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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Be Encouragers of God’s Messengers


The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 2:2-6): God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. 3 We didn't have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn't try to fool or trick anyone. 4 God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn't speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives. 5 You also know that we didn't try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn't a cover-up for greed. 6 We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us.
 

Thoughts: I believe that when one does a job in spite of opposition, or in spite of whining and complaining by those they are trying to help, then we should appreciate that they are specially called for that job, and they are therefore working as a result of their obligation to a higher calling. This is what we see in this message by Paul, and if we are real honest, this is what we see in our pastors and teachers at our local churches. Although they may never openly complain, I believe that our pastors face a lot of correction, ideas, suggestions and self-proclaimed righteousness from their congregations to whom they preach and teach. Please don't get me wrong friends, I believe pastors welcome your constructive input, because it helps to show them that you were listening and indeed care enough to correct them or encourage them with your words. But let's try to be careful to be encouragers, and not on the list of 'trouble makers' or 'opposers' to the gospel. When our pastors have the freedom to share the unfiltered Word of God with us, then perhaps we can hear directly from God. If they have to speak in parables to make sure they don't hurt the feelings of some, then many of us will totally miss the point! Paul shared that he had no other motive than to see Jesus accepted and God magnified and lifted up by the folk he was ministering to. I believe that we still have men of God who endeavors to do this through their preaching, teaching and actions in their life. I hope that even today we can commit to aiding these gentlemen – these men of God, to be transparent in what God wants to say to us through them, and not be hindered by us in any way. I was taught many years ago that each of us might mess up at times, but let's learn to look at the heart and see what the other brother's heart might be. Many times we will be convinced that although he may have said something differently to what we would have said, his intent was to help and/or to magnify God. So where do you best fit in this scenario today: Encourager; Opposer or just don't listen close enough to care? I believe God wants us to all be encouragers, and we can do this through an encouraging word to our pastors and/or teachers, or we can pray for God's ongoing hand upon them as they surrender to Him and try to share His Word with us. Let's commit to improving our stance, so that our pastors might be improved in their walk and their talk!
 

Prayer: Lord, You have indeed blessed us with great messengers who sacrifice daily so that they might share Your heart and Your will with us. I sincerely thank You for my pastors and teachers and I pray that they might be even more energized by Your touch on their lives today. May they be drawn so close to Your bosom today that they might be reassured of Your love and Your direction for them as they lead us. May they receive a fresh anointing of Your divine Holy Spirit so that as they stand before us this weekend we may hear the unfiltered Word of God and not have to guess what You are trying to say to us through them. May our pastors have the freedom to be transparent in what You might need to say to us through them, is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in Your precious name, 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!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Because of You….


The Holy Bible  (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10):
7 You became an example for all the Lord's followers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 And because of you, the Lord's message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don't have to say a thing about it. 9 Everyone is talking about how you welcomed us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. 10 They also tell how you are waiting for his Son Jesus to come from heaven. God raised him from death, and on the Day of Judgment Jesus will save us from God's anger.
 

Thoughts:  Through this scripture, I was challenged with the question: So what is your role in spreading the gospel today – in your home, your church, your workplace, your community and the world? Friends I believe that we will find ourselves in one of the following categories:
  1. A stranger – perhaps because you may not have personally invited Jesus to be a part of your life, to lead, guide and direct you. You know Him from a distance, in name only, but no personal experience with Him. At times you are much like Saul, where you put down Christians and object to the joy that you see in them. You contribute to the part of society for whom the church was created, and intended to minister to;
  2. Passive – for you were really pushed by a family member to accept Jesus during a revival or crusade, but He really plays no role in your life. In fact, most folk would never guess that you are a Christian;
  3. Follower – You attend church every weekend, but you pay the preacher to evangelize and teach! You just feel obligated, either through tradition, habit or fashion, that the place for you at least once each weekend is in a church somewhere. You try to be 'good' in the presence of family, friends and coworkers, but they would never guess that it is because of your faith in Jesus Christ;
  4. On Fire for the Lord – As in the case of a spark that causes a fire, that then spreads to surrounding areas, so it is with this type Christian. You know the Lord; He knows you by name; Others know You are a child of God and yet others want what you have because of the qualities they see God using in and through you. This is the quality that Paul saw in the Thessalonian Christians, and this is what Paul attributed to a growing ministry in the region!
I believe that God challenged me to think about which category do I see myself in, and which category do I think that He wants to see His child in. I believe that He wanted me to challenge you with identifying where you stand today, and I believe He really wants each of us to surrender fully to Him so that He might place us in the category where He can best use us for His glory. I hope that you are willing to do that today! Think about it friend! Pray about it buddy! Surrender yourself fully to Jesus and allow Him full control of your life. Be the Christian He intended, don't just meddle in Christianity, be sold out for the cause of Christ. Use information in the 'Footnote' to let me know if there is anything that I can pray with you about to help you draw closer to the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I want to be a light that shines for You, and so filled with You that others that I might touch in one way or another would seek after the source of that light – You, oh Lord. Jesus, I also pray that as our churches are filled up this week that folk willing to move up in the list noted above until they are confidently in the #5 category. People all around us need the Lord, and while You are very capable of showing Yourself to them in very real and tangible ways, I believe that they would be seriously impacted by seeing You at work in their family, friends and church-goers. How awesome it would be to hear You say "my child, it was because of you that this one first recognized me, accepted me and surrendered their hardened life to me"! For those of us striving to be a #5 Christian, I pray that even though we may never know the lives impacted by God through us, that Jesus is welcoming new ones into the kingdom each and every day …because of us! I ask these things humbly, and believing in the power of the Son of God, for it is You alone that I worship and serve oh 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! 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!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Call To Prayer and Witness


The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 4:2-6): 2 Never give up praying. And when you pray, keep alert and be thankful. 3 Be sure to pray that God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery about Christ, even though I am in jail for doing this. 4 Please pray that I will make the message as clear as possible. 5 When you are with unbelievers, always make good use of the time. 6 Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions.


Thoughts: In Paul's departing remarks to the church at Colossae, he shared a few things that God laid on his heart that would help the people grow in Christ and improve the effectiveness of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that these points are very important to us today as we continue the ministry in this evil world in which we live. Here are some points that really got my attention in the highlighted verses:
  • Prayer – Paul even had some sub points to this particular need:
    • Never give up – just because we may have prayed for something last week doesn't mean that we don't pray for that need again this week. Be consistent, and persistent, in prayer;
    • Stay alert – when we hear of a Brother hurting or in need, pray. He may not have asked for prayer, but we can discern that he needs our prayers. We may hear of disasters, such as currently happening in churches in Africa at this time. It's a news item, but we know that these are our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, so let us lift them up to the Father in prayer. Let's be alert to the needs of one another;
    • Be thankful – Let's learn to always thank God for His provisions, or perhaps His healing, or His guiding and protecting hand upon us, before we ever start our 'grocery' list of needs. Let's be a thankful and appreciative people before God;
    • The ministry – whether it's our own teaching or preaching, or that of our church leaders, let us pray that the words of God spoken through mere man will impact the lives of listeners. Let's pray that people will not be distracted by the weaknesses of man, but instead by the power of the Holy Spirit, working through God's messengers.
  • Witness – This one really stung, because way too often we will sit with an unbeliever and talk about everything under the sun, without ever rejoicing over the Son that lives within us and has played such a key role in us. In our midweek teaching at church last night we were reminded of the words of a great preacher who said, "In a day when everyone is 'coming out of the closet' what is stopping Christians from doing the same"! Of course, this is referring to the 'closet' of witnessing, for Christians are so afraid of saying anything that might 'hurt the feelings' of an unbeliever. However, should we not instead be enthused to share a life-changing, rescue-from-Hell, tip with someone we care enough about to sit and chat for a period of time? If they were about to walk across a very dangerous intersection, we would loudly shout out any life-saving tips to them. Why then do we hesitate to shout, or gently give them life saving tips that affects their eternal destiny? The tip from Paul in vs 5 is that we always make use of the time we have with our non-Christian friends, for they too need the Savior that we love and adore. They too deserve eternity in Heaven with the creator of this universe. What then are we waiting for?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as You are well aware, the needs are great here on earth, especially the need for Your Son, and the need to surrender our pride to Him. We badly need Your power, Your boldness and Your direction to show enough love for our fellow man by sharing Your message of salvation with them. There are folk that we know, love and care about, that are dying and going to Hell because we have been afraid to put self aside, and share the Love of Jesus Christ with them. I sincerely apologize for my shortcoming in this area Lord. Please forgive me. You died to save ALL who believe on You, please help me to not withhold sharing this good news with everyone that I know and associate with. Please don't let me stand in the way of extending this privilege to family and friends of mine. Please impact my readers and I with Your Word in such a way today Lord, that we may be more constant in prayer and a bold witness of You to all that we come into contact with. May it be our mission to spread the joy of our salvation with all whom we come into contact with. We need You Lord, and we want You to be a part of our everyday life. I humble place these requests at Your feet with expectations of You working Your perfect will in and through us. For I ask this in the wonderful name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, 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!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Being Christ-like on your job


The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 3:22-24):
22 …. Honor the Lord and serve your masters with your whole heart. 23 Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master. 24 In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving, and you know that he will reward you.
 

Thoughts: I am constantly amazed by the all-encompassing Word of God! So often we see where it relates to our everyday lives, but when last have we stopped to think about our working lives? You know, the part of our lives that we do because we need a paycheck! God really touched my heart this morning as He reminded me that in everything that I do, I need to represent Him, and I need to do it as if directly for Him. Friends, many of us can be a good person, or a good witness in our churches. Many of us are pretty good in our homes. Most of us are good around other Christians. But have we polished our Christian lives to be like Christ even among our fellow employees? Have we surrendered ourselves so fully to God that we serve our employers as if they were God, or perhaps in different terms, do we complete our jobs to a point where our boss sees a difference in us compared to the unbeliever on the job? Does he/she see Christ when He looks at us and stand in amazement as to how we serve so faithfully, honest and sincere? Can Jesus look at us and see His image being displayed through us even on our jobs? Perhaps we need to be more careful and more persistent in our relationship with Christ, asking for His guidance and help to best represent Him in every facet of our lives. After all, He could also return to take us home with Him, even during work hours! How is it with you friend?
 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are always there for us, yet even today I was reminded that there are times in my life where I may not have seen the importance to always represent You as I should. I never whine and complain when You are blessing me, yet I find myself doing just that at times at work when things may not be going as I would like to see them. Please always remind me that I serve a much higher calling than just trying to please my friends or my boss. Therefore as I serve You wholeheartedly it will encompass my whole life, regardless of where I may be – yes, even at work! Please work in my life in everything that I do, so that I may serve You faithfully, honestly and loyally. Please speak to the hearts of my friends reading this devotional today, may they too be made complete in You so that they also may be images of a Savior who gave it all for them, and therefore represent You well in all aspects of their life. Lord, I ask these awesome things in the wonderful and matchless 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!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Responsibilities of Christian Families


The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 3:18-21):
18 A wife must put her husband first. This is her duty as a follower of the Lord. 19 A husband must love his wife and not abuse her. 20 Children must always obey their parents. This pleases the Lord. 21 Parents, don't be hard on your children. If you are, they might give up.
 

Thoughts: Friends, I believe that what we are seeing in our world today in broken marriages, broken families, criminally minded children, and unconcern one for another, are results from a breakdown in our individual Godly responsibilities. Think about it. God created us, gave His chosen messengers His words to include in a book blessed and ordained by Him, the Bible, so that we might have instructions on how to live according to His divine nature and intent. Because of the lusts of this world, we have been so attracted to it, that we have laid aside our Bibles to catch dust. In the name of women's lib, our wives have been taught to do their own thing and leave the ideas of God and their 'old' man behind. Our husbands have been so attracted to hunting, night-clubbing, and 'loose' women that they have disrespected their wives, abused them verbally and, through their absence, wives have totally lost respect for them. We have brought children into this sinful, ungodly environment and of course, they have automatically learned to disrespect their parents and anyone else that crosses their path. Do I need to say what is required to overcome this current predicament friends? I believe it is obvious. We need to return to God and follow His Word and His plan. In several areas of my study this morning God reminded me that HE is still God, and that without Him there is no other. We absolutely cannot do this 'life' thing without Him guiding us, directing us, and giving us strength and boldness to live according to His design and plan. This is not accomplished through a casual visit to church one weekend a month or less. To become the best employee you can be, you are attentive to all that your employer demands through many hours each day. It is plain to see that we must also be careful to stay attuned to what God desires for our lives, and this requires daily communication with Him – in prayer, and in His Word. Study the character of the Maker of your life friend. He wants you to grow up being just like Him! Listen to this song that speaks well to our position with God and it also gives an image of how important it is for our children to see the right example in us – Lord, I want to be just like You! You will be blessed, I assure you! It is time that this old world be impacted by genuine Christians like you and I friend. Are you on board?
 

Prayer: Lord, the evidence of our disobedience to Your will and call for the family structure is all around us in this world where Satan has touched the lives of so many with temptations, disrespect, selfishness, and disobedience to the things of Christ. Please Lord, touch us once again. Draw us closer to You than ever before. Melt our hardened hearts and teach us Your will. Remind us, as You did in this passage today, that it's not about us, but only because of You, and only in You that we find the strength and courage to be like You. Next to You, our families are the next most important thing to our survival here on earth. Please help us to treat each other in ways that prove that statement, and make it evident to our family members and all others who look to us as an example of what Christianity is all about. Touch us Lord once again today. Only You can melt a hardened heart, so we place our faith and trust in You alone, and I ask this believing, and in the name of Jesus my Lord, in 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!

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Live in Harmony


The Holy Bible(Contemporary English Version – Colossians 3:15-17): 15 Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful. 16 Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him.
 

Thoughts: Many marriages survive because spouses allow God to keep control and help them to live together in harmony. However it is extremely challenging when other family members try to live in the same house, or even worse, when others try to make a relationship mature in amicable ways without the help and leadership of Jesus. We often see these unfortunate mishaps in places such as work and church, and these will often result in splits by the parties involved. Jesus knew this, because He saw it happening in the early church, therefore He spoke through Paul to show the church at Colossae, and also our church of today, how such a feat is possible. First of all He made it very clear that we were chosen to be His children, and in having the same Father, and in seeking His control, we were chosen to be able to live together. So right off the top, we have a few checkpoints when we see a deterioration in relationships. Back up, check the list and ask God to mend the broken pieces that we have allowed to come undone. I also believe that Jesus is telling us to celebrate in thanksgiving when we see relationships blessed with oneness! This is most often aided by the help and direction of the Holy Spirit dwelling among believers, and depending on Him to teach and instruct each other. When this is achieved, vs 16 reminds us that we are to worship God with thankful hearts, recognizing that He has been at work in and around us, and deserves our eternal praise. In fact, our very lives should reflect the glory and praise of our good Lord who blesses us. Lord, You are Good and Your mercies endureth forever!


 

Prayer: Lord, You made us to love, worship and adore You, our heavenly Father. Thank you! For all that have chosen to follow Your plan, You have filled them (us) with Your Holy Spirit and blessed with Your awesome presence and power to overcome life's obstacles. Lord, You are Good and Your Mercies Endureth Forever! Thank You! Father, I am convinced that this old world badly needs You, so I ask today that You might touch the hearts of Your children - those who have chosen You as their Savior, to live in harmony with each other. I believe it is only when the unsaved see results of Christ living in us, that they will be convinced that indeed there is a Savior who is actively at work among His people, whom they should consider. Lord, may we be good representatives of Yours and fulfill Your design for the local church and the harmony You designed in us. May the unsaved see the need for a Savior and readily accept Him today, is my humble prayer that I ask 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!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What’s Next?


The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 3:1-6): 1 You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side. 2 Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth. 3 You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God. 4 Christ gives meaning to your life, and when he appears, you will also appear with him in glory. 5 Don't be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don't be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts. Don't be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols. 6 God is angry with people who disobey him by doing these things.

Thoughts: New commitments normally require changes for us. Consider a single man getting married - can you think of all the changes that might be needed? If the man is sincere in his new commitment, there is no way that he will continue hanging out with the guys and not pay attention to his new wife. If I owned my own business, then went to work for corporate America, I would have to drop my own business and give my allegiance to the new company if I expect to succeed in my new job. In today's scripture, Paul is drawing our attention to the fact that when a Christian surrenders his old life to Christ and commits to allowing God to control and lead him in his 'New' life, then he must forget the 'old' life and seek to serve God wholeheartedly by taking on the characteristics of His Son Jesus. The temptations of this world are very convincing, but in scripture we are reminded that our God can help us to be overcomers! Satan will try to convince us that we can't survive without doing some of the things we did in our 'old' life, but in scripture we are reminded that our God can meet all of our needs and that we are more than conquerors because of His power available to us! So friends, may I remind you, much like Paul did to his church at Colossae, that when we accept Jesus, we become brand new creatures in Him and, with our new-gained strength, we can start again – a new life that is totally dedicated to Christ, and overcomers of the 'old' ways and sinful acts that we left at the foot of the cross for Jesus to bury. God's Word shows us the 'new' way, the character and expectations of our new Master. I believe that the challenge for us today is twofold:
  1. If we have accepted Jesus as Lord, are we truly living a totally surrendered life free from its old sinful nature? Have we truly given full control to Jesus? If not, we need to get this straight today friend. A divided allegiance lacks true commitment to either 'life'. Please decide today whom you will serve, and follow through to ensure nothing is hindering that! God can help you friend!
  2. You may not have accepted Jesus as Lord of your life yet, because you feel like you are not ready to give up the fun and excitement that this world offers to you. Friend, an un-surrendered life leads to Hell and damnation without the love and hand of God's protection upon you. Please don't make this mistake with your eyes being opened to the plain truth again today. Jesus loves you so much that He sacrificed His very life so that You might accept Him and subsequently live in glory with Him some day. There is nothing for you to 'sacrifice' or miss out on by asking Jesus into your heart, friend. For in Him, you gain genuine love, a heavenly palace and the guidance and direction to the only One who holds tomorrow in the palm of His hand. You will gain a hope that satisfies your soul like nothing else can! I believe your only question might be, "why didn't you do this a long time ago"! Please read the Footnote for help on how to correct your lost condition!

Prayer: Lord, I believe that there are decisions that need to be made today. For we see Christians living just like the world, and we see non-Christians unaffected by the gospel. Please give us a sweep of Your precious Holy Spirit today so that our minds might be cleared from the confusion and misdirection of this world and its leader, Satan. I pray that everyone reading this devotional will receive a special touch from You today that will convince them of their lost or misdirected condition. May we learn to surrender our lives totally to You so that You would gloriously use us in accomplishing Your will here on this earth. Please forgive me for my weaknesses and lack of total surrender. May this be a turn in my life, and the lives of my readers today, is my humble, respectful, but sincere prayer today, for I ask in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, 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!

Friday, January 23, 2015

How Are You Doing?


The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Isaiah 42:6-7): 6 I chose you to bring justice, and I am here at your side. I selected and sent you to bring light and my promise of hope to the nations. 7 You will give sight to the blind; you will set prisoners free from dark dungeons.
 
Thoughts: The words used in the subject of this study today, is widely used by many folk today as we address each other, and although we answer that question very flippantly, I want us to closely examine that question in light of God's words through the prophet Isaiah in the highlighted verses. How are you doing at bringing justice? It appears like more often we bring judgment on friends rather than making every effort to bring justice. How can we turn that around so that our God might be happy with our actions and reactions, especially considering the tag where God says that He will be at our side guiding and protecting us? Does our lives produce enough 'light' - glory of God, or a witness of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords? Do we reflect enough of Christ that others living in the darkness of this world will see the real light of Christ shining through us, and desire that light? Can you even imagine that God would use His children to reflect His image in such powerful ways that the lives of others might be impacted? It's not something we can or should publicize, for it is God working in and through us that reflects Himself through us, and He is not a puppet that we can turn on at will. So let us fill ourselves with so much of His love and His character that our actions and our words will reveal the 'Light' that lives inside of us. A Light that can impact and change the lives of others.
 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my Light – according to Your Word, and as evident in the hope that I see in knowing and serving You. Thank You for revealing Yourself to even me. Thank You for using even me as You impact the lives of my family and friends that I come into contact with. Please help me to stay so attuned to You through daily communication in prayer and meditation on Your precious Word, that my life might be a living documentary of You and Your love for mankind. Lord, some will read this devotional today and be reminded of this same assurance and promise shared by Isaiah. Please use this time to draw them closer to You for use in Your ongoing service here on earth. For the ones who will read these words and want to know this 'Light' of whom I have shared, please touch their very hearts and direct them to a relationship with You. In Your Word You have shown where You have impacted the lives of the vilest of sinners, and turned their lives around to sincere ministry for You. Please help me to come boldly before You with great expectations of being used by You. Please also touch my life and help me to never judge a child of Your for whom You died. Instead, please help me to simply allow Your love and Your light to shine through me so that You may impact their lives. Lord, You are precious to me. May I be used for Your glory is my humble prayer that I ask in Your precious and holy 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! 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!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Actions That Lead to Happiness in The Lord


The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Colossians 2:6-7 ): 6 You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. 7 Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.


Thoughts: When certain events occur in our lives, whether it's a new job; marriage; new baby or whatever, we don't just accept the event, then sit back and wait to see how it affects our lives. We deliberately become involved and take our positions of responsibility. Similarly, one of the greatest miracles that can happen in a person's life is the moment that God intervenes in the middle of their life of sin, and draws them to Himself. I have called this a miracle, because once we reach the age of decision-making and we are presented with the gospel, we decide whether we will accept Jesus, the Savior who could turn our lives around, or whether we will continue to live in sin. At this point, sin has such a tug on our lives that it takes the miraculous hand of God to not only convince us, but to also help us make a total turnaround. Once we make this decision, we need new instructions on how to live, and Paul has done a wonderful job of explaining that for the new Christian, or reminding us older ones of what we should be doing. Let me expound on his teaching:
  • Keep on following Jesus – this sounds like a simple idea, but I believe Paul is telling us that, all of our lives have been spent serving Satan and that's the only way of life that we know. So our decision to follow Jesus is not just a split second decision, but one that requires change, and one that changes our allegiance. In other words, don't make the decision and continue doing what you've always done. Rather, serve the one to whom you have just committed to serve;
  • Plant your roots in Christ and let Him be your foundation – Roots gain their strength from the ground in which they are planted, and in that rich, nourishing environment they find their stability for the whole tree, or plant, they will develop. So it is with Christ, as we plant our faith and trust in Him and allow Him to be our foundation, we too will rise to new heights in our Christian walk, and our lives will demonstrate the love of Christ who supports our root system and directs our growth and witness;
  • Be strong in faith, as taught – I believe that Paul is indicating here that it is important that we find ourselves in a constant mode of learning, so that our faith and our growth will not be hindered. I also believe that as we practice our faith and witness God being evident in and through us, we will become stronger in our faith and able to help encourage others;
  • Be grateful – Other scriptures will teach us in very similar terms, to be thankful in all things. This means that we are to give thanks in and through the good times we experience, and in the most challenging times. Because in both scenarios others watching us will see that we always serve God, not just during the times that everything is going well for us.
Friends, if you have not yet surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, then I believe that God's Holy Spirit is already dealing with you on the matter, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this devotional. My greatest recommendation to you, in love, is that you read the "Footnote" carefully and follow through on a decision to accept this Jesus whom I serve. For others who at some time in your lifetime have accepted Jesus, but really feel empty inside. Please read and re-read this passage, then ask God to open your eyes, heart and mind so that you can see clearly what needs to happen in your life so that you can follow Paul's directions in these verses and mature in Christ. You'll be a much happier person when you are obedient to the One you have invited to lead your life!
 

Prayer: Lord, I believe that some of our best seller books today are probably the ones that show us how to live happier and more fulfilled lives. Yet in Your Word You have clearly shown us how to do that. Thank You for these encouraging words this morning. I pray that as I pin these steps to my heart You will strengthen me with the will and desire to grow stronger in You today and every day that follows. I also pray that as You have guided my thoughts in writing this blog today, so You will also impact the lives of those who read it. May they allow Your sweet Holy Spirit to work miraculously in their lives today and show them the path they should follow in order that their lives might truly and honestly worship and glorify You, and make you a priority in their lives. May the unsaved or uncommitted find new life and new purpose in accepting and knowing You today, is my sincere and respectful prayer that I ask in Your precious name, oh Lord, my Rock and my Salvation, 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!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dependence on God


The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Isaiah 40:29-31): 29 The Lord gives strength to those who are weary. 30 Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall. 31 But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.
 
Thoughts: I remember my parents emphasizing to me that I should wait for them before doing some things that really made them nervous. I remember coaching my daughter to do the same. However the one being coached is usually the one trying to be independent and do things on their own, and of course the ones that wind up learning from their mistakes or possibly even getting hurt. But isn't it interesting that we who try to help, guide and protect our young, find it so difficult to place our faith and our trust in our God who loves us and wants to help, guide and protect us? Like our kids, we still fight for our independence and often live in unbelief, pride and self-confidence. We try to do things in our own limited strength that often results in failure and moving in a direction out of God's will. This scripture is encouraging us to live life to its fullest by trusting in God, allowing Him to control us and our situations, so that we can find new strength for the day, so that we can soar above our problems and enjoy this walk of life without tiring. Friends, our dependence on God can give us independence from all that this world burdens us with each day. This is the way for us to follow. Will you recommit with me by surrendering our lives, our challenges and our struggles to God and totally trust Him to guide us through? It's only then that we will soar above the concerns of this life and look forward in peace to all that God has in store for us!

Prayer: Lord God, it has become increasingly challenging to trust others, because of past disappointments, but thank You for Your precious Word today that has reminded me that I can place my full faith and trust in You. This world has proven to be way more than I can handle on my own, so please help me to stay focused on the truth of Your Word, and to depend on You for renewed strength each day. I want to soar above the troubles and challenges of this life, but I need Your wings to do this. You are my strength when I am weak, my sight when I am blinded by the enemy and my hope when everything seems so out of control and hopeless. Please use Your Word to encourage all that might read this devotional today. Please direct ones to read this who need encouragement or a sense of redirection in their life today. Teach us to be totally dependent on You, so that we may soar above the challenges of this life. May You receive praise and glory from all that is accomplished in our lives today, for it is in the name of Jesus Christ that I ask it, 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!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Deeply Rooted and Firm in Our Faith


The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Bible – Colossians 1:21-23): 21 You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. 22 But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. 23 But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news.


Thoughts: Paul was reminding believers that all of us were created by Christ, but we have strayed far away from Him. So God sent His Son to die on Calvary so that all of us might be reunited with Him and live in harmony with Him once again. However for those of us that have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and became reunited with Christ, we must learn to live in this old world of sin and strife, but with our eyes fixed on Christ. In fact, living our new, holy, faultless and innocent lives requires our ongoing commitment, as God is key to helping us accomplish that type of life. I liken it to marriage, where couples need to constantly work on their life together. It is not like the older gentleman responded to a question about how often does he tell his wife that he loves her, and he responded "I told her once at the altar, and if anything changes I'll tell her at that time"!! Friends, I believe that the Holy Spirit is teaching us through the words of Paul, that we are to put on our spiritual armor every day to fight the temptation and evil of the devil. That we are to recognize the powers of God and His righteousness and be ready to use this as our defense as the evil one comes against us. In doing this, we are not only protecting ourselves from the evil one, but we are expressing to the unsaved world how precious the gift is that we claim in Jesus, that we would build a defense against outside erosion factors. Friends Jesus loves us enough that He died sacrificially on a cross for our sins and our future with He and His Father. Is it really too much to ask for us to be loyal, defensive and awesome witnesses of His great love? Satan will tempt us to think that way, but let me remind you: "greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world"! If you are reading this today and cannot identify with the love, sacrifice and provision that I speak about here, please allow me the honor to introduce you to my Savior! Please read the 'Footnote' for instructions. This could be the best day of your life!
 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, staying deeply rooted and firm in my faith does not happen automatically, for I believe that You expect me to re-energize my mind with the things I can learn from Your Word, and from Your character exampled for us throughout the pages of Your Word. This not only requires faith, but also a desire to personally do our part to grow in our faith and to keep our eyes and minds fixed on You. Please teach us to pray like never before, and please help us to be so much like You that our unsaved loved ones will want to know You also. Help us to put on our spiritual armor every day so that we can fight off the temptations and leadership of Satan that he will try to impose upon us. Please speak gently, but firmly to the unsaved or uncommitted friend who will read this devotional today. May this be the day of salvation for them. Drawing nearer to You means filling ourselves with more of You. May we be very guilty of this act, is my sincere prayer that I ask in the 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!

Monday, January 19, 2015

God’s Plan - Our Purpose


The Holy Bible (The Message – Colossians 1:15-18): We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.


Thoughts: At times we might purchase something, use it for whatever we intended, or had in mind when we purchased it. After seeing it break down and fail so often, we might pull out the instruction book and discover that there were some important steps we were neglecting, that could easily have caused a failure in the expected life of the item. Now, re-read the scripture verses and see if it doesn't spell out for us why we fail individually, and especially why our churches are failing to reach the masses. Friends, it is obvious that all things were created by God and for Him. Being made by his power, we were made according to His pleasure, and for His praise and glory. He not only created us, but it is by the word of His power that we are sustained or upheld. Christ as Mediator is also Head of the body of believers, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is His body. So who are we to interfere with God's plan – His purpose for us? I want to challenge you today to look inward at yourself (not your sister or your brother) and ask God to examine you and highlight the parts of your life that you have not totally surrendered to your Maker and Designer. There may be good reason why you are struggling with worshiping God or representing Him fully to your unsaved loved ones. If you truly belong to God, then according to these verses, I believe that you should be a miserable person anytime you are doing something other than worshiping or serving God. He made you to worship Him. Your very existence is purposed in Christ. The last part of these verses speak to unity in the church (the body of believers in Christ). Friends, if you are upside down in your relationship with God, don't you know that you will also have the same negative impact on anything that you take part in, even church leadership? Always remember and respect who the head of the church is. The last thing you want to be guilty of is having a negative impact on the work of God's church to reach, minister and glorify Him, through the ministry of Christ, to the folk that He died for. So I believe that the message in these verses today is that we reevaluate our relationship with the Lord. Are we glorifying Him in everything we do in or out of the church? Do we recognize the local church as God's body of believers that He put in place to glorify Him? Be sure not to place self in the middle of that friend!


Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for placing me here on this earth with such honorable purpose. Please reveal to me areas of my life that I must seek Your help on. Areas that I must reevaluate and allow You to change so that I might glorify You more completely. Please forgive me if I have allowed self to step in the way of Your work in and through Your local church. I beg Your guidance so that I might give glory to You for being head of any church that I become a part of and through which I seek to serve You. I know that You are head of the church, and I must therefore always seek Your will and Your guidance to be a part of it and it's ministry to my community. Thank You for the church in which I now serve! Thank You for all the churches represented by readers of this devotional. May we all take our rightful places and honor You with our praise and worship so that You might receive glory from us individual and corporately. For I believe it is then that You will have freedom to reach into our families and minister to the unsaved. I am seeking Your favor oh God, through asking 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 my church home, 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!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How To Handle Life Challenges


The Holy Bible (Good News Translation – Isaiah 37:16-17): 16 "Almighty Lord, God of Israel, enthroned above the winged creatures, you alone are God, ruling all the kingdoms of the world. You created the earth and the sky. 17Now, Lord, hear us and look at what is happening to us. Listen to all the things that Sennacherib is saying to insult you, the living God.

(Contemporary English Version – Isaiah 37:18-20) 18 It is true, our Lord, that Assyrian kings have turned nations into deserts. 19 They destroyed the idols of wood and stone that the people of those nations had made and worshiped. 20 But you are our Lord and our God! We ask you to keep us safe from the Assyrian king. Then everyone in every kingdom on earth will know that you are the only Lord.
 

Thoughts: So many times we are faced with circumstances where we realize that we have allowed our walk with the Lord to fall into second place. Notice that I said 'we' allow, instead of indicating that God leaves us and moves on. Friends, I believe that when we sense a distance between God and us, we needn't wonder whose fault it is, for our God is always the same – He loves us, cares for us and will remain with us to the very end. Way too often we beat up on ourselves so badly that we convince ourselves that there is no way that God could love us in our sorry state. I'm here to tell you that anytime you sense a distance between you and God, please search your heart and His will for what He would have you do. Notice in verse 16 that King Hezekiah recognized God for who He is – 'You alone are God'. That's a very powerful acknowledgment that each of us must recognize, especially when we are feeling isolated, alone and powerless. However, it will be challenging for you to recognize this fact when you're in need, if you didn't also acknowledge Him as God when everything was going well for you. The way that God got my attention in the second set of verses is that the king acknowledged that in spite of the overwhelming circumstances, he knew that the balance (final say) remained in God's hands. Friends, this is an awful lot like us when we face very challenging circumstances, for in faith we must say that: in spite of what the doctors say, or in spite of what my check book says, or in spite of all odds 'You are our Lord and our God' and it is in You that I place my faith, believing that all things work for best, for those who love and serve God! King Hezekiah went before God in great confidence. We serve the sane God and we can go before Him in the same faith and confidence that the king did! Anything stopping you friend?
 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are weak, but You are so strong. Please help me/us to place our faith and trust totally in Your hands and depend on You in every walk of life and through every circumstance, especially those times when we realize that things are way out of our hands and/or abilities. As indicated above, I realize that such trust can only be achieved through our faith in You during the 'good' times also, for if we only come to You in trouble, how would we know to trust You. So Lord, I plead with You to touch my heart, guide me and lead me in the path of righteousness. Teach me Your ways and help me to live so that my life will glorify You. May I learn to trust in Your ways and allow You control of my circumstances, even when the way seems dark and impossible to me. May Your Word touch some soul today who may be facing circumstances such as this, for I ask this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, AMEN!


 

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or 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!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Sacred Highway


The Holy Bible
(Contemporary English Bible – Isaiah 35:8-10):
8 A good road will be there, and it will be named "God's Sacred Highway." It will be for God's people; no one unfit to worship God will walk on that road. And no fools can travel on that highway. 9 No lions or other wild animals will come near that road; only those the Lord has saved will travel there. 10 The people the Lord has rescued will come back singing as they enter Zion. Happiness will be a crown they will always wear. They will celebrate and shout because all sorrows and worries will be gone far away.
 
Thoughts: The prophet Isaiah was gifted and led by God to give us a glimpse of what children of God could expect when we leave this world. I am so tired of all the crime, the hurts, the acts of Satan at every turn, that I'm afraid will only get worse for us while still here on this old earth. However, we know that God is preparing a place for us, those who have accepted Him as Lord and King of our lives, to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Throughout the book of Revelation, we see additional insights on what we might expect, but in reading this passage in Isaiah, I was overjoyed to see that God had really been giving us a 'visual' quite a long time ago. I was also fascinated to note the amazing agreement by God's messengers, for Isaiah's prophecy is very much along the lines of what we read and understand from other parts of the Bible!
Here are some points that excited me:
  • God's Sacred Highway – the highway name alone reminds me that God is preparing a neat place for His children to travel. To think of a highway for His kids makes me feel like I am so special to Him that He wants to roll out the red carpet for my arrival – a special road just for us!!
  • Exclusively for Christians – All the preaching and evangelizing we have ever heard comes to reality in the exclusivity mentioned here, for we are constantly reminded here on earth that only those who have surrendered their hearts and lives to Jesus will be saved. This confirms the words of our pastors, preachers and evangelists who has our best interest at heart each week as they stand in front of us an preach the gospel!
  • No fools allowed – I don't believe that God is finding bad names to give those who don't necessarily see everything as He does, however I believe that there are many who try to fool family, friends, pastors and even God into believing that they are saved – by their giving, or their church attendance or by the way that they take care of ones they love. I believe that God sees such folk as 'fools' because nothing is hid from Him. He knows our heart – the very core of mankind. Yes, even 'fools' will be surfaced on that day and rejected by God, as He will do with all who never claimed Him as Lord.
  • No threats – We see and hear about a lot of threats to Christians today, with some being murdered for their persistent faith in God. In vs 9 we are reminded that God's Sacred Highway will be safe from dangers that frighten and/or hurt us!
  • Pure happiness and joy – I get excited just thinking about it, but Isaiah tells us that we will wear a crown of happiness and celebrate endlessly because all sorrows and worries will be gone forever! Praise the name of the Lord!!
When we think of traveling, we get anxious about visiting beautiful places, then we immediately start asking when, and how quickly can we begin traveling. For those that fear the arrival of this important day, you may worry how much longer do you have before you need to make a decision. Friends, the Bible is clear in saying that no man knows the hour or the day. That tells me that this could occur before you ever get to read this devotional, or it may be any number of days away. When I'm about to take a trip, I start early to make preparations. I would urge you to do the same, otherwise you may never get the opportunity to. Please see the information in my 'Footnote' below to help you prepare.

Prayer: Lord, You know how badly some of us live to just see retirement from regular work here on earth, so I'm sure You are well aware of the excitement that builds in the heart of a Christian when we are reminded, and think about our retirement from this earth, to graduate on to glory to be with You! This scripture given through the prophet Isaiah has done just that dear Lord, and I thank You for not only the reminder, but also for the provision You have made for me! Oh, What a Savior, Oh Hallelujah! Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me! Dear Jesus, I pray that You might use this reminder to speak to the hearts of the undecided or the procrastinators. May this be the day of decision and commitment for them. Please use Your servant today in ways that might help an unsaved person to make this most important decision in their life. You are God alone, and only You can touch the heart of a person, may this be a productive day for You in the hearts of my unsaved family and friends and for all who You will cause to stumble across this devotional on the world wide web. All glory and honor to You oh King! Thank You for hearing my prayer that I ask in Your precious and holy 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! 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!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Contented


The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Philippians 4:11-13): 11 I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. 13 Christ gives me the strength to face anything.
 

Thoughts: I would imagine that if someone asked us today what they might give us to enhance our happiness and contentment, we would have a long laundry list, right? Now for a moment, take time to consider what Paul said in verse '4' of this chapter and what he followed up on in the verses referenced above and decide, then let us conclude which of the times in Paul's life was he happiest. Doesn't it seem like Paul was indicating that he could care less about the material things of this earth but that it was the deep spiritual contentment of God that truly made all the difference for him? It would appear that he gained his independence from his dependence on God! You might recall that even under the circumstances of imprisonment Paul was still content/happy. In fact, the very guards who had responsibility for his imprisonment were converted as a result of Paul's preaching and his witness to them. Friends, I believe that we must come to a maturity level in our relationship with God that we can honestly say as Paul did in the very last verse above, it is Christ who gives me strength each day. It is He who saved me and He who protects, guards, loves and directs me daily, enabling me to face anything that comes my way. Enough of the pity party that many of us resort to. It is Christ who gives us strength and a deep happiness in knowing that He will be with us until the end – through the good and bad of this life. We are children of the King! What more can we ask for? Let's learn to place our total faith and total trust in our Savior, the One who died on Calvary's cross especially for our eternal happiness! If you are not experiencing this outstanding happiness today, please allow me to refer you to the 'Footnote' below for directions on obtaining this assurance.
 

Prayer: With the assurance given to us in Your Word, oh Lord, we should have no reason to be discontent. Most of us cannot identify with the serious ups and downs that Paul experienced, because You have been so merciful to us. Please forgive us for whining anyway. May we truly dig into Your Word, may we truly let Your Word minister to us, so that we may catch a glimpse, or be reminded of the many ways that You have expressed Your love for us, and how You continue to look out for us each and every day. May we learn to be content in all things, because of our relationship with You, as You are of greater importance than the sum total of everything else that we might consider as aids for our happiness. Thank You Lord for all You have done and provided for me. May I be faithful in my love and servitude, giving You praise and thanksgiving always. Please speak to all reading this devotional today. May they be drawn to You, or into a closer walk with You. For I ask all this in faith, and in the name of Jesus Christ, my king, my Lord and 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! 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!

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