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

Posts tagged ‘Forgiveness’

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!

Answers to Life’s Dilemmas

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-05-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 32:6-8 (TLB)

Text:

Now I say that each believer should confess his sins to God when he is aware of them, while there is time to be forgiven. Judgment will not touch him if he does.

You are my hiding place from every storm of life; you even keep me from getting into trouble! You surround me with songs of victory. I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.

OBSERVATION:
Clicking on the Scripture reference above will give you all of the verses in chapter 6. You will see that before David went into telling his readers what they should do, he shared his own personal experience. David knew from first hand experience that a life fully surrendered to God is one that rests peacefully in the arms of Jesus, blessed by, and enjoying His love and protection both here in this life and in the next.
APPLICATION:
The words of many preachers ring in our ears, “if ever we needed a Savior like the one described by David, it is now”. I believe we hear those words and quickly brush them off our shoulders convinced that they are meant for the person behind us or besides us, because of all the issues they currently have. However, I have also heard saints of God rejoice in the fact that they are ever so thankful that they had a loving and caring God by their side as they went through various aspects of life that might otherwise have taken some people under. Friends, because of my relationship with my Savior, I can safely say that it is well with my soul. My sins have been forgiven, and I am not only a child of the King of all kings, but He has given to me His very own Protector and Guide, through the Holy Spirit that has taken up residence within me. I am destined for a perfect place with a perfect God, and regardless of anything that might come my way here on this earth, nothing can change my eternal destination nor my Master and Lord. With that kind of peace and eternal security, I am constantly concerned for those in my family and circle of friends who have decided to do this life on their own. I can therefore identify with David in verse 6. For I too am concerned about all that are outside of the fold, without hope, without security and without relationship with the Savior of the world.  Friends, know God and be convinced about who’s in charge of your life today and throughout eternity. Without God, your suffering and complexities of life are only beginning, for there is no mercy, no love and nothing to look forward to under Satan’s control.
PRAYER:
Thank You Father for making provisions for us to find peace in this world through Your Son Jesus. Thank You also for the bright hope that we have in tomorrow when we have a personal relationship with Your Son. Please touch the hardened hearts of family and friends who have yet to accept You as their Savior and Lord. Please don’t give up on them for, like David, it is my desire to see them overcome the tug of Satan on their lives and to see them give total control to You. Lord, please find ways to once again speak to them today. May this be the day of salvation for all in need of You, who will read this and need the hope of eternity. May they find peace in knowing 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!

Share The Good News

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-04-26
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!

God Wants Us To Be Holy

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-03-08
SCRIPTURE

From:

Hebrews 12:8-11 (CEV)

Text:

God corrects all of his children, and if he doesn’t correct you, then you don’t really belong to him. Our earthly fathers correct us, and we still respect them. Isn’t it even better to be given true life by letting our spiritual Father correct us?

10 Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. 11 It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace.

OBSERVATION:
Our Scripture today confirms the love of God for His children, and confirms that it’s because of that deep love for us that God disciplines us. However, when we understand the purpose for that discipline then we appreciate the discipline.
APPLICATION:
Some may struggle with the idea of God disciplining His children because we have always been taught that He loves us enough to die for us. In parenting, or adult life overall, I believe we all can agree that where there is no discipline, there is good indication of a disconnect between the adult and the child. Either the child doesn’t belong to the adult on the scene and therefore a lack of duty, or love, or responsibility to correct the child, or a lack of love and concern for the upbringing of that child. I want you to stop and think about yourself as a parent, or if you’re not a parent then think about your parents, and consider all the reasons why a child is probably loved by their earthly parents. Next, I want you to think of the God who created us, then recognized that we are selfish and would never follow rules, commands and rituals in order to right ourselves with Him because of our sins. So in order to help us out, God sent His one and only Son to die a cruel death through crucifixion to prove His love for us. Now, for a God like that, don’t you know that He would very much desire that we be steered into oneness with Himself? Steering us is the same as disciplining us. When we are reminded of wrong things through reading God’s Word, or hearing a message from God via our pastor or Godly teacher, we are being steered away from that wrong. Likewise when we can honestly say ‘amen’ to a sermon or Bible reading, it probably means that we agree, and that we are honestly following that command of God. Now here are the words that I really loved from our Scripture today, because God said that the reason He steers us, or disciplines us, is not just because He loves us, but because “He wants us to be holy, as He is”! I don’t know about you friend, but that sends chills up and down my spine, to think that the God of this universe loves me enough that He will do whatever it takes to get us in line with His commands so that we may be holy, just as He is! Wow!
PRAYER:
It is so hard for us to believe that we could ever be considered ‘Holy’, much less to be consider ‘holy’ as God Himself. Yet God said it, so I believe it. Thank You for never giving up on us Jesus! Thank You for loving us so much – more than we could ever comprehend. Please forgive us for being so stubborn, disobedient, and straying so often from the path You have set for us. Lord I can only imagine that this is a daily chore for You to deal with, so I beg You to touch Your children once again today. We want to be like You, and we want to be ‘holy’ in Your eyes. Please steer us aright again today as we face the trials and temptations of this day. Thank You heavenly Father for loving us so deeply and unconditionally! 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!

God’s Way vs Man’s Ways

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-14
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:15–17 (NLT)

Text:

15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
OBSERVATION:
Man’s Way: Send the crowds away….
God’s Way: It’s not necessary to send them away, you feed them!
Man’s Way: BUT, we don’t have enough food for all of them…
APPLICATION:
In verse 14, the Scripture says that Jesus saw the needs of the people and He had compassion on them. He was concerned about their needs, just as I believe He is also concerned about our needs today. Friends, you could be the most wealthy person around, but in the presence of Jesus, my King, you will be reminded of how needy you truly are. In our quoted verses, I was reminded of the decisions we make in life today, and how those choices also carry forward into our churches. Seeing us in the world setting vs seeing us make decisions as church leaders, I wonder if our people actually sees a difference. I believe that we are so much like the disciples, for we are quick to judge, and make decisions based on our emotions and how the individual, or crowd is impacting our space, or our personal lives. The disciples saw the crowds and probably knew of their many and varied needs, so they thought to head off one more obvious need, and that was the worry of feeding the crowd. I learnt very early in my marriage that I didn’t just pop up on my wife, with one or more people, around lunch time, without giving her hours of preparation time to clean the house and prepare a nice meal! I wonder how much food the disciples would have taken to the hillside for a hungry crowd the size they were facing! The disciples saw the crowd as an inconvenience, but Jesus saw their needs. Also, even after proving Himself over and over before, yet when He told the disciples that they would feed the crowd, there was a rebuttal because they could not see the miracle that was possible by and through the hand of God. So how might we identify with this story today in our world? Do we have those times that we want the crowds to go away, so that we could…. Are there times that the needy approach us and all we look at is their physical condition and assume what their physical needs must be? Do we stop to consider what Jesus might say to those same individuals, or what He might say about our decision to ignore them or send them away? Would you compare your compassion for the needy to be in line with the compassion of Jesus, or are you at the opposite ends of the spectrum on how you might react, compared to Jesus? Friends, perhaps we should consider this Scripture in view of the personal decisions that we make regarding the physical needs of others, and imagine just for a moment that we might also be rejecting their spiritual needs when we turn the needy away. Oh that Jesus might penetrate our hearts so that we may see needs as He would, so that we may express love in ways that exemplify Him.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, just as You have opened my eyes to being more compassionate of the needs of those around me, or the needs of folk that might walk through our church doors, I pray that You would also tender the hearts of my readers. As Your representatives, I sincerely believe that we must desire the heart and compassion of our Master. Please humble us to look beyond our expectations and our image of the poor and needy, and help us to instead be concerned about their heart and their readiness to meet You, should You call them home today. Lord, teach us to imitate You and to gain the heart of Christ as we approach the needs of individuals today. Oh that they may see Jesus and want to know Him personally! May we not be a stumbling block to hinder such decisions today, is my humble prayer, oh Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the 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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