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

Archive for the ‘Draw Me Close to You’ Category

Holding On Tightly

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-05-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 10:20-23 (MSG)

Text:

20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

23 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?”

OBSERVATION:
This rich young man felt like there was something missing in his life, in spite of all his riches. Having heard the stories about Jesus, and especially about this kingdom of which Jesus spoke, he decided to ask Jesus what it would take for him to make the cut. Jesus gave him a list of commandments, and the man felt like he had been obeying them from a very early age. Then Jesus got to the very core of this man’s issue – his riches. Because he was holding tight to his riches, he stopped asking Jesus further questions and instead left very saddened.
APPLICATION:
I believe that if each of us went to Jesus today on our own, there would be something that we are holding on to tightly that He could draw to our attention. For some, it might be riches, but for others it might be your job/business, or perhaps your family or friends or parties or sports or internet, etc, etc. I believe another way to analyze your own situation is to imagine Jesus asking you to go to a mission field that might be hundreds of miles away – what would be your biggest excuse to Him as to why you can’t leave in a few days? Now that you have figured that one out, what if God told you to get up and spend a few days with a poor lonely person a few blocks away as He is calling them to salvation and wants your influence in their life for a while? What might be the factor or excuse that would cause you to decline God’s request? I know, these things that I’ve mentioned are very challenging for some to even think about, so I’ll tell you what, why not just invite your neighbors to church with you this weekend? Oh you can’t because you have a fishing trip planned? Or is it a beach day, or family in town, or your favorite team is playing on Sunday and you can’t miss one minute of the game? Friends, I believe you are probably getting the idea by now, for if God is truly a priority in our lives, because we have said ‘Yes’ to His lordship, then what would truly prevent us from responding to the Master’s call? I would suggest that although many of us are not ‘rich’ financially, we are ‘rich’ in the things of this world. Try attending a retreat out in the wild, away from internet, television and worldly hindrances and see how close you can draw to God. While there, consider the things of this world that claim your attention and hinders your time and/or obedience to God. Those things are your ‘riches’ that Jesus might be asking you to diminish in your life so that He might claim your full attention. Singing that song ‘Draw me close to You’ will not do the job friend, only your willingness to let go of those things that you hold on to more tightly than God.
PRAYER:
Lord, I am convicted through this Scripture today that there are things of this world that Satan has used to distract us from holding You first in our lives, or having You as our priority in life. If we fought as hard to make You a priority, as we do for work, or church meetings, or family, or riches, then we might be like a large ship controlled by a very small rudder, for we would be way more sensitive to Your voice and Your commands. We may not be rich, as the young ruler was, but we do have distractions galore, so please Lord, draw our attention to the things that hinder our close walk with You and draw us close to You. We need You every hour dear Lord, stay close to us and encourage us to always stay close to You. 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!

What’s Stopping You?

Friday, 2016-09-02

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 10:20–22

Bible Text: 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that you will find where this rich young man who approached Jesus is a lot like many of us today. Our conscience is often pricked by God into the need for more in our relationship with Him, however we often  hesitate in committing to anything until we are sure that there is nothing better in store for us. I remember not being able to get a commitment out of a young friend, because they would often cancel their plans with me when something better arose! I believe that the big difference with making a commitment to God is that although we may want to commit to something more substantial with Him, He knows our hangups long before we recognize and acknowledge them ourselves. In the verses preceding the above, Jesus listed a number of commandments that would be important for this young man to follow, and sure enough, the young man admitted that because of his upbringing, he was already following all of them. Don’t we hear that all the time today with folk we are trying to help? They are ‘good’ people and they are good law keepers, plus they may even go to church a few times per year, however we must always remember that although this ‘fluff’ might fool the pastor, or most of our family and friends, yet there is One who knows our heart – our priorities; our hangups; our ulterior motives; and our hidden sin. In the case of this young man, Jesus went straight to his hangup, for Jesus knew that he was very proud of his financial worth. This often proves success for us, so many of us may really have a heavy emphasis in life on our financial well being as well. In fact, we become very self confident when we are in a good financial position. However, this becomes a major part of the problem with us learning to trust in Jesus. The scripture says that the young man was immediately reluctant to do as Jesus commanded. I believe this only showed that this must have been an ‘idol’ for the young man, which made it virtually impossible for him to truly follow Christ and trust wholeheartedly in Him. Friends, this devotional is not to place an emphasis on one’s financial worth, as there may be other idols that interfere in your total surrender to God. May I suggest that you ask God to open your eyes to reveal any ‘idols’ that may be hindering your surrender to Him or preventing you from totally dedicating yourself to Him? Do you honestly have an open, sincere relationship with Your Savior, or is there something that is stopping you? Don’t follow what the rich young man did and walk away saddened, instead open your heart to accept what Jesus would direct you to do today. Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you.

Prayer

Father, open our eyes so that we can see. Yes, we are not physically blind, but unfortunately we are often blinded by our own self will and selfish desires – our sin, that so easily separates us from a sincere, open relationship with You. Like the rich young ruler, we want more out of our relationship with You, so please help us to see our sin, our shortcomings and our other priorities that stand in our way. We will be eternally thankful oh 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. 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!

God’s Presence Sets Us Apart

Scripture: Exodus 32-33.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Exodus 33:15-16 (NLT)

15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

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

In the preceding verses we see where God had really gotten angry with the Israelites for melting their gold jewelry and making a golden calf to worship, while Moses was up on the mountain spending time with God and not babysitting them. In fact, God became so angry until He decided to prepare the path for the ongoing journey of Moses and his people, but that He would not personally go with them – primarily because He didn’t want to lose His patience with them. I love the plea of Moses, and wish that I could take more actions similar to this during my leadership of God’s people. Moses pleaded with God for His divine presence with and through His people, otherwise he (Moses) was afraid that they would lose their identity with other people of the land. This sounds so much like where we are at today, it seems like the church (God’s people) has lost its flavor, its identity, its character. In fact, lost its first love, and therefore does not appear to the world to be anything like the Jesus they have heard us preach and teach about. There is little evidence that would set us apart from the people of this wicked world in which we live. Oh my, this is so sad, because God teaches us all through His Word about His character and the characteristics that we are to imitate in order to be more like our Father. Unfortunately, we have chosen to accept many of the precepts of the world instead, so we look more like them than we do the Father. Oh, how it must sadden my Lord when He sees His stubborn people who refuses to humble ourselves, pray and seek to serve Him wholeheartedly so that He might dwell among us and set us apart as His chosen people for a time such as this in which we live.

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

Lord, I am called by Your name. Please help me to: humble myself and pray often; Seek Your face in all that I do; Turn from my wicked ways and follow Your ways daily, so that You may claim me as Yours, use me as Your servant and heal me of my weaknesses and indecision, and in turn heal this land in which I live so that our eyes may be opened to Your love and Your truth, with anticipation of the day that You will call us home to be with You in Heaven. In other words, please help me to be all that I can be for You while here on this earth so that I can look into Your welcoming face and recognize the pleasure that You will have in being in my presence without anger. Thank You for loving me enough to encourage me through Your Word to live a life worthy of the Lamb of God! I need thee every hour, dear Lord!

Forgive as Christ Forgave Us

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” Matt 18:35 (NLT)

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

One day when we were deep in sin, in fact even to the degree that we protested before the king that Jesus should die just because He ‘rubbed’ us the wrong way, just because He showed us up with all of His humbleness and good works, yet His Father allowed Him to die on a cruel cross at Calvary just to ease the path to heaven for us. If we, as Christians, are then to be like Jesus, who are we to turn our noses up, harden our hearts and be unwilling to forgive our brother or sister, just because they may have hurt our little feelings? God is a God of love, so as His followers we are to be a people of that kind of love. God is a forgiving God, so as followers of His we too are to be a forgiving people. God sent His Son to display the attitudes we should have here on this earth. Unless we read the Book of Instructions (the Bible), we may often think that WE have everything under control and may even think that we have no sin in our lives. Friends, we have a lot to be desired, should we try to compare ourselves to the King of all times, the Creator of this universe. We have a long way to go, compared to the love, forgiveness, humility and understanding we read about in Jesus. But let’s not wait any longer to start our journey, let’s recommit ourselves today to try and parallel our lives to the one exampled by Jesus, the only perfect One that ever walked this earth. Others need your forgiveness so that they can go on to be victorious in Jesus. You may need forgiveness so that you can go on to victory in Jesus, this same chapter gives guidance on how to go about seeking forgiveness when your offender may feel no guilt at all. Live daily in the Word, so that you can live daily for Jesus!

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

Father this has been an eye-opening chapter today, for it is filled with Your instructions on how we are to live our lives worthy of, and following Your example. Please give me grace, power and a humble heart to forgive others just as You have forgiven me. Help me to live a daily life being an example of You and sharing Your love with everyone that I come in contact with. Oh that others will see Jesus walking this earth through the lives of Your believers, and especially in me, what a difference this would make towards fulfilling the Kingdom message!

Everything Is Possible With God!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Mark 10 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Mark 10:23-29 ~ Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard[

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