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

Archive for the ‘Readiness’ Category

Be Alert and Watching

Wednesday, 2016-09-07

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 13:32–33; 36-37

Bible Text: 32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! …. 36 Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37 I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Our meteorologists are fantastic, for they watch for the storms that spin off the coast of Africa, and should they pose a potential threat to us, they warn us of their predictions on the course of the storm, in lots of time for us to be prepared and protected way before the storm arrives. Similarly, many of us have good pastors and teachers who strive to do the will of God by warning us as often as possible about the coming of the Lord Jesus, to take His bride (the church) up to heaven to spend eternity with He and His Father. Isn’t it interesting how we seem to take the forecasts from our meteorologists a whole lot more seriously than we do our pastors? Walk into any church over the weekend and you will immediately question why so few are concerned about such a major event. Only a fraction of our towns attend church, and for those that do attend, most fall asleep while the warning is being proclaimed. Friends, I just visited the northwest coast of Florida after Tropical Storm Hermine passed through. There are stories of some residents who were just as unconcerned, and didn’t heed the warnings and/or refused to evacuate their homes when instructed. Large tax dollars are now being spent to deliver food to them or retrieve them from their flooded or wind-destroyed homes. Take a moment to compare that to the coming of our Lord. There will be no further warnings, as scriptures tell us that not even the Son (Jesus) knows when He will return, only God does. If you did not heed the warnings to ready yourself to meet Jesus, then you have decided to stick with Satan and receive the eternal damnation he will deliver to his followers. Your pastor will no longer be available to encourage you and prod you along into making a decision to accept Jesus, it will be eternally too late. In these verses today, please recognize that these are the words of Jesus, and PLEASE adhere to the warnings He is offering to you. Seek God’s face, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and therefore be ready, should His return happen even today. Don’t ignore the warning friend, today is the day of salvation, for it can also be the day of Jesus’ return to get His saints! I’m ready! Are you?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You’ve been warning us about Your return long before meteorologists were ever trained, or before the days of computerized tools to help them predict an oncoming storm. It is so unfortunate that many of our people listen more closely to man’s predictions than to Your facts as relayed to us by Your writers. Oh God, may today be the day that many will come to know You personally (ready themselves for Your impending return). If a hurricane was approaching, we would quickly run to shelter and/or save our loved ones and friends. Something a whole lot more final is pending, and could actually happen today, Lord may we have the same urgency to save those we love. I ask these things in the name of my soon coming Lord and 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 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!

Are You Ready To Be Presented To God?

THE HOLY BIBLE (Good News Translation – Revelation 3:3-5): 3
Remember, then, what you were taught and what you heard; obey it and turn from your sins. If you do not wake up, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not even know the time when I will come. 4But a few of you there in Sardis have kept your clothes clean. You will walk with me, clothed in white, because you are worthy to do so. 5 Those who win the victory will be clothed like this in white, and I will not remove their names from the book of the living. In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that they belong to me.

THOUGHTS: Before I can invite anyone to my home, I must get clearance from my wife, because she wants to make sure that our home is in order and presentable to our guests, without creating embarrassment to her! If auditors are preparing to come into my workplace, we spend time getting everything in order, so that we might obtain best results from their audit, and look good in their sight. In these verses today, Jesus is declaring that some in His church will be presented proudly to His Father because He is proud of how well they are doing in staying clear of, or clean from, sin. Friends, I want to reiterate that these verses are referring to the ‘CHURCH’ at Sardis, not the marketplace. Please be reminded that going to church will not save you from the pits of Hell, even though church attendance is the best thing you can do. Hanging out with the right friends (even Godly friends) might be very pleasing to your parents, but their goodness, or even their Christianity, will not rub off on you and clear the way for you to be accepted in Heaven, even though they may influence you towards accepting Jesus as your Savior. Now for those who have accepted Jesus as Lord, I must ask, as a result of this passage, are you ready, or do you feel like you will be a good candidate for Jesus to include in His parade and be bubbling with pride to present you to His Father? Are you ashamed of anything that you would rather get straight before feeling comfortable for Jesus to do this? Jesus said He will come unannounced – like a thief in the night. This means that you will not have time to further prepare, or to clean up your act, or better align yourself with Him. This means that we must remain in a state of readiness – our lives always clean and presentable to Him. Here on earth we burst with pride when we are lifted up by family, when recognized by our employer, or bragged on by friends. Can you even imagine the unbelievable pride that will fill our hearts when Jesus, the resurrected Savior of the world, presents us to His Father – God, and He tells Him how proud He is of you and how well you kept the faith, obeyed His commands and represented Him so well while living here on earth, even among the temptations of sin and evil? I tell you what, I cannot think of prouder moment that could ever be my fortune. How is it with you friend? Got a few things that you need to work on today? Remember, Jesus could come today!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You provided the sacrifice and the means by which we could be saved. You promised to be our protector and strength so that we might live life pleasing to You, yes even among the evil of this world and its leader, Satan. Unfortunately we are a people who love to procrastinate, so we often feel like there will be time for us to seek forgiveness and depend on You – later. This is a deceit of Satan, because You have declared that no man knows the day or the hour of Your return, so Lord Jesus, I pray that You will allow Your Word to penetrate the hearts of Christians who are playing with sin, and I pray that You will penetrate the hearts of those who feel like they can wait for the trumpet call before surrendering their lives to You. Please help us to be a people ready for Your return, even if it happens today. May our lives always be pleasing in Your sight and may we be presentable before You and by You oh Lord. I ask this 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 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!

Ready or Not, Here He Comes!

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Good News Translation – Revelation 1:4-8): 4 ….Grace and peace be yours from God, who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits in front of his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first to be raised from death and who is also the ruler of the kings of the world. He loves us, and by his sacrificial death he has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father. To Jesus Christ be the glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. 7 Look, he is coming on the clouds! Everyone will see him, including those who pierced him. All peoples on earth will mourn over him. So shall it be! 8 “I am the first and the last,” says the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was, and who is to come.

THOUGHTS: Many of us react to warnings a whole lot differently to others. Some of us go overboard in stashing supplies to see us through a predicted storm, or natural disaster, while some of us travel hundreds of miles to escape the fury of a storm. Some of us are procrastinators and will wait until the 11th hour to truly believe the weatherman, while others act on first warnings and take appropriate action based on the credentials of the weatherman. John took the first few verses of this book to explain his credentials so that we might not only hear his words, but trust the source from which we are hearing them. Jesus came to this earth through His miraculous birth to a virgin, and John is warning us that He will come again in miraculous form – from the clouds. Friends, this same Jesus that we have studied about in the rest of the Bible, He was before all time, He is with us today, yet He WILL return to collect His chosen ones, His bride (the church – the collective body of believers who have sincerely accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior). Yes we are being warned that we are in our last days of preparation, for He will return to take His children home to be with the Father and Himself for all eternity very soon. This leaves us with a sense of urgency to not only insure that we are ready for the ‘trip of a lifetime’, but also to reach out to all those we love, and to make sure that they are ready for the ‘trip’. Friends, the warning is clear, and everything is in place for the eminent return of our Lord. Are you ready? Will you be among the number that He will take with Him into glory? I made reference to a song last week “And oh, what a glorious day“, but this might only be glorious for those who will rise to accompany our Savior and Lord. For others this will be a day of horror, for they procrastinated way too long and thought they would wait to hear the trumpet sound. You CAN trust in God’s Word friend, so please heed to its truth and to its warnings. John shared this with us on good authority, there’s no need to go to the halls of the best libraries to research whether this could be for real. This is not brand new news that John is telling us about here, for it has been pointed to throughout the Good Book, God’s Word.

PRAYER: Dear Father, You have provided Your precious Word to reveal Yourself to us. You have told us about the special provision in and through Your only Son, and You have today warned us about how He will come back soon to take the prepared saints home to glory to spend eternity with Jesus and You. The alternative is not good at all Lord, so I am especially concerned about my family and friends who have taken the warnings to date very lightly. Noah looked out of the windows of the ark and encountered the dreadful sight of his friends suffering because of lack of belief and change. I sincerely pray that You will intercede Heavenly Father in the lives of those we love and respect, so that we would never witness the drastic results of their lost and uncaring condition. May You become so real in their lives today Heavenly Father, that their eyes might be opened and decisions made to accept Your plan of salvation for their lives. May today be the day Oh God. I humbly ask all this is the awesome name of Jesus, the risen Lord and the provider of all things, 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 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!

Emergency Preparations – While You Wait

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – 2 Peter 3:10-15): 10 The day of the Lord’s return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are. 11 Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live. 12 You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon. On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat. 13 But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to that! 14 My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace.
15 Don’t forget that the Lord is patient because he wants people to be saved….

THOUGHTS: Friends, if we were to receive warnings today that a hurricane was approaching the coast of Florida, or perhaps in your case some other natural disaster approaching the area in which you live, don’t you know that everyone will be franticly buying food supplies to see them through a possible time of power outages, or perhaps buying hardware items to help protect earthly belongings? As I read this passage of scripture this morning, I believe God wanted me to share with you a similar warning that He spoke through His New Testament writer to us. For these verses offer warnings to us that our time here on earth is drawing to a close, as this old earth is dissolved away. You see, we are in a time of preparation at this time, for what we do with our time now will determine what happens to us when the events of verse 11 takes place. Note that there is a distinct difference between what happens in the warnings we receive today from meteorologists and what Peter declares in our captioned verses. In the latter, we see no doubt as to what will happen – it is a sure thing that we know in advance, and have time to prepare for its ultimate fruition. When natural disasters are predicted today, there are lists of items available to us that might help us to be better prepared for the impending effects of the disaster. God used a similar format through His servant Peter, and I have bolded the preparation actions that Peter gave to us. Here’s what we are told to do in preparation for the times that will come:

  • Search out Jesus and accept Him as Lord of your life – Yes, I know this is not verbalized in the verses above, but friend there is no way that any of the warnings will be real to you, nor would any of the bolded actions apply to you, if you are not a child of God. You will be the primary objective of Satan, as you are today, and your destination is already set – in the pits of Hell. These preparation items only apply to those who expect to see Jesus, because of firm decisions to accept Him while here on earth;
  • Serve and honor God in the way you live – The joy and peace that’s inside of you will be externalized through the things that you say or do;
  • Live in expectation and excitement about the Day of The Lord – the day of His return – the day He comes to take you with Him!
  • Live pure and spotless before God and at peace with your fellow man – in other words, live as Jesus exampled for us.

Don’t you know that these are items that should be placed prominently before us each day so that we might constantly work on our preparation list for that great and wonderful day? Can you say today, even so Lord Jesus, come today? You should be in that kind of state of readiness friend, because it could be today that He will return to take His bride away with Him! I would love to help you make sure that you are ready for the events referred to in this devotional, please read my ‘Footnote’ and feel free to contact me if there is anything that you would allow me to help you with.

PRAYER: Thank You for the warnings Heavenly Father. The information shared in these verses today are way more critical than any report we might receive from our meteorologists this season. Please help us to take our preparation time very seriously, and ready ourselves for that great day of happy reunion with You in heaven. Help us to be busy in firming up our preparation plans and stand in a state of readiness for Your soon return. What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face…. This is an exciting day that Christians live in anticipation of! Lord, may we not disappoint You in any of the things we might say or do as we live our lives this side of heaven, for we know that our words and actions will reflect the one who controls us. I pray that all of my readers can say without a doubt that greater is He that is in us than He that is in this old sinful world! It’s You I live for, everyday oh God. Fill me with Your joy, love, hope and happiness. For I ask all this in the strong 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 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!

Things to Do While We Wait

The Holy Bible

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 1 Peter 4:7-9)

Thoughts:

Living in a hurricane prone area of the world, we know how to be prepared for the often short notice about an approaching hurricane. However, when warned, we quickly hit the streets and pay a visit to our grocery stores and possibly to hardware stores for last minute items to make sure we are fully ready for eventual power cuts or breaks in deliveries to our local stores. Similarly, living in this world and having taken the first step of readiness for God’s eminent return, God, through Peter, is warning us of some last minute things we should really be doing to avoid any regrets when we stand before Him. Here are some things that we should be doing right now friends:

  • Be earnest and disciplined in our prayers – A Christian living in a world stained by sin, and where sin abounds, must stay close to God and constantly seek His guiding and protective hand to help us to stay on track and not be distracted by the sin that initially entrapped us and kept us at bay from God. “Being earnest and disciplined at it” gives me the impression that we are to make this a priority even when we don’t feel like it, but like vitamins and food itself, do it because we are told to, and because we know that we need it;
  • Show deep love one for another – Generally we will exude what’s inside of us. If God has filled us with His love, then we should have no trouble showing love for one another. However, I believe that just how a perfect God chose to love imperfect people like us, God wants us to love even those who might otherwise be unlovable. Ones we despise because they believe different to us, or act in ways that we have overcome (with God’s help). Ones that have hurt us, or who we may have hurt, because the Word says that this kind of love will be greater than the hurt, and also help us to overcome the hurt. Loving those who are different to us is much like what God was faced with when He looked down on us – sinners, yet He loved us anyway. Praise the name of the Lord!
  • Freely share your home and your food – Who blessed us with what we have, friends? Therefore, because all that we have, became possible because of our loving God, we should therefore pass the blessing along and bless others with it! Let’s truly be an example of the Savior that we worship and adore!

Friends, we are God’s very own and He has blessed us way more than we could ever imagine or deserve. As He has blessed us, let us therefore bless others! Let’s learn to pass along the blessings and not just hog them up to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I thank you for giving me Your Word to plainly tell me what I should be doing right now. As I was obedient in Your call upon my life to accept You as my Lord and Savior, please continue to nudge me along with reminders to live according to Your book of instructions so that I might do what You require of me on a daily basis. These verses today are excellent reminders of what I should be doing as I wait for Your return. Please give me strength today, and a willing and obedient heart as I strive to obey You and do Your will. Please allow Your Word to make an indelible imprint on the minds of Christians that read this today so that they also might be realigned to obedience. For others that You may point to this devotional today, please work a miracle in their life so that as they see the need to surrender their life to You, they may also catch a glimpse of Your expectations after their initial decision. Thank You for being so gracious to even me dear Lord. May I now be gracious and obedient in response to You. I am asking this in Your awesome, powerful and loving name, Jesus my 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 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!

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