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

Archive for the ‘Discerning’ Category

God’s Will, Not Yours

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 1 Chronicles 14:8-10
Today’s Bible Text: When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he marched out to meet them. The Philistines arrived and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. So David asked God, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The LORD replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will hand them over to you.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: I want you to imagine with me for a moment that you were faced with a very challenging situation in life where, if you didn’t take action, it would probably be disastrous for you. Next, I want you to assume the role of David where you are told that an army of giants are coming out to get you. Before long you look out and there is the army coming towards you, and your battalion of soldiers are ready to whip the army who is threatening you. May I ask that you consider what your next move would be? If you read the verses above, you know that David stopped, dropped and prayed, asking God what He wanted him to do. More specifically, David must have felt like it was pretty near impossible for him to fight such a great army, because he asked God if He was going to handle the battle for him. Now, imagine the confidence that David and his troops marched forward with. Imagine how David didn’t have to stress over the situation, because the same God that He had trusted before, was now in control of this battle, and furthermore David was content that he was doing precisely what God wanted him to do. Would this not be the same for us if, in our desperate situations – those that seem impossible to us, or leaves us totally helpless, yet gloriously we know that we could move forward in confidence, knowing that our God has the wheel! He’s in control of the situation at hand! He is capable of conquering the situation and delivering us, free from stress, and victorious! Can you handle that friend? Will you trust God like that, friend? He hasn’t changed, and He is definitely just as awesome and strong as He was for David, so there is no need to hesitate or doubt. Let us practice asking God before we jump into battle, not asking for His endorsement after you make your decision. Your decision is made from a human perspective and may often not be in the way that God would direct. His ways are perfect, friend! Let’s learn to do it His way at all times, won’t you?

Prayer: Father God. Almighty, all powerful and awesome Father who is filled with wisdom and knowledge. Thank You for getting our attention this morning to probably the greatest shortcoming of the Christian. For in our weakness, we feel like we are strong and could fight our battles alone, or at least until it’s time to call You in to our rescue. On the other hand, I believe that non-believers feel they could call on You in trouble, but have nothing to do with You the rest of the time. Lord, we are failures in our relationships, especially the all important relationship with You. Please forgive us Lord. Cause us to humble ourselves and ask for Your help before advancing in to the obvious, or our selfish desire. Please help us to learn from David, for twice in the same chapter of 1 Chronicles 14 did he recognize Your lordship and Your awesome power, so he asked You before making decisions. May we learn to be obedient to Your will oh Lord, and not default to our selfish and prideful will first. As You deliver our enemies to us, or are victories over our life-challenges, may we be ready to celebrate and use those moments as a testimony to our lost world. In love and awe-felt respect and honor, I ask these things 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 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!

2016

Lip Service vs True Repentance

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 78:36-39

36 But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues.

37 Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant.

38 Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury!

39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns.

Thoughts:

In this Psalm we are reminded of all the good that God did for the Israelites as they traveled through the wilderness for 40 years, and also all the bad or challenging things that God had to do in an effort to get the attention of the people and to see them return to Him, recognize Him as God and worship Him once again. It reminds me so much about our people today that I wanted to share these thoughts with you. You see, God blessed the Israelites in some very wonderful ways, including providing their daily food from heaven. Yes, in a way that they couldn’t help but recognize that it was from God. To the other extreme, He caused the death of their strongest men, hoping to get the attention of His people, but to no avail. He started taking the lives of those very close to them, and it got their attention, but it was only temporary. In fact these verses quoted above state that they only gave ‘lip service’ for their hearts were still hardened. Friends this reminds me so much of what I have seen over the years right here in our own country. Disasters have brought many to the church and many to the Lord, but it must have only been ‘lip service’ as they soon faded away and returned to their life of sin and rebellion. Could it be that we are putting way too much dependence in verses 38 and 39? Could it be that we are waiting for danger to strike very near to home before we kneel before the Father and plead for forgiveness of our sin and rebellion? An important note to us all is that Jesus knows even our inmost thoughts, so He knows when we make decisions under duress from family, friends or the preacher. Friends, God was so serious about His love for us, and so concerned about making provisions for us to enter heaven, that He allowed His one and only Son, Jesus, to die a cruel death on a cross, so that when we become serious about surrendering our life to Him we wouldn’t have to look for additional sacrifices, but merely talk to Jesus and accept His gift of love. Are you like the Israelites where you accepted the gift(s) of God (Jesus as Lord and Savior) at some point in your life, but have since returned to your old life of sin and disregard for the gospel? Please don’t wait for another disaster to occur, recommit your life to Jesus today and be reconciled with Him. He loves the repentant sinner and would welcome you back in a heartbeat. Please contact me if I might be of any help to you friend.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me enough that You sacrificed Your only Son to die on Calvary’s cross so that I might have life eternal. You did this in spite of the sin in this world – an act of love in its purest form. Please forgive me for the times that I allow sin to enter my life and distract me from Your commands. Please touch the hearts of all those that may meditate on this devotional today, and help us to be so committed to You that our family and friends will also have a desire to recommit their lives to You and live as You intended and instructed. There is so much sin and evil around us Lord, that we need a fresh touch from You so that Your power will become very evident to us and that our personal desires would fade away as we welcome Your grace and Your power. In 1 Peter 1:22 we are reminded that obedience to Your Word will be evidence of the One to whom we belong. Lord, please grant Your servants a deep, sincere heart of obedience today, is my humble prayer that I ask in Your precious and wonderful 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.

Sorry?

Scripture: Numbers 4-5.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Numbers 5:6-8 (NLT)

6 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people—men or women—betray the Lord by doing wrong to another person, they are guilty.

7 They must confess their sin and make full restitution for what they have done, adding an additional 20 percent and returning it to the person who was wronged.

8 But if the person who was wronged is dead, and there are no near relatives to whom restitution can be made, the payment belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest. Those who are guilty must also bring a ram as a sacrifice, and they will be purified and made right with the Lord.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that today we use the word ‘Sorry’ way too lightly. We find this very easy to say when we have wronged someone. We find this very easy to say to God when we have disobeyed Him. It’s just seems like we say this word thinking that the action will be an automatic forgiveness by the other person and that in and of itself it can easily erase all that we have done, or not done. I was impressed with the way that God had the Israelites seek forgiveness, where they not only asked the word, but they also paid restitution. While I realize that paying restitution can also be another action that can be taken lightly, in addition to taking the word ‘sorry’ lightly, I just feel like when it costs us something to apologize for something or some way that we have wronged someone, it may impose greater emphasis on the action being taken by the one seeking forgiveness. This is similar to jail time, where a prisoner may go to jail to pay for the wrong he has done to someone. Often there is a lot of pain, anger, regret, hurt, loss of confidence and disappointment when someone is wronged. Saying something as simple as ‘sorry’ seems way too insignificant to help overcome the affect that this may have caused to another. Let us be reminded that we should do all we can to restore the love between us and the person we have wronged. If it still means paying restitution to them, then I see nothing in scripture that says we shouldn’t. The other thing I liked in this passage is that God’s representative, the priest, was also involved in the process of seeking forgiveness. I believe that today we as Christian leaders have taken the responsibility given to us by God way too lightly, and this has caused the people to lose confidence in us. I also believe that we, as people of God, have taken our responsibility of praying for, respecting, and honoring those whom God has placed in Godly responsibility over us. If God has truly constructed the leadership hierarchy of the church, who are we to question that? Let’s let God be God and we, in turn, be His obedient children.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I know that I have wronged You in numerous ways by not being obedient to Your commands and biblical direction. Please help me to not only seek Your forgiveness, but to also seek help in being stronger through more consistency in Your Word and on my knees. As I seek to serve and honor You, I believe I can then do a better job of sincerely apologizing to a brother or a sister. Please help me to follow Your ways and be more like You in every way. May I represent You well, especially when I have wronged anyone. May Your love shine through me in such a way, that others will know that You are guiding me and working through me.

 

àI would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Be Alert and Pray

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Matthew 26:40-41 (GW)

40 When he went back to the disciples, he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour?

41 Stay awake, and pray that you won’t be tempted. You want to do what’s right, but you’re weak.”

 

Matthew 26:74-75 (GW)

74
Then Peter began to curse and swear with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” Just then a rooster crowed.
75 Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went outside and cried bitterly.


APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

When Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed, He asked the contingent of disciples that followed Him there, to stay at a given point while He went on a little further to pray. As in any prayer meeting, you would think that the disciples would have also entered into a time of prayer seeing that Jesus was so burdened about something that He went in to pray privately. Instead, the disciples fell asleep. On Jesus’ return He shared with the disciples His disappointment and reiterated to them that it was important that they stay alert and pray while He went to…. Friend, likewise Jesus has left us to be alert and pray until His return. Alert for what you might ask? This means that we are to be aware of the possibilities of temptation (look at verse 74 to see what Peter faced shortly after Jesus’ warning that they be alert and pray), and we are to be sensitive to the subtleties that will occur if we are unprepared and unequipped to deal with them spiritually. Temptation will come when we are most vulnerable and most often we can’t resist it alone. Prayer is the key to seek God’s strength and presence, and it is only with these essentials that we can be assured of our defenses and equipped to deal with the power of Satan. Imagine if our military was as unprepared as we are at times; imagine if they were as ill equipped as we are times. Friends, we must be alert, always seeking God’s presence to defend us against the enemy.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, please help me to always be in a state of readiness to defeat the vileness of Satan. Please help me to obey Your Word so that I will be closely in tuned with You and empowered by You to defend against the temptation and/or subtleties of Satan that may directed at me each day. I need Your power in my life to stay strong and ready for Your return. Only in You can I find that power, and the peace in knowing that I am safe and secure. Please forgive me for seeking this through any other means. Thank You for reminding me of where my true strength comes from, especially at those times that I’m tempted to do otherwise.

Recognizing God

Scripture: Genesis 40-41; Matthew 12

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” Matt 12:22-23 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Sometimes we read these familiar stories in God’s Word and God will just speak to us afresh through something contained in that passage. In this story Jesus had performed several miracles, and finally the crowd stepped back in wonderment and questioned among themselves ‘Could this possibly be the Messiah?”. In the world we live in today God is still very active, and although we tend to really hone in on the negative, there are times that our spiritual minds are awakened and we say to ourselves “that must be a Jesus thing”. That certain thing could only have occurred if Jesus made it happen. Friends, I believe that we must be praying with such expectation that we will notice every little act of God and response to our prayers by God. He is very much alive today and active in our lives. It is time for Christians to wake up and give Him credit for all that He does. It is in this type of act that we help to make believers out of those that doubt and question. They must see our faith, if we ever expect to be a Christian influence on them! We serve a mighty God, but don’t wait for the ‘big’ miracles to occur, recognize and praise Him daily for all that He does in your life. Good health – especially when we see so many in hospitals or at home sick; safety – especially when we pass a wreck on the road where some innocent person got hurt or even killed; answer to prayer – especially when we see so many that doubt or questions the work of God, or try to give credit to chance or horoscopes or palm readers. Friends we serve, and we should recognize the mighty God of all, the King of all kings, the creator of our universe – including mankind. Do we have reason to doubt? I believe that we actually have more reasons not to doubt the mighty works of God in our world today.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Praise be to God for accepting me as a humble child in great need of a Savior. Praise be to God for all the miracles performed in my life, in the life of our church and in the lives of my family and friends. May I be very alert to Your mighty hand at work in my life and all around me. May others see Jesus reflected in my life and in their own lives, so that together we can truly be a thankful people praising You for all Your mighty works and wondrous love. Thank You Jesus for caring so much for me. Please continue to work on me and mold me into something that  You can use to accomplish Your work. May I recognize Your mighty works each and every day!

May the God of Peace be evident in Us!

Scripture: Genesis 26 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

26 One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander.27 “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.”28 They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant.29 Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!”30 So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together.31 Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. Gen 26:26-31 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I’m sure that sometimes God must look at us in dismay and say, why are you being such a brat and acting this way, refusing to accept this person in love through faith in Me? After all didn’t I give you what you have to use for my glory, and isn’t this person approaching you with a peaceful intention? So often I’m afraid that we tend to feel like we are especially blessed by God and since our little feelings were hurt, why should we then share our blessings with the same person that forced us into a challenging corner in the first place. This lesson from Isaac shows me that even the same king that kicked him off his property and out of his town, which I’m sure must have created quite a stir for Isaac’s camp, yet Isaac accepted the king with open arms and in peace, agreeing to a treaty proposed by the king. What a lesson to learn here! Hopefully we will be called into a situation where we could make the difference between peace and separation; showing God’s love through our actions, rather than allowing Satan to take credit for the way that we respond to such peace offerings. May this be a year filled with God’s love expressed through us in ways that will shock Satan and his cohorts. May God win the battles though His people and may He receive glory for all that is accomplished in His name!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, there are situations and scenarios in our lives that require Your power in our lives to help us make right and peaceful decisions. I believe that You are the same God today that You were when You helped Isaac overcome the challenging decisions he had to make when approached by the king. I believe that You can, and will honor our call for peaceful resolutions and treaties so that You may be honored and receive glory for the miraculous decisions that we make. Please help me to always think primarily like You would and then depend wholeheartedly on You for power to overcome the forces of this world and Satan. May the victories and/or peaceful resolutions that occur this year through my life, and those for which I may influence through my church, bring You glory and be a visible display of Your power to a lost world.

Love others without judging them

Scripture: Matthew 7 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matt 7:1-2 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I have heard this passage read many times before, but today God really spoke to me through the last sentence. I know that I could be way too critical of others and that I tend to judge others, or draw conclusions on what their intentions may have been, but in this passage God reminds me that I have enough concerns of my own to worry about, why become so critical of others. After all, I will be judged by the same degree that I judge others, and I must be way too judgmental of others, because I sure do feel judged and/or picked on at times. I believe that God will still grant me the wisdom to discern when others are doing wrong, or are in opposition to God’s Word, but I have nothing spiritually to gain by trying to be their judge and tearing them down. Instead, I should be using these opportunities to help them overcome a weakness, or develop a stronger relationship with my Lord, who can help them through whatever challenge they may be facing.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I believe that You want to see Your children do their very best to represent You while here on this earth. I know that at times I fail miserably at this, but I believe that You’re still working on me and will help me overcome my weaknesses such as mentioned above. Lessons like this tend to keep me humble, and I know that in all things I must be careful to both give You the glory for everything accomplished, and also allow praises for everything to go directly up to You for anything, or anyone, that may have been influenced or blessed through me. Please help me not to judge others, for You are our ultimate Judge. Please help me to love on others and show them that You care for them, even if it appears to me that they are messing up. Thank You Jesus for loving us so much that You tolerate our weaknesses and look for ways to strengthen us in those areas so that Your power and Your love may shine through. You are awesome dear God, thank You!

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