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

Posts tagged ‘commitment’

God Loves the Repentant Heart

Monday, 2019-04-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 51:16-17
Translation: The Voice (Voice)

Bible Text: 16 I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret, but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings. 17 What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest.

OBSERVATION: From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

APPLICATION: “Lord, I’m sorry for my sin”, might come quite naturally when introduced to Jesus, but how sorry are we, really, when we turn around and do the same thing over and over again. David, the Psalmist, was confronted about his awful sin with Bathsheba, and while he could very easily spurt those famous words out to Nathan the prophet, David had to face his all-knowing God with this sin. Now we should be reminded that God didn’t only know the fact that Nathan just presented to David, but God knows even our thoughts and the intent of our heart. So do you really think that it would have helped for David to sacrifice a sheep or a goat on the altar as his way of saying I’m sorry? For the world, that may have been enough, because from all apparent evidence, David would have acknowledged his sin and paid the price for his forgiveness. But just like you and I, David not only needed this to look good in the eyes of his friends and the local priests, but in true repentance, he wanted a clean heart in the presence of his God. So friends, we not only need to ask for forgiveness from our earthly friends, family and the impacted one(s) for our sin, but in order to right our heart and resume our oneness with God, and to one day present ourselves faultless before our King, we must get before God in humility and deepest sincerity and ask for His forgiveness. Like David, we must always be aware that God desires:

  • A broken spirit – this means that we must be willing to break down our pride of thinking we know everything, and thinking that what occurred was a private matter between two consenting adults. We must acknowledge that we recognize that our hearts and our lives are transparent before an all-knowing God, so we may as well ‘come clean’ and ask His forgiveness for everything we have done or said or thought that may be contrary to His perfect design and will. There is nothing we can hide from God, so may I encourage you to break down the walls of pride and secrecy and be totally open with God;
  • A humble heart that honestly regrets the past (our sin) – Our acts may have been fun at the time, or our words may have revenged the individual we were out to get back at, but I believe that when the God of this universe looks into our eyes and our hearts, and He sees unconfessed sin, then we will be pushed aside or rejected from His presence, as sin cannot enter His kingdom.

I was at a conference recently where we were reminded that when we stand before God, we will deal with our personal condition in the face of a righteous, all-knowing God. The normal tendency of our actions here on earth is to try and compare to another individual, or pointing out their sin, while pushing ours under the table. This is not the way God will handle our judgment on that day that we stand before Him, for that will be a one-on-one conversation. It won’t matter what the neighbor did, or the deacon said, it will only matter how in sync our heart is with a righteous and perfect God. If that was to happen today, and it could very easily happen, what would God challenge you with? Consider getting that straight today friend, for we have no assurance of a second chance to do so tomorrow.

PRAYER: Father God, You created us, including our heart, our soul, our mind and our intellect. Why would we ever think that we could hide anything from You is most astonishing to our sober minds as we try to escape Your wrath. Please speak to those who seek after you today. Lord Jesus, may the words from our lips and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Savior and our 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!

No Not One

Wednesday, 2019-02-13

Bible Reference: Psalm 14:2-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  The Lord looks down in love, bending over heaven’s balcony, looking over all of Adam’s sons and daughters. He’s looking to see if there is anyone who acts wisely, any who are searching for God and wanting to please him. But no, everyone has wandered astray, walking stubbornly toward evil. Not one is good; he can’t even find one.

OBSERVATION: Created by a holy God, who demonstrated His love for us, even while we were steeped in sin and disregard of our Master; yet in spite of all that, can you imagine all that God sees when He looks down on His children – is it the unselfish desire to serve, the sacrificial love shown towards others, and persistent love and appreciation shown towards the Creator of this universe? Or is that really the ‘norm’ and the common theme that God sees? With sober and honest hearts, let us meditate on this Scripture today.

APPLICATION:  We hear it all the time, that our children looks like us, or they speak like us, or they act like us! That’s quite amazing at times, but very humbling and possibly even embarrassing at times, because then we realize that we have not been successful in hiding our attitude, or our closed minds to certain things, or the words that we spoke in private were indeed overheard by others! But let’s stop to ponder over what we are challenged with in our Scripture today. Imagine God, who created the universe, created you and I and placed us in His lush garden to enjoy all that He handcrafted just for us, yet we complain daily about our lack of food or provision. Imagine God, who gave us minds to think independently and make personal choices, yet to look on His children choosing to ignore Him and follow the ways of the evil one. Imagine God, who taught us to love one another, demonstrated His love in multiple ways, yet we show hatred towards one another and devise plots against each other – a total opposite to what we were taught. Imagine God, who gave us everything on earth for our food, our enjoyment and for our edification, yet He sees us storing up gifts that He blessed us with, and feeling content to see others go hungry, not ministered to, unloved, and feeling totally destitute. Friends, is there any wonder that verse 3 tells us that God looks down on us and sees that everyone has gone astray, everyone’s walking towards evil, no one is good, no one is holy, NO NOT ONE. Oh how this must break the heart of our God, our maker and our soon coming King. What’s your excuse today dear friend? Is it a priority in your life to obey God in ALL things? Is it a priority to love God and love others, because of the ways that He first demonstrated His love for you? This whole Christian life is unimportant to you if you have not made it a priority to seek God and His righteousness and follow Him in ALL your ways! That’s something only you and God can settle. I pray that Jesus will not return and find no one ready, for my desire is to know Him personally and live my life in line with His will, and obedient to His commands, so help me God. Would you join me in that commitment my friend?

PRAYER: I love that old hymn ‘Just A Closer Walk with Thee’, for that declares the words of my heart dear Lord. I am reminded in the Scripture today that I fail a lot more often in obediently following You, than I do at anything else that I attempt to do. Oh Lord, please forgive me for my weakness in my faith, and my disobedience to Your will and way. As my readers and I evaluate our position with You today, please open our eyes of honesty wide, so that we will not just say with our lips, but demonstrate throughout every aspect of our lives, that we are children of the King – as evidenced in the things we say, our actions, and our love and respect demonstrated in our very aspect of our existence here on earth. May You be glorified today in us, and because of us, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. AMEN!

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

God’s Plan Orchestrated For Our Good!

Wednesday, 2018-12-26

Bible Reference: Romans 8:27-28
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 27 Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God? 28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

OBSERVATION: As we approach the end of the year and begin thinking back to all that has taken place in our lives in 2018, others may hear us moaning ‘poor me’ because of all that has happened. But let’s reflect on the year based on the focal verses above, and see if we could do any better in our time of reflection!

APPLICATION: For some, who may have won the lotto, or been immensely blessed in many ways, it may be easy to reflect on how good God is, and the many ways in which He has blessed. But there are some who may have experienced great life events, that may have involved losing a loved one; or medical challenges that may have almost caused separation from life to death for a precious family member; or losing a house or a car because of devastating financial burdens; or any number of things that you may have wished were more ‘normal’ or in line with others who were ‘truly blessed’. However, if we look at the year in light of what today’s Scripture is teaching us, how might we answer this question of ‘blessings’ more appropriately, or how might we understand more clearly how God’s hand was right plumb in the middle of our circumstances? Friends, the Word of God says that our Savior is ‘pursuing and exploring our heart’ and petitioning the Father on our behalf that we may stay aligned with His will for our lives. Is it any wonder why we reflect on circumstances and wonder why we chose to take a certain road home in lieu of another, after hearing of the awful accident around the time of our travel home? Or that we chose to go to the hospital for expert medical help, instead of playing doctor and treating our chest pains with aspirin? Or that we chose to share our testimony with our best friend, at a time that God was already working out His salvation plan in her life? Friends, for each of these examples we may easily brush them off as just being something you would have done anyway, or we may call them coincidence or good luck, but please notice again from the Scripture that neither of these words are used – not even in this modern translation of the Bible. There is nothing haphazard about God’s plan, or about His actions in working out His plan in our lives. Remember, we are His workmanship, and for those who have accepted Him as Lord, we are His prized possession on loan only, to this world for just a little while longer. So let’s look for, and expect to see His love and His caring touch work through us in miraculous ways. Verse 28 is a commonly recited verse, but I pray that it takes on a more enriched meaning to you as you were reminded of verse 27. I love the way that the Voice has translated the condition in verse 28: ‘when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan’. So friends, whether you reflect on 2018, or look towards 2019, try creating a sense of accountability with God on whether you could honestly say that you have loved Him sincerely, and you have accepted His plan for your life. Learn to praise Him unconditionally for everything that has transpired in your life, because you know that He has worked it out with the Father for your good!

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us! You amaze us with Your love and Your goodness, so much so that we may tend to question ‘why me Lord?’. Thank You for the lessons taught in these special verses today, for we are reminded of Your unconditional love for us, and how You love us enough that You keep us constantly before the Father, for our good. Help us Lord to keep this awesome news in mind, especially when things don’t appear to be going our way. May we be encouraged to share that special love with those that we come into contact with 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!

‘GUILTY’ of Praying?

Tuesday, 2018-11-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Daniel 6:10-11

Bible Text: 10 When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God. 11 The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Many of us meditating on this scripture today probably don’t have any state laws prohibiting us from any religious activities, but I wonder when last we could have possibly been found guilty of ‘praying’? Over in Philippians 4:6 we are told to not fret or worry about anything, but instead ‘pray’ about everything, yet in a country where we are free to pray and worship the God of this universe, we probably deal more with depression and anxiety than anything else. Daniel shows us that in spite of man’s efforts to hinder his relationship with his God, that nothing would separate him from the love of his Lord. I would encourage each of us to take particular note of this, because it doesn’t take much to hinder us in our prayer life. Of course I could only speak to our corporate prayer life, but it is sad that our midweek prayer and Bible study is attended by only a very small percentage of our congregation. In fact, so poorly attended that I am reminded by the words of a pastor in my younger life, who said that it looks like the church at large has voted to cancel the service, for the absence of the vast majority speaks volumes about how they feel about corporate prayer meetings. In fact, I wonder how God must feel when He looks at our corporate prayer meeting attendance, for He said through His servant in 1 Thessalonians 5:18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus, to live‘. So friends I would challenge you to seriously consider and declare who you are claiming as your King; your Lord; and your Master. Have you personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? God’s Word tells us that if you have, then you would have a desire to ‘pray all the time’. If your ‘love-for-God’ meter is measured by your prayer life, are you proud of the love you show to God every day? How about your concern for the church as a whole, do you attend corporate prayer enough to support its survival and its outreach into your community? Is your pastor empowered because of your prayers for him? Daniel maintained his prayer life in spite of a new law being enacted that he knew could have led to his imprisonment. How valid do you feel your excuses are for not attending your corporate prayer services, compared to Daniel’s commitment in the circumstances he was under?

Prayer

Lord God, we are a sorry bunch, considering all the gracious gifts that You bless us with every day, compared to the uncaring attitude we extend in returning thanks to You. Friends are dying every day without Jesus, and ashamedly we acknowledge that our prayers and our influence in their lives could have made a difference. We have read, heard and seen the power of prayer, yet many have chosen to ignore its power through their attendance and commitment to pray corporately. Please forgive us Lord. I feel like we are witnessing the greatest need for revival probably in the life of Your church here on earth. Only those who have actually accepted you as Lord can be ‘revived’, so Lord, please begin a great work in the life of Your church – Your people. May Your children be reminded of the power of prayer, and their obligation to converse with their Master. We need you heavenly Father, revive Your church again, I pray. 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!

Concerned Enough To Pray

Thursday, 2018-11-10

Scripture

Bible Reference: Nehemiah 1:2–4

Bible Text: Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven

Bible Translation: New International Version (NIV)

My Take

Ever shared your burden with a friend, and they promised to pray for you, but never followed up with you to see how you’re doing? Ever stood in a line of folk entering or exiting a church, and while telling one parishioner that you will be praying for them, you are already looking at the next person and greeting them? I am not your judge on whether you follow through with those promised prayers for someone, but I can honestly share with you that I have said those words many times before and now stand ashamed before God acknowledging that I have often not followed through with praying for the needs that I promised someone I would pray for. Nehemiah’s actions in verse (4) really spoke to me, but what equally ministered to me, was the action that he took in verse 2, where he asked about the condition of his Jewish brothers who had survived the exile. How many times do you leave church upset that the pastor never even asked you how you were feeling? Now, may I ask you a more challenging question, how many times in the last 4 weeks have you asked how things are going at the church at a very high level, or how might you pray for your pastor? Friends, too often we want to know what’s going on because we want every little piece of gossip we could get. I believe that Nehemiah is teaching us to settle for an answer like “I am really struggling today, please pray for my health”, or “I am feeling discouraged today, please pray for me”, or a pastor may say “I am feeling overwhelmed today because I am concerned about so many parishioners who are hurting emotionally or perhaps sick”. I believe that if we could settle for prayer needs such as that, instead of needing to know every little detail, then more pastors and/or Brothers and Sisters would share their high level prayer requests with us. But remember, most won’t share their prayer requests with us if we don’t care enough to ask. Now let me draw our attention to the depth of Nehemiah prayer. For he not only cared enough to ask about the condition of his people, but he followed through with days of mourning, fasting and praying before God for the needs of his people. Some months ago I took part in a prayer chain, where I committed to enter into God’s presence for one hour, praying over some heartfelt concerns. Because I have been accustomed to short, quick conversations with God, that hour felt like an eternity. Look at the condition of Nehemiah’s heart over this concern for his people – he mourned, he fasted and he prayed for days. May I challenge you to dig deep into your heart, yes even those of you that are trying to have hearts like your Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and consider the last time that you were burdened enough about your church, or pastor, or unsaved loved one that you found it more important to pray than to eat, and your heart was so burdened for the need that you wept uncontrollably before God in prayer for hours and days before you felt a breakthrough? Let’s care enough to actually pray about those things that concern us, and/or concern those that we love and care about. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man/woman avails much. Communion with God will best prepare us for dealings with mankind!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, please touch Your people once again. Draw us unto Yourself so that with Your heart and Your love and Your concern for Your children, we too might become more devoted to caring for one another and praying sincerely for the needs of others. Regrettably, we have become such an instant, fast-paced people that we hardly leave time for showing deep concern for one another, for our pastors and for our churches. Please forgive us Lord, and teach us to pray in a way pleasing to You, and that consequently reaches the hearts of those that we pray for. Our prayers are to You and for Your glory, so help us to never lose sight of our Savior by slacking in our prayer life. The world needs You, heavenly Father, and Christians need more of You to be effective witnesses for You. Please renew a right spirit within us, beginning with me, so that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart will be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord, my Rock 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 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!

Sin – An Object Of Cursing From God

Wednesday, 2016-10-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 44:22–23

Bible Text:  22 Today, your land is an object of cursing, a horror, a lifeless ruin because the Eternal could no longer stand your wickedness and the detestable things you did. 23 Take a good look at the disaster that has come upon you. It happened because you burned incense to other gods and sinned against the Eternal. It happened because you refused to obey His voice or follow His law and His decrees, because you ignored His warnings.

Bible Translation: The VOICE 

My Take

Just from the title you probably had no incentive or desire to open this devotional and read more. That’s pretty normal, because we are creatures of so much stress each day that the last thing we want to hear is another challenge or critical point of view. Sorry friends, but as followers of Christ we must be obedient to the Holy Spirit and stop to meditate on a passage of scripture such as this, when presented with it, because God could very well be getting our attention to warn us of what our own outcome may look like, if we continue in sin and disobedient to His commands. Based on scripture, I believe that God wants us to turn away from our sin (stop doing it and look at God’s plan for us), humble ourselves before the almighty God, seek His face and His heart’s desire for us, and pray for a revived spirit within us individually and, as a family, as a church, as a city and indeed as a nation. Friends, at this time of the year we become so caught up in politics, in Thanksgiving celebrations, and begin thinking about Christmas. If we’re not careful, I’m afraid that we could easily lose our passion for what is really critical in God’s eyes – that we know Him; honor Him; obey Him and seek sincerely to follow Him. In doing this friends, we will earn a deep, sincere, desire to see our family and friends also ‘make the cut’, or generate a desire to know the Savior that we love, adore and live in great expectation of uniting with one day! Friends, as we grow closer to God and live more like Him here on this earth, perhaps He may save our land from desolation and destruction. Most of us would desire that God bless our respective native country, so I sincerely believe that we would also truly regret it if God removed His hand of blessing from us and allowed our land to become an object of His cursing – just because of our neglect of God and His commands. God says in His Word that He puts our leaders in place for His purposes. Let us therefore be sure that we seek His face as we vote on our leaders, and more importantly, let us seek to know God better, understand His directions for us, and seek to follow His will and His way. I believe that this will please God and perhaps earn His blessing rather than His curse, as He did with the disobedient and rebellious Israelites.

Prayer

Lord, please forgive us for getting so caught up in our own agendas at the expense of our obedience to You and Your commands to us. I am convinced that You are far more interested in our heart, and the desires of our heart, than any earthly concern that we may have influence over. We love our respective home-country and would ask that You bless us immensely in every way. That’s a selfish request because we happen to live here, and whatever happens to our country, affects us. Lord, I also want to ask that You touch the hearts of Your children today so that we may be a vital Christian influence in our country that is representative of the Savior who loves and controls us. I realize that we don’t deserve this Lord, but I ask this so that Your work might be accomplished in our country, in spite of us. I pray that Your children will lift Your banner high so that the world might know the One who reigns over us! 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!

Beware of Thieves

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-11-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 10:9-10 (Voice)

Text:

  I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be liberated, will go in and go out, and will find pastures. 10 The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.
OBSERVATION:
Jesus faced an issue that may seem to some as being unheard of today. The leaders of the day made it look like they were out to do the best for their people, but it was known, and was very obvious to Jesus, that they were out for personal gain; recognition; and holding the people hostage to only their belief and lifestyle. Jesus saw straight through this, and took the opportunity to tell the leaders through parables. Let’s see what the application might be in this for us…..
APPLICATION:
I’m not sure what the estimated percentage of Christ believers are in each country represented by my followers of this blog, but I believe that each of us are probably ashamed of that percentage, and wish that the numbers were reversed between Christians and unbelievers. So let’s take a moment and see what the challenges may be that’s causing the thieves to get to so many family members, friends, work associates and even church attendees. See if you would agree with me on some of the ‘thieves’ I will list:

  • Sports – I know, you will automatically assume that I am not a big sports fan! You are correct, but how often does our friends miss a time of worship to be at a game? Other than worshiping the players/idols, do you ever see anyone worshiping God at the sporting events? Any witnessing to the one spilling beer over you? Glued to a TV screen at home perhaps, instead of voting ‘yes’ through your attendance and participation in an evening service at your church? Careful your allegiance to your favorite sporting activity doesn’t steal the joy you would have otherwise enjoyed blessing someone else, worshiping God or advancing His kingdom!
  • Outdoor Gaming – Could almost have been included in Sports, but we often, will hear how well our friends feel like they could worship in the hunting stand, or in the boat in the middle of the lake. Careful friends, for I don’t believe this is what God intended when He said that we should practice the assembling of ourselves together to worship Him and encourage others;
  • Work – With more and more businesses opened on our popular worship days, we quickly respond that we can’t attend worship services because of our obligation to work, or because you just got off work. Does your boss know about your priority to worship God on a day that you hold holy? Is it enough of a priority that you made it a part of your employment that you be off on your day of worship? What if a co-worker told you to steal or alter the books on the other workdays, will you do that also? Your boss will respect you for having principles and practicing them.

I believe that until you are willing to state your Christian beliefs, and be willing to stand up for the principles of Christ, the world will consider you yet another counterfeit. Jesus referred to the Pharisee leaders as thieves that have come to steal and destroy good people. If you were challenged by God on any of the above things, or perhaps others, may I suggest that you revitalize your relationship with the Master and allow Him to direct your path and your priorities. He wants an intimate relationship with you, my friend. He particularly designed you for this.

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, please enlighten us to the distractors in our life. Lord, we want to draw close to You and we know that we can’t do this when we have so many other things distracting us. It is so important that others see Jesus in us, and not the things of this world. Please give us boldness to stand firm in our beliefs and our commitment to You. Today may be a day for someone to see Jesus. Lord shine through each of us so that they may see You. 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!

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