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

Archive for the ‘Imitating Christ’ Category

What’s In A Name?

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-12-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 1:21-23 (ERV)

Text:

21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.” (Immanuel means “God with us.”)

OBSERVATION:
It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the part of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife Mary; The most humble of people were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus – the shepherds. On and on the story went about one miracle after another that resulted in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s Savior. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!
APPLICATION:
As declared in my ‘Observation’, God went to great extents to bring His precious Son into the world, and throughout the Bible we read about all that He did while here on earth, and the whole purpose of His life here on earth. Of course we also know the ultimate reason that Jesus came, because we remember His death every year at Good Friday, and we remember His resurrection at Easter. The big question for each of us as we meditate on the extraordinary names of Jesus is, what are we known as? To our face, we may be called by our nickname. When our parents are upset with us, they may call us by our full legal name. Based on our habits and our character, we may be known as a thief, or a criminal, or a kind person, or a caring person, a hypocrite, or hopefully a man/woman after God’s own heart. Why all of these names? Because it identifies our character when someone is speaking to a friend and they make reference to you. Notice from the names, that one name will drive that person away from you and one might interest them in knowing you, or at least speaking with you. Just from the name selected for you! Although folk will easily identify us based on the words we speak and with the tone used, but I pray that the actions they experience with you will convince them of whose you are. May the Jesus, born in a humble stable and lived on earth as the living Son of God, be evident in your character today and every day. Stay closely in tuned with Him through the Word of God and in daily communication (prayer) with Him, so that you may be ‘topped off’ each day with even more of Jesus. Keep it fresh and exciting friend!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, I thank Your Father, God, this morning for sending You as His very own Son with such great purpose, and filled with indescribable love. Lord, may we catch a glimpse of that from You, and may we be known for looking and sounding just like You while here on this earth. May we represent You well, 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!

God’s Way vs Man’s Ways

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-14
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:15–17 (NLT)

Text:

15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
OBSERVATION:
Man’s Way: Send the crowds away….
God’s Way: It’s not necessary to send them away, you feed them!
Man’s Way: BUT, we don’t have enough food for all of them…
APPLICATION:
In verse 14, the Scripture says that Jesus saw the needs of the people and He had compassion on them. He was concerned about their needs, just as I believe He is also concerned about our needs today. Friends, you could be the most wealthy person around, but in the presence of Jesus, my King, you will be reminded of how needy you truly are. In our quoted verses, I was reminded of the decisions we make in life today, and how those choices also carry forward into our churches. Seeing us in the world setting vs seeing us make decisions as church leaders, I wonder if our people actually sees a difference. I believe that we are so much like the disciples, for we are quick to judge, and make decisions based on our emotions and how the individual, or crowd is impacting our space, or our personal lives. The disciples saw the crowds and probably knew of their many and varied needs, so they thought to head off one more obvious need, and that was the worry of feeding the crowd. I learnt very early in my marriage that I didn’t just pop up on my wife, with one or more people, around lunch time, without giving her hours of preparation time to clean the house and prepare a nice meal! I wonder how much food the disciples would have taken to the hillside for a hungry crowd the size they were facing! The disciples saw the crowd as an inconvenience, but Jesus saw their needs. Also, even after proving Himself over and over before, yet when He told the disciples that they would feed the crowd, there was a rebuttal because they could not see the miracle that was possible by and through the hand of God. So how might we identify with this story today in our world? Do we have those times that we want the crowds to go away, so that we could…. Are there times that the needy approach us and all we look at is their physical condition and assume what their physical needs must be? Do we stop to consider what Jesus might say to those same individuals, or what He might say about our decision to ignore them or send them away? Would you compare your compassion for the needy to be in line with the compassion of Jesus, or are you at the opposite ends of the spectrum on how you might react, compared to Jesus? Friends, perhaps we should consider this Scripture in view of the personal decisions that we make regarding the physical needs of others, and imagine just for a moment that we might also be rejecting their spiritual needs when we turn the needy away. Oh that Jesus might penetrate our hearts so that we may see needs as He would, so that we may express love in ways that exemplify Him.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, just as You have opened my eyes to being more compassionate of the needs of those around me, or the needs of folk that might walk through our church doors, I pray that You would also tender the hearts of my readers. As Your representatives, I sincerely believe that we must desire the heart and compassion of our Master. Please humble us to look beyond our expectations and our image of the poor and needy, and help us to instead be concerned about their heart and their readiness to meet You, should You call them home today. Lord, teach us to imitate You and to gain the heart of Christ as we approach the needs of individuals today. Oh that they may see Jesus and want to know Him personally! May we not be a stumbling block to hinder such decisions today, is my humble prayer, oh 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!

Your Characteristics Prove Whose You Are

Friday, 2016-09-16

Scripture

Bible Reference: Galatians 5:16–17

Bible Text: 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Paul himself struggled with doing the right thing, for he said that there is always a struggle going on, where he desires to do the right thing, but he naturally does the wrong thing. So when we read these verses today, let’s remember that this is not merely spiritual lingo that Paul thought would sound good to his readers, but he is speaking from experience. What I really love, is the way that Paul shows us how we will know when we are following our natural, sinful desire, or if we are following the will, and leadership of the Holy Spirit. Friends, we have to look at our actions:

If we are following our own sinful desires, then the following characteristics will be prevalent: *sexual immorality,    *impurity,     *lustful pleasures,     *idolatry,     *sorcery,     *hostility,     *quarreling,     *jealousy,     *outbursts of anger,     *selfish ambition,     *dissension,     *division,     *envy,     *drunkenness,     *wild parties, and     *other sins like these.     When you see these characteristics, the Bible says in verse 21: ‘…anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.’

If we follow the commands and will of God and allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives, then we will see these characteristics shine through:   *love,      *joy,      *peace,      *patience,      *kindness,      *goodness,      *faithfulness,      *gentleness, and      *self-control. When you see these characteristics, the Bible says in verse 23: ‘There is no law against these things!’, meaning that you don’t have to look over your shoulders for anyone to get you, because you are doing what is right. These are fruits of the Spirit friend. This shows that you belong to God, and His Holy Spirit lives and operates in your life.

So the challenge today for each of us is to look at our actions and see where exactly we stand with the Lord. If something ain’t right friend, may I encourage you to communicate (pray) to your heavenly Father and ask for His help and direction? May each of us see the characteristics of the Jesus Christ shine bright in our lives today!

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for using Your servant Paul to share these words with his friends at the Galatian church and with us today. May we be honest in our evaluation of our actions today, and may we quickly recognize acts that reflect our old sinful self that indicate that we have strayed and allowed too much of this old world in. Lord, we sincerely  need You today. We want to be obedient servants, but we know that we can only do this with You ‘at the wheel of our lives’. Please keep us humble and obedient so that we may reflect the love of Christ in everything we do or say, so that others may be encouraged to surrender their lives to You. 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. 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!

Be Filled With Mercy

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – James 4:17-18): 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

THOUGHTS: The love of God, and the wisdom of God combined with the sweet Spirit of God that indwells us, helps us to overcome the evil desires of this world and to live a life filled to overflowing with mercy that produces wonderful fruits of good works and deeds. How is this accomplished? Jesus said that if we abide in Him and He abides in us, we will be capable of doing many mighty things! So we must learn to call on, and depend on the source of our power, Jesus Christ. In these two verses we are told that God’s wisdom is:

  • Pure – when I think of this I think of our lives being free from the impurities of this world that is filled with hatred, jealousy and strife. Scripture refers to us presenting ourselves blameless before the Master. Pure!
  • Loving – Our Role Model loved everyone, even those who despitefully used Him. With God’s help, we must strive to do the same, for scripture tells us that even the adversary can love those who love and follow him. It takes God’s power to love those that seem to strive towards destroying us.
  • Gentle – I believe that God would have us approach others in a respectful and loving way, that will show consideration for the other person, and that you are looking out for their best interest. In this way, our approach and our handling of situations involving others will be filled with gentleness.
  • Yielding – Others first, you last. Be willing to give in to what the other person wants, if it aligns with God’s will and purpose for you. It doesn’t have to always be done your way!
  • Not showing favoritism – Similar to the characteristic of ‘yielding’. Treat everyone with the same respect as you would expect. Treating one sex, or one race or one nationality any different will not reflect the love that God has for ALL His children.
  • Sincere – Don’t do the above things because Brother Ed told you to do them, or your mom may have taught you to act that way since early childhood. Let these characteristics melt your heart and your way of thinking. Our natural character will reflect the ways of the world, however if we are truly a child of God, we will display the character of God.

Please be conscious of these characteristics each and every day. Ask God for a fresh indwelling of His Holy Spirit every day, so that you may think like Him and act like Him. Be filled with the holy wisdom of God, friend!

PRAYER: Father, as I listed those characteristics above, I was reminded of the awesome God that You are, because these describe Your very nature, yet they highlight our ungodly weaknesses. We need a touch from You Father. We need Your Holy Spirit to constantly work on our hardened hearts and to fill us with Your wisdom and Your grace. If others are to see Jesus in every aspect of our lives, we need help badly. I acknowledge that we will never be God, but I humbly plead for Your grace and Your power, so that we may consistently display the qualities taught and modeled by Your Son Jesus. I believe that the world must see a difference in Christians, if we ever expect them to see the need to change their evil ways. May we be Your ambassadors today Lord, is my humble plea that I ask in the name of Your awesome, powerful Son, 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!

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