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

Posts tagged ‘Christians’

Your Purpose in the local Church

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-12-30
SCRIPTURE

From:

Acts 6:2-4 (AMP)

Text:

So the Twelve called the disciples together and said, “It is not appropriate for us to neglect [teaching] the word of God in order to serve tables and manage the distribution of food. Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men with good reputations [men of godly character and moral integrity], full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will [continue to] devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
OBSERVATION:
The apostles were working hard in the ministry of the Word – teaching and preaching, but they heard rumblings that the poor were not being attended to. Instead of them distracting themselves from their convictions about the ministry they were responsible for, they set out to choose seven additional men for that purpose. I want us to think about the purpose that God has placed us in His church? We are about to start a New Year, Lord willing. What does God have in store for you to do in His ministry next year?
APPLICATION:
In just the first few verses of this chapter in Acts we see a few different categories of church attendees. I believe that it would behoove us to examine ourselves before God and identify which group we belong to – or should be striving to achieve. Here are the groups I see, and I will call them what most churches seem to use today:

  1. Pastors and Elders: I believe that these are what this Scripture referred to as ‘Apostles’. It was clear from the Scripture that these men took the serious responsibility of prayer and ministry of the word – teaching and preaching.
  2. Deacons: I believe that our deacons today are the equivalent of the servants chosen and ordained to help with the serving and administering of the church affairs. These men had to fit the parameters outlined by the apostles. I believe this is important for the church today also, because these men are not just representing the church as they go out to help the poor, but they are also representing God.
  3. The Support Team: This would be the congregation who is a part of the church with a very warm and sincere heart. A heart that is in constant prayer for the ministry, and supports the decisions made by their leaders, knowing that those godly men serve as a result of their faithful, personal prayers. As in the case of Moses’ arms being lifted up as he led the battle, so are these folk lifting up their Pastors, Elders and Deacons. These great folk consists of the men and women who will serve as lay leaders and a group from whom the next set of ordained leaders will be chosen.
  4. The whiners and complainers: You might say that this group is good for the church as they alert Pastors, Elders and Deacons to things that others may not see. While this could be true, I want you to remember what it feels like to have a thorn stuck in your side all day! Where this group could become helpful, is if they become Positively Critical. This happens when they pray for the success of their leaders and the strength, maturity and growth of the church body. You will always be very positive for those you pray favorably for, and your whining and complaints will become concerns that you want to help resolve and/or pray for!
  5. The uncommitted: Unfortunately there are many who are uncommitted in their marriage, their workplace and in their church.  Some are known in church circles as Christmas and Easter Christians, because that’s the only time they make an effort to attend church. Some are hit and miss on attending church at all, but since they were raised and baptized in that church, they consider that their church home. Unfortunately these folk tend to be undependable about attending classes or learning more about God, because they are uncommitted to Him and His church.

Friends, I believe that you will fit into one of the above groups. But I hope that you are always striving to grow and mature into the next group up. Jesus was perfect, and I believe it would thrill His heart to see us grow and mature into a perfect church under His leadership and development.

PRAYER:
Lord You are faithful to us, even when we are sometimes unworthy and unusable in Your ministry here on earth. Thank You for reaching into our hearts and awakening us from the grip of Satan, and the evil so prevalent in this world. As in any army battling evil and wrong doing, we continually need a few more good men and women to work in Your ministry to try and reach the lost and needy of our community. Please touch us Lord, help us to be Your arms extended and outreached to show the love of Jesus in every way and in everything we do. May our commitment and willingness to serve reach way beyond the four walls of our churches, and wherever man is found. I am so looking forward to the day that we will all look full into the eyes of our blessed Savior and sing Your praises throughout all eternity. Come Lord Jesus, come! AMEN
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Of One Heart and Mind

Monday, 2016-11-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 17:20-22

Bible Text: 20 “I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. 21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me—the glorious unity of being one, as we are

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that if 5 families left my city in Florida to head to Atlanta, Georgia, there would probably be several different routes taken because we all have our own ideas about what will be the fastest route, or the most scenic, or the most enjoyable due to attractions along the way that we would like to visit. However, we will all probably wind up at our final destination in Atlanta, Georgia at some point. I believe it was extremely evident to Jesus that this would be the case with His children in many walks of life, even in religious circles where we have the ultimate goal of coming face-to-face with Jesus in heaven when we pass on from this old world. I was reminded in a very bold and obvious way in our scripture today that Jesus knew right from the very beginning that this would pose a challenge for His children. I was able to see where Jesus approached the Father in much the same way as I would, if I was leaving the state of Florida on an extended retirement trip throughout the rest of the United States. There would be concerns for ministries I am involved in at my church, and there would also be concerns that my relatives would be OK with me out of the picture for an extended period of time. Now, I must quickly acknowledge that I have nothing to worry about with any of these things falling apart, because I am not the glue that holds all these things together. However, we do worry about things that mean a lot to us, if we’re not around to do our part. Friends, Jesus came to this earth for one intended purpose, to save mankind from eternal damnation. To achieve this, He showed Himself in some very bold ways – through miracles, through loving the unlovable, through sacrificing Himself so that we might not have to sacrifice anything in order to be saved from our wretched sin. However, in spite of all that He did, we went back to the Father and prayed about His concerns for the wellbeing of His church – His children here on earth. I believe that anyone meditating on this devotional today will agree that the concerns of Jesus were right on target, just like the rest of His life and ministry were. For we have such a problem here on earth in that we segregate ourselves from other believers who are headed for the same destination. In my example above, if we come across one of our friends on that long trip to Atlanta who had chosen a different route than we did, we may tease and poke a little fun at each other, but we would still welcome them and celebrate with them at the destination point. In religion, it seems like we have become so secure in our understanding of the Word of God and/or other ancillary books given to us from our respective denominations, that we erect walls between ourselves that non-Christians probably look at and wonder how many destination points are there, because obviously we are not headed to the same one! Friends, I know that this may seem like I am picking on religious denominationalism, and perhaps I am, but I believe that Jesus has shared the concern with us to ponder, that He shared with His Father when He returned to Him. What can we do about it? Jesus wants us to be ‘one’ just as He and the Father are ‘one’. We know that the trinity represents three persons all in one, meaning that they have the same attributes and same power and are the same in the eyes of the Almighty God. For us to appease Jesus in His wish for us, we must be willing to tear down the walls of hatred and separation, and love one another as we love ourselves (according to the commandment of God). Great walls separate men and women, yet they are ‘one’ in marriage. Can we please set our goals on unity in the only thing in common, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I get the distinct impression from our scripture that this would please Jesus beyond anything else we may attempt today. Please don’t wait for your church to adopt a philosophy to do this, I believe Jesus wants this to begin with you and I. Let’s personally commit to this wish of our Lord, and love one another unconditionally.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You saw this coming and You prayed for this scenario ever since the beginning of time. I don’t know that things have gotten any better, so I want to commit myself to You today asking that You open my eyes to any injustices that may occur between myself and other believers in Jesus Christ. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that regardless of what part of the world one might be from, or the color of their skin or their financial status, we all have the same channel to travel through in order to one day see You and the Father in heaven. Please help my readers and I to live today in a way pleasing to You, and in a way that we intend to live when we sit around your feet in heaven as one body of believers. Lord, may we practice today what we expect to do ‘tomorrow’ when You call us home to glory! I ask these things in the only One who can change our hearts and our minds, and the One who set the example for us while here on earth. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Who Is Jesus?

Tuesday, 2016-08-30

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 8:27–29

Bible Text: 27 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.” 29 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.*”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Around those with whom you may work, you may hear them speak of achievements by their children, and it may probe you to ask about their kids, knowing that they are so loved by your co-worker. In another co-worker you may see some special characteristic that stands out from the rest, and you may ask them about, what appears to be, a family trait. For some of us who mention the name of Jesus from time to time, we may be asked “but who is this Jesus?” – you know, similar to the question that the disciples were hit with in the above verses. I have a strong feeling that you will not reach for your Bible to answer the question with an appropriate verse, nor do I think your co-worker would want that response, and may I add – nor will Jesus want to hear that response. Let’s get it straight friend, who exactly is Jesus to you? No coined phrases or responses that you heard from the pulpit, please! I sincerely believe that your response to this question will tell Jesus who He is to you and what impact, if any, He has been on your life (not that He wouldn’t already know). Your response will also tell your co-worker whether you’ve been faking it all this time. Faking it??? Yep, try asking that same co-worker about who they are married to. You may need extra pages of paper to write down all of the attributes that they will shower you with, and I believe that this is because that spouse has impacted your co-worker’s life in more ways than one. They will probably tell you about how beautiful or handsome they are, and all about their special qualities. In fact, I believe you will probably feel like you know them personally, just from the descriptions. So friend, may I ask again, who is Jesus to you? If a relationship exists, you will know all about Him and you will be anxious to share about the qualities that bless your heart on a daily basis! Please note that a relationship is one where there is ongoing conversation (prayer); ongoing meals together (spiritual food from God’s holy Word); trust; obedience (obeying the commands in God’s Word); giving praise (praise and worship individually and corporately); and doing everything possible to please the other partner (all of the above). When we love someone, we want to be with them as often as possible – one hour per week will just not do. So friends, do you have an active, fruitful, loving relationship with this Jesus you mention from time to time, or do you just know of Him? Jesus is waiting for your answer, for He wants an intimate relationship with you!

Prayer

Lord, it is unfortunate that we know the lingo and can talk the talk while with our Christian friends, but yet for many, that ‘talk’ is not representative of their lifestyle or their intimate relationship with You. But then we worry why so many are lost and going to Hell, or want nothing to do with church,or Christians, or even with You dear Lord. I believe it is clear that many folk are tired of the hypocrites that prevent them from seeing the real ‘Jesus’. As we meditate on these verses and perhaps on the devotional today Jesus, please tender our hearts to examine the ‘real’ relationship that we have with You. It is only meaningful if Your heart; Your love and Your character exudes from every fiber of our life every day. Lord, may we always have a Word to share with someone, when asked about You, for You mean the world to me and many others reading this devotional. Thank You for being my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How to Find ‘Real LIFE’

Saturday, 2016-07-23

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 20:11,13

Bible Text: 11 There I gave them my decrees and regulations so they could find life by keeping them.

13 ……. They wouldn’t obey my regulations even though obedience would have given them life.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

No matter if we are talking to friends, listening to advice from our doctor or watching television, there is always tons of advice for us on how to improve our lifestyles, improve our health, enjoy our lives, look as good as the top model, etc. However, as with all other aspects of life, we have access to life’s Instruction Manual (the Bible), and It has answers for all walks of life for us. And I don’t know about you friend, but I would much prefer listening to God, who created us and loves us enough to have sacrificed His very Son for us, than to listen to a product manufacturer compelled to sell their product in order to save their company. So let’s take a peak into what God has placed in His Word for us. He reminded the prophet Ezekiel about His love, and all that He had done, for the Israelites. He also reminded him of how He had given the Israelites very special instructions so that they could preserve the awesome life He had brought them to. It was a simple thing of: here’s my instructions to life, now obey these and you will have all those aspects of ‘life’ that I have promised you. Does this not sound familiar friends? God created the beautiful planet of earth for His children that He would later create. He even took things into consideration that He knew we might find fault with, for there are various places where we can ‘plant our roots’ with just the right temperature that we enjoy! God then gave us life’s Instruction Manual – His Word – The Bible. Follow this, and you will not only find peace, love, joy and happiness while on earth, but you will also have everlasting joy in Heaven with our Father. Of course everyone in their right mind would assume that God’s children would automatically do these things, for ‘life’ could never get any better than promised by God. Unfortunately everyone with a sound mind will quickly recognize that we are still very much like the Israelites that God referred to in verse 13 above. In the greatest love that I can can possibly offer friend, I must warn you that the Israelites who disobeyed God and didn’t follow His decrees, never saw the wonderful gift of the Holy Land. This will be no different for those on earth who choose to disobey the Word of God – we will never see the gift of Heaven promised to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and obey the wonder gift of God’s special instructions to us – The Bible. Where do you stand on this Brother? Will you receive the prize Sister? Why not settle this today friends? Speak with God about your decision, won’t you?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for providing the means for me to have eternal life in heaven with You and the Father one day. Thank You for my friends who are reading this blog today and have not only been rescued from sin, like the Israelites were rescued from Egypt, but I pray that unlike the Israelites, each of us will dig deep into Your Word each day and not just look for Your glorious promises, but also be challenged to live according to Your teachings/decrees. As this occurs, I pray that those that we come into contact with each day will be impacted with the love of Christ that will be evident in everything we say or do. It’s all about You God. May we look and act just like You. I ask these things in greatest humility and love, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How Christians Are To Avoid Heartaches

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Living Bible – Colossians 3:1-3): 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.

THOUGHTS: 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 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 the cross 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, especially love for you and I, will help us to appreciate His handiwork and find reasons to worship Him for it. A place where there will be no distractions, but instead attract our full undivided attention! I recently took a missions trip into another country, and we disconnected from cell phones for a week. Wow, what a release! 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 as verse 3 indicates, that our real life is in heaven, then I would dare say that our minds, our attention, our aim and our devotion should be there also. Does that describe 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 distract us in our walk with You and our witness of You. For when we become solid in our faith and 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. I ask these things in the strong, mighty and holy name of Jesus, your Son and my Redeemer, AMEN!

 

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or 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!

Oneness – So The World Might Know

THE HOLY BIBLE (God’s Word Translation – John 17:20-23): 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.

THOUGHTS: 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 who know Him (Christians) 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 might be if the will of the Father is not accomplished. 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 reflect on the beliefs of some that we may not agree with? 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 and is representing 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 aligned for us, and as these verses today reflect, that You have actually prayed for. Our lack of success in ministry is directly impacted by our disobedience to You and Your Word, and 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!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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!

Perseverance Pays Off

THE HOLY BIBLE (New International Version – James 1:12): 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

THOUGHTS: We hear about ‘fair weather’ Christians, where we find it very easy to praise God when we feel like everything is going our way. We also hear about ‘hard times’ Christians, for it is only then that many of us look up to God and truly seek His face. Friends, as I read this verse this morning I felt like God was saying that He will truly bless us and/or reward us if we stick with Him while He is blessing us with riches and good fortunes, or testing our faith through very tough times. There’s a song that has lyrics similar to this “if I never have a burden, how would I know that God can truly pull me through“. I believe that ‘to persevere’ is to be consistent and/or dedicated in spite of our circumstances. Imagine taking a road trip from one location to another. You don’t turn around and head back home if your car has a flat tire, instead you have your problem repaired and then you travel on to your destination. On those trips when you’ve travelled hundreds of miles and arrive without incident, hopefully you then take time to thank the Lord for safety and protection on the road. These types of scenarios are similar to those that we face each and every day, and indicative of our walk with the Lord. If you are not already a praising person, may I encourage you to learn to ask God to bless you each day! Ask Him to use you as His faithful witness here on planet earth and to bring glory to Him in all things. Don’t place any conditions on that, such as “if things go my way” or “if there’s no setbacks”. Learn to praise God (persevere) in all circumstances and look for the lessons that He is teaching you, or how He uses those circumstances to redirect you into His perfect will. Oh that we may learn to let go of self and let God have His perfect will in our lives. Let’s commit to honor God, worship Him, serve Him and follow Him in spite of our circumstances. Obeying God in every circumstance, no matter where He leads, is an important way of showing our love towards God for His rich blessings, protection, guidance and leadership. This scripture assures us that when we do this, we are sure to receive a crown that God has promised to all who love Him.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and Your assurance of being our Guide, our Protector and our Provider each and every day. Please give us strength and fortitude to let go of our selfish desires and self-will to do ‘our own thing’ instead of leaning on the everlasting arms of the One who created us and who knows what lies ahead for us and the ones we need to help. Lord, may we learn to be as instruments in Your hands so that You may accomplish Your will through us in every circumstance of life. We are appreciative of our promised reward, but Lord, may we be content in knowing that we are obedient followers of the One who has this whole world in His hands and under His control. We are Your children Lord. We love You and long to be obedient in following Your plan for our lives. I ask these things in faith and in the precious and all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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!

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