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

Archive for the ‘Distractions’ Category

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!

‘Good Seed’ or ‘Weeds’?

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-02-10
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 13:40-42 (GNT)

Text:

40 Just as the weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of the age: 41 the Son of Man will send out his angels to gather up out of his Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things, 42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth.
OBSERVATION:
This is two days in a row now that I’ve read where Jesus was asked to explain a parable that He shared, and in both cases the explanation was very pointed, but yet very clear. In the story today Jesus had shared the parable of the weeds, that left the disciples scratching their heads, as to the point that Jesus was really aiming for them to grasp and apply to their lives. Not trying to hide anything, Jesus went on to explain the ‘good seed’ and the ‘weeds’ and the application. Let’s look at how this can be applied to our lives even today.
APPLICATION:
It has always been clear that those who sin will never enter the kingdom of God, but some additional words popped off the page at me, when Jesus explained who all His angels will gather together and throw them into the pit of Hell. At least two Bible translations explained very vividly all who would be included in that group. Friends, we often remind ourselves that none are perfect, and that we all sin – children of God and non-believers. You might recall that in another scripture Jesus referred to the children, and He said that He would not tolerate anyone who causes one of these little ones to sin. I believe that statement and the one used in verse 41 above relays the same message. In other words, whether you sin (disobey God’s commands in mind or deed), or if you cause another to sin (in mind or deed), you will be weeded out – much like a gardener would remove weeds from their garden. Jesus said that ALL weeds would be thrown into the fiery furnace for Satan to punish and devour. May I suggest that we may cause others to sin way more often than we would care to accept responsibility for? Friends, let’s remember that although the world may see what would appear to be jest and perhaps even mockery, yet God knows the heart and mind of man, and He knows exactly the intent of the individual doing the act or saying the words. God also knows the impact that our ill-gotten intentions have on the individual to whom we are delivering our evil intentions. Imagine with me for a moment if you knew how badly words might hurt or discourage a person, would you really say them? Imagine how your actions or untimely or hurtful words might distract a person from sharing or possibly hearing the truth of God’s words, and question yourself as to whether you should have created the distraction for that friend. Friends, please join me in committing to always remember that if what we say or do in the presence of others, serves no purpose in drawing them closer to God, then we are probably doing just the opposite. God is our judge, and He knows our deepest intentions. Will He place us with the ‘Weeds‘, or are we truly ‘Good Seed’? I believe you know the answer to that question already. May I encourage you to seek God’s face and His helping hand to help place you on the right track before it is eternally too late?
PRAYER:
Father, we sincerely need Your help today, especially after being reminded of how often we may place an obstacle in the way of others that may separate them from You. Please dear Lord, help us to never be a stumbling block for anyone else truly seeking Your face, or seeking to hear Your tender voice. Forgive us Lord for the times we discourage others, or place a roadblock in their path to a closer relationship with You, or even from accepting You as Lord in the first place. There was a tremendous forgiveness afforded to us when we bowed before You and asked for forgiveness of our sin. Please help us to stay directed towards being examples of Your forgiving spirit, and the kind of love that You expressed at Calvary for us. This will mean loving others right where they’re at, and not how we want them to be. May we be usable vessels in Your service and never a stumbling block for any of Your children, is my humble prayer. 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!

Greatest Need To Take Before Our Master

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – John 2:23-25): 23 In Jerusalem during Passover many people put their faith in Jesus, because they saw him work miracles. 24 But Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and he would not let them have power over him. 25 No one had to tell him what people were like. He already knew.

THOUGHTS: It seems to me that it is very much like us to chat with Jesus primarily about all of the issues that our friends appear to have, at least in our eyes. After reading these verses this morning, I am reminded that my first obligation is to walk humbly before my God and plead the blood of Jesus upon all the issues that distract me from a closer walk with the Lord. I may have concern for my family and friends, but as an old spiritual reads, “It’s me standing in the need of prayer“. Friends, when we stand before the master, let’s remember that there is no one that we could think of, no matter what their physical needs are, that is more in need of prayer than ourselves. In the particular case referenced in these Bible verses Jesus had performed various miracles, and the eyes of the people were opened to the awesome power of the Son of God. This softened their hearts to place their faith in Jesus – praise the Lord! However, just as in our case today, Jesus knew that they needed constant help and power from Him every day to overcome the power of Satan and the temptations of the world, so He was cautiously accepting their faith, I believe, because the Word says “BUT He knew their hearts”. Friends, we are very easily swayed into making decisions and saying things to God that ‘rolls off the tongue’ easily, but God knows that we could awaken tomorrow with added temptations and/or trials that might cause us to easily sway, or do things that totally oppose Him and His desire for our lives. To overcome this, I believe it is important for us to have daily communion with God. Let’s ask Him for strength and direction for the day. Let’s ask Him to keep Satan at bay, so that we might truly concentrate on our Master and our Lord, and represent Him well before a lost world. Let’s ask Him to fix our minds on Him so that He, knowing our hearts, can trust us to be faithful to the end. To the uncommitted one who might be reading this devotional, may I introduce you to my Savior, and encourage you to have faith in the only One who holds the keys to our eternity in heaven? Please read my ‘Footnote’ for help on this. I would love to hear from you and pray with you!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You know our heart, yet You loved us enough to die a sacrificial death for us so that we would have the means to eternity in heaven with You and our Father. Thank You for such love. Please continue to work with us as we walk this mean, cruel earth where Satan is wondering around and interfering with Your children. We need Your power to overcome the temptation and sin that face us every day. We want to be trusted, and totally dedicated to Your will, especially while still here on this earth, because we believe that You can use us to touch the lives of those that we have connections with. Please forgive us of our past sins, and empower us with Your strength and determination to live our lives pleasing to You. We need You Lord, and we ask all this in the strong and holy name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

Protect Your Crown

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Revelation 3:11): 11 “I’m on my way; I’ll be there soon. Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown.

THOUGHTS: On this earth, when we become careless with something, we lose it. If you observe children carefully, you will notice that they might hide their favorite toy when a friend is coming over that they know might love that toy, and possibly fight to take it with them when it’s time to leave! Christians have found the answer to this world’s sin problem, in the person of Jesus Christ. Satan is most upset over having lost the battle with these children of God and he is waging war against them by trying to steal their joy. This process by Satan is intended to distract Christians from the joy of their salvation and, in this passage, God is warning that we had better be careful that Satan not pull us down to the extent that he reaches out and snatches our crown of glory from us. Friends, if you think about a race – the opponent has two ways they can win – they can do better than you and reach the finish line before you, or they can trip you up so that you don’t stand a chance of winning, or earning the prize. Sin can’t enter heaven, so Satan doesn’t stand a chance of getting there. Child of God, may I please encourage us today to hold firm to our faith. Stay committed to the Lord Jesus Christ through thick and thin, in every circumstance of life, for He cares for us and He wants us to win the prize laid out for us in heaven. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not the distractions that will come our way. All things are possible through faith in Jesus, our Lord. So let us keep our eyes on the prize – our crown! Let us seek out Jesus in every circumstance of life, so that the circumstances not turn into distractions that Satan can use to steal our joy and our eternal crown. Distractions will come when Satan sees opportunities, or slippage in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us therefore stand firm in our faith, determined to live for Jesus, depending on His strength to help us through every circumstance of life. There’s a song with lyrics: “Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace…..” I am looking forward to the day that I reach the shores of heaven and look beyond my relatives already there, to see the face of my Master and King! This is a prize/crown worth living for and is worth every ounce of effort and determination to live for Jesus today! How is it with you friend? Please watch for the distractions of Satan, and remember that greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. With Jesus being in control of your life, you can do this friend!

PRAYER: Thank You Father for the promise of heaven, a time when we will see You face to face! A time when we will worship and adore You without the distractions of this old world and its leader, Satan. Dear Lord, You know how strong the advisory is here on earth, especially in lives where there might be lack of commitment. Please touch the hearts of Your children today oh Lord and renew within us a right spirit and a desire to stay firm and committed to our faith in You. There is no one stronger than You, nor more loving that You, nor caring than You, so I know that as I place my faith and trust in You, that You can do all things. Please have Your will and way in my life today oh Lord, rule and reign in every aspect of my life, especially when I’m weak enough to let distractions sneak in and set me back. Touch the lives of my readers today also oh Lord, as I’m sure that many of them are walking similar paths as me today and will face these same distractions. Give us strength for our walk and renew a right spirit within us so that our eyes might remain fixed on the prize that awaits us in glory. I ask all this in the precious and strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

Bumps In The Road?

The Holy Bible

That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Thoughts:

It’s so easy for me to sit and judge others for the many reasons they give for not being at church, or not taking part in Christian activities, or not doing what appears to me as their part of the work of the Lord. But I am amazed how quickly God opens my eyes and my heart to the fact that God is speaking to me through His Word that I read, so I need to first and foremost work on self! God is very capable of speaking to others who may be obviously missing the boat in their relationship with Him. So from a personal perspective, from my own heart, let me share with you what I feel God wanted us to learn from this passage today. Friends, when:

  • We stop attending church or working for the Lord, because we are discouraged by the lack of appreciation given to us, we must realize that our reason for ministry is to: “spread the Word of the Lord”; “Enrich the lives of other believers”; and to “Share hope and faith with the unbeliever as encouragement for them to accept Jesus as Lord”. Notice that “I” or “Me” or “Self” are not words used in any of those reasons for ministry, so why should that be a ‘bump in the road’ for us in our ministry?
  • We refuse to speak up for the Lord in our workplace or in our realm of influence, do we expect Jesus to be proud of us? Remember in His Word He tells us that if we are ashamed of Him here on earth, then He will be ashamed of us before His Father. Are we afraid of, or embarrassed of someone being critical about, or to, us? How do you suppose Jesus felt when He was beaten and abused on the road to Calvary where He was later crucified, just because He knew it was necessary in order that we might have life more abundantly and eternally with Him in heaven? We should be totally ashamed before the Father when we allow such small ‘bumps in the road’ to deter our walk and our talk for Jesus here on this earth.

Although just two examples, I believe that your eyes might be opened to the minor ‘bumps in the road’ that often stop us from effective ministry for our Lord. Fortunately Paul gave us the secret on how to overcome this, when he said “It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going”! I would also add that “It’s the One we minister for, rather than the one we minister to, that gives us the strength to keep on doing the work of the Lord. Our ministry should always be for the sake of the kingdom of God only, and not for anything we can personally gain, or for any recognition offered by those we minister alongside, or to. If Jesus loved us enough to suffer the cross to show how much He loved us, how many ‘bumps in the road’ are we willing to overcome to show our love to Him in return?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I am ashamed of the little things that I allow to discourage me or stop me from being all that I can be for You. There is no ‘bump in the road’ that should hinder me from opening my heart and my mouth in praise to You, and witness for You. I believe that You meant for our relationship to be pure, open and honest, please give me boldness to overcome the things of this world that distract and hinder me from openly claiming You as my King and sharing Your love with others that I come into contact with. Lord, I believe that huge distractors these days are ‘busyness’; ‘stress’ and ‘the lack of quality family time’. Please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and not allow the distractions of Satan and this world to interfere in my walk with, and witness for, You. It’s You I live for and heaven is my ultimate goal, but I need You every hour here on this earth to help me keep the main thing, the main thing! I don’t believe that I am unique in having the distractions that beset me, so I also ask that You kindly bless my readers today that they too might overcome the distractions of this world and to be a constant witness for You every day. In love and humility I kindly ask all this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord, 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 days 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!

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