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

Archive for the ‘Surrender’ Category

Be Still, Listen and Obey!

Thursday, 2020-01-02

Bible Reference: Psalm 46:9-11
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

OBSERVATION: I’m not on Facebook as much as some are, but by now I have seen many evaluations of 2019 – good and bad, and then I have seen many wishes for 2020 – worldly and spiritual. Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, it’s a place where people express their views, and often where many look for your response to their views. But that is really not the best place to look for your ideal advice, because some may wish to simply express their most far-out ideas with hopes of stirring up a good conversation. As we meditate on today’s Scripture we are reminded that we serve a God who fights for us and protects us.

APPLICATION:  Unfortunately, I believe that what we read on Facebook, expresses the minds and thoughts of the average person alive today. But when I read this passage of scripture in various translations, God helped me to  realize that Facebook is not the place I should go to for a spiritual meter on how well God did in 2019 nor a general opinion about how He might rule in 2020. Here are some of the thoughts that I believe God wanted me to discern in my study today: a) Get away from the noises of this world. Get to a place where it’s just you and God. ‘Step out of the traffic’ of everyday noises and seek the face of God. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ is the way one version put it; b) Don’t be one to look for the general consensus of the world, or even the church, but reflect on the proven power of your God and be reminded of His awesome power. Know that He is in control of each one of us, and if we allow Him to direct our path and control our tongues, then perhaps we too can be used for His glory, and then we just might see God’s mighty works performed in our land. We should be reminded that God is in charge of us individually; our families; our respective churches; our workplaces; our towns; yes, everywhere and in everything that He has created. Knowing all this then, why would we worry our little heads with what might happen in each of these scenarios? In other words, we have no idea what may happen in our lives – health-wise, relationship-wise or in any other area of our lives, but after being reminded of who’s in charge, will our worries amount to anything other than degrading our mental health? Friends, you can say the same things about each of the other scenarios mentioned. For the United States, we are entering into a year of presidential elections. God is telling U.S. Christians to be still and know that He is God over everything in our lives, especially our elections. We are told in Romans 13 that God places our rulers in authority over us, so are we worrying our little heads because we fear that God might mess up? Be still Brothers , and know that He is God over everything that we know and have committed to Him. Sisters, be still and allow God to be God. He is very capable, willing and able to handle our affairs today, just as He did for Jacob, Moses and all other Biblical accounts written in God’s Word to support our theory on this. Be still! Listen! Surrender control to God and return thanks to Him in all things!

PRAYER: Lord God, we acknowledge that You are indeed God of our lives, and God of this universe. Please forgive us for so often trying to reverse that order, especially when we think that we know better than You, how things should go here on earth. Thanks for the reminder that You made it all and that You are still very capable of managing everything – even today. Forgive us Lord for our lack of faith. Even as I write this, I am very concerned about many matters that I already know are hot agenda items this year. Please forgive me, and give me extra strength and boldness to declare Your glory, Your power and Your majesty as You continue to control my ‘world’. I am very weak, but praise be to the God of this universe, You are immensely strong, and very much in control of Your creation. In total surrender, I join with my Christian Brothers and Sisters – Your servants, to lead the pack in glorifying You as our Leader, our God, our Savior and our Lord. For these things, and all for Your glory, I ask all this in Your strong and mighty name, ‘Jesus’ my Lord, 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 might 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 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!

An Earth-Shaking Experience

Thursday, 2019-12-26

Bible Reference: Acts 4:31-35
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 31 At that moment the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble.[s] Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with unrestrained boldness.[t] 32 All the believers were one in mind and heart. Selfishness was not a part of their community, for they shared everything they had with one another. 33 The apostles gave powerful testimonies about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great measures of grace rested upon them all. 34–35 Some who owned houses or land sold them and brought the proceeds before the apostles to distribute to those without. Not a single person among them was needy.

OBSERVATION: Here’s a story about the results of prayer. Let me encourage you to carefully read the above verses. The preceding verse says that ‘after they had prayed….’. We are reminded that there is awesome power in the prayers of a righteous person. How’s your prayer life? As we meditate on the precious Word of God today, may it impact our life and drive you towards praying for the needs of those around you.

APPLICATION: There is a story about a renowned preacher that was blessed to have a team of prayer warriors in the basement of his church while he preached. Of course the results were always very productive, as God responded to the cries of His people concerning the hearts of those who were listening to His Word. Many surrendered their hearts to the Lord. In our story, the disciples had labored in prayer, and the Holy Spirit had dealt so strongly in their hearts that were willing to sacrifice their material gifts to share with those in need. Can you imagine the mindset of an unbeliever today if we (Christians) tell them that we love them, but we are willing to stand by and see them go hungry? Or that we care for their eternal destiny, but we uncaringly see them lose their home, while we drive around in very expensive cars and live in luxurious homes? Friend of God, can you see where those things just don’t go together? Unbelievers will never know how much we care about them until they see our God-like hearts revealed in caring for them whether we are asked to, or not. Think about the power channel used to see the earth-shaking experience mentioned in our Scripture today – prayer. One of our worst attended services in most churches today is our Prayer Meeting. So what do you suppose might be the driving force of our earth-shaking experience today? Church members and attendees today refuse to attend more than one church service per week; they are embarrassed to talk to their heavenly father (pray) in the presence of other believers; they find excuses for not attending a small, often thought of as insignificant, midweek meeting, etc, etc. Dear friends, with prayer being so insignificant to many, how might we expect to see an earth-shaking move of God in our churches, our communities and our country? God gave His all for us, yet we find excuses why we should not return the favor to Him in appreciation for all that He did, and all that He gave. Our lives reflect what we ask God for. If we ask for nothing, what might we expect from God?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, Your are our King! Thank You for all that You gave at Calvary so that we might have everlasting peace in our everlasting home in heaven. Please reach in to the hearts of many today so that there might be an awesome moving of Your Holy Spirit in Your people in our town. People need the Lord. Oh dear Savior, may our hearts be so impacted by Your love and Your saving grace, that they may see enough of Jesus in our lives to convince them of the decision they need to make. May You rule and reign in our midst heavenly Father, and may You receive honor and glory today from those who may surrender their hearts 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 might 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 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!

Sheep Who Listen and Follow Are Protected

Wednesday, 2019-11-06

Bible Reference: John 10:25-29
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 25 ……. “I have told you the truth already and you did not believe me. The proof of who I am is revealed by all the miracles that I do in the name of my Father. 26 Yet, you stubbornly refuse to follow me, because you are not my sheep. As I’ve told you before: 27 My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me. 28 I give to them the gift of eternal life and they will never be lost and no one has the power to snatch them out of my hands. 29 My Father, who has given them to me as his gift, is the mightiest of all, and no one has the power to snatch them from my Father’s care. 

OBSERVATION: The Jews looked for every possible way to discredit Jesus, because He was really sharing a simple truth that revealed the ugliness of all they were doing as the spiritual leaders of that day. But Jesus had one simple indicator for them to focus on – watch for His works. For through His awesome works, God will be revealed through the Son. Meditate with me today as we consider the lights, sights and sounds of each day that we are blessed to walk into. I believe these things might help us to draw one conclusion – Only God!

APPLICATION: As a worker of over 47 years, I am blessed to enjoy one last week of vacation before I retire at the end of the year. Standing at the door of my vacation unit, I could see the rising sun, and I believe that God got my attention to compare that to His Son, who was sent to show us the love of the Father, and to provide the means of our eternal salvation from this wicked world. As I peered into the bright sun, I was reminded that it outshines everything else in view. My Savior – the Son of God, said in these verses this morning that His works will outshine anything else the Jews could imagine, and that’s how the people would know that He is indeed the Son of God; The glory of God; The power of God; The very image of God. Jesus also said that His sheep will not only see His power and His glory, but that they will move into action by accepting the only One who provides salvation to mankind. Each day as we recognize the power and beauty of our awesome God, we have the choice of brushing these things off to good luck; happen-chance; a strange phenomenon; or to something powerful that is created by man. I believe that as we recognize them as coming from the hand of God alone, we will have an increased desire to know Him better and to follow Him more intimately. Whatever you do, please don’t overlook the words of Jesus in regards to this. He assured us that those who accept Him, and the wonderful gift of redemption that He offers, will be secure, for no one will snatch them from His all-powerful hand. Friends, in a world where everything is so unsure, and where the rules are changing all the time, is it not reassuring that our Father assures us of the security that we have in His care? God created us to be His worshipers and His faithful followers. In return, He has assured us that He cares for His sheep (children/followers) and that He will protect us until the day we are with He and His Father in heaven. Yes, for all eternity. So whether it’s the sun that rises in majesty each day, or whether its some other act of God that opens your eyes to the wonders of God, please recognize the works of God, and know that He is the One that awaits your response to His power so that He may also use you for His glory in helping others see Him. We protect our properties with physical security; our computers with data security; and our finances with insurance; I believe it is vitally important that we seek a relationship with the Almighty for peace of mind today and the security of our eternal destiny. Please be sure to read through my Footnote, and especially click on the hyperlink, ‘To Know Jesus’, so that you might see what the Word says about the need for the Savior. I believe that He is standing with outstretched arms waiting for you my friend! Do it today, won’t you!

PRAYER: Lord, we are a people looking to secure our earthly belongings, no matter how minimal they are. Thank You for reminding us in Your Word today how important it is to also surrender ourselves to You and allow You to secure our heavenly future. Please soften the hearts of all who will read this devotional today, and even more importantly, please speak to the hearts of those who have not given their allegiance to You a second thought. It is clear in Your Word, that we have no assurances of when You will return. It could be today! However, Your Word is clear that only those who have accepted Your Son, Jesus Christ, will see the glories of heaven. That’s something we all can do while we are still alive. May this be the day for many, I pray. 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 might 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 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!

True Followers of Christ

Monday, 2019-10-28

Bible Reference: John 8:31
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 31 Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “When you continue to embrace all that I teach, you prove that you are my true followers. 

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that you can easily deduce that if Jesus considered certain individuals to be His ‘True’ followers, then obviously there must be certain conditions that would cause Him to consider some to be unfaithful, uncommitted or even false followers. Let’s pray that God will lead us into the right understanding of what He said to the Jewish followers that day, and that we may always strive to be ‘True’ followers of our Lord and Savior.

APPLICATION: Jesus made it clear that when we embrace ALL that He taught us, and continue to teach us each day, we are considered His true followers. I believe that right from the very beginning, many did not live up to all that came through their lips, and of course today is no better. In ever country represented in my readership, I believe that you could easily acknowledge that there are a multitude of denominations represented in the ‘religious’ communities of each country. This came about primarily because of two reasons: (1) There are differences of opinion about the interpretation of God’s Word; and (2) In every team setting, there are multiple individuals who feel like they could lead better than the person currently leading, so troubles arise and a split off results, so that leaders could have their way. But, based on the first point, how could followers possibly think that they are willing to follow ALL that God teaches in His Word, when there are so many variances on how these things are interpreted? Among the community of churches there are known differences in things such as: the day selected for worship services; divorcees serving in leadership roles in the church; those with gender uncertainties serving in the church; etc, etc. But how can we honestly say that we (all followers collectively) are following ALL that Jesus teaches? Some believers may be looked on as ‘Christian fanatics’ when we become very stringent in following the teachings of our Lord, because there becomes such a divide between their belief and that of the world at large. friends, I would recommend that we closely examine ourselves to see where we stand with Jesus. Would He consider us a ‘True Follower’? To the world, it might seem acceptable based on how often we attend church; or how much we give to the church; or like many might say about their love for their spouse: I told you when I married you that I loved you and unless that changes, please know that I love you! Is that what we apply to our relationship with our Lord also? I believe that Jesus is telling us today that He agreed to follow through with the crucifixion because He loved and respected His father enough to obey ALL of His commands, even if it led to the cross. As followers of this same awesome Savior, why would we decide to do anything short of that same ideal? Are you bold enough to ask Jesus if you are considered a True Follower of His? Perhaps an accountability partner might help you tear down the doors of fake; false; and make-believe, so that you may honestly stand before the King of kings and Lord of lords with one simple song: ‘Just as I Am Without One Plea‘, knowing that in and of ourselves we are nothing worthy of the love of Jesus Christ. Where do you stand today dear one?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are my strength when I am weak. When trials come and life itself seems to overwhelm me, I need You more than ever to be my deliverer, my peace and my strength. Lord, living in this sinful world is challenging at best, so it is very easy for us to feel like we are not where we need to be in our walk with You. Thank You Lord for sacrificing Your very life, so that I might have forgiveness of my sin and peace about my future with You. Oh that my readers and I might be in such communion with You each and every day, that our lives will exemplify You in every way. May someone experience Jesus today in conversation with Your children and through our expressions of love in all that we do. 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 might 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 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!

Live Daily Declaring ‘To Whom You Belong’

Wednesday, 2019-10-09

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:22-24
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  22 You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. 23 Let the Spirit change your way of thinking 24 and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.

OBSERVATION: We are known to others by our actions, our character, our level of commitment and our love. Think about it, these are many of the same characteristics that they remember Jesus by! Unfortunately, these are also some of the same characteristics that others will identify us as being no different to anyone else, and therefore children of the world, and led by Satan. Jesus is righteous and holy, so if we are to be identified with Him, we must live in that manner. Meditate with me as we consider how all this is possible.

APPLICATION:  Evil people think evil, wicked things, so they live like evil, wicked people. Does your life show enough evidence of whose you are, that others will be convinced? When we surrender ourselves to someone, we generally release ourselves from the one to whom we were committed before. We become very miserable and confused when we detect any bleeding over of one allegiance into another. Think about it – when you marry someone and commit your life to that person, you are generally happy and living a blissful life together, until one of you start to reflect on an old flame, or perhaps another prospect that Satan has placed in your path. It just doesn’t work friend. The marriage is doomed to fail when this happens. Don’t you know then that the same thing happens in our walk with the Lord? Paul calls our mental escape from reality ‘foolish’, for we know that the minute we entertain a bad habit, it will pull us back into bad habits. The very moment that we give in to sin, we have taken our eyes off God, and it becomes easy for Satan to pull us back into his world. This is not abnormal for humans, that’s just the way we are designed. However, just as Paul teaches us in this scripture, we have an Advocate who is standing ready to help us overcome this weakness. It is the Spirit of the Living God that enters the believer, who helps us overcome our weaknesses and makes us into a new person. However, the Spirit does not take control of our will. We must willingly surrender ourselves to the Almighty God, and this is not just a one-time thing where you may have done so in a church service at a much earlier stage in your life. This is a daily surrender of your will to His will and His control. This is the only way that we can possibly expect to be like our creator. What a reminder in verse 24 – we were created to be like God – WOW! However the ending of that verse is also important, as it is the only way that we stand a chance of getting close to achieving this – we must strive to please God and to be truly holy, even as He is holy. When we live under the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, it will be evident to others when they come into contact with us.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your faithfulness to us, in spite of our weaknesses. Thank You for Your Word that teaches us the importance of living our lives to reflect our Master and our Lord, and for teaching us and warning us of the pitfalls that will distract us in our walk for You. Please continue to open our eyes and encourage our spirits so that we might be more determined than ever to live Godly lives, so that the lost might know that our Savior lives, and that Your love for them is unconditional, unlimited and available to them. I ask all this in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, my Lord, 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 might 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 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!

How To Transform Worry Into Praise

Thursday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:6-7
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

OBSERVATION: I believe that God knew full well how His children would worry, when we take our eyes off Him, so He was sure to include these verses today just for us! Let us ponder today over the many times that Jesus touched a life to help restore faith in Him, and to show His awesome love for mankind. Let’s learn to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, then we will have less to worry about. What a glorious thought to meditate on today!

APPLICATION: I believe there is one thing that we do extremely well, and that is ‘worry’. For we worry about what was said to us, or perhaps what wasn’t said to us. We worry about the look someone gave us, and even worse, if they don’t look at us at all! We worry about what we should say, but we worry even more if we say too much. When our minds are so busy worrying about every little thing in life, we tend to start building our own case about why the world hates us and wants nothing to do with us. I hope that as you meditate on this scripture with me today you will catch a glimpse, or be reminded, of the awesome God that we serve. You see, I am convinced that our God loves us enough that He will patiently wait for us to unload all of our concerns (worries) on Him in prayer. But what I am even more convinced of, is that God loves us enough that He sacrificed His one and only Son, so that He could provide the answer for our forgiveness of sin and our means of entering the gates of heaven to spend eternity with Him. Friends, there are so many things that we are so blessed with, that we should learn to fix our minds on those things, rather than the worries of all that this world will burden us down with. So how do we move from where we are, to where we should be? We are taught in these verses that it’s a matter of prayer and praise. Let’s make it our aim to take our concerns to the Lord in prayer, and let’s look for ways to praise Him for all that we see Him doing in our lives. In doing these things, we are told that we will find relief for those times that we would otherwise just worry, worry, worry. God loves us way too much to see us succumb to the sickness caused by worry.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your endless blessings on us. Thank You for the provisions You made for us and the future that is ours, who have placed our faith and trust in You. It’s a daily thing for us to overlook the temptations Satan will send our way to pull us down emotionally, and make us worry about things that we have no control over. Thank You for the direction You have given to us today in Your Word. Oh that we may be found faithful and true to You dear Lord. Oh that we may learn to worship You and praise You for who You are, even when our personal circumstances seem bleak. We’re Yours dear Lord. Please continue to teach us the right path to truth, hope, love and encouragement, so that we may savor in Your presence all of our days. I ask these things in and through the name of Jesus, my Savior, 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 might 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 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!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong name of Jesus, 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 might 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 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!

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