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

Archive for the ‘Encourage’ Category

Encourage One Another

Saturday, 2016-10-01

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 1:11-12

Bible Text:   11-12 For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that way too often we ignore the needs of the person who comes to our rescue and helps us through life’s hardest challenges. Like any good pastor today, Paul was anxious to go and deliver the Word to the Roman church, because he wanted to encourage them in their faith and their ongoing ministry. To ensure that we get the right picture, let me suggest that this may mean our local pastors being so fired up about the Word God has given them to share with us in weekend services, that they can hardly wait for the moment that they stand in our pulpit to preach the Word. Now back to the story – Paul told the people that in spite of the spiritual gift he had for them, he was expecting to also be blessed by their spiritual gift to him. Friends, for the man standing in our pulpit, preaching his heart out and speaking exactly what he feels led by God to share with us, have you ever thought about how you might minister back to him? I believe that after many corporate services, we are in so much of a rush to get to the local restaurant that we never stop to think about patting the pastor on the back to encourage him, or ask him how you might pray for him, or share with him how God is blessing you, and your hope that God would do the same for your pastor. There may be some who show little concern for their pastor, because you look at him as a paid employee who is simply doing what he is paid to do. Friends, I believe that a pastor’s job is very similar to that of a teacher, where it’s more of a heart-for-the-job attitude, than any amount of money they may be paid to do the job. I believe that pastors spend limitless hours ministering to the needs of the sheep, that most parishioners never have a clue about. I believe that most pastors are so underpaid, that they face financial challenges far worst than most of their parishioners. I believe that God is speaking to us through these verses today by simply encouraging us to not settle for what we might receive from His servants, but be constantly thinking about what we might give, or how we may encourage God’s servants – our pastors. This weekend, let’s remember what Paul was asking for, and be encouraged to respond to our pastors with encouragement before they have to ask us for it. I believe that God will especially bless us for encouraging His messengers/servants to continue on in the teaching and preaching of His Word!

Prayer

Thank You Lord Jesus for Your grace, and for Your mercy on even us. Thank You for blessing us with shepherds who have chosen to serve You by serving us and encouraging us. Lord, please touch each and every church attendee this weekend with a spirit of encouragement for our pastors. As they pour their hearts out to us, may we in turn be grateful and encourage them in return. Lord, we want to please You in every thing we do. I believe that by placing Paul’s desire for encouragement in Your Word, You wanted to remind us of the human needs of our pastors also. May we be alert to their needs, so that together we may receive every blessing that You have in store for us. May You be glorified in all that Your churches attempt to achieve this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

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

The Value of Encouraging One Another

THE HOLY BIBLE: Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. If you do this, none of you will be deceived by sin and become stubborn. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭12-13‬ GW)‬‬

THOUGHTS: As God spoke to me about this passage of scripture this morning, I can only conclude that Satan is very busy among God’s body of believers. In other words, I believe we have convincing information here to show that God would much rather see His people get along; encourage one another; love and respect each other, so that it would be evident to the world to whom we belong. In fact, the writer goes as far as saying that when we (Christians) use every possible opportunity to encourage one another in the faith and in the spiritual condition of each other’s lives, we help prevent sin from hardening into our lives. I believe this means that the encouragement from a Christian Brother or Sister will help us fight off sin, and especially fight towards preventing sin from becoming a permanent part of our lives. Friends, I believe that we have to always be aware that although we might belong to God, Satan is always on our trail, trying every trick in his book to win us back; placing obstacles in our way to hinder our walk with the Lord. However, with God’s help, we are expected to help each other fight against the evil one, by prompting each other towards good works; by promoting the studying of God’s Word so that we might be filled with His righteousness and not the evil promoted by the world and Satan; by encouraging each other in the things of the Lord and not allowing Satan and his cohorts to keep pushing negativism, evil and malice in the face of God’s children. I believe our challenge for the day is to stop and question ourselves whether we are helping our friends to prevent, fight off, or stay away from sin, or are we pushing them towards it. If we are a part of someone’s life, we will have one of these effects on them. Please ask God to make you an encourager that will provoke your friends to love and good works – towards the things of God, and not just a ‘bump on the log’ that causes them to stumble and fall.

PRAYER: Father, I am thankful for the positive influences of folk that You have placed in my life. I am especially grateful for those that encourage me and provoke me towards the things of God. I need Your help today to identify those who need my encouragement, and Your guidance in how I might encourage them. Please help me to repoint them to You and Your Word, for it is the means to life everlasting in glory with You and the Father. As I strive towards staying close to You every day, may I always be made aware that my life is to be a living example of You and an encouragement to others, so that together we may stay strong in the faith and of value to each other while still here on this earth. Thank You for loving me enough to send an encouraging Brother along side of me to show me the cross and lead me towards salvation. May I be that kind of encourager today! Bless those that will meditate on this devotional today, that they also may be encouraged, then prompted to encourage others towards the cross of Jesus Christ, for it is in His name that I ask all this, 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 http://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!

Encourage One Another

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 3:12-14): 12 My friends, watch out! Don’t let evil thoughts or doubts make any of you turn from the living God. 13 You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called “today.” If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn. 14 We were sure about Christ when we first became his people. So let’s hold tightly to our faith until the end.

THOUGHTS: There are several commands in these verses that not only encourages us to stay strong in the faith, but also to be a helping hand and/or encouragement to our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord. This attitude spoken of here reminds me of the attitude of a couple in a successful marriage. For daily, we must do a self-check to insure that there is no evil building up in us that could harm our marriage. Also, because we love each other deeply, we tend to encourage each other and try to help each other succeed in our marriage and in life in general. Our Christian walk is much the same. We are in a relationship with God, and we must protect that relationship by insuring that our lives are kept holy and pure before a holy and righteous God. This will break down to a consistent walk with the Lord, with at least a daily time in the Word looking for Truth and direction for our lives that we intend to imitate the life of Jesus and in full obedience to God’s commands. I also believe that when our lives are in order, we will automatically seek out the best in our fellow Brothers and Sisters and make decisions that will lift up others and not tear down. As reminded in the very last sentence, let us do this until the end. Let Jesus find us faithful!

PRAYER: Thank You Father for Your love, for Your protection and Your love for mankind – even me.  I pray that You will give strength for those times that we are tempted to stray or to give in to the many distractions of this world that cause us to sin, and therefore cause separation between You and us. Please give us the encouragement we need to be an accountability partner to those friends that need us and need a closer walk with You, for You are our strength and our protector. Thank You Father. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN.

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com 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!

What Is Your Role In The Local Church?

The Holy Bible

     The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

The Message:1 Corinthians 12:25–26

Thoughts:

I am constantly amazed by folk who attend church and would normally answer the question posed in my title by saying “O I’m just a visitor” or “I’m just a regular attendee”! Friends, in light of this passage, Paul likens the church to our human bodies. So for a moment, imagine with me if the hand said to the brain “hey, I’m just here for show, as I wanted Mr. XYZ to see that you had a hand also, but you go right ahead and pick that food up by yourself”, how would that work for you? I know the example sounds silly, but in the context of these verses, and in light of the reasons given by some for church attendance or involvement, I believe you might get a better understanding of my illustration. I will give another very real illustration to you. My dad had injury to a kidney after having a heart stint installed. The doctors decided not to operate, as they relayed to my dad that the non-functioning kidney would just dry up like a prune and remain in his body. Unfortunately, I believe this is what happens to those who ‘just attend’ church and never become, or feel like, a functioning part of the church. However, based on our study in this chapter, I feel like there are two aspects worthy of attention here. First, is the visiting, or regular attendee who just shows up, sits in a very inconspicuous place hoping that no one will see them or come to trouble them. Perhaps, although God prompted them to attend church, Satan may still be working powerfully in their lives to stop them from getting anything out of attending, so I would strongly encourage this person to please do your part as a vital part of the body. I recently had a tooth implant and it was amazing how the body quickly accepted that foreign piece of metal and starting knitting to it! Likewise, I believe that an individual such as described, will be quickly received if they do their part in being loveable and showing interest in wanting to be a part. Secondly, I believe that the existing church members have a responsible to fight hard in making all attendees feel welcomed, loved and encouraged. Remember, this is like a foreign body to the human body, so they need extra care and attention. If God sends someone to a church, then those Christian members who are already a vital part of that ministry must do their part in response to God. Friends, you are in one of the roles mentioned, are you doing your part to further the kingdom of God? Will you commit to being more conscious of your role in growing the spiritual lives of all that worship with you?

Prayer:

Dear God, thank You for creating us and forming us into a body of believers for corporate worship. May I be more conscious in my daily life about the needs of others and respond in a manner that will be pleasing to You. For those that attend my church, I pray that although I may have no official role in church terms, I will respond to the key role you have made evident to me through the study of Your Word today. Sharing the love of Jesus through the spoken word, or just in a friendly smile or encouragement of some sort, is something that any of us can do. Please give me the boldness to do my part dear Lord. Friends meditating on this devotional today might also need help in this regard, please give us Your strength and Your vision to be the hands, feet and words of Jesus in all that we do and say. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my Savior, 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.

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The Bible – New Century Version

Psalm 94:8–11

8               You stupid ones among the people, pay attention. You fools, when will you understand?

9               Can’t the creator of ears hear? Can’t the maker of eyes see?

10             Won’t the one who corrects nations punish you? Doesn’t the teacher of people know everything?

11             The Lord knows what people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind.

Thoughts:

When we pray hard about a situation, especially one that we are very close to, we have our desired wishes in mind about how the situation should be handled, and I believe that we tend to pray towards that end. Often God will show us who is in charge, and who knows best, by answering our prayers in accordance with His perfect will and design. That answer may be exactly along the lines of what we had pleaded for, or it may be even better in the long run for the subject of our prayer. I believe that we sometime may question why God chose to respond in a particular way, and sometimes I believe we may feel like He may not have heard us at all, or perhaps we may question if He can’t see for Himself what is going on around us. These verses served to remind me that my Creator definitely hears me, otherwise why would He have given me ears! He definitely sees what’s going on around us, especially those things that really impact the lives of His dear children, otherwise why would He have given us eyes. If God is without ears or eyes, surely he would not have seen the need to create us with these extra tools! So friend, stand with me and be reminded that our God is all powerful, all knowing, sees everything and hears everything. He showed His power to calm even the rough seas, raise the dead, gave the blind back their sight and allowed the lame to walk again. What did you say your ‘major’ problem is, especially in light of these miracles wrought by His hands? Remember friend, He is there all the time for us. Let us learn to reach out to Him, love Him and depend on Him more so that we might see His mighty works, and reap the results of His awesome love!

Prayer:

Dear Lord, please teach us to pray in faith believing on the Son of God and the power and might of His perfect will, and that ALL things are possible with the touch of Your mighty hand, or the simple word from Your mouth. Please help us to get off our soap boxes of thinking that we can tell You what to do. You are the Master, Designer, Creator, Almighty God, and we are merely Your humble servants bowed before You with outstretched arms fully dependent on You. Thank You for giving us ears and eyes that enables us to do Your works here below. But more than that, thank You for the reminder that we are to continue reaching out to You knowing that You can hear our heart’s plea, and You can see the wickedness that we encounter around us every day. Thank You for loving us and caring for us, even in our human weaknesses and frailness. Hopefully we can be more focused on You today and the power available to us by our Father who loves us way too much to see us fail or fall. Please be our guide today. For it is in Your precious and holy name that I ask all this dear Savior, AMEN!

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Restore Your Church Oh God

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 85:4–7

    4 Now restore us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us once more.

    5 Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?

    6 Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?

    7 Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

Thoughts:

In my first read through this passage of scripture I was touched by the prayer of David to save his people, and my heart was deeply touched by his prayer because I can clearly see how many around us, in our neighborhoods and in our cities, need the Lord. However, on closer study of this I realized that you can only restore something that at one time was resident there before. So my heart immediately went out to what David was really praying, because I believe that we are seeing churches dying today at a greater record than ever before in the history of our land. In part, I believe that this is because we need an equally as large evangelism effort to the once ‘saved’ who have fallen by the wayside, as we do to the ones who have totally disregarded the message of the cross. Like you, I am very concerned about all that is going on in our land, and in this world, where we are killing each other without any regard for precious life itself. However, this should come as no surprise to Christians, because even back in 2 Chronicles 7:14 it was declared that God is looking for His people, His children, to humble themselves and pray, before He would give consideration to healing our land. When Christians treat their relationship, their commitment, so flippantly, and when there is no humility in looking to God for His powerful, healing and restoring hand upon His people and our land, what is it that we should really expect differently? Friends, we are bringing damnation on ourselves, on our churches and on our land. Remember, God is still in control and His Word will endure to the end, so we must follow His plan if we ever expect to see God restore us again! What is your role? Are you following His plan, so that you might expect to see Him restore us again? Please, let us humble ourselves and pray…..

Prayer:

Jesus, my Lord, in all humility I pray that You might touch the hearts of Your people once again. Begin with me, I pray. May Your church be revived once again, I pray. May each person meditating on this devotional today realize that this is not the ‘place’ we call church, but the body of Christ that at one time or another made a sober decision to accept You as Lord and Savior of their life. May the places that we call ‘church’ burst wide open from the crowds that will be renewed/revived and reminded of their obligation to their Master and Lord. May Your ‘church’ truly come alive again, so that we may follow Your commands and humble ourselves before You and pray. Lord, may the uncommitted one that may be lead to read this devotional today realize the importance of surrendering themselves to Your Lordship today. We are in desperate need of a touch from You oh King, please hear my prayer and heal us. Please cause us to recommit ourselves to do Your perfect will. For I ask all this in the name of the only One with the power to do anything about our pitiful condition, Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Nothing We Say Overrides The Power of the Cross

The Bible The Amplified Bible

1 Corinthians 1:1719

17 For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).

18 For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. [Isa. 29:14.]

Thoughts:

Thank God for seminaries and dedicated theologians who teach and counsel our pastors. But I am most thankful for the intervention of the God of this universe sending His Holy Spirit to dwell among men and to impact our lives daily. I am amazed how God is able to use the uneducated and especially those having graduated from seminary. As I said, I am thankful for our seminaries, so I have nothing against them, but a person filled with head knowledge but who refuses to call on God for help in delivering His message is totally missing the point, and therefore much of their preaching is in vain. Friends, I know that all seminary graduates do not fall into the same box, so I am not condemning them. However, we must all remember that the Word of God is worthless without the power of God and the presence of God. For without God, we speak mere words of man, and it is only through the Word of God and His mighty hand that man is saved, or hardened hearts are touched. In fact, when we stand before a crowd and attempt to preach or teach without inviting God to direct us and fill us with His words and His wisdom, we are assuming that our knowledge is greater than the power of the cross of Jesus Christ. Friends, we are truly wasting our time and making a mockery of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we meet (supposedly in His name) yet deliberately leave Him out of our meeting and not totally depend on His mighty hand. To our pastors, preachers, evangelists and teachers, please be encouraged that you can’t do the preaching or teaching on your own. Yes, you are capable, but why open your mouths and speak empty words that can’t possibly touch the heart of man? Please allow God His rightful place as Commander-In-Chief of worship services dedicated to Him. Please allow Him to use you in spreading His Word to His people that need Him so badly. Friends, we have a responsibility to pray for our pastors and teachers. We need a word from The Lord when we go to our worship services. Words from mere man is a waste of our time, so let us pray earnestly for the hand of God to work actively through the man of God that stands before us each week. God could demand even the stones to speak, so as we pray let us do it in confidence that He could speak through His messenger in ways and with the words that will touch, uplift, encourage and challenge our hearts.

Prayer:

Lord, to mere man this whole passage of Scripture must seem very fictional, but to the believer in Jesus Christ who knows Your power and have read about and seen your mighty works in action, we humbly pray that You would work very powerfully in the hearts and lives of our pastors and teachers this week, so that as we gather in Your name, we would receive a word from You. Please humble the hearts of the educated, and please uplift the uneducated, so that as they stand before your people this week, they will each depend solely on the power of the Almighty to do His good work among His people gathered together. Lord, as we strive daily to live for You and like You intended, we are constantly marred by Satan and his evil followers in this world. Please forgive us for our weaknesses and encourage us to draw even closer to You so the power within us might always be greater than the power in this old world. Jesus, we depend heavily on You daily, please forgive us of our sinful attitudes and desires and strengthen us to do Your will, and this I humbly pray in Your name, knowing that only You can grant this, AMEN!

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

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