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

Archive for the ‘Reaching the Lost’ Category

Too Busy

The Bible – The Message

 Romans 9:30-32

 …. All those people who didn’t seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling.

 Thoughts:

Friends I know that we have our secular jobs, and many of us also have volunteered for jobs in the church, but are we capable of knowing when we are too busy to really see God at work in and around us? Paul, in addressing his fellow Jews, tried to bring to their attention that in his ministry to the gentiles (those who were despised by the Jews), he had discovered such an appreciation for God and His wonderful work/miracles, compared to what he saw in his own people, who appeared sold out to God. This sounds so much like us sometimes. It is known around churches that if you need someone to do something, ask a busy person. And although this means that you can often trust them to get the job done, what it also means is that you are giving them yet another ‘job’, and before you realize it, that person is coming to church thinking of it as just another job, like they are obligated to all other days of the week. Friends, I realize that it takes people to get the total job done around church, but when we lose sight of the reason for us going to church, to offer up praise and worship to our heavenly Father, then we have just personally taken on too much. We must find time in our busy lives for personal worship – time alone with God, and for corporate worship – time corporately with God and others of like faith. I believe that I coined a phrase that I encourage all those that I have opportunity to mentor, to use: instead of ever saying that you didn’t have time for something, always say it was not a priority! I especially encourage you to use this when you have neglected your time alone with God or your corporate worship time. In fact I encourage you to use this phrase in your conversation (prayer) with God as you talk to him about missed opportunities. It will help you to regain the priorities in your life! Keeping busy will keep us out of trouble, but if we are not careful, it could also keep us out of a sweet relationship with our heavenly Father. Why not step back and honestly evaluate your life today? Are you too busy?

Prayer:

Thank You Father for blessing us with talents that we may use for You in and around the local church. Please help us to know when we have enough to do, and especially when church work is preventing us from spending the time with You that we so badly need for our spiritual enrichment. Without You in the forefront of our day, we will reflect too much of this world to those who especially need to know You and see Your qualities in us. We were created to glorify You dear God. When we fail to do that because we are too busy, especially with ‘church jobs’ or as Paul said, “God projects”, then we ask that You please get our attention and pull us back to You. Most of us have family and loved ones who need the Lord, Father I pray that they may first of all see Jesus in everything that we do or say so that we may influence them to seek You and the wonder of Your grace, mercy and love. I ask all this in the wonderful name of Your Son, Jesus the Christ, my Lord and Savior, AMEN!

 

 NOTE: 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.

Mercy and Compassion – God’s In Charge!

The Bible – The Message

Romans 9:14-18

14–18       Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. God told Moses, “I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.” Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy. The same point was made when God said to Pharaoh, “I picked you as a bit player in this drama of my salvation power.” All we’re saying is that God has the first word, initiating the action in which we play our part for good or ill.

 Thoughts:

We hear a lot of folk say that God’s not fair, and I cringe whenever I hear those words. Friends, we place ourselves in very compromising places at times, and unfortunately bad things happen, especially in places where Satan is very present. I heard a preacher speak on the subject “Why do bad things happen to good people”, and although he was the right person to preach that sermon, seeing that he himself had Multiple Sclerosis and had difficulty speaking. Yet he helped his hearers to understand that we are all blessed by God in that He sent His one and only Son to die a cruel death on the cross, so that all those that believe on Him might have eternal life. So who are the ‘all’ he referred to? People such as Saul who was a persecutor of Christians and the church, yet God made such a difference in His life that he became a great evangelist and writer, having written many of the New Testament books. He made such a turnaround in his life that his name was changed to Paul to reflect the total life change. What Paul is explaining to his audience at Rome, and what God is using this message to speak with us about is that:

  • God is the author and maker of mankind and we are to be thankful and celebrative for this;
  • God loved us while we were still sinners and provided a means to enter His kingdom, and we are to be thankful and celebrative for this;
  • God showed compassion on us and chose us to be His children – because, friends sinners only has a mind for sinful things, not Godly ownership and Godly happiness, and we are to be thankful and celebrative for this;

So Paul’s question to his audience and to us today is, “what are we complaining about God not being fair about?” From the points above, I believe we can clearly see that God loves us way more than we deserve, and what is unfair about that? Let’s not question God when He doesn’t handle a situation the way that we instructed Him, He’s still God and above Him there is no other. Count your blessings friend, and I assure you that you’ll not have enough fingers left to consider the self-inflicted, unfortunate things that we tend to blame on God. I serve an awesome God, and my heart’s desire is to encourage as many as I can to know this Savior I love and adore! Are you ready to make a decision friend? Please use the contact information at the foot of this post to email me and allow me to pray with you, encourage you and introduce you to Jesus!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we are such an undeserving, yet very blessed people. Please help us to count our blessings and stop the whining and complaining. Where would we have been had it not been for Your love, Your mercy and Your compassion? Thank You for Your mercies on me. Thank You for Your blessings on me. Thank You for the assurance of my eternal home in glory with You. Please dear Lord, speak to the hearts of my friends and family that are not living life to its fullest today, because they have not given You full control of their lives. The sacrifice has been made, and I thank You for that, please help them to accept the gift that You so lovingly gave just for us. I am very thankful, yet I continue to ask on behalf of my unsaved friends, in Your precious and worthy name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: **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.

Our Witness Should Lead Others To Christ

The Bible –New Century Version

Psalm 40:2-3

          He lifted me out of the pit of destruction, out of the sticky mud. He stood me on a rock and made my feet steady.

          He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many people will see this and worship him. Then they will trust the Lord.

 Thoughts:

 We can easily identify a single man by his playfulness with no one girl. We can generally identify a married man by his devotion to his wife and his unselfish attitude in doing everything to make her happy. We can generally identify a sinner by the unconcern for anything spiritual; their ungodly character; their ungodly, and often disrespectful speech and of course their lack of interest in trying to be in the presence of Christian believers. What is often confusing is when we hear folk that meet most of the criteria just stated, yet they will tell someone that they are a ‘Christian’ or they attend church regularly. As a follower of Christ, we must often return to the cross and, like David, thank God for what He brought us through and where He brought us from. If we don’t do this we may tend to boast about what we did to achieve our rightness with God. While at the foot of the cross we should remind ourselves of the joyful song that we exuded at the time of our conversion, and ask God to refresh that song in our heart so that we may glow with His presence and His glory. When others see Jesus, yes even His qualities in us, they will burst in to worship to God! For those who have only heard of Jesus, they will trust in Him and seek His favor. So I guess my challenge to believers today is: Does others see enough difference in us that they would want any part of what incents us, what drives us or what motivates us? Are we singing the praises of a King’s kid, or are we portrayed to others as a beggar with lots of needs and having never been lovingly and spiritually touched by the Master? We will exude what is prominent inside of us. Why not put more of Jesus in, through daily time in the Word, prayer and communion with God?

 Prayer:

 I’m Yours Lord. May others see and be blessed in recognizing that You are mine also. May Your will, Your love and Your character be prominent in me so that You may be lifted up and that others may be drawn to You. Touch hardened hearts today so that they may not shy away from recognizing and accepting You. Touch the hearts of Your kids so that your glory may shine through every fiber of our lives and influence this world for You. Lord, may You be glorified today in all things that we do or say, for it is in Your precious and worthy name that I ask, AMEN!

 

Note: **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.

The Reward for Living Life Led By ‘The Spirit’!

The Bible –Good News Translation

Romans 8:13-14

13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.

Thoughts:

We live our lives according to two principles: 1). Dedicated to, and led by, God’s Holy Spirit – This means that like me, you have given yourself totally and unreservedly to the Savior of this world – Jesus. And because He lives in You and gives you a desire for His Word and for a life dedicated to serving Him and imitating Him in character, deed and word, then according to vs 14 we are His children, and according to vs 13, we will live – meaning live forever with Him in heaven even after we leave this old world! Principle #2). Is that you do nothing about your sinful condition. In fact, it dominates your life, and every decision you make and every deed and action comes from the mind and life of human nature and not of God. Friends, it is plain in verse 13 that folk living under this principle are destined to ‘die’. For those of you that have resigned yourself to accept this principle must realize that Paul is not just referring to physical death – that we all must go through, but he is referring to everlasting death, and for those of you that refer to daily life as being hell on earth, I need to remind you that you ‘ain’t seen nothin yet’, for eternal damnation in hell after your life on this cruel earth, is one that would sadden God’s heart to see any of His creation become a part of. However, just as loving parents allow their children to make their own choices, God allows us to make a choice between principle (1) and principle (2). What would you wish for your favorite child? Would you consider anything less for yourself? Vs 14 declares that when we choose principle (1), we are considered God’s children. Fact – Jesus is King over all this world. Children of kings are known as Princes and Princesses! Secure your new title today friend, if you have not already made a decision for principle (1).

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for the privilege of serving You, and for giving me guidance, wisdom, strength and boldness to live my life as detailed in principle (1) above. Although excited about each day and the opportunities available to me, I am overwhelmed and super excited about the expectations of eternal life with You in glory! However, while here on this earth I become very anxious about my family and friends that have defaulted to principle (2) because of their lack of concern for a better life; a richer quality of life; a satisfied life knowing that You have every little thing under control and a praise-worthy life acknowledging that all things come from You, for our good and benefit, and that You have this whole life thing under Your control, with no reason for us to worry. Lord, I’m Yours – everything I am, everything I have! Thank You for taking it (life) from here! These praises, requests and acknowledgments are all presented in Your holy name and for Your glory, oh Lord, AMEN!

 

**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.

Coming Soon – Ready or Not!

Scripture: Revelation 22.

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Revelation 22:20 (NLT)

20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

It is exciting to reach the end of a book, and reading the last chapter of Revelation is no exception to the feeling of success that one would feel after reading any book. The difference is that after reading the rest of this book, the Bible, I have seen the consequences of sin (separation from God). Reading verse 20 also tells me that soon could be today! Of course many have tried to say, based on various scripture and timelines when that day will be, and we have seen much hype and publicity over those man-made calculated dates. Friends, just as you have seen these dates come and go without the physical return of Jesus Christ, I want to remind you that scripture is very clear that no one knows the day or the hour when God will send His Son Jesus to come and get us (the saved; the redeemed; Christians; followers of Christ; those who have accepted Him as Lord). Secondly, I want to remind you that ‘soon’ could mean before I stop typing, or today or just sometime soon. If I am preparing for my wife to return home ‘soon’, I will go ahead and get everything ready for dinner now, because she could be just around the corner. This is precisely the way it is with the return of our Lord, He’s coming ‘soon’! Would His sudden appearance catch you off guard? The road to preparation is very clear friend. There’s no excuse for you to be left behind. Why not consider getting with your pastor today, or a trusted and proven Christian brother or sister, or write to me using the email below? Let us help you to be ready, because I am more convinced than ever that Jesus will return soon! I’m ready, and I really want you, my friend, to be ready also!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, thank You for the gift of salvation! Thank You for Your Word and the multiple ways that it has spoken to me over the past two years. Thank You for my friends. Lord, I really don’t want them to be left behind, but unfortunately I can only share with them what they need to do. Please soften the hearts of my friends, that as they read this devotional, or Your Word today, that they will see the need for salvation and that they will surrender their total lives to You. There are many in my sphere of influence that already know You as Lord. Unfortunately there are many that have not made this important decision and if You came today they would wind up in Hell. Each of my friends are super important to me Lord, please deal in their hearts today and speak to them like never before, is my humble plea.

**Words underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com
**

Don’t Expect God to Work Where Sin Resides

Scripture: Joshua 7-8.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Joshua 7:12-13 (NLT)

12 That is why the Israelites are running from their enemies in defeat. For now Israel itself has been set apart for destruction. I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction.

13 “Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Instructions were given to Joshua about what to not remove from the city of Ai, because the things actually belonged to God. Like us many times, Achan saw something he liked so he took it, and knowing that it was wrong he hid it (buried it under his tent). This sounds so much like us when we do something that we know is not pleasing to God. We cover it up, or hide it from other smart humans! Evidently no one in Joshua’s camp knew about Achan’s sin, because God had to single him out when everyone was presented before the Lord. Bottom line is that innocent people were killed, an army defeated, leaders totally discouraged (because they thought that they had failed in God’s command for their direction), all because of the sin of one man in their camp. Friends, we see individuals struggle in life and we sometimes wonder why Lord. We see families go through more than we could ever imagine and we wonder why are they so unlucky Lord. We see churches – yes churches, fail and are often defeated in their mission to win the lost and disciple the saved, and we question what God must be saying to the church. After meditating on this passage this morning and being reminded that God expects us to be obedient to Him and His commands, He expects us to be holy as He is holy and He expects us to look just like Him if we consider ourselves to be ‘Christian’. When we’re not, then I believe that we should expect no better than what God did to Joshua and the Israelites, for He will withdraw from us and He will destroy us. In verse 12 God said that He would not remain with them unless they rid themselves of the sin in their midst. In verse 13 God told the Israelites that they would never be victorious until they remove the sin from their midst. In our world today I believe that God is still saying to us that He will not work among us until we come clean before Him – get rid of the sin from our personal lives, our families, our churches and our towns. God desires a clean and contrite heart in which to live and work through. Let’s seek His forgiveness today. Let’s rid ourselves of those sins that we think no one else knows about and let’s pray that God will return His favor on us to reach our lost family members, neighbors, church members, coworkers and acquaintances.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, You know my inmost thoughts, my desires and my every action. Thank You for reminding me of this this morning so that I may be sensitive to following Your commands and being transparent before a God that knows it all. As I worshipped through the song “Change My Heart oh God” I am also reminded that You are the One who could unlock the hardened heart of sin, You alone can reveal the sin that prevents me from being a clean and holy vessel in Your service. Today Lord, please change my heart and make it ever true – pure as snow, so that I may be blessed into perfect service for You, and that I may not be a hindrance to Your work that You would like to do through me, my family, my church or my town.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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The Key To Life!

Scripture: Deuteronomy 29-31.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)

19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Moses and the Israelites had witnessed God’s hand of love, protection and guidance from the time they were set free of slavery in Egypt and throughout their wanderings in the wilderness as they moved towards the land of milk and honey promised to them by the Almighty. In spite of the mighty miracles, we saw that time after time they faltered and quickly turned away to worship other gods when they weren’t being watched closely. Moses knew that his life was ending, and like any good father would do, he wanted to make sure that he gave the best last minute advice to his followers so that their future would be taken care of. In fact, based on his relationship with God and all that he saw God do over the years, he was able to share with the people important keys that would lead them and keep them secure in life – true Godly and pure lives that would represent the Father well and be representative of their eternal destiny. Friends, this is a choice that we must make even today. The key to ‘LIFE’, everlasting ‘LIFE’, a glorious ‘LIFE’ with our Lord in heaven, rests solely in the condition of our soul. The key to ‘LIFE’ was made available to you and I when Jesus hung on the cross at Calvary. For He died so that the key to eternal ‘LIFE’ might be offered to those who would accept the gift, the key – those of us that have a desire to follow Jesus in this world and receive the prize of Heaven with our master, Friend and Savior. The key to unlocking the treasures of heaven has been offered to us. As Moses said to his people in verse 20, so it applies today – you can make a choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to him. If I can lend assistance to you or pray with you about the commitment that you need to make today, feel free to respond to this post. Jesus wants the very best for His children – us, but to receive the key – the gift of salvation, we must accept it and commit to serving the giver of all life. Jesus is the answer friend! He is the ‘key’ to ‘LIFE’! Accepting the key will lead to life eternal with Jesus in heaven. Rejecting it leads to eternal death and curses in the pit of hell. Your good common sense will lead you to the right decision today!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, so often in this life we receive what we consider the ‘dirty end of the stick’ because often people are out to get us, take advantage of us, fulfill the personal, greedy desires of their hearts at our expense. Seldom are we presented the ‘key to LIFE’ as indicated in this scripture this morning. Thank You for loving me so much that You gave Your very life so that I may have the ‘key’ to eternal life with You in heaven. Everlasting peace and unending love by the Father is something that we all want and desire. Please help those reading this devotional today to make a wise decision and receive the ‘key to LIFE’ that you are offering to us. Thank You Father for loving me so much to give of yourself so that this key was available to me. Now that I have accepted the key, please help me to live daily like a child of the King – as one destined for the glories of Heaven with the King of all kings!

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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