Warning – Difficult Times Ahead

If you rushed to read this devotional because you were hoping that suddenly I am a prophet and could therefore tell you what lies ahead for each of us, then you might be right, yet wrong in some ways! However, our Scripture today had such a profound impact on me, that I wanted to make sure and share with you what Paul foretold when he was directing his son in the ministry, Timothy. You see, much like Timothy may have felt like he was dealing with very challenging people, even though this was the local church, this actually compares pretty accurately with the local church today. Meditate further with me on this scripture, dear friends!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-09-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT:  1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

OBSERVATION: If you rushed to read this devotional because you were hoping that suddenly I am a prophet and could therefore tell you what lies ahead for each of us, then you might be right, yet wrong in some ways! However, our Scripture today had such a profound impact on me, that I wanted to make sure and share with you what Paul foretold when he was directing his son in the ministry, Timothy. You see, much like Timothy may have felt like he was dealing with very challenging people, even though this was the local church, this actually compares pretty accurately with the local church today. Meditate further with me on this scripture, dear friends!

APPLICATION: Just as we may think that we’ve heard way too much about the crimes that are taking place today, and the attitudes we either hear about or experience, unfortunately there were similar situations that took place back in Bible days. Young Timothy was thrown into a situation where Paul came to his rescue to open his eyes to what he might expect in the church, and from church folk. The descriptions might cause you to cringe, but Paul basically told Timothy, brace yourself young man, for as the Day of the Lord draws near, things will only worsen. As I recently shared with you, many of the signs foretold by the prophets and in Revelation, have either occurred already, or they are in process. This means that the time of the return of our Lord and Savior is drawing nigh. This means that one day soon, each of us will stand before the King of kings and will answer Him on why He should allow us into His kingdom. Friends, we are seeing in our Scripture today that it really describes what we are seeing all around the world today. The same attitudes, the same actions, the hatred, disregard for parents and authority, etc, etc. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul told Timothy that these things will occur in the last days – the last days that Christians remain on earth. In my last job, we would call these things ‘red flags’, meaning indicators, that Jesus is coming soon. What could you do to help prepare yourself, your loved ones and those in your circle of influence? I’m not so sure that there is anything you could do to rehabilitate those you know so that they won’t do and say the things mentioned by Paul. For you see, I believe the underlying problem points to an inward problem. In each of these verses, and especially in verse 5, the message is clear that we are seeing folk with multiple personalities. When at church, they try to act godly. When at work, they need to impress the boss and his greed, so they are willing to act like a criminal in order to help him succeed. When at the club, they need to be as good as the popular star who dances with everyone and drinks at least as much as the top man there. So when we look at the same person acting in each of the various ways like I just explained, why would a sinner see the need for being a saint? Our message for today is a reminder that perilous times are ahead. Know Christ in all of His glory, and live like He instructed us to, and showed us while here on earth with us. This is what drew us to the cross in the first place, so be conscious of those without Christ, who are looking for examples of Jesus Christ here on earth. They want to see if this Christianity thing actually has any credit, and is worth following its principles. Let them see Jesus in you precious friend. Hopefully it might impress upon them that if we could do it, so could they, with God’s help and because of Jesus!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we might ask how can it get any worse, because of the awful things that we are seeing happen all around the world today. But You have given Your servant Paul information that seem to be impacting us already, with warnings that the times ahead will only get worse. Lord, we know that You will return to take Your bride, the church, home to glory with you, so I believe that my readers and I are excited to see that happen sooner, rather than later. Many of these things mentioned by Paul are already happening, so I believe that is confirmation that your return is very near. Please soften the heart of each one reading this devotional. May we all be ready, even if You returned today. Oh that we may see Jesus in all of Your glory. AMEN!

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

How Will We Know?

The disciples took advantage of their time with Jesus to ask Him about the end times. I found it especially interesting to be reminded of what Jesus said, because in His caution I could see that end-time evangelists today still use the same signs that Jesus warned us not to get caught up in. Wars, earthquakes, famine, etc. Jesus warned that these are all part of what we could expect here on this earth, but as for His return…..

Monday, 2019-05-27

Bible Reference: Mark 13:5-8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

OBSERVATION: The disciples took advantage of their time with Jesus to ask Him about the end times. I found it especially interesting to be reminded of what Jesus said, because in His caution I could see that end-time evangelists today still use the same signs that Jesus warned us not to get caught up in. Wars, earthquakes, famine, etc. Jesus warned that these are all part of what we could expect here on this earth, but as for His return…..

APPLICATION: It appears like mankind has this thing about waiting for the last minute to do anything at all. In the area where I live, hurricanes is a great threat. We are warned about the beginning of the typical season, and that we should prepare our food pantry and our window shutters in order to be best prepared when a storm comes our way. Weather forecasters warn us in lots of time when it appears like a storm is tracking towards us. However, most residents will not get themselves into gear until the panic warning is given that the hurricane will hit within 24 hours. In the spiritual realm, we have many churches and even more evangelists that deliver the message of Jesus Christ each and every day, yet we hear of many death-bed conversions. Clearly in our Scripture today we are told that we expect these things in the normal course of everyday life. Yes, they are early warning signs, but notice that Jesus still didn’t tell them when the BIG day would occur? That’s because Jesus never made it a practice to speak out of both sides of His mouth. In earlier Scripture, Jesus made it clear that no one knows the day or the hour, not even He, for His Father alone makes that decision. So let’s get back to the title of our devotional. How will we know? I believe that throughout the Word of God, we are warned that we have no idea when the King will come to take us home, although it could be today! Yes my friend, Jesus never said that He will wait for you to finish your project, or complete your plans to marry your best friend, or to make the amount of money that you always dreamed about. So wait no longer to make your heart right with God, do it now. Should He return today to take us all up to heaven with He and His Father, let there be no doubt that He will find a people who are ready to go with Him! I pray that everyone reading this devotional will waste no time in readying themselves for that day. Read my ‘Footnote’ if you are unsure of what to do. Drop me a note and allow me to pray with you about your decision dear friend.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You not only prepared a home in glory for us, but You provided the means for dirty sinners like us to receive forgiveness of our sin, and to be acceptable in Your sight. Thank You for the warnings You placed in Your Word today to help us see and understand the deceivers that will come our way. Please help us simply to be obedient and ready for Your return, even if it is today. We want to see You Lord, and we want to be where You are. Oh that this might be the day! AMEN!

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

Warning, Prepare For…

In our Scripture today we are receiving yet another warning of something that will impact all mankind. Now it’s up to mankind to take that warning seriously and prepare themselves for the impending, pronounced occurrence, or do nothing, and be prepared for the dangerous, life-threatening results. I will expand on this in the ‘Application’, and I pray that you are concerned enough to continue reading, as this will impact you and your loved ones.

Wednesday, 2019-03-20

Bible Reference: Matthew 24:42-44
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 42 This is why you must stay alert: because no one knows the day your Lord will come. 43 “But realize this: If a homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would come to rob his house, he would have been alert and ready, and not let his house be robbed. 44 So always be ready, alert, and prepared, because at an hour when you’re not expecting him, the Son of Man will come.”

OBSERVATION: In our Scripture today we are receiving yet another warning of something that will impact all mankind. Now it’s up to mankind to take that warning seriously and prepare themselves for the impending, pronounced occurrence, or do nothing, and be prepared for the dangerous, life-threatening results. I will expand on this in the ‘Application’, and I pray that you are concerned enough to continue reading, as this will impact you and your loved ones.

APPLICATION: Through analysis of past weather systems, men are able to predict how many hurricanes we might expect in a given year, and even the impact they may have on certain areas of the world. Meteorologists are therefore able to alert residents of what a storm is currently doing, and what its predictive direction and velocity might be in future hours and days. It’s not uncommon to see some residents begin to evacuate, based on the warnings, while some feel like other things are more important, or they could very well take care of themselves, even if their area is hit with unusually high winds, twisters, etc. Some of these brave men and women survive these horrific weather systems, while others don’t. In our Scripture today, we are being warned of the unannounced, non-predictive, return of Jesus Christ. Notice that no-one knows the day or the hour of His return. It’s not on the radar for our meteorologists to sound the warning, and even if it was, I believe that mankind would be even more stubborn about listening to and doing anything about the warnings, than they do with the hurricanes, or winter storm warnings. I am not all that pessimistic, I’m just sharing what I see each and every Saturday/Sunday morning when church doors open, and teachers and pastors look into the ‘radar’ God prepared for them, the Bible, and they share the warnings and readiness steps with a very small percentage of residents concerned enough to care about their eternal future. Friends, this is not just another warning, like a storm that may dissipate or just turn a different direction. Jesus didn’t say that He may come back, but instead said that He will return to earth to take His children home to glory. If I knew a bad storm was headed my way and could possible endanger all those within the sound of my voice, I would find every avenue possible to get the word out to my family, friends, neighbors and fellow residents. This devotional is an avenue that I have chosen to warn everyone, that Jesus told me in His precious Word, that He would be coming soon to collect His children before the rest of the world is released to Satan and the awful damnation of Hell itself. My prayer, and my sincere wish, is that ALL will be saved and join me around the throne in Heaven. I pray that you will heed the warning given and that you will surrender your life to the lordship of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please don’t wait, His return could actually occur before you complete your reading of this devotional. Accept Jesus now, won’t you, dear friend? Please see my ‘Footnote’ for tips on accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.

PRAYER: Lord, I have no reason to doubt Your Word, because so much of it has been proven, or Your predictions have already come true. It frightens me about Your warnings, but I appreciate Your patience, because so many remain undecided as to what they will do with the only One who loves them unconditionally, and has sacrificed His very own Son for their salvation. Lord, as many teachers and pastors try to do every week, I ask today that You might tender the hardened hearts of those that might read this devotional and do not claim You as Lord. May this be the day of salvation for many, is my heartfelt prayer, oh Lord – my Rock and my Redeemer. AMEN!

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

How To Recognize the Last Days

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – 2 Timothy 3:1-5): 1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

THOUGHTS: As I meditated on this, I realized that some will stumble across this and won’t have a clue what this is all about, because unless they have heard something about the second coming of Jesus Christ, they live each day without regard to their state of readiness. To some, this might be a reminder that they have a few ‘clean-up’ items to attend to before the return of Jesus. To Christians, we are to be reminded that our work and our witness has never been as urgent as it is today. Scripture tells us that the day of Jesus’ return is known only to God, so no one else really knows. However, the Bible tells us that only the prepared (those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior) will be accepted into heaven. Because of their commitment, Christians are to always be prepared to leave this old world and join with the millions who have also made a similar life-decision, to meet at the feet of Jesus and worship Him. We are also to be busy convincing those whom we love, and who we want to join us around the throne. For those who have not made it a priority to surrender your lives to Jesus, I believe that you will see from the warning signs in the scripture today, that we are living in the last days. Jesus could return before you complete the reading of this devotional. I have an obligation to also remind you that when Jesus returns to take His bride (believers in Jesus Christ) home with Him, it will not just be business as usual for those of you that are not ready. For the Bible says that you will be cast into a hot, burning, hell with Satan and his angels where you will spend a miserable eternity, without further opportunity to redeem yourself. On my phone I have a weather app that warns me of approaching danger – perhaps a tornado, or other such dangerous weather. This app was programmed to recognize these dangers based on certain conditions in the atmosphere and weather patterns. Please consider this scripture as a Biblical warning about the impending end of life as we know it today. Christians have read about heaven in the Bible, sung about it, dreamed about it and anxiously await the transition day. May I suggest to all not fitting in that category that you should consider this as a warning from God that His return is near. We are living in the last days, and He could come at any time. There will not be a shelter in which you can hide until He returns again. There are no plans for a third return. It will be heaven or hell. Where will you open your eyes in eternity? If there is the slightest doubt that it will be in heaven, may I encourage you to follow the steps outlined in my ‘Footnote’? Friend, Jesus loves you more than you can imagine and not only do I want to see you accept Him as Lord and be in the group going to heaven, but my whole idea of sharing these devotionals online, is my hope that you might be touched and prompted to join my band of fellow Christians as we await the coming of Jesus! Do it today friend! Be ready should He return before your very next hour!

PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for providing a place for us to look forward to after our time here on this earth! In meditating on the signs in this scripture today, I am convinced that the return of Your Son to take His children home is very near, and I believe that many fellow Christians will join me in singing “Come Soon Lord Jesus“, for the stresses and heartaches resulting from these signs are hard on us. Please hear my cry today to speak to the hearts of my family and friends who have yet to accept You as Lord. They are playing such a dangerous game of procrastination. I humbly ask that You tender their hearts today, open their eyes of understanding and lead them to the truth contained in Your Word. Please, may this be the day of salvation for them? I pray that Christian friends reading this devotional today will also catch a glimpse of the urgency of which I speak, and that we may be busy about the work of the Lord today. Yes, many of us have jobs to attend today, but Lord, I believe that we are Your hands and feet on the ground, so may our lives portray Your unconditional love, and may our actions be proof of whose we are, for I believe non-believers must see living proof of a living Savior to convince them of their need. Use us oh Lord, and may Your kingdom come, for thine is the glory, for ever and ever, AMEN!

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

Warning! Danger Ahead!!

The Bible – The Message

1 Corinthians 10:11–13

 11–12        These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13             No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

Thoughts:

In the first 10 verses of chapter 10, Paul shared with the Corinthian church much of what their ancestors had done and how they were punished for their sin. In verse 11 he tells them that these were all recorded so that they might be warned not to repeat the same sins, otherwise they would face the same consequences. Friends, our Bible today is totally inspired, and ordered by God so that we also may be reminded of the many sins of our ancestors and the ensuing consequences. With any common sense at all, we should take note, and not repeat the same sins, but I am reminded that without Christ in control of our lives, we are led by the same Satan that our ancestors were, and we are bound to repeat the same sins, and perhaps even more hideous – even as we read about, or see on the evening news. Like Paul, I must remind you friend, that we will be punished just like our ancestors. Sin will not enter heaven, and there is only one other place for you to go, and unlike David’s wish in Psalm 109 about his enemies, I would not wish the alternate place on my worst enemy. Friend, think about this real good, we are careful to take very seriously the warnings about possible tornado touchdowns, or hurricanes, or heart attacks, etc. I would so like to see us also take the warnings God has placed in His precious Word very seriously and take our precautions to prevent the danger that will result by simply placing your faith and trust in Jesus my Savior. He made special provisions just for us so that we might one day be with Him in glory where there is love, peace and joy forever in store for those who believe. The warnings are evident friend, and the provision for a safe and secure passage to safety is very clear. Please don’t continue to live your life in danger of not being prepared for something that could happen in an instant. Enjoy heaven’s glory while still here on earth by knowing my Savior today. He loves you and will welcome your decision, without regard to your present condition. Use information from the footnote to help you make this vital change. I assure you that you won’t regret it!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes to my life of sin, a life without You in it. Thank You for encouraging me to make a right decision back in 1988, and thank You for working with me to maintain a life pleasing to You. I regret that it has not been perfect, but I thank You for being a forgiving God; an encouraging God to help me along the way and prod me of sin that was lurking. Thank You for working in my life to help me be more like You every day. I realize that Satan tries every trick in the book to trip me up, so I plead with You to continue to guide me, protect me and show me the ways of righteousness. May You receive glory because of something that I may say or do in the matchless name of Jesus. Paul’s warning reminded me that there is no time to waste, so I humbly ask that You immediately bring to my attention when I fail and lead me to the cross for forgiveness so that my life will not be marred by sin. Lord, I have unsaved family and loves ones, unsaved friends and coworkers, tender their hearts and minds so that they may heed the same warning of which Paul warned us about in 1 Corinthians 10. Please use my life to be a witness to them so that they may surrender their lives to You before it’s too late. Please be especially gracious to those led to this devotional today, may they shore up their position with You this day. These requests can only be handled by You dear Lord, so I humbly ask these in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.