Dedicate It Back To God

Ever stopped to ponder how you felt, or would feel, at the time of recognizing God’s answer to your diligent prayers? Ever thought you could hand deliver your 2-year old son to a temple or to a minister of the gospel so he could be trained in the ministry from a very young age? Meditate with me as we look at the difference between our usual selfish decisions and that of Hannah in our Bible story.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-10-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 1:25-28
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 After the sacrifice they took the child to Eli.
26 “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked him. “I am the woman who stood here that time praying to the Lord! 27 I asked him to give me this child, and he has given me my request; 28 and now I am giving him to the Lord for as long as he lives.” So she left him there at the Tabernacle for the Lord to use.

APPLICATION: How many times has Satan caused you to look at your tithe check and question yourself about all that you could use that extra money on? Don’t be pious, for I know it happens. It’s the same way with non-tithers who Satan convinces that they own it all and there is no reason for them to give it up for those at the church to use and/or abuse. However, this application today really impacted me deeply. We tend to pray and pray about something that we want, or think that we must have. Often God will bless us with our request, but then life just goes on – as normal – without us returning to the altar in thanksgiving to God, much less returning the gift/blessing, or a portion thereof to God. Hannah was mocked and poked fun at for being childless for so many years. But when visiting the temple, she became so engrossed in intense prayer about the matter, that the temple priest, Eli, thought she must have been drunk to just kneel at the altar with her lips moving. Hannah cleared up the matter with Eli, and respectfully thanked him for his concern. Hannah made a promise to God that she would dedicate her son to the work of the Lord, if she could be blessed to give birth to one. Within two years Hannah had given birth to a son and felt like Samuel was ready to be left with Eli. She and her husband dedicated their only child to the Lord, and left him at the temple, as promised. It’s at this point that we should stop and ponder how we would have felt parting from our only child at such a tender age. But friends, we must also consider what could possibly have given cause for us to reconsider what we promised to the Lord. Any other reason, would have given cause for us to tell God that we were only kidding and didn’t really mean what we promised, or stand boldly before God and say ‘no matter what I promised back when I was desperate, I cannot proceed with my promise.’ I believe this Scripture should inspire us to give unto God all that we ever promised, and all that the Bible teaches we should give to Him. There is nothing too good for God, and we serve such an awesome God that He is constantly looking for ways to bless us tenfold for our commitment to give to Him sacrificially, gladly and with a humble heart. Please remember that God gives us everything we have, so giving back to Him is just offering some of His own gifts right back to Him. Samuel grew into a very powerful and good judge, and Hannah was blessed with more kids to take the place of the one she gave back to God. Don’t you know that God will also bless you immensely in return for your giving to Him?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: A promise was made, and a promise was kept, even though it resulted in a couple surrendering their only child up to the Lord at under 2 years of age. The child, Samson, and his parents, Hannah and Elkanah were each blessed for their sacrifice. You can’t out-give God!

PRAYER: Lord, may my readers and I be blessed with giving hearts like Hannah and Elkanah. We are quick to ask you for every little thing, but I pray that we will never forget to follow through on our promises, and that we will always give generously to You in return for all that we are blessed to receive. Thank You for giving, up to and including, Your very own Son to save us from our sin. May we always be an appreciative people who gives back to You out of our sincere love. 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!

Our God Will …

If we are not careful, our world can bombard us with so much stress, that we might wonder at times if it is really worth it all. But then we are reminded in Scriptures like this one today, that life seems impossible – if we try to do it alone. We serve an awesome, all powerful God who is ready and willing to answer our cry for oneness with Him. I am convinced that He longs to receive us, love on us and take good care of us until the day He calls us to live eternally with He and the Father. Why not meditate with me today as we analyze and satisfy ourselves as to the power of our God!

Saturday, 2021-08-28

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Scripture

Bible Text:  Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.
9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

APPLICATION:  Like me, I would imagine that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what might be happening in the coming days, weeks and years, so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips – in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses of our Scripture today, let me remind you of Moses, God’s messenger and leader who had millions of people following him. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 
* Trust and reverence God;
* Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
* Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;
Just remember that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate in the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

PRAYER: Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving name of Jesus, 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!

Guidance on Giving

I believe that most Christians give to the church according to their understanding of God’s commands. Others may give depending on how they like the pastor, or if they have no gripes about the elders or deacons or the church budget at the time. Others may refuse to give to the church because they don’t recognize the Giver of all good gifts. Perhaps our study today will help each of us to look deep inside of our own hearts and determine if we are giving to the work of the Lord as commanded by our God.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-08-08
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 26:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 And now I’ve brought the very first produce from the ground that You, the Eternal, have given to me.” Then present the basket to the Eternal your God, and bow down before Him, 11 and celebrate all the good things He has given to you and your household. Be sure to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town to the feast.
12 When you’ve gathered a tenth of your produce at the end of the third year, the year for local tithing, give it to the Levites, the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who live in your town. Let them come and take as much as they want to eat for as long as these supplies last

APPLICATION: I have read many Scriptures in my day, but this particular chapter had a deep impression on my mind. Moses shared God’s commands with the Israelites as they were about to set out on living in freedom. In the first part of the chapter, the farmers are told to give their first fruits to God. They are to gather them in a basket then take them to the temple. Moses gave them guidance on a prayer they are to say before God; followed by a meal with their family and temple leaders while at the temple; culminating with a time of praise and thanksgiving before the Master. Perhaps farmers do this today and I am just unaware of their private actions, but I believe this would be a far reaching testimony to the church leadership, to farm laborers, and to the family members who join in. In fact, I believe that when God sees that He comes before the bank loan, before the utility companies and before equipment leasing companies, then He will know without a doubt where our heart is. I believe that each of us are well aware of the increasing number of widows, orphans, and church workers who receive little or no income who live in our communities, and we wish we could help them all. But notice in verse 12 that every 3rd year, the first fruits are to be made available to these individuals. Today churches are hesitant to help those in need because they have been ‘burned’ so often through abuse, but wouldn’t it be awesome if others were doing their part, like our local farmers? Now imagine for a moment how a widow would be blessed to hear about a farmer who has fruit that he’s giving away. They arrive at his place of business and just stammer in awe as they try to determine why he is GIVING freely to them. Imagine how they will tell the world how awesome that man of God is! Imagine how his business will flourish because of his obedience to God! Friends, I believe that Satan places so many excuses in our minds that we tend to assume we know better than to follow God at His word. Notice that there were no conditions for the farmer to use in who benefits on that third year, other than their class. We tend to place conditions on who we will tithe to, when our income has reach a level to which we could start tithing, when we will stop tithing, etc, etc. Friends, if not for the grace of God, would we even have an income? Since He blessed us first, shouldn’t we go on blessing Him? God said that we are to give of our first fruits, may I suggest that in obedience to God, that we give freely from our income before doing anything with the remaining 90%. Remember, you can’t out-give God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Give, and it shall be given to you!

PRAYER: Lord, I’m sure the excuses that we give, must make You sick. To hear a child say ‘Not my hard-earned money’, must really confirm that your blessings have been unappreciated and received vainly. Lord, please remind us each day how You’ve blessed us so that that our hearts may always be filled with praise to our Maker. It’s You oh Lord who have blessed, and who has given everything for our benefit. May we give freely as You have given to us, and may our hearts be filled with praise continually. May our giving be so representative of You that others will see the heart of God as we give, and may they be drawn 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!

Stop Giving

Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-04-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 36:5-7
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: … “The people are bringing more than enough for doing this work that God has commanded us to do!”
6-7 So Moses sent out orders through the camp: “Men! Women! No more offerings for the building of the Sanctuary!”
The people were ordered to stop bringing offerings! There was plenty of material for all the work to be done. Enough and more than enough.

OBSERVATION: Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

APPLICATION: Most growing churches looking to build a new sanctuary to meet their current, and projected future needs, will try to build a much larger building than they currently worship in. With today’s cost of living, and current building material costs, conservative estimates are in the millions of dollars to construct a nice church building with all the comfort and amenities congregations have come to demand. It’s just a fact of life in the 21st century! Many churches struggle to meet normal budget needs, so how should they possibly consider finding funds for a mega building? But let us consider what might be the difference between the Israelites Moses dealt with in his building plan, verses today’s church? The Israelites came from a life of slavery in Egypt, and followed a man led by God – Moses, towards an unknown land simply known as The Promised Land (a land promised by God). They were witness to miracle after miracle as God forced the Egyptian king to let the Israelites (slaves) go. Additionally, the Israelites saw additional miracles as God protected them, fed them, and lovingly cared for them during their journey through the Wilderness. God gave them everything they needed, so wouldn’t you assume that they too would give sacrificially now that they are given the opportunity of giving everything needed for the house of God? After all, He provided for their every need when they had no other choice, so wouldn’t He also now provide for their needs as they give sacrificially to His house of praise and worship? But friends, how is this different to what we face today? Can’t you see that the doubts that arise in our minds about committing to give for the work of God, and the excuses that we quickly come up with about giving even more than our tithe for a building fund, are simply Satan’s way of helping us change our priority in giving? After all, don’t we depend on God every day for our jobs, our health, our protection and our peace of mind about finding food for our families? So with that in mind, if we ask God to direct us in our giving towards the growth of His work in our community through our church, don’t you think that He will continue to be God and lead us through each day with all the provisions we need – even after committing to give more to His work? As a child, I remember working extra small jobs and helping my parents in filling our missionary offering box, for their annual Missionary fundraising. I could only imagine that the Israelites may have found innovative ways of raising extra money, such as growing one extra head of cattle, so the funds could go towards the construction of the sanctuary. Surely God could open our eyes to ways that we could also give more for His work/ministry that will ultimately help to reach more lost people in our communities. If we all do our part, perhaps our pastor might be able to do as Moses did, and let the congregants know that ‘we have enough, no need to continue giving the extra funds’! But friends, please continue giving until you receive that word from your church!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for giving so much to us! You have blessed us with life itself; with jobs; with food enough, even in excess; with good health; money enough to help others in need; and above all, You have offered us salvation – at the expense of Your One and only Son, Jesus. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me. Please help my readers and I to be mindful of all that You bless us with each day, especially when we try to evaluate what we might give to bless others. Help us to remember the church growth You have blessed us with when we see the need for a larger sanctuary, so that we might also give sacrificially, just as You did for us. Be magnified oh God because of our willingness to give, sacrificially if necessary, for Your ongoing work. May our giving be from a thankful heart filled with love for our Master! 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!

Impacts of Giving/Not Giving

It is popular to remind Christians about the blessings that will flow from their giving, but seldom do we hear about the affects of not giving in return for the countless blessings that God bestows on us. However, God had such a conversation through His servant Haggai for his people at Jerusalem, and it was pointed enough to impact me, so I hope that it may also hit close to home for my readers.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-12-22
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Haggai 1:4-7
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: Do you think the time is right for you to live in secure and lavishly covered homes when My house still lies in a heap of rubble? Think very carefully about your choices. You have planted a large crop, but your harvest is small. You have food to eat, but it is never enough to satisfy. You have something to drink, but you are never filled. You have clothes to wear, but they are not enough to keep you warm. You earn a salary, but the money runs out quickly, as if there are holes in your pocket. Think very carefully about your choices. 

OBSERVATION: It is popular to remind Christians about the blessings that will flow from their giving, but seldom do we hear about the affects of not giving in return for the countless blessings that God bestows on us. However, God had such a conversation through His servant Haggai for his people at Jerusalem, and it was pointed enough to impact me, so I hope that it may also hit close to home for my readers.

APPLICATION: This is a challenging subject to write on, because it hits very close to home long before I could share my thoughts with you and allow it to impact you. You see, I was brought up taking a quarter to place in the offering plate at church. After a few years, I remember that amount increasing to a dollar bill, but never any greater. I won’t dare question whether my parents had more to give us and chose to give less, because their finances were never discussed with the kids. However, by the time I started attending high school, I went to a church that taught tithing a minimum of 10% of my income! After I started working, I remember writing that first tithe check and comparing it to the one dollar bill that I gave prior to that. Wow, what a discussion Satan had with me on that subject! Later in my life, I remember sitting in revival services and being asked to take my wallet out and hold it. The speaker then reminded us that God gave us everything contained in that wallet, so why would we hold back His future blessings by being stingy with the amount we give. I remember looking at my budget, which was already strained, and questioning God as to how would I possibly make this work if I gave 10% of my gross salary. God convinced me that He would bless me as I chose to give freely and happily to Him and His work. I remember times where Satan really used very tight budgeting constraints to try and have me change my tithing, but as soon as I drew closer to God, He convinced me that He was more than able. I apologize for the long personal experiences, but when I read this passage today, I believe that God drew those memories to mind, and I hope they may help you in your spiritual and financial journey. In the Scripture today God acted upon a people that had their priorities wrong. They had money for everything else, except their giving for the ongoing work of the Kingdom. Friends, I can tell you from a church perspective how challenging it becomes for a church to accomplish all they feel God placing before them to do, when the income is just not there. And this sounds much like the situation God recognized with the Israelites and their priority for maintaining His church. I am also aware that many families are struggling, and it sounds an awful lot like what the Israelites faced in the examples given by God in verse 6 of our Scripture. Unfortunately, I could also tell you of many who take care of their personal pleasures first and then, possibly give to God a small portion of what’s left over. Please Brothers and Sisters, know that our Scripture today is showing us that God’s work suffers when: we withhold giving of tithes from our income; when we do not acknowledge that it’s God that we are holding out on when we choose not to give biblically; when we look for excuses why we can’t give a percentage of our income – no matter what that income might be. Friends, I pray that God will forgive me if I walked over the line in judging, but I sincerely pray that He will touch the hearts of His children today and help them see how their mediocracy in giving, results in mediocracy in His blessings. May He never have to discipline us like detailed in verse 6 above, in order to get our attention on giving of the income that He blessed us with. I believe that the God who loves us unconditionally, desires to bless His children beyond anything we could understand or imagine. May we be careful not to place any stumbling blocks that would cause Him to withhold His wondrous blessings.

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to me, and I’m sure You are especially good to many who claim You as Lord and Master. Thank You for getting our attention about the impact of not giving, and reminding us of the blessings You bestow every day on us so that we might give. Lord I pray that You will get the attention of all who might read this devotional. I pray that You will get the attention of those who have chosen not to give generously and willingly to Your work. Please show them Your mighty works and remind them of Your love for them. May each one search deeply inside and put away the excuses they have developed, if they are not giving in line with Your wishes. Praise God we can’t out-give You, for Your awesome love is shown in so many ways. Thank You Heavenly Father for loving and blessing in so many wonderful and surprising ways. Please teach us to love You enough in return that we will give without hesitation to Your work. 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!

Giving In Response to God’s Instructions

Perhaps one of the most controversial matters in a church is discussions around the subject of giving. Whether it’s how much we should give, or the ways that the church leadership spends the money, or how much the pastor is paid. But unless we miss the whole point of whether Christians should give, or the point of how much we should freely give, let us seek guidance from the Word of God. Our Scripture today is a good example of an individual not giving in a way pleasing to God. Perhaps this is something that God had planned to deal with you on today, so ask Him to help you place self aside while you meditate on His Word for a few minutes.

Friday, 2019-12-27

Bible Reference: Acts 5:3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: God revealed their secret to Peter,[b] so he said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your heart and make you think you could lie to the Holy Spirit? You only pretended to give it all, yet you hid back part of the proceeds from the sale of your property to keep for yourselves.

OBSERVATION: Perhaps one of the most controversial matters in a church is discussions around the subject of giving. Whether it’s how much we should give, or the ways that the church leadership spends the money, or how much the pastor is paid. But unless we miss the whole point of whether Christians should give, or the point of how much we should freely give, let us seek guidance from the Word of God. Our Scripture today is a good example of an individual not giving in a way pleasing to God. Perhaps this is something that God had planned to deal with you on today, so ask Him to help you place self aside while you meditate on His Word for a few minutes.

APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting how……When we pray in times of trouble we seem convinced that God hears our cry, that He knows all about our troubles, and that He will take care of us and see us through our difficulty? Praise God He is such an awesome God, and He Cares for us in that way. But isn’t it strange how we pick and choose what we will share with our loving God? When it comes to tithing, I am convinced that our churches will never have another budget shortage, if God’s children would be diligent in their tithing/giving, as instructed in God’s Word. So what do you suppose might be the problem, child of God? Are we really putting the Lord’s Spirit to the test like Ananias and Sapphira did? Are we trying to pull one off on God, like we try to do with our government when we file our taxes or pay our import duties? Please allow me to simply clarify what I feel like God instructs us in His Word about giving, from the earnings that He has blessed us to receive. A guide is given to us of at least 10% of the first fruits of our income. In other words, 10% of our gross income, or before anything else is taken out. The discussion around this will often arise from individuals who feel like taxes should come out before calculating the tithe, or their house mortgage or other bills should come out first. But then God could also come back to us and show where He gave to us right from the very best that He had – His one and only Son. Friends, please allow me to assure you, that we could never out-give God, also, that God will care for His kids who makes every effort to be obedient to His commands and His calling. We may give and not have a clue where the money will come from to meet all the bills that are due, but when we are obedient to God, He will provide a way even when there appears to be no way. God will never ask us to give, then turn His back on us when it comes to meeting the remaining needs that we have. Ananias and Sapphira got into trouble when they thought that they were hiding something from God, and that their lie would never be detected. Of course God knew what was happening and He shared that with His servant (Peter). Are you also testing God, by keeping your income a secret? Remember, God knows all things. There is no hiding from Him. Also remember that you will never be disappointed with the blessings from God when you’re honest before Him and obedient to His commands. When He owns all of you, He will never fail you. Testing Him, is allowing Satan to interfere and have a ‘piece of the pie’. God never blesses you halfheartedly, He blesses you abundantly more that you can ever imagine! That’s our loving God my friend!

PRAYER: Thank You loving Lord for giving Your ultimate sacrifice just for me – Your precious Son, Jesus. Thank you for giving guidance to us on what we should give in return to You. Please help Your children to stay true to You, regardless of what our worldly eyes might see as impossibilities in our limited view as mere humans. Lord, we honestly want to please You in every way possible, but the temptations of this world are so great that we need Your help to keep our eyes fixed on You, and our hearts determined to honor and love You in every way possible. Oh that our hearts may be moved in such a way, that our wallets will be opened to giving as You direct us to. Thank You Lord for first giving to us. As we give back to You, may we never regret giving towards Your will and Your work here on earth, that results in kingdom benefits for You. AMEN!

We Have Enough!

In your minds, I would like for you to imagine that you are looking at your neighbor in church when the pastor announces that he wants the congregation to STOP GIVING, because the building fund is fully funded and there is no need for additional funds! Can you imagine the shock? Yet in our time together today we will see where Moses did exactly that – he told the people that there was no need of additional gifts, for there was enough given already! Let’s dig in to learn more about this strange idea!!

Tuesday, 2019-10-22

Bible Reference: Exodus 36:4-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

OBSERVATION: In your minds, I would like for you to imagine that you are looking at your neighbor in church when the pastor announces that he wants the congregation to STOP GIVING, because the building fund is fully funded and there is no need for additional funds! Can you imagine the shock? Yet in our time together today we will see where Moses did exactly that – he told the people that there was no need of additional gifts, for there was enough given already! Let’s dig in to learn more about this strange idea!!

APPLICATION:  I wonder why things may have changed? Whether we talk to an individual or a well established church, there always seems to be a cry for help in their financial needs. First of all in our Scripture today, it is clear that not all of the people freely gave to the cause. In 2:21 we are told that those whose hearts were stirred by the message from God through Moses, responded to the plea for help in providing material for the building project. This sounds pretty much like our churches today, don’t you think? As a result of surveys, we are told that less than 20% of the people do more than 80% of the giving! So why have the others ignored the plea? Friends, I believe that the Word of God is clear on this. Just as the Word tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, then God would save our nation, I believe that many of us need to humble ourselves to recognize that we have nothing personally to brag about. It is because of God’s grace that we have the health to work, the job to go to, and the income to survive. If we truly acknowledge that fact, why would we withhold giving to God in proportion to what He has blessed us with? The Word gives us guidance – at least 10%. Because there are other biblical references to ‘first fruits’, I believe that the guidance actually refers to 10% of your gross income. Now because our relationship is one built around love, I don’t believe that we would dare use this as a legalistic demand. People ‘in love’ will generally give freely, and way more than might be expected of them. In a love relationship, there is no such thing as excuses why we can’t give 110% of ourselves to our mate. Should there be an excuse, or a reason, when it comes to giving to our Lord and His earthly work? Don’t you know that if each person in our congregations gave like this, that our pastors would frequently be faced with an overflow of income, where pastors and church leaders could decide to expand the ministry after meeting all the needs that they are aware of? We are told that more than 70% of our county have no church affiliation, or relationship with Jesus Christ, so is there a need to to expand our ministries? God may hold us accountable for not giving as we should to reach the lost. Furthermore, I believe that the stress level on our pastors will be drastically reduced, when they don’t have to worry about funding the projects that God has shown them might be necessary to grow the ministry. When we receive our paycheck, there is no negotiating on amounts taken out for government taxes, why should there be constant decision making on how much to give towards God’s work? Determine in your own heart how much you will give and stick to the plan Brother and Sister. We are promised that we will receive more than we could ever imagine or expect. Furthermore, we will receive in proportion to what we have given. May I encourage you to always expect more from God, knowing that you have given in abundance towards His work? Furthermore, rejoice, knowing your loving and all powerful God will abundantly bless you and meet your needs!

PRAYER: Father, it is exciting to see how You work. We give to bless others, yet You wind up also blessing us in return! There just isn’t a way that we can out-give You! Thank You for being so generous, loving and kind to us! I would say that we are so undeserving, but then I am reminded that even while we were undeserving, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice for us, so that we might have a chance at eternal life in heaven with You. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus, Son of God! Lord may we learn to give in similar fashion – regardless of whether we feel the receiver or the project is worthy of our love, may we react in obedience to Your will for us. Please bless us as we give, so that our own needs may be met each and every day. May souls be touched for You because of our obedience in giving. I ask these things humbly, although undeserving, but in the powerful name of our all-giving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Trust God and He Will …

Tuesday, 2019-08-27

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Scripture

Bible Text:  Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.
9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

OBSERVATION: If we are not careful, our world can bombard us with so much stress, that we might wonder at times if it is really worth it all. But then we are reminded in Scriptures like this one today, that life seems impossible when we try to do it alone. We serve an awesome, all powerful God who is ready and willing to answer our cry for oneness with Him. I am convinced that He longs to receive us, love on us and take good care of us until the day He calls us to live eternally with He and the Father. Why not meditate with me today as we analyze and satisfy ourselves as to the power of our God!

APPLICATION:  Like me, I would imagine that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what might be happening in the coming days, weeks and years, so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips – in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses, let me remind you of Moses, who had millions of people following him, as God’s messenger and leader. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 
* Trust and reverence God;
* Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
* Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;
Just remember that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate in the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

PRAYER: Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving name of Jesus, 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!

Kingdom Giving

I find it fascinating that the Bible gives us direction from our Father on every aspect of life. However, we often hear people say that they don’t want to be told about their giving, because what they give ‘is their business alone’. God is very thorough in His Word though, for he tells us what we should do, even in our giving. Let’s meditate today on this very sensitive aspect of every person’s life.

Monday, 2019-01-14

Bible Reference: Matthew 6:3-4
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  So when you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know what you are doing.[a Your giving should be done in private. Your Father can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.

OBSERVATION: I find it fascinating that the Bible gives us direction from our Father on every aspect of life. However, we often hear people say that they don’t want to be told about their giving, because what they give ‘is their business alone’. God is very thorough in His Word though, for he tells us what we should do, even in our giving. Let’s meditate today on this very sensitive aspect of every person’s life.

APPLICATION: This is probably one of the most sensitive matters that a pastor can preach on, as parishioners often allow this subject to not only challenge their hearts, but they tend to start comparing what they give to what they believe others are giving, with hopes that they could feel better about themselves. In the business world, giving to any need in the community is a marketing opportunity, because the business owner wants you to know that they are giving back to the community from all that they make off you, in profits. Of course, this is done to help you feel good about such a company, and therefore spend even more money with them! For individuals, we might often see a case of public display, because some feel good about the public praise they receive wherever they go. So what about the Christian, for that’s what most readers of this blog will look for. I believe there are two aspects that we need to seek God’s guidance on. First of all, how much do we give to the church? I believe it is clear in God’s Word that we should joyously give at least 10% of our gross earthly income, and that it should be given to your local church, with no strings attached. I was once told by an attorney that in my will, I was trying to control well beyond the grave!!! Unfortunately, we tend to think a lot like that when it comes to church finances, for we find fault with how the offerings/funds are being used and, of course, since we have all the right answers (from a distance), we feel like we should designate our giving to make sure it is spent in an area that we feel good about. Friends, giving unconditionally, or to undesignated funds, is the 10% tithe that’s directed in God’s Word. Secondly, we may want to give to a ‘Designated Fund’ such as missions, or any other fund, but that’s over and above your tithe. But why can’t I give my tithe so that ‘Suzi’ could put a roof on her house, you might ask? Why, is there a trust issue with your church’s financial team? Please don’t forget who that team answers to – the same God that you will answer to on Judgment Day. These types of designated giving, or to any other special need that God may place on your heart, these are freewill offerings that you are free to do at will. However, our Scripture today warns us about giving for personal gain, or personal recognition/praise/glory. As a child of God, the only glory that should really matter to us, is the reward mentioned in verse 4 today. No one on earth may ever know what you may have given to various needy people or projects, but to hear the Master tell us how He saw all that we gave, and how proud He was, and is of us, will be worth it all. So when we give my friend, let’s learn to give as unto the Lord. Sure, it may help an earthly need, but only God needs to know that it was us who gave as a result of all that He blessed us with.

PRAYER: For the awesome gifts that You have blessed us with oh Lord, we say thank You. Often we feel so undeserving Oh Lord, but to be able to share those gifts with others in need, is so rewarding. Please speak to my readers, and reemphasize in my life, the importance of helping the needy and giving a committed amount back to You, in return for the 100% earnings that You made possible for me/us. Please continue to bless in the same amazing ways that we can already attest to from past experience. You are our good, good God, to whom we owe our total selves and every blessing that You send our way. Lord, may we follow in Your example and bless others beyond all measure. AMEN!

God Can … and Will …

Monday, 2016-08-29

Scripture

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10

Bible Text: Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.

9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I would imagine that you might be similar to me, in that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what would happen in coming days, weeks and years so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips, in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses, let me remind you of Moses, who had millions of people following him, as God’s messenger and leader. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 

  • Trust and reverence God;
  • Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
  • Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;

Friends, know that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate through the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

Prayer

Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving 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!