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

Posts tagged ‘Christian’

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!

Actions and Words That Glorify God

Wednesday, 2019-08-21

Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 10:29-33
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  29 ….you may ask, must I be guided and limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why let someone spoil everything just because he thinks I am wrong? 31 Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking. 32 So don’t be a stumbling block to anyone, whether they are Jews or Gentiles or Christians. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do, not doing what I like or what is best for me but what is best for them, so that they may be saved.

OBSERVATION: So often we tend to get caught up in our own stand on something, that we fight for, act up, and run over people in order to achieve what we believe to be the ‘perfect way’ or even at times, the ‘only way’! God is teaching us, through His servant Paul, that in all things we are to aim for others to glorify Christ because of our impact on their lives. I believe that our mean, selfish attitudes will disappear when we interact with others using this principal! Meditate with me as we consider the impact this could have on our lives, and in our life.

APPLICATION:  To a very large extent we tend to build our lives around people who please us; who does life ‘our way’; and who has everything that makes us happy. Paul had to address this in the Corinthian church, and I believe that his teaching is included in the Word of God, because we need to be reminded of this today also. We still live in an imperfect world, and we still have a need to get over our selfishness. In this particular chapter Paul was addressing the subject of some being convinced that they could not eat certain foods, while others were quite OK with that and saw nothing wrong with it, nor how it might affect their relationship with God. Paul’s conviction was that we should be careful to do what pleases God, not just ourselves. In fact Paul directed us to do only those things that will glorify God, and that opens a much wider spectrum of principles that we should follow, including why and how should do things. This is supported by the wide variety of principles and characteristics that Jesus taught and modeled throughout His earthly ministry, for He ate with sinners, boldly taught opposing Pharisees and loved those whom He came into contact with. But let’s take the example of food that Paul taught about in this chapter. This still exists today, because there are some who feel like there are certain foods that would defile their bodies, and some even feel that this is based on Biblical references – and therefore may displease God. I believe that we are being taught to make every effort to please God in our lives, which may mean that our own convictions may need adjusting at times. We should never create animosity with a Brother or Sister who is trying to please God through what they eat. Unfortunately, we sometimes become so wrapped up in the unimportant aspects of a Christian’s personal beliefs and practices, that we lose sight of glorifying God in the moment in which we find ourselves. Friends, rather than trying to force others to eat what we eat or not, we’ve totally missed the point if we haven’t challenged them, or helped them grow in their personal relationship with God. The time we spend with individuals, should help them in their relationship with God, or at least challenge them to consider their own lives in the light of eternity. We must be careful to help someone draw close to God, rather than becoming a stumbling block to the very people we feel led to help. As a child of God, our aim should always be to please Him through the way that we live, not by trying to be ‘God’. Our path to living like a child of the King is very clear in His Word, let’s learn to live like that and rub off on as many as we can. Maybe at that point we might have more impact on the unbeliever also, for we will truly imitate our loving Lord, and act more like He intended. It’s all about God friend, not our personal ideals.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for loving us in spite of our silly personal ideals. Thank You for speaking through Paul to redirect our attention towards You instead of trying to impose our imperfections onto others. May our daily goal always be to please You in all that we do and say. To be more like You and to draw closer to You in every way. You have taught us to love everyone and to encourage them instead of tearing down and destroying. May we be more like You every day, and may it be evident to all that we come into contact with, is my humble plea that I ask for myself and as I encourage my readers to do the same also. For I ask this in the loving and awesome 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!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong 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!

Our Part In Preparing For Our Blessing

Thursday, 2019-07-18

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 11:18–21
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  18 ….. I want you to clear the land of all disgusting idols. 19 Then I will take away your stubbornness and make you eager to be completely faithful to me. You will want to obey me 20 and all my laws and teachings. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 21 But those who worship idols will be punished and get what they deserve. I, the LORD God, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: Our Youth & Families Pastor recently challenged 28 youth to leave their devices at home so that they might truly seek God’s face in very primitive living conditions at a camp, while they worked hard to help the poor in that community. Do you suppose that this gave our youth some uninterrupted time with God? You may quickly respond that you don’t have that problem. May I suggest that you sign up for the next trip with our Pastor? I wonder if this would help us on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and evenings? Read on as we meditate on this Scripture!

APPLICATION:  I have a relative who surrendered his heart to the Lord, and immediately went home and broke up his music records and tapes, and burnt up all of his cigarettes that he had on hand. He felt like these were ‘idols’ that would tempt him back into sin. In our scripture today, there are many Israelites that were scattered away from their home country and God told Ezekiel that He would bless them when they returned, provided that they first clear the land of the idols. This made me think about the idols that may be interfering with our blessing today. I know, we don’t have the huge idols that some people go up to and worship, as if they have power to help them overcome some issue they might be going through. But friends, these chosen verses today really spell out what types of idols may be applicable to us today, for God actually explains to Ezekiel what He will do to actually bring the people more in line with himself. Here are some of the things, with a few ideas from me:
—-Take away stubbornness – Isn’t this brought on by us wanting our own way? Wanting our own will, instead of totally surrendering to the will of a righteous and holy God?
—-Eager to be completely faithful to God – I wonder what all God would need to de-clutter from our lives so that we might be completely faithful to Him? How about things like: televisions; phones; tablets; cars; boats; finances; shopping; etc? Friends, when you stop and think real good about it, God (and the things that tend to draw us closer to God) often takes second place to many other things in our lives, some of which I just gave you as an example.
Isn’t it unfortunate that God really only moves into first place on our priority list, when a need arises that we can’t solve via Google, or that our TV shows really haven’t addressed yet? I realize that all of this probably don’t apply to all of my precious readers, but may I ask you anyway to consider the following: First thing each morning, do you reach for your Bible, or some idol (device)? After getting your cup of coffee or tea, do you stop and get energized for the day mentally through the Word of God, or do you depend on what you are fed from your idol (TV; Mobile Device; Newspaper; etc)? In spite of God’s Word declaring that we should assemble ourselves together for worship and fellowship on our Sabbath, which of your idols tend to interfere with that? God said that He would really bless when we get rid of our ‘idols’. May I encourage you to take a missions trip to a third world country where many of these idols are not readily available and see how this might feel? It’s amazing how we easily find uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord! It can be done friends! Are you ready for your blessing?

PRAYER: Father, You have blessed us beyond measure and I thank You. It is so unfortunate that we are now idolizing the very things that You have blessed us with, and often to the extent that we are excluding You, or at least distracted from all that You have to share with us. Please open our eyes to all that we have allowed ourselves to become, and please help us to become more in love with the One who sacrificed His very own Son so that we might have a way into heaven. Lord, be glorified in us today. Help us to place aside our ‘idols’ for very specialized and personalized time with You. I ask this humbly in the Name of Jesus, my Lord and 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!

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