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Friday, October 31, 2014

Proof of Whose You Are


The Holy Bible

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.
(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 6:3-6)

Thoughts:

Whether we like it or not, folk that knew (or know) your ancestors can easily identify you, and it may not always be because you look so much like them! Often it's because of the way you act, the things you say, or even the way you look at life. As a young couple I remember my wife and I commenting about some of the things that her mom and dad said and did. Today we marvel at my wife when she does and/or says some of the very same things that we particularly noted as a young couple! I always admire the heart of Paul in wanting to do the right thing and to do it in a way pleasing to God while not allowing it to be a hindrance to someone else. Besides this passage, remember Paul also said that he would just as soon be anything God wants him to be in order that some might recognize and accept Jesus as their Savior. In this passage though, I was particularly moved by verse (6) where he listed the attributes by which he and his coworkers proved whose they were. Because these are character attributes spoken about elsewhere in the Bible as well, I believe that these are being pounded into our minds as Godly attributes, that we should frequently examine our own lives to insure that they exude from us in our everyday lives. Think about it friends these very characteristics were demonstrated by Jesus and taught by Him as ones that we should strive for and make a part of our character. Here they are: Purity (moral uprightness, of a single mind towards God); Understanding/Knowledge (understanding what you believe and what God expects of you. Being sensitive to the will of God); Patience (dealing with even the most challenging people without getting upset with them); Kindness (being sympathetic towards others, and allowing that to reflect in your actions); and Love (genuine love is the desire to do what is best for those around you). So friends I believe that my 'dare' to us today is that we 'dare' be bold in our witness for God. May we constantly pray for these characteristics to be prevalent in our lives, to the extent that others will recognize our Master through our actions, and therefore desire to know Him in a very personal way. In this way, they also may go on to exude the same attributes in their lives. Being 'Christian' means being just like Christ (little 'christs'). For those that know Him, and live these characteristics out in their lives, they will be well on their way to their goal. To my friends that have not accepted Jesus yet, please consider accepting Him today. He will also help you to mature into a person who can reflect His image, so that you too can help someone else along. Use information in the footnote to receive help, should you need it.


Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I thank You for all you did for me on Calvary so that I might have life eternal with You! Thank You for the example You showed to me, and for all those saints who have influenced my walk for You. I am well aware that if ever this world needed to see You in action, through Your saints alive and included in these challenging days, is today. I pray for Your strength, Your direction, Your wisdom, and Your almighty touch so that others might see Your character lived out in my daily walk and in my talk. I pray for my readers that they also will develop a yearning to know You better and desire a character aligned with the example You set for us, and that You remind us of in Your Word. As Paul and all of the saints gone on before us have demonstrated to us, may we also be an example to those that watch us and follow our footsteps daily. I am proud to be known as Your child, Lord Jesus, may I represent You well. Please be especially challenging to my readers today, so that they too may have a deeper desire to depict You in all areas of their lives. I ask this in the precious 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 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!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ready For A New Life?


The Holy Bible
 

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them.
(Bible Translation and Location:
The Message - 2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

Thoughts:

I'm sure at the end of our day we look back and reflect on the things we said that we regret; the things that we should have said, but didn't; the attitude that should have been better when talking to an associate; the family relations that should have been superior to what actually transpired, and on and on. Life is filled with these types of disappointments, especially when we try to handle it alone and bear the full burden. God's Word clearly states that He came to this earth, was crucified and rose again, so that we might have life (now and forever), and if we surrender our life to Him and allow Him to guide us each day, we will experience life more abundant, secure, protected and loved. Therefore, we should gladly surrender our burdens and disappointments to Him for direction and help in resolving. Furthermore, the only way for our 'old life' to be considered gone, is if we surrender it to God. Friends, our life in Jesus takes on a whole new outlook. For we then live by faith and under God's direction, in ways that He has taught us in His Word and through various means throughout our day where He sends roadblocks or open doors for us. For those meditating on this today but do not identify with what I have shared, may I suggest that you have a conversation with my Lord? You see, it is only through faith in Jesus that you will experience the kind of life of which I speak. If you have never taken this step, I would humbly suggest that you follow the steps in my footnote. To my Christian friends reading this but who are still experiencing the days of tumult and battles that you've always faced, I would humbly suggest that you quickly put time aside to speak with our Lord and Savior, for you may not have surrendered as much of your life to Him as you once thought. In a fully surrendered life, you are able, with God's power, strength and direction, to help others. You will really confuse them if you are still experiencing the same issues that they are facing. Fully surrender your life to God and experience the life in Him that He promised, so that you may bless others for Him.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for often hanging on to parts of my life that I should have already surrendered over to You. This lack of trust and faith hinders my walk and witness for You. Please work in my heart so that I may be one with You. I want to be all that I can be because of Your mighty hand guiding me and using me for Your complete glory. May I be used of You to impact the lives of my family and friends who need You, and to be Your hand outstretched to the stranger in need of a Savior. Please be especially close to my Christian friends who need this same experience today so that Your glory may shine brightly throughout our realm of influence. Please impact the life of an unbeliever with this message today. May they find reasons to seek You and know You while there is still time for them to do so. I ask this in Your precious and holy name dear 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!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bumps In The Road?


The Holy Bible
 

That's why we live with such good cheer. You won't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don't get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Thoughts:

It's so easy for me to sit and judge others for the many reasons they give for not being at church, or not taking part in Christian activities, or not doing what appears to me as their part of the work of the Lord. But I am amazed how quickly God opens my eyes and my heart to the fact that God is speaking to me through His Word that I read, so I need to first and foremost work on self! God is very capable of speaking to others who may be obviously missing the boat in their relationship with Him. So from a personal perspective, from my own heart, let me share with you what I feel God wanted us to learn from this passage today. Friends, when:
  • We stop attending church or working for the Lord, because we are discouraged by the lack of appreciation given to us, we must realize that our reason for ministry is to: "spread the Word of the Lord"; "Enrich the lives of other believers"; and to "Share hope and faith with the unbeliever as encouragement for them to accept Jesus as Lord". Notice that "I" or "Me" or "Self" are not words used in any of those reasons for ministry, so why should that be a 'bump in the road' for us in our ministry?
  • We refuse to speak up for the Lord in our workplace or in our realm of influence, do we expect Jesus to be proud of us? Remember in His Word He tells us that if we are ashamed of Him here on earth, then He will be ashamed of us before His Father. Are we afraid of, or embarrassed of someone being critical about, or to, us? How do you suppose Jesus felt when He was beaten and abused on the road to Calvary where He was later crucified, just because He knew it was necessary in order that we might have life more abundantly and eternally with Him in heaven? We should be totally ashamed before the Father when we allow such small 'bumps in the road' to deter our walk and our talk for Jesus here on this earth.
Although just two examples, I believe that your eyes might be opened to the minor 'bumps in the road' that often stop us from effective ministry for our Lord. Fortunately Paul gave us the secret on how to overcome this, when he said "It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going"! I would also add that "It's the One we minister for, rather than the one we minister to, that gives us the strength to keep on doing the work of the Lord. Our ministry should always be for the sake of the kingdom of God only, and not for anything we can personally gain, or for any recognition offered by those we minister alongside, or to. If Jesus loved us enough to suffer the cross to show how much He loved us, how many 'bumps in the road' are we willing to overcome to show our love to Him in return?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I am ashamed of the little things that I allow to discourage me or stop me from being all that I can be for You. There is no 'bump in the road' that should hinder me from opening my heart and my mouth in praise to You, and witness for You. I believe that You meant for our relationship to be pure, open and honest, please give me boldness to overcome the things of this world that distract and hinder me from openly claiming You as my King and sharing Your love with others that I come into contact with. Lord, I believe that huge distractors these days are 'busyness'; 'stress' and 'the lack of quality family time'. Please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and not allow the distractions of Satan and this world to interfere in my walk with, and witness for, You. It's You I live for and heaven is my ultimate goal, but I need You every hour here on this earth to help me keep the main thing, the main thing! I don't believe that I am unique in having the distractions that beset me, so I also ask that You kindly bless my readers today that they too might overcome the distractions of this world and to be a constant witness for You every day. In love and humility I kindly ask all this in the wonderful 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 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!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Glimpse of Heaven!


The Holy Bible


Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message - 2 Corinthians 5:2-5)

Thoughts:

I believe that as folk get nearer to retirement age here on earth, they begin to think about, they dream, and they start planning towards the day that they won't have to wake up early every day to go to work, but more than that, to the good life ahead! I'm getting there, so I can tell you first hand!! Often when we visit Christians who are physically sick, they will share how praiseworthy it is to think about heaven with no main pain, heartaches or sickness. At farewell services for our loved ones, we often hear about the beauty of heaven and how Jesus is there to welcome His children home. In these verses today Paul is reflecting on his heavenly body and his eternal home. However compared to the real thing, our understanding from God's Word mixed with our imagination and expectation of being with our Lord and Savior, is only like whetting our appetite! As I write this I am overly excited about the prospect of seeing my Savior, my Lord, my King and spending eternity with Him, how about you friend? So is this a place you can look forward to going, is the big question? In America, we will soon be voting to decide who will be our local leaders in government, and it is our combined vote that decides our future leaders. Very important stuff, because we could stand to see an improved government, or not. The deciding factor for which home we will find ourselves in at the end of this life here on earth is equally as precise, but much more important. Compared to one vote today politically, is the one deciding factor that determines whether you will see the glories of heaven, the face of our Savior and rejoice with the angels around the throne of God forever! The Bible tells us that we if make no decision (like not voting), then being born a sinner, we will unfortunately live, and deal with Satan, the deceiver, the evil on, the destroyer, forever in the pits of hell. However, if we decide to listen to that still, small voice, that speaks calmly to our soul about our spiritual condition, and we make a decision to accept the King of the universe, the Savior of this world, the Son of God, Jesus my Savior into your life and ask Him to forgive you of your sin, then you too will receive eternal life and can begin dreaming about and looking forward to one day retiring from this world into His kingdom with Him! This excites me friend! I hope that your life will be impacted enough to make a decision for Jesus TODAY, if you don't already know Him in a personal way. Please use the footnote to receive help in your decision today. I would be overjoyed to help you and/or welcome you into the family of God, as we daily walk together towards the portals of heaven! How beautiful heaven must be!

Prayer:

Thank You dear Lord for this glimpse of heaven that I received as I meditated on Your Word this morning, and as I listened to the song hyperlinked. Thank you for not only sacrificing Your life so that I may have access to this wonderful place called heaven, but thank You for building that desire within my heart to accept You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for blessing me with many family and friends who already know You as Lord, and thank You for the opportunities in also blessing me with family and friends that have not yet made this important decision. May I humbly ask that You bless me with the necessary love, boldness, words and actions to bless these ones with, that might encourage them towards making this vital decision. Here on earth we can make many plans and decisions for retirement, but we have no assurances of ever seeing it. You have assured us of our eternal home, based on our decisions today. Thank You Jesus! May we be smart, humble and obedient to You, is my humble prayer that I ask in Your holy and wonderful name, 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!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Brighter Days Ahead!


The Holy Bible


So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
  
Thoughts:

Ever notice how you might visit a person laden with pain and discouragement, so much that they can barely move, but when they see you for the first time in a very long time, how they don't notice the pain and they are ready to go wherever you take them? They quickly become very refreshed in their mind? I believe it is very easy for us to get in that rut also, because we tend to lose hope and the joy that once filled us, especially if we are not humanly seeing results. Paul had a similar experience in ministering to the church in Corinth. For with the bare eye, one may have looked at Paul and quickly agreed that they would stay far enough away from whatever he was proposing to them, because it only got him beatings, imprisonments and hardships. However, to the Christian who witnessed the joy, inward excitement, boldness and peace that exuded from this man of God, I believe that they would deeply desire a similar walk to that of Paul. In these verses, Paul is warning the church that we need to look beyond what might bless us today, and focus on the far-reaching effects of the gospel being proclaimed. You see, our hearts should overflow today when we do the Master's work, especially when we do it in earnest for the Master's sake and His glory alone. It is hypocrisy to promote self when attempting to teach and/or preach and/or witness, for without Christ we are nothing. It is His grace that saved us, His love that sustains us, and His promise to welcome us home in glory that center our hearts on Him, in anticipation of our glorious reunion with Him! I'm afraid that when we get discouraged, it may very well be 'self' that is not being satisfied. Let us always remember that our Christian work here on earth is to bring glory to God. When an earthly war is over, it is the country who sent the soldiers into battle that wins, not the soldier who fired the last shot. Many earthly soldiers will gladly place their life on the line for their country, are you and I willing to do the same for the battle we fight against Satan? Let's learn to allow God to use us in His service for His glory, rather than us mentioning God's name while promoting self. There is a hope friend! Let is rejoice in that hope as we present the gospel through our words and actions each day, knowing that one day soon we will be with the Master in all His glory!
 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, Savior of this world, please help me to keep myself in proper proportion to the One in whom I represent and witness to others about. Like Paul, I too must stay focused on who I'm working for and who will receive the glory from anyone touched by Your message. Lord, I am convinced that as I see glory going up to You by folk, there is little value in what I may have contributed to that, because I am merely Your messenger obeying Your commands. My desire is that I may be obedient to what You require of me. I am merely an instrument in Your hand to accomplish Your work with those who need You. You have strategically placed me here, with all of the experiences I have encountered, so that others who need You might identify with You through my earthly experiences. Thank You for choosing me to be Your child and Your servant. May Your Holy Spirit continue to use me – my talents, my experience and my hope, is my humble prayer this morning. Lord, may Christians that meditate on this devotional identify with what I have shared and grow stronger in their relationship with You. May the lost that You direct to this devotional find hope in the mighty works that You do, knowing that they too can become Your child, when they accept You as Lord and Savior of their life. I ask all this in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, my Lord and 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 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!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How’s Your Eyesight? Blinded?


The Holy Bible


Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation - 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Thoughts:


I believe that God has directed me to share this verse this morning for two reasons:
  1. To my friends who do exactly as this verse says – you struggle with believing in God. A God you can't see, hear, feel or touch. Paul is telling you in plain words here, that the power of Satan is so strong in your life that he is actually blinding your spiritual eyes. In other words, he controls your mind and your heart so strongly that you have made the choice to dishonor the God of this universe, the One who created you, me and the whole world from the bottom up. In addition to just sharing this verse with you today, I want to share what might be a secret to you. There is another verse in the Bible that contains God's Holy Word through its authors, and this verse actually says that God is no respecter of persons. He actually loves you as much as He loves myself and others I will address in point #2. You see in John 3:16, God had recorded in His Word that He loves everyone who will call on His name to be saved, and that they will actually receive eternal life with Him in heaven. Friend, in the earlier days of creation, there was a lot of sacrificing that was necessary to be accepted by God and to live a Godly life. God saw that this was an obstacle to many, so He ordained a young virgin woman (Mary) to be the mother of a Son (Jesus), so he later miraculously made her pregnant. This Son (Jesus) later became the sacrifice for us, and it is through Him that we have access to the Father (God). Friend that is unconditional and sacrificial love demonstrated in the purest form ever. Love in its most desperate form to win the heart of God's children that He designed, protected and loves immensely. He desires a relationship with you friend. He loves you way too much to see you controlled by the Evil one and sorely distracted from the best thing that could very happen to you. Our communication with Jesus is through prayer (an open conversation with the very Son of God). Won't you do me a favor and at least have a conversation with Him? Pour your heart out to Him. Let Him know how you feel, and what you would prefer to see with your life regarding your eternal destination. It's either Heaven or Hell friend. Do nothing and know that you will one day join Satan and his demons in Hell. Instead, I plead with you to trust what I've shared with you and ask Jesus into your heart so that You might be one with Him, and look forward to a glorious time in heaven with Jesus, me and lots of other folk who have already made this important decision. By the way, Jesus will also be with you every day while here on earth, through every trial, temptation and even the very best of times. He wants to be with you and available to you at all times!
  2. To my friends who have accepted Jesus as your Master and Lord, please pray earnestly for your friends who you thought of as you read this verse. I'm sure that you are aware that the time remaining on this earth is drawing to an end. Meaning that your friends will not have much longer to make this very important decision of accepting Jesus. The Bible is clear, that without this reformation, they will not enter heaven. So your prayers are more desperately needed now than ever before. Remember, it is not sacrilegious to pray over and over for these lost ones. I want to see God's very best for my loved ones, and I'm sure you feel the same. Let us therefore pray without ceasing, that God might break that hold of Satan on their lives, tender their hearts and give them the desperation needed to surrender unconditionally to Jesus. Like me, I'm sure that you are anxious to walk through the gates of heaven and see all of our family and friends there! Let us pray, friends, let's use this primary tool in communicating with God about our heart's desire.
Friend, if you would like to discuss how this devotional has impacted your life, or if you would like a prayer partner to help you make this important decision, please use the information in the footnote. Myself or any other Bible believing child of God would be ecstatic to pray with you or chat with you regarding your questions!

Prayer:


Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much! Thank You for humbling me, melting my wicked heart, convicting me of the hold that Satan had on my life that was keeping me away from You, and for loving me into a decision to accept You as my eternal King! What a glorious day! I believe that it is because of my happiness in You, and my love for my unsaved family and friends, that I am so moved in this reminder this morning. Please keep me very alert and praying for my friends that need to know You. Please keep them evident in my mind so that I may continually pray for them. Thank You Lord for saving my soul! Thank You for a place called Heaven, where I will one day join You around the throne of our Father! What a Day that will be! Jesus, my prayers are humbly placed at You feet asking that You honor my requests to day, for I ask it in Your precious name, 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!

Friday, October 24, 2014

WARNING! - Seven things that God Hates


The Holy Bible

Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:
  • eyes that are arrogant,
  • a tongue that lies,
  • hands that murder the innocent,
  • a heart that hatches evil plots,
  • feet that race down a wicked track,
  • a mouth that lies under oath,
  • a troublemaker in the family.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Proverbs 6:16-19)

Thoughts:

As a young child, we learn that obedience to our parents results in their happiness with us, and often brings rewards. On the other hand, disobedience make them unhappy with us, disappointed in us, and often brings punishment. We also quickly learn that their instruction is filled with the wisdom of years of experience filled with tested and proven actions. They lovingly try to help us avoid and repeat the same mistakes that they made. God's Word is also filled with experience after experience that teach us what is pleasing to God and what is not. In the highlighted verses today we can clearly see that there are some obvious things that God hates, with one of them being one that He hates with a passion. These seven practices deal with attitude (pride); thought (a heart that plots evil), speech (lying), action (murder, crime), and influence (a person that sows discord in his family). In learning and/or being reminded of these things, I believe there are at least a couple things that we need to be aware of: 1). When we (Christians) reflect on our day and find ourselves guilty of any of these actions, we should humble ourselves like a child, and go to our Father in repentance, asking for His forgiveness, and for His strength to correct our ways to avoid repeating the same sin; 2). When we see others committing these offenses, we should not be silent. For we can either help the Christian (in love) to see their weakness, or in the case of the non-Christian, love them into a relationship with our Savior who can eradicate their sin and guide them in the right path, as Solomon is doing in this scripture. I would especially like to point our attention to the one sin that God hates with a passion: the troublemaker in the family. Friends, I believe this is referring to our blood family and our church family. Over recent months I believe that I have heard more about family hurts than ever before. Family members not talking to each other, in some cases for years. Church splits because of hurt between 'Christian' families. Wow, Brothers and Sisters, this is awful because the end result is that God's work is minimized at a time when we know that His second coming is near. Like any good family member would feel, we are devastated that some will be left behind, and in many cases this means some of our very family members. Perhaps a day of mourning and fasting is due so that we may deeply concentrate and present ourselves to God as living sacrifices for the betterment of His children – our families. Let's stop pointing fingers at the ones we feel are at fault. We have a lot to do ourselves. Love will bring us together with a common goal of better connecting with God and obeying His commands. Let us seek His face and present ourselves to Him for correction, and a clearer mind on what we can do to enhance the work of the Lord in our blood families and in our churches. Jesus is coming soon friends, let's not be ashamed of the effort we have given to obedience and to loving our families!

Prayer:

Dear Father in heaven. This morning I personally come before you ashamed of all the disharmony that I am aware of in my extended family, and in church families that I know of. Please give me a new boldness to do my part in reconciliation. Please help me to help others that need reconciliation, by being a God-like mentor to them. Other than the opportunities You might give me to help and/or minister to them, please help me to stay clear of any deceiver out to destroy an individual or a family. I'm sorry that I am a part of a family that is torn apart by things You taught through Your wise servant, Solomon. I'm also sorry for not being bold in my witness, that might ultimately lead to unity among Your believing children. I know that we must be united and looking more like You, before we can be a witness to an unbeliever. So Father, I ask that You pour out a sweet spirit of love and revival among Your believers. Help us to mend our ways and our relationships from inside our homes, and inside our churches, so that we can be the witnesses that You would proudly allow to represent You among our non-believing family, friends, neighbors and community. I humbly ask all this believing that Your children are in need of revival so that we might be reacquainted with Your power and love for us, and for the unsaved. I also ask that You might challenge the heart of any that might meditate on this devotional today, to deeply consider their relationship with You and their families, and to also seek Your face for ways they might be better witnesses for You, while there is still time. I ask this in the name of the only One with power to bring this about, Jesus 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 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!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love The One You Got!


The Holy Bible

18So be happy with your wife and find your joy with the woman you married- 19pretty and graceful as a deer. Let her charms keep you happy; let her surround you with her love. 20Why should you give your love to another woman, my son? Why should you prefer the charms of another man's wife? 21The Lord sees everything you do. Wherever you go, he is watching.
(Bible Translation and Location: Good News Translation – Proverbs 5:18-21)

Thoughts:

There's an old hip-hop song with the same title I gave to our devotional today, because as I meditated on these verses this song came to mind, so I didn't intentionally use bad English!!! However, God not only spoke to a man that He made to be the wisest man on earth, but He also inspired him to write down these wise words to share with folk that came along after he (Solomon) died. God, in His wisdom, knew that you and I should be told from His Word how to truly live holy and happy lives, even when it concerns our lives with our spouses. Now friends, there are a few things in here that really step on the toes of some that have supposedly convinced themselves of what God should have included in His Word, so they may become offended, but I would encourage them to politely and respectfully pray to God about those things. These verses follow verse 15 where Solomon gave us these words of wisdom: "Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone", so I believe that what God is drawing to our attention in order to have happy marriages, is that:
  1. Men must be the husband of one wife and find your joy with her – Notice the verse didn't indicate "one of your wives" or "one of your women". Also note that the verse didn't say that you will find joy waiting for you, but rather you will "find joy". That gives me the impression that we must seek after it, or work at it. If you sow in happiness, you will reap joy! Please note that to find joy with your wife, you cannot have other women trying to win your affection, otherwise you could never give your wife the attention and love that she, and you, deserve;
  2. Pretty and graceful as a deer – I'm sure that no one ever married a woman because she just wasn't pretty in your eyes. So if she was pretty when you married her, and you have tried in every way to find joy with her every step along the way, why might she not be pretty now? I am reminded of something an elderly gentlemen told me at one time when I was finding fault with a vehicle I owned. He said, it is so interesting the fault we will find with our current vehicle when we have our minds set on a new one we want to buy! Funny, but very true words that also apply to our view of our wives! They are very pretty until we set our eyes on someone else that we are becoming attracted to. One word of advice to husbands and wives, don't look elsewhere because you feel your spouse has lost their beauty, you are also growing old at the same rate of your spouse, and you may not be getting any more handsome either!!
  3. God is watching – God not only hears the words we speak, but He also knows our thoughts. You absolutely cannot straighten Him out with the poor excuses you give your spouse, so live upright, honest, loving and happy lives like God intended for you.
Friends, I am not a Marriage Counselor, but I am a Christian and would be happy to rejoice with you on any happy stories this devotional may have reminded you of, or if there is an area that you are struggling with, I would be happy to pray with you. So I encourage you to use the information in the footnote to contact me and allow me to pray with you about your marriage or your relationship with the Lord.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, unlike anything we can see, or ever imagine, about the condition of marriages and Christian life in general today, I am convinced that You see and know every little detail. I humbly ask that You help us to overcome our carnal minds and worldly desires. Please help us to keep our minds fixed on You, and make decisions inspired by You and for Your glory. Happy marriages will result in happy couples who will have happy children. This is not the case today, even from our eyes dear Lord, so we know that You see the weaknesses evident in Your children who claim You, especially when it is convenient or needed. Please touch the hearts and minds of Your children today, beginning with me. I believe that as we draw close to You and refocus our desire to please You in all walks of our lives, then we will live according to Your Word, without It becoming burdensome to us. Our marriages and our families are in trouble Lord. We need You more today than ever before, to heal our land, revive Your very own children, and to melt the hearts of those spouses that do not know You as Lord. Marriage is instituted and blessed by You, and I question how this could be possible if a spouse raises the stop sign to not allow You in. We need You Lord! I know that You have this under control, please give me peace to leave You at Your job, knowing that You are the Master of all things! I love You Lord, and I ask all of these things believing, and in the 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!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Sweet Fragrance To God


The Holy Bible


15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

Thoughts:
 

Paul shared that their (his and Timothy's) lives were a sweet fragrance to God and to the Christians they came into contact with, however to the non-Christians, their lives were as the dreadful smell of death and doom. In applying this scripture today, I want you to look beyond the many books written by Paul, and the many churches he started, and remember that Paul had no advantage over us, and our ability to be the same sweet fragrance for God today. When God looks below the surface, does He still smell the sweet fragrance of holiness in our lives? Is God standing tall and proud when we find ourselves in a tight spot, knowing that we will still represent him well – exude the sweet fragrance of His Holy Spirit, in spite of the circumstances or who we might be with? Are we bold enough, and firm enough in our faith, that God is proud of us even in the presence of non-Christians, or do we meld into the audience and try to be their buddy? Of course, the words "a sweet fragrance" were only used as a metaphor and really could, or should, be substituted for the words "very pleasing to". The bottom line friends, is that when we claim to have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are to live our lives very pleasing to God, or our actions and words are to be like a sweet aroma to God. As you reflect on the opposite to these, I believe you will get an even better picture, as you will quickly realize that in no way do we want to be a repugnant odor to our God, especially after having received His forgiveness of our sins, and our celebration of the great sacrifice He paid so that we could be saved in the first place. Friends, we have a choice. What will it be for you? Be reflective of whose you are (Christians), or to my non-Christian friends, accept Jesus as Lord and be loyal to His cause, creating a sweet aroma back up to Him? Or are you more inclined to refuse Him and stifle Him with the stench of sin, unbelief and/or disobedience?
 

Prayer:


Lord Jesus, what a challenge these verses present for us today, because there are so many circumstances where we are totally engulfed in the world and its demands through our friends and coworkers. However, I believe that Paul also found it impossible to be holy, especially without Your powerful hand upon his life. Therefore please remind us often of our power source that enable us to be good examples of Yours and to act Godly, even under extreme circumstances and opposition. Thank You for being available to us, and willing to work through such weak vessels. May we always be mold-able and usable by You, is my sincere plea today. For the non-Christians who might be led to this devotional today, may they recognize their need for You in their lives, surrender their lives to You, and find peace in knowing You, is my humble prayer today that I ask in the precious 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 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!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Everything You Need!


The Holy Bible


Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness. Through these he gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in God's nature, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires.
(Bible Translation and Location: New Century Version – 2 Peter 1:3-4)

Thoughts:


So often we use the excuse: "I'm so sorry, I just couldn't help myself", or we might say "the temptation was just too great" or we might even say "After all I'm just human". These are generally excuses we might make when we have yielded to temptation, or done something that we have later regretted. According to these verses from 2 Peter, what could be missing from our lives? These verses say that if we have already accepted the love of Jesus and asked Him to be Lord of our lives, then He has given us everything we need to live and serve God. In fact, the gifts He has blessed us with actually allows us to share in the very nature of God and therefore build up a defense against the evil desires of this world used by Satan to ensnare us. So why do we fail, you might ask or wonder. Friends, in our marriages, if the only commitment we made to our spouses occurred at the altar, when we promised to love and care for them forever, then we went on living our separate lives and doing our own thing, what type of unity, love, or commitment would we have? Similarly in our Christian walk, if we do not seek communion with God – through prayer and Bible Study, and invite His Holy Spirit to lead and direct our paths daily, what do you suppose our carnal selves might default to? Of course we adapt to the ways of the world. We totally and intentionally leave God out of the picture and continue to 'do our own thing'. I spoke with a friend recently who was very distraught over a relationship he had built with a man, only much later in the friendship to realize that he too was a Christian, in fact a Bible teacher and leader in his church. Friends, I may as well tell you straight out, if our Christian friends can't see enough 'fruit' (evidence of our relationship with Jesus) in us, how will the world, who knows nothing about God and/or Christianity? Please be reminded that if we have it (the love of God) in us, it will show through us! Friends, God has never lied, and in His Word He told us that He gives His children EVERYTHING WE NEED to live a life pleasing to Him and a heart to serve Him faithfully! You have what it takes, now, are you using it like God intended?

Prayer:


Father, thank You for not only sacrificing Your dear Son, Jesus, to die on a cruel cross so that we may live holy lives here on this earth, and the assurance of living a wonderful life with You in glory, but also for going the extra mile and giving us the means by which we can live our lives pleasing to You. Wow, You have been awesome in thinking of everything to make this work for us, and I thank You sincerely. Please forgive me for the times that I still allow myself to 'do my own thing'. This is ungodly and unbiblical, and I not only seek Your forgiveness, but also Your strength and boldness to stand firm in my faith and against the evil of this world. I pray that You might cause such an unrest in my soul when I'm tempted to give in, that I will quickly refocus my life on the One who loves me most. It is such an honor to be a child of the King, please help me to always be guilty of doing just that, and representing You without bringing any shame to You. Please also work in the lives of my friends that will meditate on this devotional today. May they also be refocused on You, Your love and Your expectation of them to live holy lives exampled after Your very own. I am asking this in the wonderful and powerful name of Jesus, my 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 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!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trust In The Lord


The Holy Bible


Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Proverbs 3:5-6)

Thoughts:
 

I know this sounds like a fairly simple topic today, but if we're honest with ourselves we will acknowledge how often we do things on our own, then when we mess up, we come back and ask God to clear it up for us. Often as I study the Word I will see what the commentators have to say about certain verses. Although these two verses seemed very clear to me, I want to still share with you what Matthew Henry had to say in his commentary on these: "In all our ways that prove pleasant, in which we gain our point, we must acknowledge God with thankfulness. In all our ways that prove uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must acknowledge him with submission. It is promised, He shall direct thy paths; so that thy way shall be safe and good, and happy at last". This brought new life to these verses for me, because I have always just looked at these as simply placing my trust in the only one that knows everything, period. However, life can really have both twists to it like explained by Matthew Henry, pleasant or uncomfortable! The bottom line is friends, please consider being obedient to the Word and our Father. Don't wait until you've made a stupid mistake before inviting God into the picture to clear it all up for you. Suppose that the decision you made is not His choice for you? Will He still clear it up for you? I don't think so! When you are blessed to awaken each morning, you may have an idea of what your schedule is, but who knows what you will truly face? When you make a decision that day, who knows what long-reaching effects that decision will have on you and your family? The answer to both of these last two questions is "God". He's the only One that knows what lies ahead for us. So instead of us screwing this up, why don't we commit today to always seek His perfect will for our lives at the beginning of each day? Let's submit to Jesus for each decision we might make that day, that He might direct us and give us wisdom, so that He might ultimately receive glory from our actions and our decisions. We must learn to trust in God for the little decisions for which we feel like we have a handle on, as well as those decisions that really scare us. Will you, together with myself, dare commit to this today? We really need to if we are children of the King! God being our helper, please direct our path to obedience and submission each day, please dear Father!

Prayer:


Lord, we often sin by excluding You from the daily decisions that we make each day, and we ask Your forgiveness. Lord Jesus, my life belongs to You, so decisions I make every day must be guided and directed by You. Please work on me to humbly get before You each day in submission, and humility as I ask You to direct my path, protect me while on the path, and guide me to decisions that are pleasing in Your sight and that would prove beneficial for my relationship with You. Please work in the lives of my friends that will meditate on this devotional and recognize similar actions, and needs by them. May they also open up their hearts and lives to You, is my humble prayer, that I ask in the 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 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!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Being Brought To Our Senses



The Holy Bible

8 …… We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness (honesty) and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation - 2 Corinthians 1:8-12)

Thoughts:

I believe that what Paul was really saying at the beginning of these verses is something that we struggle with more often than we might care to acknowledge. It seems like many times we wait to seek God’s favor, help and/or direction until we have given up all hope of trying to handle the situation ourselves. The great apostle Paul was guilty of the same thing, because he declared in verse 9 that basically when they had exhausted all effort and hope for survival, then they stopped relying on self and turned the matter over to God. Friends I believe that stories like this were intentionally placed in the Bible under God’s leadership, because He knew that there would be another set of Christians just like Paul, who would follow the same stubborn path. Why is this? I believe that there may be several reasons: 1). It may be due to lack of communion with God. I have found that when my wife and I go through times of extreme busyness and don’t take time to communicate like we should, often there are things that I forget to share with her. You and I have allowed our lives to become so busy because of over committing ourselves and lack of priority, that the thing that screams most at us, gets our attention; 2). It may be due to us not wanting to bug God for every little thing, so we wait until items are totally out of our control (like Paul and Timothy did). Perhaps this study will serve to remind us that we build confidence in God through talking with Him and seeing answers to the little stuff and, that major items never grow into such. And 3). It may be that God intentionally uses times like these to wake us up from our sleepiness and distractions that interfere in our relationship with Him, and while He has our attention, perhaps deals with us about other spiritual/Godly things that require attention. Please also look closely at verse 10, for Paul tells us that this experience gave them confidence to know that God will rescue them in the future, because of the miraculous rescue and answer to prayer in the current application. Like Paul said in verse 12, having experienced God’s wonderful power, we must learn to depend on God’s grace at all times, and not our own wisdom. When the world sees that, then they will know whose we are! Lord, may they always see Jesus when they look at His kids!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for being my God, my Deliverer, my Healer, my Friend and Savior. May I be very open in my relationship with You, yet very dedicated to time with You, so that we may communicate at all times. Thank You for bringing Paul and Timothy to their senses, opening their eyes to Truth and reminding them of who’s in charge. Thank You for leading me to this passage this morning, because I desperately need Your guidance and overwhelming power in my life even today, I am guilty of trying to settle/handle the little things myself. Please keep me awake and willing to share with You every little life experience and challenge, so that You may show Your power, before the ‘big’ things ever develop. Lord, this will be very foreign to those that may read this without a close relationship with You. Please open their spiritual eyes to the Truth, Your Word that should direct our path every day. I love You Lord! Thank You for who You are, and for claiming me as Your very own Son! I celebrate Your goodness, and plead for Your ongoing grace, in the wonderful name of Your Sin, 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 days 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!

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