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

Archive for the ‘Truthful’ Category

You Have All That You Need

The Bible New Living Translation

1 Corinthians 1:79

7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thoughts:

I was reminded of my working career where, from time to time, I go off to conferences or training seminars to sharpen my skills and make me a better employee. These verses made me think about this, because when we surrendered our lives to the lordship of our Lord Jesus, we were given everything that we need to succeed as a Christian. So why do we go to church? Much like I said in my career, we go to church to receive that ‘tune up’, that personal accountability where we allow God’s Word to challenge our lives and show us what we need to do differently in order to be best aligned with His will. Furthermore, Paul reminded the Corinthians of the importance to be blameless when Christ returns. This is vitally important for two reasons: 1). We don’t know the day or the hour when Jesus Christ will return, so we need to be ready and watching at all times, and this must be in a blameless fashion if we are to join Him when He returns; and 2). We need to be holy as Christ is holy, so that we can be the proper representation of Him to our lost family and friends, while we are still on this earth. If we are not blameless before them, we will be considered hypercritical and undesirable to anyone else. The reassurance in these verses can be found in verse 8, for Paul reminds us that God will keep us strong to the end! Praise God that He watches out for us and directs us as needed so that we may remain strong in Him. Now all we need to do is to free ourselves of any rebellion and allow Him to do His mighty work in us. May it be so, God being our helper!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, it is so very interesting to see how your people are the same today as they were in Paul’s day. We still tend to rebel at times and pretend like we have everything under control. Unfortunately, we know full well that we can do nothing without Your strength and Your guidance. Thank You for our pastors and church leaders who teach us Your Word and gently guide us into the path of righteousness so that we may stay aligned with Your Word, accountable to You, and a bold, honest example to our lost family and friends. Lord, may Your perfect will be made whole in my life today, and may Your presence be so bold in the lives of those that may read this devotional, and in the lives of those that we come into contact with. As Paul reminds us in this scripture this morning, You are faithful to what You have said in Your Word, so I rest in the comfort of Your loving arms and depend on Your guidance and perfect will to be accomplished in all things that I may be involved in today. I serve an awesome God in whom I rejoice today! Praising Him and asking for ongoing guidance in the precious and loving name of Jesus, my Savior, 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 Purpose of Church

The Bible – Good News Translation

 Psalm 8:9-11

 9           Inside your Temple, O God, we think of your constant love.

10          You are praised by people everywhere, and your fame extends over all the earth.

You rule with justice; 11   let the people of Zion be glad!

 Thoughts:

Many people dress and head out to church on Saturday or Sunday. I wonder what some of the responses would be, if a news reporter stood on a street corner and interviewed folk as they were on their way to church! I bet there would be some interesting responses! In the Bible we read a lot about people going up to the temple to pray, or to offer up sacrifices. In our day, I believe the number one response would be that people go to church to worship God. The challenge is that most church goers feel like ‘worship’ is the worship and praise (singing) part of the service. What about the aspect of giving and Bible teaching and/or preaching? Also, is this ‘worship’ only once per week for no more than an hour? Is this commitment you have made to ‘worship’ strictly led by a praise and worship team for your entertainment, and a preacher who shouts at you for about 30 minutes to challenge you in your wrong doings? Friends, without the appearance of judging, I see these things that I questioned you on, as a description of our churches today. On the contrary, I love the description given by the Psalmist! Wouldn’t it be neat for us to awaken about an hour earlier before rushing out to weekend services, and instead of turning the television on, or getting on to Facebook to catch up on the gossip, if we gathered around the table over a cup of coffee and reflected back over the blessings of the week, brought back to reflection the highlights of our Bible studies (devotionals) from the week and said a prayer for the preacher and other worship leaders before we head out the door to go and worship God? Don’t you suppose that we would position ourselves for, and find reason to, truly worship God and to truly open our hearts to the spoken Word so that we might be filled with the Spirit and His reinforcing power for the week ahead? Can you see where we may then feel more like the Psalmist reflected on in vs 9, where we would then open our minds to think about God’s love and His wonderful power in our heart over the past week? I truly believe that we could then open our hearts in worship and be so filled with God’s wonder and His love that His fame would be evident in and through us wherever we went after that, in similar ways to what the Psalmist described in vs 10 & 11. We serve an awesome God, who is so good to us. Let’s not hold back the praises, and let’s be very open to instruction from His Word so that our lives might be guided accordingly.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You made us so that we may worship you. I’m sorry for the poor excuses we give for not attending worship services, and even when we do – the little input that You receive from us. Our minds wonder, and we depend so heavily on the Praise and Worship team, that it is probably very obvious to You that we enjoy the entertainment more than the opportunity to lift up our praises and words of affirmation to You. We listen to Your Word read and expounded on, and it is often the only time that week that our Bibles have been opened. Oh how You must shake Your head in dismay and question why You ever made us. Thankfully, I know You are a God of love, and in looking at our hearts You know what we really are and what we would really like to be. I pray for mercy and Your continued grace dear Lord, because although You know our inward beings, how will the world know about You if they can’t see You reflected in and through our lives? Please don’t give up on me, and on us – Your servants. We need You more today than we ever did before. We need Your power and the extreme boldness to be Your witnesses. Touch me Lord and work with my friends and I so that we may be more like You in every way. My humble prayer I am asking in the Your holy name, dear Jesus, 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.

Speak in Boldness, But with a Humble Spirit

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Matthew 3

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matt 3:8 (NLT)

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” Matt 3:13-14 (NLT)

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

Two things in particular caught my attention in this passage this morning:

  1. The boldness of John the BaptistHe was on mission for God and seems like he said what he felt led of God to say to the people that he preached to, without fear of repercussion from the government of that day, or the leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees). It seems like today we have become so politically correct in our churches in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings (and I don’t believe for a minute that we can only speak the truth if we know that someone’s feelings got hurt), but it just seems like we are afraid to say it like it is. An old saying that I always remember is that ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’, in other words if something that was said speaks to issues in your life, then obviously God is dealing with you through His spoken Word. As a people we have become so ‘thin-skinned’ that we retaliate when our feelings are hurt by holding back on our tithes, or not attending church, or gossiping about the preacher, etc, etc. Assuming that we have all prayed earnestly for the man of God, that he may discern God’s will and Word for us when he stands in the pulpit before us, are we then not challenging God Himself when we retaliate against the preaching or even God’s written Word? How dare us?
  2. The humbleness of John the Baptist – A man known for his boldness in speaking out, yet when Jesus comes to be baptized, John the Baptist said that in no way is he worthy to baptize the Savior of the world. How true this is. No matter how close we feel like we have become to God, we are but dirty rags compared to the only pure and Holy One of God. I believe that this is well worth keeping foremost in our minds so that we don’t let self pride come in the way. We are nothing without Christ, and we personally can do nothing miraculous, such as winning a lost soul or healing a sick person, but only through prayer and humble submission to the power and will of God. We should always pass any praise or glory straight on up to God for anything accomplished through us. It is encouraging for us to see lives touched by God because of something He may have said through us, but may our Words and actions be so filled with His love and His power that He may accomplish great things for the kingdom in spite of our human shortcomings.

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

I believe that much could be accomplished through us and our churches today if we used the boldness displayed by John the Baptist, yet the humble spirit that he displayed in the presence of the Holy Son of God. Lord Jesus, it is You that I serve and You that deserves all the praise for anything accomplished in Your name here on this earth. Please may I find boldness in serving You, but be ready to step aside and let the glory all go up straight to You. Please have Your will and way in my life today, and may  there be opportunities for Your glory to shine through in something that I may say or do today so that Your kingdom may be fulfilled. Opportunities will come and go, and so will my words, but I believe that as You use me as Your humble servant today, Your words spoken through me will touch the hearts of Your people with lasting power and effectiveness. To God be the Glory for all that will be accomplished in Your name today!

One Who Reflects Christ

A Quality of a Mature, Reproducing Disciple of Jesus Christ

 

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Eph. 4:15, 2 Cor. 3:18, Gal. 5:22–23, Matt. 22:37–39

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

  1. Truthful – Ephesians 4:15 ~ Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head
  2. Facial Expression – 2 Corinthians 3:18 ~ So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.
  3. Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 ~
    But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
  4. Love God and Neighbors – Matthew 22:37-39 ~ And He replied to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

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

  1. Truthful – Our love for, and respect of, the One that we serve, Jesus, should force us to be like, and do just like, Jesus. He always told the truth and so should we. Then according to this verse, we will be more complete in growing to be more like Jesus, our Savior and soon coming King.
  2. Facial Expression – I believe that if my mind is centered on the glorious Savior that I love and adore and who blesses me so immensely every day, then my heart will be overjoyed and my face will surely express that joy that I feel. As a child I sang a chorus ‘I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart’, and having that kind of joy in my heart should always reflect in my facial expression. It is almost impossible to have the ‘joy, joy, joy, joy’ in my heart, but yet a sour/unhappy expression on my face. This verse says that having this type of joy to where it is expressed on our faces, makes us more like our glorious Lord!
  3. Fruit of the Spirit – I love how the writer says that there is no law against any of these fruit being expressed in and through us, and what is amazing is that even today there is still no law against reflecting these character qualities. These are qualities of Jesus our Savior. These are fruit of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. If we struggle with any of these, I believe that we need to go back to the cross and make sure that everything is right in that decision that we thought we first made, because I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit will mess up in not reflecting the ‘fruit’ qualities.
  4. Love God and Neighbors – I love the way that the Amplified Bible emphasizes that our love for God is the first, the great, most important and principal commandment! Wow, that really sums it up on where our allegiance belongs! Of course, additional emphasis is on loving God with everything we have within us – heart, soul and mind. But the later part of this Scripture goes even deeper, because it says that we should similarly love our neighbor (those that we come into contact with daily – those that we should be neighborly to). I believe that this is a lot more challenging, because these ‘neighbors’ sometimes lie, backbite, or even try to harm us, yet God says in His Word that we must love them with all of our heart, soul and mind, in the same way that we love Him and strive to be a reflection of Him.

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

All of the above are very tall orders dear God, and I acknowledge today that I can only accomplish these with Your love, strength and guidance. I want to reflect You though my every word and action. Please be my constant guide and director each and every day. Please give me strength and determination to reflect You in every circumstance. Lord, may my life be fallow ground in which Your Holy Spirit will find freedom to reflect all the Fruit of the Spirit, so that You may receive honor and glory.

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