Things That Are Totally Despicable To God

Wouldn’t you think that it would be everyone’s goal to please the very One that created us? The One who loves us so much that He sacrificed his very life for our eternal salvation? The One who looks out for our very best each and every day? Let’s meditate on the truth that God led Solomon to warn us about – the things that He abhors. You may hesitate because you don’t consider yourself evil, or disobedient to God, but I assure you that these are things that we should be reminded about.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-05-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Proverbs 6:16-19
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 There are six evils God truly hates
and a seventh that is an abomination to him:
17 Putting others down while considering yourself superior,
spreading lies and rumors,
spilling the blood of the innocent,
18 plotting evil in your heart toward another,
gloating over doing what’s plainly wrong,
19 spouting lies in false testimony,
and stirring up strife between friends.
These are entirely despicable to God!

APPLICATION: Whether things are going extremely well for us, or beyond challenging for us, I can’t imagine that anyone would possibly think about doing some of the ugly things mentioned in Solomon’s warning. However, my God knows the good, the bad and the ugly about His children that He created in His image. But friends, we have heard about more extreme and weird crimes than we ever imagined. So yes, I believe that God knew about our need for reminders about the things that He hates. When sin entered this world (that thing that causes us to perform certain acts, and say things that are contrary to God’s design, and in contrast to His teachings) Satan had the goal of redirecting our hearts and our minds away from God’s original design. He chose to redirect, steal, and misguide God’s children away from Him. Satan’s lies and deception causes us to think that there is a better way – one where we might be more powerful and better off at the end of the day. Unfortunately, when we become subservient to Satan, we often do the things that God abhors, and that He teaches against and tries to steer us away from. Our God will not be lifted up, magnified, glorified or praised by folk under the influence of the evil one. God inspired Solomon to forewarn us about the things that God really despises, because he didn’t want us to find ourselves headed in a direction away from God, that may be extremely challenging for us to reverse. I realize that each one could read the Scripture verses for themselves, but I want to add a few comments to each of the seven things, based on my studies. Here are the things we are warned about by Solomon, that God hates:
1) Haughty, or proud eyes, belonging to one who lifts up self, at the expense of others. Jesus practiced humility to an extreme, and He wants us to do the same;
2) Being untruthful, for we will never gain the trust of our fellow man. Plus we tend to falsely accuse others through our lies;
3) Killing innocent people. I know, you’re not a murderer, right? But are you a participant or promoter of abortion. Or are you one to do everything in your power to promote ‘life’ as God has given it to us?
4) Plotting evil towards another – the Word explains that this is devising wicked schemes in our heart. Perhaps it is best to quickly seek help, as it could lead to disastrous actions;
5) Gloating over the evil you’ve done – instead of placing your head between your knees in sorrow, shame and regret over what you’ve done;
6) False Testimony – being an untrusted witness – in court, or if questioned by authorities; and
7) Stirring up strife between others – This might be friends, family or coworkers, where you have chosen to help divide, instead of bringing peace between the affected parties.
Friends, no doubt you could see yourself in one or more of these seven things. Let me suggest that you speak with the God of this universe, and ask for His help, strength and guidance in overcoming the temptations of the evil one. Please join me in a desire to be more like Jesus and to follow His teachings and His will for our lives. Jesus went about doing good in every walk of life, and so should we, God being our helper!

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, we your children, have allowed the world to sway our minds and lead us into actions that You despise. As Your child, I am embarrassed and sorrowful that You are having to look on the mess we have made of the perfect people that You placed here on earth. On behalf of my readers and listeners, I humbly ask that You forgive us and give us extra strength to overcome the evil one, while doing our utmost to please You and obey You while here on earth. Please guide us into all truth, and remind us often of the One to whom we belong, and help us to live boldly in the light of Your teachings and Your example, so that others may see and believe in the God we serve. Please speak firmly to the unsaved today, so that they may surrender their lives to You and become one with You.  AMEN!

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

Jesus ‘Hangs Out’ With Sinners

In a hospital, a doctor is only interested in the sick, even if his relatives may look at him in scorn, or wonder how he avoids catching what his patients have. Jesus was also on mission to care about, and care for, the sick – the sinners. He said that He came especially for those who know they are sinners – because their sin problem could only be cured by the Savior who died so that sinners could be set free. Perhaps in our study today we may receive clarification and/or direction on how followers of Christ might get over the stigma of hanging with those in need of the Savior we are intimately attached to!

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-05-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 2:15-17
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

APPLICATION: Christians tend to hang out with other Christians – because we have so much in common, and we feel comfortable that no one will question us, if seen associating with folk of the same belief. Praise God, Jesus was different in this respect. He shows us that if we are to reach the unsaved, and if we are to truly show God’s love to all people, then we had better build a rapport with everyone, especially those who need Him. When we look down our noses at folk, we must remember that they have a very hard time looking up to us and accepting anything that we may have to say to them. Jesus came so that sinners might have the means for forgiveness of sin, and in recognizing their need for such forgiveness, they would accept Him as Lord and Savior. For Christians who are meditating on this devotional, let’s remember that we are to be Christ followers and therefore follow the lead that He displayed while here on this earth, for people around us need the Lord now, more than ever before. How do you feel like you are doing, my friend? Are you able to show love to the sometimes unlovable? Are you humble enough to sit and listen to the deep struggles and concerns of someone that may be deep in sin? Unless we do this, how will they know Jesus?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus is still willing to hang with sinners to meet their needs right where they are!

PRAYER: Father, I pray that You will open my heart today and make me aware of those around me that need You as Savior. Make me very aware that although they may not look like me, or they may not follow the same guidelines of living that I follow, and they may not even attend, or perhaps never attended, church, please help me to see them as You see them. Please allow me to present myself in ways that others will see Your love, Your acceptance and Your willingness to listen to their shortcomings. Lord, please show them the way, the truth of Your Word, so that they may see Jesus, and come to know You in a very personal and intimate way. Oh that You may shine through Your children/Your representatives today! Help us to never forget that You reached far down to lift us up from our sin, and in our deepest time of need. There is none like You Heavenly Father. Please help me be obedient to Your will in doing Your work, so that others may know and believe. 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!

Oh What A Relief It Is

There are so many things that stress us out, and everyone we talk to will have their own idea or solution on how we should deal with that stress. But God had us in mind a long time ago and He led David to share with us His resolution for our distress. Let us meditate on what our Maker teaches us about stress release!

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-05-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 32:1-5
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Our Lord, you bless everyone whose sins you forgive and wipe away. You bless them by saying, “You told me your sins, without trying to hide them, and now I forgive you.” Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp, and I groaned all day long. Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me, and my strength was gone as in the summer heat. So I confessed my sins and told them all to you. I said, “I’ll tell the Lord each one of my sins.” Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.

APPLICATION: I’m certainly not trained to deal professionally with how one should handle the stress in their lives (that’s my legal disclosure!!!!). However, I can share with you the best solution, based on a word from our Maker, Designer, Creator and Almighty God! For knowing full well how our generation would handle stress, God gave to His servant David resolution for his personal stresses, and inspired him to share that with us from his first-hand experience. David had his share of weaknesses, challenges, sin; forgiveness and happiness. Today David is challenging us to consider not doing the easiest thing by trying to cover up our sin and pretend it doesn’t exist. For it only makes us miserable when we go around pretending that all is well. Friends, I believe that is the first inhibitor for stress – when we know something is going on in our lives, but we pretend to those around us that all is well. Unfortunately I believe that we unconsciously show our pretense to God also, for we follow our own desires, knowing that these things are almost always contrary to the Word of God, and to what He desires of us. But we go on about our day pretending that all is well anyway. In my opinion this is the source of stress, for we are covering up something that we know should be done, said or acted upon differently. But praise be to God, the Psalmist showed us that there was excellent results for him when he followed the normal pattern designed by God. God has set this pattern for His children so that they might be pleasing to Him in every way. However, in all of our wisdom, we somehow figured that we could go our own way and do our own thing, and God would be just as happy with us. But God, in His wisdom, placed an uneasiness in us, that some may call ‘stress’, while others may call it a conscience, because He wanted us to know when we are doing something that isn’t right. Let me encourage you to re-read the last part of our focal verses today, and I believe that like me, you too might notice the loud sigh of relief by David when he concluded that God heard his cry for forgiveness and He forgave him. I pray that our goal today might be that we live as an open book before God – nothing to be worried about, holding nothing back, exposing everything to God that bothers us in the very least. Recognizing that God knows all about us and our inadequacies, and He knows what we may be covering up. But I believe that He longs to see us reconcile our faults before Him, and seek His forgiveness, so that we may be one with Him. Consider making this the day that you relieve yourself of the stress in your life. Seek God while He may be found. Expose your heart to Him, so that He might cleanse it and make you whole. Be one with your Maker my friend, and experience the relief He gives through forgiveness of your sin.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: I don’t know that we could find a story in the Bible where God did not forgive one of His children who sought His forgiveness. Praise God, He is still waiting, willing and ready to forgive us of our sins and shortcomings also!

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, we approach You as Your loving children that are broken and filled with stress over trying to do ‘life’ on our own. Please speak directly to our innermost person today and help us to acknowledge our shortcomings, and our inability to handle this complex world on our own while thinking that we could still please You. Without You we are broken without any hope of repair. Please humble our hearts so that we might surrender our all to You and give You full reign in every aspect of our being, so that You may be honored and praised by all who we may encounter. 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!

Things That Make One Unacceptable To God

We all want to do our best, look our best and portray our best before our peers, family and friends. But in our focal passage today, it is obvious that there are some other things that are more important to our Maker – things that would impact our eternity with Him. This sounds important enough for us to spend some time on today dear friends, stay with me on this…

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-05-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 7:20-23 
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 And Jesus said, “The things that make people wrong are the things that come from the inside. 21 All these bad things begin inside a person, in the mind: bad thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, 22 adultery, greed, doing bad things to people, lying, doing things that are morally wrong, jealousy, insulting people, proud talking, and foolish living.23 These evil things come from inside a person. And these are the things that make people unacceptable to God.

APPLICATION: Going to the gym has become a high priority for many. Going to weight management classes reaches high on the priority list for many. Attending inspirational conferences and spending time with positive people is a must. Yes, we have become a people who have really dedicated ourselves to make a good impression on the rest of the world, and that’s a very positive thing for our image in the face of our boss, and those who tend to look at our stance in community. BUT, we should all be interested in what makes a difference in the eyes of God, as He determines our eternal destiny. I believe that every day, there are words, thoughts and deeds by us that determines who we truly are. It is important to remember that unlike our ability to hide certain aspects of our life from family and/or friends, our lives are an open book to our Maker. Let us never forget that there are two options for where one might spend eternity, and those options are evaluated based on our decisions in life, and our obedience to God’s commands. If you are intentional about making heaven your eternal home, then you will intentionally seek after Christ, and therefore closely desire to obey His Word. If you do nothing, or couldn’t care less, then obviously you have decided that you are content with Hell and the damnation that comes from its leader – Satan. So having laid the groundwork, I would like for us to think about the focal verses today. Jesus outlined some things that emanate from us that are detriment to the cause of Christ. These are attitudes and actions that result from what has been fed into our lives – by television; movies; the friends we hang out with; the absence of the teachings of Jesus Christ; etc. It is obvious that no matter how good the things are that make us healthy and put our bodies in shape, the really important things in life – the things that please God, truly comes from the inner man – from the things that touched our heart, soul and mind. Friends, let me be the first to tell you that the source of the things that please God, actually come from Him and His teachings in the first place. Verses 21 and 22 in our focal passage lists the things that negatively impact us, and on a close examination of these things, you will clearly see that these attributes are promoted by Satan himself, for the Bible has repeatedly taught against these things. So my challenge for you and I today is that we carefully go to the Source of life, and the Source of eternal life, for inspiration and spiritual growth in ways that please our Master. That’s what really counts in this life! Remember, only what’s done for Jesus will last, and as we learned from these verses today, only lives that are impacted by Jesus will go on to eternity with Him in glory. Where are you headed dear friend? Where will you spend eternity? Have you surrendered your life to Jesus, and find yourself learning from Him daily, so that you may reflect Him in every aspect of your life? That’s my desire, and I pray that each reader will do likewise. For the Christian reading, or listening to this devotional, let me suggest that you make a list of the things mentioned in Vs 21-22 and keep that list in a prominent place in your home. Review that list anytime the Holy Spirit convicts you of separation from God, so that you might determine if any habit are infiltrating your life, that are unacceptable to God. If ‘yes’, then determine in your heart to seek God’s help to get yourself back on track and fully acceptable to Him.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: For the child of God who lives according to His plan and His commands, we are reminded that Jesus died and was crucified so that we might have peace and acceptance with God the Father. The Holy Spirit is our helper to especially be on guard against the things mentioned in our focal verses.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You have made it clear in Your Word what You demand of each of Your children. You’ve shown us how our lives will reflect the One to whom we are running to. Please touch each one that will read, or listen to, this devotional today. May we all know without a doubt where we are headed and where we will spend eternity. May our lives reflect that in everything we do and say, through Your strength and by Your power oh Lord. 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!

You Will See The Lord Give You Victory!

King Jehoshaphat faced an overwhelming issue – he was about to face a huge army. Often our issues seem huge and unreal also, and we become overwhelmed with fear of the unknown. We can only see the huge battle, and we could easily see the limited resources that we have at our disposal. But the reassuring thing for us from this story today, is that the same God who promised victory to the king, is the same God that we serve, and the same God, at whose feet we will place our burdens today! Friend of God, I believe that our God is just as concerned about our battle as He was about the king’s challenge! But I also believe that He has the power to win our battle for us, just as He did for the king! What a super reminder for us today!

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-05-02
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Chronicles 20:15–17
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: Jahaziel said, “Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you. Attack them tomorrow as they come up the pass at Ziz. You will meet them at the end of the valley that leads to the wild country near Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Just take up your positions and wait; you will see the LORD give you victory. People of Judah and Jerusalem, do not hesitate or be afraid. Go out to battle, and the LORD will be with you!”

APPLICATION: King Jehoshaphat faced the reality of an approaching army that was superior to his and overwhelmingly outnumbered his army. He was accustomed to prayer, leadership by God, and the awesome power of God. And, true to form, the king took full advantage of petitioning the help of the God who promised to be with His children in their time of need! Jehoshaphat gathered his people in the temple courtyard and he personally led the prayer to God on behalf of his people. After bragging on the known accomplishments of God, in vs 7 and again in vs 12 the king acknowledged that “You are our God”, meaning that You are the proven One that we depend on; You are the One that is powerful enough to bring us victory! In response to this intense, yet humble time of prayer, God spoke through an unknown prophet in their midst, Jahaziel. The prophet shared with the king and his people that they are not to be afraid or discouraged, the battle depends on God, not on them! Wow, we serve the same great God that gave this promise to Jahaziel! What an awesome and reassuring reality when we face our battles today. When we have placed the battle in God’s hands, we can rest peacefully knowing that the battle is not ours, but His! What an all-powerful, protective and awesome God we serve, fellow Christian! Take time to give Him praise, adoration and glory today! If you are facing a battle, no matter how huge, please consider reading the full chapter 20 of 2 Chronicles (30 verses), and be encourage to surrender that battle over to God. Imagine the peace of knowing that the God who created this vast universe, now has the issue that has been troubling you, under His control. The battle is no longer yours, my friend, but His! He will be glorified for the way that He handles this! Just surrender it to God, my friend! For He alone is our God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Surrendered hearts of believing Christians will seek God and surrender their battles to the Master of the sea; the healer of the blind, deaf and mute; the Victor of battles brought on against Jehoshaphat, and the One who loves, cares and waits for us in Glory. Our battles belong to Him!

PRAYER: Lord God, You know the mountains that we need to cross, and I believe that You know the challenges that seem overwhelming to us. Please comfort the hearts of Your children tuned in to this devotional today, and give us the reassurance that we need to help us face today, and tomorrow, knowing that You are still God and that our ‘mountains’ are very crossable with You as our Guide and our Deliverer. Praise be to God for the assurance of knowing teh God on the mountain is also God of our deepest valley. May we place our faith and trust in You at all times, for all things. 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!

Remove The Evil One

Perhaps like me, your parents also warned you about which friends you would hang around with, and which ones were off limit! It seemed like our parents were cruel and hateful in their judgement of our friend’s character, but as adults we can reflect back and often see the trouble that developed in their lives. Our parents wanted the very best for us. I believe this Scripture is teaching us that it is equally important that we keep God’s church holy, just as He is holy, and not let the evil settle in among us. Let’s delve into this together.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-05-01
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

APPLICATION: I was in conversation yesterday with a few apartment tenants in a large city, and I overheard them talking about the warnings of eviction that were threatened by their landlord, and I believe it seems like an appropriate illustration, just as in the case of our upbringing, as they both open the door to discuss how God’s holy people are set apart unto Him. It is evident that in the case of our parents, they wanted no bad thing to distract from what they were teaching us at home, for parents try to help their children learn to always aim for what is best in life for their own good. It also goes to say that parents want to teach us that if we see behavior that is opposite to what we aim to live, then we should force ourselves away from that person or persons who lead that lifestyle. Similarly, landlords aim at finding the best tenants who will pay their rent on time and treat their building and fellow tenants with due respect. When either of these things become questionable, the landlord seeks to evict that questionable tenant, with hopes of finding one that better suites the desires of the landlord. Now, when Jesus gets a hold of our heart and invites us to let Him in, He teaches us in His Word how it is that He wants us to live so that He might be best represented, so that other non-repentant sinners may be wooed into the Kingdom. So we start to spend a lot of time around church, and with fellow believers, so that we may grow from each other’s strength and encouragement. But what happens when a ‘bad apple’ finds their way into our fellowship? I believe that our Scripture perfectly supports the very old proverb that says ‘one bad apple spoils the whole bunch’! You see, Christians have become so accustomed to ‘loving like Jesus’, that we tend to forget that an important part of loving is to also discipline those who are about to ‘spoil the whole bunch’. In our parents home, if they don’t discipline bad behavior or otherwise breaking their rules, then our siblings quickly catch on to the fact that the rules set by our parents are not really intended to be followed seriously. All of a sudden we see children grow into maturity and expect to view the rules established by police and community leaders in much the same, lax way. Dear friends, I am convinced that there is nothing more serious than us trying to please our Heavenly Father. In Deuteronomy 17:7, the Israelites were told by God that when they discover ‘one bad apple’, they are to rid themselves of that evil. Paul quoted that Scripture to the church in Corinth as he taught them how to rid themselves of the evil that may come in their midst. I believe that for those who have been around for a while, we can look around and see where many standards have been lowered compared to what our ancestors understood from the Scriptures and tolerated in the church. I can only wonder what God might have to say to us on Judgment Day. Is He pleased with the way that we are interpreting His commands, and the little twists we are making to them in the name of politically correctness, or in the name of ‘love’? I believe that if we find reason to question our decision on some of these ‘evil’, controversial, or otherwise borderline things, then perhaps we need more time with God – on our knees and in His Word, until we are convinced that we are obedient to His will. When we question evil in someone else, the whole church may look back at us as also being imperfect. So let’s begin with getting ourselves better aligned with God’s perfect law, design, and will. If we are pleasing in God’s sight, then the same should carry over as we assume leadership in our churches and strive to rid them of evil.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In obedience to God, we are often called to love one another. But at times, it also means disciplining, as needed. I believe that God will bless us when we do both of these things for His glory, and for no gain of our own.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for the love that You extend to all your children – even during the times that You love us enough to discipline us. Please teach us daily to: love like You first loved us; judge honestly and fairly like we expect from You; always seek out the best in everyone; and to always present ourselves and Your church as holy in Your eyes, just as You are holy. Lord, You know how badly we fail in life, but thanks for Your forgiveness and strength to go on. May the people see Jesus evident in every fiber of our being, and therefore no condemnation for our failures already covered by Your precious blood. 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!

Press On – God Is Victorious!

It is so easy for us to become discouraged when we fail, then turn around and walk away, much like a dog with it’s tail between it’s legs. But as we meditate on this Scripture today, I believe it will become apparent that if we march to God’s orders, we will never fail, for His commands always lead to victory!

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-04-30
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 8:1-2
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 1-2 The Lord told Joshua: Don’t be afraid, and don’t be discouraged by what happened at the town of Ai. Take the army and attack again. But first, order part of the army to set up an ambush on the other side of the town. I will help you defeat the king of Ai and his army, and you will capture the town and the land around it. Destroy Ai and kill its king as you did at Jericho. But you may keep the livestock and everything else you want.

APPLICATION: We can grieve the Spirit by sin. We can quench the Spirit when we fail to wait on the Lord to receive direction. But the Lord never gives up on us! God exposed Achan’s sin as the reason Joshua and his army met with failure, but at just the right time, God said to Joshua: “Don’t be dismayed. I will now give you the victory!” Praise God, He doesn’t give up on us either, even when we were careless in following His orders, or not at all. Dear friend, the successful person in life is the one who gets up one more time than he or she is knocked down. Too many Christians, when they are dealt a blow, lay in the dust day after day and don’t get up. But Paul dealt with this when he addressed the church at Philippi. He told them: “Forgetting the things which lie behind, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”! Among all the people in the world, how could Paul possibly accomplish what he did? By forgetting that which was behind him, and looking ahead, instead. Fortunately God does not judge quite like we do. He didn’t set Paul aside and give up on him, instead God had a great work prepared for Paul. Just as Joshua learned a very humbling lesson from his first attempt at conquering the king and people of Ai, Paul also learned that God could use even a persecutor of Christians to forgive and use in His service. Doesn’t it seem well within reason for God to also use you and I in His service here on earth? You see, only wicked man will look at our lives before Christ became a part of it, for in their eyes we could never become holy enough to represent the God of all righteousness and hope. But God yes, BUT GOD, in all His mercy and grace, sent His only Son to die for folk like us, so that our old, disgusting life of sin could be cleansed, made white as snow, purified, in the eyes of our Creator. So if we are ‘right’ in the eyes of God, of course we could be used by Him to reach folk that may doubt and fear the possibility of restoration, renewal, or even salvation in the holy name of Jesus. Joshua didn’t stay down, but God was able to teach him a lesson and give him the opportunity to try it again, this time letting God take the lead and give him the winning instructions. Perhaps we need to surrender ourselves to the King of all kings as well, and allow Him to work in, and through us, to do all that He has planned for us in the work of growing His Kingdom here on earth.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God used the same man who forged ahead into battle without God, to send back into battle, but this time insuring that he would let God be in control. When our battle belongs to God, we win!!

PRAYER: Lord, we normally plead for help with our forgetfulness, but in accordance with the words You gave to Paul for us, please help us to forget what is behind us, so that we may stay focused on all that You have in store ahead for us. Our battle belongs to You Lord. Please teach us as we proceed ahead, and give us victories that will glorify You in every way. Many are struggling, and even more are holding back in committing themselves fully to You, please show them vividly how mighty and awesome You are, so that they may be drawn to You. Use us completely in every way for Your glory oh Lord. 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!

Reasons To Commune With God

There are a few questions that may arise as we study this short Scripture: With Jesus being God, why would He get up early to pray? Things were going great right where He was at, so why would He uproot his disciples’ comfortable position to move on to another town? Perhaps God has a word for us today as we meditate on His Word!

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-04-29
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 1:35-38
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.”

APPLICATION: We often hear about Pastors who spend hours per day studying the Word of God, and in prayer. Why? So they could be more holy, or knowledgable in the Bible? In the Bible we are told that Jesus only spoke what He heard from the Father. He only did what He was told to do by the Father. He only went where He was instructed to go by the Father. I guess I have always assumed that these things were passed on to Jesus through something like osmosis! But in reading this Scripture today, I am convinced that Jesus found it necessary to steal away from everyone and seek a quiet place to get alone with His Father, so that He might receive further instructions from Him. In quiet and in total seclusion, tells me that Jesus wanted no distractions. Before dawn, tells me that Jesus wanted to fill His mind with the Father’s love and instructions before anything else. Now if Christians are a mirror of their Savior here on earth, and we should be imitating His character, His habits and obeying His commands, then I believe that we have clear instructions on how our morning should be priortorized. I had an older deacon tell me one time that it was not a matter of not having time in the mornings to dig into the Word of God and spend time in prayer, it was instead a matter of priority. Those stinging words have never left me. Instead I have used them in teaching that my students try saying to God at the end of our day that spending time with Him that day was not a priority, versus giving all the normal excuses about their lack of time! It works my friend. Seek to make your time with God a priority, and all else will fall into place. Now back to our story – notice that Jesus received a change of plans from the Father, for the first thing that He told the disciples who came looking for Him, was that they would be moving on to the next town. This didn’t settle too good with the disciples, because they quickly responded “That’s great that all men are seeking You, but everyone wants You here!” Unfortunately, we will often find ourselves frazzled and fried if we listen to the wrong voices. Our priorities will get mixed up and we’ll feel wiped out. Our ministry might even be done in. Our heart will be weighed down, instead of rejoicing that we are doing the Father’s will. I have been in positions of church leadership where we had to dig in and keep the ministry going when a pastor leaves. It’s always sad to see a good, hardworking pastor leave, who helped bring many to the Lord. But the church becomes so relaxed in watching them kill themselves out, that little ministry is performed by the members. Unless we do the Father’s will and obey His commands, then our work will often falter to doing what sounds good, looks good and feels good. But that’s the world’s way of doing things. Let’s always strive to follow Christ and continually lift Him up in praise for all that He will accomplish from our efforts here on earth. Thy will be done oh Lord, even if it hurts us to see it differently to anything we could wish for.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus reminded the disciples of why He came. Perhaps we need that reminder each day to help keep us acutely focused on the ‘main thing’!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are eternally thankful for all that You have modeled before us. Your Word is a light unto my feet, so teach me to daily follow in Your footsteps. It was important to You to spend time with the Father each day, and so must I make it a priority to spend time with You. Please touch the heart of every reader and listener today, and may they be reminded of the importance in setting their priorities straight – always God first. May they frequently celebrate seeing everything else falling into place on a timely basis. As this materializes, I sincerely trust in You to help us also keep You first in every aspect of our lives, so that the lost will truly experience the image of God in each of us. 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 Happens To Unholy People

I believe we could break apart today’s Scripture into three parts: The Problem; The Solution; and the Reunion. Marriages go through this, and counselors work with the couple to help them become reunited. At work one may be placed on probation until a boss approves continued employment. In a group setting, such as churches, cities and/or countries this becomes more challenging, as a mediator strives for group agreement to a recommended solution. Think about anything that may be preventing you from enjoying a full, holy, right relationship with God.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 7:6-7; 10-11; 13;
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing in dismay, threw dust on their heads, and bowed face down to the ground before the Ark of the Lord until evening. Then Joshua cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, why did you bring us across the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us?…
10 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? 11 Israel has sinned and broken my covenant!…
13 “Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.

APPLICATION: Things had been going extremely well for the Israelites. God had protected and taken exceptional care of the estimated 3 million people for 40 years, both in getting them away from Pharaoh/Egypt; through the harsh desert in providing food, water and protection from every source of danger; and in clearing the way for them to assume residency in the land promised to them. So of course the leaders and their people got a little sideways in being punished in defeat against the men of Ai. They had become a bit spoiled with the various miracles performed for their benefit. But here’s the difference between God and man: Joshua and the elders went into a time of serious prayer and mourning before God, for they had no idea why their small army was defeated. However, God knew that there was disobedience involved in handling the capture of Jericho. From’s man’s standpoint: the walls fell as God told them they would; the Israelites successfully slaughtered all living things, just as God told them to do; all gold, silver and precious jewels were retrieved just as God ordered them to do; and as far as the leaders knew, everything was taken to the temple as ordered by God. But God knew that the covenant agreement He made with the Israelites had been broken. Unfortunately this happens all too often in our lives also. God agrees to save us from our sin, but don’t we return to sin whenever the circumstances warrant? In our marriage relationships, God provides us an awesome spouse and we make a covenant agreement with God and our mate that we would love, provide for them, and keep them til death do us part, but isn’t it unfortunate how many change their minds after they get what they want from the relationship? In the case of the Israelites, God withdrew His hand of protection and His mighty power to win the battles that His people sought after because they broke their covenant agreement with Him. What if God was that tough on us, and our churches today when we break our covenant relationship with Him and with each other? God was not willing to work with the unholy Israelites, He ordered that they purify themselves. Do you suppose He is waiting for us to do the same before He resumes His blessings on us? Talk to the Father my friend, see if there be any wicked way in you that is causing Him to distance Himself from you. Seek His purification over your life my friend.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God was willing to resume His blessings on the Israelites if they cleaned up their act and made themselves right before God, again. We serve such a forgiving, loving God!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please take our hand and lead us on to a glorious life where You are our focus, and You are so prevalent in our life, that others are attracted to a relationship with You also. We feel so inadequate at times that I’m not sure how we would make it through life without You guiding us, protecting us and loving us. Please teach us to maintain an honest, right relationship with You. We need You Lord Jesus, for we are afraid to walk without You holding our hand. Our battles are real every day, just as the battle the Israelites attempted on their own, but i feel like we need You even more that they did. Thank You for the reminder that You will withhold Your promises if we choose to do life without You. Lord, we need You every hour, please stay by our side and gently guide us through every aspect of life. The glory belongs to You for everything accomplished in and through our lives, may You have full reign to reach others, and if necessary, use us to accomplish Your work. 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!

Simple Words Powered By The Holy Spirit

Ever find yourself listening to a speaker whose education shone through his words, but his message was just beyond your understanding? As a total opposite experience, have you sat under the preaching of an old man who was never blessed with a lot of education, but He had a very deep relationship with Jesus, the One whom he spoke about? Let’s think about Paul, who faced an audience for whom he had to simplify his message. It may teach us something about speaking so that the masses would understand, rather than to impress the professors in the audience!

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-04-27
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Dear brothers, even when I first came to you I didn’t use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God’s message. For I decided that I would speak only of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my preaching was very plain, not with a lot of oratory and human wisdom, but the Holy Spirit’s power was in my words, proving to those who heard them that the message was from God. I did this because I wanted your faith to stand firmly upon God, not on man’s great ideas.

APPLICATION: Praise God for those who have been persistent and successful throughout their years of education, and have shown initiative to excel and learn even more about a particular trade. Often we might step back and congratulate them, for their gifts help them excel in their jobs. In our biblical account of Paul, we must realize that He had just come from Corinth where we see him going to Mars Hill in the city of Athens, gathering with the intelligent students of the day to discuss with one another about the happenings of their day and place, and as in Paul’s case, to teach and preach the Word of God. Often this discussion and philosophy would serve only to help the very top students of the day, because the success of his sermon was very minimal in reaching the actual hearts of the lost and uneducated. Commentaries believe that this intellectual time by Paul failed in his mission to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Coming now to Corinth, Paul was touched by God to speak the truth of the Word to the common person, and not be so concerned about impressing just the highly educated. This helps to explain why Paul placed aside his oratory skills and instead sought the help of the Holy Spirit and the heart of God for His people. I believe it is evident that God uses hearts to touch hearts, for eloquent words often fall by the wayside. Does this still happen in our churches today? Of course this continues. I sincerely believe that it is often not intentional, as we all tend to speak at the level that we would normally communicate in life. So I believe that it takes the power of God to actually help a teacher or preacher to simplify his message so that those in attendance would understand and apply the message to their lives. After all, why study and labor over a lesson or a sermon, if it will fall on deaf ears, or is not understood by those listening. Friends, that could also happen in any of our lives. For those who have attended church and been under the listening of thousands of sermons or Bible studies, we have learned a language that only fellow Christians truly understand. How then can we speak to an unchurched, unbeliever, who knows nothing about our special language? The important thing that comes out in this lesson today is that Paul sought the help and power of the Holy Spirit, and I am convinced that the Holy Spirit not only knows what we need to simplify, but He also knows the level at which the hearer needs to understand. Begging God for the wisdom on what to say to those who need to hear, is only one part of the equation. We should also ask God to bless us with an understanding heart – one that will identify with our audience and help us to become one with them. God’s messenger who could teach His Word is a unique and amazing thing, but to also find one who could simplify it so that even the uneducated, unsaved, needy person who might be weak in their faith, is nothing less that miraculous. May God bless the messenger who is attentive to the Holy Spirit in teaching and preaching the Word of God in simplicity and clarity!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: To understand God’s Word is far more beneficial than to listen to many eloquent words that do not clearly teach us the picture that God wants painted in our hearts and minds.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for leaving us Your Word, and also the Holy Spirit to bless us in our understanding of it. Please help us to always be mindful of the hearer when we try to witness, teach and preach, so that the world will know about You and their need for salvation, and not just be impressed with our level of education. Thank You for our educators, and for where they have brought us to scholastically. Please help us to reach family and friends from all walks of life and varied levels of education. Holy Spirit, please help us to always understand what our audience knows about our Father, so that our teaching and our witness will result in the unsaved receiving Jesus, spiritual growth and in productive fruit. Please open the heart of our hearers so that they will desire to know more about the Jesus we love, adore and serve. 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!