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

Posts tagged ‘Draw Near to God’

Rejection By God? Really?

Saturday, 2019-09-28

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 14:10
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  My people, you love to wander away; you don’t even try to stay close to me. So now I will reject you and punish you for your sins. I, the Lord, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: I believe that we hear so much about how much God loves us, that it might be challenging for us to imagine that He will tire of our attitude and our rejection of Him. Perhaps this verse is an eye-opener for those who may feel like they could do anything they want, because God will still love them. As we meditate on this one verse today, I pray that our eyes might be opened to God’s true identity and character!

APPLICATION:  Unless we know the full extent of our God, we may otherwise assume that He is much like a puppet that our kids play with – He is placed in the corner until we call for Him. It’s interesting that God pointed me to this verse today, because in another Scripture reading today, in 1 Samuel 4-6, the Philistines found out that God was quite capable of showing His power all on His own, and without their commands or intervention! It is so easy to see how God became angry with the Philistines for their disrespect of the Ark of the Covenant, and with the Israelites for their disobedience, and the sons of Eli assuming roles that represented God, but yet they operated in total darkness. However, I believe that God wanted to remind us today that He is still God and that He has, or will tire of our sin and total disregard of Him – the One who sacrificed it all, His only Son, on the cross at Calvary, so that we may live in full hope of eternity with Him. He did not want us to use the excuses of those gone on before us and live in fear of the many laws of Moses, or for that to be a roadblock for us to enter heaven’s gates. The awful thing that I believe that God sees today though, is probably worse than what He saw in His people back in the days of Jeremiah, or Moses, or Eli. For in spite of the extra effort, and tremendous outpouring of His love, yet what God sees today must truly break His heart …….. perhaps even to the point of lifting His hand off us and rejecting our plea before Him. So often we should be praising God in thanksgiving for His divine intervention in our decision making, yet so often we permit the selfish ways of man to influence us, and we step out on that merit instead of faith in God, the creator of this universe. Why has God not given up on us a long time ago? Friends, I don’t believe that I need to spell out the evil that is prevalent in our world today, for we have it happening in our own backyards, and we hear about it every time we watch the evening news. We have many churches that are closing down because of poor attendance. I believe that we have more folk who’s only Christian activity, might be attending a church service over the weekend, if they could fit it into their busy schedules. Imagine if you only ate physical food once per week? Imagine if the only communication you had with your spouse or parents was once per week? There wouldn’t be much of an influence in your life from either of these sources, nor would you have reason to brag on either of these, because they would play such a minimal role in the remaining days and hours of the week. Yet I’m afraid that we have ‘Christians’ who do exactly this, and expecting their lives to be changed by God. Friends, be realistic – one hour per week with God and 167 hours in the heat of evil and the works of Satan. Which do you think will influence our lives more? Who then are we pleasing? Who then are we more apt to reflect in our attitudes and actions? It is extremely frightening to think about rejection by God or the possible fatal judgment of God, because He saw how we totally rejected and ignored Him – His love, His direction, and His awesome gift given for us. On the other hand, we have lots of verses that tell us things like: Draw near to God and He will draw near to us; If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and….. Friends, know that God loves you very much today. Please don’t reject Him. Please don’t take your relationship with Him lightly. We want to see His eternal blessing on us, and not His rejection and punishment.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You loved me so much that You gave Your very own Son so that I may have eternal life in Your presence. Please forgive me for the times that I take Your love for granted. Please speak to the hearts of my readers so that they too might examine their lives to ensure that they are in close communion with You, and not letting the vile of this old world take prominence in their lives. Please help us all that we may spend the necessary time with You for a happy and healthy relationship with You. Lord, we want to live more like You every day, and we realize that this only comes from spending more time with You than we do with this old world and its master, Satan. I pray that today it may be evident to those that we come into contact with that we have been with the Lord, and their lives might be impacted in such a way that they would either draw closer to You in relationship, or come to accept You as Lord of their life. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and lead us towards You, for this is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, 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!

Holding On Tightly

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-05-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 10:20-23 (MSG)

Text:

20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

23 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?”

OBSERVATION:
This rich young man felt like there was something missing in his life, in spite of all his riches. Having heard the stories about Jesus, and especially about this kingdom of which Jesus spoke, he decided to ask Jesus what it would take for him to make the cut. Jesus gave him a list of commandments, and the man felt like he had been obeying them from a very early age. Then Jesus got to the very core of this man’s issue – his riches. Because he was holding tight to his riches, he stopped asking Jesus further questions and instead left very saddened.
APPLICATION:
I believe that if each of us went to Jesus today on our own, there would be something that we are holding on to tightly that He could draw to our attention. For some, it might be riches, but for others it might be your job/business, or perhaps your family or friends or parties or sports or internet, etc, etc. I believe another way to analyze your own situation is to imagine Jesus asking you to go to a mission field that might be hundreds of miles away – what would be your biggest excuse to Him as to why you can’t leave in a few days? Now that you have figured that one out, what if God told you to get up and spend a few days with a poor lonely person a few blocks away as He is calling them to salvation and wants your influence in their life for a while? What might be the factor or excuse that would cause you to decline God’s request? I know, these things that I’ve mentioned are very challenging for some to even think about, so I’ll tell you what, why not just invite your neighbors to church with you this weekend? Oh you can’t because you have a fishing trip planned? Or is it a beach day, or family in town, or your favorite team is playing on Sunday and you can’t miss one minute of the game? Friends, I believe you are probably getting the idea by now, for if God is truly a priority in our lives, because we have said ‘Yes’ to His lordship, then what would truly prevent us from responding to the Master’s call? I would suggest that although many of us are not ‘rich’ financially, we are ‘rich’ in the things of this world. Try attending a retreat out in the wild, away from internet, television and worldly hindrances and see how close you can draw to God. While there, consider the things of this world that claim your attention and hinders your time and/or obedience to God. Those things are your ‘riches’ that Jesus might be asking you to diminish in your life so that He might claim your full attention. Singing that song ‘Draw me close to You’ will not do the job friend, only your willingness to let go of those things that you hold on to more tightly than God.
PRAYER:
Lord, I am convicted through this Scripture today that there are things of this world that Satan has used to distract us from holding You first in our lives, or having You as our priority in life. If we fought as hard to make You a priority, as we do for work, or church meetings, or family, or riches, then we might be like a large ship controlled by a very small rudder, for we would be way more sensitive to Your voice and Your commands. We may not be rich, as the young ruler was, but we do have distractions galore, so please Lord, draw our attention to the things that hinder our close walk with You and draw us close to You. We need You every hour dear Lord, stay close to us and encourage us to always stay close to 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!

If You… Then God will…

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – James 4:8, 10): 8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind……… 10 Be humble in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you.

 THOUGHTS: God loves us unconditionally, but there are some things that He will not do unless He is invited/asked, or until He recognizes our seriousness in asking, by doing our part. Let’s think about this in everyday living. We may love to have company in our home, but unless we invite friends over, or unless we open the door to let them in when they arrive, we will never have friends in our home. God designed us with our own free will, and He respects that so much that He will not intrude into our personal space, or our lives, unless we invite Him to and accept Him with open arms. God is very aware of those times that our mouths may say one thing but our heart feels differently. So while we may say, especially in church, that we want God in control of our lives, but deep inside we expect to hang on to the world, or at least our worldly traits, then this verse is clarifying that God is very willing to wait on drawing close to us until He knows that we seriously want Him to be intimate with us. Friends, unlike other relationships where you may say one thing and mean something differently, remember that with God you are dealing with your very Designer and Creator. He knows how you are put together and He knows the intent of your heart. To meet the conditions placed in vs 8, we must wash our hands and our divided hearts (our inner attitudes and motives) by confessing our sin and repenting of our sin and asking God’s help to remove the filth of sin from our lives. Our hearts are divided when we want to hang on to our worldly desires (sin) yet we know we need a Savior and want to receive His blessings. Friends, this act of surrendering life as you may know it today, for a life fully committed to Jesus Christ, requires a deep humbleness and a total surrender to the lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it worth it? I can irrevocably say that after some 40 years of walking with the Lord, I cannot imagine how I would have handled life without the awesome love, protection, care and concern of my Savior, for He Walks with me, and He Talks with me, and He Tells me I am His Own! My life is complete know that Jesus is in control! I would urge you like James did in these verses, to draw close to God and enjoy His presence as He draws close to you!

 PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for loving a sinner like me so much that You actually sacrificed Your very own Son so that I might have a way, and the means, to receive forgiveness of my sin, resulting in the promise of life everlasting with You! What a glorious day that was, when You called me to Yourself, and what an even sweeter life this has been with You in control of my life while here on this earth! Thank You Father! I have many family members and friends who have not seen the value of making this important decision yet in their life, so this morning I plead with You to tender the hearts of these ones and all those who will read this devotional with doubts and/or uncertainties about their relationship with You. May Your miracle working hand touch their lives today, incenting them to draw close to You and accept You as Lord, so that You may draw close to them and bless them in miraculous ways. Please have Your will and way in their lives so that they may rid their minds of any divisiveness, and therefore completely surrender to You. I humbly ask all this in the wonderful and all-powerful 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 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 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!

The Evidence & Results of True Faith

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 11:13-16): 13 Every one of those people died. But they still had faith, even though they had not received what they had been promised. They were glad just to see these things from far away, and they agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth. 14 When people talk this way, it is clear that they are looking for a place to call their own. 15 If they had been talking about the land where they had once lived, they could have gone back at any time. 16 But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven. That’s why God wasn’t ashamed for them to call him their God. He even built a city for them.

Thoughts: I believe I was renewed in my faith as I read this scripture, and was reminded of the faith shown by our forefathers. The writer reminds us that all the faith shown by these powerful men of God, such as Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob was not necessarily on the promises that would be revealed to them during their lifetime, but because their minds were not fixed on eartly things and/or places, God was not ashamed of their human failures and instead prepare a heavenly home for them that, no doubt, was their ultimate goal. I am reminded of a saying that often we are so earthly minded that we are of no heavenly good!! It sounds just the opposite for these great saints, and I believe that this may be much of the reason why they were particularly made a part of the scriptures – to help show us what 'true faith' really looks like. To my readers, let me encourage you to join me in re-evaluating the level of our faith. Let's begin with evaluating our priorities – are they more earthly minded than heavenly? Do our actions reflect the qualities learned from our relationship with Christ, or those inherited from our earthly interactions? Would God be ashamed for us to say that He is our God, or would He be proud of His children? We have a hope friends! We have a heavenly home and a gracious heavenly Father that awaits our arrival in His presence. Are you ready? Let's make Him proud of us as long as we are allowed to remain on planet earth, and may others be drawn to our Savior through the faith they see in us!

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for the awesome experience of knowing You, and being blessed by the many ways that You have already touched my life. Please help my readers and I to place our relationship with You as our very top priority, and please help us to learn from the faith of our ancestors, while giving us the urgency to also allow our faith in You to be so obvious in us that those following in our footsteps would see more of Jesus than of our sinful selves. May our lives be so focused on You, oh Lord, that You would be proud to hear us call You our Father and our God. May all who come behind us find us faithful! I ask this in humility and in the wonderful 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!

 

 

The Horror of Rejection By God

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Jeremiah 14:10): My people, you love to wander away; you don’t even try to stay close to me. So now I will reject you and punish you for your sins. I, the Lord, have spoken.

THOUGHTS: I struggled with the idea of presenting a very negative verse in a positive manner, but I feel like God had me call it like it is so that we all might be made aware that He is still the same God that struggled with His people of Judah. Think on this friends: God even went a step further for us, because He sacrificed His only Son on a cruel cross at Calvary, so that we may not find the excuse that the old way of sacrificing and living according to the many laws of Moses to be a roadblock for us to enter heaven’s gates. The awful thing that I believe that God sees today though, is probably worse than what He saw in His people back in the days of Jeremiah. For in spite of the extra effort, and tremendous outpouring of His love, yet what God sees today must truly break His heart …….. perhaps even to the point of lifting His hand off us and rejecting our plea before Him. So often we should praise God in thanksgiving that He is in charge of making that decision, and not mere man, for we would have given up on this world a long time ago. Friends, I don’t believe that I need to spell out the evil that is prevalent in our world today, for we have it happening in our own backyards, and we hear about it every time we watch the evening news. We have many churches that are closing down because of poor attendance. I believe that we have more folk who’s only Christian activity, might be attending church on a Sunday morning, if they can fit it into their busy schedules. Imagine if you only ate physical food once per week? Imagine if the only communication you had with your spouse or parents was once per week? There wouldn’t be much of an influence in your life from either of these sources, nor would you have reason to brag on either of these, because they play such a minimal role in the remaining days and hours of the week. Yet I’m afraid that we have ‘Christians’ who do exactly this, and expecting their lives to be changed by God. Friends, be realistic – one hour per week with God and 167 hours in the heat of evil and the works of Satan. Which do you think will influence our lives more? Who then are we pleasing? Who then are we more apt to reflect in our attitudes and actions? It is extremely frightening to think about rejection by God or the fatal punishment by God on those who He is upset at. On the other hand, we have lots of verses that tell us things like: Draw near to God and He will draw near to us; If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and….. Friends, know that God loves you very much today. Please don’t reject Him. Please don’t take your relationship with Him lightly. We want to see His eternal blessing on us, not rejection and punishment.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You love me so much that You gave Your very own Son so that I may have eternal life in Your presence. Please forgive me for the times that I take Your love for granted. Please speak to the hearts of my readers so that they too might examine their lives to ensure that they are in close communion with You, and not letting the vile of this old world to take prominence in their lives. Please help us all that we may spend the necessary time with You for a happy and healthy relationship with You. Lord, we want to live more like You every day, and we realize that this only comes from spending more time with You than we do with this old world and its master, Satan. I pray that today it may be evident to those that we come into contact with that we have been with the Lord, and their lives might be impacted in such a way that they would either draw closer to You in relationship, or come to accept You as Lord of their life. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and lead us towards You, is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, 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!

Tag Cloud