Where The Power Comes From

We seem to get so hurt and defensive if we don’t receive all the credit for things that we are involved in. Joshua and his men (the Israelites) put their lives on the line to fight the army of Amalekites, and I’m sure that Moses was appreciative of that, but when he erected an altar to celebrate winning the battle, he gave credit and praise to the all-powerful God who truly won the battle. As we pause in the Word of God today, be reminded that we cannot depend on mankind, but on the power of God to win our battles.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-03-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 17:14-16
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write about this battle. Write these things in a book so that people will remember what happened here. And be sure to tell Joshua that I will completely destroy the Amalekites from the earth.”
15 Then Moses built an altar and named it, “The Lord is My Flag.” 16 Moses said, “I lifted my hands toward the Lord’s throne. So the Lord fought against the Amalekites, as he always has.”

OBSERVATION: We seem to get so hurt and defensive if we don’t receive all the credit for things that we are involved in. Joshua and his men (the Israelites) put their lives on the line to fight the army of Amalekites, and I’m sure that Moses was appreciative of that, but when he erected an altar to celebrate winning the battle, he gave credit and praise to the all-powerful God who truly won the battle. As we pause in the Word of God today, be reminded that we cannot depend on mankind, but on the power of God to win our battles.

APPLICATION: In today’s society we hear a lot about the ‘luck’ of an individual who survives a fiery car crash, or the smart, quick thinking of a dad who directed his family into the basement before a tornado hit and destroyed their home. But how often do we hear about the prayers that went up for protection while traveling, or the hand of God that protected a family who served God with all their heart, soul and mind? Yes, I know that the media would never print such miraculous news or show it on the TV waves, but as an individual, are you truly giving God the credit for His mercies on you and your family? In our biblical account today, Moses knew that He was acting on God’s instructions when he sent Joshua to lead his people into battle. Through mere lack of physical strength, Moses also saw how his army started losing ground in the battle when his arms grew weary and started to fall, but as long as he kept his arms raised in dependence on God and praise to the almighty, his people showed consistent ability to win the battle. You see, Moses realized that it was not by might or any power of the people, nor through any great leadership of Joshua, that the battle belonged to them, but it was solely based on the power and might of the Lord God Almighty to whom he (Moses) lifted his arms. Notice how Moses was not concerned about what the Amalekites thought about his actions in giving God praise, nor if Joshua got his feelings hurt for not being recognized as a fearless leader. It was a recognized fact that it was God, and God alone, who deserved the praise. Join me in applying this principle, and Moses’ reaction to our lives and our challenging situations. The Bible says that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. Righteous means ‘right with God’. If you are ‘right with God’ and you have a consistent daily commune with Him, who else would you consider giving praise to when you witness miraculous works being accomplished in your life, or in your presence, or in your company? Worry not about what the world will say about you, give praise to the only One who can! Furthermore, don’t let that miracle be so temporary that tomorrow no one will recall what happened. Place a monument, or a marker at the place so that you, your family, your friends and all those around you will stop and recognize that ‘holy ground’ when they pass by. Be ready to take your little ones to that place and explain what happened. Be an instrumental part in their lives, so that they will know, even as a child, that the same God who turned seas into highways, is the same God who working a miracle in your life right at that very spot. These miracles are actions that only God can do, and they give us confidence that we can go to Him over and over again with the challenges of life that we face. If you are reading this devotional and don’t know this Jesus/God that I am referring to, then all of this will sound very mysterious. You can do something about that by surrendering your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, then He will confirm His power, show His love and warm your heart with the overwhelming love of God. Information in my Footnote may help you in your new mission to know my Lord. Please seek Him today, while you are still able to.

PRAYER: Lord, You are amazing and so much higher than us. Through Your power You won the battle for the Israelites. Perhaps only a few of us might be facing military battles today, but most of us are facing challenges of one kind today that far exceeds our abilities, our power, and in some cases perhaps even our will to want the battles won. Lord, we are Your children and we are to love just like You loved us. Please touch our hearts today and everyday to help us live like You taught us to. Our biggest battles can be solved with just one word from You, so please help us to fight pour battles on our knees, and not rearing up like those who do not know You. Please draw us close to You and help us to stay focused on You in every walk of life. Humble us to give You control of our battles so that we don’t make fools of ourselves and fight like children of the evil one. Please fill our hearts with thankfulness, humility and love, so that we may represent You well and stay dependent on You for even the small things in life. Oh that You would be honored and praised by Your children today! 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!

Guidance on Asking, Seeking and Knocking

I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 7:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

OBSERVATION: I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

APPLICATION: We have just observed what God might be saying to us in this Scripture today, but how do we apply this to our everyday life? First of all, are we consistent in our asking? Do we even find time to pray, other than when we are in crisis mode? Our method of asking, or petitioning God is through ‘prayer’, yet most churches will tell you that it’s one of the worst attended services. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. For I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. Otherwise if they want me to pray for them, I might think that they don’t have time to pray, even though they know they need prayer, and have therefore asked me to pray for them. Jesus is telling us to ‘ask’, not to have someone ask for us. Jesus is also asking us to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. This tells me that we are to be persistent in doing these things. I once met a young person working at a prominent restaurant, and I asked how they landed the job. Persistence was the word, for they showed restaurant management that they were so interested in the job that they would keep on visiting the establishment, keep on asking for a job, etc. Guess what? He landed the job and looked extremely happy in his job. Now in the teachings of Jesus I believe that we have no doubt as to what we are to ask for or seek after, for we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, therefore we will ask in line with our righteous desires and within the scope of God’s will. When you keep on knocking, you are acknowledging to God that you are once again at His feet pleading His perfect will for your life, with a deep desire to serve Him in complete righteousness. Jesus said that when we do these things, that He will not only hear our prayers, but He will meet our needs. Friends, we have so much that we ask God for, let’s aim at making those requests known to Him for the single purpose of making us, or the person we are praying for, more righteous in God’s sight, and that they, or you, may be drawn closer to God and His kingdom.

PRAYER: Lord, please continue to humble us to always and continuously seek Your face; ask for Your holy and generous hand of mercy and generosity upon our lives, so that we may be worked on and made right with You in every way. Lord, may we be consistent in knocking to ask for an audience with You on a frequent basis. May we be bold enough to join others in prayer so that we may encourage them and help them in their walk with You. Lord, please renew a great work in us today so that we may be more like You in every way, and may this attract the unsaved to desire intimacy with You. We must ask in full alignment with Your will dear Lord, because we acknowledge Your Lordship and Your sovereignty. Thank You precious Lord for accepting me as Your child. May I always live like a child of the King! 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. 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!

Your Eternal Destination Is Based on Your Choice Today

It is clear in our Scripture today that these verses can be easily given three subtitles: (1) Before, or Without Christ – Vs 20-21; (2) With Christ – Vs 22; and (3) The Difference – Vs 23. As we meditate, it will become very evident which area each of us fit into. As shown in section 3, the difference is very evident. But only while you are alive can you make the step from Step 1 to Step 2, with God’s help and direction. Since the present is the only gift given to you, I would suggest that you consider making that switch today, dear friends.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 6:20-23
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 In the days when you lived as slaves to sin, you had no obligation to do the right thing. In that regard, you were free. 21 But what do you have to show from your former lives besides shame? The outcome of that life is death, guaranteed. 22 But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. 23 The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.

OBSERVATION: It is clear in our Scripture today that these verses can be easily given three subtitles: (1) Before, or Without Christ – Vs 20-21; (2) With Christ – Vs 22; and (3) The Difference – Vs 23. As we meditate, it will become very evident which area each of us fit into. As shown in section 3, the difference is very evident. But only while you are alive can you make the step from Step 1 to Step 2, with God’s help and direction. Since the present is the only gift given to you, I would suggest that you consider making that switch today, dear friends.

APPLICATION: Please allow me to expand on the steps mentioned in my Observation. Many will try to defend themselves on this, because they feel like no one knows whether they have accepted Christ or not, and their argument would be undeniable. However, there are many who try to convince themselves that they have always been a good person, or they have always helped the poor, or they have always attended church, or perhaps helped a classroom teacher in Sunday School, or given generously to the church. Given these many good deeds, some might try to convince others that God will definitely accept them in His heavenly realm. The good news is that these folk have no reason to convince their pastor, their parents or their best friends, for there is only One who will decide whether they see Heaven and our wonderful Savior. The Almighty God, the One who made heaven and earth and each of us. He left us a ‘cheat-book’ – a Book with all the answers spelled out. So on the day we are called out of this world, God will simply refer to that Book (the Bible), and based exactly on what He told us in that Book, He will confirm what each of us already know, the exact category into which we fit, based on our decisions while here on earth. If you never acknowledged Jesus as Lord and invited Him as Master and Lord of your life, then the answer is clear. You are considered part of the first group – Before, or Without Christ. However dear friends, many of us have listened to the voice of God, and we have surrendered our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and we live in anticipation of the soon, and expected return of Jesus to take His bride home to heaven. We have obeyed the Word of God, we know what His response will be, and we can rejoice in worshiping our Savior in person on that glorious day! Through the writing of Paul, God tells us in verse 23 that each one will be given a verdict – eternal death (in Hell with Satan and his demons), or eternal life (in Heaven with the Father and the Son). Now that you could clearly determine where you will spend eternity, please don’t forget what I said above. It’s not too late to change from Step 1 to Step 2 right now, by inviting Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. If you are unsure, or uncomfortable in making this step alone, please call a local Bible teaching pastor, or contact me. We would be thrilled to pray with you and for you as we welcome you into the kingdom as part of the family of God.

PRAYER: I am always overjoyed to sing that chorus ‘I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God’, because I know that You have given us clear instructions on becoming a part of Your family, dear Lord. Thank You for making that provision very clear and I thank you for speaking intently to us and helping us to make the bold step from a life of sin, into Your wonderful arms of love, protection and provision. Please dear Lord, speak to those who will read this devotional who may not have accepted You as Lord. Please tender their hearts and open their eyes and ears to your call on their life. I would also ask that You do the same for my family and friends who have yet to accept You. There would be no greater joy for me than to know that none of the above will hear that fatal judgment of ‘eternal death’. Please remind them of the urgency of the hour – today is the day of decision. Thank You Jesus for providing a way for us to receive eternal life with You and the Father! 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. 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!

What Your Character Should Look Like – Because of God

This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

Friday, 2020-01-31

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:30-32
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 30 Don’t cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete. 31 Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.

OBSERVATION: This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

APPLICATION: Many people look at the Bible as a Book of ‘don’ts’ for there is so much that we are told not to do. This could be the case for those who have a guilty conscience for all that they are doing that probably do not please our Maker. For I have found in several cases where, although we are told about our wrong doings, we can also find even stronger teachings on what we should be doing that would please God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told the Ephesians, and I truly believe that his Words are still echoing to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ today, that there are some things that we do that are so contrary to the will of Christ, that it downright sorrows, or grieves the Holy Spirit. No doubt there are tons of guilty consciences hitting each reader by now, for that same sweet Holy Spirit speaks to us personally about what displeases Him. But let’s have a look at what Paul taught, and let’s particularly draw a parallel between what the Holy Spirit dislikes, vs what pleases God:
* Instead of being mean; bad-tempered; angry; quarreling, using harsh words; and displaying obvious dislike for others….
* Try instead to be kind to each other; tenderhearted; and forgiving one another;

Now, although Paul didn’t say that the first list of characteristics were not of Christ, he did say that the second list – especially forgiveness, was the image, or practice that imitates how God has forgiven us because we belong to Christ. Friends, we must always keep in mind that our natural, sinful selves will lead us towards the characteristics mentioned in the first bullet. A surrendered life, seeking to please the Master – Jesus Christ, will always seek to do the things mentioned in the second bullet. It may be a good idea to keep the two lists posted in a prominent place to remind us when we are acting ungodly and displeasing the Holy Spirit, so that we may quickly seek God’s help to overcome and change our evil ways. Being a child in the Algreen home, caused me to always strive to please my Algreen parents. Being a child of the King of all kings, should always cause you and I to strive towards pleasing Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. There’s a song that includes the words ‘they will know us by our love’, meaning that the world will recognize Christians by our love – the love and character of Jesus Christ. How are you perceived by others, Brother and Sister? Is it obvious to whom you belong, based on your actions and characteristics?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You set an awesome example for us to follow. So in reading this passage today, and hearing Paul teach on the characteristics that please the Holy Spirit, we can reflect back on Your Word and see example after example where You demonstrated these characteristics. Although the qualities on the ‘don’t’ list are all ones that You warned about in many of Your teachings, may we use this Scripture as a reminder of what pleases the Holy Spirit, and what grieves Him. Please touch Your children today so that we may make wise decisions in every aspect of our lives, especially in our character. May we please You by obeying Your teachings and Your example. In humbleness of heart and seeking to serve You obediently today, I ask these things in the worthy name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

Confident In Prayer

David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

Wednesday, 2020-01-29

Bible Reference: Psalm 17:3-6
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
    You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
    I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
    which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
    I have not wavered from following you.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.

OBSERVATION: David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

APPLICATION: Oh to have the heart, determination and will of David! Too often we barge into conversations with God, demanding our own way and expecting God to respond like a puppet would, to all of our wishes and demands. But what if God truly responded to us exactly in the same way that we think things should go? What an awful mess that would be, friends! I believe our attitude for prayer must be one of honor and gratitude for who God truly is. Then there is Scripture that guides us into the remaining attributes of prayer, for in 2 Chronicles 7:14 we are told that if we are truly known as His children, in fact, if we are called by His name, and if we get off our ‘high horses’ and humble ourselves and pray with every intention and determination to turn from our wicked and sinful ways, then He would hear from the Father and heal us and all those around us (our land). Friends, this is not rocket science, nor is it unreasonable, for which of you will walk up to a total stranger and ask for anything substantial with full confidence that they would reach into their treasury of physical assets and just start handing them over to you? May I suggest to you that although my Savior knows each of us intimately and, while I am convinced that He will hear our cry, I believe that He is wanting most of all to know that our heart is totally in tuned with Him, and that He has the liberty to work freely in our lives. Friends, if you are not seeking God’s face as your own personal Savior and Lord, then no matter what your other needs are today, you must settle the ownership question first – you must be born again – new birth in Jesus Christ. This requires a conversation (prayer) with the Master, where you would surrender yourself to Him, and invite Him to rule and reign in Your life. There is no greater need of mankind today friend, and there is nothing more important, for what if you gained the whole world through your own efforts and finances, but yet have no hope of tomorrow, or a Savior who loves you more than anyone else in this world, and who is looking forward to your arrival in heaven one day. Jesus is the key to heaven friend, know Him and know total peace for today and always. I would be tickled to death to introduce my Lord to you! Drop me a note using the contact information below. I might also suggest that you click on the link below ‘To Know Jesus’ and there you will find scriptural references on what you might do to have eternal life. I look forward to meeting you in the most exciting worship service ever – at the feet of Jesus when we graduate to heaven!! Oh, what a day that will be!!

PRAYER: Lord You are good, and Your mercies are everlasting. You have opened the means of us communicating with You and seeking Your face. You have shown us the way to Your throne and ultimately to the glories of heaven with You and Your Father! What a blessed people we are! Lord, I am concerned about my friends that might read this devotional and brush off the truths of Your Word. There may be some that will seek Your hand for all they may need or want, but who may ignore the fact of first knowing You intimately. Please soften the hearts of the hardened, and please touch the hearts that simply read and choose to ignore a relationship with You. Thank You Lord for being available to us, and for loving us enough to demonstrate it through the sacrifice You made on Calvary. I am eternally thankful, and I desperately want to see all my readers, friends and family accept You as Lord, so that we may one day rejoice together around Your eternal throne. I commend them to You Lord. Thank You dear Lord Jesus! AMEN!

Be Still, Listen and Obey!

I’m not on Facebook as much as some are, but by now I have seen many evaluations of 2019 – good and bad, and then I have seen many wishes for 2020 – worldly and spiritual. Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, it’s a place where people express their views, and often where many look for your response to their views. But that is really not the best place to look for your ideal advice, because some may wish to simply express their most far-out ideas with hopes of stirring up a good conversation. As we meditate on today’s Scripture we are reminded that we serve a God who fights for us and protects us.

Thursday, 2020-01-02

Bible Reference: Psalm 46:9-11
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

OBSERVATION: I’m not on Facebook as much as some are, but by now I have seen many evaluations of 2019 – good and bad, and then I have seen many wishes for 2020 – worldly and spiritual. Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, it’s a place where people express their views, and often where many look for your response to their views. But that is really not the best place to look for your ideal advice, because some may wish to simply express their most far-out ideas with hopes of stirring up a good conversation. As we meditate on today’s Scripture we are reminded that we serve a God who fights for us and protects us.

APPLICATION:  Unfortunately, I believe that what we read on Facebook, expresses the minds and thoughts of the average person alive today. But when I read this passage of scripture in various translations, God helped me to  realize that Facebook is not the place I should go to for a spiritual meter on how well God did in 2019 nor a general opinion about how He might rule in 2020. Here are some of the thoughts that I believe God wanted me to discern in my study today: a) Get away from the noises of this world. Get to a place where it’s just you and God. ‘Step out of the traffic’ of everyday noises and seek the face of God. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ is the way one version put it; b) Don’t be one to look for the general consensus of the world, or even the church, but reflect on the proven power of your God and be reminded of His awesome power. Know that He is in control of each one of us, and if we allow Him to direct our path and control our tongues, then perhaps we too can be used for His glory, and then we just might see God’s mighty works performed in our land. We should be reminded that God is in charge of us individually; our families; our respective churches; our workplaces; our towns; yes, everywhere and in everything that He has created. Knowing all this then, why would we worry our little heads with what might happen in each of these scenarios? In other words, we have no idea what may happen in our lives – health-wise, relationship-wise or in any other area of our lives, but after being reminded of who’s in charge, will our worries amount to anything other than degrading our mental health? Friends, you can say the same things about each of the other scenarios mentioned. For the United States, we are entering into a year of presidential elections. God is telling U.S. Christians to be still and know that He is God over everything in our lives, especially our elections. We are told in Romans 13 that God places our rulers in authority over us, so are we worrying our little heads because we fear that God might mess up? Be still Brothers , and know that He is God over everything that we know and have committed to Him. Sisters, be still and allow God to be God. He is very capable, willing and able to handle our affairs today, just as He did for Jacob, Moses and all other Biblical accounts written in God’s Word to support our theory on this. Be still! Listen! Surrender control to God and return thanks to Him in all things!

PRAYER: Lord God, we acknowledge that You are indeed God of our lives, and God of this universe. Please forgive us for so often trying to reverse that order, especially when we think that we know better than You, how things should go here on earth. Thanks for the reminder that You made it all and that You are still very capable of managing everything – even today. Forgive us Lord for our lack of faith. Even as I write this, I am very concerned about many matters that I already know are hot agenda items this year. Please forgive me, and give me extra strength and boldness to declare Your glory, Your power and Your majesty as You continue to control my ‘world’. I am very weak, but praise be to the God of this universe, You are immensely strong, and very much in control of Your creation. In total surrender, I join with my Christian Brothers and Sisters – Your servants, to lead the pack in glorifying You as our Leader, our God, our Savior and our Lord. For these things, and all for Your glory, I ask all this in Your strong and mighty name, ‘Jesus’ my Lord, AMEN!

Jesus – Always There When The Waters of Life Seems Roughest

It is so encouraging to read accounts of how Jesus showed up for His disciples at just the right time when they needed Him most. Encouraging because He is still the same today as He was that evening when He showed up while His followers were in distress on the rough waters of the lake they were crossing. We are never happy about the days when we feel like things could get no worse, however as followers of Jesus Christ, we have assurance that our Savior watches out for us and will be there for us, especially when life is at its toughest for us. May we be encouraged as we meditate on God’s Word today!

Wednesday, 2019-10-16

Bible Reference: John 6:16-21
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

OBSERVATION: It is so encouraging to read accounts of how Jesus showed up for His disciples at just the right time when they needed Him most. Encouraging because He is still the same today as He was that evening when He showed up while His followers were in distress on the rough waters of the lake they were crossing. We are never happy about the days when we feel like things could get no worse, however as followers of Jesus Christ, we have assurance that our Savior watches out for us and will be there for us, especially when life is at its toughest for us. May we be encouraged as we meditate on God’s Word today!

APPLICATION: Unless we take for granted what each believer goes through on a daily basis, let’s not imagine for a moment that our situation is any worse than our neighbor or our fellow believer, and let us never think that we are really more deserving of a hand-up with all that we are encountering. You see, some might be very sad at the loss of a spouse, or a parent, or a child, while others might be overwhelmed to the extent of being frantic, or have a nervous breakdown. In the case of the disciples – they were terrified at the fear of the rough waters, our Christian Brother of Sister may look on life, even the worse types of scenarios, and some might assume a very trivial outlook, while others may become frantic if any planned activities are simply changed, or if things are not going exactly as they had planned. Friends, I believe that we are all aligned with the disciples in our fear of being out of control, when life’s circumstances are beyond anything we could do to improve, or change the outcome. That’s why many need emotional help after losing their job, or losing a girlfriend/boyfriend, or when traveling on a boat or a plane going through turbulence, for they are out of control. There are several lessons in this Scripture that may serve to help us today:
1. Jesus knew His disciples were in trouble, so He went to miraculous means to get to them and to help them. Let me remind you dear friend that Jesus knows about your struggles also, and that He will move mountains just to be there for you child of God!
2. Notice that the disciples welcomed Jesus into the boat. Did they have an option? Of course they did, they could have done like many of us do when we see someone in need – we wave at them and we may wish them well, or we may say that we will pray for them, but we don’t stop to truly understand their need and help them lovingly and compassionately. But that’s not how Jesus reacted with the disciples in their time of desperation, and it is not how He will respond to us in our times of feeling like we are all alone in walking through life’s most challenging times. In the Scripture we are told that Jesus will be with us always! Praise God, He knows when we are hurting; when we are sad; when we are lonely; and when we feel like there is no hope. This same chapter of John reminds us that Jesus not only cares about today’s struggles, but that He has a home prepared for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. So there is a long-term plan for those of us that have placed our faith and trust in Jesus, God’s only Son! Let me carefully show you one important thing in this 2nd point though: Jesus didn’t just place Himself in the boat amidst His disciples in their panic, for He wanted to make sure they wanted Him there with them. Notice that they invited Him into the boat. And that’s the way it is with us still today, we must invite Jesus into our hearts and plum into the middle of our lives, our decisions, our aspirations and our long-term plans. Throughout the Bible we are told that God is preparing a glorious home for us in glory, for I believe that our King wants nothing but the best for His princes and princesses!
The ball is in your court dear friend. Take heed from the disciples and invite Jesus in – into your heart. Regardless of how well you behave, or how much you give to the church, this is a required step for you to enter heaven. Invite Jesus in – TODAY, my friend! Tomorrow may be too late, for death without Jesus places you in the pit of Hell with no mercy from Satan.

PRAYER: I can’t imagine life without options precious Lord, so I thank You for seeing the desperation in the need of the disciples. I am most appreciative of the mercy You showed for us as well dear Lord, for You sacrificed You very own Son so that we might escape the fury of Hell, and have the hope of eternal life in Paradise with You! Thank You Jesus for having mercy on those that choose to surrender their life to You and invite You into their heart. You have placed the ‘ball’ into our court now. Oh that all who read this devotional have a desire to invite you into their heart, and accept the Gift that You are offering us today. It is my desire to be with You Oh King, and I pray for that same desperate call by all who will read this devotional today. AMEN!

Live Daily Declaring ‘To Whom You Belong’

We are known to others by our actions, our character, our level of commitment and our love. Think about it, these are many of the same characteristics that they remember Jesus by! Unfortunately, these are also some of the same characteristics that others will identify us as being no different to anyone else, and therefore children of the world, and led by Satan. Jesus is righteous and holy, so if we are to be identified with Him, we must live in that manner. Meditate with me as we consider how all this is possible.

Wednesday, 2019-10-09

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:22-24
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  22 You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. 23 Let the Spirit change your way of thinking 24 and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.

OBSERVATION: We are known to others by our actions, our character, our level of commitment and our love. Think about it, these are many of the same characteristics that they remember Jesus by! Unfortunately, these are also some of the same characteristics that others will identify us as being no different to anyone else, and therefore children of the world, and led by Satan. Jesus is righteous and holy, so if we are to be identified with Him, we must live in that manner. Meditate with me as we consider how all this is possible.

APPLICATION:  Evil people think evil, wicked things, so they live like evil, wicked people. Does your life show enough evidence of whose you are, that others will be convinced? When we surrender ourselves to someone, we generally release ourselves from the one to whom we were committed before. We become very miserable and confused when we detect any bleeding over of one allegiance into another. Think about it – when you marry someone and commit your life to that person, you are generally happy and living a blissful life together, until one of you start to reflect on an old flame, or perhaps another prospect that Satan has placed in your path. It just doesn’t work friend. The marriage is doomed to fail when this happens. Don’t you know then that the same thing happens in our walk with the Lord? Paul calls our mental escape from reality ‘foolish’, for we know that the minute we entertain a bad habit, it will pull us back into bad habits. The very moment that we give in to sin, we have taken our eyes off God, and it becomes easy for Satan to pull us back into his world. This is not abnormal for humans, that’s just the way we are designed. However, just as Paul teaches us in this scripture, we have an Advocate who is standing ready to help us overcome this weakness. It is the Spirit of the Living God that enters the believer, who helps us overcome our weaknesses and makes us into a new person. However, the Spirit does not take control of our will. We must willingly surrender ourselves to the Almighty God, and this is not just a one-time thing where you may have done so in a church service at a much earlier stage in your life. This is a daily surrender of your will to His will and His control. This is the only way that we can possibly expect to be like our creator. What a reminder in verse 24 – we were created to be like God – WOW! However the ending of that verse is also important, as it is the only way that we stand a chance of getting close to achieving this – we must strive to please God and to be truly holy, even as He is holy. When we live under the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, it will be evident to others when they come into contact with us.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your faithfulness to us, in spite of our weaknesses. Thank You for Your Word that teaches us the importance of living our lives to reflect our Master and our Lord, and for teaching us and warning us of the pitfalls that will distract us in our walk for You. Please continue to open our eyes and encourage our spirits so that we might be more determined than ever to live Godly lives, so that the lost might know that our Savior lives, and that Your love for them is unconditional, unlimited and available to them. I ask all this in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

Be Faithful in Following Jesus

Accepting Jesus because mom pressured you to do so, or because your prospective father-in-law only wants his daughter to marry a believer, would receive a totally different commitment from you, than a personal encounter with God, where He called you to repentance for the way that you have totally ignored His gift of salvation. In our example today from the Scripture, God had a personal encounter with the disciples. I believe that you should also listen closely for the call of God on your life, and that you should quickly respond.

Friday, 2019-09-13

Bible Reference: Matthew 4:18-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

OBSERVATION: Accepting Jesus because mom pressured you to do so, or because your prospective father-in-law only wants his daughter to marry a believer, would receive a totally different commitment from you, than a personal encounter with God, where He called you to repentance for the way that you have totally ignored His gift of salvation. In our example today from the Scripture, God had a personal encounter with the disciples. I believe that you should also listen closely for the call of God on your life, and that you should quickly respond.

APPLICATION:  Imagine for a moment if Peter and Andrew had concluded after meeting Jesus that He was a good man and would make a wonderful Savior for many people, especially for those who had time to follow Him around and observe His marvelous works. Imagine how little impact Jesus would have had on these two men if they chose to continue making a living and left Jesus alone to go and impact the brothers up the road who had nothing better to do. James and John had similar choices to make in verses 21 and 22, but like Peter and Andrew, these guys immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Friends these stories were included in the Word to show us the impact of total surrender. I don’t believe for a moment that God intends for every Christian to give up our jobs to be obedient followers of His. However, I do believe that God is showing us that it is important for us to take a 180 degree turn from what we did as a sinner, so that we might prove to whom we now belong. We don’t need to prove it to God, for He knows our very inmost thoughts and desires, but we need to convince ourselves that we have seriously redirected our lives to following the Savior, the King of all kings, Jesus Christ. We need to prove it to our friends. We can’t continue doing the things of this world (Satan approved things) and still expect our friends to see a difference in our lives. Think about everyday scenarios: what do you do when you go on a diet? You can’t lose weight eating the same junk food and sweets that brought you to your obese state in the first place. What do you do when you get married? You can’t hang out with your buddies until the wee hours of the morning and expect to go home and find your new spouse happily waiting for you. So what about the Christian walk? I would dare say that you can’t live like the Devil and say that you are a Christian. We have to leave the garbage behind, much like the disciples left their nets and their boats behind, and choose to give God our all – our undying allegiance, our unwavering love and dedication. Show Him that You are serious about the decision you made to follow Him – perhaps He will use you like He did in the case of the disciples mentioned! Won’t that be awesome!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for being patient with us. I’m afraid that too often we tend to try and continue doing what we’ve always done, yet expect different results, or worse still – try to convince ourselves that our allegiance has changed. Lord, I believe that these four disciples were so sold out to you that they gave up their fishing careers to become ‘fishers of men’ in your kingdom work. I am convinced that we need more folk like this today Lord, so that the world might know without a doubt who rules in our lives. Please work on us today and convict us of any shortfall You see in our lives and our commitment to You. May we be usable instruments in Your hands to reach the lost. I ask this in the strong and unwavering name of Jesus, AMEN!

God Will Take Care of You!

No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

Friday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:2-4
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

OBSERVATION: No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

APPLICATION:  I Love that old gospel song: “Be not dismayed …. God Will Take Care of You“! On reading these verses this morning I was reminded that for all those times that we feel so worn, or so distraught about life’s circumstances – perhaps the loss of a loved one that leaves us wondering how on earth can we possibly go on without them; or perhaps because of financial woes that make us feel so trapped into thinking that we work to satisfy bills only; or perhaps unemployment that makes us look inward and question our own personal worth; no matter the circumstance, we tend to wonder ‘Why me, Lord’ and then question how can we possibly overcome our particular circumstance. Friends, I wish you would take time to read the whole passage linked in the scripture reference, because you will see the reason why God sent Elijah to the Jordan River bank to hang out in the first place, then you will also see what other miracles God performed to take care of Elijah, even beyond this feeding miracle at the Jordan River. Whether Elijah realized it or not, he was at a crossroads to where he may not have survived the drought if God had not intervened and taken care of him. I rejoiced in seeing how God worked through Elijah later on to bring a young man back to life, because it made me realize the importance of not giving up on God, and instead allowing Him to work on us, in us, and through us for the purpose of His greater accomplishments – for the kingdom, and at a time pleasing to God. Friends, our ways are not God’s ways, so we are called on to be faithful and sure in our faith, knowing that what He works out in and through us will serve to benefit Him and bless us tremendously. So may I encourage you dear friend to stand firm in your faith, depend on God, and open yourself to the wondrous things He will do through You. Please know that your personal circumstances may look totally different to what God has in store for you. Trust Him, wait on Him and allow Him to be God in your life. Know that when You place your faith, trust, and total life in His hands, He WILL Take Care of You!

PRAYER: To the loving, caring, awesome God that I serve; thank You Father for watching over me, taking care of me, and guiding my footsteps each and every day. Because I am still alive, I know that Your work is still in progress and I trust in You for whatever You would have me do. Please have Your will and way. Please continue to take care of me, and especially on those days when life seems impossible to me, or the future seems so questionable. Lord, there are many who will stop by to read this devotional today, please reinforce to them how much You care for them, and remind them of the enormous love that You have for them. Lord, I ask these thinks in faith, and in the precious name of Jesus, Your Son and my Savior, AMEN!