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

Posts tagged ‘BFC’

THE Most Important Commandment

Wednesday, 2019-09-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 22:36-40
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

APPLICATION:  Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two very carefully:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. To consider this being a priority, means that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very innermost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more and more, or ways to love Him better and better, than anything else.
2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is prideful, and could easily lead to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.
Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought ‘yes’, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish that day! Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and that You display ‘Love’ in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, 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!

Needs – Through God’s Eyes

Tuesday, 2019-09-17

Bible Reference: Matthew 20:29-32
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  29 As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. 30 Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?”

OBSERVATION: I’m sure there are others like me, who glance right over something that I am searching for, only to be told that if it was a snake it would have bitten me!! But how often do we do that in life? We want Jesus to help us be faithful servants who care about everything that He cares about, yet we will turn a blind eye to the needs of others that we pass by every day. Jesus shows us in this Scripture today that He cares about each of us, and about the things that concern us. Meditate with me, with these things in mind.

APPLICATION:  We may never care to acknowledge this, but in spite of us being one of the smartest generations that ever lived, yet we are so desensitized to the needs of mankind. Unfortunately, probably more desensitized than ever before. Let’s look at the scenario in our scripture reading. Here are two blind men who had hoped that if they could only get the attention of Jesus as He passed by them, then perhaps they too might stand a chance of being blessed, or healed by Him, especially in light of all the other miracles they had heard about Him performing. Notice ‘us’ though; for the crowds looked at these men from the lens of mankind, you know, where we tend to look at helpless people as just standing in our way. After all who ever heard about a blind man receiving back his sight. I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke to me through this and challenged me to think about those that I might brush over during my daily path thinking that surely they don’t stand a chance of getting the Master’s attention, or His healing, from the kinds of issues they are dealing with. You know the kind that we have placed inside a box of impossibility. These blind men were rejected by society, as there is no indication that the crowd tried to help them in any way to achieve the position they desired that would place them in the path of Jesus. I believe that we are so afraid of being taken advantage of, or pestered by beggars asking for something that we feel we have worked so hard for, earned, or just deserve? These things often cause us to steer clear of people who seem really ‘needy’ in our eyes. In fact, we tend to take on the role of God and decide whether they deserve help or not. It made me think of whether we might also be guilty of this in our churches. How often do we ‘church folk’ pass over ordinary folk looking for a place where they would be accepted – a place with ‘real’ people who remind them of what they have always heard about Jesus Christ? Ever stopped to think that one of them that we tend to leave along the wayside of life could actually be Jesus himself, stopping in to check us out and see how receptive we would be to Him being in our midst, or to see how welcoming we would be to that Brother who looks slightly different to us? The disciples brushed away the children who tried to get to Jesus, and He had to correct them. Now the crowd was trying to silence these blind men who were also trying to draw close to Jesus, but Jesus had to demonstrate what we should do in such a scenario. I wonder what Jesus would have to correct us on? Another sermon in this passage of scripture is the phrase I bolded. These men were blind, and I’m sure this would have been obvious, yet Jesus asked what could He do for them! We must be careful to not assume anything about a cripple entering our churches. They may need Jesus in their heart a whole lot more than restored strength, or healing, in their legs. A clean heart filled with Jesus will get you into heaven, while two good legs and a heart without Christ won’t. Friends, let’s learn to be discerning Christians who care about the things that Jesus cares about. To the unbeliever, may I encourage you to not give up on Christianity because of imperfect Christians? Learn to look to Jesus, for He cares for You. If He can use an earthly servant to help you – fantastic! But please don’t allow Satan to use an imperfect example to destroy your joy and your chance to life eternally with the Master of this universe.

PRAYER: Father God, You are awesome beyond anything we deserve, or that we can even imagine. Thank You for looking beyond our faults and seeing our need for You. Thank you for placing opportunities in our path of life to open our eyes and challenge us to a closer and more intimate walk with You. Lord, may our eyes be opened to the needs around us today? May we not be so distracted by sin that we miss opportunities to listen, or to share Your love with those that we come into contact with? Please touch the hearts of those that need You today. May they find You, in spite of the mess ups of those who claim You as Lord. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, and especially in the lives of those who need to accept You as Lord. I ask these things in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, the One who cares for ALL of His precious children. 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!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Man in the Middle

Monday, 2019-09-16

Bible Reference: Luke 23:39-43
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 39 One of the criminals hanging on the cross next to Jesus kept ridiculing him, saying, “What kind of Messiah are you? Save yourself and save us from this death!”
40 The criminal hanging on the other cross rebuked the man, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You’re about to die! 41 We deserve to be condemned, for we’re just being repaid for what we’ve done. But this man—he’s done nothing wrong!”
42 Then he said, “I beg of you, my Lord Jesus, show me grace and take me with you into your everlasting kingdom!”
43 Jesus responded, “I promise you—this very day you will enter paradise with me.”

OBSERVATION: Two criminals about to receive their due sentence for the crimes they were guilty of, yet each dealt with the ‘Man in the Middle’ quite differently. Both recognized Him as God, but their attitudes were totally opposing. We make those same evaluations every day, and because we are impacted differently, we often wind up making totally different decisions about life, based on those impacts. Perhaps we need to meditate together on the thought that God speaks to each of us daily, in some form or fashion, but it’s up to each of us individually how prepared we are to handle that, and how we process those God encounters.

APPLICATION: I am always amazed at the way that one church member will emerge from a church service on a spiritual high, because of the spoken word that day. Yet if you speak with another member who sat just a row behind, they got absolutely nothing from the sermon. One walked away blessed, drawn closer to the Lord, and determined to serve God better in every aspect of life. The other walked away untouched, unchanged, and no closer to God than they were before. This is very similar to one who might sit and read the Word of God. For the one who simply sits and reads the Bible as any other novel, they will search for certain styles of writing, and for a story-line that appeals to them. For the child of God interested in learning more about God, to hearing from Him, and wanting more direction form God so it could be applied to their life, they will seek God first, ask for His direction, and desire that He clearly show them how to apply what they will read. Each reader will walk away having read the Word, but I believe that only one will have discovered the voice of God. Unfortunately in life, we are very much like the two criminals, for some will be ready to fight back, find fault and negativity in everything they encounter, while others look for the good in others, and they look for ways in which God will use fellow humans to confirm His word to us that day. We have no way of determining how each of these criminal started off their day, but we do know that they each realized that their life of sin was now coming to a close through corporal punishment. They also had to deal with a fellow who was about to receive their same punishment, but never committed a crime. What on earth would they do with that? Perhaps one faced the situations of that day just like he did any other day – in anger and total disregard for everyone else. Perhaps the other one finally realized his mistakes and spoke to God that morning, knowing that he had but just a short time left here on earth. Something truly impacted their mindset as they hung there on those crosses waiting for the final bell. The plight of the criminals were extremely similar to ours dear friends, what we do with the Man in the Middle today, will determine what happens to us at the final bell. The criminals knew their ‘Bell’ would be rung that day. We also know that ours could be rung today! Are you ready for it?

PRAYER: Oh for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer’s praise…. The words of a popular old hymn, yet so true for the how I feel today dear God. You have reminded me once again in Your Word, that my attitude and my preparation for eternal life will make the difference in how my day is presented, and what I can expect when my ‘final bell’ is tolled. My desire is to allow You as Lord of my life, and under Your control and with Your awesome power, I would ask that You prepare me for the day ahead where others might see Jesus in every aspect of my life. I acknowledge that I must seek to be blessed, if I expect to be a blessing to others. Lord, have Your awesome will and way in my life today. Please also touch the heart of everyone that stops to meditate on this devotional today. May Your Holy Spirit speak volumes to each one about Your will for their life. 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!

Your Song of Praise

Sunday, 2019-09-15

Bible Reference: Psalm 59:16-17
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 16 But I will sing about your strength.
    I will rejoice in your love every morning.
You have been my place of safety,
    the place I can run to when troubles come.
17 I will sing praises to you, my source of strength.
    You, God, are my place of safety.
    You are the God who loves me!

OBSERVATION: When we’re about to receive thousands of dollars, we could probably assemble an unbelievable great song of praise to God! When our first grandchild is born, our hearts are so filled with the miracle of new birth that words of praise to our God would flow forth uncontrollably from our lips. But what about our song when we reflect on the ups and downs of our week? What about when our marriage is not going well, or when we’re overwhelmed with the stress of people out to ‘get us’? Should those times of praise look any differently? Meditate with me as we think about this.

APPLICATION: It is so easy for us to raise our songs of complaining about our finances; our health; our loved one’s hospitalization; and so on. All I know is, that no matter how hard one might have it, as for me, my situation is at a breaking point, so listen up dear friend as I unload on you!! To the contrary, can you imagine the feeling that must have come over the spies from Saul’s group as they snuck up to David’s house and overheard Him singing praises to his God? Friends, I don’t know about you, but I am very ‘human’ when it comes to stressful situations, similar to the situation David must have been facing at this time in his life where Saul was out to kill him. I become jittery inside, grouchy with those around me, and often become silent (to make sure I don’t say the wrong thing), so would I ever think of making time to glorify God in the middle of my pity party? Highly unlikely! But is it not true that Jesus never fought back, or showed anger, or hatred towards those who set out to harm Him? He knew it was the Father’s will that He should go to the cross, and He was prepared to honor Him in everything ordained by God. Could it be that God places us in certain situations to help us grow closer to Him, or perhaps learn to understand others, or perhaps get that chip off our shoulder? Scripture repeats itself in telling us that ‘in ALL things, give thanks’! Imagine with me for a moment that the same God who blesses us richly each and every day, is the same God that waits for our acknowledgment of His lordship even when things don’t seem to be going the way we expected. He’s in control Brothers and Sisters, so never turn your back on Him. Satan would love nothing more than to temp you with something and than see you fail, or at least falter in your faith. Be strong in the Lord and trust in Him in ALL your ways, my friend! This is a good day to strive for that goal! Prayerfully get before the Master and ask Him to help you make right decisions; read His Word for His answer back to you and the direction you should follow; listen to the spoken Word from Bible Believing pastors; and then be busy about His work. His ways will ultimately lead to a path that brings praise back to the Almighty. So seek my Lord while you are able to, and be obedient to His call. There’s nothing more satisfying in this whole world than to know that you are following the will of God, for this is what He desires of His children seeking to be with Him for eternity!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I am truly reminded today to continue praising You in the good times, but also to never forget to praise You in the storms of life. You never promised us life without challenges, but you assured us that You will be with us at ALL times, and in every circumstance of life. Lord, You know the challenges that we face, and how overwhelmed we become at times. Please help us to always keep our heads up, looking full into the face of the One who loves us beyond compare, and reminding us that You will love us through the good, and the challenging times of life. Thank You for Your unconditional, sacrificial love for us, please help us to love You enough to never question Your ways and Your decisions. Please help those that will read this devotional and may not know you personally, to realize that You’re are every bit as awesome as I have tried to portray in this devotional today. For You are alone are God, and there is no one above or beyond You. 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!

Be Faithful in Following Jesus

Friday, 2019-09-13

Bible Reference: Matthew 4:18-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

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

OBSERVATION: Accepting Jesus because mom pressured you to do so, or because your prospective father-in-law only wants his daughter to marry a believer, would receive a totally different commitment from you, than a personal encounter with God, where He called you to repentance for the way that you have totally ignored His gift of salvation. In our example today from the Scripture, God had a personal encounter with the disciples. I believe that you should also listen closely for the call of God on your life, and that you should quickly respond.

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

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

FOOTNOTE: 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!

Relationship Denials

Thursday, 2019-09-12

Bible Reference: Luke 22:26-60
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 56 A girl noticed Peter sitting in the firelight. Staring at him, she pointed him out and said, “This man is one of Jesus’ disciples!”
57 Peter flatly denied it, saying, “What are you talking about, girl? I don’t know him!”
58 A little while later, someone else spotted Peter and said, “I recognize you. You’re one of his, I know it!”
Peter again said, “I’m not one of his disciples.”
59 About an hour later, someone else identified Peter and insisted he was a disciple of Jesus, saying, “Look at him! He’s from Galilee, just like Jesus. I know he’s one of them.”
60 But Peter was adamant. “Listen, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t you understand? I don’t even know him.” While the words were still in his mouth, the rooster crowed.

OBSERVATION: We are identified and referred to by the people and places that we hang around, and often by the clothes we wear. Imagine a doctor walking around your favorite store in a pair of shorts. Would you ever recognize him? Imagine a charismatic pastor sitting in a waiting room at the hospital in casual clothes calmly and softly chatting with a young lady, would you recognize him? Also, what if you traveled to a country that is unfriendly to the gospel, and the authorities identified you as ‘one of those Christians’. Would you quickly step forward and rejoice that God has answered your prayers? Join me as we meditate on the dilemma of Peter.

APPLICATION: With every good intention, many of us pray that others may see the character and love of Jesus in us, hoping that others might be drawn to Christ because of our testimony. Inside our churches we sing His praises, love on other like believers, and we may even shout ‘Amen’ in agreement to all that the Pastor has to say. All things that the Savior might be proud of, right? But what are we like in our business places? In our business decisions? In our after work parties? Or in our political affiliations? Will the servant girl identify us as ‘one of His’? We might very easily become entrapped in similar challenges with other associations in life. Like Peter, some may be afraid of the consequences that might ensue because of family affiliations, or political affiliations, or others. Friends, I believe that our challenge in this Scripture today is ‘What will we do with Jesus?’. Is He just a good relationship to keep mom, spouse, children and the pastor, happy and off our back? Is He good to know when things are really rough on us – medical challenges; dying relative; a child in trouble with the law; etc. or have you truly accepted Him as your Lord and personal Savior? I pray that you’ve developed such a relationship with Him that you are comforted by His love; His guidance; His wisdom; and His promise of eternity with He and the Father in heaven? Let me suggest that if you feel all of the latter, and you know that your eternity is secure in Him, then may I challenge you today to think about what your answers would be to the questions asked of Peter? For I believe that you will be challenged along the same lines as Peter was, while living this life here on earth. Decide this day whom you will follow, and to whom you will cling to, when challenged by the ungodly and those who are out to get you.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on through every step of this Christian life. Whether in the good times of rejoicing with fellow Christians, or in situations where we are faced with the daggers of the enemy, please give us the boldness to never back down from our association and relationship with You. After all, You bore the embarrassment and the sting of punishment for us while carrying out the plan of Your Father, so that the mean and the wicked of this world might have the means of salvation – union with God the Father. Thank You for Your sacrifice, and thank You for the love shown for us. Please embolden us with Your power and Your strength to never back down from our ties with You. Oh that You would rule and reign in us, until the day You call us home to glory! 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!

Consider Your Form of Betrayal

Wednesday, 2019-09-11

Bible Reference: Luke 22:47-48
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 47 No sooner had he finished speaking when suddenly a mob approached, and right in front of the mob was his disciple Judas. He walked up close to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss. For he had agreed to give the religious leaders a sign, saying, “The one I kiss is the one to seize.” 48 Jesus looked at him with sorrow and said, “A kiss, Judas? Are you really going to betray the Son of Man with a kiss?

OBSERVATION: A story that we’ve read and/or heard many times, yet the Holy Spirit will challenge you each time that you read it again. I bolded a statement that I was challenged with today as I read this Scripture. I trust that as we meditate on this, we might ponder what actions we take individually in betraying, or denying our Lord.

APPLICATION: Betrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. Discovering that someone we trusted has deeply hurt us pulls the reality rug from under us. We might look at Judas and wonder how could he possibly betray his Lord after seeing Him heal the sick; bring the dead back to life; feed the 5,000; show love to the unlovable; and sit down at the table with he and the other 11 disciples. Why Jesus even showed deep humility in washing the disciples’ feet. Yet for a small bag of coins, and a moment of recognition by the religious leaders, Judas escaped the reality of a loving Savior and joined the side of the enemy to crucify Jesus. I couldn’t help but ponder what we would feel like if Jesus looked into our eyes and asked the same question of us. Will you betray me with ______ Ed? Friends, we may not be in the same position as Judas, where we are selling out to the religious leaders, but I’m afraid that there are times that we hide our relationship with the Master. Perhaps in a public setting known for their stand against religious lingo, or Christian practices; Perhaps in the presence of government officials who are bombarded by fellow representatives who frequently speak of the separation of church and state; Perhaps just in a public setting, like a restaurant, where others may steer at you if you pause to give thanks for your food. I believe that anytime we fail to recognize Jesus in all walks of life, or are embarrassed to claim Him as your Lord and Savior, you are betraying the trust that He expects from you. Can you imagine hanging on a cross half naked and beaten to a pulp, because it was His way of displaying His ultimate love for us? Imagine if He would have backed out of that, because we were just not worth the pain it would cause our Lord? How would you feel about Him? Friends, is there anything you wouldn’t do in return for our Savior’s love and the provision of salvation made possible just for us? For Judas, it was a simple, everyday kiss that told the whole story of denial for him. What is it for you?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for never backing down on Your commitment to Your Father. Thank You for always loving us, and Your willingness to even be crucified just for us. Please touch our hearts today with a renewed sense of boldness and love for You. May our commitment to serving You be so strong that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God. Yes, we want to please our friends, please our government leaders, and be a noble citizen, but please give us the strength to never do any of that at the expense of serving You and being true to our commitment in loving You for all eternity. Oh that others may see Your love in us today and want to know You personally, before it’s too late. 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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