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

Archive for the ‘Perfection’ Category

What Makes Us Unfit For God

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-05-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 7:20-23 (TLB)

Text:

20 And then he added, “It is the thought-life that pollutes. 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, 22 wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what pollute you and make you unfit for God.”
OBSERVATION:
Jesus had to get the Pharisees straight on their line of thinking, for they went out of their way to criticize Jesus and His followers for not following lots of manmade rules, while all the while harboring awful thoughts inside of them. As we study this today, I can assure you that we are no different, and would therefore recommend that you do some soul searching and honestly consider whether you are truly fit for meeting the God of this universe.
APPLICATION:
Before we think too critically of the Pharisees, please allow me to challenge us to think about the many unwritten rules that we use when analyzing (judging) the behavior of those that we come into contact with. Often this really gets into our pious minds as to whether we think a person is fit for the kingdom of God. We tend to consider whether the place a person visits make them unfit; the words they say that might offend God; the people they hang around, that makes them guilty by association; the church they attend or the frequency of their weekly visits to that place of worship; or even the duration of their time meditating on God’s Word. Does this sound familiar friends? What do you think, do we really need God to judge our friends? So what exactly is it that God is teaching us here? He certainly is not teaching us how to judge someone, so we could erase that thought! Instead, I believe that God is teaching us to:

  • Be careful of what we fill our minds with. If we seek God’s face on a regular basis, then we will quickly conclude that we are so unworthy. If we humble ourselves before Him and seek His guidance and His direction for our lives, and we become submissive to His perfect will, then perhaps we will see Him steering us in right paths. If we fill our minds with godly things, then we will begin thinking like God and depending on Him more and more. His Word will help us to flush out those evil thoughts and desires that bombard us every day that we are in this wicked world;
  • Be the eyes, hands and feet of Jesus to those that we come into contact with. Let’s remember that each one is so valuable in the eyes of Jesus that He actually ‘gave up His life for us’. What does that mean? Friends, He had the power to raise the dead, heal the sick and make the crippled to walk again. He also had the power to wipe out the whole bunch of those that beat on Him and took Him to Calvary to be hung on a cross in mockery before the world, yet He made the sacrifice anyway. If He thought enough of each one of us to do that, how dare us to exclude some from that love? If they are special in God’s sight and worthy of the sacrifice of His precious Son, and we are endeavoring to be examples of that same Jesus, then we must look on the best and worst of mankind in the same light as He did. All are precious in His sight, and so should they be in ours.
  • Use the list of items quoted in these verses to help identify when we are off-track in our minds. To arrive at this point, we have probably already gone through many of the things I have already mentioned. Let us therefore present ourselves to God and ask Him to cleanse us and give us a new mind – one that is so filled with His grace and His mercy, so that our minds might be renewed, and refilled with the things of God and not of this wicked world.

This Brother cannot tell you what you need to do to align yourselves properly with God. So present yourselves to God and ask Him to assume, or resume leadership in your life. Ask Him to fill you with His power and His grace, so that others will see Jesus in everything that you say, hear or do, knowing that He will ultimately reflect in the way you speak or act around others.

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, who is man that You would sacrifice Your life for us? Who is man that You would use us to minister in Your name and share Your gospel with others? Lord, we want to be fit vessels that will represent You well before a lost and dying world, but we can’t do it on our own. To be filled with You, we must totally surrender ourselves to You and ask You to assume control. Please work in and through us to accomplish Your perfect will for mankind, especially my family and friends within my realm of influence. The glory belongs to You as Your perfect will is accomplished 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 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!

The Pyramid Of Life Decisions

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-04-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 4:15-20 (NIV)

Text:

15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
OBSERVATION:
In the earlier part of chapter 4, Jesus had taught the crowd through a parable that totally related to where they were at in life. He used a farmer, that probably applied to most who were in the audience at the time, so I’m sure they totally ‘caught His drift’. However, just like we tend to dance around the truth today by applying an interpretation that suits our circumstance, Jesus wanted to make sure that His teaching was caught and applied, so He went into detail about the parable. Let’s see how, or if this applies to us….
APPLICATION:
I recognized a pyramid in this teaching, and I believe that we will place ourselves in one of the levels of the pyramid, and I’m hoping that we will seek the face of God to help us strive for the top level (#1) of the pyramid through constant growth in our relationship with God, through His Son Jesus. Here is what I am seeing in this pyramid, starting with the bottom level:

5. Unbelievers – Although not mentioned in the parable, there are some who refuse to listen to the Word of God;

4. Easily accessible by Satan – These are ones who my live with godly parents, or work alongside a Christian, so they see God at work, and may hear the Word spoken at times, but Satan has full access to their heart, without any filters. So he immediately fills their heart with ‘sweet nothings’ in order to prevent their minds wandering away from his evil ways. They may hear the Word of God, but Satan quickly erases the thought from their minds;

3. Stoney ground – I believe these may have accepted Jesus as Lord at one time, probably through peer pressure or to please mom or dad. But they have no desire to grow in their ‘Christian walk’. So hearing the Word of God has no impact in their life. It’s like going to the top of a hill and trying to find enough soil to plant something that needs a foot of soil for its root system. The Word does not impact their lives;

2. Persistent thorns – Planting the Word of God in the life of one so distracted by the world, makes it almost impossible to take traction in that person. God said in another place in His work, that we are to be still and know that He is God. When we enter into a Bible teaching classroom or sanctuary, with our minds so bogged down in the worries of this world, or the sinful place that we attended last night, the distraction, or thorns of sin, will control our minds and block our acceptance and/or understanding of the Word being taught;

1. Good soil – A farmer finds the best soil to plant his seeds in, to ensure the most healthy and productive growth. A Christian whose aim is to be more like Christ in every aspect of life, will look for ingredients to enrich their lives. This might be daily quiet daily times that include some time in the Word of God; prayer; and reflection on God and His awesome goodness. These followers of Christ will look to produce fruit by finding ways to produce additional Christians and bringing ones up the pyramid. Just as farmers tend to spend more time enriching the soil, watering the plants and eradicating the weeds, so these Christians will have a deep desire to grow in their faith and find ways to not only develop a closer relationship with the Lord, but especially find ways to encourage those around them.

So I wonder friend, at which level of the pyramid did you find yourself? If, in your honesty, you found yourself below level ‘1’, may I encourage you to ‘Have a little Talk with Jesus’ and pour out your soul to Him. Ask Him for help in attaining level ‘1’ and watch how He will drive you to a deeper walk with Himself! I truly believe that His desire is to see us all be little ‘Christ’s’ because of our personal desire to do His will.

PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Savior, Master, and King, thank You for loving us enough to care about us and accept us as Your children in spite of our ugly past, or our easy tendency to sin. Your Word is so mind provoking, that we are frequently reminded of our inadequacies; our weak approach to holiness; and our walk that exemplifies a ‘perfect’ Lord. Please forgive us for deliberately keeping one foot in the world, while striving to place the other foot in a circle filled with Your holiness and righteousness. Although I plead Your blood and Your holiness on all those who my read this devotional, ‘It’s Me Oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer’. Please work on Your humble servant so that I may exemplify You in every walk of life and with everyone that I may find myself associating with. With all glory to You oh King! 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!

A Higher Calling – Perfection

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-01-14
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 5:43–48 (Voice)

Text:

43 You have been taught to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you this: love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you— 45 in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven. He, after all, loves each of us—good and evil, kind and cruel. He causes the sun to rise and shine on evil and good alike. He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner. 46 It is easy to love those who love you—even a tax collector can love those who love him. 47 And it is easy to greet your friends—even outsiders do that! 48 But you are called to something higher:Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
OBSERVATION:
Jesus taught us that He was ordained as God’s special gift to mankind that would be born miraculously though a virgin; He lived among men who hated Him and ridiculed Him; and He died a criminal’s death on a cross – in spite of having the power to overcome with just a single Word. Let’s remember, Jesus did this for mankind even while men hated Him and was following the evil desires of this world. So consider that kind of love and then read this passage again. Notice in verse 48 that we, who know this Jesus intimately and have surrendered our lives to His will, are called to a much higher calling – to be perfect even as our Savior is perfect.
APPLICATION:
I’m super excited that based on the title you didn’t ignore this devotional, because you knew that you could never attain perfection! Allow me to encourage you today friend, for while you are right in thinking that you could never attain perfection, when we accept the only perfect One, Jesus Christ, and allow Him to control our lives, He places His Holy Spirit within us to mold us into His likeness. When we commit ourselves to the only ‘perfect’ One, and when He fills us with His likeness, and He controls our thoughts and our wants, we become vessels that are used by God. Only then, and by His grace alone, can we ever attain the perfection of God. For it is He who controls us. Jesus wants us to love like Him, including the willful love of those who hate us and despise us. Friends, I truly believe what the Word of God teaches, that the Master of this universe can work through us in all things and cause us to love, even as He loves. Let’s test Him with that today and prove His mighty power. If He told us to do it, then by His grace we have all power and authority to do just that!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for demonstrating Your enormous love for us that even while we were yet sinners, You died for us, so that we might see the likes of heaven and especially see Your father in heaven. The commands in these verses today sound impossible, but knowing that all things are possible by the God we serve, we humbly place ourselves at Your feet and ask that You guide us and direct us into ultimate perfection, even to love those that despitfully use and abuse us. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and Your will be done in and through each of us today, for I ask these things in the 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 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!

Believers Are Made Perfect!

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Hebrews 10:12-14): As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.

THOUGHTS: Before you conclude that I am crazy in believing that I, or any other believer in Christ, might be ‘perfect’, as announced in my blog title today, please read the Holy Scripture quoted directly from the book of Hebrews in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. You see, God created us and placed us here in a perfect world that He created for us to enjoy. However, God gave us the freedom to live our lives like we want to. Given the knowledge that God is the only ‘Perfect One’, mankind tried finding ways to draw close to God. Unfortunately, in spite of trying every type of sacrifice and trying to obey every type of man-made law, yet a large gap remained between God and man. I don’t believe that God ever wanted us to stay at odds with Him, so He sent His very own Son, Jesus, as a final, and ultimate, sacrifice to provide a very simple means for mankind to seek forgiveness, and to bridge the gap between God and man caused by sin. This process was explained in our passage as Jesus, the only Perfect One, making the way for an imperfect people like us (where sin had created a gap between God and us) to become perfect, even as He is ‘perfect’ before God the Father. Friends, I believe that many times our churches today still try to complicate this process by throwing in many rules and stipulations of their own. I believe that many spiritual leaders today still find it challenging to accept that God made it so simple for us to be made ‘perfect’ just as He and His Son Jesus are perfect. In a life of imperfection, or life without Christ, I’m afraid that you tend to look at life like a pessimist who looks at a glass half filled with water and sees it as almost empty. For Christians who truly know the ‘Perfect One’ in a very personal and victorious way, our glass is always nearing capacity, because we know the hope that our future holds! To live here on earth as a witness to others, is a glorious life! But to be called out of this world to be with Jesus and His Father, is truly beyond our earthly description and/or imagination, for that will be glory, be glory for us!! Have you been introduced to this ‘Perfect One’ that I call my Savior and Lord? Please refer to my ‘Footnote’ for a means of introduction, or at least for contact information so that I may personally introduce you to Him!

PRAYER: To the only true and ‘Perfect One’, I come before You with a heart filled with thanksgiving, for sending Your Son Jesus, to provide the means for us to also become ‘perfect’ in Your eyes. I am amazed yet again by the love that You have shown, Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul‘. While perfection, for the purpose of being better than others is not my goal, I sincerely desire to overcome the temptations of this world and to be more like You in every way possible. I want to see my Savior when called away from this earth, and knowing that He is the ‘Perfect One’, I know that I must strive towards the perfection that only You can provide, so Lord I place my life in Your hands today and ask for a special touch from You. I pray that my friends who are led to this blog today will receive rich blessings from a ‘Perfect Savior’ who loves them so much that He gave His very life for them. Lord, You are so good to us! Bless us this day with Your ongoing hand of perfection. I pray and ask all this in the matchless 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!

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