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

Posts tagged ‘follower’

How To Prove You Are A Follower of Christ

THE HOLY BIBLE John 13:34-35New Living Translation (NLT): 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

THOUGHTS: When you walk into a doctor’s office you will often see the walls plastered with a wide range of certifications they received, and the doctorate degree they earned upon graduating med school. Jesus knew that just as His authority was questioned while here on earth, His followers would also be questioned. So He prepared us for this by telling us how to prove we are His follower. First of all, unlike a doctor’s office where there are signs posted over the office door, we will not be recognized as a follower based on a name badge showing our title, nor a badge across our forehead. However, I believe that it will be evident from our outlook on life, for we will have such an appreciation for the Savior who gave His life so that we could expect life eternally with Him. Just as natural born children inherit the qualities of their parents, I believe that the more Christians learn about their heavenly Father and His teachings on how we should live, and follow the example that Jesus demonstrated while here on earth, then the more that we would be apt to follow in His teachings and example. For example, Jesus loved us enough that He gave His all for us. It is that kind of love that we are expected to demonstrate one for another. When we do, we will prove whose we are, to a world that is so self-centered and looking out for number one. In fact, the ‘Jesus’ kind of love demonstrated by us will be so different to that of the ordinary citizen of this world, that it will be immediately evident that something is different about us. How is it with you friend? Based on your God-like love for your fellow man, is it evident that Jesus is playing a major role in your life? If we only love those who show love to us, how does that make us any different to our friends of this world? If we only give because of what we expect to receive in return, does that make us any different to the average citizen of this world? When we think of ‘love’, we think of Jesus, for the Word of God says that “Jesus is LOVE”. Can the same be said of you and I Christian Brother and Sister? If not, we make it impossible for others to know that we are a follower of Christ, and why would they listen to our testimony or our witness, if we need preaching to ourselves?

PRAYER: Father it often seems like we are losing the battle to win the lost to You. Yet when we read passages like this one today, I believe You are telling us to make sure that those of us who claim You as Lord actually live like You demonstrated for us, and taught us throughout Your Word. In other words, I believe You are telling us to live out the talk, and to let our actions be reflective of Your actions and Your teachings. Then, perhaps, others might recognize that we are children of the King, and worthy of their attention. We can only do this with Your help and through Your power, oh Lord. Please hear our prayer and our heart’s desire, then fill us with Your power so that we may be true imitators of You. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, 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 www.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!

Do You Believe?

THE HOLY BIBLE (Easy To Read Version – John 6:64-69): 64some of you don’t believe.” (Jesus knew the people who did not believe. He knew this from the beginning. And he knew the one who would hand him over to his enemies.) 65 Jesus said, “That is why I said, ‘Anyone the Father does not help to come to me cannot come.'” 66 After Jesus said these things, many of his followers left and stopped following him. 67 Jesus asked the twelve apostles, “Do you want to leave too?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, where would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe in you. We know that you are the Holy One from God.”

THOUGHTS: Divorce rates are at an all-time high. Churches are closing their doors because of low attendance, lack of commitment and/or lack of financial resources. What do you suppose might be the reasons for this decline in Christian/Biblical principles? Where do you stand friend? Isn’t it interesting to note from this scripture that this is not a new problem? In fact, these disciples who turned away and stopped following Jesus even had the opportunity to see Jesus physically, and hear Him speak in person, yet because they couldn’t grasp exactly what Jesus was teaching they decided to stop following Him? To put this into perspective, I believe this would equal the same thing as some today that leave the church because they don’t understand or don’t agree with the things taught about God, even if directly from His Word. I believe that we have become such a ‘politically correct’ world, that people are used to the idea of not being told directly that what they are doing is ‘SIN’. Folk have become accustomed to having things ‘sugar coated’ so that their blatant sin is dismissed as just a difference of opinion, or old school philosophy. A good friend had a pastor tell him and a group gathered this summer, that the Lord’s Prayer is outdated. Really? Unfortunately we have become so wishy-washy in our beliefs and our stand on what we believe, that we find it very easy to just walk away, like these disciples did with Jesus, instead of supporting our pastors and teachers with our prayers, our moral support and our attendance. Could it be that we have become so lax in studying the Word of God that we have lost sight of what it says, what it means, what it stands for, and the Master Designer that it teaches about? Could it be that we, like the disciples, turn a deaf ear to teachings that challenge our sin, and we find it very easy to just turn away and run from such direct teachings? Friends, let’s remember that we have a sinful nature, and since God’s Word is designed to challenge us on that ungodly nature, we will have our toes stepped on and our sinful beliefs and habits challenged. The BIG questions is: “What then will you do with Jesus”? Judas turned Him in and He was subsequently crucified. You may not be that cruel, but running from Him will hurt Him just as bad. Especially after He considers the return thanks for His enormous sacrifice that He made for you, even while you hated and rejected Him. You may attend church friend, you may have even walked the isle at church or you may read your Bible whenever you can get around to it, but do you truly believe in Christ? Have you invited Him to rule and reign in your life? Remember, there is no forgiveness of sin without first becoming intimate with God and asking His Son Jesus into your life as your Lord and personal Savior. Reading this devotional today is proof that it is not too late for you to seek Jesus, and His righteousness. Please read through my ‘Footnote’ for tips on how to know Jesus. Then commit to giving Him full control of your life, for the rest of your life! No turning back, friend!

PRAYER: Lord, I believe. Please help any and all areas of unbelief that may develop in me. Please touch the hearts of those reading this devotional who may think the same way as the disciples who walked away. We may not always understand why, but please help us to trust You with every fiber of our being and therefore find comfort in knowing that all things work together for good, to those who place their trust in You. We’re not prone to quit in other areas of our life, so please give us strength and confidence to never give up on You. It seems like there will be more and more pressure on Christians to stand firm in our belief. Lord, may we never sell out, but rather stand firm to the end. You did that for us and I pray that we will always be faithful to You. I ask for strength, persistence, commitment and assurance for believers today, so that Your people will be sure of the One in whom they believe and bold in standing firm in the faith right until the end of time. In the precious and everlasting name of Jesus, I ask all this oh God, 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 www.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!

Because of You….

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10): 7 You became an example for all the Lord’s followers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 And because of you, the Lord’s message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don’t have to say a thing about it. 9 Everyone is talking about how you welcomed us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. 10 They also tell how you are waiting for his Son Jesus to come from heaven. God raised him from death, and on the Day of Judgment Jesus will save us from God’s anger.

Thoughts: Through this scripture, I was challenged with the question: So what is your role in spreading the gospel today – in your home, your church, your workplace, your community and the world? Friends I believe that we will find ourselves in one of the following categories:

  1. A stranger – perhaps because you may not have personally invited Jesus to be a part of your life, to lead, guide and direct you. You know Him from a distance, in name only, but no personal experience with Him. At times you are much like Saul, where you put down Christians and object to the joy that you see in them. You contribute to the part of society for whom the church was created, and intended to minister to;
  2. Passive – for you were really pushed by a family member to accept Jesus during a revival or crusade, but He really plays no role in your life. In fact, most folk would never guess that you are a Christian;
  3. Follower – You attend church every weekend, but you pay the preacher to evangelize and teach! You just feel obligated, either through tradition, habit or fashion, that the place for you at least once each weekend is in a church somewhere. You try to be ‘good’ in the presence of family, friends and coworkers, but they would never guess that it is because of your faith in Jesus Christ;
  4. On Fire for the Lord – As in the case of a spark that causes a fire, that then spreads to surrounding areas, so it is with this type Christian. You know the Lord; He knows you by name; Others know You are a child of God and yet others want what you have because of the qualities they see God using in and through you. This is the quality that Paul saw in the Thessalonian Christians, and this is what Paul attributed to a growing ministry in the region!

I believe that God challenged me to think about which category do I see myself in, and which category do I think that He wants to see His child in. I believe that He wanted me to challenge you with identifying where you stand today, and I believe He really wants each of us to surrender fully to Him so that He might place us in the category where He can best use us for His glory. I hope that you are willing to do that today! Think about it friend! Pray about it buddy! Surrender yourself fully to Jesus and allow Him full control of your life. Be the Christian He intended, don’t just meddle in Christianity, be sold out for the cause of Christ. Use information in the ‘Footnote’ to let me know if there is anything that I can pray with you about to help you draw closer to the Lord.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be a light that shines for You, and so filled with You that others that I might touch in one way or another would seek after the source of that light – You, oh Lord. Jesus, I also pray that as our churches are filled up this week that folk willing to move up in the list noted above until they are confidently in the #5 category. People all around us need the Lord, and while You are very capable of showing Yourself to them in very real and tangible ways, I believe that they would be seriously impacted by seeing You at work in their family, friends and church-goers. How awesome it would be to hear You say “my child, it was because of you that this one first recognized me, accepted me and surrendered their hardened life to me”! For those of us striving to be a #5 Christian, I pray that even though we may never know the lives impacted by God through us, that Jesus is welcoming new ones into the kingdom each and every day …because of us! I ask these things humbly, and believing in the power of the Son of God, for it is You alone that I worship and serve oh 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!

Our Sword in Spiritual Combat!

SCRIPTURE Studied: Matthew 4

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Matt 4:3-4 (NLT)

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

If I was a carpenter, it would be important that I know carpentry so that I could use that knowledge to perform the best work possible for my clients. Being a banker would require that you know all the many banking regulations so that you stay within the guidelines of the law. Being the Son of God, it was important that Jesus not only knew the Scripture but also practiced, and obeyed it. As followers of Christ, it is important that we also know the Scripture and obey it. In fact, Ephesians 6:17 says that God’s Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Anytime we are challenged in our faith, tempted to do something we are not comfortable with because we know that it doesn’t line up with our spiritual upbringing or understanding, then we are in spiritual combat. I would dare say that for most Christians, especially those who are out in the working world, that we face spiritual combat each and every day. Here we are taught how to defend ourselves! Most of us will probably attest to the fact that we are poor at memorizing Scripture. I believe that as we do our part and stay in the Word daily, much like the carpenter or banker would have to do to stay on op of their regulations/trades, then we will gain the confidence and familiarity with our textbook to protect us in spiritual combat. Jesus did it, and as His follower I must also do it, God being my helper!

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

Lord Jesus, You have shown us in Your Word that Your Word is very powerful, not only as a guide for our everyday journey, but also a sword that we can and should use in our everyday challenges that we face in this world against Satan and his foes. Please help me to stay connected with Your Word in such meaningful ways that It will be effective and useful in all circumstances of my life. Please protect me from the evil one and guide me in Your path every day so that I may follow in Your footsteps and do Your will.

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