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

Posts tagged ‘church’

Can Others Follow Your Example?

SCRIPTURE FROM: Daniel 6:26-27 (VOICE)

TEXT: 26 I decree that all people everywhere who live under my sovereign rule ought to tremble before and fear the God of Daniel. 
        For He is the living God,
        and He will endure forever.
    His kingdom will never be overthrown;
        His reign will know no end.
27     He saves and rescues those who fear Him,
        performing signs and wonders in heaven and on earth;
    For He has rescued His servant Daniel
        from the power of the lions.

OBSERVATION: The king declared a decree based on what he saw had happened in Daniel’s life. I wonder if we paused at the end of the day and reflected on our lives – the ups and down, the attitude, the loss of temper, etc, that may have taken place that day, would we have something to celebrate with God, or would we be ashamed of it? What about others, would they have gained wisdom or godly example from us, like the king did of Daniel, or would they stay far enough away from us? Let’s meditate some more on this…

APPLICATION: We might say from time to time how we wish we were like a certain person – one who really stands out in our view, and perhaps excels in an area that we feel so inadequate in. For example, a lady might look at a girl who is so beautiful and shapely, that all of the nice looking guys are hanging all over her. She’s the popular girl at work and in their social circles. A guy might look at the man driving a ferrari and has the money to buy whatever his heart desires, so the girls flock after him. It’s funny how the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence! After considering scenarios like this, I have heard several people say that in spite of their problems, they can’t think of anyone that they would rather trade life with, so they will gladly deal with their own issues, and that is so true. But what about those that you would like to imitate? What about those that you would like to walk alongside for a day, a week or perhaps a year, so that you could learn some of what they know and/or do? In our Scripture today we see an example of a hardened king whose heart was changed because of the faithfulness of a true, earnest and faithful son of the Almighty. Like many of us, the king was accustomed to telling his subjects what they should must do, and if they disobeyed, or took too long getting it done, their life was abruptly ended. However, when Daniel was brought into the picture, King Darius noticed something different about him, much like I would hope that others notice with true followers of Christ today. For Daniel came with his life already under the command of one King, and he was so faithful to that King that he was not about to be redirected against those principles, even to the point, and threat, of death, when commanded by an earthly king. Friends, this man’s faith caused a hardened king to not only recognize the power of the King of all kings to whom Daniel answered, but he went as far as using that experience to command his kingdom to also respect and honor the King/God of Daniel. This stopped me in my tracks, and caused me to question what someone might say at the end of a day that they spent around me. What about you friend? Would there be some traits that your friend(s) might consider adopting? Do you suppose that they saw Jesus at all that day? Would they be drawn towards the God you serve, or would they try with all their power to go in the opposite direction? To each one reading this devotional, may I suggest that you consider this today in the things that you say and in the things you do? Seek God as you start your day and ask Him to give you opportunities to let your light so shine, that others might catch a glimpse of your Master. It’s all about Him, my faithful friend!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, may Your light so shine through my readers and I today, that those to whom we come into contact with, will react much like King Darius, and not only want to know you, but also want to adopt many of Your commands and characteristics. I believe that as they do, and prove You faithful, they will feel compelled to draw close to You and give You full reign in their lives. May You be recognized and glorified through us today dear 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 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 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!

Here’s The Reason Jesus Came

Sunday, 2017-07-16

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 2:17

Bible Text: 17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

The attention given to the unrighteous, reminds me of a friend who is attracted to the one who sits at the back of the church and may be feeling dejected. I am also made keenly aware of why our churches are not reaching many of the unsaved in our communities. Think about it, who do most of our church members hang around? Fellow Christians, right? What happens to a pastor or church leader who may be seen hanging around a questionable crowd? Jesus said that He came for those who know that they are sinners. Wouldn’t that be a bold statement for a church to acknowledge that they exist for the sake of the unsaved? Who generally devours most of your pastor’s time, the saved or the unsaved? Where do most of your budget dollars go – towards reaching the lost; or patting the backs of the saved, and keeping them entertained? Will the unsaved feel welcomed at your worship services, or will they feel looked down on by the masses? Are you a part of a ministry that imitates the desire of Jesus, seeking to reach those who know they are sinners? If we are to be about our Father’s work, I believe we should be busy doing exactly what He showed and taught us to do. Can you handle that friend?

Prayer

Lord, may we Your children be willing to minister to those in need of a Savior more than just ministering to those just like us, or those we like. You came so that the lost might be saved and see the Kingdom of God. Please help us to keep that as our focus of ministry. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, 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!

God’s Way vs Man’s Ways

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-14
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:15–17 (NLT)

Text:

15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
OBSERVATION:
Man’s Way: Send the crowds away….
God’s Way: It’s not necessary to send them away, you feed them!
Man’s Way: BUT, we don’t have enough food for all of them…
APPLICATION:
In verse 14, the Scripture says that Jesus saw the needs of the people and He had compassion on them. He was concerned about their needs, just as I believe He is also concerned about our needs today. Friends, you could be the most wealthy person around, but in the presence of Jesus, my King, you will be reminded of how needy you truly are. In our quoted verses, I was reminded of the decisions we make in life today, and how those choices also carry forward into our churches. Seeing us in the world setting vs seeing us make decisions as church leaders, I wonder if our people actually sees a difference. I believe that we are so much like the disciples, for we are quick to judge, and make decisions based on our emotions and how the individual, or crowd is impacting our space, or our personal lives. The disciples saw the crowds and probably knew of their many and varied needs, so they thought to head off one more obvious need, and that was the worry of feeding the crowd. I learnt very early in my marriage that I didn’t just pop up on my wife, with one or more people, around lunch time, without giving her hours of preparation time to clean the house and prepare a nice meal! I wonder how much food the disciples would have taken to the hillside for a hungry crowd the size they were facing! The disciples saw the crowd as an inconvenience, but Jesus saw their needs. Also, even after proving Himself over and over before, yet when He told the disciples that they would feed the crowd, there was a rebuttal because they could not see the miracle that was possible by and through the hand of God. So how might we identify with this story today in our world? Do we have those times that we want the crowds to go away, so that we could…. Are there times that the needy approach us and all we look at is their physical condition and assume what their physical needs must be? Do we stop to consider what Jesus might say to those same individuals, or what He might say about our decision to ignore them or send them away? Would you compare your compassion for the needy to be in line with the compassion of Jesus, or are you at the opposite ends of the spectrum on how you might react, compared to Jesus? Friends, perhaps we should consider this Scripture in view of the personal decisions that we make regarding the physical needs of others, and imagine just for a moment that we might also be rejecting their spiritual needs when we turn the needy away. Oh that Jesus might penetrate our hearts so that we may see needs as He would, so that we may express love in ways that exemplify Him.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, just as You have opened my eyes to being more compassionate of the needs of those around me, or the needs of folk that might walk through our church doors, I pray that You would also tender the hearts of my readers. As Your representatives, I sincerely believe that we must desire the heart and compassion of our Master. Please humble us to look beyond our expectations and our image of the poor and needy, and help us to instead be concerned about their heart and their readiness to meet You, should You call them home today. Lord, teach us to imitate You and to gain the heart of Christ as we approach the needs of individuals today. Oh that they may see Jesus and want to know Him personally! May we not be a stumbling block to hinder such decisions today, is my humble prayer, oh 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 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!

Evidence of Your Gifts

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-02-03
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (Voice)

Text:

Each believer has received a gift that manifests the Spirit’s power and presence. That gift is given for the good of the whole community. The Spirit gives one person a word of wisdom, but to the next person the same Spirit gives a word of knowledge. Another will receive the gift of faith by the same Spirit, and still another gifts of healing—all from the one Spirit. 10 One person is enabled by the Spirit to perform miracles, another to prophesy, while another is enabled to distinguish those prophetic spirits. The next one speaks in various kinds of unknown languages, while another is able to interpret those languages. 11 One Spirit works all these things in each of them individually as He sees fit.
OBSERVATION:
Notice what the Word of God does not say: It doesn’t say that some will receive a gift from God; or that some who are really blessed will receive more, or better gifts; or that our gift is given to help us look better or get richer; nor dies it say that because some will have better upbringing, they will develop better gifts. In fact, the Scripture says just the opposite to all these things, for it declares in verse 11 that the Spirit works which gift each will receive, as He sees fit, and not if He will decide to give them one.
APPLICATION:
OK, so having concluded that each believer in Jesus Christ has been blessed by God with a gift that should be used for His glory, you can appreciate why today’s blog title never questions whether you have a gift or not, but rather, what are you doing with that gift. Throughout the Bible we’ve seen where believers have questioned God about their gift, for Moses was adamant that he could not speak well, although He was ordained by God to lead the Israelites (a huge crowd of them) out of Egypt; Saul (Paul) was struck down on the road to Damascus and spoken to by God, only for Saul to question “who, me?”, yet from the biggest persecutor of the church, Paul became the biggest evangelist and even wrote much of the New Testament for our benefit. So what’s your excuse friend? Hopefully you are not guilty of doing the same with your gift as Jesus taught about ‘Light’ when He cautioned us to not hide our ‘Light’ under a bushel where it is ineffective. I believe that our first excuse is to talk ourselves out of a task that would showcase our gift. Fortunately, I believe that is also Biblical, for Scripture tells us that we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we should. However Scripture also says that ‘greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world’. Scripture also teaches that through our weakness and inabilities, He becomes strong – in other words, His worthiness is recognized in and through our weaknesses and inabilities. Ever noticed how God will many times use the most uneducated pastor to reach the lost, than some who have been to seminary and knows all the right words to say? Friends, I believe that there is perfection in what God declared through the words written by Paul. There are family and friends that you will rub shoulders with, or eat with, or play sports with, that I will never know here on this earth. So of course He wants His holiness, and His sanctification to be evident through you, so that those lost ones might know about Jesus and believe on Him. Please don’t underestimate your gift. No matter what God has blessed you with, just allow Him to use that gift through you, for His glory. Giving excuses is like saying that God is unworthy, or incapable of blessing you with your gift. Seek God’s face and recognize His voice, so that when the opportunity arises to use your gift, you will know without a shadow of doubt that God is merely using you as His instrument through whom He could accomplish His work.
PRAYER:
While our talents and our gifts are a blessing from You dear Lord, please humble us to allow You to accomplish Your will and Your work through everything that we attempt to do in Your name. Thank You for entrusting us with gifts that could help us accomplish Your work here on earth. We are so unworthy, and so inadequate in and of ourselves, no matter how much education we might have, or how smart we are in other earthly ways. Unless You build the house – unless You accomplish Your work, it will fail. Likewise, please help us to never underestimate the power of our God. It is so easy for us to conclude that we can’t, or we are incapable, or we have not been educated for that, or we can’t speak comfortably in front of others much more educated than us. Lord, we are questioning, or doubting Your abilities when we do that. Shame on us, for You are more than able to accomplish every good work and to reach every mortal man. Thank You for making us a part of Your plan, so that we may realize that our time here on earth is well worth it! Thine be the glory, for ever and for ever, 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!

Learn to Follow Jesus ‘At Once’

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-01-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 4:18-22 (TLB)

Text:

18 One day as he was walking along the beach beside the Lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—out in a boat fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen.

19 Jesus called out, “Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!” 20 And they left their nets at once and went with him.

21 A little farther up the beach he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets; and he called to them to come too. 22 At once they stopped their work and, leaving their father behind, went with him.

OBSERVATION:
In religious circles, we hear a lot of caution used to warn students of the Word not to take things out of context. I had been taught this story over and over from even an early age, but until this morning never really caught the context of Jesus calling His first disciples. Beginning up in verse 12 we are told that Jesus went to Galilee, a place known for its unbelievers. Yet as He walked along the lake and saw these fishermen, He simply gave the call to them, and without hesitation they dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. This story is nothing short of miraculous, friends!
APPLICATION:
I wonder what has happened to cause so many who sit under the teachings of the Lord Jesus to be in such doubt about the same Lord who they’ve heard for years to be a miracle-working, loving, sacrificial, all-powerful God. I would imagine that in many of our local churches Jesus may walk in today, He could call on the pastor, or the elders, or the deacons, or the Christians who have boasted of Him over the years, and they may ‘prayerfully consider’ the request to follow Jesus into the unknown – although on second thought, to leave everything they have and follow Him wherever He may guide them, well that may create somewhat of a challenge for many! One old faithful retired missionary told us that when he was called to missions, he sold everything he had and gave the money to his local home churches, because he felt like if Jesus called him, then he would provide for him. Furthermore, it increased his faith in the one that he knew he would lean heavily on for the unknowns of a foreign land. That really takes ‘faith’ to a whole new level for me! So in my above analogy, we believe that Jesus may stand a chance getting a few to follow Him among our church leadership, but what if He went down just about any old street in your neighborhood, where people hang out for everything but church-related activities? Would Jesus be accepted there, and will the residents follow Him ‘at once’? Friends, I believe that as we study the Word of God, we are often reminded that our Lord is not just ‘anyone’ walking our streets, or the isles of our churches looking for a handout. He knows us by name, and Scripture says that He knows us so well that He even knows the number of hairs on our head. So when He calls us, it will not be a ‘hey you over there in that red shirt’ type of thing, but He could very well call you by name and give you plenty enough evidence that He is calling you personally, in spite of all the guilt you may feel about your inadequate, feeble walk with Him. If you designed and made a particular tool that you wanted to use every time that you worked on a particular engine, or that you might want to cook a particular dish with, you will remember every peculiarity about that tool. Please don’t forget that God made you also friend, and He knows every little dent or nick that you’ve received over the years. He is simply looking for your availability through which He might mightily move in His earthly ministry. Are you willing to respond unconditionally and immediately? If not, why not? Accept Him today and know that peace that passes all understanding, for He cares for you, and loves you beyond anything you can imagine! Read my Footnote if you would like more information about a personal relationship with my Lord!
PRAYER:
Father, You are so amazing! You created us and gave us the freedom to either follow You in faith and savor that enormous love that You have for us, or to encounter the evil of this world where Satan strives daily to destroy us. Unfortunately, it seems like our faith never matures to the state that we are quick to obey and follow You, like these disciples demonstrated to us. Please forgive us for our lack of faith, and our desire to do our own thing, in spite of the normal bad results that we read about, hear about or have witnessed personally. Lord, we need a fresh dose of Jesus every day of our lives, for we are weak and sinful beyond anything we ever thought possible. Only You can save us, and only You can direct us in the paths that You have set out before us. Please fill us with Your everlasting love, power and commitment to be obedient children of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. For I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord 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 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!

The Repercussion For Sin

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-01-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Genesis 3:17–19 (NCV)

Text:

17 Then God said to the man, “You listened to what your wife said, and you ate fruit from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat. “So I will put a curse on the ground, and you will have to work very hard for your food. In pain you will eat its food all the days of your life. 18 The ground will produce thorns and weeds for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 You will sweat and work hard for your food.
OBSERVATION:
God gave some very simple rules to the very first family, concerning a tree in the middle of the garden that they were not permitted to eat from. Of course, it seems like anytime that rules are given, it is just human instinct to test the waters and see if anything would happen if we circumvent, or disobey that rule. In the preceding verses we see where the serpent was chastised and punished for his role in this whole act by Adam and Eve, then we see where God also punished Eve, followed by Adam. In each case the punishment was long-lasting, as we never hear about a serpent that does not crawl around on its stomach. Nor do we hear of a woman going through childbirth painlessly. In the above verses we see where Adam’s punishment was also long-lasting as men are still bothered today with weeds and thorns as they garden, plus the effort is so great that no one wants to do farming anymore. Bottom line is that God made it clear from the very beginning that He would not tolerate sin, and that there would be repercussions, if we sin.
APPLICATION:
Why then do we keep on sinning? It seems many times that it must really be in our DNA to rebel or fight against the standards established by God. Is it that Satan is stronger in our lives and therefore prohibits God from fulfilling His mission in us and through us? This may very well be the case friends. But no one deliberately chooses Satan as their leader, so why do we feel he is so prevalent in our lives? Think about this for a moment: if we are born into a sinful world around sinful people doing sinful actions, what exactly do you suppose one would be? Friends, we are told in Scripture that unless we confess our sins, and accept the precious gift God offers to us through His precious Son, Jesus Christ, then we remain in sin and will face eternal damnation, which is our eternal punishment for our sin. However, for those who accept the gift of Jesus Christ, to those shall be granted eternal forgiveness of sin, and therefore eternal happiness in heaven with Jesus and His Father. So to recap: if we continue in sin and do nothing, we will be worse off than Adam and Eve, for we will face eternal damnation with Satan and his cohorts. However, to be obedient to the call of Jesus on our lives and surrender our lives to Him, He has the power to save us and through His grace He will save us. This cleanses us from our sin and allows us entry into the heights of heaven to be with our Master for ever and ever. What’s your choice friend!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, I thank You for convicting me of my sin and giving me boldness to surrender my life to You. I look forward to the day when You will welcome me home to glory, because of Your grace! While remaining here on earth I need Your ongoing power and grace to help me overcome evil and to stand firm in my faith. Please be my guide and my stay throughout every circumstance of life. Lord, I have relatives and friends who are very much like the characters in our story today, but they have not surrendered their heart to You yet. In faith, I believe that You will send readers to this devotional who need to hear Your message of salvation today. Please Lord, may Your hand reach gently on the lives of these ones who need a Savior, please soften their hearts and make their will moldable so that they will stop and listen to Your voice. This is Your day oh Lord, please have Your will and way in our lives, so that You may be glorified and praised. 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!

Your Response Compared to Mary’s

Saturday, 2016-12-24

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 1:46-50

Bible Text: Then Mary said, “I praise the Lord with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior. I am not important, but he has shown his care for me, his lowly servant. From now until the end of time, people will remember how much God blessed me. Yes, the Powerful One has done great things for me. His name is very holy. He always gives mercy to those who worship him.

Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take

In verse 30 of this same chapter, the angel who appeared before this young virgin, Mary, calmed her be saying that God was delivering this awesome news to her because He was pleased with her. Does that make you think that there was a close relationship between Mary and her God? There is a gospel song entitled ‘Why me’, and I love that song, but I believe it is evident in this example of Mary that if we have the kind of relationship with God that He is pleased with, then perhaps He will be pleased with us also! Therefore, in line with God’s everlasting goodness,  there is no limit as to what He might do through you and I also! I believe that the other thing that we are taught in this greeting to Mary, is that when you have this type of relationship with God, and He decides to use you, He may very well use an agent of His to deliver the good news, as He did with the angel to Mary. Oh that we may have the grace to humbly accept the assignments that God sends our way. In accepting His assignment, I believe you are acknowledging that the God of this universe knows what He’s doing, and will do what He has planned, and He knows how He might best use you for His ultimate glory! Now consider what you may have thought of Mary if she responded to the angel that she would take time to think about it, because she is not one to make snap decisions. Or perhaps, asked the angel for a sign to prove to her that this assignment is truly from God. Wouldn’t that sound like she was second-guessing God. Friends, I believe that it is very obvious that God always looks for our availability, and He never has to worry about our abilities. Remember in Paul’s ministry, he desired that he might decrease, so that God may increase? Remember how John the Baptist said that he could only baptize with water, but that One who was to follow Him would actually baptize with the Holy Spirit? Yes, considering our weaknesses and our limited knowledge and abilities, we are limited by what we can do for the glory of God, but the Word of God reminds us that in Christ, and under the anointing of His Holy Spirit, He (God) can do ALL things. Friends, without any intention to brag, I can share from personal experience that God called me into various ministries where I was totally dependent on Him, and when totally surrendered to God, He was able to accomplish great things for His glory. When others look at us, and witness our actions and attitudes, their lives will only be moved into action IF they see Jesus. I would like to recommend that you consider joining me, as we daily connect with God – seek His face, not His hand, and give Him the place of honor and glory that He deserves. Make yourself available to Him for anything that He would consider using you for in accomplishing His will in your realm of influence. I believe it will amaze us how He could use even you and me! Can we, like Mary, praise God from the very depths of our hearts for what He has done, can do, and even accomplish through us, this Christmas?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, what a wonderful Savior You are! To create mere humans, allow them to do their own thing, then to accept our call for salvation, and unconditionally love us enough to welcome us back to Yourself. Wow, Oh What A Savior! But more than that Lord, You look at Your restored loved ones with such holiness that they are at Your disposal to even be used by You! Wow, Oh What A Savior! Scripture shows us how You used Your humble servant Mary, and I truly believe today that those who know You personally can easily be used by You as we place ourselves at Your feet and accept Your authority. Your will be done oh 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!

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