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

Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Allow God’s Word to Nurture Your Hearts

Saturday, 2019-04-20

Bible Reference: Mark 4:8 & 20
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: But some of the seeds fell into good soil and yielded thirty times as much as he had planted—some of it even sixty or a hundred times as much!……..
20 “But the good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God’s message and produce a plentiful harvest for God—thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as was planted in their hearts.”

OBSERVATION: There are certain things that we hear, that will make no difference in our hearts, for the words simply go in one ear and out of the next. We are taught in this parable today that the extent to which we listen, absorb and use what we hear is a ‘heart’ matter. More on this as we meditate on the parable of the sower.

APPLICATION: I bet you remember as a child, that some things you were told by your parents were intended to hold a lot of significance, and there would normally be strong implications if you ignored or avoided following the instructions given to you. However, there were certain things that they told you not to do that you saw them practice almost every day, so you took those instructions very lightly. But thanks be to God, Jesus told this parable to help us better understand why some hear His Word without very little impact, while a friend who hears the same message, with a heart that is open and willing to let it serve its full God-given purpose, is fully impacted, taught and motivated to use that Word for the glory of God. Friends, I believe that this should speak to our hearts about how we are sometimes so out of tune with God, that we might be in the right venue (church); we might be under the right preaching (minister of the gospel); and we might have no problem with our hearing, yet we walk away without having heard, or at least without being impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Have you ever noticed that when there is purpose in your heart about a project that you want to do, how carefully you read instruction; how carefully you listen to teaching; how earnestly you seek after advice; and how ready you are to listen to the experience of others? So why is this not happening to us in our Christian walk, and our learning of God? Are we not serious about drawing closer to God, and desiring to do the things of God? Are we back in our childhood days, where we easily brush off, or ignore the things taught to us that oppose our fancy – even in the case of those things ordered by God? I believe that this would be a perfect day for us to have God cleanse our hearts and renew a right spirit within us, so that we might become fertile ground for His Word taught and preached tomorrow – Easter Sunday! Oh, may the words that we hear, be sent by God with the specific purpose of growing our relationship with Him, and for the enrichment of our souls that could then be used of God in our everyday lives, with our everyday friends. Father, please look down in love and be glorified by the work of Your Holy Spirit in the minefield of our hearts and souls. Friends, we are not here because God needed a drop-off place to put us until He returns. We are here as His hands, His feet and His mouthpiece, to be used for the salvation of the lost, and to bring glory to His Son, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Oh that we may be found faithful to the work that You have laid out for us to do, precious Lord. May the sincerity of our hearts, the words from our lips and every action that we take, be avenues of ministry to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and our faithful 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 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!

It’s Done

Friday, 2019-04-19

Bible Reference: John 19:28-30
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.” A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.

OBSERVATION: Without sounding too morbid, I believe the reality of Jesus’ last words will no doubt be echoed by someone today as they wrap things up here on this earth. What does the term mean? What does it mean for you to say those words? What does it mean when you hear someone near to you say those words? Let us meditate on these words in the light of our eternity, in our time together today!

APPLICATION: These simple words are widely used today in many ways, with a variety of meaning. A chef who has labored over a meal for an important couple, might say to his butler, ‘It’s done!’ Meaning, we are now ready to present the best meal this important couple has ever experienced, and that they have longed for since they entered our restaurant. The chef is proud of how everything turned out, and he can’t wait to peek through the kitchen window and watch the expression on the faces of royalty as they taste this meal! In a similar scenario, a contractor has just completed a 2-year project in building a world class hotel. It’s done! As the doors are opened and the hotel begins to fill up, the contractor stands back with great pride as he sees that his attention to detail and perfection has paid off! For he sees the look on the face of the owners who are filled with pride, enjoying the grand opening! The contractors job is done, and the hotel is being used as it was designed and built. When Jesus was born, the angels declared that this baby was born in purity, to bring the purity of heaven to mankind. His whole purpose in life was to bring salvation to a lost, hopeless and powerless world that didn’t stand a chance of seeing the glories of heaven based on anything they could do or say on their own. In His short life here on earth, Jesus was obedient to His Father, and through many miracles; extensions of love to the unlovable; care and healing for those without any hope; and encouragement for those who felt helpless; He brought the miracle of everlasting life! Something that every generation had strived for, but failed so miserably at. Yet God, in His awesome mercy, sent us His very own Son to bring life – everlasting life in heaven for all eternity. Something that we were incapable of on our own. On a day, just like today, the Jews were tired of the good our Lord did in their midst, so they did what they thought was their only option – they condemned Him to death, on a cross, like other criminals of their day. But friends, we commemorate that horrific day still today – literally today on the calendar we commemorate Good Friday. For our Lord had to die to fulfill the work of His Father. Had there not been death, there would be no resurrection – that we celebrate on Easter Sunday, and every Sunday of the year! So when we hear the words ‘It is finished’, or ‘It is done’, let’s remember that Jesus had completed the tasks for which He came – He was done! And because He died and rose again, we have insight into what will happen to those for whom He came to earth. We too will rise to meet our Lord, our Savior, our Father, our God – in heaven, where we will live eternally. So don’t be sad today as you remember the death of our Lord, for Sunday’s ‘a comin! Praise the everlasting name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Please find yourself in church on Sunday to join hearts and voices as we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior and Lord! You ask me how I know He lives? My friend, He lives within my heart!!

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, thank You for putting up with mankind while You were here on earth. Thank You for all You did on Calvary, so that we might have hope in tomorrow – our everlasting future in Heaven with You and the Father. Please forgive us – all of mankind for our selfishness and ungratefulness, as dished out to You on the cross. Oh Lord, please prick our hearts every time that we turn our eyes away from You. Please draw us back to the cross, back to You – our only hope for eternity. Lord we are in awe of You and all that You did for us. May we truly and sincerely worship You all the days of our life. 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!

Determined To Be With Jesus

Tuesday, 2019-04-16

Bible Reference: Mark 2:2-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: ….While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

OBSERVATION: The determination of these men carrying the paraplegic is to be admired. They didn’t let the crowds stop them, nor the leaders that were probably there helping with crowd control. They didn’t let the walls of the building stop them, for they got up on the roof with the man on the stretcher. The roof was no hindrance, for they dug a hole through it that was large enough to fit a stretcher through it – probably 80″ by 30″ or more. They had a determination to get their friend before Jesus, no matter what obstacles stood in their way.

APPLICATION: I wonder how disappointed the men were after going through all that they did, yet when Jesus saw the young man He didn’t immediately address the issue of paralysis, but rather attended to the condition of his heart and his readiness to meet God. I wonder how much this story parallels our earnest prayers to God, where we are concerned for our family and friends’ welfare or health, but seldom show deep concern for the salvation of their soul for eternity? Would we ‘go to bat’ over their salvation as much as we would for other things in their life that we feel might impact their normal living here on earth? How often do we forget that the things of this earth are temporal and could very easily be gone today or tomorrow? Yet the condition of their soul will determine their eternity. Should we be concerned for the physical, financial and personal welfare of our friends? If we didn’t then one would question if they are truly our friends, but I believe Jesus showed the Pharisees, and is showing us, that there is one concern that trumps all other concerns in life, and that is the spiritual condition of the individual. When you know that your friend is ready to meet their Savior and Lord, and that they are living daily to be more like Him here on earth, then all other needs will fall into place, for God cares intimately for His children and He will not bring anything on us beyond what we can bear, nor will He burden us with anything that will not bring glory to Himself. So friends, let me encourage you this Easter weekend, to look just a little differently at those you love and will spend time with this weekend. Look beyond their physical and material needs and pray with them about their spiritual needs, should there be a need to do that. Our greatest need in life is to be the individual that God designed us to be – one that will worship Him and bring glory to Him, in everything we do, until Jesus returns to take us all home to heaven to spend eternity with He and His Father. I’m ready for that reunion friends, and I want each of you, and all of my family and friends to also be ready to join me for that meeting at the foot of the cross! Oh ‘What a Day That will Be’!

PRAYER: Than You Jesus for all that You willingly did that very first ‘Good Friday’ and the glory of that first ‘Easter’ morning! As we celebrate the events of that occasion again this year, I pray that although we will be touched by the drama of all that You went through, yet we will never lose sight of the fact that You did it all for us. Thank You Lord Jesus! I am eternally grateful Heavenly Father! In much the same way that You were willing to do whatever it took to save Your children from the awful stain of sin and damnation, I pray that each of us will commit to being so concerned about our family and friends that we would recommit to sharing Your love with them and allowing them to see the meaning of the cross and the possibilities of their eternity with You. There was nothing more important to You Lord Jesus. I pray that we would be very much the same in our concern for others. May You be glorified and lifted up this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of the crucified, yet risen Lord Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Free Gift!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 6:20-23 (NLT)

TEXT:  20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

OBSERVATION:   Paul relays to the church that there is a different mindset and a different lifestyle when one is transformed from the kingdom of darkness. Old values fade away, and a new life in Christ begins, with new values such as holiness that causes you to be ashamed of the old life that you once lived. There is a freedom that comes with your new life, that causes you to become slaves of God, as you quickly realize that He offers the free gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

APPLICATION:   Paul found in his day that believers needed reminding of the world from which they came, and this was such a key point to them that he assured them that they don’t even want to think about it, because it makes them ashamed. This however, reminds the Christian of where our neighbors, family and friends might be at in their lives, and therefore give us a deeper yearning to share the Word of God with them. Friends, in verse 21 we are told that the end for the unbeliever is eternal doom. Is that what we want for those we love? I pray that this lesson today may be a reminder that time is short before the Lord returns to take His church home to glory. We have friends and family who are destined for hell – eternal doom; are we OK with that? As we celebrate this Easter, and the new life we have in our risen Lord, may we be careful to pray for those who are still deeply involved in sin and struggling to see the light and hope that we have in the glory of Easter and our risen Lord. This is a great time to encourage our loved ones to attend church with us, so let’s show them that we care, and pray earnestly for them that God will open their hearts to hear the truths of His Word this weekend.

PRAYER:   Lord, in the same way that we would be seriously upset over a neighbor or some other friend perishing in a fire, please make us just as upset in knowing that they have not accepted You as their Lord and Savior, for both brings death. Easter celebrations is all about You, our risen Lord. But please make us ever mindful of the new life the sinner might have in knowing You as their personal Lord and Savior. May this truly be a Resurrection Sunday for many who are lost in the darkness of sin and need You as their Risen Savior.  AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

 

The Greatest Love Ever Shown For Us

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 5:6-9 (TLB)

TEXT:  When we were utterly helpless, with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for him. Even if we were good, we really wouldn’t expect anyone to die for us, though, of course, that might be barely possible. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since by his blood he did all this for us as sinners, how much more will he do for us now that he has declared us not guilty? Now he will save us from all of God’s wrath to come.

OBSERVATION:   The real story of this week ending with the joyous celebration of Easter – the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, is all revealed in these few verses. For last Sunday we celebrated the awesome, sinless Son of God entering into a city filled with sin and with no hope. Yet by the end of the week Christ had risen from the dead for sinners just like those who had mocked Him, those who had lied and convicted Him, those who judged Him, those who led Him up to the hill of Golgotha, those who stood by and mocked Him as He was crucified, and for those who nailed Him to a cross and crucified Him.

APPLICATION:   Our verses remind us that it would be extremely challenging to find someone willing to put their life on the line for us, even if we were very close to them. But just so that we may best understand the Scripture here, let’s think of someone you have really been mean to, or perhaps even fought with verbally or physically. In fact you really feel like they may even hate you. However, one day you receive a call and although you don’t recognize the voice on the other end, they seem to be sobbing and very distressed, as they ask you to urgently come and help them out of a very dangerous situation. You determine that it’s the person that always opposed you and fought with you, and it sounds like you would have to put your life on the line in order to help them. What would you do? God had a very similar scenario to deal with, for He created perfect human beings, to be the smartest and most loving species He had made. However, Satan had found his way into their lives, and they were totally sold on all the parties and sinful things that Satan made so appealing to them. In fact, they would seldom think of attending church anymore, because they were so involved in all of the joys that Satan made possible for them. Saints on earth had given up on them because of the hopelessness they saw in them, and they were convinced that Hell was the only option for them. HOWEVER, in steps Jesus, and He says to you in a very convincing and loving manner “It’s OK my child, I once gave my life for people just like that, and because of their desperate plea for forgiveness and help, I have just washed them as white as snow. The sin you once saw in them have been washed into the sea of forgetfulness, and because of the blood that I shed on Calvary, they have been made eternally fit for the Kingdom of God”! Friends, this illustrates the forgiveness that is now possible since that first Good Friday when Jesus hung on the cross and died for us. We can now go to Him for the forgiveness of our sin, and rejoice in the risen Lord, that we celebrate at Easter. He lives my friends! You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart! Today you may fit in with the crowd that nailed Jesus to the cross. But friends, my prayer is that your heart might become tender this weekend and you may say ‘YES’ to the repeated plea by Jesus, and that Sunday you can celebratewith Christians all over the world as we reflect on the joys of our risen Lord and King!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, I am so thankful for all that you did for us at Calvary, for had it not been so, where would I have been today? Lord, You made it possible for sinners to seek forgiveness and live in the new life that You offer to all those who could do nothing for themselves. I live in a community where statistics show that only about 30% of the population is churched. No, I’m not in a distant land where the Word of God has not been openly shared with everyone, I live in a small county in central Florida, in the United States. This means that people have heard the Word, and chosen instead to live life unassuming but very consumed in sin. Oh Lord, please catch hold of the stubborn hearts and show them a glimpse of Heaven this weekend. May we see many surrender their lives to the New Life that only You can offer – Eternal Life! 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!

 

The Promises of God

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 4:23-25 (TLB)

TEXT:  23 Now this wonderful statement—that he was accepted and approved through his faith—wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. 24 It was for us, too, assuring us that God will accept us in the same way he accepted Abraham—when we believe the promises of God who brought back Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God, filling us with God’s goodness.

OBSERVATION:   Abraham was blessed, and he benefited from the wonderful gifts of God when God blessed he and Sarah with a child in their old age. Paul wants us to know through this Scripture today that God’s grace is all sufficient for His children today, if we would trust in the very One whose death and resurrection we believe in, and celebrate this very week on our church calendars.  

APPLICATION:   The Scripture today is probably one of the most important ones that we could have come across, especially at this time of the year. For centuries churches have celebrated Holy Week, with the Good Friday and Easter weekend being only second to that of Christmas. On Good Friday we remember the death of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Bible. For those who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord of their life, or you’ve been playing around with the relationship that you once started with Jesus, let me remind you that the only reason Jesus died on that cross at Calvary was to satisfy your sin and the sins of mankind. Are you rejecting His sacrifice and turning your head to the sacrifice that someone (Jesus) made just for you? Please take the opportunity this Easter weekend to accept the gift of eternal life, through the forgiveness of your sin, offered through the death of Jesus on the cross. The Bible says in verse 24 above, that God brought Jesus back to life on the 3rd day, signifying that He made Abraham, and us (His born again saints of God) right with His Father (God). Friends, that was quite a sacrifice that Jesus made, just for the sin of mankind. Will you reconsider and accept that gift this week? Easter will bring a fresh encounter for you as you join other saints in worshiping and praising the risen Lord next weekend!

PRAYER:   Lord, Your love is beyond anything mankind can imagine. Our Scripture reminds us today of the extent of Your love, and the sacrifice You made to demonstrate that love to us. Never before, and never again will we be blessed with such love and such awesome gifts. Please forgive us when we are unappreciative and reject Your offer of salvation. Lord we offer ourselves to You in return for Your gracious gifts, and we look forward in great anticipation to the day when we see You face to face! What a day that will be! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

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