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

Archive for the ‘Oneness’ Category

We Are One In Christ

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Galatians 3:26-28 (TLB)

TEXT:  26 For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, 27 and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by him. 28 We are no longer Jews or Greeks or slaves or free men or even merely men or women, but we are all the same—we are Christians; we are one in Christ Jesus.

OBSERVATION:   There are so many things that divide us, yes, even Christians; even churches; even pastors. God saw that happening in Peter’s day, and He knew that as long as He allowed humans to be involved, it would happen again and again, until He returns to take us on to glory. I feel impelled to meditate on this for a moment today. Let’s seek God’s face and instruction on how He would lead us to deal with disunity, or division.

APPLICATION:   Ever noticed how people who generally want nothing to do with God in their everyday normal life, will often seek out a pastor, or a praying Christian in times of desperate need? What if they sought us out when they were battling with another unbeliever, but to their disappointment found that we were also struggling in that area of our lives? Would that be of any comfort? Now before you start your email to condemn me on this, let me explain that I believe that we all battle with sin, therefore we may have already, or soon will, battle with disunity at one time or another also. However, I believe what makes the difference is, when the Christian runs to the Source of all Truth for guidance, for help, for strength to overcome, and for direction on how to handle the situation God’s way. Friends, our way will be extremely selfish and self-promoting. God’s way will draw the individuals closer to Him, so that He might be glorified in the church! Satan will use the smallest things to divide God’s church. Elections and political differences are commonly a source of division, but according to our verses today, God is reminding us that we must never forget that we, who are called by His name, are still ‘ONE in CHRIST’. So my friend, my Brother and my Sister, if we are one in Christ, why would Satan try to bring enmity between us? Isn’t it plain to see that a church that is working together, loving each other, sharing in the same faith, having the same Father, will accomplish so much more for the kingdom, than a body that is divided and fighting against each other? Let’s never forget that God’s purpose is to unite the church and build it up, so that His purpose and will might be accomplished. Satan’s purpose is to destroy anything that God is trying to accomplish through His church. We can only be ‘One Church’ if we are God’s Church. Let’s forget about all of the other labels that we may place on ourselves while here in this world. We are children of God, and that’s what matters most of all!

PRAYER:   Father, please teach us, Your precious children, to examine ourselves regularly, so that we may allow You to point out those things in us that might distract from our oneness in You. Lord, may we constantly give up those things that bring division, or that cause us to lose our identity with You. We will come into contact with people who need You as their personal Savior, and we will have daily encounters with those who know You personally. May they all be reminded of Jesus as they interact with us, so that a strong desire might be developed in them to know You in a very personal way. Lord, may You be glorified in us, so that we may become one with You! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the 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!

Oneness – So The World Might Know

THE HOLY BIBLE (God’s Word Translation – John 17:20-23): 20 “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. 23 I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

THOUGHTS: In this chapter Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples and the church at large. In these verses He prayed in all sincerity that those who know Him (Christians) would be in such unity that the people to whom they speak (the unsaved world) would believe in Him and accept Him as the Savior of the world sent by God the Father. Friends, I often reflect on what the opposite effect might be if the will of the Father is not accomplished. That leads me into considering what happens to the ministry of Jesus Christ when children of God can’t agree – when they fight and bicker among themselves so much that the unsaved world wants no part of the confused mess they see occurring in and among churches. Is it any wonder sometime why we stop and ponder why our ministries are ineffective? It seems like even among ‘friendly’ denominations, we go out to minister in Jesus’ name, and wind up putting down another denomination. Oh my, friend, that is not a sign of ‘oneness’. When our job description dictates that we spread the love of God, and our lives reflect the joy of the Lord living inside of us, doesn’t that mean that we should be so busy praising and bragging on our Lord that there will be very little time or desire to reflect on the beliefs of some that we may not agree with? In fact, when I reflect on this prayer of Jesus and really gain the breadth and depth of His heart as He prays to His father, I see where He really wants us to reflect the ‘oneness’ that He portrays with His Father. There is no where in scripture that Jesus puts down His Father or speaks evil against Him or disagrees with Him. Instead, it is just the very opposite, for He respects the role of the Father in ultimately making decisions (especially about the second coming of Jesus), and He speaks as one and the same when conveying the truth and love of the gospel. So where do we get off at in being His follower, imitating Him in every way, yet being critical of fellow disciples who are working towards the same goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? This type behavior or ministry will not serve the ultimate wish of Jesus in verse 21 when He prayed that we will go out and minister in such unity that the world (the unsaved) would know that God truly sent the One in whom we believe, and the One we are spreading Good News about. ‘Oneness’ points to us truly representing Jesus, who was sent and is representing His Father. Anything else tears down the ministry of Jesus Christ and promotes the intent and heart of Satan. I believe we all know what we should be busy doing today and every day of our life. Let’s get to work – unified in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our weakness in allowing so much of this world to indwell us and interfere in the ministry that You have aligned for us, and as these verses today reflect, that You have actually prayed for. Our lack of success in ministry is directly impacted by our disobedience to You and Your Word, and our selfish desire to tear down another while trying to promote our selfish goals. Reading these verses today causes me to seriously consider keeping these pinned in an obvious place for daily inflection, and as a guide towards my daily goal. Lord, I need Your power to overcome the desire to tear another down in order to promote self. May I ask that You grant me strength to overcome this weakness, but also to touch the heart of Your followers today and embed a deep desire within them to also do the same. Please strengthen and guide us towards ‘Oneness’ – the kind that You exampled before us in being ‘One’ with the Father. I ask this knowing that Your desire is that through our ‘Oneness’ the world will know that You were sent by the Father to save them. May this be accomplished today in and through your earthly representatives, for this is my pray that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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 Fresh Start

The Holy Bible

He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 2:14-15)

Thoughts:

I believe that God spoke to me through this passage this morning, like I hope He would to thousands of others that might read these verses today. Friends, it is very evident throughout the Bible that there were lots of enmity between the Jews and Gentiles. Paul explained to the Ephesian church that there is no such division after the birth of Jesus, because He came to break down the barriers that separated the two groups and make them one with Him. I am a firm believer that when we stand before God He will see believers and non-believers. Christians or non-Christians. I am saddened that although this was dealt with by God Himself by sacrificing His only Son so that these barriers might be broken down and sin dealt with once and for all, yet it seems like today we have grown further and further apart as ‘Christians’, because of denominational-ism and our strongholds on what our church believes. Is it any surprise that we seem to be losing the battle in winning the lost to Christ? They feel better off staying clear of the confusion and fighting that ‘Christians’ practice against each other. Let me give you a couple of examples that hurts my heart here on this earth regarding this issue: (1) There was once an effort to present a Christian alternative to a known evil celebration that the community was taking hold of, so churches got together to hold this alternative event. Some churches (group of Christian believers) refused to participate if certain other churches (group of Christian believers) were involved. (2) An elderly lady with dementia tried everything to prevent a relative spending time with certain other family members, why? Because she was certain they were not of her denomination. Friends this is really sad, because as Paul indicated in these verses and the verses around these, that God tore down these kinds of walls of which I referenced, so that we who know Him personally, might be ONE. Why are we practicing separation among ourselves? When we are made aware of our sin and accept Jesus as Savior, He is the same Savior for all the world who accept Him as Lord. Therefore if a person in one side of the world accepts Jesus as Lord, and someone else here in the US accepts Him as Lord, we automatically gain ‘son-ship’ with Him, making us Brothers and Sisters of the same Father. Who on earth should therefore divide us by wondering which church or denomination we belong to? At the point of salvation, we have a fresh new start – why not let us learn to worship OUR Father who art in heaven, and hallow His name, for it is His kingdom that we long for, forever and ever, amen! There is one Father and one book of instruction for life (the Bible), let us practice this oneness by being one with God!

Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You for Your patience in dealing with us – our pettiness, our greed for having our own little group (church) with our own little twists to what we believe that Your Word teaches. This faith that we have is not about us, please teach us to be so focused on You that we will find Christian family anywhere in the world that we go, and in any church that we may choose to worship or associate with. Please help us to not place walls between us that prevent ONENESS in You. May You be central in our worship, and in our daily lives, so that we may learn from You how we should live so that we may replicate the life that You have taught us and exampled for us. Please help us to celebrate the One in whom we each believe, and pray for each other to better understand Your Word and therefore work out areas that we see things differently on, for we are a new creation in You. Blessed be the name of the Lord! I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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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