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

Archive for the ‘Things that make God angry’ Category

Lip Service vs True Repentance

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 78:36-39

36 But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues.

37 Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant.

38 Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury!

39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns.

Thoughts:

In this Psalm we are reminded of all the good that God did for the Israelites as they traveled through the wilderness for 40 years, and also all the bad or challenging things that God had to do in an effort to get the attention of the people and to see them return to Him, recognize Him as God and worship Him once again. It reminds me so much about our people today that I wanted to share these thoughts with you. You see, God blessed the Israelites in some very wonderful ways, including providing their daily food from heaven. Yes, in a way that they couldn’t help but recognize that it was from God. To the other extreme, He caused the death of their strongest men, hoping to get the attention of His people, but to no avail. He started taking the lives of those very close to them, and it got their attention, but it was only temporary. In fact these verses quoted above state that they only gave ‘lip service’ for their hearts were still hardened. Friends this reminds me so much of what I have seen over the years right here in our own country. Disasters have brought many to the church and many to the Lord, but it must have only been ‘lip service’ as they soon faded away and returned to their life of sin and rebellion. Could it be that we are putting way too much dependence in verses 38 and 39? Could it be that we are waiting for danger to strike very near to home before we kneel before the Father and plead for forgiveness of our sin and rebellion? An important note to us all is that Jesus knows even our inmost thoughts, so He knows when we make decisions under duress from family, friends or the preacher. Friends, God was so serious about His love for us, and so concerned about making provisions for us to enter heaven, that He allowed His one and only Son, Jesus, to die a cruel death on a cross, so that when we become serious about surrendering our life to Him we wouldn’t have to look for additional sacrifices, but merely talk to Jesus and accept His gift of love. Are you like the Israelites where you accepted the gift(s) of God (Jesus as Lord and Savior) at some point in your life, but have since returned to your old life of sin and disregard for the gospel? Please don’t wait for another disaster to occur, recommit your life to Jesus today and be reconciled with Him. He loves the repentant sinner and would welcome you back in a heartbeat. Please contact me if I might be of any help to you friend.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me enough that You sacrificed Your only Son to die on Calvary’s cross so that I might have life eternal. You did this in spite of the sin in this world – an act of love in its purest form. Please forgive me for the times that I allow sin to enter my life and distract me from Your commands. Please touch the hearts of all those that may meditate on this devotional today, and help us to be so committed to You that our family and friends will also have a desire to recommit their lives to You and live as You intended and instructed. There is so much sin and evil around us Lord, that we need a fresh touch from You so that Your power will become very evident to us and that our personal desires would fade away as we welcome Your grace and Your power. In 1 Peter 1:22 we are reminded that obedience to Your Word will be evidence of the One to whom we belong. Lord, please grant Your servants a deep, sincere heart of obedience today, is my humble prayer that I ask in Your precious and wonderful name, 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.

Be Holy, Even as God is Holy

Scripture: Leviticus 9-11.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Leviticus 11:45 (NLT)

45 For I, the Lord, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy.

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

Most of these 3 chapters are about how God ordered Moses, Aaron and His people to prepare the temple and themselves so that as they come into His holy place/temple they might come as a prepared people showing respect for the Master of this universe and the One who saved them from many things as they traveled through the wilderness for 40 years. In 10:2 it was sad to note that even in the days of which this scripture is based, people tried to cut corners and do what they thought was right, not what God was so careful in detailing to them, and the consequences led to death. However, it was exciting to note in 9:23 that as God’s commands were carried out, God showed Himself to the people – through a consuming fire from heaven. It really concerns me today how casually we come into God’s house and how little respect we show for His holy place. If we knew that we were going to be in the presence of an earthly ‘king’ or president, we would probably seek professional help to make sure that we dress properly for the occasion and that we follow the right etiquette. Yet, the King of all kings, the master of ourselves and our earth, the Savior of this world, the One who sacrificed Himself for our sin and our benefit, and we show little to no respect for walking into His holy temple. Instead of sacrificing, we reluctantly give of our tithes and offering, we can’t find time to give of ourselves to His service. We are quick to ask and beg of Him, but yet we are too proud to lay ourselves at His feet and truly let go and worship Him. Can someone remind me again why God owes us a blessing under such circumstances? I’m surprised that He hasn’t done something terrible to us like He did to Aaron’s sons when they did their own thing. In the verse I am using here, God reminds us that we are to be holy, just as He is holy. I don’t think this means that we are to be like the world so that they might think we are cool and they will feel comfortable worshipping with us. As the world sees God at work in our midst, they will flock in to worship with us, because they want to see the mighty hand of God, not the proof that we can be just as ‘cool’ as them.

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

Father, over in the New Testament You became so angry about what was happening in Your holy temple that You lost Your cool and disrupted the party. This is yet another reminder that You house is to be a place of prayer, a place of worship, a place where You are the focus of our attention and a place where Your Holy Spirit can manifest Himself to us. I’m so afraid that we have come a long ways from where You expect us to be, and therefore tons of reasons why You have refused to move in our midst like You would really like to. Lord, I need to be sure that You are first in my life, and that my heart is prepared and ready to worship You when I enter into Your sanctuary. As a church leader, I need to be sure that ample opportunity is given for Your people to get their hearts right and aligned with You as they come for worship. May I stop spinning the wheels, doing the usual, and following what has become the worldly expectation of church. May I be so prepared in my heart to worship You in Your temple, that everything else will be oblivious to me and may I therefore see Your glory shine all around me. May You resume control of Your temple and Your people who have come to worship You in Your temple.

God’s Presence Sets Us Apart

Scripture: Exodus 32-33.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Exodus 33:15-16 (NLT)

15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

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

In the preceding verses we see where God had really gotten angry with the Israelites for melting their gold jewelry and making a golden calf to worship, while Moses was up on the mountain spending time with God and not babysitting them. In fact, God became so angry until He decided to prepare the path for the ongoing journey of Moses and his people, but that He would not personally go with them – primarily because He didn’t want to lose His patience with them. I love the plea of Moses, and wish that I could take more actions similar to this during my leadership of God’s people. Moses pleaded with God for His divine presence with and through His people, otherwise he (Moses) was afraid that they would lose their identity with other people of the land. This sounds so much like where we are at today, it seems like the church (God’s people) has lost its flavor, its identity, its character. In fact, lost its first love, and therefore does not appear to the world to be anything like the Jesus they have heard us preach and teach about. There is little evidence that would set us apart from the people of this wicked world in which we live. Oh my, this is so sad, because God teaches us all through His Word about His character and the characteristics that we are to imitate in order to be more like our Father. Unfortunately, we have chosen to accept many of the precepts of the world instead, so we look more like them than we do the Father. Oh, how it must sadden my Lord when He sees His stubborn people who refuses to humble ourselves, pray and seek to serve Him wholeheartedly so that He might dwell among us and set us apart as His chosen people for a time such as this in which we live.

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

Lord, I am called by Your name. Please help me to: humble myself and pray often; Seek Your face in all that I do; Turn from my wicked ways and follow Your ways daily, so that You may claim me as Yours, use me as Your servant and heal me of my weaknesses and indecision, and in turn heal this land in which I live so that our eyes may be opened to Your love and Your truth, with anticipation of the day that You will call us home to be with You in Heaven. In other words, please help me to be all that I can be for You while here on this earth so that I can look into Your welcoming face and recognize the pleasure that You will have in being in my presence without anger. Thank You for loving me enough to encourage me through Your Word to live a life worthy of the Lamb of God! I need thee every hour, dear Lord!

A Promise To The Righteous

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 5 – 7 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die.18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives.19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood.20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive.21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.” Gen 6:17-21 (NLT)

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

Although I have heard and read the story of Noah many times before, I was touched by this again today. God made man in His own image and in these chapters studied I found where men were still having sons well over 100 years of age, plus living in excess of 900 years. However God became very upset over the increasing evil that He saw in man and vowed to maximize his life to 120. Still, evil continued to the extent that it angered God into wiping out all living things made by Him on this earth. However, He was able to find one righteous man, Noah. The covenant He made with Noah is similar to the one that he makes with those of us that accept Him as Lord and then strive to live righteous lives. Throughout all the destruction of all living things – water on this earth of more than 22 feet above the highest mountain, yet He kept Noah and his family plus a limited number of animals, safe. Later in God’s Word He provides another covenant for those of us that accepts His Son as Lord of our lives, and this covenant is that we may live eternally with Him in glory! I don’t know about you, but to have the love of the Father – our creator, poured out on me as a child of His here on this earth, plus to also be assured of eternity with Him in glory is enough to make this life tolerable and  worth every moment of every day facing the everyday challenges of this temporary world. Noah was saved, together with his family, because He followed the will of God and lived a righteous life in the eyes of God. We can do the same today if only we will follow the plan outlined by God. Do you know this Savior of whom I speak of here? The invitation is open to ALL who believe and accept Jesus as Lord of your life. Read John 3:16 to understand the full depth of God’s promise. Won’t you covenant with God today friend? Read though this help page for directions, or contact me by responding to this post. Jesus loves you, and so do I!

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

Father, You have shown in Your Word how important it is for Your creations to dedicate themselves to their creator. Thank You for the awesome job You did in wonderfully making me and then providing a means for me to have life eternally with You. I pray that everyone that reads this post today will be convinced of Your love, and that their hearts will be troubled enough to not let the sun set today before making a commitment to accept You as their Lord and Savior and to live a righteous life in Your sight, during the time they have left here on this earth. May You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives today!

Then, and Only Then, Will I….

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Ezekiel 11

OBSERVATION

Ezekiel 11:18-21 ~ When that happens, I want you to clear the land of all disgusting idols. Then I will take away your stubbornness and make you eager to be completely faithful to me. You will want to obey me and all my laws and teachings. You will be my people, and I will be your God. But those who worship idols will be punished and get what they deserve. I, the LORD God, have spoken.

APPLICATION

I am finding the book of Ezekiel almost as interesting as the book of Revelation, as God really spoke to Ezekiel through a vision, including showing him how He would follow through with all that needed to be done to effectively open the eyes of the sinful nation of Jerusalem. I have highlighted in ‘red‘ one of the very key words in these verses, ‘Then’. So often we talk about/preach about/think about our loving God who will do everything for us, and often saying this while continuing to do the sinful, prideful things that God abhors. In the verses preceding these, God told Ezekiel all that He demanded of the people of Jerusalem, and only AFTER those things were done, THEN He would do His part. In other words God is saying that His good work among them will be conditional upon them doing their part. He had given so many opportunities for them to straighten up their act, but each time they miserably failed to follow through in obedience, even after He wiped out several of their towns. Fast forwarding this to apply this to life today: God still expects us to do our part. He developed us with enough intelligence to understand the written Word of God, to communicate effectively with Him in prayer; example after example of how we should separate ourselves from this sinful world and instead be light to a dark and dying world. In other words, to be an example of Him to others so that they might dedicate themselves to Him and follow His commands. Unless we straighten up our act and follow the Christ that we profess that we personally know, we could find ourselves in the same predicament as the people of Jerusalem, we could be wiped out so that God could raise up new warriors who will obey Him and sincerely do His work. Our excuse today is that I can’t do a whole lot for the large city/state/country in which I live, much less this whole wide world. Remember that this is a very true analysis of the situation, because that will be God’s job. However, I truly believe that He wants us to concentrate first on our own personal relationship with Him. Then as we example Him to our family, friends, co-workers and world He will work through our witness to reach into their hearts.

PRAYER

Father, may You find a willing and prepared saint through which You can work today as You look deep into my heart. Forgive me for my selfish motives, my personal desires and the times that I could have been way more proactive in sharing Your message with others. Please help me, through Your love and strength, to rid myself of anything that stands in the way of You using me to do Your work. Help me to represent You perfectly in all that I say or do so that others may see Jesus, and gain a desire to want to know You personally. May You have Your will and way this day, dear God.

When Our Loving God Becomes Angry

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Ezekiel 8

OBSERVATION

Ezekiel 8:17-18 ~ …. They have disgraced and insulted me in the worst possible way. So in my fierce anger, I will punish them without mercy and refuse to help them when they cry out to me.”

APPLICATION

As I read this chapter and noticed the awful things that God had brought to Ezekiel’s attention to show him how upset He was and all the things that were angering Him, I felt so terrible because I saw where there were many things going on in my town and in our society today that no doubt anger God. In fact, I would quickly declare that I probably don’t know the half of what IS going on, because I live somewhat of a sheltered life around Christians and the church. However, the greatest thing that I believe that God spoke to me on, is that I needn’t think for a moment that all the issues that anger God rest in the ways, attitudes and actions of the unsaved, because when we, as God’s people say that we love God and His people, yet we go on treating each other poorly by not forgiving them, or by snipping at them because of all that we have brought on ourselves and not because of anything that person did to us, then we are displeasing God. We are definitely not imitating our Savior when we treat others wrongly. God told Ezekiel that his people had angered Him so badly that He would punish them without mercy and refuse to help them even when they cried out to Him. Could it be that sometimes when we feel like we are hitting a brick wall and perhaps God is not hearing our cry, that perhaps He is refusing to hear us because of sin in our lives, or because we are not doing all we can to avoid sin around us? We are so good at shutting God out of our lives during those times that we feel it is necessary to gossip or otherwise commit some ‘secret’ sin, yet we think that it is so difficult or impossible to think that the loving God that we serve could possibly shut us out of His blessing because He is so angry with us. I want to strive to love Him, serve Him and do all that I possibly can to live my life in alignment with His will and in obedience to His commands, so help me God.

PRAYER

Father, You made me, so You are very aware of my weaknesses. Please don’t become exasperated with me, but give me a heart like Yours so that I may obey Your every command and display Your love for others so that they may also be encouraged to do Your will. You are a loving and holy God, please help me to show Your holiness in and through my life by the way that I live my life before others and before You. Please alert me to Your will and direction each and every day and give me strength to live in accordance with Your will. Please help me to be actively involved in my church and that, together we may be busy carrying out your work in our community. Please help us to warn others, as You have warned us in Your Word about Your soon return and Your desire to see them saved before it is a day too late.

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