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

Archive for the ‘Pastors’ Category

Careful To Keep Christ FIRST

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-10-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 3:24-26 (MSG)

Text:

 John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”
OBSERVATION:
In spite of John repeatedly saying that he was only the forerunner of Christ, his disciples and followers really got attached to him and trusted his ministry. So much so, that when Jesus came along – the One that John had spoken about often, John’s disciples got a little ‘bent out of shape’ and jealous of the following He was quickly getting. I am convinced that this still happens today, so let’s really examine this scripture…..
APPLICATION:
I have a friend pastor who received so many compliments over a new suit that he sported one Sunday, that he vowed never to wear it again in the pulpit, because he was convinced that more folk looked intently at what he was wearing than listening intently to what he said! At the time, we thought it was a little comical, but he was dead serious. That story compares to another pastor who posted on his pulpit the words “Oh that they see Jesus”. Friends, I don’t know that we think about this often enough, but the man who stands in front of us each week and shares the Word of God, is merely an instrument of God. We have a dire responsibility to pray for our pastor, that he would set self aside, and be open with unhindered attention to what God would say through him to us. Pastors know a lot about their parishioners, because we place a lot of faith in them and share our hearts and our concerns with them often. However, they have no wisdom or authority to ‘fix’ us. Only God knows the heart of man, and since we are His design, only He can mend a broken heart; open the eyes of the blind; and lead one from the ways of this world to the lifesaving, eternal benefits of eternity with Him in glory. Do we love our pastor? Without a doubt, and with all of our heart, but remember that he is much like John, for he is the forerunner of the soon coming, glorious Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Let us therefore love those that pastor us and teach us the truths of our glorious Savior, but let us really please them by loving their Master, their Savior and their glorious Lord who we must claim for our own so that we may one day join our pastors at the foot of the cross singing praises to our Lord!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for blessing us with great pastors, who have a lot of patience with us and show incredible love to us through their respective ministries here on earth. Please help us to honor them by looking to You, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and the One that they have chosen to preach and share every week. They’re our coaches, leading us towards the finish line where we will spend eternity with You, praise to Your wonderful and magnificent name, 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 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!

God Defends His Leaders

Post Date:-

Saturday, 2017-06-03
SCRIPTURE

From:

Numbers 16:19-22 (TLB)

Text:

19 Korah had stirred up the entire nation against Moses and Aaron, and they all assembled to watch. Then the glory of Jehovah appeared to all the people, 20 and Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron, 21 “Get away from these people so that I may instantly destroy them.”

22 But Moses and Aaron fell face downward to the ground before the Lord. “O God, the God of all mankind,” they pleaded, “must you be angry with all the people when one man sins?”

OBSERVATION:
Three Levites who had served in the temple, gathered 250 others to support their cause in going to Moses to question him about his leadership. Moses had no argument with them, but simply humbled himself before them and submitted to God’s decision and action against the leadership for their revolt to know for sure who would continue to lead the Israelites. I found it humbling when Moses and Aaron bowed before God the next morning at the entrance to the temple and they pleaded with God not to eliminate the whole bunch of the revolution gathered, just the one who stood defiant to the will of God. However it really upset God that sinful men were questioning His decision for leadership.
APPLICATION:
I believe that this story could be a sequel from one of many churches today. For members, or even attendees decide that there is something they don’t care for in their pastor, and they begin gossiping with others. This often leads to a revolution forming against the pastor. The church then becomes useless in ministry, because factions form against the pastor and the revolution quickly places their own sins aside and decides to track those of the pastor and those close to him. What if the God that we serve – the same God who stepped in against Korah and the Levites, decides to settle the issue once and for all on those who oppose His leadership for each of our churches? I wonder how many would fall into the instant sinkhole because they are fighting against the man of God, instead of praying for him; lifting him up with encouraging words; looking for ways to support him in all that God has placed on his heart for God’s people. Friends, it is one thing to know what happens to unbelievers, but for those who claim salvation while still acting like the world, and looking for ways to disrupt the work of the Lord, I dread to think of God’s actions for them when He has taken as much as He could out of their negative impact on His ministry. Friends, may I draw your attention to this whole chapter in Numbers so you could read for yourself, then allow God to minister to your heart about which side of the fence you are on. Are you for the ministry of Christ to the lost of our community through your local church, or are you doing and saying things that tear down and destroy the ministry. One option pleases God and He blesses you and the ministry. The other option destroys the ministry, discourages the worker/leader/pastor sent by God, and you are therefore warned through this study in Numbers, that the same destruction could be in store for you and all those you might encourage into your revolution. Allow God to be your guide and redirect you today, if needed.
PRAYER:
Lord, it is so unfortunate that many a good church has been destroyed by things very similar to the incident Moses faced with his very own temple workers. Should there be anyone guilty of such a revolution today that reads this devotional, please get their attention and work a miracle in their life. There are so many that needs salvation in our communities that our energies would be much more effective evangelizing rather than internal destruction of Your army. Please have Your precious will and way in our lives heavenly Father. 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 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!

Closed To The Message Of Christ?

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-04-29
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 6:1-3 (Voice)

Text:

 1 Jesus went back into His own hometown where He had grown up, and His disciples followed Him there. When the Sabbath came, He went into the synagogue in Nazareth and began to teach as He had done elsewhere, and many of those who heard Him were astonished.

Those in the Synagogue: Where did He gain this wisdom? And what are all these stories we’ve been hearing about the signs and healings He’s performed? Where did He get that kind of power? Isn’t this Jesus, the little boy we used to see in Joseph’s carpenter shop? Didn’t He grow up to be a carpenter just like His father? Isn’t He the son of Mary over there and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their sisters? Who does He think He is?

And when they had thought about it that way, they became indignant and closed themselves to His message.

OBSERVATION:
Jesus knew that in ministry we would face opposition, just as He faced when He ministered in the synagogue among the Pharisees. They closed themselves to His message’ and I’m afraid that this may be all to familiar to us today….
APPLICATION:
All the time we hear stories of people that don’t like church, or would rather not hear of our Lord, and this may often discourage us. However, had we not have been just as stubborn, we might struggle in overcoming the disappointment in trying to witness to those kind of friends. The struggle faced by the Pharisees was that the same Jesus who stood teaching them, was the same one born to their neighbor, or hometown friends. The same one who may have run around playing with their children. In fact the kid, whose brothers are known around all of the neighborhood circles. Some of us might have similar experiences, where one of our own have returned from seminary to minister among us. Are you accepting of them? When one has been radically changed and returns to minister to you, are you accepting of them, or do you struggle to see beyond their past? Would you have been able to accept the apostle Paul, after all he did in his life before Christ as Saul? Friends, God changes things, and He also changes people way beyond anything we can do for ourselves, or anything we could imagine. Please remember that when we pray for our pastor and teachers that God might speak through them to us, we must look beyond the inabilities of the man standing before us and look to the God who created this world and each of us. The God who gave His all for our eternal appointment with He and His Father in heaven. It’s not about us, or the man who stands in the pulpit, but its about the Master who has a word to share with us, encourage us with and/or direct us towards. Please don’t allow anything to close your mind to what our God has to share with you.
PRAYER:
Lord, thank You for loving us enough to accept our plea for forgiveness. So often we allow the vices of Satan to affect us and distract our listening to You God and the blessings that You have in store for us. Please forgive us for allowing the forest to blind our vision from the awesome blessings You have in store up ahead for us. Thank You for still radically changing the hearts of mankind and using even the most challenging ones to declare the kingdom of God to us, so that we might otherwise turn our eyes to the Savior of this world. Please continue to minister among us so that all may come to a saving knowledge of the Master. 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 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!

With Hearts of Worship, We…

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-04-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 3:1-2 (Voice)

Text:

1 On the Sabbath, Jesus had come into a synagogue where He saw a man with a withered hand.The Pharisees held their breath: would Jesus cure this man on the Sabbath, right there in front of everyone? If so, they could charge Him with breaking the Sabbath law.
OBSERVATION:
It is interesting to see how evil the leaders (the Pharisees) of one religious sect (the Jews) could be, and how persistent they could be about trapping the leader (Jesus) of another sect (Christians). Why it was becoming a threat to their longstanding beliefs and practices. Aren’t you happy that those practices were all due to the immaturity, prejudices and hatred of that day? Or were they?….
APPLICATION:
I have always remembered the words of a tour guide that took my family and I through Fort Charlotte, in the Bahamas. He showed us, and explained to us, how the stretch chamber was used when the British soldiers wanted to force the captured pirates to talk. His words still echo in my mind: “sure glad I wasn’t born in those days. ha, ha, ha”! Those words came to mind as I read these verses, because I’m afraid that many of us sit innocent in our church services and really criticize the Jews for being so awful to Jesus. And while I could agree with you, I believe we often ignore how much of that attitude we still bring to our churches today. Having just celebrated Easter and our risen Lord, our hearts are probably still overflowing with thanksgiving after being reminded about all that Jesus did for us at Calvary. We probably celebrated in worship more this past weekend than we have in a long time. But how is it going for most of you after being back in the workforce for a part of the week? I realize that for most of us, we could easily get defensive about how precious our own churches are, but friends I would encourage you to pray a hedge of protection around your pastor(s) and teachers, for Satan is out to attack them in much the same way as the Pharisees did to Jesus. In fact, many of them have probably received way more emails, letters and/or visits to criticize the efforts of Resurrection Sunday than to thank them and encourage them for their efforts amidst family visiting with them and the normal day-to-day pressures of pastoring. Can you imagine the awe of what our worship times together could be, if we:

  • Prepared our hearts for worship by asking God to remove the busyness of the week from our minds so that we could concentrate on Him, if only during our designated times of worship;
  • Support and uphold our pastor(s) and teachers, by praying that God will find them to be usable vessels through which He could minister to us;
  • Pray that those that we love, and have invited to church, will stop the excuses and actually show up, so that they might be encouraged and hear a word from the Lord;
  • Pray for, and try to encourage a few people in attendance, for many are struggling with personal issues, and enormous pressure from Satan to turn away from God;
  • Reflect personally on the awesome worthiness of God, and how truly needy we are when stacked up against His awesome worth. Prepare to celebrate this with other believers of like mind;

Friends, I truly believe that when we prepare our hearts like this, we will find less time and importance in seeking out the bad in our pastor and church leaders, and the hypocrite sitting two rows in front of us, and instead this will lead us to open the doors of heaven and seek Jesus for who He is, and ask for His perfection in our lives so that we might be usable vessels in His earthly ministry. You see, there’s way too much need personally, than to waste our time trying to be God and judge everyone around us. That’s not a part of worship to our heavenly Father.

PRAYER:
Dear Lord Jesus, please humble our hearts so that we might seek Your perfection in our lives. Please humble us to serve You and others instead of waiting to be catered to in all walks of life. Help us to imitate You in all walks of life, so that others might be reminded of You, Your character, love and godliness. ‘People need the Lord’, oh that we might encourage and provoke that desire into reality, rather than being a stumbling block that might turn them away forever. You’re in control of us dear Jesus, and You control those around us, please help us to communicate with You about the needs that we see, rather than trying to invoke our own ideologies on the needy that we come into contact with. May it be obvious to others today, whose we are! 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 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!

Be Encouragers of God’s Messengers

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 2:2-6): God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. 3 We didn’t have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn’t try to fool or trick anyone. 4 God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives. 5 You also know that we didn’t try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn’t a cover-up for greed. 6 We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us.

Thoughts: I believe that when one does a job in spite of opposition, or in spite of whining and complaining by those they are trying to help, then we should appreciate that they are specially called for that job, and they are therefore working as a result of their obligation to a higher calling. This is what we see in this message by Paul, and if we are real honest, this is what we see in our pastors and teachers at our local churches. Although they may never openly complain, I believe that our pastors face a lot of correction, ideas, suggestions and self-proclaimed righteousness from their congregations to whom they preach and teach. Please don’t get me wrong friends, I believe pastors welcome your constructive input, because it helps to show them that you were listening and indeed care enough to correct them or encourage them with your words. But let’s try to be careful to be encouragers, and not on the list of ‘trouble makers’ or ‘opposers’ to the gospel. When our pastors have the freedom to share the unfiltered Word of God with us, then perhaps we can hear directly from God. If they have to speak in parables to make sure they don’t hurt the feelings of some, then many of us will totally miss the point! Paul shared that he had no other motive than to see Jesus accepted and God magnified and lifted up by the folk he was ministering to. I believe that we still have men of God who endeavors to do this through their preaching, teaching and actions in their life. I hope that even today we can commit to aiding these gentlemen – these men of God, to be transparent in what God wants to say to us through them, and not be hindered by us in any way. I was taught many years ago that each of us might mess up at times, but let’s learn to look at the heart and see what the other brother’s heart might be. Many times we will be convinced that although he may have said something differently to what we would have said, his intent was to help and/or to magnify God. So where do you best fit in this scenario today: Encourager; Opposer or just don’t listen close enough to care? I believe God wants us to all be encouragers, and we can do this through an encouraging word to our pastors and/or teachers, or we can pray for God’s ongoing hand upon them as they surrender to Him and try to share His Word with us. Let’s commit to improving our stance, so that our pastors might be improved in their walk and their talk!

Prayer: Lord, You have indeed blessed us with great messengers who sacrifice daily so that they might share Your heart and Your will with us. I sincerely thank You for my pastors and teachers and I pray that they might be even more energized by Your touch on their lives today. May they be drawn so close to Your bosom today that they might be reassured of Your love and Your direction for them as they lead us. May they receive a fresh anointing of Your divine Holy Spirit so that as they stand before us this weekend we may hear the unfiltered Word of God and not have to guess what You are trying to say to us through them. May our pastors have the freedom to be transparent in what You might need to say to us through them, is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in Your precious name, with thanksgiving. 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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