‘Absolutely Nothing’ Can Come Between Us

In a day when we read about a spouse being dropped off to the hospital to receive help due to a serious, infectious disease, and the spouse dies and is buried without loved one being able to say their goodbyes in person, yet we can meditate on this Scripture and see where God is assuring us through His servant, Paul, that regardless of what might happen here on earth, there is absolutely nothing that could separate those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, from the love, security and everlasting communion with the Father and the Son! Praise God for that assurance and that comfort!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-04-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 8:31-35
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 31 So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? 32 If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don’t you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? 33 Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen? Especially since God’s “not guilty” verdict is already declared. 34 Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf. 35 So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing.

OBSERVATION: In a day when we read about a spouse being dropped off to the hospital to receive help due to a serious, infectious disease, and the spouse dies and is buried without loved one being able to say their goodbyes in person, yet we can meditate on this Scripture and see where God is assuring us through His servant, Paul, that regardless of what might happen here on earth, there is absolutely nothing that could separate those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, from the love, security and everlasting communion with the Father and the Son! Praise God for that assurance and that comfort!

APPLICATION: We’ve heard friends say before that they are such a wicked person, having done so much evil in their day, that a holy, loving, caring and sacrificial Father would never love them. Considering their earthly father, we might quickly agree with them, because mankind is so unforgiving deep inside. But friends, do you see the difference in how mankind tends to classify such a person, versus what Jesus said in His Word – that with Christ, absolutely nothing will separate us from the love of the Father! Can’t you see that as sinners so far removed from our perfect God, that all we ever deserved from anyone is a sentence of death and eternal damnation. Instead, in our Scripture today we are reminded that for those who seek God and accept Him as their loving Savior and Lord, will one day stand at heaven’s portals and rejoice in hearing the Master of this universe, our Lord and Savior, our God, welcome us into His domain as ‘saints’ or ‘children of God’! Oh what a day that will be, dear friends! Now, in these verses under review today we are reminded by Paul in his addressing the same question to the church at Rome, that the love God speaks of is unconditional, and according to John 3:16, it is available to all who call on His name through His Son Jesus, for they will be saved, and is loved with His everlasting and unconditional love! The ‘human’ in us causes us to question, but what if ……. happens, or what if I mess up, or what if another Christian points a finger at something we weren’t perfect at? Friends, Paul (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and for the benefit of the saints) cleared this up for us in the later part of the verses quoted above – there is nothing that can change this love that Christ has for us – nothing. Remember, His love is unconditional! We may let things or people disrupt our harmony and/or relationship with God, but absolutely nothing will place a wedge between us and the love of our Savior! He’s just that kind of God! Praise the name of the Jesus, my Lord! So what’s preventing you from approaching God, seeking forgiveness of your sin and dedicating your life wholly and solely to Him? There is no greater love than this friend? Please use the contact information at the end of this devotional to let me know if there is anything I can pray with you about, or help you work through so that you can make this vital move in your life! This is THE most important decision in a person’s life!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for accepting me as Your child, in spite of the imperfect man that existed before my decision to accept You. I am overwhelmed by Your love and Your grace You display in loving me even as I work through the things of this old wicked world. As reminded by Paul in these verses this morning, I am deeply appreciative of the love You have for me, and the security of that love that, although battered by many things of this world and of Satan himself, yet to be reminded that nothing can separate Your love for me! Wow! This is love that we can hardly comprehend, but I believe Your Word and accept that love graciously. Please touch the hearts and lives of my friends that defer their decision to accept You as Lord, because they just can’t wrap their arms around this kind of love. Please help them to understand that in accepting You as they Master and Lord, You will help them work through, and overcome, their imperfections as Your child. Thank You for loving even me dear Lord! Bless each reader with Your power this day, for I humbly ask in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

This Life of Contradictions

I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 7:21-25
Translation: The Message (Message)

Bible Text: 21    …The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24          I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25          The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

OBSERVATION: I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

APPLICATION: Like Paul, we especially look back at our day and sometimes say that we are ‘at the end of our rope’ with mere efforts and ‘want-to’s’ and we wonder if there is anything that could be done. I absolutely love verse 25 where Paul reminds us that the answer to this dilemma is Jesus Christ. For He died for us even while we were yet sinners and still persecuting Him. We find it extremely frustrating when we have committed to obedience to God’s Word, when we have every intention to follow the ways of God, yet we are so easily swayed to follow the ways of our old lifestyle, the joys of our friends and neighbors, and to be popular in their eyes. However in our Scripture today we are given the formula, or the solution, or the answer to our lives of contradictions. Like an alcoholic seeking to overcome that dreaded disease, we must first acknowledge that we have a problem. Our education is of no help to us, nor is our strength from personal workouts. In fact, we can’t seem to personally overcome this type of life. However, the Word of God reminds us that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. So do we dare look into God’s face and say that the sin within us is greater? If we do say that, we are actually saying that he that is in the world is greater than He that is in me, and that’s an incorrect statement. Friends, let’s be careful to give God full freedom in our lives so that He could be our God. Satan is very conniving and can easily take advantage of our personal weaknesses, but he has no power over our God! Amen? Today let us put Satan in his place – behind God. Let’s give God thanks for being our deliverer from the evil of this world; let’s praise Him for send His Son Jesus to provide the means of us getting to Heaven and enjoying life everlasting in Him. He cares for us, dear child of God and He wants to see us succeed in our commitment to Him. If you truly want to succeed in your commitment to God, ask for His help and His strength, and through His power, be willing to give it all that your have. For I truly believe that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I need You today. I battle the same challenges that Paul battled, and I need the same help that he did. You have shown me in Your Word how to live. You have set the example for me through the life and character of Your precious Son. Please work steadfastly in my life so that I may overcome the negative pull of the evil one, the sinful nature of this world and the ungodly attitudes of many that I come into contact with. Please touch the hearts of Your people today, so that we may have power to overcome evil, and that we may live according to Your perfect will and design. You are holy, oh God, and if we are to be followers of Your precious Son, then we too must strive for holiness. Thank You for being the source of that power that we need to live like this! For I ask all this in Your most holy name, Jesus my 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Character Reflective of God

Like me, I bet you also heard your parents use the phrase ‘Practice What You Preach’ at every applicable opportunity! In this passage of scripture Paul is also using this principle in his teaching to the Jews, and because it is God’s inspired Word, I believe it serves as a reminder to us as well. I believe that this is still a very real problem for us even today. Please meditate further with me as we contemplate this scripture from the book of Romans today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Romans 2:23-24
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 23 If you pride yourself in having God’s law, then stop dishonoring God by failing to keep its teaching. 24 Here’s what it says: “Because of you, God’s reputation is slandered by those outside the covenant.”[b]

OBSERVATION: Like me, I bet you also heard your parents use the phrase ‘Practice What You Preach’ at every applicable opportunity! In this passage of scripture Paul is also using this principle in his teaching to the Jews, and because it is God’s inspired Word, I believe it serves as a reminder to us as well. I believe that this is still a very real problem for us even today. Please meditate further with me as we contemplate this scripture from the book of Romans today.

APPLICATION: I cringe when I hear folks say things like “your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying”. Because, unfortunately these folk are often right in saying these things. It hurts me deeply when I hear of church leaders caught in certain acts of sin, because they often have such a large following who is looking to them as a role model. No matter how often we tell folk that they should model their lives after Christ, not man, yet we see more fall out from church members when a pastor leaves, or a church leader is caught in an act of sin. The bottom line is that we all should be guilty of following Christ’s example so closely that people around us would see no difference between our actions and those they expect from Christ. When we surrender Lordship of our lives to Jesus, we ask Him to guide our footsteps every day so that we may walk like Him; guide our tongues each day so that we may talk like Him, and care so much for us each day that we may, in turn, love others like He would. Without Jesus Christ, it is virtually impossible to follow His ways each day in the world we live in, however, rest assured that in Christ, ALL things are possible. If friends of yours never read the first thing about the Bible, but they trust you enough to follow in your footsteps and obey your verbal instructions to them, who would they look like, Jesus Christ or the world? Remember, we are to be little ‘Christ’s’, so our friends following us could ultimately look the same! How are you doing? Do you have portions of your life still left to surrender to God, or are you comfortable that your life is in line with Jesus Christ? Please don’t let Jesus say to you on Judgment Day what Paul said to his fellow Jews, that people are cursing Christ because of you. As a parent we gloat at the times when others praise our children, because we feel a sense of pride in the job that we did in parenting. Let’s live our Christian lives following the same formula, so that Jesus may one day say “Well done good and faithful servant, when these children of Mine followed you, it was the same as them following Me, receive now the crowns I have prepared for you”! Let’s live with the end in mind friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I respectfully ask that I not be a stumbling block to anyone here on this earth. I pray that others may see enough of You in me that they will not be disappointed over their expectations of You. Lord, may I always represent You in ways that might lead others towards You. Please gently speak to my friends that may meditate on this devotional today, and lead them into a time of soul-searching and revival in their personal lives. Lord, it’s You that we live for. May that be evident in our words and actions today, is my humble prayer that I ask in You very precious and holy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

So That I Could Heal You, Says The Lord

I believe it is interesting how we have been blessed to see, yet if asked what we observed, we cannot state anything of significance that we saw. We may have also been blessed with the ability to hear well, yet if asked to repeat something that was said, one might swear that we were never present under the sound of a particular speech. Although we will observe that Paul had to rehearse with his crowd, the same thing that the Holy Spirit prompted Isaiah to share with his crowd. Yet after years and years of preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God, one might observe that still today we display the same challenges. Why is that? In the last words of our Scripture verses God said that He wished this was not the case, because He would like to heal our hearts. Would we not be quite different in our ways and successful in our methods,if God was able to get through to us?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Acts 28:25-27
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 …. “The Holy Spirit stated it well when he spoke to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah:[l],[m]
26 ‘I send you to this people to say to them, “You will keep learning,[n] but not understanding. You will keep staring at truth but not perceiving it. 27 For your hearts are hard and insensitive to me—you must be hard of hearing! For you’ve closed your eyes so that you won’t be troubled by the truth, and you’ve covered your ears so that you won’t have to listen and be pierced by what I say. For then you would have to respond and repent, so that I could heal your hearts.”’

OBSERVATION: I believe it is interesting how we have been blessed to see, yet if asked what we observed, we cannot state anything of significance that we saw. We may have also been blessed with the ability to hear well, yet if asked to repeat something that was said, one might swear that we were never present under the sound of a particular speech. Although we will observe that Paul had to rehearse with his crowd, the same thing that the Holy Spirit prompted Isaiah to share with his crowd. Yet after years and years of preaching, teaching and sharing the Word of God, one might observe that still today we display the same challenges. Why is that? In the last words of our Scripture verses God said that He wished this was not the case, because He would like to heal our hearts. Would we not be quite different in our ways and successful in our methods,if God was able to get through to us?

APPLICATION: Isaiah was a prophet sent and directed by God. When he prophesied under the inspiration of God, the people listened. However there came a time when God recognized that some of the folk were just not listening. Paul came across this same phenomenon in his days of ministry, so he shared this with his Jewish listeners who were challenged to believe the Word of God. I found this extremely revealing, because still today our pastors can preach the same sermon in our churches, as it is quite apparent that we’re present in the service, but from the blank stares and lack of participation, it is obvious that we are miles away. Think about it: we have folk that attend church who hear the Word of God, but they are convinced that it is for the person behind them. Their ears are shut to the application of the Word to their personal lives. However the most hurtful thing to me, are the ones that just refuse to listen and believe. It saddens me deeply how God has to send a disaster to awaken the hardened hearts of some people. Our churches were filled for a few Sunday’s after 9-11 and after our major hurricanes in Florida, as folk found the need for God to protect them and help them through their personal problems. Then, as soon as they felt they had regained control, life went back to ‘normal’ for them. God is not trying to impose Himself on anyone, He just wants to heal us and give us the very best He has in store for us – His children. Isn’t that a good thing that we should always desire? Friends, God has blessed us with so much, yet we use these gifts to oppose the very One who has blessed us. We have great knowledge, yet we reason away on why we are blessed, or not blessed, instead of giving all praise to God. We have great eyesight, yet like the prophet Isaiah said, we screw our eyes shut to the things of God and therefore preclude His healing and amazing blessings on us. Our hearing is perfect, yet we allow Satan to interfere and tell us that the Word of God is intended for that neighbor of ours who is much worse than us. The very last phrase of the quote from Isaiah really touched me: we have shut out everything about God because we don’t want to deal with our Maker, yet if only we would change this, He would heal us! I believe this healing is one of not just our physical sickness, but also our disappointments, our brokenness, our loneliness, our defeats and ultimately, our sin. Friend, I serve a God just as I have described, and I would love to introduce you to Him. He will make your day brighter and so much more meaningful and purposeful. Please contact me if I can pray with you or help you in any way with this important decision. This could be the first of many days of joy in the security of my Lord! For those of you that know Him, please act like you do. Sing that song ‘Just a closer walk with thee’, then open the precious Word of God that He left just for us, and see what it is that He is ordering you to change or correct in your walk with Him. Open your eyes to the hurts and needs of those around you, and pray, pray, pray that God will intervene and heal His people today. They have tried the world and all it has to offer, but they are still lacking in so many ways. They need Jesus, my friend. I believe that one of His servants can help them redirect their lives today. Let it be you, dear follower of Christ!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, in spite of Your gracious hand upon Your people, and Your outstanding blessings poured out on us, yet You must be saddened by seeing us exclude You from our decision making, exclude Your active role in our lives when praise is directed towards us, and especially ignore You when You speak to us about the lost condition of our lives. I clearly got the picture in this scripture today, You want to heal us, yet we say ‘No thank You’. Father I thank You for softening my heart and giving me the boldness to accept You as my Lord and Savior back in 1976. I have many family and friends who are still hardened and refuse to make the necessary commitment to accept You as their Lord. Please humble them and soften their hardened hearts again today so that they may commit the rest of their lives to You and allow You full control, and ultimate healing of their sin problem. Dear God, there are important decisions we make every day, but none as important as the one that decides our eternal fate. May this become very evident to my lost relatives today is my sincere prayer, that I ask in the name of Your only Son, Jesus the Christ, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Successful Men Look Like This

I don’t know that you will learn anything new from this devotional today, but I believe that you will be reminded of why you might have an employee who is very successful and doing well for your company, or you might be challenged with something that is lacking in your life that prevents you from succeeding in your job. The formula is spelled right out in our Scripture, but fearing that you might gloss right over it, I want us to meditate on the necessary qualities, and how these were evident in king Hezekiah.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-03-14
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 31:20–21
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 20 Throughout all Judah, King Hezekiah did what was right and what was pleasing to the Lord his God. 2He was successful, because everything he did for the Temple or in observance of the Law, he did in a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to his God.

OBSERVATION: I don’t know that you will learn anything new from this devotional today, but I believe that you will be reminded of why you might have an employee who is very successful and doing well for your company, or you might be challenged with something that is lacking in your life that prevents you from succeeding in your job. The formula is spelled right out in our Scripture, but fearing that you might gloss right over it, I want us to meditate on the necessary qualities, and how these were evident in king Hezekiah.

APPLICATION: I can hardly imagine what our families, our churches, our cities and our nation would be like if we had men following the example of King Hezekiah today! We are told in verse 21 that this king was extremely successful because….. everything he did was in a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God! Wow! In Bible Studies we are often reminded about the importance of loving our spouse in complete loyalty and obedience to God, and we might hear testimonies about the difference these characteristics make in the life and marriage of couples who remain in love with each other through good, and yes, even through challenging times. I could only imagine how much better our workplaces would be if we (Christians) went to work with a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God. Friends, I know that many employers will not allow Christianity to be promoted within its confounds, but what is inside of us cannot be taken away! We take Christ into our jobs through our lives – our actions, our stands on certain things, through our sincere dedication to our work and our bosses. Christians should be the best employees for any employer, if we do our jobs in complete loyalty and dedication to God. He will stop us from cheating, stealing, lying, gossiping, and any other ungodly actions. God will drive us towards being the best in everything expected of us by our employer. In addition to committing yourself to loyalty and devotion to God, please remember to daily pray God’s blessings on your supervisor and on your employer every day. Yes, even the boss that may seem hard and uncaring towards you. Just as Jesus made a difference in your life, He will also impact the life of your boss! As you meditate on this devotional and consider following this commitment, please notice that Hezekiah had no conditions to his commitment, and I believe we could deduce that his commitment was evident in every aspect of his life. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but our churches, our families, our workplaces, our schools and our social clubs are all suffering from the lack of commitment by those who tell the world that they are involved with one or more of these groups. The Word says that as a result of Hezekiah’s commitment, many conditions changed for the good, and he was successful in everything he did. So will you join me in committing to be completely loyal and devoted to God? And that we will ask Him to prompt us into a strong commitment in everything that we do, so that there would be an impact on those around us for the glory of Christ!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I’m sure that You never intended for us to be an image of You for others to look on, but rather that we might imitate You in everything You have taught us though Your Word and Your actions. Thank You for the life of Hezekiah and the commitment displayed by this servant in loyalty and devotion to You. This impacted his world! Yet today, our world is in trouble because of our lack of commitment, loyalty and devotion to You. Please forgive us Lord, and as we seek Your face, please be faithful to show us the way. We desire nothing personal in any of these things, but that You might be glorified and recognized by those impacted by our actions. Your is the glory, and all for Your kingdom’s sake, 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Preparing To Meet

Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-13
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 30:18–19
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 18-19 Many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not prepared themselves in the right way for the Passover Festival. They did not celebrate the Passover the right way, as the Law of Moses says. But Hezekiah prayed for the people. So he said this prayer, “Lord God, you are good. These people sincerely wanted to worship you in the right way, but they did not make themselves clean as the law says. Please forgive these people. You are the Lord, the God our ancestors worshiped. Forgive them, even if some did not make themselves clean as the rules of the Most Holy Place say.” 

OBSERVATION: Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

APPLICATION:  Ever heard a parent say to their child ‘well if you’re going to the fair with me looking mad and upset, then we may as well stay at home, because you couldn’t possibly have a good time with that attitude’? But don’t we sometimes go to church with a similar attitude? Imagine for a moment if, 30 minutes prior to leaving the house, we were to go before God and lay ourselves before Him and seek His face and ask His forgiveness of our sin, our littleness and our selfishness. Additionally ask God to bless us individually and expand our personal borders so that we might touch the lives of others. Can you possibly dream, or imagine, what our prayer meetings and church services would look like and sound like? Can you imagine the outlook on everyone’s face when they walk out of the sanctuary refreshed in their relationship with God and ready for a week of service in His kingdom work? Rushing to that favorite diner would be the last thing on our minds, instead of the only thing we tend to think on each week! Friend, we will never encounter free, unhindered, personal worship when we depend on the Praise Band to build the excitement and raise the entertainment level so that we may become involved in and excited about worshiping. We can’t build our excitement from what we feel in the band, our excitement builds from all that lies within. If we haven’t cleaned up the ‘junk’ in our lives, how can we possibly go before a ‘HOLY’ and ‘Righteous’ God and expect to be excited about it? Remember, He knows our every deed and thought. When we haven’t cleaned up those things, we go before Him with the same guilt that we would have if we went straight to church from a cocktail party hoping that no one will smell the alcohol on us! God said that we are to be holy, even as He is holy. Why not join me in doing our best to make sure that we go in a prepared way to meet with Him and worship Him this weekend? He would be overjoyed, and we would be blessed beyond measure.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how ashamed we should be about the important things that we take for granted. We will make time for every meeting we plan to attend or participate in, but somehow we feel like You will show up no matter how little we do in preparation. Forgive us Lord, and help us to really focus on our time with You, for You created us in Your own image and You love us beyond anything we could imagine. Hezekiah prayed for his people who had not prepared themselves to meet with You, may this be a reminder for us that You are holy and therefore we should approach Your throne in a spirit of holiness. This is contrary to the atmosphere in which we live daily and only You could cleanse us and make us worthy of being in Your presence. Lord we beg Your powerful work in our lives, so that we may be effective in all that we do in Your holy name. Amen!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Commissioned As God’s Assistant

Imagine a pastor who you remember as the sidewalk drunk from your small town. Imagine the murderer, who finally got out of prison, coming to your door to tell you about Jesus. Imagine the baddest kid on your block during middle school, now in high school and telling everyone that he wants to be a pastor. As you meditate with me on this Scripture today, use these examples to understand why it was so challenging for Paul to convince King Agrippa of his current status as a minister of the Gospel. Read on in the Application to understand how this applies to you and I!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-03-07
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Acts 26:15-18
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 “I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus,[h] the one you are persecuting. 16 Get up and stand to your feet, for I have appeared to you to reveal your destiny and to commission you as my assistant.[i] You will be a witness to what you have seen and to the things I will reveal whenever I appear to you.[j] 17 I will rescue you from the persecution of your own people and from the hostility of the other nations that I will send you to. 18 And you will open their eyes to their true condition, so that they may turn from darkness to the Light[k] and from the power[l] of Satan to the power of God. By placing their faith in me they will receive the total forgiveness[m] of sins and be made holy, taking hold of the inheritance that I give to my children!’

OBSERVATION: Imagine a pastor who you remember as the sidewalk drunk from your small town. Imagine the murderer, who finally got out of prison, coming to your door to tell you about Jesus. Imagine the baddest kid on your block during middle school, now in high school and telling everyone that he wants to be a pastor. As you meditate with me on this Scripture today, use these examples to understand why it was so challenging for Paul to convince King Agrippa of his current status as a minister of the Gospel. Read on in the Application to understand how this applies to you and I!

APPLICATION: Christians might tend to think that they will have a hard time convincing God that they are not the person they used to be. However, that’s the easy part, as God was the one who called you from that life of sin, into His wonderful kingdom of light! The challenge comes when we stand before an earthly person, such as the king before whom Paul stood. Today we tend to remember our high school friends, just like they were the last time we saw them in person – perhaps at graduation 20 years ago! A prosecutor will introduce you to the judge by reflecting on the worst years of your life, not for the good things you may have done. So Paul had quite a challenge on his hands, to convince King Agrippa that his life was changed by a man named ‘Jesus’. While you might easily identify with much of the above, I believe you might just as easily identify what Paul must have faced, and felt, when struck by the Light on the Damascus road. Because when we are filthy in sin, we tend to feel distant from God and unreachable by God. But notice what God did with Paul, He not only saved him from the life of persecution against God and His people, but He commissioned him to come and be actively involved in the work of God! Wow! I’ve heard people referred to as ‘bums’; ‘murderers’; ‘criminals’; ‘pedophiles’; ‘trash’; ‘no-goods’; etc, etc. What do you suppose God looks at people called by either of these names? They were created by God, so they are not throw-aways or junk. In fact, they were made in His likeness. If God is Father of all, then each of these types would be considered ‘His children’. Friends, Jesus went willingly to the cross of Calvary and was crucified, so that we, and each of these types, could be rescued from our life of sin, and go on to enjoy life eternally in heaven with He and His Father. Please remember today, that God rescued/saved Paul in spite of his misgivings and in spite of how others looked on him. When you feel the tug of God on your heart, please don’t brush Him off because of your condition at the time. He knows you, He knows about your sin, He knows about your need for salvation, and He will be quick to remind you that He died because He knew that you would have such a need. Surrender to Him today dear Friend, He is ready to commission you into His service just like He did for Paul, and all other sinners after Him. There is only one place to run when we acknowledge that we are mere sinners – to the ONLY One who is not a sinner, the ONLY One who can save – Jesus. Please read my Footnote for Biblical help on how to surrender your life to Jesus. A local Bible teaching pastor would be happy to speak with you, and I would love to hear from you also. You may not see a bright light quite like Paul, nor a calling of your name like Samuel, but it mat be a still small voice getting your attention, or a devotional similar to this one where God might call you away from persecuting Him, and to serve Him instead. Hearken to His call today my friend, while there is time.

PRAYER: Too often we think that we are way too evil to ever be considered by You, or used in Your service, oh Lord. But in our Scripture today You reminded us through Your call on Saul/Paul that You have a work for us to do and You are ready to commission us into Your service. Oh that each one reading this devotional today may be convinced of Your call on their life. Perhaps one might be deep in sin and feel so inadequate or ‘dirty’ to ever serve the King of all kings. Lord please touch the heart of each child that will read this blog today. Call them into service into whatever capacity You have set aside for them. There are many who need You, precious Lord, please use us to reach one in our circle of friends and family, so that Your kingdom might be enriched with more workers, more servants and more assistants today, for this is my humble prayer, with hopes that You would begin with me. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, 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!