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

Archive for the ‘Surrender’ Category

Sin – An Object Of Cursing From God

Wednesday, 2016-10-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 44:22–23

Bible Text:  22 Today, your land is an object of cursing, a horror, a lifeless ruin because the Eternal could no longer stand your wickedness and the detestable things you did. 23 Take a good look at the disaster that has come upon you. It happened because you burned incense to other gods and sinned against the Eternal. It happened because you refused to obey His voice or follow His law and His decrees, because you ignored His warnings.

Bible Translation: The VOICE 

My Take

Just from the title you probably had no incentive or desire to open this devotional and read more. That’s pretty normal, because we are creatures of so much stress each day that the last thing we want to hear is another challenge or critical point of view. Sorry friends, but as followers of Christ we must be obedient to the Holy Spirit and stop to meditate on a passage of scripture such as this, when presented with it, because God could very well be getting our attention to warn us of what our own outcome may look like, if we continue in sin and disobedient to His commands. Based on scripture, I believe that God wants us to turn away from our sin (stop doing it and look at God’s plan for us), humble ourselves before the almighty God, seek His face and His heart’s desire for us, and pray for a revived spirit within us individually and, as a family, as a church, as a city and indeed as a nation. Friends, at this time of the year we become so caught up in politics, in Thanksgiving celebrations, and begin thinking about Christmas. If we’re not careful, I’m afraid that we could easily lose our passion for what is really critical in God’s eyes – that we know Him; honor Him; obey Him and seek sincerely to follow Him. In doing this friends, we will earn a deep, sincere, desire to see our family and friends also ‘make the cut’, or generate a desire to know the Savior that we love, adore and live in great expectation of uniting with one day! Friends, as we grow closer to God and live more like Him here on this earth, perhaps He may save our land from desolation and destruction. Most of us would desire that God bless our respective native country, so I sincerely believe that we would also truly regret it if God removed His hand of blessing from us and allowed our land to become an object of His cursing – just because of our neglect of God and His commands. God says in His Word that He puts our leaders in place for His purposes. Let us therefore be sure that we seek His face as we vote on our leaders, and more importantly, let us seek to know God better, understand His directions for us, and seek to follow His will and His way. I believe that this will please God and perhaps earn His blessing rather than His curse, as He did with the disobedient and rebellious Israelites.

Prayer

Lord, please forgive us for getting so caught up in our own agendas at the expense of our obedience to You and Your commands to us. I am convinced that You are far more interested in our heart, and the desires of our heart, than any earthly concern that we may have influence over. We love our respective home-country and would ask that You bless us immensely in every way. That’s a selfish request because we happen to live here, and whatever happens to our country, affects us. Lord, I also want to ask that You touch the hearts of Your children today so that we may be a vital Christian influence in our country that is representative of the Savior who loves and controls us. I realize that we don’t deserve this Lord, but I ask this so that Your work might be accomplished in our country, in spite of us. I pray that Your children will lift Your banner high so that the world might know the One who reigns over us! 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!

Staying Encouraged In A Challenging World

Monday, 2016-10-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:8-9

Bible Text:  Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Perhaps before you walk out of the door to your home this morning you already realized that there will be many challenges that you will deal with today. Perhaps there is overflow from the challenges you dealt with yesterday. There may even be unresolved contention that you know you must deal with today. You may be deliberating: why is it that you must awake from your ‘perfect’, ‘protected’, ‘uncomplicated’ dream of contentment and peace at home, and face the reality and cruelty of this wicked world. Friends, I want you to be encouraged with the words from God, through His messenger Paul, for I believe this can apply to all who are reading this devotional today:

  • First of all, to the believer in Jesus Christ, here are some tips from our Scripture on how to handle life under God’s leadership, strength, wisdom and guidance today:

    • Don’t allow your minds to be swayed by this world and it’s leader – Satan. Instead, aim towards being like Jesus, for He is true (so important in this world filled with lies, hatred and deception); pure (there is no ‘make-believe’ with Jesus Christ, for He is the real deal. He loved us when we were still steeped in sin, and He gave up His own life to provide the means of us living eternally with the Father in heaven); right; holy (remember Jesus is one with God, so He is holy just as God Almighty is holy); friendly; and proper;
    • Think about everything that is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise – in other words, we are to seek God’s help to not be pulled into the gutter of gossip; hatred; and the evil deeds associated with Satan himself. In other words, if we find ourselves thinking about something that we cannot truly praise God for, then we are probably ‘off-track’ with what God is teaching us here. For we are to think on those things that are ‘worthy of praise‘ to our heavenly Father!
  • Secondly, I believe that there is help here for the non-Christian. Think about it friend: how can you possibly deal with life without the power of the Holy Spirit who is at work in the life of the believer? Without the power of Christ, Satan is free to beat up on you all he wants. Christians are not super beings with the capability of handling every aspect of life that is thrown at them. However, we are super excited about the promise that we can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens us and guides us to all truth, through the awesome power and guidance of His Holy Spirit who controls us. I believe that your encouragement today is knowing that as long as you have life, there is hope in the option to also accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Know Jesus and know peace! That’s my recommendation to you today so that you may gain His everlasting joy and contentment in everyday living here on this earth.

Prayer

There are a few sayings that cross my mind dear Lord, “you are now entering your mission field” and “you are now entering the ‘real’ world”. I believe that most of us feel fairly secure and at peace in our own homes, and we fear the challenge of what this bitter world holds in store for us as we step into it today. Thank You for the encouragement given to us in this passage of scripture today. Lord, we believe in You, and we lift high the banner of truth contained in Your Word. We are more dependent on You today than ever before Savior, for we can only handle today’s challenges with You powerfully working inside of us, and helping us to be more like You. Lord, how will the world know about You if we don’t tell them? Oh that they may see everlasting hope and the love of Christ in all that we do or say today. For this is my humble prayer that I ask in and through the 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. 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!

But Then God…

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Galatians 1:15-17 (TPT)

TEXT:  15 But then God called me by his grace; and in love, he chose me from my birth to be his. 16 God’s grace unveiled his Son in me so that I would proclaim him to the non-Jewish people of the world. After I had this encounter I kept it a secret for some time, sharing it with no one. 17 And I chose not to run to Jerusalem to try to impress those who had become apostles before me. Instead, I went away into the Arabian Desert for a season until I returned to Damascus, where I had first encountered Jesus.

OBSERVATION:   Much like we should do at every possible opportunity, Paul shared with the Galatians his testimony. An opportunity where you talk about where your life was headed before you met Jesus, then the experience with Jesus that made a difference in your life, and how your life was then changed when Jesus became a vital part of your life. This really opens the door of transparency in the eyes of those to whom you are mingling with, ministering to or praying for. Let’s look into this more deeply….

APPLICATION:   Have you ever stop and wondered how easy it would be for you to change your life, if only you had been born into the circumstances of your pastor, or perhaps another church leader who shared their testimony? Have you ever felt so convicted of your sin, yet thought about your home life growing up, or even your married life, and convinced yourself that this Jesus that you’ve heard people talk about surely couldn’t be the Savior for people like you? I thought you may have given that some consideration, because at one time or another we all may have felt that way. But let’s consider the life of Paul for a minute. This man was so strongly in favor of living like his Jewish forefathers, that he felt like that must include ridicule and possibly even harassment and even killing of the Christians, if necessary. So picture for a moment what you may have felt like when Paul walked into the town that you once felt was safe, secure and possibly even ‘Christian’. Now fast forward to a period five years later, and you overheard that Paul was coming to visit your town again, but this time he is a very ‘changed’ man. How would you feel? What would convince you that he is a different man? Paul explained that the difference made in his life was all because of Jesus, for He was responsible for a 180 degree turn in his life (a turn in the complete opposite direction). What he (Saul) was once opposing and persecuting and destroying, he (Paul) is now promoting, celebrating and encouraging others to become a part of. How would you describe your conversion to an unbeliever friends? For Jesus to make a vital change in your life and help you make a complete 180 degree turn in your life, He must first be invited into your heart/life, and then given total control to do whatever is necessary to help you live a life totally devoted to Him. Only then can He change those evil thoughts into good ones, those evil desires to kill and destroy, into a life dedicated to Kingdom work. Paul was following in a very destructible way, a sinful direction, BUT JESUS took control and made a total change in his life. Ed was the same way, BUT JESUS make a huge change in my life. What about you friend? No matter how tough things might be for you or how evil you are, my JESUS can make the difference for you also. Please read my Footnote for tips on how to overcome your current circumstances and find hope and everlasting joy! 

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, my Savior and my King, thank You for reaching down in love and accepting my plea for salvation, in spite of the life that I used to live. I often think of the song, ‘I though so unworthy, still I’m a child of the King..’. But today I come before You Master, to have Your perfect will in the lives of my readers, my family and my friends that have not yet accepted You as Lord. Busy though they may be going about their daily lives, I sincerely pray that You, dear Jesus would melt their stubborn hearts and draw them unto Yourself. May this be the day of salvation for many who reads this devotional today, I pray. To those who may read this and already know Jesus as Lord, may I encourage you to send this to at least 3 friends and pray earnestly for their salvation today? May God’s work be done today because you gave of your time and effort, 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 Sebring, 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!

 

Oh To Be Like Jesus!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 13:11-12 (TPT)

TEXT:  11 ….. beloved friends, be cheerful! Repair whatever is broken among you, as your hearts are being knit together in perfect unity. Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you. 12 Greet and embrace one another with the sacred kiss.

OBSERVATION:   Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters in between trips to them, just to encourage the converts there and help them stay in tuned with Jesus, their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of one of his letters, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.  

APPLICATION:   In earlier times of our lives, there were days, and sometimes weeks of revival services and/or evangelistic services in some churches, where there was a strong emphasis on reviving the saints and evangelizing the lost of the community. Because of the strong emphasis on prayer leading up to and during the times of these special services, there was usually a very strong presence of the Holy Spirit and many lives were impacted. Often at the end of the services, there was a sense of sadness to see the services end, so at the parting service there would be very similar emotions, and challenges offered like these that Paul shared with his followers. Why is this? I believe that the answer is summed up in a phrase that I heard an old pastor say: “because, as Christians, we tend to leak!” Friends, it is very challenging to keep a good healthy church surviving as such, for there are many personalities working together – or at times against one another. There are so many who feel like they have all the right answers and therefore they should be the boss in most areas of the church. There are so many with chips on their shoulder, and if you only look at them sideways they become very upset and threaten to leave, because they figured out exactly what that look meant! Aren’t most of these things very, very silly? Think about the One whom we endeavor to exemplify. Jesus came into an imperfect world, as the perfect Son of God, filled with Godly wisdom and love for everyone as only God Himself could do. Yet He taught among the best and the worst. He healed those that we may have considered ‘worthy’ and some whom we never would have given a dime to. He ate with sinners, and He chose some to follow Him that many would have turned their noses at. However, for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord, we tack onto that unity with Christ, that we want to be just like Him. Why then do we tend to be so much unlike Him in so many ways? Are we still that needy, or is it that we have not totally turned our heads to our earthly master yet? In verse 11 of today’s Scripture, Paul warns us that we should repair whatever is broken among us. I believe this starts with our relationship with our Lord, for if we have a healthy relationship with Him, He will direct our paths, if we let Him, and that includes relationships with one another. Friends, here’s how important I believe this is: If we expect to be instrumental in our family and friends’ lives, to encourage them into a relationship with our Lord, then we must be living like Jesus. We could ‘tell’ them all we want, but unless they see it evident in our lives, they won’t listen to, or follow us. How much is a soul worth to you? There is absolutely nothing more important to me than to see my family and friends make a decision to follow Christ. When they, and me, leave this world, I want us all to be ready to meet Jesus in the air! I hope that you feel the same way!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You more today than ever before. I believe that Paul realized how much impact Satan was having on Your children in his day, and I’m sure Satan is still impacting the lives of our people today. Lord, I know that You are such a strong and awesome God and that there is nothing that You can’t handle, so I beg You to work miracles in the lives of Your children – embolden us to be more like you in our character, or words and our actions. Humble the hearts of the proud into total surrender to You. I know that we don’t have a perfect world, but I am convinced that we have a perfect God, so I beg with You to work on us imperfect beings, all for benefit of Your kingdom, 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 Sebring, 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!

 

Allow God To Own the Problem

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Chronicles 20:15 (VOICE)

TEXT:   Jahaziel: 15 Listen to me, all Judah, citizens of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. The Eternal has responded to your pleading: “Do not fear or worry about this army. The battle is not yours to fight; it is the True God’s.

OBSERVATION:   King Jehoshaphat was extremely concerned about the large army heading his way, so he had a very serious prayer meeting together with his people, asking God to protect them. However, God spoke through a Levite named Jahaziel, who then went to Jehoshaphat and shared the words in our Scripture today. What a message, and oh how applicable it is to us today!

APPLICATION:   Take your time and think about your most urgent prayer request. You’ve shed many tears over the matter, and you’ve made this the top priority in your personal prayer time for days.  You’ve asked your pastor to join you in prayer; you may have asked the church elders to anoint you with oil and pray over you; and your family knows exactly what you’re burdened about. What must you do now? Friends, reflect on our verse today, and spend some time letting that sink in. Our God’s not dead, and you’ve given your problem to Him. You’ve asked Him to hear your prayer, know your concern and please heal your body, or guide you into saying the right thing to your relatives in need of a Savior. But wait a moment, we can all hear doubt in your mind. In our Scripture verse, the king and the people were told that God had responded to their prayers (their pleading), so they needn’t worry any longer. What’s different with you? Oh that’s right, God is not doing what you told Him to do. Child of God, may we all be reminded today that our God is not a puppet. Yes, He still a prayer answering God, and yes, He will guide you in the right path. But always be reminded that we are asking God for His will to be done. Let me share a story from a friend, that may serve to illustrate my point. He had a relative who had been in a bad wreck. The family prayed endlessly that God would keep this young man alive. They had their church join them in the same request of God. Years later in reflection, my friend questioned if they prayed the right way for this younger family member, as the young adult lived many more years, but was a mere vegetable. Friends when we plead with God in prayer, let’s please be willing to ask God for His perfect will in the situation, and as His obedient children, let’s respect His decision. It may be right in line with what we are asking, but I believe that the end result will cause us to shout praises to our Lord and King, for He alone is worthy of our praise. Can you imagine saying, in response to questions from an unsaved loved one, that God allowed my daughter to live; or God wanted this to happen in order to get our attention; or God wanted to remind us that He’s in charge, and what he responds to this problem or any other situation, is the best for them and us, plus it will ultimately create an atmosphere of praise to God for all that He will achieve through His touch on their life. Remember, the battle, the dire situation, the urgency of the situation we took to Him – it’s all His, once we are willing to surrender it to Him.

PRAYER:   Oh Lord, please give us the faith to surrender our needs to You at all times. Just like any kid would do to their parent, may we be willing to plead with You for our needs and concerns, and to always return thanks and offer up praises for Your response to our requests. Lord, help us to be so attuned to placing our needs before You, that when we come with the urgent, earth shattering cases, that You would recognize our voice, and that we would be comfortable in presenting yet another case at Your feet, knowing that You will hear our prayer and respond in Your way and in Your best timing. Please help us to be comfortable in surrendering our battles to You, knowing that You’re in charge of everything that goes on in this world, yet our humble request is a top priority to You, because of Your love for each of us. Thank You Lord for saving my soul! You’re my King! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, 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!

 

Protect Your Heart

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Proverbs 4:23-27 (MSG)

TEXT:  23-27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
    that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
    avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
    ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
    and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
    leave evil in the dust.

OBSERVATION:   When we guard our heart, I believe that we are looking at our mind; thoughts; will; and our affections. For out of these things we will see the issues of life that lead to the effectual cause of all men’s actions. It is from our heart that others will see our spiritual condition; our happiness; our decisions that make us a good person in someone else’ eyes, or a bad person. On the contrary, others might also see our deceit; our evil actions; or our mean actions as well. Guarding, or protecting our heart, is leading us to filter what aspects of the above is welcomed into our heart to determine the type person that we want to be known as.

APPLICATION:   The subject sounds like something my cardiologist might say to me, for without a good functioning heart there would be little chance of my survival here on earth. He would therefore give me exercises, or a certain diet to help me stay heart-healthy. Got created our heart, even the one we are speaking of here today, and I believe it is super important to Him that we keep our heart in sweet communion with Him, so that we may worship and praise Him eternally – as He originally intended. Unfortunately, sin came into this world, and in the effort of humans to always look around the corner for whatever seems most enticing, this divided the hearts and minds of people like you and I. This will often result in a life filled with worldliness, or in many cases a life trying to live for Jesus but being pulled back by the things of this world that we fall in love with. Friends, it is important that we stay away from sin, if we expect to have a noble spiritual life, where the Father has His will and way with us (Isaiah 59:2).  For the natural man, I believe that our heart is susceptible to wanting the best things for us to enjoy here on earth. However when the Holy Spirit begins to work in our lives and draws us unto Himself, we have a decision to make – we either say yes to Jesus, which automatically results in us saying no the the world, or vice versa. There is no combo deal in the offer, it’s one or the other. A married couple will leave old boyfriends and girlfriends behind as they commit their lives unconditionally to each other. So it is with God, friends! When a spouse enters into marriage without having severed a relationship with an old ‘flame’, divorce will quickly follow, because there is mixed allegiance by that spouse. Similarly, our God is a jealous God and He will not settle for a ‘mixed allegiance’. Decide this day, my friend, whom you will serve, and then stay true to that commitment until death makes that commitment impossible. As a child of the King, I have heaven on my mind, and I want to live my life here on earth in total obedience to my Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit. My wish for the day, is that you will do the same Brother and/or Sister!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, thank You for making a way for us to one day see You in glory. Thank You for allowing us to enjoy Your presence while we wait here on earth, even among the many temptations of Satan. Please continue to protect our hearts dear Lord, so that we may stay true to You. Please touch hearts of those that may have made decisions just for grandma or grandpa, but never understood or totally committed their lives to You. These ones may think that they know You personally, but really have never personally sought Your face. Lord, we stand in awe of You, and we await Your return in deep anticipation! We want to see Jesus, the One who died for all! Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 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 Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

A Well Orchestrated Plan!

Monday, 2017-12-18

Scripture

Bible Reference: Micah 5:2-5

Bible Text: The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.” So the Lord will abandon his people to their enemies until the woman who is to give birth has her son. Then those Israelites who are in exile will be reunited with their own people. When he comes, he will rule his people with the strength that comes from the Lord and with the majesty of the Lord God himself. His people will live in safety because people all over the earth will acknowledge his greatness, and he will bring peace.

Bible Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

My Take

Because I learned a few new things in my study today about this popular passage included in the story about the birth of Jesus, I wanted to share with you the fascination I found with how God coordinated this whole birth of His Holy One, the Lord Jesus Christ. For those of you that know all of these things, I ask that you bear with this humble child while I continue to learn the great truths of God’s Word. Look at these things with me:

  1. Bethlehem Ephrathah – It seems interesting why God chose the humility of one of the smallest  towns around for His Son to be born. His Son that would be born to rule and reign over all Israel and be the Savior of the whole world. But:
    • Did you know that in this small town, David was also born? Look at 1 Samuel 17:12 for this reference! Remember from New Testament scripture that Jesus would be of the lineage of David!
    • Did you know that God didn’t need the popularity of a large town, or the extra security of a major city for His Son to be born and recognized as a major leader of the world?
  2. The Lord abandoned His people – The Lord had worked so miraculously among the Israelites and carefully provided for them, yet time after time He sadly saw them return to their sin and idol worship. So in this passage we are told that He answered their requests to leave them alone, for He abandoned them. But He did this while also foretelling of One that He would send to love, rule, and reign over them with deep compassion. Friends, do you see where this whole miracle has changed us very much today? For it seems like we live in a world where idol worship is still very prevalent, and our merciful God is still mocked through the blatant sin and disregard of His precious Son. Note that ‘idol’ worship is something, or someone, other than God, who attracts  the attention of His people. What are those excuses again that folk use when they can’t, or won’t make it to corporate worship?

Friends, we can see from the very beginning that God had a well orchestrated plan to save His people from their sin, and I am convinced that this was not just for the people of Israel, but for all that He created to live on this earth. That includes both you and me. I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior and therefore can boast of my eternal home in heaven. My whole purpose in sharing these blogs each day is not to help you feel better about yourself, or for you to see how guilty I feel about myself, but to encourage you to take God at His word. He orchestrated a plan for your salvation. Please consider accepting that gift today, by surrendering your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. You will see and feel Christmas in a way that you have never done before! Friends, know Him and know the peace that is often referred to each Christmas, won’t you?

Prayer

Dear God, I thank You for the everlasting gift of salvation, and for Your precious Son that You sent so that salvation might be possible. I am so afraid that our world has become as bad or worse than Israel when You removed Your hand from them. I am also afraid that we are still as stubborn about our sin and disregard even after Your special provision given through Your Son. Lord, please use this Christmas season to once again remind our people of the purpose of You sending Your Son, and the unique privilege that is ours to allow Your Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Savior, to rule and reign in our lives throughout the rest of our lives and even through eternity with You in glory. You’re my King, and I praise You Heavenly Father, 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!

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