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

Archive for January, 2012

Please God – Live in Harmony

Scripture: ^.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Romans 15:1-2 (NLT)

1 We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves.

2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

Romans 15:5-7 (NLT)

5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.

6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

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

Paul was addressing problems inside the church here. Seeing that we don’t ever have problems like this today, it may seem hard to identify with Paul, right? I don’t think so!! To my non-Christian friends: unfortunately this is not the case even in our churches. When Jesus accepted us as His forgiven children, we became perfect in Him, but unfortunately, as long as we reside here on this old sinful earth and live among the sin, and temptations to sin, we will struggle daily to live perfect lives before a holy God. Please be patient with us, and please align your lives with Christ, and not your struggling friend or neighbor. To my Christian friends: I bolded a few phrases in the verses shared, because I believe that until we practice getting along with our Christian brothers and sisters, we will never be able to influence the lost for Christ. For our example says a ton more than we could ever articulate with our mouths. as fellow Christians, let us build up each other in the Lord. We are beat up on all day long by the world, we truly need the love, encouragement and support of our Christian brothers and sisters who has God’s Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them. This will be just one example of us living in complete harmony with each other, with the end result being very powerful: then we can join together with ONE voice, giving praise and glory to God. Unity among ourselves, Christians, will bring unity and sweet harmony in our worship together to our Holy God. Please remember, God died for us and accepted us, while we were yet sinners, yet when we sought His face and surrendered our lives to Him, He accepted us. To follow Christ means that we must be willing to do just as He did – accept each other, build each other up, live in harmony together through the love that we display to each other.

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

Father, this becomes such a challenge for us, especially when we notice that others are not as perfect as we are! Please open our eyes so that we can be reminded again and again that You are the only perfect one. Often when we point a finger at the faults of someone else, we literally and very honestly have four pointing back at us. Please help us to learn to take the ‘board’ out of our own eye before we make any attempt to take the ‘spec’ out of our neighbor’s eye. Keeping our eyes fixed on You will help us to honestly deal with our unworthiness and our frail attempts at perfection, therefore having an impact on us looking down our noses at anyone else. You alone are God. Please help us never to attempt to take on Your role, but to do as Paul taught in this chapter this morning. Self-examination and correction will often help us to fix the problems/faults we see in others!

 

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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Tailored Justice?

Scripture: Job 31-34.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Job 34:33 (NLT)

33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands? But you have rejected him! The choice is yours, not mine. Go ahead, share your wisdom with us.

Job 34:36-37 (NLT)

36
Job, you deserve the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked.

37
For you have added rebellion to your sin; you show no respect, and you speak many angry words against God.”

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

A point that became very evident to me as I read through these chapters this morning in Elihu response to Job’s ranting and raving. From the surface we can identify with how Job must have felt and his response for losing everything, including what appeared to him, even the presence, comfort and confidence of feeling like God was there with him. As Christians, we must be careful not to get like Job, where we feel we are being punished by God, and it bothers us because we can’t recall where we may have sinned against Him. In verse 33 I am reminded that I cannot coach God on how to punish me, for He alone is God, and He will not tailor His justice to my demands. I must be very careful to praise God in the good times, and especially during those times that I feel I am being unfairly treated, or punished by Him. I must remember that God is still God, and His love never fails. I love that song by Casting Crowns, “I will Praise You in the Storm“, for it is those times that I especially need to praise my Lord for loving me enough to discipline me. As I complete my reading of the book of Job, I am reminded that it is not up to the clay to tell the potter how it wants to be molded. I must therefore truly trust God and His rule over my life, through the good times and the bad. On the mountaintop and in the valley, God is in control and looking out for my good! Praise be to God!

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

Father I thank You for the many times that it has been so evident that You are right there with me, protecting me, loving me and showing Your favor to me in so many ways. Thank You! I ask for Your forgiveness though for those times when I felt like the whole world was against me and from every appearance, I was on an island by myself. I am reminded that Your love and Your mercy endures forever and that You will correct as necessary and that I will be molded by both the good times and the times when it feels like I am doing life all by myself. Please remind me to stay focused on You in every phase of life and through every circumstance. Please especially give me strength to praise You in the storms of life, for it is especially then that I need Your favor, strength, wisdom and constant reminder of Your love. A couple of old hymns come to mind: “I Need Thee Every Hour”; and “Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior”.

 

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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Doing What Is Right

Scripture: Romans 14.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Romans 14:23 (NLT)

23 But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

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

I believe it is evident that in this chapter Paul was addressing some of the same challenges and attitudes that Christians find themselves in today, and because of these arguments between believers, we leave non-Christians frustrated, confused, and in a state of not wanting to be a part of the internal tug-of-war. This is so unfortunate, for who are we to say that one denomination of people is right and another is wrong, just because of what they believe and practice. In fact in verse 4, Paul reminds the Romans and us that we are all responsible to the Lord for what we each believe and practice. Now, based on all that I have read about Paul, I believe that we should never jump to a conclusion that he is saying that we can do everything our sinful bodies want to and everything will be alright between us and God. For I believe that Paul, has clearly explained in his books how one should come to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and develop a personal relationship with Him. Then, just as we would strive to please our spouses by what we know they like and desire, then similarly, we will strive to build our relationship with Christ, by reading His Word and doing those things that we know will please Him. Therefore I believe that when we do the things that we know is right (according to what we have studied in God’s Word), then we are not sinning. Friends, another way to help you understand what the Word says, is by attending a Bible believing/teaching/preaching/practicing church of your choice. Please don’t do so with the preconceived idea that you will find perfect people there, for only God is perfect, but hopefully you will find others like yourself, hungry to learn about what God expects from us as His followers. If you would like help locating a church like this in your area, please contact me through the email address below, and I will do all within my power to help you.

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

Father God, we do such an awful job of representing You fully and honestly. Please help me to change that, for those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, need to see more of You in each of us that say we are Your child. Just like the situation Paul addressed in Romans 14, we too get off track and start looking into the lives of other believers and judging how wrong they are compared to us. This is so, so petty, and so off track compared to what we should be doing in encouraging and lifting each other up as we walk through the temptations, struggles and challenges of this sinful world. Please help us to be so centered on Your business and our calling to win the lost, that we would welcome the efforts of others who are like minded, but yet may be finding others ways in which to do the same work. Please speak to the hearts of those reading this that may have been thrown off their walk because of the unfortunate actions of Your followers. Please help them to see that we have flaws just like non-Christians, but a heart centered on knowing more about You and representing You better each and every 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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True Wisdom is…

Scripture: Job 28.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Job 28:23-24 (NLT)

23 “God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found,

24 for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens.

Job 28:28 (NLT)

28 And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.'”

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

Job is a marvel, in that he went through the ringer and yet he is able to still stand and recognize the Almighty and His awesome power over this world and of life itself. I know that we often wish we had more wisdom so that we could better handle certain circumstances, but friend I believe that God provides adequate wisdom to us already. I believe that any inadequacies we may fell in the area of wisdom, is a strong indicator that it is a right time to surrender our will to God and allow His mighty hand to work in our situation. We are dependent on Him and we must therefore look to Him in all things. Unfortunately we often wait until we have exhausted all personal efforts before surrendering to God and seeking His guidance and wisdom. When we consider that He is our Alpha, our Omega, our Designer, our Master and our Lord, we must be obedient and look to Him in ALL things at ALL times. Let’s not wait until we have tried everything humanly possible, screwed things up, then surrender the situation to God. Let’s approach Him in all our circumstances. Let’s give God control of our decisions each and every morning and allow Him to direct our paths each day. His wisdom is the ultimate wisdom. One that considers everything in the scenarios that we find ourselves in.

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

Father I surrender my day to You. I surrender my decisions to You today. You are wisdom and as reminded in verse 24 above, You see everything under the heavens, so You know exactly how every decision will effect everything today. Please direct my paths so that I will not mess things up, but rather allow You to be glorified because of decisions made in and through me this day by 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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Clothe yourself with the presence of Jesus!

Scripture: Romans 13.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Romans 13:11-14 (NLT)

11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.

13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.

14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

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

In the past few devotionals I believe that God has challenged me to think of things that I must do to have a greater influence for Him in my daily walk in 2012. In this passage I believe that God is reminding me how urgent it is for me to straighten things out in my life and, for those of my family and friends that have not yet accepted Jesus, how urgent it is that I work with; pray for; earnestly encourage and example God’s love to them, to help them get their lives in order, as time is running out. When we consider clothing ourselves with the presence of Jesus, I think of us isolating ourselves from the evils of this world and allowing Jesus to consume us, cover us, protect us from the darkness of this world and fill us with His power, His strength and His boldness so that we may live as children of the Master, representing Him in a light that would promote Him and advance the kingdom of God. Bottom line is that we must get our act together, stop pretending and earnestly seek God’s face and His protection so that He may envelope us with everything we need to live holy and godly lives. Secondly, we must remind ourselves that time is quickly running out for us to advance the love and ministry of Jesus to our unbelieving family, friends and coworkers. Now that we have received our marching orders, and shown our priority, we should have a very busy, but fruitful day!

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

Father, we are Yours and I look forward to the day when You will call me home to be in Your very presence. While here on this earth, please help me to stay focused on living a godly and holy life, one that is pleasing to, and honored by You. I have loved ones and friends that have not openly accepted You as Lord of their life yet. Please place one of Your children in their presence today that would encourage them to surrender their life of darkness/sin to You in exchange for a glorious bright life filled with the presence of Jesus. You alone are God, please help us as man to strive to be more like You each and every day, until the day You shall call us home to be with You eternally.

 

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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Know God’s Will For You

Scripture: Romans 12.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

1 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.

2 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.

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

Oh Lord how great You are! Your Word is nothing short of powerful; amazing; unbelievable; mind sobering; encouraging; loving and aimed at making me the kind of person that will represent You perfectly to a lost world. This whole chapter of Romans was so filled with ‘Nuggets’ this morning that I feel like I will bookmark it to read over and over again, especially those times when I feel poorly about myself or feel like I am being picked on by the world. While Jesus loved the world, He didn’t let the world stop His ministry or prevent Him from doing good. Paul reminds us in this chapter, and particularly in the verses chosen, that when sacrificing an animal according to God’s law, a priest would kill the animal, cut it in pieces, and place it on the altar. Sacrifice was important, but even in the Old Testament God made it clear that obedience from the heart was much more important (see 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 40:6; Amos 5:21 -24). God wants us to offer ourselves, not animals, as living sacrifices—daily laying aside our own desires to follow him, putting all our energy and resources at his disposal and trusting him to guide us. We do this out of gratitude that our sins have been forgiven. We do this in response to God’s perfect will for our lives.

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

Dear Jesus, I am reminded this morning of Your powerful Word, for I found so many truths contained therein that I must apply to my heart today. If I am to truly be Your messenger, Your representative, Your encourager to others, then I will have to do more than just what meets the eye, but I must open my heart to Your will and surrender my life whole heartedly, knowing that You will only accept a pure and holy heart, not one that will easily fly off the handle when provoked by evil, or tempted by Satan. I pray that You will tender my heart to truly be transformed by You, used by You and available to You. Please forgive me for those times that I have allowed self to get in the way, and please give me Your strength to still represent You well, even at those times when I am persecuted for doing what I thought was good. May You look at my life this day and find it good and pleasing and perfect, even as You are good and pleasing and perfect.

 

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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Make a Difference in 2012!

Scripture: Job 21-22.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Job 22:21-23 (NLT)

21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.

22 Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart.

23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life.

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

Job had gone through an awful lot and was convinced that God had turned away from him. There were a few friends that stood by him and tried to comfort him and give him direction. In this piece of advice given to Job, I found a ‘Nugget’ that I believe will serve us well as we enter into the unknown and possible challenges of 2012. For if we submit our lives to God, yes, when we submit our will and our challenges to God, we will have peace and things will go well for us. We should read God’s Word, and listen to His teachings at our home churches, and store these words in our heart. Friends, we store them so that we could bring them back to remembrance when, and as needed. Our strength comes from the Lord, and since He is Love, we know that He will look out for our very best interest. For those who have accepted Christ, but have drifted away, in verse 23 you are encouraged to return to your relationship with God and be restored in that relationship. Clean up your life and live so that the world will see that the Christ that you speak about, actually resides in you and affects your every word and action. Entering 2012 with God as our Guide, Protector, Deliverer and Friend could make a world of difference for us.

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

Father God, You are awesome and the love that You have for us is way beyond anything we could imagine or possibly understand. For we are unworthy of such love and could not possibly warrant the sacrifice You made at Calvary. Please forgive me of my sin, my shortcomings, my inadequacies and my pride. I pray that You will empower me each day to surrender myself to You and submit my life to You afresh so that I will consistently experience Your peace. Thank You for loving me so much to do this. Please touch the lives of my friends that may read this devotional so that they too may be impacted by this ‘Nugget’ from Your Word just as I was.

 

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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