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

Archive for September, 2012

Show Others the Goodness of God

Scripture: 1 Peter 2.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)
9 …… you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

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

So often we are looking to someone else as our mentor or as our example. I wonder how often we examine ourselves, or care enough about our personal actions, because of the example we are setting for others. We recently went through an exercise in one of our midweek services at our church where we were given an opportunity to say how the person nearest to us may have had a positive influence on us. We all found something positive to share, but isn’t it unfortunate how seldom we take time to let that brother or sister know how their life is impacting us? Peter had just told his people how some had rejected Jesus, but that they were not to be like that because they were a people chosen by God ….. Friends, for those of us that know Jesus as our personal Savior, may I remind you that in and of our sinful selves, we would never have surrendered our lives to the Master. However, because of His love, His sacrifice and His prompting, we were able to look deep inside of self and acknowledge our sin and accept the love, goodness and salvation that only Jesus provides. Members of the royal family of the queen of England are looked at very closely by the press and the world, because they are expected to act like royalty. Peter reminds us in these verses that Christians are also royalty, because we have become sons and daughters of the King of all times, Jesus Christ. Let’s call on Jesus today for the help we need in acting like our royal example, Jesus. The press may not be watching us, but the world definitely is watching – some folk are looking for a mentor (a real example of Christ). Let’s not disappoint those folk today!

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

Father, what an awesome privilege to know that I am the son of royalty today! However, with that in mind, I am also reminded of the awesome responsibility it is for us to act as Your representatives. Please touch my life today and be a constant reminder to me to stay focused on You and represent You in all sincerity, so that those that may follow my example will truly see Jesus in all that I do. Please use me as Your vessel that You can work through today to reach the lost/unsaved/uncommitted. Please speak to the hearts of those that may read this and would like to make a commitment to accept You as Lord and join our royal family!

 

**Words 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
**

Be Holy, As God is Holy

Scripture: 1 Peter 1.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Peter 1:13-16 (NLT)
13 So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.
15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.
16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

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

Often folk that knew my dad, will recognize me as his son. This may be because I look like him, or I may act like him in some way. In this first chapter of Peter, the writer, Peter, was speaking to Christians living in several provinces of what is now Turkey. The provinces as a whole were very ungodly, because Peter acknowledged to the Christians that they were like strangers living there. This should very much apply to Christians today, as we live in a land consisting mostly of ungodly people. Friends, if we do everything the world does and therefore do not exercise self-control and live like God, then we must question ourselves as to whom do we belong. Many will ask, but how do we know how God acted in certain circumstances? I’m glad you asked that friend, because God gave us three things that would really help us out in that:

  1. The Comforter – in His Word we are told that although Jesus died, He sent us the Comforter – His Holy Spirit, to guide us and help us live holy and acceptable lives. For those that have accepted Jesus as Lord, we must call on Him to help us live like God;
  2. The Bible – God’s Word is provided as our handbook to enlighten us on how we must live. By staying active in the Word each day, we will be guided into holy and righteous living. It will direct us into living like God details in His Word;
  3. Each Other – We are to help each other out in this earthly walk and do all we can to help each other live Godly lives. When we fail at this, we push our Christian brothers and sisters to follow the ways of the world as exampled by worldly friends.

Let’s do our part to live like Jesus, and to help a brother or sister along, that need our encouragement and God’s direction. We’re all on the same team, looking forward to the return of the same Master. Let us spur each other on towards love and good works!

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

Lord Jesus, it is difficult living like You in a world so filled with sin and evil works. You never said in Your Word that it would be easy, so thankfully You have given us instruction on how to best accomplish this, and You have provided help for us along the way. Thank You for this encouragement and Your divine direction so that I might be more like You each day, in spite of all the worldly influences that bombard me every day. Lord, I pray that You will always tap me on one shoulder or the other to direct me in the right path. Please also help me to be a mentor or encourager to another Christian Brother or Sister. Lord we want to see You and be with You one day in glory. Please be our guide while we muddle through the mire here on this earth.

 

**Words 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
**

The Power of Prayer

Scripture: James 5.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

James 5:13-18 (NLT)
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.
14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!
18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

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

Imagine a firefighter being called to a fire, but leaving the fire truck at the station. Using a ¾ inch garden hose at the fire will not save the house from total destruction like the force and power of the water system on the fire truck. But of course, the firefighter is planning to run back and get the fire truck if he fails in his attempt with the garden hose, right? This almost sounds ludicrous for us to think about such a dumb thing taking place, but is that any different to the way that we act as Christians? Think about the times that we will try everything under the sun to correct our problems, or satisfy our urgency, before we finally get on our knees and ask God to intervene. I have a friend who prays about even the smallest, insignificant things. When I questioned him about this, he shared that when he sees God at work in the small things, it helps to build his confidence in knowing that God can also answer those prayers when he is totally overwhelmed about something. Too often we try to handle the small problems ourselves. In fact, too often we will try to deal with all of our problems until we ‘hit a brick wall’ and realize that the issue is way over our heads. Friends, let’s think about the peace of mind a firefighter has by taking the fire tuck with him. Let’s think about the peace of mind in knowing that when we have needs, we have the power of the Almighty God, the Creator of this universe, the Savior of the world, the Alpha and the Omega available and waiting for us to reach out to Him and ask Him to partner with us and help us through our problems. Now that is real peace of mind, Brother! Oh, what a Savior, Sister! Do you know Him, friend? Please contact me at the email below so that I can properly introduce you to my Lord.

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

Lord Jesus, thank You for being my Master, yet my Friend, that I can come to when troubles seem to overwhelm me. Thank You for the power of prayer, the vehicle we can use to communicate with You. Please prompt us to pray in thanksgiving when things are going well for us. Please prompt us to pray for our needs, so that You can help us even with the little things. Especially give us peace when we pray to You for those things that seem extremely large to us. Help us to know that You, the God who put this whole earth together, the God who formed us, the God who brought the dead back to life, that You are the One who can easily resolve our biggest problems and give us peace about our biggest worry. Thank You Lord for being such an awesome God, and for loving me and accepting me as Your son. I can face this day knowing that I am the King’s son – royalty! Most of all though, I can face this day knowing that I can turn to You at any moment and You are there. Praise be to God!

 

**Words 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
**

On Making Decisions

Scripture: Jeremiah 42.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Jeremiah 42:19-22 (NLT)
19 “Listen, you remnant of Judah. The LORD has told you: ‘Do not go to Egypt!’ Don’t forget this warning I have given you today.
20 For you were not being honest when you sent me to pray to the LORD your God for you. You said, ‘Just tell us what the LORD our God says, and we will do it!’
21 And today I have told you exactly what he said, but you will not obey the LORD your God any better now than you have in the past.
22 So you can be sure that you will die from war, famine, and disease in Egypt, where you insist on going.”

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

We are often very quick to make deals with God, vowing that if He pleases us by answering a certain prayer, we will do what we know He has called us to do anyway. I have heard of very isolated cases of where people have actually lived up to their end of the bargain, but more often I know that we have accepted the thing we have prayed for and moved on to our next project. The people of Judah was much like this. They felt like if they could get Jeremiah to pray on their behalf, that God would certainly do what he (Jeremiah) asked for and then they could do exactly what they wanted to do all along, but now with God’s blessing. Friends, we must remember that in a response to any question we could hear “Yes”, but we may hear “No” or we may even hear “Not now”. We have to be very careful to discern God’s response and before we ever ask, we need to vow that we will be obedient to God’s response – whether it’s what we want or not. If we are going to do our own thing anyway, then we need to decide not to even bother with asking God’s advice, for we may wind up bringing damnation on ourselves like God did to the people of Judah when they entered Egypt against His will. The right thing for us to do, is to ask God about those important decisions in our lives. The follow-up to hearing God’s response is to honor what He says without questioning Him. Under no circumstance should we stand before our all-knowing and wise God and say that we will do it our way regardless of His wise advice.

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

Lord Jesus, there are so many decisions that I make every day. Please help me to be obedient to You and to Your will for my life. I acknowledge that I serve the Master of this universe, the Author of all things that we know today, therefore I am nothing before such a Holy and Righteous God. However, I am Your son, therefore I am confident that You will not mislead me as You are looking out for my ultimate best in all things. Thank You for loving me enough to steer me in the right direction and for answering my prayers. May I always be obedient to Your voice.

 

**Words 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
**

Come Close to God and……

Scripture: James 4.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

James 4:6-10 (NLT)
6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

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

With the Holy Spirit’s power, we can resist the devil, and he will flee from us. In verse 8 we are encouraged to come close to God and He will come close to us. I’m sure that this is something that each of us would desire, so let’s look deeper into this passage and discover the ways that Brother James tells us we can do this. James gives five ways:

  1. Humble yourselves before God (4:7). Yield to his authority and will, commit your life to him and his control, and be willing to follow him.
  2. Resist the devil (4:7). Don’t allow Satan to entice and tempt you.
  3. Wash your hands… and purify your hearts (that is, lead a pure life) (4:8). Be cleansed from sin, replacing your desire to sin with your desire to experience God’s purity.
  4. Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins (4:9). Don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for what you have done.
  5. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor (4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Bowing in humility before the Lord means recognizing that our worth comes from God alone. To be humble involves leaning on his power and his guidance, and not going our own independent way. Although we do not deserve God’s favor, he wants to lift us up and give us worth and dignity, despite our human shortcomings.

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

Lord Jesus, there is no greater desire than to draw closer to You every day. Please help me to always remember that while this is characteristic of a loving God who will forgive me for my many sins, yet it involves me having a desire to draw closer to You and actually doing my part to draw close to You. In a world filled with unbelievers, it is so important that I do it right the first time. In other words, it is important that I live my life so aligned with Yours, that others will recognize God in me right from the start. So dear God, I plead with You to guide me and direct me into the path of righteousness. I pray that You might be blessed as a result of my representation of You before ‘my world’ today, that is – the friends, coworkers, family and loved ones that I will associate with today. May they be influenced for Jesus today, is my humble prayer.

 

**Words 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
**

Plant Seeds of Peace and Reap … Righteousness

Scripture: James 3.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

James 3:16-18 (NLT)
16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

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

It seems like today there is so much strife, envy, gossip, and evil going around that we could easily say that Satan is very much at work in the lives of many, especially those that are not solidly fixed on Christ. While it is so unfortunate for us to give Satan room to wiggle into our ‘world’ and wreak havoc and destroy our witness, it even has a much more negative effect on those that Christians are trying to win to the Lord or encourage a closer walk with Him. Satan has a field day when we let our guard down and allow him to sneak into our lives, even though this may never have been our intention. As verse 16 reminds us, there is disorder of every kind when this happens. A key point though is that this is all fixable, because verse 17 tells us that wisdom from above/God’s wisdom, is pure. In other words there is no flaw in it, and we can depend on that wisdom to help us do what is right in God’s sight. We are even taught the side effects of taping into that wisdom, for we will see peace loving actions; gentleness at all times; allowing others to have their say or even have the last say (yielding to them); overflowing with mercy and good deeds; no sign of favoritism and always evident that our actions are from our heart (sincere). The great news friends, is that as we plant this kind of peace we will reap a harvest of God’s righteousness (verse 18). Often I believe we feel trapped inside our world of wrong doing, but I am convinced that there is no need for us to feel helpless, for all these great qualities come from God, and we have open access to our Master, our King and our Lord. There is a verse that says “seek Him while He is near” and I want to remind us of the words of a great little song, that “He is closer than the mention of His name”!

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

Lord Jesus, I know that we are living in the last days, before Your second coming. This is really no time for us to mess up and destroy our witness for You and breakdown the righteousness made possible because of Your sacrifice on the cross. Please forgive me where I have failed You, and forgive me when I have not readily called on You when I realized that a situation may have been worse than I could handle on my own. You are so close, and so willing to hear my cry and help me through my weakest times. Please help me to always call on You first and not wait until I have already allowed the weakness of this world to seep into my life and my actions. Lord, may others see Your presence and Your power very evident in my life this week, so that they may be convinced of the decision they need to make in knowing You. May I not be a stumbling block to anyone, but offer a helping hand to know my Savior.

 

**Words 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
**

Others Will Know of Your Faith by Your Works

Scripture: James 2.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

James 2:14 (NLT)
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?

James 2:17 (NLT)
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

James 2:26 (NLT)

26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

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

As I read this passage of scripture I thought about someone standing on one side of the road looking towards the other side, which is really where they have a desire to go. They could have all the faith in the world that they could cross the road safely, but unless they put the first step in that direction, faith alone will never get them to the other side. So it is with our faith in Christ. Our initial faith led us to salvation. After accepting Jesus as Lord, our ongoing faith in Him will lead to actions that mirror what Jesus did while here on this earth. He was busy ministering to the poor and hurting and to those that needed hope. In our Christian walk we may come across some of the best people in the world, but deep inside they are hurting for someone who cares, and a future that would be more fulfilling and promising for them. When our faith is revealed through our actions, we exude a caring attitude for those around us and, in spite of our worldly challenges, we rejoice in the fact that come what may here on this earth, we have a future secured with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and for that reason we can rejoice each and every day. So Christian friend, allow others to see your faith in action and not the worldly challenges that may keep you down. Let them see Jesus in you! To my friend that may not have accepted Jesus as Lord yet, let me assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel for children of the King. For in spite of our earthly challenges we have a Savior who loves us so much that He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, to suffer a criminal’s death so that those of us that accept Him as Lord won’t have to suffer the penalty of eternal death in Hell, but life everlasting with Jesus. This same life giving joy and decision is available to you, friend! Why not reconsider your options today and choose life eternally with Jesus? Feel free to speak with your evangelical pastor today, or contact me at the email below for further information or to direct you in making this very important decision.

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

Lord Jesus, there is so much in this world that will bring us down. Thank You for one day saving me of my sin and showing me a better way, a way of hope and joy. Thank You for reminding me this morning of the importance in expressing my faith through my actions so that others may catch a glimpse, through human means, the love that You have for them. Please speak to the hearts of Your people today. Please soften hard hearts and work through Your messengers to lead these folk to a better way – life where Jesus is in charge of our destiny. May others be aware of You love through my actions today.

 

**Words 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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