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

Archive for the ‘Imitator of Christ’ Category

An Imitation of the One You Adore

Tuesday, 2019-11-19

Bible Reference: John 13:34-35
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 34 “So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. 35 For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.”

OBSERVATION: Jesus was about to end His earthly ministry, and I believe He was admonishing His disciples to carry on by demonstrating all that they saw in Him while working together, ministering together, and seeking after the heart of loved ones who had gone astray. Because I believe that Jesus still desires for His children to be imitators of their Master, I want us to contemplate what that might look like today.

APPLICATION: Ever notice the difference between a military enlistee and a regular civilian? One is determined to follow the orders of their commanding officer and defend their country, in spite of all the evil going on inside their homeland, while the other tries to follow the general idea of the local laws, but will not think twice about questioning those laws and or commands of those in charge of their safety and welfare. Similarly, you will often identify God’s children by their demeanor, their lifestyle, their honesty, their commitment and their love for one another. I believe that Jesus is teaching us in the Scripture today, just as He taught the disciples: ‘Let the world see so much of Jesus in you, that they will be convinced that He exists, and that they could easily follow you, as you follow Christ. I believe that Jesus wants us to not only desire to know Him in order to have our ticket punched for heaven, but especially so that the non-believer would turn their heads to this cruel, heart-breaking, mean and treacherous world, and be encouraged to see the character of Jesus in every fiber of our being. And that it would be inviting enough to convince them that there is a better way! Friends, I believe that many of you may have traveled down some of the same roads that I have. For we have seen the impact of this world on folk at our job site, in our neighborhoods, in our government, and even in our churches. I am so encouraged, and touched by the living Word of God, for Jesus knew that we would face these challenges and discouragements and we may sometimes want to just throw our hands up in disappointment and wonderment of whether it is worth the effort to try and be kind and loving every day. Often, when we ‘try’ to be good, loving and kind, we are polluting ourselves with so much self-effort, and self-taught principles, and selfish desires, that we sometimes make things worse. I believe that Jesus is teaching us, as He did His disciples, to just apply all that we have learned from Him to our lives, and look to His Book of Instruction (the Bible) when searching for answers, instead of the TV Talk Shows, or the internet sites of Palm Readers, and the like. Jesus has placed the Holy Spirit inside of us, believers in Christ, so that we might be led in the right direction; understand His precious Word, and love like He first loved us. Let’s learn to love like Jesus did – for He gave up His own life for us, even while we were still sinners. He loved Lazarus and his sisters enough that He cried in empathy for Mary and Martha who thought they would never see Lazarus alive again. Let’s learn to care for others like He did – for He stopped a whole parade so that He could chat with, and seek the desire of two cripples who could not fend for themselves. Instead of racing the children away, like His disciples, He called them to Himself, taught them and loved on them as a father would. To all my readers, I would plead with you today to seek God, read His Word, pray to Him, and be bold enough to love, talk and act like Him, even in a world that tends to be in total opposition to that. Don’t force these things upon your neighbor, but allow God to embed them into your hearts and upon your life. He wants to shine brightly through you, so that your neighbor will be convinced about the One who loves him/her in spite of their circumstances and their rotten attitudes. Be willing to let go, and let God have His way in you, my friend!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are more wonderful than all of creation! You loved me when I was totally unlovable by anyone. Why you even stood still under the barrage of whips, and You endured the cross, so that the world might know that we are loved more than life itself. Father, it seems like we are facing a world that is so evil and filled with hatred. I’m sure that this is no worse than what You faced, but Lord we need You. Every hour of every day we need You. Please fill us with Your power, so that we may not only overcome the temptations and trials of this world, but that we might shine with the glory of the Son, so that our dark world might be illuminated and convinced of Your love. While deserving nothing in return from this world, I pray that You may be glorified through us today in many wonderful ways. 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 might 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 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!

Calling Those Who Know They Are Sinners

Monday, 2019-05-06

Bible Reference: Mark 2:15-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

OBSERVATION: Going into a hospital a doctor will find sick people and know that’s where he/she belongs. Jesus emphasised that He came especially for those who know they are sinners – because they are really in need of a Savior. So if we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we will most lightly be ministering more outside of the church than inside the sanctity of the four walls of our church buildings. How do you do with that Christian Brother/Sister?

APPLICATION: It’s really easy for Christians to hang out with Christians – because we have so much in common, and we feel comfortable that no one will question us, if seen associating with folk of the same belief. Praise God, Jesus was different in this respect. He shows us that if we are to reach the unsaved, and if we are to truly show God’s love to all people, then we had better make ourselves friendly to all. When we look down our noses at folk, we must remember that they have a very hard time looking up to us and accepting anything that we may have to say to them. Jesus came so that sinners might recognize their need for a Savior and feel welcomed in coming to Him for forgiveness of their sins. As Christians, we are to be Christ followers and therefore follow the lead that He displayed while here on this earth. How are we doing? Do we show love to the sometimes unlovable? Are we humble enough to sit and listen to the deep struggles and concerns of someone that may be deep in sin? Unless we do this, how will they know Jesus?

PRAYER: Father, I pray that You will open my heart today and make me aware of those around me that need You as Savior. Make me very aware that although they may not look like me, or they may not follow the same guidelines of living that I follow, and they may not even attend, or perhaps never attended, church, please help me to see them and You see them. Please allow me to present myself in way that they will see Your love, acceptance and willingness to listen and help them to overcome their shortcomings and see a better way – a way that leads to Jesus! Help me to set my selfish desires and ideals aside so that You may shine through me today! Help to never forget that You reached far down to lift me up from my sin and in my time of deepest need. There is none like You Heavenly Father. Please help me be obedient to Your will in doing Your work, so that others may know and believe. 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 might 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 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!

Recognizing Our Awesome God

Bible Text:  Matthew 12

Bible Text:  22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. 23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?”

APPLICATION:  Sometimes we read these familiar stories in God’s Word and God will just speak to us afresh through something contained in that passage. In this story Jesus had performed several miracles, and finally the crowd stepped back in wonderment and questioned among themselves ‘Could this possibly be the Messiah?”. In the world we live in today God is still very active, and although we tend to really hone in on the negative, there are times that our spiritual minds are awakened and we say to ourselves “that must be a Jesus thing”. That certain thing could only have occurred if Jesus made it happen. Friends, I believe that we must be praying with such expectation that we will notice every little act of God and response to our prayers by God. He is very much alive today and active in our lives. It is time for Christians to wake up and give Him credit for all that He does. It is in this type of act that we tend to help believers who are in doubt and result in questioning every act of God. They must see our faith, if we ever expect to be a Godly influence on them! We serve a mighty God, but don’t wait for the ‘big’ miracles to occur, recognize and praise Him daily for all that He does in your life. Good health – especially when we see so many in hospitals or at home sick; safety – especially when we pass a wreck on the road where some innocent person got hurt or even killed; answer to prayer – especially when we see so many that doubt or question the work of God, or try to give credit to chance or horoscopes or palm readers. Friends we serve, and we should recognize the mighty God of this universe, the King of all kings, the Creator of all mankind. Do we have reason to doubt? I believe that we actually have more reasons not to doubt the mighty works of God in our world today.

PRAYER: Praise be to God for accepting me as a humble child in great need of a Savior. Praise be to God for all the miracles performed in my life, in the life of our church and in the lives of my family and friends. May I be very alert to Your mighty hand at work in my life and all around me. May others see Jesus reflected in my life and in their own lives, so that together we can truly be a thankful people praising You for all Your mighty works and wondrous love. Thank You Jesus for caring so much for me. Please continue to work on me and mold me into something that  You can use to accomplish Your work. May I recognize Your mighty works each and every day!

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 might 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 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!

Dedicated to Serve Christ

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 14:17-20 (MSG)

TEXT: 17-18 God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you. 19-20 So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was dealing with issues of Christians getting distracted from serving Christ, to instead meddling in the business of others. This was not only pulling down the other person, but also disappointing to believers and also to God, I believe. Anything we do in love, for the benefit of the other person, and for the glory of God, is most often done through the strength and encouragement of God so that the believer can please Him. Let’s apply that dear friend…..

APPLICATION:   In my days of growing up, I would hear adults talking about a neighbor being on their ‘high horse’ again, while they are busy putting someone else down. I struggled to understand that, but now I do! Today, I believe it’s more about us looking down our proud noses at ones that may not be as well educated as we are, or could verbalize their feelings as good as we feel we could; or perhaps about our desire to excel, while we look around us and watch others gaining ground. When these things happen to us, unfortunately, I believe, it’s a ‘red flag’ to show us that we are drifting further away from God’s Word, for these verses today, and others very similar to them, teach us that God prefers that we seek ways to bring Him praise, and there is nothing in our jealousy, retaliation, envy or pay-back that brings glory to God. Please read the verses again friend, and when you get to the sentence that is bolded, repeat it several times. Our single most important task to achieve while here on earth, is to serve Christ. Lift Him up, bring Him glory! Shout to the mountain tops ‘What A Mighty God We Serve’! Show so much love to others that they will mistake you for Jesus, the Son of God! These are the things that will bring God glory, friends! These are the things that we must be busy doing til Jesus comes!

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for showing us what humbleness is all about. Thanks for setting the example for us to follow. Your commands are therefore very reasonable when we reflect on how You first exampled them, before ever asking us to be the humble one and let our actions still bring You glory. Oh, Lord may we be imitators of the One that we love, the One that we adore, the One that we long to see in Heaven one 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 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!

 

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!

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