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!

Obedience Leads To ‘Life’

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Jeremiah 35:12-15): ….. I, the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, want you to learn a lesson 14 from the Rechabite clan. Their ancestor Jonadab told his descendants never to drink wine, and to this very day they have obeyed him. But I have spoken to you over and over, and you haven’t obeyed me! 15 You refused to listen to my prophets, who kept telling you, “Stop doing evil and worshiping other gods! Start obeying the Lord, and he will let you live in this land he gave your ancestors.”

THOUGHTS: Who are you listening to? A more critical question is: In whom does your life reflect that you are listening to? Whoa… that’s a loaded question isn’t it? God saw what was happening to His people, the Israelites, where they were listening to every other leader, except the God who rescued them from slavery, the God who fed them in the wilderness where they would have died had it not been for the Provider who kept them each day by providing manna for them to eat. I know by now you are probably saying, OK Brother Ed, we know the story and these people were awful, but how does that apply to us, for we go to church every time the doors are opened and we live like the preacher tells us to. STOP friends. Please realize and acknowledge that starting at home – you have your spouse that you try to please, so in reality you are following their rules for your life. Failure to do this could result in an unhappy marriage/home. At work, most of us have a boss that we must please in order to keep our jobs and make our company profitable. Failure to do this could result in lack of salary increases and/or promotions and/or keeping our job. At school we have a teacher that we must please if we expect to receive a passing grade and graduate. Failure could result in none passing grades and/or not graduating. But what about our spiritual lives, do we not realize that failure to accept Jesus as Lord will result in a life apart from Christ and lead to eternal death? Friends, the most important part of life is to know the Creator of this world and of you and I. The One who loved us so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son to die a cruel death at the hands of evil people. Are we one of those – the ones who will continue to crucify Him? Or are we willing to surrender self to the free gift offered in Jesus Christ, accept Him as Lord and Master of our lives, then live a life pleasing to Him and in obedience to His Word? This brings with it everlasting life (see John 3:16) and a life filled with hope, rewards and blessings, both now and after we depart from this earth. Knowing Jesus is not just a thing of convenience during those times that we need Him, but it is surrendering to Him and accepting His leadership, then being obedient to what He tells you, as already written for you in the Bible. So what’s important to you friend? Where do you pledge your obedience and allegiance? The kind of life I am recommending leads to life everlasting with our Savior and Lord. No other allegiance mentioned above comes with that kind of promise to look forward to! Do you know my Savior? Please read my ‘Footnote’ for guidance.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, Lord God, You are awesome beyond any words to describe it. Thank You, thank You, thank You for creating this beautiful world for us to enjoy, and for sending Your Son so that through us accepting Him as Lord, we might enjoy an even more beautiful and wonderful place – heaven! Sinfully we have allowed so much to come before our ultimate allegiance to You, and I want to say that I am sorry for having done this. You deserve my undivided attention, love and commitment. Too often I and my friends have been much like the Israelites and allowed the things of this world to distract us from Your love, care and promise. Please forgive me, and please hear the cry of forgiveness from my friends. May this be such a reminder to us today that our lives might be eternally changed and therefore reflect evidence of the One in whom we believe. Your loving kindness is better than life! May we learn to lean on You and not only accept that gift of eternal life, but live our lives as evidence that Your Son is in control of every choice and decision we make. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

 

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

All For The Glory of God!

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – Romans 11:33-36): 33 Yes, God’s riches are very great, and his wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain the things God decides or understand his ways. 34 As the Scripture says, “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been able to give him advice?” (Isaiah 40:13) 35 “No one has ever given God anything that he must pay back.” (Job 41:11) 36 Yes, God made all things, and everything continues through him and for him. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

THOUGHTS: When tempted to complain, think about who created the thing you are about to complain about. When tempted to question why certain things happen the way they do, think about who’s in control of that very thing. When uplifted to a point of praise and glory – perhaps a gorgeous sunrise, or a beautiful sunset, or a fish skipping across the water – yes, praise God for His handiwork, but remember what the above scripture says, these things of beauty were made by God, and for His glory also! So as you reflect on the beauty around you, stop and imagine for a moment that God is sitting beside you enjoying His handiwork also! Isn’t that awesome, friend? God made the beauty that we enjoy, for His glory first, but thought to also share it with us to enjoy! Wow! Revelation 4:11 is another verse that expresses how God made the beauty we enjoy, but primarily because He wanted it. I believe that for those of us who have made something with our own hands, and then sit back and admire the work with a sense of satisfaction, we would appreciate how God might feel about His creation! Be blessed today friend as you ponder in admiration of all that God has made for Himself, and be filled with thanksgiving and praise as He allows us to enjoy this beauty with Him every day. No matter your situation or struggle today, find something to first praise God for. He understands your hurt, but He really deserves our praise for all that He has done, and for all that He provides for us each day!

PRAYER: Dear Father in Heaven, I am once again reminded of how awesome my God is! For You made the magnificent sunrises that I enjoy, and also the sunsets that concludes my day! You not only enjoy these things, but there is a much greater purpose for this whole process – for plant life (our food source), and for our sanity and enjoyment to get outdoors and see the beauty around us! Thank You for providing everything so that we too might be blessed and enjoy such a wonderful life! You are truly awesome and deserving of all our praise at every opportunity. Please encourage those who are struggling today and therefore finding it difficult to look beyond those struggles at the beauty and life contained in everything You created. Please continue to bless us each day, is my humble plea before You Oh Lord, and I ask this in the 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 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!

What God Likes Best!

The Holy Bible   (The Contemporary English Version – Jeremiah 9:23-24): 23 The Lord says: Don’t brag about your wisdom or strength or wealth. 24 If you feel you must brag, then have enough sense to brag about worshiping me, the Lord. What I like best is showing kindness, justice, and mercy to everyone on earth.

Thoughts:   From a very young age, I believe that we have a desire to please, especially when we know there are rewards when such behavior is recognized! I was pleasantly surprised to find these two verses smack in the middle of a discourse between God and Jeremiah, where God was warning Jeremiah about the destruction that will be poured out on his people, because of their sin and disregard. Fortunately, I believe that this is the same attitude God has towards you and I today, friend. Because of our sin, and our disregard for Him and His precious Word, we deserve death, destruction and total disregard by God, for we are doing much like God accused Jeremiah’s people of. We are all about self-success, self-riches, self-pride, self-smarts. I believe that way too often we feel like we have this thing called ‘life’ all figured out, so why would we need God. This is most unfortunate, because there are also times where we feel so out of control and helpless. Don’t you know that those are the times that God is shaking our conscience and trying to wake us up from the awful sleep/disregard/disrespect that we have fallen into? I was most humbled by what God told Jeremiah, when He indicated that He would really prefer not having to punish us (ever heard your parents say that!!!), if only we would worship Him, accept Him, love Him and honor Him, then He would instead show kindness, justice and mercy towards everyone on earth! We serve such an awesome God friend! He loves us enough to forgive us and bless us instead of destroying us, which is probably what we deserve. So pleasing God replaces the destruction that could be brought upon us, with blessings beyond our imagination! But can you imagine how happy that would also make God? I believe that just as we have a spirit of goodness in us, rather than a will to destroy, harm or hate, so does God. So I would encourage you to make every effort to accept Jesus and your Savior; love on Him and show the respect, regard and worship that He deserves, and then relax in His goodness and mercy all the days of your life, yes even throughout eternity! Praise the name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord for loving me enough to forgive me and put up with me through my weaknesses!! He is such an awesome God!

Prayer:   Jesus, friend of sinners, author and finisher of our faith, provider of life eternal for all who believes, thank You for Your undying love. Throughout scripture we discern that You would much prefer to love on us and provide for us, rather than the total opposite that will destroy us. Thank You for all You have done for me, I love You Lord and I lift my voice, to worship You, oh my soul, rejoice! Take joy my King, in all of Your children today. May our worship be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear. Although thankful for all Your blessings on me, I pray that You might still shower Your blessings on us yet again today. Please give us boldness and determination to be Your witness today and represent You well to those that need to accept You as King of their lives. I ask these things in the wonderful, loving and precious 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 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!

Worthy of Worship

The Holy Bible  (The Contemporary English Version – Isaiah 22:15): 15 My servant will make nations worthy to worship me; kings will be silent as they bow in wonder. They will see and think about things they have never seen or thought about before.

Thoughts: I believe that as a society we are facing a very challenging situation, with our churches almost going into extinction. Shocked? Well friend, I believe that you may need to move into reality and see how many churches are shutting down each week because of poor attendance or lack of necessary operating funds. So why do you suppose this may be the case? First let’s examine the makeup of the local church – it’s made up of folk just like you and I that attend, and give for the ongoing work of the Lord. So why do we attend? Perhaps some go out of tradition – meaning that it is the place to be on Saturday or Sunday morning. Others may go because they feel accountable to a family member. Still others attend out of pure devotion to God, and they look forward to not only worshiping Him for His blessings during the week, but they also want to learn more about what God has to say to us through His messenger. So why then are churches declining, and even shutting their doors? I believe that Isaiah made a very important point that we all must pay attention to. For I believe that in and of our own sinful selves, we have no desire to attend church, to be told about our sin, and stand corrected about our life styles and decisions. However, as in the day of the church that Isaiah envisioned, I am convinced that it is God who will call people to Himself and convince them of their need to worship Him. I believe that way too often our churches today come up with so many programs and tactics to attract people into their churches, that attendees remain uncommitted when their ‘program’ is weakened or discontinued. Friends, this is not a problem when we allow Jesus to remain in charge of His church. So I believe that as church leaders constantly seek Him, allow Him control, and plead for His interaction with His people, then He will have freedom to work on the worthiness of His people and the churches in which they worship. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would ‘make’ the people (nations) worthy. To do this will require getting to their hardened hearts and turning around some evil thoughts that have been permitted in. I believe that God still has the power to impact our towns, our country and our world for Himself today, friends! For those of you who know Him as Lord, may I encourage you to surrender fully to Him today, then pray for family, co-workers and friends who have not seen the need to attend church where they might join in corporate worship? If you are one of those who have not seen the need to attend worship services, may I suggest that God is already dealing in your heart friend! I say this based on the knowledge that it is only God that would have encouraged you to read all the way to this point in this devotional! So listen to the voice of God and follow through in what you feel He is prompting you to do. He has prepared a very bright future for all of us who know Him personally. I would love to see you be among the number who will see Him face to face in heaven! I am excited about the opportunity, and I pray that you will be also!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are so good to us! Thank You for loving us enough to provide the means for us to one day join You in Heaven! I plead with You today heavenly Father, that the hearts of Your children will be humbled to fully understand the love laid upon Calvary’s cross so that we might be afforded the gift of eternal life with You in glory! I pray that each person meditating on this devotional today will not only place themselves on the altar of sacrifice and worship before You, but that we might begin in deep earnest to pray for our family, coworkers and friends, so that Your church here on earth might be reinvigorated and recommitted to true and sincere worship of You. Perhaps at that stage, unsaved loved ones will be open to uniting with sincere and loyal followers freed form hypocrisy and self-righteousness. Lord You are the only one worthy of our worship! May we commit ourselves to clean and holy lives so that our worship might be a sweet aroma in your ears. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

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