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

Posts tagged ‘Excuses’

But Lord?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 9:11-16 (MSG)

TEXT:  11-12 “Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”

13-14 Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”

15-16 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.”

OBSERVATION:   Interesting how God shocks His servants with challenges, that they feel, are so outlandish! Moses was shocked, and found excuses when asked to take charge of the Israelites. Having never seen or heard of rain, Noah was shocked to receive orders to build a huge boat up on dry land. In our Scripture today, Ananias is being asked to go and minister to a murderer of Christians. One who had always fought Christianity and all that it stood for. Although God was the one telling Ananias to ‘Go’, Ananias was sure there must be some mistake, and he had to be sure that was cleared up before he agreed to do anything. Aren’t we just as quick in coming up with excuses why we can’t or shouldn’t do certain parts of ministry today?

APPLICATION:   Do you remember the anxiety the first time that you were asked to read a few verses of Scripture, or pray aloud in public? Did the fear of that happening, keep you from attending certain services, or from sitting near the front? Did that fear worsen when you were asked to go and visit a shut-in or a hospitalized member of the church? Ever felt led of God to visit a friend who was not a believer, hoping that you would find the opportunity to witness to that person, but at the last minute you got ‘cold feet’ and started to find multiple excuses why you couldn’t go? If any of these things bring back vivid memories, then you may have had a mild Ananias experience. I say ‘mild’, because in the case of Ananias, he was being asked to go and lay hands on one of the biggest threats in his time. We would hate to think about being near to a mass murderer, even if given the opportunity to witness to them, but it was a well known fact that Saul was out to eliminate those who might minister for the Lord Jesus, and Ananias was one of those. Wouldn’t that be the same as placing the ‘bait’ right at the feet of the ‘lion’? Friends, I believe that this Scripture shows us several facets of God’s amazing plan. Who else would be more effective in speaking to the folk that opposed God, than one of their own? Who else would show the power of God to save even the vilest of sinners, as in the case of Saul? Who else could better show a life transformed by the blood of Jesus, like Paul did? In listening to the news every day of our lives, we hear of so many forms of evil that, in most cases, we cringe at it happening very close to many of our home towns. God has called us to proclaim His Word and to be His witnesses at home and abroad. Stop finding excuses and saying “But Lord…..”, for He knows the plans He has for you. Don’t disappoint Him by trying to correct or remind the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, that you may know something that He may have overlooked. Let me remind you again what He said back to Ananias, ‘Just GO’. Let’s learn to be more obedient friend.

PRAYER:   Unfortunately, I believe that we are just as doubtful today, even after seeing the after results of Your demands on several unsuspecting servants in Your Word. There is no doubt that You hold the world in Your hands and that it moves at Your command. The same is true for the individuals that You alone created. Lord, please have mercy on us and continue to strengthen us with the help of the Holy Spirit, to obediently follow Your commands and Your will for us, especially in using us to touch the lives of others, especially those who seem so unlikely to us. Lord, may Your perfect will be achieved in and through Your saints today, even me 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 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!

 

Get Rid of Idols

The Holy Bible  (The Contemporary English Version – Jeremiah 4:1-3): The Lord said: Israel, if you really want to come back to me, get rid of those disgusting idols.     2 Make promises only in my name, and do what you promise! Then all nations will praise me, and I will bless them. 3 People of Jerusalem and Judah, don’t be so stubborn! Your hearts have become hard, like unplowed ground where thornbushes grow.

Thoughts:  While I believe there was a lot of value in these verses for Israel and the people of Jerusalem and Judah, I also believe that this passage of scripture was included in God’s Word to us for self-application also. Let me explain, I believe that God spoke to me as I read this, and had me substitute ‘Israel’ with the family and friends that I am praying for. At times when I feel distant from God, I believe that this passage also applies to me. Friends, I want you to read this carefully to make sure that you too understand that when God seems far away from you, examine your lives and see what idols (priorities; things) have you allowed to step in the way of your open communication and dependence on God. The kinds of things that get in our way might be:

  • Work – for we can become so absorbed in our job that we have no quality time to spend with God;
  • Church – yes, even church. We can become a slave to the work of the church and exclude our study and worship time with the Lord, for whom we are presumably working;
  • Family – even though this item is of super importance, if we’re not careful Satan can use this as a tool to keep us away from God. Let’s learn to take our family to church, instead of feeling an obligation to spend quality time with them on our Sabbath. After all, we had other opportunities during the week to spend time with them, but with Satan’s help chose not to. Men/dads this is our responsibility as God’s leader in our homes;
  • Activities – we all know that the beach is always better on our Sabbath day than any other day of the week, right? But does it fit with God’s command of what we should be doing on our Sabbath?!!;
  • Sports – why would we consider giving our time to sports on our Sabbath day rather than assembling ourselves together to worship God and to encourage one another?;
  • Weariness – the toils of the week have left us so worn out that giving one hour of our time to refuel spiritually, and to give God thanks for our jobs, and the good health to do our jobs, seems to be challenging for us – at least until we lose our job or some other crisis comes up, right?;

Friends, I’m not judging, for that is God’s job. I merely listed a few things that may cause us to think about the possible idols that stand in our way of communion with God. May I encourage you to examine your own life and see if there is anything that distracts you in your walk with the Lord? Be honest with God as you consider this, for He knows your heart and your very circumstances, and He is willing to help you tear down those idols, so that you may be drawn closer to Him. Remember, sin must be put away out of the heart, else it is not put away out of God’s sight, for the heart is open before Him. The good news with this whole thing is that others will follow us, and God will bless us! Read verse 2 again! Imagine, your actions might actually revolutionize your world!!

Prayer:  Father, You know our hearts and You know our thoughts and our schemes. It is so unfortunate that in spite of Your goodness to us, we allow Satan to feed our thoughts, that often leads us to scheme and find reasons to not find time in the Word, in prayer and even church attendance. Please forgive us for our ingratitude and our unfaithfulness. You sacrificed Your very Son for our salvation, yet we find it challenging to make time to spend with You and/or Your people in corporate worship. Often this is just not a priority in our lives. Please forgive me oh Lord. Please touch the hearts of Your children who will read this devotional today, may they also be made aware of ‘idols’ that have become obstacles in their walk with You. Lord Jesus, we respect You and all that You stand for, however if we are to be true and honest representatives of Yours, we too must be living, walking and talking as You. We can only do this with Your help, direction and wisdom oh Lord, and we humbly seek that today. For this is my humble and gracious plea before You oh God, in the name of Your Son 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 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!

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