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

Posts tagged ‘Forgiveness’

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!

Your Crown Awaits

Wednesday, 2018-11-28

Bible Reference: Revelation 3:10-11
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 10 “Because you have patiently obeyed me despite the persecution, therefore I will protect you from the time of Great Tribulation and temptation,[d] which will come upon the world to test everyone alive. 11 Look, I am coming soon![e]Hold tightly to the little strength you have—so that no one will take away your crown.

OBSERVATION: As part of the letters to the seven churches, God told the church in Philadelphia that they were strong, and because of that and their efforts to be faithful, in spite of the persecution aimed at them, then He would protect them and hold them close to Himself. They could therefore hold tightly to that promise knowing that they have assurance that their crown of acceptance, joy and peace with God will not be taken away! Wow, what a promise!  

APPLICATION: No doubt we have all been the recipient of promises from our parents, or perhaps our siblings, or even our workplace, but have you ever been promised a crown just for being obedient and faithful? Oh and the promise that no one will take that crown away from you, because the Master of this universe has His hand of protection on you and on your crown? Friends, I believe that God still says to the church in our own communities, that love God and have remained faithful to His Word, that we should hang tight, for in due time, in spite of our ups and downs, our God will follow through with His promise for us. I have no idea if there will be a literal crown for all of God’s princes and princesses that He will welcome home, but it is enough for me to know that to enter the gates of heaven where my Savior, my God, my Redeemer and my everlasting King resides, and to find a final place of peace and everlasting worship to our God – oh that, yes that will be all the glory that would overwhelm me! Recognizing that God, the King of all kings, is my heavenly Father, and that as His son I would naturally be a prince, then what difference would it make if I have a crown or not? Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, listen to the rest of the song and rejoice as you reflect on your eternal home – praise the name of our Almighty King, Jesus Christ our Lord!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation, so rich and free.  Precious Lord, entering heaven is a glorious day that all of Your children anxiously awaits. We really need Your help in seeing us through this life, where we could impact so many for Your kingdom, and then walk through those pearly gates locked arms as siblings of the King. Thank You for the opportunity to serve, and for the promise of our heavenly home! 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’s the Culprit?

Monday, 2018-11-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:6–8

Bible Text: 6 The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. 7 Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.
8 Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

On reading the title, you might conclude that I am about to introduce an old TV show by the same title! That’s not my intention, so no need to close the blog without reading today’s devotional!!! This scripture got my attention though, because we see in the three examples in this story how each party, Adam, Eve and the serpent, all found excuses for the cause of this very first sin that we read about in the Bible. In each case they quickly threw the blame, or cause of their action, on someone or something else. Unfortunately, in spite of all that transpired in this story, added to the enormous blessings that God has showered on us, I am amazed how little mankind has changed. I wonder today how much of our prayer time is spent on explaining to God who may have caused us to sin, or how it was possible for the infraction? Look at how Adam even went to the extent of trying to pass the responsibility of this sin to God Himself, for had God not sent the woman to Adam in the first place, then Adam thought that he would not have sinned! eeeennnk! I don’t believe so Adam! Think about our many excuses, men blame their distractions at work or even at church, on the pretty lady who wears very short dresses or very tight pants, for leading them to infidelity. I wonder when God looks at the deepest part of man’s heart what He must find is really happening, to cause such sin to erupt in a man’s heart? Yes friend, you read that right. God considers even our wicked thoughts when He judges us! Men, may I plead with you to join me in fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith? May I suggest that we commit ourselves more to the idea of drawing closer to God and being obedient to His Word, then perhaps our minds would be more focused on eternal matters than on the sinful things of this world? Ladies, I know you are not exempt from this condition, so please consider the gist of what I just shared and apply it to the challenges you face. God in His mighty wisdom actually distracted me on to the thoughts I just shared, because my initial intent was to actually introduce the Advent season into my blog over the next 24 days. Friends, we are introduced in this scripture today, to the very first sin – also known as the fall of mankind. You will quickly recognize that it was from the very beginning of time that God saw the need to send our Savior into the world to save fallen man. This ‘Savior’ of which I am referring is God’s very own Son that He sent – Jesus. It is the miraculous birth of Jesus that we celebrate each and every Christmas. Perhaps this should be the season of Thanksgiving when we consider the precious gift given for our benefit, even though we are personally embellished by the  weakness of sin!

Prayer

Father, from the time of our very first ancestor, sin has been a problem – a challenge for mankind. We are weak, and very gullible to sin, but then we are so quick to deflect the cause of that sin onto anything, or anyone else that we could think of. Please open our hearts to the awesome reminder of how You not only saw our sin, but You did everything to help us seek forgiveness of that sin in preparation for standing before a holy, sinless God. You alone are God in heaven, and yet You loved us enough to make the way clear for us to be with You! Thank You Heavenly Father, thank You Jesus, and thank You Holy Spirit. We are truly a blessed people. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may each person meditating on this thought today be ready to see You face-to-face on resurrection morning, all because 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org 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!

Staying Encouraged In A Challenging World

Monday, 2016-10-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:8-9

Bible Text:  Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Perhaps before you walk out of the door to your home this morning you already realized that there will be many challenges that you will deal with today. Perhaps there is overflow from the challenges you dealt with yesterday. There may even be unresolved contention that you know you must deal with today. You may be deliberating: why is it that you must awake from your ‘perfect’, ‘protected’, ‘uncomplicated’ dream of contentment and peace at home, and face the reality and cruelty of this wicked world. Friends, I want you to be encouraged with the words from God, through His messenger Paul, for I believe this can apply to all who are reading this devotional today:

  • First of all, to the believer in Jesus Christ, here are some tips from our Scripture on how to handle life under God’s leadership, strength, wisdom and guidance today:

    • Don’t allow your minds to be swayed by this world and it’s leader – Satan. Instead, aim towards being like Jesus, for He is true (so important in this world filled with lies, hatred and deception); pure (there is no ‘make-believe’ with Jesus Christ, for He is the real deal. He loved us when we were still steeped in sin, and He gave up His own life to provide the means of us living eternally with the Father in heaven); right; holy (remember Jesus is one with God, so He is holy just as God Almighty is holy); friendly; and proper;
    • Think about everything that is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise – in other words, we are to seek God’s help to not be pulled into the gutter of gossip; hatred; and the evil deeds associated with Satan himself. In other words, if we find ourselves thinking about something that we cannot truly praise God for, then we are probably ‘off-track’ with what God is teaching us here. For we are to think on those things that are ‘worthy of praise‘ to our heavenly Father!
  • Secondly, I believe that there is help here for the non-Christian. Think about it friend: how can you possibly deal with life without the power of the Holy Spirit who is at work in the life of the believer? Without the power of Christ, Satan is free to beat up on you all he wants. Christians are not super beings with the capability of handling every aspect of life that is thrown at them. However, we are super excited about the promise that we can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens us and guides us to all truth, through the awesome power and guidance of His Holy Spirit who controls us. I believe that your encouragement today is knowing that as long as you have life, there is hope in the option to also accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Know Jesus and know peace! That’s my recommendation to you today so that you may gain His everlasting joy and contentment in everyday living here on this earth.

Prayer

There are a few sayings that cross my mind dear Lord, “you are now entering your mission field” and “you are now entering the ‘real’ world”. I believe that most of us feel fairly secure and at peace in our own homes, and we fear the challenge of what this bitter world holds in store for us as we step into it today. Thank You for the encouragement given to us in this passage of scripture today. Lord, we believe in You, and we lift high the banner of truth contained in Your Word. We are more dependent on You today than ever before Savior, for we can only handle today’s challenges with You powerfully working inside of us, and helping us to be more like You. Lord, how will the world know about You if we don’t tell them? Oh that they may see everlasting hope and the love of Christ in all that we do or say today. For this is my humble prayer that I ask in and through the 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org 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!

Tell Everyone What Jesus Did For You

Post Date:

Thursday, 2018-04-26
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 5:18-20 (TLB)

Text:

18 So he got back into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demons begged Jesus to let him go along. 19 But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and they were awestruck by his story.
OBSERVATION:
The appointment that Jesus had with the demon possessed man led to a total change in his life. He knew that he would benefit from being around Jesus even more, so he pleaded with Him to allow him to travel with Him. That would have been safe, secure and perhaps filled with ongoing miracles, but Jesus had a much bigger mission in mind for this man – to share his miracle of ‘new life’ with others, so that they too might see and believe – just like our personal witnessing/ministry today!
APPLICATION:
Imagine how small Christendom would be if, when folk went into a place like a church, they found Jesus, accepted Him as Lord and personal Savior, and never came back outside. Not only would the outside world never hear their gripping story, but they would think the worst of what must have become of them. Friends, it is one thing for the world to hear about some of the things that go on inside places of worship, but it is a totally more convincing fact for them to witness what happened in a life that was totally torn by sin, but have since seen a 180 degree change in their conviction, their lifestyle and in their demeanor. So often we hear the saying ‘what’s inside will come out’, and we see that materialize through the various ones that we encounter each day, but I must also share with you that if a change occurred inside of you, and you are not living out that change, then one might question if anything ever truly changed in you. Let’s consider briefly an example – a frequent visitor to the local pub, who most evenings have to be driven home because he would get too intoxicated to walk straight or drive home. This gentleman was introduced to Jesus and he accepted Jesus as Lord of his life. While a total change came about in his life, and he had no more desire to hang out in places where the Holy Spirit would not feel comfortable, he comes across his bar-hoping buddies from time to time. Much like the demon-freed man, this new convert made it a point to get in the way of his buddies, and he openly shared his story with them. Friends, this gentleman didn’t automatically become a preacher, but he had a story about how his life was changed. Sharing your story with others is often more powerful than reading the scriptures to your friends. Imagine, you are sharing a personal experience you had with God, not just about a prophet or healing that took place thousands of years ago that Bible writers told you about. Please don’t misunderstand, the Bible is the Holy Word of God and it always has the power to save and draw people to Christ. However, when you have bathed yourself in the Word, your personal story will be especially important to share with folk who need to know that our Savior lives, and He is active in our lives even today!
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace that saved a wretch like me, who was steeped in sin and had no hope of eternity. Much like the demon possessed man in our story, You accepted my plea for salvation and forgave me of my sin. I am eternally grateful for that dear Jesus. Much like our subject today, I am most comfortable around Your people who think much the same way as I do. But praise be to God, You allow me opportunities to ‘go back home’ and share the Good News of my Savior. Many of you reading this blog may fit into a similar mold as described. Let us pray that as we are taken outside of our comfort zone, that God would provide the opportunities to share Christ and to bring Light into the darkest lives of those who need a change. Out story is super important, please help us to ensure that it becomes very evident to the hearer that it is You who influence our lives each day, and You who saved us from a life destined for Hell and transformed us into a child of the King! Lord, may this be the day that ‘our story’ will lead someone to knowing more about 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!

Salvation is Instant

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-09-16
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 23:42-43 (ERV)

Text:

 42 Then he (the criminal) said, “Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!”
43 Then Jesus said to him, “I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
OBSERVATION:
I found it interesting that at least two of the ways that people tend to think of salvation today, occurred in these two verses. First, that if I ask for salvation today then eventually I will be saved. The second is in Jesus’ response, that today, you are saved. Because I believe that some still believe in one of these concepts and some in the other, I believe that we should examine the two….
APPLICATION:
On the day that I was born, my mom and dad was given the date and time of my birth. They were not told that if he survives 90 days then you can start the clock running for the beginning of his life, or you will be granted a birth certificate at that time. On the day I got married, my wife and I were given marriage certificates, certifying that we were married on a given date and time in a certain place by a certain pastor. What I have found in Christianity, is that some will say that their journey began when they were influenced by this person and grew as they attended church and matured when they saw answered prayer over an illness. I wonder when the criminal might have considered himself saved if this logic was used? Perhaps Jesus would have told him: sorry buddy, you are just too late in the game? Did you notice that God had been speaking to the criminal before he spoke these words to Jesus? He knew all about the good deeds of Jesus; that he was wrongly accused, and that He was being crucified as an innocent man. I’m sure that the criminal watched the attitude of Jesus throughout the whole march up to Calvary as well. Most importantly, did you notice that Jesus didn’t regurgitate all the sins and/or crimes of the criminal when He was asked to accept him? Jesus simply said to him, what He would simply respond to the vilest offender today: today, you are Mine. Today, should you die, you will be with me in eternity! Friends, let me encourage you to think back to the day and the time that you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin and accept you as His very own son or daughter. Let me encourage you to write that down somewhere, and embed that in your mind, because as long as you are on this earth, its leader (Satan) will still be on your heels and he will cause you to doubt, or question your salvation. Take Satan back to the place, day and time where you secured your salvation with Jesus Christ, and order him to flee from you, for you serve a new Master now and it’s not him! Of course you will mature in your Christian walk as you learn more about the life, ministry and teachings of Jesus, but keep your markers in place friend regarding the day you decided to serve only Him.
PRAYER:
Father, You are all merciful and understanding of the effects that this world has on your precious children. I know that the angels rejoice when one makes a decision that they want heaven as their eternal home and You as their triumphant leader from the point of salvation and forevermore! Thank You for the awesome plan You put in place for us! Thank You for the gift of Your precious Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to guide us through this earthly life that is bombarded by sin on every turn. We are anxious for our eternal home, but until then, anxious about all that You can do through us to help yet another beggar (sinner) see the Light of the World – Jesus! Please direct us and use us as instruments molded by 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!

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