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

Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

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!

How To Get From Here to There

Saturday, 2019-10-26

Bible Reference: John 6:43-44
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  43 But Jesus said, “Stop complaining to each other. 44 The Father is the one who sent me, and he is the one who brings people to me. I will raise them up on the last day. Anyone the Father does not bring to me cannot come to me.

OBSERVATION: For someone asking for directions to a friends house on the other side of town, you might tell them from personal experience, you might write down turn by turn directions, or you might give them the proper physical address so they could use their GPS. There may be some who, after being inspired by the Holy Spirit, may ask for directions on how to become a follower of Christ. Can you give them the same detailed instructions?

APPLICATION:  Many who were following Jesus and listening to His teaching just didn’t get it. In fact, in this very chapter we read about many turning away because they just wasn’t sure that Jesus was the ‘real thing’. Friends, are either of these first two statements any different than what we see today? I don’t think so. Just imagine, there are folk that attend our churches today that are there because mom or dad insisted that they attend; or perhaps a man is attending because his wife came from a church background and insisted that he come to church with her. But let me encourage you by saying much like Jesus described and announced to His followers in this scripture, there are many ‘true’ or ‘real’ Christians that we know and fellowship with, who have been touched by the mighty hand of God – the same God that sent Jesus – our Redeemer, Mediator and Savior. These folk have committed their lives to the lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ in total surrender. To better understand the imagery of what Jesus is teaching here, I want you to think for a moment of the number of folk that you walk up to, or work/play alongside each day. Are you committed to them? No, you happened to have entered into their space because of normal circumstances. Now, let’s imagine that you have been invited by the White House staff to appear before the president of the United States. Would there be a difference in how you prepare yourself with how you will appear in his space? I’m sure there will be! Now think for a moment that something has occurred in your life where you feel certain that the Holy Spirit of God is urging you to accept an invitation to attend church this weekend, or perhaps to accept that luncheon request from an old Christian friend who’s been inviting you for a while now. Let’s assume that at either of these meetings the truth of God’s Word is shared and an invitation given to you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Having been urged by the Holy Spirit, do you suppose that you would have a very strong desire to accept, based on how everything came together? Friend, may I suggest to you that you look beyond situations that many might call coincidences, or mere luck? May I suggest that you recognize the hand of God when He touches your life; penetrates your heart with His divine presence; and calls you to a decision to follow Him? To all who surrender; to all who believes on Him; to all who commits to His invitation and call; to them He offers life eternal, just like He said in verse 44 – “He will raise you up” to be with Him and the Father on Resurrection Day! I am anxiously looking forward to that day friend, I hope that you will be obedient to His call today and prepare yourself for the awesome meeting with Jesus. The promise of Heaven is reserved for those who know and have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. Others will be presented with quite the opposite experience – hell and damnation. The choice we make today, in response to the call of the Father, determines our final destination. Please don’t disappoint me, nor my heavenly Father.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your invitation to to one day join You in heaven. Who is man that You should care enough for us to make such a provision? Thank You for loving Your children enough to speak with us one-on-one and for providing us the sacrificial means for the forgiveness of our sin and our subsequent entry into heaven. Thank You for Jesus! I have friends and family who have rejected Your call on their life, or they are perhaps of the wrong impression that their sinful lives are ‘good enough’ to see them into heaven. Lord, have mercy on them. Please tender the hearts of the stubborn and unconcerned today. May they recognize Your voice and adhere to Your calling today, before it is eternally too late for them to do so. All these things I ask humbly, and in the powerful 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!

We Have Enough!

Tuesday, 2019-10-22

Bible Reference: Exodus 36:4-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

OBSERVATION: In your minds, I would like for you to imagine that you are looking at your neighbor in church when the pastor announces that he wants the congregation to STOP GIVING, because the building fund is fully funded and there is no need for additional funds! Can you imagine the shock? Yet in our time together today we will see where Moses did exactly that – he told the people that there was no need of additional gifts, for there was enough given already! Let’s dig in to learn more about this strange idea!!

APPLICATION:  I wonder why things may have changed? Whether we talk to an individual or a well established church, there always seems to be a cry for help in their financial needs. First of all in our Scripture today, it is clear that not all of the people freely gave to the cause. In 2:21 we are told that those whose hearts were stirred by the message from God through Moses, responded to the plea for help in providing material for the building project. This sounds pretty much like our churches today, don’t you think? As a result of surveys, we are told that less than 20% of the people do more than 80% of the giving! So why have the others ignored the plea? Friends, I believe that the Word of God is clear on this. Just as the Word tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, then God would save our nation, I believe that many of us need to humble ourselves to recognize that we have nothing personally to brag about. It is because of God’s grace that we have the health to work, the job to go to, and the income to survive. If we truly acknowledge that fact, why would we withhold giving to God in proportion to what He has blessed us with? The Word gives us guidance – at least 10%. Because there are other biblical references to ‘first fruits’, I believe that the guidance actually refers to 10% of your gross income. Now because our relationship is one built around love, I don’t believe that we would dare use this as a legalistic demand. People ‘in love’ will generally give freely, and way more than might be expected of them. In a love relationship, there is no such thing as excuses why we can’t give 110% of ourselves to our mate. Should there be an excuse, or a reason, when it comes to giving to our Lord and His earthly work? Don’t you know that if each person in our congregations gave like this, that our pastors would frequently be faced with an overflow of income, where pastors and church leaders could decide to expand the ministry after meeting all the needs that they are aware of? We are told that more than 70% of our county have no church affiliation, or relationship with Jesus Christ, so is there a need to to expand our ministries? God may hold us accountable for not giving as we should to reach the lost. Furthermore, I believe that the stress level on our pastors will be drastically reduced, when they don’t have to worry about funding the projects that God has shown them might be necessary to grow the ministry. When we receive our paycheck, there is no negotiating on amounts taken out for government taxes, why should there be constant decision making on how much to give towards God’s work? Determine in your own heart how much you will give and stick to the plan Brother and Sister. We are promised that we will receive more than we could ever imagine or expect. Furthermore, we will receive in proportion to what we have given. May I encourage you to always expect more from God, knowing that you have given in abundance towards His work? Furthermore, rejoice, knowing your loving and all powerful God will abundantly bless you and meet your needs!

PRAYER: Father, it is exciting to see how You work. We give to bless others, yet You wind up also blessing us in return! There just isn’t a way that we can out-give You! Thank You for being so generous, loving and kind to us! I would say that we are so undeserving, but then I am reminded that even while we were undeserving, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice for us, so that we might have a chance at eternal life in heaven with You. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus, Son of God! Lord may we learn to give in similar fashion – regardless of whether we feel the receiver or the project is worthy of our love, may we react in obedience to Your will for us. Please bless us as we give, so that our own needs may be met each and every day. May souls be touched for You because of our obedience in giving. I ask these things humbly, although undeserving, but in the powerful name of our all-giving Lord and Savior, 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!

Be Open To The Voice of God

Tuesday, 2019-10-08

Bible Reference: John 4:50-53
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 50 Jesus answered, “Go. Your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus told him and went home. 51 On the way home, the man’s servants came and met him. They said, “Your son is well.”
52 The man asked, “What time did my son begin to get well?”
They answered, “It was about one o’clock yesterday when the fever left him.”
53 The father knew that one o’clock was the same time that Jesus had said, “Your son will live.” So the man and everyone in his house believed in Jesus.

OBSERVATION: In his time of need, this official of the king knew of only one man that could make a difference in the life of his son, and it wasn’t the king’s best medical officer, nor the best magician of the king. However, the man had heard of Jesus, so he set out to find Him. Fortunately in our time of need, we do seek after Jesus. Sometimes this encounter makes an awesome change in our life, and even in the lives of those that we influence. As we meditate on the Word of God, let us seek to apply it to our lives. It may very well influence others.

APPLICATION: There are times of desperation and urgent need, when we reach out to whatever form of help that we could think of, to help find relief or healing. I have a relative whose wife was struggling for her life. Several suggestions were made about getting this dear lady to a certain hospital, where they may be able to help her. Without insurance, the hospital required $100,000 in cash before they would accept this patient. To this young man, this sounded like $1,000,000, because he didn’t have anything close to that, nor did he have a clue where he might get it in time to save his dearly beloved wife. However he still tried to find the money through various phone calls. This official in our story was in a similar position to that of my relative. He was helpless, and didn’t know where to turn to next for the required help. Having heard of Jesus, the official sought after him, and traveled almost 17 miles to a town where he heard Jesus may be headed to. Based on the response from Jesus, I believe that this man, or his king, may have been among those who at one time sought after Jesus for proof of who He was, or in the works He was capable of. However Jesus knew this man’s heart, much like He knows intimately about ours. For the official, his faith was tested like never before, for Jesus didn’t drop everything and follow the man home to his son, but he merely sent him home, telling him that his son will live. Wow, what would you have done with that? Can you imagine the pooched out lips and the sunken feeling in knowing that Jesus would not even consider coming with you to lay hands on your dying relative? But I believe that Jesus knew everything about this situation and so he arranged for this man’s servants to meet him on the way and cheer him up with the news that the healing hand of Jesus came over his son, just like he had asked! Think with me today beyond the joy, and the celebration over this awesome news, and feel with me what this man must have felt. For all these years he had probably mocked Jesus, and may have even worked together with his king on how they might capture Jesus, but to imagine that Jesus would look beyond the sin, and the past history of this man, and to penetrate his heart with insight for the love of the Savior who would meet him in his time of need – a man who was probably not recognized by the religious community, other than one who was out to destroy them, yet Jesus knew his most intimate need. Oh my loving Savior, what awesome love and grace You have for all those who call on You for help! Through healing this man’s son, he came to know Jesus personally – both he and his household. What about you my friend, are you listening, watching and reaching out to Jesus today for a need that may be totally unrelated to your personal afflictions? Something inside causes you to look towards Jesus in your time of need. Allow me to suggest that God sends His Spirit to work in you and draw you unto the Master. In and of our own sinful selves, you may never think of looking to God. So when you find yourself reaching out to God, please know that it is only because of the Spirit of God dealing in your life and drawing you to Himself. Thank God for loving even you and wanting a relationship with you! Please answer that call while Jesus is working in you. I can assure you that you will never regret your positive response to His call. Try Him and prove me right, won’t you?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for looking beyond my sin, seeing my need, and drawing me unto Yourself. I am very concerned about relatives and friends who have heard Your call, and continue to ignore You or refuse to answer Your call. In our story today we are told that this man and his whole household were saved because of his obedience in accepting Your call on his life. I wonder who in our families are being hindered by our disobedience and disregard of the call on our lives? Please help us Lord to be obedient to Your voice and Your call on our lives. Help us to never be a stumbling block to a child, a loved one or a friend who might be looking up to us and waiting for us to make our move. Please don’t become impatient with us Lord, but continue to soften hearts so that we may surrender to You before it’s a day too late. 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!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong 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!

Standing in the Way of Blessing?

Monday, 2019-08-12

Bible Reference: Joshua 7:10-12
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 10 Get up. What are you doing in the dirt? 11 There’s a simple explanation: Israel has sinned. They have lied and have violated the covenant I gave them by stealing some of the property that should have been destroyed along with the rest of Jericho and by hiding it among their own belongings.
12 That is why the Israelites can no longer resist their enemies. They run from their foes because they are under a curse and doomed to destruction. I will not be with you or fight for you unless these things devoted to destruction are truly destroyed.

OBSERVATION: The Israelites had the task of taking over town after town, that existed on all the land given to them by God, and they had been very successful with Jericho. However, in their attempt with Ai, they encountered some loss of life. For God was not willing to go on blessing them while there was sin in their camp. Because of one man’s sin, others loss their lives, while thousands upon thousands suffered because of the withdrawal of God’s hand of blessing. I wonder, has God’s hand of blessing upon our families, our churches, our cities and our country been impacted because of the sin or one reading this devotional today?

APPLICATION: There seems to be increased tolerance by people and churches to accept almost any condition of society, so that we can fit into their view of what Christ’s church should look like. Fortunately for some countries, including my country, churches are not yet being forced by government to accept certain societal groups who may have beliefs that differ to our interpretation of the Bible’s standards and teachings. However, putting all this aside, I was keenly aware, and reminded, of the importance that God places on obeying Him and honoring His Word. In our story, one man decided that it was OK for him to withhold some of the loot from their raid of Jericho, which was in direct disobedience of God’s instructions. Because of this, God withdrew His power (His blessings) on their (the Israelites) next raid, as they tried to take over Ai. I believe the main takeaway for us in this passage today is that God will not bless sin. He will not bless where sin abides. He will not bless where people, or even a single person decides, apart from God, that it’s OK for them to do their own thing. Please know that this has nothing to do with creativity, for God created us to be creative and think for ourselves, however when He sets boundaries for us, and when He establishes rules and commandments for us, it’s for our own good, our own protection, and for His glory. I believe that God has designed us to be like Him, and I believe that He established guardrails to help us live, work, love, and act more like Him while here on this earth. Friends, if others never recognize Jesus in us, do you really feel like you are honestly being led/guided by Him and living according to His will and purpose? God will not tolerate sin, and since He is the same God who did not tolerate the sin of Achan (the man in our story), I have every reason to believe that He will withdraw His blessing on us when sin abides within. Will you intentionally deny the blessing of God on others because of your selfish desires and stubborn will? I pray that is not the case with any reading this devotional today.

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the many blessings that You bestow on my family, my church, my city, my state and my country, please, please, please give me strength each day to faithfully honor You, for You alone are worthy of my honor, my obedience and my praise. Because of my son-ship, please help me to always desire and aim to live a sinless life because of a deep desire to please You. Please help me to never forget that in order to receive Your rich blessings poured out daily on myself and those I love and associate with, I must do my part in honoring You and my commitment to be Your follower. Oh that we may live like You today, is my deepest desire today 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!

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