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

Posts tagged ‘Giving’

Kingdom Giving

Monday, 2019-01-14

Bible Reference: Matthew 6:3-4
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  So when you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know what you are doing.[a Your giving should be done in private. Your Father can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.

OBSERVATION: I find it fascinating that the Bible gives us direction from our Father on every aspect of life. However, we often hear people say that they don’t want to be told about their giving, because what they give ‘is their business alone’. God is very thorough in His Word though, for he tells us what we should do, even in our giving. Let’s meditate today on this very sensitive aspect of every person’s life.

APPLICATION: This is probably one of the most sensitive matters that a pastor can preach on, as parishioners often allow this subject to not only challenge their hearts, but they tend to start comparing what they give to what they believe others are giving, with hopes that they could feel better about themselves. In the business world, giving to any need in the community is a marketing opportunity, because the business owner wants you to know that they are giving back to the community from all that they make off you, in profits. Of course, this is done to help you feel good about such a company, and therefore spend even more money with them! For individuals, we might often see a case of public display, because some feel good about the public praise they receive wherever they go. So what about the Christian, for that’s what most readers of this blog will look for. I believe there are two aspects that we need to seek God’s guidance on. First of all, how much do we give to the church? I believe it is clear in God’s Word that we should joyously give at least 10% of our gross earthly income, and that it should be given to your local church, with no strings attached. I was once told by an attorney that in my will, I was trying to control well beyond the grave!!! Unfortunately, we tend to think a lot like that when it comes to church finances, for we find fault with how the offerings/funds are being used and, of course, since we have all the right answers (from a distance), we feel like we should designate our giving to make sure it is spent in an area that we feel good about. Friends, giving unconditionally, or to undesignated funds, is the 10% tithe that’s directed in God’s Word. Secondly, we may want to give to a ‘Designated Fund’ such as missions, or any other fund, but that’s over and above your tithe. But why can’t I give my tithe so that ‘Suzi’ could put a roof on her house, you might ask? Why, is there a trust issue with your church’s financial team? Please don’t forget who that team answers to – the same God that you will answer to on Judgment Day. These types of designated giving, or to any other special need that God may place on your heart, these are freewill offerings that you are free to do at will. However, our Scripture today warns us about giving for personal gain, or personal recognition/praise/glory. As a child of God, the only glory that should really matter to us, is the reward mentioned in verse 4 today. No one on earth may ever know what you may have given to various needy people or projects, but to hear the Master tell us how He saw all that we gave, and how proud He was, and is of us, will be worth it all. So when we give my friend, let’s learn to give as unto the Lord. Sure, it may help an earthly need, but only God needs to know that it was us who gave as a result of all that He blessed us with.

PRAYER: For the awesome gifts that You have blessed us with oh Lord, we say thank You. Often we feel so undeserving Oh Lord, but to be able to share those gifts with others in need, is so rewarding. Please speak to my readers, and reemphasize in my life, the importance of helping the needy and giving a committed amount back to You, in return for the 100% earnings that You made possible for me/us. Please continue to bless in the same amazing ways that we can already attest to from past experience. You are our good, good God, to whom we owe our total selves and every blessing that You send our way. Lord, may we follow in Your example and bless others beyond all measure. 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!

A Gift You Should Give Your Children

Friday, 2018-12-14

Bible Reference: Isaiah 38:18-19
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: 18 “For Sheol cannot praise or thank You, Death cannot praise You and rejoice in You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness. 19 “It is the living who give praise and thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.

OBSERVATION: Christmas seems to be all about gift giving, in remembrance of the greatest GIFT ever given for us – our Lord Jesus! But ‘gifts’ come in many forms, and today we want to meditate on the greatest gift that we could pass on to our children, or to those who know us. Come, meditate with me as we look into the Word of God.

APPLICATION: With Christmas quickly approaching, I believe that most of us are probably trying to narrow down what we will possibly give that child of ours, who seems to have everything already. No doubt there are others that we are just as concerned about getting just the right gift for as well, and we will often go into debt just to get the right gift that they might appreciate. But wait just a minute friend. Can you remember the best gift you ever received from a grandparent? How about a parent, or spouse or child of yours? I can think of certain acts of love; certain words of praise; certain very special family times, like the night dad told his kids about the call of God on his life that led to his salvation that day; certain family times of Bible reading; certain times that, as a family, we called on God for healing for each other, like when my dad was being treated for ulcers, when in fact he had experienced a heart attack. Friends, our Scripture is telling us that we may no longer hear about these things from grandma or grandpa, or dad, because just as declared in verse 18 above, they may have passed on from this world. So how then will our children know these things? Let me suggest that we make some family traditions of our own. I don’t believe that we would spoil the ‘fun’ times of what our kids have found in Christmas trees, gifts, santa claus, and the likes of a worldly Christmas, but in verse 19 we are being counseled to share our ‘God’ experiences with our children. I trust that we all will make time to share with each other during our Christmas celebrations this year.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You have been so gracious to us;  so loving; so kind; so forgiving; and such a provider of glorious gifts that creates a sense of anxious expectation about Your return to take us up to glory! Lord, please give us opportunity to share these gifts with our family this Christmas, and oh that we may have opportunities to also share Your love with others that we come into contact with. This may be the greatest gift we give this Christmas, and it may be more special to the recipient than anything they will find under the tree. Make us bold in our approach, but humble and loving as we remind ourselves of our unworthiness before such a righteous and awesome God. Blessed be the name of the 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!

Show How Blessed You Are

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-07-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 16:16-17 (NCV)

Text:

 16 ….No man should come before the Lord without a gift. 17 Each of you must bring a gift that will show how much the Lord your God has blessed you.
OBSERVATION:
The Israelites received guidance from Moses on where they should worship, when, how and why. Other than the sacrifices, where Jesus offered Himself as a living sacrifice for us, I believe the other guidance that Moses felt led of God to share with his people are still very much in line with what we should still be doing today. The point today of giving in return for the blessings you receive, is one that we will look closer at and attempt to apply to our lives today.
APPLICATION:
I would imagine that there are some out there that give to the work of the Lord for various reasons, like giving because of promises by preachers that you would be healed, or that you will get rich. Some to avoid shame when the offering plate is passed, so that you will not be looked at strangely if you put nothing at all in it. Some may not give because they feel like churches or pastors are out to get rich quick from the gifts of even the poorest members. Or because you never have enough money for yourself each paycheck after paying your bills, so why should you short yourself to give to the church? These are probably just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ on excuses you have either heard or used before, but friends, our direction comes from God’s Word. Throughout His Word He teaches that those who love Him, or know Him, or who are His, are those who obey His commands. The guide given in verse 17 above, is that we give in line with how we’ve been blessed. Notice that there is no other calculation used? Here’s a personal testimony: When I became a tither, the biggest hurdle for me was to switch from a $1 offering in the plate as it passed, to actually giving 10% of my paycheck. There were times when funds got so tight that old Satan would make me question why am I doing this crazy giving thing? But God always saw me through, and He blessed me day after day. No He didn’t make me rich in money, but rather rich in blessings. Later in my Christian walk, an evangelist spoke on giving to God from our financial resources. In his closing prayer, he had us take our wallets out of our pocket, hold them in our hands before God, as we prayed for direction on our giving in relation to our blessings. God clearly reminded me that He had blessed me with my whole paycheck, and not just the net amount after taxes, loan payments, etc. At a time when funds were already challenging, I trusted God to see me through this change in the amount that I surrendered to Him. In no way is this bragging on anything special about this old born again sinner, but I would like you to know that God has held my hand and helped me through every financial challenge, AND blessed me enormously in my everyday life. Is God proud of the way you recognize His blessings to you? If He went strictly by the percentage you gave to Him unreservedly, and out of total obedience to His Word, would He consider you to be a totally appreciative person? If God blessed you strictly based on the amount you give to Him, do you suppose your blessings would increase, or decrease? Friends, let me assure you, our God is a very giving God. You can’t out-give Him, and I strongly believe that He will bless you even more as He recognizes that you are giving honestly and in response to His matchless blessings to you!
PRAYER:
Lord, how could we ever give enough to show our appreciation for all that You willingly and generously give to us? Lord, please help us to always give back to You out of love and in proportion to all that You have blessed us with, and never in response to what we feel that our church leaders may fail at. We want to be blessed by You, so we give to You. As You direct us to elect Your leaders to lead Your church, I have no doubt that You will place trusted leaders to mind Your flock and provide for the spiritual welfare of Your flock and our community. Thank You for giving so overwhelmingly to us Lord. May we give in proportion to all that You give to 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 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!

Gifts From God!

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-07-08
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 9:4-6 (VOICE)

Text:

When the Eternal your God has driven them out ahead of you, then don’t begin to believe He gave you this land because you’re so good and righteous! It’s just the opposite; He is giving you their land because those other nations are so bad! It’s not because you’ve conducted yourselves so well or because you have such pure hearts that you’re going to take the land; the Eternal your God is driving out those other nations ahead of you because they’re so wicked. He’s keeping His word, the promise He made to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I’ll say it again: the Eternal One your God isn’t giving you this good land because you’re so good. You’re stubborn, obstinate people.
OBSERVATION:
Moses wanted his people to be reminded who was in charge of the mission they were about to take, for there was nothing they could have said or done that could warrant the overthrowing of the much larger towns they would encounter on entering into the Promised Land. If God was to act based on the goodness of the Israelites, they probably would never have made it out of the wilderness. I believe that we could see where there would be lots of lessons in this story for us also! Let’s apply this Scripture to our lives…
APPLICATION:
We may tend to look at this story as such an obvious case. After all, we remember from reading the story about how the Israelites turned their hearts away from God right from the very beginning of their journey, and very soon after seeing God’s miraculous hand at work at various times. I believe that God knew that as these people entered the land, overcame towns and settled in, there would be a higher likelihood of them pitching a party to celebrate, rather than a huge praise service to give God the glory. So I feel like God inspired Moses to warn them ahead of time. So friends, what is God pointing out to us through this scripture? I believe that a fair number of us are willing to help the poor; visit the sick; encourage the depressed and console the mourning, but what do we expect back? Please don’t quickly respond ‘nothing’, because we gloat in our achievements when we hear our names mentioned in recognition, or mentioned in the newspapers for having helped someone. May I suggest that you try seeking God’s face for Him to show you where the needs are? Then try meeting those needs without calling your pastor to see if he approves, for you are following God’s instructions. If you can meet the need anonymously and not tell anyone else that you did it, I believe you will have something to celebrate with God. Think about it, when God blessed you with the income and abilities to help others, He didn’t send a message to your pastor so he could have the church celebrate your income and talents. Therefore, when you give, as unto the Lord, give in His precious name, so that He might be glorified! He gave it to you and you shared some it. Since it all originated with Him, then He deserves the credit and the praise! Start by tithing to your local church, as instructed in Scripture. When you’re comfortable with that, and realize the praise that God receives through the work of the local church, and that you survived financially in spite of giving a tenth right off the top, then you will be comfortable taking that to the next level. God told us to test Him and see if He wouldn’t bless us beyond anything we could give or imagine. Try it friend!
PRAYER:
Father, who are we that a King should die for us and provide the only means into heaven to live eternally with our awesome God? The love, the gift of eternal life, the provisions of each day and the gift of family and friends, way exceed anything we could ever have thought or planned. The gift of the Holy Spirit to help us in our daily walk, makes this whole journey on earth possible. Thank You Lord Jesus for every gift You have given to me. May I live the life You have designed for me, so that all that I do and all that I am, may bring glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 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!

Committed to Give!

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-04-05
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 35:4-5; 36:4-7 (NCV)

Text:

35:Moses said to all the Israelites, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Let everyone who is willing bring this offering to the LORD: gold, silver, bronze….
36:4 So all the skilled workers left the work they were doing on the Holy Tent, 5 and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than we need to do the work the LORD commanded.”
6 Then Moses sent this command throughout the camp: “No man or woman should make anything else as a gift for the Holy Tent.” So the people were kept from giving more, 7 because what they had was already more than enough to do all the work.
OBSERVATION:
In preparing to build the temple, Moses shared with the people what God had commanded them to do as their contribution to the project. Their response was so overwhelming, that Moses had to soon stop them from bringing their gifts. Seems just the opposite to what the response Moses received when he commanded them to stop worshiping idols. Perhaps God got their attention when over 3,000 was killed after the last incidence of disobedience.
APPLICATION:
I found this to be quite the contrast to the half hearted giving of God’s people today! Often when volunteers are needed, the able ones are the first to avoid eye contact and scoot out the back door of the church, because they just don’t have time. When teaching jobs are open, it is extremely challenging to find someone willing to commit the time to the job. Most would rather see the church pay for building repairs or yard work, as they simply don’t have time to do such things. If you read yesterday’s blog, you will remember that we were encouraged to always respond with the words “I just can’t make that a priority”, rather than “I just don’t have time”! I believe that it will be much closer to the truth and reflect more accurately that your priorities are elsewhere. Oooch! I know that hurts, but friends I want you to learn to be 100% honest with yourself, for God already knows your heart! This same attitude of commitment and priority also flows over to the act of giving financially to the Lord. To the able bodied brothers and sisters who may read this blog, may I suggest that you ask a handicapped person who is unable to work, “how much would they be prepared to give to the Lord, if He healed their body and gave them a job?” and I would assure you that they will probably respond 100%. My point is, friends, that in God’s Word He gives us a command to give at least 10% as a tithe to His work at our local church. In today’s peer pressure and wanting everything our neighbor has, how good are we doing with that command? Is it done before any other expenses are taken out of our income? God doesn’t give us the remains of a beautiful day, or half blessings in any way, but He gives us His very best, way more than we deserve. Giving more of self and even in our financial giving, are ways to express our gratitude to God for all that He does for us each and every day. The Bibles says that we will receive in accordance to how we have given. How are you doing friend?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving of Your very best so that we may have forgiveness of our sin and one day join You in glory! You’ve not asked us to give of our only son, like You did, so Lord may we learn to be in constant awe of all that You give to us each and every day, and may we give in return as You have commanded, or even more. As we express our appreciation through our giving, may it be obvious to You that our hearts are filled to overflowing. May this be reflected in all phases of our lives so that You may use this appreciation to open the eyes of unbelievers and draw them to Yourself. I ask these things in all humility and great appreciation for Your love and Your mercy to even me, 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!

God Can … and Will …

Monday, 2016-08-29

Scripture

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10

Bible Text: Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.

9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I would imagine that you might be similar to me, in that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what would happen in coming days, weeks and years so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips, in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses, let me remind you of Moses, who had millions of people following him, as God’s messenger and leader. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 

  • Trust and reverence God;
  • Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
  • Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;

Friends, know that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate through the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

Prayer

Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving 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!

Biblical Qualities of a Growing Church

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Acts 2:42-47
Today’s Bible Text: 42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper*), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity*—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: Without giving the appearance of being too repetitive, I wanted to highlight some of the things that made the very early church a very successful one. This is in hopes that we may see something that might help us to do the same today. Friends, let me say at the very outset that I am not referring to the BIG church down the road who seems to be flourishing already, or the small to medium church that seems to be catching the BIG church up pretty quickly. I’m talking about the church of our Almighty God, for I believe that it should always be our objective to see His church added to daily (evidence of the unsaved world being reached with the gospel). So here are some things worth taking note of:

  • Those that were saved, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teachings. What beautiful choice of words! Being ‘devoted to my wife’ means that I will do everything to be with her, listen to her, try to please her and will go with her even when a good football game is on or the fish are biting good! Therefore attending church, or Bible teaching, would have similar priorities to those things just mentioned, or as mentioned in Acts 2. There would be nothing with greater priority;
  • Fellowship – I believe that when these Acts 2 believers spent tIme together under the teaching of God’s Word, they learned some things that helped them really get along with each other, so they enjoyed times of fellowship together. I bet they learned to overlook one another’s faults, and also their individual peculiarities!!
  • Sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper) – The mention of ‘food’ will normally bring folk out to church, but what a challenge to get those same folk to join you for a Bible Study that follows, or the Lord’s Supper that may only occur once per month or quarter. Knowing that God sees the heart, I wonder what He must see as the ‘devotion’ of these folk?
  • Prayer – Similar to the last item, this is probably one of the least attended services at a church. Analyzing this from a human perspective, means that folk either struggle with talking to their Father, fellowshipping with other believers while they talk with their Father, or simply sees no importance in publicly talking with their Father with hopes that others might be encouraged or blessed to hear of your answered prayer. I wonder which!
  • Shared everything they had with those in need – In other scripture, God shows where the church was designed to handle this through tithes and gift giving, or through handing out food and clothing to those in need. Oh that we would be done with the excuses of assuming that the church abuses this privilege, therefore we will not give to the church as God directs. These folk sold everything they had so that others might be blessed. May I suggest that the giver was probably more blessed than the receiver?

You may be asking why God would have all this included in His Word for us. I believe that it was very intentional in mentioning that the church grew daily. Again, this refers to God’s church – regardless of what denomination tag may have been placed on it on earth. Friends, our churches are dying rapidly today, so may I encourage you to not worry about inviting the church growth division of your state to discuss and help you analyze your church problems, but rather look inside your own heart and see how well you are doing in the above items? God will add to His church when he sees people who are serious about Him. Let’s take care of these things personally, and I believe that God will take care of the rest!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in appreciation for all that You have blessed us with, we want to recommit ourselves to the proven qualities of this early church. I believe that You placed things like this in Your Word so that we might be best equipped to help grow Your kingdom in and through the many churches that we are involved in. Please help us to cut through the church politics, and the conclusions we tend to jump to about how our churches are run, and just do our part, knowing that You will add to Your church daily when Your children follow Your prescription for church growth. Thank You oh Lord for loving us enough to point us in the right direction. May we now be obedient, so that Your work might be accomplished before it’s a day too late. For I ask these things in the precious 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 http://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!
2016

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