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

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

A Love Test

Thursday, 2019-11-21

Bible Reference: John 14:15
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: 15 “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.

OBSERVATION: Ever heard a parent say to a young child: ‘Now, if you really loved me you wouldn’t do that’? To another adult, that sounds funny, but in my reading in John 14 today, the words of Jesus, as shown in our Bible Text, really got my attention. Let this penetrate your heart also as we meditate on these words today. Join me, won’t you?

APPLICATION: I believe that each and every day many of us drift back into the ways of the world, and allow its principles to overrule our beliefs that we were convinced God had embedded into our hearts. Peer pressure and our deep desires to impress our spouse, or other loved ones, will often cause us to do or say those things that we feel will elevate us in their eyes. Take for example the idea of being the only one in a group of friends that feel an obligation to stay for church on a Sunday, instead of heading out to the beach. Deep within, you may feel a deep obligation to be at church to welcome those friends you invited to join you on a given Lord’s Day. But your other friends that you hang out with for games and fun times, are mindless to the things of Christ, and they want you to join them on a trip to the beach. It’s their only day off, and they need to unwind from their busy week. What will you do? Your coworkers brag about never having to purchase rubber bands, paperclips, pens and pencils at home, because there is an abundant supply at work that just sits in their desk drawer. You work for the same company, and you see the same availability of supplies, so what will you do? These are just a few simple examples, but for the man/woman of God, who knows God’s Word, your conscience is being severely impacted about doing what you feel God has commanded you to do. You remember Scripture around teh subject of: Assembling yourselves together with other believers; Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel; Those who know Christ will see heaven, vs those who don’t is headed to a dreadful Hell; Thou shalt not steal; etc, etc. In our Scripture today, Jesus said that if we love Him, we would honor His commands; be obedient to His Word; show our love for Him, or prove that we love Him, by doing what He says. These are just a few examples I used to help you think more about the things that you do and what God may say to you either directly or indirectly about your actions. But as His sons and daughters, I believe the question for our consideration today is: Do I truly love God? Would He know that I love Him, based on my actions and my words? Will the world, who I am trying to witness to, know that I love my Lord? As a son, is it evident to my Father that I really love Him? What choices would we truly make in the above scenarios, and the many other similar scenarios that are presented to us every day? If our love for Him will be judged based on our obedience to His Word, will God know that we truly love Him? Once again, the scripture today says: “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments”.

PRAYER: With a guilty conscience, I can honestly come before the Master today and ask for forgiveness. Dear Lord, You know my weaknesses and You know my coward desire to please others, instead of always standing strong in my faith and truly committed to my Savior in all decisions. Please forgive me. As I recognize my weakness, I am humbled to once again ask for Your strength when I am weak; Your boldness when I am meek and cowardly in my approach to sharing my King with an impossible sinner; Your insight, when I approach situations awkwardly blinded by the desires of those whose aim is to please Satan alone. Lord, I need more of You each and every day, so that my love for You will be evident in the easy things of life and when the challenging times present themselves. In the event that my readers are similar in their personal analysis, I pray that You might humble their hearts to seek Your face and pray for a closer walk with You. Lord, please bless them with a deep desire to obey You, and that through this effort it will be very evident to You that their love for You is sincere and very determined. Please bless those who are carefree and choose to do their own thing. Draw them close to You, flood them with Your Word, and show them Your love in ways that will impress upon them a desire to please You. Oh that Your kingdom may be enriched today, because of our commitment to be better, and more dependable servants. 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!

Consequences for Criticizing God’s Servant

Wednesday, 2019-11-20

Bible Reference: Numbers 12:5-10
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  5 …the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say: If there were prophets among you, I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. 7 But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. 8 I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.

OBSERVATION: In today’s church environment, it seems like many will criticize the man of God for things like: his style of preaching; the volume he uses to deliver the Word of God; his dress code; if he looks at a particular section of the church while delivering his message; etc. Our Scripture today tells us that God questioned Miriam and Aaron about not being afraid to criticize His messenger, and He followed through by penalizing Miriam for her actions. As we meditate on this Scripture today, consider laying yourself honestly before God to examine you for similar actions as Miriam.

APPLICATION:  I would strongly encourage you to read the short chapter from which this scripture reference was taken, for it had a profound impact on me. Click on the scripture reference above and you will be taken to a place where you could read all 16 verses. You will get a better understanding in verse 3 why God took such a fierce stand against the sister and brother of Moses, for the Word declares that Moses was the most humble man on earth at the time. I believe this was included to help us understand that Moses would probably have loved his siblings regardless of what they may have said about him. What a humbling honor to be considered as the humblest man on earth, wow! Does that not automatically cause us to question ourselves and what we might do to be more humble in God’s eyes? However, this criticizing of God’s servant, truly angered God, and He dealt with it severely. He had Moses and his siblings go to the tabernacle, and there He called Miriam and Aaron to step forward as He was about to speak directly to them, and He wanted Moses to witness this. Friends, I want you to read verses 6 through 8 and imagine yourself in place of Miriam and Aaron for anything derogatory you may have spoken or thought about your Pastor or other called church leader. Don’t you know that these men have sacrificed their entire lives to Christ, instead of any possible worldly success? They have submitted themselves to God, and surrendered to the call of Christ to serve Him in the positions He has prepared just for them? Are we then not like Miriam and Aaron, where we are criticizing God for the man He has placed as His leader in our local assemblies? I would strongly caution you that we had better be very careful to pray for our leaders and their humbleness to closely obey God’s commands for His local church. Notice that there is no indication that Moses complained to God about the bad things his siblings were saying. God knew their hearts, He heard their words and saw their actions, and He subsequently reacted very harshly – not just with a tongue lashing, but actually imposed on the ringleader (Miriam) the horrible decease of leprosy. This caused her to be placed outside of the camp (city) for 7 days, even in spite of Moses’ plea with God to heal her. Friends, we must learn from this that we must respect God first of all and, in turn, those whom He chooses as His representatives among us – our pastors and church leaders. We must also learn that God loves His humble servants so much that He will stand in the gap for them. So if you are a called person of God and reading this devotional, please know that God has your back. Be committed to Him and serve Him faithfully, knowing that He will take care of the back-biting, gossip and ridicule. If God has truly placed you as His leader to His people, it is He who is more hurt by the backlash from His people, as they are really questioning His authority. Child of God, pray, pray, pray for the men of God that He places to serve you at your church. May we all be found faithful and true to our Master, until the day He calls us home to glory!

PRAYER: Lord God, Almighty Father, thank You for the picture of love for Your humble servant, and the reassurance that there is no reason why You would still not protect Your servants even today. It is so easy to get caught up in complaining or whining about our leaders, especially when they don’t pat our backs just right, or say the things that we like to hear. Please help us to stay focused on Your Word, for I believe that as we do, then we will appreciate the words from the leaders You have placed in charge of ministering to us. Please teach us to be humble like Your servant Moses, and also teach us to follow Your pattern of obedience when it comes to our spiritual leaders. As church leaders, we badly need encouragement for boldness before Your people, yet humbleness to always seek Your face so that we can seek Your favor for Your people. As followers of Christ, please help us to always pray for, and encourage our church leaders as they seek to obey You and follow Your commands for our respective churches. You are holy and deserving of our praise, worship and honor, and when we do this, perhaps we won’t have time to ridicule and/or gossip about our Brothers and Sisters! I love You lord for who You are, and I ask these things in faith and in the name of Jesus my 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 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!

A Father’s Love

Tuesday, 2019-11-12

Bible Reference: 2 Samuel 18:5
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: And the king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom.” And all the troops heard the king give them this charge.

OBSERVATION: A son – adored at birth, loved and trained through adulthood – yet a father is not assured of the son’s love in return, nor is that dependent on the amount of love a father has for his son. That’s the situation that David found himself in with regards to his son Absalom. Are you faced with similar challenges with your child? Meditate with me as we learn from David in our Scripture today.

APPLICATION: It is often said that we could love, teach and advise our children while they are in our home, but, especially in their independence, they take on their own character. I believe that any parent will agree with me that our kids sometimes do things differently than we would wish for them, but often they are very successful in life, in spite of our differences. I believe that David recognized that his son, Absalom, had become a good king. However, it was extremely challenging for David to understand why Absalom was so determined to kill him. So to protect his own citizens, David found himself in a position where he had to defend against the angry king Absalom. But notice how the heart of David comes through. He sent his army out to fight Absalom, but with caution to his generals to be ever so cautious. Now remember, Absalom tried to kill David, his father, and of course, he was willing to kill any military personnel that tried to interfere with his plot. So this army was asked to go out and fight Absalom and his army, so that the Israelites might be protected, but they were being cautioned to go easy on their leader. Those two things are in total opposition, aren’t they? But friends, I believe there are two messages in this Scripture for us: 1). For all the families who are out there fighting within, please notice that God has built into us a very strong and intimate knit to our family members. David, a man after God’s own heart, never lost sight of the love for his son, no matter what actions he undertook – even to the point of trying to kill him (David). I believe that God wants us to note that the world will make every effort to destroy that which He has erected as evidence of His kinship with us. There is nothing Satan likes better, than to see family members tear each other apart – for it helps Satan feel a sense of accomplishment. For family members who do this and claim Jesus as their Savior, I believe that family division and infighting, not only tears apart the family structure God designed, but when Christianity is brought into the picture and infighting continues, it also affects the church. As members of His bride (the Church), we are His representatives to a lost and dying world. Will others truly see Jesus when they see Satan working so wickedly in our holy lives? Also, 2) The persona of Jesus Christ is seen in David. For Jesus willingly went to the cross for the sake of all who would, at some point in their lives, accept Him as Lord. This means that at the time of His crucifixion, there were many who hated Him, many who disregarded Him as their King, many who raised a hand to help in His crucifixion. Yet He went to the cross as sheep to the slaughter. My friend, David showed love that often we will only read about, for we could easily conclude that we could never love like that. But Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, even while we had no regard for Him. Please note that David showed from a human perspective that we can love, in spite of the objective of others to hurt us. Jesus showed love because He wanted us to have God’s perfect gift of love, so that we could see the likes of Heaven. Please look deep inside and, if you have never surrendered your heart to the love of the Lord Jesus, make time to do that today – please? I believe that it is with that perfect gift of love, that we will have the love necessary to love others – especially those that may tend to persecute us. I am convinced from the Word of God, that when we invite the perfect love of God into our hearts, His love overflows from us and impacts all those that we come into contact with. We may feel unequipped to love those who persecute and despise us, but God’s perfect love working through us will love the best Christian and the most hateful sinner.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are love and You proved it by loving even me. Thank You for the sacrifice You made at Calvary just for me. Please oh God, may Your love shine so brightly through me that others may feel a certain warmth in every encounter with me. Oh that they may see Jesus, is my humble plea today! Please speak to the hearts of those readers who are struggling to imitate David, and the ultimate love shown by You. May they seek to know You more, and to let go of self, so that You may assume full reign over their life today. 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!

When God ‘Tunes In’ To You

Saturday, 2019-11-02

Bible Reference: John 9:1-3
Translation: New Life Version (NLV)

Bible Text:  As Jesus went on His way, He saw a man who had been born blind. 2 His followers asked Him, “Teacher, whose sin made this man to be born blind? Was it the sin of this man or the sin of his parents?” 3 Jesus answered, “The sin of this man or the sin of his parents did not make him to be born blind. He was born blind so the work of God would be seen in him.

OBSERVATION: There are many times that I feel like the song ‘Nobody‘ was written just for me. But imagine if you or I were waiting along an obscure parade route where dignitaries were about to pass, and upon drawing closer to where we were tucked away, the parade stopped and the top dignitary pointed to us and ordered an audience with us. In spite of feeling like our end had come, the dignitary probably had just the opposite in mind. Let’s look into what Jesus had in mind with the blind man in today’s Scripture.

APPLICATION:  There were two things that God really drew to my attention in these verses today, and I want to share them with you so that you might also be encouraged by the Word of God. First of all, I can only believe that there were lots of people watching along the parade route as Jesus and His disciples passed by. Imagine how word had gotten around that this miracle-working man, or prophet, was going to be within sight distance of the people. You will remember that one lady at one time felt like if she could only touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she would receive enough power to totally heal her of her decease, so don’t you know that everyone tried to make their way near to the route that they heard Jesus would travel? But more than all this, Jesus actually ‘tuned in‘ on one particular man who had been blind since birth. So why do I feel like Jesus was ‘tuned in‘ to this man? Let me give you a personal explanation. While at our last church service I saw hundreds of people, but there were some that I can tell you particular details about, because I ‘tuned in’ to them for one reason or another. I believe that it was obvious to the disciples that Jesus had ‘tuned in‘ to the blind man, because they started to ask Him questions without having to first explain who they were talking about. So why is this important? Friends, I don’t know about you, but I often question “Who am I Lord, that a King should bleed and die for“! Imagine the crowd, who was this blind man that it warranted the close attention of the Savior of the world that day? Now what really brought this home for me, is when I tie that thought together with the second phrase that spoke to me. Friends, we must realize that God not only sees us as His special jewel, but imagine that we are so special, in spite of what we may look at as natural imperfections, that Jesus would use us in accomplishing His will. I believe that this blind man was very special to Jesus, because Jesus declared that even through this man’s infirmity, the mighty works of God would be accomplished. In other words, others will see God and recognize His power and His might as He declares His handiwork through this (insignificant) blind man! Wow! What do you think, can God also accomplish His work through you or I? You bet! He designed us just the way we are, for a purpose. Are you ready to surrender your life to Him to be used for His glory in whichever way He sees fit today? This is what He is looking for friends! Let’s just be obedient to His call, and watch Him perform mighty works even through us, if He chooses to, so that He might be glorified!

PRAYER: Father, Just as You chose to use a blind man to display Your mighty works, I believe that You also have a plan for each one reading this devotional today. We are a masterpiece made by You, yet so often we allow Satan to defeat us by showing us everything that wicked men might look on as proof of success, or love, or worth. Please forgive us Lord for allowing our worldly eyes to take over and cause us to lose sight of the wonderful worth of being a child of the King of all kings. Lord, may Your perfect will be accomplished in and through the lives of my readers and myself this blessed day. Please rule in us, so that You may display Your mighty works through us, all for Your glory, Your honor and Your praise. To be considered as Your son is an honor worthy of my unending praise. Please use my readers and I for Your glory today, is my humble prayer that I ask in thanksgiving and through the precious and worthy name of Jesus, my 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 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!

Work At It Follower of Christ

Saturday, 2019-10-05

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

OBSERVATION: For someone that seems very comfortable, patient and just a natural when doing certain things, we may say that they are a perfect fit. However, God acknowledged in our Scripture verse today that we need to work at living in peace with those around us, and in living a holy life. Lots to meditate on in this very short verse today, so ask God to open your mind and melt your heart to the truth of His Word.

APPLICATION: I saw a greeting card yesterday that read “Short on words, but loooong on best wishes!” I found this verse to be short on words, but packed with a powerful message for us today. God’s inspired Word is warning us that living at peace with everyone and living a holy life before our Lord, does not come easy or perhaps natural to us, but are two things necessary for the follower of Christ. Our natural tendency is to sin, therefore it is challenging for anyone to get along with us, or for us to accept everyone the way they are, to love them and live at peace with them. However in this chapter of Hebrews we are being taught to listen to God. We have been shown in this New Testament book that our ancestors accomplished a lot in faith, believing in, and depending on, the power of God. We are therefore challenged to call on, listen to, and depend on God to help us accomplish everything that He has commanded of us. In this particular command, I would dare say that God has proven Himself powerful, and able, over and over. He proved His love for us in ways that we would never have to, for He sacrificed His life for us, while the world hated Him, mocked Him, spat on Him and crucified Him. So I believe you will agree that He definitely knows all about how challenging it will be for us to ‘love’ someone who despises us, or may even hate us. So friends, when we are commanded to ‘Work at It’, be comforted in knowing that we don’t have to do this alone. For Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us – that means that He is always there for us. Therefore part of our working on these commands, must include humbling ourselves before the Master and seeking His help. Furthermore, I am convinced that my loving Jesus would never command something of us that would be impossible for He and us to achieve. We gladly work at being our best in our jobs, in our families, in our marriages and in our relationships. As an obedient servant, we must also ‘Work at’ being holy in our lifestyle so that the world will know to whom we belong. Also, we must determine in our own hearts to live at peace with each other as children of the ‘Prince of Peace’. We must ‘Work at It’ with all of our being and with the help of the King, Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our time here on earth is short, and we can therefore not afford to procrastinate on ‘Working At’ being all that You demand of us in Your Word. Holiness begets holiness, so if we are truly a son of the Holy God, then we are to represent that holiness in our everyday life. For one to meet a son, there should be good enough representation that they would tell the world that they have truly know the Father. Lord, may it be so in my life today, and may You fill the hearts and lives of all my readers that are willing to live obedient lives in conformity with Your will. Shine through us today Lord Jesus, so that our friends might see Jesus. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of 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 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!

Rejection By God? Really?

Saturday, 2019-09-28

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 14:10
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  My people, you love to wander away; you don’t even try to stay close to me. So now I will reject you and punish you for your sins. I, the Lord, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: I believe that we hear so much about how much God loves us, that it might be challenging for us to imagine that He will tire of our attitude and our rejection of Him. Perhaps this verse is an eye-opener for those who may feel like they could do anything they want, because God will still love them. As we meditate on this one verse today, I pray that our eyes might be opened to God’s true identity and character!

APPLICATION:  Unless we know the full extent of our God, we may otherwise assume that He is much like a puppet that our kids play with – He is placed in the corner until we call for Him. It’s interesting that God pointed me to this verse today, because in another Scripture reading today, in 1 Samuel 4-6, the Philistines found out that God was quite capable of showing His power all on His own, and without their commands or intervention! It is so easy to see how God became angry with the Philistines for their disrespect of the Ark of the Covenant, and with the Israelites for their disobedience, and the sons of Eli assuming roles that represented God, but yet they operated in total darkness. However, I believe that God wanted to remind us today that He is still God and that He has, or will tire of our sin and total disregard of Him – the One who sacrificed it all, His only Son, on the cross at Calvary, so that we may live in full hope of eternity with Him. He did not want us to use the excuses of those gone on before us and live in fear of the many laws of Moses, or for that to be a roadblock for us to enter heaven’s gates. The awful thing that I believe that God sees today though, is probably worse than what He saw in His people back in the days of Jeremiah, or Moses, or Eli. For in spite of the extra effort, and tremendous outpouring of His love, yet what God sees today must truly break His heart …….. perhaps even to the point of lifting His hand off us and rejecting our plea before Him. So often we should be praising God in thanksgiving for His divine intervention in our decision making, yet so often we permit the selfish ways of man to influence us, and we step out on that merit instead of faith in God, the creator of this universe. Why has God not given up on us a long time ago? Friends, I don’t believe that I need to spell out the evil that is prevalent in our world today, for we have it happening in our own backyards, and we hear about it every time we watch the evening news. We have many churches that are closing down because of poor attendance. I believe that we have more folk who’s only Christian activity, might be attending a church service over the weekend, if they could fit it into their busy schedules. Imagine if you only ate physical food once per week? Imagine if the only communication you had with your spouse or parents was once per week? There wouldn’t be much of an influence in your life from either of these sources, nor would you have reason to brag on either of these, because they would play such a minimal role in the remaining days and hours of the week. Yet I’m afraid that we have ‘Christians’ who do exactly this, and expecting their lives to be changed by God. Friends, be realistic – one hour per week with God and 167 hours in the heat of evil and the works of Satan. Which do you think will influence our lives more? Who then are we pleasing? Who then are we more apt to reflect in our attitudes and actions? It is extremely frightening to think about rejection by God or the possible fatal judgment of God, because He saw how we totally rejected and ignored Him – His love, His direction, and His awesome gift given for us. On the other hand, we have lots of verses that tell us things like: Draw near to God and He will draw near to us; If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and….. Friends, know that God loves you very much today. Please don’t reject Him. Please don’t take your relationship with Him lightly. We want to see His eternal blessing on us, and not His rejection and punishment.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You loved me so much that You gave Your very own Son so that I may have eternal life in Your presence. Please forgive me for the times that I take Your love for granted. Please speak to the hearts of my readers so that they too might examine their lives to ensure that they are in close communion with You, and not letting the vile of this old world take prominence in their lives. Please help us all that we may spend the necessary time with You for a happy and healthy relationship with You. Lord, we want to live more like You every day, and we realize that this only comes from spending more time with You than we do with this old world and its master, Satan. I pray that today it may be evident to those that we come into contact with that we have been with the Lord, and their lives might be impacted in such a way that they would either draw closer to You in relationship, or come to accept You as Lord of their life. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and lead us towards You, for this is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, 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!

THE Most Important Commandment

Wednesday, 2019-09-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 22:36-40
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

APPLICATION:  Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two very carefully:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. To consider this being a priority, means that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very innermost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more and more, or ways to love Him better and better, than anything else.
2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is prideful, and could easily lead to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.
Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought ‘yes’, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish that day! Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and that You display ‘Love’ in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with 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 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!

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