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

Archive for the ‘Unity’ Category

We Are One In Christ

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Galatians 3:26-28 (TLB)

TEXT:  26 For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, 27 and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by him. 28 We are no longer Jews or Greeks or slaves or free men or even merely men or women, but we are all the same—we are Christians; we are one in Christ Jesus.

OBSERVATION:   There are so many things that divide us, yes, even Christians; even churches; even pastors. God saw that happening in Peter’s day, and He knew that as long as He allowed humans to be involved, it would happen again and again, until He returns to take us on to glory. I feel impelled to meditate on this for a moment today. Let’s seek God’s face and instruction on how He would lead us to deal with disunity, or division.

APPLICATION:   Ever noticed how people who generally want nothing to do with God in their everyday normal life, will often seek out a pastor, or a praying Christian in times of desperate need? What if they sought us out when they were battling with another unbeliever, but to their disappointment found that we were also struggling in that area of our lives? Would that be of any comfort? Now before you start your email to condemn me on this, let me explain that I believe that we all battle with sin, therefore we may have already, or soon will, battle with disunity at one time or another also. However, I believe what makes the difference is, when the Christian runs to the Source of all Truth for guidance, for help, for strength to overcome, and for direction on how to handle the situation God’s way. Friends, our way will be extremely selfish and self-promoting. God’s way will draw the individuals closer to Him, so that He might be glorified in the church! Satan will use the smallest things to divide God’s church. Elections and political differences are commonly a source of division, but according to our verses today, God is reminding us that we must never forget that we, who are called by His name, are still ‘ONE in CHRIST’. So my friend, my Brother and my Sister, if we are one in Christ, why would Satan try to bring enmity between us? Isn’t it plain to see that a church that is working together, loving each other, sharing in the same faith, having the same Father, will accomplish so much more for the kingdom, than a body that is divided and fighting against each other? Let’s never forget that God’s purpose is to unite the church and build it up, so that His purpose and will might be accomplished. Satan’s purpose is to destroy anything that God is trying to accomplish through His church. We can only be ‘One Church’ if we are God’s Church. Let’s forget about all of the other labels that we may place on ourselves while here in this world. We are children of God, and that’s what matters most of all!

PRAYER:   Father, please teach us, Your precious children, to examine ourselves regularly, so that we may allow You to point out those things in us that might distract from our oneness in You. Lord, may we constantly give up those things that bring division, or that cause us to lose our identity with You. We will come into contact with people who need You as their personal Savior, and we will have daily encounters with those who know You personally. May they all be reminded of Jesus as they interact with us, so that a strong desire might be developed in them to know You in a very personal way. Lord, may You be glorified in us, so that we may become one with You! 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!

Of One Heart and Mind

Monday, 2016-11-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 17:20-22

Bible Text: 20 “I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. 21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me—the glorious unity of being one, as we are

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that if 5 families left my city in Florida to head to Atlanta, Georgia, there would probably be several different routes taken because we all have our own ideas about what will be the fastest route, or the most scenic, or the most enjoyable due to attractions along the way that we would like to visit. However, we will all probably wind up at our final destination in Atlanta, Georgia at some point. I believe it was extremely evident to Jesus that this would be the case with His children in many walks of life, even in religious circles where we have the ultimate goal of coming face-to-face with Jesus in heaven when we pass on from this old world. I was reminded in a very bold and obvious way in our scripture today that Jesus knew right from the very beginning that this would pose a challenge for His children. I was able to see where Jesus approached the Father in much the same way as I would, if I was leaving the state of Florida on an extended retirement trip throughout the rest of the United States. There would be concerns for ministries I am involved in at my church, and there would also be concerns that my relatives would be OK with me out of the picture for an extended period of time. Now, I must quickly acknowledge that I have nothing to worry about with any of these things falling apart, because I am not the glue that holds all these things together. However, we do worry about things that mean a lot to us, if we’re not around to do our part. Friends, Jesus came to this earth for one intended purpose, to save mankind from eternal damnation. To achieve this, He showed Himself in some very bold ways – through miracles, through loving the unlovable, through sacrificing Himself so that we might not have to sacrifice anything in order to be saved from our wretched sin. However, in spite of all that He did, we went back to the Father and prayed about His concerns for the wellbeing of His church – His children here on earth. I believe that anyone meditating on this devotional today will agree that the concerns of Jesus were right on target, just like the rest of His life and ministry were. For we have such a problem here on earth in that we segregate ourselves from other believers who are headed for the same destination. In my example above, if we come across one of our friends on that long trip to Atlanta who had chosen a different route than we did, we may tease and poke a little fun at each other, but we would still welcome them and celebrate with them at the destination point. In religion, it seems like we have become so secure in our understanding of the Word of God and/or other ancillary books given to us from our respective denominations, that we erect walls between ourselves that non-Christians probably look at and wonder how many destination points are there, because obviously we are not headed to the same one! Friends, I know that this may seem like I am picking on religious denominationalism, and perhaps I am, but I believe that Jesus has shared the concern with us to ponder, that He shared with His Father when He returned to Him. What can we do about it? Jesus wants us to be ‘one’ just as He and the Father are ‘one’. We know that the trinity represents three persons all in one, meaning that they have the same attributes and same power and are the same in the eyes of the Almighty God. For us to appease Jesus in His wish for us, we must be willing to tear down the walls of hatred and separation, and love one another as we love ourselves (according to the commandment of God). Great walls separate men and women, yet they are ‘one’ in marriage. Can we please set our goals on unity in the only thing in common, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I get the distinct impression from our scripture that this would please Jesus beyond anything else we may attempt today. Please don’t wait for your church to adopt a philosophy to do this, I believe Jesus wants this to begin with you and I. Let’s personally commit to this wish of our Lord, and love one another unconditionally.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You saw this coming and You prayed for this scenario ever since the beginning of time. I don’t know that things have gotten any better, so I want to commit myself to You today asking that You open my eyes to any injustices that may occur between myself and other believers in Jesus Christ. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that regardless of what part of the world one might be from, or the color of their skin or their financial status, we all have the same channel to travel through in order to one day see You and the Father in heaven. Please help my readers and I to live today in a way pleasing to You, and in a way that we intend to live when we sit around your feet in heaven as one body of believers. Lord, may we practice today what we expect to do ‘tomorrow’ when You call us home to glory! I ask these things in the only One who can change our hearts and our minds, and the One who set the example for us while here on earth. 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!

A Perfect Stone

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: Psalm 118:22–26
Today’s Bible Text: The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD…..
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: There are several stories in the Bible where folk felt rejected….. at least until God opened their eyes to His awesome power and purpose in their being where they were at for that specific period of time. I believe there are times that we tend to look inward, and may quickly conclude that we are just a ‘odd fit’, and that we really don’t blend in with the group, or the ministry area that we are involved in. Friends, may I encourage you to really seek God’s face at these times and ask Him to make you even more like Himself, and to truly use you for His glory? Learn to praise Him for exactly where you’re at, because if we are truly being led by His awesome Holy Spirit, then we are exactly placed where He wants us. Just ask Him to make you aware of His presence in your life and ministry and to continue using you for His glory. Ask for strength to stay focused on Him, and to shone the Evil One who is obviously trying to distract you by causing you to doubt. Jesus is the ultimate ‘Cornerstone’, for He’s the ‘Rock’, or the ‘glue’ that holds the whole ministry of Jesus Christ together. Followers of Christ are facilitators of the ministry of Christ. Jesus will not reign where sin abounds, so make it your aim friends, to stay pure, holy, righteous and obedient to the Master’s call and His will for your life. You will be comforted that you are perfectly placed where God wants you, and like the Psalmist, you also will rejoice and be glad in all that He is doing all around you! He’s just that kind of awesome God!

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for including even us as a part of Your perfect plan here on earth. It is often a challenge to believe that You would use folk like us: imperfect; fallen; incapable and often unlovable; to reach others in Your name, but Lord I pray that we would never question Your great design. Please help us to always stay focused on the fact that Your ways are perfect and that You are not the Creator of ‘junk’, so of course we are valuable instruments that can be used by You. Please help us to never give Satan a foothold by us doubting our value, and Your unique design. We are yours alone Lord Jesus, please use us for Your glory so that Your kingdom might be fulfilled here on this earth, as it is in heaven. I ask these things in full humility and with greatest faith, knowing that I serve an awesome God! Please encourage my readers today so that we may be great warriors for Your mission to all that we come into contact with. 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

Oneness – So The World Might Know

THE HOLY BIBLE (God’s Word Translation – John 17:20-23): 20 “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. 23 I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

THOUGHTS: In this chapter Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples and the church at large. In these verses He prayed in all sincerity that those who know Him (Christians) would be in such unity that the people to whom they speak (the unsaved world) would believe in Him and accept Him as the Savior of the world sent by God the Father. Friends, I often reflect on what the opposite effect might be if the will of the Father is not accomplished. That leads me into considering what happens to the ministry of Jesus Christ when children of God can’t agree – when they fight and bicker among themselves so much that the unsaved world wants no part of the confused mess they see occurring in and among churches. Is it any wonder sometime why we stop and ponder why our ministries are ineffective? It seems like even among ‘friendly’ denominations, we go out to minister in Jesus’ name, and wind up putting down another denomination. Oh my, friend, that is not a sign of ‘oneness’. When our job description dictates that we spread the love of God, and our lives reflect the joy of the Lord living inside of us, doesn’t that mean that we should be so busy praising and bragging on our Lord that there will be very little time or desire to reflect on the beliefs of some that we may not agree with? In fact, when I reflect on this prayer of Jesus and really gain the breadth and depth of His heart as He prays to His father, I see where He really wants us to reflect the ‘oneness’ that He portrays with His Father. There is no where in scripture that Jesus puts down His Father or speaks evil against Him or disagrees with Him. Instead, it is just the very opposite, for He respects the role of the Father in ultimately making decisions (especially about the second coming of Jesus), and He speaks as one and the same when conveying the truth and love of the gospel. So where do we get off at in being His follower, imitating Him in every way, yet being critical of fellow disciples who are working towards the same goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? This type behavior or ministry will not serve the ultimate wish of Jesus in verse 21 when He prayed that we will go out and minister in such unity that the world (the unsaved) would know that God truly sent the One in whom we believe, and the One we are spreading Good News about. ‘Oneness’ points to us truly representing Jesus, who was sent and is representing His Father. Anything else tears down the ministry of Jesus Christ and promotes the intent and heart of Satan. I believe we all know what we should be busy doing today and every day of our life. Let’s get to work – unified in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our weakness in allowing so much of this world to indwell us and interfere in the ministry that You have aligned for us, and as these verses today reflect, that You have actually prayed for. Our lack of success in ministry is directly impacted by our disobedience to You and Your Word, and our selfish desire to tear down another while trying to promote our selfish goals. Reading these verses today causes me to seriously consider keeping these pinned in an obvious place for daily inflection, and as a guide towards my daily goal. Lord, I need Your power to overcome the desire to tear another down in order to promote self. May I ask that You grant me strength to overcome this weakness, but also to touch the heart of Your followers today and embed a deep desire within them to also do the same. Please strengthen and guide us towards ‘Oneness’ – the kind that You exampled before us in being ‘One’ with the Father. I ask this knowing that Your desire is that through our ‘Oneness’ the world will know that You were sent by the Father to save them. May this be accomplished today in and through your earthly representatives, for this is my pray that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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!

How to Live in Harmony

The Holy Bible  (Contemporary English Version – Colossians 3:15-17):  15 Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful. 16 Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him.

Thoughts: Many marriages survive because spouses allow God to keep control and help them to live together in harmony. However it is extremely challenging when other family members try to live in the same house, or even worse, when others try to make a relationship mature in amicable ways without the help and leadership of Jesus. We often see these unfortunate mishaps in places such as work and church, and these will often result in splits by the parties involved. Jesus knew this, because He saw it happening in the early church, therefore He spoke through Paul to show the church at Colossae, and also our church of today, how such a feat is possible. First of all He made it very clear that we were chosen to be His children, and in having the same Father, and in seeking His control, we were chosen to be able to live together. So right off the top, we have a few checkpoints when we see a deterioration in relationships. Back up, check the list and ask God to mend the broken pieces that we have allowed to come undone. I also believe that Jesus is telling us to celebrate in thanksgiving when we see relationships blessed with oneness! This is most often aided by the help and direction of the Holy Spirit dwelling among believers, and depending on Him to teach and instruct each other. When this is achieved, vs 16 reminds us that we are to worship God with thankful hearts, recognizing that He has been at work in and around us, and deserves our eternal praise. In fact, our very lives should reflect the glory and praise of our good Lord who blesses us. Lord, You are Good and Your mercies endureth forever!

Prayer: Lord, You made us to love, worship and adore You, our heavenly Father. Thank you! For all that have chosen to follow Your plan, You have filled them (us) with Your Holy Spirit and blessed with Your awesome presence and power to overcome life’s obstacles. Lord, You are Good and Your Mercies Endureth Forever! Thank You! Father, I am convinced that this old world badly needs You, so I ask today that You might touch the hearts of Your children – those who have chosen You as their Savior, to live in harmony with each other. I believe it is only when the unsaved see results of Christ living in us, that they will be convinced that indeed there is a Savior who is actively at work among His people, whom they should consider. Lord, may we be good representatives of Yours and fulfill Your design for the local church and the harmony You designed in us. May the unsaved see the need for a Savior and readily accept Him today, is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus, my Lord, with thanksgiving! 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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