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

Archive for the ‘Reflection’ Category

Holding On Tightly

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-05-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 10:20-23 (MSG)

Text:

20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

23 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?”

OBSERVATION:
This rich young man felt like there was something missing in his life, in spite of all his riches. Having heard the stories about Jesus, and especially about this kingdom of which Jesus spoke, he decided to ask Jesus what it would take for him to make the cut. Jesus gave him a list of commandments, and the man felt like he had been obeying them from a very early age. Then Jesus got to the very core of this man’s issue – his riches. Because he was holding tight to his riches, he stopped asking Jesus further questions and instead left very saddened.
APPLICATION:
I believe that if each of us went to Jesus today on our own, there would be something that we are holding on to tightly that He could draw to our attention. For some, it might be riches, but for others it might be your job/business, or perhaps your family or friends or parties or sports or internet, etc, etc. I believe another way to analyze your own situation is to imagine Jesus asking you to go to a mission field that might be hundreds of miles away – what would be your biggest excuse to Him as to why you can’t leave in a few days? Now that you have figured that one out, what if God told you to get up and spend a few days with a poor lonely person a few blocks away as He is calling them to salvation and wants your influence in their life for a while? What might be the factor or excuse that would cause you to decline God’s request? I know, these things that I’ve mentioned are very challenging for some to even think about, so I’ll tell you what, why not just invite your neighbors to church with you this weekend? Oh you can’t because you have a fishing trip planned? Or is it a beach day, or family in town, or your favorite team is playing on Sunday and you can’t miss one minute of the game? Friends, I believe you are probably getting the idea by now, for if God is truly a priority in our lives, because we have said ‘Yes’ to His lordship, then what would truly prevent us from responding to the Master’s call? I would suggest that although many of us are not ‘rich’ financially, we are ‘rich’ in the things of this world. Try attending a retreat out in the wild, away from internet, television and worldly hindrances and see how close you can draw to God. While there, consider the things of this world that claim your attention and hinders your time and/or obedience to God. Those things are your ‘riches’ that Jesus might be asking you to diminish in your life so that He might claim your full attention. Singing that song ‘Draw me close to You’ will not do the job friend, only your willingness to let go of those things that you hold on to more tightly than God.
PRAYER:
Lord, I am convicted through this Scripture today that there are things of this world that Satan has used to distract us from holding You first in our lives, or having You as our priority in life. If we fought as hard to make You a priority, as we do for work, or church meetings, or family, or riches, then we might be like a large ship controlled by a very small rudder, for we would be way more sensitive to Your voice and Your commands. We may not be rich, as the young ruler was, but we do have distractions galore, so please Lord, draw our attention to the things that hinder our close walk with You and draw us close to You. We need You every hour dear Lord, stay close to us and encourage us to always stay close to You. 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!

What Belongs To God?

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-03-11
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 22:17-21 (MSG)

Text:

So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”18-19 Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? Do you have a coin? Let me see it.” They handed him a silver piece.

20 This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”

21 They said, “Caesar.”

Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”

OBSERVATION:
Jesus immediately saw through the questioning that the Pharisees/Herodians were trying to entrap Him with, and follow through with a reason to arrest Him. However in Jesus’ response to their questioning He actually gave them something to ponder about themselves. In fact, this continues to challenge believers today, so let’s explore this in our application…
APPLICATION:
A previous pastor once told his flock that after praying earnestly for a car, his dad gave him a new one when he headed off to seminary. Of course, this became the envy of those he befriended, so they tried to entrap him by asking to borrow the car. To their surprise, he whipped out the keys, but as he handed them to his friend, he said “here you go, but this car belongs to Jesus, treat it that way”. Some may find this amusing, but friend, I want you to consider the question from Jesus, and my little story, and I really want you to stop and consider all that you can attribute to a direct gift from Jesus, or in response to prayer to Him. Let me share a few of mine to help stir your memory, or thought process: God gave me qualities to work in the financial sector, and some 45 years ago I started that career, should I whine and complain when I go to work each day, or should I praise God once again for blessing me for over 45 years of preparing and/or working in this field? Next, my wife and I were prompted to apply for entry into the US some 30 years ago, and we were quickly approved. This was much to the dismay and disappointment of my aging parents. However, we saw many things that God had stored up for us after our move: Within one year this paved the way for doctors to save the life of my dad; Shortly afterwards the life of another relative was saved; then we had a lifelong dream come true as we added a child to our family. Friends, I could go on, but suffice to say that because we allowed Jesus to lead, He showed us how awesome He truly could be to His children. This is true in many of your lives also, for who brings that beautiful sun up each day? Who allows you to have a job and another may still be struggling to find one at the moment? Who allows you to be up and moving around when another just like you, is bedridden with so some serious health issue? Who keeps you safe on the roads each day while you pass wrecks along the way? So as you evaluate these thoughts today, the question becomes: what do you do in response to all God has given, and continues to give, to you? He showed His redeeming love for you when He died on a cruel cross at Calvary, and He continues to love you as He blesses in unlimited ways that you may have thought of after reading this blog. What do you give to Him in return? How much of your time each week do you give to the Lord? How about your finances resulting from the job He directed you to and blesses you with each day? May I suggest a God-honoring, proven method on this topic? Try this: Give God at least 10% right off the top from each and every paycheck (I give on the gross), through your local church, and give it joyfully and thankfully. No worries about being able to meet the rest of your budget, for God will honor your obedience to His commands, and He will take care of the rest. If you are a God-honoring, thankful person, then be sure that you meet together with other believers at a local church at least once or twice a week, and try to bless and encourage someone there. God will see to it that blessings will be returned to you many times over! Friends, you can’t out-give God!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You have given to me and the doors of opportunity You have opened to me. Lord, it seems like we are quick to honor all that’s expected of us from government, our employer and our family, yet we often wait until our luck has run out to look to You. Please forgive us for our ungrateful hearts, and teach us to become loyal to the source and giver of all things, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 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!

Hope For Our Greatest Fears!

THE HOLY BIBLE – 29–33 I tried to relieve your fears: “Don’t be terrified of them. God, your God, is leading the way; he’s fighting for you. You saw with your own eyes what he did for you in Egypt; you saw what he did in the wilderness, how God, your God, carried you as a father carries his child, carried you the whole way until you arrived here. But now that you’re here, you won’t trust God, your God—this same God who goes ahead of you in your travels to scout out a place to pitch camp, a fire by night and a cloud by day to show you the way to go.” ~ Deuteronomy 1:29-33 ~ The Message (MSG)

THOUGHTS: I believe that we can all easily identify with the fears of the Israelites, and that we all need a ‘Moses’ word every now and then to reassure us and get us back on track! As I meditated on the Word today, and saw the fears that Moses had to deal with, God reminded me that we are still very much like the Israelites, as we worry a lot about everything that God has not answered yet, at least in the way that we have instructed Him to. Think about it friends, God has been so merciful, kind and supernatural to, and for us. In fact, if we stop to consider the ways, we will quickly ascend to the clouds in awe and thanksgiving. However, for those things that really concern us, and for those things that God has yet to answer in the way we have asked Him to, we unfortunately fall into depression, thinking that God turned a deaf ear to our requests. I believe we need to quickly remind ourselves who is really in charge here. Whose timing is best? Why would God place a ‘pot of gold’ in our hands today when He knows so well how we will gloat in our accomplishments? In His time He will make everything beautiful. We belong to Him friend. Our lives are His, our family is His, our church is His, our country is His, including our government leaders, and truly our future is His. Will He really send us down the wrong path? Do we think for a moment that He has lost His power and can no longer handle everything that goes on in this old world, in our lives and every other concern that we might have? Moses reminded the Israelites, and I believe God is reassuring us today through the words He gave to Moses, that we are to reassure ourselves, based on His accomplishments this year, that we can anticipate even greater works in 2016, yes even in spite of how dismal things may appear to the carnal man right now. Let me remind you friend, that Our God Reigns, we just need to align our thoughts and our ways with His, and allow Him to reign in full power and majesty. Let’s prepare ourselves to meet Him and receive His blessing for having trusted Him fully each and every day. Let our times of reflection on all that He has already done, be our comfort for tomorrow, God being our helper!

PRAYER: Father God, You are so awesome, and You shower us with Your love each and every day, even in spite of our tendency to doubt and fear. Thank You Lord for being our awesome, Great BIG wonderful God! We’ve seen time and time again that it was not just the Israelites that You parted the waters for, and provided water for them from a solid rock, but Lord You are still God, and You have worked miracle after miracle among us also! Unfortunately, we have allowed the clouds of doubt and worry to overshadow the mighty works that You have performed in our lives, our families, our churches, our communities, and even in our country. May I humbly ask Your continued patience with us while we adjust our mindset to the awesome power of our wonderful God? Satan has no place in our lives, please give us strength and fortitude to stay so focused on You Father, that the doors to temptation, discouragement, lying, cheating and sin as a whole will find no footing in our lives. Lord, You are Good, and Your mercies endures forever! Praise be to the wonderful name of Jesus, in whose name I ask all this, AMEN!

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

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