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

Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

No Not One

Wednesday, 2019-02-13

Bible Reference: Psalm 14:2-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  The Lord looks down in love, bending over heaven’s balcony, looking over all of Adam’s sons and daughters. He’s looking to see if there is anyone who acts wisely, any who are searching for God and wanting to please him. But no, everyone has wandered astray, walking stubbornly toward evil. Not one is good; he can’t even find one.

OBSERVATION: Created by a holy God, who demonstrated His love for us, even while we were steeped in sin and disregard of our Master; yet in spite of all that, can you imagine all that God sees when He looks down on His children – is it the unselfish desire to serve, the sacrificial love shown towards others, and persistent love and appreciation shown towards the Creator of this universe? Or is that really the ‘norm’ and the common theme that God sees? With sober and honest hearts, let us meditate on this Scripture today.

APPLICATION:  We hear it all the time, that our children looks like us, or they speak like us, or they act like us! That’s quite amazing at times, but very humbling and possibly even embarrassing at times, because then we realize that we have not been successful in hiding our attitude, or our closed minds to certain things, or the words that we spoke in private were indeed overheard by others! But let’s stop to ponder over what we are challenged with in our Scripture today. Imagine God, who created the universe, created you and I and placed us in His lush garden to enjoy all that He handcrafted just for us, yet we complain daily about our lack of food or provision. Imagine God, who gave us minds to think independently and make personal choices, yet to look on His children choosing to ignore Him and follow the ways of the evil one. Imagine God, who taught us to love one another, demonstrated His love in multiple ways, yet we show hatred towards one another and devise plots against each other – a total opposite to what we were taught. Imagine God, who gave us everything on earth for our food, our enjoyment and for our edification, yet He sees us storing up gifts that He blessed us with, and feeling content to see others go hungry, not ministered to, unloved, and feeling totally destitute. Friends, is there any wonder that verse 3 tells us that God looks down on us and sees that everyone has gone astray, everyone’s walking towards evil, no one is good, no one is holy, NO NOT ONE. Oh how this must break the heart of our God, our maker and our soon coming King. What’s your excuse today dear friend? Is it a priority in your life to obey God in ALL things? Is it a priority to love God and love others, because of the ways that He first demonstrated His love for you? This whole Christian life is unimportant to you if you have not made it a priority to seek God and His righteousness and follow Him in ALL your ways! That’s something only you and God can settle. I pray that Jesus will not return and find no one ready, for my desire is to know Him personally and live my life in line with His will, and obedient to His commands, so help me God. Would you join me in that commitment my friend?

PRAYER: I love that old hymn ‘Just A Closer Walk with Thee’, for that declares the words of my heart dear Lord. I am reminded in the Scripture today that I fail a lot more often in obediently following You, than I do at anything else that I attempt to do. Oh Lord, please forgive me for my weakness in my faith, and my disobedience to Your will and way. As my readers and I evaluate our position with You today, please open our eyes of honesty wide, so that we will not just say with our lips, but demonstrate throughout every aspect of our lives, that we are children of the King – as evidenced in the things we say, our actions, and our love and respect demonstrated in our very aspect of our existence here on earth. May You be glorified today in us, and because of us, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 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!

For The Mighty Works You Have Done Oh God

Monday, 2019-02-04

Bible Reference: Psalm 77:11-12
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.  They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

OBSERVATION: In recognizing the many works of our awesome God, we become more apt to trust in Him for the many needs that we have daily. As David shares with us about His intimate relationship with His loving Father, may we also learn to give thanks in all things before asking for more. What a mighty God we serve!

APPLICATION:  In the verses leading up to verse 11, we read about all the questions David had for God. You know, much like the questions we have when we think that God has a much different agenda, or interest, in doing something totally different to what we are telling Him to do?  Oh you say that you would never do that? Friends I want to challenge you to think about how often we unconsciously do this every day. We ask God to ratify a decision we have already made for ourselves, and when God responds differently to what we expect, or demand, we immediately think that God’s not there, nor does He care about us. Let’s not forget that for every time that we ask a question of God, He has the power to respond with the right yes or no answer! Let me explain, way too often we go before God with a question, and because we have our minds made up with the response we want, we tend to think that God didn’t hear us; or He did not to respond to our demands; or He’s not there. Over time, I believe that we will realize that the greatest love that can be shown to us is for God to say ‘no’ when He knows full well that it is in our best decision to respond accordingly. I believe there are also times that we just can’t muster up the faith to ask God for help with our situations. David showed us that these are the times that we should stop and reflect on the mercies of God and the proven power of God in our lives, so that we might gain strength in our weakness, and faith in our time of doubt and unbelief. Friends, we serve a GREAT BIG God, and until we stop to reflect on His awesomeness and our ‘littleness’ then we might be missing a lot of blessings. Please take time to reflect and praise God for His awesome power, then proceed in the confidence that wells up in you to place your needs (small and great) before the God of this universe! We always need direction from God, for our wishes are often tainted by the things of this world, and only God truly knows what’s truly best for us. Friends, He’s my God, and I know that I can trust Him! I would challenge you to draw close to God so that He can show His power, grace and mercy as you draw close to Him and allow Him to be God in your life!

PRAYER: Thank You Father for being my Creator, my Redeemer, my Savior and my King! I know that there is nothing unreasonable or impossible for You. Thank You for hearing my heart’s cry when I call out to You. Please touch the heart of each person reading this devotional and cause each of us to draw closer to You in every aspect of our lives, so that our faith may increase. May our relationship with You become strong enough that we will trust You with every aspect of our lives, and not just the portion that we feel inadequate in handling.  Thank You Father for handling life today – our lives with all of the complexities that we have added to them. In the name of Jesus, I ask these things oh Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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 Source

Saturday, 2019-02-02

Bible Reference: Genesis 22:13-14
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text:  13 Abraham looked around and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He went and got it and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 Abraham named that place “The Lord Provides.” And even today people say, “On the Lord’s mountain he provides.”

OBSERVATION: In obedience to God, Abraham followed though in going up the mountain to sacrifice his very own son, even though it may have sounded like the most horrible command ever given to man. However, Abraham demonstrated to the rest of mankind that in our obedience and total surrender to the commands of God, He will provide, for He alone is at the root of (or source of) all things created.

APPLICATION: Some phrases we hear all the time are things like: If I had more money, then I could….; If I had a wife, then I could….; If I had a good job, then I could….; If I had a good church, then I would…. Isn’t it interesting that in our minds we believe that if we had one more thing, then we could be a more successful person? What about: If I had a personal relationship with God, and faith enough to trust in Him fully, then there is nothing too big for me? Did you realize that Christians and non-christians alike know that all power rests in God Almighty? Think about it. What is the first thing to pop out of a person’s mouth, regardless of their religious persuasion? “Oh Lord help me!” For you see, they are fully aware of the source of all life; the source of all power; the source of miracles; the means to life (eternity), after death here on this earth. And they will therefore call on God when facing a need in any of these areas. Friends, as we reflect on the reaction by Abraham in our focal verses today, where God tested his obedience even to the extent of sacrificing his precious son, we could see where Abraham knew full well the source of his power, his direction, his strength and his understanding. Therefore, when Abraham saw God intervene and extend his hand of mercy on his situation, he quickly rose up and turned to an immediate attitude of prayer and praise. There are numerous other ways that God provides for us each and every day, for He is the Source of all good things from above! Do you recognize those gifts and are obedient to His commands? Is your heart filled with praise when you stop to worship and adore Him? Do others tire of hearing you brag on the mercies of your loving Savior? Do you have a place marked, where you return to in thanksgiving, because you remember what God did for you in, or near that place? Are your corporate worship services filled with sincere praise and thanksgiving because of all that God has done in the lives of His people?

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all…. All that You have blessed me with, all that You have showered upon me, and protected me from, each and every day. Who am I that a King should live and die for? Lord, You created mankind, yet my readers and I kneel before You in great humility, acknowledging that You are the Source of all life and everything that we need to survive each and every day. Please oh Lord, continue to bless, continue to heal, and continue to miraculously work out Your will in our lives, so that we may imitate Your holiness and character in every way. We need You oh Lord, and we fully depend on You every day, knowing that only You can provide in ways like you did for Abraham. Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and obey Your commands, knowing that You will make all things clear to us – in Your time. 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!

An Obedient Heart

Friday, 2019-02-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 119:33-34
Translation: The Voice (Voice)

Bible Text:  33 Eternal One, show me how to live according to Your statutes, and I will keep them always. 34 Grant me understanding so that I can keep Your law and keep it wholeheartedly.

OBSERVATION: We know from the life of David that there were many ups and downs, or highs and lows in his life, and perhaps that’s why many of us can identify with David so much. However, David became pretty special to God though, and we can see from our verses today that David’s heart was one of humbleness before God. He had a desire to learn more of God Word, and His perfect will for his life, feeling like if he could only understand it, he would put his whole heart into being obedient to it. 

APPLICATION:  Ever had a time in your life where you were about to get upset with a child because they were about to do something that you had corrected them on many times before? Then you realized that they were doing their very best to do what they probably understood from you, but just not as perfectly as you were hoping for? Isn’t that the way it is with God’s Word sometimes? You want to do things according to your understanding of God’s teachings, yet you become confused by all that is being taught from various pulpits, classrooms or media platforms. Friends, I believe that we need to pay close attention to the method used by David. Notice how he went to the Source to ask for wisdom and understanding? Notice how he had determined in his own mind that with this understanding and additional wisdom, came a determined heart to be obedient to whatever God revealed to him? I believe that often we become so hung up on wanting to hear an explanation of the Bible that fits our own personal desires and wishes that we tune out, or skip over those things that God might truly be trying to teach us. I believe that when we seek God’s face, like David did, we could be led in opposite directions to what we had determined in our minds, because God’s ways are so different to our ways. The bottom line for us though, is that only what’s done for Jesus will last. Only when we do what’s pleasing to Him and in full obedience to Him, will we truly align our lives with His will for us. So shall we seek to follow David’s example and seek God’s face, asking for Him to clarify exactly what it is that we need to do, so that we may be a pleasing fragrance in His nostrils? It’s not about what self wants or desires. It’s all about pleasing God in all that we do, friends, so that His perfect will might be accomplished through even us – His humble servants.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, You have demonstrated Your love for us by sending Your only Son as a sacrifice for our sin. Yet we love grudgingly and with many strings attached. You gave us Your Word – Your book of instructions for life, so that we might know the way to eternal life, and that we might know what pleases the Father. Yet we often choose to do our own thing, in hopes of selfish returns and personal achievements. Your servant David demonstrated through this Psalm today, that it’s not until we stop and surrender wholeheartedly to You, and Your perfect will for our lives, that we truly become a pleasing aroma to You and usable instruments by You, to reach unsaved loved ones. Lord, may this be a day that You will be busy at work in our understanding of Your statutes and commands, whether we are sitting to ‘soak in’ the words from Your Holy Bible, or whether driving along being blessed by all that You have made, or whether through the spoken word of another believer. Lord, may Your will become perfectly clear to us today, is my honest plea and heart’s desire, with total thanksgiving for all that You will do 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!

In Habitual Fellowship With God

Tuesday, 2019-01-08

Bible Reference: Genesis 6:9-13
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text:  9 …. Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God. 10 Now Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The [population of the] earth was corrupt [absolutely depraved—spiritually and morally putrid] in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence [desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power]. 12 God looked on the earth and saw how debased and degenerate it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way on the earth and lost their true direction. 13 God said to Noah, “I intend to make an end of all that lives, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I am about to [d]destroy them together with the land. 

OBSERVATION: I believe that the earth has once again become, as described in verse 11. However, I want us to ponder today ‘who will be the ‘Noah’ of our day?’. Could be it be you? Could it be me? Only God knows. But we also might know whether we are truly righteous in all of our ways. We may camouflage the truth to our friends around us, but remember – God knows every little detail about our actions, and even our thoughts. Think about it friends…

APPLICATION: Imagine with me that you are constructing a project, and you leave at the end of the day feeling very proud of your accomplishments that day. But while your mind is at rest at home that evening, you remember that there was a key ingredient that you accidentally left out of your day’s work on that project, and it would lead to total disaster in a few weeks if you go on with the project instead of fixing the issue. Next morning you arrive at the project location and ask for help in destroying everything you did the previous day, so that you could start afresh and do everything according to its perfect design. In the time of Noah, God looked at everything He had created, and was extremely disappointed at the totally opposite direction that everything was going, compared to His original intent, so He decided to start back over with just one righteous man and his family. I can only believe that today the world must be in much worse shape than it has ever been before. Why, think about the little value placed on human life itself. From killing the innocent unborn, to being snatched by a Human Trafficker, or targeted by a murderer, or a pimp, or an organ reaper. The world is being destroyed in every way possible by mankind, for just as God declared in verse 12, it has become corrupted and debased in every way. Friends, we know what God did when He saw the world in such a mess in the days of Noah. I am confident that He is still God, and that He could very easily do the same thing to our world today, although I’m sure that He would never break His promise to never destroy all of creation again. But we have a responsibility, to make sure that our lives are aligned with what God demands of us in His Word, and to seek in every way to be in a condition like He found Noah to be – righteous. Prayer changes things, and we could certainly do that, but the Bible is clear that we must be ready to meet our God, no matter what circumstances are going on around us. May I encourage you today to first of all, know Jesus in an intimate and personal way; and secondly, aim for righteousness – being right with God. This would be living in a habitual relationship with God! To do this, you must seek to live according to His instructions; follow His example; and seek His will daily so that you may stay in line with His will. You may not be able to change the world, but you can become associated with the only One who can. Seek after His righteousness, friend, and all this will be given to you!

PRAYER: Lord, You created the world, and You saw fit to destroy the world with a flood. However, You have promised to never destroy the world again. Nonetheless, please help us to never lose our sense of alertness and readiness, because You have also promised in Your Word that You will return to take Your saints home to glory with You. Yes, our world today is probably worse than You’ve ever seen it before, but precious Lord, how we long for the day that You will take us ‘home’ with You! You’ve shown us in Your Word how we might become, and remain, ‘right with You’. Thank You for the assurance of our salvation Lord! May I please ask that You speak gently to the hearts of all those who will read this devotional, as You draw them unto Yourself, and open their eyes to the urgency of the hour that is quickly approaching for Your return. I want to see You Lord, and I truly want to ask the favor of You miraculously touching many who will be impacted by Your Word, and even by this humble blog. To God be the glory for all things that You will accomplish in Your time! 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!

What God Requires of Us

Friday, 2019-01-04

Bible Reference: Micah 6:6-8
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text:  What shall I bring to the Lord, the God of heaven, when I come to worship him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to him? Will the Lord be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my first-born child to pay for my sins? No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.

OBSERVATION: A new year, a new beginning! Famous words that we hear around the beginning of each new year, but what does that actually mean? For some, it refers to diet. For others it may pertain to correcting the wrong attitudes of the past year; or putting aside hatred and striving to love one another; or a number of other things that we would like to start afresh on. What about the child of God? What might we want to do differently, or better? Let’s look to the Bible for our guide on this…

APPLICATION: When we set the rules on something, we can usually win, because we make the expectations within eyeshod of what we might attain. I don’t believe there is a human alive that sets goals to make sure they will lose the fight to attain them. However, when God has expectations for us, people of faith, should exercise that faith as they put forth every effort, with the help of the Master, to please God. Friends, let’s be reminded right up front that there ain’t nothing that you and God can’t do! Remember that He is the One who created this world very carefully so that you and I would survive on all that He provided. He created humans so that we may reproduce and be very much like Himself. He smashed the head of Satan and put him in his place. So since our God has proven Himself in so many ways, why is it again that you feel defeated; or so challenged to love others; or so unwanted that you feel like there is no relationship between you and God? Why have you not called on the name of the Lord in praise and thanksgiving when you have seen His hand at work in your life? Why have you not anchored yourself at the feet of Jesus, begged Him for forgiveness of your sin, and acknowledged in humility that you are nothing without Him? Won’t you try calling on the Lord Jesus to fill you with His awesome forgiveness, power, direction and unending love that leads to life eternally with Him in glory? Our Scripture reminds us of what God expects of us: (1) Do what is just – treat your neighbor as yourself, without prejudice or covetousness. In other words, treat others the way that you have seen God treat you, and others you know; (2) Show continuous love to others. Love as God has loved you. He gave His life for you, so what are you prepared to give for others in need around you? and (3) Live in humble and obedient fellowship with God. Humility means that you don’t have all the answers, and you are dependent on God. It means that you put aside any assumptions of what you feel others need, or the world deserves, and totally surrender to God for all that He commands. He’s in charge my friend! We’re just His humble servants carrying out His orders. Now that He has shown us what He requires of us, how will this change your direction, or goals for 2019? Try talking to Him about what He would have you do, will you?

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, please forgive us for the plans we make, knowing full well that we have no idea about tomorrow, yet without consulting You – the One who has tomorrow in the palm of Your hand. You have reminded us in Your Word again today what You require of us Lord. May we be faithful in assuming our roles as obedient servants, ready to act on Your orders, and may we seek to be more like You in everything we do, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer, 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!

Ultimate Obedience

Friday, 2018-12-21

Bible Reference: Matthew 1:20-25
Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: 20 Now when Joseph had decided to act on his instincts, a messenger of the Lord came to him in a dream. Messenger of the Lord said: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to wed Mary and bring her into your home and family as your wife. She did not sneak off and sleep with someone else—rather, she conceived the baby she now carries through the miraculous wonder-working of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will have a son, and you will name Him Jesus, which means “the Lord saves,” because this Jesus is the person who will save all of His people from sin.
24 Joseph woke up from his dream and did exactly what the messenger had told him to do: he married Mary and brought her into his home as his wife 25 (though he did not consummate their marriage until after her son was born). And when the baby was born, Joseph named Him Jesus, Savior.

OBSERVATION: All the characters in the Christmas story are just outstanding, but let’s focus on Joseph today. Like any of us, Joseph was able to think of many reasons why he should not follow through with his betrothal to Mary, but in an awesome act of faith, Joseph followed through in obedience to the message from God through the angel. Let us place ourselves in Joseph’s shoes and ponder what we might do in a similar circumstance, considering our current level of faith!

APPLICATION:  Kids learn at a very early age that if you really want to get to another kid, just mention something bad about their mom. As adults we become very tender anytime we hear something derogatory about almost any close relative, whether spouse; child; sibling or parents. So as I meditated on this very common passage of scripture that we hear almost every Christmas, I tried to imagine what Joseph must have been thinking when, in spite of him having no sexual relations with Mary, yet he found that the woman he was about to marry was already pregnant. I’m sure his mind must have travelled along the road of infidelity on Mary’s part, and the mockery that he would receive from family and friends. Like us, Joseph had already made plans in his mind how he was going to handle the break-off of the engagement so that there would not be a negative impact on Mary. However, I believe that as Joseph pondered these things in his heart, he must have really been hoping that there would be some miraculous explanation about this whole earth-shattering event in his life, for I believe that love is just that way, it hears bad things, but expects clarification to help an individual make good on his/her commitment to one another. But here comes the kicker, hope came in a very unexpected, and yes, miraculous way, for an angel appeared to Joseph as he slept and dreamed. However the message was very clear. In fact, so much so, that there is no doubt expressed in the Word of God! Joseph simply followed the instructions given to him by the angel. He married his awesome bride, and from every indication, he took care of her as if the baby was his very own flesh and blood. This is an awesome story of obedience to the Holy Spirit, friends. Yes, we can surmise what may have happened if Joseph decided to ignore God, but I sincerely believe that God works very much the same today. When he speaks to us, there is often doubting on our part, or trying to conjure up a plan to escape His plan, but since we are His servants, who should be constantly asking for His guidance and understanding of His will for our lives, we should carefully listen. Therefore, when it becomes evident to us, we simply obey and thank God for it. The obedience of Mary and Joseph led to the fulfilment of prophecy, and to being used by God to birth into this world the Savior, who would ultimately prove to be the very Son of God and redeemer of all who trust Him as their Lord and Savior. Friends, the obedience talked about here led to something BIG, I mean HUGE! Imagine what miracles can be wrought through you and me if only we will humble ourselves in obedience to the King of kings! We may look at the challenges of reaching our family and friends for the Lord as virtually impossible in our eyes, but compared to the miracle of a virgin girl becoming conceived without sexual relations by a man makes our challenges somewhat lame in comparison. Being led by God to witness to, and encourage, a lost friend may sound impossible to us because we are so convinced that we know the negativity of the person so well, but the same God who got through to Joseph, can also redirect our doubtful minds and lead us and the friend we are directed to, towards total obedience. Are you prepared to imitate the obedience and faith of Joseph this Christmas? God has a plan, and you and I could very well be in the very middle of it, if only we will surrender our will to the Master.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are truly in control of this whole universe, and especially in control of Your children seeking Your will for their very next move. As in the case of Joseph, I pray that we will look beyond the possibilities of our natural eyes, and instead rest our very selves at the control of our Savior during this time of the year when most folk stop to reflect on the newborn Christ-child as being the very meaning and reason for Christmas. Lord, may joy bells ring out loudly this Christmas as our family and friends find peace in the grace and power of the new-born King, Jesus, our Lord and the Savior of the world! 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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