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

Archive for the ‘Gift’ Category

Free Gift!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Gift That Started All Christmas Celebrations

THE HOLY BIBLE ~ NLT and CEV ~ 2 Corinthians 5  ~ 11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. (NLT)

17 Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 18 God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. (CEV)

20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (NLT)

THOUGHTS: I want to share a gift with you on this day that is noted for gift-giving – Christmas! The gift is the wonderful Word of God! Notice in vs 11 above, where Paul said that he and his team were working hard to persuade the Corinthians about the ‘gift’ of Jesus – the One who reconciles us with God, and Paul and his team were doing this because of their fearful responsibility to God. Oops, we have a ‘responsibility’ as Christians? I believe most of us consider the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a blessing, perhaps as a privilege, or perhaps a calling from God, but I bet we rarely think about the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a responsibility. Let me explain where I believe God took me on this, to help me understand. Let’s assume for a moment that a crowd of your friends were in a large hotel room for a meeting or celebration of some sort, and you saw where a fire had started at the other end of the hotel. Would it be your privilege to know that information, or would you feel an urgent responsibility to run and tell your friends that they must leave their celebration and get far away from that hotel which may soon burn to the ground? May I suggest that our responsibility to God is very similar, for we see friends walking in the danger of eternal death every day, while we keep bottled up inside the ‘GIFT’ of Jesus Christ, that God sent to this world on that very first day – whose anniversary we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. However, this highlights how way too often we miss our God-given responsibility of sharing that reconciliation, that joy, that hope and that peace with our family and friends, who could very easily be walking into the fires of Hell, because of their lack of knowledge, lack of convincing by us, or just plain lack of concern for themselves, because they are too busy enjoying the ‘fun’ things of life. Not a fun thing for you to consider on the biggest day of gift-giving, but may I remind you that this is the greatest ‘gift’ that we have ever been given, and it is so important that we share this with others around the tree with us today! For this will give family and friends the kind of ‘gift’ mentioned in vs 17 & 18 – a new take on life; forgetting the ugliness of the past, and discovering the gift of newness in Christ so that our conscience will be clear between us and God – a brand new lease on life! For those of us who have the ‘gift’ already, remember that this is quite different to any other ‘gift’ we will receive under the tree – it is one given to us so that we might share it with others and convince them to accept the ‘Gift’ personally. We become ‘Gift’ demonstrators and imitators, not ‘Gift’ users or destroyers, because we become ambassadors for Jesus Christ – the ‘GIFT’ send to us by His Father. The ‘Gift’ that started this whole Christmas celebration. So if you are feeling down and out about the financial burdens of gift-giving this Christmas, please consider accepting the greatest ‘Gift’ ever given. What will it cost you? The total surrender of all your sins, your regrets, your past for which you may not be very proud. The ‘Gift’ of which I am referring, was totally paid for in blood, by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He paid in full, so that through His ultimate ‘Gift’ we might live with the assurance of eternal life with Him one day! Wow, what a ‘Gift’, and this can be ours today! And can by yours today also dear friend!

PRAYER: Thank you precious Father for the ‘Gift’ of Your Son that You sent as a baby in Bethlehem. An occasion that we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. As we celebrate that significant occasion today, may we reflect on the reason for the gift, the joy of the gift, the everlasting value of the gift, and the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ in order that His purpose would be fulfilled. Thank You for the ‘Gift’ in the manger at Bethlehem, and thank You for the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ so that we might one day see You in glory! Make Yourself very present today as we open our presents, and may we receive You as quickly as we receive our presents from under the tree today. Thank You Lord Jesus for touching us in such a way that we enjoy a worldwide celebration of Your birth each year – today! May we truly understand the significance of that gift, is my humble prayer that I offer up to You in total thanksgiving and praise, 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!

Fully Funded Projects

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Exodus 36:4-7): 4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

THOUGHTS: When was the last time your pastor stood in your church pulpit and followed Moses’ words in telling the people that a project was fully funded and it would not be necessary to continue giving to that project? In this sense, project may sound fairly insignificant in size, but what if the project was building your next sanctuary? Do you remember the last time you may have heard a pastor tell you to lay off giving to that project because the church has more than enough to complete it? So let’s consider why things may have changed. First of all, the scripture is clear that not all of the people freely gave to the cause. In 2:21 we are told that those whose hearts were stirred by the message from God through Moses, responded to the plea for help in providing material for the building project. This sounds pretty much like our churches today, don’t you think? As a result of surveys, we are told that less than 20% of the people do more than 80% of the giving! So why have the others ignored the plea? Friends, I believe that the Word of God is clear on this. Just as the Word tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, then God would save our nation, I believe that many of us need to humble ourselves to recognize that we have nothing personally to brag about. It is because of God’s grace that we have the health to work, the job to go to, and the income to survive. If we truly acknowledge that fact, why would we withhold giving to Him in proportion to what He has blessed us with? The Word gives us guidance – at least 10%. Because there are other biblical references to ‘first fruits’, I believe that the guidance actually refers to 10% of your gross income. Now because our relationship is one built around love, I don’t believe that we would dare use this as a legalistic demand. People ‘in love’ will generally give freely, and way more than might be expected of them. In a love relationship, there is no such thing as excuses why we can’t give 110% of ourselves to our mate. Should there be when it comes to giving to our Lord and His earthly work? Don’t you know that if each person in our congregations gave like this, that our pastors would frequently be faced with an overflow of income, where pastors and church leaders could decide to expand the ministry after meeting all the needs that they are aware of? I believe that the stress level on our pastors will be drastically reduced, when they don’t have to worry about funding the projects that God has shown them might be necessary to grow the ministry. When we receive our paycheck, there is no negotiating on amounts taken out for government taxes, why should there be constant decision making on how much to give towards God’s work? Determine in your own heart how much you will give and stick to the plan Brother and Sister. We are promised that we will receive more than we could ever imagine or expect. Furthermore, we will receive in proportion to what we have given. May I encourage you to always expect more from God, knowing that you have given in abundance towards His work? Furthermore, rejoice, knowing your loving and all powerful God will abundantly bless you and meet your needs!

PRAYER: Father, it is exciting to see how You work. We give to bless others, yet You wind up also blessing us in return! There just isn’t a way that we can out-give You! Thank You for being so generous, loving and kind to us! I would say that we are so undeserving, but then I am reminded that even while we were undeserving, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice for us, so that we might have a chance at eternal life in heaven with You. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus, Son of God! Lord may we learn to give in similar fashion – regardless of whether we feel the receiver or the project is worthy of our love, may we react in obedience to Your will for us. Please bless us as we give, so that our own needs may be met each and every day. May souls be touched for You because of our obedience in giving. I ask these things humbly, yet undeserving, but in the powerful name of our all-giving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

God’s Perfect Gift!

The Holy Bible

    Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 2:7-10)

Thoughts:

I believe that most folk reading this devotional today would probably welcome the thought of a gift during this season of giving and receiving – ‘Christmas’! This may be a result of us relating to God’s perfect ‘gift’ to us through His Son, Jesus. A celebration called ‘Christmas’ that we have continued for years. However, did you ever stop and think about why this all happened? It becomes a whole lot more meaningful when we reflect on the reason, as explained by Paul in these highlighted verses. For we are reminded that the gift (Jesus) given to us was not at our request. It was God’s idea from start to finish. In fact, He made/created us with a purpose in mind – to worship Him and to join Him in His work of loving His creation and ultimately saving the lost in this world. In other words, after creating us with a purpose, He saw that through giving us free will, we chose to ignore His goodness and His mercy, and instead follow the evil path of sin and destruction. Therefore, He then gave us the gift of His Son miraculously, so that we might find power and strength to overcome our evil desires and be redirected to the original plan of joining Jesus in the work already explained. So is this gift given to us meaningful to us? You better believe it, for it is God’s very precious gift, given to benefit our return to Him. In the latter part of these verses you will note that I bolded the specific purpose for which we were created and saved. Will you join me in recommitting ourselves to join Christ Jesus in the work that He does – the work that He got ready for us to do? This would not only be a gift to God through seeing obedient children, but also a gift to others as we serve for their benefit and ultimate cause of Christ. This type commitment can create a very special Christmas for all of us and, based on this passage, can be done without breaking our budget! If you are reading this and finding this all very strange, please follow the contact information in the footnote to get in touch with me and allow me to introduce you to my heavenly Father. There is no better gift you can receive this Christmas!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I come humbly before You acknowledging You as my Savior, my Lord and my King. While I often search for a unique gift for my loved ones at Christmas time, I can truly say that I am a very blessed man today, because Your gift given in that manger in Bethlehem was given deliberately and with such purpose and love for me. Thank You dear God for loving me so much and for caring about what happens to me here on earth and even in the life to come, where I will be with You eternally in heaven. Thankfully, You have placed family, friends, coworkers and others in my path so that Your work might be fulfilled through me. Please given me strength, wisdom and an unrecognized boldness to openly share Your love and Your goodness with others that I come into contact with. Please help me to freely become involved in Your work, the work that You have prepared just for me, so that Your perfect will might be done, even through me! Lord, I believe that some will read Your Word presented herein and they will have lots of questions. Please tender their hearts and help them to accept You, the author and finisher of our lives. May they truly recognize the greatest gift ever given during this Christmas season, and may their lives be eternally impacted by You. I ask this believing, for I ask it in the 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 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!

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