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

Who's Responsible?

Monday, 2019-12-23

Bible Reference: Acts 4:8-12
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered, “Respected elders and leaders of the people, listen. Are we being put on trial today for doing an act of kindness by healing a frail, crippled man? Well then, 10 you and everyone else in Israel should know that it is by the power of the name of Jesus that the crippled man stands here today completely healed! You crucified Jesus Christ of Nazareth,[f] but God raised him from the dead. 11 This Jesus is ‘the stone that you, the builders, have rejected, and now he has become the cornerstone!’[g] 12 There is no one else[h] who has the power to save us, for there is only one name to whom God has given authority by which we must experience salvation:[i] the name of Jesus.”

OBSERVATION: You will see from this Scripture that there was trouble between church and state right from the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. However, I believe you will also see how important it is to represent Jesus well, even when questioned by unsuspecting authorities. As we meditate on this today, hopefully we will learn how to best represent Christ in all circumstances of life.

APPLICATION: I would imagine that most of my readers will fall into the same ‘boat’ as myself, in that we may never have been under close scrutiny by governing authorities in practicing our faith. Because of this, it may be challenging for us to identify with all that Peter and his companions dealt with. However there are some important points in this story that, I believe, will help us in our Christian journey:
(1) Stand firm in your faith in the good times and in the challenging times. Think about it. The easiest way to get along with people, is to agree with their opinions, beliefs and ideals. But what does this convey about your own personal opinions, beliefs and ideals? Don’t you think that in the case of the latter, folk will soon look at you in pity knowing that you have no firm convictions about anything in life? Yes, you will probably be less argumentative that most people, because you will never challenge anyone about their convictions. Peter stood firm in his convictions even when faced with the authorities who had every right to sentence him to death;
(2) Speak as a representative of Christ. I believe it is easy to see that Peter showed no anger in his voice, and that he respected the authorities that he was addressing. When our motives and integrity is questioned, we will often raise our voices and say things that are disrespectful. There are certain pieces of evidence that we portray when someone is really getting us upset. It may be the wrinkled forehead, or the tremor in your lips, or the twitch in your eyes, but often something will let the other party know that they are truly getting ‘under our skin’! Peter had every reason to try every trick in the book to get his point across properly and respectfully, as the authorities could easily have ordered his death. Our conflicts may never be quite as life threatening, but yet we tend to go overboard in trying to convince those who question us. I’ve seen great exaggeration by individuals, as well as awful anger built up in folk when questioned. Peter’s response actually led to sharing prophecy, and the plan of salvation with those who questioned him. Wow, wouldn’t that be a great goal to try and achieve before a conversation is finished with someone who questions us?
(3) Nothing to hide. Peter held nothing back, nor did he use terms to disguise what he felt God wanted him to say to the leaders. Unfortunately, it seems like we try very hard to avoid hurting the feelings of our friends and family, so we talk in riddles in order to avoid actually speaking openly about our Lord. Oh my, what a shame dear friend. In spite of all the power of our Lord, Jesus still went to a criminal’s cross, walking thru the shame and jeering of an angry crowd, and He hung there – exposed to additional shame and disrespect – but precious friend, He did all that in love, so that we might live forever with He and the Father in heaven! So what is it again that you feel ashamed to talk about in public? Who is it that intimidates you when you know you should be sharing your faith with them?
May I encourage you to be very open in sharing who healed you; who touched your life; who brightens your day; who is your hope for all eternity; etc, etc. Jesus wasn’t ashamed of anyone that He made, nor anyone He saved. Why should you or I be ashamed of Him?

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for creating us in Your image. Thank You for giving up Your very life so that we may see the likes of heaven and our heavenly Father. As You touch our lives each day, may we be especially bold about declaring the Word of God, honoring the One who saved us, and bragging on the One who healed us and made us anew in Jesus Christ. To You be all glory, honor and praise! Oh that our lives will reflect Your glory in every aspect of our lives. 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!

Tuesday, 2019-12-17

Bible Reference: Acts 1:23–25
Translation: Good News Bible (GNB)

Bible Text: So they proposed two men: Joseph, who was called Barsabbas (also known as Justus), and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know the thoughts of everyone, so show us which of these two you have chosen to serve as an apostle in the place of Judas, who left to go to the place where he belongs.”

OBSERVATION: Often we will see so many earthly distractions and evils coming into play with godly decisions, that it becomes very challenging for mere man to make a decision that pleases God. However, in our Scripture today, we see how the disciples made their decision for the replacement of Judas. I believe that all followers of Christ would prefer to make decisions pleasing to God, so let us meditate and seek God’s perfect will for our decisions today.

APPLICATION: Too often we make personal decisions based on our selfish desires, wants, passion, and from a heart of envy for what others might have. Unfortunately, there are persons who make up the leadership of our local churches that are challenged with this same issue, but these are also the fathers and mothers in our homes and in our local businesses that take care of us. Therefore. we must realize that when it comes time to make decisions, sometimes very critical ones, these individuals may revert to the same earthly methods for making decisions about God’s work through the church. God’s Word was specifically provided to us so that we may discern truth and wisdom from it, and use it as a guide on how God expects us to live today. I love the way that the disciples approached this matter in prayer when they admitted to God that He knows the thoughts and hearts of the two men in question and that they (the disciples) didn’t. That God knew which one should serve as a disciple to replace Judas, and they didn’t. Friends, this is a simple truth that we should always adhere to, for we are too apt to apply our personal desires and preferences to a candidate, where God can point us to the one who has a heart like Him and who will serve to represent Him in truth at all times. Let us therefore set aside personal preferences and seek God’s perfect will in our decision making, whether at church or at home, work or anywhere we are called on to help make decisions. An important part of this, is to consider what made the disciples any different to us. I might remind you that the disciples spent valuable time with the Lord. They walked along the same roads that He did; They witnessed many of the miracles that He did; They saw the difference that He made in their lives in turning them around from fishermen, tax-collectors, etc to followers of the Son of God. So what prepares you and I for drawing closer to God? May I suggest that the following things may help: perhaps you might open up yourself to understand the heart and mind of Christ By praying to Him and inviting Him to speak very clearly to you; Perhaps when you prepare yourself before reading His Word, you might understand His intention and His will as you meditate on the Word; Perhaps as you sit in church or Bible study prepared to hear the Word proclaimed and explained, God might speak direct truth to You to prepare you for the challenges of the day. Friends, I believe that what I am saying to you today is that the pastor cannot draw you closer to God, nor can your parents, or your spouse, for drawing close to God is an individual desire of each person that is followed by action by the individual alone. It’s a personal experience, desire and action that takes place when prompted by the Holy Spirit and followed through in obedience by the individual with the Father. Have you been that deliberate my friend? If not, do you feel that God would possibly lead you towards deeper truths or in seeing His works all around you? Take, for example, in the case of my wife, I saw her beauty, wanted to know her better, made every effort to place myself in her presence and communicate with her, then asked her to marry me so that I could know her even better. Does that sound like your relationship with Jesus Christ? If not, why do you suppose that He would think you are serious about having Him help you make right decisions? My dear friend, draw close to God, and watch how He will draw close to You and work miracles in your life, and all around you!

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, see all the worlds thy hands have made… I stand in awe precious Lord that You would reach down in love to help me make it through every circumstance of life. Thank You Lord, for hearing my cry; for leading me thru the path to righteousness, and pointing me in and through a day filled with opportunities to share Your love with others. Lord You are, more precious than diamonds, and nothing – yes nothing, I desire more, than knowing that You are guiding and directing my daily path, so that others might be drawn to a closer walk with you. Please Lord, hear my cry, and the hearts and desires of each reader who might meditate on this devotional today. Only You can make a difference in our lives, so that we, in true, may make a difference to those that we come into contact with today. We are your vessels dear Lord, please fill us, lead us and use us to fulfill Your will here on earth. 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!

 
Book cover

 

Saturday, 2019-12-14

Bible Reference: Acts 1:7-8
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: He answered, “The Father is the one who sets the fixed dates and the times of their fulfillment. You are not permitted to know the timing of all that he has prepared by his own authority. But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power.[k] And you will be my messengers[l] to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces[m]—even to the remotest places on earth![n]

OBSERVATION: It seems like there was never a time where it was more important to be concerned about the here and now. Yes it is always a joy to study future prospects and try to know today what would happen tomorrow, but let’s take some time to remind ourselves about why Jesus taught us to be concerned about today, and allow God the Father to take full responsibility for what lies ahead.

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything quite as bad as living with regrets for not having taken advantage of a situation that presented itself at a given time. Often this might be caused by us being preoccupied and more concerned about what would happen tomorrow. As we take a few moments to think about it, I believe that each reader will quickly realize at least one time in their life where this occurred, and it probably hurts to even think about it. Had we studied harder in high school and college, we would be much further ahead today and In the weeks ahead. Had we spoken to a friend about the Lord yesterday, we may have convinced them of their need for the Savior, before they passed away last night, but we wanted them to speak with our pastor on Sunday. Had we befriended that neighbor at our neighborhood party last weekend, it may have helped save them from self injury last night. However, whether we look back, or try to find ways to look forward, I believe we are totally distracting ourselves from what is actually occurring currently, or especially at what we should currently be doing to help further the kingdom of God. Conferences tend to fill up quickly when a speaker brings in the latest timelines and news on prophecies related to end times. Important? Absolutely. But in our Scripture Jesus tells us that His all-powerful Holy Spirit will come upon us and we would become His messengers in our neighborhoods, our hometowns, our states, our country, and throughout all parts of the world – wherever His children are. Friends, I believe that Jesus is saying: look, I want you to pay attention to the prophecies I have given to my prophets, but it is far more important that you become my messengers for the times in which we find ourselves right now. What sorts of things would messengers do? Take the message of Jesus wherever he is sent; Represent Jesus so that there will be no confusion on the part of the hearers about whose messenger came to them. I believe this means acting like Jesus in every way taught through His Word; sharing the Word of God as taught in His Word; and loving people just like God first loved us. I hope that no one will walk away thinking that I am opposed to prophecies, because I am a strong believer in God’s Word, and He said that He would give the gift of prophecy to some. But I was reminded in our Scripture today that most of us reading this devotional today, are actually considered ‘messengers of the Heavenly King’, yet we casually make our way to church like we are doing God a favor, and we do everything possible not to impose our religion on others – or is that the same as saying that we don’t want to share our ‘Jesus’ with anyone? Friends, I believe that God is saying to us that He has a plan for us today, and He has kids that He wants us to share Christ with today. Let’s try and share the precious love of the same Savior that has blessed us beyond measure yesterday, today, and who has promised to bless us until He returns. Today is the day of salvation!

PRAYER: Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever, has blessed us so that we could bless others. Thank you for trusting us with today, dear Lord! We have been reminded of the importance of where we are at right now. Thank you for opening our eyes to those in our path that need to know you personally. We have been reminded of the importance of today, please humble us to be obedient to Your voice and to the opportunities that exists right here, right now. Please help us to be mere instruments of Your love and allow others to see You in all of Your glory. Precious Lord, oh how sweet, hope of earth and joy of heav’n; Precious name! Oh, how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heav’n. 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!

What About Him or Her, Lord?

Friday, 2019-12-13

Bible Reference: John 21:19-22
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 19 Jesus said this to let him know what kind of death he would die to glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following, the one who had leaned around at supper that time to ask Jesus, “Master, which of us will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord? What sort of death will he die?”[f]
22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to live[g] until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.”

OBSERVATION: What an eye opener and a keen reminder, to hear the words of Jesus in this Scripture that calls our attention back to self, instead of pointing fingers at our neighbor. In Jesus pointing out to Peter how important is is that he concentrate on his own relationship with Jesus, verses worrying about John, I was reminded of an old spiritual song that I learned later in life ‘It’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer, not my brother or my sister, but It’s me oh Lord’.

APPLICATION: Often we will pray for others because we want to be unselfish, and we want to show that we care and we love our Brother or Sister, so we pray primarily for others. But what a reminder by Jesus when Peter seemed concerned about what would happen to his Brother (John). Jesus basically told him that even if He allowed John to live all the way through until His return, it shouldn’t matter to Peter, because It was he (Peter) being told to follow Jesus. Listen how we hear this going on right where we’re at today my friend: Oh Lord, why did I come down with this awful disease? Don’t you see how much I give to the church? Don’t you see how faithful I am in attending all church services? Why, I even treat my neighbor like a loving relative, not as a stranger. Oh my Lord, don’t you see the neighbor down the street who never does any of these great things that I am so faithful in? Wouldn’t it make more sense that they go through this tough stuff that I’m now facing? It sounds to me that they are more deserving of hard times, than I, dear Lord. Friends, I am convinced from the Word of God that none of us are deserving of the grace God bestowed on us when He sent His only Son – a perfect, royal, infinite, sinless, Savior that went to the cross of Calvary with all the power of His Father, yet He endured the cross, so that we might have the means of eternal salvation – free from our earthly sin, and perfected before our awesome God. Imagine – undeserving, yet imagine appearing before a perfect God as a cleansed, forgiven son or daughter – because of Jesus? However, Please note that our cleansing is something granted by Jesus, because of our individual relationship with Him. Mom, nor grandma could pray you in to the kingdom. It’s like Jesus told Peter – forget about the others – it’s YOU I have called to follow me. So have YOU met my Savior? Have YOU settled a personal relationship with Him? It’s not your father, or your mother; not your brother or your sister; It’s not your neighbor or your boss, but it’s YOU that Jesus is calling to follow Him. Your decision could mean the difference between heaven and hell for you dear friend. Make sure that your position is clear, won’t you?

PRAYER: It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. It’s not my mother or my father, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. It wasn’t just Peter who needed to give attention to himself and his state of salvation, or relationship with You, but it’s me oh Lord. Please help me to always seek a right, personal relationship with You, and not try to make that decision for my Brothers and Sisters. Lord, my readers and I approach Your throne in all humility and seeking forgiveness of our sin. We need you individually, oh Lord. Please forgive us for looking more to the faults and sins of our neighbors rather than the board that is in our own eyes. Thank You for Your Word that is in season at all times in our own personal lives. Forgive us where we fail, and help us always be aligned with Your perfect will for our lives precious Lord, so that others may see and believe. 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!

Thursday, 2019-12-12

Bible Reference: John 21:4–6
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: As the sun was rising, Jesus stood at the water’s edge, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then he asked them, “Young men, haven’t you caught anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered. He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.” So they threw the net out and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish.

OBSERVATION: When you are secure in your job and have been doing it for a while, it becomes challenging to accept advice from someone else. So could this be some of the same challenges that we face when we are confident in what we feel needs to be done, and someone suggests that we seek God for His direction? Granted, that challenge becomes much more palatable when we have done all that we could, and we are left with, what seems to be, no other options available to us, other than seeking what God may direct us towards. As we meditate on this today, let us place ourselves in the disciples dilemma and honestly consider how obedient we would be.

APPLICATION: Three of Jesus’ disciples, who really struggled with believing and obedience, are now faced with a decision that many of us could very easily face each day. Having fished all night and caught nothing, they were ready to pack up their nets and call it a night. But from the shoreline a man questions them, and begins to tell them what to do. Now I’m sure that many of you have encountered professionals before, and you know what to expect from them. Often men who know what they are doing, yet they are going through times of unsuccessful results, will snap at anyone questioning, or especially telling, them how to do their job. Yet these fishermen faced this exact dilemma. Exhausted, and tired from a long night, they approached the shoreline a man begins to hand out instructions to them. Perhaps they felt like one more attempt could have no worse results than the entire night of fishing did, so the disciples decided to give it a try. Could it have been a God inspired moment? Because through obedience to the Master of the sea and of the fish, the disciples obeyed and saw marvelous results. Interesting that at this point they then realized that it had to have been Jesus on the shoreline instructing them! Could it be that often when we feel like our Christian ministry seems to have plateaued and/or become stagnant, that it might be because we have not yet invited the Master in? We are reminded here in this Scripture that just a word is enough from Him! Reminded that our obedience to His instructions could make a world of difference. Let’s invite Him in friend, and ask for His involvement and direction. Doing this right from the very beginning will achieve God-like results that will make a difference to the kingdom, because He would be in charge. Remember, our ministry is all about Him anyway, and when we include Him perhaps we would not be so centered on our personal agendas. Oh that we may let go and let God have His perfect will in our hearts and lives – for His glory!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your grace! Thank You for Your saving power that reached into a selfish and sinful heart and showed me a better way. As my readers and I come to Your throne today, it is because we acknowledge that we cannot handle this complex, challenging, sin-controlled world that is determined to destroy Your work through us. Of ourselves, we are like the disciples who toiled all night and caught nothing. Praise God, we know the Master! We know the maker of the sea and all that is in it. We know that control of the sea and all its inhabitance is still controlled by You. The same is true with the wonderful world that You created, but which Satan has marred with his deception, lies and sinful acts. Please fill our cups Lord, and make us whole, bold and useful for Your kingdom’s sake as we walk through this dark world. May our words and deeds be used by You to impact all those we will come into contact with today, so that Your kingdom may be enriched as a result of us having been allowed to live here. 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!

Our Mission

Tuesday, 2019-12-10

Bible Reference: John 20:21-23
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 21 Jesus repeated his greeting, “Peace to you!” And he told them, “Just as the Father has sent me, I’m now sending you.” 22 Then, taking a deep breath, he blew[l] on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.[m] 23 I send you to preach the forgiveness[n] of sins—and people’s sins will be forgiven. But if you don’t proclaim the forgiveness of their sins, they will remain guilty.”[o]

OBSERVATION: Multiple times we see where Jesus emphasized to His disciples what their ongoing mission would be, but in our Scripture today we see where Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that our mission would be the same as His was. So one might ask: ’Well, would you kindly encapsulate that for me?’ As we meditate on these verses today, let us consider what our mission here on earth might be.

APPLICATION: I am often recognized as a son of my earthly father, because of the things that I do, or the corny jokes that I tell, or just the things that I say in general. Jesus reminds us in today’s Scripture that just as He was sent by His father, spoke only those things ordered by His Father and did only those things directed by His Father, His followers should also follow His (Jesus’) pattern in life while He was here on earth with us. I believe that establishes our direction, or mission for life, so let us seriously look into what this might be. I believe that it is important to notice right at the very beginning that the New Testament is filled with the words, actions and directions of our Savior, and the Old Testament is filled with prophecies of what would be expected of us. So the best way for us to learn, or be reminded of certain actions of our Lord, is to deliberately spend intimate, quiet, God-directed time seeking the will and direction of God each day, by studying His Word. I know, you really don’t have time to sit and read large chunks of the Bible every day – right? I understand dear friend, but please allow me to suggest to you that when you get in conversation with God again, consider replacing the words ‘I didn’t have time’ with something like this: ‘Dear God, please listen to your son/daughter who didn’t make it a priority to seek Your direction from Your Word today…..’ I bet by now you are ready to close this devotional because you feel like I am trying to lead you on a guilt trip, but friend of God, may I suggest that the ‘lack of priority’ words I used, really explains why there was not time to study God’s Word and seek His direction for your life that day? For we found it a priority to: Spend extra time in preparing ourselves for work; Spend time watching the morning news so we could be on top of our game while speaking with business leaders each day; And spend time at the local coffee bar to be encouraged by true leaders that meet there each morning. However, it was not a priority to seek the will of the Creator of this world, the One who ordains everything that will occur today, the One who could guide us to success here on earth AND to our heavenly kingdom that He has especially prepared for those who know Him. Many years ago I was prompted to accept the love and direction of my Savior. In a very deliberate act of maturity in my relationship with Jesus, I was prompted, and I followed in obedience, to make it a priority to spend time in God’s Word each day. To do this, and still leave home in time for work, I had to get up earlier. In being led to also make Nuggets From God’s Word available to the world, I deliberately awoke 2 hours earlier so that my commitment would be a priority. This information was not intended to brag to you dear friend, but instead to help you see how you might make time alone with God a priority in your busy life’s schedule. If it’s important to you, I believe that you will make it a priority. Reading God’s Word each day will lead you to pattern your life after His Son that was sent for this purpose. In our verses today, Jesus told us that He did what His Father told Him to do. As you learn from God’s Word what you should be doing each day, you will one day say like Paul: ‘follow me as I follow Christ’! Please consider making this a priority in your life precious child of God!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have shown us in Your Word that there was nothing more important than you giving up Your life in order that we might have life eternally in heaven one day with You and Your Father. You have also taught us many things that should be a priority in our lives so that we might pattern our after Yours. As You observe our lack of priority to spend time alone with You, but yet a glimpse of our desire to reflect You in all aspects of our life, please open our hearts to be willing to make the main Thing the main thing. In every walk of life here on earth, our lives are pulled towards every lust and material obsession that our neighbor or coworker might desire or boast of. Please help us to be leaders, by making You a priority in our life – something that will draw others towards a similar commitment and a firm desire to be a child of the King in every aspect of life. YOU are our King! May it be evident in the choices we make and the way we spend our time. 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!

Monday, 2019-12-08

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 15:1-5
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: Abijam became king of Judah during the eighteenth year Jeroboam son of Nebat was king of Israel. Abijam ruled in Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. He did all the same sins his father before him had done. Abijam was not faithful to the Lord his God as David, his great-grandfather, had been. Because the Lord loved David, the Lord gave him a kingdom in Jerusalem and allowed him to have a son to be king after him. The Lord also kept Jerusalem safe. David always did what the Lord said was right and obeyed his commands all his life, except the one time when David sinned against Uriah the Hittite.

OBSERVATION: Some of us may stand proud before God and brag about our faithfulness, while others will stand at a distance with heads lowered in shame because of our lack of commitment and faithfulness to our God. Our Scripture today tells of God’s faithfulness to David and his ancestors that followed, because of David’s commitment and loyalty to His God. Let us reflect on what we anticipate hearing from God, because of our own faithfulness, or lack thereof.

APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting to consider the excuses that we make for missing the mark that we know God has established for us? It might be in the words we speak, where we quickly adapt to the ways and wishes of the crowd, but find it so impossible to try and speak words of Truth taught to us in the Word of God? I will be the first to tell you that I am not good in remembering Bible verses. However. In my grandmother’s last years of life here on earth when her sight diminished, she completed her daily devotional time with God by sharing back with Him, Bible verses that she had memorized over her lifetime. So can we memorize God’s Word? Of course we can! Consider also the things that we memorize from the world. How many jokes can you sit and tell at once time? How many stories from you childhood can you still share with friends? How often do you sit and share what you heard from friends (gossip)! So is it a matter of remembering God’s Word, or is it due to the lack of time that we spend in the Word, compared to the time spent around the television or with the unsaved? And what about our actions? When last have you stood firm for what you learned from God, while you attended a party or a work social? Do friends recognize whose you are, based on your actions inside the four walls of your church AND at all events they might find you at? Remember, just as God knew David’s heart and that David was diligent to obey all of God’s commands in every circumstance of life, except in the case of Bathsheba and Uriah, He also know our every move and the vain words that we frequently utter. David earned the title given by God as ‘a man after God’s own heart’, is that one of the titles God might give to you dear friend? A true reality check is that only God truly knows you (your heart). For you can fool those around you, seeing that they only see your ‘public’ life, but God sees you without any filters being applied. Oh that our God may be able to bless others because of our faithfulness; because of our telling the truth; because of our love for others; because we gave honestly of our income to God and His work; because our actions towards others are a result of all that God blessed us with and not because of selfish reasons or in an effort to attain recognition. God loved us because of who He is. Oh that we may do the same, love others because of who God is! Lay your cares before God today dear friend, and allow Him to have His way in and through you, so that You may serve Him with every good intention that He has in mind for you.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please help us to do your will and be obedient to Your every command. You laid out a perfect plan for us to follow so that we could look like You, talk like You, love like You and give freely of the gifts that You bless us with so bountifully. May the Words of our mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in Your sight and be a pleasing aroma in Your nostrils precious Lord, so that You may be glorified in all the earth. May others see Jesus today, and not us in all of our weakness and selfish desires. 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!

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