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

Archive for October, 2011

How To Seek God’s Blessing

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

2 Chronicles 7:12-15 (NLT)

12 Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. 13 At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.

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

In chapter 6, Solomon asked God to make provisions for the people when they sinned. God answered with four conditions for forgiveness: (1) Humble yourself by admitting your sins, (2) pray to God, asking for forgiveness, (3) seek God continually, and (4) turn from sinful behavior. True repentance is more than talk—it is changed behavior. Whether we sin individually, as a group, or as a nation, following these steps will lead to forgiveness. God will answer our earnest prayers. I believe that God placed His Word for even us today to understand and apply to our lives. I believe that my God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore I believe that if He made provisions for the Israelites to know how and when to go about receiving a blessing from Him, and He placed this in print for His believers of today to read, understand and follow, then I believe that we could expect the same action form God even today. In other words, I believe that in order for us to receive forgiveness and restoration of God’s blessings, we must follow the four conditions outlined in these verses. To prove my belief in this I did a ‘what if’ scenario, by placing the word ‘don’t’ at the beginning of each of the four conditions individually to see if it would still make sense for God to still bless us, and the experiment made no sense at all. Friends, we are either totally dedicated to God or not. Partial dedication, or a dedication of convenience, is very easily identified as ‘not’ being dedicated to God. I don’t know about you friend, but I want to know that I am totally in God’s will and totally open to His blessings, wisdom and direction each and every day. After meditating on this passage, I believe that in order for me to expect this kind of response from God, I must therefore (1) humble myself before the holy and righteous God that I serve, (2) be in constant prayer before Him and seek His ongoing forgiveness of my weak and frivolous failures, (3) do this continuously as each and every day presents its own challenges and increased pressure on me to sin, and (4) learn to turn away from sin, and not just do it with expectation that God will forgive me anyway. If He teaches me how to live righteous and in obedience to His will and example, then I must follow that example.

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

Father, I have heard verse 14 quoted so many times, yet as I meditated on it this morning You revealed a very personal application to me. You also helped me to understand the reason why, in the life of our church, that we struggle and why it seems like Your hand has been lifted from us. You have given me the conditions of Your blessings. You have given our churches the conditions to follow so that we may receive a touch from You. (Do this….. then…..) Therefore, I believe that way too often we seek Your blessings without ever stopping to evaluate what might be blocking that blessing. I am reminded that I must clean up my act, my life, my ways so that You can bless me. I must be instrumental as a leader in my church to look for ways (seek Your face) that we may be more representative of Your love in our community, so that we might be more of a ‘lighthouse’ that represents You, in our community, rather than a place of division, hatred, impurity and sin, so that You may freely bless Your work through us and reach our community for the Lord. We seek Your blessings dear Lord, please help us to clean up any unrighteousness that may block or prevent Your blessings.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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He Knows Our Heart

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 6.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

2 Chronicles 6:28-31 (NLT)

28 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns — whatever disaster or disease there is — 29 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple, 30 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart.
31 Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.

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

Solomon had just opened the temple he had built and had the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant relocated to the temple. He stepped onto a 4ft high platform he had built in the temple, and knelt before God in the presence of his people and prayed with his arms lifted towards heaven. The verses above were part of his prayer, and really caught my attention. Although Solomon had asked God to pretty much listen to the prayers of his people as they came into the temple and prayed, but then in verse 30 he added “Give Your people what their actions deserve, for You alone know each human heart”. Wow! What if God really did that today? How much longer would we live? Yet knowing that He could very well do just that, we go on living any way we want in the very presence of this awesome God that we serve. You know, I believe that a very sobering thought is that yes, God loves us immensely, but I also believe that He really loves us too much to see us plundering around in sin, when we claim to be His and trying to live a life exemplifying Him. How long will He be patient and forgiving of us? How long will He listen to our moaning and complaining when we are such a blessed people? How long will He listen to our double talk, where we claim to be His yet living like the world? What if God truly said, OK that’s enough, I will give them what they deserve?

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

Father I believe with all my heart that You love me beyond my capacity to understand. Thank You for being so patient with me. Thank You for sacrificing Your one and only Son, so that I might look forward to, and anticipate with great joy, the day that I will unite with You in heaven. Please forgive me where I have failed to represent You in a way pleasing to You. Thank You for the opportunities You send my way where I can witness to those that need to know You personally. May I always be true to my commitment to You and to my service to You. May others truly see Jesus in my actions and in my talk, and because of that may I influence them to know the Savior that I love and adore. You know my heart oh Lord, may my actions always reflect my heart and may it all be pleasing to You.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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God’s Message is For ALL

Scripture: Acts 15.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Acts 15:7-11 (NLT)

7 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

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

I believe that much too often we allow our own self judgment to prevent us from witnessing, or preaching, to certain folk because, from our perspective, God would never save them. During this past week when I was really feeling down about how awful things are, I was reminded that had it not been for the grace of God, would any of us have been saved? I love one of our newer contemporary songs that speak of all the people that Jesus loves anyway. With this in mind, why then do we judge who we feel God can save? Wait a minute, you might say, because you never judge anyone. Friends, when we look at others and feel intimidated to witness to them, we are placing them out of the realm of God’s ability to actually touch their hard hearts and save them. When we refuse to witness to certain sections of town, because of all that we have heard about from the newspapers with crime and sinful acts, I believe that we are really saying “I hear You telling me to go there God, but ……”. Let’s remember that the Jews thought that salvation, or God’s favor was really just for the Jews, so I’m sure that when Peter felt such a burden to preach to the Gentiles, his own people must have thought that he was out of his mind. Others will feel like we have lost our minds also when we listen to the voice of God to preach to, witness to, and love all the people groups of our communities. When God orders His church to witness to those in need of Him, I don’t believe that there is any respecter of persons. As verse 11 says, we are all undeserving of God’s grace; however we ALL can be saved in just the same way, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let’s lift the barriers friends, and lets preach the work of Christ to our world, yes even to those that we have always felt are impossible to reach because of walls that we have built in our minds.

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

Father, with a very important week ahead of me in the life of our church and many churches in this community reaching out to the people groups of Avon Park, I believe that You have placed this passage before me this morning to really meditate on and be reminded of that as we participate in Noah’s Fall Festival, that there is no respecter of persons in Your eyes, so there should be none in my eyes. Help me that I may love those that I come into contact with at the festival and that I may openly witness to them of Your love and mercy that is available to them. May they learn that they too can be saved and live in harmony with the God of our universe? Your love reaches out to the world. May I be a true example of You and do the same.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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A Prayer for Our Ancestors

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 29.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Chronicles 29:18-19 (NLT)

18 “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes.

19 Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”

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

It touched my heart this morning to read chapters 28 and 29 and to hear the sincere heart of David as he prayed to God for his people and for his son who was inheriting his throne. As my prayer this morning, I want to substitute and add to the verses above so that it may reflect my current circumstance. Won’t you do the same as you meditate on this today? We need God more today in our lives than ever before, and we should have a desire to see God in our children, our extended family, our church family, our work family and our community. I believe that God will still work through His people even today, but we must turn from our sinful ways, seek Him, serve Him, love Him, obey Him and follow Him in all aspects of our lives. Friends, this requires much prayer, self-sacrifice and self-dedication, but we know the recipe, now let’s do it!

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

O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Samuel (my grandfather) and Cloide (my precious dad), make your people (my family, my extended family, my work family, my church family, my community of Avon Park, my state of Florida and all of its government leaders, and my country), always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes.

Give my daughter the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to live a life exemplifying You in every way so that You may not only bless her, but also bless those whose lives she touches. May I always be an example before her. Father, we need You more today than ever before. Teach us Your ways each and every day, and give us strength, wisdom and knowledge to follow Your way in all that we do and say. May we truly be ‘Christ-like’ in all of our ways.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Evangelism – It’s on each Job Description

Scripture: Acts 14.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Acts 14:1-4 (NLT)

1 The same thing happened in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. 2 Some of the Jews, however, spurned God’s message and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas. 3 But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.

4 But the people of the town were divided in their opinion about them. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.

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

I believe that the same thing that happened in this passage still occurs today in our churches:

  1. There are still good preachers and evangelists that preach the Word of God with great power and many are saved;
  2. There are still Christians and non-believers that distract the spreading of the gospel because of jealousy and/or risk of losing church members to another following;
  3. God will honor our determination to serve Him, even through opposition and diversity;
  4. We probably will not win them all, but some will discern the handiwork of God and will surrender their lives to Him through our persistent hard work and determination to do God’s will.

I have often thought about what might be said about our era and how our work may compare to that of Bible characters/missionaries/evangelists. I know that in some parts of the world, Christians are still being persecuted and even killed, but we know little about this in the USA. I wonder how we would hold up under such persecution? Thank God for warriors like Paul and Barnabas, and thank God for the soldiers of the cross today. May we all be found pleasing in God’s sight for carrying on His work in our parts of the world, whether under persecution or not.

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

Father You know about those of us that face persecution in one form or another as we seek to do Your will each day. You know the needs that still exist in our own backyards and the effort we put into evangelizing the lost. I was disturbed to hear last night that only about 10% of our towns are churched. This means that less than that are actually saved. This means that we have an awesome mission field right in our own backyards. Please help us to be busy about Your work of winning the lost. Please encourage Your church to be the church and extend Your plan of salvation to all. It would be awesome to see the statistics in reverse, only 10% unsaved! Please use us to fulfill Your desire of our town, beginning with using me today, is my prayer.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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The Man of God

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 23.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Chronicles 23:13-14 (NLT)

13 The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were set apart to dedicate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s presence, to serve the Lord, and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.

14 As for Moses, the man of God, his sons were included with the tribe of Levi.

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

Wow! What will we be referred to at the end of our time, or what might we be referred to if someone was writing a story about us today? I have heard of people being referred to in very derogatory ways, and I have heard of people being referred to as kind, or rich, or poor, or perhaps their position titles such as Reverend, or Doctor or Chaplin and I have heard some folk refer to ministers as ‘The Man of God’, but I believe that it was used more in a sense of them being an advocate for God or the message deliverer for God. I believe that the title attributed to Moses was more from a sense of him being a man who reflects God’s presence, priorities and power. Can we be referred to in that light today? We should be, if we are sold out in our commitment to God and seeking to serve Him with all our soul, heart and mind. If on the inside we are so filled with God, it will surely spill to the outside where everyone else will recognize us as a man, or woman of God. Oh that more of us can be seen as children of God today, perhaps we can have a greater impact in our world for God.

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

Lord You know my heart. You know my shortcomings and failures, but You also know that my every aim and purpose is to be more like You every day. While I don’t need to impress anyone in this world, I want my character to reflect Yours in such a way that those that I come into contact with will want to know more about where my stimulation comes from, and therefore give me opportunity to be a more effective witness for You. I believe that others will read this today that claims You as their Savior. May they too make a similar commitment to You. Some will read this today who may not know where I am coming from with these statements, Father, I pray that Your Holy Spirit will enlighten them and send a ‘Moses’ in their presence so that they may see Your glory and want in on all You have to offer. You are my mentor Lord, please help me to seek after doing Your will and imitate Your actions in every way today.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Who’s Affected by Your Sin?

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 21.       

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Chronicles 21:7-14 (NLT)

7 God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it.

8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.”

9 Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. This was the message: 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.'”

11 So Gad came to David and said, “These are the choices the Lord has given you. 12 You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”

13 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”

14 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 people died as a result.

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

The effect that our sin could have on others could be extreme. I had difficulty seeing what David’s sin was in this passage, because there had been a census taken before this one. However the difference is that the first one was ordered by God, and this one was ordered by David so that he could take pride in the strength of his army. In determining his military strength, he was beginning to trust more in his military power than on God. His idea seemed innocent enough, but right away his army leader knew what was on David’s mind, because in verse 3 he questioned David’s command, and God knew David’s intent because He ordered punishment for David. What hit me hard about this little story is that 70,000 Israelites lost their lives over David’s selfishness and sin. Do we ever stop to think about who might be affected by our deliberate sin? Who might get hurt because of our sin? Who might get turned off Christianity because of our sin? How God’s heart must hurt when, knowing how much He did in providing a means for us to live pure and holy in His sight, yet to see us turn from Him and deliberately sin before Him? I don’t know about anyone else, but it would kill me to know that someone else would suffer because of my selfish unconcern and disregard for righteousness before a holy God. Oh that we would remember this when we are tempted, and may this help us to choose the way that is pleasing to God. Search my heart oh God and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me into the path of righteousness today.

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

Father You know my heart, and You even know my inner most thoughts. Please steer me in the way of righteousness today. While I want others to see You in everything I say and do today, I want You to even know my thoughts and direct me away from evil thoughts or intentions. Please work through me today so that others may see Jesus in purest form. Please forgive me for those times that I have been less than pure in Your sight. Thank You for loving me unconditionally and being patient with me, now may You be honored in everything You see in me. Please also give my friends that may read this devotional today the same desire so that You may also have clean and pure vessels to work in and through to reach the lost friends that surround them each day.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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