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

Posts tagged ‘fear’

When Doubts Arise

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-05-31
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 14:17-19 (TLB)

Text:

17 In the evening Jesus arrived with the other disciples, 18 and as they were sitting around the table eating, Jesus said, “I solemnly declare that one of you will betray me, one of you who is here eating with me.”

19 A great sadness swept over them, and one by one they asked him, “Am I the one?”

OBSERVATION:
A room full of disciples and the Lord Jesus, when Jesus announces that one of them will betray Him. I would have expected them all to try and reassure Jesus that it definitely would not be them, but instead they all questioned Jesus if it was them. I found that very interesting.
APPLICATION:
Perhaps the disciples were very aware of their weaknesses and knew that they would possibly cave in to pressure from the authorities. Perhaps they had been privately chatting about some of the impossible things that occurred during the time they had been following Jesus, and they were having some doubt about the reality of it all. Just as we all sin today – from the preacher, to the faithful member in the pew or the guy who has chosen to never visit a church again in his lifetime, so it could be with us if told by Jesus that we could be the ones who would betray Him. In fact, we would probably start apologizing right away, because we know how possible it would be. Perhaps that’s how the disciples felt that night. What we do know is that one of Jesus’ closest disciples, Peter, swore up and down that he would never deny Jesus Christ, yet under the right conditions, he did exactly that. I believe for the Christian today, our doubts arise when we face the opposition, for how many of us truly stand up for our faith when hanging around a gang of friends who wants nothing to do with Jesus? Would we question, like the disciples did, about whether Jesus was referring to us, because of the guilt we felt very deep inside? So is there a way to improve on this, you might ask. I believe that Jesus knows everything about our nature, and He knows that we are prone to sin as long as we remain here on this earth among sinners. However, we know from His Word that Jesus loves us beyond anything we could ever imagine; we know that He gave of His very life as a substitution for our sin, so that we may appear before the Father spotless. So I am convinced that He also knows our heart and whether we are sincere in our relationship with Him. Friends, it’s not in saying certain words, attending a certain church, hanging around certain friends – although each of these certainly helps us to live a good life, but it’s really all about our heart, because our intent and our will is governed by what’s deep inside of our heart. A personal, sincere and dedicated relationship with Jesus helps you acquire the attributes that He teaches in His written Word. As we reach for perfection as a Christian, we should aim to live, speak and act just like Jesus did. From these qualities, Jesus will know what might come from our mouths and how we might act in the presence of worldly pressures. You could easily overcome doubt and guilt, friend, with the help of our Master and Lord!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, weak though we are when depending on inner strength, yet we serve an all powerful and Almighty God. Thank You for loving us enough to cluster us under Your wings and watch over us, and protect us from the evil of this world. Lord, we want to be just like You, and be Your witnesses here in this world. Please give us the strength, wisdom and boldness to be Your hands and Your feet even among those who oppose You. Help us to seek Your face, and develop such a relationship with You that we would constantly grow in the likeness of Jesus every day. 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!

How to Obtain Success for Yourself and Your Children!

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-01-12
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 5:29 (CEV)

Text:

29 I wish they would always worship me with fear and trembling and be this willing to obey me! Then they and their children would always enjoy a successful life.
OBSERVATION:
The Israelites went to their leader, Moses, after hearing the voice of God coming from the mountain, and asked him to go and speak to God again on their behalf. This time with a message – that they would be obedient to whatever commands God conveys to Moses for the people to do. Our merciful God didn’t respond with a whole list of commands that would enslave the people until their death, but instead simply responded that He would desire that they respectfully honor, or fear Him from a heart of respect – to the degree that they would come before Him trembling, and that they would always seek to be obedient to Him. Knowing how much humans like to be rewarded, God promised that if the Israelites honored these things and strived to live in this way, He would see to it that they, and their children would live and enjoy a successful life! Wow, what an awesome God we serve!
APPLICATION:
There are probably more books written, and more seminars offered, on the subject of ‘How to be more successful in life’, than perhaps any other subject that one could think of. Yet, in the Bible, God gave the answer to Moses for the Israelites, and He had this unique formula included in the best-selling book of all times, ‘The Bible’, because He wanted us to know about this also. Friends, it is very simple to understand, for we can research reasons why God created us in the first place, and we will learn that it was to worship and honor Him as Lord and creator of all mankind. Like the Israelites who found more attraction to making their own gods, and then chose to worship those idols, rather than the God of this universe, we too have chosen to travel down every other path for success, rather than looking to the original plan that God designed. Notice that God didn’t tell Moses that the people would be more successful in His temple, or in His temple work, although I’m sure this was all included in His promise, but He simply said that they and their children would enjoy a successful life, period. Friends, this is one of the basics of life – meaning that this simple command from God is a prerequisite to all other things in life that we might attempt to do. So check this simple command out: ‘Worship God’ – recognize Him for who He is and give praises to Him for all that He has done, is doing and has promised to do for us. This is not just a church-type worship thing, but a mindset for the individual; Do this ‘With fear and trembling’ – know that your God is a holy and righteous God and above all other powers of this world, therefore come into His presence to worship Him with respect and honor, recognizing Him for who He is. When we do this, we will learn very quickly that He controls our destiny, so we learn to chat with Him about those things that are on our mind – both concerns, and our ideas/desires for the future, and we will therefore ask Him to direct our path so that we might always honor and praise Him. God’s promise to the Israelites, and to His children at large, is that He will bless us with success personally, and even bless our offspring. What is it that you would not do in order to see success for your children? God has made it easy for us to do just that. Trust Him friend, and be obedient to worship Him in fear and trembling, for He will give you and your children success!
PRAYER:
Father, You are more precious than silver or gold, and we worship You Almighty God, for there is none like You! Thank You for making life so simple for us, and please forgive us for making it so complex and stressed. There is much to praise You for, because You have been so good to us. We respect You heavenly Father, for You are our righteousness and our Protector and our Deliverer from all evil. Lord, may we wrap our minds around this and be obedient to You in every way. Yes, we want success for ourselves, and especially for our kids, but more than anything else, may we be ever mindful of Your love and Your sacrifice that You were kind enough to make for our eternal salvation. Lord, You are so deserving of our worship, our respect and our hearts that should always be humbled to trembling. We love You Lord and we long to be with You in glory, but while here on this earth, may our minds be so directed towards You that Your joy will overflow through every act of love that we express towards others, so that they may be drawn 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!

Godly Sorrow????

The Holy Bible Says…..

10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 7:10-11)

Thoughts:

I believe that most of us go to church to be uplifted, to renew our strength in the Lord, to be filled with enough joy to last us all week around family, friends and coworkers who can often get on our very last nerve, right? So, of course God got my attention in verse 11 when Paul spoke of this ‘godly sorrow’! Please allow me to bring this into perspective today, so that we might reap the benefits that the Corinthian church gained. I have a four year old nephew, and anytime I threaten to, or actually, snatch away his favorite toy, there’s a time of unhappiness! If we go to church and God didn’t challenge us on one character flaw in our life that should be changed or enhanced for His glory, then what else might we have gained from the service? When we are challenged by God’s Word to get rid of certain behaviors that actually defy the truth, or intention, of His Word in our witness for Him, that’s often a sad time. After all, we are acknowledging that under our own strength, we really screwed things up. Friends, please know that there is good that results from this kind of surrender and forgiveness. Paul explains in verse 11, that because of the people’s godly sorrow, he actually saw some very positive character and godly changes in their lives, and I would like to see us apply these to our lives. Here they are: earnestness (a carefulness to make peace with our God because of our breach of His laws, and to preserve peace by avoiding similar breaches in the future); clear ourselves (purging ourselves of the guilt of self, and/or the church, and by dealing with issues in a Godly fashion); indignation (displeasure with self-directed successes); alarm/fear (an attention to the fact that certain temptations might easily cause us to fall back into the same sin, or separation from God); zeal (a zeal for our Christian duty – not that of the qualified or most holy or younger); readiness to recognize and punish sin (acts of discipline, denying self to avoid sin to self or against others); and of course just overall peace with God and man as we attempt to live God-directed lives that are pleasing to Him in every way. So to think godly sorrow may at the surface seem like a play on words, it really is more of a mind sobering time where God straightens us out about our weaknesses and waywardness. Friends, let’s learn to place close attention to God’s Word, whether in our daily devotions or through teaching and/or preaching at our churches, and let’s apply it to ourselves. Let God deal with that person besides you or behind you that you are convinced needs to hear the topic a lot more than you. Let God speak to you privately and personally, so that you may be aware of the things requiring attention in your life. It is only then that we can be a true, honest, servant for Him in ministering to others.

Prayer:

My Lord and Savior, please forgive me for the times I am stubborn, and pay so little attention to the sorrow and disappointment that I must bring to You when I fail and/or don’t persevere in my obedience to Your Word. Thank You for providing a path to righteousness, and eternity in heaven with You. Thank You for not giving up on me, but continuing to mold me and guide me into all truth so that I might have everything I need to leave the things that dishonor You behind, and to reach for the positive and glorious future that You have in store for me. Lord, I pray that I might become more useful in Your earthly kingdom so that others who need You will witness Your peace and glory in everything that I do or say. May the ‘old’ and forgiven things that once filled my life, remain just that. May I always be prompted by Your Holy Spirit to live according to Your Word, for Your sake, and ultimate kingdom. May others who meditate on this devotional today also be inclined to honor You in this way today, is my humble prayer, that I ask in Your precious name, 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!

Depend on God

The Holy Bible

Who fills the sky with clouds,

    preparing rain for the earth,

    Then turning the mountains green with grass,

    feeding both cattle and crows.

    He’s not impressed with horsepower;

    the size of our muscles means little to him.

    Those who fear God get God’s attention;

    they can depend on his strength.

(The Message – Psalm 147:8-11)

Thoughts:

When we depend on God, several things occur:

  • We gain faith in Him: Imagine as a child you not would invite a friend over nor take something out of the refrigerator without first asking your parent(s). So it is with God. If we would learn to depend on God for His provision, and for His direction, and for His wisdom, can you imagine the faith that we would truly develop in Him? The truth is, God provides everything for us already, we just need to stop and recognize His goodness and His provision.
  • We learn to depend on Him: I have heard stories of missionaries who went overseas to teach folk how to farm, because they learned that as long as their church/group continued sending food, the people would sit and wait for the food to arrive. However when they taught them to farm, they actually taught them to depend on God for rain, mentioned in the first part of this passage, and to wait on God instead for His provision. Imagine if we would learn to depend on God for the simple things in life? I’m not advocating that we not try to help ourselves, but we should always acknowledge the role that God plays in our everyday necessities (the very air that we breathe, the good health to rise and care for our families, the precious love of Jesus when we feel so alone, etc).
  • We learn to fear God: Fear is another word for respect, or stand in awe of God. What if a farmer stopped being blessed with rain from above? What if we stopped being blessed with the daily provisions of God? When we depend on Him and recognize that we can do nothing without His powerful, strong hand upon us, then we grow to honor Him, stand in awe of His majesty, stand amazed in His love for even us, and respect Him for His very nature, for He is a loving and caring God to such an unloving world. I am overwhelmed by His love for me!

Friends, I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus, my Lord. His ways are not my ways, but always the best way! I honor Him, respect and fear Him and I have developed a great faith in Him. Please allow Him to work in your life, to love you, care for you and always provide for you. He truly deserves our praise!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You breathed life into mankind and each and every day provide the very things that we need to survive. Thank You for being such a loving and caring God. There is so much that I can praise You for each day. So much that can really serve to open my eyes to Your awesome presence and willingness to care for me. Lord, I pray that should one of Your children read this devotional today, who has not recognized the truth of Your goodness because they really don’t know You personally, that You will work in their hearts and make them curious enough that they might follow my tips in the footnote as they personally seek You and come to know You in a very personal way. I love You Lord! You are so good to me! I praise You and ask these favors in the wonderful 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 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 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!

Be Steadfast

The Holy Bible

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

(New Living Translation – I Corinthians 15:56-58)

Thoughts:

Earlier in this chapter Paul had taught the Corinthian church, and us, about death and what it means to the Christian. In his conclusion here Paul is reminding us that only those without Christ need worry about death, because the Word says that the sting of death is sin. However, for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their life, be assured that He has taken the sting out of death because He made atonement for our sins. We may think calmly on the horrors of the grave; assured that our bodies will be asleep there, and in the meantime our souls will be present with the Redeemer! Death is terrible to the unbeliever, and the thought of it to the remaining loved ones. However, although death may appear real for a believer, it cannot hold him in its power. In light of this glorious truth, in verse (58), we (believers) are taught and encouraged to be steadfast, strong and immovable in the truth of God’s Word and in the promise of what will come! Imagine, being raised incorruptible (without sin) and immortal (able to live eternally with Christ). We are also encouraged to be steady and consistent in the work of the Lord, always serving the Lord, and obeying the Lord’s commands. Friends, may Christ give us even more faith, so that we may not only be secure and safe in our faith, but also live joyfully and triumphantly here on this earth as we prepare for an even better life afterwards. You can be assured of this future life friend, if you do not already know and serve the Lord faithfully! Use the information in the footnote to seek help today.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, what a glorious future is ours that know You as Lord and personal Savior! We worry so much about death because we worry about the loved ones left behind, but the glory for the Christian who has passed on from this mortal and corruptible life in which we currently live, to the one promised with You is nothing short of glorious and filled with joy and expectation! Thank You for prodding me enough times that I surrendered my life over to you in 1976, and in spite of a few struggling times in between, overall You have kept me strong and steadfast in my faith, and I sincerely thank and praise You for that dear Lord. Verse 58 has challenged me to keep on ‘trucking’ in my walk with You here on this earth, because there are so many that I would like to be reassured of their standing with You so that I may see them again in glory. I ask that You continue to give me strength, wisdom and boldness to not only work steadfastly for You, but to share the truths of Your gospel with all that You may place in my path of life. Please touch the lives of those that need You today, humble them to understand their need for the Savior before it is eternally too late. I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, oh my soul rejoice! Take joy my King in what You hear, may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear! This is my song of rejoicing today, and my sincere prayer that I’m asking all this in the name of Jesus, my 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 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!

Obedience that shows our fear of god

Scripture: Genesis 22 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”  Gen 22:12-14 (NLT)

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

Abraham had been an outstanding child of God up to this point, obeying God’s every command and doing what he thought would please God. Yet in verse 1 of this chapter we are told that God tested his faith, and oh what a test! He commanded Abraham to sacrifice his dearly loved son, Isaac. The scripture shares nothing about Abraham questioning God or trying to make any deal with God, he simply followed God’s instructions. Because of his obedience, God intervened and saved Abraham from such a sacrifice. I wonder if we, or if I am obedient enough to God’s instructions that I would do whatever He asked me to do, and secondly, am I obedient enough for God to say, OK you have proven that you truly fear Me. In my opinion, this is the ultimate proof of our love for God and our obedience to Him, when we are willing to follow what He tells us to do no matter what. God loves us so much that He willingly sacrificed His Son, Jesus, and He didn’t hesitate and withdraw at the last moment, like He allowed in the case of Abraham and Isaac. So lessons learned here tells me that God loves me so much that He sacrificed it all. He also loves us so much that He would be willing to step in and save the day for us, His children, when we prove to Him that we truly love and fear Him. Perhaps we will be blessed enough to name the place where we recognized God’s miracle in our life, much like Abraham did in the case of ‘Yahweh-Yireh’!

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

The kind of love that You extend to me is way beyond human comprehension, O Lord. You have shown in Your Word just how loving and kind You were to those before me, and I have every reason to believe that You love me equally as much. May I be bold enough, obedient enough, honest enough and committed enough to show my love and respect in all that You command of me. Abraham was obedient even to the extent that he was willing to sacrifice his greatly loved son. May I be obedient to Your voice today dear God!

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