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

Archive for the ‘Imitator of 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!

With Hearts of Worship, We…

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-04-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 3:1-2 (Voice)

Text:

1 On the Sabbath, Jesus had come into a synagogue where He saw a man with a withered hand.The Pharisees held their breath: would Jesus cure this man on the Sabbath, right there in front of everyone? If so, they could charge Him with breaking the Sabbath law.
OBSERVATION:
It is interesting to see how evil the leaders (the Pharisees) of one religious sect (the Jews) could be, and how persistent they could be about trapping the leader (Jesus) of another sect (Christians). Why it was becoming a threat to their longstanding beliefs and practices. Aren’t you happy that those practices were all due to the immaturity, prejudices and hatred of that day? Or were they?….
APPLICATION:
I have always remembered the words of a tour guide that took my family and I through Fort Charlotte, in the Bahamas. He showed us, and explained to us, how the stretch chamber was used when the British soldiers wanted to force the captured pirates to talk. His words still echo in my mind: “sure glad I wasn’t born in those days. ha, ha, ha”! Those words came to mind as I read these verses, because I’m afraid that many of us sit innocent in our church services and really criticize the Jews for being so awful to Jesus. And while I could agree with you, I believe we often ignore how much of that attitude we still bring to our churches today. Having just celebrated Easter and our risen Lord, our hearts are probably still overflowing with thanksgiving after being reminded about all that Jesus did for us at Calvary. We probably celebrated in worship more this past weekend than we have in a long time. But how is it going for most of you after being back in the workforce for a part of the week? I realize that for most of us, we could easily get defensive about how precious our own churches are, but friends I would encourage you to pray a hedge of protection around your pastor(s) and teachers, for Satan is out to attack them in much the same way as the Pharisees did to Jesus. In fact, many of them have probably received way more emails, letters and/or visits to criticize the efforts of Resurrection Sunday than to thank them and encourage them for their efforts amidst family visiting with them and the normal day-to-day pressures of pastoring. Can you imagine the awe of what our worship times together could be, if we:

  • Prepared our hearts for worship by asking God to remove the busyness of the week from our minds so that we could concentrate on Him, if only during our designated times of worship;
  • Support and uphold our pastor(s) and teachers, by praying that God will find them to be usable vessels through which He could minister to us;
  • Pray that those that we love, and have invited to church, will stop the excuses and actually show up, so that they might be encouraged and hear a word from the Lord;
  • Pray for, and try to encourage a few people in attendance, for many are struggling with personal issues, and enormous pressure from Satan to turn away from God;
  • Reflect personally on the awesome worthiness of God, and how truly needy we are when stacked up against His awesome worth. Prepare to celebrate this with other believers of like mind;

Friends, I truly believe that when we prepare our hearts like this, we will find less time and importance in seeking out the bad in our pastor and church leaders, and the hypocrite sitting two rows in front of us, and instead this will lead us to open the doors of heaven and seek Jesus for who He is, and ask for His perfection in our lives so that we might be usable vessels in His earthly ministry. You see, there’s way too much need personally, than to waste our time trying to be God and judge everyone around us. That’s not a part of worship to our heavenly Father.

PRAYER:
Dear Lord Jesus, please humble our hearts so that we might seek Your perfection in our lives. Please humble us to serve You and others instead of waiting to be catered to in all walks of life. Help us to imitate You in all walks of life, so that others might be reminded of You, Your character, love and godliness. ‘People need the Lord’, oh that we might encourage and provoke that desire into reality, rather than being a stumbling block that might turn them away forever. You’re in control of us dear Jesus, and You control those around us, please help us to communicate with You about the needs that we see, rather than trying to invoke our own ideologies on the needy that we come into contact with. May it be obvious to others today, whose we are! 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!

Through Our Actions, Who do we Say Jesus Is?

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 16:15-17 (NCV)

Text:

15 Then Jesus asked them, “And who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because no person taught you that. My Father in heaven showed you who I am.
OBSERVATION:
Because Peter was first asked who others were saying Jesus is, it almost seemed like Peter was being tempted to respond like the world and therefore respond to Jesus’ question along the same lines of what he felt like others were saying. However, Peter, led by the Holy Spirit, responded to Jesus’ question appropriately, but it sure does open the eyes of believers that followed Peter to stop and ponder what they truly believe! 
APPLICATION:
I wonder how many of us today would respond to a question like Jesus posed to Peter. I wonder how many of us would have a scriptural response for Jesus, and possibly the preacher, but a slightly different response for our unsaved friends, and an altogether politically correct response, if asked in public in the presence of the authorities. Friends, we are called on daily to show the world who Jesus is to us. Think about it. When we are asked to respond to a crisis, do we automatically panic and display our worry that the world is coming to an end because we can’t see clearly what’s ahead of the fast train that could easily jump the tracks? What about right inside of the church (with other believers) how do you respond when someone is about to desecrate another believer who is struggling with a situation? How do you respond to an individual who is very ‘needy’, not necessarily financially, but one who can’t see light at the end of their long, dark tunnel. There’s a lot less stress to just run in the opposite direction, and many of us choose that option, but is that really what Jesus would have done? I wonder what Jesus must truly think at the end of the day after having watched what you and I told the world who it is that we honestly serve and evangelize? I could only imagine that some days I would be honestly ashamed of what Jesus would say about me. How about you friend? From the very depths of our hearts we speak and react. I believe it is time for us to really fill our hearts with more, and more, and more of Jesus? Will you commit to this along with me?
PRAYER:
Oh Lord Jesus, please open Your loving arms to this weak and sinful son, for I am afraid that way too often I reflect a very poor image of who you truly are. I’m afraid that folk must sometimes walk away from me assuming that you are mean, selfish, stuck up with pride, unwilling to speak to the poor and lowly, uncaring and unloving. Please forgive me Lord, for I want my heart, my mind and my life so filled with You that You will spill forth from every word I speak and every action, each and every day. Lord, may I ask that You also tender the hearts of my readers so that they may also examine themselves and be prepared to face those who need proof of a Savior today. May there be no doubt that You are alive in us and may the world recognize that, and have a desire to know the Lord that we love, adore and aim to portray every day. 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!

Expectations of a ‘True’ Worshiper

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-02-16
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 15 (TLB)

Text:

Anyone who leads a blameless life and is truly sincere. Anyone who refuses to slander others, does not listen to gossip, never harms his neighbor, speaks out against sin, criticizes those committing it, commends the faithful followers of the Lord, keeps a promise even if it ruins him, does not crush his debtors with high interest rates, and refuses to testify against the innocent despite the bribes offered him—such a man shall stand firm forever.
OBSERVATION:
The Psalmist lists things he believes a ‘True’ Worshipper should do and some that they shouldn’t do. This was in response to his own question that he posed to the Almighty God about who will be permitted in His presence. I believe that there was conflict in David’s mind about what was acceptable to God, and what might not be acceptable, and he had to get this cleared up.
APPLICATION:
When we are feeling conflicted by the various teachings of man and/or churches and/or denominations, wouldn’t it be great to take that conflict before God and ask Him to help us clear it up? I could only imagine that my blog title probably raised a few eyebrows as you probably thought that I would dare teach on who should be permit in our church sanctuary, or who we will allow to sit forward of the very back seat, or who we will allow to raise their hands in worship. Unfortunately you may be disappointed, as this goes way beyond the practices of any church here on earth. Notice that David was in prayer, or communication with the One that most Christian churches actually lift up their worship to, for He wanted to know what was acceptable to the God who created us, provides for us, and even died a sacrificial death for us, before returning to His Father to sit at His side and petition with Him on our behalf. You see, church leadership has come a long way in what our ancestors taught about what you could wear to church, which instruments can, or cannot be played in our services, and who might sing in the praise group, or choir. It seems like we have become a lot more tolerable and allow anyone with any thought or practice or selfish desire to worship and possibly participate or even teach, while tolerating known sin in their lives. David looked beyond all this and was more interested in what God would permit. Here are some things that he concluded about the attitude and/or character of the genuine worshipper of the Almighty:

  1. Should lead a blameless life;
  2. Should be truly sincere;
  3. Should refuse to slander others;
  4. Should not listen to gossip;
  5. Should not harm his neighbor;
  6. Should always  speak out against sin, and consistently criticize those committing it;
  7. Should commend the faithful followers of the Lord;
  8. Should always keep a promise – even if it ruins him;
  9. Should not crush his debtors with high interest rates; and
  10. Should always refuse to testify against the innocent, despite the bribes offered to him

David concluded that ‘such a man shall stand firm forever’. May I suggest to you friend that no matter how good you feel about your church, or how much you despise what the leadership allows, or rejects, what truly matters in your relationship with God is what you discern from God’s Word as being pleasing in His sight. Please don’t be so weak that you merely stand by and wait for the instructions of church leadership, although I want you to respect them and cooperate with their leadership that you feel aligns with God’s Word, however what is more important is that you develop such a relationship with God that you seek His face in all things and personally please Him in every way. He’s the One that we live for and seek to serve wholeheartedly, so please Him among everything else here on earth, and you too ‘will stand firm forever’, child of God! 

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, please help us to always seek Your face and Your design for our lives here on earth. Often we are pulled in many directions with various beliefs and practices. May we strive to please You and seek Your will in deciding truth. It’s You we long to adore and be with throughout eternity. Oh that ‘religion’ will not hinder our walk down here as we strive to please You, is my humble prayer, 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!

Relief For Your Burdens

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-02-02
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 11:27-30 (CEV)

Text:

27 My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who truly knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so that they can know him too.

28 If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. 29 Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. 30 This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

OBSERVATION:
Jesus makes His relationship to the Father very clear in these verses, and He shares His purpose for the world. He knew there would be many things that mankind would be faced with, and He also knew that there would be only One who could do anything about that. However He makes it clear that His gift of mercy is only extended to those who ask for it, for He said in verse 28: “Come to me and I will give you rest”.
APPLICATION:
Many may look at these verses and say that they have no burdens or concerns, so why should they yoke themselves together with God. Friends, I find it very interesting how the poor seems burdened with debt and wish they were rich; How the rich are constantly worried about who will take advantage of them, or steal from them, or if the stock market is safe enough for them to risk investing their money in it. These are just two comparable financial reasons for concern, or that may appear as burdens. This idea even filters down to the church, as one translation reads that if you feel burdened by all the dictates of church or religion, then come to Jesus. I believe it is very apparent that we all need the Savior, because the Bible tells us that the only way to heaven, and eternal peace with the Father, is through accepting the free gift of eternal life through the Son of God (Jesus), who was sent to this earth, humbled among mankind, for the sole purpose of saving us from our sin. Friends, for everything here on this earth, we either feel an obligation yo reciprocate, to obey certain rules or laws, or a deep sense of commitment to someone – so that they might remain your friend. Jesus tells us that He knows the Father intimately, and that He came to rescue us from the slavery of man’s rules and regulations. We can trust Him, for His rules, or yoke, is very light and easy for all. Furthermore, we know that we can trust Him to look out for our best interest only, with love and admiration. For we are His chosen ones for whom He personally sacrificed His very own life for. So friends, what are you worried about today? What are you burdened with, or about? Jesus loves us unconditionally and with the sincere purpose of saving us so that we could one day be with Him in glory. There are no strings attached, or no fine print that negates His desire for His kids. Are you prepared to trust Him in that and surrender your life totally and completely over to Him? Consider reading my footnote and the noted scriptures to help you understand how to take advantage of this very special offer from the Creator of this universe!
PRAYER:
Lord, we thank You for not giving up on us. You have provided the greatest sacrifice for us, so that we might be relieved of our burdens and have the assurance of eternal life in heaven with You and the Father. Thank you Jesus! Please forgive us for often choosing those things that restricts our opportunity to fully trust and worship You. Please open our eyes to those things today and allow us to clearly see, and be reminded of, the love that You have for us. May we lay our burdens at Your feet and welcome the joy that comes from fully trusting in, and leaning on, You. Lord, we welcome You as our Mediator; Savior; Deliverer; Friend and everlasting Father. May we be faithful to the call You have placed on us. 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!

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