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!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Power of A Personal Experience

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

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

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

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

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016

Our Testimony

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

Today’s Bible Reference: Titus 3:3-7
Today’s Bible Text: 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, and wrong. We were slaves to passions and pleasures of all kinds. We spent our lives in malice and envy; others hated us and we hated them. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was revealed, 5 he saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us. 6 God poured out the Holy Spirit abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that by his grace we might be put right with God and come into possession of the eternal life we hope for.
The Bible Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

My Take Away: In giving guidance to Titus about what to expect in ministry, Paul shared with him that he should be patient with the people, because he will find that they are no different to what they each experienced in their lives. In other words, Titus would find them in a foolish, sinful state. He would find them living hateful lives filled with malice and envy.  But they (Paul and Titus) were each the same, at one point in their lives. However, just like Paul wanted Titus to also remember how awesome God’s precious love was towards them, I believe God is reminding us, that when we approach folk who are steeped in sin, let’s never forget that we too were once in that very same condition. In fact the Bible tells us that even while we were still sinners, Jesus humbled Himself and sacrificed His life at Calvary so that we would not have to face eternal damnation for our sin, if we didn’t want to. He knew we were helpless and need all the help we could get. So He provided a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin – if we desire to seek His forgiveness and His hand of mercy and grace. Friends, we must be careful to never look down on people because of their sin. Yes, we want to see them change, but remember that’s a God thing, for only He can change a heart. Someone prayed for us, and one day we saw the awful stain and effects of sin in our lives, so we surrendered ourselves to the love and protection of our Master – Jesus Christ. We therefore have a responsibility to pray for our friends who, though they may seem hopeless to us, yet God has not given up on them, anymore than He loved us and never gave up on us. Let’s try to share our testimony with as many people as possible so that they can appreciate the love of God in saving us, knowing that He can also rescue them and turn their lives around.

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for loving me enough to save me from a life of sin (unforgiveness, hatefulness, malice and envy). Even when I was deep in sin, You were on the cross praying that I would see hope in salvation from my sin. Father, I become frustrated when I see family and friends in that same dilemma, because I know that there is hope, and a Savior who made a way for their salvation. Please help me to do my part in praying for them, as You alone have the power to actually change their hearts and their desires. Please prompt your children with a desire to see their loved ones saved, and then to pray earnestly for them to recognize the Savior of this world. We need You desperately dear Lord. Please have Your will and way in our lives and the lives of those we love and hold dear to our heart. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, my wonderful Lord and Savior, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016