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

Posts tagged ‘church’

Those Who Are Guilty Should Not Condemn Others

Friday, 2019-10-25

Bible Reference: John 8:3-5
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in bed with a man who was not her husband. They forced her to stand in front of the people. They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses commands us to stone to death any such woman. What do you say we should do?”

OBSERVATION: Remove the plank from your own eye before condemning a friend with a speck of dirt in their eye. That’s another time that Jesus warned us to clean up our own act before judging another of very similar sins that they might be committing. I believe that this is such a prevalent issue, that God has chosen to warn us yet again in our Scripture today. Although you may not be guilty of this (ha), it may be great to to meditate with me on this thought, so that we could help someone else challenged with this problem!

APPLICATION: At one time in my career I found myself talking to a coworker about the shortcomings of a fellow employee in another department. It was nothing terrible, or at least I thought so, until the coworker turned around and told me that it was odd for me to mention the issue, because that’s exactly what the other party says about me!! Whoa! Was that ever an eyeopener for me! Another personal example of how God slapped me into reality: Being heavily involved in church, there was a time when I looked around and questioned (judged) why others were not doing as much as I was. A very honest pastor reminded me that there were things that individual was doing behind the scenes that I would never know about, but he was way more dedicated to the Lord’s work than most people would know about. Whoa – again! Friends, I’m not sure that there is any person on earth that God would delegate His authority to judge, condemn and destroy the will of another believer. Let me remind all of us that we have a full-time job trying to keep self aligned with the teachings, commands and ordinances of our Master. You see, He is perfect, and we are so far from perfect that it would take us a lifetime of daily persistence, and undiluted dedication to our Savior in order for us to truly follow His commands, and live a life that resembles Christ. Our obligation is to love and pray for our fellow believers, not judge and condemn them. God assures us in His Word that He will hold each of us accountable for our own sins. Let’s never lose sight of the incredible job that is ours to watch over self, while loving and caring enough for others with hopes that they too will do the same as they prepare for that glorious day when we will all see Jesus face-to-face!

PRAYER: It is so easy to get caught up in condemning others, oh Lord, and that’s not our job. Please help us to spend our time looking at You, imitating You, and studying about You so that we will understand what You desire from us. Perhaps at that point others may see enough of Christ in us, that our witness might be effective in helping them also see the Master. As you told the Pharisees, let the one without sin throw the first stone. We have no room condemning others, while we also have sin in our lives. Lord, we want to be just like You, and You are the only One without sin. Please complete Your work in us daily, 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 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!

We Have Enough!

Tuesday, 2019-10-22

Bible Reference: Exodus 36:4-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

OBSERVATION: In your minds, I would like for you to imagine that you are looking at your neighbor in church when the pastor announces that he wants the congregation to STOP GIVING, because the building fund is fully funded and there is no need for additional funds! Can you imagine the shock? Yet in our time together today we will see where Moses did exactly that – he told the people that there was no need of additional gifts, for there was enough given already! Let’s dig in to learn more about this strange idea!!

APPLICATION:  I wonder why things may have changed? Whether we talk to an individual or a well established church, there always seems to be a cry for help in their financial needs. First of all in our Scripture today, it is clear that not all of the people freely gave to the cause. In 2:21 we are told that those whose hearts were stirred by the message from God through Moses, responded to the plea for help in providing material for the building project. This sounds pretty much like our churches today, don’t you think? As a result of surveys, we are told that less than 20% of the people do more than 80% of the giving! So why have the others ignored the plea? Friends, I believe that the Word of God is clear on this. Just as the Word tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, then God would save our nation, I believe that many of us need to humble ourselves to recognize that we have nothing personally to brag about. It is because of God’s grace that we have the health to work, the job to go to, and the income to survive. If we truly acknowledge that fact, why would we withhold giving to God in proportion to what He has blessed us with? The Word gives us guidance – at least 10%. Because there are other biblical references to ‘first fruits’, I believe that the guidance actually refers to 10% of your gross income. Now because our relationship is one built around love, I don’t believe that we would dare use this as a legalistic demand. People ‘in love’ will generally give freely, and way more than might be expected of them. In a love relationship, there is no such thing as excuses why we can’t give 110% of ourselves to our mate. Should there be an excuse, or a reason, when it comes to giving to our Lord and His earthly work? Don’t you know that if each person in our congregations gave like this, that our pastors would frequently be faced with an overflow of income, where pastors and church leaders could decide to expand the ministry after meeting all the needs that they are aware of? We are told that more than 70% of our county have no church affiliation, or relationship with Jesus Christ, so is there a need to to expand our ministries? God may hold us accountable for not giving as we should to reach the lost. Furthermore, I believe that the stress level on our pastors will be drastically reduced, when they don’t have to worry about funding the projects that God has shown them might be necessary to grow the ministry. When we receive our paycheck, there is no negotiating on amounts taken out for government taxes, why should there be constant decision making on how much to give towards God’s work? Determine in your own heart how much you will give and stick to the plan Brother and Sister. We are promised that we will receive more than we could ever imagine or expect. Furthermore, we will receive in proportion to what we have given. May I encourage you to always expect more from God, knowing that you have given in abundance towards His work? Furthermore, rejoice, knowing your loving and all powerful God will abundantly bless you and meet your needs!

PRAYER: Father, it is exciting to see how You work. We give to bless others, yet You wind up also blessing us in return! There just isn’t a way that we can out-give You! Thank You for being so generous, loving and kind to us! I would say that we are so undeserving, but then I am reminded that even while we were undeserving, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice for us, so that we might have a chance at eternal life in heaven with You. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus, Son of God! Lord may we learn to give in similar fashion – regardless of whether we feel the receiver or the project is worthy of our love, may we react in obedience to Your will for us. Please bless us as we give, so that our own needs may be met each and every day. May souls be touched for You because of our obedience in giving. I ask these things humbly, although undeserving, but in the powerful name of our all-giving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

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

We Are Accountable To God

Monday, 2019-09-30

Bible Reference: Hebrews 4:12-13
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

OBSERVATION: Some may tend to look at the Bible as a book of stories about events from long, long ago. Some may stop to consider how odd it is that prophesies foretold hundreds of years earlier, actually came to fruition during the span of time the Bible was written. While others, like me, may actually live our lives today in honor of what the Word of God says, because we feel like it is the living Word of God, already proven accurate in numerous ways. And so we await the completed work of God, based on the rest of the story. Let’s meditate on what today’s story tells us about accountability!

APPLICATION:  Ever get frustrated by someone telling you something, but not really telling you enough to help you understand the full impact of what they mean? Imagine telling a blind person that the sky is not blue today? Would that really help them understand what color the sky really is today? I got the impression from this scripture that the Word of God is still very much alive today as it always has been, meaning that it’s fresh, current, discerning, applicable, and will not cut any punches, but get straight to the point for us. It is through this same Word that God actually touches our heart, prompts our thoughts and energizes us towards living Godly lives that resemble His example. Think of it as us being an open book before God! So why is this important Christian friend? Surely God is saying to us that as a child we look to, and obeyed our parents in order to live obedient and upright lives, following in their example as much as possible. God is like our parent, helping us continue to determine right from wrong. Additionally, He sent His Son, Jesus, to set an example of the life that He would like for us to live. If we have invited Him to be our Savior; our Father; our deliverer; our leader in life; then we are His children, and He will hold us accountable to all that He teaches and expects of us. How are you doing with that, dear friend? Are you in the Word enough to allow it to teach you the ‘right’ way to live – to walk, talk and act like Him? So then, why would this be important to you who have not accepted my Lord as your Savior? I believe that there is no reason for doubt about the way you should live your life. Without Christ, you will live by every shift of wind, and very much according to those around you and the circumstances that surround you. This will often lead to confusion, frustration, evil and hatred – just as the world lives. A choice to live a committed life to God, is a will to be obedient in ways that will please and honor God, to live according to the example He set for us while here on earth, and the excitement of living in the awesome expectation of one day being face-to-face with Jesus in glory. It’s the comfort of knowing that you are loved, protected and cared about by the God of this universe! How awesome is that friend? May I have the honor of introducing you to my Friend? Please read my ‘Footnote’ for additional direction. To all my readers, please read the last sentence carefully and understand that we are accountable to God for our decisions, our actions and our obedience. Is there anything you would dread if you were called before God today?

PRAYER: Dear God, we are so frivolous to believe that we can live our lives any way we please because of our freedom to choose. You gave us the freedom of choice, but we are accountable to You for the choices we make, and the resulting consequences or rewards for those choices. Please forgive us for our littleness in thinking that it’s nobody’s business but ours what we do with our life, for You sent Your one and only Son to the cross to show us Your love and how much You care about our choices. Please awaken us and keep our eyes focused on You in all of our choices, and may this reflect in the way that we live, so that others might be drawn to You through our surrender, obedience and witness. I realize this is an awesome and powerful request Oh Lord, but because I am asking this in the name of our most awesome and powerful Savior, Jesus Christ, I am comforted that I can ask this in confidence and with thanksgiving. 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!

Be Faithful in Following Jesus

Friday, 2019-09-13

Bible Reference: Matthew 4:18-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

OBSERVATION: Accepting Jesus because mom pressured you to do so, or because your prospective father-in-law only wants his daughter to marry a believer, would receive a totally different commitment from you, than a personal encounter with God, where He called you to repentance for the way that you have totally ignored His gift of salvation. In our example today from the Scripture, God had a personal encounter with the disciples. I believe that you should also listen closely for the call of God on your life, and that you should quickly respond.

APPLICATION:  Imagine for a moment if Peter and Andrew had concluded after meeting Jesus that He was a good man and would make a wonderful Savior for many people, especially for those who had time to follow Him around and observe His marvelous works. Imagine how little impact Jesus would have had on these two men if they chose to continue making a living and left Jesus alone to go and impact the brothers up the road who had nothing better to do. James and John had similar choices to make in verses 21 and 22, but like Peter and Andrew, these guys immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Friends these stories were included in the Word to show us the impact of total surrender. I don’t believe for a moment that God intends for every Christian to give up our jobs to be obedient followers of His. However, I do believe that God is showing us that it is important for us to take a 180 degree turn from what we did as a sinner, so that we might prove to whom we now belong. We don’t need to prove it to God, for He knows our very inmost thoughts and desires, but we need to convince ourselves that we have seriously redirected our lives to following the Savior, the King of all kings, Jesus Christ. We need to prove it to our friends. We can’t continue doing the things of this world (Satan approved things) and still expect our friends to see a difference in our lives. Think about everyday scenarios: what do you do when you go on a diet? You can’t lose weight eating the same junk food and sweets that brought you to your obese state in the first place. What do you do when you get married? You can’t hang out with your buddies until the wee hours of the morning and expect to go home and find your new spouse happily waiting for you. So what about the Christian walk? I would dare say that you can’t live like the Devil and say that you are a Christian. We have to leave the garbage behind, much like the disciples left their nets and their boats behind, and choose to give God our all – our undying allegiance, our unwavering love and dedication. Show Him that You are serious about the decision you made to follow Him – perhaps He will use you like He did in the case of the disciples mentioned! Won’t that be awesome!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for being patient with us. I’m afraid that too often we tend to try and continue doing what we’ve always done, yet expect different results, or worse still – try to convince ourselves that our allegiance has changed. Lord, I believe that these four disciples were so sold out to you that they gave up their fishing careers to become ‘fishers of men’ in your kingdom work. I am convinced that we need more folk like this today Lord, so that the world might know without a doubt who rules in our lives. Please work on us today and convict us of any shortfall You see in our lives and our commitment to You. May we be usable instruments in Your hands to reach the lost. I ask this in the strong and unwavering 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!

What If God Turned His Back On You?

Tuesday, 2019-09-10

Bible Reference: Judges 10:9-14
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: …. The Israelites were in great distress. 10 Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, saying, “We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.”
11 The Lord replied, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. 13 Yet you have abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!”

OBSERVATION: We have become such a spoiled people, that we seldom ever think of God turning His back on us. We hear it all the time: Oh, well, I will just ask God to forgive me; Oops, I shouldn’t have done that, but God will forgive me; God always forgives me; etc, etc. I’m sure you may have even uttered these words as well, so I hope that our Scripture passage will not be a shock to you today, for God told the Israelites “NO”! Meditate with me friends, for we must know the truth about God, and His plan of forgiveness.

APPLICATION:  We hear so much about death-bed conversions – that is, folk who do not want to make a decision while they are healthy and enjoying life, but when they know that there is no choice and they are indeed dying, then they ask to know and accept Jesus. Friends, I’m not saying that those decisions are necessarily hopeless, but there are at least two dangers:

1. Who knows whether you will survive a fatal crash and have the ability, and possibly last opportunity, to accept Jesus before passing away from this world? We could be snatched from this world instantly and without further opportunity to accept Jesus.

2. The Israelites in this Bible story, were blessed by God, protected, guided and loved dearly, but they were easily led by Satan to follow other gods. However, when they got into serious trouble and needed rescuing, they didn’t turn to these ‘little’ gods for help, but rather turned to the Almighty God. The good thing is that, like the prodigal son, they came to their senses and they realized that they needed something/someone greater – God.

Words that I wish no one meditating on this would ever hear, “Go away for I never knew you” or “I will not accept you, because you rejected me and worked against me so much during your lifetime”. But the Israelites heard similar words because of their stubbornness and ungodly acts.

I would beg all that may meditate on this today, and especially all that I know and love, to not delay in surrendering your life to Jesus. Please know that He loves you, and loved you enough that He gave up life itself so that you may have life everlasting with Him in glory. That’s a gift offered to you today, but its only yours if you accept it. Please respond to this post if you would like to learn more about accepting the gift of eternal life with Jesus, I would be overjoyed to help you biblically with this. Alternately, you are free to read every detail in my Footnote, and follow the plan outlined in the Bible.

PRAYER: My prayer today is that I will always be steadfast in my faith and my commitment to Jesus. May He find me faithful. My prayer for family and friends who may read this devotional and might be afraid of giving up a life of ‘fun’ to accept Jesus, I pray that God would open your eyes and help you see that there is never as much fun when you are living in fear. Living life without the fear of hell and the fear of dying unprepared is a life of peace and assurance – a life worth living! Friend, know God and know peace! When there is no God, there is no peace. May God grant you the boldness and the strength to make the right decision today. 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!

A Reflection of Oneness

Wednesday, 2019-07-24

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tag Cloud