and the righteous. The righteous were recognized for the heart they demonstrated like that of Jesus Christ. In fact, so much so that Jesus concluded that all the things they did proved their righteousness.
APPLICATION:
While I realize that Jesus knows and sees all things, I wonder if we had to evaluate our actions over the past week, would there be enough evidence to convince Jesus that we are among the righteous? There is a saying: from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. I believe that a heart filled with the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, will respond to needs around us like our Savior responded. For there was no respecter of persons in Jesus’ eyes; He is well known as ‘Love’, because of His amazing love towards all mankind; He is Healer; He is our Shepherd; He is the Restorer of our souls; He leads us in the path of righteousness, especially when we are so prone to stray; He set the example for us in all aspects of life – mixing with sinners, standing firm for what He knew was Truth, loving and ministering to sinners at every opportunity; Used the Word of God as His defense – when tempted. Friends, not only has the example been set for us, but our Savior stands ready to bless us, guide us, empower us and embolden us so that we might be His hands, His feet and His love to this lost and dying world in which we live. To do this, Jesus needs our commitment to serve Him no matter what. He needs us to be trusting and pliable, because His ways are not our ways, and if we are truly going to be used by Him, we must totally surrender our will to Him. I would like to challenge you with the question I started with: is there enough evidence in your actions and your words, that Jesus and/or your friends would be convinced that you are among the righteous, and being truly directed by God each day?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we come humbly before You today, knowing that we are not capable nor worthy to be looked on as ‘righteous’, especially by the righteous Son of God. However, we are reminded through this teaching today that loved ones, friends, or any one still searching for the Lord, must see and experience enough of Jesus in us, for them to truly know that the Word is true and that You are still alive and powerfully working in your children – Your righteous ones who have committed their lives wholeheartedly to You. Lord, please complete Your work in Your way, for Your kingdom, even through us, Your humble servants, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the 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!

A Compassionate Heart

Joseph had all the reason in the world to bring revenge on his brothers, and he had the power to simply say the word, and they would have been eliminated. Instead he chose to look at all that God had accomplished through him, in spite of all that his brothers had cruelly forced on him. A sincere man of God who showed the compassion of God under extreme circumstances.

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-02-27
SCRIPTURE

From:

Genesis 50:19-21 (TLB)

Text:

19 But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? 20 As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil, for he brought me to this high position I have today so that I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families.” And he spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them.
OBSERVATION:
Joseph had all the reason in the world to bring revenge on his brothers, and he had the power to simply say the word, and they would have been eliminated. Instead he chose to look at all that God had accomplished through him, in spite of all that his brothers had cruelly forced on him. A sincere man of God who showed the compassion of God under extreme circumstances.
APPLICATION:
It takes a great man/woman of God to withold revenge when they’ve been hurt, and instead to give God glory for all that He did even through circumstances that seemed extremely awful to them. There is another excellent example of this given in my New Testament reading today. In Matthew 18:26 and following, we see the story of a servant who received forgiveness of a huge debt that he owed, yet he was unable to forgive his debtor who owed him money. Just the complete opposite to the example of Joseph. Notice the difference, one case ended in forgiveness and with a true example of God, the One who gave His very own Son to pay the price for our sin. Using His God-given strength, He could have avoided the cross, plus He had every reason to seek revenge against those who had Him crucified, but instead He did the Father’s will so that we might have eternal life. In the other example, we see the heart of bitter, ungodly men today, for this world does a great job in teaching mankind about selfish desires and ungodly revenge. Which of these are closest to the response you might give to those who seek to offend you? Hopefully you have decided to seek God’s face for His leading in your life to best handle situations that may portray His compassionate heart. Please allow me to introduce you to my Savior. I really want you to know about this awesome Jesus of mine who not only shows compassion to His followers, but also has the power to help us be more like Him in being compassionate to even the vilest offenders that may cross our path today. There is scripture included in the link behind the words ‘To Know Jesus’ below, please take time to read what the Bible has to say about your salvation. Otherwise, please feel free to contact me via email or see a local Bible teaching pastor who would gladly show you the way to heaven. Showing compassion to one another is a means of proving that your relaionship with the primary Compassionate One, is evident.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, I believe that the world is dying to see a difference in Your children, compared to the rest of this cruel world. Thank You for the lesson in being compassionate today, and the great example through Your servant Joseph, who had every reason to lash back at his brothers, and had every authority at his command to totally destroy them. Yet as a man under Your authority, seeking to be like You in every way, chose to humble himself and praise You for the work You accomplished through him, rather than paying back through revenge. Lord, I strongly believe that we must seek Your powerful hand to help us in circumstances like this, because even in circumstances of forgiveness we still want You to be glorified. Although I might be first at your throne today in response to this lesson, I pray that You might also touch the hearts of each of my readers today and fill us with a heart like Yours, one that will show compassion and God’s love in every response that we give today. I ask these things humbly dear Lord, but also boldly knowing that You can humble even the vilest offender. May Your children be great imitators of their loving and compassionate Savior today, beginning with me, for this is my humble prayer oh Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the 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!

Come To Jesus Meeting

THE HOLY BIBLE – Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. 3 For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. ~ Psalm 26:1-3 ~ New Living Translation (NLT)

THOUGHTS: As I read about David’s one-on-one meeting with the Master, I remembered our pastor mentioning in a recent sermon that he and his family would see the need for a ‘Come to Jesus meeting’ every so often to settle some issues or misunderstanding that the kids may have perceived or strayed away to. This was very close to me, because we had those same type meetings in my family also, and perhaps you might do the same. The reason I feel like I was so impressed with David’s actions in these verses, is because I felt like God was telling me this should be a good checkpoint in my life also. I believe that a lot of times we feel like we are doing ok, and that we have this ‘Christian living’ thing under control. Friends, may I remind you that you and I are not to parallel our righteousness with that of our spouse, our Sunday School teacher, our deacon or elder nor after our pastor, but only after the one true righteous One that ever lived, Jesus Christ. So with that in mind, how then shall we approach the God of this universe about our righteousness? By the way, what righteousness? Remember, God not only sees our actions, like other men do, but God knows our very thoughts and intentions behind everything we say and do. So although we appear ‘good’ to those who only see the outward self and expressions, how do you suppose we stack up in God’s eyes? You also know yourself very well, are you ready to look in the face of God and say like David, that you have acted with integrity; trusted in the Lord without wavering; always aware of His gracious love and lived according to His Word? Can you truly say these things to God with enough conviction that you would welcome His cross-examination and testing? Wouldn’t it be grand to go on a retreat for about 3 days with dedicated hours towards meditating alone with God and in His Word? Do you suppose that sometime during that retreat you might truly be able to have your ‘Come To Jesus’ meeting and wait for His judgment? I bet it would totally and radically change your Christian walk and experience. I bet your eyes would be opened to areas of your life where you feel so inadequate and mis-aligned with God and His purpose for your life. Perhaps you may even feel like David when he declared at the end of the same chapter “Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.” This sounds like cleaning up the garbage that separates, or drives you away from the God that you love, doesn’t it? Friends, for us to stand firm with our friends, we must first be extremely firm in our relationship with God.

PRAYER: Father, You alone are perfect and good, but I believe You would love to see us try harder to become perfect and good in all our ways so that we may be better aligned with You. Our lives are very transparent, so in spite of us convincing ourselves of our goodness, others see our faults and the large variance in our ways vs Your ways. Please help us to get honest with ourselves by asking You to highlight our weaknesses and our sin. We realize that we will never become perfect, as You are the only perfect One, but Lord I feel like we should all strive towards being more like You every day. We can only fight the war with Satan here on earth through Your strength and the assurance of Your presence each and every day. Thank You for loving us enough to care about our righteousness. I ask this humbly in the name of Your very precious 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 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!

Created to Be Virtuous

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Ecclesiastes 7:28-29): 28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! 29 But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”

THOUGHTS: We often hear the term ‘Virtuous Woman’, especially around Mother’s Day, but I found these two verses touching and challenging. In fact, God really got my attention through these verses. Let’s first define the word ‘virtuous’ – “conforming to a high, moral and ethical standard”. Later in this chapter it is referred as ‘honest and true’. So I believe that God is really saying through His word here, “Hey, I made you to be honest and true, virtuous in every way, so how did you get to where you are today?” Now friends, as you consider this and perhaps seek God’s face about being more virtuous, I want to encourage you to put down your glasses of piety. Relax your pride and selfishness for just a moment. Be reminded that you are looking to the God of this universe for answers. Be willing to open your eyes, your ears and your heart to what He might respond, realizing that He not only knows everything about you, but is very aware of even your inmost thoughts. Remember, He created you! But what’s super important today is that He made you to be ‘virtuous’. Unfortunately, I believe that we are much like the folk that Solomon was thinking of when he penned these words – there wasn’t one who could be found in the whole lot, that he considered ‘virtuous’. So what’s the problem folk? I believe that it’s a small three letter word that has drastically impacted on our lives – SIN. Remember, God will not abide where sin abounds. Solomon said that we have each turned to follow our own downward path. In other words, a path that leads to nothing Godly or nothing good. Friends, if God created us to be virtuous, then I am convinced that He wanted us to live virtuous lives that He could be proud of and use for His earthly work. Are you worthy of this, or have you followed your own downward path that is good for nothing that imitates God? Christians, we are not perfect – just forgiven, so this challenge very much applies to you. Non-Christian, you may tend to think that you are so entrenched in sin that there is no way that you can ever be classified ‘Virtuous’. I have great news for you friend. God loves you and with such passion that He decided even while we were deep in sin, to send His only Son into this world as a sacrificial lamb, providing the only means for salvation and ultimately, virtuous living. This is all accomplished with Him as our Guide, our Defender, our Redeemer, our Master and our Lord. Jesus alone can turn your life around, and into something beautiful that can be used for His glory. Will you let Him do it? My ‘Footnote’ contains helpful tips.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, for I can hardly imagine the love of a Savior for those who had you crucified, yet You went to the cross for us. Yes, so that we might have a chance of seeing You face to face, but also to provide the means and direction for us to live ‘virtuous’ lives here on this earth. I know this is what’s required of us to be true witnesses of Yours, but in our carnal minds this seems so impossible. Yet we know that You are the God of everything that seems ‘impossible’ to us, so it is in that assurance that we come before You today asking for forgiveness of our less than virtuous living, and asking that You might give us power and a desire to turn our lives around and refocus our lives, our speech and our actions to closely imitate You dear God, so that we may be acceptable and usable witnesses. Bless us with Your presence and Your power today, is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Your 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!