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

Archive for the ‘Know and Believe’ Category

Our Miraculous God

Wednesday, 2019-06-12

Bible Reference: Luke 1:18-20
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is too old to give me a child. What sign can you give me to prove this will happen?19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel. I stand beside God himself. He has sent me to announce to you this good news. 20 But now, since you did not believe my words, you will be stricken silent and unable to speak until the day my words have been fulfilled at their appointed time and a child is born to you. That will be your sign!”

OBSERVATION: Way too often we pray for God’s wisdom; His healing; His direction; and His protection, yet when God is on the move we tend to find explanations on why certain activity is occurring, or we may even attribute the turn in events to ‘good luck’. Oh my, where is our faith truly at? Who is our God? I have two similar Biblical characters to consider today that reacted surprisingly to God’s orders/miracles. Let’s examine our own hearts as we look at this.

APPLICATION: In my Old Testament reading today, there was the story of Balaam. He spoke to God about whether he should visit with king Balak. God directed him not to go. However, Balak was persistent and he sent back a different team of messengers to plead with Balaam to change his mind. Although having been given a Word by God, Balaam went before God each time that Balak’s team of men asked. I can’t imagine God changing His mind, neither telling Balaam that He had made a bad call in His first response. But eventually God saw the need to teach Balaam a lesson by letting him go with the messengers. Then I turned to my New Testament study and found this story of Zechariah, who encountered a similar discipline to that received by Balaam. I’m sure it is easy for us to look down our noses at both of these servants of God and in shock wonder how on earth could they possibly respond in the way that they did. But are we truly any different in our response to God and/or His miraculous work? I don’t think so, for I believe we are equally as bad, or perhaps even worse. Now think about this: we have learned from Balaam, we have learned from Zechariah, and I’m sure there are many other similar examples throughout God’s Word, but way too often we place God in a box only as big as our vision and our capacity. How often do we go beyond those borders? I have a very personal experience, I can share with you from my church: our leaders are stretching and testing their faith in trying to solve a challenge of overcrowding. Through faith in our all-powerful and fully capable God, they are led of God to find property to relocate, or expand our ministries to meet the needs of adequately ministering to the people He is sending our way, and will send our way over the foreseeable future. To approach our God for something like this – something that is several times larger than what we have; something that will meet the needs of ongoing ministries way beyond our ability to imagine – this requires a persistent faith that is strong and immovable. Please consider praying with BFC, Sebring, FL about this need. We want to see Jesus lifted up and glorified, even through our humble efforts. We are convinced that God has blessed us with the crowds He has sent our way, even in spite of a community that is largely unchurched. However, we take the Scripture very seriously, and He has encouraged us with the words, that if I am lifted up, I will draw the people unto myself. We are in a continual mode of lifting up the name of Jesus in all that we do. As for you, may I suggest that you stand in awe of who God is, and all that He has done, plus all that He has the power to do again. Try looking beyond things that your natural eyes can see, and try trusting God in the small and in the great things. Try listening to what God wills, and allow Him to stretch your vision and your faith so that you will openly allow His work to be done for His glory alone.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for saving a sinner such as I. It is hard to imagine that a miraculous working God like You, who has the power to do all things, and see all things that are yet to come, yet You loved me enough to use even me in Your mighty work. Lord, my readers and I stand in awe of You. We want to experience your awesome work, and we want to participate in the many blessings that You shower on us each day. Please teach us to pray. Please strengthen our faith to believe and deepen our trust in You for all things. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, so that You may be glorified in all things. Thank You Heavenly Father for loving even 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 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!

Believe You have Received

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Mark 11:22-24 (TPT)

TEXT:  22 Jesus replied, “Let the faith of God be in you! 23 Listen to the truth I speak to you: If someone says to this mountain with great faith and having no doubt, ‘Mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the midst of the sea,’ and believes that what he says will happen, it will be done. 24 This is the reason I urge you to boldly believe for whatever you ask for in prayer—believe that you have received it and it will be yours

OBSERVATION:   We’ve heard the old gospel song ‘Faith is The Key to Heaven’, and it melts our hearts away. But in today’s verses we hear from the mouth of Jesus the convincing and compelling words that Faith is also the Key to answered prayer. Do we really go into prayer with that kind of confidence? Let’s meditate in this for a little today…. 

APPLICATION:   While a child is putting on his sneakers, he is also screaming out to mom in the kitchen that Mike, who lives just down the road, invited me over to play for a few minutes. I’ve finished my homework & chores, so is it OK if I go and play a little? I will be back in time for the family dinner. The son, Jim, knows all the things that mom will ask him, so he includes everything while asking, or is it telling!!!! So let’s put this into perspective with our relationship with our heavenly Father. Are we in His Word enough? Are we trying to grow our relationship by attending church and/or Bible study? Do we feel like we know the mind of Christ and are asking in full alignment with His desire for our lives? I believe it is obvious why we don’t ask for certain things – it may make us too proud, or it may point our friends attention to us instead of God, etc. But do we know the mind of Christ like a husband may know the mind of His wife of 30 years? Our verses end with the words ‘… believe that you have received it, and it will be yours…’ I once had an old saint tell me that she was praying for an aching arm of mine. In about a week, while entering the church, she looked up at me and asked very confidently, “is that arm better now?” When I said that it wasn’t fully healed yet, she looked at me in puzzlement, as if wondering what must have gone wrong in her prayers for me. Friends, that’s the kind of relationship we need with Jesus. That’s the kind of faith and assurance we can then have in our prayers. Believe that we HAVE RECEIVED IT, and then WE WILL RECEIVE IT!

PRAYER:   Lord You are so good to us! Wretched sinners, yet You look down on us in love and listen to all the things that we worry about and ask for. Most of all, You meet us where we’re at when we come to you in prayer with all of our concerns and complaints. Being reminded of what You promised in Mark 11 today, we could only say again how thankful we are to be called Your precious children, and for the liberties that You give us as children of the King! Please forgive us when we become worried and bring menial things to You, for Lord they seem huge to us. Please work with us, continue to love us, make us more bold to come before You than ever before. Please help us to be so confident in our prayers when we know the mind of Christ and all that You have in store for us. Lord, we ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, our Lord and perfect Savior, 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!

 

Walk a Day In My Shoes

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (ERV)

TEXT:   22 To those who are weak, I became weak so that I could help save them. I have become all things to all people. I did this so that I could save people in any way possible. 23 I do all this to make the Good News known. I do it so that I can share in the blessings of the Good News.

OBSERVATION:   Paul realized that he could share the Good News of Jesus Christ with every Christian gathering and they would totally get it, but should he walk down the street or around the corner, folk might wonder if he was from a different planet! I don’t believe that has changed, for we sometimes speak a totally foreign language, compared to the ordinary person on the street or the executive who has his nose in the financial books most of his life. Let’s see what we could glean from this scripture and how we might apply it….

APPLICATION:   First of all, let me emphasize that I firmly believe Jesus came to save all  people groups of the world, no matter your education status; your skin color; your culture; your financial status; the sin you have committed; etc, etc. Paul saw a challenge, that I believe still exists today – who will tell them? There’s an old proverb that says ‘Birds of a feather flock together’. There may be many applications for that proverb, but I believe the primary fault with it, is that we tend to become a very exclusive group of folk that either worship together, or play together, or visit one another. I almost left out the last option, because so few of us visit one another anymore. So what does this all boil down to? Well, unfortunately, I believe that it points to the idea that we quickly form little groups of like minded, like cultured, like financially,  type people. These are the folk that we worship with, visit and feel closest to. However, we also know that God came to seek and to save ALL that are lost, all that are hurting and need a Savior. So if we are His missionaries and His hands and feet on the ground, what will we find to respond when asked about serving or ministering to the unlikely person stuck with living under that nearby bridge, or sleeps outside of the liquor store for the convenience of being there when it opens next morning? How do you suppose you would think about these scenarios if you were to follow Paul’s example? How do you feel like you could reach these unlikely folk for Jesus? Will you have a satisfactory response for Jesus when He questions you about your work on earth, including ministering to all people in need? Please know that our response to God concerning that man we pay a salary to at church to do all of this, will probably not be what God is looking for. We are all called to ‘go into all the world and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as the only saving grace from our sins’. If you truly want to understand that person from another culture, ask if you could join him for a day, so that you might walk in his shoes and understand the challenges that he faces each day.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior and Friend. Thank You for His demonstration of humility in meeting the needs of people from all walks of life. I’m not sure how we got separated from that and have formed such exclusive groups that often do not include all of society, but Lord You have opened my eyes and reminded me of the need to reach the whole world for Your kingdom’s sake. Please give us wisdom and boldness to tear down those walls of division and rejection. You are known for Your love; encouragement; humbleness; caring; and everlasting hope, among many other attributes. Please help us to be imitators of You, and spread these same attributes to all people, without any walls, so that the world might know You and see You lived out in our lives every day. Thank You Lord Jesus! 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!

 

‘Faith’ Is The Answer

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 9:30-32 (TLB)

TEXT:  30 ….. God has given the Gentiles the opportunity to be acquitted by faith, even though they had not been really seeking God. 31 But the Jews, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping his laws, never succeeded. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to be saved by keeping the law and being good instead of by depending on faith….

OBSERVATION:   There was a wide divide between the Jews and the Gentiles in Paul’s day, and he made an effort to not only correct that divide, but also to help the Jews in truly understanding the Scriptures, even though they often boasted about how studious they were in the Scriptures. Because these were faithful men in obeying the law of God, I am often concerned for those who obey God’s command today by attending church, but never seeking God’s face and committing to a personal relationship with Him. Let’s dig deeper into this, because we can’t afford to be misguided in the truths of God’s Word.

APPLICATION:   I once heard of a skilled acrobat that walked across the Niagara Falls on a tight rope/cable. On his returned trip, he pushed an empty wheelbarrow across the cable. No sooner than he hit solid ground, he was congratulated on how well he did and how skilled he truly was. So he felt compelled to offer one of his well wishers the opportunity to ride in the wheelbarrow for another trip across. But, of course, he quickly rejected the offer! Perhaps because his faith in the professional was not enough to trust his life in the hands of the acrobat! Is that why many have refused to invite Jesus into their lives, because they don’t have faith to believe that He would do what He promised in His Word? Friends, we are really backed into a corner on this. God says in His Word that there is only one way to be saved, or get to heaven, and that’s through surrendering your life over to His Son, Jesus Christ. God says that whoever believes in the Son of God will have life eternally with He and His Father. Conversely, if you don’t do this, and feel like you are good enough by not killing, nor stealing, nor breaking any of the other commandments, oh and you actually attend church at least once a month, then you should be allowed into heaven. NO, in man’s eyes you might be considered a good person, but in God’s eyes, unfortunately, you are just as loss as any other sinner on earth. Men would use the above illustrations as an indicator on whether we are dealing with a good man, or with a man you possibly may question. According to the Word of God, He looks at the redeemed of God and those without the Savior. In which group do you belong dear friend? Can you point to a time in your life where you knelt before the King of kings and Lord of lords, asked for forgiveness of your sin, and invited Jesus into your life to rule and reign until He returns to take us home to glory? If not, why not? Life could end for you today, just like it did for many yesterday – what will Jesus say to you, welcome home my child, or go away for I do not know you? Please use the link ‘To Know Jesus’ below in my Footnote, for more information on this, if need be.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, please don’t give up on us. You created us, You sent Your one and only Son to die a cruel death on a cross, so that through Him we might be saved from the sin and strife of planet earth. Yet we stand and proclaim that we know better than You. In fact, some teach that they can choose any part of Your Word and make your stand on it, then perhaps they would be saved. What a chance Your children are taking, for it would seem like it is much better to follow Your total Word completely; know for sure that you are saved; and that heaven is your eternal home with the Father Son and Holy Ghost. The alternative is like taking a chance to look good before men, knowing that your eternal home will be with Satan and his never ending lake of fire. The choice seems obvious dear friend, will you decide today to follow Jesus? I really want to see each of you in Heaven whenever God calls us home to Himself! Please don’t disappoint me, nor God, 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!

 

God is Capable of So Much More

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-11-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 11:14-15 (MSG)

Text:

 14-15 Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”
OBSERVATION:
Earlier in chapter 11 the followers of Jesus had reminded Him of the danger in returning to Bethany, the town where His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived, because the last time they were there they were stoned. Right after Jesus’ command His disciples to follow Him to Bethany, Thomas spoke what may have been on the hearts of most of the disciples, when he said “let’s follow Him so that we may die together”. However Jesus had a greater mission in mind, and I believe we could also learn from this….
APPLICATION:
It seems like our attention is often enhanced by the unexpected. Jesus could have healed His friend Lazarus while he was still alive; He could have brought him back to life as soon as He was told that Lazarus had died; He could have performed the miracle before a large crowd, or He could have done it in the middle of the night. However, I believe that Jesus saw the doubt and limitations being built by His own disciples, so He wanted to go beyond anything they had seen before, to make sure that lives were miraculously touched, and that God the Father received glory. This very much spoke to me about the normal church attendee today. We have come to expect a special order of service, the same speaker bringing the sermon and we have become so accustomed to getting out at a certain time, that we could easily plan our oven to complete cooking lunch at a certain time. Now IF God was programmable, all of this would work within His time-frames, but knowing that He’s not, what would happen if people started getting saved in every service, or Brothers getting healed, or sisters recommitting their lives to Christ in every service? Think about it, Jesus deliberately delayed His arrival to Bethany so that followers would see a different kind of miracle – one that would shake them up from their normal expectation, and they would be reminded that He truly is the Son of God, who could do ALL things. We too get ourselves into a box of believing that God can do only so much, because we have seen or heard of Him doing just that much before. Friends, I believe we are being taught here, along with the disciples, that the God who created us and placed the stars in the sky, is still very much alive and capable of doing way more than we could every dream or believe. I believe that our part is: to believe in the only One who could save us from our sin; trust Him to watch over, protect and guide us in the way of Truth daily; learn to worship Him, thank Him and depend on Him daily; trust Him by never putting Him in a box of limited possibilities; and get excited about the place He has prepared for us in glory. Do you feel like you are lacking in either of these things? Do you feel like you have placed complete faith and trust in Jesus, to accomplish way more than you could ever imagine? We tend to ask for only as much as we could believe, or have faith to ask for. God can do so much more than that friend!
PRAYER:
Lord, I believe that we are just as guilty as Your disciples were in the story of Lazarus, They followed you to Bethany, but they were so worried about their own lives that I believe it was challenging for them to truly appreciate the miracle that You brought about with Lazarus that day. We have become so accustomed to knowing the limitations of everything that we encounter, that we tend to place those same limitations on what our awesome God could do. Please forgive us for our littleness and for the blessings we miss out one because of our limitations. You are worthy oh Lord, please forgive us for our unworthiness and grant us new perspectives about You every day so that we may be overzealous in praise and thanksgiving. 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!

The Way To Know Truth

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-10-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 7:16-18 (GNT)

Text:

16 Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. 17 Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18 Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him.
OBSERVATION:
Jesus knew that His audience were questioning, or doubting, what He said, do He gave them a sure way of always knowing, or recognizing the truth. It seems like today we are more opinionated than ever, so I’m sure there was good reason that God authorized this discourse to be included in His Word. Let’s examine that closely and try to apply it to our lives…
APPLICATION:
I believe there are two types of people that sit in our church congregations each weekend, and that they were represented at the location where Jesus spoke, as  mentioned in this Scripture. Think about this and consider where you stand, and if this is your ultimate goal in life:

  1. Sincere Church Attender: – You started praying for the Holy Spirit to work in the weekend services a few days before. You awoke the morning of, and you prayed earnestly for those that would attend, that they would be open to the Word of God and the wooing of the Holy Spirit. You also prayed for the pastor who would deliver the Word of God. You arrived early and prayerfully watched and prayed for each on as they entered the sanctuary. With your Bible opened, as the pastor delivers the Word you are following closely and making margin notes as the Holy Spirit speaks to you.
  2. Casual or Obligatory Attender – You’ve always attended church because you enjoy meeting people and seeing all the newest styles. Additionally, you get to hear the Bible read at least once per week. You often wish that you could find your own Bible to take to church with you so that you could try and find those scripture verses the pastor reads from. Hopefully one day!

I believe that each of us probably fit into one of the above groups. Perhaps choose the group that you feel best describes you, then try and honestly answer the point that Jesus made in the Scripture today. Those who listen to and obey the commands and will of God are more lightly to listen to, understand, discern truth and obey the teaching they hear coming from God, or the individual standing in front of them. Do you feel like all things are equal in the above two groups? Of course there is one other group, and that’s the group that never has a desire to attend church or only attends for special occasions. Friends, may I encourage you to do a self examination today, asking God to point out where you might improve in your relationship with Him. In the right relationship, you will automatically acquire the desire to be with other children of God, and possible discern truth. Without the right relationship with God, your friends and family will know that you are faking it and merely going through the motions. You will only be able to help others, if you have the real thing living and operating inside of you. This is a personal decision you must make between you and our Maker. Others will see the difference, but they can’t save you or make it all right for you.

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we are convinced of the importance to know You personally, and be in a right relationship with You. Without this, it is impossible for us to clearly understand Your Word or be in a close and intimate relationship with You. Lord, we want others to see Jesus operating in our lives so that they also may have a desire to accept You as Lord. May we be obedient to Your Word, so that we may clearly understand what we are being taught, and that it comes directly from You! 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!

A Changed Heart

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-06-29
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 3:7-9 (MSG)

Text:

7-9 When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life that must change, not your skin. And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as ‘father.’ Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there—children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.”
OBSERVATION:
It was becoming quite a popular thing for people to go down to the river and be baptized by John the Baptist, and John quickly recognized that it was becoming quite the popular thing for folk to do in following the crowd. John felt an obligation to Jesus Christ to make sure that this was not becoming a popularity thing but rather one that followed the teachings of Jesus. We will explore how applicable this is to us today….
APPLICATION:
As a very young child, my daughter saw a friend baptized, and for weeks afterwards she tried to convince her mom and I on why she should be baptized. I believe that there may be lots of younger people that want the attention of parents, Bible School teachers and  friends, or they may run to the pastor without fully understanding the purpose of baptism. There are others that are willing to take this step as a way to get mom, spouse, or perhaps a friend who had been witnessing to them, off their back. In our Scripture reading today we can see how John addressed this, and I’m sure we could follow his example on how to handle similar questions by others. However, we must feel comfortable sharing this in our own words. May I encourage you to click on the Scripture link above and read what Paul taught on this? The main emphasis is that the prospective candidate can clearly tell you how they were Spiritually saved, and also how Jesus has changed their way of living, because now they are about to show witness to the church at large and the world, that there has been a mega change in their life since inviting Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. The candidate must know clearly that baptism has no saving grace, but is scriptural because it demonstrates to the world an inward decision that you made at some point in your life. Friends, in following the commands of Jesus, I pray that you will demonstrate a full understanding of what He demands of you in His Word and not just follow the crowd as the popular thing to do, otherwise God may send another ‘John’ to rebuke you, like he did in this scripture. I encourage you to be brave in declaring to the world that you are a child of the King and that you don’t mind anyone knowing that. Being ashamed of the Lord here on earth might be reason for Jesus to disclaim you before His Father, according to His words in Scripture. If you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus, then baptism is a mockery to the church and you are telling the world a lie. However, baptism is encouraged for those who have sincerely surrendered their heart and life to Jesus. 
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You know how much we love baptismal services, because as a church, we celebrate with the candidates the decisions that have been made, and the miraculous change that God has made in their lives! It re-enforces the necessity for the church and personal evangelism. It confirms Your work dear Lord, because only You could truly touch and change broken and sinful lives. May we continue to be about Your work oh Lord, and may You continue to touch the hearts of those that are in need of a Savior. We long to celebrate baptism often as a means of celebrating the wondrous works of our Lord. To You we give hearts filled with glory, honor and praise for all that You do in the center of our family, friends and loved ones. 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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