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

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

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!

Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?

Monday, 2019-09-09

Bible Reference: Matthew 12:33-37
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  33 A good tree produces only good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. 34 You are a bunch of evil snakes, so how can you say anything good? Your words show what is in your hearts. 35 Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts. 36 I promise you that on the Day of Judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken. 37 On that day they will be told that they are either innocent or guilty because of the things they have said.

OBSERVATION: It happens all too often. Our actions, and the foolishness coming from our lips, has such an impact on those that we associate with each day, that people are confused and uncertain about where we will spend eternity. For what they are seeing is the fruit of what has been produced from ones filled with love, blessings, and a Christ-like character, or they are hearing the same from you as any other non-believer. As we meditate on this today, let’s concentrate on what the world sees in us.

APPLICATION:  I am intrigued by the different ways that people act, depending on the audience, and in some cases the location. Think about the church member who acts prim and proper while on church property, yet so different in another setting that their friends hardly recognize them. Far-fetched you might say? Recently I saw an individual who was advertising their faith through the words on the tee shirt they were wearing, yet their actions were those of an unbeliever. It was embarrassing to me, so I can’t imagine what it must have been to God, for He said in His Word that He wants us to be holy, just as He is holy. In fact, He is expecting us to imitate His Son, who came to earth and lived among mankind. Friends I believe that often we must remind ourselves that at one point in our lives we may have done certain actions, or spoken in certain ways, but now that we have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, and now that we know about what God expects from us through His written Word, we just don’t live like that anymore. Jesus basically told the Pharisees that what’s inside, is bound to be exposed through the things we say and in the ways that we act. Don’t you know that people we come into contact with are bound to be confused when we proclaim our faith in Christ, yet our actions reflect anything but the love of our Savior? Friends, living life according to God’s instructions in a world led and controlled by Satan, is almost impossible for us to do on our own. We need Jesus each and every day to guide our path and protect our thoughts and words, if we are going to be like Him. At the beginning of each day, consider asking for God’s guidance, direction and power to help you be more like Him during the day, while being so exposed to the things of this world. Then at the end of each day as you reflect on your day, be sure to analyze whether friends may have witnessed enough evidence to find you guilty of being a Christ follower. No one to fool in this evaluation, because God sees and knows all things and He could help you honestly evaluate, and help you rediscover His love and His power to help you live life pleasing to Him. To the unbeliever who would like to partake in this God-directed life, please read the information in my ‘Footnote’ for help in finding Jesus. Alternately, I would be thrilled to tell you more about my Savior, so feel free to contact me.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the freedoms that You give us. These often get us in trouble, because we often do our own thing instead of begging You for power, grace and mercy to live in a ‘foreign’ land as saints of Your awesome kingdom. We can only succeed in our Christian walk by depending heavily on You to guide us, protect us, and strengthen our will to be more inclined to Your ways. We need You each and every day to help us in this daunting task oh Lord. Please touch the lives of those who may not know you, yet they may stop by to read this devotional. Please draw them unto yourself. I ask all this in the strong and holy 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!

The Results of Half-Hearted Commitment

Saturday, 2019-09-07

Bible Reference: Joshua 13:13 ; 15:63
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  Joshua 13:13 But the Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.
Joshua 15:63 But the tribe of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, who lived in the city of Jerusalem, so the Jebusites live there among the people of Judah to this day.

OBSERVATION: There are consequences for lack of commitment, whether in our homes, our jobs, or in our decision to wholeheartedly follow Jesus Christ. Join me as we meditate on a few examples of this and how God totally used a man who was sold out in his commitment to Him.

APPLICATION:  Over the past chapters we read where Joshua and/or Moses were, with the help and direction of God, successful in overcoming a number of territories and their respective kings. I found it odd to read the two verses above where the Israelites were unsuccessful, or perhaps failed, in driving out the Jebusites and the people of Geshur and Maacah. Surely the God they served, and of course the same God that we serve today, is very capable of overcoming all obstacles. In my further study I found where these same people that failed to fully conquer, were the same ones that caused unending difficulties for the Israelites, as recorded in the book of Judges. This sounds like there may have been personal reasons that the Israelites just didn’t push hard enough to really oust these people. This reminds me of ourselves, for there are times that we refuse to seek God’s forgiveness of certain things that we like to hang on to, or His power to truly rid ourselves of certain sins that are either profitable for us, or meaningful to us. Often these little sins that we hold dear to our selfish little hearts are the very same things that come back to bite us and cause us extreme difficulties. I believe that like in the case of Joshua, God is still looking for folk that are totally sold out to Him. Folk that have totally surrendered everything to Him. Folk that have set aside the sinful things of this world, committed themselves, and surrendered themselves to the unadulterated Word of God and have sought to serve Him unconditionally. In fact, the Word of God goes on to substantiate this, for in Joshua 14:9 we are told that Caleb was given special favor with God because he ‘wholeheartedly‘ followed God’s commands. Because God gave up everything for me, yes His one and only Son, so that I might have life eternally and more abundantly, then the least I can do in return is to surrender ALL sin to Him – yes everything that does not align with God’s Word, His will, and His commands. I commit myself anew to serve my King unconditionally, and without compromise. I pray that my readers who are serious about the Lord will consider this same commitment today. For those who have not yet met my Lord personally, I pray that you will read my Footnote carefully, including the hyperlinked Scriptures, and invite Jesus into your heart today. He loves you and He wants to rule and reign in your life today! Friends, there is no room for halfheartedness – oh that we may all be totally sold out to Jesus! There is nothing that this world can offer that compares to Him!

PRAYER: There is only one way that I can be a totally true, unselfish, child of God and overcome daily temptations and sin, and that is to seek Your help O God and look to You in all humility for strength and guidance to live as You would have me live – so that You can truly have a usable vessel through which You can touch others. May others come to know You as Lord, and surrender their all to You. Many need the Lord, and I pray that You will be able to use all of us meditating on this devotional today as we fully place our trust in You. Please forgive me where I have been deliberately selfish and weak and given in to sin. This is unbecoming of a child of Yours and I need Your forgiveness and strength to overcome. May my readers and I live our lives in total surrender and commitment to our Lord, is my humble prayer O Lord! 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!

God Will Take Care of You!

Friday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:2-4
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

OBSERVATION: No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

APPLICATION:  I Love that old gospel song: “Be not dismayed …. God Will Take Care of You“! On reading these verses this morning I was reminded that for all those times that we feel so worn, or so distraught about life’s circumstances – perhaps the loss of a loved one that leaves us wondering how on earth can we possibly go on without them; or perhaps because of financial woes that make us feel so trapped into thinking that we work to satisfy bills only; or perhaps unemployment that makes us look inward and question our own personal worth; no matter the circumstance, we tend to wonder ‘Why me, Lord’ and then question how can we possibly overcome our particular circumstance. Friends, I wish you would take time to read the whole passage linked in the scripture reference, because you will see the reason why God sent Elijah to the Jordan River bank to hang out in the first place, then you will also see what other miracles God performed to take care of Elijah, even beyond this feeding miracle at the Jordan River. Whether Elijah realized it or not, he was at a crossroads to where he may not have survived the drought if God had not intervened and taken care of him. I rejoiced in seeing how God worked through Elijah later on to bring a young man back to life, because it made me realize the importance of not giving up on God, and instead allowing Him to work on us, in us, and through us for the purpose of His greater accomplishments – for the kingdom, and at a time pleasing to God. Friends, our ways are not God’s ways, so we are called on to be faithful and sure in our faith, knowing that what He works out in and through us will serve to benefit Him and bless us tremendously. So may I encourage you dear friend to stand firm in your faith, depend on God, and open yourself to the wondrous things He will do through You. Please know that your personal circumstances may look totally different to what God has in store for you. Trust Him, wait on Him and allow Him to be God in your life. Know that when You place your faith, trust, and total life in His hands, He WILL Take Care of You!

PRAYER: To the loving, caring, awesome God that I serve; thank You Father for watching over me, taking care of me, and guiding my footsteps each and every day. Because I am still alive, I know that Your work is still in progress and I trust in You for whatever You would have me do. Please have Your will and way. Please continue to take care of me, and especially on those days when life seems impossible to me, or the future seems so questionable. Lord, there are many who will stop by to read this devotional today, please reinforce to them how much You care for them, and remind them of the enormous love that You have for them. Lord, I ask these thinks in faith, and in the precious name of Jesus, Your Son and my Savior, 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!

Trust God and He Will …

Tuesday, 2019-08-27

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Scripture

Bible Text:  Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.
9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

OBSERVATION: If we are not careful, our world can bombard us with so much stress, that we might wonder at times if it is really worth it all. But then we are reminded in Scriptures like this one today, that life seems impossible when we try to do it alone. We serve an awesome, all powerful God who is ready and willing to answer our cry for oneness with Him. I am convinced that He longs to receive us, love on us and take good care of us until the day He calls us to live eternally with He and the Father. Why not meditate with me today as we analyze and satisfy ourselves as to the power of our God!

APPLICATION:  Like me, I would imagine that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what might be happening in the coming days, weeks and years, so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips – in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses, let me remind you of Moses, who had millions of people following him, as God’s messenger and leader. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 
* Trust and reverence God;
* Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
* Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;
Just remember that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate in the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

PRAYER: Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving 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!

How Christians Avoid Heartaches

Monday, 2019-08-05

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:1-3
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  Since you became alive again, so to speak, when Christ arose from the dead, now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where he sits beside God in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here. 3 You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God.

OBSERVATION: What occupies your time? What do you tend to become worried about? Do you feel like your mind, and your life is properly aligned with the Creator of heaven and earth? Jesus displayed an incredible love for you, and He wants His very best for your life, but He needs your undivided attention. So STOP and meditate with me for just a short while today! It may be the most meaningful out of anything else you do today!

APPLICATION:  When Christians worry, do you suppose it’s because we are worried that God will not do what He promised? When we doubt and stress out to the limit, do you suppose that we are concerned that God is unfaithful? When we feel unloved and like no one cares, do you suppose that we allow ourselves to ponder why God must have left us alone and no longer care about us? Friends, I believe that when we allow these types of feelings and/or thoughts to enter our minds, it’s because we have taken our eyes off Jesus and becoming overwhelmed by the the things of this world, and perhaps looking for the attention of earthly friends or loved ones. I believe it is times like these that Satan moves in for the attack, for he sees that we have taken our eyes off Jesus and allowing the distractions of this world to take hold in our lives. I would highly recommend these verses to all Christians today, for if we follow the advice in verse 2 and fill our thoughts with heaven – our future home, then we will be reminded that it is a place prepared just for us. A place where we will unite with Jesus at the foot of His throne and worship Him with unending praises. A place where we will hear the voice of the Father who will encourage us with words such as “well done good and faithful servant”! A place where the creator of love, the One who loved us enough to die on a cross so that we might have everlasting hope and assurance of heaven. A place where there will be no distractions, but instead where our full undivided attention is attracted towards the Savior of the world! Try getting away where you are totally disconnected from cell phones and devices for a week. Wow, what a release! Oh how our attention is quickly drawn to the things and people who are truly important to us! Friends, I must remind you that we have allowed so much interference in our day that we not only lose sight of our one-on-one time with the Lord, but we also have lost sight of one-on-one time with our spouses, our children, our friends, our coworkers and all others. Is it any wonder that we have trouble evangelizing to them? If we can all agree that verse 3 is totally spot on and accurate, then we will agree that our real life is in heaven! I would dare say that our minds, our attention, our aim and our devotion should be there today and everyday also. Do these thoughts apply to you, friend? If not, why not? Is this something you need to take time to talk with God about?

PRAYER: Lord God, we are such worry warts, but it’s always over things that really don’t matter – things of this world. Being reminded in this scripture that our minds are to be set on our heavenly home, and our time with You, we humbly come before You today asking for forgiveness for our misguided thoughts and worries. We realize that all these things do is to distract us in our walk with You and our witness of You. For when we become solid in our faith and demonstrate it in our walk with You, we will influence those who follow in our steps. Lord I pray that You will do an awesome work in my life and in the lives of my readers, so that we might become healthy Christians focused on the ‘main thing’ – our heavenly home. I further pray that this new focus will have such an impact on others that Your name might be lifted high as Your children become better aligned with Your perfect will for us. I ask these things in the strong, mighty and holy name of Jesus – your Son, and my Redeemer, 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 Reflection of Oneness

Wednesday, 2019-07-24

Bible Reference: John 17:20-23
Translation: God’s Word Translation (GW)

Bible Text:  20 “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. 23 I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

OBSERVATION: The world will look to the church in hopes of seeing Jesus. Will they see enough oneness to know that Jesus abides there, or will they tell from the division and backbiting that Jesus has no place there? Let’s consider how well our church is doing today in the light of the desire of Jesus in the Scripture today.

APPLICATION:  In this chapter Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples and the church at large. In these verses He prayed in all sincerity that those (Christians) who know Him would be in such unity, that the people to whom they speak (the unsaved world), would believe in Him and accept Him as the Savior of the world sent by God the Father. Friends, I often reflect on what the opposite effect must have, and also how that must have an impact on the unsaved as they fight the will of God. That leads me into considering what happens to the ministry of Jesus Christ when children of God can’t agree – when they fight and bicker among themselves so much that the unsaved world wants no part of the confused mess they see occurring in and among churches. Is it any wonder sometime why we stop and ponder why our ministries are ineffective? It seems like even among ‘friendly’ denominations, we go out to minister in Jesus’ name, and wind up putting down another denomination. Oh my, friend, that is not a sign of ‘oneness’. When our job description dictates that we spread the love of God, and our lives reflect the joy of the Lord living inside of us, doesn’t that mean that we should be so busy praising and bragging on our Lord that there will be very little time or desire to find fault with another believer who may not show their Christianity in exactly the same way that we do? In fact, when I reflect on this prayer of Jesus and really gain the breadth and depth of His heart as He prays to His father, I see where He really wants us to reflect the ‘oneness’ that He portrays with His Father. There is no where in scripture that Jesus puts down His Father or speaks evil against Him or disagrees with Him. Instead, it is just the very opposite, for He respects the role of the Father in ultimately making decisions (especially about the second coming of Jesus), and He speaks as one and the same when conveying the truth and love of the gospel. So where do we get off at in being His follower, imitating Him in every way, yet being critical of fellow disciples who are working towards the same goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? This type behavior or ministry will not serve the ultimate wish of Jesus in verse 21 when He prayed that we will go out and minister in such unity that the world (the unsaved) would know that God truly sent the One in whom we believe, and the One we are spreading Good News about. ‘Oneness’ points to us truly representing Jesus, who was sent in the likeness of His Father. Anything else tears down the ministry of Jesus Christ and promotes the intent and heart of Satan. I believe we all know what we should be busy doing today and every day of our life. Let’s get to work – unified in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our weakness in allowing so much of this world to indwell us, and interfere in the ministry, that You have assigned to us. As these verses today reflect, You actually prayed for us to be one with You and You are with Your Father. Our lack of success in ministry is a direct result of our disobedience to You and Your Word, and caused by our selfish desire to tear down another while trying to promote our selfish goals. Reading these verses today causes me to seriously consider keeping these pinned in an obvious place for daily inflection, and as a guide towards my daily goal. Lord, I need Your power to overcome the desire to tear another down in order to promote self. May I ask that You grant me strength to overcome this weakness, but also to touch the heart of Your followers today and embed a deep desire within them to also do the same. Please strengthen and guide us towards ‘Oneness’ – the kind that You exampled before us in being ‘One’ with the Father. I ask this knowing that Your desire is that through our ‘Oneness’ the world will know that You were sent by the Father to save them. May this be accomplished today in and through your earthly representatives, for this is my pray that I ask in the 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!

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