Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

What The Prophets Foretold

Saturday, 2019-09-21

Bible Reference: Luke 24:25-27
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 25 Then Jesus said to the two men, “You are foolish and slow to realize what is true. You should believe everything the prophets said26 The prophets said the Messiah must suffer these things before he begins his time of glory.” 27 Then he began to explain everything that had been written about himself in the Scriptures. He started with the books of Moses and then he talked about what the prophets had said about him.

OBSERVATION: As I read these verses this morning, I believe that the Holy Spirit prompted me to prepare a response to Jesus, should He question why I am so downhearted over the destruction in Florida a year ago, and the more recent disaster in the Bahamas, because of hurricanes. I believe the natural response would be to question ‘Why, Lord?’. But I believe God is teaching us here that we should run to the Word of God and see what else is on the way for us. Meditate with me as we contemplate what the Word of God teaches us about everyday occurrences.

APPLICATION: As hurricane Dorian plundered around out in the Caribbean, I believe that most of us thought of it as having a motor and/or steering mechanism that would move it in a certain direction, and at chosen speeds. But I believe that God opened the eyes of this 65 year old, and finally showed me that this ‘bundle of wind’ is something moved around by the steering wind currents at the time. For just a quick moment, my mind wondered to question: then who controls the wind currents? Silly me, of course it is God who controls our wind currents, therefore God who steers the hurricanes. So the question remains: then why would God choose to steer the disastrous winds of a hurricane into the path of His people? Friends, the mystery of God is unknown to mankind, otherwise we might consider ourselves ‘God’. Think about this: In spite of what you may feel about why on earth was your challenging neighbor ever created, yet God, in His wisdom, not only created him/her, but also arranged that you two would wind up as neighbors! In spite of me being born in Long Island, Bahamas, brought up on the island of Eleuthera, and worked across several islands in the Bahamas, yet in 1987 God opened the doors for my wife and I to move to the United States of America. This, opened the doors to: 1) The adoption of our prized daughter; 2) My dad and sister-in-law being given another chance at life because of the medical professionals here; 3) My awesome job, that I am about to retire from, after 32 years; 4) Three wonderful churches that loved on us and allowed us to serve our Lord with them over our 32 years here; etc, etc. So would you remind me again why we should ever question God? Although my dad dreaded the idea of his oldest son leaving him in his old age, and move across the waters to another country, yet within 6 months of being in the US, and after he had received a stint in one of the vessels to his heart, he said to me ‘Now I can see what God was doing’. My dear friends, we need not question God, for He alone is God and His ways are far greater than our ways and above anything we could ever comprehend or imagine. Let me encourage you to saturate yourself with the Word of God. Meditate on it and allow it to fill your mind with the mind of Christ. Let it steer your thoughts, your decisions and your path, so that you will wind up in a place where God wants you, and not where you’ve always want to go. Depend on God to lead you and help you to understand His ways enough to be a blessing to someone else. People need the Lord, and it’s only when they look at you and see ‘Jesus’, that they might truly believe that He lives, because they could see Him living in you. It’s not about us friends, or about our material belongings. It’s about God, His Kingdom, and us being used by God to help win the lost from eternal death. Oh that we may praise God each and every day as we draw closer and closer to seeing Him face to face!

PRAYER: Lord, I feel like I may have gone off track from the referenced Scripture, but I pray that I could one day say like my dad did: ‘Now I could see what God was up to’! Lord, these devotionals are a testimony of Your wonderful grace and how You express Your unconditional love towards me in so many awesome ways. May others experience Jesus as they read these, and may they make decisions to draw close to You in their temporary walk here on earth, so that You may be glorified in all aspects of their life. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that 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 at NuggetsFromGodsWord@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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible 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!

Friday, 2019-09-20

Bible Reference: Luke 24:1-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Very early that Sunday morning, the women made their way to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared.  Among them were Mary Magdalene; Joanna; and Mary, Jesus’ mother. Arriving at the tomb they discovered that the huge stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside, so they went in to look. But the tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was gone!

OBSERVATION: Perhaps it’s part of the difference between how men and women think, or perhaps what each find important, but regardless of the differences, the three ladies mentioned in our text were determined to take good care of our Lord after His death, while the men gathered together for prayer. As we meditate on these verses, I pray that God will draw us into a time that we place ourselves into the picture and think about what we may have done!

APPLICATION: While reading God’s Word, I was led to reflect on how any of this applies to us today. I was reminded of the major crisis going on today in our communities, where crime is at such critical levels, while at the same time the family structure is probably at it’s worse. I wonder if there is a parallel? Throughout the Bible we can see clearly how God expects our men to take an important role in life. Leadership of their families, and leadership at our churches. So let us therefore look inward to see how we might have handled this situation today. First of all, let us reflect on our family structure. Where are our men? Gentlemen, is it enough to date our women and have children with them, but have no leadership role in their home? Could it be that too many of you are without the key leadership role of Jesus Christ in your lives, so there is therefore no prompting of the Holy Ghost to be good husbands and/or dads? Could it be that because you have no true relationship with Jesus Christ, that it is not important for you to teach His principles in your homes, or lead the way in taking your family out to church? I believe it is evident that because of our dysfunctional families and homes, our kids have resorted to lives of crime in order to find attention from someone. I want to encourage our men to stand tall Brothers. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life, so that we might have an eternity to look forward to with He and His Father! He invited us to know Him personally, and to lead our families into a relationship with Him. He led a perfect life – without sin! So if we commit to Him, and we lead our families to do the same, and we are obedient to His Word, then our families will be led to lives free of crime! So why did God take me in this direction today? I don’t believe it was to indicate that the disciples were living sinful lives, unworthy of Christ, but in wondering why the disciples chose not to take care of the body of Jesus after his death, I was led to also wonder why our men today are satisfied in resting while: their wives take on the role of getting her family out to church; while their children follow the crowd in committing crime (sin); while churches struggle to find qualified men for leadership. Wake up men! Please take on your assigned role and be good leaders. Become a ‘Paul’, who told his followers to follow him as he follows Christ. Please, let’s take our roles seriously. Only what’s done for Jesus will last, so let’s make our lives count!

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus, please help our men to be men of God. Our communities are going to ‘pot’, and our young people are resorting to everything Satan has to offer, because of the lack of leadership and role models in their lives. Oh that we might commit ourselves so faithfully to You Lord, that our kids will see the living Christ working through us. May our words remind others of Jesus, may our actions and our lives be living examples of all that we know of Jesus – the One who never sinned. For the one who stumbled on this devotional and might be trying to understand its message, please Lord, touch their hearts and call them to Yourself today. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that 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 at NuggetsFromGodsWord@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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible 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!

THE Most Important Commandment

Wednesday, 2019-09-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 22:36-40
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

APPLICATION:  Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two very carefully:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. To consider this being a priority, means that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very innermost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more and more, or ways to love Him better and better, than anything else.
2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is prideful, and could easily lead to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.
Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought ‘yes’, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish that day! Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and that You display ‘Love’ in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that 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 at NuggetsFromGodsWord@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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible 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!

Needs – Through God’s Eyes

Tuesday, 2019-09-17

Bible Reference: Matthew 20:29-32
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  29 As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. 30 Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?”

OBSERVATION: I’m sure there are others like me, who glance right over something that I am searching for, only to be told that if it was a snake it would have bitten me!! But how often do we do that in life? We want Jesus to help us be faithful servants who care about everything that He cares about, yet we will turn a blind eye to the needs of others that we pass by every day. Jesus shows us in this Scripture today that He cares about each of us, and about the things that concern us. Meditate with me, with these things in mind.

APPLICATION:  We may never care to acknowledge this, but in spite of us being one of the smartest generations that ever lived, yet we are so desensitized to the needs of mankind. Unfortunately, probably more desensitized than ever before. Let’s look at the scenario in our scripture reading. Here are two blind men who had hoped that if they could only get the attention of Jesus as He passed by them, then perhaps they too might stand a chance of being blessed, or healed by Him, especially in light of all the other miracles they had heard about Him performing. Notice ‘us’ though; for the crowds looked at these men from the lens of mankind, you know, where we tend to look at helpless people as just standing in our way. After all who ever heard about a blind man receiving back his sight. I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke to me through this and challenged me to think about those that I might brush over during my daily path thinking that surely they don’t stand a chance of getting the Master’s attention, or His healing, from the kinds of issues they are dealing with. You know the kind that we have placed inside a box of impossibility. These blind men were rejected by society, as there is no indication that the crowd tried to help them in any way to achieve the position they desired that would place them in the path of Jesus. I believe that we are so afraid of being taken advantage of, or pestered by beggars asking for something that we feel we have worked so hard for, earned, or just deserve? These things often cause us to steer clear of people who seem really ‘needy’ in our eyes. In fact, we tend to take on the role of God and decide whether they deserve help or not. It made me think of whether we might also be guilty of this in our churches. How often do we ‘church folk’ pass over ordinary folk looking for a place where they would be accepted – a place with ‘real’ people who remind them of what they have always heard about Jesus Christ? Ever stopped to think that one of them that we tend to leave along the wayside of life could actually be Jesus himself, stopping in to check us out and see how receptive we would be to Him being in our midst, or to see how welcoming we would be to that Brother who looks slightly different to us? The disciples brushed away the children who tried to get to Jesus, and He had to correct them. Now the crowd was trying to silence these blind men who were also trying to draw close to Jesus, but Jesus had to demonstrate what we should do in such a scenario. I wonder what Jesus would have to correct us on? Another sermon in this passage of scripture is the phrase I bolded. These men were blind, and I’m sure this would have been obvious, yet Jesus asked what could He do for them! We must be careful to not assume anything about a cripple entering our churches. They may need Jesus in their heart a whole lot more than restored strength, or healing, in their legs. A clean heart filled with Jesus will get you into heaven, while two good legs and a heart without Christ won’t. Friends, let’s learn to be discerning Christians who care about the things that Jesus cares about. To the unbeliever, may I encourage you to not give up on Christianity because of imperfect Christians? Learn to look to Jesus, for He cares for You. If He can use an earthly servant to help you – fantastic! But please don’t allow Satan to use an imperfect example to destroy your joy and your chance to life eternally with the Master of this universe.

PRAYER: Father God, You are awesome beyond anything we deserve, or that we can even imagine. Thank You for looking beyond our faults and seeing our need for You. Thank you for placing opportunities in our path of life to open our eyes and challenge us to a closer and more intimate walk with You. Lord, may our eyes be opened to the needs around us today? May we not be so distracted by sin that we miss opportunities to listen, or to share Your love with those that we come into contact with? Please touch the hearts of those that need You today. May they find You, in spite of the mess ups of those who claim You as Lord. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, and especially in the lives of those who need to accept You as Lord. I ask these things in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, the One who cares for ALL of His precious children. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that 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 at NuggetsFromGodsWord@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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible 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!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.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!

The Man in the Middle

Monday, 2019-09-16

Bible Reference: Luke 23:39-43
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 39 One of the criminals hanging on the cross next to Jesus kept ridiculing him, saying, “What kind of Messiah are you? Save yourself and save us from this death!”
40 The criminal hanging on the other cross rebuked the man, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You’re about to die! 41 We deserve to be condemned, for we’re just being repaid for what we’ve done. But this man—he’s done nothing wrong!”
42 Then he said, “I beg of you, my Lord Jesus, show me grace and take me with you into your everlasting kingdom!”
43 Jesus responded, “I promise you—this very day you will enter paradise with me.”

OBSERVATION: Two criminals about to receive their due sentence for the crimes they were guilty of, yet each dealt with the ‘Man in the Middle’ quite differently. Both recognized Him as God, but their attitudes were totally opposing. We make those same evaluations every day, and because we are impacted differently, we often wind up making totally different decisions about life, based on those impacts. Perhaps we need to meditate together on the thought that God speaks to each of us daily, in some form or fashion, but it’s up to each of us individually how prepared we are to handle that, and how we process those God encounters.

APPLICATION: I am always amazed at the way that one church member will emerge from a church service on a spiritual high, because of the spoken word that day. Yet if you speak with another member who sat just a row behind, they got absolutely nothing from the sermon. One walked away blessed, drawn closer to the Lord, and determined to serve God better in every aspect of life. The other walked away untouched, unchanged, and no closer to God than they were before. This is very similar to one who might sit and read the Word of God. For the one who simply sits and reads the Bible as any other novel, they will search for certain styles of writing, and for a story-line that appeals to them. For the child of God interested in learning more about God, to hearing from Him, and wanting more direction form God so it could be applied to their life, they will seek God first, ask for His direction, and desire that He clearly show them how to apply what they will read. Each reader will walk away having read the Word, but I believe that only one will have discovered the voice of God. Unfortunately in life, we are very much like the two criminals, for some will be ready to fight back, find fault and negativity in everything they encounter, while others look for the good in others, and they look for ways in which God will use fellow humans to confirm His word to us that day. We have no way of determining how each of these criminal started off their day, but we do know that they each realized that their life of sin was now coming to a close through corporal punishment. They also had to deal with a fellow who was about to receive their same punishment, but never committed a crime. What on earth would they do with that? Perhaps one faced the situations of that day just like he did any other day – in anger and total disregard for everyone else. Perhaps the other one finally realized his mistakes and spoke to God that morning, knowing that he had but just a short time left here on earth. Something truly impacted their mindset as they hung there on those crosses waiting for the final bell. The plight of the criminals were extremely similar to ours dear friends, what we do with the Man in the Middle today, will determine what happens to us at the final bell. The criminals knew their ‘Bell’ would be rung that day. We also know that ours could be rung today! Are you ready for it?

PRAYER: Oh for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer’s praise…. The words of a popular old hymn, yet so true for the how I feel today dear God. You have reminded me once again in Your Word, that my attitude and my preparation for eternal life will make the difference in how my day is presented, and what I can expect when my ‘final bell’ is tolled. My desire is to allow You as Lord of my life, and under Your control and with Your awesome power, I would ask that You prepare me for the day ahead where others might see Jesus in every aspect of my life. I acknowledge that I must seek to be blessed, if I expect to be a blessing to others. Lord, have Your awesome will and way in my life today. Please also touch the heart of everyone that stops to meditate on this devotional today. May Your Holy Spirit speak volumes to each one about Your will for their life. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that 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 at NuggetsFromGodsWord@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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible 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!

Your Song of Praise

Sunday, 2019-09-15

Bible Reference: Psalm 59:16-17
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 16 But I will sing about your strength.
    I will rejoice in your love every morning.
You have been my place of safety,
    the place I can run to when troubles come.
17 I will sing praises to you, my source of strength.
    You, God, are my place of safety.
    You are the God who loves me!

OBSERVATION: When we’re about to receive thousands of dollars, we could probably assemble an unbelievable great song of praise to God! When our first grandchild is born, our hearts are so filled with the miracle of new birth that words of praise to our God would flow forth uncontrollably from our lips. But what about our song when we reflect on the ups and downs of our week? What about when our marriage is not going well, or when we’re overwhelmed with the stress of people out to ‘get us’? Should those times of praise look any differently? Meditate with me as we think about this.

APPLICATION: It is so easy for us to raise our songs of complaining about our finances; our health; our loved one’s hospitalization; and so on. All I know is, that no matter how hard one might have it, as for me, my situation is at a breaking point, so listen up dear friend as I unload on you!! To the contrary, can you imagine the feeling that must have come over the spies from Saul’s group as they snuck up to David’s house and overheard Him singing praises to his God? Friends, I don’t know about you, but I am very ‘human’ when it comes to stressful situations, similar to the situation David must have been facing at this time in his life where Saul was out to kill him. I become jittery inside, grouchy with those around me, and often become silent (to make sure I don’t say the wrong thing), so would I ever think of making time to glorify God in the middle of my pity party? Highly unlikely! But is it not true that Jesus never fought back, or showed anger, or hatred towards those who set out to harm Him? He knew it was the Father’s will that He should go to the cross, and He was prepared to honor Him in everything ordained by God. Could it be that God places us in certain situations to help us grow closer to Him, or perhaps learn to understand others, or perhaps get that chip off our shoulder? Scripture repeats itself in telling us that ‘in ALL things, give thanks’! Imagine with me for a moment that the same God who blesses us richly each and every day, is the same God that waits for our acknowledgment of His lordship even when things don’t seem to be going the way we expected. He’s in control Brothers and Sisters, so never turn your back on Him. Satan would love nothing more than to temp you with something and than see you fail, or at least falter in your faith. Be strong in the Lord and trust in Him in ALL your ways, my friend! This is a good day to strive for that goal! Prayerfully get before the Master and ask Him to help you make right decisions; read His Word for His answer back to you and the direction you should follow; listen to the spoken Word from Bible Believing pastors; and then be busy about His work. His ways will ultimately lead to a path that brings praise back to the Almighty. So seek my Lord while you are able to, and be obedient to His call. There’s nothing more satisfying in this whole world than to know that you are following the will of God, for this is what He desires of His children seeking to be with Him for eternity!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I am truly reminded today to continue praising You in the good times, but also to never forget to praise You in the storms of life. You never promised us life without challenges, but you assured us that You will be with us at ALL times, and in every circumstance of life. Lord, You know the challenges that we face, and how overwhelmed we become at times. Please help us to always keep our heads up, looking full into the face of the One who loves us beyond compare, and reminding us that You will love us through the good, and the challenging times of life. Thank You for Your unconditional, sacrificial love for us, please help us to love You enough to never question Your ways and Your decisions. Please help those that will read this devotional and may not know you personally, to realize that You’re are every bit as awesome as I have tried to portray in this devotional today. For You are alone are God, and there is no one above or beyond You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that 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 at NuggetsFromGodsWord@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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible 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!

Be Faithful in Following Jesus

Friday, 2019-09-13

Bible Reference: Matthew 4:18-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

OBSERVATION: Accepting Jesus because mom pressured you to do so, or because your prospective father-in-law only wants his daughter to marry a believer, would receive a totally different commitment from you, than a personal encounter with God, where He called you to repentance for the way that you have totally ignored His gift of salvation. In our example today from the Scripture, God had a personal encounter with the disciples. I believe that you should also listen closely for the call of God on your life, and that you should quickly respond.

APPLICATION:  Imagine for a moment if Peter and Andrew had concluded after meeting Jesus that He was a good man and would make a wonderful Savior for many people, especially for those who had time to follow Him around and observe His marvelous works. Imagine how little impact Jesus would have had on these two men if they chose to continue making a living and left Jesus alone to go and impact the brothers up the road who had nothing better to do. James and John had similar choices to make in verses 21 and 22, but like Peter and Andrew, these guys immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Friends these stories were included in the Word to show us the impact of total surrender. I don’t believe for a moment that God intends for every Christian to give up our jobs to be obedient followers of His. However, I do believe that God is showing us that it is important for us to take a 180 degree turn from what we did as a sinner, so that we might prove to whom we now belong. We don’t need to prove it to God, for He knows our very inmost thoughts and desires, but we need to convince ourselves that we have seriously redirected our lives to following the Savior, the King of all kings, Jesus Christ. We need to prove it to our friends. We can’t continue doing the things of this world (Satan approved things) and still expect our friends to see a difference in our lives. Think about everyday scenarios: what do you do when you go on a diet? You can’t lose weight eating the same junk food and sweets that brought you to your obese state in the first place. What do you do when you get married? You can’t hang out with your buddies until the wee hours of the morning and expect to go home and find your new spouse happily waiting for you. So what about the Christian walk? I would dare say that you can’t live like the Devil and say that you are a Christian. We have to leave the garbage behind, much like the disciples left their nets and their boats behind, and choose to give God our all – our undying allegiance, our unwavering love and dedication. Show Him that You are serious about the decision you made to follow Him – perhaps He will use you like He did in the case of the disciples mentioned! Won’t that be awesome!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for being patient with us. I’m afraid that too often we tend to try and continue doing what we’ve always done, yet expect different results, or worse still – try to convince ourselves that our allegiance has changed. Lord, I believe that these four disciples were so sold out to you that they gave up their fishing careers to become ‘fishers of men’ in your kingdom work. I am convinced that we need more folk like this today Lord, so that the world might know without a doubt who rules in our lives. Please work on us today and convict us of any shortfall You see in our lives and our commitment to You. May we be usable instruments in Your hands to reach the lost. I ask this in the strong and unwavering name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that 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 at NuggetsFromGodsWord@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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible 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!

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