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

Archive for the ‘Distraction’ Category

The Distractions of Faith

Friday, 2019-02-15

Bible Reference: Matthew 14:29-33
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. 30 But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. 31 Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus. They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

APPLICATION: There are so many things we could learn from this story of Peter. I believe that most of us will share the reflection that this story shows us the faith of a man to attempt something that defies nature, and that he had never thought possible before. To jump out of a boat in the middle of the sea, one could only prepare for the intake of water through the nose and mouth, unless they know how to swim! However, things were a bit different with Peter, for: a). He had already experienced the power of the Almighty, and he knew that Jesus had the same power to do even those things that are impossible in the eyes of the world; b). He paid attention to what Jesus was doing, and knew that if Jesus could walk on the water, He had power and authority to empower him (Peter) to do the same; and c). Peter heard the command by Jesus, and in spite of the yelling from his fellow disciples, he obeyed Jesus. So what happened? Why did Peter’s effort fail? I am convinced that Jesus already knows how quickly Peter would become cocky about being given this special power, so Jesus demonstrated to Peter and to us, that faith requires that we keep our eyes fixed on the author of our faith – Jesus, and His Father God, lest we fall into the trap of bragging about our powers. I had a friend dying of cancer, and she traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by a TV evangelist who showed on public television that he had powers to heal. WRONG. Stop right there. Friends, as demonstrated in this story with Peter, and as we already know about healing powers – it is God, through His Son Jesus that spoke the word for Jesus to walk on water and who rescued him as he began to sink; it is God alone who heals a body that He created from dust, and restores it to perfect health so that He may be glorified. Our responsibility is to look to Him for all things and keep our eyes fixed on the author and creator of life itself, knowing that through His power, lives might be healed, souls might be restored to the Kingdom, and that the unsaved may recognize the grace and power of our God. It’s all about ‘God’, my friend. We are just instruments of His love and servants of our majestic King. The Master deserves all the praise for all that He does, for nothing of our own is merited, or worthy of praise, for what He has done. Please be careful of the distractions that Satan will place before us. For Peter, it was the wind and the rough waters that caused him to take his eyes off the Master. For us, unfortunately we live in a world that is totally filled with distractions that Satan places before us. Remember that our distractions are forces that draw us away from God – our primary power source. Don’t let Satan win over you my friend. In verse 31 we are reminded to not let ‘doubt’ win in our battle to ‘believe’. Trust in God, and all of this shall come to pass, child of God!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are my God! The same God that created this wonderful world, and also created all of creation. I acknowledge again today that there is nothing that You can’t do. Please forgive me for my doubt and my lack of faith. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that You had the power to walk on water to get over to Your disciples. I wonder what You must travel over, or through, at times to get to my readers and I, and the trouble we find ourselves in at times. But one thing that I am assured of, is that just as we saw where the water didn’t stop You from getting to Your followers, we need not let anything hinder our requests today, for many things will appear to be impossible to us, but with renewed assurance today, we KNOW that we can come before the throne of God and plead our case for an all-knowing, all-powerful, forever-loving God who says that ALL things are possible with God! You are our King, and we adore You and worship You today oh Lord, not just for what You can do for us, but for who You are! 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!

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!

 

Priorities and Time Constrains

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-09-25
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 24:50-53 (NLT)

Text:

50 Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. 53 And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.
OBSERVATION:
Before being ascended into heaven, Jesus spent some final moments with His disciples, blessing them and giving them reassurance of their reuniting with Him one day. They were very excited over this as they returned to their hometown, and this brought them so much hope that they practically lived at the temple praising God. Does this sound a lot like us? Let’s have a closer look….
APPLICATION:
Don’t you love to go fishing, and stay out there on the lake, or in the ocean for as long as you want, whether you are catching anything or not? How about those baseball games, when we arrive so early that we could have a tailgate party before the gates are opened, and we don’t mind at all if the game runs into overtime or the hour or two that it takes to work our way through thousands of people and hundreds of cars before heading back home. However, when it comes to church, we are willing to give of one hour per week – for the masses. Nearing that one-hour mark, we see people checking their watches, closing their Bibles and getting real fidgety in their seats. Why some may even take their watches off and visibly shake them, in sight of the preacher so he could see our disbelief about how long this service is going on! So what’s the difference friends? In one case we are spending beau-coup bucks to see overpaid and overweight guys run after a ball all over a large field to possibly score a goal. We know that we will return home without a voice or at least a much diminished voice for a few days, because of our screams in joyous admiration of our favorite player(s). In the other case we are voluntarily going to join other believers who are thankful for the love of the Creator of this Universe; the One who gave His only Son as a sacrifice to save us from our sin; The One who has promised us life eternal with He and His Father in heaven. However, most in attendance hardly sing, or smile, or say a word, or shout with excitement or bring their Bible to follow with the preacher. Furthermore, the excuses I hear my friends making for not being there, I am convinced that this must be way less important than a football game. I realize that this may sound far out there for some who may read this blog today, but is it the unfortunate truth? Remember, you should never lie to God and say that you didn’t have time to attend church, tell it to Him straight – it was not a priority for you. Friends, my desire is that we get back to worshiping our Master and our Lord – personally. When we do a good job personally, then we could join in on the excitement of worship when we come together with other believers, and truly worship our Lord, with our heart’s condition being the only thing that might interfere, or place constraints on our time with the Lord in corporate worship.
PRAYER:
Lord, we have allowed the ‘fun’ things of this world to take priority over our time with You. I’m sure that this is one of Satan’s tools to distract Christians, but Lord I pray that You would reach down and touch Your children once again and remind us of Your love and Your sacrifice, so that we might have a future to look forward to in glory with You and the Father. Forgive us Lord for our lack of commitment and the ease of distraction from Your love for us. May we serve You in all honesty and truth, without hindrances from the evil one, 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!

Distractions in Ministry

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-07-24
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 9:61-62 (TLB)

Text:

 61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will come, but first let me ask permission of those at home.”62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
OBSERVATION:
The verses hyperlinked above actually shares two accounts where individuals that God had called into ministry found excuses why they couldn’t assume the task at that time. Not a whole lot different to what we do today, but I believe God would have us be reminded again how He feels about this.
APPLICATION:
In a first glance, or reading of this Scripture, we probably look at our pastors and wonder why they might question the call of Christ on their lives, or procrastinate following  the call after clearly hearing God calling them into service. Friends, most churches have election of officers and teachers each year, and I believe I would be safe in saying that nominating teams have probably heard every excuse possible when asking an individual to serve. In the section of Scripture we are looking at today, we see where one needed to bury his father before he could assume the call of Christ. In the second instance the other one needed to check with his family first to make sure they could manage without him. While we will also look at our excuses, think for a minute who it was that called these two individuals – Jesus, the very Son of God. Did He personally know their hearts and all about the possible excuses they could have given Him? Of course He did. But by sharing these things with us, it help us to also consider the excuses that we tend to give when asked to join the ministry team at our respective churches. I believe that three of the most popular excuses used today are: 1). I feel so unqualified to teach; 2). I cannot speak well in a classroom setting; and 3). I live such a busy lifestyle that I couldn’t possible take on one more thing. Friends, don’t you think that it is God that gave you the gifts to do His work and the time to do it? Don’t you know that God is well aware of your qualifications and gifts and that He has you handpicked to accomplish a task you are being asked to accomplish? A Nominating Team or Pastor who may asked you to fill a position at church has probably bathed the matter in deep prayer, so I feel like when we make excuses why we can’t fulfil the request, we are actually complaining to God. Let me suggest that if you feel that time might be the issue, try responding that you can’t make that a priority in your life right now. Jesus could have found many excuses and could have called many angels to His rescue when beaten and led to the cross, but He accepted His unfortunate task as a priority – just for you and I. God is not looking at your abilities, because where you are lacking He fills that void so that He might be glorified. All He wants is your availability.
PRAYER:
Dear God, please forgive us for the excuses we make to not use the many gifts that You have blessed us with. Thank You for not giving up on us, as easily as we give up on trying to serve You. Oh Lord, may we be obedient to Your call on our life. May we be a living sacrifice, willing to always testify to Your calling in our personal witness to others and to help make Your work in our local church complete. You have truly blessed us beyond anything we deserve, may we learn to bless You through our availability and willingness to serve in local ministries, so that the world might know You and believe in You. God being our helper, our enabler and guide. 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!

Watch For Distractors In Your Ministry

THE HOLY BIBLE – 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. ~ 1 Corinthians 7:35 ~ New Living Translation (NLT)

THOUGHTS: Paul seemed to have been addressing church members who were caught up in trying to find happiness for their lives, without much regard to what might benefit their long-term benefit to the ministry of Jesus Christ. It seemed like there were members who were wanting to break marriages, because their spouse may not have been a believer at the time they came to know Jesus Christ. It seemed like some wanted to get married to find happiness, but wasn’t sure what to do. Friends we find these dilemmas every day, and although they may not involve marital choices, yet we ponder the right decision for ourselves under the circumstances. Paul encourage the Corinthian church to always bring into the decision equation whether the choice being considered will not only be pleasing to God for our future happiness, but also strongly consider how the decision will impact their ministry for the kingdom. Friends, decisions involving change in your life will tend to either facilitate or enrich your ministry, or it will negatively impact it and distract your ministry. I know, by now you are saying that you are safe because you are not the minister/pastor. May I encourage you to apply this squarely to your life Brothers and Sisters? You may think that your only ministry is praying for church leaders and the needs of church members. Fair enough, will the decisions that you make involving change in your life get in the way of your prayer life? Will it distract you and possibly hinder the time you spend in prayer, or the solitude of your prayer time? Paul’s plea with the Corinthian church is very applicable to us today. We must be careful, and seriously consider any changes in our lives that might distract our ministry for the Lord. If God is truly FIRST in our lives, then we really need to make sure that nothing else becomes first, or that it at least diminishes the value of our dedication to God and His work. May I encourage you to think carefully of any distractors in your life? It may not be a marriage partner, it may just be a girlfriend or boyfriend, or it may be your job, or it may be the demands of your friends to party with them. Whatever it is, only you and God will know. Seek His help and His guidance to help you stay focused and committed to your ministry for His kingdom’s sake. The benefits are ‘out of this world’!

PRAYER: Father, there is so much tugging on us for our time and our attention. For some, it may be exactly like the situation that Paul was addressing, it may be a new partner that someone is looking to take on for selfish reasons. For others, it may be total absorption into their job, for it totally consumes them. Lord we see the distractions that digital devices have brought to our homes, our churches and in our witnessing, yet we know that there are even more powerful distractors that Satan will use to trip us up, or block our ministry opportunities. Please touch your children today, and encourage Your servants to stay focused on You – the God who gave everything so that we might enjoy life eternally with You. Lord You are good and Your mercies endures forever. I pray that we might follow in Your footsteps. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus – the name above all other names, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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