Ask God to Guard You

The Holy Bible

    Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips.

    Don’t let me so much as dream of evil or thoughtlessly fall into bad company.

    And these people who only do wrong — don’t let them lure me with their sweet talk!

(The Message – Psalm 141:3-4)

Thoughts:

I believe that I can easily identify with David, but really wish that I could be more like him in taking everything before the Lord in prayer and open, pure, relational conversation. Let me explain, Satan is out to get God’s children in every way possible. He is very conniving and knows our weaknesses and exactly how to distract us from our Christian walk. Let’s suppose that I am a recovering alcoholic. The biggest warning to a person recovering is that they stay far away from any distraction or temptation that might entice them to take the first drink again. How many times, and how many people still go after these individuals to just join them in the bar, they don’t have to drink just sit and socialize with old buddies? Or a former smoker invited into a smoke-filled room? Won’t they breathe in enough of that smoke to be tempted into a very large cigarette or cigar? Friends, I believe you should be getting my drift by now. Even when God has caught hold of our lives and rescued us from the pit of sin and destruction, He still allows us to live on this earth and learn to depend on Him when tempted, but I sincerely believe that He expects us to stay way clear of anything that Satan may use to distract us from our heavenly walk. I heard a story about a recovering alcoholic. Every day he had to walk past the bar that he used to purchase his alcohol when he was overtaken by its addiction. After finding God and, with His help, got on the road to recovery, he took a different road home altogether to avoid the temptation. David begged God to place a guard, and to even help distract his dreams to avoid him thoughtlessly falling back into sin. Friends, God wants you to avoid sin. He sacrificed His only Son to provide the means for a better life for you. Why dabble in sin when you have a future that is ‘out of this world’ waiting in store for you? Please don’t be timid in talking with our heavenly Father about things that we see as a trap to ensnare us. And especially don’t be timid in asking God to guard you and protect you from those traps that may not be evident to you. Try your very best, with God’s help, to live today in light of the bright hope that is ours in heaven! You won’t regret it friend, and you have the awesome power of the creator of the universe to help strengthen you! You can do it!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me from the depths of sin and the evil so evident on this old earth. Please continue to guard my eyes so that my mind may remain pure, and guard my lips so that my heart might be pure. Please give me the boldness to express the love of God that is shown to me every day in so many ways, so that others might catch a glimpse of your handiwork, and might want to also know You as their personal Savior. There is nothing secret from You, so You are well aware of the temptations that Satan throws at us to entrap us. Please guard us and direct us always in the path of righteousness so that You may continue to use us for Your glory. Thank You for loving Your kids in such awesome ways! May we do our part to make You proud, yet humble enough so that You may complete Your work in us. I ask this in the precious name of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Just let me know you are coming by emailing me!

Warning! Danger Ahead!!

The Bible – The Message

1 Corinthians 10:11–13

 11–12        These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13             No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

Thoughts:

In the first 10 verses of chapter 10, Paul shared with the Corinthian church much of what their ancestors had done and how they were punished for their sin. In verse 11 he tells them that these were all recorded so that they might be warned not to repeat the same sins, otherwise they would face the same consequences. Friends, our Bible today is totally inspired, and ordered by God so that we also may be reminded of the many sins of our ancestors and the ensuing consequences. With any common sense at all, we should take note, and not repeat the same sins, but I am reminded that without Christ in control of our lives, we are led by the same Satan that our ancestors were, and we are bound to repeat the same sins, and perhaps even more hideous – even as we read about, or see on the evening news. Like Paul, I must remind you friend, that we will be punished just like our ancestors. Sin will not enter heaven, and there is only one other place for you to go, and unlike David’s wish in Psalm 109 about his enemies, I would not wish the alternate place on my worst enemy. Friend, think about this real good, we are careful to take very seriously the warnings about possible tornado touchdowns, or hurricanes, or heart attacks, etc. I would so like to see us also take the warnings God has placed in His precious Word very seriously and take our precautions to prevent the danger that will result by simply placing your faith and trust in Jesus my Savior. He made special provisions just for us so that we might one day be with Him in glory where there is love, peace and joy forever in store for those who believe. The warnings are evident friend, and the provision for a safe and secure passage to safety is very clear. Please don’t continue to live your life in danger of not being prepared for something that could happen in an instant. Enjoy heaven’s glory while still here on earth by knowing my Savior today. He loves you and will welcome your decision, without regard to your present condition. Use information from the footnote to help you make this vital change. I assure you that you won’t regret it!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes to my life of sin, a life without You in it. Thank You for encouraging me to make a right decision back in 1988, and thank You for working with me to maintain a life pleasing to You. I regret that it has not been perfect, but I thank You for being a forgiving God; an encouraging God to help me along the way and prod me of sin that was lurking. Thank You for working in my life to help me be more like You every day. I realize that Satan tries every trick in the book to trip me up, so I plead with You to continue to guide me, protect me and show me the ways of righteousness. May You receive glory because of something that I may say or do in the matchless name of Jesus. Paul’s warning reminded me that there is no time to waste, so I humbly ask that You immediately bring to my attention when I fail and lead me to the cross for forgiveness so that my life will not be marred by sin. Lord, I have unsaved family and loves ones, unsaved friends and coworkers, tender their hearts and minds so that they may heed the same warning of which Paul warned us about in 1 Corinthians 10. Please use my life to be a witness to them so that they may surrender their lives to You before it’s too late. Please be especially gracious to those led to this devotional today, may they shore up their position with You this day. These requests can only be handled by You dear Lord, so I humbly ask these in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Who Will Stand?

The Bible – The Good news Translation

Psalm106:29–31

                 They stirred up the Lord’s anger by their actions,

and a terrible disease broke out among them.

                But Phinehas stood up and punished the guilty,

and the plague was stopped.

                This has been remembered in his favor ever since

and will be for all time to come.

Thoughts:

Phinehas was recognized a few times in the Bible: for his leadership role in a group sent out, and as an adviser in a war. So he was not a known religious leader whom one would have expected to stand up again the evil that stirred up the Lord’s anger in the verses above. This precisely brings up an important point that I would like for us to consider in response to this passage. In today’s society, we will immediately look to our church leaders to stand up for evil, because we consider them God’s point men in our churches. However, like in our homes we have kids, and sometimes, spouses that rebel against our stand against evil, I believe that church members will be the first to criticize our church leaders for the stand against the evil that they have either recognized, or been told about. You see, I believe that many of us ‘church members’ are so wishy-washy in our beliefs and especially in our stand against the norm that we go along with the flow way too often, instead of standing up against the evil that happens around us out in this evil world. We are such advocates of being politically correct – in other words ‘splashing around in the truth in order not to take a stand and/or hurting anyone’s feelings’. So if this describes our ‘church members’ in general, who again do we expect to stand with our pastors and/or church leaders when they take a stand on behalf of our church? It won’t happen friend! We have seen churches split over simple things like the paint color on the walls, so imagine how quickly members will walk when asked to stand with our church leaders on decisions made that might cause the media to point out our church for a Biblical stand that it took! In these verses we see where the effects of sin were already being felt – a terrible disease had broken out. Do we see the effects of sin in our society, and in our churches today? I dare say that we do. There are diseases caused by certain known sins such as homosexuality, yet we have churches that splash around in the truth and accept this as a way of life. In fact some churches even accept these individuals as members, leaders or pastors. Yet we wonder why God permits certain disasters upon our land? Friend, our God is no different today than He was in this scripture we are studying today. I am studying a book by a popular pastor who said that he is not allow to preach something that is not Biblical. When we surrender our lives to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, we agree to live according to His commands as detailed in His Word (the Bible). Why would we do this, but look to our ‘Christian’ brother living in sin and say it’s alright? As we take a stand for total obedience to God’s Word, we might be more apt to also join our church leaders in taking a corporate stand for Biblical truths and against SIN. Are you prepared to join the army of Christ, friend? Are you prepared to call sin what it is?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, taking a stand against the normal flow of society is very challenging. Yet when we accepted You as Lord of our lives, we agreed that we would live in agreement with Your Word, and its commands. You are very clear in Your Word on what is acceptable to You and what is sin. If there is doubt in our minds then we should consider the challenging thing as sin until we can get a clearer word from You. Many times we are so confused, I believe, because we are listening to the world for advice instead of looking to You for clarification. As we read Your Word more, we become more in tuned with what Your expectations of us. We then also understand Your commands and principles better. We learn the very heart of our Master and therefore have a much better base for the decisions that we should make, and subsequently for the stands that we should take. Please help us to stand firm on the Truth of Your Word, and that it is the only thing that would change our minds. We need more like Phineas in our world today. May I plead for Your strength and wisdom to be more like Phineas and not disagree for argument sake, but in order to stay the course for You. This is only possible through the power and mighty hand of my King, so Jesus I ask this in Your powerful and awesome name, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Let The Love and Truth of God be Evident in Us!

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 106:6–8

6 Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!

7 Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the Lord’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.

8 Even so, he saved them — to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.

Thoughts:

I believe that way too often we look down our pious noses and try to convince ourselves of our greatness, and our sinless lives. Friends, whenever we feel that boastful and proud again, may I encourage you to look around and count the family, friends, coworkers or neighbors that have seen enough of Jesus in us that they have surrendered their lives to Jesus and to the leadership of His Holy Spirit, because of our actions and/or words. It is so very easy to look at someone and immediately analyze their problem, without first acknowledging our own, and seeking forgiveness for our own sin and littleness. It is unfortunate that we can train pets so well and they can generally be very obedient, however when it comes to training ourselves to be obedient to God, our Master, our designer, our Savior and our Friend, we suddenly take on a superiority complex as if we are in charge. Friends, just as God held back the Red Sea for our ancestors, why don’t we recognize His awesome intervention in our lives every day? You see, for our world to be impacted, our friends, family, coworkers and other contacts must see and hear the evidence of Jesus in our lives. They will not be impacted simply by us telling them about the miracles at the Red Sea or how Moses struck the rock with his rod and God produced water for His people. Our lives and our witness give validity to the Word of God. It’s the living witness of who God says that He is. Our unsaved loved ones must see this, friends!

Prayer:

Lord, I am reminded of a story about a man who had a lot of faith in a friend that he could push a wheelbarrow on a tight rope across the Niagara Falls. With all that faith, his friend invited him to ride in the wheelbarrow as he pushed it over the Falls!! This is the type of faith it took for the Israelites to follow Moses through the bottom of the Red Sea while the waters were rolled back. We are also faced with similar challenges each day and we make decisions that prove where our level of faith is. Dear Jesus, I am convinced that others will not be impacted to follow You if they see doubt in us, and if they see us living a double life, I pray that You will touch the lives of Your children today and convict us of our sin and our shortcoming. May we follow You through the little things and through the major crisis events. Today marks the anniversary of a terrible disaster here in the USA, a day that showed a lot of people their need for Your love and Your power. I pray that it will not take another disaster to draw the people to You, oh Lord, but rather, may they see Your love and our faith in You so prevalent, that they may be drawn to You, our Savior and our King. Please touch Your children who claim You as Lord today, then I ask that You please consider using Your servants to reach others, because of their faith that might become more and more evident every day. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and King, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

There Is Hope, In Spite of Evil!

God’s Word Says….

Acts 26:9-15 (NCV)

“I, too, thought I ought to do many things against Jesus from Nazareth. 10 And that is what I did in Jerusalem. The leading priests gave me the power to put many of God’s people in jail, and when they were being killed, I agreed it was a good thing. 11 In every synagogue, I often punished them and tried to make them speak against Jesus. I was so angry against them I even went to other cities to find them and punish them.

12 “One time the leading priests gave me permission and the power to go to Damascus. 13 On the way there, at noon, I saw a light from heaven. It was brighter than the sun and flashed all around me and those who were traveling with me. 14 We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language, saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are only hurting yourself by fighting me.’ 15 I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.

My Thoughts…..

Although I try not to include so many Bible verses, I wanted you to catch a glimpse, and be reminded of Paul’s condition before he was saved, so that you could really appreciate the current scene of him defending the ministry of Jesus Christ. No doubt you have heard non-Christians say that Jesus would never forgive them because of their past. I believe that based on Paul’s account in this passage alone, you will see that our God is a God of love and forgiveness. Friends, He loved us enough to provide the means through which we can be saved – His very own Son, Jesus, was crucified and died for us, so that through Him we may be saved. Now think about it, will God refuse to accept us, His own creation? Will He reject the very ones that He sacrificed His Son for? Will He go back on His word where He promised us that “Whoever believes on Him, will receive everlasting life” (John 3:16)? Friends, I’m sure that you know the answer to each of these questions to be ‘No’, so please don’t give up on that friend who may have spoken those word of hopelessness. In fact, I believe that those words are evidence that they recognize their sin and just can’t comprehend a God who would still love them in spite of that sin.

Challenge……

To the one reading this devotional that may be feeling like the friend who asked the above question, please reconsider the hope that is available to you today. Please know that God loves you, even when it may appear to you that no one else does. Jesus is available to you, in spite of what you may have done. There are family and friends out there praying diligently for you, so trust them to pray with you and help you to overcome your current condition. If for any reason you feel like you don’t have a close friend or family member, please consider chatting with a Christian in your workplace, or a local pastor, or contact me. There is nothing we would like more, than to help lead and introduce you to our heavenly Father, who we confidently believe will help you overcome any hopelessness or sin you may be encountering right now. Folk with the same father, are brothers and sisters. We would love to welcome you into our family!

Prayer……

Father God, thank You for loving us enough to not leave us unattended, or steeping in our sin. Thank You for getting my attention and turning my life around. I believe that there are many that could answer to the challenge given above, so please ready myself, or that brother or sister that might be approached today by someone that You have spoken to and are in need of a Savior. Be a constant reminder to my friends and I to know that the only qualification needed to respond, is that we have a living, active relationship with You. We don’t need to be a pastor or elder or deacon, but to simply be available for You to use as You speak to the heart and soul of the lost today. Sure we can share our experience, and we can pray with them, but only You can and will save them! Thank You for working that miracle in my life some 39 years ago, and I pray that Your miracle working hand will be upon those whom I know today that are in need of the same miracle as I received. I can only ask all this in Your precious and most worthy name, ‘Jesus’, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Things That Prevent Total Dedication to God

SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 3

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man,
should her first husband come back to her again? If he went back to her, wouldn’t the land become completely unclean?
But you have acted like a prostitute with many lovers, and now you want to come back to me?” says the Lord.
“Look up to the bare hilltops, Judah. Is there any place where you have not been a prostitute?
You have sat by the road waiting for lovers, like an Arab in the desert.
You made the land unclean, because you did evil and were like a prostitute.
So the rain has not come, and there have not been any spring rains.
But your face still looks like the face of a prostitute. You refuse even to be ashamed of what you did.
Now you are calling to me, ‘My father, you have been my friend since I was young.
Will you always be angry at me? Will your anger last forever?’
Judah, you said this, but you did as much evil as you could!” (Jeremiah 3:1-5 NCV)

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I wonder how close we are is what goes on in our country today, compared to what was happening in Judah during the day of Jeremiah? Sometimes I wonder if it is possible that a nation could have been any worse, especially when I turn on the evening news and hear story after story about the various crimes that have taken place in some of our cities. I become even more disturbed when I hear about the discord among people in churches, in families and in work places, and when I see people so dedicated to everything that may incidentally come up instead of to God and His ideals for their lives. After reading this passage I can only ask if God is not calling us a lot worse than what He called Judah. We find so many other Gods beside Him. We dedicate ourselves to so much else except the only One that could truly shower His blessings on us. Oh how we need to reassess our purpose and the things that truly receive our attention.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord God, I am a part of this earthly people who respond to earthly things that distract me away from Your ideals and from following Your ways and Your teachings. I call myself a child of Yours, yet I am so easily distracted by things that really shouldn’t matter in the long scheme of things. Please redirect my thoughts, my desires, my weakened commitment to stay on course for You through thick and thin. You allowed Your Son to die on Calvary just so that I may enjoy life eternally with You. There is no greater sacrifice than that. No greater way of showing Your love for me. Oh that I may now dedicate myself to that kind of devotion to You. Please be my ongoing Guide and Strength to achieve the goal of total dedication to You.

*Words underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com

How God will Sometimes Deal with Sin.

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Kings 24

OBSERVATION

2 Kings 24:2-4 ~ The Lord sent raiding parties from Babylon, Aram, Moab, and Ammon against Jehoiakim to destroy Judah. This happened as the Lord had said it would through his servants the prophets. The Lord commanded this to happen to the people of Judah, to remove them from his presence, because of all the sins of Manasseh. He had killed many innocent people and had filled Jerusalem with their blood. And the Lord would not forgive these sins.

APPLICATION

In this short passage God showed me how the sins of one man could affect the lives of so many, and how bitter God could be towards sin. In this particular case I believe that God had warned Manesseh many times about his sin, but he continued to take the blood of innocent people in Jerusalem. We are told that God warned about this through His servants, the prophets, and then He sent raiding parties in to destroy Judah. Reading this today we may wonder if something like this could possibly happen today. I dare say that it could, and may very well happen to those that we know and love. God’s Word is full of His warnings, His prophecies, His statutes, His commands, yet we read right over, or through them and continue in sin. How much more of this will our righteous and holy God take? I know that He loves His people and because of that He is very patient with us, but I believe that some of our sins are so blatant and affect so many people that God will see to it that His chosen people, those that He loves so dearly, are not negatively impacted by people that are out to destroy the message of love and the saving grace of our Lord, that Jesus came to fulfill and deliver to the masses.

PRAYER

Lord may I always be a facilitator of Your work and not a stumbling block. Please continue to lead me against the vile of the Evil One and instead, fill my path with righteousness, love for my fellow man, forgiveness for those that offend me, and words to share with the unsaved that will lead them to You. Your ways are righteous and holy, may I be filled with qualities that will reflect Your holiness and righteousness in all that I say or do, and may I be granted boldness to share Your love with everyone, especially those that may seem undeserving at times. Please grant me strength to overcome my weakness in this area during those times that I am tempted to do otherwise, so that others may see You and not faltering mankind.