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

Archive for the ‘direction’ Category

How To Get From Here to There

Saturday, 2019-10-26

Bible Reference: John 6:43-44
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  43 But Jesus said, “Stop complaining to each other. 44 The Father is the one who sent me, and he is the one who brings people to me. I will raise them up on the last day. Anyone the Father does not bring to me cannot come to me.

OBSERVATION: For someone asking for directions to a friends house on the other side of town, you might tell them from personal experience, you might write down turn by turn directions, or you might give them the proper physical address so they could use their GPS. There may be some who, after being inspired by the Holy Spirit, may ask for directions on how to become a follower of Christ. Can you give them the same detailed instructions?

APPLICATION:  Many who were following Jesus and listening to His teaching just didn’t get it. In fact, in this very chapter we read about many turning away because they just wasn’t sure that Jesus was the ‘real thing’. Friends, are either of these first two statements any different than what we see today? I don’t think so. Just imagine, there are folk that attend our churches today that are there because mom or dad insisted that they attend; or perhaps a man is attending because his wife came from a church background and insisted that he come to church with her. But let me encourage you by saying much like Jesus described and announced to His followers in this scripture, there are many ‘true’ or ‘real’ Christians that we know and fellowship with, who have been touched by the mighty hand of God – the same God that sent Jesus – our Redeemer, Mediator and Savior. These folk have committed their lives to the lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ in total surrender. To better understand the imagery of what Jesus is teaching here, I want you to think for a moment of the number of folk that you walk up to, or work/play alongside each day. Are you committed to them? No, you happened to have entered into their space because of normal circumstances. Now, let’s imagine that you have been invited by the White House staff to appear before the president of the United States. Would there be a difference in how you prepare yourself with how you will appear in his space? I’m sure there will be! Now think for a moment that something has occurred in your life where you feel certain that the Holy Spirit of God is urging you to accept an invitation to attend church this weekend, or perhaps to accept that luncheon request from an old Christian friend who’s been inviting you for a while now. Let’s assume that at either of these meetings the truth of God’s Word is shared and an invitation given to you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Having been urged by the Holy Spirit, do you suppose that you would have a very strong desire to accept, based on how everything came together? Friend, may I suggest to you that you look beyond situations that many might call coincidences, or mere luck? May I suggest that you recognize the hand of God when He touches your life; penetrates your heart with His divine presence; and calls you to a decision to follow Him? To all who surrender; to all who believes on Him; to all who commits to His invitation and call; to them He offers life eternal, just like He said in verse 44 – “He will raise you up” to be with Him and the Father on Resurrection Day! I am anxiously looking forward to that day friend, I hope that you will be obedient to His call today and prepare yourself for the awesome meeting with Jesus. The promise of Heaven is reserved for those who know and have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. Others will be presented with quite the opposite experience – hell and damnation. The choice we make today, in response to the call of the Father, determines our final destination. Please don’t disappoint me, nor my heavenly Father.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your invitation to to one day join You in heaven. Who is man that You should care enough for us to make such a provision? Thank You for loving Your children enough to speak with us one-on-one and for providing us the sacrificial means for the forgiveness of our sin and our subsequent entry into heaven. Thank You for Jesus! I have friends and family who have rejected Your call on their life, or they are perhaps of the wrong impression that their sinful lives are ‘good enough’ to see them into heaven. Lord, have mercy on them. Please tender the hearts of the stubborn and unconcerned today. May they recognize Your voice and adhere to Your calling today, before it is eternally too late for them to do so. All these things I ask humbly, and in the powerful name of Jesus, my Savior, 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 might 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!

Be Strong and Courageous – The Lord is with You

Tuesday, 2019-08-06

Bible Reference: Joshua 1:8-9
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

OBSERVATION: I believe that often we are challenged with a BIG point of indecision, similar to what Joshua must have been facing in the story from which I chose these two verses today. It is so awesome to reflect on how God worked in the past and to know that He is still the same today as He was back then. Spend a few moments with me today as we meditate on this Scripture and apply it to our lives.

APPLICATION: At this point in the journey by the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, they are just across the river from their final destination. However, Joshua is faced with a huge challenge, much like we might feel at certain times in our lives. I’m sure in his mind Joshua sees a river that is way too deep to ever cross over, and he can’t see enough of the other side to know if it’s something that he should even struggle to find a way to get over to it. You know those kinds of challenges, for you’ve had a few of those yourself during your short lifetime! For example, I’m faced with retirement – it will be the first time in my lifetime that I will enter such an awesome change in my life’s journey! I’ve dreamed about it, and I’ve asked God to help me attain it, especially after so many years of working relentless hours. But I needed these verses today to tell me how my future will be successful. Oh the comforting words whispered by God Himself, that I just need to stand tall and be courageous, for He will be with me, just like He was with my ancestors Moses and Joshua. So ‘HOW’ will my decision be successful? God said in His Word that if Joshua meditated on His Word day and night, and be sure to obey what is written in His Word then, and only then, will he succeed in what he does. I have every reason to believe that God demands the same thing of me as I ask Him to guide me successfully through the unknown that lies ahead in retirement. Further, I take great courage in the words that follow in today’s Scripture, for I believe that my God looks on me like He did with Joshua, and says ‘take courage my son, and be strong, for the Lord God Almighty is with you wherever you go’. The interesting thing is that there are several other huge decisions that I needed to be encouraged in through this promise today, and I sincerely thank God for drawing me to these verses today for this awesome encouragement. But for my dear readers, I believe that God led you to read this devotional today because you may have some possible mountains ahead that seem uncrossable to you also. Take courage my friend, be of good cheer, be strong in the knowledge and comfort of the One who loves you enough to give up His life as a sacrifice for you – HE will be by your side, HE will lead you through the fog of the unclear future you might see ahead of you. Let’s remember, HE is our Father and HE will see us through every walk of life as we head towards the Promised Land that He went on ahead to prepare for us in Heaven. Those that know Jesus as their Savior will have this wonderful assurance today. Those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord, will have no idea what I am joyfully referring to today, but I hope that I have peeked your interest enough to read my Footnote and the pages hyperlinked in my Footnote. Jesus wants you to surrender your all to Him also my friend. Do it today, for you have no promise of tomorrow.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on to the end…. In the words of that old song Lord, I need You more than ever to take my hand and lead me on every day. Oh that my readers will take courage from Your promises in Your Word today that You will lead them on also, just as You promised Moses and Joshua. Oh that the unsaved who may stumble across this devotional today, oh that they may be in such a position of uncertainty in life, that they might be encouraged to reach out and accept you as their Lord, their Savior, their Director in life and their Encourager for making good decisions, in confidence, knowing that the King of kings and Lord of lords, is right by their side. Have Your will and way today oh Lord, as you lead and direct our paths. 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 might 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!

Allow God to Use You Today Exactly where You are at

Thursday, 2019-03-28

Bible Reference: Esther 4:12–14
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text: When Mordecai was told what Esther had said,  he sent back this reply, “Don’t think that you will escape being killed with the rest of the Jews, just because you live in the king’s palace. If you don’t speak up now, we will somehow get help, but you and your family will be killed. It could be that you were made queen for a time like this!”

OBSERVATION: Many will buy a ‘chance’ today, to win millions of dollars in a lotto! Others will attribute their being located in a specific place around specific people as circumstantial, or by accident, or even mere luck. However, we should meditate on the words of Mordecai in this Scripture today, and understand that God has an ordained place for us to be today, with certain people, for a specific purpose that only He knows. Let’s anticipate the blessings that might ensue, as a result of our obedience to God today!

APPLICATION: Mordecai challenged Esther to reconsider her reason for not assisting him in his plea to save the lives of all Jews in the area at that time. Maybe up to this point Esther was thinking that it was because of her beauty that she was favored to be queen under King Xerxes, or perhaps her gentle character or even her kind-hearted attitude. However, was Esther really any worse that some of us? I believe that way too often we tend to attribute our location to something that we have always desired; Our job position on something we have worked hard for, and achieved; Our spouse on the attraction one towards the other; Our church on being the most popular in the area with the best worship music or preaching or teaching of God’s Word. But friend have you stopped to reflect on where you are at in each of these areas of your life right now, and how God had a hand in it all? Have you reflected recently on the gentle, but firm guidance in your life to get you where you are at in every aspect of life? I can personally share that there have been many situations in my life where I can reflect back and see exactly how and why God directed me to where I am today. So do I believe that God has me where He wants me for a time such as this? I can only respond very positively, based on my faith in Him and on the ways that He has operated in my life already. Now I’ve also seen Him close doors, so don’t assume that everything will be super positive, clean and just the way we want it, or like it. If we trust Him for direction in our lives, then we must trust Him for all the benefits and/or fallouts we might see, especially in those cases where answers may of been delivered differently to what we had our minds made up for. Friends, if you are a child of the King – a born-again Christian, you are who you are; and where you are; surrounded by everyone God has ordained to be there – for such a time as this. May God use this time to draw you closer to Himself and to be especially obedient to Him, so that He can use You to accomplish His work right where you are, just as you are.

PRAYER: Father, You are such an awesome God and I thank You for reaching in through hoards of other folk, to acknowledge the needs and opportunities of this simple man. Thank You for loving me that much! I’m sure that my readers and I could identify with the encouragement and push needed by Esther, because we often find it easier to poke our heads in the sand and ignore needs around us. Now we are reminded that we are divinely gifted and purposefully placed where we are in life for such a time as this. Please use us, Your instruments of praise, to continue to do Your will, and may we always be obedient and willing servants. I ask these things in faith, and in the precious name of 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 might 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!

How To Stand Against Satan

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Ephesians 6:10-12 (TLB)

TEXT:  10 Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.

OBSERVATION:   Facing the same issue as we face today, Paul had some great advice on how to stand against, and overcome the strategies and tricks of Satan. This is still a very real problem today, so I would like for us to spend some time looking at this, knowing that there is help available to us.

APPLICATION:   In verse 10 we are reminded of the source of our power to overcome Satan and his attacks. First of all, we must acknowledge that we do not personally have the strength to overcome Satan’s attacks, and that there is only One who does – Jesus Christ. We must therefore approach the throne in response to these attacks, and not to make things worse by adding our own worldly efforts to fight against the ‘evil one’. So as we place our faith in the Lord and ask Him for power to overcome, let us also put on the armor of God, as detailed beginning in Ephesians 6:10, and per God’s Holy Word, we will stand safe against the strategies and tricks of Satan. Friends this sounds like a storybook resolution to our challenges from the ‘evil one’, but may I encourage you to place your faith in our Lord Jesus. Not only will He save us from our sins and award us life eternal in Heaven with He and His Father, but this same Savior also has the power to heal, the wisdom to  guide us through every challenge that may face us each day, but He also has all power over the ‘evil one’. Why would God do this for us? I believe, based on the Word of God, that we are the ‘apple of His eye’; we are His child; He demonstrated His love for sinners, like you and I, who stood by and watched Him being brutalized on the cross, yet He followed through on His sacrifice to show His love for us. This is the God who also promised us that He would deliver us from the ‘evil one’, and give us power to stand firm against the fierce arrows of all that he might send our way. Friends, this is the God that I present to you as the only One to help us overcome Satan. Do you know Him? Have you placed your faith and trust in Him? Have you trusted Him with your life, and therefore have the necessary confidence to believe that you could stand firm against Satan? Please reassess your belief system, and your faith. Be sure that you are anchored safe in the arms of Jesus.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father; Glorious Son of God; our Lord and Savior; thank You for watching over Your kids and being willing to listen to our frequent cries, often for the silliest things and perhaps things that may appear so insignificant to many. Lord, we have faith to believe that if something is important and concerning to us, then You make it a priority in helping us to overcome our concerns. Lord, we lift Your name on high, and we acknowledge that we can do nothing without Your power and direction in our lives. Thank You Jesus, that we have a Savior who loves us so! 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!

 

God’s Power Expressed Through Our Weakness

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (TPT)

TEXT: 7 …..  this is why a thorn in my flesh was given to me, the Adversary’s messenger sent to harass me, keeping me from becoming arrogant. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.

OBSERVATION:   I believe that Paul cleared up one thing for us in this passage. There are limitation to our abilities, and those around us know what those limitations are. When something more powerful is achieved, everyone will know that either we had additional training since they last saw us, or it really is another power within us that accomplished the miraculous work they just saw. This is still applicable to us today with all the technological advances, but God doesn’t need any help proving who He is, nor is He concerned about the abilities of the one through who He chooses to work. Let’s study this some more!

APPLICATION:   Can you imagine how easily Paul could have taken credit for some of the miraculous things that happened during his ministry and projected himself as one with super powers? The miraculous opening of the prison gates; the shipwrecks; to name just a few. But friends we must remember the miraculous turn around that Jesus accomplished through this servant right at the very beginning, for he (Saul) operated as a persecutor of Christians, until Jesus opened his eyes of faith to the actual truth of the gospel and the full power of God. I believe that Paul opened our eyes to a few things:

  1. God calls us to be His servant, meaning that He will tell us what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Let’s not get ahead of Him and do our own thing and then ask God to bless what we did. It just doesn’t work that way. Remember, He is God and we are the servant through whom He may choose to work, not the other way around;
  2. Never complain about what God might put us through, as it might be for His glory, and for others to see God at work, even through someone with a ‘thorn in their side’. Furthermore if the work of the gospel is completed even while we might be physically unable to, then unbelievers must ask themselves, ‘so who do it then?’
  3. Never question the work that God sends us to do, for as we surrender to Him all that, you feel, might be inadequate and untrained, imagine who the people will see as the one doing the work?

Friends, as we make ourselves available to be God’s servant, it must be with the attitude that His grace, or His power, will rule and reign in the eyes and hearts of those we stand in front of, so that He may be glorified. If God is glorified, our hearts and lives can live at peace knowing that our focus was on target. Know that as long as we reside on this earth, we will face challenges and hardships, but always be reminded of verse 9, the words to Paul, that are still very applicable to us today: my grace is sufficient for all your needs my child! Yes, because of His grace, and through His power, we can do all things for the glory of the Father!

PRAYER:   Lord I believe that many times it may only be through our weaknesses that You truly get our attention. We are such a stubborn people, striving always to be independent and do things our way and on our own. Please help us to take a step in humility and surrender, so that we can truly become faithful servants of Yours that You will find worthy of using in Your kingdom work. Lord, may they see Jesus in all that we do or say. 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!

 

Our God – Loving, But Also Just

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Chronicles 36:15-17 (NCV)

TEXT:  15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent prophets again and again to warn his people, because he had pity on them and on his Temple. 16 But they made fun of God’s prophets and hated God’s messages. They refused to listen to the prophets until, finally, the Lord became so angry with his people that he could not be stopped. 17 So God brought the king of Babylon to attack them. The king killed the young men even when they were in the Temple. He had no mercy on the young men or women, the old men or those who were sick. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. 

OBSERVATION:   We can see right at the beginning how God showed His love in trying to do everything possible in order to get to the hearts of His children who were disobeying His commands. However, in verse 17 it is clear that God may have to punish at times, in order to get our attention. I know that we don’t like to concentrate on the bad, or the corrections, but that makes it no less real or effective in our lives. God knew what it took to get the attention of the Israelites, and He also knows what it takes for Him to work on you also, child of God.

APPLICATION:   While at your favorite restaurant, you might look across the room and see a dad cuddling with his young son and enjoying some quality time with this child that he loves so much. Later during your visit, you hear a child screaming, and you look around only to see a mom taking her son outside, and you can only imagine what’s in store for that boy when he gets outside! Is that a representation of how a dad loves his child vs how a mom shows love to her child? I believe that most of you reading this devotional will understand that both the mom and dad showed equal love towards their children in the above scenario. However, most of the time that we hear about God, it is mostly about His awesome love and how good He is, which I totally endorse. However, let’s also remember that God established His Word to teach us about His commands and His teachings. He tells in His Word of the ways that He shows His love for us and, as in these verses chosen today, He also tells us what action He may bring on us if we are persistent in disobeying Him, or if we decide to follow our own desires and rules and ignore His. Friends, please know that God is known as a loving and just God. He showed His love for mankind by sending His very own Son to die on a cruel cross, just to display the extreme love that He has for us. However, please know that God also loves us enough to correct us. To draw our attention to the wrong we may be involved in. And He may use anyone or anything within His reach to effect our attitude, our obedience, or our love for Him and our fellow man. May I suggest that you speak with God when things are happening that may impact you and/or your world? See if He is trying to get your attention about something that you thought no one else knew about besides you. Remember, He brought in the king of Babylon to attack the Israelites and even kill off some of the people in the temple. Do you suppose there is a limit to what He might do to get your attention?

PRAYER:   Lord, I believe that You show Your love for us in many, many ways. Often this may be through blessings that we enjoy every day. However, that will never get our attention to correct the wrongs that we do, so You are forced to discipline us in order to effectively change our course of action, and in order to draw us closer to You. Lord, may we be grateful in the good things that we are quick to acknowledge and give You praise for. However, please help us to recognize the steering currents that You use to change our course of direction that was leading us to disobedience or disrespect. Lord, may You be glorified in every way through us, and may God receive honor and glory from all things. 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!

 

Your Decisions Will Cost You

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 18:5-6 (NLT)

TEXT:   5Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”

OBSERVATION:   Paul was a very patient evangelist of the Gospel of Christ. He had a passion for reaching the lost, and also those who allowed other teachings to hide them from the truth of the Gospel. However, he was a very smart man, and one who was closely in tuned with the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul realized that he could not force anyone to believe on the name of Jesus, so he allowed God to direct him when to move on, so that the people would feel the absence of the Savior. This is still very prevalent today, so let’s dig deeper into this.

APPLICATION:   One of the most joyous occasions in a church is to help welcome a new pastor to serve at your church. For those who dig in and work along with the pastor to accomplish the work of the Lord in His local church, one of the saddest events in a church is when a pastor feels compelled to leave your church. Way too often, it’s for reasons very similar to the scenario faced by Paul, for the people are steeped in tradition and refuses to accept the love and preaching from men who, they feel, don’t fit the mold of their personal ideals for a ‘perfect’ pastor. Unfortunately, this could mean that in spite of their gentle heart for the Lord and His work here on earth, yet the man presenting the gospel is a mortal man, and this is often reflected through his casual talk; the friends (church members) that he hangs out with during his downtime; the jokes that he uses to help demonstrate or illustrate the story being preached that day; and the casual dress throughout the week is even being brought into the pulpit. However, he has a passion for the lost; he is a student of the Word of God and faithfully communicates with God about His perfect will for your church. Friends, these same pastors leave our church because of silly things that hurt them and their family, and they go on to another church where God is at liberty to work through them to reach the people of that community. Often these pastors brush the dust off their feet when they leave your church – the dirt of distrust; lack of communication; lack of acceptance and cooperation; excessive gossip about them and/or their family; refusal to allow God in and use you as part of the ministry at your church. Oh that we might remember that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. While here on earth we should be preparing ourselves, with the help of God, to see our old selves changed into the likeness of God as we prepare for that day when we will see Him face to face. Our time here should now be spent getting rid of old habits and the tricks we played on people that hurt them so badly. Our time should be spent in developing an attitude like that of Christ, and getting along with all men and women, even those that the world might look at and wonder why do we bother. Friends, I wonder if the blood of others may not sometimes be upon our shoulders it we had a part in steering them away from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, it is so challenging to live here on earth and imitate You in every way. Often we find many excuses and reasons why we can’t, but Lord I humbly plead that You would melt our hardened hearts so that we might see our old selves with its flawed character, step aside as we assume the life that You have given to us and demonstrated for us. People need the Lord. They need to see You. They need to hear from You. If that’s not happening through us, then please teach us to step aside and not be a stumbling block to those You are trying to reach. I pray that You might be able to use me Lord, but I would rather Your will, not mine. To God be the glory, for all that You will accomplish! 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!

 

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