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

Archive for the ‘Unconditional’ Category

God’s Unconditional Promises

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 3:2-4 (TLB)

TEXT:  ….. First of all, God trusted them with his laws so that they could know and do his will. True, some of them were unfaithful, but just because they broke their promises to God, does that mean God will break his promises? Of course not! Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is not. Do you remember what the book of Psalms says about this? That God’s words will always prove true and right, no matter who questions them.

OBSERVATION:   It seems obvious that Paul had received word that the community was questioning how God could possibly trust the Jews with His Word, when some of them were so unfaithful, and they even break God’s commands at times. In response to these accusations, Paul takes us back to something that the Psalmist declared in Psalm 51:4,  that I believe is still very true today: ‘God’s words will always prove true‘! 

APPLICATION:   Most churches will show you from their bylaws that they were formed because of  various Scripture passages that spoke to the hearts of their founding fathers. Hopefully many of us surrendered our hearts to the lordship of Jesus Christ, because of various Scripture verses that spoke to us and resulted in Jesus calling us to repentance. So when we hear grumblings about our respective churches – sometimes because a church member or leader was weakened by sin, do you suppose that does anything towards weakening the church, that God built with His hands and promised to bless it?How does it impact your walk with the Lord, dear Christian? Yet we often hear that a good friend will not attend a certain church if Mr. X still goes there, or we might hear that someone’s children is not allowed to associate with Mr. X’s kids because of what he did 15 years ago.  Friends, I’m afraid that these types of silly things like I mentioned, happens all too often. Is it not obvious that we take our eyes off the one thing that is constant and forever true, and instead allow the weaknesses of another Brother or Sister to interfere with our walk with the Lord? May I remind you that in another part of the Bible, we are told to pull up alongside that Brother or Sister who has sinned, and try to help them overcome their challenges, for one day we might be in the same weakened position and need a helping hand. The basic truth that I pray God will give us for a takeaway today, is that His Word never fails, even if we do, or our neighbor next door does. So may I encourage you to stand on the promises of God, not the weaknesses of mankind. Be reminded that although a fellow church member may have shifted their friendship to someone else, you can still stand firm in the fact that Jesus said that He will never leave us alone, and that His love endures right up until the end of time. Those are the facts that you can trust friends, everything else that happens between humans are merely incidental, or can be viewed as opportunities for you to minister to them, with the help and leadership of the One who promised to love them in spite of their mistakes.

PRAYER:   In deepest appreciation and love, I am overjoyed and honored to pray to the Creator of this universe and of you and I. In fact to the One who promised to love me until the very end – no conditions. Lord may each one reading this devotional today recommit themselves to a direct relationship with You – the only One that has promised to stick closer than a brother, and love us unconditionally until the very end. As we do that, please help us to ignore the ‘white noise’ of Satan and his cohorts who try every day to distract our relationship with You, through fixing our eyes on individuals who struggle in life, just as we do at times. Teach us to be the image of Jesus to them, while keeping our eyes fixed on You and Your unrelenting love for us throughout this world and the next. I love You Lord, and I lift my voice, heart and song to You in praise this day, 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!

 

May I Introduce You To …

Thursday, 2016-12-01

Scripture

Bible Reference: Isaiah 42:1-4

Bible Text: “Take a good look at my servant. I’m backing him to the hilt. He’s the one I chose, and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life. He’ll set everything right among the nations. He won’t call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades. He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right. He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth. Far-flung ocean islands wait expectantly for his teaching.”

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

Isaiah had dealt with so much in the area of worthless idols that devoured the attention of his people. However God revealed through this prophet that He had better plans ahead for His people, and here in the scripture He gave a glimpse of the Savior that would be born for the sole purpose of saving the people from their sins, and renewing their hope. He also promised that He would bring hope for even the poor and hurting, who was normally ignored and brushed aside by worldly kings of that time and era. Should you be wondering how on earth Isaiah could possibly have known what would come to pass hundreds of years later in time? May I take a moment to introduce you to my God! Friends, my God is not only in control of what takes place today, but He also has a plan for everything that’s yet to come. To help you better understand how this all aligned, I could refer you to Matthew 12:18-21 where, after Jesus was born, and during His earthly ministry, He emphasized to the people who He was ministering in much the same way that the prophet Isaiah prophesied. In fact, the apostle Matthew actually made reference to what Isaiah had prophesied because he recognized the similarity in the message. This was hundreds of years later, friends! Coincidence? No way, for if our God tells us something today, we can go to the bank with that, because it will be the same today, tomorrow and forever. But friends, I want you to stop and consider that in spite of us having benefited from the fact that Jesus came, and He ministered in ways that fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, yet many today have chosen to ignore that fact and continue to serve unrewarding idols. Now I bet by now, in your minds you are throwing rotten tomatoes at me, because you know of no worship of idols in our day. I tend to differ friend, for our idols today are much different to those back in Isaiah’s day. To help you better understand our current day idols, may I suggest that you think of, and write down those things that distract you from the worship of your Savior? May I clarify that your communion with God is not limited to the times that the church doors are opened, although I believe it is super important that you obey God’s Word in assembling ourselves together with other believers for the purpose of corporate worship. So perhaps we have personally decided that in order to keep our relationship with Jesus alive and strong, we will spend time with him at least twice each day. Are there ‘things’ that get in the way of that time with God? Are they things that you struggle to do without? Are they so important to you that they are often considered more important than the time you had allotted to be with God? What would you classify those things to be? Jesus came so that we might have life, and life more abundant and  free. Don’t allow those ‘idols’ to control you friend. There really is nothing more important than the time you have committed to spend with God!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You came to this earth in fulfilment of prophecy, so that we may have life eternally. Thank You sincerely for loving us so much, that You gave of Your life as a living sacrifice. Unfortunately there are still many idols that distract us from our time with You. Our weak and uncommitted relationship with You, has given room for Satan to walk right in and pound us with distractions; with worldly thoughts; with sinful ideas; and ruined witnesses to the lost. Often we become useless vessels that You can use to win the lost and encourage the weak. Please forgive us Lord. Please renew a right spirit within us – one that would cherish the sacrifice You made for us, and one that would be committed to faithfully serve You and one with a priority to worship and honor You with all our heart, soul and mind. Open the eyes of our heart Lord, so that we may be filled with Jesus in every way, every day, and for every purpose in life. 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!

The Royal Law

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – James 2:8-9): 8 You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. 9 But if you treat some people better than others, you have done wrong, and the Scriptures teach that you have sinned.

 THOUGHTS: Some translations refer to the law, or rule, mentioned in verse 8 as the ‘royal law’, meaning that it was issued for kingdom heirs by the King of this universe, or the King of all kings. The reason why I feel James sums up a lot of scripture in these 2 verses, is because we who know Jesus as Lord; the love He extended on Calvary as a sacrifice for our sin; the love extended when He healed the sick and brought the dead back to life; it is that kind of love and power that will cause us to walk aright and love those who seem impossible to love. So yes, a lot of the laws of God can be summed up into this one law, if we:

  • Know the source of love itself and the One who first illustrated sacrificial and unconditional love for us;
  • Stay in the Word of God so that we can learn it and seek to live it out every day;
  • Realize and acknowledge that Jesus demonstrated real love, and as His replicas, His children, His disciples, we must strive to live as He lived;
  • Stay attuned to the scripture: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all other needs will be met’. Live with that priority in mind, and like we really believe that He will meet our needs;
  • Wait for God to accomplish His will in our lives and work out His righteousness in all that we are, or need to be, in order to look like Him.

Unfortunately, verse 9 teaches that if we fail to do the above, we have sinned. I would challenge you to strive to be more like Jesus every day. Then you will quickly realize that you are no less than anyone else, or no better than the rest, for God will place you on a level playing field where you can be effective for Him.

 PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You did it right, for You loved the rich and the lowliest persons on earth. Why, You even loved me enough that You would have still gone to the cross if only I needed to see the way to Your Father. When I accepted You as Savior and Lord, I committed to live my life as You demonstrated for me while here on this earth – as detailed in Your Word. I believe that many friends will read this devotional today and would acknowledge their faith in You also. However they, nor I would dare say that we can live the pure and righteous life that You lived. In fact, James has challenged us to love each other as much as we love ourselves. We need Your help with this Jesus. Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and to allow You control over our lives. Help us to unselfishly love others because You first loves us, and not for what we might receive in return. I humbly ask this in Your precious name, dear Jesus, and for Your glory that might be revealed through me, 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 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!

Through Godly Eyes

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Living Bible – James 2:1-4): 1 ….how can you claim that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, if you show favoritism to rich people and look down on poor people? 2 If a man comes into your church dressed in expensive clothes and with valuable gold rings on his fingers, and at the same moment another man comes in who is poor and dressed in threadbare clothes, 3 and you make a lot of fuss over the rich man and give him the best seat in the house and say to the poor man, “You can stand over there if you like or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 judging a man by his wealth shows that you are guided by wrong motives.

THOUGHTS: I would imagine that the title alone might draw attention thinking that perhaps I would address various sins that might be acceptable to God. No that would never happen, because God makes it clear in His Word that He hates sin. However, there are certain actions we are guilty of that reveals our ugly motives and ultimately leads to sin. Often Satan will place the thought of greed and self-promotion in our hearts and we easily concede to sin. The example given in this scripture today is still very real today, but I want us to examine what might be the motive behind it. We are still recovering from a fairly challenging financial depression, where we have seen a number of churches close their doors and/or reduce staff in order to survive the financial crisis. Church treasurers are excited to see new tithers enter their church, and they morn the departure of those that faithfully give financially. Churches are called on more than ever before to help poor families who may have lost jobs and/or faced crucial financial challenges that have really impacted their homes. If this kind of information is well known to church leaders, how do you suppose they would react to a well-known rich person visiting their church, versus a struggling family who may have to call on the church for help? If we do this in our churches, don’t you know that we do this in every phase of our lives? Will you prepare your home as nicely to receive a humble clerk from your employment for dinner, as you would the CEO? In our scripture we see where God gave James insight into this by challenging us to think about our motives behind the ways that we treat people from various walks of life. Friends, we should never treat someone based on their financial status, or the color of their skin, or their social status in society. These are worldly statuses we have given to each other, because all God sees is a sinner in need of His grace. He will save the poor person as quickly as He would a rich person. Because all are simply children made by God, He loves the rich person as much as He does the poor person. If we are to be just like our Father, why would we act any differently that He? Let us learn to love one another, without regard to their social or financial status, friend!

PRAYER: Lord, I need to love my CEO as much as I love my lowliest co-worker. They both were designed by You and they both need You as their Savior to be acceptable into heaven. I believe that You love us as much today, with all that we have attached to ourselves from this old world, as You did the day You released us from our mother’s womb. For worldly attachments will remain, and only those basic things created and blessed by You will rise to meet You in the air. I pray that You will help us to rid ourselves of prejudices and wrong motives. Please help us to see Your children for who they are, not for what they have become throughout their lifetime here on earth. Financial gains as well as poverty will remain, but our hearts, souls and minds will all look the same as we enter Your kingdom. Please help us to see each other in this form while we remain on earth, so that when we rise to meet You we can lock arms with people of every nation, social status or walk of life – all children saved by Your wonder grace. Please help us to look at others through Your lens today and see folk in need of our Savior, or celebrate with them as children already saved by Your grace. I ask this in the powerful and almighty 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 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 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!

God’s Love Remains – In Prosperity and Hard Times

The Holy Bible

13 Accept the way God does things,

for who can straighten what he has made crooked?

14 Enjoy prosperity while you can,

but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.

Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Ecclesiastes 7:13-14)

Thoughts:

The last verse in this chapter, Ecclesiastes 7:29 reads: 29This is all that I have learnt: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated. I believe that this verse sums up our human race so well, for we are never satisfied with just the facts, we have to prove they are true, and that the speaker or the author had no bias towards what they said! Friends, our key verses today is basically reminding us that our God is way more powerful than we could ever imagine, in fact Solomon went on to illustrate the majesty and power of God by reminding us that no one can straighten out the curves in this universe made by God. Therefore we should continue to trust Him through our praises and celebrations when things are prosperous and going well for us. However, although we often neglect to stop and praise Him for our everyday happiness, safety, family, friends, work, knowledge and so much more, we seem to do just the opposite when it comes to those hard times in our lives. We are reminded in verse 14 that ‘everything’ comes from God, both the good and the challenging times. Think about it friend: if God loves His dear children, why would that differ when things are going wrong, vs the times when we are on cloud nine with joy and happiness? When we discipline our children, it is not because we hate them today vs yesterday. We discipline because we love them and want to help them do better. There’s a popular song out today entitled “I will Praise You in the Storm” that speaks very loudly and clearly to this unconditional love of God for which we are to be thankful and praise-worthy at all times. Will you join me in shifting our negativity during challenging times to more of a praise time because of God’s love to discipline us and show us a better way to live? Can we learn to praise Him in spite of our personal circumstances – good or bad?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You made us, so I am confident that You are well aware of our weaknesses, especially during those challenging times in our lives. Please touch Your children today and help us to be more of a thankful people. For I believe that if we did a better job of praising, thanking and celebrating during our ‘good times’ then, perhaps, we will more easily recognize that You are still God, still in control, and will do nothing to harm us, but rather continue to mold us during the times when we feel so out of control. You went through some very challenging times even as our supreme Lord, so help us to understand that these times will come. However, help us to follow Your example in dealing with our challenges, for You healed the ear of an attacker in the garden, and You prayed for the Father to bless those who hung You on the cross. Please help us to recognize You daily for the loving God that You are, knowing that You have our best interest at heart. Please continue to bless others through us, both during our prosperous times and especially through our challenging times, and may we continually praise You through every event in life, for I ask this in the wonderful 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 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!

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