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

Archive for the ‘Getting Along’ Category

Holiness – Work At It

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Hebrews 12:14): 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

THOUGHTS: I saw a greeting card yesterday that read “Short on words, but loooong on best wishes!” I found this verse to be short on words, but packed with a powerful message for us today. God’s inspired Word is warning us that living at peace with everyone and a holy life before our Lord, does not come easy or perhaps natural to us, but are two things necessary for the follower of Christ. Our natural tendency is to sin, therefore it is challenging for anyone to get along with us, or for us to accept everyone the way they are, to love them and live at peace with them. However in this chapter of Hebrews we are being taught to listen to God. We have been shown in this New Testament book that our ancestors accomplished a lot in faith, believing in, and depending on, the power of God. We are therefore challenged to call on, listen to, and depend on God to help us accomplish everything that He has commanded of us. In this particular command, I would dare say that God has proven Himself powerful, and able, over and over. He proved His love for us in ways that we would never have to, for He sacrificed His life for us, while the world hated Him, mocked Him, spat on Him and crucified Him. So I believe you will agree that He definitely knows all about how challenging it will be for us to ‘love’ someone who despises us, or may even hate us. So friends, when we are commanded to ‘Work at It’, be comforted in knowing that we don’t have to do this alone. For Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us – that means that He is always there for us. Therefore part of our working on these commands, must include humbling ourselves before the Master and seeking His help. Furthermore, I am convinced that my loving Jesus would never command something of us that would be impossible for He and us to achieve. We gladly work at being our best in our jobs, in our families, in our marriages and in our relationships. As an obedient servant, we must also ‘Work at’ being holy in our lifestyle so that the world will know to whom we belong. Also, we must determine in our own hearts to live at peace with each other as children of the ‘Prince of Peace’. We must ‘Work at It’ with all of our being and with the help of the King, Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our time here on earth is short, and we can therefore not afford to procrastinate on ‘Working At’ being all that You demand of us in Your Word. Holiness begets holiness, so if we are truly a son of the Holy God, then we are to represent that holiness in our everyday life. For one to meet a son, there should be good enough representation that they would tell the world that they have met the Father. Lord, may it be so in my life today, and may You fill the hearts and lives of all my readers that are willing to live obedient lives in conformity with Your will. Shine through us today Lord Jesus, so that our friends might see Jesus. For I ask these things in and through 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!

The Results of Getting Along

The Holy Bible

 How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!

    It’s like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard,

    Flowing down Aaron’s beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.

    It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion.

  Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.
(The Message – Psalm 133:1–3)

When we worship the right way, God doesn’t stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches—no exceptions.
(The Message – 1 Corinthians 14:33).

Thoughts:

I normally read an Old Testament reading and a New Testament reading each morning. I had already sensed that God wanted me to share the passage in Psalm 133 when I turned to 1 Corinthian 14, only to find the same theme. To those meditating on this devotional but have not yet surrendered their life to God, you might consider this a great coincidence. However, I believe that finding both readings to contain a similar theme only confirmed what God wanted me to share. For God is just that awesome! The first passage dealt with individuals, while the second dealt with harmony in the church. However friends, the church is made up of individuals, and if the individuals (church members) are not getting along with each other in their homes and in their family relationships, can we truly expect anything different in the church, or anywhere else that the individuals find themselves? I would dare say that there is little chance of seeing a difference in one venue vs another. So how important is this to God? In the Psalm, David calls the act of getting along as ‘harmony’. He then compares harmony to the dew that drops off the steep slopes of the great Mount Hermon, and he declared that God had commanded His blessing on that type harmony, and even ordained eternal life to it. Now think about this friends, we know that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can obtain eternal life, so obviously David was prophesying that those who accept Jesus as Lord (Christians) who live in harmony, will receive the eternal life that only He offers. You see, it’s very evident that living in harmony is a gift of the Spirit, and therefore if we live in disharmony, we should really go back to the cross and seek the face of Jesus so that He might pour out His Holy Spirit upon us and allow us to live in peace, in harmony with one another. For this results in the greater gift of eternal life that can truly be yours. For my Christian brothers and sisters who have allowed disharmony to sneak into your holy lives, let us go before the throne, ask for forgiveness, and seek a fresh anointing from our heavenly Father. Our aim should be to please Jesus in all that we do. Let’s make sure that we get along with others like He expects of us.

Prayer:

Lord, Your Word is extremely powerful and often used to correct areas of our lives that need attention, and truly needs be better aligned with You and Your awesome example detailed in Your Word. There is a powerful song “Lord, I want to be Just like You”, and I pray that this will not just be my desire today, but that Your Word might provoke the hearts of all that will read this devotional and also help them commit to living a more dedicated and committed life for You. Please help us to live in perfect harmony with one another, just like You would. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

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

Be Completely United

The Bible – The Good news Translation

1 Corinthians 1:10

10 By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ I appeal to all of you, my brothers and sisters, to agree in what you say, so that there will be no divisions among you. Be completely united, with only one thought and one purpose.

Thoughts:

I bet that as you read the above verse you may have thought that it was something that I came up with concerning your church, or perhaps telling you gossip from my church, right? I agree with you friends, however this is obviously one of those verses that Christians today throw over their shoulders and let it go on to apply to the church on the next block for whom it was truly written!! In our secular jobs we often remark that the most challenging part of our job is dealing with the people/staff. I would imagine that for our pastors the most challenging part of leading a small, or a large church is the same – dealing with the folk who cause upheaval that could quickly lead to division. Paul addressed two important areas that we should consider as we think about what we might do to prevent division:

  1. To agree in what you say – I believe that if we did like one pastor suggested when he said “Let the main thing be the main thing” then we would quickly refocus our minds, and subsequently our conversation, to the mighty works of God among the congregation; the Word of God that speaks to us in powerful ways today, as it did in the days we read about in the Word; the blessings that God has bestowed on us instead of the small aches and pains that we might feel; the great teachers that God has provided to share knowledge with us instead of the small insignificant, humanly faults they may have; and the heartfelt desire to see our family members saved; and
  2. Be completely united – Do you know what happens in marriages when a husband and wife cannot be completely united in one thought and purpose? Don’t you imagine that the same thing would happen if we bring that type of behavior into the church? Independent thinking is important friend, but in a heart of compassion and love and caring about the good of others, we must learn to be understanding, appreciative and patient in what others have to say also. We are not all at the same maturity level, so sometimes we will find that someone else may have a different idea about a topic than we do. They may not be wrong – in fact they may be trying to say the same things as you are saying, just using different terminology. We must learn to not only talk, but also to listen, and try to appreciate the heart of the person speaking.

I heard a preacher approach this subject recently and he advised that should a third party be brought up in a conversation you are having with another church member, stop the conversation until such time that the other party could join you in the conversation! Great advice to avoid the issues that Paul was addressing with the Corinthian church, and to help with the unity of our churches today! These are tips on how we can help keep unity in our church today, are you willing to do your part friend? Let’s ask God for the strength to do His will, even in our relationships with others who should know better!

Prayer:

Lord, thank You for Your patience with Your people as we try to get along here on this earth and live in such a way that we would be a witness of You to our lost family and friends. Lord, please remind us often that we will never impact the lost when we act just like them. If we are different, and if we belong to the King of Love, the King of compassion and the King of all Kings then it is time for us to leave the things of this world behind and center our hearts and minds on You, and not our personal desires and selfish ways. More of You in this old world will force out the ways of Satan that has become so prevalent, even among Christians. Please have Your will in my life dear Lord, and may my friends also see the need for a similar prayer today, is my humble plea, that I ask in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and 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.

For The Sake of the Gospel

The Bible The Message

Romans 15:15-16

So, my dear friends, dont take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. Its not criticism. Im simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by Gods Holy Spirit.

Thoughts:

Sometimes I believe that we read these passages in the Bible and we feel so sorry for the circumstances in which God’s messengers had to work, because we read where they were really challenged in many areas, especially the conflict between the Jews and the Gentiles (non-Jews). So let’s take a moment and rejoice over the many advancements that we have attained in our society and ministry today! Excuse me, but did I just give the impression that we have no issues like Paul faced? If I did, then I am totally wrong, because we are faced with issues that either hinder us from ministering to every man and woman, or we are faced with churches (people) that are opposed to having others of unmatched faith; or color or socioeconomic status, worship with them. Friends these types of prejudices hinder the spreading of the gospel as much as those Paul faced back in Romans 15. Just look around your workplaces, your circle of friends, your neighborhood, etc. We hear of folk that would go to vast extremes to hinder the possibility of folk like I referred to above from moving into their neighborhood, so should we expect to see any difference in our churches? Friends, there is only one God and there will be only one heaven, wouldn’t you reason that we should make every effort to try and work though some of these prejudices we’ve allowed Satan to entrench in our minds, while we are here on this earth so that we would be very comfortable in heaven among ALL of God’s people? Have you ever stopped to think that your reactions resulting from these various prejudices are actually hindering the gospel message? I would challenge you to think about how God might react to you obstructing the message of salvation when you come face to face with Him on Judgment Day. Based on scripture, I believe I have good authority in advising you that you might be surprised who might actually make it into heaven, for I believe there will be grave consequences for those who hinder one of God’s children from surrendering their heart to The Lord. Why not join me in asking God to look deep into our inner selves and expose any prejudice that might be found so that we may not obstruct those that we come into contact with that need to know The Lord, and also that we may be extremely welcoming to those that enter our church doors regardless of any differences that may be evident. People need The Lord friends, that’s the bottom line.

Prayer:

Thank You Lord Jesus for dying on Calvary’s rugged cross for sinners, yes even me. Although undeserving, yet You died for all, so that we may one day be with You in heaven for ever and ever. You placed no restriction on who might surrender their hearts to You, and my simple prayer this morning is that You might open our hearts, cleanse us of all unrighteousness – especially prejudices, so that we may be like You and accept all that may come into our lives, into our churches and into our realms of influence. Please continually remind us that Your judging will be based on our heart, and not any of the exterior things that we tend to look at and allow to interfere with our Godly influence. For I ask this in Your precious name, Lord Jesus, my deliverer, peacekeeper, and lover of all mankind 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.

Sincere Godly Love, One for Another

The Bible – The Good News Translation

 Romans 12:9-10

 9 Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. 1 0 Love one another warmly as Christian brothers and sisters, and be eager to show respect for one another.

Thoughts:

In a world where family members are jealous of each other and can’t stand to be in each other’s presence; where coworkers are so competitive to reach the top or earn more commission and/or recognition, that they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to keep them from doing their best; where church members want to be in charge or favored by the pastor or can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another; I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will really not hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squish all the evil thoughts we might receive that make us act and rationalize to cause the above issues. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. Paul has reminded me that I need to live and love in ways that others might recognize and want to know You personally. This is difficult to do when I surrender to living and loving like the world. Father, please give me strength to be a victor in living my life according to the model You displayed. Please help me to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from my lips, but the desires of my heart and the actions of my whole being. Lord, sadly, I have ‘Christian’ family and friends that I know who are living in sin, because they are acting just like the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name and for Your sake, 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.

Observer, Criticizer or Participant?

Scripture: Numbers 15-16.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Numbers 16:42-45 (NLT)

42 As the community gathered to protest against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the Tabernacle and saw that the cloud had covered it, and the glorious presence of the Lord appeared.

43 Moses and Aaron came and stood in front of the Tabernacle,

44 and the Lord said to Moses,

45 “Get away from all these people so that I can instantly destroy them!” But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground.

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

In these two chapters I saw several occasions where the people either were jealous of God’s appointed leaders, or they just didn’t approve of all that God was doing for them, so they protested. Before we raise our sanctified noses and feel like that was back then and we don’t have that type thing going on today, let me remind you of some of the ways that we protest against God today:

  1. When we withhold our tithes or offerings because we don’t approve what the church, or its leaders are doing. This is intensified when you consider that each member had equal opportunity to discuss and approve/disapprove the expense at a business meeting, but many chose to stay at home and …….;
  2. When we stay home from church because of who might be preaching that day. Are we saying that we could do better?
  3. When we gossip about the church, its members or its leaders. This is often done out of jealousy and especially because we are not a part of the action. Often if we had been at church and involved in the ministry, then we would have been a part of the action!

Now I would ask you/ourselves this: Can God be the same as He was in the days of Moses? Of course; not only could He be, but I can assure you that He is the same today as He was then. We may not hear many stories of fireballs being launched against church/ministry protestors, but God performs His discipline in various ways.

So how would this passage speak to us today: I believe that protests come from a jealous heart, and one that thinks that it can do a much better job than anything we see occurring today. How then shall we correct ourselves in this? Get involved in the ministry instead of being the official observer and criticizer! God’s job is to observe and judge the hearts of His people, let’s let Him do His job. Besides, we can do a much better job ourselves in our area of ministry if we do it without the strain of also doing or worrying about what someone else has been assigned to do for the kingdom of God.

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

Father, it is truly amazing how applicable Your Word is, even today. Thank You for directing me to this passage this morning, and thank You for opening my eyes to this particular piece of this scripture. Obviously this is a Word to me this morning, for I must allow it to penetrate my heart and deal with the very challenge that You have presented to me. I pray that You will not only give me the strength and the power to overcome my weakness in this area, but also that You would use this devotional to speak to the hearts of Your people throughout the world that may read this online today. May Your holy will be accomplished today, so that Your kingdom and Your ministry here may become more effective for You and more focused on You instead of what I/we may consider to be the weaknesses of others. My obligation is to maintain a right relationship with You and to portray You through my life to a lost and dying world. Please give me strength and power to do just that dear God.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Sorry?

Scripture: Numbers 4-5.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Numbers 5:6-8 (NLT)

6 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people—men or women—betray the Lord by doing wrong to another person, they are guilty.

7 They must confess their sin and make full restitution for what they have done, adding an additional 20 percent and returning it to the person who was wronged.

8 But if the person who was wronged is dead, and there are no near relatives to whom restitution can be made, the payment belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest. Those who are guilty must also bring a ram as a sacrifice, and they will be purified and made right with the Lord.

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

I believe that today we use the word ‘Sorry’ way too lightly. We find this very easy to say when we have wronged someone. We find this very easy to say to God when we have disobeyed Him. It’s just seems like we say this word thinking that the action will be an automatic forgiveness by the other person and that in and of itself it can easily erase all that we have done, or not done. I was impressed with the way that God had the Israelites seek forgiveness, where they not only asked the word, but they also paid restitution. While I realize that paying restitution can also be another action that can be taken lightly, in addition to taking the word ‘sorry’ lightly, I just feel like when it costs us something to apologize for something or some way that we have wronged someone, it may impose greater emphasis on the action being taken by the one seeking forgiveness. This is similar to jail time, where a prisoner may go to jail to pay for the wrong he has done to someone. Often there is a lot of pain, anger, regret, hurt, loss of confidence and disappointment when someone is wronged. Saying something as simple as ‘sorry’ seems way too insignificant to help overcome the affect that this may have caused to another. Let us be reminded that we should do all we can to restore the love between us and the person we have wronged. If it still means paying restitution to them, then I see nothing in scripture that says we shouldn’t. The other thing I liked in this passage is that God’s representative, the priest, was also involved in the process of seeking forgiveness. I believe that today we as Christian leaders have taken the responsibility given to us by God way too lightly, and this has caused the people to lose confidence in us. I also believe that we, as people of God, have taken our responsibility of praying for, respecting, and honoring those whom God has placed in Godly responsibility over us. If God has truly constructed the leadership hierarchy of the church, who are we to question that? Let’s let God be God and we, in turn, be His obedient children.

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

Father, I know that I have wronged You in numerous ways by not being obedient to Your commands and biblical direction. Please help me to not only seek Your forgiveness, but to also seek help in being stronger through more consistency in Your Word and on my knees. As I seek to serve and honor You, I believe I can then do a better job of sincerely apologizing to a brother or a sister. Please help me to follow Your ways and be more like You in every way. May I represent You well, especially when I have wronged anyone. May Your love shine through me in such a way, that others will know that You are guiding me and working through me.

 

àI would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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