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

Archive for the ‘Born Again’ Category

Reasons To Worship

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 95:6–7

Come, let us worship and bow down.

Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,

for he is our God.

We are the people he watches over,

the flock under his care.

If only you would listen to his voice today!

Thoughts:

As a child, we normally question ‘Why?’ as we learn new things or when people ask us something, or tell us to do something. Is it any different as adults? We tend to question a lot also, and we tend to object when we don’t understand why we are being asked to do something. In these focused verses from Psalm 95, David encouraged us to come, and let us worship God, let us bow down, and let us kneel before the Lord. Now, let’s look at our lives today and consider why we would want to follow this idea, or command, of David’s. After all, there is no way that we would do something like this without understanding why we are doing it! Here are some reasons I discerned from David’s command:

  • God is our maker – think about this, parents play an important role in ‘making’ their children. While they don’t demand their children to worship them, they do demand respect, honor and obedience. So when we consider God as our ‘maker’ should we not worship Him as part of our respect, honor, obedience and praise? In fact, these attributes are forms of worship!
  • He is our God – Sometimes I believe that we would sooner listen to the weatherman about Mother-Nature giving us a beautiful day, and offer up thanks to ‘Mother-Nature’ for blessing us with a great day! Friends, there is no ‘Mother-Nature’, there is God! He is the one that put this world together and created you and me to populate this earth. He is the One that created rain, the sun and all other things needed for us, and plant life, to live. He is the One who deserves our praise for the awesome days; good health; food on our tables; loving families, etc!
  • He watches over us – oh how thankful we are when sitters take such good care of our children for us. I know, we don’t worship them, but I do know that we are very thankful to them and honor them for their faithfulness to our kids. These are forms of ‘worship’ friends! If you came to church with these attributes towards God, you will be offering up praise to Him and could very easily be led into worship of Him.
  • He cares for us – I’ve been physically down a bit recently while recovering from surgery, and had to depend more on my wife, child, sister and church leaders than probably any other time in my life. Am I thankful to these individuals, and appreciate their unselfish acts in helping me when I can’t help myself? You bet I am! Do you see how this is the same way that God cares for us every day? Do you see how our hearts should be filled to overflowing with praise and thanksgiving to God when we come together to corporately worship Him?

Friends, based on the above, do you see any reason why we would need help in worshiping our God? Do you see any reason why our churches are not filled with the praises of God’s children when there are planned worship services? It begins with each of us friends, for we are the church. We are the ones that must draw close to God, so that He might draw close to us. We are the ones that must ready ourselves for corporate worship each week so that we can offer honest and heartfelt worship to our God. When the world sees this, they will be drawn to God. They must see something different than what they see in their everyday life on the streets or in secular jobs.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for being my God. Thank You for loving me enough that You gave, so that I might have an entryway into Heaven. Thank you for watching over me and caring for me. Lord, please help me, and those that I worship with each week, to stop our busy minds, leave behind the concerns of this world, concentrate on You and worship You. Lord, this is very personal, so I believe each of us must purpose in our own hearts to give all of us to all of You, so that You may be lifted up, worshiped and praised in a manner pleasing to You. May You hear a sweet, sweet sound of personal worship from us daily, and especially when we come together for corporate worship. Thank You for hearing my prayer, oh Lord, for I am asking all this in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

 

NOTE: 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.

Reasons Why The ‘World’ Don’t See Jesus

The Bible – New Living Translation

1 Corinthians 3:3

3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?

Thoughts:

Sometimes I look around at failing churches and I wonder, Why? Sometimes I see our pastors stressed out and I wonder, Why? And then sometimes I look at regular church attendees who suddenly stop coming to church, and I wonder, Why? God used this passage of scripture this morning to open my eyes to the reasons why, and it’s written in plain English right within the content of these verses for us to see. When we act in any of the above ways, it proves that:
          *   We are still controlled by our sinful nature;
          *   We are often jealous of one another and quarrel with each other; and
          *   We are still living like people of the world.
Now before our pride kicks in, and we get our noses too high in the air and begin thanking God for helping us to not be like that described above, I want to suggest that we invite God to dig deep into our inner selves and allow Him to open our hearts and our minds so that there will be no misgivings about our spiritual well being. You see, we are all a long ways away from the ideals established for us by Jesus himself. No matter how godly we may think we are, we must still seek God’s mercy and His constant eye on us, constantly guiding us and giving us wisdom to always respond to things outside of the ‘norm’ established in this world, in fact, we need to constantly respond the way that Jesus did, or the way that we discern from His Word that He would want us to respond. Friends, this will require us being in constant communication with God. I’m afraid that most of us are so full of this world that our only response will naturally look like a ‘worldly’ response. Conversely, if we would fill ourselves with Jesus Christ and His teachings, we would be more apt to respond like He would. Where do you stand Brother? Do You truly fill yourself with the knowledge and teachings of Jesus Christ, sister, so that your normal, quick, right-out-of-the-box response would be one that Jesus is pleased with? If I might suggest, let us humble ourselves before Christ and allow Him to use and lead us to speak and act like Him in our every day dealings with others. Let’s learn to be so filled with the Spirit of God that His character might spill over into all that we are and all that we say.

Prayer:

Father, may the church be the church. I pray that when Christians are encountered by the ‘world’ that they will immediately see the difference in us and not a hypercritical view of Christendom. The ‘world’ truly needs You Lord Jesus, please help us to not be a stumbling block to their needs being met by You. I humbly ask this in Your precious and holy name dear Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: 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.

 

For The Sake of the Gospel

The Bible The Message

Romans 15:15-16

So, my dear friends, dont take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. Its not criticism. Im simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by Gods Holy Spirit.

Thoughts:

Sometimes I believe that we read these passages in the Bible and we feel so sorry for the circumstances in which God’s messengers had to work, because we read where they were really challenged in many areas, especially the conflict between the Jews and the Gentiles (non-Jews). So let’s take a moment and rejoice over the many advancements that we have attained in our society and ministry today! Excuse me, but did I just give the impression that we have no issues like Paul faced? If I did, then I am totally wrong, because we are faced with issues that either hinder us from ministering to every man and woman, or we are faced with churches (people) that are opposed to having others of unmatched faith; or color or socioeconomic status, worship with them. Friends these types of prejudices hinder the spreading of the gospel as much as those Paul faced back in Romans 15. Just look around your workplaces, your circle of friends, your neighborhood, etc. We hear of folk that would go to vast extremes to hinder the possibility of folk like I referred to above from moving into their neighborhood, so should we expect to see any difference in our churches? Friends, there is only one God and there will be only one heaven, wouldn’t you reason that we should make every effort to try and work though some of these prejudices we’ve allowed Satan to entrench in our minds, while we are here on this earth so that we would be very comfortable in heaven among ALL of God’s people? Have you ever stopped to think that your reactions resulting from these various prejudices are actually hindering the gospel message? I would challenge you to think about how God might react to you obstructing the message of salvation when you come face to face with Him on Judgment Day. Based on scripture, I believe I have good authority in advising you that you might be surprised who might actually make it into heaven, for I believe there will be grave consequences for those who hinder one of God’s children from surrendering their heart to The Lord. Why not join me in asking God to look deep into our inner selves and expose any prejudice that might be found so that we may not obstruct those that we come into contact with that need to know The Lord, and also that we may be extremely welcoming to those that enter our church doors regardless of any differences that may be evident. People need The Lord friends, that’s the bottom line.

Prayer:

Thank You Lord Jesus for dying on Calvary’s rugged cross for sinners, yes even me. Although undeserving, yet You died for all, so that we may one day be with You in heaven for ever and ever. You placed no restriction on who might surrender their hearts to You, and my simple prayer this morning is that You might open our hearts, cleanse us of all unrighteousness – especially prejudices, so that we may be like You and accept all that may come into our lives, into our churches and into our realms of influence. Please continually remind us that Your judging will be based on our heart, and not any of the exterior things that we tend to look at and allow to interfere with our Godly influence. For I ask this in Your precious name, Lord Jesus, my deliverer, peacekeeper, and lover of all mankind AMEN!

 

NOTE: 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.

Sincere Godly Love, One for Another

The Bible – The Good News Translation

 Romans 12:9-10

 9 Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. 1 0 Love one another warmly as Christian brothers and sisters, and be eager to show respect for one another.

Thoughts:

In a world where family members are jealous of each other and can’t stand to be in each other’s presence; where coworkers are so competitive to reach the top or earn more commission and/or recognition, that they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to keep them from doing their best; where church members want to be in charge or favored by the pastor or can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another; I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will really not hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squish all the evil thoughts we might receive that make us act and rationalize to cause the above issues. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. Paul has reminded me that I need to live and love in ways that others might recognize and want to know You personally. This is difficult to do when I surrender to living and loving like the world. Father, please give me strength to be a victor in living my life according to the model You displayed. Please help me to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from my lips, but the desires of my heart and the actions of my whole being. Lord, sadly, I have ‘Christian’ family and friends that I know who are living in sin, because they are acting just like the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name and for Your sake, AMEN!

 

NOTE: 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.

Obligations To Share, Hear, Believe And Ask

The Bible – The New Living Translation

 Romans 10:13-14

 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Joel 2:32)

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

Thoughts:

This is a power-packed couple of verses, for anyone meditating on these words will find themselves obligated in one way or another. Think about where your obligation is today and be obedient to God. For example:

  • Share – I got the impression that for those of us that know the Lord, our involvement in helping a lost person come to a saving knowledge in Jesus Christ, is that we share with them. Now before you try to correct me and tell me that you are not a preacher, I want to remind you that there are many times in God’s Word where we, who already know Him, are told/obligated to share with those who do not. Sharing is not necessarily ‘preaching’, it is telling of the Good News, the Savior that got hold of your life and saved you from your self-destructing, evil trip to Hell. In fact, you are the only one that could share that with a friend who may not know the Lord – it’s your story!
  • Hear, Believe & Ask – I believe that vs 14 is telling the lost person that if the Word of God is explained to them, or if someone shares their story with them, know that it is God-sent and give it your undivided attention, as you are expected to accept/believe in Jesus Christ and ask/receive/invite Him as God’s precious gift of eternal life.

Friends, Paul was careful to explain that God’s gift is offered to all. In his day Paul had to clarify that the gift was offered to both the Jew and the Gentile. In our society today, I believe that we need to be reminded that God’s gift is offered to folk inside of the church worshipping, and to the ones who have never entered the doors of a church before. To the one who is looked up to in the community, or to the murderer. In fact, in another Bible verse, it is clear that God’s gift is available to ALL – whoever calls on His name (John 3:16). That includes you brother and sister! If you hear it, believe it and ask Jesus to come into your heart.

Prayer:

Thank You Father for those who leave our churches and travel overseas to spread the name of the Lord – our missionaries. Also, thank You for our pastors and evangelists who sacrifices hour after hour in sharing the love and saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus. Please be especially encouraging to those of us that cross paths with friends, family and coworkers every day that so desperately need You. Lord, may we never leave an opportunity unattended. May we never have to feel the guilt of disobedience in not sharing Your love and Your Word with those who need You. Father, I especially pray for the unsaved today. You have told us in Your Word that You are coming back soon to take us with You so that we may live with You throughout eternity. In the light of this promise, please help our unsaved ones to grasp the importance of really listening to Your Word, and may they not only hear, but also respond without reservation to Your call on their life. TODAY is the day of salvation! Lord, may it be so for all those I know, love and care about. For I ask all this in the name of Your precious Son, Jesus, believing that it will be done. AMEN!

 

NOTE: 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.

The Reward for Living Life Led By ‘The Spirit’!

The Bible –Good News Translation

Romans 8:13-14

13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.

Thoughts:

We live our lives according to two principles: 1). Dedicated to, and led by, God’s Holy Spirit – This means that like me, you have given yourself totally and unreservedly to the Savior of this world – Jesus. And because He lives in You and gives you a desire for His Word and for a life dedicated to serving Him and imitating Him in character, deed and word, then according to vs 14 we are His children, and according to vs 13, we will live – meaning live forever with Him in heaven even after we leave this old world! Principle #2). Is that you do nothing about your sinful condition. In fact, it dominates your life, and every decision you make and every deed and action comes from the mind and life of human nature and not of God. Friends, it is plain in verse 13 that folk living under this principle are destined to ‘die’. For those of you that have resigned yourself to accept this principle must realize that Paul is not just referring to physical death – that we all must go through, but he is referring to everlasting death, and for those of you that refer to daily life as being hell on earth, I need to remind you that you ‘ain’t seen nothin yet’, for eternal damnation in hell after your life on this cruel earth, is one that would sadden God’s heart to see any of His creation become a part of. However, just as loving parents allow their children to make their own choices, God allows us to make a choice between principle (1) and principle (2). What would you wish for your favorite child? Would you consider anything less for yourself? Vs 14 declares that when we choose principle (1), we are considered God’s children. Fact – Jesus is King over all this world. Children of kings are known as Princes and Princesses! Secure your new title today friend, if you have not already made a decision for principle (1).

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for the privilege of serving You, and for giving me guidance, wisdom, strength and boldness to live my life as detailed in principle (1) above. Although excited about each day and the opportunities available to me, I am overwhelmed and super excited about the expectations of eternal life with You in glory! However, while here on this earth I become very anxious about my family and friends that have defaulted to principle (2) because of their lack of concern for a better life; a richer quality of life; a satisfied life knowing that You have every little thing under control and a praise-worthy life acknowledging that all things come from You, for our good and benefit, and that You have this whole life thing under Your control, with no reason for us to worry. Lord, I’m Yours – everything I am, everything I have! Thank You for taking it (life) from here! These praises, requests and acknowledgments are all presented in Your holy name and for Your glory, oh Lord, AMEN!

 

**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.

Your Actions Reveal Who You are Controlled By!

The Bible –Good News Translation

Romans 8:5-6

5Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace.

Thoughts:

I believe that anyone thinking straight and reflecting on their life would probably say that they have made a lot of decisions based on what they want; to make themselves happier; richer or more comfortable. Now, to switch gears and truly respond to the question of whether you are a Christian or not, I believe would depend on whether you can ultimately respond that your life is so aligned with your Lord and Savior that you make decisions based on what His Holy Spirit leads you to do. Some might respond that they must be a Christian because they were told by their parents about a time in their life when, as a child, they raised their hand with all the other children in Bible school (that they were forced to attend every week) and they accepted Jesus as their Lord! Friends, if my marriage was only as good as the day, 39 years ago, when I said I do, would you say that I truly make decisions for the benefit of my wife and I? Because I have totally committed my whole self to that relationship and I work on it daily, I make decisions that first of all please my wife, then perhaps that might please myself. Likewise, if you have personally invited Jesus into your heart, and you daily work on that relationship with Him through prayer (your conversation with God), digging into His Word (so that you may learn His will and character and listen to His responses to your prayers) and, make your decisions based on what you discern from God and that would please Him, then I believe that you have a real, active, living relationship with Jesus, and one that will lead to life and peace, as indicated in verse 6. If you do not have this latter type relationship that I spoke of, then you may very well fall under the first option mentioned in verse 6 – you are controlled by your human nature that results in eternal death. There is no middle ground friend. The Bible is clear – you either know Him personally and you have the promise of eternal life with Him and peace forevermore; or you are convinced that you are in control of your life – knowing that you will face eternal death in Hell with Satan and his angels. Given the options, I believe that the choice is easy and very clear, friend. Why not meet with a local, Bible Teaching pastor or church leader today, or contact me using the email address below, so that we may work, and pray with you and help you make the most important decision of your life?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You have declared in Your Word that Your choice would be that none should perish, but that all Your children are precious in Your sight. And because You sacrificed Your life for the redemption of our sin, You would really like to see us make wise decisions and accept the gift of eternal life that is offered through accepting You as our Lord and personal Savior. Dear Jesus, there are family and friends that I know that have not yet made the wise decision to accept Your love and Your offering of eternal life and peace. Please tender their hardened hearts and convict them of the need to make this vital decision today, as they have no assurance of future opportunities. May my friends who read this today be especially convicted by Your Holy Spirit, and may these words inspire them to not delay such important decisions any longer. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, the only One with power to convict the hearts of the lost, AMEN!

 

Note:

**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.

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