DECEMBER 14, 2017
Refocused By Jesus
6The apostles were all together. They asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time for you to give the people of Israel their kingdom again?”
7Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only one who has the authority to decide dates and times. They are not for you to know.8But the Holy Spirit will come on you and give you power. You will be my witnesses. You will tell people everywhere about me—in Jerusalem, in the rest of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”
It is apparent that the apostles were getting distracted from their mission, so Jesus quickly decided to reel them back in. He wanted the apostles to know that their first and foremost charge, was to accept the gift of power given to them, and the challenge placed upon them to be His witnesses, both locally, regionally, nationally, and throughout the world. Should there be time for distraction or boredom with such a huge challenge or job description?
I believe that the church today is still in the same quandary as the apostles were. For we will find time for elections to disrupt our fellowship (our workforce); we find it necessary to teach about other religions so that we could know what we’re up against when we chat with someone of a different faith; we have taken on the same practices of many failing businesses today, where we fail to go out and invite the lost to join us. It is so much easier to just open the church doors and allow anyone to stroll in, but when we place so little emphasis on what Jesus told His us to do in verse 17, then we become focused on our own goals and tend to ignore the fact that those folk who really need Jesus, will stay distracted unless Jesus or His disciples go out and encourage and invite them to join us. When something is going on in our communities, we become so caught up in this, that we tend to relax our efforts to obey Christ, and instead help to get the county, state or country straight for God! Christian friends, the Bible is still our only guide to life. The commands of God are still our mission statement. Anytime we relax from our mission statement, the end result is not achieved. We have no time to waste Brothers and Sisters, so let us stay targeted on what God commands, and what He desires of us. I believe that hearing God say ‘welcome good and faithful servant’ would apply to those who were obedient to His commands, not those who went out and did their own thing.
Lord, please work in Your churches. Even this Christmas time, please keep us focused on our mission statement – the one You made clear in our Scripture today. The mission field is filled with folk who need You, Jesus. There’s no time to play around in doing our own thing, if we truly belong to You and have chosen to obey Your commands. You’re in control Lord, may Your perfect will be done in and through Your children today, beginning with me. AMEN!
There are twomore pages on my blogthat will provide you with additional information, one of them being‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me atNuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could 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 toNuggets From God’s Wordand read more, or you may freely to 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 atBible Fellowship Church,located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! 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!
DECEMBER 12, 2017
An Event For Everyone!
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce agreat and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.
In the preceding verses before those above, we were told about the miracles surrounding the birth of a King; But to an ordinary girl – who was not married yet; However, the prophets of old had foretold about the event; additionally, God sent angels to tell sheep-herders about the main event (the birth)? Seems a little ‘strange’, wouldn’t you say? Shepherds? But let’s look closer at the phrase that I have in bold print in our Scripture….
When a Head of State is coming to a town in our country today, there might be invitations sent out to government leaders; large business owners; popular social group leaders; and possibly the affluent of the communities in which the person will speak at special functions. I come from a country where the British once ruled, and when the Queen visited, invitations went out in similar form to what I just described. So what’s so different to our Savior? His birth was such a special event that it is still celebrated by the world today. In fact, His life story is still looked at, discussed, preached and taught about today. There are small, medium, large and mega churches that meet, teach and preach about His life. There are certain schools that concentrate heavily on the Bible, while teaching general school curriculum; also colleges and seminaries that concentrate heavily on the Word of God, with heavy concentration on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet as we reflect on our Scripture today, we note that heavenly angels went and announced the birth of our Savior to a group that were often ignored by their society – shepherds. These were humble men that probably worked harder than most, walked a whole lot more than most, and were probably the least educated of their society. Yet the announcement, by the angels, was probably as awesome as it would have been for any earthly king. The decision of the shepherds were the same as the decision that we make today when we feel the tug of Jesus on our hearts. For they could have stayed in their ‘safe place’ and taken care of the safety of their sheep – their job. They could have easily shrugged off the idea of any special group appearing to them – the lowliest of the lowly, with nothing tangible to give in return. You know, similar excuses to those we use today when invited to attend a ‘God’ function at church! Friends, if you get nothing else out of this devotional today, please note the sentence in bold. I looked this up in several versions of the Bible, and they all said the same thing – that Jesus’ birth was a sign, or an event intended for EVERYONE. I believe this is a strong indication that Jesus also came into this world so that ALL may be saved and have the means, approval and authority to one day be with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in heaven for eternity. The shepherds had to agree to follow the angels and they had to get up and move towards Bethlehem. Having been told about the same gift that is available to you friends, you also will decide whether to accept the truth, get up and, move towards Jesus, so that He may accept you and empower you with His Holy Spirit, until God calls us all home. I pray that you will make the decision to accept Jesus. Making no decision at all is the same as you saying “no thank you Jesus, I’ve got this, and I am quite satisfied to die and go to hell for eternity with Satan and his demons.” That would hurt my heart badly, and that of your family and friends.
Dear God, I sincerely pray that You will anoint the hearts of all who will read this devotional today, so that they may make a good, sound, and honest decision to accept Your Precious Son Jesus, the only One who will wash away their sin and lead them to You in glory. Thank You for considering the lowliest of mankind, right on up to the mightiest in our respective countries. We are all equal at the cross – thank You Heavenly Father. May decisions be made for You today, and may You be glorified in everything that we do or say. AMEN!
DECEMBER 7, 2017
Faithful – Like David
1 Kings 14:7-9(ERV)
7….this is what theLord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jeroboam, I chose you from among all the Israelites. I made you the ruler of my people.8David’s family was ruling the kingdom of Israel, but I took the kingdom away from them and gave it to you. But you are not like my servant David.He always obeyed my commands and followed me with his whole heart. He did only what I accepted.9But you have sinned worse than anyone who ruled before you.
There was a lot going on in Israel with so many wicked kings that ultimately resulted in a wicked nation. In the case of Jeroboam, he sent his wife to the prophet Ahijah out of desperation over the serious illness of his son. However, Jeroboam had his wife disguise herself, because he wasn’t sure that he wanted to hear the lecture back from Ahijah. But what God had planned was carried through to completion, and a strong awakening message was returned to Jeroboam about his impending judgment. God sees and knows all things about us. I wonder what’s in store for us?
We are always opposed to being compared to someone else, for we feel like a unique individual who should be allowed to think outside of the box and achieve the end result in our own unique form, correct? A huge difference in this for the Christian, is that God has already established a ‘standard’, and we should always be striving to please God by reaching for that ‘standard’. I believe that successful people will look for someone who has already achieved a ‘standard’ in something they are developing, and they will follow that example to the best of their ability. Now because of our uniqueness, we will try some tweaking to see if we could improve on that which we are following, but we already know that the principle idea is proven. God had the privilege of looking over time and people to see who had made the best strides in following His commands, and in leading a country, He determined that David was that person. Suppose that God would look at our world and find a current-day success story? Could it be you that he would choose for your peers to look to for guidance and leadership in a godly fashion? Think about it – for those very things that you find extremely challenging to do, someone else has already successfully achieved, and from their testimony, you are aware that they depended on God through their whole mission. and remained faithful to Him. Will you have a degree of faith in following that person? Friends, let’s always be aware that we serve a God who placed the stars just right in the evening sky; He not only gave us eyes to look at those stars, but He also created our whole being. Those are pretty complex and amazingly wonderful things, aren’t they? Then remind me again why you think that He can’t handle your most difficult and complex situation? One big reason that we meet together as God’s church, is to share with each other the success stories in our relationship with God. If someone else has been successful in achieving a part of God’s plan, then we should flock to them and find out what they attribute their success to, because we want to follow that plan. God knew of David’s success, so He expected the same from all other kings who tried to fill the same role. You might be another ‘David’, where others are following in your footsteps. Please be sure that you seek God’s face every day, so that you could remain strong, faithful and always in a thankful and praising mood. God is able, and always faithful to those who love Him and are faithful to obey His commands. Oh that we may please Him in all that we do and say as we represent Him faithfully every day!
Dear Lord, I believe that through this Scripture, You have reminded us to be faithful to You in all things and to be obedient to all Your commands that You put in place as a guide for our journey. In doing these things, we will not only please You, but we may help in guiding others who are floundering. Thank You Lord for placing us together as a body of believers (the church) – a support arm for each other so that Your church might be strong and bold in our witnessing to the lost in our communities. Oh that we may be found faithful when Jesus calls us home to Himself!
DECEMBER 6, 2017
The Reason Jesus Was Born
37Pilate said, “So you are a king.”
Jesus answered, “You are right to say that I am a king. I was born for this:to tell people about the truth. That is why I came into the world. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.”
Jesus taught us great lessons throughout His ministry. In this Scripture today, when Jesus was being tried by the authorities, He still showed His compassion; His calmness; and He declared His whole purpose for coming to this world. I wonder what we would say is our whole purpose on earth?
At different stages of our lives we may have sat and declared what our purpose in life is. For example, the transition from high school or college into the working world, you may have committed to be a doctor or an accountant, etc. When you got married, you made have declared what kind of spouse you would be. When you got saved, you may have promised God a drastic change in your lifestyle or in your habits. But was there ever a time that you declared what your whole purpose in life is…..? You see, Jesus was known as ‘Truth’, and for that reason we can measure absolute ‘Truth’. I sincerely believe that the Truth that Jesus spoke of is the absolute Truth that He represents in being God’s precious Son. In other words, looking at Jesus and hearing His words, were just like seeing and hearing His Father – God. With that in mind, what is the real truth that others experience with you? Do they experience with you, what they really hear from you? Do you have to tell them that you are a Christian, or do they see that in you, and hear that from the words that you speak? As ‘little Christs’, our aim here on earth should be much like that of Jesus – to represent Him completely; honestly and wholly, so that the world may know and believe in the One who saved us from our sin and condemnation.
Lord Jesus, I pray that Your love will shine so strongly through my life that it will be evident to the world that You are having an awesome impact in my life, then may You be glorified by all that I come into contact with. Thank God for the grace and power expressed through His gracious Son. That You Jesus for accepting me as Your gracious son. May I represent you as well, so that others may see and believe. AMEN
DECEMBER 4, 2017
God With Us
13Then Isaiah said: OHouse of David, you aren’t satisfied to exhaustmypatience; you exhaust the Lord’s as well!14All right then,the Lord himself will choose the sign—a child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, “God is with us”).15-16By the time this child is weaned and knows right from wrong, the two kings you fear so much—the kings of Israel and Syria — will both be dead.
Isaiah prophesied, many years before the birth of Jesus, that God would send His Son, through miraculous means, and that He would be known as Immanuel, meaning God is With Us. In other words, this would be the same as God being with us. Not only is this building the case for the coming King of all kings, but also an awesome peace in knowing that no matter how lonely one is, God’s Son would be with them!
Probably one of the hardest things for anyone to handle is seeing someone without a home, or without food, or without family and friends. Destitute, lonely, forgotten, hungry, and living on the streets without anything at all. Compare that to those who appear to be happy and fulfilled, because they have enough money to buy whatever they want. Without the Lordship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, they both will face God in the same condition – lost and destined for eternal damnation in the pit of Hell. Friends, this ‘Child’ referenced in verse 14 that Isaiah prophesied about, is the same Jesus that we celebrate each Christmas. He came so that we, who trust in Him completely, might be rewarded with life eternally with He and the Father. So may I suggest that as you approach this Christmas season, that you search your heart carefully, and be sure that you have at some time in your life personally surrendered your heart to Jesus, and asked Him to take control of your life. Without Jesus, it wouldn’t matter if you lived under a bridge, in a mansion or anywhere in between, you will be given the same verdict on Judgment Day – away from me, for I never knew you. Heaven is reserved for those who have surrendered their hearts to Jesus. The only other option is Hell, where all others will be sent for eternal damnation by Satan. The difference in destination is decided and committed by you only, for yourself only. Because we are not assured of another day or moment, I would encourage you to make this very important decision right now friend.
Thank You for the gift of salvation dear Jesus. Please tender, and prepare the hearts of those that will read this devotional, so that they may make a right decision to follow You for the rest of their earthly lives. A personal decision with a very personal Lord. Lord Jesus, to You I offer my praise and thanks today for accepting my plea for salvation. May today be filled with decisions in time for a Christmas where we all may celebrate You as the main reason for the season! AMEN!