The Reason I Live

Thursday, 2020-01-23

Bible Reference: Philippians 1:20-24
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 21 For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! 22 But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! 23 Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! 24 But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!

OBSERVATION: We are often so sad over the death of a loved one, and rightfully so, for we worry about how we will survive everyday life without them. But in our Scripture today, Paul directs us to consider our value while alive and also after we move from this life to the next. Paul found it very challenging to determine if his life was more valuable here on earth, or with His heavenly Father. As we meditate, let’s not be concerned about what we could get out of either side of heaven, but rather, what we might give – for the sake of the Master.

APPLICATION: Of special note regarding this scripture: Paul is in prison at the time of this writing! So if Paul has the fortitude and determination to live so that He could do more of the Master’s work, even from within four prison walls, how much more those of us who are ‘free’ should be striving to do the Master’s work? Friends, we whine and we complain about so much, but do we should really have the heart of Jesus, or of Paul, in wanting to see as many won to the Lord as possible? In the above scripture, I bolded a few sentences that, I believe, is worthy of note:
* Living means opportunities for Christ – it is only while we have breath in our bodies that we can be witnesses for the Lord, or care about sinners. Let’s not wait any longer friends, we’re on the winning side and it is our privilege, our honor, and our responsibility to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord;
* Living will give more opportunities to win people to Christ – Often we will find that it’s the threat of impending death that gives us incentive to share the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please allow me to awaken  you to the fact that we have no assurances about the next minute. The moment of opportunity is the present. Please share the love of Christ who lives inside of you with all that you care about and/or come into contact with today!
* I can be of more help to you by staying – Only Jesus Christ has power beyond the grave. He is allowing us to remain here on earth so that we can glorify Him and spread the Good News about the Savior who loved us enough to die for us. In a nutshell friend, this is our mission!
Friends, we remain on this earth to be shining examples of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not about politics, gossip, sports, the lotto or any other purpose, so use every opportunity with everyone you know, that the reason you live is to represent Jesus, and try to evangelize the lost, before it is eternally too late.

PRAYER: The reason that I live is …….. Lord, as we complete that sentence today in humility and prayer before You, I ask that You will take those completed sentences and correct any misgivings about our mission, compared to the one You have assigned to us. I am pretty convinced that our mission is similar in nature to what Paul shared with the Philippians, because throughout Your Word we are told the importance of surrendering our lives to You, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to others and convince them of their need for our Savior. Please work on us today and guide us to do Your perfect will, for this is my sincere and humble plea. It’s in Your beautiful and bountiful name that I ask all this, dear 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 Power of A Personal Experience

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Luke 7:20-23
Today’s Bible Text: 20 So the men came to Jesus. They said, “John the Baptizer sent us to you with this question: ‘Are you the one who is coming, or should we wait for someone else?’”  21 Right then Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses and diseases. He healed those who had evil spirits and made many who were blind able to see again. 22 Then he said to John’s followers, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind can see. The crippled can walk. People with leprosy are healed. The deaf can hear. The dead are brought back to life. And the Good News is being told to the poor. 23 Great blessings belong to those who don’t have a problem accepting me.”
The Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take Away: Ever noticed the difference between sharing a story of something personally experienced, compared to sharing facts about something experienced by someone else and relayed to you? In this story today, Jesus could easily have answered the questions asked of Him by John’s disciples, but instead He chose to demonstrate His power to them so that they might share with John about something they actually experienced. I’ve seen folk so excited in sharing a personal experience, that I’ve been forced to slow them down in order for me to catch up with their story and understand what they were sharing. On the other hand, you hear words such as this, when someone is relaying someone else’s story: “Well at least that’s what they told me” or “According to ???? this is what happened”. In a courtroom the judge will often ask that you give only the facts you have experienced, not hear-say. The judge wants only first-hand experience taken into evidence. Based on their first-hand experience, I believe that John’s disciples ran back to him with such excitement in their hearts, that it was probably very challenging for him to discern what they were telling him. I also believe that this is how personal evangelism is often more impactful, when you and I openly share our personal testimony with an unsaved loved one. Friends, I am convinced that our relatives, friends, coworkers and others that we meet each day, will only come to know Jesus because of personal experiences that we excitedly share with them, not through something we might tell them that our spouse heard the preacher say last Sunday. Our personal testimony shared with friends is probably more impactful than any Bible story we can tell them, because it’s not hear-say. Don’t add on to it to try and make it exciting or dramatic, just share what Jesus did for you. Our personal experiences come out of a daily encounter/experience/relationship with the Savior of this world, the Creator of this universe, the King of all kings, Messiah, Son of God, through whom we have every confidence about our eternal home. Won’t you know Him today friend? I want you to experience Him, so that you can share that experience with someone else in your circle that needs to know our Lord! I want you to be the influence for that friend’s eternity in heaven!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I realize that there is no power in us to influence others, but I do believe that when we add You into the picture, then we have everything to share. Just as You reached down into the depths of our sinful lives and rescued us, I believe that You can still do the same thing for our friends that we are so concerned about today. While we absolutely can’t save anyone from their sin, I know that Your extreme power within us can influence our friends of their need for a Savior. Please empower and embolden us to share our testimony with others today – our story. We want others to become excited and know the Savior that brought excitement and change into our lives. We want them to accept You as Lord of their lives, and we know that You still save, even today. Please use us as needed to rescue our family and friends today from the grip of sin and the tug of Satan. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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!

2016

Know God Intimately!

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 1 Chronicles 28:9
Today’s Bible Text: …. my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.
The Bible Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: If David was personally out of touch with God, or distant in relationship with Him, can you imagine the huge challenge he would have faced in pleading with his son Solomon to know God intimately and follow in His ways? I believe that most earthly fathers would seek after passing along the very best to their sons, and in most cases, they would probably want to see them in a better position spiritually and financially than they themselves were. However, have you ever tried recommending something to someone that you had not experienced yourself? It’s not as convincing, is it? You see, David was speaking from a heart filled with experiences with God. From the small sling that he used in battle against Goliath, the giant, to the largest army that he went to battle with, David knew the one common denominator who played a very key role in His victories. He was therefore able to speak with his son from tried and proven encounters. David also knew from first-hand experience that if his son would earnestly seek the face of God, he would find Him. However, I also believe that one of the hardest things to do in life, would be to tell your son that if he forsakes the Father, He will forsake/reject/leave him for ever. But we know from the Psalms that David often pleaded with God to please don’t turn His face away from him, or reject him, or ignore him. You see, even though you may know that God is there, if you know that you have forsaken Him and not maintained a relationship with Him, you tend to feel like you are pleading with someone else’s God. I heard something said about healthy eating recently: if you don’t eat healthy for your own sake, do it for the sake of your children and grandchildren. I feel like this emphasizes the awesome responsibility that Christians have today: let’s be in a position to speak with our children, or to those we would witness to, from a heart of personal experience, not from the words penned by another believer. We not only have an accountability to God, but to all those that we have a responsibility to witness to. Never have it said about you that you say one thing, but do another. Live the life that you would like for your child(ren) to live. Be the Christian that you invite a friend to consider. Allow God the freedom to work through you every day, because you have a clean and contrite heart, and you desire to invite others to have the same.

Prayer: Lord God, You created us, and You are the Master over everything that we are. Please help us to constantly seek Your face and allow Your accountability, so that we may honestly present You to our family and friends in the light of personal experiences, and not just a God from our Bible who did a great work in the lives of our ancestors. I have accepted You as my PERSONAL Savior. To me, that means that there is no other savior, and also it means that if You are Savior to millions others, yet You are very personal and intimate in Your relationship with me. Thank You Father for loving Your children in such personal and meaningful ways. Now may You rule and reign in us today so that we may be recognized as Your children, willing to share Your love with all those we come into contact with. I love You Lord! Thank You for Your love for me! In the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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!

2016