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

Posts tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Cleansed and Ready to Worship

Friday, 2019-10-04

Bible Reference: Hebrews 9:13-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow were sprinkled on those who were no longer pure enough to enter the place of worship. The blood and ashes made them pure again—but only their bodies. 14 So surely the blood sacrifice of Christ can do much more. Christ offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make us completely clean from the evil we have done. It will give us clear consciences so that we can worship the living God.

OBSERVATION: Too often we ‘attend’ a church service and then we tell everyone that we had been to ‘worship’. Really? Did you visit a place where others were worshiping, or did you really go there and worship with them? Try reading the Scripture for today and honestly evaluate if you were pure, or completely cleansed, from the evil and sin in your life, in order to stand in the presence of our holy God and ‘worship’ Him. According to our Scripture, it is only then that our consciences would be cleared so that we could honesty ‘worship’ the Master of this universe – our God.

APPLICATION:  I believe that every Bible Teacher or Pastor’s wish would be, that their hearers are getting as much from a lesson as they received when they studied the lesson being taught. I also believe that every Worship Pastor would love to know that the folk they are leading in a time of worship were participating from the deepest parts of their heart and receiving a blessing like they receive when leading us. Often we will go to our corporate worship services and while sometimes being totally blessed and pulled into the worship time through full participation, yet at other times we just attend but don’t feel a closeness to our Lord as we worship. These are the times we find fault with the person next to us or behind us, or with the worship leader, or perhaps the volume of the instrumentalists! But friend, if you especially read verse 14, you will notice that as long as we enter God’s house with stained consciences, there just may not be an opportunity for you to connect with God and His Holy Spirit that day in worship. You might remember from God’s Word that God will not be present where sin abounds. I believe that another way of understanding verse 14 might be in the following way: “One cannot worship the Living God without a clear conscience” or “Unless one has already settled with God concerning their sin, they cannot come face-to-face with God in a sacrifice of praise, or worship”. There’s a worship song that has been around for a long time “There’s A Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place“. After reading verse 14, I’m not so sure that we could experience that ‘Sweet Spirit’ and sincerely worship our Lord. Perhaps we should have a confession service first, then, perhaps, the Spirit of God might find clean hearts and consciences in which He is free to move and to bless. Let’s keep this in mind the next time that we go out of our way to ‘worship God’. Clean hearts will draw close to God, as it is the only way that He will draw close to you and I.

PRAYER: How dare us attempt to enter Your presence in sin, Oh God, especially thinking that we can block/hide the hindrances (our sin) while we attempt to worship You. It’s not enough for us to conjure up a time of ‘worship’ Lord Jesus, for we want to be where You are, and we want to worship You in sincerity of heart, soul and mind. Please forgive us for attempting to worship You, the One who never sinned, while we are yet burdened with sin in our hearts. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness, so that as I might approach Your throne with a clear conscience and without sin. Please touch the hearts of my readers Lord, so that they too might be enlightened of any sin that not only separates them from You, but also blocks their true worship of You. Lord, may You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives and especially prepare us for frequent times of worship to You. I love you Lord, and I lift my voice and heart in worship to You alone. My prayer is offered in and through the precious name of Jesus, the only one is holy and worthy of our worship and praise, 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!

Who Am I Lord?

Tuesday, 2019-10-01

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 9:20-22
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 20 And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And anyway, you own all the wealth of Israel now!”
21 “Pardon me, sir,” Saul replied. “I’m from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of the tribe! You must have the wrong man!”
22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant into the great hall and placed them at the head of the table, honoring them above the thirty special guests. 

OBSERVATION: Are we not tempted to look into the heavens, and in wonderment and amazement at times, question God as to why would He choose to bless us so richly? For you, it might be: Why did He choose you to teach, or care for, or role model for all the kids that look up to you? There are a number of things you might stop and think to thank God for, but perhaps hearing Saul question Samuel in amazement for choosing him above all others, we should also be reminded that we are also a chosen generation, loved by the Almighty God of this universe! It don’t get any better than that!

APPLICATION: I often tell folk that I’m from a small town on a small island in a small country. And my family are all humble, simple workers of the land – hardworking, and seeking to serve the Lord in any way possible. So coming from that background, and then migrating to the US over 30 years ago, how do you suppose I might react if the President of the United States called to arrange a meeting with me, then followed up with asking me to serve on a special council that would report directly to him? After picking myself up off the floor, can’t you imagine that I would definitely question if the president got the right man when he called? Friends, that example was imaginary, or as Jesus did in the Bible, that may just be a parable, but I have a real story to tell you! In life, we have those who may never have gone to college, can’t hold a solid job, and are looked down on by society, because they can’t earn enough money honestly to pay for everything they need to survive. At the other end of the spectrum, we have folk who have done very well in life, financially, and they sit down each day wondering how they will invest that money so they could make even more. In our Bibles, we read where Jesus concluded that each of these are children lost and headed for the awful reign of Satan in the pit of Hell, for they are unprotected by the grace of God. These are examples of you and I my friend. However, our loving God looked down in love, knowing that we could never make it into His righteous and holy heaven in our sinful state. So He made provisions for His Son to be born, through miraculous means. Then after years of showing His power, grace and love to everyone that He came into contact with, God declared that He should die the death of ordinary criminals, as a means of saying to the whole world, that His love for us is invaluable, so He permitted Him to die in our place, as a concession for our sin, so that we might be one with the Father. God had just one condition dear ones. As with any gift given to us, we must simply accept that gift. Meaning that we would simply surrender our old sinful life for a new life in Him. Now here’s the kicker, and here’s how this relates to the story of Saul. When Jesus made this provision, it was not just for the rich. It was not just for the poor. But in John 3:16 we are assured that, the provision made on the cross, is for everyone who accepts that gift of eternal life! There may be separation by ‘class’ here on earth in man’s eyes, but we at the cross of Jesus, there is just one class – sinners. In accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord, there will only be one class in Heaven – holy, redeemed, white-washed, children of the most High God, gathered around the throne of our Father worshiping Him for all eternity! Friends, I am assured that I will be in that number! Are you? For those with questions, please read my Footnote and the information provided in the links. I believe that your yes will be opened to the Truth, and you will be faced with a very important decision to make. I pray that today will be a day that you realize how very special you are to our wonderful Savior – regardless of your standing here on earth!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, my Lord, how awesome You are! Thank You for Your love, and for Your provision of grace. Thank You for speaking to my heart and soul many years ago. Please allow me to once again ask that You touch the lives of those that will read this devotional today, especially those that have not decided to surrender lordship of their life over to You. Please soften their hearts so that they might understand Your love and forgiveness, resulting in a decision of eternal consequence. I look forward to the day I will look full into your wonderful face and hear your ‘welcome home’ greeting! Thank You Father! Thank You Lord Jesus! 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!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong name of Jesus, 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!

Stress Relief Process

Saturday, 2019-05-04

Bible Reference: Psalm 32:1-5
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: It is a great blessing when people are forgiven for the wrongs they have done, when their sins are erased. It is a great blessing when the Lord says they are not guilty, when they don’t try to hide their sins. Lord, I prayed to you again and again, but I did not talk about my sins. So I only became weaker and more miserable. Every day you made life harder for me. I became like a dry land in the hot summertime. Selah But then I decided to confess my sins to the Lord. I stopped hiding my guilt and told you about my sins. And you forgave them all! Selah

OBSERVATION: There are so many things that stress us out, and everyone we talk to will have a solution on how we should deal with that stress. So from the Word of God, let us meditate today on what it teaches us about relieving ourselves of stresses in our life.

APPLICATION: I’m certainly not trained to deal professionally with how one should handle the stress in their lives (that’s my legal disclosure!!!!). However, from the Word of God we can see what David said about his weaknesses, his challenges, his sin; his forgiveness and his happiness. Today David is challenging us to consider how easy it is to try and cover up our sin and pretend it doesn’t exist. But also how miserable that makes us when we go around pretending all is well. Friends, I believe that is the first inhibitor for stress – when we know something is going on in our lives, but we pretend to those around us that all is well. Unfortunately I believe that we unconsciously show our pretense to God also, for we follow our own desires, knowing that often these things are contrary to the Word of God, and to what He desires of us. But we go on about our day pretending that all is well. In my opinion this is the source of stress, for we are covering up something that we know should be done or said differently. But praise be to God, the Psalmist showed us that there was excellent results for him when he followed the normal pattern designed by God. God has set the pattern for His children so that they might be pleasing to Him in every way. However, in all of our wisdom, we somehow figured that we could go our own way and do our own thing, and God would be just as happy with us. But I believe that God placed an uneasiness in us, that some may call ‘stress’, because He wanted us to know when we were doing something that isn’t right. Let me encourage you to re-read the last part of our focal verses today, and I believe that like me, you too might notice the loud sigh of relief by David as he concluded that God heard his cry for forgiveness and He forgave him. I pray that our goal today might be that we live as an open book before God – nothing to be worried about, holding nothing back, exposing everything to God that bothers us in the very least. God knows us friend, and He knows what we may be covering up. But I believe that He longs to see us reconcile our faults before Him, and seek His forgiveness, so that we may be one with Him. Consider making this the day that you relieve yourself of the stress in your life. Seek God while He may be found. Expose your heart to Him, so that He might cleanse it and make you whole. Be one with your Maker my friend!

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, we approach You as Your loving children that are broken and filled with stress over trying to do ‘life’ on our own. Please speak directly to our inner most person today and help us to acknowledge our shortcomings, and our inability to handle this complex world on our own while thinking that we could still please You. Without You we are broken without any hope of repair. Please humble our hearts so that we might surrender our all to You and give You full reign in every aspect of our being, so that You may be honored and praised by all who may encounter us. 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!

God Loves the Repentant Heart

Monday, 2019-04-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 51:16-17
Translation: The Voice (Voice)

Bible Text: 16 I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret, but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings. 17 What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest.

OBSERVATION: From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

APPLICATION: “Lord, I’m sorry for my sin”, might come quite naturally when introduced to Jesus, but how sorry are we, really, when we turn around and do the same thing over and over again. David, the Psalmist, was confronted about his awful sin with Bathsheba, and while he could very easily spurt those famous words out to Nathan the prophet, David had to face his all-knowing God with this sin. Now we should be reminded that God didn’t only know the fact that Nathan just presented to David, but God knows even our thoughts and the intent of our heart. So do you really think that it would have helped for David to sacrifice a sheep or a goat on the altar as his way of saying I’m sorry? For the world, that may have been enough, because from all apparent evidence, David would have acknowledged his sin and paid the price for his forgiveness. But just like you and I, David not only needed this to look good in the eyes of his friends and the local priests, but in true repentance, he wanted a clean heart in the presence of his God. So friends, we not only need to ask for forgiveness from our earthly friends, family and the impacted one(s) for our sin, but in order to right our heart and resume our oneness with God, and to one day present ourselves faultless before our King, we must get before God in humility and deepest sincerity and ask for His forgiveness. Like David, we must always be aware that God desires:

  • A broken spirit – this means that we must be willing to break down our pride of thinking we know everything, and thinking that what occurred was a private matter between two consenting adults. We must acknowledge that we recognize that our hearts and our lives are transparent before an all-knowing God, so we may as well ‘come clean’ and ask His forgiveness for everything we have done or said or thought that may be contrary to His perfect design and will. There is nothing we can hide from God, so may I encourage you to break down the walls of pride and secrecy and be totally open with God;
  • A humble heart that honestly regrets the past (our sin) – Our acts may have been fun at the time, or our words may have revenged the individual we were out to get back at, but I believe that when the God of this universe looks into our eyes and our hearts, and He sees unconfessed sin, then we will be pushed aside or rejected from His presence, as sin cannot enter His kingdom.

I was at a conference recently where we were reminded that when we stand before God, we will deal with our personal condition in the face of a righteous, all-knowing God. The normal tendency of our actions here on earth is to try and compare to another individual, or pointing out their sin, while pushing ours under the table. This is not the way God will handle our judgment on that day that we stand before Him, for that will be a one-on-one conversation. It won’t matter what the neighbor did, or the deacon said, it will only matter how in sync our heart is with a righteous and perfect God. If that was to happen today, and it could very easily happen, what would God challenge you with? Consider getting that straight today friend, for we have no assurance of a second chance to do so tomorrow.

PRAYER: Father God, You created us, including our heart, our soul, our mind and our intellect. Why would we ever think that we could hide anything from You is most astonishing to our sober minds as we try to escape Your wrath. Please speak to those who seek after you today. Lord Jesus, may the words from our lips and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Savior and our 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 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!

Reasons To Come To Jesus

Wednesday, 2019-01-09

Bible Reference: Matthew 4:23-24
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  23 Jesus ministered from place to place throughout all of the province of Galilee. He taught[r] in the synagogues, preaching the hope of the kingdom realm[s] and healing every kind of sickness and disease among the people. 24 His fame spread everywhere![t] Many people who were in pain and suffering with every kind of illness were brought to Jesus for their healing—epileptics,[u] paralytics, and those tormented by demonic powers were all set free. Everyone who was brought to Jesus was healed!

OBSERVATION: People flocked to be in the presence of Jesus, because word got around about His teachings, His healings and the hope of this future home that He taught about. Let’s meditate on our current day situation and consider the things that draw people to Jesus today, and possibly the things that causes people to reject the idea of our Master.

APPLICATION: I once heard a story of a neighborhood kid standing besides the pastor of a church while firefighters fought a blazing fire that seemed destined to totally destroy the church building. The pastor turns to the young man and introduced himself while saying that he had never seen him around the church before. To which the young man gave this response ‘because I had never seen the church on fire before’. A simple, but profound answer, for how many in the neighborhood of our church buildings know that the church even exists there, and secondly, have they heard any results of happenings at the church, or from its services, such as what we read in our focal Scripture today? Is it evident to the attendees and the neighborhood that Jesus is present every time we meet? Will young men, such as the one at the fire (mentioned above), hear about the Holy Spirit convicting people of their sin, causing them to surrender their lives to the holy Son of God? Will the neighborhood hear about the ‘tongues of fire’ that moved in our church service, like it did in Acts 2, and how it convicted hundreds to turn from their sin and accept the love and security of knowing Jesus as Lord? My solemn prayer is that our neighborhoods will hear more of God moving in His church, than they do about the fights and church splits that plague so many churches today. Oh that they may hear about, and see a flourishing church, where people go to visit while steeped in the likes of their earthly leader, but leave as changed men and women, boys and girls. Friends, our churches must be busy about pointing people to Christ, for we could boast of the largest and prettiest buildings, or the expanse of our properties, but it’s not until our neighborhoods see lives being transformed into the likeness of everything they have heard about God, that they will know that the fire of the Holy Spirit is alive and well at our churches. Now, before leaving this thought today, let me quickly remind us that the ‘church’ is not the building where we attend services, nor is it the Pastor to whom we may pay to lead our church, but rather, it consists of each believer that meets corporately to worship God together. So in that context, I pray that we might be more careful to look for how God is at work in our worship services, and that we concentrate on Him wholeheartedly as we go to worship, not the many other people or things that distract us in and around our sanctuaries. In this way, our lives will shine with the glow from the Holy Spirit inside the church building and everywhere we are seen! It’s all about our God, friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You did on Calvary, so that we might gain access to our heavenly home. May our relationship with You be so intimate, so personal, so worshipful, and so sincere, that our time together in corporate worship might be magnified by the same Spirit that lives in the hearts and lives of every believer gathered. You and You alone deserve our praise and our worship. Please help us to forget about ourselves and the distractions around us, so that our minds are fixed on You. May our times together in such a setting be so impacted, that our lives outside the church will overflow and shine with the glory of God. May the unsaved see the ‘tongues of fire’ referred to in the early church, prevalent in our churches and in our neighborhoods as we scatter. To God be the glory for all that He will accomplish, even through us! 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!

Proof, No Proof

Saturday, 2019-01-05

Bible Reference: Matthew 3:8, 10
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin]; ……. 10 And already the axe [of God’s judgment] is [gswinging toward the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

OBSERVATION: I was reminded of a television show – ‘Deal, No Deal’ as I meditated on these verses today. I know, don’t mix television with the precious Word of God, right? But Paul was so infuriated by the boldness of the Pharisees and Sadducees to show up at the river for baptism, that he took time to warn them of what a saved life looks like, vs one that is not. We should never have to tell anyone that we’re saved – it should be evident in our lives.

APPLICATION: In our Scripture today, Matthew relates that John the Baptist had been baptizing a lot of people. So one could only imagine that if they had not been baptized, then something must really be wrong with them. In the case of the religious leaders, John could tell that, to the crowd, they could easily have passed as ‘worthy of baptism’ because of their kinship to Abraham. However friends, is this not a good reminder for us? Some church attendees might tell you that their father was a pastor back in some church many years ago, so they are sure that they have a reserved place in heaven. Some might point to their regular attendance at your church for several decades, and all of the money that they gave for certain projects, so surely they are right ‘up there’ with the best of saints in your church. But the interesting thing that John points out to the religious leaders is that a repentant heart is what really matters. Some of you might wonder what exactly that would consist of, but I believe that this particular version of the Bible spells that out for you, for a repentant heart demonstrates a new behavior – meaning that it’s different to the behavior you once demonstrated in your life. Now your new behavior clearly comes from a heart that has been impacted and changed by its original designer and maker, Jesus Christ! Further, this changed heart will also show evidence of a conscious decision to stay away from sin. This includes your efforts to stay away from the people and places that once caused you to sin. Persistent study of God’s Word is critical, so that you could have a clear message from Him about what He consider ‘sin’, even though it might look like holiness to others. These changed attitudes, actions, thoughts and words are called ‘fruit’ by John, because He wanted us to understand that a tree, or a heart, built on the good things of Christ, will produce fruit/actions/words/attitudes that resemble the One who is feeding your tree/heart. Therefore, when there is no evidence that you are allowing God to ‘feed’ you, John declared that you will not survive, or reach eternity with Christ. Friends, as we live out everything that God has buried deep into our hearts, He will receive glory from those blessed by those ‘fruit’ that we produce. When we are merely following the crowd, or living a life of traditional church attendance, or imitating what other Christians do, and we have not sought personal forgiveness from God, and received a repentant, or changed heart – one just like His, then like the Pharisees and Sadducees, we are living on a slippery slope – one that can only lead all the way down to Hell. A New Year is a perfect time to seek a new heart – a repentant and changed heart that reflects the Master who you’ve invited to be your Lord. Please consider reading on to the Footnote for more information on how you might go about this transformation. Perhaps 2019 might be the year that you might seek baptism – a genuine one that celebrates a truly repentant heart!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for salvation, and thank You for the message expressed through baptism. Please touch the hearts of all those that will read this devotional, especially those who imitate a Christian life, but have not accepted the One who gives a repentant heart so that we might take on His attributes and bear His fruit. True Christianity comes from a repentant heart, one filled with Jesus Christ. Bearing ‘fruit’, can only happen if the True Vine (Jesus) has taken up residence inside of us. Lord, for each reader today, I pray that it may be so. 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!

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