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

Archive for the ‘Work Til Jesus Comes’ Category

Think About Your Life Work

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Chronicles 29:11 (MSG)

TEXT:  Children, don’t drag your feet in this! God has chosen you to take your place before him to serve in conducting and leading worship—this is your life work; make sure you do it and do it well.

OBSERVATION:   Our challenge is: Children, don’t drag your feet in this! God has chosen you to take your place before him to serve in ___________________ – this is your life work; make sure you do it and do it well.”

APPLICATION:   Friends, I believe that God has a work for each of us to do, so I would encourage you to fill in the blank above, then repeat that verse as many times as you care to, so that God’s message might get through to each of us today, that He has a work for us to do, and He wants us to consider it a life work, because He wants to see us commit to doing it well! I’ve heard friends say: but I’m not a preacher; and – but I can’t stand in front of people and teach; and – but I can’t even pray in public; and – but the preacher will have to talk to them about salvation, because I’m not intelligent enough to do that. Now I realize that there is a comeback for each of these excuses, but I will only encourage you today to simply tell your story. If God leads someone to you, then I believe that He obviously has a plan for you to share something about your faith with them, so that He might be glorified. Think about this: if God leads someone to you and you tell them that you really can’t share with them the secret of God’s grace, or how He saved you, they may wonder if what you think you have is real. Ask any of us if we are married, when we got married, where we got married and how long we’ve been married, and most spouses could respond in a heartbeat. But we can’t answer the same questions about our relationship with the Savior of the world? May I dare say that your latter relationship must either be a farce, or you are a puppet who simply did something or said words dictated to you, or you receive no nourishment and/or companionship from the relationship? Friends, your testimony/story should include what your life was like before Jesus; How you met Jesus; and what your life has been like after accepting Jesus. If you then invite your friend who is asking to know this Savior of yours, then you have just done the equivalent of what pastors do week after week in our pulpits. I believe you can share your story, if you want to and if there is a story to tell. Please don’t talk yourself into being a Christian because of peer pressure or any outside influence, as that will create false hope. There is only one way – invite the Lord Jesus to forgive you of your sin and become Lord and Master of your life, through your faith in this simple act. You will grow in your faith through studying the Word of God, so that He could speak to you; have an active prayer life, so that you could speak to God; and fellowship with other believers (most believers do this through obeying God’s Word – where He tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together). In doing the latter we grow from each other and remind each other of the wonderful works of our awesome God! Friends, God has placed us here on earth to complete His work for His glory. This is our life work that he expects us to do for His glory until the very end. Let’s do it well!

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for blessing Your children beyond anything that we could wish or ask for, beginning with Salvation itself. Help us to activate the love you have instilled in us, and be willing to share the many blessings that You have given to us. Lord, if you see fit to bless us in return, like you promised to the sons of Hezekiah, then we will be forever thankful, but please help us to bless others, and be diligent about our life work. 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!

 

Enjoy Your Work

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-04-25
SCRIPTURE

From:

Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 (ERV)

Text:

9 …. Enjoy every day of your short life. God has given you this short life on earth—and it is all you have. So enjoy the work you have to do in this life. 10 Every time you find work to do, do it the best you can.
OBSERVATION:
Our attention is drawn to the fact that God has given us the ability to provide for ourselves – the strength, knowledge, pride and desire. We are encouraged to take advantage of that and not look at it as punishment, but rather a blessing. Wow, if only we could find employees who enjoy coming to work every day because they consider it a God-given privilege and joy! Perhaps we should lead the way, right?
APPLICATION:
For the child of God, we find verses like these that God uses to spur us on to be the best we can be in our work places and to show that we actually enjoy our jobs. We often use phrases like ‘TGIF’ or ‘Hump Day’ that indicates to the world that we are glad to see this chore, called ‘work’ nearing an end. For the unbeliever, there might be a variety of feelings, including feeling unappreciated, underpaid or perhaps overworked. Isn’t it amazing how unimportant all of these things become when we hear of our competition closing their doors, and many dear friends or family losing their jobs? Or perhaps we apply for a job elsewhere and see that we are not worth anywhere near what we thought we are worth monetarily? Friends, I believe that the Scripture is telling us to appreciate the gifts that God has given to us; the blessings that God has poured out on us to have a good job; the interesting challenges that we face on our jobs that come to stretch our minds and give us the ability to grow in knowledge and understanding; the awakening of being faced with a menial task sometimes, so that we could appreciate what subordinates face each day; the occasional walk through a hospital, assisted living facility or a prison so that our eyes might be opened to the fact that but for grace of God, it could very easily have been one of us in that facility. I truly believe that the person who sits idle and unappreciative of work, is the one who says to God ‘thanks, but no thanks’! Friend, God has blessed you with gifts, abilities and a desire to provide for yourself and your family. Is he proud of what you are doing with all that He has given to you? Can you praise Him and thank Him even today for the work that you do? I pray that you will not be ashamed to stand before the throne and thank God for all your accomplishments resulting from all that He blessed you with!
PRAYER:
Lord, with my hands; my mind and the many gifts that You have blessed me with, I lift them to You in praise and thanksgiving. I pray that You will help each of us today to use our talents to provide for ourselves and our families, and that we will never hide them under a bushel because we feel like someone else is much more capable than us. I pray that our eyes will be opened to the gifts You have specifically blessed us with, and that we will see the purpose for which You have placed us where we are at for such a time as this. You have never made a mistake Lord Jesus, please help us to stop finding excuses for why we can’t…. but instead look for all the blessings You have given to us that allows us the abilities to accomplish great things! 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!

Well Worth Our Effort

Monday, 2016-12-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 15:58

Bible Text:  58  Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Bible Translation: Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

My Take

I believe that especially at this time of the year we tend to feel so exhausted and may even cause ourselves to doubt whether, in light of everything we did at Christmas, was it really worth it all. I heard that studies show that the day that most pastors resign their churches is Monday, and I believe that this may be due to the fact that Satan ‘beats them up’ so badly and causes them to question themselves about the job they did the previous day. Paul tried to encourage the Corinthian church by reminding them of the truth about the resurrection, and about the glorious day that will be when they see the face of the Savior! Friends, this same assurance is promised to those of us who have surrendered our lives to Jesus and invited Him into our hearts! So to reiterate the thoughts of Paul in these verses today, may I remind you that in light of what God has promised to us, we should be:

  • Steadfast – Deeply rooted and built up in Christ. Established in the faith and know what we believe, sufficient that we can freely share our faith with others;
  • Immovable – Confident in our faith and not vulnerable towards evil coming between us and our Lord, while still gaining strength and assurance in remembering that nothing will separate us from the love of God!
  • Excelling – Isn’t it interesting how much time we put into our jobs, and how easily we accept going long distances to conferences or attending educational opportunities that will help sharpen our work-related skills? However, when it comes to the work of the Lord we find excuse after excuse why we can’t go to similar events that may sharpen our ministry related skills? Isn’t it interesting how we are prepared to work long hours, and even weekends, if necessary, to get our jobs done in perfect condition, yet we ‘slap together’ a lesson or a sermon as we rush into the hours right before delivery to our classes or congregations? Paul encourages us to always excel in our work for the Lord, especially knowing that our effort will not be in vain.

Friends, Galatians 6:8-10 says: …. the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9  So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10  Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith. I interpret this as a promise that we will be rewarded for all that we do for the Lord, and I especially believe this will be the case when we’ve put our all into the effort. Remember, all that’s done for Jesus will last!

Prayer

Father, there was nothing about our salvation that You took lightly, for You gave of Your very best, so that we might have the very best when we past from this world. I therefore question myself as to whether there is anything that I can do to compare with all that You have done for me? Lord, I pray that You will remind us of the gifts that You have blessed us with. There’s an awesome day coming, and we are anxious to see You, Lord Jesus! However, while here on this earth, please touch us each and every day with a strong desire to do our very best to spread the good news, and I firmly believe that unless we do that from the heart, our efforts will be in vain. Please place a passion in us to serve You better by ministering to our fellow man each and every day. 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!

Do It All for God’s Glory!

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Matthew 25:34-36 (NLT)

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.

35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Matthew 25:40 (NLT)

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Matthew 25:45 (NLT)

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

There is such a tremendous lesson in this passage that teaches us several things, or at least it has taught me:

  1. God has given us each gifts that we should use for His glory;
  2. These are attributes that may not cost us a dime financially;
  3. God demonstrated these attributes for us to follow, and He is the only one that we truly need to imitate;
  4. I need not look at a need and think about WHO should meet that need. If it was laid on my heart, then I need to follow through in meeting that need;
  5. No one is exempt from unmet ‘needs’ in their lives, so I should never exempt a person due to their financial status or the denomination of the church they attend or if they attend any church at all;
  6. The only praise that may result from the things I do is from God himself, but then He is the one that I want to always please anyway.

Oh to hear the words from my Master’s mouth, “Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant”! This is my desire friend, I hope that it is your prayer and daily desire also. Let’s make it our daily goal!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I thank You for all that You have blessed me with. Please help me to use each and every talent, each and every gift, for Your glory. Please make me very sensitive to the needs of other and help me to do my part without prejudice as to who they are or what church they may attend, or even if they attend no church at all. They are all your children in need of a touch from the Master. May I be Your hands extended in human form!

Obligations from Generation to Generation

Scripture: Exodus 30 – 31.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

7 “Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar. 8 And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the Lord’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation. Ex 30:7-8 (NLT)

 

10 “Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by smearing its horns with blood from the offering made to purify the people from their sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the Lord’s most holy altar.” Ex 30:10 (NLT)

 

30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons also, consecrating them to serve me as priests. 31 And say to the people of Israel, ‘This holy anointing oil is reserved for me from generation to generation. 32 It must never be used to anoint anyone else, and you must never make any blend like it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. Ex 30:30-32 (NLT)

 

13 “Tell the people of Israel: Ex 31:13 (NLT) ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. Ex 31:13 (NLT)

 

16 The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day by observing it from generation to generation. This is a covenant obligation for all time. 17 It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed. Ex 31:16-17 (NLT)

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I was truly amazed and touched by the number of times in these two chapters that God told Moses how important His instructions were at the time, and how important it was that these instructions be carried on from generation to generation. While we hear from a lot of scholars, that claim to know a whole lot more than I do, that we are living under the New Testament, I can’t help but believe that these commands were placed appropriately in God’s Word for even us. Here are some things that I feel God said to me through these verses, and each bullet will represent each of the above sections:

  • It seems to me that God wants us to be a disciplined people. To follow His commands, without looking for excuses or trying to justify ourselves about how different we are today. In a movie I watched Saturday night it showed where the first steps in teaching karate is discipline, and even though the young man saw no reason in taking his jacket off about 1,000 times and doing various disciplined things each time he took it off, he later found that it was all for a good purpose. Likewise, we must believe that God has excellent reasoning in mind when He demands that we follow his commands. In this particular instance, we are to make His meeting place very special and give of our very best in respect to the presence of the universe.
  • At least once a year purify the temple and God’s people – I saw where this was done recently at revival services in a neighboring county and God worked in miraculous ways. There is nothing ‘ordinary’, or ‘traditional’ about coming into the presence of the Almighty. It is for a prepared people in a prepared place.
  • Anoint the leaders and helpers of the church – wow, if this was done at least annually, what an impact and encouragement this would have on our workers! To know that we have the prayers and support of the people we serve would be overwhelming encouragement and blessing.
  • Our Sabbath day has become anything but ‘holy’, and where is it getting us? I believe that we each can tell from the local, national and international news how chaotic life has gotten and how out of control crime and unrest has become. I see the opposite of this being a peaceful, loving, serving, giving, servant-led people, and only through God’s grace and us calling on Him daily, and finding ourselves in the right place at the right time, will we ever see such achievement.
  • God not only gave his commands, He went on to explain why He gave them. The Sabbath, a day to stop and reflect on the holiness of our Father, and to refresh ourselves. Two things so very critical in our lives and so badly needed to help our state of mind, and our relationship with our heavenly Father.

So with the above explanations, I believe that I can see where much of this is still very applicable to us today. Additionally, I believe that God’s Word is still true and deserves my undivided attention, not just certain parts of it. Praise be to God for His Holy Word!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I thank You for providing Your Word as a lamp unto my feet. A Guide for me, and commands to direct my path each and every day. You know that my heart’s desire is to be more like You every day, and I thank You for providing me the insight and Guide book to do just that. Please give me the boldness and wisdom to follow these steps even in the sinful, evil world in which I live. May I always be a true example of You each and every day.

In Support of our Spiritual Leaders

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 17.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage.12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. Ex 17:11-13 (NLT)

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

It seems like we have grown the church into a place of employment for a professional to use his college/theological degree in teaching/preaching all the fancy stuff learned in his years of schooling/college. Let me quickly say that I am thankful for all the education and tools that are available to our ministers today, but when God chose Moses to lead over 1 million people out of Egypt, he was so surprised because of his low opinion of himself and his abilities, that he seriously questioned God to the extent that he wondered if God had made a mistake. In these verses we see where God used Moses to perform some miraculous stuff to help in the safety and protection of his people. The kind of relationship Moses experienced with God enabled him to quickly obey, no matter how silly his actions may have appeared to the people. The thing that challenged me here is that just how Aaron and Hur ran to assist Moses, in fact they were keeping such a close eye on him that they realized he would soon get so tired of holding up his staff that he would need assistance. So they saw the need, and they followed through in meeting the need, and lending support to their leader, their shepherd, their pastor. This is no different to our spiritual leaders today, in that those who are fully dedicated to God’s work, they give of themselves to the extent that they become burned out in the ministry and often create a separation in the lives of their own personal family. I believe that God expects there to be an Aaron and Hur in every congregation. When God’s appointed man comes to pastor a church, he needs the tender, but yet strong and consistent support of the Aarons and Hurs. Let us take note that as long as Aaron and Hur helped Moses to keep his staff in the air, God did His work, however whenever Moses became weak and his hand dropped, his people were jeopardized. That’s much like today, we (the church) must invite a man of God to lead us, but we must also be in the forefront as his support so that God can freely do His work in our midst. We often hear that a divided church is a weak one. Conversely, the strength of a church is in a congregation that stands behind their leader and always sensitive to his needs and willing to support him in accomplishing the will and work of God. Are you an Aaron or Hur, or are you a part of the people like Moses also had who sat back and used every opportunity to grumble and complain when things were not going exactly as they thought they should?

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I see so much of You in us, but unfortunately I see so much of the attitude and actions of the Israelites in our churches today rather than the humble, caring, supportive teamwork that I see evident in Aaron and Hur. Please help me to be more like this duo and do my part each and every day to listen carefully to You, to see and understand the needs of my pastor and then to do something about his needs so that Your work may be accomplished. I pray that You will not only bless our current interim pastor, but that You would also lead us to the man You have prepared to pastor our church next. I also pray that You will make our leaders, especially myself, extremely sensitive to the needs of the ministry and our pastor so that we can be the support and encouragement that he needs to accomplish all that You have called Him and us to do. Lord, may we find not just a man well educated by today’s standards, but more so, one whose heart is fixed on You and who is called by You into Your ministry for Your church here on planet earth.

Overcoming the ‘gods’ in our lives

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 19.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matt 19:21 (NLT)

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In response to a question posed to Jesus by a rich young man about what he must do to have eternal life, Jesus first told him of 6 key commandments that he must obey. Interestingly enough, each of these six commandments referred to the man’s relationship with others, so this re-emphasizes that we must love our brother as much as we love ourselves, and also points to another teaching that we show our love for God by how well we show love to others. However, the young man responded that he was already obeying each of those commandments. To an all knowing God though, Jesus knew that there were other distractions in this man’s life that hindered him from total obedience, humility and the mind to totally follow Christ. In other words, Jesus knew that there was another ‘god’ that was hindering this young man – his wealth. Many of us that read this passage may automatically pass over this because we automatically exclude ourselves as we may not be wealthy, by the world’s standards today. The point that got my attention is: I wonder what Jesus might say to me if such a question was asked of me? What are the ‘gods’ that stand in the way of my relationship with Him? What are the ‘gods’ that prevent me from being effective for Him in my ministry efforts? Jesus told the rich man to go and get rid of the interference, the little ‘god’, the interference, the distraction that was preventing him from being totally committed to Him. Being involved in church leadership, I wonder what God may be saying to us as a church? What should we rid ourselves of in order to see His mighty hand at work – at work accomplishing kingdom work through us? God is holy, forgiving, humble and loving to all of His children, plus endless other top qualities. If we are to be like Him/Christ-like/Christians, then we need to examine ourselves for the same qualities that we see in Christ. Let’s pass control to Him and see Him perform a great work in and through us!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I realize that I am not rich monetarily, but I feel rich because of the many blessings that You have bestowed on me. Please help me to not let anything/any ‘god’ interfere in my commitment to You. Please help me to stay focused on the ministry that You want to accomplish through me. Please help me to stay focused, and depending solely on You to help me live a life that would example You in every way, so that others may see Jesus in all that I say or do. Please forgive me when I have let self interfere so much before, but today I ask that you give me added strength, boldness and the faith that will not be easily penetrated by this world and Your opposers. You are God alone, so I must look to You to help me daily to overcome and be a successful witness for You in my personal life, and in the ministry areas in which I am involved.

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