Perseverance Pays Off

THE HOLY BIBLE (New International Version – James 1:12): 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

THOUGHTS: We hear about ‘fair weather’ Christians, where we find it very easy to praise God when we feel like everything is going our way. We also hear about ‘hard times’ Christians, for it is only then that many of us look up to God and truly seek His face. Friends, as I read this verse this morning I felt like God was saying that He will truly bless us and/or reward us if we stick with Him while He is blessing us with riches and good fortunes, or testing our faith through very tough times. There’s a song that has lyrics similar to this “if I never have a burden, how would I know that God can truly pull me through“. I believe that ‘to persevere’ is to be consistent and/or dedicated in spite of our circumstances. Imagine taking a road trip from one location to another. You don’t turn around and head back home if your car has a flat tire, instead you have your problem repaired and then you travel on to your destination. On those trips when you’ve travelled hundreds of miles and arrive without incident, hopefully you then take time to thank the Lord for safety and protection on the road. These types of scenarios are similar to those that we face each and every day, and indicative of our walk with the Lord. If you are not already a praising person, may I encourage you to learn to ask God to bless you each day! Ask Him to use you as His faithful witness here on planet earth and to bring glory to Him in all things. Don’t place any conditions on that, such as “if things go my way” or “if there’s no setbacks”. Learn to praise God (persevere) in all circumstances and look for the lessons that He is teaching you, or how He uses those circumstances to redirect you into His perfect will. Oh that we may learn to let go of self and let God have His perfect will in our lives. Let’s commit to honor God, worship Him, serve Him and follow Him in spite of our circumstances. Obeying God in every circumstance, no matter where He leads, is an important way of showing our love towards God for His rich blessings, protection, guidance and leadership. This scripture assures us that when we do this, we are sure to receive a crown that God has promised to all who love Him.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and Your assurance of being our Guide, our Protector and our Provider each and every day. Please give us strength and fortitude to let go of our selfish desires and self-will to do ‘our own thing’ instead of leaning on the everlasting arms of the One who created us and who knows what lies ahead for us and the ones we need to help. Lord, may we learn to be as instruments in Your hands so that You may accomplish Your will through us in every circumstance of life. We are appreciative of our promised reward, but Lord, may we be content in knowing that we are obedient followers of the One who has this whole world in His hands and under His control. We are Your children Lord. We love You and long to be obedient in following Your plan for our lives. I ask these things in faith and in the precious and all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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

Prepare for Praise and Worship!

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Revelation 4:8-11): 8Day and night they never stopped singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord, the all-powerful God, who was and is and is coming!” 9 The living creatures kept praising, honoring, and thanking the one who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever. 10 At the same time the twenty-four elders knelt down before the one sitting on the throne. And as they worshiped the one who lives forever, they placed their crowns in front of the throne and said, 11 “Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory, honor, and power. You created all things, and by your decision they are and were created.”

THOUGHTS: If we were to give advice to an Olympic swimmer hopeful, it would be that they practice, practice and practice some more, right? So what if you were to give advice to a Christian who might be questioning what they could do to best prepare themselves for their eternal home in heaven? God has shared the above verses with us to give us a glimpse of what it will look like in heaven, our eternal destination. It seems like our preparation might be along the lines of constant praise and worship, to the Lord in whom we have placed our total trust, while here on earth. So how could we possibly prepare for such an awesome time as that? Perhaps like the Olympian swimmer, we should aim at practicing this praise and worship while still here on earth, and like the swimmer would try to improve his/her time, we too should look for ways to draw closer to God and express that closeness through our increased effort to lift up our praise and worship to our King. I believe that if I asked most Christians if they do a fair job at praise and worship already, I would probably receive some ‘canned’ responses, such as “yep, I attend worship services every weekend, and we have the best praise team in town”, or “we don’t need praise and worship at our church because our pastor is such a phenomenal preacher – we can just sit and listen to him endlessly”. I wonder sometimes if our first misconception of praise and worship, is that it can only occur inside a specific building at a specific time. Isn’t it amazing how we believe God is on duty to handle our prayer requests 24/7/365, yet our praise and worship to this same God is limited to specific times and places? Here’s something that Matthew Henry shared on this passage: All true believers wholly ascribe their redemption and conversion, their present privileges and future hopes, to the eternal and most holy God. Thus rise the for-ever harmonious, thankful songs of the redeemed in heaven. Would we on earth do like them, let our praises be constant, not interrupted; united, not divided; thankful, not cold and formal; humble, not self-confident. I believe that while here on earth we should learn to worship our King based on our heartfelt response to Him for His manifold blessings and in deepest sincerity and honesty to our Savior. This should not be something that is only turned on in time for our weekend services, but may our weekend services instead be filled with the overflow of our personal praise and worship to our King. May it not surprise God to see You lift up holy hands to him in church, or to hear you cry out in praise to Him during the church service, because He is so accustomed to seeing and hearing similar acts of praise and worship from you throughout the week. Friends, we are preparing for the greatest day in history, and to meet the awesome God who created mankind and everything in this world, let us be busy readying ourselves by doing all that we are should be doing here and now!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is so exciting to think about a time when we can bow before you with no external interruptions and just worship You as if no one else even exists. For those who are accustomed to lifting You up in praise and worship here on earth, this will be a natural transition. For those who depend on external resources to trigger their worship of You, they may find that they have missed out on an awful lot here on earth, and the idea of personal one-on-one worship may seem challenging. Lord, please open our hearts and our minds to be very aware of Your presence and Your unlimited blessings that You bestow on us daily. May it then come natural to us to burst into praise and worship of You, no matter where we are or who we are with. You deserve our praise today, and every day, as we move closer to the time when we will humble ourselves at Your feet in heaven. Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and forever! These things I ask in the name of Jesus, the name above ALL names, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God might use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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

Be Faithful Until The End

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Revelation 2:25-27): 25 But until I come, you must hold firmly to the teaching you have. 26 I will give power over the nations to everyone who wins the victory and keeps on obeying me until the end. 27 I will give each of them the same power that my Father has given me.

THOUGHTS: My daily devotional scripture plan takes me into the depths of the Old Testament and into the light and glory of the New Testament. Often it amazes me how God uses the Old Testament reading to tie into the reading in the New Testament! Today was one of those cases, for I highlighted Daniel 12:13 because I was touched by God telling Daniel not to be overly concerned about everything that he saw in his visions, but to “be faithful until the end! You will rest, and at the end of time, you will rise from death to receive your reward”. Moving then to the New Testament reading I saw in verse 25 of Revelation 2, that until Jesus returns to take us home with Him, we are to hold firmly to the teachings given to us. In other words, be faithful until the end. Friends, please be careful, for these are times that Satan is trying every distraction in his book of tricks to derail Christians. He can’t stand the idea of us influencing his team of unbelievers in Christ. I believe that if God is concerned enough about us being faithful to Him until the end, them He must be concerned that there will be many things that will distract us along the way. Can you think of a few right off the top? Political views and stands is a huge distractor for the Christian, as we are taught in the secular world, and even the church, that we should vote and be a part of the decision making for our respective countries. Very important stand, but how can we remain faithful to the Word of God even among the filth and dirt that stigmatizes politicians? How can we take a stand in politics, yet remain neutral so that we can promote God to everyone that needs Him, regardless of what side of the fence they stand on in politics? This is just one of many issues that come along and often places a divide in God’s church and totally distracts the needed trust for us to be a witness to ALL that we come into contact with. Many of the other distractors you may have given thought to, might be equally as destructive. My take on the verse in Daniel, and the verses in Revelation is that we are to remain faithful in our relationship with God and hold firmly to His teachings. Everything else that occupies our minds, our hearts and our busy lives, are all distractors. Only God can change this sinful world, we are called to serve Him, obey Him and worship Him, not to do His job in trying to change the world. Let’s be careful that we remain faithful until the Master comes!

PRAYER: Dear God, I am so thankful that You gave of Yourself so that I might look forward to life eternally with You! I thank You for Your Word and how applicable it is to our lives right now. You knew that distractions would come our way, so You placed warnings in Your Word so that we might be alerted to these distractions. You have not only shown us how to best deal with these distractions, but You have also made promises about our rewards, if we remain faithful to You. My readers and I live in a world where there are so many distractions. I know that this is not a secret to You, but we need You Lord. We want to remain faithful, even though there are times that we must take a stand based on the values You have taught us. Please help us to never destroy our witness, because I believe that You would always want us to promote and lift up the name of Jesus with a clear conscience and without the possibility of having a finger pointed back at us by those we should be witnessing to. You must be first in all we do. If in marriage – You must be first; If in parenting – You must be first; If in working secular jobs – You must be first; If involved in our community – it must be obvious that You are first in our lives; If there is a need for us to become involved in the leadership of our churches, city, state or country, then it must be obvious that we first represent You, and it is for Your sake, Your glory and Your agenda that we are involved/taking a stand. Please help us to always be conscious of this as we serve You, love You, worship You and lift You up each day. For I ask this in the deepest honor, and respect of You oh Lord, and in the precious name of Your Son Jesus, AMEN!

 

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

The Joy of My Relationship With The Lord!

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Psalm 51:10-12): 10 Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again. 11 Don’t chase me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. 12 Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey!

THOUGHTS: I heard a sermon recently about the need for spouses to revive the creativity within them in order to enliven their marriages. I believe that David gave us a Psalm here where we might consider doing something similar to reinvigorate our relationship with God. But let’s examine what may cause us to weaken in our relationship to that relationship to deteriorate in the first place. In the earlier verses of this Psalm, David had asked God to turn his head from the embarrassment of his sin and wash him clean. Friends, each day we become stained with the impact of sin. Not that we leave our homes with every intention of maximizing our exposure to sin, but our lives in this world is similar to a stick being dipped into a bucket of paint. It becomes covered in paint and even colored by the paint because of its contact with the paint. If the stick is quickly removed, washed, and wiped clean, one may not notice that it have been exposed to paint. However, if it is left inside the bucket of paint very long, you will find that the paint is saturated all the way through every fiber of that stick. This simple illustration is very representative of what happens in our lives when we, like David, plead before our heavenly Father to cleanse us and help us to develop filters that would help us stay as clean as we were the first day of our Christian walk. Satan is very deceiving in the way that he exposes us to sin and generates the evil desires within us very slowly, but surely. To defend against this, and to proactively seek to enhance our relationship with God, we must daily seek God’s touch on our lives – seek His forgiveness for our wandering eyes, thoughts and participation in ungodly conversations and actions; we must learn to fill our minds with the things of the one we want to follow; we must study the ‘rule book’ so we could stay true to it and find ways to please God in all that we do and say. In all these things we will become convinced that ‘greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world’! We will become instruments that are clean, and usable by God to further His kingdom here on this earth. In any good, healthy relationship, we always reflect back on the day we met because it helps to fill us with the joy of that first meeting date. I would suggest that we do like David and ask God to return to us today the joy of that day when we first met Him and gave Him control of our lives. Imagine the energy and excitement that will lend to our day and our ongoing witness for God!

PRAYER: Lord God, our joy is always complete when we reflect on a moment in our lifetime when our joy and happiness was at its peak! There may have been a few memorable occasions such as this, but I doubt that any could compare to the day that we received Your Son as our Savior and Lord, and asked Him to direct our happiness and our surrendered lives for His glory. This is something that we should strive for daily, so having been reminded of this by the psalmist today, I want to ask that You resume control of my life oh God. Please wipe away the stain of sin. Create within me a clean heart that can be used by You. Please make me well aware of Your Holy Spirit’s presence in my life so that I can be assured of the power, the comfort and the joy that resides within. May the joy of my salvation, and my relationship with You be very evident in and thru every word that I speak and every action that I take. While I can’t do this for my readers also, I pray that You may impact their lives with Your Word today so that they too might have a desire to allow You to regain Your rightful place in their lives. May Your army grow and gain in loyalty today so that You might be glorified and lifted up by everyone who claim You as Lord and Master! I ask all this in and through the precious and holy name of Jesus, AMEN!

 

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

While We Wait…

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Jude 20-23): 20 Dear friends, keep building on the foundation of your most holy faith, as the Holy Spirit helps you to pray. 21 And keep in step with God’s love, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to show how kind he is by giving you eternal life. 22 Be helpful to all who may have doubts. 23 Rescue any who need to be saved, as you would rescue someone from a fire. Then with fear in your own hearts, have mercy on everyone who needs it. But hate even the clothes of those who have been made dirty by their filthy deeds.

THOUGHTS: Many may not even notice the subtlety of objects placed in the lobby of businesses today to distract the attention of those waiting in long lines, but pay particular attention the next time you see a TV mounted in the lobby of a business for you to watch. Sometimes this is used to advertise, but more often just to provide entertainment so the waiting person will ignore the waiting time! So this is what we do when we wait for service here on earth! In these verses today, we are warned what’s important for us to be doing as we wait on the return of our Lord Jesus. Friends, I believe you will note that if we were busy about what we should be doing while we wait, there wouldn’t be near enough time for us to be ‘busy bodies’ who cause division and distractions in the church and/or among God’s people. In fact, I believe you will see that there is even more evidence that these disruptions are nothing more than Satan’s way to slow and/or stop the progress God could make in and among His church. So here’s what we really should be doing as we wait:

  • Keep building on the faith that convinced us of God’s love for us (vs 20)– Don’t you stop and reflect sometimes on you could possibly have gotten to where you’re at today, compared to the time when you first believed and was on fire for the Lord, lifting up His name to everyone you came into contact with?
  • Pray (vs 20) – Not just pray for ourselves, but pray that the Holy Spirit would enlighten us and help us to pray according to His will; for His benefit; through His power and for the things that He sees a need for us to pray for. This is often a totally foreign concept, compared to our selfish prayers for self, spouse, sons, daughters and no more. Imagine praying to God about those things that He is concerned about?
  • Keep in step with God’s love (vs 21) – another version says “guard and keep yourselves in the love of God”. In other words stay so closely attuned to God’s love that there’ll not be room for Satan to interfere with Your thought process, that often impacts Your actions, your will and your love to others. Remember how pure love was demonstrated for us – sacrificially, and on a cross for our benefit, not a soft cozy benefit to Jesus for His obedience and suffering. We too must learn to put God first and place others above self when it comes to reflecting our love like Jesus did.
  • Be helpful to those who may have doubts (vs 22) – Remember where you were when Jesus sent someone to rescue you, and reflect that kind of compassion toward others.
  • Rescue the unsaved (vs 23) – I love this scripture as it compels us towards an urgency we should use in our rescue efforts. When you think about it, we are literally rescuing someone from a fiery Hell, just as you would rescue someone from a home on fire. Before you make your first move to rescue someone from a fire, you have decided that they are worth you risking your life for, and you are exercising the God-given desire and abilities inside of you to save them. Let’s ask God to help us to do this with those who need rescuing from the ultimate pit of Hell should they die without accepting Jesus as Lord of their life.
  • Have a fearful respect for those in need (vs 23) – if not for the grace of God in your life, you could very easily be that person in desperate need. God saw our desperate need to be rescued from Hell and He sent His very own Son so that we might be saved. How far are you willing to go to help those in need that you come into contact with?
  • Hate even the clothes of the wicked one (vs 23) – don’t condone evil, sin and those things that God hates. See the soul that needs rescuing, but show no compassion for their evil deeds.

PRAYER: Father God, You have shown us very clearly through Your saints/writers how to find peace in knowing You as our Master and King; You have given us assurance of our salvation and in this passage of scripture today You have clearly shown us how we should live while we wait for Your return. Thank You for holding our hand the whole way through this challenging life on earth. We were rescued by some caring messenger of Yours, and there are many that we know that needs to be rescued. Please continue to impose upon us the urgency of the hour, the urgency of those friends who may never show it, but really need the salvation that only You can offer. Please continue to bless us with mercy, grace and an urgency of the needs of our fellow man so that when that day comes that You call us home to glory, we shall all gather around Your feet and worship You endlessly for rescuing us from our worldly destiny to Hell into the glories of heaven with You and the Father. And, Oh What a Glorious Day is a song that has reverberated in my mind the whole time while writing this blog. Be blessed by it as you meditate. God loves each of us with an endless love that is indescribable and impossible for mere humans to understand. Just know it and believe in Him to enjoy that love for all times friend! I ask all this today, in faith and in the faithful name of Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

 

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

Persistent Faith Leads To Victory!

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Daniel 6:19-23): 19 At daybreak the king got up and ran to the pit. 20 He was anxious and shouted, “Daniel, you were faithful and served your God. Was he able to save you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Your Majesty, I hope you live forever! 22 My God knew that I was innocent, and he sent an angel to keep the lions from eating me. Your Majesty, I have never done anything to hurt you.” 23 The king was relieved to hear Daniel’s voice, and he gave orders for him to be taken out of the pit. Daniel’s faith in his God had kept him from being harmed.

THOUGHTS: I love that old hymn “Faith is the Victory“, for one line in that hymn states “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world”. This is the kind of faith that Daniel demonstrated. He and his companions had earlier been cast into a pit of fire because of their conviction to not eat the king’s food, but came out unscathed. Later, Daniel’s very jealous peers had a law enacted to trap Daniel into a definite arrest by the king. However, Daniel had a commitment to worship His God and that included praying to God at least three times per day. This led to his arrest and being thrown into a den of hungry lions. By this time in the king’s relationship with Daniel, he had gained confidence in Daniel’s God and therefore prayed that God would protect Daniel from the lions that he had him thrown into! Of course, it was a time of glorious praise when it was discovered next morning that God responded to the prayers of the king and Daniel by protecting him, even among very hungry lions. I believe where God got my attention in this story, and the area that I would like to challenge my readers on is: How secure or solid are we in our faith? Peter had enough to walk on water; Moses had enough to stand at the river’s edge and believe that he could lead thousands of people across to the other side without danger; Daniel had enough to be persistent in his actions of food choice and in his prayer habits to know that in all things he could bless the name of the Lord – whether in the fire pit or in the pit of lions. I was challenged to consider where I am in my level of faith, and I want to challenge you to consider the same question friend. Jesus said that if we have the tiniest little bit (the size of a pin head – a mustard seed) we could move even mountains. I believe that our ‘mountains’ are as pin heads (mustard seeds) to God. But do we have the faith to place our needs and concerns solidly in His hands and the faith to believe that “all things are possible with God”? I see no reason why we shouldn’t friend! For He has proven over and over in His Word that He is able! Why don’t we let Him be God in our circumstances today? We can celebrate with way more fireworks of praise than anyone in our country can for Independence Day this weekend!

PRAYER: Lord God, You’ve created the heavens, the earth and each human being. You provided a written account of all that You have blessed our early ancestors with and the miracles performed in their lives, just to show us that You care about Your children and that You would move mountains, if necessary, in order to display Your miraculous works. With so much to support our reason to have faith in You, yet we doubt at times. “Oh ye of little faith” is what you must constantly say to us weaklings, just as You said to Peter when He took His eyes off You. Please touch Your children once again with the miracle of life, healing, overcoming government oppression and overall confidence that You are still God and that You are still in control. Often things seem so out of control, that I believe we become depressed and feel defeated, as if You must have stepped away. Unfortunately, these may be times that You are challenging us to look inside and see if we have stepped away from our faith in You. Oh what a wretched people we are, for we are so often challenged to keep our eyes fixed on You and the wonder of our awesome God. Please forgive us oh Lord, and give us strength, power and will to keep our eyes fixed on You, in spite of what might be going on around us. You alone are God, and we are not. May we give You the rightful place in our lives today, is my humble prayer that I ask in the powerful name of my most awesome Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

 

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

Help In Seeing The Good in Your Trials

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – 1 Peter 1:6-7): 6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

 THOUGHTS: We must be extremely careful not to doubt our salvation when we, as Christians, have troubles and trials arise in our earthly lives. Think about it friend, if we didn’t have these, what kind of witness would we be to those who need a Savior. For God would not have opportunity to show the unsaved how gracious He truly is to His earthly servants, and the handiwork of His miraculous hands in the lives of His children. Secondly, if we were spared from trials, how might we experience the graciousness of God to be especially loving, caring and powerful in helping us to overcome these things that are way beyond our reach and/or resolution? In this scripture today, this analogy is compared to the proving process used in the precious metal ‘gold’. For when it is brought to extreme heat, it is maximized in strength and durability. Likewise, when we face trials, it’s not that God doesn’t love us or care for us, for it is then that He is preparing us for battle, or to use the phrase of an old TV star, God is preparing us for the ‘big one’! Probably the most challenging thing for us to do, is to praise God, even in the midst of our trials, because we understand, and have faith to believe that He is strengthening us. Friends, when we say that we are Christian and we truly believe that we have placed our hand in the hands of the Almighty God, we must then hang on for the ride of our lifetime, knowing that we are under His control, His protection and His will, knowing full well that He loves us way too much to see any harm or hurt impact us. Can you imagine the admiration and pride that must come across the face of Jesus when He looks on His creation (us) and see us living in full submission to Him, and we finally get the scripture that indicates – all things work together for good, to those who love and have surrendered their lives totally to Jesus? My challenge today is first of all for self, that I may be totally surrendered to the Savior and allow Him full control over my life. Only then can I truly desire to see each of you do the same. However, for yourself, if it’s to be, it’s up to you! Therefore align yourself with the Lord of all lords and the King of all kings, who loved you enough to personally sacrifice His very best so that You might trust in Him, handle life’s circumstances and look forward to spending eternity with Him in glory!

 PRAYER: Father God, I adore You, I love You and I praise You for who You are and for all that You have helped me through already in my short life. However, You have taught me through Your Word that I am not perfect, so I surrender my total self to You today and pray that You might use me in ways that might allow Your kingdom work to increase and flourish here on this earth. I am equally concerned for my friends who will read this devotional today, for I always want Your very best for them also. Please satisfy every doubt or weakness in commitment and/or total surrender. Please provoke decisions in their personal lives that will cause Your name to be lifted high and every soul be drawn closer to You in full obedience. May we learn to celebrate You in all aspects of our lives, even when going through tough times. You alone are worthy of our praise in all aspects of our lives, so I worship You and ask all these things in Your precious and holy name, Lord Jesus, AMEN!

 

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

How to Shoo the Devil Away

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – James 4:4-7): 4 You people aren’t faithful to God! Don’t you know that if you love the world, you are God’s enemies? And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 Do you doubt the Scriptures that say, “God truly cares about the Spirit he has put in us”? 6 In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say, “God opposes everyone who is proud, but he is kind to everyone who is humble.” 7 Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.

 THOUGHTS: Isn’t it interesting how we get so fed up with Satan, but yet we are unwilling to change anything about our own character and/or life to change that? I was drawn to these verses, especially after just reading Ezekiel 20 – which I would encourage you to read if you are touched in any way by this passage in James. For God gave the Israelites rules and instructions on how to please Him and live together in peace and harmony. After the parents failed, God attempted to help the children become different in their endeavors, but they also failed, and faced destruction. Here in James, God saw where the problem was continuing and He once again gave instructions on how children of God can draw closer to Him and resist the devil. Friends, I would dare say that even in our day, after all that has gone on before us, we still are faced with selfish motives and greed, to the extent that old Satan is attacking us from every side. Unfortunately this appeal especially pertains to Christians, because Satan fears that we may be too involved with Jesus Christ. In this scripture, James is warning us that our relationship with God is weakened when: a). We are unfaithful to God; b). We love the world; c). We are God’s enemies, because He will not reside where sin abounds; d). We doubt the scripture too often and try to handle obedience to it under our own terms; and e). We are proud – assuming that there is something personally that accounts for all we have accomplished or are enjoying. Friends, the return of Jesus is near, and the Bible is clear that we will either face a welcoming smile from our Savior, or we will be turned over to Satan, because of our disobedience and lack of regard for the Savior who died to bring us life everlasting. Are you successful in shooing Satan away? Are you prepared to totally surrender your life to Jesus Christ and allow Him to save you from your sin, and guide you into life everlasting in His presence? If it’s to be, it’s up to you! Please read the help in my ‘Footnote’ on how to make a change in your life. The benefits are ‘out of this world’!

 PRAYER: Thanks for being so patient with us dear God. I can’t imagine how our lack of appreciation, and lack of desire to please You, must hurt You, especially considering all that You have done for us and our ancestors. Thank You for Your forgiveness, Your undying love and Your amazing grace. Thank You for loving us in spite of our failures. I pray that You will especially ignite a renewed fire within the lives of my readers and myself, so that we may totally surrender ourselves to You and subsequently reap the rewards of being a child of the King. Oh how I look forward to one day being in Your holy presence and worshiping before You in person! Please impact the lives of my readers and I today, is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus, the Christ, AMEN!

 

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

God is Coming Soon!

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 10:36-39): 36Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised. 37As the Scriptures say, “God is coming soon! It won’t be very long. 38The people God accepts will live because of their faith. But he isn’t pleased with anyone who turns back.” (Habakkuk 2:3–4) 39We are not like those people who turn back and get destroyed. We will keep on having faith until we are saved.

THOUGHTS: To some who will read the subject and the Bible verses, we might hear “Come Lord Jesus, come!”, and they may be referred to by their friends as Paul said of himself, “They have fought a good fight and they have kept the faith, enter now into the kingdom of heaven prepared for you by our Lord”. However, some will try to claim the victory and protest their position with the Lord because of their giving, or church attendance, or the faithfulness of their parents, only to sadly hear the words of Jesus reverberate “I never knew you”. There will also be some who will face eternity as lost as they are here on earth, because they consider the Word of God as ‘fables’ or ‘meant for the people of old who knew no better’. Friends, I believe that you should clearly understand the intent of the gospel – the Word of God, and this scripture serves as a great tool to remind us of that. An example to help explain this might be the need for a driver’s license to legally drive a vehicle on the public roads of any country. You know, and understand that driving without that legal document could lead to a prison term for you. You should also clearly understand that you are required to surrender your life of sin, and ask for forgiveness from the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. According to John 3:16, God loves us all, and if we Admit our sin, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and Confess our unworthiness and our ‘lost’ condition without Jesus, then we will become His very special child; saved from this sinful world and kept secure in His keeping until the day He calls us home to heaven to live with Him eternally. So compare the two scenarios given: driving without legal permission (a driver’s license) will send you to prison; living without ever personally accepting Jesus as your Savior will lead to eternity in Hell with Satan. The choice is clear, but it is totally up to you to decide your destiny, or what you will do. My desire is that God will soften your hardened heart and lead you to the cross of Calvary where you would see the great love expressed by my Savior to make your only positive choice a viable option. The plan is in place Brother and Sister, the choice is entirely yours. Please be smart and choose faith in Christ. I really want to see you in glory where we will kneel together at the feet of Jesus and praise He and His Father forever!

PRAYER: Lord God, we are given the liberty of making choices every day. Often some will lead to success, while others lead to failure, and possible destruction. In Your Word, You revealed our options about whom we will serve while here on this earth, and where that will ultimately lead us to in death, as we know it here on earth. I thank You and praise You that I accepted the best option available for my life, and that, based on Your Word, I have fore-knowledge about where I will spend eternity when the day comes for my graduation from earth to my new home in Heaven! I believe You have led me to clearly explain the above to my readers today so that they may KNOW in whom they believe, and with whom they will spend eternity. I humbly plead for Your help to those who are challenged with making a sound choice today. Please, may this be the day of clarity of mind and sound decisions, so that all who have received this challenge will walk away having made the only decision that leads to eternal life with You in heaven. I ask all this in faith, and in the name of Jesus, my Lord and soon coming King, AMEN!

 

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

Personal, Intimate Worship

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 10:16-18): 16“When the time comes, I will make an agreement with them. I will write my laws on their minds and hearts. 17Then I will forget about their sins and no longer remember their evil deeds.” 18 When sins are forgiven, there is no more need to offer sacrifices.

THOUGHTS: In Jeremiah 31, Jeremiah spoke about the coming Messiah and the power He had over sin, however He was speaking to a people with hardened hearts and who only knew one way of seeing sins forgiven, and that was through sacrifices made at the temple. To the Israelites, any other preaching on forgiveness of sin was heresy. In the New Testament, and particularly in this passage being studied today, we see where Jeremiah’s prophecy is being repeated again in verses 16 and 17, because the people had fallen into a rut and chose to believe, and practice the same old teachings of their forefathers. This made me question if times have changed any for us today? Do we still attend church out of tradition, and practice forms of worship as passed on by our forefathers, or have we truly connected with the Holy Spirit of God that resides inside of us, and gladly anticipate times of worship so we could truly speak to God through the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we in all honesty, and in close communion with Jesus, place ourselves bare before Him and seek forgiveness of our sin, and just melt away into honest and sincere worship of the King of this universe, giving thanks for His bountiful mercies and His amazing grace? Do we leave a corporate worship service wondering if anyone else was in attendance that day, because all we remembered was the sweet time of fellowship and worship of the Savior that we immersed ourselves into, with God’s help? Knowing Jesus as our personal Savior, and continuing a sweet, honest relationship with Him each day, involves times that we stop, recognize Him for who He is, and worship Him as Master and Lord over our lives and everything around us. I believe that if we struggle with the latter, then perhaps we need to return to the former and insure that we have a personal relationship with Jesus! Where do you stand friend? Please talk to Jesus about this and make sure that all is well between you two!

PRAYER: Father, thank You for making us so that we would have a relationship with You, and a heart and mind to worship You. Please forgive us for failing miserably in the aspect of personal worship, and so often blaming our lack of desire on our worship teams, or our pastors, or the tone of the services that we attend – if we find time to attend. We are such an ungrateful bunch dear Lord, please forgive us. You gave the very life of Your one and only Son as a sacrifice for us. You’ve brought us through many trials and burdens, yet we pitifully proclaim that we were not ‘led into worship’ at a church service. Father, I believe that my heart is filled to overflowing from the many blessings that You willingly pour out on me, and the overflow alone is enough to fill times of worship and adoration as I come before You. I praise You Lord Jesus for all that You have done for me. I thank You for forgiveness of my sin. I am again reminded that there is nothing I can place at Your altar in place of my sin, but because of the shedding of Your precious blood on Calvary, I can seek Your forgiveness and know that my sin is forgiven! Blessed be the name of the Lord, most high! I worship You, and I lift my voice… Please touch the heart of each one meditating on this devotional today dear God. May they release the offering of praise that is welled up inside of them! May I always give thanks for who You are, praise You for Your amazing grace, and place these petitions at Your feet, humbly asking all this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my King, my Lord and my wonderful Savior. AMEN!

 

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