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

Archive for February, 2012

Actions to Fight Off the Evil One

Scripture: 1st Corinthians 16.

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NLT)

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.

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

As the Corinthians awaited Paul’s next visit, they were directed to:

  1. Be on guard. – They were to be constantly watchful or alert for spiritual enemies that might slip in and threaten to destroy them whether it be divisions, pride, sin, disorder, or erroneous theology;
  2. Stand firm in what they believed – that is, the gospel that they had been taught in the beginning, the gospel that had brought them salvation;
  3. Be courageous – so that they could stand against false teachers, deal with sin in the congregation, and straighten out other problems;
  4. Be strong – with the strength given by the Holy Spirit; and
  5. Do everything with love – because without love, they would be no more than prideful noisemakers.

Today, as we wait for the return of Christ, we should follow the same instructions as given by Paul to the Corinthians. Satan is so very busy and looking for ways to infiltrate and trip up the church of God. Let us do our part to combat this evil one by staying strong in the Lord and staying so close to Him that there will be no room for Satan in our lives and in the life of our churches. God is our source of strength and power. We just need to trust in Him and follow His perfect will for our lives to stay pure in His presence.

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

Father, You know better than we do, how prevalent Satan is in this world and especially how hard he tries to interfere in the lives of Your children and in the life and work of Your church. Thank You for the words given to Paul to share with the church at Corinth, and thanks for placing these words in Your Holy Bible for us to take note of and follow as well. I pray that this will be a special day filled with Your power and grace as You seek to keep Your children from harm and from the vile of Satan. Your grace is sufficient. Thank You Father.

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 Clean Heart and a Loyal Spirit

Scripture: Psalm 51.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Psalm 51:7-12 (NLT)

7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice.

9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.

11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

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

David had sinned terribly in what occurred between he and Bathsheba, so he came humbly before God asking for His forgiveness and seeking His guidance and help to overcome the sin in his life. There is a lot to learn in this Old Testament legend’s example, for often we sin and we feel like we are so far removed from God that He would never hear our prayer, or forgive us, or ever draw us close to Himself again. In studying God’s Word, we cannot find anywhere that God said that His loving arms are not open to receive us when we go before Him for forgiveness. Of course, God is not happy in seeing us continue in our sin, or when we continue sinning and coming back to him time after time for forgiveness. He has given us His book of instructions to follow and consequently lead a life exemplifying Him. When we do that, we can then identify with David in what he prayed in verse 12, we can feel like the joy that we first felt when we accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, has been restored and that a sweet, right spirit is resumed in our relationship with Jesus Christ. There is nothing sweeter friend, than having an honest, open, clean, unadulterated relationship with the Master of this Universe, my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ! Why not place your faith and trust in Him today? He will help you overcome the power of sin in your life.

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

Thank You Father for the joy of Your salvation that is evident in my life today! Thank You for forgiving me of my sin, and thank You for continuing to be patient with me as I journey through this life with constant reminders of the power of sin and the evil one. I know that Your love and Your power over sin is far greater than anything that may possibly come to take me off course, so I place my faith and trust in You and You alone again today, asking that You may renew a clean heart within me, and heart like Yours, strong enough to fight off the obvious forces of Satan. Please give me guidance and strength today to live my life exemplifying You in every way. Others that I come into contact with will need to see Jesus today, may they not be disappointed in seeing You in my life!

 

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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Work enthusiastically for the Lord

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NLT)

57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

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

This whole chapter is Paul’s efforts to explain the resurrection and new life promised to Christians. In these last two verses we are reminded that Jesus gives us victory over sin and death, through His sacrifice on the cross. We are therefore encouraged to be strong and immovable in our faith, as we know the end of the book, praise be to God! Paul also reminds us that all that we do in Jesus’ name while we are alive, must be done knowing that it is for God’s glory, and that one day He will recognize our efforts. We should do all we can knowing that God sees all things and knows all things and that nothing we do today will be in vain. That’s why I believe that it is so important that we do those things of eternal significance and not just things that are pleasing to man. This means that we must do everything in the manner in which Jesus did things, in love, and without expecting praise from man. To God be the glory for the things He has done, and for the things that I might do in His power and for His glory!

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

Father, thank You for all that You have done to give me salvation and peace of mind. Thank You for the sacrifice You made on Calvary. I pray that I might follow Your example very closely and give of myself without any expectation of praise and/or glory from my fellow people. I pray that all that I do might be of eternal significance and pleasing to You. Please provide the direction that I need to do these things. May You receive honor and glory even today in the things that I might do and say.

 

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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Love Endures Through Every Circumstance

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NLT)

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

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

This ‘Love’ chapter is generally read during wedding ceremonies to help a couple understand how important love is. However, Paul actually relayed this message to the Corinthian church to help them understand that they should love each other, and that when they really do love each other, there will be no room for backbiting, no room for jealousy, no room for envy, no room for malice, no room for speaking evil about each other, for with love toward each other, all of these things will become so irrelevant as love never gives up on anyone, it never loses faith in anyone, it is always hopeful and will always hang in there and stick with you through every circumstance right to the end. Friends, I believe that this reminds us that we must return true Christian love, back in the church. For I believe that when we see a lot of the things mentioned above going on, then obviously we must realize that love is missing. We know that God himself is ‘Love’, and if we are to be like Him, then we too must be the image of ‘Love’.

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

Father, I pray that ‘Love’ will return to Your church today. This means that I want ‘Love’ to return as the primary focus and practice of Your people, for we are the church. As ‘Love’ returns and is practiced and taught by each of us, we will see a diminishing of all the other ungodly actions that we do and the ungodly things that we say, for we will strive to live out verse 7.

 

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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Longing for God

Scripture: Psalm 42.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Psalm 42:1-2 (NLT)

1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.

2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

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

As the life of a deer depends upon water, so our lives depend upon God. Those who seek him and long to understand him find eternal life. Feeling separated from God, this psalmist wouldn’t rest until he restored his relationship with God because he knew that his very life depended on it. What a challenge to us today, that in spite of all that may be going on in our lives and everything around us, yet we know of one constant. We know of One that remains true and loyal to us. We are very limited in what we can do in and of our own selves. Let us therefore seek after God, to the extent that we thirst for God. When we realize that only God can satisfy that thirst, then we will truly surrender our lives fully to Him and allow His will to be fulfilled in us. Several passages in the New Testament quote Jesus when He said that He can give us living water, and we will never thirst again. He really wants to provide for us, but we must surrender ourselves to Him and allow Him to work in us. Let us be obedient to His calling today, won’t you?

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

Father God, I am nothing without You. I need You in my life each and every day. I need You to be so evident in my life that others will see Jesus and believe on Him. Lord, may I thirst for the living water that is only supplied by You. May I be holy as You are. May I be so filled with Your power and Your grace that You can accomplish Your work through me today in the lives of those that I may be around. When I stand before You, may I hear those comforting words of affirmation that I was successful in the few things that I may have been involved in, and in the lives of those that I had influence over, in that You were able to use me as Your vessel to accomplish Your work. Thank You Lord for life itself and the abundant life offered in the living water that only You provide.

 

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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Formula for a Long and Prosperous Life

Scripture: Psalm 34.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Psalm 34:12-14 (NLT)

12 Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?

13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!

14 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

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

It is easy to look at our prescription container, read the directions and follow them to improve our medical condition. But how often do we consult with God’s Word and look for ways to improve our spiritual health? So often we wish family and friends a long and prosperous life around birthdays and/or the New Year’s holiday. God wants this for His children – us. But how often do we stop to think about how this could be accomplished. David shares with us the formula to achieve just this:

  1. Keep your tongue from speaking evil – I believe that this refers to gossip and spreading news about the failures of others and/or talking about others with a sense of rejoicing in their failures or misfortunes;
  2. Keep your lips from telling lies – this is always harmful, but especially bad when we do this in order to take a good man/woman down. We should always strive to tell the truth and be prepared to deal with the circumstances of any actions that we are not proud of;
  3. Turn away from evil and do good – there are way too many people who will follow worldly desires and expectations. God saved us so that we might be like Him and do good wherever we go. Let’s learn to look for the good in situations and rejoice in what is praiseworthy. Let’s learn to do good, and not make a bad thing worse. When we walk away from a situation, let’s pray that others will rejoice that they saw and felt God’s presence while we were there, not evidence of the evil one;
  4. Search for peace, and work to maintain it – we have two options in a bad situation such as a fire, we can throw water on it to quiet the fire and stop the heat, or we could add fuel to it and see it escalated. When we look to find and maintain peace, we are looking at everything through lens that are filled with Christ’s love. We must find the peaceful resolution and institute those things that result in result in glory to God.

Doing the 4 things listed will result in a long and prosperous life, so when we wish this on folk we love and care about, let’s remember the things that they will need to concentrate on to truly see our wishes come true for them. Let us fill our wish with prayers for God to help them achieve success in these 4 things.

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

Father, I believe that You have called us to be just like You. In this lesson this morning I have been reminded about things that I must concentrate on and to help others with as we strive to be more like You. I believe that in order for us to impact the world, there will have to be more of You in us and more of You reflected in what we say and do. I pray that You will fill my life with Your character today so that my life will impact others for the Kingdom. If living a long and prosperous life equates to my likeness of You, then I want to live forever!

 

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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Imitate Me, As I Imitate Christ

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 (GW)

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God. 32 Don’t cause others to stumble, whether they are Jewish, Greek, or members of God’s church. 33 I try to please everyone in every way. I don’t think about what would be good for me but about what would be good for many people so that they might be saved.

1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

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

Living the Christian life has always meant to me that I should live in a way that is pleasing to God. When I read about Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians, this gains a whole new dimension in living my life in tuned with God’s intentions. For Paul taught that not only should we live to please God, but that we should not boast in our liberties, if it results in a negative impact on our brother or sister. For example, if we are comfortable that God truly approves of us eating a certain food then it is ok for us to eat it. However, if we are eating with a friend who happens to believe that a certain food is unclean or not in accordance with what God teaches, then it would be wrong for us to eat that food in their presence and smear our faith, or freedoms before them, for it would weaken our witness to them. Let’s suppose for a moment that God sent us to that friend to witness to them or correct them about a certain sin in their lives. With a weakened witness, our correction or witness would be of no effect to them. Let us therefore respect each other’s faith or beliefs, if in the long term it means reaching that person for the Lord or growing them in their faith. Let’s remember, it’s all about God, and not about us. When we do things for God’s glory, He will point us to neutral ground with that neighbor where we might help grow them in their faith, instead of controversial ground that will result in arguments and separation. As we practice this, I believe that our actions would speak to other Christians in saying, “Now imitate me, as I imitate Christ”.

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

Father, I believe that this is presented in Your Word to show me how challenging this teaching really is without Your power and Your grace. For this may even appear that I am giving in to a belief that I am convinced Your sacrifice has already satisfied for me. Please help me to always remember that anything that I do for Your glory must be pleasing to You, and it may not always please me personally. As I seek Your face and Your direction in drawing folk to You, I pray that I could learn to place aside my selfish desires and instead look to always please You, and always seek to draw others unto You, even if it means sacrificing some of my personal ideals, in order to let Your light shine through in a situation or to an individual. May I never be a stumbling block to anyone and may I walk so closely with You that others would be safe in imitating my actions.

 

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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