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

Posts tagged ‘Committed to Jesus’

Extreme Testing

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Be thinking in advance how you would act under pressure today. Satan wants to see you fail. However God wants you to be His hands and feet on the ground! What’s inside will surely come out when put under pressure. I pray that nothing but the character of Jesus Christ will pour out from you today!…….

Today’s Bible Reference: Job 1:12
Today’s Bible Text: “All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: Right at the very beginning of the book of Job. in the very first verse, Job was announced as a blameless man filled with total integrity. Hopefully you know a few men that you would feel comfortable in calling them ‘men of integrity’. In fact, I once heard a preacher say that it is the same as someone coming up to you and telling you all sorts of evil about this ‘man of integrity’ that you have in mind right now, and you saying to them that although you weren’t on the scene, you can comfortable vouch for your ‘man of integrity’ knowing that he was not involved in any sort of evil. That’s about the impression of what I discerned in verse 1, only realizing that God knows even our deepest thoughts, intents and purposes, and still He announced Job as a man of deep convictions to which he was totally committed. So in this verse 12, we see where God is so confident in Job that He allows Satan permission to test him and try him. Knowing the successive verses that this testing became extreme, this whole thought made me stop and ponder: what if God wanted me to dig deep into my  thoughts, my words and my actions to see if I am truly all that I claim to be before the church, before my family, my friends or my coworkers? I wonder what His evaluation of me reveal? Will I past the test and still be strong in my witness for the Lord even through such extreme times? What about you friend? There’s a song ‘I’m Standing on the Solid Rock’. Are you truly where you need to be with Christ, or have you just been successful in fooling the world around you? I’ve been married over 40 years, and there’s no fooling my wife. She knows when something is bothering me and she knows when I am feeling ‘on top of the world’. I pray that I will never assume that God is anything less than my wife and that I can act any differently before folks in my world than who I truly am deep inside. I pray that I will constantly be confused for Jesus, because my character mirrors His character so closely. Where are you at friend? Will anything be revealed that would surprise others should you be put under this type test?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for giving us free will, but I also thank You for hearing our heart’s cry when we call out to You. I pray that my readers will join me in pleading with You to give us the boldness and stamina to stand firm in our faith, and may we not just pretend but rather, that our lives in every way will reflect our hearts that are filled in every way with Your character. We would prefer not to be tested to the extreme that Job was tested, yet we know that Satan is ready to pounce on us each and every day to discredit our witness for You. I ask for Your ongoing strength and guidance to always prove Satan wrong and instead to be a total witness to You before a hurting and dying world. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, my Everlasting Strength, Protector, Guide and Loving Savior. 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!

2016

What Is Best For Others

THE HOLY BIBLE – 23 You are certainly free to eat food offered to idols if you want to; it’s not against God’s laws to eat such meat, but that doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and do it. It may be perfectly legal, but it may not be best and helpful. 24 Don’t think only of yourself. Try to think of the other fellow, too, and what is best for him. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-33 ~ Living Bible (TLB)

THOUGHTS: Glance back at today’s title again and think about how ‘worldly’ that statement sounds. Not at all, right? That’s because this is an attribute of a child of God, friends. Paul used this in teaching the Corinthian church, where members who had accepted Jesus as Lord, realized that there were some traditional practices where they had recognized they may have been questioning God’s authority to bless and/or authorize them to eat. The problem Paul saw in that, is that they chose to eat these meats in the presence of weak Christians or even those who had yet to accept Christ. This created an air of unacceptance or separation by the unsaved, where it could have become almost impossible to break through their barrier, to teach them anything about the Lord. Let’s put this into a current, practical application. Assume with me that you invited a person to your church who is unsaved, but have always felt ‘religious’ convictions about eating pork, because they had at one time in their life been taught that the pig was ‘unclean’. So after the worship service, at the church-provided luncheon you filled your plate up with pork chops and proceeded to sit next to your invited friend to gorge yourself on this delicious meat. You noticed that after excusing themselves several times to make trips to the bathroom, your friend finally told you bye, and they left. Your eating of a food that made them sick to their stomach, not only put a wedge between the two of you, but could very easily have placed such a disgust in the mind of that friend for Christians as a whole, that they would never again accept an invitation to your church. This is an example of something being OK (legal) in your mind, but it totally offended your friend that you invited to church. Food is not the only thing that offends, or turns a prospect off from the Jesus you have been trying very hard to share with your friends. However, may I suggest to you that if you stick to the things of God and the practices taught by His Precious Son, then you can’t go wrong. You have developed a hardness in your heart against those things that may offend God, things that you automatically do in the presence of weaker Christians and/or prospects, causing them to question what kind of God could you possibly be serving. Right or wrong, non-Christians have their view about what a ‘perfect’ follower of Christ should look and act like. We have a responsibility to God to act and talk like Him so that He might use us to minister and/or encourage those that we come into contact with. We are to be ambassadors for Christ and learn to stay pliable by Him. This will lead to a life where our friends will see the difference in us, and not question to whom we could possibly belong. If you are truly on the Lord’s side, may I encourage you today to seek His face and desire to live according to His Word and His will for your life. Time is short before the Lord returns. We can’t afford ‘mess-ups’ like given in the example above. We are on mission for Jesus Christ, not on a self-pleasing mission for personal pleasure or gain. Join me, won’t you?

PRAYER: Father You sent Your Son to this earth to witness how far we had strayed, and to teach us how we should live obedient lives that are pleasing to You and therefore be individuals who are usable by You. Lord, this old sinful world has such a tug on Your children, especially when we lose sight of Your goodness and Your teachings. Lord, personally, I want to be just like You. I want my life to be a living example of all that You have taught us in Your Word, so that others touched by me would have touched the hand of God extended through me. I pray that You will multiply this request over and over, as individuals read this devotional today and share a desire to also be Your committed servant. Touch Your people once again dear God, so that we might become servants that You can be proud of, and usable instruments in Your hand – all for Your ultimate glory and honor. For these blessings I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

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

Loving Jesus and Willing to Follow Him

THE HOLY BIBLE – 19 ….Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them. (This was the follower who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and said, “Lord, who is it that will hand you over?”) 21 When Peter saw him behind them, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “Maybe I want him to live until I come. That should not matter to you. You follow me!” ~ John 21:19b-22 ~ Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

THOUGHTS: All of our lives we are trained to think about the other person and not be selfish, but I believe you will note in this scripture today that there comes a time in life where Jesus calls for our undivided attention to what He is saying directly to us. In this chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus had just questioned Peter about HIS relation – HIS love for the Master. Jesus got so personal with that question that He asked it of Peter 3 times. When we repeat a question like that, usually we are trying to make sure that we have the person’s undivided attention, and by the second or third time we ask it, the person is really questioning to himself if he truly understood the question, or if the hearer is doubting his answer. You might remember that this is the same Peter who will deny Jesus three times while Jesus hangs on the cross, even though Peter told Jesus ahead of time that he would be with Him right up the very bitter end. As for how we might normally handle this type of question, I believe it all depends on where we are at and in whose presence. At church, where we are surrounded by a crowd of fellow Christians. I bet we would easily respond in the affirmative to Jesus, as we listen for a loud ‘Amen’ from those around us! But how would our response differ if we were asked the same question by Jesus at work; or at the football stadium where folk all around us are drinking and partying? Would we be as quick to respond affirmatively? However, this was not the only sobering thought of this scripture. As indicated already, imagine if the question Jesus asked Peter was asked of us individually in a crowd. Can’t you see us looking around for support, before we respond? “Come on church, let’s respond collectively”, we might say. Imagine Jesus stopping your parade and saying “wait a minute young man/lady, I am looking for a personal response from you only. May I hear your heart’s response, in spite of what you feel the rest of the church/co-workers/theme park crowd might say collectively with you”. Friends, this is exactly what Jesus did to Peter, for He told me that He was more concerned that he (Peter) would follow Him, even if no one else did. What about you friend? If you were singled out like that, how would you respond to Jesus? Are you at that place in your relationship with Jesus that you will respond, based on your heart, and not what you think the crowd would like to hear? Friend, I would encourage you to join me in solidifying our relationship with the Lord. This could be the day that He decides to take one or all of us home, and I don’t know about you, but I really want to know that Jesus was pleased with my life while here on this earth. That I stood firm in my faith and in my witness for Him. I pray that this would also be the desire of each reader.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You stayed true to Your mission right up to Your time on the cross. Like us, I believe that Peter stayed true to you, but he and us, we are so easily swayed in our decision making, that the crowd (Satan) may easily find a ‘soft spot’ and distract our thoughts and commitment to You. Lord, we are so weak. But praise to Your glorious name, You are so strong. So Lord, we come to the solid ‘Rock’ today pleading for Your strength in our commitment; our boldness; and our witness – regardless of the environment or crowd that we might be in. Please help us to remain strong. For those reading this who have not made a personal decision to accept You as their Lord and Savior, I ask for clarity in their minds so that they might recognize the priority of accepting You as Lord, before following the crowd to ask a total stranger for help. Please impact the lives of Your children today, so that we might stand firm in our faith. May our transformed lives be so sincere, that the lives of others will be transformed when they ‘rub shoulders’ with one of Yours today. For 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Are You Known as a ‘Christ-Follower’?

THE HOLY BIBLE 1 Peter 4:12-16Easy-To-Read Version (ERV): 12 My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering, which are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory. 14 When people say bad things to you because you follow Christ, consider it a blessing. When that happens, it shows that God’s Spirit, the Spirit of glory, is with you. 15 You may suffer, but don’t let it be because you murder, steal, make trouble, or try to control other people’s lives. 16 But if you suffer because you are a “Christ-follower,” don’t be ashamed. You should praise God for that name.

THOUGHTS: I believe that when we accept Jesus as Lord, we tend to think more about what the benefits might be, than thinking about what additional controversy our decision might create, or what additional persecution might arise in our lives. Think about it, when folk are really struggling, we tend to convince them that they need Jesus. What if we told them that what they are presently going through is only a ‘drop-in-the-bucket’ compared to what will be brought on them after conversion? Do you suppose that anyone would agree to surrender their lives to Christ? However friends, we must be honest in evaluating what happened to Jesus, for He healed the sick, raised the dead and caused the blind to see, yet He was sought after like a criminal. This same Jesus is to be our role model friends. I feel like what we are taught here is that we are to do good, and be a shining example of Jesus, even if we know that controversy will arise. On the way to a business party one time I was asked by an executive why Christians abstain from drinking alcohol. I believe that it was asked to embarrass me because it was asked in a jeering way hoping to get laughter from the other executives present. I responded honestly as I believe God would have me do, and although I waited for the repercussion, it seemed like my honest response was well accepted. I recently heard a request for prayer about persecution on the job at a local company. It really surprised me, but after reading this scripture this morning, I am convinced that although we are not expected to go out and be deliberate rebels in our workplace or at local diners, or any other place that we go, we are expected to let our lights shine for Jesus and not hide that light for the sake of popularity or because of possible persecution. In fact, I love the suggested attitude in verse 14 – when we feel persecuted, or picked on, or laughed at, or made fun of, because of our faith, it is a great time to praise God knowing that others are impacted by the Christian stance we just took on a matter or the Christ-likeness that our audience just witnessed. It’s not a show-off thing, it’s our every-day Christian life being displayed in all aspects of our life. Is this always easy for us? Absolutely not, but when done in sincerity and under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, we will see great things accomplished for God. In fact, I would go as far as saying that if we feel forced into making a stand, then we need to question if it truly is a ‘God-thing’, or are we doing it to impress someone about us and our strengths and abilities.

PRAYER: Dear God, You gave everything You had so that we might have eternal life in glory with You and Your Son. Thank You Lord for Your goodness to me and Your invaluable gift! Lord, I pray that Your children who will meditate on this devotional today, might catch a glimpse, as I did, to the value of living our faith and making our witness known to all mankind, so that they might be convinced of our relationship with You. This witness will sometimes convince mankind of their need for a Savior, but it will sometimes offend those who are led by Satan and his demons. May we be strong in all circumstances, so that the world might know to whom we belong, and that we might be convinced in our heart that we are truly Yours, without a shadow of doubt. Lord, please have Your will and way in our lives today, and may Your glory shine through us as we stand firm in our faith in You. I ask these things in the powerful and awesome name of Jesus, and for your sake, AMEN!

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

Faith Is…….

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Hebrews 11:1, 5-6): Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—”he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

THOUGHTS: This whole chapter is known as ‘The faith chapter’. It takes on the job of the dictionary in explaining the meaning of ‘Faith’, for it tells us that ‘Faith’ makes us sure of what we hope for, and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was ‘Faith’ that helped our forefathers know God and please Him in every aspect of their lives. This whole chapter is filled with examples of how our ancestors pleased God in and through their ‘Faith’. Verse 6 goes on to minister to us by telling us that we can only please God through our ‘Faith’, for if we want to know Him, we must have ‘Faith’, believe that God exists and that He rewards us as we sincerely place our trust in Him. I just love this chapter, because not only am I told to have ‘Faith’, but it goes on to demonstrate the very reason it was so important in the lives of our ancestors, and therefore helps me to understand that God has not changed, so if I want to be as successful in my relationship with God as any of our ancestors were, then I had better sharpen my ‘Faith’. This also helped me to reflect on my own Christian journey and identify areas of my ‘Faith’ journey, for if our offspring is to truly walk a path towards, and with God, they will not only look to Hebrews 11 for evidence of ‘Faith’, but they will also want to know how impactful was ‘Faith’ in the life of their dad/uncle/grandfather/brother/cousin. I was able to identify times where I stepped out in ‘Faith’ believing in the true leadership of the God to whom I prayed, and I saw where lifesaving medical help became available to two family members, plus the increase of my family, because of my ‘Faith’ in knowing that God approved of me moving my family to a different country. There have been other instances friends, but I want to challenge you to look into your own life and identify how impactful your ‘Faith’ in God has been in your life. I want to challenge you to talk about that with your family so that they might know that the miracles of God are not only told in the Bible, but in every aspect of our lives today also. If we are truly the only Bible that most folk will read, then it is incumbent upon us to reveal our ‘Faith’ by telling them of the ways that God has worked in our lives and showed His power and His goodness in miraculous ways. Imagine your daughter teaching your grandson about the subject of ‘Faith’ and using examples in your life, rather than, or in addition to those related in this chapter of Hebrews! If our God is truly alive today, then we should be a witness to what He is doing today in and through us, His saints who are alive today! Tell your story friend! Brag on our Savior and allow Him to be praised because of what He has done for you!

PRAYER: Father I am concerned that people are judging our salvation based on the amount of faith we portray. This could negatively impact Christians, however this is exactly what James taught us in James 2:14 when he said: “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” As we have come into Your holy presence; as we have invited Your Holy Spirit to live inside of us; as we have committed to live our lives imitating Your character, Your example and Your teaching, we have so much to brag about. Please empower us with boldness, to not brag on anything that we are deserving of, but on the One deserving of our praise and our worship, because of Your outstanding and awesome goodness and mercy to us. Thank You Father, for it’s in the precious and faithful name of Jesus that I ask all this, AMEN!

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

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