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

Archive for the ‘Things Eternal’ Category

Grace – Free and Undeserved

The Bible – New Living Translation

Romans 11:4-6

 And do you remember God’s reply? He said, “No, I have 7,000 others who have never bowed down to Baal!”(1 Kings 19:18)

It is the same today, for a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace—his undeserved kindness in choosing them. And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.

Thoughts:

I find it interesting how God draws certain things to our attention as we read His Word. I believe this has reiterated the point to me that without staying in His Word, how then will we hear from Him? My reason for the aforesaid, is that my initial reading of the highlighted verses left me wondering why God would have Paul include this Old Testament reference in his talk to the Roman believers and also in His Word for our edification? God quickly drew to my attention something to share with you in today’s devotional. Friends, who are we that God should have ever gotten our attention towards salvation? Now, before we get all holy and self-righteous in thinking that we never killed anyone, like Elijah was referring to in his initial question to God about the Jews, the Bible clearly states that God detests sin. He hates it. But friend, all the same, He valued us/loved us enough to look beyond our sin and rescue us from this life of sin. Yes, He convicted us of our sin and our need for a Savior? That’s where Paul is coming from in this passage, and that’s what we must be diligent to praise God about, and that’s what we must be careful in helping our lost family and friends to understand. God’s grace is beyond anything we can measure or understand. He sacrificed His one and only Son to die a cruel death on a cross so that we might be saved, even while we were deep in sin, uncaring and undeserving of such grace. We just can’t comprehend that kind of grace/love! But just as Paul share with his Roman counterparts, I must remind you today that God’s very nature is love and just as He once put the life of His Son on the line for us, His grace is still sufficient today. Please don’t give up on that lost loved one. To the one that may be reading this today that may never have made a decision to accept Christ as your personal Savior, please don’t think that you are beyond God’s love. The mere fact that you are reading this devotional is an indication that the Holy Spirit is working to show you His love and grace. Be obedient to His call on your life today, won’t you? Please feel free to contact me using the email address below to pray with you and help you in the vital decision.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I praise You today for Your wonderful and unparalleled grace. You loved me enough to speak to me right where I was, in sin, and convince me of the need for my Savior! Although we are tempted to think like Elijah did and question why You would save some folk even after knowing their awful past, I thank You for not being like us humans, for we often think like the world still, and tend to give up on folk because their future seem so hopeless to us. Oh my, where would we have been if You felt the same way about us? Praise God that Your ways are way beyond our very best efforts, for You loved us even while we were still wicked and undeserving. Thank You Lord Jesus for Your love and Your grace. Please help us to see through eyes filled with the grace of Jesus so that we may have a positive, Godly influence in the lives of those that need to accept You as Lord. As Your sons and daughters we need desperately to be more like our Father. Please continue to impress upon us the character and love of our Savior so that the world might see and know, without our hypocritical selves interfering, that they need You in their lives. I ask all this in the precious name of my Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ, AMEN!

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

The Key To Life!

Scripture: Deuteronomy 29-31.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Scripture: Mark 13.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 13:34-37 (NLT)

34 “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35 You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. 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!”

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

There are so many examples of how we Keep Watch for certain things. Jesus gave an example in verse 34 and also in earlier verses to help the people understand what He meant by Keeping Watch. God’s Word is full of direction to help us ready ourselves for the coming of our Lord Jesus, and it details what we need to do to be ready for the biggest two options we will ever face in our entire lives:

  1. For those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and lived in a right relationship with Him, then we have a future to look forward to with Jesus. Imagine spending eternity with the One who created us; the One who designed, created and maintained this world; the One who showed such love for us that He allowed His only Son to die on a cruel cross that we might have this opportunity to be with Him? Wow, to join hands and hearts with millions of angels and just worship and sing praises to the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords, the Master of this universe, the One who demonstrated love in such pure and sincere ways and to be known as ‘love’! I have a future such as this, because I have met the pre-qualifications! How about you friend?
  2. For those who do not fit the above pre-qualifications, the only other option is to live out your eternity in a much more cruel and devastating place than what you have ever experienced here on earth, because Satan and his forces have nothing more than an eternity of hell and damnation, suffering, pain, evil and hatred in store for you. Is this what you are spending this life preparing for?

Please respond to this post if I might help you insure that you are ready for the first option. God has told us in His Word, the Bible, that He would rather that none should perish as in option 2 above, so know it today that there is hope. There is a better option. God loves you and would rather that you not perish, but instead that you may enjoy everlasting life with Him. It’s your choice friend, but please don’t wait. We see tragedies all around us each and every day. Take note, you have no control when your life here will end, so ‘Watch Out’, be ready for Jesus’ return! I’m afraid that the default is option 2, unless you choose option 1 friend! Make sure that toady you are settled on what it will be for you.

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

Father I thank You for convincing me of my sin and showing me the door to salvation leading to life eternally with You! I look forward to seeing You return to gather Your people to Your side. Please help me to help someone today that may not have that assurance, because they do not have a relationship with You. May someone come to a decision today and choose option 1 above. I would love to help that person, please direct me accordingly.

 

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

Scripture: Genesis 42-44; Matthew 13.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

37 Jesus replied, “The Son of Man
is the farmer who plants the good seed.
38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one.39 The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world,
and the harvesters are the angels.
40 “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.42 And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand! Matt 13:37-43 (NLT)

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

In the words of Jesus we have a very clear understanding of His explanation of acceptable, versus unacceptable behavior or action by the people of this world. We can see very clearly how this behavior is still in place, because although the final judgment will come from God, we each know folk in each of the categories mentioned by Jesus in His above explanation of the parable just shared with His disciples. I believe that the decision is clear, and just as I was reminded, I want to share this with all that might read this devotional: at this point in our lives we have each made a decision. If Jesus should come at this very moment, He would know exactly how to order His angels. Will He usher us into His heaven, or will He have you thrown into the fiery furnace? Fortunately for you as you read this, you still have the very moment you are in to change your destiny by accepting Jesus as Lord. Unfortunately, without such a decision Jesus will have no choice when breath leaves your body here on this earth but to have you thrown into the fiery furnace. Which will it be for you, friend? Won’t you decide right now for the only ‘right’ choice? Accept Jesus and live eternally with Him in Heaven! Please contact me by responding to this blog, if the way to do this is unclear. I would love to share my faith with you!

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

Father, I thank You for the faith given to me and your help to me in making the right decision many years ago. I pray that Your Word will touch the hearts of anyone that reads this blog today and that they will make a decision to accept You before it is too late. Please work in the lives of those that I hold dear that have still not accepted You as Lord of their lives. May this be the day of decision for them!

Be Happy, don’t worry!

Scripture: Matthew 6

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matt 6:31-33 (NLT)

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

Many of us experience the pressure and stress of financial burdens from time to time, consequently many of us worry about everything that is affected when we are challenged financially. We are told in this scripture that this type of worry is evident of the unbeliever, because they have no hope, they have no scriptural direction, they have no reason to believe that they needn’t worry. Instead we are to know that ‘every little thing is gonna be alright’! In the verses leading up to this, Jesus shares examples about the birds and the lilies, and how much more valuable we are to Him than these. Therefore, as He takes such good care of them and provides for their everyday needs, imagine how much more He will hear our cry and take care of our needs. Wow, to have a heavenly Father who loves us so much that He would take care of us so wonderfully, gives me encouragement today, gives me hope for tomorrow and gives me a future to look forward to, as I rest in the palm of His hand. Let’s make the worries of this life disappear as we place our faith and trust in the hands of our Savior who has promised to watch over us and take care of us, because we are way more valuable to Him than any other plant or creature that He made. As we look at all the beauty around us, let’s stop to reflect on how much more we are loved and how much more God has promised to shine in and through us, so that others may see His beauty!

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

Wow, what a reminder dear God! It is so easy to worry about all that we bring on ourselves and all that this world serves up to us. I pray that I will have the strength and power to look beyond the temporal things of this world that may bear on my mind, and reflect on the awesome God that loves me so much that You have promised to care for me, especially when I may feel like the world has served up extreme challenges on me. Thank You for Your love dear God, please take my hand and lead me through each and every day!

A Covenant Relationship

Scripture: Genesis 17

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! Gen 17:1-6 (NLT)

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

Much is said in God’s Work about covenant relationships. In this particular chapter there were several covenant relationships made with Abram (Abraham) and they all were similar in form. God made a covenant that He would do certain things and this was either preceded, or followed by, certain things that would be required by Abram and/or his people. In this particular covenant God told his servant who was once fatherless, that he would become the father of countless descendants and of many nations, and to mark this his name would be changed to reflect the new him, because Abraham actually means ‘Father of Many’. Now prior to all this being revealed, God demanded of Abram that he vow to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Throughout God’s Word He makes many promises to us, the greatest of which was the gift of His Son Jesus. In this particular covenant, God sent His Son so that those of us that believe on, and accept Him as Lord of our life, would have eternal life. At Christmas time we celebrate the gift that was presented to us. I trust that for all who may read this devotional, You would truly accept this gift and complete the covenant presented by God, for I guarantee you that He will live up to His part of the covenant by opening heaven’s gates and receiving us into eternity with Him. Friend I pray that your eyes will be opened to this invitation, because the alternative is not very bright for those who refuse to accept Jesus. An eternal life of damnation and the unpleasentries of Hell is not anything that I can imagine anyone wanting to set as a goal in their life.

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

Father I thank You for the greatest gift ever given – Your Son. I thank You also for touching my life and encouraging me to accept Your gift some 35 years ago. I am concerned about the numerous number of family and/or friends and/or co-workers that have chosen to ignore Your gift and the covenant You have offered to us. I pray that this will be an important Christmas weekend in the lives of those that You have touched my life through, because I pray that You will once again overly sensitize their hearts so that they will understand how hopeless life is without You. May they experience the real meaning of the reason that we celebrate Christmas as they surrender and submit their lives to You this week.

God is still God!

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 12

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants. ” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him.8 After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord.9 Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. 10 At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner. Gen 12:7-10 (NLT)

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

At the beginning of this chapter it is so amazing to see God at work in Abram’s life, and also Abram being so obedient to leave his hometown and all the people that he knew, to move to a foreign land far away. In these verses, it is also interesting to note that during Abram’s journey everything was not rosy, no, everything did not go without a hitch and/or challenges. In fact, while passing through Canaan there was a great famine that hit the area. Now in a perfect world, most of us would say that if this was a journey destined by God, led and directed by Him, then why would there be obstacles. Friends this is the same way it is today. Just because we surrender our hearts to the Lord, we are not exempted from all the trials and tribulations of this world – at least as long as we live in this world! Often challenges will come our way – the question, or challenge for us is to determine is, which way will we go? A life totally surrendered to God will always do like Abram did, we will wait for further instructions, while during the interim challenge, looking to God for direction and depending on Him for strength to overcome. I believe that often our faith is determined by how we handle trials, not just on how well we do during the times of blessings and riches. God is still God during the highs, and during the lows of our lives. We must insure that our faith holds strong daily, because we don’t know what may be in store for us each day. Let’s think in terms of a partnership, we don’t jump ship on our partner on a day when things are rough, nor do we when our partnership celebrates its highs. A true partnership stays in tact during both good and bad times. So should our relationship with God. What are you facing today? Trust only in God and never lean on your own understanding, for only He knows what lies ahead for us. I love the words of that gospel song “God of the Mountain”, listen to it and be blessed as you reflect on the words of this Bible passage.

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

Like in the case of Abram, You bless me beyond measure each day oh God, and this morning I want to say thank You with all of my heart. Please forgive me when I worry about the challenges I see in life from the small perspective of my personal abilities. Please help me to stay so focused on You that I will always look through Your eyes and therefore face life’s challenges with the benefit of Your unlimited power and Your everlasting love for me. I believe that as I place my faith totally in You, I will always receive Your protection and You will bring me through life’s challenges in ways that will bring You glory. I know that this may not always come in the way that I may personally desire, but Lord I pray that You will help me to hide behind the cross and allow Your glory to shine through in all that I do or say. Self is insignificant in the whole scheme of things, for only those things that are done for Christ will last. May Your love shine through in all that is done in Your name this Christmas time! Thank You for sending Your Son as a babe, so that we may ultimately be re-born into life with You, and accepted into Your kingdom!

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