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

Posts tagged ‘Compassion’

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong 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!

God’s Way vs Man’s Ways

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-14
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:15–17 (NLT)

Text:

15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
OBSERVATION:
Man’s Way: Send the crowds away….
God’s Way: It’s not necessary to send them away, you feed them!
Man’s Way: BUT, we don’t have enough food for all of them…
APPLICATION:
In verse 14, the Scripture says that Jesus saw the needs of the people and He had compassion on them. He was concerned about their needs, just as I believe He is also concerned about our needs today. Friends, you could be the most wealthy person around, but in the presence of Jesus, my King, you will be reminded of how needy you truly are. In our quoted verses, I was reminded of the decisions we make in life today, and how those choices also carry forward into our churches. Seeing us in the world setting vs seeing us make decisions as church leaders, I wonder if our people actually sees a difference. I believe that we are so much like the disciples, for we are quick to judge, and make decisions based on our emotions and how the individual, or crowd is impacting our space, or our personal lives. The disciples saw the crowds and probably knew of their many and varied needs, so they thought to head off one more obvious need, and that was the worry of feeding the crowd. I learnt very early in my marriage that I didn’t just pop up on my wife, with one or more people, around lunch time, without giving her hours of preparation time to clean the house and prepare a nice meal! I wonder how much food the disciples would have taken to the hillside for a hungry crowd the size they were facing! The disciples saw the crowd as an inconvenience, but Jesus saw their needs. Also, even after proving Himself over and over before, yet when He told the disciples that they would feed the crowd, there was a rebuttal because they could not see the miracle that was possible by and through the hand of God. So how might we identify with this story today in our world? Do we have those times that we want the crowds to go away, so that we could…. Are there times that the needy approach us and all we look at is their physical condition and assume what their physical needs must be? Do we stop to consider what Jesus might say to those same individuals, or what He might say about our decision to ignore them or send them away? Would you compare your compassion for the needy to be in line with the compassion of Jesus, or are you at the opposite ends of the spectrum on how you might react, compared to Jesus? Friends, perhaps we should consider this Scripture in view of the personal decisions that we make regarding the physical needs of others, and imagine just for a moment that we might also be rejecting their spiritual needs when we turn the needy away. Oh that Jesus might penetrate our hearts so that we may see needs as He would, so that we may express love in ways that exemplify Him.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, just as You have opened my eyes to being more compassionate of the needs of those around me, or the needs of folk that might walk through our church doors, I pray that You would also tender the hearts of my readers. As Your representatives, I sincerely believe that we must desire the heart and compassion of our Master. Please humble us to look beyond our expectations and our image of the poor and needy, and help us to instead be concerned about their heart and their readiness to meet You, should You call them home today. Lord, teach us to imitate You and to gain the heart of Christ as we approach the needs of individuals today. Oh that they may see Jesus and want to know Him personally! May we not be a stumbling block to hinder such decisions today, is my humble prayer, oh Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

He’s Still God!

The Holy Bible (The Good News Translation – Isaiah 30:19-21): The Lord is compassionate, and when you cry to him for help, he will answer you. 20The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you, and you will not have to search for him any more. 21If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.”

Thoughts: Friends, I am a firm believer that our God never changes, and that He is the same today as He was yesterday and He will be same until He calls us home to be with Him in glory. I also believe that God inspired His written Word, the Bible, so that we might be drawn to Him, grow in Him, encouraged in Him and be counseled and/or corrected by Him to enable a consistent walk with Him. I therefore believe that just as these highlighted verses were prophesied by Isaiah to challenge the people of Israel who had strayed from Him, that God is also encouraging us today to keep our heads up, to return to Him, and to be encouraged in knowing that no matter what struggles and discouragements and challenges we face, that He’s still God, that His love for us is everlasting, and that we can come to Him, or return to Him, in confidence knowing that He is compassionate and that He will answer our cry for help. Please be reminded that God is not a yo-yo, or a puppet, but instead He loves you enough that He will answer your prayers in ways according to His will for You, and that would best satisfy your needs. In other words, if you ask Him for a new Cadillac and He knows that you will remain humble, and could afford a Toyota Corolla better, then you may receive transportation (answer to prayer), just not the car you asked for, because it would increase your struggles and not help your situation. Some reading this devotional today may also feel like they, or a loved one, is ‘at the end of their rope’, because life seems so impossible. May I encourage you to look to God, place your faith and trust in Him, and surrender your life totally to Him? As you do this friend, You will:

  • Have peace in knowing the ‘hand-off’ has taken place!
  • Find peace in your circumstances, knowing that the God of this universe is working on your behalf! Remember, He is a great big God, who has this world in His hands, so He can easily handle your circumstances;
  • Be encouraged in knowing that God loved you, even as a sinner, enough to sacrifice His only Son so that you may have life, and have it more abundantly in and through Him. And it is that type of deep love that is your today as you trust in Him!

Because He’s still God, I must remind you that He loves you today friend! I believe that His love is even more intense, but He will not force Himself on you. He wants you to take the first step, by surrendering your will to Him and allowing Him to do all that I have shared above. If you have never made a personal commitment to Jesus and invited Him to rule and reign in your life, then I would encourage you to make this most important decision today. Perhaps there is one meditating on this devotional who has previously invited Jesus into your life, but has strayed far away from Him. Friend, you will see from these verses that Israel had strayed far away, yet God was ready to welcome them back and love them with the intense love possible only by God. He’ll do the same for you, if you recommit to Him! I have included helps for you in the ‘Footnote’ below. Please make this the first day of ‘real’, ‘committed’, life in Christ today!

Prayer: Thank You Jesus for the reminder in these verses today of Your awesome love for us, and how You are so ready and willing to accept us, Your children, when we call upon Your name in humility and forgiveness. Many of my friends are hurting and filled with one disappointment after another because of worldly circumstances or possibly bad choices by them. Please use Your Word, and possibly this devotional to encourage them, to soften their hearts to the point of surrender, and a new life in You. This my humble prayer that I ask in faith, and in the name of Jesus my 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!

Mercy and Compassion – God’s In Charge!

The Bible – The Message

Romans 9:14-18

14–18       Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. God told Moses, “I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.” Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy. The same point was made when God said to Pharaoh, “I picked you as a bit player in this drama of my salvation power.” All we’re saying is that God has the first word, initiating the action in which we play our part for good or ill.

 Thoughts:

We hear a lot of folk say that God’s not fair, and I cringe whenever I hear those words. Friends, we place ourselves in very compromising places at times, and unfortunately bad things happen, especially in places where Satan is very present. I heard a preacher speak on the subject “Why do bad things happen to good people”, and although he was the right person to preach that sermon, seeing that he himself had Multiple Sclerosis and had difficulty speaking. Yet he helped his hearers to understand that we are all blessed by God in that He sent His one and only Son to die a cruel death on the cross, so that all those that believe on Him might have eternal life. So who are the ‘all’ he referred to? People such as Saul who was a persecutor of Christians and the church, yet God made such a difference in His life that he became a great evangelist and writer, having written many of the New Testament books. He made such a turnaround in his life that his name was changed to Paul to reflect the total life change. What Paul is explaining to his audience at Rome, and what God is using this message to speak with us about is that:

  • God is the author and maker of mankind and we are to be thankful and celebrative for this;
  • God loved us while we were still sinners and provided a means to enter His kingdom, and we are to be thankful and celebrative for this;
  • God showed compassion on us and chose us to be His children – because, friends sinners only has a mind for sinful things, not Godly ownership and Godly happiness, and we are to be thankful and celebrative for this;

So Paul’s question to his audience and to us today is, “what are we complaining about God not being fair about?” From the points above, I believe we can clearly see that God loves us way more than we deserve, and what is unfair about that? Let’s not question God when He doesn’t handle a situation the way that we instructed Him, He’s still God and above Him there is no other. Count your blessings friend, and I assure you that you’ll not have enough fingers left to consider the self-inflicted, unfortunate things that we tend to blame on God. I serve an awesome God, and my heart’s desire is to encourage as many as I can to know this Savior I love and adore! Are you ready to make a decision friend? Please use the contact information at the foot of this post to email me and allow me to pray with you, encourage you and introduce you to Jesus!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we are such an undeserving, yet very blessed people. Please help us to count our blessings and stop the whining and complaining. Where would we have been had it not been for Your love, Your mercy and Your compassion? Thank You for Your mercies on me. Thank You for Your blessings on me. Thank You for the assurance of my eternal home in glory with You. Please dear Lord, speak to the hearts of my friends and family that are not living life to its fullest today, because they have not given You full control of their lives. The sacrifice has been made, and I thank You for that, please help them to accept the gift that You so lovingly gave just for us. I am very thankful, yet I continue to ask on behalf of my unsaved friends, in Your precious and worthy name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: **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.

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