Obedience Even Under Dire Circumstances

One will put up a great front when they know that backup is on the way, or in the next room! But this was not the case with Jesus when Judas betrayed Him and took the Pharisees to arrest Him for trial. As followers of Christ, are you prepared to follow His example in not calling on God to change the course of His will, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled? Peter thought that he could endure everything for Christ, but he failed. Ponder for a few minutes about what you might have done, given the circumstances that Peter found himself in.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-07-19
WRITTEN AT: Van Horn, TX

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 26:52-54
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 52 But Jesus told him, “Put your sword away. Anyone who lives by fighting will die by fighting. 53 Don’t you know that I could ask my Father, and right away he would send me more than twelve armies of angels? 54 But then, how could the words of the Scriptures come true, which say that this must happen?”

APPLICATION: I wonder… how obedient we might be when we know that the result of our actions, or beliefs, may cause us imprisonment, beatings or even death? One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, called ‘The Rock’ by Jesus, for his hard and fast stand on what he believed, yet he crumbled under pressure when identified in the kings’ court where Jesus was tried. No doubt Peter knew that he would have been killed or badly beaten if he went along with the identifiers, so instead he lied, and even disowned Jesus, in order to escape punishment for his association. How are you doing in your workplace with this, dear friend? Does your boss and coworkers know that you are a Christian? Or do you act differently at work than you do at church to avoid ridicule? What if your boss said that he would not tolerate Christians in his workplace, will you disassociate yourself with Jesus Christ in order to keep that job? Friends, notice that Jesus was emphatic about doing what God had already prophesied through the prophets. Can you imagine the confusion for saints who believed what the prophets foretold, yet to then hear Jesus pleading with the Father to undo what He had already prophesied? But our God is not a God of confusion. He also knew that this would be extremely tough for Jesus to endure, and any parent will immediately agree that it hurts us more than our children when we see them suffer. However friends, there are often times when we are faced with very big challenges, and like any normal human being, we gather all our friends around us to help us pray that God would find another way to handle our situation. As children of God, shouldn’t we be aiming to be just like Jesus? Should we not submit to God as Jesus did, and instead of calling down angels to defend us, heal us, or protect us, instead we simply say to God that we are prepared to accept whatever He would have for us? Your will be done oh God, on earth as it is in heaven. Just give me the strength to endure and the boldness to claim my God until my very last breath leaves my body. That’s a tall and very challenging order dear friends, but God’s will might be for us to enjoy blessing after blessing, while at times also facing challenges that may compare to that of Jesus. I don’t believe that obedience to God comes with multiple choices on what He is allowed to do in our lives. Just as we said in our marriage vows, we should also say to God – for better or for worse, in sickness or in health….. He has promised never to leave us alone my friend and that He would be with us until the very end. So why worry?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God has a purpose for each of us, so may we all say: ‘Not my will, but Thine be done, precious Lord’.

PRAYER: In the good times when all is going well, it is easy and very desirable for us to thank You Lord for Your goodness, mercy and love towards us. Today we are reminded that if we have given You full control of our lives, then we may often glory in the cross of Jesus Christ, while at other times we may bear that cross that suspended You at Calvary. Please give us endurance to be committed fully to You right to the very end – in the good times and in the very challenging times. Knowing that You are by our side and guiding our every step will be glory for us. May we never turn back or disown You for as long as You give us breath here on earth. 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!

Make Room For God

While I believe there was a lot of value in these verses for Israel and the people of Jerusalem and Judah, I believe that this passage of scripture was included in God’s Word to us for self-application also.

Monday, 2020-02-17

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 4:1-3
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text: The Lord said: Israel, if you really want to come back to me, get rid of those disgusting idols.     2 Make promises only in my name, and do what you promise! Then all nations will praise me, and I will bless them. 3 People of Jerusalem and Judah, don’t be so stubborn! Your hearts have become hard, like unplowed ground where thornbushes grow.

OBSERVATION: While I believe there was a lot of value in these verses for Israel and the people of Jerusalem and Judah, I believe that this passage of scripture was included in God’s Word to us for self-application also.

APPLICATION:  I believe that God spoke to me as I read this, and had me substitute ‘Israel’ with the family and friends that I am praying for. At times when I feel distant from God, I believe that this passage also applies to me. Friends, I want you to read this carefully to make sure that you too understand that when God seems far away from you, it may be time to examine your lives and see what idols (priorities; things) you may have allowed to step in the way of your open communication and dependence on God. The kinds of things that get in our way might be:
* Work – for we can become so absorbed in our job that we have no quality time to spend with God;
* Church – yes, even church. We can become a slave to the work of the church and exclude our study and worship time with the Lord, for whom we are presumably working;
* Family – even though this item is of super importance, if we’re not careful, Satan can use this as a tool to keep us away from God. Let’s learn to take our family to church, instead of feeling an obligation to spend quality time with them on our Sabbath. After all, we had other opportunities during the week to spend time with them, but with Satan’s help, we chose not to. Men/dads this is our responsibility as God’s leader in our homes;
* Activities – we all know that the beach is always better on our Sabbath day than any other day of the week, right? But does it fit with God’s command of what we should be doing on our Sabbath?!!;
* Sports – why would we consider giving our time to sports on our Sabbath day rather than assembling ourselves together to worship God and to encourage one another?;
* Weariness – the toils of the week have left us so worn out that giving one hour of our time to refuel spiritually, and to give God thanks for our jobs, and the good health to do our jobs, seems to be challenging for us – at least until we lose our job or some other crisis comes up;

Friends, I’m not judging, for that is God’s job. I merely listed a few things that may cause us to think about the possible idols that stand in our way of communion with God. May I encourage you to examine your own life and see if there is anything that distracts you in your walk with the Lord? Be honest with God as you consider this, for He knows your heart and your very circumstances, and He is willing to help you tear down those idols, so that you may be drawn closer to Him. Remember, sin must be removed from our heart, before our hearts will be opened for God’s mighty hand. The good news with this whole thing is that others will follow us, and God will bless us! Read verse 2 again! Imagine, your actions might actually revolutionize the world!!

PRAYER: Father, You know our hearts and You know our thoughts and our schemes. It is so unfortunate that in spite of Your goodness to us, we allow Satan to feed our thoughts, that often leads us to scheme and find reasons to not find time in the Word, in prayer and even church attendance. Please forgive us for our ingratitude and our unfaithfulness. You sacrificed Your very Son for our salvation, yet we find it challenging to make time to spend with You and/or Your people in corporate worship. Often this is just not a priority in our lives. Please forgive us oh Lord. Please touch the hearts of Your children who will read this devotional today, may they also be made aware of ‘idols’ that have become obstacles in their walk with You. Lord Jesus, we respect You and all that You stand for, however if we are to be true and honest representatives of Yours, we too must imitate you in every aspect of our lives. We can only do this with Your help, direction and wisdom oh Lord, and we humbly seek that today. For this is my humble and gracious plea before You oh God, in the name of Your 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 highly recommend to you 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!