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

Archive for the ‘Unwavering’ Category

Faith Under Fire

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-01-07
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mathew 4:1-3 (NET)

Text:

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”
OBSERVATION:
Jesus had just been baptized by John the Baptist in the presence of many. At the baptism, God spoke audibly to the people officially announcing that this is His beloved, or dear, Son in whom He (God) is well pleased. I would have thought that the next scene would have been one filled with Jesus performing miracle after miracle, and proving to the people that they weren’t just hearing things from the heavens, but here is proof that Jesus is the Son of God. However, we know from the scriptures that this was not the case, for Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to spend time with Satan – there to be tempted by the evil one. It seems almost like Jesus was deliberately forced into the most vulnerable position imaginable after such a high point in His life. Additionally, He even fasted for 40 days before facing the tempter.
APPLICATION:
In my observation above, I built the case for us to look at here. I wonder what God wants us to see in this. I don’t believe this was done to make Jesus stronger, or to open His eyes to any spiritual truth, for He is the Son of God. He is part of the trinity, meaning that He is also one with the Father. So obviously this was done as a demonstration for those in attendance, and for those of us that would read the account later, and try to grow from its truth. So let’s look at this in that light. I could only imagine that there were lots of folk there that day at the baptism that doubted this whole announcement from God about Jesus being His Son, don’t you think that they would have been good candidates  for a heavy dose of temptation from Satan? Don’t you think that there were some in attendance like Peter, who swore that he would stand by Jesus through thick and thin? Surely they would have been candidates for the serious temptations of Satan so that they could firm up their words into actions? Friends, I believe that this process that Jesus was forced to endure could very easily have been done to show us today that our commitment to our Lord Jesus is more than words alone, but a lifetime commitment that may even come with temptations and/or other actions by Satan that will test our commitment. I believe the word ‘hypocrite’ probably came about because of folk that say they are one thing or the other, but their lives do not exemplify that commitment that they supposedly made. Where do you stand, friend? Stop. Meditate and consider where you stand in your relationship with Jesus today. How would you fare under strong temptations? Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. He will be your guide, especially in times like temptations when you need Him most.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, I am reminded yet again how much You went through for me, and I thank You for Your grace, and Your underserved mercy. Thank You heavenly Father for Your love for sinners such as I. Please touch the lives of those that will read this devotional today. Please search our hearts and show us our weaknesses – our weak commitments and our open doors for Satan to easily attack. Lord, please prepare us to respond to Satan and his attacks using the example You gave us in this account of Your temptation. May we be more like You in every respect, is my request and my heart’s desire today oh Lord, my Rock and my Salvation. 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!

How To Be Faithful in Following Jesus

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 4:18-22): 18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

THOUGHTS: Imagine for a moment if Peter and Andrew had concluded after meeting Jesus that He was a good man and would make a wonderful Savior for many people, especially for those who had time to follow Him around and observe His marvelous works. Imagine how little impact Jesus would have had on these two men if they chose to continue making a living and left Jesus alone to go and impact the brothers up the road who had nothing better to do. James and John had similar choices to make in verses 21 and 22, but like Peter and Andrew, these guys immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Friends these stories were included in the Word to show us the impact of total surrender. I don’t believe for a moment that God intends for every Christian to give up our jobs to be obedient followers of His. However, I do believe that God is showing us that it is important for us to take a 180 degree turn from what we did as a sinner, so that we might prove to whom we now belong. We don’t need to prove it to God, for He knows our very inmost thoughts and desires, but we need to convince ourselves that we have seriously redirected our lives to following the Savior, the King of all kings, Jesus Christ. We need to prove it to our friends. We can’t continue doing the things of this world (Satan approved things) and still expect our friends to see a difference in our lives. Think about everyday scenarios: what do you do when you go on a diet? You can’t lose weight eating the same junk food and sweets that brought you to your obese state in the first place. What do you do when you get married? You can’t hang out with your buddies until the wee hours of the morning and expect to go home and find your new spouse happily waiting for you. So what about the Christian walk? I would dare say that you can’t live like the Devil and say that you are a Christian. We have to leave the garbage behind, much like the disciples left their nets and their boats behind, and choose to give God our all – our undying allegiance, our unwavering love and dedication. Show Him that You are serious about the decision you made to follow Him – perhaps He will use you like He did in the case of the disciples mentioned! Won’t that be awesome!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for being patient with us. I’m afraid that too often we tend to try and continue doing what we’ve always done, yet expect different results, or worse still – try to convince ourselves that our allegiance has changed. Lord, I believe that these four disciples were so sold out to you that they gave up their fishing careers to become ‘fishers of men’ in your kingdom work. I am convinced that we need more folk like this today Lord, so that the world might know without a doubt who rules in our lives. Please work on us today and convict us of any shortfall You see in our lives and our commitment to You. May we be usable instruments in Your hands to reach the lost. I ask this in the strong and unwavering 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 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!

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