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

Archive for the ‘Perseverance’ Category

Persistent Faith

Friday, 2016-11-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 18:6-8

Bible Text: Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

Yesterday we looked at a passage of scripture that spoke to persistence in prayer. Our study today looks at an example of a widow persistently petitioning before a court judge to the point that he felt battered and forced to give in to the widow for his own peace of mind. Sounds pretty similar, especially for Jesus to use this example to remind us that when we are persistent in prayer to our Judge – who performs justice on us, we can be assured that He (Jesus) will also answer our prayers. However, in verse 8 Jesus took this to a deeper, and even more sobering point for us to consider. We hear a lot of people say they will pray for us, and a lot of people who ask us to pray for them, but in verse 8 Jesus  may have been saddened when He questioned, or pondered how many will the Son of Man (Jesus) find with persistent faith when He returns. Friends, only Jesus knows the heart of man, but I believe the evidence shows that persistent prayers on earth only lasts as long as there are persistent needs. This would leave one to conclude that our prayers are more need-based than relational. What would happen in your home if you only spoke to your spouse or relatives when there’s a need that you have? Probably won’t be much of a relationship there. This is also the case with prayer, for based on our faith in God and our relationship with His Son, we would naturally find multiple reasons throughout our day to worship Him in prayer; praise Him for His glorious love and peace that belong to us who know Him personally; and of course, share with Him about our earthly concerns. I would highly recommend that you spend more time in your prayer life seeking the face of Jesus; worshipping and adoring Him and thanking Him for all that He has done for you and for those you love. Oh, and if there is time, share with Him the things that concern you most here on this earth and ask for His guidance, boldness and likeness of Himself as you minister among His people today. Please don’t waste your prayer time with Jesus on just a list of needs and/or petitions. Savor in His goodness first, then ask, if you must. Without faith, one would never take the recommended  steps that I suggested because they’re only after getting answers for their specific needs. Be reminded friends, that our Lord and Savior is not a santa clause or a magician that some might call on for specific items, He wants a personal relationship with you and he wants to help you build faith in the Master of this universe. If Jesus returned today, will He be pleased with the relationship you have developed with Him? Please note that nowhere in scripture does it tell us the day or the hour when our Lord will return to take us home with himself. He just wants us to be prepared each and every day! Please read the suggestions in my Footnote to help you determine if you are scripturally saved and ready for the return of Jesus Christ! It will be a most wonderful day, if you’re ready!

Prayer

Lord, we are reminded again of Your return and the importance of our persistent faith in You, that makes a persistent prayer life possible. Please speak to the hearts and minds of all who might read this devotional today. If they know you, then I pray that they will work towards a persistent prayer life with You. If they are unsure of their faith in You, or if they know for sure that they have never accepted You as Lord, then I humbly pray that today will be the day of salvation for at least one. Please have Your perfect will in the lives of each of us today is my humble prayer oh Lord, 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 http://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!

Persistent Praying

Thursday, 2016-11-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 11:9-13

Bible Text: 9 So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!

Bible Translation: The Amplified Bible (AMP)

My Take

At one time I asked a young man how did he land a waiter job at such a distinguished restaurant. He said he attributed it to the fact that he was persistent. He felt it was not enough to just complete an application online, but he kept checking with the restaurant manager to see if his application was reviewed and if he could have the job. Now friends, take a moment to consider that compared to the multitude of folk that apply so they could tell their loved one that they had filled out ‘x’ number of applications that day. The restaurant manager knew that the young man in my story wanted the job and would probably be just as persistent in being at work every day. In our story today, Jesus tells us just the opposite of what I have heard taught by man, for here we are taught to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. Do we think for a moment that God didn’t hear us the first time? No, but I believe God helps us to understand that if our need is important enough, we will continue asking. It really shows our heart’s deepest desire as opposed to just asking for something on a whim. In verse 13 we are told that we could ask for a deep indwelling of the Holy Spirit and God would be no less of a giver than our earthly dad, He would give the Holy Spirit to those of us that would ask. Now many of you may stop and ask like I did, how we thought that the Holy Spirit was given to us at new birth – when we invited Jesus to save us from our sin. Yes, Romans 8:9 confirms our belief about this. So I did some additional study on this and found that even after the promised Holy Spirit was promised to us, it was not an automatic indwelling with everyone as indicated in Acts 2:33; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4. The point that Jesus aimed to get across to His audience was that His Father will give of the very best that could be offered to His children when we ask. Friends I don’t believe that anything has changed in that last statement, for Jesus loves us with such a passion that He stood in our place at Calvary. He sacrificed His very life as the greatest gift to mankind, for His shed blood became the sacrifice necessary for us to be accepted into heaven to spend eternity with He and His Father. You need only to ask Jesus into your heart friend. Will you do that today?

Prayer

Father God, we give to our children, and we think at times that we even sacrifice for their well-being. However, You loved us enough to show us what the ultimate sacrifice could look like. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Son, Jesus, and thank you immensely for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, our comforter and our guide in life. Lord teach us to love like You demonstrated love to us. I feel like this is required for us to present ourselves to a lost world as being your representative. Please have Your way in our lives this day oh Lord. May You be honored in every way through our character today. 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 http://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!

Be Kind to God’s Messengers

Monday, 2016-07-11

Scripture

Bible Reference: Acts 26:10–11; 13–14

Bible Text: 10 ….. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.

13 …. as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

In some translations, the word ‘persecute’ is used several times in the few verses referenced. Here’s what that means: “to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs“. I feel like God opened my eyes and reminded me that when we treat God’s messengers with contempt, then we are actually persecuting the Lord Jesus himself. This reminds me of a loving parent who feels condemned when their child is persecuted or ill-treated. So what is our lesson in this? After all, we don’t go about ‘persecuting’ our religious leaders. Or do we? How often do you hear corners of conversation that tend to chew up the sermon from your last service, or the dress code of the pastor, or the makeup on the worship team leader, or the audacity of the pastor to say what he did during his sermon? Is that complimentary of God’s messenger? Is that the precursor to a time of prayer that the group will have for their pastor? I’ve always said that one will get as much from a sermon, as they have prayed into it. Do you feel like we tend to persecute the pastor because God didn’t respond like we expected to our prayers for His messenger who stood in the pulpit? Friends, over in 2 Chronicles 7:14, God said that if we would humble ourselves and pray (not belittle or try to humble the pastor), and if we would seek His face, and if we would turn from our wicked ways, then He would hear from heaven, forgive our sins and restore our land. Notice the personal application there? Nothing about God taking care of all that we feel are inadequate, or who screw up at every opportunity. Friends, I believe that these scriptures are warning us that we have a full-time job doing all that God expects of us, so if we find that we are ‘persecuting’ anyone, then we are meddling and need to get back to the basics. Take care of self first, then perhaps we will not be near as critical of everyone else. Please don’t shrug this off as being super applicable to all of your friends. Allow God to search your heart and convict you of your sin and shortcomings. I believe you will find that there’s lots there to keep you on your knees for a very long time, including praying for your spiritual leaders.  There just won’t be time enough to persecute others. 

Prayer

Lord God, You created all things and You are above all things. Thank You for sending messengers, Your angels, to minister to folk like me, even though we tend to persecute the very ones that You send to bless us, love on us and warn us about our sinful lives. Please help us to love these ones, in spite of them not meeting all of our expectations, and in spite of our sinful desire to persecute them. I believe it is obvious that Paul was not the only one that persecuted Christians. Please dear Lord, rest Your hand upon Your children today, beginning with me, and help us to accept Your power and desire to help us succeed in this Christian life, so that we may serve You better and more fully. We are your messengers as well, please encourage us to treat other messengers in the same way that we want to be treated. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may we be ready and obedient in every way, every day! 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!

Stand Firm

THE HOLY BIBLE – 56 Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin. 57 But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory! 58 My dear friends, stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:56-58 ~ The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

THOUGHTS: I’ve heard terms like ‘hunker down’ and I’ve heard it used in scenarios where all preparations have been completed, so now settle in for the main event. Before I give you another scenario, I promise you that I will not talk politics on this blog, because my story, and this blog, is about a much more important matter and individual. However, I’ve seen in every case where politicians will begin their campaigns in fairly low gear as they try to organize their campaign and gear up towards the BIG day, but they will stand committed to their campaign principles and goals. Now, let’s think about all that Paul is sharing in his admonition to the Corinthian church, and why I believe that God placed this in His word especially for us. In the verses preceding the ones above, Paul explained what happens to our bodies after they wear out here on earth. I realize for the non-believer reading this devotional, this simply means that life is done, so no need to worry about any possible future life. The Bible teaches otherwise, friend, and I would love to share more on that with you. However, for the believer, it’s almost like a kid looking towards Christmas and counting down the days, for we know that the greatest gift ever imagined, was given for us through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing that the time for us to see Him, builds our anticipation towards that day, and it causes us to rejoice in anticipation of His presence throughout all eternity! Praise to the everlasting Prince of Peace! When a child builds up so much excitement about Christmas, parents must find ways to really keep them busy, so they don’t become overwhelmed with anticipation. Paul knew that we would have that same type of anticipation, but yet face ongoing pressure and distractions by the evil one while we remain in his territory here on earth, so Paul advises that we are to ‘hunker down’, or stand firm in our faith, so that He in whom we have placed our faith, will be our strength, our deliverance, our provider, our encourager and therefore, become the focus of our faith and our trust while we wait for His return. As we do this, we encourage those who are still in doubt and who tend to waiver when faced with challenges and distractions. There’s a little children’s chorus with words “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”. I would like to encourage all God’s children with the words we are reminded of in these verses today, “if you’re truly His and you know it, stand firm and don’t be shaken by anything Satan will fire at you while living in his territory here on earth, for we have a much brighter future to look forward to and an awesome Savior awaiting our welcome home to spend eternity with He and His Father – God”! It just don’t get any better than that friend! The great news for everyone – especially the unbeliever, is that you can have this truly awesome experience also, if you surrender your life to, and accept the invitation of, my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Even better news is that there is no big secret in how you can be saved, in fact, I have all the help you need in the Footnote below! Make your decision and commitment today friend, then join us in standing firm in our faith as we await that awesome day, when our Lord will welcome us home!!

PRAYER: We are so blessed by the Gift that You provided for us dear God, so that we might have a means of seeing You and worshiping You in person one day! Thank You dear Father, thank You dear Jesus for the greatest gift ever given! Please help us to stay focused, stand firm in our faith, so that we would not cave in to the snares of Satan and his many cohorts here on earth. As we focus on eternity with You, may we aim to live like You and in full obedience to all that You have instructed us, may we stand so firm in our faith, that it will become obvious to all that we come into contact with, whose we are. It’s You we love, and live to be with, dear Jesus. Please grant us strength and perseverance to live our life pleasing to You, for 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 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!

Perseverance Pays Off

THE HOLY BIBLE (New International Version – James 1:12): 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

THOUGHTS: We hear about ‘fair weather’ Christians, where we find it very easy to praise God when we feel like everything is going our way. We also hear about ‘hard times’ Christians, for it is only then that many of us look up to God and truly seek His face. Friends, as I read this verse this morning I felt like God was saying that He will truly bless us and/or reward us if we stick with Him while He is blessing us with riches and good fortunes, or testing our faith through very tough times. There’s a song that has lyrics similar to this “if I never have a burden, how would I know that God can truly pull me through“. I believe that ‘to persevere’ is to be consistent and/or dedicated in spite of our circumstances. Imagine taking a road trip from one location to another. You don’t turn around and head back home if your car has a flat tire, instead you have your problem repaired and then you travel on to your destination. On those trips when you’ve travelled hundreds of miles and arrive without incident, hopefully you then take time to thank the Lord for safety and protection on the road. These types of scenarios are similar to those that we face each and every day, and indicative of our walk with the Lord. If you are not already a praising person, may I encourage you to learn to ask God to bless you each day! Ask Him to use you as His faithful witness here on planet earth and to bring glory to Him in all things. Don’t place any conditions on that, such as “if things go my way” or “if there’s no setbacks”. Learn to praise God (persevere) in all circumstances and look for the lessons that He is teaching you, or how He uses those circumstances to redirect you into His perfect will. Oh that we may learn to let go of self and let God have His perfect will in our lives. Let’s commit to honor God, worship Him, serve Him and follow Him in spite of our circumstances. Obeying God in every circumstance, no matter where He leads, is an important way of showing our love towards God for His rich blessings, protection, guidance and leadership. This scripture assures us that when we do this, we are sure to receive a crown that God has promised to all who love Him.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and Your assurance of being our Guide, our Protector and our Provider each and every day. Please give us strength and fortitude to let go of our selfish desires and self-will to do ‘our own thing’ instead of leaning on the everlasting arms of the One who created us and who knows what lies ahead for us and the ones we need to help. Lord, may we learn to be as instruments in Your hands so that You may accomplish Your will through us in every circumstance of life. We are appreciative of our promised reward, but Lord, may we be content in knowing that we are obedient followers of the One who has this whole world in His hands and under His control. We are Your children Lord. We love You and long to be obedient in following Your plan for our lives. I ask these things in faith and in the precious and all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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