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

Archive for the ‘Unselfish’ Category

From The Abundance of the Heart, The Mouth Speaks

Saturday, 2019-03-23

Bible Reference: Matthew 25:42-43
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 42 For when you saw me hungry, you refused to give me food, and when you saw me thirsty, you refused to give me something to drink.43 I had no place to stay, and you refused to take me in as your guest. When you saw me poorly clothed, you closed your hearts and would not cover me. When you saw that I was sick, you didn’t lift a finger to help me, and when I was imprisoned, you never came to visit me.’

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that most of my readers will read the above, and if they don’t know the scriptures, they are probably wondering which local church, or group of people, might Jesus be referring to. I wonder what forms of testing (in our minds) might we look for when we observe others who claim to be ‘Christian’. What if we used the same methodology as Jesus did, will anyone make it to heaven in our judgment of them today? How do you suppose you and I might fear in His eyes, would we make it?

APPLICATION: There is an old saying that has long been quoted based on what we hear words come from an honest man’s mouth: ‘from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’. I believe that Jesus is saying that there are attributes about our life that are strong indicators about whose we are. It’s a very sobering and frightful thought, because it seems like we are part of a world where most of us look to meet our own needs, our own wants, our own timelines, our fast-paced, very programmed, full scheduled, selfish world, where helping others are often excluded. All too often we tend to leave it up to the government, or the church, or the pastor, or perhaps family to care for those who are broken, or in need of a hand-up. But did you notice how Jesus never referred to the fact that we should give, so our church could help those in need, or we should vote, so we could make sure that our government helps, even though these are two areas in most countries that will help those in need? Friends, I believe that the intent of Jesus here, is to help us to understand that these are ways that a heart filled with Jesus, would express itself. Look again at the ways that Jesus illustrated this to us: (a) Feed those that are hungry – I heard of someone who took a team to serve meals to the hungry who had come in off the street looking for food. They were so humbled, that it had a serious impact on their lives. When last have we stopped to even chat with a person who hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, or perhaps turned around and purchased a meal to take back for them? Do you suppose that Jesus would do something like that? (b) Those that are thirsty – although similar to (a), yet slightly different. You find yourself thirsty, yet you pass by someone along the road waiting for food or a ride to somewhere. You see their lips parched, but still you drive on by after making many judgment calls on why they are in that position. Would Jesus have gone the extra mile to get them a drink? (c) In need of shelter – you have several rooms that are now unused in your home, but isn’t it virtually impossible to apply the brakes on your car and invite a homeless person to spend the night at your place? I believe that we have even become too selfish to house visiting preachers or evangelists. After all, why should I do that when no one else even considers it? What do you suppose Jesus would do in either of these circumstances? (d) In need of clothes – Many thrift stores will sell pieces of clothing for a quarter most days, because so much has been donated to relieve overcrowding in the closets of the ‘rich and famous’. But I wonder if perhaps Jesus was pointing out that a heart that looks like His would actually see a need, and humbly meet that need for clothing. Yes, you could send them, or take them to the Thrift store, but when last have you passed by someone in need and actually went out of your way to fulfill that need without being asked to? (e) Sick and in need of help – A Christian’s mind is relieved by saying that he would pray for that sick one. And that is commendable, if indeed we remember that promise to pray, after walking away. But carefully notice that Jesus mentioned that we saw the need and didn’t come to help. Do you remember how challenging it was to get around that time as you stayed at home recovering from your surgery, or that time while you were so weak as you dealt with recovery from a serious illness? Didn’t you wish that God would send one of His precious angels to cook a meal for you, or take you to the doctors? Wouldn’t Jesus have been all over that situation? (f) In prison, but totally forgotten by family, friends, the church and society as a whole. Yes that Brother made a mistake, but are they not still your friend? You wouldn’t be able to socialize around church, but don’t you know that there’s a void for that prisoner when you are unable to show that you care? Jesus met us where we were, shouldn’t we do the same for those we care about? Jesus separated the ‘sheep’ from the ‘goats’ based on these principles. What do you suppose would be your sentence, friend?

PRAYER: Father in heaven, we are such a spoiled bunch, You have blessed us with so much, yet we hold it tight to ourselves and often feel like we have earned our blessings and therefore can easily choose what we should do with them. This has hardened us to look on others in need without it impacting our hearts, and for this I humbly ask for your forgiveness, Lord. Christians often ask, and mostly strive to be more like You every day, but I pray today that change would come from impacted hearts, touched by Your ministry, Your character and Your words. Help us to set self aside and assume soft, moldable, usable hearts directed by the Master alone. Those in need, are really in need of Jesus more than anything else, and we all fit into that. Oh that we may constantly be aware of the need for our Savior, and may our hearts be humbled to not only seek Your face for our needs, but for ways to help others. Lord grant us wisdom to move and/or speak just like You demonstrated, so that others might truly see Jesus. 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 might 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 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!

Sin Will Hold Back God’s Hand of Blessing

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-08-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

Joshua 7:13 (TLB)

Text:

 13 “Get up! Tell the people, ‘Each of you must undergo purification rites in preparation for tomorrow, for the Lord your God of Israel says that someone has stolen from him, and you cannot defeat your enemies until you deal with this sin.
OBSERVATION:
When God sent Joshua and the Israelites to conquer Jericho, He gave specific instructions to them about what should be destroyed (pretty much everything), and what must be brought back for the temple of the living God (silver and gold). God knew that there were some who disobeyed Him and brought back valuables for themselves. They sinned against God. Because of this unconfessed sin, God chose to see the Israelites punished when they went to battle against the people of Ai.
APPLICATION:
In chapter 7 of Joshua, we could see where the sinful acts mentioned above was performed by one person, yet God allowed many of the Israelite army to be killed by the very small army of Ai. Joshua was crushed by this and he mourned and prayed before God. Of course, God knew who was guilty, but He found a way to show the Israelites that it all boiled down to one man who then confessed his sin before God and the people. This made me think of how this applies to us today. Friends, we often sit and ponder why certain things happen to us, our church, our town, our state and even our country. We are quick to judge that it must be our run-away child that’s bringing judgment on our home; or the pastors and leaders of our church who make bad judgment calls that, in turn, causes churches to close its doors; or perhaps the president of a country who is so awful that our country is going to Hell. Friends, I don’t believe that we have to look very far, for often there is sin right within our own lives, even though we try our best to portray perfection. One of the very sad truths that come from this story is that, the sins of one man destroyed his whole family, a fair number of his army, and wreaked havoc on his leader who was totally heartbroken about what was happening under his leadership. Often we think that our absence from church is unnoticeable and our sin is insignificant because it only impacts us personally, but isn’t it a good reminder that our lack of commitment and our willingness to do our own thing, could impact a whole family; a whole church; or a whole lot more? We must remember friends, that a Christian might influence those around him into accepting Jesus as Lord, or he might be so hardened and obstinate towards God that he causes God’s anger to flare against a whole church or community because of his selfish and sinful attitude. You do make a difference friend, so seek the face of Jesus to help you be all that you have committed to Him, and more. Allow God to make you a usable vessel in His vineyard and not a roadblock to others.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for showing Your love towards us, even while we were still sinners without any hope. Representing You before our lost family and friends is such a great honor and privilege, but please help us to always be mindful that we could very easily become an ‘Achan’ as we take our eyes off You and allow sin to filter into our lives again. I don’t believe that anyone desires to be like ‘Achan’, so please help us Lord to stay closely in tuned with You so that our hearts will recognize when Satan tries to attack. We are Yours Lord, and we want to keep it that way until You call us home to glory, but we need You to guide us daily, and we need Your strength to help us make decisions that honor You. The glory belongs to You Lord! 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 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!

Committed to Give!

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-04-05
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 35:4-5; 36:4-7 (NCV)

Text:

35:Moses said to all the Israelites, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Let everyone who is willing bring this offering to the LORD: gold, silver, bronze….
36:4 So all the skilled workers left the work they were doing on the Holy Tent, 5 and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than we need to do the work the LORD commanded.”
6 Then Moses sent this command throughout the camp: “No man or woman should make anything else as a gift for the Holy Tent.” So the people were kept from giving more, 7 because what they had was already more than enough to do all the work.
OBSERVATION:
In preparing to build the temple, Moses shared with the people what God had commanded them to do as their contribution to the project. Their response was so overwhelming, that Moses had to soon stop them from bringing their gifts. Seems just the opposite to what the response Moses received when he commanded them to stop worshiping idols. Perhaps God got their attention when over 3,000 was killed after the last incidence of disobedience.
APPLICATION:
I found this to be quite the contrast to the half hearted giving of God’s people today! Often when volunteers are needed, the able ones are the first to avoid eye contact and scoot out the back door of the church, because they just don’t have time. When teaching jobs are open, it is extremely challenging to find someone willing to commit the time to the job. Most would rather see the church pay for building repairs or yard work, as they simply don’t have time to do such things. If you read yesterday’s blog, you will remember that we were encouraged to always respond with the words “I just can’t make that a priority”, rather than “I just don’t have time”! I believe that it will be much closer to the truth and reflect more accurately that your priorities are elsewhere. Oooch! I know that hurts, but friends I want you to learn to be 100% honest with yourself, for God already knows your heart! This same attitude of commitment and priority also flows over to the act of giving financially to the Lord. To the able bodied brothers and sisters who may read this blog, may I suggest that you ask a handicapped person who is unable to work, “how much would they be prepared to give to the Lord, if He healed their body and gave them a job?” and I would assure you that they will probably respond 100%. My point is, friends, that in God’s Word He gives us a command to give at least 10% as a tithe to His work at our local church. In today’s peer pressure and wanting everything our neighbor has, how good are we doing with that command? Is it done before any other expenses are taken out of our income? God doesn’t give us the remains of a beautiful day, or half blessings in any way, but He gives us His very best, way more than we deserve. Giving more of self and even in our financial giving, are ways to express our gratitude to God for all that He does for us each and every day. The Bibles says that we will receive in accordance to how we have given. How are you doing friend?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving of Your very best so that we may have forgiveness of our sin and one day join You in glory! You’ve not asked us to give of our only son, like You did, so Lord may we learn to be in constant awe of all that You give to us each and every day, and may we give in return as You have commanded, or even more. As we express our appreciation through our giving, may it be obvious to You that our hearts are filled to overflowing. May this be reflected in all phases of our lives so that You may use this appreciation to open the eyes of unbelievers and draw them to Yourself. I ask these things in all humility and great appreciation for Your love and Your mercy to even me, oh Lord, 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 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!

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!

What Do You Want Most From God?

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: 2 Chronicles 1:7–12
Today’s Bible Text: That night God appeared to Solomon. God said, “What do you want from me? Ask.” Solomon answered, “You were extravagantly generous with David my father, and now you have made me king in his place. Establish, GOD, the words you spoke to my father, for you’ve given me a staggering task, ruling this mob of people. Yes, give me wisdom and knowledge as I come and go among this people—for who on his own is capable of leading these, your glorious people?” God answered Solomon, “This is what has come out of your heart: You didn’t grasp for money, wealth, fame, and the doom of your enemies; you didn’t even ask for a long life. You asked for wisdom and knowledge so you could govern well my people over whom I’ve made you king. Because of this, you get what you asked for—wisdom and knowledge. And I’m presenting you the rest as a bonus—money, wealth, and fame beyond anything the kings before or after you had or will have.”
The Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take Away: Each night in America thousands of lottery tickets are sold to prospects looking for an overnight explosion to their net worth. Also, casinos are often filled with folk looking for the same result. God told Solomon to ask for what he wanted from Him. This challenged me to think about what my response would be to that same question from God. Would it be the item that is at the very top of my prayer list, or would it be a ‘get out of jail’ ticket to ask for things that would facilitate an early retirement and  money to help me enjoy a stress-free retirement? Solomon, a new king, could have asked for a number of things tied to wealth or perhaps dominance in his kingdom, but I believe that Solomon had a heart for God and for the people he would govern. Because of the massive numbers of citizens and the awesome needs of the people, Solomon’s heart cried out for wisdom and knowledge as he went about his people. Friends, notice how God immediately knew that this was the unselfish heart cry of Solomon, and not the usual ‘give me’, ‘give me’ attitude of so many believers today. Notice that this resulted in God blessing Solomon with what he asked for, but also with a whole lot more. Imagine what would come forth in our lives if we sought God’s face more than His outstretched hand? Imagine if we thought of the needs of others before we asked for more into our own coffers? So what is at the top of your prayer list today Brothers and Sisters? May I encourage you to seek God first, and His righteousness, and be amazed at how God will meet your needs, and possibly your wants, in accordance with His perfect will for your life, and His ministry. 

Prayer: So many are in need of a Savior. So many are hurting. So many are in grave financial need. And Lord, many of these are my friends and/or family. Please touch their hearts today, and cause them to lift up holy hands in anticipation of the mighty works that You will perform in their midst. Lord, for every one that You touch today, may dozens of others be impacted with Your love and deep concern for their spiritual well being. For all those that will come across this devotional today, please draw them to Yourself and cause them to make decisions that will be pleasing to You. I need a special touch from You today dear Lord, please use me and allow me to display Your righteous character in all that I say or do. For I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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

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