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

Archive for the ‘Transformation’ Category

A Transformation

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 12:1-2 (TPT)

TEXT: Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.  Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

OBSERVATION:   Two things really stand out in these verses that ultimately pleases God: (1) Paul addresses the subject of genuine worship; and (2) How we should be doing what pleases Christ, and not necessarily what the world is doing around us. Let’s open these two things up and see how they could be applied to our scenarios today.

APPLICATION:   As we delve into this, I want to acknowledge that each of our lives are based on the things that are available to us, and to the culture of where we live. So I found it interesting that Paul warned us about our cultural demands. Here’s a case in point: I am a banker by trade, and the area in which I live and the one where I work, are all attracted primarily to traditional brick & mortar banking, even though many are becoming accustomed to digital banking in various ways. However, less than 2 hours away, there are certain communities that have accepted, and indeed flourish, with totally staff-less bank branches. Culture, median age of the customer-base in a specific city or area, will help drive banks to decide what type of branch to offer. I believe that we tend to think along similar lines when considering the type of church we want to attend, because we have a certain mindset about what we believe should happen at church, and what type of worship will soothe our souls. So do me a favor, if you agree with me so far, read the two verses again very slowly and deliberately. Did you notice that there was no reference to pleasing yourself, but rather that you worship in a manner that pleases God. Now think about your typical worship service. How prepared are you when you walk in the doors of a church? Before you sing the first word, pray the first prayer or open your Bible for the first time in the past week, did you stop to consider that you are standing in awe of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords? Have you considered the awesome gifts and blessings that He passed on to you since you last worshipped Him? Are you truly prepared to worship the Majestic King of the ages, the One who gave His very life to satisfy your sins? In your prior life you may have paid close attention to what friends, or the rich and famous do, but in accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior to Scripture says that Jesus will direct your paths, and that He will transform your life into something new. I believe that means more humble than ever before, more loving, more kind, more forgiving and more identifiable with Jesus, than with anyone or anything in this world. Friends, this is the type Christian that will get the attention of our lost world. For they are looking for someone who looks, sounds and acts like Jesus and not imitators of anything this world has to offer. This type of life is not something you learn at college, or you see on the street, or you study about at home. A Jesus-filled life happens because of your relationship with Jesus. He directs your heart, your ways, your thoughts and your inner person, and from this you express yourself to others. How are you doing on that friend? 

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for Your timely reminders on how we are to worship You and to also be conscious about how we represent You in our daily lives. Lord, I believe that if You’re in us, then You will come out of us through our speech, our actions, our desire to win the lost and our care and concern for others. Please work in our lives today dear Lord, and may we do our part in offering ourselves as living sacrifices for Your glory, 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!

 

How To Be Changed From The Inside Out

Friday, 2016-10-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 12:1-2

Bible Text:  ….Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

We sometimes refer to kids as being ‘rude to the core’, meaning that we struggle to see any good thing in that particular child that we are dealing with at the time! Unfortunately I believe that adults probably say similar things about other adults also, and when we consider how devious we are in our minds, especially for those without the love and impact of Christ, then we should not be amazed by that statement! Friends, it is unfortunate, but we easily ‘melt away’ or blend into the culture around us. In other words, I believe that if a typical Christian settles into a community away from all churches, and filled with constant parties and celebrations, it may not be long before that ‘Christian’ is persuaded that if they expect to ever make friends with the neighbors then they had best ‘fit in with the crowd’. Paul encourages us in these verses to take every aspect of our lives and place it before God as an offering. I believe this means that we give what we have to God, ask Him to bless it, multiply its usefulness, and use us for His glory – so that His kingdom may benefit from every aspect of our lives. As indicated in the verses, when we fix our eyes and our attention on God, and not on what our friends, or the church, or the world can do for us, then God will be convinced that we are ready for His service and He will begin the change process – from the inside out. I believe this means that He will do away with the old thoughts and habits, and fill us with the glories of the heavenly, so that we may be usable instruments by the King of glory! In another part of scripture, Jesus warns that it makes no sense placing new wine into old wine-skins. Likewise, it would be highly unlikely for Jesus to leave the filth of the ‘old man’ in place and then ‘top him off’ with the joys and glories of heaven. I am convinced that God will empty us of the old sinful man and fill us with His grace, His love and His Holy Spirit, for our lost world will only be impacted when they see the purity of Jesus when they look at us. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit will not reside where sin abounds. So to my unsaved readers, may I plead with you to not be tricked into making a superficial decision to accept Jesus as Lord in order to satisfy mom, or the pastor, or that friend that keeps bugging you. Instead, be ready to allow God to wash you clean – from the inside out, and then fill you with the beauty of Himself. Ask a beggar to act like a rich man, and he wouldn’t know what to do. The totally opposite is also true. Asking a sinner to continue in sin and wear the look of Jesus is also a total misfit. However, to ALL who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ, to them will He accept (save) and totally change from the inside out. I pray that will be your decision today friend!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, please forgive us for the decisions we make that are so superficial that we change our minds at the whim of every wind or circumstance of life. Please help us to think deeply about offering ourselves as a total sacrifice, or offering, to You, for Lord we desire a heart like Yours, and the humility to please You in every way possible. We already dedicate ourselves in similar fashion to our workplace so that our business owners could succeed. Please teach us to be even more committed to surrender totally to You so that Your eternal kingdom may flourish through our witness. Lord, we have family and friends who are destined for eternal damnation and unless they see, understand and believe on You, they will never see the glories of Heaven. Please grant us the deep desire to allow You to rule and reign in every way through us, so that they may recognize the King of glory and desire to know You personally. Change my heart oh God, make it ever true, change my heart oh God, may I be like You! 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!

Your Choice – Blessings or Curses

THE HOLY BIBLE New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-2 & 15 ~ 1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving -you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. 2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: …. 15 “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you: ….

THOUGHTS: I know, you looked at the title today and almost didn’t open this to read it, because you probably figured that this old man just lost his marbles (brains), otherwise why else would he possibly think that you would be interested in reading about ‘curses’? Of course you don’t want that, right? If you are one that is ‘fully obedient to the Lord’ and ‘carefully keeping His commands’, then I agree I am wasting your precious time by explain what you can expect in 2016 because of your disobedience. Oops, nothing is said in the text about 2016, right? But friend, why would God possibly bless us if we are disobedient? Do you suppose it was just the Israelites that He loved enough to discipline when they disobeyed? Perhaps I should remind you that it was us that God sent His only Son, Jesus, to the cross for our forgiveness, our salvation from sin, our peace about eternity with Him in glory. You see, through His servant Moses, God warned the Israelites that as they entered the Promised Land that He brought them to; that He cleared the path for; and that He prepared just for them; they had a choice to make. They could enter and choose: (1) To be obedient to God and keep His commands taught to them over the past 40 years – and this would result in blessings that it took the writer 13 verses to express to them. Otherwise, (2) To be disobedient and not keep the commands of God, and they could expect curses on every aspect of their lives. In fact, it took the writer the next 52 verses to detail all of the curses that would fall upon this chosen people. Friends, why would this be any different for us as we welcome another year in that God has led us to, and that He has prepared as a clean slate for us? In your wildest expectations, do you suppose that God would possibly bless a people that drag into a brand new year, all of the sin, disobedience and disregard that He absolutely deplores? If God tarries, we have at least a few days to think about this; to clean up our act; to spend time in prayer before the Father seeking His forgiveness and asking for His strength and boldness to obey under every circumstance of life. Without some obvious and intentional steps by us, and if God permits time to go on, we will enter 2016 under the same load of sin and punishment we have faced in 2015. I believe God is teaching us in this scripture today that it really doesn’t have to be that way. Our destiny can be changed, with God’s help, if we choose to be obedient children of God. Won’t you do that today friend? For the unbeliever reading this today, please know that God wants your heart first. Please read my ‘Footnote’ for tips on how to personally know my Savior. Only as His child, will He hear your cry for help, direction, and the promised blessings only He can offer you in 2016.

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for providing the greatest gift ever, in the form of Your Precious Son – Jesus. You loved, protected and led the Israelites through 40 years of life-challenges, then You provided the wonders and the blessings of the Promised Land to them! You still love, protect and lead Your children today and You have promised an even greater Promised Land for those who truly know You personally. You had blessings in store for the Israelites who obeyed You and kept Your commands. I believe that 2016 can be a time period You are calling us into where blessings may abound for those who know and obey You, however You have promised us an even greater Promised Land – Heaven where we will meet with You and the Father eternally in worship, praise and adoration. Please bless us as we tarry on this old earth, so that one day soon we may advance to our ultimate Promised Land with You! Oh I long To See You, Look Upon Your Face, There to Sing forever of Your Saving Grace! Lord, please speak to the hearts of those needing discipline, even while still in 2015. May they receive a word from You today that will convince them of their sin and incent them to clean their act up and prepare to meet You in action in 2016 and be blessed by You in every way imaginable. May our blessings transform the lives of others as they gaze on Your goodness. I ask these things in faith, and in the strong name of Jesus, my Savior, 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 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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