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

Posts tagged ‘desires’

Think about your ‘Marker’

Scripture: Genesis 33-35 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

14 Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil.15 And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.   Gen 35:14-15 (NLT)

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

Jacob went to Bethel because he was reminded of how God revealed Himself to him there when he originally escaped from his brother Esau over 20 years earlier. While there the second time, God gave Jacob a new name, Israel, gave him renewed strength to repopulate the land, and gave him much of the land that He (God) had once given to Abraham and Isaac. I got the impression that God was giving Jacob/Israel a new beginning, and telling him “Now go and get busy for me”. We just celebrated the beginning of a New Year. It started much like the old year ended, without much ado. It sure would have been nice to, and probably is not too late to, recommit ourselves to God as His children looking to restart our respective ministries and seek God’s direction for what He would have us do this year with all that He has blessed us with. I believe that if each of us reflect on the blessings that God has showered on us over the past year, then plant a marker to remind us of those blessings, then in all earnest seek to be involved in God’s direction for more successes in 2011, our churches would not be able to contain the overflow of His blessings. I feel like we need to set aside our personal agendas and ‘business as usual’ attitudes, and be willing to let God work mightily through us. We know the awesome spiritual needs of our community, and we believe that we know the God who holds all the answers to all of life’s problems and shortcomings. This is the same God that we, as Christians, have accepted as our King. Let’s let go of our selfish desires and let God perform miracles in and through us, so that His work can be accomplished in our community.   

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

Praise be to God for His mighty hand and for all that He does for me each and every day. In being reminded of how You worked in the past dear God, I pray that You will again work in and through me and my church, and the churches of my community. There is no reason for us to have lost people in this community, or sinful acts a part of our neighborhood, for You are more powerful than anything or anyone else that we know. You are bigger than all these problems and challenges that we see, and You hold the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. I pray that You will find me faithful. I pray that You will find all those that worship You each week around Avon Park, Florida, willing and ready to bow before You, recognize Your Lordship and Your Kingship and that we will get off our personal thrones and allow You to be God, while we, as Your humble servants, stand ready to let You use us to do greater things for the Kingdom than we ever thought possible. May this be a year that we will look on as a ‘marker’ that future generations will come back to spiritually when they want to be reminded of Your power and move on a people and a community. Begin a renewed work in me, dear Lord, is my humble prayer.

O, What A Savior

Scripture: Genesis 20 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

6 In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her.7 Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.” Gen 20:6-7 (NLT)

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

God held Abimelech back from sinning by not committing adultery with Sarah, who although she was Abraham’s half sister, she also was his wife. I wonder how many times God must do that for us? I know that as we place our faith in Him and allow Him to watch over and protect us each and every day, some of the things that He might protect us from might be as bad, or worse, than what He did for Abimelech. God loves us so much that He sent/sacrificed His one and only Son for us, imagine how much more He will watch over and protect us in our everyday lives if we truly trust Him and place our faith in Him. O, What A Savior!

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

Thank You Father for loving us so much that You gave everything that was meaningful to You. Thank You for reminding me this morning that You also love me enough to steer me away from trouble and You will protect me from sinning. Thank You for being such a loving, awesome Father, to want the very best for Your son, to keep me safe from the sinful desires and temptations of this world. I’m sure that many times I will never know what all You have protected me from, but what a peace to know that You are my constant guide, protector and director. Thank You Jesus!

What is Your ‘Tower’?

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 9-11

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.)4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” Gen 11:3-4 (NLT)

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

Way back in the days when the earth was just being first populated we read about how the people found the need to build something that they could look on to identify themselves – some great accomplishment that they achieved. God saw that this was leading to pride and bragging rights for this clan so He intervened and placed a stumbling block to prevent them from the selfish desires that He saw in them. In fact, this is where the different languages started, for in verse 7 we are told how this was designed to confuse the people and stop them from self destruction. As I look at our world today I question myself of where our ‘towers’ are being built, and I had no trouble thinking of several that might give the same impression as to what God must have seen with the Tower of Babel:

  • Momentous Church Buildings – yes, we needn’t look very far to see this ‘Tower’. We talk about churches today as ‘The Crystal Cathedral’ (known for it’s beautiful, large glass structure) or ‘Liverpool Cathedral’ (known for its 31 ton bell installed in the tallest tower some 219 feet above ground). I agree that these are beautiful church buildings and I have no doubt that they probably perform great work for the Lord, but is this what we want to be known as? Would it not be good to be known as ‘The Church that ministers to the inner city’ or ‘The Church where folk come to know Christ every week’ or ‘The place where Jesus is found every week’? I believe that the true church will continue to be a ‘great’ church or ministry when it can succeed in any location in which it relocates, or any building in which it meets, or when its leadership is assumed by another leader, when attendees are constantly bringing in friends to meet Jesus, when communities look to that church as a ministry arm of the Lord Jesus Christ, because it reminds them of everything they have every heard about Jesus.
  • Big homes, fancy vehicles, big expensive televisions, etc. – Things that we tend to become know as having. In other words when we are identified by those things acquired, rather than by the Christian principles or character that we display in the best, or worst, circumstances every day, then we have a ‘Tower’ that we have built or bought to represent us.

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

Father I am reminded that You gave all that You had (Your precious Son) so that I may live eternally with You in Heaven. You didn’t sacrifice a great mountain that You created – although You designed and created some real beauties. I pray that people that I come in contact with may later refer to us as the “Child of God that led me to Christ”, or the “Christian that helped me in my time of trouble and despair” or “The friend that visited me when I was sick” or “He’s from that church where many of the folk from my community are coming to know Jesus”! May my church never be known as anything but an extension of Your love and caring for a lost and dying world. Please teach me daily to stay away from building any ‘towers’ that may prevent or distract my witness of You to this lost world in which I live. May the lost see so much of Jesus in and through me that they would have a deep desire to know You.

Who Is Your Serpent?

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 3-4

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Gen 3:1-5 (NLT)

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

God provided a perfect world for Adam and his family to live in. He provided everything they would need to eat, and the beautiful garden/atmosphere in which to enjoy life. Although it is tough for us to recognize this today, but God has also provided everything we need today to feed ourselves, and He has also given us the beauty of this earth to enjoy. God established commandments/rules for Adam and his family to follow, much like we find in God’s Word today for us to follow. Adam’s family wasn’t satisfied with all that was provided, so Eve chose to follow what a serpent told her to do. Cain, out of jealousy for his brother Abel, and out of spite for the correction handed to him because of his giving to God, killed his brother. This is not much different to what we do today. Like Eve, we would rather listen to our daily horoscope or a palm reader, rather than looking into God’s Word for answers to our problems. Like Cain, we quickly find someone else to blame our actions on, and we will quickly eliminate anyone that stands in our way of progress or success. We may not murder, but we gossip about, or try to disqualify the individual in order to lower the acceptance of that person in the eye of the one we are trying to please. As in the day of Adam, God still provides everything we need today, and He has given us His book of instructions to follow. We often tell our child that we can give them direction from the advantage point of experience. In God’s Word we can read story after story about experiences such as this one today that shows us what happened when God’s commands were not followed. We have the advantage point of the experiences detailed in the Word, but like in Eve’s situation we allow some serpent to lead us instead of God and His Word.

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

Father, I realize this morning that I may try to cover up my deeds to those around me, but You know my inmost feelings and the desires of my heart. You know all about the ‘serpents’ that I allow to rule my day and guide my thoughts and actions. Please may You find me useful in Your kingdom and therefore constantly looking for ways to overcome the evil one. I must take this life very seriously, because You have only given me one chance to walk this road. May I not wander from the path You have established for me and may I always seek Your favor to overcome the ‘serpents’ that will seek to destroy me, my family, my church family and those that I love. You are greater than all the situations that I may face today, please be my guide, protector and lord so that I may stay focused on You and Your desire for my life. May You receive honor and glory for all things accomplished through me today!

Our God Who Cares For Us!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Genesis 2

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.  Gen 2:18-22 (NLT)

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

A very familiar passage from Genesis, but I was reminded about how much my God really cares for us, His children. I could only imagine how often He must look down on us and see a need in our lives, then proceeds to provide for us, as He did in the case of Adam. We bring so much on ourselves, and we place ourselves in so many situations that could harm us or prove to be inappropriate for us  in our Christian walk. I can’t even begin to imagine how often God must shake His head and wonder why we are not listening to Him, why are we not doing what He told us in His Word to do, and then redirecting us back on the right path. I can only praise God this morning for a God that is patient with me, who loves me enough to redirect me and show me the right path, in spite of myself and all my personal shortcomings.

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

Thank you Father for loving me enough to get my attention from a world of sin and self, to see the need for a Savior and a hope for eternity. You created Adam, saw every need he had, and provided everything You knew that he would need to fulfill his life and I have no doubt that You still have that same love and caring for myself and Your other children today, and that You provide for us each and every day. I know that I could, and often do, make plenty enough mistakes on my own, thank You for reminding me that I have a Savior that watches over me every day and provides for me in ways that I could hardly imagine. I was reminded of this same things through a small comic-type photo this morning also, and I will attach it for all to reflect on!

He cares for the birds

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