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

Posts tagged ‘children’

Humility and Dependence

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-02-24
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 18:2–5 (NCV)

Text:

2 Jesus called a little child to him and stood the child before his followers. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you must change and become like little children. Otherwise, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child.
5 “Whoever accepts a child in my name accepts me.

OBSERVATION:
At the very time that the disciples thought to get the children out of their way, Jesus called them to Himself and illustrated the characteristics of a child that mankind should learn from. We will look at ways to apply these principles…
APPLICATION:
In life, parents and other family members try so hard to teach young children how to be just like them – in words (manners) and in actions (smiles and in looking at you). Isn’t that ironic, for Jesus taught that we (adults) should really learn a thing or two from children also! Some translations declare Jesus as saying that unless you become like a little child. This version today reads that we must change (from our normal, worldly character) to that of a child. Think about it friends, as adults we are taught to avoid strangers – is there ever a stranger in a young child’s eyes? As an adult we are taught to be careful who we show affection towards – I believe that a child will love on anyone, in any place, at any time, no matter who’s in the audience; As an adult our biggest objective is to become independent, even from God at times, as we will always try to do everything ourselves first, and only turn to God if we need help – as a child they are totally dependent, and has no qualms about it, for they will cry or yell for what they want; Adults are taught to trust no one, because everyone is out to get them – a child will jump from a wall into the arms of a parent or caretaker without a second thought, and they will depend on them for food, shelter or other provisions without ever questioning how, or why. Friends, it always takes a humble spirit to accept the fact that you need someone to help you, yes even to acknowledge that you need the help of God in your everyday decisions, provisions and direction of life itself. I believe that God loves His children passionately and wants so badly to help us achieve the best out of life. In fact, I believe that He even wants to fill us with His divine power to be duplicates of himself in ministering to the needs of others. However, God also knows that it would not be good for us to pollute the world with more of our sinful ways, so He wants us to draw close to Him and allow Him to control our lives, so that we might become one with Him. In this way, with Christ in us, as we share with others, we will actually allow Christ to share His love through us. How is it with you friend? Do you know my Jesus? Have you surrendered your life to His control, like a child? While I would suggest that you click on the link below ‘To Know Jesus’ and read the scripture references included, I would also offer my willingness to pray with you, if needed or desired. Please drop me a quick note and allow me to be your prayer partner.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for being God, and thank You for being our heavenly Father. Thank You for caring for even adults, especially those who think that they have everything worked out on their own. For us to accept Your help, we must become like a child again – with outstretched arms and hearts. Please continue to work with us on this Jesus, so that we might always be willing to humble ourselves and look to You for help, for guidance, for reassurance, for direction, and for a character that mirrors You in every way. No matter how independent we may feel like we are, others clearly recognize when You are missing. We want to be effective witnesses and ambassadors for You Lord, please help us to always humble ourselves like a child and accept the help that You lovingly offer. 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!

Give It Up, Friend!

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 1 John 3:16-18

Today’s Bible Text: We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

The Bible Translation: New Living Translation

My Take Away: I’m sure that I am slower than most, therefore the reason that I overlooked exactly the point that God was trying to get across to us in this passage today! So I wanted to share with you how I feel like God revealed Himself to me, and the instructions He made clear to me. The first part of verse 16 is a given, in that we have always been taught that what Jesus did on the cross was not a win for the king and his people that ordered the crucifixion of our Lord, but Jesus went to the cross in total obedience to His Father, in total love for us. John 3:16 is probably the best known verse in the Bible, because it explains the love of Jesus in dying for every sinner, and the everlasting hope offered as a result of that sacrifice. Now, back to verses 17 & 18 of our highlighted verses today, we (Christ’s followers) are challenged to do the same thing for our fellow man. Go to the cross for another, you might ask? No, although we may not be forced to give up our life, we certainly might be called on to volunteer our time to help someone who is incapable of helping themselves. OR, someone that might be hungry when we have more than enough to sacrifice our next meal to give it to them. OR, perhaps another nation is unable or unwilling to fully care for their orphans, and even though we may not be able to feed them all for a week, perhaps we could join or support a local missions group who will go and work around the orphanage so that monies given to the orphanage can be used to better feed or clothe the orphans. OR, if called on to give financially to those in need, perhaps we can give of our excess, or sacrifice the money we would ordinarily spend on items we could easily do without. Think about it friend, when we consider our ‘life’ we generally consider all those things that make it worthwhile for us to get up each morning, or to keep on slaving away at work each day. How much of that are you willing to give up for the sake of a person in need? I believe we had best be very careful to not find excuses when God asks us to be His hands and His feet, and to minister in His name. Let us always remember that He gave it all so that we might have life eternally in heaven. Anything we are challenged with should be in the light of that sacrifice, and done with the love of that sacrifice. Only then will an unbeliever truly understand the love of our Savior that we might tell them about.

Prayer: Lord, please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You and not on our circumstances. Please help us to give, because You first sacrificed everything as You gave it all for us. Please help us to stop thinking so selfishly about the benefits of our greed and finding so many excuses about all that we could give to others, if only we would deal with our selfishness and give up the wants of self gratification. Forgive us Lord for being inconsiderate of the needs of others, especially while we gloat in the excess blessings that You have showered on us. Please teach us to follow Your ways, even when it causes us to sacrifice. Your love oh Lord, reaches to the heavens. May Your love be evident in everything we do or say, so that You may be glorified here on earth. I ask these things in the precious, holy, sacrificial name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, 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 http://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!

Responsibilities of Christian Families

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 3:18-21): 18 A wife must put her husband first. This is her duty as a follower of the Lord. 19 A husband must love his wife and not abuse her. 20 Children must always obey their parents. This pleases the Lord. 21 Parents, don’t be hard on your children. If you are, they might give up.

Thoughts: Friends, I believe that what we are seeing in our world today in broken marriages, broken families, criminally minded children, and unconcern one for another, are results from a breakdown in our individual Godly responsibilities. Think about it. God created us, gave His chosen messengers His words to include in a book blessed and ordained by Him, the Bible, so that we might have instructions on how to live according to His divine nature and intent. Because of the lusts of this world, we have been so attracted to it, that we have laid aside our Bibles to catch dust. In the name of women’s lib, our wives have been taught to do their own thing and leave the ideas of God and their ‘old’ man behind. Our husbands have been so attracted to hunting, night-clubbing, and ‘loose’ women that they have disrespected their wives, abused them verbally and, through their absence, wives have totally lost respect for them. We have brought children into this sinful, ungodly environment and of course, they have automatically learned to disrespect their parents and anyone else that crosses their path. Do I need to say what is required to overcome this current predicament friends? I believe it is obvious. We need to return to God and follow His Word and His plan. In several areas of my study this morning God reminded me that HE is still God, and that without Him there is no other. We absolutely cannot do this ‘life’ thing without Him guiding us, directing us, and giving us strength and boldness to live according to His design and plan. This is not accomplished through a casual visit to church one weekend a month or less. To become the best employee you can be, you are attentive to all that your employer demands through many hours each day. It is plain to see that we must also be careful to stay attuned to what God desires for our lives, and this requires daily communication with Him – in prayer, and in His Word. Study the character of the Maker of your life friend. He wants you to grow up being just like Him! Listen to this song that speaks well to our position with God and it also gives an image of how important it is for our children to see the right example in us – Lord, I want to be just like You! You will be blessed, I assure you! It is time that this old world be impacted by genuine Christians like you and I friend. Are you on board?

Prayer: Lord, the evidence of our disobedience to Your will and call for the family structure is all around us in this world where Satan has touched the lives of so many with temptations, disrespect, selfishness, and disobedience to the things of Christ. Please Lord, touch us once again. Draw us closer to You than ever before. Melt our hardened hearts and teach us Your will. Remind us, as You did in this passage today, that it’s not about us, but only because of You, and only in You that we find the strength and courage to be like You. Next to You, our families are the next most important thing to our survival here on earth. Please help us to treat each other in ways that prove that statement, and make it evident to our family members and all others who look to us as an example of what Christianity is all about. Touch us Lord once again today. Only You can melt a hardened heart, so we place our faith and trust in You alone, and I ask this believing, and in the name of Jesus my Lord, in thanksgiving, 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!

Spirit-Guided Relationships – Children

The Holy Bible

Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 6:1-3)

Thoughts:

Over the past two days I have shared with you some thoughts about the preceding verses that spoke to wives and then to husbands. One of the primary blessings that result from happily married couples is the gift of a child, therefore Paul also addressed the responsibility of children. In the case of wives and husbands, God gave us responsibility to one another and to Him. In the case of children, God attached a bonus to the command He gave to them. The command is that children, (several Bible translations actually delineate that this is addressed to Christian children) are to honor their parents by obeying them. Friends, I am convinced that there are benefits to Christian men/husbands/fathers that honor God by obeying Him, that there are benefits to women/wives/mothers that honor God through His command to honor and obey their husbands, and I believe that children who honor and obey these type parents are bound to benefit in many ways, as promised in God’s Word. So why is this, you might ask? Well, if God has already led and disciplined the parents, I would say it only makes sense for parents to pass that teaching and experience on to their children. Will children be tempted to ‘do their own thing’? I believe that we all have a free will that God has blessed us with. However, when our minds, and our lives have been built around certain disciplines, and when parents have led by example of what God has taught them, then variances to our ‘normal’ lifestyle and upbringing will be very limited. Another reinforcement to children is that as they mature into adults, they will also become responsible to God under the guidance given earlier to wives and husbands. Friends, I believe that you might understand by now that family relationships are interwoven with God and with each other. We have responsibility to each other and to God. As we exit this year of 2014, examine your relationship with your family and with God. Use the fresh start of a New Year to recommit to a fresh start in your family relationships and your relationship with God. With God’s help, this can be the best year of your life, friend! It’s up to you!

Prayer:

Father, we see on the news and hear from our friends where there are so many deficiencies in families today. This is very evident from our crime rates, and from our family stresses that often result in heart attacks and premature deaths. Please use this last day of 2014 to speak to the hearts of Your children – mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. The family structure was built by You and around all that You stand for and teach through Your Word. Please guide us unto all Truth so that we may set self aside and quit trying to do things ‘our way’. Instead, Father I plead with You that You might speak loudly and clearly to us, Your children, to be better representatives of Yours. I believe that this will not only bring honor to Yourself, but also open the doors of heaven and its many blessings upon our families. I would love for us to see the need for fewer law enforcement officials in 2015, because of the serious responsibility taken by me, and Your other dear children here on earth. I know that we can only accomplish this awesome task with Your help dear Lord, so as we lay ourselves at Your feet, may You pick us up, strengthen us and guide us in the way we should go, that ultimately brings praise and worship to You oh King. I love You Lord, and I thank You for Your blessings in 2014, while still stressing the sincere need for You in 2015. Into Your hands I commit my life to You for all that You will accomplish through me. Please be a blessing to my readers as they acknowledge Your Word today and make their own commitments to be more committed servants in the coming year. I ask this in the name of Jesus, and believing that He alone can direct our path today and in 2015, 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!

Think about your ‘Marker’

Scripture: Genesis 33-35 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

14 Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil.15 And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.   Gen 35:14-15 (NLT)

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

Jacob went to Bethel because he was reminded of how God revealed Himself to him there when he originally escaped from his brother Esau over 20 years earlier. While there the second time, God gave Jacob a new name, Israel, gave him renewed strength to repopulate the land, and gave him much of the land that He (God) had once given to Abraham and Isaac. I got the impression that God was giving Jacob/Israel a new beginning, and telling him “Now go and get busy for me”. We just celebrated the beginning of a New Year. It started much like the old year ended, without much ado. It sure would have been nice to, and probably is not too late to, recommit ourselves to God as His children looking to restart our respective ministries and seek God’s direction for what He would have us do this year with all that He has blessed us with. I believe that if each of us reflect on the blessings that God has showered on us over the past year, then plant a marker to remind us of those blessings, then in all earnest seek to be involved in God’s direction for more successes in 2011, our churches would not be able to contain the overflow of His blessings. I feel like we need to set aside our personal agendas and ‘business as usual’ attitudes, and be willing to let God work mightily through us. We know the awesome spiritual needs of our community, and we believe that we know the God who holds all the answers to all of life’s problems and shortcomings. This is the same God that we, as Christians, have accepted as our King. Let’s let go of our selfish desires and let God perform miracles in and through us, so that His work can be accomplished in our community.   

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

Praise be to God for His mighty hand and for all that He does for me each and every day. In being reminded of how You worked in the past dear God, I pray that You will again work in and through me and my church, and the churches of my community. There is no reason for us to have lost people in this community, or sinful acts a part of our neighborhood, for You are more powerful than anything or anyone else that we know. You are bigger than all these problems and challenges that we see, and You hold the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. I pray that You will find me faithful. I pray that You will find all those that worship You each week around Avon Park, Florida, willing and ready to bow before You, recognize Your Lordship and Your Kingship and that we will get off our personal thrones and allow You to be God, while we, as Your humble servants, stand ready to let You use us to do greater things for the Kingdom than we ever thought possible. May this be a year that we will look on as a ‘marker’ that future generations will come back to spiritually when they want to be reminded of Your power and move on a people and a community. Begin a renewed work in me, dear Lord, is my humble prayer.

Love others without judging them

Scripture: Matthew 7 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matt 7:1-2 (NLT)

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

I have heard this passage read many times before, but today God really spoke to me through the last sentence. I know that I could be way too critical of others and that I tend to judge others, or draw conclusions on what their intentions may have been, but in this passage God reminds me that I have enough concerns of my own to worry about, why become so critical of others. After all, I will be judged by the same degree that I judge others, and I must be way too judgmental of others, because I sure do feel judged and/or picked on at times. I believe that God will still grant me the wisdom to discern when others are doing wrong, or are in opposition to God’s Word, but I have nothing spiritually to gain by trying to be their judge and tearing them down. Instead, I should be using these opportunities to help them overcome a weakness, or develop a stronger relationship with my Lord, who can help them through whatever challenge they may be facing.

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

Father I believe that You want to see Your children do their very best to represent You while here on this earth. I know that at times I fail miserably at this, but I believe that You’re still working on me and will help me overcome my weaknesses such as mentioned above. Lessons like this tend to keep me humble, and I know that in all things I must be careful to both give You the glory for everything accomplished, and also allow praises for everything to go directly up to You for anything, or anyone, that may have been influenced or blessed through me. Please help me not to judge others, for You are our ultimate Judge. Please help me to love on others and show them that You care for them, even if it appears to me that they are messing up. Thank You Jesus for loving us so much that You tolerate our weaknesses and look for ways to strengthen us in those areas so that Your power and Your love may shine through. You are awesome dear God, thank You!

Obedience that shows our fear of god

Scripture: Genesis 22 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”  Gen 22:12-14 (NLT)

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

Abraham had been an outstanding child of God up to this point, obeying God’s every command and doing what he thought would please God. Yet in verse 1 of this chapter we are told that God tested his faith, and oh what a test! He commanded Abraham to sacrifice his dearly loved son, Isaac. The scripture shares nothing about Abraham questioning God or trying to make any deal with God, he simply followed God’s instructions. Because of his obedience, God intervened and saved Abraham from such a sacrifice. I wonder if we, or if I am obedient enough to God’s instructions that I would do whatever He asked me to do, and secondly, am I obedient enough for God to say, OK you have proven that you truly fear Me. In my opinion, this is the ultimate proof of our love for God and our obedience to Him, when we are willing to follow what He tells us to do no matter what. God loves us so much that He willingly sacrificed His Son, Jesus, and He didn’t hesitate and withdraw at the last moment, like He allowed in the case of Abraham and Isaac. So lessons learned here tells me that God loves me so much that He sacrificed it all. He also loves us so much that He would be willing to step in and save the day for us, His children, when we prove to Him that we truly love and fear Him. Perhaps we will be blessed enough to name the place where we recognized God’s miracle in our life, much like Abraham did in the case of ‘Yahweh-Yireh’!

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

The kind of love that You extend to me is way beyond human comprehension, O Lord. You have shown in Your Word just how loving and kind You were to those before me, and I have every reason to believe that You love me equally as much. May I be bold enough, obedient enough, honest enough and committed enough to show my love and respect in all that You command of me. Abraham was obedient even to the extent that he was willing to sacrifice his greatly loved son. May I be obedient to Your voice today dear God!

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