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

Archive for the ‘Others first’ Category

Of One Heart and Mind

Monday, 2016-11-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 17:20-22

Bible Text: 20 “I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. 21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me—the glorious unity of being one, as we are

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that if 5 families left my city in Florida to head to Atlanta, Georgia, there would probably be several different routes taken because we all have our own ideas about what will be the fastest route, or the most scenic, or the most enjoyable due to attractions along the way that we would like to visit. However, we will all probably wind up at our final destination in Atlanta, Georgia at some point. I believe it was extremely evident to Jesus that this would be the case with His children in many walks of life, even in religious circles where we have the ultimate goal of coming face-to-face with Jesus in heaven when we pass on from this old world. I was reminded in a very bold and obvious way in our scripture today that Jesus knew right from the very beginning that this would pose a challenge for His children. I was able to see where Jesus approached the Father in much the same way as I would, if I was leaving the state of Florida on an extended retirement trip throughout the rest of the United States. There would be concerns for ministries I am involved in at my church, and there would also be concerns that my relatives would be OK with me out of the picture for an extended period of time. Now, I must quickly acknowledge that I have nothing to worry about with any of these things falling apart, because I am not the glue that holds all these things together. However, we do worry about things that mean a lot to us, if we’re not around to do our part. Friends, Jesus came to this earth for one intended purpose, to save mankind from eternal damnation. To achieve this, He showed Himself in some very bold ways – through miracles, through loving the unlovable, through sacrificing Himself so that we might not have to sacrifice anything in order to be saved from our wretched sin. However, in spite of all that He did, we went back to the Father and prayed about His concerns for the wellbeing of His church – His children here on earth. I believe that anyone meditating on this devotional today will agree that the concerns of Jesus were right on target, just like the rest of His life and ministry were. For we have such a problem here on earth in that we segregate ourselves from other believers who are headed for the same destination. In my example above, if we come across one of our friends on that long trip to Atlanta who had chosen a different route than we did, we may tease and poke a little fun at each other, but we would still welcome them and celebrate with them at the destination point. In religion, it seems like we have become so secure in our understanding of the Word of God and/or other ancillary books given to us from our respective denominations, that we erect walls between ourselves that non-Christians probably look at and wonder how many destination points are there, because obviously we are not headed to the same one! Friends, I know that this may seem like I am picking on religious denominationalism, and perhaps I am, but I believe that Jesus has shared the concern with us to ponder, that He shared with His Father when He returned to Him. What can we do about it? Jesus wants us to be ‘one’ just as He and the Father are ‘one’. We know that the trinity represents three persons all in one, meaning that they have the same attributes and same power and are the same in the eyes of the Almighty God. For us to appease Jesus in His wish for us, we must be willing to tear down the walls of hatred and separation, and love one another as we love ourselves (according to the commandment of God). Great walls separate men and women, yet they are ‘one’ in marriage. Can we please set our goals on unity in the only thing in common, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I get the distinct impression from our scripture that this would please Jesus beyond anything else we may attempt today. Please don’t wait for your church to adopt a philosophy to do this, I believe Jesus wants this to begin with you and I. Let’s personally commit to this wish of our Lord, and love one another unconditionally.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You saw this coming and You prayed for this scenario ever since the beginning of time. I don’t know that things have gotten any better, so I want to commit myself to You today asking that You open my eyes to any injustices that may occur between myself and other believers in Jesus Christ. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that regardless of what part of the world one might be from, or the color of their skin or their financial status, we all have the same channel to travel through in order to one day see You and the Father in heaven. Please help my readers and I to live today in a way pleasing to You, and in a way that we intend to live when we sit around your feet in heaven as one body of believers. Lord, may we practice today what we expect to do ‘tomorrow’ when You call us home to glory! I ask these things in the only One who can change our hearts and our minds, and the One who set the example for us while here on earth. 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How To Pray For One Another

Saturday, 2016-10-29

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 1:9-14

Bible Text:  9 …. we have kept on praying and asking God to help you understand what he wants you to do; asking him to make you wise about spiritual things; 10 and asking that the way you live will always please the Lord and honor him, so that you will always be doing good, kind things for others, while all the time you are learning to know God better and better. 11 We are praying, too, that you will be filled with his mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens—always full of the joy of the Lord, 12 and always thankful to the Father who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the Kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Wouldn’t it be glorious to see Christians pray for more than just the sick, or not just when a serious need is known throughout the community. Paul has taught us here to pray for the spiritual welfare of one another. Here are a few things that I believe we can gleam from this passage of scripture today. Imagine praying this for our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, that God would help them:

  • Seek and understand God’s will for their lives;
  • Have God’s wisdom about spiritual things;
  • Live to please and honor God;
  • Do those things for others that God might lead them to do;
  • Learn to know God better and better;
  • To be so filled with God’s might and strength, that they would keep going, no matter what;
  • Always be full of the joy of the Lord;
  • Always be thankful to God for making them fit to live in the Kingdom of Light, because of His grace alone;
  • Remember where they came from (the kingdom of darkness) into the Kingdom of God’s Son;

Notice a few things about those prayer items:

  • None are geared towards yourself;
  • All of them seek to draw your Christian Brother or Sister closer to the Lord, and not get richer here on earth by winning a lottery, or the likes of that;
  • That each items tends to better align the person you are praying for, with his Master and Lord, Jesus Christ;
  • That the Brother or sister you pray for will be so filled with Jesus, that their life would be a living testimony to their lost family and friends. In other words, by their testimony, others will be drawn to the Lord.

I can only imagine that we would then have more Christians, and more church attendees who know more about their Lord, than they do about their sports idol, or about the misfortunes of their friends. I also believe that we will see folk who are blessed beyond measure, because even though they did not spend most of their time praying for themselves, they are blessed beyond measure for lifting up the spiritual needs of a friend. I truly believe that God will bless us for praying this way, as He would to those for whom we are praying.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for putting us first! For You sacrificed life itself for the eternal benefit of those who believe on You. Please help us to get outside of our own little box and concentrate more on the needs of others – particularly the spiritual needs of others. Lord, if Your people, who are known by Your name, would humble themselves and pray, you promised that You would heal our land. There is such a need right now in this world, in our country, in our towns, our churches and our homes. You have shown us through Paul’s example how we should pray for others – even those who know You as Lord already. Please help us to be faithful in our prayers for others. May Your children know more about You and Your wonderful works, than any other subject or pastime we may get involved in. May it be evident to others that You are ruler in our lives, for I ask these things wanting to see You alone receive the glory, 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Helping Others

Tuesday, 2016-10-04

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ephesians 2:9-10

Bible Text:  Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. 10 It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

After reading this scripture today, I feel like we should carefully examine whether we are living as God intended – helping one another. It’s almost frightening to think how greedy, and self-engrossed we have become with living our days to get as much as possible out of life for self. It seems like we are always expecting the needed help for our friends or family to come from someone else. Friends, I believe that it goes with saying, that if God sent His Son, Jesus, through the miraculous means of a virgin birth, and then He followed years later with a cruel death on the cross and a supernatural resurrection, so that our sins might be forgiven and therefore attain brand new lives, that He must have had intentions far greater than anything we could imagine. Yes, I believe that part of this plan was to make it possible for us to attain assurance of our salvation and an eternal home with our Maker, but what do you suppose he meant for us to do until the day He calls us home? Our scripture today tells us that it was God’s intent from the very beginning that we use these ‘new’ lives to help others. Think about it friend, you can tell some folk how to receive eternal life, but for others you have to show them. If we are truly Jesus’ kids, then we will act just like Him and display the same characteristics that He did. He was loving and kind even to those who were against Him and despised Him. How are you doing friend? Are you being mistaken for just about any other ‘Joe Blow’ on the street, or is it evident that You have walked and talked with Jesus and living according to His purpose? Only what’s done for Jesus will last, friend! Make it count today!

Prayer

Dear God, we have become so self-centered and greedy for all that we can personally benefit from, that we truly needed this reminder from Your Word today. Praise God that You saved us from our sin! Now Lord, please use us for the purpose You intended right from the beginning, that we help others. You placed us here on earth as brothers and sisters, not as enemies and not as one to lord over another, but in humility that we might help each other. Please open our eyes to the opportunities available to us today, and may we make You proud as we pick up the banner and help others along the way. Thank You Lord for saving my soul, and thank You for touching the hearts of so many others out there. 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Important Tips on Prayer For Others

Friday, 2016-09-23

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 1:9-11

Bible Text:   9 We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. 10 Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. 11 His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Like any good, loving, caring, pastor/shepherd would desire for their flock, the apostle Paul wanted most of all to see the saints at Colossae :

  1. Honor God with their life;
  2. Be constantly vigilant for ways to help each other in good deeds; and
  3. Come to know God even better. 

Of course, these results are virtually impossible on our own when we live in Satan’s playground, filled with sin and sinful temptations to please self and pull the other person down. However, Paul knew that the secret for success in these objectives could only come from the Master himself, therefore prayer for the saints was foremost in Paul’s agenda. So in verse 9 above, Paul declares that he and Timothy have not stopped praying for the people, and that they always pray for God to show His people everything He wants them to do, and that they would be filled with wisdom and understanding that only the Holy Spirit could give them to discern the will of God. Friends, my heart melted with these words, and the desire of these two godly saints. What if our church leaders devoted themselves more to this type of prayer for their people, than about building the next largest church building, or to introducing the next ‘program’ that would attract more folk from the church around the corner? I believe that Paul recognized that for the church to truly come to know God better, and to grow in patience and a deeper love for God – that results in pure happiness, then they needed to draw closer to the Source of all wisdom, all peace, and all joy. No doubt Paul recognized that as this became very evident in their daily lives that it would ignite a fire in those that they would come into contact with. You see, I believe that Paul recognized that his mission was to promote God, and not himself. To draw the people to God and not to himself. I also believe that if we are to truly honor God in drawing the lost to Himself, then we must get off our personal soap boxes and promote the growth of the people in their relationship to God ONLY. Nothing else will do. When that fire is ignited, the lost will be drawn to that and our churches will grow!

Prayer

Lord, thank You for loving us in spite of ourselves – in spite of our selfish motives and our greed. Thank You for also providing Your Word to speak to our hearts and challenging us on our shortcomings. Please give us the wisdom, boldness and determination to always seek Your face and to desire the very best spiritual wisdom for those that we serve. Lord, may we never lose sight of the fact that our efforts and our mission is to praise and promote You. May we always learn to step aside so that our people will see You and You alone, so that You may increase and that their eyes may be opened to Your truth – their guiding force. With thanksgiving and my sincere love and admiration, I ask these things 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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