A Nugget from New Life Network

We mentioned several devotionals ago that we would keep you posted on our walk through this health challenge that I am going through. This is the update that I mentioned.

Next Tuesday will be our third chemo treatment. Everything is good. In fact, these six-hour stints in the hospital gives me a chance to read the Word and prepare for our Bible class that we teach every other Tuesday and the devotionals that we publish five days a week. It also gives me a chance to reflect on the things that are really important.

Our personal relationship with the Lord is number one. Our relationship with our spouse is number two. Our relationship with our children is number three. Our relationships on our job (if you have one) are number four. Our relationship with our ministry is number five. If you get any of these out of order you are headed for trouble.

The picture in the beginning of this devotional is me in the chemo chair reading the Word. Cheryl took this picture when I wasn’t looking. This was not a planned shot. It’s just what I do to redeem the time.

This last weekend all our kids and grandkids came to visit.

They had not all been together in years and it was good to see them. Family is important!!! Of course, we had to feed this crowd but thank God for the Body of Christ (church members, neighbors, Bible study members, friends, etc.) that donated more food than we could eat.

One of our family asked where all the food came from and we said it was from all our friends. One of our family commented that they didn’t think they had friends like that. That is why we need the Body of Christ. Thank God for everyone that donated food to this wild bunch. We love you!!!!!

One of my other friends emailed me the other day and mentioned that this must be tough what I am going through. As I reflected on that, what I am going through has no comparison to what Jesus went through. We just need to consider Him when we are going through tough times.

Keep praying guys! Also, pray for all the others in this same chemo room. The nurse told me that they see sixty cancer patients a day. That is a lot for our little town!! Pray!!!!!


A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Chris Musgrove of Future Now)

Scripture for the Day – February 27, 2020

Proverbs 24:16: For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.(NIV)

There seems to be a common theme throughout the Word of God that if you fall or get knocked down, get back up, and arise. In fact the word arise is in the Bible 259 times. God must think getting back up is important.

Jeremiah 8:4: So you are to tell them this is what the LORD says: “Do men fall and not get up again? Does one turn away and not return?”

Isaiah 60:1 says, “Arise, shine; for your light has come!”

Arise means to get up or stand up. In Luke 15:18 the prodigal son, after coming to his senses, said, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.'”

Ephesians 5:14 says, “Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.'”

The devil wants you to stay down, but God says, “Arise!”

The greatest example of arising was Jesus himself on resurrection morning:

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. (Matthew 28:1-7)

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Chris Musgrove of Future Now)

Scripture for the Day – February 26, 2020

John 4:46-54: So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” 49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!” 52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour his fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.

In this, the first healing that we read about in the gospel of John, we see that the nobleman had heard about Jesus and had come to him because his son was about to die. When the nobleman asked Him to come heal his son Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” The nobleman didn’t get what Jesus was trying to say because he immediately said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

Then Jesus said, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. The nobleman didn’t see any sign and he didn’t see any wonder. But it says that the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. Jesus was leading this man away from all but simple faith in Him when he said, “Except you see signs and wonders you will by no means believe.” Then after the nobleman responded, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” Jesus put his faith to the test when he said, “Go your way; your son lives.” And the nobleman believed Jesus’s word and his son was made whole.

A lot of people will believe something if they see it first, but that is not Bible faith. People want to feel something or see something, but Jesus wants us to take Him at His Word. And as the nobleman was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!” Again verse 52 and 53: Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household. Not only was his son healed, but he and his whole household were saved. Glory to God!

Take Jesus at His Word because that is faith and faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day – February 25, 2020

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Sometimes people get in situations where their backs are up against the wall. Something has happened, somebody has done something, or a circumstance has come against them and they don’t know what to do. Here is what some Christians do when there is a problem. They get real spiritual and have all of these religious things that they say. The sayings are based on truth, but they can become a cliché to the point they are not spoken as truth.

For example, somebody might ask you what they should do about a problem they have. You say, “You just need to take it before the Lord. You just need to lay it at the feet of the Master. Take it to the Lord in prayer. We’ll just see what God is going to do.” Actually, that’s not completely scriptural.

It is scriptural to pray and to ask God for things, but it is not scriptural to just throw up a prayer like you’re throwing dice and just hope that your number comes up and you win the prize. It’s not scriptural to ask God to do something He has told you to do. You may say, “Well, God can do a lot of things I can’t do.” That’s true. There are many things God can do that we can’t,-like create a universe or save people. However, we have been given authority on this earth that many Christians are not aware of.

The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you (if you are born again)-not a different Spirit (Romans 8:11). The same authority that Jesus used on this earth is in you. Jesus gave it to all who believe. Part of the reason we use religious clichés is because we want to make an excuse or create a loophole because of our lack of belief. If we truly believed in the fullness of faith, we would simply speak faith from the heart. Loopholes would not be necessary.

Faith is knowing in our heart that God has completed His work concerning our problem and speaking and acting on the faith that is established within us. When Jesus spoke, He spoke in faith and in authority. He spoke with confidence and did not leave room for a loophole. In Mark 4, Jesus spoke to the wind with authority and confidence: “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!'” and they listened and obeyed: “The wind ceased and there was a great calm” (v. 39). Afterward, Jesus turned His attention to His disciples, who had not been walking by faith.
“He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!'” (Mark 4:40,41).

The disciples feared exceedingly because they had just seen something miraculous happen. They saw a great storm and they heard their Master speak to it. Immediately the storm calmed down, just like He had commanded it to-and it shook them.

When we pray and pray and pray and it seems like nothing is happening, this one thing we know for certain. The problem is not God. That means we must examine ourselves. We cannot allow our confessions to become charismatic clichés. Our confessions must be the Word of God spoken from our heart. When we believe, speak, and act on the Word, that’s faith. God responds to faith, not clichés.

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day – February 24, 2020

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (2 Corinthians 11:25)

If anybody ever had an excuse to blame God, the Apostle Paul was a prime candidate. He was bitten by a poisonous snake, shipwrecked, thrown into prison, beaten, and more. What was it that kept him from falling into despair and misery? What kept him from blaming God? What kept him from quitting and losing hope? His relationship with the Word (Jesus) is the answer, and it is still the answer for all of us.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. (AMPC)

The word temptation is usually associated by us with some sin like lust, but that is not the main thrust of this Greek word. The main target of temptation is to test and steal our faith. Such things as sickness, calamities, hard times, etc. are examples of such temptations.

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor (come to the aid of) them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)

It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed. (The Message)

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Hebrew 8:33-39)

Christ is not the one that condemns!!! That is really important to know when going through challenging times. It is Satan who is the accuser of the brethren. Don’t listen to him!!! It is Jesus who knows how you feel and He will never leave you or forsake you. Hang on to Him and His Word!!!

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Chris Musgrove of Future Now)

Scripture for the Day – February 21, 2020

Colossians 1:9-12: For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

The scripture above is a prayer that Paul prayed for the church (the saints, the body of Christ) at Colossae. Well, if you are a Christian, you are part of the body, so this prayer is for you as well. I like praying it in the first person, so then I’m praying it for myself and sometimes I will put other people’s names in it to pray it for them.

Here it is in the first person: For this reason, since the day I heard it, I do not cease to pray, and to ask that I may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that I may walk worthy of you Lord, fully pleasing You, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to You Father who has qualified me to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

There are six things that are prayed for in this prayer: 1) That I may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 2) That I might walk worthy of You, Lord, fully pleasing You. 3) Being fruitful in every good work 4) Increasing in the knowledge of God 5) Strengthened with all might according to His glorious power 6) Strengthened for all patience and longsuffering with joy.

I have prayed this prayer for many years and I have seen the results of this prayer in my own life and in the lives of others for whom I have prayed it.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day – February 20, 2020

He who walks in integrity and with moral character walks securely, But he who takes a crooked way will be discovered and punished. (Proverbs 10:9, AMP)

We live in a time of so much technical advancement that it concerns me sometimes that we are missing some of the key ingredients of preaching the Gospel. The Apostle Paul said it like this, For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

Please take note of the key ingredients that the Apostle Paul listed when addressing the Thessalonians. The key ingredients were power, the Holy Ghost, assurance, and the manner of men. The AMPC version of the Bible says it like this, For our [preaching of the] glad tidings (the Gospel) came to you not only in word, but also in [its own inherent] power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty [on our part]. You know what kind of men we proved [ourselves] to be among you for your good.

Today, we are going to concentrate on what the Apostle Paul said about the “manner of men” or “what kind of men we proved our selves to be.” The following is a description by the Apostle Paul on the character needed by a minister of God:

For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children. (1 Thessalonians 2:3-11)

Paul is not the only example in the Bible on how a minister of God should act. Listen to the prophet Samuel in his last days as he addressed the people he ministered to:
Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. And he said unto them, The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness. (1 Samuel 12:3-5)

Character and integrity are important! Loyalty to the things of God is important! We, as ministers of the Gospel, must remember that we are ministering to His people. They are not our people. It’s all about the people and not us!!!

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(excerpts from Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day – February 19, 2020

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)

There is a place in love that is rarely traveled or seen. It’s a place of true love. It doesn’t exist in the mind or in the will of man, but only exists in the heart. It is a place that cannot be explained nor understood with the natural mind. It is a place that cannot be created by desire. Manipulation and control do not exist in this secret room of the heart. This room is only occupied by a substance called love and this thing called love is the most powerful substance in the universe.

First Thessalonians 5:23 tells us that man was created as a three-part being. We are a spirit that has a soul that lives in a body. Your spirit is the real you. Your soul is your mind, your will, your intellect, and emotions.

God-like love (agape), as described in 1 Corinthians 13, is a decision that takes place in the soul. This God-kind of love is described as patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no records of wrongs, does not delight in evil, and rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. “Love never fails” (v. 8).

All of these attributes are a matter of choice and will. We decide that we will be patient. We decide that we will be kind. We decide that we will not be rude. The God-kind of love is a decision of the soul and must be carried out with humility and joy. After all, God would never command us to do something that we didn’t have the ability to do. The soul of a man is subject to the man.

There is a love that travels to the depths of the heart that is not created by decision nor can it be removed by decision. It is a place of being in love and it is God-given. There is a difference between decisive love and love of the heart. Let me explain. I come from a good family. I have a sister, parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins and I love them all. I love them with the love of God and I would die for them. They are special to me and nothing or no one could take their place. However, I am not “in love” with them. No decision of the soul can make a person fall in love. It just happens. Love of the heart isn’t created. It just is.

Every born-again believer has received the love of God within themselves. Every born-again believer has made the decision to love God. But only a few are “in love” with Him. We can experience an intimacy with God that we cannot experience with people because God is perfect and loves us with a love that does not have an agenda and that is rarely found among humans. The only thing that comes close is being “in love.”

There is a special relationship, a special intimacy, a special place in the heart that is only filled through times of intimate worship with Him. Sadly, most of what the church calls worship really isn’t worship at all. Singing, holding up your hands, and kneeling can be outward expressions of worship, but if it doesn’t originate with the heart, it is only a mechanical outward show. We should never judge someone else’s worship, but God knows if it’s from the heart or if it is just an outward display.

Some Christians love the things of God, i.e. church, fellowship, or prosperity, but don’t experience the intimacy that comes from having a personal relationship of love with the Father. True love can never die. It lives in the heart and cannot be removed by trials or separation. Love forgives and love always brings peace. True love can withstand pressure and pain because love is patient and never gives up. True love does not count time, but in time, love always prevails because God is love and love never fails.

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(excerpts from Chris Musgrove of Future Now)

Scripture for the Day – February 18, 2020

Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

If Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is Lord over your life, then the peace of God should be ruling and reigning in you and in your life. God looks at the heart to see if it is divided or devoted. There are a lot of Christians who are devoted on the outside: they attend church, read their Bible occasionally and even pray when they need something. On the outside they look peaceful, but on the inside there’s a battle raging. They are not serving God with a whole heart; their hearts are divided.

I Samuel 16:7 says, “…But the Lord looks on the heart.”

Colossians 3:15 in the Amplified Bible says, “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

Psalms 111:1 says, “Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart,”

Matthew 6:25 says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.” The Greek word for worry is “merimnao”, which means to divide into parts. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-33, “Do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat or what shall we drink? What shall we wear?’ 32-For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33-But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Worry and fear are sins that are allowed into your heart because you are not wholeheartedly seeking first the kingdom, and peace can’t rule where there are worry and fear.

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you or be devoted to God and He will be devoted to you.” That verse goes on to say, “And purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God; 7-and the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Let us be a people that worship the Lord with all of our hearts and that will bring the peace of God into our lives.

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day – February 17, 2020

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

I don’t usually watch the Oscars, but I caught a part of the recent show that caught my attention. The movie that received the most awards was “Parasite” which was a South Korean movie directed by Bong Joon-ho. In his acceptance speech for one of the awards the director said that when he studied film making, he zeroed in on how famous American movie director Martin Scorsese directed his films.

Boon Joon-Ho said there was one statement that Scorsese had made about making powerful movies that always stuck with him. That statement was that a powerful movie is always about something that is very personal to the director. Scorsese did not originate that truth. That truth was originated in the scriptures and is a simple but profound truth that was the leading truth for the shepherds that announced the birth of Jesus to all the apostles and disciples in the New Testament. That truth is still a powerful guiding light for anyone that is following Jesus today. The following are just a few examples of this truth being followed:

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:20)

Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. (Luke 7:22)

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:19-20)

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. (Acts 22:14-15)

I heard a minister say recently that if you have chosen to walk with Jesus, you have chosen adventure. I can say “AMEN” to that! If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, and are walking with Him, it is an adventure! However, know this. Jesus operated under the same principles. He did not do anything that the Father did not tell Him to do or say anything the Father had not shown Him.

As we walk with God, He will show us the things we are to speak about. Remember, we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (those things we have seen and heard).

The power is in the personal!!!