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

Posts tagged ‘earth’

A Very Personal decision

Scripture: Genesis 27-28 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants.14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants.15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”  Gen 28:13-15 (NLT)

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

God had blessed Abraham and his son Isaac with so much, yet in this sobering moment for Jacob as he pouted over losing out on the blessing intended for him from his father, God chose to bless Jacob in much the same way that He did for Jacob’s father and grandfather. It wasn’t enough to be the son or grandson of two very blessed, Godly men. Jacob had heard from God directly. This is much the same in our decision to accept Jesus and live in His will. This is something we must do for ourselves. We must individually make a decision to accept Him and serve Him. We cannot ride on the coat tails of our ancestors, for although they may have been very Godly people, it is our decision as to what we will do with Christ, that will decide our ultimate destiny. Please contact me by responding to this post if you would like direction on accepting Jesus as your Lord, or if you would like for me to pray with you about your relationship with the Lord.

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

I pray that no one reading this today will go away without settling the relationship between themselves and the Master of the universe, my Lord and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that the importance of this personal decision will be evident and hold more importance and held to a much higher priority than ever before to each one reading this. I pray that decisions will be made today to accept Jesus as Lord, and that He will bless each one with the happiest 2011 as we rest in the peace of knowing our destiny, regardless of what might occur around us this year.

Love others without judging them

Scripture: Matthew 7 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matt 7:1-2 (NLT)

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

I have heard this passage read many times before, but today God really spoke to me through the last sentence. I know that I could be way too critical of others and that I tend to judge others, or draw conclusions on what their intentions may have been, but in this passage God reminds me that I have enough concerns of my own to worry about, why become so critical of others. After all, I will be judged by the same degree that I judge others, and I must be way too judgmental of others, because I sure do feel judged and/or picked on at times. I believe that God will still grant me the wisdom to discern when others are doing wrong, or are in opposition to God’s Word, but I have nothing spiritually to gain by trying to be their judge and tearing them down. Instead, I should be using these opportunities to help them overcome a weakness, or develop a stronger relationship with my Lord, who can help them through whatever challenge they may be facing.

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

Father I believe that You want to see Your children do their very best to represent You while here on this earth. I know that at times I fail miserably at this, but I believe that You’re still working on me and will help me overcome my weaknesses such as mentioned above. Lessons like this tend to keep me humble, and I know that in all things I must be careful to both give You the glory for everything accomplished, and also allow praises for everything to go directly up to You for anything, or anyone, that may have been influenced or blessed through me. Please help me not to judge others, for You are our ultimate Judge. Please help me to love on others and show them that You care for them, even if it appears to me that they are messing up. Thank You Jesus for loving us so much that You tolerate our weaknesses and look for ways to strengthen us in those areas so that Your power and Your love may shine through. You are awesome dear God, thank You!

Intent of the Heart and Obedience to the Word

Scripture: Matthew 5

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!  Matt 5:17-20 (NLT)

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

I believe that today we know many who try everything to get around the law, or they try to see how close they can come in doing something without getting arrested or caught for actually doing the crime. Take for instance speeding on the highways. We know that we could get a pricy ticket if we are caught, so we purchase a ‘fuzz buster’ to tell us when we are approaching a highway patrolman. Now in God’s records, can we be accused of breaking the law of the land? Of course we can. Just because we may hide behind a ‘fuzz buster’ or a lie, or anything else, God knows what actually took place. In fact, Jesus taught that even if we are angry enough to murder, we have sinned, even if we didn’t actually pull the trigger, or plunge the dagger. These were the type of folk that Jesus was teaching in this passage, and I believe that as I described, our folk that He would be teaching today. Even though I can’t think of how this applies to me, what caught my attention is verse 19, where Jesus teaches that if we ignore in the least, one of His commands, and we teach others to do so, then we would be considered one of the least in His Kingdom. I trust that I will be devoted to serving Christ to the fullest and obeying His commands each and every day, and that this will be so evident in my life that others will not be misled. If our hearts have been hardened to the Word of God, may we be blessed with a man of God to preach the Word to reveal our shortcomings this week.

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

Father I know that many times we will do something often enough until we will lose sight of whether it is wrong or not. I pray today that You will open my mind and my understanding to anything that I may do that is not in line with Your Word and in obedience to Your commands. I pray that my every word and every action will be from a heart devoted to You and with the intent of leading others to know You and understand Your teachings. Please touch my heart daily and give me the desire to obey Your commands, followed by the actions that would display the intent of Your Word.

Be a Godly Example and receive His Blessings

Scripture: Genesis 13

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

14 After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west.15 I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession.16 And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted!17 Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.”18 So Abram moved his camp to Hebron and settled near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. There he built another altar to the Lord.  Gen 13:14-18 (NLT)

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

In an earlier chapter we saw where Noah pleased God when he created an altar and gave a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God. In turn, he was blessed with a lot more than he thought he would have just coming out of the ark. In this passage we see where Abram was very open in being a peace maker. He was the key leader in this whole journey with Lot, yet when strife broke out, Abram was the one willing to step back and give Lot first preference in whichever land he wanted to settle on with his family, herds and belongings, and Abram settled for whatever was left. Although not specifically said in the passage, it is evident that this peaceful act, this display of family love and devotion, pleased God very much. In fact, so much so, that He met with Abram and showed him everything that would really belong to him. Abram, being the Godly man that he was, settled in and immediately built an altar to the Lord. Today it almost seems to be more important that we strive to be the revenger, the better man, the victor, the winner, to look bigger in the eyes of onlookers or those we try to impress, instead of being the peacemaker like Abram. I don’t believe that it ever hurts to eat ‘humble pie’ and always please God with our actions. This helps us be a much ‘bigger’ person in the eyes of our beholders, as they will realize that it must have been the power of God working in and through us, to face possible condemnation, possible defeat in the eyes of those looking for a fight, but to look and act more like God in what He would do in the same circumstance. In our passage today God has shown yet another example of what it means to represent Him and act in a Christian manner in our everyday lives. As we study His Word we will find more and more ways to look more like Him in all that we do and say instead of jumping in with both feet and doing what self, or the world promotes. Let’s be God-followers, even if it means eating the ‘humble pie’ like Abram did! In all circumstances let us be good examples of God in word and deed.

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

Your Word is filled with examples of how we should act and what it really means to represent You well while blessed to be here on this earth. Thank You for the example of Abram in this passage today. Today we are faced with equally as important decisions and/or challenges. May I not act in haste and respond in a manner outside of Your will or Your character. May I continue to represent You well in the good times, but may I also learn to represent You even more when old Satan rears his ugly head and tries to bring out the worst in me. May the worst in me be cleansed by You and replaced with qualities pleasing to You so that I may respond to life’s circumstances in a Godly fashion. It’s You I live for and You that I desire to please in all that I say or do, but I need Your constant touch on my life. Please continue to teach me Your ways and give me strength each day to be victorious in being Your representative in all things and in all ways.

Dt 11:22: (The Blessings of Obedience) – 22 “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.

Make God First in Your Life, then……

SCRIPTURE Studied: Matthew 4

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too.22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. Matt 4:18-22 (NLT)

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

While this seems like a miraculous thing for Jesus to call these men from what they were doing, and especially for them to leave their secular jobs and follow Him, I believe that this also occurs today. We were created by God, and while our flesh strives to live in and enjoy the pleasures of this world, I believe that our inward soul longs to be with Jesus and live a life pleasing to Him while here on this earth. Unfortunately I believe that the latter is not possible until we accept that deep longing to accept Jesus as Lord of our life. We can always stop and think of what life could be like if we weren’t so stuck on pleasing others. It is so unfortunate that we try so hard to please our peers, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our boss, our pastor and then with whatever is left in us we try to please God. Friend why not try and do this in reverse order – surrender your heart to God, give Him 100% of your effort to please Him and follow His commands, then watch how easy it will be to see others accept you for who you are. A life surrendered to, committed to and following the commands of Jesus will result in a happy, satisfied, fulfilled life with a purpose and a goal oriented mindset that will be fixed on Jesus Christ. Oh that we will do just that this Christmas season – a time on our calendar that we dedicate to the One whose birthday is the whole purpose of Christmas.

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

Father, I rededicated myself anew to You this Christmas. I pray that You will direct me each and every day, especially during this busy time on my calendar. I pray that You will help me place my life in perspective – You first, and all else to follow as You direct. May I be deep into Your Word daily so that I may learn of and subsequently follow the plan You have designed for my life. May I be an influence to others, especially those that have not yet accepted You as Lord of their lives. Like Peter, Andrew, James and John, may I be obedient to Your call on my life and serve You willingly every day. Please touch the lives of all readers today that they too may first of all accept You as Lord, then submit their lives totally to You and Your service. You gave Your very best that very first ‘Christmas’, may we in turn give our very best to You this Christmas.

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.

The Reward of Thankfulness and Appreciation to God

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 8

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things.22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Gen 8:20-22 (NLT)

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

Noah could very easily have complained while on the ark about how long he had to be penned up in tight quarters with the stench of animals, and he could have been so relieved after exiting the ark that he could have left everything behind him and went on to the joys of everything he saw in front of him. However, he took time to stop and offer a praise and thanksgiving offering to God immediately after getting off the ark, and before indulging in anything else. Are we careful to do this every time we recognize God at work in our lives? Do we stop and thank God for all He has done? Do we give Him credit for the things accomplished in our everyday lives, or do we attribute the successes to luck, or our personal achievement? God was so please with what He saw in Noah, until He made a few promises that Noah never even thought, or knew to asked for. I believe that God has way more good in store for us than we could ever imagine. He’s just waiting for us to let Him, and to do our part in recognizing Him and thanking Him for all that He does. there’s a song that I like to sing along with, “God of Wonders” that comes through in expressing how awe struck I am as I consider all that God does for me each and every day, and how special His children must be to Him. I want to always be mindful of all that my God does for me and those that I call ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister’. Thank You Father!

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

Father, You loved us so much that You gave it all for us. You created us, and everything around us to enjoy while here on this earth. You provided the ultimate sacrifice so that we may have a means to enjoy the ultimate prize of worshipping You in heaven one day. Thank You Father for loving me so much and providing for me every day. Please forgive me when I am selfish and whine about things that really don’t count towards my ultimate journey in being with You.

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