Your Sins Will Find You Out

As a youngster you may have told mom that it wasn’t you who stole from the peanut butter jar, while all the while showing evidence all around your mouth! Perhaps you’ve been holding on to sin, while hoping that you have done a good job covering up the instigator of such behavior. Judah thought that he had done a good job covering up for his sin, but it didn’t work out like he had planned. How much are you covering up?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-02-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 38:24-26
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 About three months later someone told Judah, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has behaved like a prostitute, and now she’s pregnant!”
“Drag her out of town and burn her to death!” Judah shouted.
25 As Tamar was being dragged off, she sent someone to tell her father-in-law, “The man who gave me this ring, this cord, and this walking stick is the one who got me pregnant.”
26 “Those are mine!” Judah admitted. “She’s a better person than I am, because I broke my promise to let her marry my son Shelah.”….. 

OBSERVATION: As a youngster you may have told mom that it wasn’t you who stole from the peanut butter jar, while all the while showing evidence all around your mouth! Perhaps you’ve been holding on to sin, while hoping that you have done a good job covering up the instigator of such behavior. Judah thought that he had done a good job covering up for his sin, but it didn’t work out like he had planned. How much are you covering up?

APPLICATION: Isn’t it amazing how smart we think we are? Even if no one else agrees with us, we know that we are smarter than almost anyone else around us! Ha! How we blind ourselves to things that others obviously see in the open! Judah thought that his one night stand with a supposed prostitute would remain just between them two and that no one else noticed. Moses had a similar incident when he slaughtered an Egyptian. He also thought that no one witnessed the altercation and therefore it would just be an unfortunate incident in the course of his life. In both cases, each of the individuals were identified after the incidents occurred. But I felt led to ponder this today with you, because there may be some who are hanging on to mishaps, or sins, that you feel no one will ever find out about. The good news is that you are right, no one here on earth may ever know about your wicked deeds of the past, or your sin that you committed in very private situations. However, I believe that for the child of God, we must be extremely careful not to underestimate the power of the God of this universe, for He is omniscient- knows everything about everything; He is omnipresent- meaning that He is always present in every situation; and He is omnipotent – meaning that He is all powerful. So what is it that you are convinced that only you know about? Have you given thought to what you might say when God questions you about those private, embarrassing, sinful moments that you hoped no one else would know about? Friends, I don’t believe that God wants us to stand before the world and proclaim our sins, but I do believe that He expects His children who are called by His name and claim His righteousness, to be truthful, honest and totally transparent before Him. Of course this means that if we are questioned about these things here on earth, we should be truthful, for He is also there during the questioning. Imagine, if we lie to our fellow Brothers and Sisters about our sins. Do you suppose they will receive the truth from us when we tell them about our Savior? At conversion, we asked God for forgiveness of our sin, and I am confident that He forgave us and washed us white as snow. In God’s eyes then, we are sinless. However to to world, they know about the sins we committed. That never goes away. We can only pray that God will allow them to see Jesus when they look at us, and not the sin that we ignorantly committed before our relationship with Christ. If we lie about it, the world may really question if there really was a change in our lives. Let me encourage all my readers to join me in being transparent to the world, while being totally honest and committed to the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Some day soon, we will see Jesus face-to-face, I pray that we will have no regrets.

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, our only perfect and righteous God. Thank you for looking, even in Your perfection, and forgiving us of our sins and failures. You created us, and therefore knew that we would give in to the sin of this world. But praise to our wonderful Lord, I am convinced that You also honored our request for forgiveness, and You cleansed us of all our sin. Please help us to always be conscious of whose we are, and may we be determined to live a perfect life, even as You are perfect in every way. Please help us to never feel like we could hide anything from You, for we know that as we honor You, we will stay true to Your commands. Please forgive us when we fail Lord, help us in our weakness to remain focused on You, so that others will see Jesus, and not our weak and mortal lives. AMEN!

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

What Will You Do With Jesus?

Have you ever gone to a concert, to a church, or to watch a movie, and was shocked by what the star, or church leader looked like? He just was not what you had pictured in your mind. In fact, there was such a difference that you found it difficult accepting what he had to say, or sing. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we will see an example of where something very similar happened to Jesus in His hometown. The people had to choose whether they would accept His ministry, or not, for He was just a boy from their little town. Nobody really special.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-02-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 13:54-57
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 54 He went to the town where he grew up. He taught the people in the synagogue, and they were amazed. They said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and this power to do miracles? 55 Isn’t he just the son of the carpenter we know? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And don’t all his sisters still live here in town? How is he able to do these things?” 57 So they had a problem accepting him.
But Jesus said to them, “People everywhere give honor to a prophet, but in his own town or in his own home a prophet does not get any honor.”

OBSERVATION: Have you ever gone to a concert, to a church, or to watch a movie, and was shocked by what the star, or church leader looked like? He just was not what you had pictured in your mind. In fact, there was such a difference that you found it difficult accepting what he had to say, or sing. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we will see an example of where something very similar happened to Jesus in His hometown. The people had to choose whether they would accept His ministry, or not, for He was just a boy from their little town. Nobody really special.

APPLICATION: I believe that in our day, many churches thrive when the preacher is charismatic, the praise and worship team reminds attendees of a rock band, and the congregation could attend the services without ever being pestered about working hours and hours in helping the work of the ministry move forward. Unfortunately, many of these attendees may have been ‘burnt’ in some previous church/ministry, and they are looking for a place to worship without ever placing themselves at risk to be hurt again. But our Scripture today highlights the importance of setting aside any preconceived ideas about an individual, and accepting God’s messenger who brings God’s message to change the minds of sinners about the kingdom of God. I have served on many committees tasked with the job of finding a new pastor for a church. It is amazing what input we received from our respective congregations about what they wanted to see in a new pastor. Occasionally there was a congregant who may have desired the new prospect to be an excellent teacher of the Word of God, but way too often they wanted the needs of their own families met by someone who cared. Friends, I believe that when God sends a church leader or teacher to our church, He may deliberately send us someone who may not fit the mold we have in mind, because He wants our undivided attention. There was a pastor that I served under, who had a note on the pulpit to remind him every time he stood there, and the note read ‘Oh that they may see Jesus’. What a testimony of an honest man who wanted to be used by the Master in His ministry to the local church. I believe that in today’s Scripture we are challenged to walk into our places of worship with the intent to worship the great God of this universe and to hear how the proclamation of the Word may challenge our wicked hearts, so that we may be shaped into better soldiers of the cross that would enable others to see the image and works of the Holy Spirit – even in and through our lives as we go about our average day at work, in social clubs, in our families and especially when among unsaved friends. I believe that when we beg God to help us enjoy this type of relationship with Him, we would not be tempted to tear down our pastors or church leaders, who are still a work in process, by God. For we will quickly be reminded of that old spiritual ‘It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer’, not just that old, dull preacher. In conclusion, please allow me to remind you that verse 58 reads: Jesus did not do many miracles there, because the people did not believe in him. Please don’t be guilty of shooing away the work of the Master in your life, in the life of your church, or in any other area of life in which you are involved. Look and listen to the work of God through His messengers, whoever they may be. To reject them, is like rejecting God who sent them.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, it’s sad to see that Your own townspeople rejected You in Your ministry among them. Too often we are saddened by the way our local pastors are treated, for we acknowledge that they are still human and will make mistakes as long as they are here on earth. Sadly, we are also reminded that You didn’t stick around to help your town’s people, since they showed no interest in listening to Your teaching nor in the miracles that You wrought in their midst. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that our people have learnt a lot from Your reaction to rejection, so I beg of You today Lord to touch our hardened, prideful, condemning hearts and cause us to reflect on the gift of personal sacrifice You offered for us, while we were yet filthy, dirty, sinners. Please help us to accept You and Your precious love for us, even when it makes no sense to us, or even if it is not packaged the way we may expect. Thank You again for making our way clear for a personal relationship with the Master of this universe, and entry into Your heaven. AMEN!

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

It’s Time To Respond

The wicked ones, or the ungodly, or the unbelievers will be given over to their leader – Satan. While the believers, or the Christians, or those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord, will shine brightly in heaven with their Master and Lord. This doesn’t work like the lottery, but rather by the decision that you make today while you are still alive. Try sharing with one another today which of these options will be your declaration. Perhaps saying it aloud will help you make sure that you are satisfied with the decision you have made.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-16
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 13:41-43

TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 41 The Son of Man will send his messengers, and they will uproot everything out of his kingdom. All the lawless ones and everything that causes sin will be removed. 42 And they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish.[v] 43 Then the godly ones will shine like the brightness of the sun[w] in their Father’s kingdom realm. If you’re able to understand this, then you’d better respond!”

OBSERVATION: The wicked ones, or the ungodly, or the unbelievers will be given over to their leader – Satan. While the believers, or the Christians, or those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord, will shine brightly in heaven with their Master and Lord. This doesn’t work like the lottery, but rather by the decision that you make today while you are still alive. Try sharing with one another today which of these options will be your declaration. Perhaps saying it aloud will help you make sure that you are satisfied with the decision you have made.

APPLICATION: Praise God He does not decide on our eternal destiny based on our looks, our attitude, the color of our skin, the country where we were born nor the parents who took part in our birth. The Scripture is very clear that God made us smart enough that He was comfortable we would be capable of making our own decisions. In the Book He gave to us as our guide, He reminded us that:
> We were created to worship, adore and serve our risen Lord;
> God gave us free will to make our own decisions while here on earth, and He has agreed to honor our decision, even though it would sadden Him to see us make very bad decisions;
> God sent His only Son as our Savior to save us from the sin that He was sure we would give in to;
> God knew that some would accept His gift of salvation, and some won’t. So He made it very clear what the impact would be as a result of our own choices;
> God is a fair and righteous Judge, and He will not waiver in His judgment, especially where He knows our every thought and action. He never plays favorites;
Friends, the above points are not what the writer thinks, or points that I devised to make judgment on you. Each of these things can be supported by Scripture, and God never lied. We serve a very fair, honest and righteous God. And I am convinced that He will do what He said He would do. The decision is therefore yours to make, about what will be your eternal destiny after you close your eyes in death. However, know that you only have this life to make that decision. From the point of death and for all eternity, your days will be spent enduring the decisions you made while alive on earth. The answers given in today’s Scripture makes it clear what will be your outcome should you be called out from the world at the moment of reading this devotional. You are not promised a given date for your departure. Some die at ripe old ages, while many die while they are still young. Let me beg you to make a good decision right now on where you stand in your relationship with God. Know Him today my friend, and have that peace of mind that should He take you out today, you are satisfied with the choice you have made for all eternity. God created you, and He wants you to be with Him forever. Don’t disappoint Him.

PRAYER: Lord, we are often ecstatic when we go for a test after just being given the cheat-sheet to study the answers. You have done exactly that. You gave us Your precious Word, and You outlined exactly what will result from the decisions we make today. All those who stumble across this devotional will be smart enough to understand the Scripture quoted above. Please soften hearts that we will not again read the consequences of our decisions and still go on doing what we’ve always done. Your Word is a lamp unto our path. May we follow in the light and rejoice with the angels as we look into Your wonderful face one day soon when You call us home to glory! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. 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!

The Difference Between Wheat and Weeds

When in the presence of fishermen, it is best to speak in terms of their profession. The same applies to farmers, and Jesus was well aware of this when He shared the story of planting seeds. You may not be a farmer, but I’m hoping that we all will be reminded of the challenges we face as Christians – even in the church, when ‘weeds’ suddenly appear.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-02-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 13:24-26
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 Then Jesus told them another story: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted good seed in his field. 25 That night, when everyone was asleep, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and then left. 26 Later, the wheat sprouted and the heads of grain grew, but the weeds also grew. 

OBSERVATION: When in the presence of fishermen, it is best to speak in terms of their profession. The same applies to farmers, and Jesus was well aware of this when He shared the story of planting seeds. You may not be a farmer, but I’m hoping that we all will be reminded of the challenges we face as Christians – even in the church, when ‘weeds’ suddenly appear.

APPLICATION: The problem with following the example of a friend or neighbor, is that you may not know the full reason for what they are doing. You might see them coming home in the wee hours of the morning and assume that they are finally coming home from the nightclub, and this may be the case. However, I remember coming home at 4am after completing a volunteer schedule at a 24hr Prayer Room. A far cry from what you may have assumed! In the illustration of the weeds growing among the wheat, you will notice that the farmer didn’t want the weeds pulled up, because in many cases the wheat may have also been pulled up. So how do we handle situations in our church where we were sure that Christians found respite and thrived in a place filled with righteous Christians, but to our surprise ‘weeds’ seem to be taking over since many started following a popular guy that just joined the church? Why do things like that happen? Do you suppose that guy is exactly who he claimed to be? Do you suppose he is as close to Jesus as he led on to be? What if Satan planted him plum in the middle of our church to test us and see what we truly believe individually? Do you feel close enough to God, and on a sure footing in His Word? Will you hear God nudging you to be careful and to grow personally in your relationship with your Father every day? Or are you so comfortable with what the teacher shares with you and his class, that you wait and soak up his words in class once per week? Notice that the farmer couldn’t identify the wheat from the weeds until the wheat plants bore fruit. I wonder what fruit the Master will identify in us? I’m afraid that some of the weeds we see in our churches that might stunt the fruit of believers are: false teaching to an audience ignorant of the Word; many forms of gossip; tearing another brother or sister down; falsely accusing; snitching on someone without all the facts; no interest in helping another weaker brother or sister; overlooking needs that exist among members, neighbors or even family. Friends, I feel like our object should always be to enrich our relationship with the Master, for with Him shining brightly in and through every action and/or word, others will see Him and not the parts that we pretend to be in and of our own selves. May our relationship be so strong with Jesus that He will choke out the weeds and/or evil that tries to take root right in our churches, families and/or neighborhoods where we find ourselves involved. Remember, wheat will provide food, strength, and good things for all who partake of it, while weeds are a nuisance and will only choke out the good that could be achieved for the Kingdom of God.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we often seem astonished that the church is not growing, and we ponder what might be the problem, or who might be responsible for stunting the growth. In this teaching I believe that You are pointing us to look inward and sure up our relationship with You, so that the weeds that have begun to grow right next to us will not prevail. Lord we need You each and every day to keep us strong and keep us focused on You, so that weeds will find no nourishment from our weaknesses. Please keep us near the cross oh Lord, and keep us strong in our faith so that You may work through us to strengthen those around is with the fruit that we will bear. May You be honored, praised and lifted up, oh Lord, my Rock and my Salvation. AMEN!

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

The Heart of a Godly Man

In my time of meditation in the Word today, I was overwhelmed by the heart of Jacob. So I want to share my thoughts with you in hopes that you too might be reenergized to serve God and be more at peace with Him, like Jacob was.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-02-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 33:5; 10-11; 20;
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: …. “Whose children are these?” – Jacob answered, “These are the ones the Lord has been kind enough to give to me, your servant.
10 ….. When you welcomed me and I saw your face, it was like seeing the face of God. 11 Please accept these gifts I brought to you. God has been good to me, and I have everything I need.”Jacob kept insisting until Esau accepted the gifts.
20 then he set up his tents and built an altar there to honor the God of Israel.

OBSERVATION: In my time of meditation in the Word today, I was overwhelmed by the heart of Jacob. So I want to share my thoughts with you in hopes that you too might be reenergized to serve God and be more at peace with Him, like Jacob was.

APPLICATION: When two individuals reunite after a long absence, what do you suppose might help them to trust each other on where they stand today? We tend to remember each other in looks and in all other aspects, based on the last time we spent time together. But what if they may have done criminal acts and possibly been punished through imprisonment, during the interim time? Do you suppose you might be more careful with what areas of your life you allow them into? The last time that Jacob saw Essau, was the awful time where Essau changed his identity to that of his brother (Jacob) in order to receive a blessing from their father, and the birthright left by their father at death. Jacob had to leave so that he wouldn’t have created a crime against his brother. Being left as the son in charge of the father’s estate, must have created great fear in Jacob as he approached his brother, Essau. But he was convinced that God had ordered him to return to his home place. I used the ‘BOLD’ option to show the phrases that touched me, but let me expand:
~ These are the ones the Lord has been kind enough to give to me, your servant – No bragging by Jacob, but simply giving God the praise for the children given to him. I wish that I could be that humble to respond like Jacob!
~ it was like seeing the face of God – Hopefully we all have taken time to think about what God might look like, and how He might react when He sees us. Excited or hesitant? Overjoyed or a bit disappointed at the time we wasted here on earth? Jacob didn’t say that his brother appeared just like he expected, or that he looked in a much better frame of mind than he expected, but he likened him to what he expects to see on Judgment Day. Wow!!
~ God has been good to me, and I have everything I need – Can you think of a man who every said that he had enough, and that he would now gladly share his worth with the rich or the poor? Jacob begged Essau to receive the gift he was giving to him, because God had been so good to bless him with everything he would ever need. I truly believe that God will bless us with so much more, if only we had the heart of Jacob and gave freely to others!
~ built an altar there to honor the God of Israel – Shown as a top priority by Jacob, he built an altar to honor God immediately after settling on the new property that he bought for him and his family. Friends, when we bless God, I believe He will bless us all the more. Oh that we might yearn to worship the God who blesses us – immeasurably each and every day. Let’s not wait until the Sabbath to worship Him, for He doesn’t wait until then to bless us.
I believe that you could see where Jacob was truly motivated and blessed by God, and this exuded from him through his speech and his actions. If it’s in us, it will come out of us. Look for the ways that God cares and loves us, then worship Him in spirit and in truth as often as you are reminded. Others will get to know what God looks like through His children who are closely attuned to Him.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord, for Your blessings on me. Thank you also for Your ministry through Jacob and Essau. Though they started out rough in their relationship as brothers, yet they were able to reunite in peace and in love. Please Lord, touch Your people once again. May we be willing and ready to worship You and give You credit for all the things that take place that bless us, or teaches us a new truth, or challenges us to be better warriors here on earth. People need the Lord. Oh that they may see Jesus in us through every contact that they have with 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. 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!

Though So Unworthy, Yet a Child of the King!

Isn’t it amazing that God, the One who made the heavens and the earth and little moving creatures like you and me, will stop everything to listen to our cry and to grant our requests? Like Jacob prayed, so should we, in acknowledging that we have done absolutely nothing to deserve all the blessings that God showers upon us. However, God still wants us to recognize Him and fellowship with Him. As we meditate today on the Scriptures, let’s do a self evaluation on how well we are doing in fellowship with our God.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-02-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 32:9-12
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Then Jacob prayed: You, Lord, are the God who was worshiped by my grandfather Abraham and by my father Isaac. You told me to return home to my family, and you promised to be with me and make me successful. 10 I don’t deserve all the good things you have done for me, your servant. When I first crossed the Jordan, I had only my walking stick, but now I have two large groups of people and animals. 11 Please rescue me from my brother. I am afraid he will come and attack not only me, but my wives and children as well. 12 But you have promised that I would be a success and that someday it will be as hard to count my descendants as it is to count the stars in the sky.

OBSERVATION: Isn’t it amazing that God, the One who made the heavens and the earth and little moving creatures like you and me, will stop everything to listen to our cry and to grant our requests? Like Jacob prayed, so should we, in acknowledging that we have done absolutely nothing to deserve all the blessings that God showers upon us. However, God still wants us to recognize Him and fellowship with Him. As we meditate today on the Scriptures, let’s do a self evaluation on how well we are doing in fellowship with our God.

APPLICATION: If we’re not careful, we could easily fall into a place where we feel like God will place all of heaven into our lap and all we have to do is soak up His goodness and enjoy His blessings. Our Scripture reminds us that Jacob reflected on the fellowship that his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac had with God, but he was not riding on their coattails of commitment to God. For Jacob then reflected on what God had ordered him to do and on how God blessed him from rags to riches. But notice that even in riches, Jacob still found a desperate need of the only One who could calm his nerves and give him confidence in approaching his brother after so many years. Friends, I was reminded that no matter how insignificant we may sometimes feel, no matter how uneducated we may feel, no matter how good others appear to be at what they’re doing compared to us, we must always remember that we are a product of the Master of this universe! He created us, and he did it for His honor and His praise, so He would never make ‘junk’. He also created all of us equal in His eyes, so when we allow Satan to buffet us with doubt and insignificance, we must always remember that is only our evaluation and not God’s. As a child of the King, we are always highly thought of by Him and valued higher than the angels. He promised that He will never leave us or forsake us, and in spite of our meager efforts here on earth to provide a roof over our heads, He has prepared nothing less than mansions in our eternal home – heaven! Will we still doubt while here on earth? Will we still become afraid here on earth? Notice that Jacob did. He was besides himself in fear of what his brother might do to him and his descendants. However, we must always remember what Jacob knew that there was only One who could do anything about his fear, and only One who could protect him if there was as much danger as he feared there would be. My friend, that’s still the same for us. We may feel so unworthy and that we are undeserving of attention from the God of this universe, but we are His creation; He sacrificed His one and only Son as our salvation from sin; He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf; so of course He will gladly calm our minds, ease our burdens and love and nourish us back to good physical and mental health. Do like Jacob, share your concern with your Savior and ready yourself for His response, dear ones.

PRAYER: You have made endless promises to us in Your Word oh Lord, and I am not only humbled by that, but extremely thankful for all that You shower on me every day. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture of where our hope lies, and in whom we gain our confidence and courage to go on. Jacob needed You, and so do each of us studying Your Word today. You are the God who cares, the God who is all powerful and could handle all of our challenges and heartbreaks. So it’s in You that we place our faith, our trust and our everlasting hope, knowing that You will do all things for Your glory, and You may even use us to touch those around 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. 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!

Decide For Yourself – Innocent or Guilty?

I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 12:34-37
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 34 …. How can you say anything good? What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts. 35 Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. 36 I tell you that everyone will have to answer for all the careless things they have said. This will happen on the day of judgment. 37 Your words will be used to judge you. What you have said will show whether you are right or whether you are guilty.”

OBSERVATION: I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

APPLICATION: If while driving down the road our car began to sputter, we won’t head to the dealership and trade that car in, we will take it to the repair shop and ask them to determine what is causing the problem, and then fix it. Likewise, if we discover that we just said something that might hurt a Brother, we should immediately look for ways to correct that problem. The Bible speaks of the awful danger of the tongue and how it easily and quickly causes grief to others, and especially to God. But most critical today is the matter that God will use our words to judge us when we stand before Him. That’s a frightening thought, especially when we consider the number of vain words that we speak, and the off-color jokes that we share – usually at some else’s expense. But notice how quickly Jesus identified the root of the problem. We care capable of speaking: kind words – just as Jesus spoke when He was here on earth; challenging words – especially when we recognize the solution to a problem that a fellow believer is facing; encouraging words – when we hear of the discouragement someone is facing at home or at work; evangelistic words – when the Holy Spirit enlightens us to the spiritual needs of our friends or loved ones. But in each of these cases, our ‘good’ words originate from a heart touched by Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit. So what happens when we have rejected Jesus, when we have chosen to follow the wicked path of Satan and his evil followers here on earth? Isn’t it clear to see that evil begets evil? I don’t believe it is possible for a heart that is used to dishing out evil words and evil actions, to suddenly change its course and be kind and loving to others, unless that heart has been refreshed by the God of all love. Notice how angry people say angry words, not loving and caring words of affirmation. Friends, I believe that God is encouraging us today to fill our hearts with His love and His character. A heart of love will speak words of love and caring, just like Jesus did to all that He touched. Your decision today will determine how you react to life’s circumstances, and how you will be judged on that day you stand before the God of all creation. You have no choice in the meeting, only what will influence your output here on earth, and God’s ultimate decision on where you belong for all eternity. Please read my Footnote carefully, especially the link behind ‘To Know Jesus’. Today might be the day God sets your appointed meeting with Himself – are you ready?

PRAYER: Oh Lord our Lord, thank You for giving us this truth today. May all my readers be touched by Your Holy Spirit and may we seek Your face as we analyze what Your decision will be about our eternal destination. Yes, we can put aside all excuses and indeed examine the person we have become because of the decisions we make. We were reminded that this is influenced by all that we have filled our hearts with. Please cleanse us oh Lord, and make us white as snow. Fill us with Your love and Your character, so that our hearts will overflow with gladness, with love, with caring and with everything that You stand for. We desperately want to be where You are, oh Lord. Please help us to make decisions today that will help us to live the life Your taught us to in Your Word. AMEN!

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

Is It The Right Thing To Do?

I believe that people are waiting around the corner to test us and see what we’re made of. They did it to Jesus, and they set out to kill Him. When their suspicions become a reality in our situations, I wonder what our ‘friends’ hope to achieve? As we meditate on this Scripture today, let us become more aware of those around us, but more so, let us be ready at all times to obey God’s commands so that He might achieve His perfect will in their lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-02-07
WRITTEN AT: Avon Park, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 12:9-13
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus left and went into one of the Jewish meeting places, 10 where there was a man whose hand was crippled. Some Pharisees wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong, and they asked him, “Is it right to heal someone on the Sabbath?”
11 Jesus answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you lift it out? 12 People are worth much more than sheep, and so it is right to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then Jesus told the man, “Hold out your hand.” The man did, and it became as healthy as the other one.

OBSERVATION: I believe that people are waiting around the corner to test us and see what we’re made of. They did it to Jesus, and they set out to kill Him. When their suspicions become a reality in our situations, I wonder what our ‘friends’ hope to achieve? As we meditate on this Scripture today, let us become more aware of those around us, but more so, let us be ready at all times to obey God’s commands so that He might achieve His perfect will in their lives.

APPLICATION: I know you might wonder why on earth should we be concerned about what others think of us and our decisions. But just looking at the example of Jesus, we could see that His actions ultimately led to His crucifixion, even though He never did any criminal acts. It’s interesting, for people will not think twice about an unbeliever saying or doing anything, for they expect that person to follow the ‘anything goes’ attitude of the world. However, when it comes to Christians, we become their focus, as the world wants to see if we could truly live up to their expectations of a Christian. But who are we here to please? If we truly focus our attention on being an image of Jesus Christ, and seek His help in directing our path, then we will prove to Him that our commitment is real and our intent is to live like Him, even under extreme circumstances here on earth. Friends, I am convinced that Christians live in ‘glass houses’, for we are being monitored by all those that we come into contact with. Pleasing God and following His commands, will make us so different to the rest of the world that our friends will begin to watch carefully to try and conclude what is ‘wrong’ with us! However, when this world takes its toll on our friends, and they have developed proven faith in us, I believe that they will then turn to us for an introduction to our Lord, our Leader and our Savior. While still here on this earth, we will mess up. Please know that the Jesus we asked to lead our life has not deserted us, but rather, He stands with outstretched hands to help us back up. Our friends might take a turn at mocking us for not being perfect, but I believe that they will also carefully watch how we rebound, to know whose we are and where our strength actually comes from. If we are to truly be like our Master, then we can see where He never wavered from His dependence on the Father. He knew that it was OK to heal the man in our Scripture today, but He knew it was important to also handle the Pharisees in a way that would not give them reason to question His heart for ministry. Sure they questioned, and of course they used the incident to convict Jesus of breaking their man made laws. But Jesus didn’t come to break God’s laws, even if the wicked leaders chose to hold Him guilty of breaking one of their man made laws, and personal convictions. So where are you at today dear friends? Will the crowd (the ‘Pharisees’ of today’s society) find you guilty of being just like Jesus and strongly following His commands? It might be the only thing that will truly minister to them!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for standing strong in Your convictions and teachings to the Pharisees on the importance of doing the right thing at the right time. Surely You see the ‘Pharisees’ who are watching and judging us also, precious Lord, so I humbly ask You to prepare us for doing and saying the right thing. May You be prominent in our actions and may the ‘crowd’ recognize You in us above all else. May we be much more concerned about spoiling our witness for You, than our own reputation. The world needs You more than anything else. Help us Lord to reflect You in everything we do and say at all times. AMEN!

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

Find Refreshment and Peace

Today some may be stressed because of family members affected by COVID; finances resulting from COVID induced layoffs; medical problems; loss of a loved one; and so many other things. In today’s Scripture, Jesus gives us answers to these problems, for He has promised to give us refreshment and peace through our troubled times. Do you know Him? Can you depend on His graces today?

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-02-05
WRITTEN AT: Avon Park, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 11:28-30
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 28 “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me.[o] I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.[p] 29 Simply join your life with mine.[q] Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle,[r] humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.[s] 30 For all that I require of you will be pleasant[t] and easy to bear.”[u]

OBSERVATION: Today some may be stressed because of family members affected by COVID; finances resulting from COVID induced layoffs; medical problems; loss of a loved one; and so many other things. In today’s Scripture, Jesus gives us answers to these problems, for He has promised to give us refreshment and peace through our troubled times. Do you know Him? Can you depend on His graces today?

APPLICATION: In our Scripture Jesus responds to the heavy burden that had been placed on the disciples and their home towns by the Pharisees. But isn’t this a stark reminder to us today, that in spite of the many things that burden us down in everyday life, and especially the extraordinary things that occurred since COVID began? Children of God still have the same all-powerful, all-knowing, Almighty God to help us bear up under the load of stress brought on by today’s burdens and Satan’s wickedness through our leaders, neighbors and friends. It is challenging to read national and world news, or watch the evening news, without becoming stressed out, for it seems like there is no good or positive news. But for the child of God, Jesus wants us to come to Him – come like a man who rushes to an oasis for an unlimited replenishment of water to a thirsty soul. Animals will show us that when they find an oasis, they will hang out there, for it relieves their worries about finding water when they need it. That should also minister to us, for when we find that there is pure peace and contentment in the Lord Jesus Christ, why would we wander away? When we feel the touch of the Master’s hand on our life, that renews a spirit of oneness with our Savior, why would we dare wander away from that? In fact, we would want to know Him even more intimately, so that our spirit might overflow with His goodness and a contentment that only He could give. To do this, we should dig into His Word on a daily basis. This helps us to see Him as He is and to be reminded that He not only went to the cross for our benefit, but that He loves us unconditionally and He intercedes on our behalf before the Father. We serve such an awesome God dear friend, know Him today and know the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Please read carefully through my Footnote and the links included, especially the one ‘To Know Jesus’.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us even when we were unlovable. Thank You for reaching out Your hand to offer us peace and contentment, especially in the very challenging times that we are going through. What a peace in knowing that one thing remains unchanged – our gracious Lord, and the love that He offers even to us. Please calm the worries of all who may read this devotional today and remind them of the peace that only You could offer to those who will seek Your face. You are so precious in our sight dear Jesus, may we be Your hands and feet on the ground as we interact with everyone today. Peace and refreshment is available – praise the wonderful name of Jesus. AMEN!

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

Worthy Of Being A Follower of Christ

This is probably a challenging Scripture to understand, but I believe that God wants us to understand the difference between knowing Christ, and the willingness and commitment of following Him. The disciples were ‘Followers of Jesus Christ’, are you?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-02-04
WRITTEN AT: Avon Park, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 10:37-39
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 37 “Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. 38 Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.

OBSERVATION: This is probably a challenging Scripture to understand, but I believe that God wants us to understand the difference between knowing Christ, and the willingness and commitment of following Him. The disciples were ‘Followers of Jesus Christ’, are you?

APPLICATION: Jesus, being the perfect Son of God, found the perfect illustrations to help us understand His teachings. There are twelve apostles commonly referred to in the New Testament, and there were numerous disciples who followed the teachings of Jesus Christ but never had a personal face-to-face encounter with Him. Christians today may often use the words Christian and Followers of Christ interchangeably, but there is a difference. I may have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, but have little desire to follow His example in everyday living or speech. The Bible teaches us that I would still be considered a Christian. My pastor, for example, may have accepted Jesus as Lord, but he may have gone on to also follow the teachings and example of Jesus in his everyday life. He, therefore, is a disciple, or follow of Jesus Christ. Friends, I believe that Jesus wants us to know that if we commit to not only knowing He is Lord, but also commit to follow in His footsteps and in obedience to His teachings, then I believe that we become usable vessels that He will use while we follow. Allow me to give you an example of verse 38. I served under a pastor who asked us to carry a cross with us 24/7 for a week. This was a wooden cross, about 3/4” thick and measured about 10” x 8”. No one checked me into a sanatorium, but there were some serious looks when folk visited my office, or if I had the cross with me when attending a business meeting. That may sound extreme to many readers, but imagine how much gentler that was than us doing some of the extreme things that Jesus did in His ministry while here on earth? That same pastor often chided about a whole family who stayed home from church to care for a mother who came down with a cold! Instead of declining an invitation to join friends at the beach on Sunday, because it is your day of worship, many will use the excuse that it’s the only day they have to do such recreation. Imagine the witness to those friends if we insisted in sticking to our commitment to be in God’s house for every opportunity of worship, because it may be our last opportunity? I feel like we allow our various situations to drive our decisions, rather than our commitment to follow Christ. A visiting relative might cause us to stay home with them, versus us inviting them to join us in our usual commitment to attend church. This is a very tough passage of Scripture, for it tells me that I must decide who has priority in my life. God or my parents? God or my daughter? God or my personal obligations (employment, church, social, etc). For if God is first in our lives, and we have committed to serve Him faithfully until the very end of time, then we will follow Him wherever and whenever He leads us. To whom, or what are you committed, or obligated? I pray that you will join me in striving to follow Jesus every day in every way.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You willingly went to the cross and was mocked, spit upon, tortured, and crucified, even though You had the power to bypass all that and walk away. As Your followers, I believe that we should be ready to say like You did ‘Not my will, Oh Lord, but thine’. Ashamedly I must admit that it is always easier to go along with the crowd, instead of responding in the center of Your will for our lives. Please give us strength and a renewed boldness to stand firm in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord, for all time and until You return to take us home to glory. May others be influenced for Jesus Christ as they see us make decisions and show our commitment to You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. 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!