Paul’s Story Vs Our Story

Monday, 2020-02-24

Bible Reference: Acts 22:7-11
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The voice said, ‘I am Jesus from Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ Those who were with me did not understand the voice, but they saw the light. 10 I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ The Lord answered, ‘Get up and go to Damascus. There you will be told about all the things I have planned for you to do.’

OBSERVATION: Like Paul, we have a ‘story’ that we should share with folk. Often in conversations we step up to the plate and tell a story about an incident in our lives that we believe is far greater than anything said so far by anyone else. Imagine the quiet that would fill the room if, in the middle of discussions about sports, or hunting or family, we jump in and share our story about our conversion? This is basically what happened with Paul!

APPLICATION: There are several miraculous things about this experience shared by Paul:
~ It was Personal – Paul didn’t share a story with the group arresting him about a friend of his, or a story he had read in ancient transcripts, he shared his story;
~ Recognized it was God speaking – Paul’s first response to the voice he heard was “Who are you, Lord?” When God gets our attention, we know that it is divine, holy and very personal;
~ It was transformational – Paul, a persecutor of Christians and a destroyer of churches, immediately recognized it was God, and instead of cursing God, as he had been doing, he asked for further instructions!
~ It was shared without regard to the place or occasion – Paul didn’t wait until he was in the synagogue, or among fellow believers, or until it was church time. In fact, this seemed like a very odd time to share his testimony, but Paul shared his story anyway!

I believe that the whole purpose of Paul sharing his story was that his captors’ eyes would not only be opened to the fact that he was a fellow Roman citizen, but also that they might hear, understand and come to know the God that touched, and ministered through, Paul. He was a true evangelist, both in the pulpit and out of it. Among all the confusion and excitement of calming the crowds and making an arrest, Paul asked for a moment to share his story. Wow! Friends, God can use us for His glory in any circumstance that He chooses, if we let Him. But it will only be impactful if we share our story for His ultimate glory and not ours. So why do you suppose that we don’t do that more often, friend? We need to do this as often as we can, because we have no promise of a future moment with that individual or group that we are meeting with. Don’t be shy or afraid, God will never lead you into a situation that He will not help you through! Allow Him to do His great work through you!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in Your precious and holy name, I come humbly before You to first say thank You for getting my attention back in 1976 and leading me to accept You as Lord of my life. Thankfully, You have since lead me through many situations and given me ample opportunities to share Your saving power with many people. Please forgive me for lost opportunities, and give me wisdom, humility, boldness and power to share my story with many more folk in all walks of life, so that others might see the glow of Your presence in and through me, and subsequently want to also accept You as Lord. Father God, it is only through Your continued grace that the wicked and lost of this earth can come to know a holy and righteous God, so I ask that You touch lives that I interface with today so that in something that I might say or do, You might impact their lives for Your ultimate glory. I ask all this in the name above all names, King of all kings, Your one and only Son, JESUS. 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!

How Strong is Your Faith?

There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

Monday, 2020-02-03

Bible Reference: Acts 12:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 15-16 But they wouldn’t believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. “You’re crazy,” they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn’t believe her and said, “It must be his angel.” All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away.

OBSERVATION: There are times that church leadership will call a special prayer meeting, as they sense the need for dedicated prayer over a particular, urgent need. What if, during that prayer meeting these prayer warriors see proof of answered prayer? Will they be able to handle this awesome power of their holy, and all powerful God? As we meditate on our Scripture today we will learn that the disciples encountered a very similar example to that which I described. I wonder where our faith really is, when we pray to the Creator of all things? Of course He could…..

APPLICATION: Think about your prayer life. There are times that you call your pastor, or an elder, or a friend, to pray with you about a certain need, because you are so burdened for someone, or a certain need that you feel extra passionate about. However, many times, and I hope that is daily, you will pray over certain needs that God has laid on your heart, or you really desire a special touch from God over, and I pray that we could learn to pray in full release to the will of a perfect God. How often have you seen those prayers answered, resulting in a glorious praise and worship time with your Master for hearing your prayer and answering the cry of your heart? Allow me to share two experiences – the first one involves a time where Jesus told a desperate father to return home, for the son that he sought after Jesus for healing, he had been healed. When the father met a jubilant crowd coming towards him, he was told that the child awoke and raised up at the same time that Jesus told him to return home! Instant healing, my friend! The second story involves a precious old lady who was known for her fervent prayer. After telling me that she was going to pray for my shoulder, the next time that she met me she was astonished that the shoulder was still hurting some, because she had prayed for God to heal that shoulder for me! Oh the fervent, effectual pray of a righteous person availeth much, my friend! In our Scripture today, you will observe that the disciples were still skeptical, even though they had spent a lot of time praying over the protection of their Brother, and his release from prison. Dear friend, I believe that when we pray to God, we must pray that His will be done in every situation that we pray about. This should place us in the position where we know that His response might be exactly like we asked for, but at times, He might show us that He has a better way in the circumstances for which we are praying for. We might pray for the life of a family member suffering from a bad disease or health issue. Selfishly, we want that relative to return to perfect health so that we may resume our normal lifestyles. However, when God responds according to His design, He knows what is best for that individual. I believe that God will strengthen us to accept His perfect will, even if it may not align with our wishes. Knowing that a loved one is happy with the Lord, is much better than the very best day they could enjoy on this earth. So when we pray, fellow believers, do we pray believing in the all-powerful work of the Master, or do we present our wish list and hope for the best? I would ask that God might touch the hearts of each believer today, beginning with me, and that we might never be shocked when God answers our prayers – whether instantly, or in His perfect timing. Let’s remember we ask in faith for the will of God. We don’t like ‘Yes’ men here on earth, and we definitely don’t want to pray to a God who will answer our requests like we think they should be answered. May Your perfect will be done dear God in Your perfect timing, for all that we seek from You today!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, Your creation is in need of it’s Creator. We acknowledge that we are ignorant of things that will happen, or to what is best for us. Our wants often outweigh our needs, and so we often ask amiss. Please forgive us dear Lord, for we need a special touch from You. I believe that You have a special work assigned for us to do here on earth, and unless we get out of the way and allow Your will to be done, we might hinder that work. Please help us to always ask expecting the miraculous to happen, because we are asking of the only true, all-powerful God of the universe. Thank you for hearing our cry oh Lord. May we ready ourselves for rejoicing in Your handiwork, as we see You respond to the prayers and cries of Your people. May Your perfect will be done in my life and through my prayers, precious 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 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!

Worship Results From Your Encounters With the Master

God’s handiwork is displayed all around us! Some expect it, some take it for granted and may even ignore it, while others recognize worse case scenarios and therefore recognize the beauty of God’s creation. In the case of those in the latter category, those people may even pause and give thanks to the Almighty for His miraculous works. Meditate with me as we consider the wonderful works of God for the Israelites as they stood in awe at the miracles of God, performed for their benefit. He does the same for us today, so I trust that this will lead us to worship of our King!

Saturday, 2019-10-12

Bible Reference: Exodus 14:31
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  31 When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before him. They put their faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

OBSERVATION: God’s handiwork is displayed all around us! Some expect it, some take it for granted and may even ignore it, while others recognize worse case scenarios and therefore recognize the beauty of God’s creation. In the case of those in the latter category, those people may even pause and give thanks to the Almighty for His miraculous works. Meditate with me as we consider the wonderful works of God for the Israelites as they stood in awe at the miracles of God, performed for their benefit. He does the same for us today, so I trust that this will lead us to worship of our King!

APPLICATION:  I believe that God moves just as mightily in our midst today, as He did for the Israelites when the Egyptians were chasing after them. For you see, anytime we witness, or hear of, a saint of God being healed; or miraculously protected in a terrible accident; or hear of God’s children being saved during a hurricane; these are all examples of miracles that occur in and around us that can only be explained as the hand of God. So as I meditated on this verse, I wasn’t as much in doubt of God being at work today, as He was with the Israelites, as I was in wondering if perhaps we have become so fast-paced that we hardly stop to recognize and praise God for His wondrous power in us, or in His children with whom we worship or rub shoulders with every day. I wonder if we may have just forgotten to program time for this important aspect into our Christian walk. We very easily ‘blow up’ the bad things that happen all around us, but how often do we stop to celebrate with a Brother or a Sister over an obvious miracle that has occurred in their lives? Part of fellowshiping together as believers, is that we grow spiritually as we celebrate God’s mighty works among our body of believers. It seems like so often our corporate worship services are so programmed and rushed, that we tend to meet societies need of getting together for a very limited and prescribed time. But within that programmed time, do we take time to truly remember and/or recognize all that God has done, and is doing among us, and then celebrate God’s very current miraculous works? When last have we stood in awe at the works of God? The Israelites didn’t wait until the next Lord’s Day to be led in praise and worship, for the scripture says that they were filled with awe and placed their faith in the Lord and His servant Moses. Perhaps we’ll see more people place their faith in the Lord, if they think that God’s children have a current, sincere and meaningful relationship with the Savior they are trying to promote. I am of the impression that this corporate worship service took place right on the banks of the Red Sea as they saw God’s mighty works unfolding. I bet that was some kind of awesome worship service that day – unplanned, unorchestrated and no clock watching for a given finish time. As indicated in the next chapter, a new song of deliverance was immediately penned with the expressions of the praise and worship from the people reacting to God’s mighty works! How would that song turn out if it was written at one of our worship services today? What words would you contribute to the song, based on your daily experiences with the King of all kings?

PRAYER: Lord, You are so good to us! You are patient, yet kind enough to work miracles in our lives every day. Please help us to open our spiritual eyes to see the glory of all that You accomplish in and around us, and help us to respond with due honor and praise to Your mighty works. May those who look at us, for proof of our relationship with You, truly see a child filled with awe over the mighty works You accomplish each day that impact us and draw us closer to You. May they be drawn to You and seek to know You in a very personal and meaningful way. Be glorified in us today Lord, as we recognize You, and celebrate in attitudes of thanksgiving, all that You do. May we again today stand in awe of You and Your mighty works. I love You Lord, and ask all this in the mighty name of Jesus, 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!

The Danger Of Not Surrendering ALL

I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart, when they looked at us!

Thursday, 2019-04-25

Bible Reference: 2 Kings 15:1–5
Translation: The Good news Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: In the 27th year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel, Uzziah son of Amaziah became king of Judah at the age of sixteen, and he ruled in Jerusalem for 52 years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. Following the example of his father, he did what was pleasing to the LORD. But the pagan places of worship were not destroyed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. The LORD struck Uzziah with a dreaded skin disease that stayed with him the rest of his life. He lived in a house on his own, relieved of all duties, while his son Jotham governed the country.

OBSERVATION: I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart, when they looked at us!

APPLICATION: It seems like there is always one aspect of our lives that we don’t fully turn over to God. In this king’s life, he came short of cleaning up his country for the Lord by leaving the pagan places of worship. I wonder what all we leave behind when we, supposedly, surrender it ‘ALL‘ to Jesus? Perhaps ‘ALL‘ that we feel is necessary to surrender to Him? God brought great condemnation on the kings that did this. I wonder how much is really brought upon us because of our lack of commitment and total surrender. I bet we could not imagine how much sweeter our relationship with Christ would really be if we totally surrendered ALL of ourselves to Him. Not only was a dreadful disease (punishment) brought on King Uzziah, but the people continued to worship their pagan gods. The un-surrendered parts of our lives will be heavily attacked by Satan, because he sees that as an inroad into the life of a believer in Christ. What stops us from surrendering all to Jesus? I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart. Let’s seek His face and ask Him for the help we need to do this, friends.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please help us to search deep within our hearts and analyze those parts of our lives that we have not totally surrendered to You. After meditating on Your Word this morning, I feel like I must do this, because I likened it to me making a long trip in a nice RV, but leaving the air-conditioners at home. The trip would be a lot more tolerable and comfortable if I had the units with me. When my life is not totally surrendered to You, I live life similar to my RV trip, missing some very important pieces that could drastically improve the quality of life on earth for me. Furthermore, my joy while serving You down here would be so rich, that I couldn’t even imagine how much sweeter it would be when I see You face to face in heaven! Satan is after us with such intensity already, please help us to not leave any parts of our lives even more vulnerable to Him. May Satan, and all of those that my friends and I come into contact with see Jesus in all of His fullness and glory! AMEN!

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

Is God Pleased?

Monday, 2016-07-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 22:30–31

Bible Text:  30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. 31 So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

There was so much going on in the day of Ezekiel, that God was hopeful that He would find a good cell of churches or Godly people that would convince Him not to destroy those who promoted the evil of the day. This led me to question whether God might feel like we (the church) are doing enough in our day that He might feel like the sacrifice of His precious Son was worth it. I am encouraged when I hear of what churches are doing outside of their four walls, but this is often limited to very few. Unfortunately, most churches are so caught up in denominational-ism that they are not allowed, or unwilling to tarnish their beliefs by joining hands with another group for the good of the community. In God’s statement through Ezekiel, He was looking for some hope that His message was penetrating the hearts of the people. Nothing was said about which ordinances we adopted or how we decided to administer them. Friends, I believe that we get so caught up in the small things of our specific churches, that we forget there are people in our community who have not accepted the simple love of Jesus, so they are dying and going to Hell without ever being told otherwise. Often we acknowledge needs across the world, and we send missionaries thousands of miles away to minister in God’s name, but do we do enough in our own communities to satisfy the concern of God? Are we truly bridging the gap in our own communities for God? Will God find us faithful to the tasks He has laid out for us, and indeed save our land? If we are satisfied that we have reached our communities, then we need to make sure that our state and our country is also in order. We need to be willing to let God work through us at all levels, so that all will hear and believe, God being our helper!

Prayer

Lord thank you for placing us in our respective communities with lots still to be done. How will the people know, if we don’t go out and tell them, is the thought offered in another part of scripture, that I feel is so applicable to what is taught in this lesson today. Please help us to continue thinking outside of the box of selfish desires and outside of the four walls of our respective churches, so that the world will know who Jesus is. Please make us keenly aware of the needs of our communities more than any other mission efforts we may undertake. For as our hometown people know and believe, we can join hands to reach the state, country and the world. Thank You Lord for the opportunity to serve in Your army. Use us now to be Your instruments of change. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!