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

Archive for October, 2010

Are You Listening?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Acts 26 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Acts 26:9-16 ~ I once thought that I should do everything I could to oppose Jesus from Nazareth. I did this first in Jerusalem, and with the authority of the chief priests I put many of God’s people in jail. I even voted for them to be killed. I often had them punished in our meeting places, and I tried to make them give up their faith. In fact, I was so angry with them, that I went looking for them in foreign cities. King Agrippa, one day I was on my way to Damascus with the authority and permission of the chief priests. About noon I saw a light brighter than the sun. It flashed from heaven on me and on everyone traveling with me. We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It’s foolish to fight against me!” “Who are you?” I asked. Then the Lord answered, “I am Jesus! I am the one you are so cruel to. Now stand up. I have appeared to you, because I have chosen you to be my servant. You are to tell others what you have learned about me and what I will show you later.”

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I have chosen to share more verses than I usually do, because it tells such a story about how God has such an impact on a person’s life. I believe that some who may read this today might be much like Paul, and are fighting against God’s work. No I don’t think for a moment that any are out there killing Christians. But brother, or sister, I want you to know today that when you keep fighting against God and His will for your life, you are much like Paul. How long will you go on sinning? How long will you go on living a life opposed to that taught by God? How long will you live a life opposed to all that you were ever taught, and so opposite to all that your friends and family are telling you that they are praying for you to surrender to? Please take a moment to realize that God loves you so much that He allowed His one and only Son (Jesus) to die on a cruel cross in front of many people, as a gift to you. His sacrifice provides the means for you to turn around from your life of sin, accept Jesus as your Master and Lord, so that you can ultimately be with Him, and all other Christians that you know, at His throne in Glory one day. It took God speaking through a very bright light at noon time to get Paul’s attention. I pray that as you read this devotional today that this will be like that same bright light to you. Although you may question any power that I might have to speak to you, I know that God, through His written Word (as it is written in my Observation) and through His children (and I am a child of the King), is wanting more than anything else to see His children come home – leave your world of sin and opposition to Him and His bride (the church at large), and accept Him as your Lord and Savior, then to live a life dedicated to Him and His mission to reach the world, as He has done in reaching you and I. Are you listening? Are you willing to lay aside your selfish desires, accept Jesus as Lord and live for Him the rest of your life? Please email me back for more information or to pray with you about your decision. Additional biblical help is also available by clicking “

Is Your Christianity Real?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Acts 25; Acts 26 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Acts 25:14-16 ~ I admit that their leaders think that the Lord’s Way which I follow is based on wrong beliefs. But I still worship the same God that my ancestors worshiped. And I believe everything written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets. I am just as sure as these people are that God will raise from death everyone who is good or evil. And because I am sure, I try my best to have a clear conscience in whatever I do for God or for people.

Acts 26:1-3 ~ Agrippa told Paul, “You may now speak for yourself.” Paul stretched out his hand and said: King Agrippa, I am glad for this chance to defend myself before you today on all these charges that my own people have brought against me. You know a lot about our religious customs and the beliefs that divide us. So I ask you to listen patiently to me.

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Paul was a very special man who had a dramatic change in his life after his conversion. Much of the New Testament writings evolve around Paul’s work as a follower of Christ, so one may imagine that he was very prepared to answer appropriately when challenged in the court of his day to defend his religion/beliefs. If we stop and think about it, we are promoting and/or defending our Christianity every day, for some of our friends and coworkers are looking to trip us up to see if we are for real (if we are everything that we claim to be for Christ), some are really curious as to why we act the way we do and make the decisions we do, while others are so determined to test the validity of our faith that they will do all within their power to see if they could tempt us to stray or do those things that they know Christians often stay away from. I am convinced that in and of our own strength, we are very weak and can easily cave in to the temptations and challenges just discussed. However, we serve the master of the universe, the Creator of this world, the King of all kings that ever was, the One who performed and indeed still performs miracle after miracle,

Are You Christian, Enough To Be Found Guilty?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Acts 25; Acts 26 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Acts 25:5-9 ~ This man has been found to be a real pest and troublemaker for Jews all over the world. He is also a leader of a group called Nazarenes. When he tried to disgrace the temple, we arrested him. If you question him, you will find out for yourself that our charges are true. The Jewish crowd spoke up and agreed with what Tertullus had said.

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Paul was taken before the governor, Felix because the Jews wanted to get rid of this thorn in their side. Paul had ‘stepped on their toes’ by his witness and through his preaching of the Gospel. It made me wonder – am I demonstrating enough of Christ in me that others would find sufficient evidence to take me before some figurehead and possibly place charges against me for being a follower/imitator of Christ? I pray daily that I would represent Christ in all that I say or do so that others may see Jesus in me. I wonder how far that effort really goes? This is something that each person will be required to answer for themselves. I don’t believe for a moment that God expects us to have a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, but when our actions reflect the ways of Christ taught to us through God’s Holy Word, and when the tone of our voice and the words that we speak be reflective of the character and love of Christ for His bride – the church (us), then others will see something that they want, or need – something that make them crave after the origin of that attitude. Having said all this, I believe that I should quickly follow this by saying that we should be careful not to lead anyone towards us, but rather towards the cross, towards the only One that can convict them of their sin and save them, so that He could love on them forever – yes, the rest of this life as we know it and throughout eternity. It should be clear to others whose we are! God will do His part to keep us humble, guided by His hand and protected from the enemy, for

Are Others shocked or relieved to know that we are Christians?

SCRIPTURE

Studied:

My Hope Is In You Lord!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Job 17

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Job 17:1-4 ~ My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me. I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me. “You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. You have closed their minds to understanding, but do not let them triumph. (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that often we find ourselves in what we believe to be a vacuum where we feel like there is only us in this world, and definitely only us with the serious problems that we are encountering at the time. However, in reading this passage this morning I am reassured that God’s Word is vital to us in ALL circumstances of our lives, for we can find situations very similar to what we, or friends that we are praying for, are facing today. Once we find those biblical illustrations, we also find God’s answers to those challenging times. In the verses copied here in my ‘Observation’ we can see where Job was very discouraged and feeling like he had been beaten up on by his peers, to the extent that he is now having to share the blame for the condition in which he has found himself, so he blames God. This sounds so much like us today. Let’s pass the blame along, for surely it’s not me that caused my friends to act like my enemies. In fact, we may even go as far as to blame God – for had it not been for our trying to please Him, we would still be on the best side of our friends’ admiration like we had been all along! Job was really distraught here in this chapter, and friends we get very distraught at times also. Bottom line is, those who keep their eye upon heaven as their end, will keep their feet in the paths of religion as their way, whatever difficulties and discouragements they may meet with. Let’s remember that our goal is to be like Christ while here on this earth, and being with Him in Heaven is our ultimate destination. All else we can handle, with God’s help and our determination.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I feel like I become stronger in my faith and understanding of the awesome God that You are, as I face challenges such as Job tells us about in this chapter. Please continue to give me strength, and the wisdom to look beyond my challenges, and full into Your wonderful face, with constant reminders of the ultimate place that You have prepared for me in Heaven, for it is through these type of spiritual eyes that I will gain strength to overcome the struggles and challenges around me today.

Be One Who Shares His/Her Faith

A Quality of a Mature, Reproducing Disciple of Jesus Christ

What am I doing to actively fulfill my life mission of sharing Christ?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Acts 20:24, 1:8, Matt. 18:18–20

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

  1. Acts 20:24 ~ But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
  2. Acts 1:8 ~ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
  3. Matthew 18:18-20 ~ Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven. Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

  1. Each of us are given gifts, and an assignment by God to use those gifts for His glory. Oh that I may be like Paul and dedicate myself so much towards the assignment that God has given to me so that His work may be accomplished through me in my realm of influence. To God be the glory for all that He might accomplish through even me. I know that God don’t need any of us to do His work, but knowing that He placed me here for a purpose, I pray that He could use me constructively so that His kingdom would benefit.
  2. In this verse I can see clearly where the power comes from that will help me to accomplish the work that God has placed me here to do.
  3. These verses are an excellent reminder about how important it is for God’s people to be of one mind and one purpose, both with each other and with God’s Book of Instruction, because we are told that it is important for us to know if those things that we agree on are already approved by Him. Conversely, if we find something unlawful or improper, then there must be evidence in God’s Word that the matter is improper or unlawful in heaven. If followers of the same God and the same Book of Instructions (the Bible) were of the same mind, we would obviously see fewer denominations, fewer arguments over religious things, and a body of believers who are truly on fire for God, winning the lost like never before. Disagreements among us in the church has an unfortunate effect on the lost, as they want to see and be a part of something different to what they are seeing in their corner of the world. They want to see folk who are Christ-like. They want to be a part of a church on fire for God, not busy arguing over every little thing, like so many churches today. Let us be of one mind and one purpose. Get self out of the way and let God rule and win the credit for all that is accomplished!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I thank You for the gifts that You have blessed me with. I know that often I might say that I am of little value to the kingdom, but I am reminded that You have placed me here for a purpose. Please help me to allow Your work to be accomplished through me. Please help me to be a clean vessel through which You can work. Being reminded of the need for unity and oneness in purpose, please help me to do my part in working with other believers so that together we may be an influence to those in need of a Savior, and not a hindrance or a stumbling block. May You receive honor and glory out of all that I may say or do and may the lost see You in all that I might say or do. Please bless my efforts today to be a true and living representative of Yours. Please bless our efforts this week through Noah’s Fall Festival. May there be opportunities for us to witness for You so that others may come to know You as Lord and Savior. May Your kingdom be richer from the results of our efforts this week.

One Who Worships Daily

A Quality of a Mature, Reproducing Disciple of Jesus Christ

How can I surrender my whole heart/life as worship?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Rom. 12:1–2, Psalm 27:6, 95:6–7

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

  1. Romans 12:1-2 ~ And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  2. Psalm 26:6 ~ Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.
  3. Psalm 95:6-7 ~ Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

  1. God showers down such blessings upon us each day, and without reservation for how we may have acted with a brother, or even said to a sister. Therefore Paul is teaching us to give back our whole selves to God, and as we do we truly worship Him through our unselfishness, giving, emptying ourselves of this world and placing those sinful natures and desires at His feet, while seeking to be refilled with His holiness, grace and mercy. As we surrender ourselves wholeheartedly in this way, we learn of God’s will for our life which is ultimately the desire of every Christian.
  2. I believe as Christians we have a hope that in accepting Jesus as Lord, praising His name each and every day and living a life in close relationship to Him, that we would one day be rewarded by the King of kings with a glorious place at His feet together with many others on which we had an influence. Therefore we should dedicate ourselves to exactly that while we still have breath, praising His name each and every day!

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