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

Archive for the ‘Unashamed’ Category

Not Ashamed

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 1:11-14 (NET)

TEXT:  11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

APPLICATION:   Many churches in America, and perhaps other parts of the world, will celebrate when one of their own commits to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some churches may even make particular mention of individuals who commit themselves to serving as elders, deacons, teachers or other leadership/servant roles in the church. Because of this recognition, often folk will be prideful of these positions, but nonetheless, committed to serve for the duration of their committed term. There are some ministry jobs and assignments that remind me a little of what Paul experienced, such as missionaries who travel to countries that they know are unfriendly to the gospel of Jesus Christ; pastors who serve in churches that may or may not be able to pay them, yet they work encless hours to win the lost and disciple the saved, just as if they were serving the richest of congregations. Of course, all church positions require a heart for representing our Maker to those that we serve, and with hearts  and mindsets of volunteering of our time, effort and complete selves. But to put this all into perspective and try to identify with Paul, I believe that we need to think about the sacrifices we may make in serving and in our volunteering, even if we knew that we would be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, cursed at, or imprisoned for what we do. Would we still be able to stand upright and share in the words of Paul, that we are unashamed of the message and person of Jesus Christ?I believe that my biggest appeal today would be for the lay persons who might read this devotional. Sure these verses were written to Timothy who was a young pastor. Sure these are very applicable to pastors, elders, teachers and other church leaders. But friends, let me remind you that God didn’t save us so that we might shut up inside of us that good thing that He did for us. I refuse to believe that He wanted to create another Red Sea phenomenon, but instead a river of life that would flow out through our actions, our speech and become very evident in our outward expression and reactions to others. Remember, we don’t want others to see how cool we are, or how rude we could be, but instead, we want them to see Jesus in and through every aspect of our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of my friend, allow that good thing that has made a difference in your life, to be revealed to others so that they may desire our Savior also. Paul made reference to ‘that day’, meaning the day that we meet Jesus face to face. May we live in such a way that we will be overjoyed and filled with celebration on ‘that day’, opposed to a time of regret, God being our helper and guide.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, and to make the way possible for us to see You face to face one day! In fact, we are so thankful of that precious gift, that we want to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to evangelizing that ‘good thing’ that has gotten hold of this old sinful person, and caused a complete turn around in our walk. Lord, we surrender all to You, so that You may fill us with more of Yourself, so that others will see Jesus, and not the earthly sin-filled bodies that would constitute the alternate man. People need the Lord, not more of the same old sinful world. Use us Lord as Your instruments to fulfil Your purpose here on earth. 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!

 

What’s Your Excuse?

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Luke 9:59–62
Today’s Bible Text: 59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: There’s probably a sermon in the initial command from Jesus; in each of the excuses given by the men He addressed; and also in the responses given back by Jesus. I want to reflect for a moment on the challenge Jesus faced when He knew that He was destined for the cross. No excuses, but instead, just His willingness to do the will of the Father. Now, before we beat up on the excuses used here by the men in this story, I wonder what excuses we give Jesus every day for prioritizing Him out of our daily schedule. Oh how it must hurt Him when His own children admits day after day that He was not a priority in their lives. Instead of digging into God’s Word we _________. Instead of bowing our knees before our Holy God and talking to Him about the challenges we were expecting yesterday, we took our chances, and saw pitiful results. Instead of giving God credit for our blessings, a chance to witness to our neighbor, instead we bragged about how good we are and how we planned for that moment of success, or we may have even attributed our success to good luck. Friends, did we do enough and say enough to encourage a sinner to follow us to the cross of Calvary to meet Jesus? Let me be daring and remind you that someone is watching you. They thought that they heard you were a Christian, so they believe they are safe in following in your footsteps, hoping that you would lead them to Jesus. How did you do yesterday? Are there any changes that you need to make today to help ensure that your closeness to the cross and to the Master will be a bold witness to someone who needs Jesus? It’s not a thing of pretense, for Jesus knows your heart, and your friends will quickly identify the intent of your heart based on your character. Let’s act today in preparation for meeting face-to-face with the Master tonight. Hopefully we can meet with Jesus unashamedly, and with no excuses!

Prayer: It is unfortunate dear Lord that we are still as full of excuses as these men that you challenged in this scripture today. Even after all that You did for us at Calvary, and even after all that You do for us each and every day. Please forgive us Lord. There are no really legitimate excuses. We admit that we have allowed this old world with its many time constraints, to take priority in our lives, and we have therefore pushed You aside and will try to satisfy our broken relationship with You through excuse after excuse. Please forgive us, and refill us with the joy of our salvation. Please remind us of the awesome God that we serve, adore and love. May we draw close to You today, is my prayer of faith and commitment, 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!

2016

Sharing Your Story

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Luke 8:38–39
Today’s Bible Text: 38 The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, 39 “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT}

My Take Away: I wonder how many friends will be told that you went to church this weekend? How about the experience resulting from what you garnered from the Word of God? Or perhaps the touch of the Master during the Praise and Worship time? Are you feeling healed today of something you and your church members prayed about? Will you be brave enough to share that with critics at work today? In our scripture story today we read where Jesus healed a man of demon possession, and we see where he was excited and ready to board a boat and travel with Jesus to continue spreading the story of salvation. Instead Jesus asked the man to go and share his story with his family. The man was way too excited to just tell his own family, so he went all throughout the town telling his story. Let’s put this into perspective. I challenged you at the beginning to share your worship experience with your coworkers today, and especially any extraordinary interactions with Jesus from your weekend. I believe I saw some dirty looks from some of you, but I still want to take that a step further and ask you to share your experience with a store clerk, or a waitress! Isn’t it interesting how we find it easier to share information about a movie we saw or an event in our child’s life, but not about the miracle that occurred when the Savior of the world reached down in love and touched a sinner such as we are? A total transformation, yet we don’t want to offend our friends by sharing our good news with them? Friends, I am convinced that if it’s in us, it will come out of us! Our genuine experiences with God will impact our lives and everyone will notice! Perhaps if we are ashamed to share the blessings God has showered on us, He should withdraw those blessings and give them to someone who will openly share the Good News with others! What’s your hang up friend?

Prayer: The privilege of being touched by the God of this universe is much more news-worthy than anything else that could possibly hit the front page of the paper today! Please forgive us Lord for placing you in a ‘forbidden box’ when it comes to sharing our interactions with You to others. I believe that others will be convinced of Your power and Your love, when they see us get excited about it and they hear us bubbling over with the glory of having been in Your presence. Please embolden us with great power so that we will not be ashamed of the gospel, but will gladly share how it has impacted our lives. May others see Jesus, because of their encounter with us today. I ask these things in the wonderful and miraculous name of the One who saved me from my sin, Jesus my Lord, 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!

2016

Why You Believe What You Believe

THE HOLY BIBLE (Easy To Read Version – 1 Peter 3:15-16):15keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have. 16 But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ, and those who say bad things about you will be ashamed of what they said.

THOUGHTS: I believe that it would be amazing to ask, as a survey of those exiting our church buildings over the weekend, “Why do you believe in Jesus Christ?” or “Why do you believe what you believe?” The importance in these questions become very important when we are asked by a coworker first thing Monday morning: “So what did you do over the weekend?” I find that often I will talk about everything else besides the blessing I received at church, or the refueling I received in worshiping with other believers. What about the close call you had in driving down wet roads over the weekend? What do you attribute that to when explaining it to your coworkers? In the case of most of my readers, I believe that it is probably still safe in each of our countries to attribute the blessings just suggested, to the powerful hand of the Master that watches over us, keeps us, protects us and loves us so very much. Why then would we try to avoid giving credit where credit is due? Imagine that most of you are blessed, as I am, to have a wonderful wife. When asked about your happiness, or how well your clothes look, or your packaged lunch looks that you brought from home, do you find every way to avoid giving credit to your wife. What will that say about the great wife that you married, and your relationship with her? What if your wife was in an adjacent room hearing you trying to avoid giving her credit? Further, Paul cautioned us to also keep our attitudes in check. Don’t be obnoxious in the way you respond, for you may win a Brother, or encourage a Sister, if you handle the response humbly and respectfully give credit to Your Savior. Remember, it is only the grace of God why He would bless you in such a rewarding way. Nothing deserving, based on your goodness. The other caution that Paul gave, is that we respond with a clear conscience. I interpret this as meaning that we are totally honest and totally upfront with our response. Don’t respond in a way that you think the inquirer wants to hear, but respond from the depth of a thankful and appreciative heart. It is amazing how folk can see through pretense, but how quickly they feel sincerity and honesty. We have nothing to be ashamed of in our responses friend. Our Savior died so that we might live eternally in the glories of heaven. How can we be anything short of appreciative when talking about our Savior? The scripture says that if we are ashamed of our Savior here on earth, He will be ashamed of us before His Father in heaven. I believe that the opposite is also true, which is that our Savior will boast of His saints before His Father when He sees our obedience and boldness in telling others about His goodness and mercy! You have a choice today friend!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for boldly showing Your love for us when You willingly surrendered to the cruelty of the cross. Thank You for Your patience with us as we try to be politically correct in our responses to loved ones and coworkers and find every possible explanation for our blessings, instead of giving You supreme credit. Lord, You are so good to us – every day and through every circumstance of life. We are quick to call on You in times of trouble and despair, please help us to be equally as quick to give You credit for answers to those prayers and so much more, for we are such a blessed people! I believe that people who need the Lord, must be convinced that we have the real thing before they will want to know that One of whom we speak. This should be evident in our speech and in our actions, so oh Lord I ask that You saturate us with Your love and bless us with boldness to proclaim that it’s You we live for and You who bless us daily beyond anything we deserve. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, while thanking Him sincerely for all His manifold blessings, 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!

What Say Ye, Christians?

The Holy Bible

     Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ.

(The Message – 1 Corinthians 15:12-13)

Thoughts:

I bet I am accurate in assuming that you are human, just like I am, and that you have sat idly by and allowed a friend to say something derogatory about our Lord and Savior. I wouldn’t even go as far as to say that the words that made you cringe were things like curse words, or something where folk have used alternate words to really mean something else that may otherwise offend you. I am of the impression that Paul faced a situation similar to that I just explained, where followers of the Corinthian church stood by and said nothing when friends made fun of their belief in the resurrection. God really spoke to me through this passage friends, because way too often we hold our tongue/words for various reasons: we don’t argue over religion; or I can’t afford to lose that friendship so I will keep quiet; or I can’t quote book and verse in my argument, so I had better keep silent; and I’m sure there is a multitude of other excuses that we convince ourselves of. If you read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, you will see how Paul was very critical of his followers for behaving in this manner. How do you suppose God feels about us when we act like that? Can you imagine how demanding you would be of folk for whom you permitted the sacrifice of your son/daughter/mother/father/brother/sister, and they were humiliated and put to death just for their freedom? Can you imagine how you would feel if you heard them talking about that loved one in a derogatory way, or even if they sat silently and allowed others to speak unkindly about your loved one? Friends, we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior because we believed that He died and rose again just for us and our freedom. Let’s hold Him in highest esteem and love Him with every fiber of our being. Although I am not encouraging you to fight, don’t you know that the easiest way to infuriate an opponent is to ‘bad mouth’ their loved one(s)? As children of the Lord of lords and King of kings, we should also be infuriated when we hear others speaking unlovingly of our Savior, and I believe that if we whisper a quick prayer to God, He will give us the right words for the moment, words that will reveal the love that God implanted into His kids so that we may imitate Him here on this earth, and impact the lives of those who are offending Him.

Prayer:

Father, please forgive us for our coward-ness and unappreciative attitudes in allowing just about anything to be said about You in our presence, but failing to speak up appropriately, and failing to defend the name above all names, the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. I can honestly say that You mean the world to me. Please make me bold so that I may say the same thing in the presence of those that may feel otherwise. May my actions and words prove my relationship with You. May I represent You so diligently, that the lost might have a desire to know the Lord in whom I believe. Please touch the lives of those meditating on this devotional today and impress upon them the same need to be Your sincere representative inside the church doors and especially outside the doors, as we face the world, who is falling apart without You in their lives. I appreciate Paul, and our pastors today who are unashamed of the gospel, and encourages us to do the same. Huge requests today, but I ask this in the name of the One who arose from the dead and did many wonderful miracles, so I ask this believing, and in the precious name of Your son 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 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!

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