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

Archive for the ‘Honest Relationship’ Category

Where Would You Rather Be?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Psalm 84:10-12 (TLB)

TEXT:  10 A single day spent in your Temple is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a doorman of the Temple of my God than live in palaces of wickedness. 11 For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk along his paths. 12 O Lord of the armies of heaven, blessed are those who trust in you.

OBSERVATION:   It seems like the Psalmist was either relieved to be in God’s house, or he was tired of the hustle and bustle of life and longed for the peace and comfort of being with the Lord in His sanctuary. I can identify with that, and I could only imagine that many of you would, at many times, would wish for the same!

APPLICATION:   My local church recently joined with several churches in our community to collectively pray for the spiritual needs of our community, our churches, the unsaved and for each other. We met strategically in places near to our homes, and it was so awesome to see walls of denominationalism and differences broken down, so that the people of God could get together and pray over common concerns, to the same Father. What a sweet, Holy Spirit filled time that was for the 21 days as we met and prayed! David was similarly filled with awe and expectation from this same Father, and I believe he longed to be in God’s house (temple) as often as he could, also. I’m afraid that many people, who attend church once a week when they could meld into a large crowd, often miss the intimacy of being in God’s awesome presence as He enjoys the praise, worship, prayers and gifts from His children. Would it be great to see worshipers jump to their feet and shout for joy when they feel God’s presence and see His mighty works, like they do when they see a millionaire running after a ball on the ball-field? Wouldn’t it be rewarding to hear a husband say that the extra 45 minutes in church last Sunday was nowhere near the uncomfortable feeling of sitting in his boat for 4 hours and not catching a fish? Friends, let’s be reminded that we serve an awesome and gracious God. He blesses us in so many ways and therefore the time that we have in His presence is worthy of our full attention, overfilled with worship and praise, and a longing heart to be in His presence forever. May every reader experience this mighty presence of God and have a hunger and thirst for opportunities to express their heartfelt praise and worship.

PRAYER:   Like the Psalmist, I can join in with my gracious offering of worship and praise because of who You are, and how awesome You are in loving and caring for Your people. Thank You Lord Jesus! There are many that don’t know You as Lord, and therefore fight the thought of attending a church service to offer praise and worship to a stranger. Please draw them unto Yourself Lord. You created them, and You show Your blessings all around them. Please help them to know the Maker of heaven and earth themselves, and all things that were made by You. And Lord, please help Your own children to not become complacent in all that they know about you. May they also be refilled with a desire to be in Your house and find reason and hope in worshiping You in all sincerity. 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 Desire For, and Joy of Restoration

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-08-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 51:7-13 (TLB)

Text:

 Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. And after you have punished me, give me back my joy again. Don’t keep looking at my sins—erase them from your sight. 10 Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. 11 Don’t toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to other sinners,……
OBSERVATION:
David had sinned in his acts with Bathsheba and in the murder of her husband. Terrible sins for which many would be challenged to forgive. But there came a time that David knew that if he would ever expect to see the joy of his relationship with God restored, then he needed to seek forgiveness from Him first of all. And when things were right with God, David could then go in boldness to seek forgiveness of others he may have hurt. It’s only with a clean and upright heart that David could truly be a witness again for God.
APPLICATION:
Like David, I believe that many Christians suffer today in their witness for God because of sin that they know is hiding in their life, but may feel it is tucked away and unknown to most people, maybe even God. Friends, let me remind you that nothing is hidden from God, so if you have un-confessed sin, you may as well break down the walls of pride and self-will, seek God’s face, and have a little talk with Him. Just as David feared that his sin may have been impacting his people, you may be surprised to hear how your sin may have walls built around you that prevent your witness being evident; your love being experienced; and the warmth and power of God’s love being expressed through you. David wanted to be an influence for his God and spread the joy that God brings to the Christian, but for some reason that just doesn’t happen through a broken vessel filled with sin. David remembered the sweet, open and rich fellowship that he enjoyed with God and he badly wanted that relationship restored. I truly believe that God desires that of each one of us that are separated from Him by sin. But friends, may I suggest that if you are not deeply desiring to see that relationship restored, there may never have been one? I know, you were a deacon in your church, or you may have been in the choir, or you may have attended every service while a certain pastor was at your church. Don’t be fooled by this, for our church doors, like many other churches, are opened to whosoever will come. None of what I mentioned are qualifications for making you right with God. The Bible is very clear on this, and I would encourage you to click on the link in my Footnote ‘To Know Jesus’ to be reminded of what the Bible says. When you truly ask God to forgive you of your sin, and you develop a loving relationship with Him, it turns into a daily communion with Him. You bless Him with your praises and thanksgiving, and He blesses You with endless goodness and mercy to live each day looking more and more like Him. That’s the kind of life you will long for if it is broken by sin that causes you to wander. Seek God my friend and ask Him what stands in the way of your relationship with Him, if anything. Then work it out with Him. This brings joy to any soul willing to ask and follow through with His demands!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, oh how sweet the name! Lord Jesus, the name that is above all names! The name represented by perfect love, and a relationship that is only damaged by our sin. Churches have hundreds on their membership roles, yet they are seldom full. This makes me think that there are broken relationships with You that result in them staying away instead of seeking restoration with You. Lord please work on Your flock first. Allow us to draw closer to You and commune with You each and every day, so that as we speak with the unsaved, we will give in to Your Holy Spirit and speak from personal experience, if appropriate. To You oh Lord be all glory, honor and praise! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

In All Honesty and Fairness

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-07-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 (NCV)

Text:

 18 Appoint judges and officers for your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you; they must judge the people fairly. 19 Do not judge unfairly or take sides. Do not let people pay you to make wrong decisions, because that kind of payment makes wise people seem blind, and it changes the words of good people. 20 Always do what is right…..
OBSERVATION:
Moses, in guiding God’s people as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, realized that this would be a whole new experience for them, so he tried to share every detail with them. In these verses that we will look at today he told them that they will need judges and leaders, to take the place of all that he and Aaron had done for them over the past 40 years. Knowing that we can also benefit from this reminder, I want God to lead us in this devotional on how we might be better leaders…
APPLICATION:
It is so easy for us look at a judge’s decision, and if it’s contrary to our belief, or our desire for the prosecuted (defendant), we may quickly respond “that’s unfair” without giving it a second thought. Our wish didn’t come true. However good judges are put in place to learn everything possible about the law of the land, so that when a case is brought before them, they could listen to all the facts, compare what they hear to everything they know about the law, and then determine as an independent person whether the defendant is guilty of wrongdoing. Not being a ‘judge’ you may question if this really applies to you and I. That’s what I want us to look at today, because I believe that we make decisions every day that shows God whether we are thinking and acting fairly. Let’s look at our work situation where we are looking at 3 candidates who have applied for a position we have available. Although much of our decision is based on a ‘gut feeling’, I believe it will surprise us to stop and ponder what prejudices or selfish motives come into play with our decision. Secondly, imagine two individuals being reported to you as doing something contrary to company policy. One brings you coffee every morning and has your back most of the time, vs the other one causes relational problems in your department. Can you honestly deal fairly and consistent with both employees? Things become especially tricky in churches when dealing with those that financially support the church vs a regular attendee who may or may not support the church financially. Friends, as you can see from the examples given, we all make judgment calls in some aspect of our lives. You can also see that bribes come in more ways than one, and they all serve to sway our decision in one way or another. This Scripture is teaching us to be careful of this, for it makes a wise man blind and causes him to make decisions that he may ordinarily have done if being obedient to his full understanding of God’s perfect laws. Obeying God’s laws is sometimes tougher than we might think, if we try to follow them in our own strength and power. I believe that it is a daily challenge that we must keep ever before God, that we seek His guidance, His strength and His perfect design for us to be aligned with what He desires of us. Living a life like Jesus is so different to anything we experience here on earth, that we must stay closely in tuned with our awesome Designer. Are you prepared to do this friend?
PRAYER:
Lord, this life is challenging at best, and we can only accomplish Your will with the help of Your Holy Spirit. Leadership is challenging when we have to put personal feelings aside and judge according to Your perfect design. But Lord, we want to be more like You every day and in every way. So teach us Your ways, and help us to understand Your perfect will more and more clearly. We love You Lord, and appreciate every opportunity You give to us to show that same awesome love to others we come into contact with, all for Your honor and glory, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Asleep On The Job

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-06-02
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 14:37-38 (CEV)

Text:

37 When Jesus came back and found the disciples sleeping, he said to Simon Peter, “Are you asleep? Can’t you stay awake for just one hour? 38 Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.”
OBSERVATION:
A crowd followed Jesus up to the garden, however He took just three disciples along with Him to a place of solitude so that He could pray. At the place of prayer, Jesus asked His disciples to stop, watch and pray, while He went on just a little farther for some one on one time with the Father. Knowing what was in store for Him, He had some very serious conversation with His Father, yet He was also concerned about His disciples, so He kept checking on them. I feel like those three disciples vividly represent ‘Christians’ today and, with God’s guidance, I will expand on that in our ‘application’.
APPLICATION:
Jesus was praying so earnestly with the Father that His very heart was broken. I would imagine that He should have felt some relief knowing that His inner circle of disciples were right there praying with Him, or were they? God created this beautiful world in which we live, and He also created each of us especially to worship Him while living on this earth enjoying it. While we are definitely living on this earth and being blessed by everything around us, how would you think we are rated in truly worshipping the one who provided all this for us? Simon Peter had just sworn to Jesus, a short time before the garden scene, that He (Jesus) could depend on him to be faithful right until the end of time. Yet when Jesus returned to check on His three disciples, they were all asleep – including Peter. I often feel like a very large percentage of ‘Christians’ are ‘asleep on the job’ as we plunder through our time here on earth while placing priority on everything else, besides our commitment to worship our Lord and be His faithful followers and missionaries. Some attend church services, while most others are asleep on the job and can’t find an hour a week to join with believers in worship to our Savior and Lord. Unfortunately, many that attend a worship service pretty much represents the three disciples in our Scripture today, for our arms are strapped to our sides, our lips are sealed, and our expression shows that we can’t wait for the service to be over. Many will listen to the pastor pray, the praise team sing and, if we could stay awake, we may listen to the pastor share his heart about something from the Scripture. Excuse me, but where did ‘our time of worship’ fit into any of that I just explained? Our presence inside of a church does not count as worship to the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost. Where was our heart, our thoughts and our concentration during that time together? How would we respond to Jesus if He returned today and asked us the same question as He did to Simon Peter? Are we truly appreciative of the sacrifice made for us at Calvary? Is Jesus pleased with our daily expressions of gratitude? In most workplaces employees are fired for falling asleep on the job. How do you suppose God should act about us falling asleep on the job of worshipping Him, witnessing in His name, being good honest representatives of His to a lost world that needs Jesus?
PRAYER:
What a sobering reminder to us today dear Jesus, for I feel like Your saints here on earth are very much in the same boat as Peter, James and John. Please forgive our unfaithfulness and today fill us with Your unction to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus as we face a bitter world where most have no appreciation for the sacrifice You made and the love that You share with us every day. Regardless of their position in life, please grant us the boldness and deep desire to bear Your cross and be a living witness before them, and all those that we are privileged to come into contact with. Please awaken Your church, so that together our communities may witness the outstretched arms of our Savior and Lord. AMEN! 
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Deep Concern For Prayer Matters

Sunday, 2016-11-06

Scripture

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 1:10; 16-18

Bible Text:  10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD.

16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” 18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I would like for us to reflect on our personal prayers, both private and public. Now I would like for us to re-read the referenced scripture again, in fact why not click on the Bible Reference link and read the whole context (just 9 verses) and carefully note the heart of Hannah as she prayed. Friends, I am not asking you to judge (other than yourself), but I want you to really grasp the sincerity of the prayer by Hannah, and consider a few things:

  • Deep, Earnest Prayer – When last have you truly been concerned enough about a specific item or person, that you went before God in deep anguish and weeping bitterly?  To help you understand this terminology I also read other translations that describe Hannah as going before God ‘miserable’ and ‘terribly upset’. Friends, this is not something we can conjure up and go before God with a fake cry, for these feelings are expressions of our heart. And I believe because of the sincerity and deep concern that the praying believer might have, the Bible speaks to this in several ways: In Psalm 30:5, the Bible says: “Weeping will be followed by joy“; In Isaiah 53:3–9, the Bible declares that ‘Jesus understands sorrow‘; In Matthew 5:4 the Bible declares “God promises comfort to those who experience sorrow; and in Revelation 21:3–4 – “Sorrow will not exist in God’s Kingdom“. This gives me the distinct impression that our Father is concerned about the things that we are deeply troubled by!
  • Others may mistake our deep concern – Our pride may prevent us from openly expressing to our God, as we may easily become concerned about what others may think. Notice in these verses that Eli thought that Hannah had come to the temple drunk, for she was praying in such earnest and anguish, that he had probably never seen before from most who came to pray. God already knows your heart friend, so to go before God with a heavy heart and pretend to be happy, is like faking what you really feel or want to express to God. Let us learn to be open and honest with God;
  • Joy results from a heart that has unloaded all concern before God! Prior to going to the temple Hannah was unable to eat because she was so upset. After her encounter at the temple, Hannah left quite different, for she was no longer sad, and she was able to eat again. I believe this is an example of what we can expect when we pray to the Father in deep, honest concern.

Friends, I have been desperate in prayer before, and I’m sure that you have been at one time or another in your life. This scripture reminded me of the need to really take to heart those things that God impresses upon us, and then open up our hearts before Him in prayer. To go before God in a casual, superficially happy mood for something that is really bearing on our heart, makes me wonder if God doesn’t look at His kids and say “Really?? You are so concerned that you are actually showing a smile on your face??”. Friends, I realize that God knows our heart, but I also believe that He wants us to be transparent before Him – wide open honest with Him, even to the extent that our emotions may be impacted and publicly expressed, if need be. Hannah impacted Eli’s life when he realized how sincere she really was about her prayer. Will others really know the sincerity of your heart and be impacted by it?

Prayer

Father God, thank You for looking deep into our hearts and knowing our most innermost thoughts. You created us so that our emotions would reflect our heart, yet we often try so hard to suppress our emotions because of what those around us might think. Please help us to be straight up honest with You, regardless of who might be around us to witness our deepest emotions. You have promised us in Your Word that ‘joy comes in the morning’, and I believe your intent was to help us realize that there would be times that our hearts are deeply saddened because of our own needs, or those of family or friends that we may connect with You on, and pray for. Please help my readers and I to face You with opened hearts today, so that You may fill us with Your immense love and care. We are Yours, heavenly Father, and we sincerely need You in every aspect of our lives, especially when our hearts are saddened. 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Actions Reveal One’s State of Christianity

THE HOLY BIBLE – You still live as men who are not Christians. When you are jealous and fight with each other, you are still living in sin and acting like sinful men in the world. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:3 ~ New Life Version (NLV)

THOUGHTS: I want you to consider for a quick moment the frustration by a pastor on a Monday morning when he hears about the fight between two members of his church the previous night. Of course this is in light of a sermon the previous day on the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Now take this one step further: John 3:16 reminds us that God allowed His very own Son to suffer at the hands of sinful men in Herod’s court; hung to a cruel cross and suffer beatings and disgrace by the same men He was actually dying for. Time and time again Jesus modeled the character that He wanted His followers to display on this earth so that unbelievers might recognize and/or be reminded of the qualities of their Lord and Savior. Now, in addition to the Pastor being disappointed and frustrated on hearing the bad news of his church members the previous afternoon, imagine the sadness that must sink deep into the heart of our Lord. Paul made it very clear to the Corinthian church that they were fooling themselves, for they were acting like sinful men, or men of the world, or men led by Satan himself. I would like to suggest to you friend, that Satan is always looking for opportunities to bring division, and cause disruption among the people of God. For you see, God loved the world so much, that He gave His only Son so that we might have life eternally in heaven with Him. Satan’s job, and ultimate aim in life, is to stop folk from knowing the love of Jesus and the peace that comes from His almighty hand on our lives each and every day. Satan looks for opportunities and weaknesses every day to distract believers and cause them to question their actual relationship with Jesus. Friends, just as we stay in sweet communion with our spouse to maintain a healthy and loving marriage, it is also incumbent upon us to do the same in our relationship with Jesus. Because He has given us ‘choice’ in life, He will not force Himself upon us, but He is always ready and willing to respond to our desire to follow Him and to help us as we endeavor to learn His ways, communicate regularly with Him and exemplify Him in every aspect of our lives. Each day others can conclude whose we are. Jesus always knows the very heart of His children, so there’s no fooling Him. Where do you stand today friend? Christians, let’s not disappoint our Lord. To my readers, if you are totally new to the things of the Bible and have never met this Jesus of whom I have referred, please go on to read my ‘Footnote’ and either get in touch with me, or sit down with a local Bible-believing church leader. We would be overjoyed to introduce you to our Savior!

PRAYER: What a Might God we serve! Thank You Father for making the way for us to be assured of our ultimate destination! In much the same way that we live like a married man/woman – because we are married, I pray that it would be very evident to all that may come into contact with us that there is another ‘love’ in our lives also, because of the way we live and the things that we say. Lord Jesus, You very clearly know each heart and our innermost thoughts, so You know how messed up we can often be. Lord, we don’t want to be Christians still controlled by the world and therefore our lives sometime reflect You, while at other times the world can easily say like Paul did to the Corinthians: your actions strongly indicate that you are not ‘Christian’ at all. We never want You to embarrassed to claim us as Your very own child Lord, so please forgive us for allowing the world to so easily distract us and turn our eyes and dependence away from you. We need You each and every minute of every day. Please help us to always seek Your face so that we may stay focused on the joys of knowing You and having Your watchful eye and helpful hand upon us to guide, protect and lead us in the way approved and pleasing to You. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, because ‘I Need Thee Every Hour‘, 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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