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

Archive for the ‘Excuses’ Category

Excuses Won’t Work

Thursday, 2019-01-03

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:11-13
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 11 God said to the man, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that special tree? I told you not to eat from that tree!” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me gave me fruit from that tree. So I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” She said, “The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”

OBSERVATION: Right from the very beginning of time, when there were only two humans alive, mankind found it easier to make excuses rather than owning up to their actions and accepting the consequences that may follow. Often this involves throwing the blame on someone else, with hopes that they will bear the brunt of the punishment for the crime. However, I believe that God might have a lesson for us to learn in this. Let’s think about the excuses we find, when trying to deflect blame on to others.

APPLICATION: Not sure when last you stopped to consider the many excuses we find in life, but I believe the habit is much worse than we could ever imagine! In our Scripture today, we might think of the peaceful garden that God created for His first children. How He created Adam and immediately saw how lonely he was, so He carefully chose to make Eve from Adam, to help set the stage of submission, that God wanted in place. God wanted to make sure that His kids learned right from the beginning that there were some rules – things that they would not be permitted to do, or touch, or eat. Are you starting to see a comparison to what we still face today in our various diets and disciplines? However, it is clear from the Word, that God carefully and lovingly created everything especially for us to enjoy – the beauty of His creation; food of many varieties; animals to bring life to everything around us; and a keen sense to recognize the God of this universe who loves us more than anything else in the world. Would you not assume that we would be immensely grateful, and therefore consistently and persistently looking for ways to praise our Father for His goodness? But right from the start, Adam and Eve assumed the attitude that is so prevalent in us, that no matter who sets the rules, we are going to do it our way. Yes, the serpent caused Eve to really ponder the rule set by God about the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, but it was Eve who caved in and committed the sin in disobedience. Yes, Eve offered the fruit to Adam so she could have a partner in crime, but Adam had a choice to accept the fruit and sin, or be the spiritual leader of his home and lead Eve to a point of seeking forgiveness. I believe that our lesson to receive in this today, is that we are accountable before a holy God for our own sin. Of course I believe that we could help each other refrain from sinning, but I don’t believe there is ever a time that we could honestly stand before God and try to give the excuse that someone else caused us to sin. Let’s do our best to not let anything hinder us from praising God; from seeking His face in reflection and in honor to His holy name; from causing us to willingly disobey Him and sin – in spite of all that He has taught us. Remember, unlike our court systems, we will not stand before God with an attorney or witnesses who will try to find loopholes or excuses for our sin. It will be us alone, before God alone. He already knows the truth about every aspect of our life, and it will be up to us how willing we are to admit the truth about our words and our actions while here on earth. How well do you suppose you will do, without giving excuses?

PRAYER: Lord God, You provided a perfect setting in which we could live, and You provided everything we need to live in perfect harmony, and with respect for the One True God who created us. We approach You with deep regret that we have allowed so many things to step in the way of our right relationship with You. Please forgive us. We have entered into a brand new year, with opportunities to let our lights shine for you. Please grant us strength and wisdom to reject those ones who will cause us to sin, and fill us with so much of Yourself, that they will be convinced of their sin and search for You instead. Lord, Satan has taken such a hold on people around us that it is only with Your power and Your might, that we could ever survive the onslaught of sin. We need You desperately Lord. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. 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!

Remorse That Leads To A Better Relationship

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (TPT)

TEXT:  10 God designed us to feel remorse over sin in order to produce repentance that leads to victory. This leaves us with no regrets. But the sorrow of the world works death. 11 Can’t you see the good fruit that has come, as God intended, because of your remorse over sin? Now you are eager to do what is right! Look at the indignation you experienced over what happened and how alarmed you became. What holy longing it awakened, what passion for God, and how ready you were to bring justice to the offender. Your response has proved that you are free of blame in this matter.

OBSERVATION:   Paul had dealt with a group to whom he had written a letter, that he was sure could easily have dampened their spirits and perhaps even make them mad. When he arrived on site, he was thankful that the letter was well received and that it had the desired impact on the Corinthians. Because we also need correcting from time to time, let us take note of how this was achieved.

APPLICATION:   Isn’t it interesting how someone can say something to us at certain times and we will laugh along with them and take their advice in stride, while other times the slightest little thing will make us so upset and ready to fight? I believe that Paul was expecting the worse as a result of his letter, but instead he found the best possible results. That’s no different with us today, for if we are challenged about our sin, or discord, the first thing that most of us would do is to become very defensive. We might also become upset at the Brother or Sister trying to help correct us, and we would probably stay out of their way for a while. On the other hand, if we are filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore looking for ways to please God more, and better, then perhaps we would welcome correction, because we would be listening more attentively to the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us as our guide to pleasing Christ everyday. I believe this is the same way it works with Jesus speaking wisdom to us, for when our hearts are in tuned with Jesus Christ, we are in tuned with His Word and we easily apply it to our lives and give God thanks for it. However, when we are out of sync with our Master, and we have not been transparent with Him about our sin, we are easily misdirected by Satan, who forces us into many other directions when we know deep inside that we should be in the Word, at a prayer meeting, or some other place that we had scheduled, at least in our minds, to facilitate our personal time with the Lord. Friends, daily distractions is our biggest enemy to spending time with the Lord. Here’s a help tip for you: Whenever distracted by something that steals your time away from being with the Lord, and you go before God with your excuses and especially about not having time for everything, just tell Him “Sorry God but that was not a priority for me today”. Think carefully about the circumstances and you will quickly agree that you just gave a more accurate explanation to God, but now try thanking Him for all that He has sacrificed, and done just for you. Try asking Him for all the things that you feel you should have, to better align with your neighbors. Very difficult, isn’t it? Make God your priority friends! Above all else that He could have been doing in His ministry, yet He stopped everything and made the ultimate sacrifice just for us. How could we but praise Him? How could we but serve Him? How could we but worship Him? How could we but honor Him – my Savior and my Lord?

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, I worship and adore You today, because of who You are, because of Your love for my readers and I and because of all that You gave up just to provide the means of us getting to the Father and all of the joys of Heaven. We have such a challenge keeping our priorities in order, like You demonstrated on the cross at Calvary. Please, please, continue to impress upon us what’s important in life and help us to stay focused on the only thing that matters – our eternal destination in heaven with You and the Father.

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 s peak 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!

 

God’s Response To Our Excuses

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Isaiah 1:18-20 (ERV)

TEXT: 18 “I, the Lord, am the one speaking to you. Come, let’s discuss this. Even if your sins are as dark as red dye, that stain can be removed and you will be as pure as wool that is as white as snow. 19 “If you listen to what I say, you will get the good things from this land. 20 But if you refuse to listen and rebel against me, your enemies will destroy you.” The Lord himself said this.

OBSERVATION:   Although these verses were shared by our Old Testament prophet Isaiah, and were no doubt very applicable to what he was facing at the time with his own people, I can understand why God had these words included in His Holy Book For we have folk that refuse to listen to the voice of God today. Let’s see how this might still applicable to us today.

APPLICATION:   Pastor, you just don’t understand. This ‘Holy’ and ‘Righteous’ and ‘Perfect’ Father that you refer to won’t have anything to do with me. For I am a filthy sinner in all that I’ve done in my past, and if you only had a clue as to what my job currently is, and the horrible clientele that I serve“. The Word of God responds: “My child, I sent my very own Son as a sacrifice for your sins. No matter how dark, or crimson red those sins might be, the sacrifice I offered for you will actually cleanse you as if you were super clean, just as freshly fallen snow appears.” “But pastor, all my friends know about my deeds and my past. A change on the inside may not be evident to them” “My dear one, all along you have lived to please others, and you don’t appear happy with what you achieved. As you surrender your heart to my Son, He will guide you into all truth for everyday living, so that you may please Him. That turn of events will allow you to one day be in Heaven with My Son and Me. That benefit is ‘out of this world’! So you have a choice my child: continue living to please the world and its leader so that you may spend eternity in torment by Satan, or accept My offer of forgiveness, love, and eternity in Heaven.” To all my readers: What is your choice in this matter? Do you know my Savior? Are you pleasing Him, or are you still pleasing the world and your friends? Please carefully decide where you will spend eternity. It’s your choice, and only you can make that choice, with God’s help. Your life will be evidence of which choice you made. May I recommend that you make the decision to follow Jesus? Look full into His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim! It’s all a matter of life (eternity in heaven) or death (total darkness and everlasting abuse with Satan in the pit of Hell). It’s your choice my friend.

PRAYER:   Lord, I so appreciate all that You did for me on Calvary. I pray that as my readers contemplate on this today, they will make the obvious choice to accept Your precious Gift and Your ultimate destination for all who are Yours. To do nothing is the same as them telling You, “no thank you, I rather do this ‘life’ thing on my own and accept my consequences at the end”. Faithful Father, I pray that You will soften the hearts of all that might begin to read this devotional today and draw them unto Yourself. My whole purpose in writing this blog is to point family and friends towards my Savior. Bless this devotional today dear Lord, and allow it to accomplish Your work. 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!

 

But Lord?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 9:11-16 (MSG)

TEXT:  11-12 “Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”

13-14 Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”

15-16 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.”

OBSERVATION:   Interesting how God shocks His servants with challenges, that they feel, are so outlandish! Moses was shocked, and found excuses when asked to take charge of the Israelites. Having never seen or heard of rain, Noah was shocked to receive orders to build a huge boat up on dry land. In our Scripture today, Ananias is being asked to go and minister to a murderer of Christians. One who had always fought Christianity and all that it stood for. Although God was the one telling Ananias to ‘Go’, Ananias was sure there must be some mistake, and he had to be sure that was cleared up before he agreed to do anything. Aren’t we just as quick in coming up with excuses why we can’t or shouldn’t do certain parts of ministry today?

APPLICATION:   Do you remember the anxiety the first time that you were asked to read a few verses of Scripture, or pray aloud in public? Did the fear of that happening, keep you from attending certain services, or from sitting near the front? Did that fear worsen when you were asked to go and visit a shut-in or a hospitalized member of the church? Ever felt led of God to visit a friend who was not a believer, hoping that you would find the opportunity to witness to that person, but at the last minute you got ‘cold feet’ and started to find multiple excuses why you couldn’t go? If any of these things bring back vivid memories, then you may have had a mild Ananias experience. I say ‘mild’, because in the case of Ananias, he was being asked to go and lay hands on one of the biggest threats in his time. We would hate to think about being near to a mass murderer, even if given the opportunity to witness to them, but it was a well known fact that Saul was out to eliminate those who might minister for the Lord Jesus, and Ananias was one of those. Wouldn’t that be the same as placing the ‘bait’ right at the feet of the ‘lion’? Friends, I believe that this Scripture shows us several facets of God’s amazing plan. Who else would be more effective in speaking to the folk that opposed God, than one of their own? Who else would show the power of God to save even the vilest of sinners, as in the case of Saul? Who else could better show a life transformed by the blood of Jesus, like Paul did? In listening to the news every day of our lives, we hear of so many forms of evil that, in most cases, we cringe at it happening very close to many of our home towns. God has called us to proclaim His Word and to be His witnesses at home and abroad. Stop finding excuses and saying “But Lord…..”, for He knows the plans He has for you. Don’t disappoint Him by trying to correct or remind the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, that you may know something that He may have overlooked. Let me remind you again what He said back to Ananias, ‘Just GO’. Let’s learn to be more obedient friend.

PRAYER:   Unfortunately, I believe that we are just as doubtful today, even after seeing the after results of Your demands on several unsuspecting servants in Your Word. There is no doubt that You hold the world in Your hands and that it moves at Your command. The same is true for the individuals that You alone created. Lord, please have mercy on us and continue to strengthen us with the help of the Holy Spirit, to obediently follow Your commands and Your will for us, especially in using us to touch the lives of others, especially those who seem so unlikely to us. Lord, may Your perfect will be achieved in and through Your saints today, even me Lord. 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!

 

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!

Get Away With The Lord

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-04-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 34:23-24 (NIV)

Text:

23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.
OBSERVATION:
This is an interesting meeting Moses had with the Lord. After the last similar meeting, Moses returned to his people, and became so angry at finding them worshiping idols again, that he threw down the stones upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. God had Moses write the Commandments on the stones this time, but He also ordered Moses to gather the men together and meet with Him (God) three times per year while they attended festivals. It sounds like God wants time together with His leaders!
APPLICATION:
At a time when it is extremely challenging to get men out to church on the weekends, and especially at midweek prayer and Bible study, we were able to take a group from our church to a Bible based, Spirit led, prayer conference for approximately two full days. These days were filled with the Word of God, as Scripture was given to each participant; songs prompted by the Holy Spirit; and prayer from the heart of each attendee, as prompted by God. No agenda, just waiting before the Lord and obeying the leading of His Holy Spirit. What might seem amazing to many, is that the crowd doubled in size the second year! What a sweet, Holy Ghost filled, time with the Lord! We returned to our church fired up, renewed and ready for the Lord to continue His work in and through us. This helped me to identify with what God was telling Moses to do. I wonder, if your pastor organized a get-away at your church: How many men would sacrifice vacation time to go and spend devoted time with the Lord? How many wives or girlfriends would encourage husbands or boyfriends to please go and participate? How many employers would welcome the time off for employees that they suspect would return and pray for the success of their business? Friends, I wonder how many gods we place before the God of this universe when we can’t find time for church services over the weekend or a discipleship class during the week? We tend to blame it on ‘time’, but may I recommend that you use the word ‘priority’ when explaining why you couldn’t participate/attend? Especially use that word when praying to God at the end of each day. Imagine: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not making it a priority to hear from You through reading Your Word today? Lord, please forgive me that I made it a priority to take my family to the beach today/took my wife shopping today/went to have lunch with old friends today; played golf today…. but didn’t make it a priority to take my family to church. Can we, in all good conscience, add to the end of those excuses: ‘but bless me anyway and guide the thoughts of my troubled son this week’??? Friends, I believe that we are either all for God, or we’re not. I know that we can’t be at every single church gathering, but sincerely before God, we must be ready to answer His question on the priority of our day/time. Please consider taking time away to draw close to God, so that He might draw close to you. I don’t believe that there could be one thing more strengthening for your relationship with God, which will also enrich your relationship with your family and coworkers.
PRAYER:
Lord God, please forgive us for the many excuses we come up with regarding our priorities. Too often You are placed at the bottom of the list, or as a last resort. This must be turned around if we ever expect to draw close to You, or encourage/convince an unbeliever. Please give us strength, boldness and self-determination to serve You wholeheartedly and without excuses. You gave up Your life for us, how much more can we do in return? Give Your children boldness and commitment today I sincerely plead dear God, 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!

Would You Like To Get Well?

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-07
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 5:5–9 (TLB)

Text:

One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to help me into the pool at the movement of the water. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, roll up your sleeping mat and go on home!”
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking!

OBSERVATION:
This is part of the story that speaks about the crippled man who laid along the colonnades of the Pool at Bethesda, together with others who were blind, lame, or paralyzed. This particular man had been lame for 38 years and part of his reason for being at the pool was to beg arms of those who would come to bathe in the pool, for he had to hope for getting better, since he was unable to get off his bed and be the first to rush into the pool for healing when the waters started moving. Most other miracles performed in the New Testament resulted from folk begging, or touching or calling out to Jesus for healing, but this one was quite different. For in response to Jesus’ question, the man gave the long answer, and shared the hopelessness of his situation that not only prevented him from moving to gain his independence, but also hindered him from taking the necessary step that would bring about his wellness – his healing. Little did he know that he was in the presence of the greatest Healer, the very one who created Him and provided for him each and every day! The man didn’t know Jesus, nor did he know of His healing power, so he merely gave Jesus his sob story, instead of anxiously reaching out to Jesus for healing.
APPLICATION:
I wonder how many of us could stop, think, and come up with a parallel between the lame man at the pool-side, compared to our own story and/or actions? How many of us get so caught up in our own sad stories that we overlook the hand that is extended to help us navigate this rough life and overcome the obstacles that seem to block us at every turn? Are we one to take that lemon and enjoy some lemonade, instead of whining and complaining about its tangy, sour, bitter, acid-filled taste that is good for nothing? What must others be saying about us when they see us coming? Complainer; whiner; discourager; faithless; imitator of Satan; or a curse? Or might we be seen as one with all of the opposite attributes and filled with the Spirit of God? Can we answer a direct question if the Master walked into our presence and asked about our needs? Do we truly have the faith to honor the commands of the God that we serve, and actually attempt to stand up; roll up our mat; and walk away, when told to do so? Or are we too content in our whining and complaining? I have a friend who is blind from birth, and I have never seen a more positive person. He is able to make blind jokes to help folk like me who feel sorry for him. He has gone on with his life, even with his handicap, and is succeeding and excelling in many, many ways. An evangelist who is badly handicapped by MS once asked in his sermon after telling his story: “so what’s your problem healthy friend, why are you sitting back saying you can’t?” Friends, I believe that Jesus is very aware of our limitations, but He also said in His Word ‘that’s OK, for in your weakness and inabilities, I will be more easily recognized for the awesome work that I will do through you’. Jesus made us just as we are, for His glory. Would you say that He is glorified by the way that we have accepted His masterpiece?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, please be merciful to me, a sinner saved by the grace of my awesome Savior. For I often feel sorry for myself, or feel incapable of speaking to others, or feel unworthy of the calling that You have placed on my life. I don’t believe I’m alone in feeling this way Lord, for our churches are not filled and I still see many in our neighborhoods who are still lost in their sin. Please help us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and please help us to be obedient to You in everything we do or say, for only what’s done for Jesus will last, and will be worth it all, when we see You face-to-face. The man in our story today was lame and he couldn’t… We also have many excuses as to why we can’t be Your followers, Your disciple, and Your witness to our lost friends and family. Please forgive us Lord, and fill us once again with Your power, Your encouragement and Your boldness. 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!

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