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

Archive for the ‘Overcomers’ Category

Persecutors of the Church?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 9:3-5 (GNT)

TEXT:  As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” he asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said.

OBSERVATION:   I would suggest that you click on the Scripture reference and read the context in which our Scripture comes from today. You will find that the above verses are actually displaying a miracle in the life of Saul, one who was out to murder and/or arrest every Christian and worshiper of Christ. In fact, when God intervened, Saul was on his way to the synagogues at Damascus to disrupt the Christians by arresting them and taking them back to Jerusalem. Although we see God make a total change in the life of Saul, we are also reminded of persecutors of the church – perhaps even today?

APPLICATION:   Did you click on this devotional hoping that I would give you a list of the persecutors of God’s church today? You might be disappointed, because what I believe that God wants to challenge us on today, is to make sure that we have no indicators of being persecutors ourselves. Oh Brother Ed, you have really gone overboard now, for we are workers in the church, so we would never persecute the church. Friends, here are some subtle ways that I believe we persecute the work of Christ today:

  • Supporting the Pastors of your church – these men, and possibly women, battle with the same time constraints that the rest of us do. They receive more criticism in one month than we probably receive in a lifetime. They are often expected to stretch each dollar further than mankind has ever been able to do it. They are on duty 24/7, yet expected to be fresh and at their best every time they stand before us. If you are to be a true supporter of God’s servants – pray for them and their families; support them through constant encouragement; listen close enough to their sermons that you may want to question them on a point raised during their delivery; Lift them up before your friends instead of tearing them down. These things might be more like promoting God’s work, instead of tearing down or persecuting; by finding fault complaining; not attending church; not tithing so that God’s work might go on; etc.
  • Volunteer – if you are supporting the work of Christ, volunteer to help get more done each day in the ministry. Offer to help around the church office or property; offer to call shut-ins or visit the sick or hospitalized. Idle hands will lead to ridicule, or persecution, way quicker than building up a greater desire to promote the ministry of Christ;
  • Be an encourager – Let the pastors and lay leaders know that you are praying for them. This builds up. This gives you something positive to do instead of leaning to ridicule or persecution. Send notes of encouragement. Specifically pray for someone hurting, working for the Lord, or needing encouragement, then tell them that you prayed for them.

Friends, we can either be a worker, supporter or encourager in the world, or we could be a persecutor, ready to tear down everything and anything God puts together for good. Where do you fit?

PRAYER:   Lord, I believe our default character tends to be more of a complainer or discourager. To tear down and destroy. Yet Lord, when we stop and consider that the Son of God came to earth and humbled Himself through death on the cross at Calvary, for the benefit of undeserving sinners such as I am, and you are friend. How can I but love You, my Savior and my Lord? Oh that the love of God may shine through His humble servants this day and every day, so that others may see every indication of Jesus, and never an indication of persecution of His master plan for us while here on this earth. 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!

 

What Is Your Shield When Tempted?

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Luke 4:9–13
Today’s Bible Text: 9–11       For the third test the Devil took him to Jerusalem and put him on top of the Temple. He said, “If you are God’s Son, jump. It’s written, isn’t it, that ‘he has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone’?”
12       “Yes,” said Jesus, “and it’s also written, ‘Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
13       That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity.

The Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take Away: I believe that many of us may feel like we are exempt from temptation. Perhaps it’s because we work around the church, or perhaps we stay in the country most of our lives and hardly ever visit the city, where it appears like sin is rampant. Perhaps we thank God because we might even be the pastor of a church, and we really don’t hit the streets too much, so temptation is at a bare minimum, we might think. Friends, Jesus had just been baptized in the Jordan river, and He left the scene ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’. But He was not led to the temple to escape the temptations of the world, instead He was led by the same Spirit, that led Him to be baptized, into the Wilderness where Satan tried to see what He really stood for. Now most church attendees know this story well, for they know that Jesus was tempted three times, and each time Jesus quoted scripture to defend His stand against Satan. In the above verses you can read the third temptation, where even Satan quoted scripture as he tempted Jesus. Does this make you think about the possibility of a wolf in sheep’s clothing? You know, that it is possible where even someone at church who appears to be very close to God, yet they might tempt you in some way? Possibly, yes! Does this mean that it might be possible that someone who is constantly quoting scripture to, or around you, might actually be the very one that might take Satan’s place in tempting you? Possibly, yes! Friends, verse 13 is really what caught my attention, as God warns us that Satan may have appeared to have retreated from us, but he is really lying in wait for another opportunity – a weak moment. Jesus used scripture to defend Himself against the power of Satan, what will be your shield, or your defense mechanism? I am convinced that none of us are exempt, so unless we have our minds made up and our shield in place, guess what? We are prime candidates for Satan to advance from his waiting position and harp on us next. Friends, may I encourage you to seek God’s face and acknowledge your unworthiness, and your helplessness to fight against the evil one? Our strength comes from the Lord, friends. Let us then lift up our heads to the only One powerful enough to fight the awful temptation that lurks around the corner every day. Jesus is our Protector, Friend, Lord of all lords, King of all kings, Master of this universe and our soon coming King! Let us then be found faithful and true each and every day!

Prayer: Father, we acknowledge You as Lord of this universe and Lord over our lives. I acknowledge You as my personal Savior and King. Please help us to stay so close to You Lord Jesus, that Satan will hit a brick wall every time that He comes our way. We need You Lord Jesus, for we want others to see You very prevalent in our lives so that they might be convinced of Your power and Your love, and therefore have a growing desire to invite You into their lives. For those who call You Lord, please protect us today and make us strong against the evil deeds of Satan. Only through Your power can we overcome the evil one, so we are depending heavily on Your everlasting love and power. I ask all this in the name of Jesus, the All-Powerful One, 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!

2016

Strength Comes From Your Personal Experience With God

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 17:36–37
Today’s Bible Text: Sir, I have killed lions and bears that way, and I can kill this worthless Philistine. He shouldn’t have made fun of the army of the living God! The LORD has rescued me from the claws of lions and bears, and he will keep me safe from the hands of this Philistine.
The Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take Away: Reading this familiar story about David and Goliath might give you assurance that if God gave wisdom, boldness, stamina, and the ability to an ordinary shepherd boy like David to step out in front of the mighty warriors in the Israelite army, to fight a heavily armed giant, then just maybe God can help you in your everyday challenges also! And friends, this would definitely be a witness for you when you make a bold statement, in faith, that the same God who guided David is the same God that you depend on to guide you and give you wisdom about everyday challenges. But let me share what’s even more powerful: when you seek out those times in your life when it was very obvious that God had performed a miracle in your life! I want to encourage you to really search your memory banks, because at the time you may have heard folk saying things like you were one lucky man/woman. Or you may have been told that it was just happen-chance that you survived a wreck or perhaps another close call. Put all that aside and try to recall if you spoke to God about that particular need, or whether you asked a preacher, relative or close acquaintance to pray with you about your need at the time. Friends, way too often we go deep into prayer about something that really concerns us, but when the answer comes, we pawn it off to good luck, or your lucky day, or some other explanation that is generally used by the world. Notice that David gained his strength to face that giant, from his past experience with God in his everyday job. Don’t you know that if God gave David the strength to stand up to, and defeat, lions and bears, that He could just as easily give him the boldness and victory to face this huge man that could barely get out of his own way? Now personalize this Brother or Sister: based on successful scenarios where you have attributed miracles in your own life to the handiwork of God, and use these as your firm basis of faith as you face your next challenge. Use these experiences to help you face ‘giants’ that will challenge you to defy very successful people or very forceful critics and stand firm in your faith, knowing without a doubt that God can – because He already proved it to you!

Prayer: There is an old gospel song that comes to mind as I meditate on this today, ‘God on the Mountain’, for it tells of the same God from our mountain-top experiences being the same God available to us when we are dragging through our deep valley experiences, even when it seems like all hope is lost. Father, praise Your holy name, that this is the God that I serve, and this is the God that I call on each and every day to guide me through each day’s challenges, or ‘giants’. Thank You precious Lord for being there for Your children even at those times when we ask without knowing what’s ahead. My readers and I are mere mortals and have no idea of the giants lurking around every corner, so I thank You Jesus for being patient with us as we ask in advance for Your guiding hand of protection each day. We are very needy individuals, but praise God, we are constantly in awe of the all powerful, all knowing, ever loving God that we serve. Please have Your perfect will and way in my life today Lord, for I ask these things in Your precious and holy name, 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!

2016

Persistent Faith Leads To Victory!

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Daniel 6:19-23): 19 At daybreak the king got up and ran to the pit. 20 He was anxious and shouted, “Daniel, you were faithful and served your God. Was he able to save you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Your Majesty, I hope you live forever! 22 My God knew that I was innocent, and he sent an angel to keep the lions from eating me. Your Majesty, I have never done anything to hurt you.” 23 The king was relieved to hear Daniel’s voice, and he gave orders for him to be taken out of the pit. Daniel’s faith in his God had kept him from being harmed.

THOUGHTS: I love that old hymn “Faith is the Victory“, for one line in that hymn states “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world”. This is the kind of faith that Daniel demonstrated. He and his companions had earlier been cast into a pit of fire because of their conviction to not eat the king’s food, but came out unscathed. Later, Daniel’s very jealous peers had a law enacted to trap Daniel into a definite arrest by the king. However, Daniel had a commitment to worship His God and that included praying to God at least three times per day. This led to his arrest and being thrown into a den of hungry lions. By this time in the king’s relationship with Daniel, he had gained confidence in Daniel’s God and therefore prayed that God would protect Daniel from the lions that he had him thrown into! Of course, it was a time of glorious praise when it was discovered next morning that God responded to the prayers of the king and Daniel by protecting him, even among very hungry lions. I believe where God got my attention in this story, and the area that I would like to challenge my readers on is: How secure or solid are we in our faith? Peter had enough to walk on water; Moses had enough to stand at the river’s edge and believe that he could lead thousands of people across to the other side without danger; Daniel had enough to be persistent in his actions of food choice and in his prayer habits to know that in all things he could bless the name of the Lord – whether in the fire pit or in the pit of lions. I was challenged to consider where I am in my level of faith, and I want to challenge you to consider the same question friend. Jesus said that if we have the tiniest little bit (the size of a pin head – a mustard seed) we could move even mountains. I believe that our ‘mountains’ are as pin heads (mustard seeds) to God. But do we have the faith to place our needs and concerns solidly in His hands and the faith to believe that “all things are possible with God”? I see no reason why we shouldn’t friend! For He has proven over and over in His Word that He is able! Why don’t we let Him be God in our circumstances today? We can celebrate with way more fireworks of praise than anyone in our country can for Independence Day this weekend!

PRAYER: Lord God, You’ve created the heavens, the earth and each human being. You provided a written account of all that You have blessed our early ancestors with and the miracles performed in their lives, just to show us that You care about Your children and that You would move mountains, if necessary, in order to display Your miraculous works. With so much to support our reason to have faith in You, yet we doubt at times. “Oh ye of little faith” is what you must constantly say to us weaklings, just as You said to Peter when He took His eyes off You. Please touch Your children once again with the miracle of life, healing, overcoming government oppression and overall confidence that You are still God and that You are still in control. Often things seem so out of control, that I believe we become depressed and feel defeated, as if You must have stepped away. Unfortunately, these may be times that You are challenging us to look inside and see if we have stepped away from our faith in You. Oh what a wretched people we are, for we are so often challenged to keep our eyes fixed on You and the wonder of our awesome God. Please forgive us oh Lord, and give us strength, power and will to keep our eyes fixed on You, in spite of what might be going on around us. You alone are God, and we are not. May we give You the rightful place in our lives today, is my humble prayer that I ask in the powerful name of my most awesome Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, 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 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 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!

Overcomers!

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Living Bible – James 1:2-4): 2 Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, 3 for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.

 THOUGHTS: I believe that most of us reading these verses today will conclude that our patience, or endurance, must be nearing maturity now, because of the extent of our difficulties over recent months and years! Friends, James has really reminded us (Christians) to do just the opposite to what we are tempted to do, under the power of the One we claim as our Master and Lord. Think about it, we are most apt to cry “poor me” when things are not going our way. When our faith is tempted, we tend to question why God wasn’t there for us during the time we were so weak. BUT meditate closely on what James is teaching us to do in these verses, for he, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, instructs us to be happy in these cases, because we are seeing evidence that God is developing us, or maturing us in our faith. This most often comes at a time where God knows that there are bigger things ahead where we will need the increased endurance or patience. It comes at a time where it will be obvious to sinners that the only thing accountable for our endurance/patience must be the bold work of the Savior working in and through us. So friends, let us especially stand firm to our faith and, in what appears to be, the weakest times of our lives. Let it be obvious to others that our strength is coming from a much higher source that anything we could do in and of ourselves. Let us be ready to brag on God – give Him the glory for all that is accomplished in us. As Christians, ‘good luck’ should hardly be in our vocabulary, for we should never depend on it. Our strength, our guidance, our endurance, our patience, our power to overcome or say ‘no’ when tempted to do wrong – all of it comes from the God we serve. The God that we ask to protect us and help us to be overcomers, strengthened by His hand for the benefit of everything, and everyone, that follows. I believe that our motto must be: ‘Know God, Know peace. No God, no peace’! It’s all about our Savior friend, we have no power without Him!

 PRAYER: What a blessed man I am to have such a Savior to watch over me and strengthen my walk, even in what appears to be life’s toughest times. ‘Who am I‘ Thank you gracious heavenly Father for allowing it all to start at the cross. For while we were yet sinners, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice so that we could be saved from this wicked world that could only destine us for Hell. However, because I (and many others who will meditate on this today) surrendered our lives to You, we were received by You, and now fit into the category of persons that James taught about. Thank You Father for the assurance of knowing that You care, and that Your promise to be with us through every ‘storm of life’ is very real. How can I possibly say ‘thanks’ adequately for such a Savior, and Your amazing love for me? Lord, please use me as Your instrument to spread that love, and to show it in every aspect of my life, so that unbelievers might be introduced to the King of Love today. Because trials and temptation still come, I am convinced that You are not finished with me yet, so I thank You for Your ongoing work in my life. May the results of Your work always serve to encourage someone else towards a decision to accept You as their Savior, is my humble plea. I ask all this in the gracious name of Jesus, my Savior, 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 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 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!

Dependence on God

The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Version – Isaiah 40:29-31): 29 The Lord gives strength to those who are weary. 30 Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall. 31 But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.

Thoughts: I remember my parents emphasizing to me that I should wait for them before doing some things that really made them nervous. I remember coaching my daughter to do the same. However the one being coached is usually the one trying to be independent and do things on their own, and of course the ones that wind up learning from their mistakes or possibly even getting hurt. But isn’t it interesting that we who try to help, guide and protect our young, find it so difficult to place our faith and our trust in our God who loves us and wants to help, guide and protect us? Like our kids, we still fight for our independence and often live in unbelief, pride and self-confidence. We try to do things in our own limited strength that often results in failure and moving in a direction out of God’s will. This scripture is encouraging us to live life to its fullest by trusting in God, allowing Him to control us and our situations, so that we can find new strength for the day, so that we can soar above our problems and enjoy this walk of life without tiring. Friends, our dependence on God can give us independence from all that this world burdens us with each day. This is the way for us to follow. Will you recommit with me by surrendering our lives, our challenges and our struggles to God and totally trust Him to guide us through? It’s only then that we will soar above the concerns of this life and look forward in peace to all that God has in store for us!

Prayer: Lord God, it has become increasingly challenging to trust others, because of past disappointments, but thank You for Your precious Word today that has reminded me that I can place my full faith and trust in You. This world has proven to be way more than I can handle on my own, so please help me to stay focused on the truth of Your Word, and to depend on You for renewed strength each day. I want to soar above the troubles and challenges of this life, but I need Your wings to do this. You are my strength when I am weak, my sight when I am blinded by the enemy and my hope when everything seems so out of control and hopeless. Please use Your Word to encourage all that might read this devotional today. Please direct ones to read this who need encouragement or a sense of redirection in their life today. Teach us to be totally dependent on You, so that we may soar above the challenges of this life. May You receive praise and glory from all that is accomplished in our lives today, for it is in the name of Jesus Christ that I ask it, 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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