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

Archive for the ‘Transformed’ 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!

 

Loving Jesus and Willing to Follow Him

THE HOLY BIBLE – 19 ….Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them. (This was the follower who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and said, “Lord, who is it that will hand you over?”) 21 When Peter saw him behind them, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “Maybe I want him to live until I come. That should not matter to you. You follow me!” ~ John 21:19b-22 ~ Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

THOUGHTS: All of our lives we are trained to think about the other person and not be selfish, but I believe you will note in this scripture today that there comes a time in life where Jesus calls for our undivided attention to what He is saying directly to us. In this chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus had just questioned Peter about HIS relation – HIS love for the Master. Jesus got so personal with that question that He asked it of Peter 3 times. When we repeat a question like that, usually we are trying to make sure that we have the person’s undivided attention, and by the second or third time we ask it, the person is really questioning to himself if he truly understood the question, or if the hearer is doubting his answer. You might remember that this is the same Peter who will deny Jesus three times while Jesus hangs on the cross, even though Peter told Jesus ahead of time that he would be with Him right up the very bitter end. As for how we might normally handle this type of question, I believe it all depends on where we are at and in whose presence. At church, where we are surrounded by a crowd of fellow Christians. I bet we would easily respond in the affirmative to Jesus, as we listen for a loud ‘Amen’ from those around us! But how would our response differ if we were asked the same question by Jesus at work; or at the football stadium where folk all around us are drinking and partying? Would we be as quick to respond affirmatively? However, this was not the only sobering thought of this scripture. As indicated already, imagine if the question Jesus asked Peter was asked of us individually in a crowd. Can’t you see us looking around for support, before we respond? “Come on church, let’s respond collectively”, we might say. Imagine Jesus stopping your parade and saying “wait a minute young man/lady, I am looking for a personal response from you only. May I hear your heart’s response, in spite of what you feel the rest of the church/co-workers/theme park crowd might say collectively with you”. Friends, this is exactly what Jesus did to Peter, for He told me that He was more concerned that he (Peter) would follow Him, even if no one else did. What about you friend? If you were singled out like that, how would you respond to Jesus? Are you at that place in your relationship with Jesus that you will respond, based on your heart, and not what you think the crowd would like to hear? Friend, I would encourage you to join me in solidifying our relationship with the Lord. This could be the day that He decides to take one or all of us home, and I don’t know about you, but I really want to know that Jesus was pleased with my life while here on this earth. That I stood firm in my faith and in my witness for Him. I pray that this would also be the desire of each reader.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You stayed true to Your mission right up to Your time on the cross. Like us, I believe that Peter stayed true to you, but he and us, we are so easily swayed in our decision making, that the crowd (Satan) may easily find a ‘soft spot’ and distract our thoughts and commitment to You. Lord, we are so weak. But praise to Your glorious name, You are so strong. So Lord, we come to the solid ‘Rock’ today pleading for Your strength in our commitment; our boldness; and our witness – regardless of the environment or crowd that we might be in. Please help us to remain strong. For those reading this who have not made a personal decision to accept You as their Lord and Savior, I ask for clarity in their minds so that they might recognize the priority of accepting You as Lord, before following the crowd to ask a total stranger for help. Please impact the lives of Your children today, so that we might stand firm in our faith. May our transformed lives be so sincere, that the lives of others will be transformed when they ‘rub shoulders’ with one of Yours today. For I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Have You Washed?

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Exodus 30:17-21): 17 Then the Lord said to Moses, 18 “Make a bronze washbasin with a bronze stand. Place it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. 19 Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet there. 20 They must wash with water whenever they go into the Tabernacle to appear before the Lord and when they approach the altar to burn up their special gifts to the Lord—or they will die! 21 They must always wash their hands and feet, or they will die.

THOUGHTS: Most of us are diligent about making ourselves presentable in certain places and in select circumstances. As an example, it would not be impressive for one to come for an office job interview straight from working in the yard – filled with sweat and dirt. Growing up, I remember my mom settling into her seat at church, where her first course of action would be to bow her head and pray. I believe that was a prayer of preparation for her in asking God to take away the distractions; forgive her of her sin; and make her worthy to come before Him in worship and adoration. God showed early saints that cleansing themselves before coming into His presence was important, just as He demonstrated in the actions taught in these verses highlighted today. In verse 20 God said that He would strike dead Aaron and/or his sons who may have disobeyed His command to cleanse themselves physically before entering His presence. Earlier in this chapter we are told that Moses ‘burned with anger’ when he saw how his people had turned back to their life of sin so quickly during his absence. I can only imagine how God must burn with anger and disappointment when His children, who claim Him as Lord, enters His house (church) to praise Him but drenched in the sin of our weekly encounters. The unfortunate thing that I believe we must be careful of, is that after our first visit in such a condition, we tend to become hardened to our sinful attitudes; our rude and disrespectful encounters; our disregard for God and/or His Word during the week; and therefore lose the guilt of needing to seek cleansing from God before we seek an audience with Him. Friends, we must be very careful to not make a mockery of God. He is still the Creator of this entire universe and of you and I. He is the same God that sent His Son to us as our ultimate Redeemer, Savior and Lord. He is sin-less and deserves our humility, love and respect so that we approach Him in similar form as He demanded of Aaron and his sons in verse 21 – always clean. The consequence for us could easily be as severe as God threatened Aaron – death. In the New Testament we are warned that some who have taken the Lord’s Supper unworthily have even died. Friends, we must be reminded that we fool no one but ourselves when we deliberately sin in the face of God. There is no need to pretend we are worthy of His praise, when we are saturated in sin. God knows us better than we know ourselves, so we can’t fool Him. Let us therefore humbly bow before Him and ask for His cleansing on a daily basis. Perhaps then we might be more pleasing to Him, and better represent Him to the lost of this world.

PRAYER: Lord, You alone are holy, and we are not. Please help us to acknowledge that, and to always seek Your forgiveness and Your cleansing, for we have learned from this lesson today that You deserve a clean heart from upright people. Please help us to always be conscious of our filth – our sin, and to stay so in tuned with You and Your Word that our sin will be highlighted for us, so that we might be aware of our need for You. Please be very evident in our lives today so that we may enter Your courts with praise and so that we may be worthy of representing You before those within our realm of influence. Please touch the lives of those that need to hear this word today so that they may become more effective witnesses for You in every aspect of their lives. I ask these things in the worthy and all powerful 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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. 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, Sebring, FL! 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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