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

Posts tagged ‘Baptism’

Proof, No Proof

Saturday, 2019-01-05

Bible Reference: Matthew 3:8, 10
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin]; ……. 10 And already the axe [of God’s judgment] is [gswinging toward the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

OBSERVATION: I was reminded of a television show – ‘Deal, No Deal’ as I meditated on these verses today. I know, don’t mix television with the precious Word of God, right? But Paul was so infuriated by the boldness of the Pharisees and Sadducees to show up at the river for baptism, that he took time to warn them of what a saved life looks like, vs one that is not. We should never have to tell anyone that we’re saved – it should be evident in our lives.

APPLICATION: In our Scripture today, Matthew relates that John the Baptist had been baptizing a lot of people. So one could only imagine that if they had not been baptized, then something must really be wrong with them. In the case of the religious leaders, John could tell that, to the crowd, they could easily have passed as ‘worthy of baptism’ because of their kinship to Abraham. However friends, is this not a good reminder for us? Some church attendees might tell you that their father was a pastor back in some church many years ago, so they are sure that they have a reserved place in heaven. Some might point to their regular attendance at your church for several decades, and all of the money that they gave for certain projects, so surely they are right ‘up there’ with the best of saints in your church. But the interesting thing that John points out to the religious leaders is that a repentant heart is what really matters. Some of you might wonder what exactly that would consist of, but I believe that this particular version of the Bible spells that out for you, for a repentant heart demonstrates a new behavior – meaning that it’s different to the behavior you once demonstrated in your life. Now your new behavior clearly comes from a heart that has been impacted and changed by its original designer and maker, Jesus Christ! Further, this changed heart will also show evidence of a conscious decision to stay away from sin. This includes your efforts to stay away from the people and places that once caused you to sin. Persistent study of God’s Word is critical, so that you could have a clear message from Him about what He consider ‘sin’, even though it might look like holiness to others. These changed attitudes, actions, thoughts and words are called ‘fruit’ by John, because He wanted us to understand that a tree, or a heart, built on the good things of Christ, will produce fruit/actions/words/attitudes that resemble the One who is feeding your tree/heart. Therefore, when there is no evidence that you are allowing God to ‘feed’ you, John declared that you will not survive, or reach eternity with Christ. Friends, as we live out everything that God has buried deep into our hearts, He will receive glory from those blessed by those ‘fruit’ that we produce. When we are merely following the crowd, or living a life of traditional church attendance, or imitating what other Christians do, and we have not sought personal forgiveness from God, and received a repentant, or changed heart – one just like His, then like the Pharisees and Sadducees, we are living on a slippery slope – one that can only lead all the way down to Hell. A New Year is a perfect time to seek a new heart – a repentant and changed heart that reflects the Master who you’ve invited to be your Lord. Please consider reading on to the Footnote for more information on how you might go about this transformation. Perhaps 2019 might be the year that you might seek baptism – a genuine one that celebrates a truly repentant heart!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for salvation, and thank You for the message expressed through baptism. Please touch the hearts of all those that will read this devotional, especially those who imitate a Christian life, but have not accepted the One who gives a repentant heart so that we might take on His attributes and bear His fruit. True Christianity comes from a repentant heart, one filled with Jesus Christ. Bearing ‘fruit’, can only happen if the True Vine (Jesus) has taken up residence inside of us. Lord, for each reader today, I pray that it may be so. 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!

A Changed Heart

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-06-29
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 3:7-9 (MSG)

Text:

7-9 When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life that must change, not your skin. And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as ‘father.’ Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there—children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.”
OBSERVATION:
It was becoming quite a popular thing for people to go down to the river and be baptized by John the Baptist, and John quickly recognized that it was becoming quite the popular thing for folk to do in following the crowd. John felt an obligation to Jesus Christ to make sure that this was not becoming a popularity thing but rather one that followed the teachings of Jesus. We will explore how applicable this is to us today….
APPLICATION:
As a very young child, my daughter saw a friend baptized, and for weeks afterwards she tried to convince her mom and I on why she should be baptized. I believe that there may be lots of younger people that want the attention of parents, Bible School teachers and  friends, or they may run to the pastor without fully understanding the purpose of baptism. There are others that are willing to take this step as a way to get mom, spouse, or perhaps a friend who had been witnessing to them, off their back. In our Scripture reading today we can see how John addressed this, and I’m sure we could follow his example on how to handle similar questions by others. However, we must feel comfortable sharing this in our own words. May I encourage you to click on the Scripture link above and read what Paul taught on this? The main emphasis is that the prospective candidate can clearly tell you how they were Spiritually saved, and also how Jesus has changed their way of living, because now they are about to show witness to the church at large and the world, that there has been a mega change in their life since inviting Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. The candidate must know clearly that baptism has no saving grace, but is scriptural because it demonstrates to the world an inward decision that you made at some point in your life. Friends, in following the commands of Jesus, I pray that you will demonstrate a full understanding of what He demands of you in His Word and not just follow the crowd as the popular thing to do, otherwise God may send another ‘John’ to rebuke you, like he did in this scripture. I encourage you to be brave in declaring to the world that you are a child of the King and that you don’t mind anyone knowing that. Being ashamed of the Lord here on earth might be reason for Jesus to disclaim you before His Father, according to His words in Scripture. If you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus, then baptism is a mockery to the church and you are telling the world a lie. However, baptism is encouraged for those who have sincerely surrendered their heart and life to Jesus. 
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You know how much we love baptismal services, because as a church, we celebrate with the candidates the decisions that have been made, and the miraculous change that God has made in their lives! It re-enforces the necessity for the church and personal evangelism. It confirms Your work dear Lord, because only You could truly touch and change broken and sinful lives. May we continue to be about Your work oh Lord, and may You continue to touch the hearts of those that are in need of a Savior. We long to celebrate baptism often as a means of celebrating the wondrous works of our Lord. To You we give hearts filled with glory, honor and praise for all that You do in the center of our family, friends and loved ones. 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!

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