Think About His Goodness

No doubt the Psalmist had many miraculous answers to personal prayer that he could have rejoiced in the Lord over, but he also looked beyond that and also recognized that this same God is also the God who created everything around him with such purpose, beauty, creativeness and power. So David sang out praises to the Almighty! We also serve this same mighty God who is awesome in every way, and He deserves our praise!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-05-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 104:7-12 (TLB)

SCRIPTURE TEXT: 7-8 You spoke, and at the sound of your shout the water collected into its vast ocean beds, and mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. And then you set a boundary for the seas so that they would never again cover the earth. 10 He placed springs in the valleys and streams that gush from the mountains. 11 They give water for all the animals to drink. There the wild donkeys quench their thirst, 12 and the birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees.

APPLICATION: I sometimes wonder if we truly ever slow down enough to reflect on the ways that God blesses us each and every day. For I believe that if we did, there would not be enough hours in the day for us to sing out praises and thanksgiving our Creator for all He does for us. You think about your typical day and I will share a few things that immediately comes to my mind about my typical day: 
-> I am able to rise from my warm bed each day – compared to some who sleep in the cold, on a piece of cardboard under a bridge, with or without a blanket;
-> I was blessed with air to breathe on my own;
-> I was blessed with strength and mobility to actually get out of bed;
-> I had an inside bathroom to use and didn’t have to go to an outhouse or a nearby tree!
-> I was able to put on a different set of clothes than I’ve been wearing all week, and they have been washed and prepared;
->I have a wonderful wife who prepares my meals. Yes, there was food to prepare;
-> I have been blessed with a great place to work and retire from, as opposed to those who wait on long lines at the unemployment agency;
-> I am blessed to have transportation, and not have to walk, wait for a bus service, or wait by the roadside for a ride with a friend;
-> I am thankful for the wisdom God gave to His children to make automobiles and other conveniences that we tend to take for granted;
Friends, don’t you see that we can go on and on praising teh Lord for His blessings on us? I could easily have gone on to speak about the wild life, animals and trees that I enjoy seeing every day, and the beautiful landscapes God designed and created for our benefit. Yep, He did all of this for us, plus a whole lot more, and I believe that we would have done this if we were the only ones that He wanted to bless! In our Scripture today, imagine God creating the beautiful oceans, then creating land in such a way that those waters would not rise up over it and destroy life! Only God can perform such wonders! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Our God is an awesome God! How Great Thou Art! How Great is our God! These are just a quick reminder of songs of praise we can offer up to God, and yes, He loves your singing voice just the way it is, for He never made any junk! Take time to look around and then look to God from a heart filled with thanksgiving and praise.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me! Lord, You are so good and so merciful to me, and I’m sure that as my readers meditate on this devotional today, they too will realize that even when things appear to be going sideways for them, yet they can still find so many ways that You are blessing them. Please help us to keep our minds so fixed on You and the many wonderful blessings that You bestow on us that the minor issues that we face each day would seem immaterial. Lord I know that You bless us, please help us to recognize those blessings more vividly each day, and pour out our thanksgiving to You. 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!

May We Realize To Whom Thanksgiving Is Due

Through many miracles, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, fed them and provided for them during their journey, and had a new country prepared for them to live – filled with milk and honey. One would imagine that everyday was a day of Thanksgiving for the Israelites, but the biblical account is quite different. In our Scripture today God lashed out at the lack of appreciation, and in the verses that follow this, God threatened all that He would withdraw from the Israelites. Meditating with me today may help us to better prepare for Thanksgiving Day this year, for I fear that we are very similar to our ancestors.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-11-25
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hosea 2:8
TRANSLATION: New English Translation (NET)

BIBLE TEXT: “Yet[y] until now[z] she has refused to acknowledge[aa] that I[ab] was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil; and that it was I who[ac] lavished on her the silver and gold — that they[ad] used in worshiping Baal![ae]

OBSERVATION: Through many miracles, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, fed them and provided for them during their journey, and had a new country prepared for them to live – filled with milk and honey. One would imagine that everyday was a day of Thanksgiving for the Israelites, but the biblical account is quite different. In our Scripture today God lashed out at the lack of appreciation, and in the verses that follow this, God threatened all that He would withdraw from the Israelites. Meditating with me today may help us to better prepare for Thanksgiving Day this year, for I fear that we are very similar to our ancestors.

APPLICATION: I believe parents will agree that in the very early stages of child rearing, we tend to teach the idea of our kids saying thank you to anyone who gives them something. We have very special days of the year set aside to celebrate gifts given to us: 1). Christmas – gifts under the tree, and Christians also choose to give specials thanks to God for sending His one and only Son, born in deepest humility; 2). Easter – a special opportunity to thank God for raising His Son from the dead so that we may always know that we serve a risen and Savior who is alive! 3). Thanksgiving – although set aside as a time to celebrate our founding fathers who stopped and gave thanks for the new world and for God who directed their path and kept them safe, yet this has become a natural time of thanksgiving by Christians who recognize that it is only because of Jesus that we could celebrate our freedom to worship, live in prosperity and peace here on earth, and worship without government interference each Sunday. Unfortunately this has also become known as ‘Turkey Day’ because of the number of turkeys eaten by families on this day, but I pray that we will never forget to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day! So might we be drifting into being anything like the Israelites? Might God feel in the slightest that we are ungrateful, or that we worship other gods before Him? I believe that these are questions that each reader should strive to answer personally on the days above. What do you do on those days? How often each day do you strive to lift up holy hands and thank God for all that He has done, and is doing in your life? In Hosea 2:9 and following, God said that He would withdraw the things that He gave; He would put an end to the vain celebrations and that He would bring His people to their knees. Might He also do the same to us? Could God already be talking to us? I would suggest that you ponder the following events and see if you think God might be talking to us already in very bold ways: The 9-11 bombing; COVID-19; The increase of earthquakes (some in very strange and unbelievable places); The increase in hurricanes this year, etc, etc. There was a dad who once told his disobedient son ‘I brought you into the world, and I could easily take you out’! I’ve always heard people kid around about that, but don’t you know that statement applies to the God of this universe better than any man? We see story after story in the Old Testament where thousands of inhabitants were taken out by God, for various sins committed. We must be reminded that this is the same God that we serve today, so there is no question about whether He could follow through with what He says He will do. Friends, look up, for your redemption draweth nigh. Give thanks with a grateful heart this Thanksgiving Day!

PRAYER: With a heart of thanksgiving I come to You Lord Jesus and acknowledge all that You have blessed me with. Lord You are good and Your mercies are from everlasting to everlasting. Please forgive my readers and I for our bad manners – our ungrateful and unappreciative hearts, for way too often we take for granted how good You have been, and are, to us. Lord, if we will ever influence our circle of friends and family for the kingdom, we must learn to be a people who recognize You, Your awesome gifts to us, and Your promise of life eternally in heaven with You and the Father. May we be found faithful dear Lord. 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!

Life Overflowing With Joy and Thanksgiving

Monday, 2016-09-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 2:6-7

Bible Text:   And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Paul was ministering to people very similar in nature to what we still see today – yes, even Christian people. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some folk look at Christians and become deeply concerned about the hope that supposedly lies within them, as they whine and complain as much as the rest of the world, and they are just as timid and concerned about the future as just about anyone else in the world. Friends, God has placed these verses strategically in place for us/Christians today, because He wants to remind us that when we live in vital union with Him, we can trust Him for every day’s problems. Now that little word ‘vital’ has a very BIG meaning for us, for it tells us that we should have the type relationship, or union, with Christ as if our lives depend on it. That’s why Paul goes on to say that yes, we must have accepted Jesus as our Savior, trust daily in Him and live in vital union with Him, but we must also seek daily to let our very beings become deeply rooted in Him. Let’s consider a plant as we think of this act of growth. If you purchase a beautiful plant from the nursery and plant it in mere sand, it will soon wither and die, because there is nothing nourishing or substantial for the roots to gain and support the plant. But if you take that same plant and place it in the same hole with a base of about 12-20 inches of enriched potting soil and some type of fertilizer, you will see a much better result with that plant. Similarly, when we plant our roots in the Lord Jesus Christ and depend on His strength, His wisdom and His guidance, our lives will flourish with His great love! This will further result in lives that overflow in joy and thanksgiving! Lives that look to the Creator of this world, and the Master of our lives for all things, so that we may live according to His awesome plan and for His ultimate glory. Living like this helps us to look on challenges with a new perspective – another opportunity to see God’s hand at work for His dear children, for we know who wins, so we prepare for the joy and thanksgiving that awaits us. Please remember dear friends, that these ‘opportunities’ by God are not directed by us, nor might they come with the same results that we request. Thank God for that, because we are limited in our foresight, but He knows all things, and that all things work together for good when we trust in His power and His answers!

Prayer

Dear God, please forgive us for always looking at our circumstances though the darkened eyes of failure and on life’s challenges through the sad and weak eyes of this world filled with impossibilities. Our hope is in You Lord, and should therefore be filled with the powerful and awesome expectations of a Savior who was victorious over death and the grave! Please continue to work on us Lord, for our doubt and fear comes from the evil one, in his effort to distract us and divide us in our relationship with You. In You, we have nothing to fear, but we need Your strength to keep us focused on our true source of hope – on You, in every turn of life. May we grow deep into all that You have to offer us as Lord, so that You may be evident to all those we come into contact with. May You be glorified though our actions and our character every day, 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!

Discouraged? Sad? Here’s Hope!

THE HOLY BIBLE New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Psalm 42:11 ~ Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!

THOUGHTS: One of the translations I compared as I read this verse, used the word ‘depressed’ in lieu of ‘discouraged’. Friends, I come from the background of a quiet and quaint little town, and while there were challenges with gossip, there was little to get stressed over. It seems like today, we have become such a ‘worldly’ people where we desire everything that our neighbor shows off, and we have become a people who refuses to say ‘no’, so we place way more stress on ourselves than we could possible handle calmly, that all we seem to hear about is friends who are discouraged, depressed, sad and even suicidal. It appears to me that David felt himself leaning towards a low in his life, and he shares with us how he felt his Physiologist advised him to handle this! When discouraged, seek God. Not to ask for a handout of encouragement or special blessings, but to praise God! When you are feeling sad, remember that it is not God who is making you sad, so praise Him for His daily goodness, and the people and things that He places in our lives to bring us joy! Friends, let’s learn to praise God in all of our circumstances. Let’s learn to encourage one another in love and good works, for this will not only lift them up, but it will lift our spirits and give us more reason to worship our God! Think of His rich blessings friend, and I believe you will quickly conclude that the reasons you might feel depressed, is really insignificant in comparison. God has provided the means to our happiness and encouragement, may we be careful to be a thankful people that will break out in constant praise and worship for His goodness! Friends, please know that I am not underrating depression, because I realize that there are some folk receiving serious help for this ugly decease. I am merely pointing you to God and to sing His praises in the midst of your storm, so that He would be glorified for the awesome work that He performs each and every day for His dear children. I am hopeful that when you follow David’s (the Psalmist) prescription, you will fix your eyes on Jesus instead of your circumstances.

PRAYER: Lord, you are so good to us, and yet we seem to overlook that, and instead groan in self-pity to a state of depression, and/or deep sadness. ‘Low’ times were evident even in the heart of David, yet he found peace and revival in lifting up Your most worthy and awesome name. My deepest prayer is that You might remind Your children how important it is to look into Your eyes and praise You, way more than to seek You with outstretched hands asking for more of Your kindness and mercy. Lord, may we learn to personally worship You more, and may we incorporate the help of our Christian Brothers and Sisters by joining them in corporate worship at every opportunity. I love You Lord, and I look forward to observing Your goodness and Your greatness, so that I might worship You with all my mind, spirit and soul. Please touch the hearts of my readers, so that their spirits might be uplifted because of times of praise and worship. You are worthy, oh Lord, and we are so needy! Bless Your holy name, 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 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!

In Awe of Our God

THE HOLY BIBLE – New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Psalm 336-9 The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.  He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.  Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him.  For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.

THOUGHTS: I believe that if the news channels announced that a certain man was coming to our town who could do miraculous things, we would probably all head out to the largest stadium in the area to see him, witness his miracles, and even take our sick and disabled to receive a touch from him, with hopes that they would be healed. In fact, we would probably even go as far as kneeling before him as we plead for his touch, and I know we would brag about him all over town as we see his works performed. I also believe we would pay good money to get into the stadium to see this man. But wait a minute, the last time I went to church I was told about a man who did the same thing as already described, and the audience (congregation) didn’t seem anywhere as excited as if they would have attended the stadium that I mentioned above. In fact, their lips seemed sealed when they left the sanctuary also. What’s with that? Friends, the Psalmist is reminding us again today that our God made everything that exists today, right down to the very air that we breathe, the sunshine that we enjoy and depend on for certain vitamins, the rain that blesses our crops, the cold that ripens our citrus, the family that we often hang around and the boss that created job opportunities for us. In fact, nothing would exist had it not been for God. But take note of this as you celebrate Christmas this year – our God is so awesome that He miraculously impregnated a virgin girl with a baby boy – His Son, we know as ‘Jesus’ – the One who ultimately gave His life so that lost sinners like you and I could have the means of getting into heaven to live eternally with He and the Father (God). The Psalmist suggests that as we recognize the awesome power, love and protection of our God, then perhaps we would stand in awe of Him, worship Him with thankful hearts, have a yearning to know more about His teachings, and praise Him for all that He provides for us every day. Collectively, these very actions constitute ‘church’ friend. It’s not a big secret place set aside for only a select group, for this God that I described, and that the Psalmist described, is supreme to all inhabitants of this earth. One God, for us all. So please be encouraged to visit a church this weekend as we stand in awe of our God and celebrate the many blessings that is ours, because of who He is and for all that He does for us!

PRAYER: Father God, so often we lose sight of the awesome God that You are, especially at those times when everything around us appears to be so huge and insurmountable. Yet, the Psalmist has reminded us that You created everything from nothing at all, just using the awesome power of the only true God of this universe. What a privilege it is to call You Father, for who are we that such an awesome God should consider sending His only Son as our redemption from sin? Obviously You loved us more that we can humanly imagine. Thank You Father! Thank You Lord Jesus! May we always be found in an attitude of worship, and may we always seek opportunities for corporate praise, worship and a message from Your Word. In humble thanksgiving and awe, I praise You Heavenly Father, and ask these requests today, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Bursting Into Songs of Thanksgiving!

THE HOLY BIBLE – The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. ~ Psalm 28:7 ~ New Living Translation (NLT)

THOUGHTS: David, the Psalmist, had such great results in his prayer life that he would often break into outbursts of praise, such as seen in this verse from Psalm 28. Was he always this pumped up about his prayer life? No, David was very much human, as we are, so he often became impatient, despondent and felt abandoned by God, especially when God’s timing and David’s immediacy was at odds. Friends, as we build solid relationships with God, perhaps we too may one day identify with the Psalmist in saying, Oh Lord…:

  • You are my strength – because so often I am overwhelmed by life and the circumstances that result from my being here. You help me to overcome and You give me strength to carry on;
  • You are my shield – for in every circumstance of life I am protected from the evil one, and you shield me from the wicked that would otherwise pull me down and destroy my witness;
  • I have learned to trust You – for you are my only constant in life. You are always there for me, and You love me enough to not answer all of my prayers in the manner in which I selfishly and ignorantly ask without any vision of tomorrow;
  • You help me – especially when I am weak, down and out. You have restored my faith in You and assured me of Your awesome power. You along are God!
  • I am so overwhelmed with Your goodness that – I can barely contain myself. My soul rejoices in the awesome God that I adore and serve, for You are God, and besides You, there is no other. I burst into thanksgiving right now as I reflect on Your goodness. Please help me to consistently thank and worship You, because even when I am weak, distraught and feel so far away from You, yet You are always there for me. Thank You Father! Thank You Lord Jesus for being my awesome and loving God!

Lord, may we daily burst into songs of thanksgiving as we recognize Your awesome power and love in our lives and through our walk with You. Lord, You are good and Your mercies endures forever!

PRAYER: Lord, may we daily burst into songs of thanksgiving as we recognize Your awesome power and love in our lives and through our walk with You. Lord, You are good, and Your mercies endures forever! You are so worthy of our praise, and we are so needy of our awesome, powerful, loving God. Thank You Lord Jesus! We are Your humble servants, so I ask these things in the name of our loving Savior and Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

All For The Glory of God!

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – Romans 11:33-36): 33 Yes, God’s riches are very great, and his wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain the things God decides or understand his ways. 34 As the Scripture says, “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been able to give him advice?” (Isaiah 40:13) 35 “No one has ever given God anything that he must pay back.” (Job 41:11) 36 Yes, God made all things, and everything continues through him and for him. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

THOUGHTS: When tempted to complain, think about who created the thing you are about to complain about. When tempted to question why certain things happen the way they do, think about who’s in control of that very thing. When uplifted to a point of praise and glory – perhaps a gorgeous sunrise, or a beautiful sunset, or a fish skipping across the water – yes, praise God for His handiwork, but remember what the above scripture says, these things of beauty were made by God, and for His glory also! So as you reflect on the beauty around you, stop and imagine for a moment that God is sitting beside you enjoying His handiwork also! Isn’t that awesome, friend? God made the beauty that we enjoy, for His glory first, but thought to also share it with us to enjoy! Wow! Revelation 4:11 is another verse that expresses how God made the beauty we enjoy, but primarily because He wanted it. I believe that for those of us who have made something with our own hands, and then sit back and admire the work with a sense of satisfaction, we would appreciate how God might feel about His creation! Be blessed today friend as you ponder in admiration of all that God has made for Himself, and be filled with thanksgiving and praise as He allows us to enjoy this beauty with Him every day. No matter your situation or struggle today, find something to first praise God for. He understands your hurt, but He really deserves our praise for all that He has done, and for all that He provides for us each day!

PRAYER: Dear Father in Heaven, I am once again reminded of how awesome my God is! For You made the magnificent sunrises that I enjoy, and also the sunsets that concludes my day! You not only enjoy these things, but there is a much greater purpose for this whole process – for plant life (our food source), and for our sanity and enjoyment to get outdoors and see the beauty around us! Thank You for providing everything so that we too might be blessed and enjoy such a wonderful life! You are truly awesome and deserving of all our praise at every opportunity. Please encourage those who are struggling today and therefore finding it difficult to look beyond those struggles at the beauty and life contained in everything You created. Please continue to bless us each day, is my humble plea before You Oh Lord, and I ask this in the 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Live In Constant Joy!

The Holy Bible  (The Message – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22): 16–18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 19–22 Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

Thoughts:  I know that the subject sounds inviting, but I want us to be reminded that ‘Joy’ results from a happy heart – a heart filled with love for the Lord and from a heart stayed on constant prayer before the Master of this universe. This scripture reminds us to thank God in ALL things, I believe that this will result in an everlasting ‘Joy’ to bless us every day. Friends, I want to encourage you to always find something to thank God for. You may have a broken arm, but praise to the Almighty, you have a healthy arm to enjoy and help you through your day! Just last night I heard a brother praise God for allowing him to serve in the military many years ago. In spite of many who may have been hurt through their service, he was able to find reasons to praise God for his time in the service. May I encourage you to find reasons to praise God every day? Please let there be a word of praise always present on your lips and in your heart, that you are ready to praise God for, and bless another person with! I found it interesting to also note Paul’s explanation that showing a heart of thanksgiving is actually a responsibility of the Christian, in other words, it pleases God! Paul went on to remind us that we are not to quench, or suppress the Holy Spirit. Friends let’s think of the Holy Spirit as being a fire that burns. Paul is telling us to be careful not to throw cold water on that fire. The work of God, and His Holy Spirit is of utmost importance in the life of a Christian. When we feel Him tugging at us to do a certain work, or teach a certain class, or give witness to a certain work that the Spirit has performed in our lives, we wind up quenching the Spirit if we don’t follow through with what we felt He was leading us to do. Now for those of us who are very gullible, Paul teaches that we test and examine what we believe that the Spirit is instructing us to do. My advice is to: 1). Test it against the Word of God. For if it is Biblical, then you can be assured that it is God’s will; 2). If another believer (proven to be genuine over time) shares with you something similar to what you felt God leading you to do, then I believe that God is reaffirming His word to you; and 3). If confirmation comes through a sermon, or a Bible reading, then I believe that this is another indicator from God to reaffirm His word to you. Paul teaches that we are to act on the proven, and throw out the rest. Friends, as we witness God at work in our lives, we can be filled with the joy of the Lord to a degree that others will also be blessed by our words and by our actions, all for the glory of the only Master – Jesus our Lord!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, our eternal Joy and Peace, my heart is filled to overflowing, knowing that in spite of my inadequacies and failures, yet the King of all kings loves me enough to bless me with pure, unadulterated love and joy! I am eternally thankful for this! I pray that as You bless me with these qualities, that I will be a conduit for others to receive that same joy, and that they will search for a closer walk with You. For my family and friends that do not know You, I pray that this everlasting joy in me will be so evident to them that they will have a deep desire to know my Savior. Please use this devotional to bless the hearts of those who struggle to find joy every day, for I believe that it becomes extremely challenging for a non-believer to see Jesus in the life of one who claims Him, but displays no evidence of the joy that relationship brings. Bless us today in ways that will force us to rejoice in You, and express that joy to others who need it! I ask all this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Lord, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE:  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

A Call To Prayer and Witness

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 4:2-6): 2 Never give up praying. And when you pray, keep alert and be thankful. 3 Be sure to pray that God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery about Christ, even though I am in jail for doing this. 4 Please pray that I will make the message as clear as possible. 5 When you are with unbelievers, always make good use of the time. 6 Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions.

Thoughts: In Paul’s departing remarks to the church at Colossae, he shared a few things that God laid on his heart that would help the people grow in Christ and improve the effectiveness of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that these points are very important to us today as we continue the ministry in this evil world in which we live. Here are some points that really got my attention in the highlighted verses:

  • Prayer – Paul even had some sub points to this particular need:
    • Never give up – just because we may have prayed for something last week doesn’t mean that we don’t pray for that need again this week. Be consistent, and persistent, in prayer;
    • Stay alert – when we hear of a Brother hurting or in need, pray. He may not have asked for prayer, but we can discern that he needs our prayers. We may hear of disasters, such as currently happening in churches in Africa at this time. It’s a news item, but we know that these are our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, so let us lift them up to the Father in prayer. Let’s be alert to the needs of one another;
    • Be thankful – Let’s learn to always thank God for His provisions, or perhaps His healing, or His guiding and protecting hand upon us, before we ever start our ‘grocery’ list of needs. Let’s be a thankful and appreciative people before God;
    • The ministry – whether it’s our own teaching or preaching, or that of our church leaders, let us pray that the words of God spoken through mere man will impact the lives of listeners. Let’s pray that people will not be distracted by the weaknesses of man, but instead by the power of the Holy Spirit, working through God’s messengers.
  • Witness – This one really stung, because way too often we will sit with an unbeliever and talk about everything under the sun, without ever rejoicing over the Son that lives within us and has played such a key role in us. In our midweek teaching at church last night we were reminded of the words of a great preacher who said, “In a day when everyone is ‘coming out of the closet’ what is stopping Christians from doing the same”! Of course, this is referring to the ‘closet’ of witnessing, for Christians are so afraid of saying anything that might ‘hurt the feelings’ of an unbeliever. However, should we not instead be enthused to share a life-changing, rescue-from-Hell, tip with someone we care enough about to sit and chat for a period of time? If they were about to walk across a very dangerous intersection, we would loudly shout out any life-saving tips to them. Why then do we hesitate to shout, or gently give them life saving tips that affects their eternal destiny? The tip from Paul in vs 5 is that we always make use of the time we have with our non-Christian friends, for they too need the Savior that we love and adore. They too deserve eternity in Heaven with the creator of this universe. What then are we waiting for?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as You are well aware, the needs are great here on earth, especially the need for Your Son, and the need to surrender our pride to Him. We badly need Your power, Your boldness and Your direction to show enough love for our fellow man by sharing Your message of salvation with them. There are folk that we know, love and care about, that are dying and going to Hell because we have been afraid to put self aside, and share the Love of Jesus Christ with them. I sincerely apologize for my shortcoming in this area Lord. Please forgive me. You died to save ALL who believe on You, please help me to not withhold sharing this good news with everyone that I know and associate with. Please don’t let me stand in the way of extending this privilege to family and friends of mine. Please impact my readers and I with Your Word in such a way today Lord, that we may be more constant in prayer and a bold witness of You to all that we come into contact with. May it be our mission to spread the joy of our salvation with all whom we come into contact with. We need You Lord, and we want You to be a part of our everyday life. I humble place these requests at Your feet with expectations of You working Your perfect will in and through us. For I ask this in the wonderful name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Contented

The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Philippians 4:11-13): 11 I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. 13 Christ gives me the strength to face anything.

Thoughts: I would imagine that if someone asked us today what they might give us to enhance our happiness and contentment, we would have a long laundry list, right? Now for a moment, take time to consider what Paul said in verse ‘4’ of this chapter and what he followed up on in the verses referenced above and decide, then let us conclude which of the times in Paul’s life was he happiest. Doesn’t it seem like Paul was indicating that he could care less about the material things of this earth but that it was the deep spiritual contentment of God that truly made all the difference for him? It would appear that he gained his independence from his dependence on God! You might recall that even under the circumstances of imprisonment Paul was still content/happy. In fact, the very guards who had responsibility for his imprisonment were converted as a result of Paul’s preaching and his witness to them. Friends, I believe that we must come to a maturity level in our relationship with God that we can honestly say as Paul did in the very last verse above, it is Christ who gives me strength each day. It is He who saved me and He who protects, guards, loves and directs me daily, enabling me to face anything that comes my way. Enough of the pity party that many of us resort to. It is Christ who gives us strength and a deep happiness in knowing that He will be with us until the end – through the good and bad of this life. We are children of the King! What more can we ask for? Let’s learn to place our total faith and total trust in our Savior, the One who died on Calvary’s cross especially for our eternal happiness! If you are not experiencing this outstanding happiness today, please allow me to refer you to the ‘Footnote’ below for directions on obtaining this assurance.

Prayer: With the assurance given to us in Your Word, oh Lord, we should have no reason to be discontent. Most of us cannot identify with the serious ups and downs that Paul experienced, because You have been so merciful to us. Please forgive us for whining anyway. May we truly dig into Your Word, may we truly let Your Word minister to us, so that we may catch a glimpse, or be reminded of the many ways that You have expressed Your love for us, and how You continue to look out for us each and every day. May we learn to be content in all things, because of our relationship with You, as You are of greater importance than the sum total of everything else that we might consider as aids for our happiness. Thank You Lord for all You have done and provided for me. May I be faithful in my love and servitude, giving You praise and thanksgiving always. Please speak to all reading this devotional today. May they be drawn to You, or into a closer walk with You. For I ask all this in faith, and in the name of Jesus Christ, my king, my Lord and my 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!