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

Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

God’s Closeness to His Messengers

Thursday, 2019-07-11

Bible Reference: Acts 26:10–11; 13–14
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  10 ….. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.
13 …. as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that it is very challenging for us to read our Scripture verses today, and to imagine that this sort of thing continues even today. But I want us to stop and meditate on whether these verses are truly applicable to us, and how God might speak to us as He attempts to correct our ways.

APPLICATION:  In some translations, the word ‘persecute’ is used several times in the few verses referenced. Here’s what that means: “to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs“. I feel like God opened my eyes and reminded me that when we treat God’s messengers with contempt, then we are actually persecuting the Lord Jesus himself. This reminds me of a loving parent who feels condemned when their child is persecuted or ill-treated. So what is our lesson in this? After all, we don’t go about ‘persecuting’ our religious leaders… Or do we? How often do you hear corners of conversation that tend to chew on the sermon from your last service, or the dress code of the pastor, or the attitude of the worship leader, or the audacity of the pastor to say what he did during his sermon? Is that complimentary of God’s messenger? Is that the precursor to a time of prayer that the group will have for their pastor? I’ve always said that one will get as much from a sermon, as they have prayed into it. Do you feel like we tend to persecute the pastor because God didn’t respond like we expected to our prayers for His messenger who stood in the pulpit? Friends, over in 2 Chronicles 7:14, God said that if we would humble ourselves and pray (not belittle or try to humble the pastor), and if we would seek His face, and if we would turn from our wicked ways, then He would hear from heaven, forgive our sins and restore our land. Notice the personal application there? Nothing about God taking care of all that we feel are inadequate, or who screw up at every opportunity. Friends, I believe that these scriptures are warning us that we have a full-time job doing all that God expects of us, so if we find that we are ‘persecuting’ anyone, then we are meddling, and need to get back to the basics. Take care of self first, then perhaps we will not be near as critical of everyone else. Please don’t shrug this off as being super applicable to all of your friends. Allow God to search your heart and convict you of your sin and shortcomings. I believe you will find that there’s lots there to keep you on your knees for a very long time, including praying for your spiritual leaders.  There just won’t be time enough to persecute others. 

PRAYER: Lord God, You created all things and You are above all things. Thank You for sending messengers, Your angels, to minister to folk like me, even though we tend to persecute the very ones that You send to bless us, love on us and warn us about our sinful ways. Please help us to love these ones, in spite of them not meeting all of our expectations, and in spite of our sinful desire to persecute them. I believe it is obvious that Paul was not the only one that persecuted Christians. Please dear Lord, rest Your hand upon Your children today, beginning with me, and help us to accept Your power and desire to help us succeed in this Christian life, so that we may serve You better and more fully. We are your messengers as well, please encourage us to treat other messengers in the same way that we want to be treated. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may we be ready and obedient in every way, every day! 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!

Forgive Before Asking God For Forgiveness

Monday, 2019-05-20

Bible Reference: Mark 11:25-26
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  25 And whenever you stand praying, if you find that you carry something in your heart against another person, release him and forgive him so that your Father in heaven will also release you and forgive you of your faults. 26 But if you will not release forgiveness, don’t expect your Father in heaven to release you from your misdeeds.”

OBSERVATION: It appears like we easily place ourselves before God and ask for things, without giving any thought to what His Word says. Forgiveness is one of those things where the Word says that one must forgive others, before asking God to forgive them personally. There is a similar command on giving, but today we will focus in on forgiveness.

APPLICATION: How easy is it to forgive another individual? When considering the extreme hurt caused to you, it becomes pretty challenging, doesn’t it? However, I believe that we are capable of understanding how God feels about us also. Imagine for a moment: God created human beings – you and I; He placed us on this beautiful earth that He meticulously created for us to enjoy, to live on, and the survive from everything that He placed on the earth. Yet we carelessly destroy all the beauty He created, plus we sin against one another, and even murder one another over very silly things. We are hurt by others who may be jealous over our successes, or they just may not approve of our well being, compared to their own. We are therefore provoked to stay away from them and be on guard to take any action necessary to protect our own territory. The relationship we develop with these individuals is such that we want to stay far enough away from them, and it wouldn’t hurt our feelings any if we saw them struggling along the edge of the road or about to drown in the ocean. However, praise to the Almighty, we are a holy people, and although we have sinned, we know that we can present ourselves before our Master and ask for forgiveness. STOP right there! That’s where our Scripture today becomes so vital to us. For why would God listen to a man, or woman, holding such a grudge against a Brother or Sister to the degree that they are willing to see them harmed along the roadside, or sink into the depths of the ocean? Could such a person seriously want forgiveness of their own sin, without giving thought or attention to the awful sin bound up inside against a fellow Brother or Sister? I believe that God is saying to us in His Word today, that this type of pleading from Him is unacceptable. For He expects us to clean up our own act, before asking a perfect God, who knows every little itsy bitsy thing about us, to forgive us of our own sin. I believe that God is saying to us that He will forgive us, as we have forgiven others. Only you and God can answer what that might look like: completely? fully? totally forgiven with nothing held back? There’s a song that centers around this theme and it speaks to the forgiven person being asked by God ‘What sin?’. Can you honestly ask that question of God if He questioned you about your relationship with a Brother or Sister who hurt you and caused you to harbor sin in your heart? ‘What sin are you referring to, dear Jesus? I forgave them a long time ago’. I believe that the Scripture is telling us to consider any grudge we have against another, before asking God to forgive us of our trespasses and our sin.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, we stand before You as an opened book today, knowing that You are well aware of our comings and our goings; our sin and our readiness to forgive. Please touch deep inside the hearts of all who will read this devotional today, and cause us to forgive others, so that we might receive Your forgiveness. 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!

The Events of This Weekend Impacts Your Eternity

Thursday, 2019-04-18

Bible Reference: John 19:4-6
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” 6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

OBSERVATION: On Easter Sunday, I believe you will be faced with a similar question to the one Herod posed to his audience: “Here’s the Son of God, what will you do with Him?”. I trust that you will begin thinking and praying about how you will respond to this life changing question in a way that will be pleasing to the God who loves you beyond all measure.

APPLICATION: Pilate presented Jesus to the crowd and asked what would they have him do with Jesus? Each weekend most churches/pastors will present the gospel and ask their congregations to respond to a similar question. Most of us leave our churches having said something very similar to that of the crowd before Pilate. Perhaps by our unresponsive action we are saying: hey, you may as well crucify Him, for we have this ‘life’ thing under control. I don’t need this Jesus interfering and telling me what to do or how I should act, or highlighting my wrongs. Perhaps we totally ignore the message, and the idea that Jesus is in control of us and all of life’s happenings. Perhaps we conclude that since Jesus is available, we could easily and quickly call on Him, if and when, we need Him. Friends, in and of our natural selves we have no desire for godly things. If we ARE alerted to the things of Christ, we are actually being personally admonished by GOD Himself. We NEED to listen and obey, not aim to crucify Him. We are about to enter into another weekend of church services. What will you do with Jesus? He loved you so much that He gave himself up on the cross of Calvary as a sacrifice for your sin, so that you might have the means of forgiveness of your sin, and the joy of entering heaven’s gates. How will you respond to that? Some in Herod’s crowd eventually responded ‘surely this was the Son of God’, but others joined with their friends in responding ‘crucify Him’. Please pray that God will speak to you individually about how you should respond this Sunday. The whole purpose of God sending His Son Jesus, is to save His people – you and I, and to give us the opportunity of living and dying in hope, and to be with our Creator throughout eternity!

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for loving us so much that You showed evidence of that love when You allowed Your precious Son to suffer the disgrace of the people that insisted on His death. Lord, we are not a whole lot better, for we stand by and watch our family and friends ‘spit in Your Son’s face’ in our world today. They are convicted by You, yet they turn away in rejection as if to say that they would rather reject Your unbelievable love and accept the horror and disgrace of the Evil One. They would never be so evil to an earthly friend who blesses them today, by turning their face and rejecting them in spite of their sacrificial giving to them. Dear God, please don’t give up on my family members, friends and coworkers who have chosen to follow this unfortunate pattern. Please, Heavenly Father, bear with them a little longer. Please tender their hearts yet again to the fact that You showed Your love in very obvious and sacrificial ways. Their acceptance of that gracious gift is so valuable that it contains the keys to Heaven and an audience for eternity with the creator of this entire universe. We are truly a blessed people, to have such a loving God. Thank You dear Lord, and hear my plea yet again for those I love. For I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus – the crucified, sacrificial lamb of 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 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!

Not As We Were, But As we Are

Saturday, 2019-04-06

Bible Reference: Psalm 25:7-10
Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: Do not HOLD against me the sins I committed when I was young; instead, deal with me according to Your mercy and love. Then Your goodness may be demonstrated in all the world, Eternal One. IMMENSELY good and honorable is the Eternal; that’s why H/e teaches sinners the way. With JUSTICE, He directs the humble in all that is right, and He shows them His way. 10 KIND and true are all the ways of the Eternal to the people who keep His covenant and His words.

OBSERVATION: Like many of us, David felt like approaching God in the light of who he was in his earlier life, might be a hopeless case. However in light of who God is, and the mercy and grace that He is known for, David knew that there was hope for himself and for all who commit to serving Christ and obeying His commands.

APPLICATION: It is so easy for us to listen to Satan and believe there is no hope for us because of all that we were. I found it refreshing to be reminded that when I committed my life to Jesus and accepted the outstanding grace that He offers to His children, that He not only cleansed me of my sin up to that point in time, but that He looks on me as a sinner saved by His grace. Sure I make mistakes still, but with the Holy Spirit living in me and prompting me to the way of the cross, I am constantly reeled back in and redirected to the ways of the King who reigns over me. Friends, I don’t believe I am alone in feeling this way at times, for I’ve heard from many how hopeless they feel at times. May I implore you to be encouraged by the words of David in this Psalm today and be renewed in knowing that those whom Jesus has welcomed into His fold, will never be released to any other master. Think of your earthly mother and father – you can’t undue the fact that they are your blood parents. Jesus would never accept you into His family and then push you away every time you mess up. He wants you to seek His face daily and realign your will and way with His, every moment of every day. He loves you beyond anything you could ever imagine and I believe that He is anxiously awaiting your arrival in glory to join He and His Father around His throne. Would you commit to follow the last verse of our Scripture today and remain true to God’s Word and keep His commandments? The promise is that He will remain kind and true to you Brothers and Sisters! There is no better companion than to have Jesus on your side while here on earth and when we see Him face to face in heaven!

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us. Praise God that You are able to see us as ‘white as snow’, because of being redeemed by Your precious blood. Most of us have nothing that we could brag about from our past, and absolutely nothing that we can place before You as redemption for our sins. Thank You for Your enormous sacrifice, and for Your uncompromising love for us, in spite of who we used to be. In being cleansed by Your blood, because of Your amazing grace, we are united with You in spirit and filled with the promise of eternity around Your throne. Oh what a Savior! Lord teach us daily to live like who we are, and not like who we used to 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 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!

God Loves the Repentant Heart

Monday, 2019-04-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 51:16-17
Translation: The Voice (Voice)

Bible Text: 16 I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret, but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings. 17 What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest.

OBSERVATION: From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

APPLICATION: “Lord, I’m sorry for my sin”, might come quite naturally when introduced to Jesus, but how sorry are we, really, when we turn around and do the same thing over and over again. David, the Psalmist, was confronted about his awful sin with Bathsheba, and while he could very easily spurt those famous words out to Nathan the prophet, David had to face his all-knowing God with this sin. Now we should be reminded that God didn’t only know the fact that Nathan just presented to David, but God knows even our thoughts and the intent of our heart. So do you really think that it would have helped for David to sacrifice a sheep or a goat on the altar as his way of saying I’m sorry? For the world, that may have been enough, because from all apparent evidence, David would have acknowledged his sin and paid the price for his forgiveness. But just like you and I, David not only needed this to look good in the eyes of his friends and the local priests, but in true repentance, he wanted a clean heart in the presence of his God. So friends, we not only need to ask for forgiveness from our earthly friends, family and the impacted one(s) for our sin, but in order to right our heart and resume our oneness with God, and to one day present ourselves faultless before our King, we must get before God in humility and deepest sincerity and ask for His forgiveness. Like David, we must always be aware that God desires:

  • A broken spirit – this means that we must be willing to break down our pride of thinking we know everything, and thinking that what occurred was a private matter between two consenting adults. We must acknowledge that we recognize that our hearts and our lives are transparent before an all-knowing God, so we may as well ‘come clean’ and ask His forgiveness for everything we have done or said or thought that may be contrary to His perfect design and will. There is nothing we can hide from God, so may I encourage you to break down the walls of pride and secrecy and be totally open with God;
  • A humble heart that honestly regrets the past (our sin) – Our acts may have been fun at the time, or our words may have revenged the individual we were out to get back at, but I believe that when the God of this universe looks into our eyes and our hearts, and He sees unconfessed sin, then we will be pushed aside or rejected from His presence, as sin cannot enter His kingdom.

I was at a conference recently where we were reminded that when we stand before God, we will deal with our personal condition in the face of a righteous, all-knowing God. The normal tendency of our actions here on earth is to try and compare to another individual, or pointing out their sin, while pushing ours under the table. This is not the way God will handle our judgment on that day that we stand before Him, for that will be a one-on-one conversation. It won’t matter what the neighbor did, or the deacon said, it will only matter how in sync our heart is with a righteous and perfect God. If that was to happen today, and it could very easily happen, what would God challenge you with? Consider getting that straight today friend, for we have no assurance of a second chance to do so tomorrow.

PRAYER: Father God, You created us, including our heart, our soul, our mind and our intellect. Why would we ever think that we could hide anything from You is most astonishing to our sober minds as we try to escape Your wrath. Please speak to those who seek after you today. Lord Jesus, may the words from our lips and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Savior and our 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 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!

Reflect His Caring Heart

Friday, 2018-12-07

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:12-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. 13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. 14 Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. 

OBSERVATION: At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

APPLICATION: Most children are probably looking forward to Christmas because of the gifts they have asked for, and expect to receive. As adults, Paul has reminded us of the gracious gifts that are ours, in being a child of the most high God! Here are some of the gifts mentioned by Paul: 1). God has made us His holy people – imagine that – steeped in sin and very much a part of Satan’s army, yet when we felt the call on our life by Jesus, and surrendered our life to Him, we were adopted into the sonship of the Most Holy God! That is beyond comprehension, and could only be imagined through faith in the truth of God’s Holy Word; 2). God loves us – ‘Love’ is an awesome word that we use, and even abuse in our lifetime, but it takes on such a special meaning when the holy Son of God loves a child that has been so blatant in sin, and asked for His forgiveness. Oh that we may find it in our hearts to love like that this Christmas! But here are some gifts that we may give to others, in return for His gracious love to us: Show mercy towards others; Be kind to others; Be humble towards others; Be gentle to others; Be patient with others; Don’t be angry with others; Forgive others; and LOVE others. Friends, the best news of all about these godly gifts, is that there will be no increase in credit card bills whatsoever!  So why not read over this devotional again as Christmas draws closer, and concentrate on all the gody gifts that you can extend to family and friends. Be instrumental in teaching them God’s ways and His teachings through your example this Christmas! Others may just see that you have a heart like that of Jesus, because you care for others!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Christmas! Thank You for teaching us about the many precious gifts that You bless us with, and through your servant Paul, teaching us how we might extend to others the many gifts that You have showered on us. Please help us to make someone’s Christmas special this year, by showering them with the character of Your Son, and the godly gifts mentioned above. 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!

Tested and Proven

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT)

TEXT:  Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

OBSERVATION:   Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

APPLICATION:   In considering a real life comparison to this Scripture today, I thought of a husband who went to prison for battery, or abuse of his wife. Misery, pain and hardship ensued while the husband was in prison, but deep inside of each spouse was a love that was first kindled when they were in high school. While the wife wanted desperately to show that love before the husband was sent away, there was a world of influence that prevented that, and it caused the husband to release anger in ways neither of them thought possible. However, during the time in prison there were folk who worked hard at rehabilitating that husband and helping him to better deal with his anger issues. To do this, they tested him with various scenarios that might cause him to doubt any improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek to the love he had for his wife, and flourish in those circumstances. However, upon his release from prison, his wife was waiting with open arms to welcome him back home, and promised to do all she could to help him never to return to his former life of anger and violence. The life of both spouses while the husband was in prison, could be compared to what Christians face on earth. For although we surrendered our life to Jesus, yet we are left here on this earth to weather the storms of doubt; pain; financial burdens; being picked on; victims of crime; etc. In fact, at times we may even wonder if our commitment to Christ really means anything at all. But friends, I want us to be reminded that our gift of salvation was not our immediate ticket out of this world, for Peter reminds us that God not only wants to use us for His glory while here on earth, but that when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will be looking to see how we will handle the storms of life. Those storms don’t go away, we are just given a new hope in what lies beyond the storms. That husband in prison was able to endure the hardships of prison, because he knew that he had a loving, caring wife waiting for him, and ready to finish up their lives together. We have the same promise in Jesus Christ dear friends! There is a loving, caring, awesome Savior awaiting us on the other side of this treacherous world. Our time here is one of testing and proving whose we are. Wouldn’t it be neat to converse with God each evening and ask: “how did we do today?” Please don’t forget that prayer provides that exact medium for you to converse with God. Keep the lines of communication opened, so that He may guide and direct you into total holiness – just as He is holy! Why is something tested? To prove its durability under pressure. Something that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks under His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing friend?

PRAYER:   Lord God, thank You for reminding us that we have a purpose here on this earth, especially after we accept You as Lord, for then Your mighty works can be accomplished through us, if You choose to do so. When trials come, please continue to drive us towards You, and what You might want to accomplish through even the slightest ‘thorn in our side’. You never promised us smooth sailing and calm waters after accepting You as Lord, instead You have given us the hope that through the ups and downs of life, our Master still loves us, still waits for us, and is still our guide through every circumstance. Thank You for that love, that comfort and the peace that it gives to our soul. Oh that others may see Jesus in us, no matter the circumstances we face while on planet earth. 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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