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

Archive for the ‘Acceptance’ Category

How Evil People are Made Right

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 4:5-8 (ERV)

TEXT:  …. people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him. Then he accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him. He is the one who makes even evil people right. David said the same thing when he was talking about the blessing people have when God accepts them as good without looking at what they have done:

It is a great blessing when people are forgiven for the wrongs they have done, when their sins are erased!
It is a great blessing when the Lord accepts people as if they are without sin!”

OBSERVATION:   Paul addressed the church as if they were looking down their noses at people who were not just like them, especially those known for their evil deeds, or who were not Jews. He reminded them that there is nothing good that can be done to excuse the sins of mankind, but there is ONE who can forgive them of their sin and make them right with God! I believe that we could probably do with Paul preaching that sermon in some of our churches today, because it is still very easy for us to think that we belong to an exclusive club and others are just too evil to ever make it in. Let’s look closer at this…

APPLICATION:   I believe that it’s Scripture like this that causes us to do a system-wide check-up! I really don’t believe in coincidences when it comes to God’s Holy Word. For if He took us to this Scripture, and He causes a Brother to share his heart on the matter, then God probably wants us to stop, listen, meditate, analyze our current situation personally and as a church, and act on what God is teaching or instructing us to do. You see, there are huge percentages of people in our own cities – family, neighbors, friends or acquaintances, that do not attend church. Did we look down our noses one too many times that they felt intimated by, or unwanted in, our cliques at church? Or perhaps unministered to because they are not the same color or race as us, or live their lives differently to what we consider acceptable? May I just remind those who know the Lord, about the clear facts of what our condition was before we met Jesus? I want you to reflect back to your condition before Christ, and compare that to the holy Son of God, not to those friends who are not attending church. Now, do you see any reason why God should have accepted you into His kingdom? Then why do we find it impossible to minister to those I referenced above from our communities? Friends, Jesus is coming again, and I believe that it will be soon. What will you say to Him when asked about the absence of your circle of family, friends, coworkers and loved ones?

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we are such a blessed people. When we think of the love You poured out for us, when You took into account all the sin of this world, and still You went to the cross anyway, so that we might have the opportunity of becoming right with the Father. Thank You, thank You Heavenly Father for sacrificing Your only Son to prove Your love for us. Please help us to show our love for You and our circle of influence, by sharing Your Word with them so that they also may come to know You in a very personal way. Oh that I may make Psalm 32:2 a daily part of my celebration: ‘It is a great blessing when the Lord accepts people as if they are without sin!’. Thank You Jesus! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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 Sebring, 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!

 

A Warning Sign

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-06-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 2:33-35 (CEV)

Text:

33 Jesus’ parents were surprised at what Simeon had said. 34 Then he blessed them and told Mary, “This child of yours will cause many people in Israel to fall and others to stand. The child will be like a warning sign. Many people will reject him, 35 and you, Mary, will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger. But all this will show what people are really thinking.”
OBSERVATION:
Mary and Joseph had been forewarned that the child born of Mary would be the Son of God, but they were still astonished by what Simeon shared with them. The awe of a newborn baby sometimes put the parents into a dreamsicle world, where all they could think of is the awesome child this will turn out to be, and the pride that will fill the hearts of the parents! But to hear so early in the process that Jesus could lead to the fall of many, hurt like a dagger through the heart of Mary. This was all very shocking to both Mary and Joseph. We will examine how this is still very real in our world today.
APPLICATION:
Simeon said that the presence and ministry of Jesus would be as a ‘warning sign’ to the people. Think about warning signs that we see today and how we react to them. Take for instance the school zone warning signs: some are very respectable of those signs and they slow right down to the designated speed limit while watching diligently for children trying to get to school, that may themselves walk dangerously across the street in their rush to be on time. Other drivers are on a mission to catch up for lost time at home, while still trying to get to work on time. However while rejecting the posted warnings, flashing lights and reduced speed limits, they may be brought to their senses and corrected for their actions by a cop monitoring the area. Unfortunately there are members of our family, our team mates at work and our circle of friends and possibly even at our churches, that make every effort to ignore the warning signs and Biblical teachings of Jesus’ return. This hurts those of us that care, because we know the outcome on the day that they meet Jesus face-to-face. For it saddens us to think that because they never knew Him here on earth, He will disown them when they arise from the dead, and then point them to their home of eternal damnation – Hell. This hurts a mother’s heart, a friend’s heart and all those who knows someone who refuses to listen and honor the sacrifice made for their eternal hope and salvation, yet they make a deliberate choice to do life their own way in spite of the consequences. What has been your personal choice to the ‘Warning Signs’ presented by Jesus? A choice to concede to the Master and follow His commands results in a glorious life in Heaven for all eternity with Jesus and His Father – God. Selfish desires, disobedience and rejection of Jesus Christ means that you would prefer to take your punishment and spend your eternity in Hell with Satan and all of his demons. If you have never made either of these choices, then by default you are assigned to the latter, because accepting Jesus is a deliberate, personal act that you must make for yourself. So it’s up to you friend. My wish for all who will read this devotional is that you have surrendered your life to Jesus and that there is assurance that we will meet in Heaven’s portals one day! If not 100% assured of that, please follow the tips in my Footnote. This is way too important to ignore or delay.
PRAYER:
Dear God, thank You for loving us enough that You provided the WAY and the means for us to be assured of our time in heaven with You one day! You also provided Warning Signs for us to know that we need a Savior. Lord, there are many who are still living dangerously through those Warning Signs and taking the risk of consequences, including Hell. Please touch each one reading this devotional, each family member, and each friend or acquaintance, that they would meet with You and clarify their position with You. This is way too important to ignore, friend. May God be glorified today, because You listened to and followed His Warning Signs, AMEN! 
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Yet I Will Rejoice

Friday, 2016-07-01

Scripture

Bible Reference: Habakkuk 3:17–19
Bible Text:  17 Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength; he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.
Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

What does it take to break your will to rejoice in the Lord? Habakkuk had seen a lot going on in his day, yet he vowed to  stay firm in his faith; recognize the strength that comes from God alone, remembering that God, and God alone offers salvation. Friends, I’m afraid that we play into the hands of Satan way too easily by caving in to our circumstances, and looking inward in self-pity. Think about it, when funds are low and we can’t do everything that our friends tend to do very easily, do we resort to thinking that God just doesn’t love us as much as He loves our friends, or are we able to rejoice in the Lord anyway? When we lose a loved one, do we remain strong in our faith, or do we tend to cave in and feel like God must have forsaken us? If only we can stay strong enough in our faith to recognize that no matter what our circumstances are, our God remains faithful, and He is still the one who provided salvation for us. What I find most praiseworthy, is that even through there are circumstances that really seem to hurt me individually, yet I reflect back on the time and see where God used the occasion for His glory. Perhaps a family member got saved, even though we may have lost a relative and went through a very sad time. I hope that we can learn to never accuse God, or blame him for things that happen in our lives in a slightly different way to what we would have ordered. Let’s remind each other that God’s ways are perfect and, just as a parent would tell us about their love for us, be reminded that no matter what happens – know that God loves us beyond anything we could think or imagine. No circumstance or life-happening could change that. Let’s be like Habakkuk and say that no matter what happens in this life, I will stay strong in my relationship with God, and will always praise Him in all of life’s circumstances.

Prayer

It is not always easy to shake the circumstances and lift our hands and hearts in praise to You dear Lord. So thank You for this reminder today. Please help us to always separate the circumstances in this life from the undeserving and limitless love that You have for us. Lord, You are good, and Your mercies are unending. Praise Your most worthy name! Should there be one who reads this devotional and is challenged to understand Your love, I pray that You will tender their heart and draw them to Yourself. May this be the day of salvation for that person today. All this I ask in the precious and loving name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, 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 will you do with Jesus?

THE HOLY BIBLE John 19:4-6New Living Translation (NLT): 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” 6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

THOUGHTS: Pilate presented Jesus to the crowd and asked them what they wanted him to do with Him. Each weekend most churches/pastors will present the gospel and ask their congregations to respond to a similar question. Most of us leave our churches having said something very similar to that of the crowd before Pilate. Perhaps by our unresponsive action we are saying: hey, you may as well crucify Him, for we have this ‘life’ thing under control. I don’t need this Jesus interfering and telling me what to do or how I should act, or highlighting my wrongs. Perhaps we totally ignore the message, and the idea that Jesus is in control of us and all of life’s happenings. Perhaps we conclude that since Jesus is available, we could easily and quickly call on Him if, and when, we need Him. Friends, in and of our natural selves we have no desire for godly things. If we ARE alerted to the things of Christ, we are actually being personally admonished by GOD Himself. We NEED to listen and obey, not aim to crucify Him. We are about to enter into another weekend of church services. What will you do with Jesus? He loved you so much that He gave himself upon the cross of Calvary as a sacrifice for your sin, so that you might have the means of getting into heaven and the forgiveness of your sin. How will you respond to that?

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for loving us so much that You showed evidence of that love when You allowed Your precious Son to suffer the disgrace of the people that insisted on His death. Lord, we are not a whole lot better, for we stand by and watch our family and friends ‘spit in Your Son’s face’ still today, when they are convicted by You, yet they turn away in rejection as if to say that they would rather reject Your unbelievable love and accept the horror and disgrace of the Evil One. They would never be so evil to an earthly friend who blesses them today, by turning their face and rejecting them in spite of their sacrificial giving to them. Dear God, please don’t give up on my family members, friends and coworkers who have chosen to follow the pattern of the cruel, unappreciative, jealous, unloving crowd mentioned in the scripture today. Please, Heavenly Father, bear with them a little longer. Please tender their hearts yet again to the fact that You showed Your love in very obvious and sacrificial ways. Their acceptance of that gracious gift is so valuable that it contains the keys to Heaven and an audience for eternity with the creator of this entire universe. We are truly a blessed people, to have such a loving God. Thank You dear Lord, and hear my plea yet again for those I love. For I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus – the crucified, sacrificial lamb of God, 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

May Only The Sinless Accuse The Sinful

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – John 8:4-7): 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 

THOUGHTS: We are so easy to ridicule others, but yet our own lives are so riddled with sin also. I believe that our pastors’ offices would be very manageable if they truly took the stand of Jesus and posted a sign on their doors that only those who have no sin are allowed in to talk about another member! What if we practiced that in our everyday lives? Don’t you suppose that there would be a whole lot less gossip among so called ‘Christians’? Friends, we can clearly see why Jesus taught this lesson. It totally agrees with everything else He taught about how to treat your Brother. For there were many lessons on love; good works; encouraging one another; lifting up one another; praying for one another. Don’t you know that for Jesus to have taught all these great and positive things, then to turn around and entertain such an accusation from individuals who were practicing sin themselves, would be a very strong contradiction? So is it any different with us today friends? Why do we entertain gossip, and worse still, why do we nod our heads in agreement when one is clearly putting down or accusing another of sin? I had a pastor who encouraged us to not even mention out loud the reason we were asking for prayer for another person, because often the prayer meetings would become a huge gossip center around all that’s wrong with another person. Our God knows way more about the needs of the individual than we could ever attempt to inform Him. Just mention the name, God knows the needs. Let us learn to care for one another and pray for them by name, while allowing God to meet all their needs. Let’s be sure to ask God’s forgiveness for our own shortcomings and sin so that we might come boldly before His throne in prayer. There’s a wonderful own hymn I love to sing “Cleanse Me Oh God and Know my Thoughts I pray, see if there be any wicked way in me”. May this be our prayer today I pray!

PRAYER: Father only You know how truly sinful we are. Yet we have the audacity to come before You with the sin of others. We pester our pastors with accusations about one another. Please Heavenly Father, touch the hearts and lives of Your children today and help us to be more like You in every way. We have a full-time job on our hands trying to keep ourselves in line with Your teachings and following in Your footsteps. Yes, I believe we should care enough to pray for our Brother and our Sister and the many things that beset them, but please help us to not be critical and accusing, but to lovingly pray for their welfare and to seek Your desire for their lives. Lord, may be be so busy about Your work, and have such a desire for the Godly attitudes of Your children that we will have no time to accuse others or point fingers to their shortcomings. I need You each and every hour of each and every day so that I might be more like You, dear God. Please touch the lives of my readers in a similar way, I pray. For I ask these things in the wonderful and precious name of Jesus, my Lord, 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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 Horror of Rejection By God

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Jeremiah 14:10): My people, you love to wander away; you don’t even try to stay close to me. So now I will reject you and punish you for your sins. I, the Lord, have spoken.

THOUGHTS: I struggled with the idea of presenting a very negative verse in a positive manner, but I feel like God had me call it like it is so that we all might be made aware that He is still the same God that struggled with His people of Judah. Think on this friends: God even went a step further for us, because He sacrificed His only Son on a cruel cross at Calvary, so that we may not find the excuse that the old way of sacrificing and living according to the many laws of Moses to be a roadblock for us to enter heaven’s gates. The awful thing that I believe that God sees today though, is probably worse than what He saw in His people back in the days of Jeremiah. For in spite of the extra effort, and tremendous outpouring of His love, yet what God sees today must truly break His heart …….. perhaps even to the point of lifting His hand off us and rejecting our plea before Him. So often we should praise God in thanksgiving that He is in charge of making that decision, and not mere man, for we would have given up on this world a long time ago. Friends, I don’t believe that I need to spell out the evil that is prevalent in our world today, for we have it happening in our own backyards, and we hear about it every time we watch the evening news. We have many churches that are closing down because of poor attendance. I believe that we have more folk who’s only Christian activity, might be attending church on a Sunday morning, if they can fit it into their busy schedules. Imagine if you only ate physical food once per week? Imagine if the only communication you had with your spouse or parents was once per week? There wouldn’t be much of an influence in your life from either of these sources, nor would you have reason to brag on either of these, because they play such a minimal role in the remaining days and hours of the week. Yet I’m afraid that we have ‘Christians’ who do exactly this, and expecting their lives to be changed by God. Friends, be realistic – one hour per week with God and 167 hours in the heat of evil and the works of Satan. Which do you think will influence our lives more? Who then are we pleasing? Who then are we more apt to reflect in our attitudes and actions? It is extremely frightening to think about rejection by God or the fatal punishment by God on those who He is upset at. On the other hand, we have lots of verses that tell us things like: Draw near to God and He will draw near to us; If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and….. Friends, know that God loves you very much today. Please don’t reject Him. Please don’t take your relationship with Him lightly. We want to see His eternal blessing on us, not rejection and punishment.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You love me so much that You gave Your very own Son so that I may have eternal life in Your presence. Please forgive me for the times that I take Your love for granted. Please speak to the hearts of my readers so that they too might examine their lives to ensure that they are in close communion with You, and not letting the vile of this old world to take prominence in their lives. Please help us all that we may spend the necessary time with You for a happy and healthy relationship with You. Lord, we want to live more like You every day, and we realize that this only comes from spending more time with You than we do with this old world and its master, Satan. I pray that today it may be evident to those that we come into contact with that we have been with the Lord, and their lives might be impacted in such a way that they would either draw closer to You in relationship, or come to accept You as Lord of their life. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and lead us towards You, is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely 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, Sebring, FL! 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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