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

Archive for November, 2010

The Test of Our Love to God

SCRIPTURE

Studied:

Here’s How To Know the ‘Real Thing’!

SCRIPTURE

Studied:

How to Receive from God Whatever You Request of Him!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 3 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 3:21-22 ~ Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
(NLT)

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

John had just shared how important it is that we not be selfish. That as God has blessed so wonderfully, we ought to also bless others, otherwise we may end up with a guilty conscience and even realize that may not even belong to Christ as we thought we did. On the contrary, if we have no guilt about such things, we can come to God in confidence and receive whatever we should ask for, because of our obedience. The trouble I see here is that in, and of our own selves we may feel convinced that we have nothing to be guilty of, but when we dig into the Word and actually hear from God, our shortcomings will quickly become evident. Friends, we needn’t fool ourselves. The plumb line is God’s Word, not for us to look at ourselves and determine if we are good enough. God is our judge, let’s let Him always have control and show us the way that is pleasing to Him. Receiving from God whatever we should ask of Him is the ultimate experience we could ever expect of God. Let’s do our part and keep ourselves clear of all guilt and pride. Let’s give God the controls to our lives then watch Him respond and use us in such mighty ways that others will see and believe, and also accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

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

Thank You for providing the way to salvation, dear God. Thank You for working so wonderfully in my life. Please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and allow Your Word to wash me daily so that I may always be clear of guilt and always free to come before You receiving anything that I may ask of You unselfishly. You are my God. Thank You for looking through my sin, prompting me to surrender my life over to You, accepting me as a born again child, and for directing my path each and every day.

The Way to Not Sin

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 3 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 3:2-6 ~ …. we do know that when Christ returns, we will be like him, because we will see him as he truly is. This hope makes us keep ourselves holy, just as Christ is holy. Everyone who sins breaks God’s law, because sin is the same as breaking God’s law. You know that Christ came to take away sins. He isn’t sinful, and people who stay one in their hearts with him won’t keep on sinning. If they do keep on sinning, they don’t know Christ, and they have never seen him. (CEV)

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

I often hear Christians acknowledge that they have sinned, but then they go on to say something like: “but God will forgive me”, or something like: “well as long as I remain on this earth I know that I will sin, so why be concerned about it”. However, this passage brought a whole new meaning to this for me this morning, as I was reminded of two things that John teaches in verse 6 that address the two responses above:

  1. If we stay one with Christ in our hearts (if we live and remain in communion with, and obedience to, God) we will not, deliberately, knowingly and habitually keep on sinning;
  2. If we keep on sinning then we have either: not seen, recognized, perceived or understood Him, or we have not had an experiential acquaintance with Him.

Friends, the positive spin on this is that as we accept Jesus as our Savior, and as we commit our lives to Him – learn His Word and all that it tells us about how Jesus wants us to live, then as we aspire to live like Him, the Word says in verse 6 that “Anyone who continues to live in Him will not sin”.

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

Father You know how challenging it is for us to live in this life of temptation, stress and continuous opposition to You and Your teachings. Thank You for this reminder today that I must put these temporal things aside and keep my mind focused on You and the relationship that I have with You as my Lord and Savior. Your Word declares that as I stay one with You in my heart, I will not sin. It doesn’t say that I will no longer be tempted or challenged by those around me. Therefore, please help me daily to keep my relationship with You in check so that I will not sin – despite the things and people that may also be tugging away at me. I want to be an overcomer, and always victorious over sin so that my relationship with You may never be affected.

So that you may Know

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 2 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 2:27-29 ~ But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]. And now, little children, abide (live, remain permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming. If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him God].
(AMP)

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

I am convinced that God’s Word is very complete and contains answers to all of our questions. I am also convinced that we have a responsibility and are accountable for validating anything that we allow into our minds, and yes this includes what the preacher/pastor/priest/teacher has to say when we attend church. These verses make it very clear how we can know, and be assured whether we are hearing the truth of God. There are so many false teachers around today that we must be responsible Christians and validate what we hear, by referencing and aligning the Word of God. God will hold us accountable for what we learn of Him, and we will not have the opportunity to pass the buck and blame anyone else. I am wholeheartedly in favor of preaching and teaching, but I also know that the ones sharing are mere human and often include a lot of personal understanding and thoughts. The one true source is the Word of God. In verses 28 and 29 we are also being reminded that we are to live our lives in such conformity with God’s Word that we will not hang our heads in shame when Jesus is made visible to us, but that He will find us righteous and conforming to His will. Friend, we are not only responsible for living a righteous life before our brothers and sisters, but also in a manner pleasing to God. By this everyone will know that we are born of God!

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

Father, I am concerned how many go on living in a manner pleasing to the church, pleasing to the pastor and perhaps please to a brother or sister, but yet still not right with God. You know our deepest thoughts and it is Your will that I desire to follow. Please redirect me when I am tempted to stray or not follow Your will closely. I want to be recognized by You as following Your will and living in accordance with Your Holy Word. I know that only what’s done for You will last, so please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You, and may my actions and interaction with others be pleasing in Your sight. May they know and be convinced of the One that I serve and follow, so that You may receive honor and glory, and may they be encouraged to do the same.

Please God and Live Forever!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 2 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 2:15-17 ~ Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (NLT)

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

I believe that we can see from the beginning of this short passage that we are easily pulled into thinking and feeling very much like the world, as John warns. However, I believe that we can easily see how temporal this is, and how easily we are brushed aside by the world when they are finished with us. Alternatively, I am overjoyed to see where God is always happy and proud of His children, no matter what status in life we have attained, or age, or physical condition or otherwise different to what we see in others around us. We are His chosen people, we were created by Him, He sent His Son to die on a cruel cross so that we may have eternal life with Him, and none of this was done because we were good enough or young enough, or rich enough, or achieving as much as some, it was simply because He loved us so much, just because of whose we are. As we (saints of God) strive daily to do what God desires of us, and in accordance with His Word and His will, we are promised that we will one day be with Him in glory, because we will live forever! What a wonderful day that will be brother, sister, friend! Let us seek His face daily, let us do His will while in this world. I am reminded of that old hymn, “

Is it evident to whom you belong?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 2 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 2:3-6 ~ And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. If someone says, “I belong to God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth. But those who obey God’s word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did. (NLT)

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

John knew that there would be times that we doubt our salvation, as did the saints of his day. Therefore he told us a way that we could be sure that we belong to Him. Friends there is no way that we could belong to Christ and go on living like the devil. Compare this to being married. If we are happily married and trying to live a life totally dedicated to our spouse, we will not wander around or hang out with our old buddies that led us into the places where we met members of the opposite sex. So it is with our relationship with God, we will want to obey all that He tells us – because we know that it is for our own good, and it leads us to an even closer relationship with Him. How then will we learn of His commands? Yes, I know that anyone reading this devotional could also read the Bible, but friends I know from experience that it helps to be around like minded people – we call it “our church family”! Furthermore, I have found that God will not only try and get His point across to me in His Word, but also through other believers and through the preaching or teaching of His Word. He also uses some of these methods to confirm what I have read in His Word. In a marriage we talk to our spouse and they talk back to us. In our Christian relationship, we talk to God in prayer, and He talks back to us through His Word, through preaching, teaching and other believers. How has your communication levels been with God? Are you missing any of these communication links? To know and love Christ, we will want to obey His commands and follow His will for our lives. Are there things in your life that do not line up with God’s Word? In verse 5 the Word says that if we live in Christ we will live as He did! That’s a tall order, but it’s the Word. It seems impossible to us, but that’s when we should realize that God expects us to lean on His strength and not ours alone, so that we may live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him.

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

Father, I believe that as long as we live on this earth we will find that old Satan tugs away at us each and every day, causing us to stumble. This is our clue that we need to depend on You and seek Your help, Your guidance, Your strength and Your wisdom to live our lives like You intended – sold out to You. Please give me a fresh dose of Your love and direction this day so that I may live according to the path exampled by You. May there be no doubt to whom I belong today. May You rule and reign in and through me today, is my sincere prayer.

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