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

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

Known as a ‘Christ-Follower’?

Thursday, 2019-11-07

Bible Reference: 1 Peter 4:12-16
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  12 My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering, which are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory. 14 When people say bad things to you because you follow Christ, consider it a blessing. When that happens, it shows that God’s Spirit, the Spirit of glory, is with you. 15 You may suffer, but don’t let it be because you murder, steal, make trouble, or try to control other people’s lives. 16 But if you suffer because you are a “Christ-follower,” don’t be ashamed. You should praise God for that name.

OBSERVATION: Suffering for something that we’re in trouble for, is very understandable. But when we suffer because we believe differently to the rest of the world, and we act more loving, kind, respectful, and truly love the God and Creator of this universe, we tend to feel like our world is very wrong. However, our Scripture today, forewarns us about impending punishment and ridicule from this world’s rulers. As we meditate, let us evaluate whether the authorities will see sufficient evidence of our being a Christ-Follower to arrest us.

APPLICATION:  I believe that when we accept Jesus as Lord, we tend to think more about what the benefits might be, than thinking about what additional controversy our decision might create, or what additional persecution might arise in our lives. Think about it, when folk are really struggling, we tend to convince them that they need Jesus. What if we told them that what they are presently going through is only a ‘drop-in-the-bucket’ compared to what will be brought on them after conversion? Do you suppose that anyone would agree to surrender their lives to Christ? However friends, we must be honest in evaluating what happened to Jesus, for He healed the sick, raised the dead and caused the blind to see, yet He was sought after like a criminal. This same Jesus is to be our role model. I feel like what we are taught here is that we are to do good, and be a shining example of Jesus, even if we know that controversy will arise. On the way to a business party one time I was asked by an executive why Christians abstain from drinking alcohol. I believe that it was asked to embarrass me because it was asked in a jeering way hoping to get laughter from the other executives present. I responded honestly as I believe God would have me do, and although I waited for the repercussion, it seemed like my honest response was well accepted. I recently heard a request for prayer about persecution on the job at a local company. It really surprised me, but after reading this scripture this morning, I am convinced that although we are not expected to go out and be deliberate rebels in our workplace or at local diners, or any other place that we go, we are expected to let our lights shine for Jesus and not hide that light for the sake of popularity or because of possible persecution. In fact, I love the suggested attitude in verse 14 – when we feel persecuted, or picked on, or laughed at, or made fun of, because of our faith, it is a great time to praise God knowing that others are impacted by the Christian stance we just took on a matter or the Christ-likeness that our audience just witnessed. It’s not a show-off thing, it’s our every-day Christian life being displayed in all aspects of our life. Is this always easy for us? Absolutely not, but when done in sincerity and under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, we will see great things accomplished for God. In fact, I would go as far as saying that if we feel forced into making a stand, then we need to question if it truly is a ‘God thing’, or are we doing it to impress someone about us and our strengths and abilities.

PRAYER: Dear God, You gave everything You had so that we might have eternal life in glory with You and Your Son. Thank You Lord for Your goodness to me and Your invaluable gift! Lord, I pray that Your children who will meditate on this devotional today, might catch a glimpse, as I did, to the value of living our faith and making our witness known to all mankind, so that they might be convinced of our relationship with You. This witness will sometimes convince mankind of their need for a Savior, but it will sometimes offend those who are led by Satan and his demons. May we be strong in all circumstances, so that the world might know to whom we belong, and that we might be convinced in our heart that we are truly Yours, without a shadow of doubt. Lord, please have Your will and way in our lives today, and may Your glory shine through us as we stand firm in our faith in You. I ask these things in the powerful and awesome name of Jesus, and for your sake, 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!

Cleansed and Ready to Worship

Friday, 2019-10-04

Bible Reference: Hebrews 9:13-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow were sprinkled on those who were no longer pure enough to enter the place of worship. The blood and ashes made them pure again—but only their bodies. 14 So surely the blood sacrifice of Christ can do much more. Christ offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make us completely clean from the evil we have done. It will give us clear consciences so that we can worship the living God.

OBSERVATION: Too often we ‘attend’ a church service and then we tell everyone that we had been to ‘worship’. Really? Did you visit a place where others were worshiping, or did you really go there and worship with them? Try reading the Scripture for today and honestly evaluate if you were pure, or completely cleansed, from the evil and sin in your life, in order to stand in the presence of our holy God and ‘worship’ Him. According to our Scripture, it is only then that our consciences would be cleared so that we could honesty ‘worship’ the Master of this universe – our God.

APPLICATION:  I believe that every Bible Teacher or Pastor’s wish would be, that their hearers are getting as much from a lesson as they received when they studied the lesson being taught. I also believe that every Worship Pastor would love to know that the folk they are leading in a time of worship were participating from the deepest parts of their heart and receiving a blessing like they receive when leading us. Often we will go to our corporate worship services and while sometimes being totally blessed and pulled into the worship time through full participation, yet at other times we just attend but don’t feel a closeness to our Lord as we worship. These are the times we find fault with the person next to us or behind us, or with the worship leader, or perhaps the volume of the instrumentalists! But friend, if you especially read verse 14, you will notice that as long as we enter God’s house with stained consciences, there just may not be an opportunity for you to connect with God and His Holy Spirit that day in worship. You might remember from God’s Word that God will not be present where sin abounds. I believe that another way of understanding verse 14 might be in the following way: “One cannot worship the Living God without a clear conscience” or “Unless one has already settled with God concerning their sin, they cannot come face-to-face with God in a sacrifice of praise, or worship”. There’s a worship song that has been around for a long time “There’s A Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place“. After reading verse 14, I’m not so sure that we could experience that ‘Sweet Spirit’ and sincerely worship our Lord. Perhaps we should have a confession service first, then, perhaps, the Spirit of God might find clean hearts and consciences in which He is free to move and to bless. Let’s keep this in mind the next time that we go out of our way to ‘worship God’. Clean hearts will draw close to God, as it is the only way that He will draw close to you and I.

PRAYER: How dare us attempt to enter Your presence in sin, Oh God, especially thinking that we can block/hide the hindrances (our sin) while we attempt to worship You. It’s not enough for us to conjure up a time of ‘worship’ Lord Jesus, for we want to be where You are, and we want to worship You in sincerity of heart, soul and mind. Please forgive us for attempting to worship You, the One who never sinned, while we are yet burdened with sin in our hearts. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness, so that as I might approach Your throne with a clear conscience and without sin. Please touch the hearts of my readers Lord, so that they too might be enlightened of any sin that not only separates them from You, but also blocks their true worship of You. Lord, may You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives and especially prepare us for frequent times of worship to You. I love you Lord, and I lift my voice and heart in worship to You alone. My prayer is offered in and through the precious name of Jesus, the only one is holy and worthy of our worship and praise, 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!

Rejection By God? Really?

Saturday, 2019-09-28

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 14:10
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  My people, you love to wander away; you don’t even try to stay close to me. So now I will reject you and punish you for your sins. I, the Lord, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: I believe that we hear so much about how much God loves us, that it might be challenging for us to imagine that He will tire of our attitude and our rejection of Him. Perhaps this verse is an eye-opener for those who may feel like they could do anything they want, because God will still love them. As we meditate on this one verse today, I pray that our eyes might be opened to God’s true identity and character!

APPLICATION:  Unless we know the full extent of our God, we may otherwise assume that He is much like a puppet that our kids play with – He is placed in the corner until we call for Him. It’s interesting that God pointed me to this verse today, because in another Scripture reading today, in 1 Samuel 4-6, the Philistines found out that God was quite capable of showing His power all on His own, and without their commands or intervention! It is so easy to see how God became angry with the Philistines for their disrespect of the Ark of the Covenant, and with the Israelites for their disobedience, and the sons of Eli assuming roles that represented God, but yet they operated in total darkness. However, I believe that God wanted to remind us today that He is still God and that He has, or will tire of our sin and total disregard of Him – the One who sacrificed it all, His only Son, on the cross at Calvary, so that we may live in full hope of eternity with Him. He did not want us to use the excuses of those gone on before us and live in fear of the many laws of Moses, or for that to be a roadblock for us to enter heaven’s gates. The awful thing that I believe that God sees today though, is probably worse than what He saw in His people back in the days of Jeremiah, or Moses, or Eli. For in spite of the extra effort, and tremendous outpouring of His love, yet what God sees today must truly break His heart …….. perhaps even to the point of lifting His hand off us and rejecting our plea before Him. So often we should be praising God in thanksgiving for His divine intervention in our decision making, yet so often we permit the selfish ways of man to influence us, and we step out on that merit instead of faith in God, the creator of this universe. Why has God not given up on us a long time ago? Friends, I don’t believe that I need to spell out the evil that is prevalent in our world today, for we have it happening in our own backyards, and we hear about it every time we watch the evening news. We have many churches that are closing down because of poor attendance. I believe that we have more folk who’s only Christian activity, might be attending a church service over the weekend, if they could fit it into their busy schedules. Imagine if you only ate physical food once per week? Imagine if the only communication you had with your spouse or parents was once per week? There wouldn’t be much of an influence in your life from either of these sources, nor would you have reason to brag on either of these, because they would play such a minimal role in the remaining days and hours of the week. Yet I’m afraid that we have ‘Christians’ who do exactly this, and expecting their lives to be changed by God. Friends, be realistic – one hour per week with God and 167 hours in the heat of evil and the works of Satan. Which do you think will influence our lives more? Who then are we pleasing? Who then are we more apt to reflect in our attitudes and actions? It is extremely frightening to think about rejection by God or the possible fatal judgment of God, because He saw how we totally rejected and ignored Him – His love, His direction, and His awesome gift given for us. On the other hand, we have lots of verses that tell us things like: Draw near to God and He will draw near to us; If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and….. Friends, know that God loves you very much today. Please don’t reject Him. Please don’t take your relationship with Him lightly. We want to see His eternal blessing on us, and not His rejection and punishment.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You loved me so much that You gave Your very own Son so that I may have eternal life in Your presence. Please forgive me for the times that I take Your love for granted. Please speak to the hearts of my readers so that they too might examine their lives to ensure that they are in close communion with You, and not letting the vile of this old world take prominence in their lives. Please help us all that we may spend the necessary time with You for a happy and healthy relationship with You. Lord, we want to live more like You every day, and we realize that this only comes from spending more time with You than we do with this old world and its master, Satan. I pray that today it may be evident to those that we come into contact with that we have been with the Lord, and their lives might be impacted in such a way that they would either draw closer to You in relationship, or come to accept You as Lord of their life. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and lead us towards You, for this is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, 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!

As We SEE Jesus, Let Us Worship Him

Friday, 2019-09-27

Bible Reference: Matthew 28:16-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NIV)

Bible Text:  16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

OBSERVATION: I hope that our eyes will be opened to the risen Christ during this devotional today, for we see Him in various ways each and every day. These encounters are way too important for us to brush off as anything else, for I believe God deliberately gets the attention of those seeking Him. As we meditate, let’s be sure to look inward at the opportunities we have to worship our King – the King of all kings!

APPLICATION: In our scripture reference today we see one of many instances where folk saw Jesus, and they bowed and worshiped Him. I acknowledge that this particular instance is so miraculous that it would give reason for anyone to ‘worship’ the Master. Note that Jesus was crucified, died, buried, and three days later He arose from the dead, to now stand in the very presence of His disciples. However, we should acknowledge that we often stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus, but do we always acknowledge Him and/or offer up our sacrifices of praise to Him? Matthew Henry in his commentary on this verse says “All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him.” I could almost imagine by now you are dumbfounded as to what I might be getting at here, because although the Lord Jesus stood in the presence of the disciples, you probably can’t remember the last time that He did that to you, right? Dear friends, we are presented with reminders of our Lord Jesus every day and we make personal choices as to what we do with that. If you pick up the precious Word of God and read it, you will be flooded with evidence and overwhelmed by the presence of God as you read about Him, but do you stop to worship Him and acknowledge His greatness? If you walk out of your home and stop complaining about the humidity, or the cold, or the heat long enough to see the beauty of all that God has provided for you to enjoy, you might consider raising your hands in praise to Him for His miraculous touch on everything from the heights of the skies to the beautiful green grass and flowers that you see, to the cattle that produces dairy products and/or beef for your plate. If you enter God’s house of worship and hear the stories of how God has miraculously healed and/or touched His children, you will worship Him knowing that there is still hope for Him to also miraculously help you through your challenges that seem insurmountable to you at times. Friends, it is time for us to stop whining and start praising. It is time for us to stop attributing God’s miracles that occur all around us every day, to happen-chance, or good luck, or any other worldly credit, and truly SEE God and then worship Him in deep sincerity like the disciples exampled for us in this Scripture today. Jesus is still alive and He is looking for opportunities to bless you, if only you will let Him into your world. Won’t you do that today friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence each and every day. Please forgive us for the times that we find every other reason in the world why something special occurred in our life, before we finally realize that it truly was the God of this universe that stepped in and blessed us. You have provided lots of evidence of your miraculous hand at work in our lives and all around us. Please open our spiritual eyes so that we may SEE Your goodness, Your miracles and Your love that You want so badly for us to accept and envelope. Lord, may we truly learn to worship You in every way, because of all that You place before us as evidence of Your presence. Please also open the eyes of the non-believer today so that they will realize that there is no other explanation for the miracles around them other than the awesome power and greatness of the Almighty God. Lord I pray that our worship and our praise will come naturally, as we recognize the originator of our blessings. Thank You for being so good to us! I ask these things in the gracious and blessed 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!

Avoiding Denial

Tuesday, 2019-09-24

Bible Reference: Matthew 26:33-35
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

OBSERVATION: Peter did exactly what he swore he would not do – he denied his Lord. I’m sure that Christians reading this blog today will join with me in swearing up and down that we would never do that, but I hope that as we meditate on the Word today, perhaps we will be challenged to realign some priorities in our life to help avoid following in Peter’s footsteps. Take a few moments to meditate with me on this.

APPLICATION:  Imagine for a moment the feeling of walking into a room with your subordinate staff and hearing them put you down to an indescribable degree – imagine how you will feel. Then imagine that there is a dangerous situation at hand, and all of your closest friends come and look on, but choose not to get involved, so they just move on and leave you to suffer through it. That’s how Jesus must have felt when Peter and his peers did exactly as I described, even after talking about the subject in advance. Now take a moment and think about how Peter must have felt. He swore up and down that he would never forsake his Lord, yet he did. By now you are probably anxious to see how this might apply to you and I, right? May I suggest to you that in the heat of our conversion, we all probably swore up and down that our decision and commitment was an eternal one and that we would live the rest of our days standing up and promoting Jesus – yep, right until the day He calls us together in heaven. So let’s look at what might have been important to us right after we made such an awesome commitment: Probably things like Bible study, so we could learn as much about the Lord and His commands for our lives? Perhaps attending every church service possible, so we could learn from, and be encouraged by those who are also striving for the same goals as we are. Praising God together, and being uplifted as we share about the ways that God is alive and working in their lives? Probably to be a model Christian to any and all of our coworkers, friends or family, so they could look at us and see Jesus, or hear from, and be encouraged that we are speaking with the wisdom and faith of one who is walking the talk? So what happened dear friend? Have you been, and are you still faithful to these things? Please don’t try to convince yourself that these things are no longer relevant, for God’s Word will prove you wrong in that. Desertion immediately hurts the one you are deserting, so please don’t hurt my Lord today. Desertion also hurts the one doing the deserting, so please don’t put yourself in that position today. All of the actions I suggested were probably important to you as a new Christian, but they are still just as relevant to you today. Seek God’s help, then concentrate on these things to help cement a solid, ongoing relationship with your Lord. He has promised never to leave or forsake you, please don’t even think about doing just that to Him. He loves you way too much to deserve that kind of treatment. To the unbeliever reading this devotional, may I remind you that your continued disowning and separation from God will lead you through much ‘hell’ here on earth, but to an even worst place when you leave this world. Jesus loved us just as we were when He went to the cross for us. He still loves you enough to forgive you of your sin and direct you through the Christian life that I have described, but He wants you to ask for it. May I encourage you to read the tips I have included in my ‘Footnote’ and make this very important, life-changing decision today? Followers of Christ, don’t forget your First Love. Draw close to Him everyday. Love Him, worship Him, talk with Him and be His best friend. He has prepared a place for His sons and daughters, and I believe He is standing at the door waiting for us! Let us live in anticipation of that every day friends!

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for often falling into the same path of Peter and his peers. We understand that the flesh is weak, even when the intent of our hearts are in the right place. This is evidence that we can’t do this alone. We need You, Heavenly Father, to fill our hearts with Your love and Your priorities, but most of all with obedience and faithfulness to Your powerful Word. Please use this devotional to stir the hearts of the saved, and provoke a renewed desire within the hearts of the unbelievers, so that today might be the day of salvation for them. We never want to be guilty of desertion. So help us to be faithful and true to You and strengthen the bond that must exist between us in order to fight off the evil one and fully serve You for the rest of our lives. Only You can intervene and help us achieve this kind of perfection Father, so I ask this in and through the precious 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!

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!

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