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

Archive for the ‘Blinded by Sin’ Category

God Knows Your Heart ……… And your Love for Him

Monday, 2018-11-26

Bible Reference: Revelation 2:4-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.

OBSERVATION: In this book of Revelation, God is speaking to the seven churches about their condition, and the subsequent result of their condition. For the church at Ephesus, God was pleased with some aspects of their ministry, but in these two verses we can see where God is getting to the root of their ineffectiveness. Let’s pay close attention to this, because I believe we will find God speaking to us about our own respective churches as we study this Book.

APPLICATION: From time to time we hear of many churches that fail for various reasons. Often we will hear of churches declining at such a rate, that it will only be the matter of time before they are forced to close their doors. Friends, churches are made up of folk like you and I, so when we say that our church is failing, I believe that we are really saying that we have become a sorry people. I know, that sounds really harsh. But allow me to challenge myself and you with a few sobering questions: When last have you prayed for your pastor? When last have you attended prayer meetings, to join hearts and souls in prayer about the needs of God’s people? Do you tithe and give generously to the work of the local church? Just like you need money to run your home, so the church needs money to pay salaries, and other operational expenses, plus support worldwide missions. When last have you visited the sick or helped the widow in need? No, that’s not the responsibility of the pastor, for we all should be obedient to the Word of God. Friends, I believe that when the church – you and I, becomes ‘the church’ and we follow the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, then it will be evident who rules and reigns over us. People still need the Lord, and when they see God at work through His people, then perhaps they will be convinced of His existence and their need to accept Him as Lord. Looking back at our focal verses, we will see that God accused the church at Ephesus of losing their first love. Please take a moment and meditate on the days and weeks following your conversion. Remember how ‘in love’ you were with Jesus? I know, you still love Him, right? But I want you and I to think of the differences that are evident in our love now, compared to our love for Jesus at the time I referred to. What happened? I believe that such an influence of this old world has found its way into our lives, that our actions now portray more of the world than that of the One who saved us. Will the church – we the body, survive and flourish like this? Do people that we touch see more of Christ, or the world? Unless they unmistakably see Christ, let’s not think for a moment that we have a flourishing church. Examine yourselves and draw close to the One who gave up everything for you my friend. Only what’s done for Jesus will truly last!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for not giving up on us. Your Word is a light to our path, because It illuminates our earthly condition, that is often far from the path that You have laid out for Your people. Lord, we want our family and friends to know the Lord, so we want to look and sound more like You in everything we do and say every day. Please touch us once again and draw us close to You. May we become Your hands and feet on the ground, so that our people can see You and experience You when they come into contact with us. 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 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!

Who’s the Culprit?

Monday, 2018-11-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:6–8

Bible Text: 6 The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. 7 Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.
8 Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

On reading the title, you might conclude that I am about to introduce an old TV show by the same title! That’s not my intention, so no need to close the blog without reading today’s devotional!!! This scripture got my attention though, because we see in the three examples in this story how each party, Adam, Eve and the serpent, all found excuses for the cause of this very first sin that we read about in the Bible. In each case they quickly threw the blame, or cause of their action, on someone or something else. Unfortunately, in spite of all that transpired in this story, added to the enormous blessings that God has showered on us, I am amazed how little mankind has changed. I wonder today how much of our prayer time is spent on explaining to God who may have caused us to sin, or how it was possible for the infraction? Look at how Adam even went to the extent of trying to pass the responsibility of this sin to God Himself, for had God not sent the woman to Adam in the first place, then Adam thought that he would not have sinned! eeeennnk! I don’t believe so Adam! Think about our many excuses, men blame their distractions at work or even at church, on the pretty lady who wears very short dresses or very tight pants, for leading them to infidelity. I wonder when God looks at the deepest part of man’s heart what He must find is really happening, to cause such sin to erupt in a man’s heart? Yes friend, you read that right. God considers even our wicked thoughts when He judges us! Men, may I plead with you to join me in fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith? May I suggest that we commit ourselves more to the idea of drawing closer to God and being obedient to His Word, then perhaps our minds would be more focused on eternal matters than on the sinful things of this world? Ladies, I know you are not exempt from this condition, so please consider the gist of what I just shared and apply it to the challenges you face. God in His mighty wisdom actually distracted me on to the thoughts I just shared, because my initial intent was to actually introduce the Advent season into my blog over the next 24 days. Friends, we are introduced in this scripture today, to the very first sin – also known as the fall of mankind. You will quickly recognize that it was from the very beginning of time that God saw the need to send our Savior into the world to save fallen man. This ‘Savior’ of which I am referring is God’s very own Son that He sent – Jesus. It is the miraculous birth of Jesus that we celebrate each and every Christmas. Perhaps this should be the season of Thanksgiving when we consider the precious gift given for our benefit, even though we are personally embellished by the  weakness of sin!

Prayer

Father, from the time of our very first ancestor, sin has been a problem – a challenge for mankind. We are weak, and very gullible to sin, but then we are so quick to deflect the cause of that sin onto anything, or anyone else that we could think of. Please open our hearts to the awesome reminder of how You not only saw our sin, but You did everything to help us seek forgiveness of that sin in preparation for standing before a holy, sinless God. You alone are God in heaven, and yet You loved us enough to make the way clear for us to be with You! Thank You Heavenly Father, thank You Jesus, and thank You Holy Spirit. We are truly a blessed people. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may each person meditating on this thought today be ready to see You face-to-face on resurrection morning, all because 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!

Deserving of God’s Judgment?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 10:29-31 (TPT)

TEXT:  29 How much more severely do you suppose a person deserves to be judged who has contempt for God’s Son,[p] and who scorns the blood of the new covenant that made him holy, and who mocks the Spirit who gives him grace? 30 For we know him who said, “I have the right to take revenge and pay them back for their evil!” And also, “The Lord God will judge his own people!”[q31 It is the most terrifying thing of all to come under the judgment[r] of the Living God!

OBSERVATION:   So often we hear of the love of God, or the mercies of God, or the blessings of God, that we seldom stop to consider how God must feel when we have seen His glory, accepted the sacrifice of His Son, promised to be obedient to Him to the end, but then choose to continue living in sin anytime we want. The writer of Hebrews placed this back on us to consider what we feel like God should do with those who are in contempt of His goodness. Let’s meditate on what might be our sentence for these, for we might sooner or later be one of these found guilty of the same ugly sin, unless we are determined to stay committed to the one true God.

APPLICATION:   This challenging thought is actually a good one, for we are quick to say what should happen to someone who might be breaking man’s laws or God’s commands, but would we be as quick to judge ourselves in a similar fashion if we are the guilty ones? Take for example the guy speeding down the street who runs into your vehicle and injures your spouse. You’re ready to put him away for at least as long as your spouse is disabled, right? But are you willing to suggest to the Highway Patrolman to give you the same sentence when you are pulled over for speeding? Friends, just as speeding signs are posted on every road, God has shown us in His Word the speed in which we are to become angry with our fellow believers; the speed in which we are to help those in need; the love that we must extend to even the unlovable. And to top all this off, God sent His Son to live among us and demonstrate how we are to accomplish these commands. Furthermore, God saw how challenging it would be for us to continue a life of sacrifices, so He sent His only Son, Jesus, to be our eternal sacrifice, if we would have Him (accept Him as our Lord and Savior for the redemption of our sin). So now we should consider these verses again: what then should God do, if we say “yes Lord, I believe and accept the sacrifice of Your Son”, but then go on living a life of sin? Friends, I am reading a passage in the Old Testament each morning that I read these great truths in the New Testament, and I can reiterate that if God said He will not tolerate sin, then you can go to the bank with that. If God said that He would destroy a people or a land for their sin, then you may as well mark them off the map right now. We know that God said that He will not tolerate sin, but yet we continue in sin. What’s with that friend? God created us, and He is also responsible for carrying out His judgment and resulting punishment to those of us that continue to do things in opposition to His will, His Word and His commands. We know that He actually destroyed nations for their disobedience, so we should be careful to approach Him with reverence and fear today as we seek His face, seek His forgiveness, and gain a renewed determination to love Him and serve Him faithfully until the day He calls us home to glory.

PRAYER:   Because You are so loving, so forgiving and so willing to help us through this challenging life here on earth, we often take that for granted and continue to live our lives just like the world and its leader directs us. Please forgive us Lord for our stubborn hearts, and please be patient with encouraging us to follow You in every aspect of our lives. You are the only way, and Your commands are meant for our good and not to harm us. Please give us strength to stay strong in our commitment to You and in our effort to live according to Your will and way oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. 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!

 

The Distraction Caused By Sin

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Timothy 6:11-12 (NLT)

TEXT:  11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

OBSERVATION:   As a mentor to Timothy, the apostle Paul tried to provide him the best advice possible to stay on track for the Lord Jesus – a mission to help him reach the lost in the communities in which he ministered, and to ensure that he personally remained a good witness for the Savior in whom he had found peace and steadfast hope. God knew that we would be in very similar circumstances today, so I believe that he had this advice included just for us. Let us therefore meditate on it and reflect on what God desires of His messengers.

APPLICATION:   Growing up at home, we were mentored by our parents to live life in similar form to what they lived. Of course, we probably thought that their ideas were archaic and that there were much better ways of handling circumstances, according to what we learned from our friends!! However, the older we become, we realize that our parents were very much on target with their beliefs, their practices and their advice. In fact, we see where they may have truly loved us more than we ever imagined, and the advice shared with us was not only godly, but also came with a whole lot of love, and resulted from many trial and errors by them. So imagine if we had similar mentorship in the church? Wouldn’t it be good to reflect on the advice given to us in love, knowing that God probably gave that Brother or Sister a mission to work on us and help guide us to righteousness and to Himself? Perhaps we could start by focusing on the advice that Paul gave to Timothy, for I am certain that it still pertains to us today, and could go a long ways in teaching us to be more like Christ in our walk here on earth. Here’s the advice that I believe God would have us pay attention to:

  • Run from the evil mentioned in the first 10 verses of 1 Timothy 6 – False teachings and wealth; 
  • Instead, learn and strive to do the following:
    • Live righteously – center yourself on being right with God, and live according to His example shown to us in His Word;
    • Test your faith, and grow in as you watch God at work in your life;
    • Pursue love – go after it. Look for ways to express the love given to you by the Almighty. Let others see the love of God, through the ways that you express that love to them;
    • Perseverance – Be so patient with others that they will see the power of God inside of you, working through you, for their good;
    • Pursue gentleness – something that takes the power of the supernatural. Especially when others try their best to trip us up and want to see us lose our patience and godly character;

Friends, I find it so exciting that Paul even goes on to remind us of the reward that’s in store for those who love the Lord, and have given Him full reign in their lives. I’m even more excited that, through God’s calling on my life, I am assured of those rewards! Are you, my friend? If not, please read my Footnote for tips on how to assure yourself of this wonderful gift from my loving Savior. He loves you dearly, and would rather nothing less than seeing you commit your life to His lordship. Why not today dear one?

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank You for working in and through Your servant Paul. Thank You for having Paul share this discovery in writing so that we might read it and be reminded of its value to us today. Please speak to all those who will read this devotional, and especially to those who are ignoring Your precious love, or have chosen the road led by the evil one. Lord You are good, and Your mercies are precious to us in every way. May we be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. 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!

 

Sin Will Hold Back God’s Hand of Blessing

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-08-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

Joshua 7:13 (TLB)

Text:

 13 “Get up! Tell the people, ‘Each of you must undergo purification rites in preparation for tomorrow, for the Lord your God of Israel says that someone has stolen from him, and you cannot defeat your enemies until you deal with this sin.
OBSERVATION:
When God sent Joshua and the Israelites to conquer Jericho, He gave specific instructions to them about what should be destroyed (pretty much everything), and what must be brought back for the temple of the living God (silver and gold). God knew that there were some who disobeyed Him and brought back valuables for themselves. They sinned against God. Because of this unconfessed sin, God chose to see the Israelites punished when they went to battle against the people of Ai.
APPLICATION:
In chapter 7 of Joshua, we could see where the sinful acts mentioned above was performed by one person, yet God allowed many of the Israelite army to be killed by the very small army of Ai. Joshua was crushed by this and he mourned and prayed before God. Of course, God knew who was guilty, but He found a way to show the Israelites that it all boiled down to one man who then confessed his sin before God and the people. This made me think of how this applies to us today. Friends, we often sit and ponder why certain things happen to us, our church, our town, our state and even our country. We are quick to judge that it must be our run-away child that’s bringing judgment on our home; or the pastors and leaders of our church who make bad judgment calls that, in turn, causes churches to close its doors; or perhaps the president of a country who is so awful that our country is going to Hell. Friends, I don’t believe that we have to look very far, for often there is sin right within our own lives, even though we try our best to portray perfection. One of the very sad truths that come from this story is that, the sins of one man destroyed his whole family, a fair number of his army, and wreaked havoc on his leader who was totally heartbroken about what was happening under his leadership. Often we think that our absence from church is unnoticeable and our sin is insignificant because it only impacts us personally, but isn’t it a good reminder that our lack of commitment and our willingness to do our own thing, could impact a whole family; a whole church; or a whole lot more? We must remember friends, that a Christian might influence those around him into accepting Jesus as Lord, or he might be so hardened and obstinate towards God that he causes God’s anger to flare against a whole church or community because of his selfish and sinful attitude. You do make a difference friend, so seek the face of Jesus to help you be all that you have committed to Him, and more. Allow God to make you a usable vessel in His vineyard and not a roadblock to others.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for showing Your love towards us, even while we were still sinners without any hope. Representing You before our lost family and friends is such a great honor and privilege, but please help us to always be mindful that we could very easily become an ‘Achan’ as we take our eyes off You and allow sin to filter into our lives again. I don’t believe that anyone desires to be like ‘Achan’, so please help us Lord to stay closely in tuned with You so that our hearts will recognize when Satan tries to attack. We are Yours Lord, and we want to keep it that way until You call us home to glory, but we need You to guide us daily, and we need Your strength to help us make decisions that honor You. The glory belongs to You Lord! 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!

Jesus Can Help Even If Blinded By Sin

THE HOLY BIBLE John 9:39-41 The Voice (VOICE):

Jesus: 39 I have entered this world to announce a verdict that changes everything. Now those without sight may begin to see, and those who see may become blind.

Some Pharisees (who overheard Jesus): 40 Surely we are not blind, are we?

Jesus: 41 If you were blind, you would be without sin. But because you claim you can see, your sin is ever present.

THOUGHTS: Ever noticed how easy it is, and how prone we are, to assume that the preacher is talking to the guy behind us, or perhaps right beside us? You know, the message just seems to fit the other person so well! In fact, you couldn’t have said it any better yourself, right? This is so unfortunate, and really very scary, because if we are not careful we can walk away from a sermon, or read a devotional like this one, and never be personally impacted by the Word of God, because these lessons must have been intended for ‘the other person’. So having said this up front, may I encourage you to take a moment and speak to God? Ask Him to melt, and humble your heart, so that you might be open and attentive to His Word today, and apply it very squarely to your life. Let’s try to put this in perspective friends. I would imagine that if you met a group of friends at church and decided to go out and do some door-to-door evangelism, you would probably choose to visit those homes where no one attends your church. Why? Because we are caught into a trap like the Pharisees, where we assume that all church attendees are saved. Let me suggest another view on this. Let’s assume that an investigator approached you for help in finding a criminal who has been tormenting the neighborhood. How many church attendees would you suggest that the investigator visit and question? Friends, this scripture is a great eye-opener for us, because Jesus is saying to us that because we say we are saved, then anything that we do contrary to His teaching, is sin. In other words, the day we asked Jesus into our hearts, there was an awesome Helper assigned to us, because we were given a new ‘plumb line’ (standard) to live by – God’s Word and His teachings. When we deliberately reject the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit and live any which way we want to, then we become like those Pharisees that Jesus spoke to in these verses. We know the right way, or God’s way, yet we have chosen to disobey and do our own thing. This is blatant sin, friend! For non-Christians reading this today, please don’t think that you are off the hook, because your whole life has not been reconciled with God yet. Your responsibility lies with working out your own salvation. God Loves you so much that He gave His precious, and only, Son to die on a cruel cross so that you might have a means of seeking forgiveness of your sin. To my Christian friends, please be reminded that accepting Jesus as Lord was the first and primary step in knowing Him as Lord. If you were sincere in that decision, then your life will reflect that by the way you live. If you are His child, you will live like Him. Thinking that you are His child and reflecting no change in your lifestyle may be a case of you having repeated a few words suggested by a pastor or friend. A true commitment to Jesus, creates a relationship with Him. Success in any relationship comes through knowing more about the other person and doing everything possible to please them. Are you there yet in your relationship with Jesus?

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for assuming that we have this thing called ‘life’ all worked out. So often we are induced into making decisions in order to please parents, spouses or friends, but without taking personal responsibility to live according to the commitment we made. Unfortunately our commitment to You is much like that, for we enjoy the security of Your love, Your protection and Your eternal security, but we go on to live our lives without the full impact of change that is necessary to be obedient to You and Your commands. This causes us to get caught in a trap of hardened sin in our lives, that makes it challenging for You to pierce our hearts and get our attention. Distancing ourselves from You makes it challenging for us to recognize sin in our lives. Please soften hardened hearts today oh Lord, beginning with me. May we be sensitive to the work of You Holy Spirit so that we may be more like You before a lost and dying world. We need You Heavenly Father, and I ask that You break down walls today so that we might recognize You and go on to be more obedient children, for this is my humble plea that I ask in the 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 www.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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