Jesus Shows Up For Us When Life Seems Roughest

It is so encouraging to read accounts of how Jesus showed up for His disciples at just the right time when they needed Him most. Encouraging because He is still the same today as He was that evening when He showed up while His followers were in distress on the rough waters of the lake they were crossing. We are never happy about the days when we feel like things could get no worse, however as followers of Jesus Christ, we have assurance that our Savior watches out for us and will be there for us, especially when life is at its toughest for us. May we be encouraged as we meditate on God’s Word today!

Sunday, 2021-10-17

Bible Reference: John 6:16-21
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

APPLICATION: Unless we take for granted what each believer goes through on a daily basis, let’s not imagine for a moment that our situation is any worse than our neighbor or our fellow believer, and let us never think that we are really more deserving of a hand-up with all that we are encountering. You see, some might be very sad at the loss of a spouse, or a parent, or a child, while others might be overwhelmed to the extent of being frantic, or have a nervous breakdown. In the case of the disciples – they were terrified at the fear of the rough waters and the possibility of loss of life. However, our Christian Brother of Sister may look on life, and the worse types of scenarios, and some might become frantic if things are not going exactly as they had planned. Friends, I believe that we are all aligned with the disciples in our fear of being out of control, especially when life’s circumstances are beyond anything we understand or could control, There are times that we may need emotional help after losing a job, or losing a girlfriend/boyfriend, or when traveling on a boat or a plane going through turbulence, for we are out of control. A brand new scenario is occurring as I prepare this devotional, a dad is faced with having to decide on withdrawing life support from a 16 yr old son. He is totally besides himself, as he can do nothing for his young son. But there are several lessons in this Scripture that I believe may serve to help us today:
1. Jesus knew His disciples were in trouble, so He went to miraculous means to get to them and to help them. Let me remind you dear friend that Jesus knows about your struggles also, and that He will move mountains just to be there for you, child of God!
2. Notice that the disciples welcomed Jesus into the boat. Did they have an option? Of course they did, they could have done like many of us do when we see someone in need – we wave at them and we may wish them well, or we may say that we will pray for them, but we don’t stop to truly understand their need and help them lovingly and compassionately. But that’s not how Jesus reacted with the disciples in their time of desperation, and it is not how He will respond to us in our times of feeling like we are all alone in walking through life’s most challenging times.
In the Scripture we are told that Jesus will be with us always! Praise God, He knows when we are hurting; when we are sad; when we are lonely; and when we feel like there is no hope. This same chapter of John reminds us that Jesus not only cares about today’s struggles, but that He has a home prepared for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. So there is a long-term plan for those of us that have placed our faith and trust in Jesus, God’s only Son! Let me carefully show you one important thing in this 2nd point though: Jesus didn’t just place Himself in the boat amidst His disciples in their panic, for He wanted to make sure they wanted Him there with them. Notice that they invited Him into the boat. And that’s the way it is with us still today, we must invite Jesus into our hearts and right smack into the middle of our lives, our decisions, our aspirations and our long-term plans. Throughout the Bible we are told that God is preparing a glorious home for us in glory, for I believe that our King wants nothing but the best for His princes and princesses!
The ball is in your court dear friend. Take heed from the disciples and invite Jesus in – into your heart. Regardless of how well you behave, or how much you give to the church, this is a required step for you to enter heaven. Invite Jesus in – TODAY, my friend! Tomorrow may be too late, for death without Jesus places you in the pit of Hell with no mercy from Satan.

PRAYER: I can’t imagine life without options precious Lord, so I thank You for seeing the desperation in the need of the disciples. I am most appreciative of the mercy You showed for us as dear Lord, for You sacrificed Your very own Son so that we might escape the fury of Hell, and have the hope of eternal life in Paradise with You! Thank You Jesus for having mercy on those that choose to surrender their life to You and invite You into their heart. You have placed the ‘ball’ into our court now. Oh that all who read this devotional have a desire to invite you into their heart, and accept the Gift that You are offering us today. It is my desire to be with You Oh King, and I pray for that same desperate call by all who will read this devotional today. AMEN!

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

How To See Jesus

Being short in stature myself, I always find the story of Zacchaeus fascinating! But his story shows us that we shouldn’t let anything, or anyone, stop us from seeing Jesus. The other thing to note is that in spite of the crowd, Jesus identified one of the greatest known crooks/sinners in the bunch, by name, even though he was hidden in a tree above the crowd. Jesus knows your name also, so take a moment to meditate with me on this Scripture.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2021-09-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 19:5-7
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: When Jesus got to that place, he looked up into the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry on down, for I must stay at your house today!”
So he scurried down the tree and found himself face-to-face with Jesus.
As Jesus left to go with Zacchaeus, many in the crowd complained, “Look at this! Of all the people to have dinner with, he’s going to eat in the house of a crook.”

APPLICATION: Some may go to a church service at a very large church, and they will sit far in the back in, what they feel is, a very inconspicuous place, so that no one will identify them. They’re just curious about who Jesus is, and what this church attendance thing is all about. But here’s a thought for you to consider: in and of our own sinful selves, we want nothing to do with God or His places of worship; however when God is tugging at our sinful heart, we suddenly become interested in Him, His servants and His places. So let me remind you that when you show up to church, or when Zacchaeus climbed up that tree, God is already busy at work in your heart. yes, God may have used your parents to ‘bug’ you once again about going to church, but I encourage you to listen to what God is saying to you. Notice that Jesus needed no lookouts to point out those hiding in trees, nor did He need an introduction to the chiefest of sinners in their midst. Jesus simply looked up, confirmed His suspicions about a man being in a tree who needed Him, and He called Zacchaeus down, by name. Knowing his sinful condition, and knowing how he was frowned upon by his people, yet Jesus zoomed in on Zacchaeus and wanted to actually spend time with him. I love how this translation says that Zacchaeus came face-to-face with Jesus, because there was a day when I surrendered my heart to Jesus, and I came face-to-face with Him as He helped me make a total 180-degree turn from the sinful path I was on. I believe there are some who will read, or listen to, this devotional today and feel like Jesus is just looking over your head at the sinner behind you, because you are too far gone, and beyond the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Please allow me to remind you that Jesus is not surprised about any sin you might need to confess to Him. He also knows you by name, and He is willing to visit with you today, so that He might change your life into a usable vessel for His glory. You may feel like you have hidden real good from God and, perhaps, all of His messengers. Notice that Jesus found Zacchaeus, spent time with him, changed his life, and he and his whole household were saved. I believe that you may not be capable of imagining what all God might have in store for you! My friend, you are no less that the greatest preacher ever lived, you too could be a child of the King – the King of all kings, if only you will search for Jesus in all sincerity, and accept His call on your life. Please let this be the day you will always celebrate as your ‘new birth in Jesus Christ’! I want to see you in glory as we worship at the throne of the Almighty, but that will only happen if you surrender your life to Jesus, for He is the only way to heaven. Zacchaeus was bold enough to make this decision in spite of the riches he accrued from his crooked job, surely you can give up what you feel is important to you here on earth so that you might also accept Jesus and welcome Him into your house and family, God being your helper and guide.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: The current condition of Zacchaeus’ life had no impact on how Jesus looked at his need for salvation. He knew him by name and He knew all about his sin. Praise God, salvation is available to all!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I praise You for accepting us, even in our sinful condition, and You miraculously recondition us for the glorious meeting with the Father in Heaven some day! Thank You Jesus for identifying and saving our friend, Zacchaeus. Now Lord, I believe that there will be some who will read, or listen to, this devotional and they will realize that they are in a similar condition to that of Zacchaeus. Please soften their hearts, give them boldness and humility to seek Your presence and acknowledge You as Lord. May this be the day of salvation for many, I pray. 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!

In Preparation For Your Mission

It appears to me like Paul was given great wisdom in helping those that he mentored in the ministry. In fact, I believe that God used Paul powerfully in his ministry, so that he could be an effective mentor to Timothy. I wonder who’s following in our footsteps? I wonder if our lives are suitable for others to follow, and they go out to be God’s representative and minister? Let’s look at some of the ways Paul felt prepared for the task at hand.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 2:14-17 (VOICE)

TEXT:  14 …... Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. 15 Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. 16 Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. 17 Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer….

APPLICATION:   I’m not sure how many of us will ever be blessed to have the honor of mentoring someone entering into a ministry role, like Paul did, but we are often part of a church where new workers are called into ministry each year, and some of us may also be blessed to be part of a commissioning service for a new minister of the gospel, like Timothy was. This advice given by Paul is great for us to consider as we look into our own lives. Hopefully as we live these out personally, we will be in a much better position to say like Paul did in one of his other teachings: “now follow me, as you try to live a godly life” or as you endeavor to serve in your new assignment. You see, it is hypocritical to suggest that a new minister, teacher, worker, do some of these things, if we are personally doing an awful job at these things ourselves. For example, how can we suggest that they not get in arguments over words, or split hairs over individual interpretations, if we are so bad at doing that ourselves? Or that they should be genuine in their walk, if we are personally accused of living a double life? Or to not be ashamed of the gospel, if we are often embarrassed to have others know that we are involved in the ministry of our local church? So friends, I would encourage you to not brush this off by thinking that we now have some good advice to give ministers and/or workers entering into the ministry of Jesus Christ, but instead that we live out these principles ourselves so that we might give sound advice as we suggest that they follow, just as we follow Christ. I believe that only then, will the church of Jesus Christ see effective workers in the local church, and well prepared ministers and/or missionaries that we send out from our local churches. Lost people are anxious to see genuine Christians. Just as we aim to be exactly that, will we be effective and genuine in sending others out, just like us.

PRAYER:   Lord, please have Your perfect will and way in the hearts of each one that will meditate on this devotional today. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. May Your kingdom become richer as a result of us sharing our genuineness with others who will be impacted today, with the character and form of the One true God. 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!

Only God Can

Since Jesus made it clear that the rich can’t save themselves from the pit of hell, we may ponder ‘then what about those who do good? Or those who work endlessly around the church? Or those who habitually attend church every Sunday?’ I believe that as we meditate on the Word of God today, we may be tempted to ask like Peter did: ‘then who in the world can be saved?’.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-03-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 19:23-26
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.

OBSERVATION: Since Jesus made it clear that the rich can’t save themselves from the pit of hell, we may ponder ‘then what about those who do good? Or those who work endlessly around the church? Or those who habitually attend church every Sunday?’ I believe that as we meditate on the Word of God today, we may be tempted to ask like Peter did: ‘then who in the world can be saved?’.

APPLICATION: I had a good friend who argued that he had no doubt his dad would go to heaven, because he had impeccable character and was overly kind to everyone. Sounds logical, especially if you were in charge of who gets into heaven, right? As suggested in my ‘Observation’, there are other cases where mankind might assume that a dear friend is going to heaven. But in today’s Scripture, our eyes are opened to the fact that since this is God’s kingdom that we are talking about, then we must look to His Word for the answers on who will make it in. The disciples themselves were amazed that Jesus would refuse to allow an influential man who had lots of money into heaven. But the Scriptures are filled with wisdom on every subject that we could think of, especially on the subject of heaven. There is only one way dear friends. God sent His Son in a miraculous way as a baby, and His designed purpose was to minister while on earth, then die a cruel death just like a criminal. His death on the cross gave way to His resurrection three days later, so that Jesus could return to heaven to be with the Father. The death of our Lord was designed to be a sacrifice for the sins of all who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. This act of salvation became the one and only way that mankind could be forgiven of their earthly sin and made clean to face the Father when we stand before Him. You see, our money has nothing to do with the act of salvation. No amount of goodness will take the place of seeking salvation in Jesus Christ. And no matter how often we attend church, without surrendering lordship of your life to Jesus Christ, you will not see the glories of heaven. Jesus showed us in today’s Scripture that the rich find it virtually impossible to say ‘no’ to their riches and ‘yes’ to Jesus. I pray that as you meditate on this today, you will allow God to examine your heart to ensure that money, fame, good works or nothing else stands in the way of your surrender to Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for the sacrifice You paid for my sin, and the sin of those who seek Your Kingship. Please help my readers and I to seek You first in our lives and in all humility surrender any and all other allegiance. Nothing in this world is worth us missing the greatest opportunity ever given to mankind. You are my Lord and my everlasting Savior and I look forward to being with You in glory some sweet day. May all who read this devotional be settled in their hearts to make the same commitment to You for the sake of their eternal destiny. 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!

What Will You Do With Jesus?

Have you ever gone to a concert, to a church, or to watch a movie, and was shocked by what the star, or church leader looked like? He just was not what you had pictured in your mind. In fact, there was such a difference that you found it difficult accepting what he had to say, or sing. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we will see an example of where something very similar happened to Jesus in His hometown. The people had to choose whether they would accept His ministry, or not, for He was just a boy from their little town. Nobody really special.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-02-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 13:54-57
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 54 He went to the town where he grew up. He taught the people in the synagogue, and they were amazed. They said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and this power to do miracles? 55 Isn’t he just the son of the carpenter we know? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And don’t all his sisters still live here in town? How is he able to do these things?” 57 So they had a problem accepting him.
But Jesus said to them, “People everywhere give honor to a prophet, but in his own town or in his own home a prophet does not get any honor.”

OBSERVATION: Have you ever gone to a concert, to a church, or to watch a movie, and was shocked by what the star, or church leader looked like? He just was not what you had pictured in your mind. In fact, there was such a difference that you found it difficult accepting what he had to say, or sing. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we will see an example of where something very similar happened to Jesus in His hometown. The people had to choose whether they would accept His ministry, or not, for He was just a boy from their little town. Nobody really special.

APPLICATION: I believe that in our day, many churches thrive when the preacher is charismatic, the praise and worship team reminds attendees of a rock band, and the congregation could attend the services without ever being pestered about working hours and hours in helping the work of the ministry move forward. Unfortunately, many of these attendees may have been ‘burnt’ in some previous church/ministry, and they are looking for a place to worship without ever placing themselves at risk to be hurt again. But our Scripture today highlights the importance of setting aside any preconceived ideas about an individual, and accepting God’s messenger who brings God’s message to change the minds of sinners about the kingdom of God. I have served on many committees tasked with the job of finding a new pastor for a church. It is amazing what input we received from our respective congregations about what they wanted to see in a new pastor. Occasionally there was a congregant who may have desired the new prospect to be an excellent teacher of the Word of God, but way too often they wanted the needs of their own families met by someone who cared. Friends, I believe that when God sends a church leader or teacher to our church, He may deliberately send us someone who may not fit the mold we have in mind, because He wants our undivided attention. There was a pastor that I served under, who had a note on the pulpit to remind him every time he stood there, and the note read ‘Oh that they may see Jesus’. What a testimony of an honest man who wanted to be used by the Master in His ministry to the local church. I believe that in today’s Scripture we are challenged to walk into our places of worship with the intent to worship the great God of this universe and to hear how the proclamation of the Word may challenge our wicked hearts, so that we may be shaped into better soldiers of the cross that would enable others to see the image and works of the Holy Spirit – even in and through our lives as we go about our average day at work, in social clubs, in our families and especially when among unsaved friends. I believe that when we beg God to help us enjoy this type of relationship with Him, we would not be tempted to tear down our pastors or church leaders, who are still a work in process, by God. For we will quickly be reminded of that old spiritual ‘It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer’, not just that old, dull preacher. In conclusion, please allow me to remind you that verse 58 reads: Jesus did not do many miracles there, because the people did not believe in him. Please don’t be guilty of shooing away the work of the Master in your life, in the life of your church, or in any other area of life in which you are involved. Look and listen to the work of God through His messengers, whoever they may be. To reject them, is like rejecting God who sent them.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, it’s sad to see that Your own townspeople rejected You in Your ministry among them. Too often we are saddened by the way our local pastors are treated, for we acknowledge that they are still human and will make mistakes as long as they are here on earth. Sadly, we are also reminded that You didn’t stick around to help your town’s people, since they showed no interest in listening to Your teaching nor in the miracles that You wrought in their midst. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that our people have learnt a lot from Your reaction to rejection, so I beg of You today Lord to touch our hardened, prideful, condemning hearts and cause us to reflect on the gift of personal sacrifice You offered for us, while we were yet filthy, dirty, sinners. Please help us to accept You and Your precious love for us, even when it makes no sense to us, or even if it is not packaged the way we may expect. Thank You again for making our way clear for a personal relationship with the Master of this universe, and entry into Your heaven. AMEN!

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

His Name

It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the part of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife Mary; The most humble of people were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus – the shepherds. On and on the story went about one miracle after another that resulted in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s Savior. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-12-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 1:21-23
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.” (Immanuel means “God with us.”)

OBSERVATION: It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the role of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife, Mary; The most humble of people, the shepherds, were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus. On and on the story goes, with one miracle after the other, all resulting in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s eternal hope. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

APPLICATION: As declared in my ‘Observation’, God went to great extents to bring His precious Son into the world, and throughout the Bible we read about all that He did while here on earth, and the whole purpose of His life here on earth. Of course we also know the ultimate reason that Jesus came, because we remember His death every year at Good Friday, and we remember His resurrection at Easter. The big question for each of us as we meditate on the extraordinary names of Jesus is: ’what are we known as?’ To our face, we may be called by our nickname. When our parents are upset with us, they may call us by our full legal name. Based on our habits and our character, we may be known as a thief, or a criminal, or a kind person, or a caring person, a hypocrite, or hopefully a man/woman after God’s own heart. Why all of these names? Because it identifies our character when someone is speaking to a friend and they make reference to us. Notice from the names, that while one name will drive that person away from you, one might interest them in knowing you, or at least speaking with you. Just from the name selected for you! Although folk will easily identify us based on the words we speak and with the tone used, but I pray that the actions they experience with you will convince them of whose you are. May the Jesus, born in a humble stable and lived on earth as the living Son of God, be evident in your character today and every day. Stay closely in tuned with Him through the Word of God and in daily communication (prayer) with Him, so that you may be ‘topped off’ each day with even more of Jesus. Keep it fresh and exciting friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank You for coming to earth as a baby, so that you would complete the purpose of the Father in providing everlasting hope for us. For there is no other way for us to see the gates of heaven without first accepting You as our Savior. You were introduced to us very early in the Bible, and many of us have accepted You as our Savior and Lord, so that we might celebrate with You one day in heaven! As we are reminded once again this Christmas of the hope that you bring, may we learn to truly celebrate even now, so that one day soon we will be comfortable in celebrating before our Father in heaven. Please touch the hearts of those who have not accepted You as Lord yet. May this be the first Christmas that they will truly be aware of the One whose birthday we celebrate! 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!

A Safe Place

I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-12-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Nahum 1:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord is good. He is a safe place to go to in times of trouble. He takes care of those who trust him.
But he will completely destroy his enemies.
….

OBSERVATION: I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

APPLICATION: Wouldn’t it make sense that for those who refuse the gift of eternal life from God, and choose to try and prove to the world that they could make it without Him, that they would also refuse to call on Him when life seems to be totally out of control? I would think so, but we know that’s not the way that life works. When disaster strikes, Christians are often called on by unbelievers to pray for them, or their loved one, who may be hurt or dying from some rare disease. How exactly might we pray? Our Scripture reminds us that Nahum was addressing the residents of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, and God revealed to him that there were some who would find it safe to anchor themselves in the shelter and protection of the Almighty, but there were some who would be totally destroyed because of their distant and hateful relationship with Him. Friends, we serve a God who is filled with love – more than we could ever imagine or understand, and while He will listen to the cry for salvation from those who despise Him, there will come a day when He would remove His hand a protection from them and allow death and destruction to take its course, unless they surrender their lives to Him. Do you think for a moment that in today’s society God will react in a different way? He has always hated sin, and I believe that He always will. I don’t know about you, but there are times that I must turn the television off, especially when I see reports of crime, vagrancy, and hatred against each other. Friends, sin abounds and individuals act in such evil ways, that God must wonder how could He possibly have been involved in their birth and upbringing. As you evaluate your life today, you should see where you will fit into one of two categories before God: 1). You’ve been washed by the blood of His precious Son and you are looked upon by God as being ’white as snow’. In fact, He sees Jesus’ perfect sinless life when He looks at you, and you are considered a son, or friend of the most High God; or 2). You have shown little concern about your sinful condition and have therefore rejected the invitation from Jesus Christ on many occasions. Because you have neglected God’s gift – His own precious Son, you have treated Him as your enemy. In verse 8 of today’s Scripture, you will note that God will destroy His enemies. To transition from group (2) over to group (1), you simply need to recognize the unconditional love that God has for His children – for you. Then accept His Son and begin celebrating the assurance of life eternally with the Master for ever! Nahum was merely reminding the Ninevehites of their plight. I feel like I have done just that for all who will read this devotional. May God grant you peace, wisdom and direction as you consider your eternity today, AMEN!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul. Thank You Lord for making me whole. Thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Words from an old song that remains as true today as when I first accepted You as Lord and Savior of my life! Now oh Lord, I come before You on behalf of many family members and friends who have taken You for granted. They’ve decided to make a go at this life, all alone. Please Lord, soften their hearts and help them see very clearly that their segregation for You makes it clear that they are rejecting Your free gift of eternal life. In our Scripture today, and throughout Your Word, You have declared that You will destroy Your enemies. It saddens me that they would reject the most precious gift available to them today and remain enemies of Yours. Lord, instead of Your plan for eternal damnation for Your enemies, may I beg You to speak softly to all who will read this devotional today and remind them once again about Your love, and Your gift. May today be the day of Salvation for many, please oh Lord. 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!

Tested To Endure

Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT)

TEXT:  Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

OBSERVATION:   Peter tells us in the verses, preceding our focal Scripture today, that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting us, where God the Father will release His blessings on us, that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

APPLICATION:   In considering a real life comparison to this Scripture today, I thought of a husband who went to prison for battery, or abuse of his wife. Misery, pain and hardship ensued while the husband was in prison, but deep inside of each spouse was a love that was first kindled when they were in high school. While the wife wanted desperately to show that love before the husband was sent away, there was a world of influence that prevented her, and it caused the husband to release anger in ways neither of them thought possible. However, during the time in prison there were folk who worked hard at rehabilitating that husband and helping him to better deal with his anger issues. To do this, they tested him with various scenarios that might cause him to doubt any therapeutic improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek on the love he had for his wife, and still flourish in those circumstances. However, upon his release from prison, his wife was waiting with open arms to welcome him back home, and promised to do all she could to help him never to return to his former life of anger and violence. The life of both spouses while the husband was in prison, could be compared to what Christians face on earth. For although we surrendered our life to Jesus, yet we are left here on this earth to weather the storms of doubt; pain; financial burdens; being picked on; victims of crime; etc. In fact, at times we may even wonder if our commitment to Christ really means anything at all. But friends, I want us to be reminded that our gift of salvation is more than our immediate ticket out of this world, for Peter reminds us that God not only wants to use us for His glory while here on earth but, when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will often look to challenge us on how we might handle the storms of life. Those storms don’t go away, we are just given a new hope in what lies beyond the storms. That husband in prison was able to endure the hardships of prison, because he knew that he had a loving, caring wife waiting for him, and ready to finish up their lives together after his release. We have the same promise in Jesus Christ dear friends! There is a loving, caring, awesome Savior awaiting us on the other side of this treacherous world. Our time here is one of testing and proving whose we are. Wouldn’t it be neat to converse with God each evening and ask: “how did we do today?” Please don’t forget that prayer provides that exact medium for you to converse with God. Keep the lines of communication opened, so that He may guide and direct you into total holiness – just as He is holy! Why is something tested? To prove its durability under pressure. An object that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks upon His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing through all of life’s tests of endurance dear friend?

PRAYER:   Lord God, thank You for reminding us that we have a purpose here on this earth, especially after we accept You as Lord, for then Your mighty works can be accomplished through us, if You choose to do so. When trials come, please continue to drive us towards You, and what You might want to accomplish through even the slightest ‘thorn in our side’. You never promised us smooth sailing and calm waters after accepting You as Lord, instead You have given us the hope that through the ups and downs of life, our Master still loves us, still waits for us, and is still our guide through every circumstance. Thank You for that love, that comfort and the peace that it gives to our soul. Oh that others may see Jesus in us, no matter the circumstances we face while on planet earth. 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 Sebring, 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!

Commit to Peace and Unity!

Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-26
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 13:11-12 (TPT)

TEXT:  11 ….. beloved friends, be cheerful! Repair whatever is broken among you, as your hearts are being knit together in perfect unity. Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you. 12 Greet and embrace one another with the sacred kiss.

OBSERVATION:   Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.  

APPLICATION:   So often we look for Christian advice in the Bible, but then question every other resource for ways to do better in our family, friends and work life. I believe that you will find this Scripture helpful to you in general, so listen closely to the word of God. In earlier days of the church, some Might recall days, and sometimes weeks of revival services and/or evangelistic services, where there was a strong emphasis on reviving the saints and evangelizing the lost of the community. Because of the strong emphasis on prayer leading up to and during the times of these special services, there was usually a very strong presence of the Holy Spirit and many lives were impacted. Often at the end of the services, there was a sense of sadness to see the services end, so at the parting service there would be very similar sentiments, and challenges offered like these that Paul shared with his followers. Why was revival services needed? I believe that the answer is summed up in a phrase that I heard an old pastor say: “because, as Christians, we tend to leak!” Friends, it is very challenging to keep a good healthy church surviving as such, for there are many personalities working together – or at times against one another. There are so many who feel like they have all the right answers and therefore they should be the boss in most areas of the church. There are so many with chips on their shoulder, and if you only look at them seriously they may become very upset and threaten to leave the church, because they figured out exactly what that look meant! Aren’t most of these things very, very silly? Think about the one true God, whose Son we endeavor to exemplify. Jesus came into an imperfect world, as the perfect Son of God, filled with godly wisdom, and with love for everyone, as only God Himself could do. And this perfect Savior, He taught among the elite of society, as well as carefully and lovingly attending to those in need along the street and in the crowds that followed Him. He healed those that we may have considered ‘worthy’ and some who we tend to disassociate with, because they may not be ‘just like us’. He ate with sinners, and He chose some to follow Him that many would have turned up their noses at. However, for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord, and are committed to His teachings and commands, we strive to be just like Him. Why then do we tend to be so much unlike Him in so many ways? Are we still that needy, or is it that we have not totally turned away from our earthly master yet? In verse 11 of today’s Scripture, Paul warns us that we should repair whatever is broken among us. I believe this starts with our relationship with our Lord, for if we have a healthy relationship with Him, He will direct our paths, if we let Him, and that includes relationships with one another. Friends, here’s how important I believe this is: If we expect to be instrumental in our family and friends’ lives, to encourage them into a relationship with our Lord, then we must be living like Jesus. We could ‘tell’ them all we want, but unless they see it evident in our lives, they won’t listen to, or follow us. How much is a soul worth to you? There is absolutely nothing more important to me than to see my family and friends make a decision to follow Christ. When they, and me, leave this world, I want us all to be ready to meet Jesus in the air! I hope that you feel the same way!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You more today than ever before. I believe that Paul realized how much impact Satan was having on Your children in his day, and I’m sure Satan is still impacting the lives of our people today. Lord, I know that You are such a strong and awesome God and that there is nothing that You can’t handle, so I beg You to work miracles in the lives of Your children – embolden us to be more like you in our character, our words and our actions. Humble the hearts of the proud into total surrender to You. I know that we don’t have a perfect world, but I am convinced that we have a perfect God, so I beg with You to work on us imperfect beings, all for benefit of Your kingdom, 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 Sebring, 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!

I’m Not Ashamed

Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 1:11-14 (NET)

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-10-23
WRITTEN AT: Hope Hull, AL

TEXT:  11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

APPLICATION:   Many churches in America, and perhaps other parts of the world, will celebrate when one of their own commits to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some churches may even make particular mention of individuals who commit themselves to serving as elders, deacons, teachers or other leadership/servant roles in the church. Because of this recognition, often folk will be prideful of these positions, but nonetheless, committed to serve for the duration of their committed term. There are some ministry jobs and assignments that remind me a little of what Paul experienced, such as missionaries who travel to countries that they know are unfriendly to the gospel of Jesus Christ; pastors who serve in churches and they may or may not be able to pay them, yet they work endless hours to win the lost and disciple the saved, just as if they were serving the richest of congregations. Of course, all church positions require a heart for representing our Maker to those that we serve, and with hearts  and mindsets of volunteering our time, effort and complete selves. But to put this all into perspective and try to identify with Paul, I believe that we need to think about the sacrifices we may make in serving and in our volunteering, even if we knew that we would be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, cursed at, or imprisoned for what we do. Would we still be able to stand upright and share, in the words of Paul, that we are unashamed of the message and person of Jesus Christ?I believe that my biggest appeal today would be for the lay persons who might read this devotional. Sure these verses were written to Timothy who was a young pastor. Sure these are very applicable to pastors, elders, teachers and other church leaders. But friends, let me remind you that God didn’t save us so that we might shut up inside of us that good thing that He did for us. I refuse to believe that He would have to create another Red Sea phenomenon, for us to truly believe, brag on, and boast about our God. For if we have permitted the lordship of our Savior and Lord to rule and reign inside of us, and if we maintain an active and sincere relationship with Him, then a river of life would flow out through our actions, our speech and it would become very evident in our outward expression and reactions to others. Remember, we don’t want others to see how cool we are, or how rude we could be, but instead, we want them to see Jesus in and through every aspect of our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of my friend, allow that good thing that has made a difference in your life, to be revealed to others so that they may desire our Savior also. Paul made reference to ‘that day’, meaning the day that we meet Jesus face to face. May we live in such a way that we will be overjoyed and filled with celebration on ‘that day’ because of the relationship we had with Jesus while here on earth, opposed to a time of regret because we were ashamed, and we kept everything about God’s goodness locked up inside of us.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, and for making the way possible for us to see You face to face one day! In fact, we are so thankful of that precious gift, that we want to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to evangelizing that ‘good thing’ that has gotten hold of this old sinful person, and caused a complete turn around in our walk. Lord, we surrender all to You, so that You may fill us with more of Yourself, so that others will see Jesus, and not the earthly sin-filled bodies that would constitute the alternate man. People need the Lord, not more of the same old sinful world. Use us Lord as Your instruments to fulfil Your purpose here on earth. 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 Sebring, 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!