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

Posts tagged ‘covenant’

Establish A Memorial Pillar

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-02-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Genesis 31:44-45 (AMP)

Text:

44 So come now, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between you and me.” 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a [memorial] pillar.
OBSERVATION:
There’s a few keywords that we should pay attention to in this scripture today. ‘Covenant‘ – meaning that a firm agreement has been established between two or more people that is firmly rooted and cannot be undone. Secondly, ‘Memorial Pillar‘ or monument, as some translations calls it. These are generally put in place as a reminder of the covenant made, and will generally help the parties return to recognition of, and obedience to, the original covenant.
APPLICATION:
I find it interesting that today we still practice some of the same principles taught to us by our ancestors in scripture, such as we are looking at today. It just appears like we have relaxed the idea behind these principles. Let’s consider: (1) Covenant – on our wedding day, we make a covenant with our spouse in God’s presence, inviting Him to be a part of our partnership. However we hear of divorces in as early as three months after making that serious covenant. (2) Memorial/Pillar/Monument – sticking with the marriage idea, let’s recognize the wedding ring as a memorial, or pillar, or monument, that we put in place to remind us of the covenant we agreed to on our wedding day. Don’t couples choose to pitch the ring if another Mr. Right or Ms. Perfect comes along? How about our relationship with the Lord? Don’t we sometimes tend to do the same thing with God as we do with our other commitments (covenants)? Isn’t the easiest thing to do when someone ignores us at church, is to abandon our covenant with God? Friends, Laban and Jacob had some very precious jewels that would be impacted if there was a division between the two of them, so it was incumbent upon them to find a resolution, and set some parameters and markers to remind them, should they ever be tempted to make snap decisions in the future. This is a good reminder for us, for when we break covenants, or when we ignore parameters and/or monuments that were erected to protect us, we are also impacting other innocent Brothers and Sisters. After all, what impact might there be for a pastor or a Bible teacher to break the confidence of a congregation or a class by openly displaying a breach of covenant they once made with a spouse, or a church or a body of believers? It is often devastating. May I remind you that the same thing happens in the lives of any believer, for we never know who is following in our footsteps or are encouraged by our ministry or our walk with the Lord. Our challenge here today is to continue making covenants, continue including God in the mix, as our helper, protector and guide, and to stay true to our covenant. Establish markers or monuments or pillars to remind us, and help keep us accountable to the covenant we once made, God being our helper.
PRAYER:
Lord, You are our example. You loved us enough that You came to this world to live among us and see the struggles that we face every day. You died for us, so that we would have no excuse or hindrance in surrendering our lives to You. In everything You kept Your word and showed us the importance of doing the same. Please forgive us for the many times that we mess up on our commitments. Lord, we realize more every day how much we need You to hold our hand and help us along in our weakness. May You find us faithful Lord, and may we always live up to our covenant to be Your follower and to be a witness here on earth, right up to the time that You are ready to call us home with You. Thank You Lord Jesus for setting the example for us. May we strive daily to live in Your footsteps. 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!

No Turning Back

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Voice – Hebrews 6:4-8): 4-6 It is impossible to restore the changed heart of the one who has fallen from faith—who has already been enlightened, has tasted the gift of new life from God, has shared in the power of the Holy Spirit, and has known the goodness of God’s revelation and the powers of the coming age. If such a person falls away, it’s as though that one were crucifying the Son of God all over again and holding Him up to ridicule. 7 You see, God blesses the ground that drinks of the rain and then produces a bountiful crop for those who cultivate it. 8 But land that produces nothing but thorns and brambles? That land is worthless and in danger of being cursed, burned to the bare earth.

THOUGHTS: I believe that the same types of problems that were being dealt with in the early church, are very evident in our churches and our world today. I believe the hardest part of this scripture is to imagine that one might be turned away at the cross. However, after closer study of this, I concluded that this is definitely referring to one who had given their heart to the Lord, enjoyed His blessings and His goodness, then went in a totally different direction that led to a very strong falling away from the faith. I don’t believe that there is a discussion as to whether the person is saved or not, but rather more about restoration of the heart. When one drifts away it is as if they are ignoring, or perhaps even denouncing the God in whom they claimed to have enjoyed a relationship. In fact, in this passage of scripture it suggests that this person is then very similar to the one that would have participated in the crucifixion of Christ, for they are literally denouncing the truth of what transpired in their life, and in the life that God provides to those who believe in Him. In fact, I believe that this deceiving action is the same as denouncing the Holy Spirit – the one unforgivable sin. Therefore I question if that’s not partially the reason why the writer felt like “it is impossible to restore the heart of one” such as described. I’m sure we’ll know when we sit at the feet of Jesus and can discuss all these questions in detail for a few hundred years!! However friends, the main thing I want to challenge you with today is that we should make every effort to not fall into the trap of falling away. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His part of that covenant is to keep us secure in His hand throughout eternity. Why should we mean anything different? My greatest desire is that we will not fall into the trap of some who make a decision to do something, and that decision stands – until something better comes up. We expect God to keep His end of the covenant, I would encourage you to mean nothing less on your end of the same covenant.

PRAYER: Dear God, You have been so faithful to us, and I thank You very deeply for Your love in remaining faithful, even when I know that we have disappointed You. Please strengthen us with Your love and Your guidance today so that we may remain strong in the faith and totally committed to serving You all the days of our life. We tend to think of those who have chosen to step away from the faith, especially when we study scripture like the one today. However, if not for the grace of God, this could easily be us. So loving Jesus, please give us strength to be overcomers and totally committed to the everlasting covenant that we agreed to in accepting You, our everlasting Savior with whom we plan to spend eternity. I ask these things in the wonderful and blessed 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 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!

May the God of Peace be evident in Us!

Scripture: Genesis 26 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

26 One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander.27 “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.”28 They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant.29 Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!”30 So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together.31 Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. Gen 26:26-31 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I’m sure that sometimes God must look at us in dismay and say, why are you being such a brat and acting this way, refusing to accept this person in love through faith in Me? After all didn’t I give you what you have to use for my glory, and isn’t this person approaching you with a peaceful intention? So often I’m afraid that we tend to feel like we are especially blessed by God and since our little feelings were hurt, why should we then share our blessings with the same person that forced us into a challenging corner in the first place. This lesson from Isaac shows me that even the same king that kicked him off his property and out of his town, which I’m sure must have created quite a stir for Isaac’s camp, yet Isaac accepted the king with open arms and in peace, agreeing to a treaty proposed by the king. What a lesson to learn here! Hopefully we will be called into a situation where we could make the difference between peace and separation; showing God’s love through our actions, rather than allowing Satan to take credit for the way that we respond to such peace offerings. May this be a year filled with God’s love expressed through us in ways that will shock Satan and his cohorts. May God win the battles though His people and may He receive glory for all that is accomplished in His name!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, there are situations and scenarios in our lives that require Your power in our lives to help us make right and peaceful decisions. I believe that You are the same God today that You were when You helped Isaac overcome the challenging decisions he had to make when approached by the king. I believe that You can, and will honor our call for peaceful resolutions and treaties so that You may be honored and receive glory for the miraculous decisions that we make. Please help me to always think primarily like You would and then depend wholeheartedly on You for power to overcome the forces of this world and Satan. May the victories and/or peaceful resolutions that occur this year through my life, and those for which I may influence through my church, bring You glory and be a visible display of Your power to a lost world.

A Covenant Relationship

Scripture: Genesis 17

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! Gen 17:1-6 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Much is said in God’s Work about covenant relationships. In this particular chapter there were several covenant relationships made with Abram (Abraham) and they all were similar in form. God made a covenant that He would do certain things and this was either preceded, or followed by, certain things that would be required by Abram and/or his people. In this particular covenant God told his servant who was once fatherless, that he would become the father of countless descendants and of many nations, and to mark this his name would be changed to reflect the new him, because Abraham actually means ‘Father of Many’. Now prior to all this being revealed, God demanded of Abram that he vow to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Throughout God’s Word He makes many promises to us, the greatest of which was the gift of His Son Jesus. In this particular covenant, God sent His Son so that those of us that believe on, and accept Him as Lord of our life, would have eternal life. At Christmas time we celebrate the gift that was presented to us. I trust that for all who may read this devotional, You would truly accept this gift and complete the covenant presented by God, for I guarantee you that He will live up to His part of the covenant by opening heaven’s gates and receiving us into eternity with Him. Friend I pray that your eyes will be opened to this invitation, because the alternative is not very bright for those who refuse to accept Jesus. An eternal life of damnation and the unpleasentries of Hell is not anything that I can imagine anyone wanting to set as a goal in their life.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I thank You for the greatest gift ever given – Your Son. I thank You also for touching my life and encouraging me to accept Your gift some 35 years ago. I am concerned about the numerous number of family and/or friends and/or co-workers that have chosen to ignore Your gift and the covenant You have offered to us. I pray that this will be an important Christmas weekend in the lives of those that You have touched my life through, because I pray that You will once again overly sensitize their hearts so that they will understand how hopeless life is without You. May they experience the real meaning of the reason that we celebrate Christmas as they surrender and submit their lives to You this week.

A Promise To The Righteous

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 5 – 7 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die.18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives.19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood.20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive.21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.” Gen 6:17-21 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Although I have heard and read the story of Noah many times before, I was touched by this again today. God made man in His own image and in these chapters studied I found where men were still having sons well over 100 years of age, plus living in excess of 900 years. However God became very upset over the increasing evil that He saw in man and vowed to maximize his life to 120. Still, evil continued to the extent that it angered God into wiping out all living things made by Him on this earth. However, He was able to find one righteous man, Noah. The covenant He made with Noah is similar to the one that he makes with those of us that accept Him as Lord and then strive to live righteous lives. Throughout all the destruction of all living things – water on this earth of more than 22 feet above the highest mountain, yet He kept Noah and his family plus a limited number of animals, safe. Later in God’s Word He provides another covenant for those of us that accepts His Son as Lord of our lives, and this covenant is that we may live eternally with Him in glory! I don’t know about you, but to have the love of the Father – our creator, poured out on me as a child of His here on this earth, plus to also be assured of eternity with Him in glory is enough to make this life tolerable and  worth every moment of every day facing the everyday challenges of this temporary world. Noah was saved, together with his family, because He followed the will of God and lived a righteous life in the eyes of God. We can do the same today if only we will follow the plan outlined by God. Do you know this Savior of whom I speak of here? The invitation is open to ALL who believe and accept Jesus as Lord of your life. Read John 3:16 to understand the full depth of God’s promise. Won’t you covenant with God today friend? Read though this help page for directions, or contact me by responding to this post. Jesus loves you, and so do I!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because of what He said here today?)

Father, You have shown in Your Word how important it is for Your creations to dedicate themselves to their creator. Thank You for the awesome job You did in wonderfully making me and then providing a means for me to have life eternally with You. I pray that everyone that reads this post today will be convinced of Your love, and that their hearts will be troubled enough to not let the sun set today before making a commitment to accept You as their Lord and Savior and to live a righteous life in Your sight, during the time they have left here on this earth. May You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives today!

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