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

Archive for August, 2016

Are You Listening?

Tuesday, 2016-08-23

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 4:23–25

Bible Text: 23  “Are you listening to this? Really listening? 24–25  “Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.”

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

In verse 23 Jesus re-emphasizes what He said in verse 9 – “Are you listening?”. I believe that Jesus would have the same concern today, for we can fill our churches if we throw in a meal, or if we were giving away something to everyone that attended. Some fill their churches by preaching only the positive aspects of the gospel, and not challenging their congregations with the plain truth about hell and the grave. Friends, the Word of God is widely known as the ‘Good News’, however there are consequences for sin. Satan is constantly trying to steer folk in his direction and away from God. So whenever you feel like you have failed in your invitation to have your neighbor attend church with you, please be reminded that you are probably fighting against the evil one who is trying to keep his grip on one of his followers. It is unfortunate, but churches often fill up when there is a disaster. So I am convinced that many believe there is a God, however He is only called on as needed, much like we do with the gas station. Friends, Jesus told these parables so that His listeners would be reminded of the importance of knowing the Savior of this world intimately, that you would give Him full control of your life, and that you would live in total obedience to the Word of God. Evidence of you having received the gift of salvation will reflect in your willingness to give more than your natural desire to receive. May I encourage you to evaluate your life, or better still try asking God to evaluate your life and show you if you are more of a receiver than a giver? There has been no mention of money, so please don’t ever use that as a crutch on why you can’t give. Just give, as God has given to you – perhaps a helping hand; a prayer; a phone call; a hug or a word of encouragement. These will be worth more than money to a lonely person or one who is hurting. These characteristics will reflect Jesus more than anything you can buy at the store.

Prayer

Father, You gave Your very own Son for our good, yet we seem so selfish with what little we own here on this earth. Please help us to give sacrificially as You did, and may others see Your character in every aspect of our life. Lord, please draw the lost unto You this day, and if You can use us in the process, may we be willing servants, all for Your ultimate glory, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

God Provides Our Needs Plus Some

Monday, 2016-08-22

Scripture

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 3:10–13

Bible Text: 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame!

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Solomon was crowned king at a very early age, and while he could have done like previous kings and depended heavily on his royal team of experts that surrounded him in leading the Israelites, he had a sincere heart for God and wanted to rule in a way pleasing to God, regardless of his personal heartfelt inabilities. In the presence of the Creator of the universe; the God who brought thousands miraculously across the desert from slavery into a land filled with beauty and promise; the same God that was such an awesome blessing to his father David; it is only natural that Solomon could have asked for almost anything, and it would have been very possible that God could have answered his requests. However, in greatest humility, Solomon acknowledged his weaknesses in light of the tremendous task ahead, and he recognized the strengths of the Master, so he asked that he might be given wisdom to properly lead the Israelites. Friends, this may sound fairly unimportant to you, but you and I face the same challenge every day that Solomon faced. Imagine with me that as we leave home today and enter our respective workplaces. How many of us know what we will face? The questions; the personal problems of each coworker; knowing exactly what would please our bosses today. And to top this off, as children of God, we want to do each of these things pleasing to God. What do you think? Do we need to ask a similar prayer of God that Solomon asked? In all humility, I feel like we should seek the face of Jesus and ask for wisdom in all things today, so that He may be lifted up by all those that we may touch in some way. Let’s remember that Jesus is Lord, and that we are merely servants seeking to serve Him faithfully and in obedience to His perfect will for us. Perhaps He may see fit to bless us as He did Solomon, by providing far more than we ask God for!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for the examples that You have placed in Your Word to help us reflect on the awesome works of God. Thank You for the story of Solomon – a powerful earthly king, yet he saw the need of God to help him rule in a way pleasing to Him. Just as Solomon described himself as being so helpless in knowing the right thing to do or say, we find ourselves in exactly the same predicament. Lord, we have no way of knowing what we will face today, and rather than just ‘winging’ it, we humbly ask that You touch our hearts; our understanding; and our lips; so that we may be adequate representatives of Yours in whatever situation we may find ourselves. May it be evident who ‘runs our show’ of life, as we want You to be glorified and praised because of every word that we may speak or action that we may take today, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Reason Jesus Came

Saturday, 2016-08-20

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 2:17

Bible Text: 17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

The attention given to the unrighteous, reminds me of a friend who is attracted to the one who sits at the back of the church and may be feeling dejected. I am also made keenly aware of why our churches are not reaching many of the unsaved in our communities. Think about it, who do most of our church members hang around? Fellow Christians, right? What happens to a pastor or church leader who may be seen hanging around a questionable crowd? Jesus said that He came for those who know that they are sinners. Wouldn’t that be a bold statement for a church to acknowledge that they exist for the sake of the unsaved? Who generally devours most of your pastor’s time, the saved or the unsaved? Where do most of your budget dollars go – towards reaching the lost, or patting the backs of the saved and keeping them entertained? Will the unsaved feel welcomed at your worship services, or will they feel looked down on by the masses? Are you a part of a ministry that imitates the desire of Jesus, or are you ministering in opposition to the plan of Jesus? 

Prayer

Lord, may we Your children be willing to minister to those in need of a Savior more than we minister to those just like us. You came so that the lost might be saved and see the Kingdom of God. Please help us to keep that as our focus of ministry. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How Did You Respond?

Friday, 2016-08-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 1:16–20

Bible Text: 16 As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen and were casting their nets into the lake. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” 18 Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. 19 Jesus walked on and soon saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat, mending their nets. 20 At once Jesus asked them to come with him. They left their father in the boat with the hired workers and went with him.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

There are three calls by Jesus that I want to share with you, and the response I believe God expects from each. In the above scripture there are two examples highlighted in purple where Jesus called out to fishermen to follow Him. Their responses are almost identical. They are highlighted in green and to summarize, they both say that the fishermen saw no greater priority than to drop what they were doing – things they were familiar with, and coworkers that they knew and respected. And they did this to follow this Jesus who was passing along on the shoreline. Perhaps they had heard of Jesus before, and perhaps they had not, but they responded obediently to His call. Now the third call is probably the most important one for you to ponder today, for I am convinced that Jesus still calls His children today – that’s you and I friend. How you might ask? We are told in scripture that our experience with Jesus is ‘Good News’, in fact I might add that it’s the BEST news that one could hear in any given day. So may I help answer the ‘How’ question, by asking you:

  • When last have you been so determined to keep ‘Good News’ bottled up inside?
  • How can you say that Jesus hasn’t called you to follow Him into service, when you have already turned down so many opportunities to serve Him through your local church?
  • What do you mean that you are incapable, when we see that Jesus used uneducated fishermen to start off the whole Christian movement?
  • Why would you refer a family member or friend to your pastor, when Jesus placed the person and their situation right into your lap, expecting you to merely share your story with them, and the Good News of the One who rescued you from a life of sin?

Friends, I believe that Jesus is just as anxious about using you and I to spread the gospel as he was with the first disciples He called. They immediately responded by following His commands. Perhaps you should consider doing the same!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we have been blessed with the greatest gift ever, and our blessings continue as we worship, adore, praise and serve You. Please help us to be as liberal in sharing this good news with others as we do with even the smallest successes in life. Lord, You know how blessed we are with the friends and family You have placed in our life. Please help us to show our deepest appreciation by sharing the Good News of our Savior, who actually sacrificed His life to provide our means of getting into Heaven. This is the greatest news ever, so let us be bold in sharing it with everyone we come into contact with. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Faithfulness of God

Thursday, 2016-08-18

Scripture

Bible Reference: 2 Thessalonians 3:3,5

Bible Text: 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Throughout the books written by Paul, it is very obvious of his love and concern for the people that he ministered to. At the end of each book, during Paul’s parting thoughts with each of the churches, he often shared his thoughts on what bothered him most about leaving a town. Unfortunately, Paul’s concerns, are still areas of concern today for most ministries, for the people do well while the heat and excitement of revival continues, but the sincerity of the people become evident when the evangelist leaves town and they are left on their own. I believe that these parting thoughts and prayers were not just for the benefit of the people, but represented the deepest concerns that Paul had for their spiritual self preservation. These thoughts could also serve to benefit us today friends. For when we feel like we are getting sucked into the temptations of this world, or that the evil one is working overtime in our lives, I believe it is important that we remind ourselves of what Paul shared in verse 3: our Lord is faithful, and we can depend on Him to strengthen us and protect us from the evil one. Let us therefore look to God for all things, especially when we feel like we are being pulled away, or distracted in our relationship with God. In Paul’s prayer, he is also reminding us that the same God who expressed His love for us by sacrificing His very own – His one and only Son, so that we might live eternally with Him, this is the same God who we can depend on to lead our hearts into a full understanding of His mercy and grace. I also love the conclusion, for in Paul’s prayer, we are reminded that we are to continue depending on the faithfulness of God until the time His Son returns to take us home to glory, so be patient as you wait! My encouragement to each reader today, is that we remain faithful to our Lord in every way, each and every day, for He’s coming back again real soon, and this time it will be for those of us who know Him and have been faithful to Him. How are you doing with that friend?  

Prayer

In all aspects of life, may You find us faithful dear Lord. Thank You for this reminder today Heavenly Father. May we always remember the source of life itself, and may we always be faithful to the Sustainer of all life, until the day we are called home to be with You, our eternal Father, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Represent God In Total Honesty

Wednesday, 2016-08-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Job 42:7

Bible Text: 7 After the LORD had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that too often we are like Job’s friends, where we tell folk what we believe they want to hear, hoping that will help them to feel better. However friends, there’s a great danger in that, because when we do that we often sacrifice the Word of God for the will, or wish of man. Friends, we must always remember that the wishes of mankind are carnal (not spiritual), and the desire of their heart is very selfish. The will and design of our God is very well defined and will speak to the heart of man in ways that only God can. So when we visit with someone and share what we want with them, or reinforce the things that we believe they want to hear, we are totally wasting our time, and as in the case of Job’s two friends, we are totally upsetting God with us. Don’t you suppose that the reason our friends are in such deep depression, like Job was, is because they have looked inside for so long that they see no hope for anything or anyone brighter? Friends, what we have available to those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, is the ‘GOOD NEWS’ of God’s Word. It’s something that the world is lacking, and that they deeply yearn for. Imagine how your friends feel when you have nothing better to share with them, than more of the same misery and bad news that brought them to the place where they are at already? Imagine how much better they would feel when they know that there is a better way; and a God who who loves them and can’t wait to show His love for them? Friends, many times we will find that what God says in His Word may be totally opposite to what our friends believe. Many times, they are well aware of that fact and they are miserably trying to turn their life around. When you speak with them by phone, or visit them in person and you try to make them feel better outside of the scope of God’s Word, they immediately recognize that you are a phony and not giving them straight answers. So at that point, not only is God disappointed at you, but your friend is also. It pays to just be very honest in representing God in whatever you say or do friends!

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for being so honest with us. You have declared Your Word for all mankind, no matter who we are, or what our circumstance might be. Your Word is about the only constant we can think of, for it never changes based on our emotional state, or softened for those of us who are struggling with everyday life. We need that Lord, and we thank You from the very depths of our heart for being totally honest with us. Lord, may we work at, and depend heavily on You to help us not only be totally true to You in all things, but may we learn to be true to those that we come into contact with. May we be loving in every way, but totally honest in what the Word of God says, at all times. To be effective disciples of Yous, we must please You, and not the world. In deepest respect and honor, I ask these things of a holy and righteous God, through His only Son, Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

What To Expect When Jesus Returns

Tuesday, 2016-08-16

Scripture

Bible Reference: 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10

Bible Text: 7 …… He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe…..

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Notice how careful I was in choosing the word ‘when’, instead of the shorter word ‘if’ in the title of today’s blog? I believe you should also notice how careful Paul was in the choice of words he used in verses 7 and 10. Friends, I believe that most worthy of note in these verses today is the following:

  • Jesus is coming back again, and there is a purpose in His coming. For He will:
    • Bring judgment on those who chose not to accept Jesus as Lord of their life. Now you might quickly retort that you never made such a choice. May I just clarify that the opportunities given to you over your lifetime to accept Jesus, and you opted not to accept Him – those are the times that you actually opted to continue life without Jesus. Those were the times that you elected to spend eternity in a burning, miserable, Hell with Satan for eternity. However, there is a second purpose for Jesus returning,
    • Throughout His Word, God made it clear how we might be reconciled with Him. How we might be sure that our eternal home will be in heaven with the triune God and His angels. For those of us who obeyed His call on our life, and accepted His gift of salvation, then we can look forward to the greatest praise and worship service yet! For verse 10 says that when Jesus returns He will glory in the praise and worship of those who know Him personally! I look forward to that day with such great enthusiasm. How about you?

So friends, rest assured knowing that Jesus will return. This could very well be the day of His return, and one of the above points describes your condition, and the action that Jesus will take when He comes to you. Are you satisfied with what His action will be towards you? Please read over the advice I am offering in my Footnote and rest assured of the best direction for your life through all eternity. I believe you would very easily buy life insurance to make sure that your loved ones are secure after your passing. Won’t you also make sure that everything is in order for your own life eternally?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, what a glorious thought to know that there is purpose in our life that leads to our destination choice even after we pass from this world. Thank You for opening our eyes to the requirements that can be worked on even now, so that our eternal destination will be determined and secure. I believe that there are many who will read this who may not have fully secured their position and therefore may be hoping for a bright future with you instead of knowing without a doubt where they will spend eternity. Open their eyes Lord, and allow them to see the glories of heaven and the Savior that awaits us with open, loving arms.  Lord we are so looking forward to see You and singing Your praises. Please rule in our lives today in every way, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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