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

Archive for the ‘Hardened Hearts’ Category

Your Character Reference From God

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 13:21-23 (NIV)

TEXT:  21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’  23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was given the opportunity to speak before the church at Pisidian Antioch while worshiping with them. He delivered a message on how gracious God had been in ruling through His servants up to the present time. My attention was particularly taken aback with Paul’s reminder of what God said about David, and how he was a man after God’s own heart. Let’s think this through and apply it…

APPLICATION:   In each of our lives, I believe that we have our own opinion about who we are. Our spouse and kids know us real good and have their opinion about who we really are. Our pastor, and church leaders may have a slightly different opinion about us, and so will our boss and co-workers. But what about the God of this universe, who sees and knows all things? What might His opinion be about us? So what about David? We read a lot about him in Scripture. He was a great warrior, and therefore led many victories. He is known for his relationship with God through his songs, prayers and open communication to God. But yet he is also known for his weaknesses, especially with a pretty lady named Bathsheba, who was married to one of Davids best military men. Yet God considered this man to be ‘a man after His own heart’? To help us understand that, allow me to use an illustration: I would like for you to think with me about two men that leave destination ‘A’ driving north. One is determined that his end point will be an amusement park (point ‘B’) 200 miles north of point ‘A’, while the other gentleman is just driving north looking for a fun weekend with his family. After the first 100 miles, they each get off the freeway for lunch and for some physical activity to help prepare themselves to travel longer. The first gentleman finishes lunch, tops off the gas in his car, and gets back on the freeway headed for his final destination. The second gentleman overhears conversation by patrons at the restaurant where he had lunch, and he decides to drive some more on that same exit to find the beach he overheard conversation about. At the end of the day, who do you suppose is nearest to point ‘B’? Just like David, you and I face distractions in life, like these two drivers had when they got off on an exit. However, if we have our minds set on eternity with Jesus Christ and His Father, like the first driver had on his final destination, then we strive to get back on course as quickly as we could, without caving in to the temptations of this world. I can think of no greater honor than to hear my Master refer to me as ‘a man after my own heart’. Staying on course in this life is like saying to God at our conversion, ’till death do us part’; ‘I am determined to serve thee to the end of time’; ‘I have no other goal than to live my life in light of eternity’! How about you friend?

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your precious Son and Your Comforter – the Holy Spirit to help keep us on course for our final destination, that You have prepared just for our arrival. I believe that You foreknew the distractions that might take us off course, so You sent the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. As we travel, we are leaving much behind us, but Lord how it hurts to know that family, friends and loved ones are comfortable staying behind and settling for eternal life in damnation with Satan. Please touch the lives of our unsaved loved ones again today Lord, and continue to draw them unto Yourself. There are many who have found no purpose in their trip of life, so every distraction of Satan is just another exploration of fun on earth with a final destination of Hell. Lord, please keep our eyes fixed on You and our hearts fixed on pleasing You in everything we do. 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!

 

Jesus Can Help Even If Blinded By Sin

THE HOLY BIBLE John 9:39-41 The Voice (VOICE):

Jesus: 39 I have entered this world to announce a verdict that changes everything. Now those without sight may begin to see, and those who see may become blind.

Some Pharisees (who overheard Jesus): 40 Surely we are not blind, are we?

Jesus: 41 If you were blind, you would be without sin. But because you claim you can see, your sin is ever present.

THOUGHTS: Ever noticed how easy it is, and how prone we are, to assume that the preacher is talking to the guy behind us, or perhaps right beside us? You know, the message just seems to fit the other person so well! In fact, you couldn’t have said it any better yourself, right? This is so unfortunate, and really very scary, because if we are not careful we can walk away from a sermon, or read a devotional like this one, and never be personally impacted by the Word of God, because these lessons must have been intended for ‘the other person’. So having said this up front, may I encourage you to take a moment and speak to God? Ask Him to melt, and humble your heart, so that you might be open and attentive to His Word today, and apply it very squarely to your life. Let’s try to put this in perspective friends. I would imagine that if you met a group of friends at church and decided to go out and do some door-to-door evangelism, you would probably choose to visit those homes where no one attends your church. Why? Because we are caught into a trap like the Pharisees, where we assume that all church attendees are saved. Let me suggest another view on this. Let’s assume that an investigator approached you for help in finding a criminal who has been tormenting the neighborhood. How many church attendees would you suggest that the investigator visit and question? Friends, this scripture is a great eye-opener for us, because Jesus is saying to us that because we say we are saved, then anything that we do contrary to His teaching, is sin. In other words, the day we asked Jesus into our hearts, there was an awesome Helper assigned to us, because we were given a new ‘plumb line’ (standard) to live by – God’s Word and His teachings. When we deliberately reject the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit and live any which way we want to, then we become like those Pharisees that Jesus spoke to in these verses. We know the right way, or God’s way, yet we have chosen to disobey and do our own thing. This is blatant sin, friend! For non-Christians reading this today, please don’t think that you are off the hook, because your whole life has not been reconciled with God yet. Your responsibility lies with working out your own salvation. God Loves you so much that He gave His precious, and only, Son to die on a cruel cross so that you might have a means of seeking forgiveness of your sin. To my Christian friends, please be reminded that accepting Jesus as Lord was the first and primary step in knowing Him as Lord. If you were sincere in that decision, then your life will reflect that by the way you live. If you are His child, you will live like Him. Thinking that you are His child and reflecting no change in your lifestyle may be a case of you having repeated a few words suggested by a pastor or friend. A true commitment to Jesus, creates a relationship with Him. Success in any relationship comes through knowing more about the other person and doing everything possible to please them. Are you there yet in your relationship with Jesus?

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for assuming that we have this thing called ‘life’ all worked out. So often we are induced into making decisions in order to please parents, spouses or friends, but without taking personal responsibility to live according to the commitment we made. Unfortunately our commitment to You is much like that, for we enjoy the security of Your love, Your protection and Your eternal security, but we go on to live our lives without the full impact of change that is necessary to be obedient to You and Your commands. This causes us to get caught in a trap of hardened sin in our lives, that makes it challenging for You to pierce our hearts and get our attention. Distancing ourselves from You makes it challenging for us to recognize sin in our lives. Please soften hardened hearts today oh Lord, beginning with me. May we be sensitive to the work of You Holy Spirit so that we may be more like You before a lost and dying world. We need You Heavenly Father, and I ask that You break down walls today so that we might recognize You and go on to be more obedient children, for this is my humble plea that I ask in the 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 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!

Tag Cloud