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

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Isaiah 43:1-3 (TLB)

TEXT:  1 …… I have called you by name; you are mineWhen you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel….

OBSERVATION:   Notice the personal involvement of God in the phrases throughout these 3 short verses! Notice the person to whom these blessings pertain – you, not ya’ll; not the church in general; not the city of ???, but ‘YOU’. Now theologians might want to correct me and say that this was specifically spoken to the family of Jacob and of Israel, but when I read Ephesians 2:15, I am reminded that we are all children of the King, not just Jacob and the country of Israel. God is bold enough and personal enough to pinpoint His intention to us personally, and has no need to generalize. He’s my God, and I’m His child! You can say the same if it pertains to your commitment with Jesus Christ. How awesome is that?!!

APPLICATION:   I wonder how personal we become with God? I wonder how often we stop to think that He created us and placed us in a world that He created. He saw the challenges we had in living life to the fullest and in line with the glorious provisions that He provided, so He created, miraculously, a Son that would mirror the Father, but yet He would live among us to show how personal and caring He truly is. I wonder how often we stop to ponder that when God created us, it was in His image that He chose to create us. So the choice He gave us then is: what will we decide to do personally? God strategically placed here on earth for such a time as this? To be ‘Christ-like’ and then act like Christ’s oppressor, His enemy; His mocker, His persecutor, wouldn’t that make us extremely miserable inside? Friends, these verses from Isaiah reminds us of the awesome God who created us. What He told us through the prophet has already been proven, so to sit back and question, or analyze whether God can do these things through us, is nothing short of you looking for an excuse to be disobedient and follow your own imperfect will, or to give Satan full reign in your life. Where are you at today, friends? Are you convinced that you are God’s and that He is yours? Are you convinced that what He says is actually true, possible and in fact happening in and through you as you place your faith and trust in Him and allow Him to love you, guide you and give you strength for each day? I would like to encourage you friend, not browbeat you into a feeling of guilt and worthlessness. I am just like many of you, where I struggle with the temptations of life every day, and find it extremely challenging to live in total opposition to the world around me. But praise the almighty power of God, I am a child of the King, saved from my sin by the grace offered through Jesus. Although I live on earth and face the challenges of this world, greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. My whole purpose in sharing these journals with you friends, is that you might be encouraged by my experiences and in my joys with the Lord. Today will be a perfect day for you to place yourself before the Master and ask Him to examine you and see if there be, any fault or sin that might separate you from His most gracious Son, Jesus. Please read my ‘Footnote’ for Scripture references surrounding a close(er) walk with the Lord. Please contact me so that I may pray with You as you strive to draw closer to the Lord.

PRAYER:   Lord You are good, and Your mercies endures forever! Thank You for being patient with me and for prompting me through Your gracious Holy Spirit each and every day. Lord, may You be glorified in everything that I do and through everyone that I encounter, for I want so bad to be a living sacrifice for You, and a mirror of all that You want sinners to learn and witness from You. Lord, may You be praised, lifted up and honored this day, especially while sinners surrender their lives to You. This is my prayer, my deepest requests and my plea as I walk with You daily, 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 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 to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to 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!

 

Renewal

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Isaiah 40:27-31 (TLB)

TEXT:  27 ….. how can you say that the Lord doesn’t see your troubles and isn’t being fair? 28 Don’t you yet understand? Don’t you know by now that the everlasting God, the Creator of the farthest parts of the earth, never grows faint or weary? No one can fathom the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak. 30 Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

OBSERVATION:   These verses speak to the ever daunting problem of mankind, where one becomes overwhelmed with the differences between what they desire, or want, and the perfect way that they feel something should be done, versus the actual way and means in which things occur. Added to this, mankind will often feel like no one listens, or cares about their explanation of how they feel. Not personally being a psychologist, I’m sure that there are lots of holes that you might poke into that description of what might cause one to become disheartened or disillusioned or depressed. Let’s meditate on how God responds to us through His servant Isaiah on similar matters….

APPLICATION:   I was encouraged when I read these verses again, and was reminded that the God we serve is the one who created this world! He created mankind, to live in this world, and because He carefully put everything into place around the globe, where might He ever send us, that He wouldn’t best direct our path and make sure that we would wind up serving His children for His ultimate glory? There are times in our life that we feel like no one truly understands how we feel, or why we act the way we do. In fact, we may embarrass some very close to us, and we may actually look to God and question why we are so unique. Friends, we are talking about the God who created us with every piece of individuality that exists in us. The One who would one day cause a scientist to stop and question, how in the world can everyone have a truly unique fingerprint? Can you imagine a time that something would be going on in our lifetime, or that awaits in our future, that God is surprised about, or caught unawares about? May I be the first to remind you today that: There is nothing too big for our God! Nothing that He is unaware of; Nothing that He wouldn’t do for His precious children (us); Nothing that He would lead us into that He will not bless and carefully help us succeed in; and no one that He would place in our presence that He would not allow our influence, or Christ-likeness to rub off on! Therefore friends, please tell me: Why would you not trust your Father? Why would you not consult with Him when you feel like you don’t have all of the answers? Why would you not consult with the only One who knows the future, when you look for direction in making the right decisions about tomorrow? Why would you not be faithful to the end, after being reminded of how faithful Jesus was right up to His final moments? Why would you not share often about the Savior who stood in the gap for you and saved you from eternal damnation. The same One who declares the best news ever heard of, when He assures us of our eternal home in Heaven, where we will rejoice around the feet of He and His Father for all eternity? Friends, for those of us that rest our faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God declares that He Will Renew our Strength! For it is then that we will spread our wings like eagles, run but yet not get tired or weary, and walk our daily path of life without growing faint! Run to the source of all this friends, and you too can enjoy the exciting benefits that I have given you a hint of today! Jesus loves you, and wants you to love Him also! Praise Him for His goodness, and Chat with Him about your uncertainties, for He’s your Friend, your Savior and Your everlasting King!

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, thank You for reminding us yet again how awesome You are, and how truly powerful You are. We are such spoiled children, who forget so easily about the Savior who gave His very life for our salvation. Please forgive us Lord, and please renew a right spirit within us – one that will open our blinded eyes and cause us to become obedient, humble and totally surrendered to You. Please help us to connect these dots first, so that in the eyes of the lost, they will truly see ‘children of God’ and not spoiled children wandering around trying to gain the world for our own selfish needs and wants. Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation, so rich and free! 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 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 to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to 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!

 

Persistence

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 10:35-37 (TPT)

TEXT: 35 So don’t lose your bold, courageous faith, for you are destined for a great reward! 36 You need the strength of endurance to reveal the poetry of God’s will and then you receive the promise in full. 37 For soon and very soon, “The One who is appearing will come without delay!”

OBSERVATION:   It seems like the whole human race is built around reacting to situations and circumstances in response to the impact that these things have on our emotional and  personal gains. Think about the things that make us happy, versus the things that really upset us. In our Scripture today, we are being encouraged to look at our end goal, which never changes. Can you do it, even when things are tough? Let’s examine this a bit closer…

APPLICATION:   It seems natural that we rejoice when things are happening around us that tend to make people happy, contented and satisfied. We tend to praise God for these things, as we often hope and pray that these things will happen every day while we wait for the soon return of Jesus. After all, we are anxiously awaiting the day when we will sit at the feet of Jesus and worship Him, and the Father, endlessly. However, let’s review the circumstances that tend to make people sad, disappointed and unclear, as to the end results of these circumstances. How often are we strong enough to stand in the middle of these scenarios and look beyond the obvious ‘box’ of challenges and always see the ‘end goal’? I know that it is virtually impossible to praise God in the storms of life, but friends I can assure you that there is peace in the heart of the believer knowing that God is in control of the most challenging situations that they may be faced with. Our Lord Jesus, He is the One who encourages us and blesses us at every opportunity. That’s what true ‘LOVE’ is all about friends. He proved His love for us by giving everything, when He hung on that cruel cross at Calvary. He still loves us today and watches out for us at every circumstance of our lives. Do you know Him, friend? Are you experiencing that peace in knowing that He cares for you in every circumstance of life? Are you persistent in your walk with Christ, reflecting that you trust Him and that you know the ‘end goal’ is always in sight and available for you? Verse 37 encourages us to be ready, because at any moment now, the Master could appear and come to earth to gather His own. My life’s desire is to be one of those that Jesus takes back with Him, and I would be overjoyed if He includes each of you that dig into the Word each day with me through Nuggets From God’s Word! It will be worth it all, friends!

PRAYER:   Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, thy great salvation so rich and free! To reflect back on the span of a lifetime and recognize all that God did to prepare us for eternity with Him, will be the crowning glory of heaven. For to see my Savior, and to enjoy His love, compassion and ti immerse myself in His eternal peace, will be more joy that I could imagine! Thank You Heavenly Father for loving even me! Please bless my readers today, and may they also catch a glimpse of You through this devotional, 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 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 to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to 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!

 

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Isaiah 29:13-14 (ERV)

TEXT:  13 The Lord says, “These people come to honor me with words, but I am not really important to them. The worship they give me is nothing but human rules they have memorized. 14 So I will continue to amaze them by doing powerful and amazing things. Their wise men will lose their wisdom. Even the most intelligent among them will not be able to understand.”

OBSERVATION:   Isaiah was told by God that people were gathering in His name to worship Him, but that He was not really important to them. They were taught how to worship, so they were following that pattern and doing as they were told. Doesn’t this sound very similar, especially from outward experiences, at our weekend services? Let’s look deeper into this as we apply the Scripture today… 

APPLICATION:   Can you imagine with me how we might feel if we entered into a basketball arena and as soon as we sat down we were encouraged to start cheering? We look to the courts and there’s nothing. How enthusiastic do you feel like you might get? As the team starts entering the courts, you’re still not feeling anything, because this is your first time to an official basketball game. However, there’s a whole row in the back of you where the fans are going nuts, as they cheer their favorite team onto the courts. So what’s the difference? Why are you not feeling anything? Could this be a sample of what happens in our churches? Could we have folk that leave church on a Sunday morning and get into their busy lives and a multitude of other priorities, and if they feel like it, and have nothing else to do, they may show up the next Sunday morning? Could this be due to there not being any personal interaction with God throughout the week? Would the divorce rates skyrocket if we acted with as little enthusiasm and interaction with our spouse? My understanding from what God is sharing through his prophet, is that when we have no relationship with Him, we may go through the motions of attending a worship service, but it may prove very challenging to  worship Him, when we’ve had no personal interaction that promotes a reaction from us. If we attend a worship service we may do so with hopes of stirring up an emotion inside of a dead, silent, non-relational body that we walk around in, or we may want that wife, mother, or child to get off our back for a while, in forcing us to attend church. On the flip side of all this friends, there are many of us who have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior, and we have surrendered Lordship of our lives over to Him, to guide, protect and enable us to walk this earth imitating Him in every way. In fact, we make this a daily affair, for we turn to His Word for encouragement and direction, and we call on Him to walk us through all situations in life. In return for seeing Him treat us as His very own child; care for us unconditionally every day; see evidence of His love through His Word, and in all aspects of life, we become so full of adoration for our Lord and Savior, that praise becomes a vital part of our lives, including group services that we look forward to on Wednesday and Sunday. If you’re not feeling an attitude of praise friend, it may not be the praise team at church, nor the pastor, it may be because there is just no relationship there that causes you to worship a very personal Savior in whom you place your faith and trust in every day. I’m merely helping you recognize any shortcomings in your life friend, for God is looking for an honest, sincere, soul-searching attitude of worship from you – regardless of what is, or is not, happening around you. Seek God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you my friend!

PRAYER:   Thank You Heavenly Father for touching our lives in every way every day. Please help us to recognize You and acknowledge You in all the miraculous things that happen to us, or around us, and may we seek to worship You in all sincerity each and every day. To God be the glory, for all the great things that You do at every turn, for such an undeserving generation. 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 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 to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to 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!

 

A Transformation

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 12:1-2 (TPT)

TEXT: Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.  Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

OBSERVATION:   Two things really stand out in these verses that ultimately pleases God: (1) Paul addresses the subject of genuine worship; and (2) How we should be doing what pleases Christ, and not necessarily what the world is doing around us. Let’s open these two things up and see how they could be applied to our scenarios today.

APPLICATION:   As we delve into this, I want to acknowledge that each of our lives are based on the things that are available to us, and to the culture of where we live. So I found it interesting that Paul warned us about our cultural demands. Here’s a case in point: I am a banker by trade, and the area in which I live and the one where I work, are all attracted primarily to traditional brick & mortar banking, even though many are becoming accustomed to digital banking in various ways. However, less than 2 hours away, there are certain communities that have accepted, and indeed flourish, with totally staff-less bank branches. Culture, median age of the customer-base in a specific city or area, will help drive banks to decide what type of branch to offer. I believe that we tend to think along similar lines when considering the type of church we want to attend, because we have a certain mindset about what we believe should happen at church, and what type of worship will soothe our souls. So do me a favor, if you agree with me so far, read the two verses again very slowly and deliberately. Did you notice that there was no reference to pleasing yourself, but rather that you worship in a manner that pleases God. Now think about your typical worship service. How prepared are you when you walk in the doors of a church? Before you sing the first word, pray the first prayer or open your Bible for the first time in the past week, did you stop to consider that you are standing in awe of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords? Have you considered the awesome gifts and blessings that He passed on to you since you last worshipped Him? Are you truly prepared to worship the Majestic King of the ages, the One who gave His very life to satisfy your sins? In your prior life you may have paid close attention to what friends, or the rich and famous do, but in accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior to Scripture says that Jesus will direct your paths, and that He will transform your life into something new. I believe that means more humble than ever before, more loving, more kind, more forgiving and more identifiable with Jesus, than with anyone or anything in this world. Friends, this is the type Christian that will get the attention of our lost world. For they are looking for someone who looks, sounds and acts like Jesus and not imitators of anything this world has to offer. This type of life is not something you learn at college, or you see on the street, or you study about at home. A Jesus-filled life happens because of your relationship with Jesus. He directs your heart, your ways, your thoughts and your inner person, and from this you express yourself to others. How are you doing on that friend? 

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for Your timely reminders on how we are to worship You and to also be conscious about how we represent You in our daily lives. Lord, I believe that if You’re in us, then You will come out of us through our speech, our actions, our desire to win the lost and our care and concern for others. Please work in our lives today dear Lord, and may we do our part in offering ourselves as living sacrifices for Your glory, 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 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 to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to 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!

 

But Then God…

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Galatians 1:15-17 (TPT)

TEXT:  15 But then God called me by his grace; and in love, he chose me from my birth to be his. 16 God’s grace unveiled his Son in me so that I would proclaim him to the non-Jewish people of the world. After I had this encounter I kept it a secret for some time, sharing it with no one. 17 And I chose not to run to Jerusalem to try to impress those who had become apostles before me. Instead, I went away into the Arabian Desert for a season until I returned to Damascus, where I had first encountered Jesus.

OBSERVATION:   Much like we should do at every possible opportunity, Paul shared with the Galatians his testimony. An opportunity where you talk about where your life was headed before you met Jesus, then the experience with Jesus that made a difference in your life, and how your life was then changed when Jesus became a vital part of your life. This really opens the door of transparency in the eyes of those to whom you are mingling with, ministering to or praying for. Let’s look into this more deeply….

APPLICATION:   Have you ever stop and wondered how easy it would be for you to change your life, if only you had been born into the circumstances of your pastor, or perhaps another church leader who shared their testimony? Have you ever felt so convicted of your sin, yet thought about your home life growing up, or even your married life, and convinced yourself that this Jesus that you’ve heard people talk about surely couldn’t be the Savior for people like you? I thought you may have given that some consideration, because at one time or another we all may have felt that way. But let’s consider the life of Paul for a minute. This man was so strongly in favor of living like his Jewish forefathers, that he felt like that must include ridicule and possibly even harassment and even killing of the Christians, if necessary. So picture for a moment what you may have felt like when Paul walked into the town that you once felt was safe, secure and possibly even ‘Christian’. Now fast forward to a period five years later, and you overheard that Paul was coming to visit your town again, but this time he is a very ‘changed’ man. How would you feel? What would convince you that he is a different man? Paul explained that the difference made in his life was all because of Jesus, for He was responsible for a 180 degree turn in his life (a turn in the complete opposite direction). What he (Saul) was once opposing and persecuting and destroying, he (Paul) is now promoting, celebrating and encouraging others to become a part of. How would you describe your conversion to an unbeliever friends? For Jesus to make a vital change in your life and help you make a complete 180 degree turn in your life, He must first be invited into your heart/life, and then given total control to do whatever is necessary to help you live a life totally devoted to Him. Only then can He change those evil thoughts into good ones, those evil desires to kill and destroy, into a life dedicated to Kingdom work. Paul was following in a very destructible way, a sinful direction, BUT JESUS took control and made a total change in his life. Ed was the same way, BUT JESUS make a huge change in my life. What about you friend? No matter how tough things might be for you or how evil you are, my JESUS can make the difference for you also. Please read my Footnote for tips on how to overcome your current circumstances and find hope and everlasting joy! 

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, my Savior and my King, thank You for reaching down in love and accepting my plea for salvation, in spite of the life that I used to live. I often think of the song, ‘I though so unworthy, still I’m a child of the King..’. But today I come before You Master, to have Your perfect will in the lives of my readers, my family and my friends that have not yet accepted You as Lord. Busy though they may be going about their daily lives, I sincerely pray that You, dear Jesus would melt their stubborn hearts and draw them unto Yourself. May this be the day of salvation for many who reads this devotional today, I pray. To those who may read this and already know Jesus as Lord, may I encourage you to send this to at least 3 friends and pray earnestly for their salvation today? May God’s work be done today because you gave of your time and effort, 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 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 to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to 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!

 

Oh To Be Like Jesus!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 13:11-12 (TPT)

TEXT:  11 ….. beloved friends, be cheerful! Repair whatever is broken among you, as your hearts are being knit together in perfect unity. Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you. 12 Greet and embrace one another with the sacred kiss.

OBSERVATION:   Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters in between trips to them, just to encourage the converts there and help them stay in tuned with Jesus, their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of one of his letters, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.  

APPLICATION:   In earlier times of our lives, there were days, and sometimes weeks of revival services and/or evangelistic services in some churches, where there was a strong emphasis on reviving the saints and evangelizing the lost of the community. Because of the strong emphasis on prayer leading up to and during the times of these special services, there was usually a very strong presence of the Holy Spirit and many lives were impacted. Often at the end of the services, there was a sense of sadness to see the services end, so at the parting service there would be very similar emotions, and challenges offered like these that Paul shared with his followers. Why is this? I believe that the answer is summed up in a phrase that I heard an old pastor say: “because, as Christians, we tend to leak!” Friends, it is very challenging to keep a good healthy church surviving as such, for there are many personalities working together – or at times against one another. There are so many who feel like they have all the right answers and therefore they should be the boss in most areas of the church. There are so many with chips on their shoulder, and if you only look at them sideways they become very upset and threaten to leave, because they figured out exactly what that look meant! Aren’t most of these things very, very silly? Think about the One whom we endeavor to exemplify. Jesus came into an imperfect world, as the perfect Son of God, filled with Godly wisdom and love for everyone as only God Himself could do. Yet He taught among the best and the worst. He healed those that we may have considered ‘worthy’ and some whom we never would have given a dime to. He ate with sinners, and He chose some to follow Him that many would have turned their noses at. However, for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord, we tack onto that unity with Christ, that we want to be just like Him. Why then do we tend to be so much unlike Him in so many ways? Are we still that needy, or is it that we have not totally turned our heads to our earthly master yet? In verse 11 of today’s Scripture, Paul warns us that we should repair whatever is broken among us. I believe this starts with our relationship with our Lord, for if we have a healthy relationship with Him, He will direct our paths, if we let Him, and that includes relationships with one another. Friends, here’s how important I believe this is: If we expect to be instrumental in our family and friends’ lives, to encourage them into a relationship with our Lord, then we must be living like Jesus. We could ‘tell’ them all we want, but unless they see it evident in our lives, they won’t listen to, or follow us. How much is a soul worth to you? There is absolutely nothing more important to me than to see my family and friends make a decision to follow Christ. When they, and me, leave this world, I want us all to be ready to meet Jesus in the air! I hope that you feel the same way!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You more today than ever before. I believe that Paul realized how much impact Satan was having on Your children in his day, and I’m sure Satan is still impacting the lives of our people today. Lord, I know that You are such a strong and awesome God and that there is nothing that You can’t handle, so I beg You to work miracles in the lives of Your children – embolden us to be more like you in our character, or words and our actions. Humble the hearts of the proud into total surrender to You. I know that we don’t have a perfect world, but I am convinced that we have a perfect God, so I beg with You to work on us imperfect beings, all for benefit of Your kingdom, 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 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 to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to 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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