Awestruck By Your Story

I believe we will see from todays Bible story that it is more important to share our story about how Jesus Christ made a difference in our life, than to just hang with other believers and soak up more of His goodness. Hopefully this Scripture will force us to reflect on our goal in life, and redirect our efforts, if necessary, so that God may be glorified in and through us.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 5:17-20
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 … the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone! 18 So he got back into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demons begged Jesus to let him go along. 19 But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”
20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns[a] of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and they were awestruck by his story.

APPLICATION: Jesus performed a miracle by freeing a man from the demons that possessed him. He was haunted and terrorized by the demons, but Jesus made the demons come out of him. Word of this miracle quickly got back to the neighboring towns, causing curiosity seekers to rush to the area to see what could possibly be going on. This upset the Pharisees, as this one act drew more attention than their years of teaching from the Scriptures, so they asked Jesus to leave. I know, you’ve heard stories just like this about a local church near you, right? Unfortunately, in this world we are led to believe that we must be the center of attraction, and that our acts of giving, teaching or preaching is enough to draw unbelievers to church. But notice in our story, the people were drawn to the works of the Creator – God. Perhaps for some, it was just their curiosity, but I believe that for others, it may have been because they had certain personal issues that they wished the Master would also remove from their lives. This reminds me so much about our churches and our groups of Believers today, for we seem to be very inward focused in our ministries and our witness to others. But friends, I believe that Jesus is saying to us, like He did to the healed man, don’t just hang around Me and the comfortable things of life, go to your family and friends and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Did you ever stop to think about how many lives could be touched by our ‘story of salvation’, compared to the endless sermons on various parts of the Bible? Sermons tend to show Believers the truth of God’s Word and help us know our Savior more intimately. Sharing our story with an unsaved friend helps them confirm that Jesus is real and that the same Jesus that touched our life and healed our illnesses and our sin, would definitely also listen to them. You see, we feel so comfortable around other believers because they are our brothers and sisters. But when an unbeliever tries to look at our group, can’t you see how they may feel inferior, imperfect or too impacted by sin for a Holy God to even consider touching their life? We can help them break down those walls by sharing our ‘story’ with them. For even though we may not have murdered anyone, or robbed a bank, yet we were steeped in sin when Jesus found us and saved us from all our iniquities. We were, just as they are now, and if Jesus saved us, we know that He could also save them. Who knows, your friends might be just as awestruck hearing how Jesus saved you, as the friends of the demoniac was when they heard his ‘story’!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for looking beyond our faults, our disobedience, our sin, our disrespect and our lack of love for our family and friends, and You acted on our cry for salvation. Only a God like You will go that far. But God, I pray that You will make such a change in our lives that unbelievers will stop and listen to our story of meeting, and being accepted by, the Creator of our universe. Thank You Lord for our pastors, church leaders and Sunday School teachers, but please touch the lives of every believer who reads this devotional today and impress upon each one the importance of them also sharing their personal story of faith in God, dependence on Him and His response to their prayers. May sharing this story bring positive reactions from unbelievers and cause them to look closer at the living Christ who can do ALL things. May Your kingdom come today as we be about Your work. 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!

Paul’s Story Vs Our Story

Monday, 2020-02-24

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step Up To The Plate and Tell Your Story!

Saul lived a very dramatic life. He was known for persecuting and killing Christians of his day. However, in our Scripture today we can see where God completely turned this man’s life around. In fact, there was such a change that it involved Saul’s name being changed to Paul in order to identify the drastic change in the man himself. This kind of change may cause some to stay out of the public’s eye, because it would be so challenging for anyone to believe their story. But this was not the case for Paul, for he was overjoyed and wanted the world to know his story!

Tuesday, 2019-05-27

Bible Reference: Acts 22:7-11
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: As I fell to the ground I heard a voice say, ‘Saul, Saul . . . why are you persecuting me?’ “I answered, ‘Who are you, my Lord?’ “He said to me, ‘I am Jesus, the Victorious. I am the one you are persecuting.’ “Those who were with me saw the brilliant light, but they didn’t hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. 10 “So I asked, ‘Lord, what am I to do?’ “And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about all that you are destined to do.’ 11 “Because of the dazzling glory of the light, I couldn’t see—I was left blind. So they had to lead me by the hand the rest of the way into Damascus.

OBSERVATION: Saul lived a very dramatic life. He was known for persecuting and killing Christians of his day. However, in our Scripture today we can see where God completely turned this man’s life around. In fact, there was such a change that it involved Saul’s name being changed to Paul in order to identify the drastic change in the man himself. This kind of change may cause some to stay out of the public’s eye, because it would be so challenging for anyone to believe their story. But this was not the case for Paul, for he was overjoyed and wanted the world to know his story!

APPLICATION: There are several miraculous things about this experience shared by Paul:

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

I believe that the whole purpose of Paul sharing his story was: that he not only wanted his captors’ eyes to be opened to the fact that he was a fellow Roman citizen, but also that they might hear, understand and come to know the God that touched, and ministered through, Paul. He was a true evangelist, both in the pulpit and out of it. Like Paul, we have a ‘story’ that we should share with folk. Often in conversations we step up to the plate and tell a story about an incident in our lives that we believe is far greater than anything said so far by anyone else. Imagine the quiet that would fill the room if, in the middle of discussions about sports, or hunting or family, we would jump in and share our story about our conversion? This is basically what happened here! Among all the confusion and excitement of calming the crowds and making an arrest, Paul asked for a moment to share his story. Wow! Friends, God can use us for His glory in any circumstance that He chooses, if we let Him. But it will only be impactful if we share our story for His ultimate glory and not ours. So why don’t we do that more often friend? We need to do this as often as we can, because we have no promise of a future moment with that individual or group that we are meeting with. Don’t be shy or afraid, God will never lead you into a situation that He will not help you through! Allow Him to do His great work through you! Be bold, yet humble in allowing all the praise to flow straight up to your Master and Lord.

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