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

Posts tagged ‘Believers’

Key Responsibilities for the Christian

Tuesday, 2019-07-30

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14-15
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 14 Try to stay out of all quarrels, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.

OBSERVATION: We hear a lot about family divisions, church splits, and of course divorces, but in God’s Word He tells us that we are to stay away from quarrels and always seek to live holy lives before the Lord. Oh, and while aiming for that perfection, make sure that no one in your group wanders away from God’s best blessing, and creates a point of bitterness, envy, distrust, that may therefore cause others to avoid the rich blessings of the Lord.

APPLICATION: In life, we hear a lot about how people look out for themselves – how they earn as much money as they possibly could, so that they could have everything they desire, and go places that others barely think of. This may prove to be a successful path for some, while for others the same path may lead them into selfish attitudes, who may think that they worked so hard, so that they could make it to the top, and they deserve everything that they have, so that they could enjoy travel and the other joys of life that they have dreamed of over the years. Very successful people, you might say, for they set their goals and worked hard to achieve them. I will not try to disagree with how you might feel about your friends that you identified in my description above, but as a Brother in Christ I feel compelled to draw your attention to what the Scripture demands of us individually, in hopes that we will never find ourselves in that ‘selfish’ corner. I believe that God created us to be successful, but first and foremost, I believe that God created us in His own image, so that we might never lose sight of our creator. In fact, I believe that He has built into us a deep desire to obey and imitate Him, and to even worship Him as our Creator. These things will cause us to always remember Him as our Father. When we place ourselves in the position of the created one, the worshiper and the obedient servant, why do you suppose that we would desire anything that displeases our Master and Lord? Friends, this whole devotional can be summed up in short by admonishing you to: Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior; worship Him in humility as your Lord; Obey His every command; follow in His footsteps, guided by His Word, so that you may act, look and sound just like Him to a lost and dying world. When you do this my friend, you are bound to avoid the things He avoided, live the way He lived, and desire the ‘good life’ for others around you, just the way that He chose you and called you unto Himself. I love the way that verse 15 admonishes us to feel secure in our relationship with the Lord, and to show proof of our oneness with God by looking out for our neighbor – those around us, just like He did with us. If our neighbors neglect the Lord, or if Satan tempts them in ways that affect their good standing, then we had best look at supporting them and encouraging them, before their negativity, hatred or other hideous actions start to affect us. Furthermore, when that neighbor hurts, we should also hurt and we should be drawn to help them turn their life around. So yes, we must stay in close relationship with God so that we might mirror His goodness here on this earth, BUT we also have a responsibility to look on and help our neighbor as well. I trust that you will make every effort to help your neighbor along this tough road of life, just like God held out His hand and pulled you up from the sin that held you back.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole. Thank You Lord for giving to me, thy great salvation so rich and free! Now I beg You Lord, to help my readers and I to not only boast in that oneness with You, but to share that love, and Your salvation, with all those around us – our neighbors. People need the Lord, amen? May they see our Savior so prevalent in our lives that they will want to know Him, accept Him and serve Him the rest of their 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!

A Test of your Belief System

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-04-10
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 28:7-8 (NLT)

Text:

7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.
OBSERVATION:
The women referred to in verse 8 witnessed a second earthquake in just 3 days, for they were at the cross when Jesus died and the first one occurred, now as they arrived at the tomb to check on the body of Jesus, another earthquake occurred as He arose from the dead. Ordinarily this would put folk in a panic, but these ladies waited for the message from the angel, then ran to give the message to the disciples!
APPLICATION:
There were three types of hearers in this resurrection story:

  • Believers – The women heard what the angel said, and quickly obeyed the command to go and tell the disciples. Most of the disciples believed the women, even though they weren’t present to witness the angel or his message. This group are like Christians today who believe on the Son of God, even though they have never seen Him in person;
  • Doubters – Some of the disciples heard the women, but doubted that Jesus could be alive. The chief priest and leaders doubted what the guards told them, but yet they put a plan in place to have the guards lie about what really happened, and instead tell a lie to cover up the miracle that happened before their very eyes. This group reminds me of those today who hear a very convicting testimony, but choose to ignore the call of Christ on their life without a personal experience or miracle;
  • Unbelievers – There were some who heard and didn’t believe. They didn’t want to believe, because they had rejected who Jesus was when He was alive, and they wanted to continue rejecting Him even after hearing that He was alive. This group were much like those who refuse to hear the Word of God today. They are close minded even when presented with facts from eyewitnesses.

Friends, as you celebrate this Easter season, I pray that in all honesty, your eyes will be opened to placing yourself in one of these categories. My prayer is that God will convict you to move up the above list in your belief and conviction system, and that you will be open to the gospel message one more time. Although Jesus arose from the grave many years ago, I pray that He will truly come alive in your life this year!

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, the Bible speaks very clearly about Your death and resurrection, and from eyewitnesses, the evidence is clear that You are alive! Thank You Father for the evidence of Your mighty works in my life – clear evidence of a heavenly Father who loves me and, through Your precious Son, prepared a way for me to approach You as my Father! Lord, may my experience with You be such that others may see You and have a greater desire to know You better, and this is my prayer in deepest sincerity, 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!

Lessons From Zechariah

Friday, 2016-12-09

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 1:13; 18; 24

Bible Text: 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”

23 When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home.
Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that we read over the Christmas Story so quickly each year that there are aspects of the story that do not get the attention it deserves. For example, look at these two aspects of Zechariah’s part in this story and let’s see together what we can learn from him. In the link for the Bible Reference above, I have given you a few surrounding verses that will give you the context from which I have taken the verses for my text. Here are two things that caught my attention, because it quickly reminded me of where we might be in our relationship with God  even today:

  1. Our prayers of expectancy – Our church prayer meetings are probably one of the least attended services that we have at our church, and I don’t believe we are that different to most churches today. However, I believe that most churches will acknowledge that they are a people of prayer! Regardless, let’s look at the experience by Zechariah: The angel revealed that this child of God was praying for a long time that his wife might bear a child. In verse 25 of this chapter, we are told by Elizabeth, that she felt somewhat disgraced in not having borne a child up to this stage in her life. So picture Zechariah approaching the incense altar, as he probably had done many times before, yet this time something was different, for there was an angel standing next to the altar. Knowing that he was in the temple all alone, yet to hear this heavenly being speak to him, and to speak specifically about an answer to a prayer item that he had pleaded before God on many occasions for, must have in itself be astonishing for Zechariah. But all of the same human feelings that we have today, came through in Zechariah, for he doubted. He just couldn’t believe that God was actually answering his prayer at a time like this, in he and his wife’s old age. Friends, why do we, like Zechariah, spend so much time in prayer, pleading our case before a holy and all-powerful God, yet never expecting our prayers to be answered? It’s like we pray hoping the best, but expecting the same old, same old – business as usual – everything remains unchanged. That truly is not the kind of God that we pray to friends? Why would our answer to prayer be any less of an expectation, when we consider all of the other miraculous things that God has shown to us through His Word, and that we may have been blessed to see by our ancestors of faith? Really, praise should be on our lips every day friends, for our almighty God answers our prayers every day. We may struggle to understand why a most powerful and awesome God would answer our prayers slightly different to the way we placed our order, but let’s remember that God knows what we need, if we need it, and when we need it. Let’s let Him be God, as we try harder to perfect our position as humble and obedient servants!
  2. Our dedication to the Lord’s work – Notice in verse 23 that even after this miraculous experience with the angel, and the awesome news delivered to Zechariah in the temple, yet he stayed on and finished up his week of service in the temple! Oh my, how many of us would ever have done that? Imagine an angel of God telling you that your blind son, whom you have been praying for his eyesight ever since birth, can now see. Can you even imagine staying the rest of the week to finish up your work around the church, or finish up the week of revival services you started? Of course with all of the new communication tools and devices at our disposal today, we would immediately get in touch with home-base to validate what thought we heard the angel say to us, but what if the angel’s message told you to wait until you returned home to see for yourself. What would you do with yourself friend? I believe there would be lots of doubt, but yet you would be very anxious to speak with your son to see for yourself if this was truly a message from God. Why do you suppose God ever answers our prayers, when there’s so much doubt by us even from the time our prayers leave our mouth?

May I encourage you, especially at this Christmas time, to look a little deeper into the scripture and see what God might want to say to You through His Word? Friends, we especially need folk with Zechariah’s dedication around our churches showing us that we don’t step aside from our God-given responsibilities for every little hiccup. We still need our Elizabeth’s who will go straight to rejoicing when they hear of miracles, even if they sound super impossible to her. Look for values in the other characters that we hear about at Christmas and see what God might be teaching you through their story, won’t you? 

Prayer

Father, Christmas-time is often a time that we remember all that You gave to us through Your Son, Jesus Christ. However, stories like this one today has helped us to examine the character of others that You involved in this wonder gift that You blessed us with. Please continue to teach us to pray in great expectancy, and to praise You for the answers that You bless us with every time. We are reminded that often we pray for the benefit of others, but not necessarily ready to accept the answer that You might give in return. Zechariah was a humble man who prayed and prayed for his dear wife, yet was challenged to believe that You really answered his prayer at such an unusual time in his life. Lord, we have every reason to believe that You hear our prayers and You answer us every time in ways that You see best at that particular time. We were reminded just yesterday in our study, that You will answer our prayers not only when it is best for us, but at a time when the glory for the answer will be directed to You, the only possible explanation or source of the answer. Please continue to work on our patience to wait on You. Yes, ask as directed in Your Word, but always be willing to wait for Your answers. Lord, You are most awesome in every way, and I thank You for who You are! 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!

Patience Without Limit

The Holy Bible (New Century Version – 1 Timothy 1:15-16): 15 What I say is true, and you should fully accept it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. 16 But I was given mercy so that in me, the worst of all sinners, Christ Jesus could show that he has patience without limit. His patience with me made me an example for those who would believe in him and have life forever.

Thoughts: I believe that these verses speak very loudly to both the believer in Jesus Christ, and to the non-believer (if they would read and accept the written Word of God).

To the believer: I believe that Paul is helping his associate, Timothy, know that he needn’t go into ministering and causing folk to believe that he is superior in faith to them. To us (believers), I believe that God wanted Paul to get across to us that sin is sin, and where God brought us from is no better than where we see those that we are witnessing, or ministering to. However, we are reminded that because of the grace of our Lord Jesus, He looked down in mercy, and because of our separation from God, our unholy lives bore no resemblance to His, however in mercy He heard our prayer, forgave us of our sin and crowned us as children of the King of all kings. As we constantly remind ourselves of where we came from, friends we will better identify with the needs of the unsaved, and we can more readily share with them the kind of loving, merciful, forgiving God that we are recommending to them. Just as Paul shared, we are plain evidence of God’s love and mercy, and we were no more special than the person we are witnessing to, other than we humbled ourselves and surrendered to His call. We gave up that old life and now stand as princes and princesses of the greatest King, only God and Creator, Jesus the only Son of God! Praise be the name of the Lord forever!

To the unbeliever: I believe it is evident that God wanted Paul to make it clear that the same power is available to the unbeliever today that saved Paul, a sinner who was feared by the church because of his undying desire to persecute the church and destroy anything or anyone who claimed the name of the Lord. Yes, in the eyes of many you may be considered a very bad person, but God sees you as His creation, one for whom He allowed His only Son to die on a cruel cross, and one for whom God loves way too much to see you die and go to Hell. Friend, I can safely and accurately tell you this from my personal experience, because I realized some 40 years ago that I needed Christ, and He looked down in love and accepted my plea for forgiveness and oneness with Him. He did it for me, for Paul, and I have every confidence that He will do it for you also friend. Jesus is patiently waiting for your word, what will it be today? Remember, no word at all means ‘No’, and I believe that anyone led to read this devotional today will not make that kind of decision! May God deal gently, but boldly in your heart today, is my sincere and humble prayer for you friend …. because I know that God loves you, and so do I!

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for going to such an extreme to show Your unswerving love for me and all of mankind. Please help me to never forget where You brought me from, in hopes that I can better identify with those that might be far away from You today. I am concerned for my family, friends, coworkers and church attendees who still have not accepted You as Lord, because I firmly believe that Your return is not only eminent, but will happen at any time. I want to meet around Your throne with all my family and friends present. I plead with You today to please melt their hardened hearts and create a desire in them to fully surrender their lives to You, like Paul did and like I and many others have already done. May this be the day of salvation for them today, please, dear Lord. May the unsaved see Your mercy and grace in action today through the many miracles You perform each day in and around us. I bring my praises, these petitions and awesome thanksgiving in the name of the only Savior, Jesus my Lord, 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 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 blogger.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!

Condition Yourself For Seeing Jesus!

The Bible – New Living Translation

1 Corinthians 9:24–27

24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

Thoughts:

I believe that the best way to relate to someone is to speak with them in terms that they can identify with. If speaking to a carpenter, speak in terms of what little you understand about carpentry. Paul was speaking to a church that lived and breathed sports, because the Isthmian Games (similar to the Olympic Games today) took place in a nearby town every two or three years, so they understood sports and the idea of conditioning to win a race. We should keep this in mind when speaking with folk about the Lord. In order to build a rapport with someone, a mechanic shouldn’t go to a carpenter talking about engine parts and mechanic work, but rather, make it a point to speak more about the building trade. The analogy used by Paul is very important to us today friends. If we are preparing our souls for heaven, then we must first of all know the game master. All the studying you can muster up will not open the doors of heaven to you. Jesus said in His Word that there is only one way to get into heaven: (a) admit that you are a sinner and that you need a Savior; (b) believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that He died so that You might be saved; and (c) confess your sins to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and to accept you as His child. This is equivalent to being accepted into the games. Now to condition yourself in the Christian life you are to read up as much as you can on what God expects from you. Friend, this is all contained in the Bible, so make this your game book. Look into it daily so that you may strengthen your walk with the Lord. This will also grow you into the strong, conditioned child of the King that He expects. You see, He wants you to duplicate His life here on this earth so that others might see Him when they see and hear you. Winning the prize for the Christian, is to be present with the Lord when we are called away from this life (when we die). We want to be so conditioned, that when we stand before our King on that Day of Judgment, He will recognize us as one of His and that He will look at us and through a smile He would say “Well done, you have been a good and faithful servant”. Oh what a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see!!!! So friend, the big challenge for you today is: Do You know my Lord in a personal, relational way? And if you do, are you conditioning your spiritual life daily, so that you will be ready for the day you will see Him face to face? Please waste no time in doing this, I want to see you there when I look around for you in heaven! It will be worth it all!

Prayer:

Father, thank You for providing the Rule Book for us, the ‘Coaching Book’, in fact the Book that not only leads us to You, but also helps us to condition our lives into something that is pleasing to You. Thank You for the prize you have promised us at the end of the race that we call ‘life’. You never said we would not have challenges while living this life, but praise God You have promised a home eternally with You at the end of this life for all who have accepted You as Lord and conditioned themselves to live as Your child here on this earth. As a child of Yours, we can enjoy even the most challenging days knowing that we have a prize ahead that includes living with You, walking with You, talking with You and listening to Your comforting and loving words throughout eternity! Please help us to daily condition our lives with Your Word – the play book designed by You for Your children that help us to be all that You meant for us to be while still being here on this earth. Thank You Lord for being my Savior, my Redeemer and my soon coming King! I ask all this, and praise You, in the wonderful name of Jesus, AMEN!

NOTE: 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 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.

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