A Treasured People

Often we will ask God for things, and expect a whole lot from Him, but how often do we dig into His Word, learn about His commands and obediently follow His instructions? Let’s meditate on how this compares to God’s conditional promise to the Israelites that is detailed in Exodus 19:5.

Monday, 2021-03-15

Bible Reference: Exodus 19:5-6
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: Now if you will hear My voice, obey what I say, and keep My covenant, then you—out of all the nations of the world—will be My treasured people. After all, the earth belongs to Me. You will be My kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart.”

OBSERVATION: Often we will ask God for things, and expect a whole lot from Him, but how often do we dig into His Word, learn about His commands and obediently follow His instructions? Let’s meditate on how this compares to God’s conditional promise to the Israelites that is detailed in Exodus 19:5.

APPLICATION: I wonder how many of us would pass up on a good deal, that we knew depended only on a few provisions that were within our ability to achieve? Here’s an example, or a scenario that some might quickly jump to: If you move from Florida to Georgia, you will become rich from working the soil there (farming) because of the natural minerals and nutrients, and you will enjoy much cooler weather in which to farm! Wouldn’t you think that some of our Floridians would pack up and begin the move to Georgia, to enjoy the new life that would include the riches of the land there? So let’s consider what we would do if God said to us something similar to what He told the Israelites: (a) ‘If you hear my voice’ and I believe this means that we would be required to not just say that we hear God’s voice, but that we would allow His words to penetrate our very being and have an impact on our lives; and (b) ‘If you obey what I say’ and I believe this means that we would be prepared to stop assuming that the Word is for our wicked neighbor, or for that unfriendly guy down the street, but rather that we, personally, would be prepared to respond to God’s Word by obeying what He tells us to do; and (c) ‘Keep my covenants’ – I believe that this means that we stop pretending that we are obedient to His written Word, but instead decide to truly obey His covenant that God set forth for us. All three of these things sound simple enough, but God added a reward for the Israelites, and I believe that He would do the same for us, if we truly follow His conditions – we would be His treasured people. Yes among all the people of the world, He would choose to honor and treasure us. Friends, this scenario is very much aligned with what God did for us on Calvary, by sacrificing His very own Son. He made such a sacrifice as a reward for us, if we accept His Son as Lord and Savior. The reward is that we would spend eternity with the Father and the Son in heaven, singing praises to the King of all kings and Lord of all lords For all eternity. This is not just a reward dear one, but in comparison to the alternative – eternal damnation under the leadership of Satan, our choice/offer by God is the only one that anyone of sound mind would deliberately choose. Friends, think about this and be blessed today. For those who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender lordship of your life over to Him, you will be considered a ‘Treasured People’ by the Creator, and you will join with the angels around the throne singing sweet hallelujahs to the King forever and forever. My prayerful desire today is that all who will read or listen to this devotional today will be among those treasured by God. If you have not accepted Jesus as lord of your life yet, let me encourage you to read my Footnote carefully and follow the steps that will lead you to find Him and accept Him as Lord!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for providing the means for us to find eternal peace, and eternal salvation through Your precious Son, Jesus. May all who read this devotional today be reminded of the importance of making peace with You so that Your eternal reward may fill their heart with joy and everlasting hope. Please soften the hearts of those who will read this, but have yet to agree to the simple plan of salvation. To know You is to have peace everlasting! 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. 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!

Your Efforts Could Be Crowned with Success

God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

Monday, 2021-02-22

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:4-6
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  4-5 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then 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.

OBSERVATION: God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

APPLICATION: From the moment we are born, our mother and father begins drilling into us those things that we should, or shouldn’t do, if we want to please them, make them happy and/or proud of us. The more independent we become, we realize that there is a lot more to life than just making our parents happy, although that is at the very top of our list of priorities. Think about the idea of attending a school where no one really cares about us, because of our selfish or rotten attitude. Shouldn’t we strive to improve that? Then we start our career path and we can’t keep a job because no one could get along with us, or there might be some character flaws that the boss decides that they will not allow us to poison the other workers with. Wouldn’t we want to seek help on ways to correct those issues so that we could fit in and get along with everyone? Friends, I believe that our Scripture today has some answers for these issues that plague many today. For we are a people who strive to be independent, and do life our own way. However, in doing this, we tend to multiply our issues rather than solve them. Solomon is telling us that before we could gain the trust, respect and love of others, we must first allow the God of this universe to have an impact on our lives. In other words, acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers, and then align ourselves with the only One who not only knows about today, but also has control of what tomorrow holds. Friends, our God created these complicated bodies in which we live, and He has a plan for each and every one of us, with the end goal of us living in such a way that He might be glorified through us. A reward is already established also – that whosoever believes in Him, then we will spend eternity in Heaven with He and His Father (God). So think about this as a resolution to the above dilemma: God created us; He established a plan for our lives here on earth that will glorify Him; And He has prepared a place for us to go when we pass on from this world to the next. This sounds like an awesome plan that is perfectly designed for our complete happiness and peace of mind, so why would we seek to do life on our own without any foreknowledge of tomorrow? Let’s follow God’s design for us and our wonderful life here on earth! Remember, if you want favor with God and with your fellow man, then trust in God and not in yourself. Put God first in everything you do, and He will direct your path and crown you with success! What an awesome God we serve!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are more wonderful than anything we could even imagine. Your Word today has reminded us of the plan You established for our happiness here on earth and in Heaven. Please humble us to the point of understanding Your plan, and grant us willing hearts to obediently follow Your plan. You designed us, and You sacrificed Your one and only Son for our eternal salvation. We are convinced that You have our best interest at heart, so please help us to accept the fact that mortal man will only fall deeper and deeper into the trap of Satan and his eternal destination of Hell. Please touch my readers and myself with Your marvelous love, and draw us to Yourself precious Lord, so that together we might all rejoice when we see You face to face. Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see! AMEN!

Easily Distracted

In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

Sunday, 2021-02-14

Bible Reference: Matthew 14:29-33
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. 30 But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. 31 Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus. They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

APPLICATION: There are so many things we could learn from this story of Peter. I believe that most of us will share the reflection that this story shows us the faith of a man as he attempted something that defies nature, and that he had never thought possible before. Of his own power, perhaps the disciples expected Peter to jump out of the boat in the middle of the sea, as he prepared himself for the intake of water through the nose and mouth, or if he could swim, perhaps he would quickly assume the swimming position! However, things were a bit different with Peter, for: a). He had already experienced the power of the Almighty, and he knew that Jesus had the same power to do even those things that are impossible in the eyes of the world; b). He paid attention to what Jesus was doing, and knew that if Jesus could walk on the water, He had power and authority to empower him (Peter) to do the same; and c). Peter heard the command by Jesus, and in spite of the yelling from his fellow disciples, he obeyed Jesus. So what happened? Why does Peter’s effort seemed to have failed? I am convinced that Jesus already knew how quickly Peter would become cocky about being given this special power, so Jesus demonstrated to Peter, and to us, that faith requires that we keep our eyes fixed on the author of our faith – Jesus, and His Father God, lest we fall into the trap of bragging about our own power. I had a friend dying of cancer, and she traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by a TV evangelist who showed on public television that he had powers to heal. WRONG. Stop right there. Friends, as demonstrated in this story with Peter, and as we already know about healing powers – it is God, through His Son Jesus that spoke the word for Peter to walk on water, and it was Jesus who rescued him as he began to sink; it is God alone who heals a body that He created from dust, and restores it to perfect health so that He may be glorified. Our responsibility is to look to Him for all things and keep our eyes fixed on the author and creator of life itself, knowing that through His power, lives might be healed, souls might be restored to the Kingdom, and that the unsaved may recognize the grace and power of our God. It’s all about ‘God’, my friend. We are just instruments of His love and servants of our majestic King. The Master deserves all the praise for all that He does, for nothing of our own is merited, or worthy of praise, but only what He has done. Please be careful of the distractions that Satan will place before us. For Peter, it was the wind, the rough waters and perhaps self-confidence, that caused him to take his eyes off the Master. For us, unfortunately we live in a world that is totally filled with distractions that Satan places before us. Think about our pride; trying to impress our peers; being called names (like Jesus freak, etc); believing in things that defy nature; eccentric for believing in someone we can note see, etc. Remember that our distractions are often forces that draw us away from God – our primary power source. Don’t let Satan win over you my friend. In verse 31 we are reminded to not let ‘doubt’ win in our battle to ‘believe’. Trust in God, and all of this, plus a whole lot more could be yours, child of God!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are my God! The same God that created this wonderful world, and also created all of creation. I acknowledge again today that there is nothing that You can’t do. Please forgive me for my doubt and my lack of faith. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that You had the power to walk on water to get over to Your disciples. I wonder what You must travel over, or through, at times to get to my readers and I, and the trouble we find ourselves in at times. But I am assured that just as we saw where the water didn’t stop You from getting to Your followers, we need not let anything hinder our requests today, for many things will appear to be impossible to us, but with renewed assurance today, we KNOW that we can come before the throne of God and plead our case before an all-knowing, all-powerful, forever-loving God who says that ALL things are possible with God! You are our King, and we adore You and worship You today oh Lord, not just for what You can do for us, but for who You are! AMEN!

Analyzing For entry into God’s Kingdom

The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out Too get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

Friday, 2021-02-12

Bible Reference: Matthew 13:41-43
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42 Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43 But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!

OBSERVATION: The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out to get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

APPLICATION: To read that there are thorns among the wheat, and that these thorns will stunt the growth of the wheat, if left there during the growing period, is mind boggling. Yet we are told that the thorns should remain there. What do we make of this? I believe we would understand it very clearly if the Scripture said that those thorn bushes must be removed and burned, so that the wheat would mature without hindrance from the weeds. But that’s not exactly what Jesus said, is it? In my studies, I found out that back in verse 24 and following, Jesus told His audience that these weeds were planted to look just like the wheat, as they grew together. But let us consider this idea in its proper context. For example, in our beautiful, plush and proper churches today. Wouldn’t it be extremely challenging to look out over our congregation, or even rub shoulders with many of them, and try to imagine that some will produce fruit (wheat) during their lifetime, while others are uncommitted and are their as decoys (known as ‘weeds’ in this Scripture). However, Jesus reminds us that because everyone walking through our doors are dressed just like us, look just like us, sing just like us, and may even give to the ministry just like us, we must not conclude that they are children of the kingdom. In Psalm 1:5, we are told that “sinners will have no place among the saved” on Judgment Day. Therefore let us pay close attention to what Jesus is teaching here. Friends, I believe that way too often we look at what our coworker is succeeding at, or how happy that new Sunday School member seems to be in their life, and we start emulating their lifestyle, or we join them in the things that seem to successfully bring joy in their life. But Jesus is teaching us today that we have only one role model, only one Savior and only one Lord. He tells us throughout His Word how we are to seek His righteousness, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim. I believe that when we start desiring what another person has – whether it’s happiness, a great spouse, wonderful children, a healthy lifestyle, an expensive car, etc., then we are permitting ourselves to seek our happiness and pleasure in another person (wheat or thorns), rather than in the joy, peace and wisdom of our almighty God, who proved His love for us on Calvary. In our times of meeting at church, or any gathering, with fellow believers, or those we assume are fellow believers, we tend to lift up and encourage each other. But let us always remember that we are there for one purpose only – to corporately lift up the name of Jesus and worship Him from the very depths of our heart. It’s a given fact that some fellow church members may have more knowledge than us about the teachings of God, and some may even have experienced miracles from God, but if you miss your one-on-one encounter with your Maker, and if you confuse His direction that He has planned for your life, by following the lead of your fellow worshipper, then you are missing out on the importance of corporate worship. Remember, He has laid out a plan for you, and that plan will involve experiences that you may totally miss, if you receive your guidance and leadership from a friend. We all must accept Jesus individually, and we all must seek His perfect will for our individual lives, if we are to live the perfect life He has in store for us. How are you doing with this dear friend? Do you have a really intimate relationship with Jesus, and listening to His every command for your life? If not, let me encourage you to seek Him while He may be found. Draw near to Him, my friend, and He will draw near to you. You are the apple of His eye. He loves You and would like nothing better than to welcome you through the gates of Heaven when He calls you out of this world. Sure things up today, won’t you?

PRAYER: A challenging parable, but a much needed message for each of us today, dear God. Thank You for speaking to us in such unexpected, but important ways throughout Your Word. Thank You for drawing our attention to the real source of revival in our land. It’s not my brother, or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer and needing to draw even closer to You. Please speak to the hearts and souls of Your people today. Draw us to yourself, so that all doubt will be removed whether we are Yours – redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Lord, may those who are considered ‘weeds’ in our midst be reminded of the One in whose name they’re are known. Encourage them to grow in their relationship with You and cement their decision to follow You until Your return. People still need the Lord – yes especially those who feel comfortable in church, even without ever having experiencing You in their lives. May today be the day that they are introduced to the Master, and may they surrender their whole being to You and to Your will for their life. AMEN!

For Christ or Against Him?

This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

Tuesday, 2021-02-06

Bible Reference: Matthew 12:30
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 30 ……he who is not with Me is against Me, and he who is not doing the Father’s work of gathering up the flock may as well be scattering the flock.

OBSERVATION: This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

APPLICATION: A piece of advice given by my wife and I several times over the years is ‘be careful, blood is thicker than water’. This applied to situations where the individual was talking to a family member about one of their relatives. That family member might be upset with their relative, and they may gossip about it to another relative, but they refuse to hear an outsider say something derogatory about them! Jesus witnessed the spiritual leaders of the day (the Pharisees) looking for every opportunity to entrap Him and/or imprison Him. He heard them speak evil about the good that He was doing in their community, yet they walked around pretending to be more holy than anyone else. Aren’t you glad that with our advanced education system, and our many computers and smart people, that we have learned to overcome this weakness in the church today? Ha, hopefully I received no ‘Amens’ to that statement, because it was really meant to highlight that even after all these years; after having the Word of God to show us the errors of our past generations, yet churches today are torn apart by the same wickedness. Imagine with me for a moment what might happen if Jesus walked down the isles of our churches next weekend and pointed out the folk who are promoting Kingdom growth, and then asked those to leave who were destroying His work here on earth. How’s your confidence level on whether you will be allowed to stay and continue your work for the Kingdom? Will the church grow after such a separation, or will it dwindle in numbers? Friends, please allow me to remind each one reading this blog, that when God is working inside of us and using us for His purpose and the good of His kingdom, then no matter what position we hold in church, or in our community, we would work together with other believers to promote the awesome love, power, wisdom and saving grace of the one true God – our Lord, and our Savior. When you are for Him, you will pray for those who open their mouths to speak for Him; you will lift up and encourage those who sing His praises; you will renounce evil and promote the goodness of God. There will be no need to look around to see who’s nearby when you speak of, or to your neighbor, because your words will be intended to lift up, and not tear down. Friends, there are many in my community who need the Lord, and I bet your community is very similar. They may be looking at the proof of God’s work in our midst, before they listen to our teaching or our preaching, or even watch for the sincerity of our walk, before they show interest in knowing Christ personally. They are probably tired of hearing the talk, but not seeing the walk of a child of the Kingdom. I believe that our takeaway today is that if we are for God, then let’s be extremely dedicated to living like He taught us, and like He exampled for us while here on earth. Jesus made it clear that we live out our beliefs, because when we don’t, it becomes clear that we are against Him. Talk with God today and allow Him to open your spiritual eyes to discern whose side you’re really on, both in words and in your actions.

PRAYER: Lord, may others see so much of Jesus in my speech and in my actions, that there will be no reason to question who guides me, who teaches me, who directs my path, and the direction in which I am headed for eternity! May all those meditating on this blog today be of the same mind and spirit, and may our dedication and commitment to you be contagious for all to see and subsequently follow. May we say like Paul did, if you want to see Jesus, follow me! 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. 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 Asking, Seeking and Knocking

I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 7:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

OBSERVATION: I believe that these verses must be looked at in light of all that Jesus covered in the earlier part of His sermon. In 6:33 Jesus taught that we are to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else, and live righteously, then God will give us what we need. So with that in mind, what do you suppose we would ask for, knowing our inadequacies and shortcomings? What will we seek after, knowing the wide expanse that separates us from the perfection of Christ, and why would we be knocking, but to enter into the presence of the Holy Son of God?

APPLICATION: We have just observed what God might be saying to us in this Scripture today, but how do we apply this to our everyday life? First of all, are we consistent in our asking? Do we even find time to pray, other than when we are in crisis mode? Our method of asking, or petitioning God is through ‘prayer’, yet most churches will tell you that it’s one of the worst attended services. I much prefer hearing people ask me to pray with them, than for them. For I am assured that they have some ‘skin in the game’ and have merely asked me to join them in prayer. Otherwise if they want me to pray for them, I might think that they don’t have time to pray, even though they know they need prayer, and have therefore asked me to pray for them. Jesus is telling us to ‘ask’, not to have someone ask for us. Jesus is also asking us to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. This tells me that we are to be persistent in doing these things. I once met a young person working at a prominent restaurant, and I asked how they landed the job. Persistence was the word, for they showed restaurant management that they were so interested in the job that they would keep on visiting the establishment, keep on asking for a job, etc. Guess what? He landed the job and looked extremely happy in his job. Now in the teachings of Jesus I believe that we have no doubt as to what we are to ask for or seek after, for we are to be a people who seeks after righteousness and have a deep desire to live like children of the King, therefore we will ask in line with our righteous desires and within the scope of God’s will. When you keep on knocking, you are acknowledging to God that you are once again at His feet pleading His perfect will for your life, with a deep desire to serve Him in complete righteousness. Jesus said that when we do these things, that He will not only hear our prayers, but He will meet our needs. Friends, we have so much that we ask God for, let’s aim at making those requests known to Him for the single purpose of making us, or the person we are praying for, more righteous in God’s sight, and that they, or you, may be drawn closer to God and His kingdom.

PRAYER: Lord, please continue to humble us to always and continuously seek Your face; ask for Your holy and generous hand of mercy and generosity upon our lives, so that we may be worked on and made right with You in every way. Lord, may we be consistent in knocking to ask for an audience with You on a frequent basis. May we be bold enough to join others in prayer so that we may encourage them and help them in their walk with You. Lord, please renew a great work in us today so that we may be more like You in every way, and may this attract the unsaved to desire intimacy with You. We must ask in full alignment with Your will dear Lord, because we acknowledge Your Lordship and Your sovereignty. Thank You precious Lord for accepting me as Your child. May I always live like a child of the King! 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. 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!

Listen and Obey

Workers are fired for disobeying company policy and rules. Parents become frustrated with kids who refuse to follow their instruction or their advice. So imagine how the God of this universe must feel after providing children, made after His own image, the opportunity to live in a perfect world, yet to later see them reject Him, run away from Him and do their own thing. Child of God, is there reason for us to deny God’s direction and to possibly think that our ways are better than His? God implored us through His servant Paul to listen to His commands and obey His teachings. Are you?

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 4:12-13
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

OBSERVATION: Workers are fired for disobeying company policy and rules. Parents become frustrated with kids who refuse to follow their instruction or their advice. So imagine how the God of this universe must feel after providing children, made after His own image, the opportunity to live in a perfect world, yet to later see them reject Him, run away from Him and do their own thing. Child of God, is there reason for us to deny God’s direction and to possibly think that our ways are better than His? God implored us through His servant Paul to listen to His commands and obey His teachings. Are you?

APPLICATION: Ever thought for a moment that your parents must have had eyes in the back of their head, because they seem to have known every little thing that you did? Ever notice how most people behave fairly good inside the church doors, and possibly while in the presence of their pastor, but if you place them in a real tight situation at work, or on the street, the real character of the person emerges? God caught my attention this morning through His Word when Paul explained how we are like sacrificial lambs before our King when we read His Word. In fact, Paul likened it to us being opened up and ministered to without any opposition on our end. This made me think of recent surgery that I went through. I was put to sleep at about 7:30am and I regained my awareness about 5pm that afternoon. During that gap, my neck was cut, parts of my vertebrae were removed, artificial parts were installed, bars screwed onto my remaining vertebrae and then I was sewn back up. I was totally at the graces of my surgeon, and he was free to do whatever he saw fit to do in his professional opinion. There was no objection by me during that time, and I was laid open for any corrections that the surgeon saw fit. Paul used a similar example in how submissive and obedient we should be when it comes to us living out the Word of God. How often do you surrender fully to the Word of God and stand ready to obey His commands without a fight or argument? How often do you take God at His word and obey His every command? Have you been laid bare before God and allowed Him to have His perfect will in your life? To repeat the words of the Bible: None of us are exempt from the Word of God. We can’t get away from what God intended for us to do all along, no matter how smart we may think we are, or who our contacts might be at the church, the courthouse, or anywhere else. God intended His instruction to be for us, and besides missing out on His blessings from unadulterated obedience, God will hold us accountable for living without making Him a part of our life and consequently obeying every other law besides His. Don’t waste any more time dear Friend. Trust God, listen to Him and obey His every command. It’s for our own good!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You showed us how important it was to obey every word from Your Father, and You told us how important it Is that we follow in Your footsteps. The love of the Father is greater than any other love that exists today. So please help us to love You in return, precious Lord, and what better way to do that than to commit ourselves to total obedience to Your commands. Please give us strength and determination for each day, and may You be glorified in everything we say or do, so that others may see and believe in the One True God. 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. 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!

What Your Character Should Look Like – Because of God

This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

Friday, 2020-01-31

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:30-32
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 30 Don’t cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete. 31 Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.

OBSERVATION: This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.

APPLICATION: Many people look at the Bible as a Book of ‘don’ts’ for there is so much that we are told not to do. This could be the case for those who have a guilty conscience for all that they are doing that probably do not please our Maker. For I have found in several cases where, although we are told about our wrong doings, we can also find even stronger teachings on what we should be doing that would please God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told the Ephesians, and I truly believe that his Words are still echoing to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ today, that there are some things that we do that are so contrary to the will of Christ, that it downright sorrows, or grieves the Holy Spirit. No doubt there are tons of guilty consciences hitting each reader by now, for that same sweet Holy Spirit speaks to us personally about what displeases Him. But let’s have a look at what Paul taught, and let’s particularly draw a parallel between what the Holy Spirit dislikes, vs what pleases God:
* Instead of being mean; bad-tempered; angry; quarreling, using harsh words; and displaying obvious dislike for others….
* Try instead to be kind to each other; tenderhearted; and forgiving one another;

Now, although Paul didn’t say that the first list of characteristics were not of Christ, he did say that the second list – especially forgiveness, was the image, or practice that imitates how God has forgiven us because we belong to Christ. Friends, we must always keep in mind that our natural, sinful selves will lead us towards the characteristics mentioned in the first bullet. A surrendered life, seeking to please the Master – Jesus Christ, will always seek to do the things mentioned in the second bullet. It may be a good idea to keep the two lists posted in a prominent place to remind us when we are acting ungodly and displeasing the Holy Spirit, so that we may quickly seek God’s help to overcome and change our evil ways. Being a child in the Algreen home, caused me to always strive to please my Algreen parents. Being a child of the King of all kings, should always cause you and I to strive towards pleasing Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. There’s a song that includes the words ‘they will know us by our love’, meaning that the world will recognize Christians by our love – the love and character of Jesus Christ. How are you perceived by others, Brother and Sister? Is it obvious to whom you belong, based on your actions and characteristics?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You set an awesome example for us to follow. So in reading this passage today, and hearing Paul teach on the characteristics that please the Holy Spirit, we can reflect back on Your Word and see example after example where You demonstrated these characteristics. Although the qualities on the ‘don’t’ list are all ones that You warned about in many of Your teachings, may we use this Scripture as a reminder of what pleases the Holy Spirit, and what grieves Him. Please touch Your children today so that we may make wise decisions in every aspect of our lives, especially in our character. May we please You by obeying Your teachings and Your example. In humbleness of heart and seeking to serve You obediently today, I ask these things in the worthy name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

God Will Take Care of You!

No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

Friday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:2-4
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

OBSERVATION: No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

APPLICATION:  I Love that old gospel song: “Be not dismayed …. God Will Take Care of You“! On reading these verses this morning I was reminded that for all those times that we feel so worn, or so distraught about life’s circumstances – perhaps the loss of a loved one that leaves us wondering how on earth can we possibly go on without them; or perhaps because of financial woes that make us feel so trapped into thinking that we work to satisfy bills only; or perhaps unemployment that makes us look inward and question our own personal worth; no matter the circumstance, we tend to wonder ‘Why me, Lord’ and then question how can we possibly overcome our particular circumstance. Friends, I wish you would take time to read the whole passage linked in the scripture reference, because you will see the reason why God sent Elijah to the Jordan River bank to hang out in the first place, then you will also see what other miracles God performed to take care of Elijah, even beyond this feeding miracle at the Jordan River. Whether Elijah realized it or not, he was at a crossroads to where he may not have survived the drought if God had not intervened and taken care of him. I rejoiced in seeing how God worked through Elijah later on to bring a young man back to life, because it made me realize the importance of not giving up on God, and instead allowing Him to work on us, in us, and through us for the purpose of His greater accomplishments – for the kingdom, and at a time pleasing to God. Friends, our ways are not God’s ways, so we are called on to be faithful and sure in our faith, knowing that what He works out in and through us will serve to benefit Him and bless us tremendously. So may I encourage you dear friend to stand firm in your faith, depend on God, and open yourself to the wondrous things He will do through You. Please know that your personal circumstances may look totally different to what God has in store for you. Trust Him, wait on Him and allow Him to be God in your life. Know that when You place your faith, trust, and total life in His hands, He WILL Take Care of You!

PRAYER: To the loving, caring, awesome God that I serve; thank You Father for watching over me, taking care of me, and guiding my footsteps each and every day. Because I am still alive, I know that Your work is still in progress and I trust in You for whatever You would have me do. Please have Your will and way. Please continue to take care of me, and especially on those days when life seems impossible to me, or the future seems so questionable. Lord, there are many who will stop by to read this devotional today, please reinforce to them how much You care for them, and remind them of the enormous love that You have for them. Lord, I ask these thinks in faith, and in the precious name of Jesus, Your Son and my Savior, 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!