The Path To God’s Response Is Clear

If a programmer is analyzing data, they will establish ‘if…. Then…’ filters to evaluate just the right data, then they will apply their filter. The results will conclude evaluation of just the right data. Looking at this slightly different, you might ask what criteria do I need to obtain just these ideal results. Moses shared the criteria with the Israelites, and it may still be applicable to us today. Stand by!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-08-03
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 19:8-9
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 8-9 … the Lord your God has promised that if you obey his laws and teachings I’m giving you, and if you always love him, then he will give you the land he promised your ancestors….. 

APPLICATION: So let us address the end result that the Israelites wanted, and that we often cry out for. Our ancestors had tarried in the wilderness for over 40 years, and they were repeatedly told that they were headed towards a wonderful land that was promised to their ancestors. However, the criteria upon which they could wind up with the promised land, is that they would have to be obedient to God and His laws, and they would be required to love the Lord their God. You know, I believe that God still expects these same demands of us today. Think about it, why would a God like our God seek to provide anything for a people who wants nothing to do with His commands, and there is no love in their hearts for Him. Why that’s a clear indication that they have life all figured out, and their path established in just the way they feel is perfect. They see no reason to honor God’s commands, nor to love and respect Him. Friends, although our God is known for His love and for His provisions, I believe that I can tell you with very good assurance, that He will not impose His goodness on you. In fact, God even gave us the liberty to make our own choice about our eternity. A very interesting thing about ‘if.. then..’ evaluation statements, is that there is always a result for those who do not fit in the ‘if’ statement. In other words, I believe that in the statement shared by Moses, we can conclude that if the Israelites did not obey God’s commands or if they did not love Him, then God will not honor His commitment to their ancestors for those particular rebels. How then might this apply to you and I today? Over and repeatedly in His Word, God said that He will love us and that He is preparing a place for us to spend eternity. I believe we all love that promise, and we often are encouraged by that statement, especially when we apply it at the funeral of a loved one. However, based on other things that God repeats throughout His word, I believe that we could build our ‘if.. then..’ statement as follows: If my people who are called by my name will obey my commands and love me unconditionally, then I will receive them gladly on the day that they cease to exist on earth’. I would suggest that you look at the following words as active verbs: ‘obey’ – keep on obeying; ‘love me’ – keep on loving me until we meet in glory. I believe that God might surprise ‘Christians’: who are called by His name (because they accepted Jesus as their Savior), but go on living as they always did before Christ. When one accepts Jesus, they vow to turn from their evil, or worldly, ways and follow Jesus (obey His commands and love Him unconditionally). It is impossible to honestly do the latter and still act like the former ‘you’. You can fool your friends by using ‘churchy’ words, and you may even fool them into thinking that you are right with God, but God not only knows your heart, He also knows your very thoughts. Friends, the prize belongs to those who honestly obey God (whether in the light of God’s presence, or in the darkest place), and who love God unconditionally. God deliberately made the criteria simple and the end result amazing, so that we could achieve and look forward to His awesome presence and the place He has prepared for us.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: A grand prize awaits those who obey God’s commands and love Him unconditionally! Are you ready?

PRAYER: What a shocking revelation for the Israelites to know that all of them may not enter the Promised Land. But Lord, You set the criteria in lots of time so that they could change their evil ways and finally recognize You for Your love and goodness towards them. You have also established criteria for us, and Your Word is clear on what will result if we obey Your commands and love You with all our heart, soul and mind, and what will result if we don’t. Lord, I pray that You will speak intently to every reader and/or listener and that You will convince them of their sinful state, and remind them of the result of disobedience. I pray not only for my family and friends, but also for every one who has ever read one of these devotionals where the love of Jesus was made very clear. Thank You Lord for loving us and for preparing a home in glory for us. ‘Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing for ever of His saving grace…’ 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!

How Will They Know?

Will your family, coworkers and friends know about Jesus because of what you share with them? They tend to know about our home and family because of how easily we share with them, but why do we exclude the highlights of our important relationships – like the one with our Lord?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-08-02
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 6:14-15
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because everyone was talking about him. Some were saying, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead. That is why he can do such miracles.” 15 Others said, “He’s the prophet Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.”

APPLICATION: If we were living in Herod’s day, do you suppose he would have heard from us about Jesus? Before you answer that, don’t forget that Herod would have immediately assumed that you had been hanging out with Jesus, if you had a lot to say about Him! But before you jump to the conclusion that I must be nuts to write about such assumptions, let me ask you to honestly answer a very really important question. Does anyone at work know about the teenager that was baptized in your church yesterday? Did your neighbor have to calm you down when you excitedly told him about the child that surrendered their life to Jesus last weekend? Bottom line is: are you sharing the awesome work of the Savior in your life, or in the life of your church? Yes, I know they all know about the associate pastor who was questioned by the authorities about misconduct last week, but are you sharing the good news of all that Jesus does each and every week? Isn’t it amazing how easy it is for us to tell about the bad things that happen to God’s people, but how hesitant we are about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ? I once used as a witnessing tool, a small red dot on my eyeglasses. The idea was that if someone asked about the dot, I would tell them that it represents the blood Jesus shed on Calvary for my sin and theirs. You guessed it, Satan saw to it that no one questioned me about that red dot. Friends, there is no law prohibiting us from sharing Christ with those that we care about, no matter where they are. It is no sin to show the love of Jesus in every phase of your life, and to be ready to share the joy and excitement of who is making the difference, and fueling that love you feel for one another. If a storm was approaching, you might be the first to knock on your neighbor’s door and help them to a safe place. Yet you have no idea about their relationship with Jesus and whether they would escape the fury of hell and join with the angels in heaven when the storms come that will end this life as we know it today. What’s with that? Surely you don’t care more about the awful news of all the work of Satan in this world today, than you do about the awesome news of knowing Jesus personally and the joy that comes in the morning when we rise to meet Him in the sky? Herod had all the bad news on Jesus – bad enough to have Him killed. What Herod was missing was the good news of the Savior of the world, the One who healed the sick, made the blind to see again and caused the lame to walk once again. Jesus wasn’t out to get Herod on all the bad he ever did, but because Jesus was King of all kings (including King Herod), He desperately wanted to touch his heart and convict him of his sin. For all must confess their sin and seek Jesus as their Savior, from the poorest person, to the richest King. So dear friends, let me encourage you to tell the world about Jesus, especially the Good News of the Gospel. You will have friends for life – life eternal with Jesus Christ.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: If Herod had heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, instead of all the bad news of jealousy and deceit, he may have made much different decisions about the life of Jesus. We still have the opportunity to share the Good News with those we come into contact with.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please provoke us, Your loved children, to be diligent in sharing the Good News of all that You did for us, so that others may believe and have life eternally in Heaven. You placed us here to be a light on a hill, that shines forth Your love, Your forgiveness, and Your desire to see Your children forgiven of their sin. We often fail in this responsibility, often for selfish reasons. Please forgive us, and give us a renewed boldness to share the Good News with all that we come into contact with. The world needs Jesus – the same Jesus that lives inside of us. Oh that we might share willingly with others. 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!

For Increased Strength and Stamina

I am currently searching for ways to help a couple stay strong and increase their stamina through the awful effects of Covid. Now that I came across this Scripture, I wonder if I was giving the best advice to them. However, we face struggles in almost every phase of life, and way too often we go down the road of worldly ideas, such as Google, in our search for answers. Be in prayer with me as we grow from the truth of God’s Word today.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-08-01
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 6:46-49
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

APPLICATION: Whether we are faced with family challenges; our work environment; our friend relationships; or the gossip, hatred, backbiting or jealousy that Satan forces on his followers that attend our churches; we all look up at times and ask God for guidance and/or help to overcome. But Jesus teaches us today that we are not to only seek Him arbitrarily when we have problems to resolve. He is looking for His children to stand firm against the earthly battles, trial and temptations everyday, because of their firm footing in Him. He likened this ‘firm footing’ to a house that is well grounded and well constructed, for it can withstand the storms that are bound to come its way. You see, we can build a house that looks perfect – just as beautiful inside and outside as the house next door. But if the construction is superficial, the beautiful house will not withstand the weather. Jesus was illustrating that when you build a relationship with God, through His Son Jesus, and mature it to the extent that you are confident of God’s love, His wisdom, His direction and His consistent answers to your prayers, then you can rest assured that He is there in the good times – those mountaintop experiences, and in the tough times, when you feel like you are going through the deepest valleys of your life. However, God knows our pretense all too well. So if we turn to Him during those times of dire need, BUT turn our face to His commands and His teachings at all other times in our life, then Jesus likened us to a house built on an insecure base, like sand. I believe that Jesus is teaching us to stay connected to Him. Read His Word (His teachings, His commands and all about His example while here on earth); Call on Him every morning, whether you are experiencing the mountaintop experiences that we love, or whether we feel at the end of our rope in life-challenges. Friends, when we are ‘connected’ and obeying our Lord’s commands every day, we are much like the house on solid ground – for we have a firm footing and we KNOW in whom we believe, serve and obey. When Jesus is just a God of convenience and need to you, you will approach the throne much differently – in guilt and knowing that you have disappointed our Lord. Our stress level is not relieved very much, for like the unbeliever, you hope that God will hear your cry and smile on you. Where do you stand today? Do you know without a shadow of doubt in whom you believe? Or are you approaching the throne of a God you want to keep at a distance, and just available if you need Him? There’s a huge difference my friends! Let me recommend that you take full advantage of being in an honest, real and close relationship with our Master and Lord.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: The difference in having a ‘real’ and honest relationship with the Lord, versus one under false pretenses, will determine the outcome of your battles.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I know that we all fail from time to time, but please remind us every day that You are a God who knows all about us, whether we disclose our hidden secrets, or not. Please help us to live in an open and honest relationship with You, so that whether we praise You, or beg You for our deepest need, there will be nothing that stands between us. I believe You are well aware that as long as we remain on earth, we will be tempted to sin, but I know that You have promised to be with us every step of every day, through our good times and through our struggles. May we keep our eyes fixed on You and our relationship open and honest in every way. Thank You for loving us in spite of our weaknesses. May Your strength and power be evident in every step we take, so that others may experience the love of our Savior. 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!

Great Leaders Do This

Imagine a husband, a dad, a pastor, a senator, or a president being asked to follow the example of the Israelite’s new kings coming into power? No doubt our world will be a better place to live in, wouldn’t it? Read the Scripture again and meditate with me on how lax we have become in our leadership!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-07-31
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 17:18-20
TRANSLATION:Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 The official copy of God’s laws will be kept by the priests of the Levi tribe. So, as soon as anyone becomes king, he must go to the priests and write out a copy of these laws while they watch. 19 Each day the king must read and obey these laws, so that he will learn to worship the Lord with fear and trembling 20 and not think that he’s better than everyone else.

APPLICATION: Especially since I started using the computer for almost everything that I do, I despise having to write anything out. I’m sure you are much more disciplined than that! But I believe that in writing something out, you tend to remember the content much better than just reading the text from already printed material. The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that the incoming king would have to sit down in front of the priests and write out for himself a copy of God’s laws. I would like for us to think for a moment how effective it would be today in the following cases:
~ A Husband – Imagine if a new husband had to only write out the laws surrounding being a godly husband. Wouldn’t he tend to be more careful how he loves, provides, protects, cares for, lead by example, teaches his new wife the ways of the Lord, etc? Wouldn’t he be an excellent choice when you vote in deacons or elders in your church the next time?
~ A Dad – Don’t you know that we would have much less crime and delinquency in our world today if dad’s got their training from the Word of God, instead of the local bar, or from their hunting/fishing buddies, or from the company executive who could only handle being home on weekends? Imagine, they will know how to train up a child in the way they should go, and when they enter adulthood they will also honor the ways of the Lord!
~ A Pastor and/or Church Leader – These individuals come into leadership depending on their training from outgoing leaders, or the ones that remain. Imagine, being trained by men who may, or may not have the above disciplines in their personal lives? What might be the result? The same mistakes that have always occurred! Imagine the great leader who takes time to study and understand God’s Word every day!
~ Political Leaders – It seems very evident that as long as leaders outdo the opposition, or make them look as badly as possible in man’s eyes, then they receive a great rating from their constituents. What if they were required to spend weeks, or months, reading the constitution for themselves and writing down what God instructed in His Word? Can’t you imagine that they will be less apt to go after the opposition, or seek revenge, all of which is at the expense of the constituents, but instead they will rule in accordance with the laws you have given them, and the commands of our ultimate ruler, Almighty God?
Oh, and whatever else they may, or may not, find time to do in their day, the above individuals must always read the law every day so that they will be sure to obey it consistently. What kind of home, church and country leaders might we wind up having, dear friends? Would you want to live in their country? My friend, God has the plans in place for our leaders and ourselves to be successful, if only we will honor Him, honor His Word, and live to please Him alone. Before you point fingers at anyone else, consider the degree to which you are living by God’s laws.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In return for obeying God’s commands, He will make us successful and honor us with a long, happy and healthy life. God being our helper, may each reader and listener commit to this today!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we admit that we are well aware why You felt the need for these commands for the Israelites. However, we have continued their bad habits, and in many cases we have become more entrenched in sin and evil. Please forgive us of our sin, and impress upon each one again today, the importance of living and ruling in accordance with the commands You have given to us. Things have gone so far, that it is virtually impossible for us to imagine a world like You first designed, and for which Your laws were designed. Lord, we need You in every part of our lives more today than ever before. Please invoke Your presence in our everyday lives so that the world might still see You at work here on earth. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Give To The Poor And Be Blessed

It’s easy to sit and question God on why the needy are after your money again. But read the Scripture carefully today and you might thank God for sending them, as He may be looking for more ways to bless you! I believe a great theme for us to consider today is: give and be blessed! Think on these things with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-07-30
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 15:10-11
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 10-11 Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.

APPLICATION: I’m sure that all readers and/or listeners will agree with me in saying that we are always thankful for what others give to us. Hopefully most of you can say as I can, thank God that I have never been ‘needy or poor’. I believe this may challenge many of us, because it becomes very challenging to truly empathize with the poor and needy, if you can’t identify with them. But God, in His infinite mercy has blessed us with good health, good jobs and a regular income. Additionally, He has blessed us with good minds to properly budget our income so that we could pay our bills as they come due. Sure, we mess up at times and get ourselves way overloaded in debt and that makes it way more challenging to satisfy our budget than what God expects of us. However, from the very beginning of our receiving a paycheck, we make decisions on how that money will be spent. I had a prospective pastor ask our search committee for a copy of the church budget. He said that he could tell from that where the heart of the church leadership stood. That’s the same with our personal budgets, review it and determine where your heart is. If you’re a child of the King, then I believe that you look at only 90% of your paycheck to establish your budget, for you practice what God has ordained through His Word, that you should give the first 10% of your income to God’s work through your local church. What was that, you can’t afford to tithe? I beg your pardon, because Gods said that if we obey Him He will bless us. Don’t you know that God will help you meet so much more in your expenses with the remaining 90% than you could ever accomplish on your own with 100%? But challenging the use of your income even more, God said through Moses in our Scripture that when we help the poor and needy, He will bless us richly in everything we do. So are you feeling victorious today? Could it be that you are helping others, but with a resentful attitude? Could it be that you often tell God to not bless you as much so that you don’t have to help the poor? I know you have lots of tips to help that poor person, but God said in this same chapter that you are not to give grudgingly, but with a spirit of the One who blessed you in the first place. Think about it, what have we done to deserve the love of the God who created us and looks out for us each day? Just do what He says, and know that He will always keep His promises. Bless someone today and be ready for a blessing from God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Bless others, and prepare for a blessing from God!

PRAYER: I may not be as rich as my neighbor, as handsome as the successful businessman, or as blessed as my pastor, but oh Lord, You have blessed me with more than I could ever desire or ask for, and I thank You from the bottom of my heart. Please continue Your work in my readers/listeners and myself so that we may see the needs of others, and feel compassionate enough to help them because of Your love and Your commands. Lord, may You be blessed today because we helped someone in need. 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!

Seeing Your Potential

Whether you’re a member of a Pastor Search Committee, or a Banker, to help you save your job, I will not recommend that you comb the seashore to find your next employee! But Jesus did just this, He went along and called four fishermen to work by His side in winning the lost to Jesus Christ. Do you feel like you might qualify, or perhaps your next door neighbor? Let’s think about the potential that Jesus sees in us, as we meditate on this Scripture today.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-07-29
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 1:16-20
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen and were casting their nets into the lake. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” 18 Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.
19 Jesus walked on and soon saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat, mending their nets. 20 At once Jesus asked them to come with him. They left their father in the boat with the hired workers and went with him.

APPLICATION: I believe that many of us can reflect on our younger days and stand in amazement at the occupation we ended up doing as adults, compared to our initial thoughts about our career as a teenager! Perhaps you’re a Pastor today, but never saw yourself as anything greater than a farmer when you were being raised on a farm. Instead of being a store clerk, you may have wound up being a teacher. Having always wished for a job where you would handle money, you may have wound up being manager of a security business. Many other examples, but as you can clearly see, often we will wind up spending a career in doing something quite different to that which we dreamed about as a child. Way too often though, we will find someone doing a job, where they feel like they would never qualify for anything more challenging. But in our Scripture today we are reminded that Jesus never looked for seminary graduates, or Sundays School teachers or pastors to be His disciples. He chose very unlikely people. In our examples today, Jesus chose 4 fishermen for a life changing career in following Him. Were there some characteristics of a fisherman that might qualify them for ministry? Perhaps, but what I saw in this was that Jesus sees potential in us that no one else may ever dream as possible. Just imagine, we were created by the same God who formed this earth. He created land to form a habitat for mankind, then He created mankind to live there. Not Just Adam and Eve, but He also created all the necessary chemistry to create you and I. Do you suppose that our Creator ever made anything that He called ‘Junk’? I’d be willing to assure you that He did not. So when He went looking for assistants, or disciples, to teach His ministry to and prepare them for the work that would continue long after He left this earth, don’t you know that He was able to remove all filters and just choose men who stood to be blessed because they would faithfully serve Him? I remember serving on Pastor Search committees, and we had filters that filled pages and pages of our questionnaire used to make sure that a prospect would check all of the boxes. Friends, I learned over the years that if God had a search committee ask me to serve in a local church, I would never use the excuse that I was unqualified for that. Because of that, God has used me in fields where others may have smiled because of my efforts, but I believe that God smiled because He knew that it was through His power and His strength that I could even stand up there and try. Always remember that God created you with a purpose in mind for your life, because He knew your potential, and what He could accomplish through you. Please don’t be a stumbling block to His will and His purpose for your life.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We are God’s children, created in His image, for His purpose. He sees great potential in us. Let go of your pride, fear and lack of confidence and let Him lead you to the full extent of your potential, with God at your very core.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, this is just one of Your precious jewels that You made in Your likeness for Your glory! You’ve placed me here on earth to specifically lift up Your name on high and glorify our Father in heaven. Your work is extensive, but fishermen did it, and so did tax collectors, so I have no reason to doubt that You can work miraculously through the lives of my readers/listeners and myself, so that the Good News can be shared with everyone that we touch or rub shoulders with. Use us as Your instrument to fulfill Your mission oh Lord. Many are still unsaved, so my friends and I are still in high demand. May we bow at Your feet and accept the challenge You have for us today. 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!

Illustrate Your Current Need for the Lord

David was passionate about meeting with God, and he illustrated his state, his desire, his passion, by comparing it to a deer just about dying of thirst. Meditate with me on this, and allow your mind to help you describe your present state of need, or how desirous you are of God at this time. Feel free to use an object, animal, or one of their actions to help you tell God how needy you are for Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-07-28
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 42:1-2
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: As a deer gets thirsty for streams of water, I truly am thirsty for you, my God. In my heart, I am thirsty for you, the living God.

APPLICATION: God created us with great purpose, and with a built-in desire to recognize and worship the God of this universe. No matter how much we struggle with various worldly concerns, we can look around us and hear the rustling brook and the chirping birds that are as happy as they could possible be. Regardless of our commitment in life regarding salvation, we all know deep inside that there is a God and that He loves us unconditionally – beyond anyone, or anything that we could possibly understand. For the person struggling with believing in God, that quickly changes when they are faced with a challenge bigger than anything they have witnessed here on earth in their lifetime. David had struggled with a lot, and every time he felt like he was safe, another of King Saul’s men would search him out. I believe that are representative of David, when we feel like we are going through a spell of quiet from God. We might often feel like God has retired, or just ignoring us. But it could very well be that God is creating such a thirst inside of us, that we will be forced to evaluate our inner soul and not only find the things that are keeping us away from a closer relationship with God, but also helping us to more deeply desire our Creator. Friends, I believe that Satan’s number one priority is to pull us away from God, whereas God’s priority is to love us and comfort us into a peace that surpasses all understanding. This develops a desire in our soul to want more of our Master, and to draw close to Him so that He may bless, and bless our every desire and move. In your mind today, who has control? Is Satan winning the battle, or are you in much the same mode as David where you are longing for more of our God? Satan is bound to continue leading you along the path to Hell and eternal damnation, while God loves His creation and wants your soul to desire more of Him and eternity in heaven with He and His precious Son. For as much as lies within you dear friend, whom do you think will win your soul? My faithful and heartfelt desire is that you will be by my side around the throne of God in Heaven. I pray that your soul will burn deep inside for more of Jesus Christ and to know Him intimately. Whenever you are feeling far from God, try running a test by evaluating what your soul is panting for. If the answer is not Jesus Christ, then let me encourage you to refresh your commitment to Him, read His Word faithfully and reach out to Him in prayer. He will hear your heart’s cry and fill you with more of Himself.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Just as a deer pants for water in a dry and thirsty land, so will we desperately desire God when we have drifted away from Him, or need more of Him.

PRAYER: Praise You Lord, there is something about our King that our hearts burn for. We are reminded daily that we can’t handle this old wicked and cruel world, so we reach out to You, Lord, in desperation, knowing that You can supply all our needs and encourage us beyond anything that this old world throws at us. Please give us the assurance to go on, knowing that the King of all kings and Lord of all lords has our hand and will keep us until that day we are called home to glory! Oh, What a day that will be! 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!

Where Do You Tend To Hang Out?

From a very young age many of us have receive training from our parents to watch the company that we hang out with. Many times churches will teach that the place for the Christian is at church and/or around church families. No doubt this was similar to our ancestors, as they really looked down on Jesus and His disciples for hanging out with known sinners. Jesus quickly responded to this idea about the importance of who He spent time with, and I believe that this might still be good advice for us today. Let me encourage you to read the entire devotional for my thoughts on this!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-07-27
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 5:30-32
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 30 … “Why would you defile yourselves by eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners? Doesn’t Jesus know it’s wrong to do that?
31 Jesus overheard their complaining and said, “Who goes to the doctor for a cure? Those who are well or those who are sick? 32 I have not come to call the ‘righteous,’ but to call those who know they are sinners and bring them to repentance.”

APPLICATION: Part of the great divide between Christians and unbelievers might be caused by the cliques that are created, often unknowingly. Christians are taught to, and often feel most comfortable to, hang out with those of like faith. Sure, I believe that scenario will create great accountability partners, and there will probably be less room for argument, as we will seldom challenge each other on what we believe, or what we do. I see little difference in this practice when looking at the unsaved, for they tend to hang out in like groups and places. Because of this exclusivity, it seems like each group tends to look at the other group as pretenders and thinking of themselves as better than the other. To a certain extent, this may be true, especially if one fails to associate with member of the opposite group. But Jesus may have introduced us to a very unique thought in the Scriptures today. It we truly want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and do the will of the Father, wouldn’t we want to spend some time around the people we are trying to share the Gospel with? After all, how many Christians will we aim to ‘save’, again? Sure, iron sharpens iron, and we need the strength, encouragement and love from our Christian brothers and sisters, but if we refuse to mix with non-Christians and understand their needs, how will we ever discern the difference that Jesus might make in their lives? Additionally, how else will your unsaved friends know Jesus’ way of living and treating one another if you don’t give them opportunity to spend time with you? I believe that one of the most interesting changes we must consider, is that instead of feeling compelled to stay away from unbelievers in fear of adopting their bad habits, we must instead desire to be around them and ask God to let them grow in Him by seeing God at work in us. Friends, people need the Lord – those are the unbelievers. Unless we spend time around them and teach them God’s ways, how else will they see God and come to know Him personally?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus hung out with sinners, because He wanted to bring them to repentance. We should do the same!

PRAYER: Lord, please teach us to live like You demonstrated to us in Your Word. We have picked up too many earthly practices to often be of any heavenly good to our neighbors. Please help us to stay centered on Your Word and practice all that You have taught us. Much of this will be quite different for us in contrast to what we have practiced so far, so please give us strength, give us wisdom, give us boldness and most of all, give us a heart like yours. Let others experience Your awesome love and goodness through our encounters with them, and convince them of their need for a Savior. 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 Commission

During His ministry with the disciples, Jesus demonstrated how important it was to minister to everyone they came into contact with. Now that He had risen from the dead, Jesus gave His disciples their marching orders to ‘Go and Tell’. As His children, also looking to serve our Lord, I believe that Jesus would definitely desire, or even command, that we also continue to go and tell the Good News, and with confidence in knowing that He will be with us. Think about it.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-07-26
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 28:18-20
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 Jesus came forward and addressed His beloved disciples.
Jesus: I am here speaking with all the authority of God, who has commanded Me to give you this commission19 Go out and make disciples in all the nations. Ceremonially wash them through baptism in the name of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 20 Then disciple them. Form them in the practices and postures that I have taught you, and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you. And I will be with you, day after day, to the end of the age.

APPLICATION: In reading Matthew 28, you will find that when the two Mary’s visited the tomb of Jesus after His burial, the angel intervened and told them that there was no need to go any further, for Jesus had risen, just as He said He would. He instructed them to now ‘Go and Tell’ (tell His disciples). Friends, many of us attend church each week and rejoice at meeting with our risen Lord. We are then instructed by our respective pastors to ‘Go and Tell’ the Good News to all that we come into contact with. Oh Lord Jesus, we know that You never did, and never will, give commands or say things intended to make us feel good. If You said it, then we could go to the bank with that. If You said it, then You expect us to be obedient children and follow through with what You commanded. Later in this same chapter when Jesus met with His disciples for the first time after His resurrection, He continued the same message as the angel started – ‘Go and Tell’ all people, everywhere, the Good News of His death, burial and resurrection. As they received the message, and as they surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, then baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And, by the way, Jesus said that He would be with all disciples as they share the Good News, right up until the very end of time. So friends, here’s the scoop. Jesus is telling us that we are to obey His commands to ‘Go and Tell’, and we could do that confidently and without fear, for He will be with us at all times. If you are commissioned into the military or for any other job, I don’t believe that you will ever have quite the comfort as awarded by our Savior in His commission. Let’s just get busy about the Lord’s work fellow Christians! For those who have chosen to refrain from accepting the lordship of our King, please know that God made the ultimate sacrifice to facilitate the forgiveness of our sin. He had to watch, without interfering, while His precious Son gave His own life so that we might have life everlasting in heaven with the Father and the Son. Won’t you reconsider the offer that He gives today and surrender your life to Jesus? As your earthly friend, it would do my heart good to know that each reader has decided to follow Jesus, no turning back now, or ever.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God gave the command, ‘Go and Tell’, for us to follow, but He also offered that He would be with us every step of the way. No worries, just do it!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for Your gracious sacrifice for our ultimate good. You showed love so amazing that we could only say thank You from the very bottom of our heart. Lord, You gave us work to do while here among people who desperately need You. The world has become so bitter and so against anything that appears God-related. They need You Lord. Although we feel so inadequate, You have demanded that we ‘Go and Tell’, but not to worry, You will be with us until the very end. Please remind us of this promise each time that we feel inadequate in sharing the Gospel with others. Oh that those in our circle of influence will see Jesus in us and desire to also know Him personally! Please be our strength and give us boldness and an urgency to obediently follow Your Great Commission. 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!

What Does God Require of You?

To make sure that we are doing everything right in our home, we try to ensure that we know what our parents want from us, or our landlord, our spouse expects of us. For those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, shouldn’t we also determine what Jesus requires of us? But where do we begin with that? Moses wanted to make sure the Israelites knew what God required of them, and so should we determine in our hearts to know what God expects of us. Stay with me as we pursue this.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-07-25
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 10:12-13; 16
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to listen carefully to all he says to you, and to obey for your own good the commandments I am giving you today, and to love him, and to worship him with all your hearts and souls?
16 Therefore, cleanse your sinful hearts and stop your stubbornness.

APPLICATION: For a child who gives the excuse ‘he thought that he had a good idea or what might be best in a situation’, mom or dad might quickly inform the child that they don’t make the rules around the home, they just follow the rules as already established by the parents! Similarly, when an employee decides to do something ‘their way’ instead of the established written procedure, they might expect to be fired for disobeying company rules and regulations. The Israelites had quite a record of ‘doing their own thing’, instead of obediently following the commands of God, the God who provided safety during their travels, food when they were hungry and water when thirsty. Yet through the whole journey to freedom, they were under the leadership of God’s faithful servants, Moses and Aaron. But now comes a very critical time, when they would be released to their own cognizance. Want to try one guess about what will happen? Moses knew that on their own, they would soon be in sad shape morally and relationally, for they would immediately fall back to their former gods and idols. So like any good Shepherd would do, Moses had a pep talk with the Israelites to outline what God expected of them. As I pondered the short list, I concluded that there was nothing extraordinary about the list that God would not also require of us today. It reminded me that God included these type lessons in His Book, so that all His children will learn about His truths and how to live until He calls us home to glory. So for our own good, here is a list of the instructions given by Moses:
~ Listen carefully to all He says to you – This will generally come through reading God’s Word, for He speaks intently through His Word to His children;
~ Obey the commandments given to us by God – There was purpose in God giving us His commandments. Obey them, dear children;
~ Love Him – When you consider how much God loved us, should we not love Him in return, with all our heart, soul and mind? To know Him, is to love Him;
~ Worship Him with all your heart and soul – On earth we say thank you, and we compliment folk all the time. For the God who has the power to do it all, give us all and be everything to us, we can only humbly kneel in prayer before Him, or offer up praise and worship to Him. Recognize Him for who He is, and we will quickly bow at His feet in worship;
When we find ourselves in awe of His goodness, and obedient to His call on our lives, then in our hearts we are forced to do as verse 16 says: ‘Cleanse our sinful hearts and stop our stubbornness’. Just accept His lordship and seek to faithfully follow Him all of your days!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: To know what the Master requires of us brings peace and contentment, because we then know what to aim at, and accomplish, in order to please Him in total obedience.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I thank You for who You are, and I thank You for not only giving the Israelites clear vision of what You require, but by placing this in Your Word for Christians of all times, I believe that You have also graced us with Your vision for how Your children should live. Please give us boldness to each day find the battle of sin here on this earth, and instead strive to live as You commanded., knowing that there will be many who will object to our methods and our practice. We want to honor You oh Lord. Please help us to stand firm among those who practice quite the opposite, for our goal will always be to please You oh King and obey Your commands. May You always be evident in every aspect of our lives, so that others will see Jesus working through us and give You glory as You deserve. 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!