Is God Testing You?

The Israelites were about to branch off into a ‘new world’, at least to them, where they would have to decide who they would serve, who they would honor, and who they would allow to guide their heart. Moses, through the help and direction of God, gave the Israelites instructions, and God saw fit to have these included in His Word, because He knew that you and I could very well face the same challenges that the Israelites were about to deal with. Let’s concentrate on the advice given so that we might be best prepared for what might be in store for us.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-07-20
WRITTEN AT: Colorado City, TX

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 13:3-4
TRANSLATION: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord your God is testing you to find out if you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul. Worship the Lord your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him.

APPLICATION: In my younger days, I worked for a company that relocated me every few years to manage their business on various Bahamian islands. At each island, my wife and I had to face the challenge of ‘going with the flow’, or maintaining our faith, in spite of variances in culture that were quite different for us. In reading today’s Scripture, I now wonder if at those islands we were presented with challenges by God to see if we truly loved Him and were willing to serve Him, even under very diverse situations that we may had found ourselves in? But each of us find ourselves in situations almost daily that we never dreamed we would face. While chatting with friends, someone invariably will turn to bad-mouth a close neighborhood friend of yours. Do you stop them in their tracks, or could that have been a time where God was testing your loyalty to that neighborhood friend? Perhaps God wanted to see how much you would tolerate in hearing your friend belittled or destroyed verbally, before standing up for them? So what does this testing do to those of us involved? Surely it is a test of our loyalty and friendship. But what about the child of God that once heeded to His voice and surrendered their life to His Lordship? What happens when that person faces a challenge in life and is hurt by someone at church? How do you help that person overcome the fear of rejection, and bitterness against the whole Christian faith? Unfortunately this is so prevalent that I believe that each of us have at least one friend or family member who refuses to enter a church door again, because of past hurts. Don’t you know dear friends, that God saw this coming as His precious children entered a land where its people knew every god but the holy God of heaven? Don’t you know that it would have become the inhabitants’ main object to see what these newcomers were made of, and to convert them into thinking the way they did? God certainly saw this coming, so He had Moses sit down and prepare the Israelites for what’s ahead. Unfortunately not a whole lot has changed, for whenever Christians walk outside of their church doors, they are bombarded by a world filled with sin, false gods, hatred, enemies of God, people who have been hurt by someone called by the same name as us – Christian. How well prepared are you to face the opposition? Perhaps it’s your turn to be tested on your love for Jesus – the One who sacrificed His very life so that you might receive forgiveness of sin and face eternal life with He and the Father – God. I believe verse 4 details how we are to stay true to our Lord and Savior – Worship the Lord your God, fear him, obey his commands, listen to what he says, serve him, and be loyal to him. When we practice what God teaches us in His Word, I believe that it is then that friends and family will note the awesome love and power of God at work within us.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Be the image of God to a lost and dying world. Be strong and depend on the Lord Jesus to live in us and work through us so that the lost might see Jesus – even here on earth.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we have been placed on this earth as ‘light’ into a dark world of sin, hatred and unbelief. It is often challenging – much like the Israelites were about to face as they entered into the Promised Land, where the inhabitants served every other god except You. But Lord, You gave Moses encouraging words for the Israelites as well as our current generation – worship You, fear You, obey Your commands, listen to what You have to say to us, and to serve You in sincerity and loyalty. Please help us to stay on track with what You ordered through Your servant, so that we may never become distracted with the evil things of this world and its leader. You are our King oh Lord, may it be evident in everything we do to avoid the distractions that Satan sends our way. AMEN!

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

Stand Firm

T he encouraging words shared by Peter in our verses today are words that we hang on to throughout all aspects of our life. However, the devil is unique in that no individual could come up to his evil standards. But knowing our enemies, always seem to help us be on particular guard while around them. Thank God for the encouraging words at the end of these verses – our God will be in control forever!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-06
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 5:8-11
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord’s followers are suffering just as you are. 10 But God shows undeserved kindness to everyone. That’s why he appointed Christ Jesus to choose you to share in his eternal glory. You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm. 11 God will be in control forever! Amen.

OBSERVATION: The encouraging words shared by Peter in our verses today are words that we hang on to throughout all aspects of our life. However, the devil is unique in that no individual could come up to his evil standards. But knowing our enemies, always seem to help us be on particular guard while around them. Thank God for the encouraging words at the end of these verses – our God will be in control forever!

APPLICATION: In football, players are encouraged to always keep their eyes on their opponent. In karate a student is taught that even when they bow, still keep their eyes on their opponent. I’ve heard of several people associating at parties and/or clubs while an evil person drops a type of drug in their drink, and they are often affected for the rest of their lives. Satan is waiting to attack children of his opponent in much the same way as my latter example, so God used His servant Peter to warn us to always be on guard for this. Some of the ways we might do this are: a). Standing firm to what the Bible teaches – God placed these practices and commands in His Book for our own good, and to help guide us through this very challenging life; b). Stand firm to what we were taught at home, at church and by our Christian mentors – People that love us, and especially those who also love God, will look for ways to guide those that are inexperienced in life, or unaware of Satan’s deceiving ways; and c). Stand firm in what our conscience is telling us – God gave us this unique means of making decisions based on all that we have placed into our heart, soul and mind over our lifetime. Because of God’s inspiration, Peter was also aware that we would soon start to feel like we are the only ones going through such trials, and we may even begin to question God as to ‘why me Lord’. So Peter assured us that others face very similar challenges to what we do, therefore stand firm in our faith so that we won’t discourage our fellow believers when we handle situations badly. But friends, let us keep the concluding words (God will be in control forever) fixed in our minds when we feel like Satan has really pushed hard in our lives, and we start to feel like we have been backed into a corner. For I am convinced that neither death, nor tribulations, nor the attempts of Satan will ever separate me from the love of my God, who is in control forever! That’s my God In whom I trust! Do you know Him, my friend?

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, thank You for Your grace, mercy and understanding. I know that You created us, so You know more about us than anyone else in this world, but I could only imagine that You must often ponder over the stubborn ways of Your children, and how easy it is for us to stray and wander away from the path You have set before us. Please forgive us Lord. We need Your strength and Your guidance each and every day, especially when Satan is bound and determined to get at us and cause us to stumble. Only You can see that coming, and only You love us enough to redirect our path and help us follow Your way. Lord we love You and we need You more and more each day. We rest our hand in Yours knowing that our lives are dependent on You for everything in this life. AMEN!

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