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

Posts tagged ‘Giving’

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

What Do You Want Most From God?

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: 2 Chronicles 1:7–12
Today’s Bible Text: That night God appeared to Solomon. God said, “What do you want from me? Ask.” Solomon answered, “You were extravagantly generous with David my father, and now you have made me king in his place. Establish, GOD, the words you spoke to my father, for you’ve given me a staggering task, ruling this mob of people. Yes, give me wisdom and knowledge as I come and go among this people—for who on his own is capable of leading these, your glorious people?” God answered Solomon, “This is what has come out of your heart: You didn’t grasp for money, wealth, fame, and the doom of your enemies; you didn’t even ask for a long life. You asked for wisdom and knowledge so you could govern well my people over whom I’ve made you king. Because of this, you get what you asked for—wisdom and knowledge. And I’m presenting you the rest as a bonus—money, wealth, and fame beyond anything the kings before or after you had or will have.”
The Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take Away: Each night in America thousands of lottery tickets are sold to prospects looking for an overnight explosion to their net worth. Also, casinos are often filled with folk looking for the same result. God told Solomon to ask for what he wanted from Him. This challenged me to think about what my response would be to that same question from God. Would it be the item that is at the very top of my prayer list, or would it be a ‘get out of jail’ ticket to ask for things that would facilitate an early retirement and  money to help me enjoy a stress-free retirement? Solomon, a new king, could have asked for a number of things tied to wealth or perhaps dominance in his kingdom, but I believe that Solomon had a heart for God and for the people he would govern. Because of the massive numbers of citizens and the awesome needs of the people, Solomon’s heart cried out for wisdom and knowledge as he went about his people. Friends, notice how God immediately knew that this was the unselfish heart cry of Solomon, and not the usual ‘give me’, ‘give me’ attitude of so many believers today. Notice that this resulted in God blessing Solomon with what he asked for, but also with a whole lot more. Imagine what would come forth in our lives if we sought God’s face more than His outstretched hand? Imagine if we thought of the needs of others before we asked for more into our own coffers? So what is at the top of your prayer list today Brothers and Sisters? May I encourage you to seek God first, and His righteousness, and be amazed at how God will meet your needs, and possibly your wants, in accordance with His perfect will for your life, and His ministry. 

Prayer: So many are in need of a Savior. So many are hurting. So many are in grave financial need. And Lord, many of these are my friends and/or family. Please touch their hearts today, and cause them to lift up holy hands in anticipation of the mighty works that You will perform in their midst. Lord, for every one that You touch today, may dozens of others be impacted with Your love and deep concern for their spiritual well being. For all those that will come across this devotional today, please draw them to Yourself and cause them to make decisions that will be pleasing to You. I need a special touch from You today dear Lord, please use me and allow me to display Your righteous character in all that I say or do. 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 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

How To Control What You Receive

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! Read on and be blessed friend!………

The Bible Text: 36 Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.37 “Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you.38 Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands – all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.”
The Bible Reference: Luke 6:36-38
The Bible Translation: The Good News Translation (GNT)

My Take Away: Way too often we whine about how ‘lucky’ others are, and we may even complain about how little we receive. I believe in these verses we see some prerequisites in order to receive all the blessings that God might have in store for us. Here are some things we need to improve on, if we ever expect to receive the full extent of the blessings God has in store for us:

  • Be merciful just as, and because, God is merciful – This is powerful, because it does not clarify that we are to be merciful to only those who, we feel, deserve it. God made us all, and I don’t believe He created any distinction on who He would be merciful to. He expects the same from us, friends!
  • God will not judge or condemn us, if we simply practice the same restraint when dealing with others!
  • God will forgive us, if and when we forgive others!
  • God will give to us, as we give to others. – If we are stingy in our giving (monetarily or otherwise), then don’t expect a lot from God. However, if we give generously in response to the blessings that God  has blessed us with, then we can expect God to give generously in return to us. For it is the same measure that we use in our giving, that He will use to bless us in return.

Isn’t it neat that God has given us the rules and the conditions that control how generous He will be to us? Let’s dig deep into our hearts and evaluate whether we are doing all we can, to receive all we can from our generous and loving God!

Prayer: Father God, You are so good to us each and every day. I can’t imagine how You can possibly bless me more than You do already. But after reading these verses today, I am reminded that I do not give of myself or my other possessions, near as much as You bless me with each and every day. Thank You for reminding me and my readers about the importance of sharing our gifts with others. It’s all Yours Lord, as we would have nothing without You. Please help us to freely share all that has been freely given to us, and I thank You in advance for Your promise to shower even more upon us in return. I love You Lord for You are so gracious, loving and kind to all of Your children. May You be worshiped and praised in return this wonderful day, is my humble prayer that I ask in 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!

2016

Fully Funded Projects

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Exodus 36:4-7): 4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

THOUGHTS: When was the last time your pastor stood in your church pulpit and followed Moses’ words in telling the people that a project was fully funded and it would not be necessary to continue giving to that project? In this sense, project may sound fairly insignificant in size, but what if the project was building your next sanctuary? Do you remember the last time you may have heard a pastor tell you to lay off giving to that project because the church has more than enough to complete it? So let’s consider why things may have changed. First of all, the scripture is clear that not all of the people freely gave to the cause. In 2:21 we are told that those whose hearts were stirred by the message from God through Moses, responded to the plea for help in providing material for the building project. This sounds pretty much like our churches today, don’t you think? As a result of surveys, we are told that less than 20% of the people do more than 80% of the giving! So why have the others ignored the plea? Friends, I believe that the Word of God is clear on this. Just as the Word tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, then God would save our nation, I believe that many of us need to humble ourselves to recognize that we have nothing personally to brag about. It is because of God’s grace that we have the health to work, the job to go to, and the income to survive. If we truly acknowledge that fact, why would we withhold giving to Him in proportion to what He has blessed us with? The Word gives us guidance – at least 10%. Because there are other biblical references to ‘first fruits’, I believe that the guidance actually refers to 10% of your gross income. Now because our relationship is one built around love, I don’t believe that we would dare use this as a legalistic demand. People ‘in love’ will generally give freely, and way more than might be expected of them. In a love relationship, there is no such thing as excuses why we can’t give 110% of ourselves to our mate. Should there be when it comes to giving to our Lord and His earthly work? Don’t you know that if each person in our congregations gave like this, that our pastors would frequently be faced with an overflow of income, where pastors and church leaders could decide to expand the ministry after meeting all the needs that they are aware of? I believe that the stress level on our pastors will be drastically reduced, when they don’t have to worry about funding the projects that God has shown them might be necessary to grow the ministry. When we receive our paycheck, there is no negotiating on amounts taken out for government taxes, why should there be constant decision making on how much to give towards God’s work? Determine in your own heart how much you will give and stick to the plan Brother and Sister. We are promised that we will receive more than we could ever imagine or expect. Furthermore, we will receive in proportion to what we have given. May I encourage you to always expect more from God, knowing that you have given in abundance towards His work? Furthermore, rejoice, knowing your loving and all powerful God will abundantly bless you and meet your needs!

PRAYER: Father, it is exciting to see how You work. We give to bless others, yet You wind up also blessing us in return! There just isn’t a way that we can out-give You! Thank You for being so generous, loving and kind to us! I would say that we are so undeserving, but then I am reminded that even while we were undeserving, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice for us, so that we might have a chance at eternal life in heaven with You. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus, Son of God! Lord may we learn to give in similar fashion – regardless of whether we feel the receiver or the project is worthy of our love, may we react in obedience to Your will for us. Please bless us as we give, so that our own needs may be met each and every day. May souls be touched for You because of our obedience in giving. I ask these things humbly, yet undeserving, but in the powerful name of our all-giving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Obedience Results in Rewards

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 6:4; 6; 14-15; 17-18; 33): 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

THOUGHTS: I found a common theme in reading Matthew 6. God had some awesome teachings, and He emphasized, or stood behind His teaching so strongly that He added rewards after each area of His teachings. Beginning in verse 4, on the subject of Christian based giving, I believe that if I am led to give to a person in need, God uses me to respond to the prayers of that needy person. While I might be eternally grateful for the opportunity to respond in giving, the act of me giving from my overflow of blessings is not intended for me to boast, but instead to allow praises for answered prayer from the recipient, so that God might be magnified. Then on the subject of prayer, we are taught to pray in private. Imagine the irreverence in telling our spouse everything, intimate or not, in a public setting? We are to have an intimate relationship with our Savior, so we are to pray to Him in private. In verse 6 we are promised that God will then reward us, or grant our sincere desires, as they fit within His perfect will for us. I included verse 14 because I wanted us to be reminded that God is not a push-over, or a Santa Claus just waiting to reward us no matter how we act or respond to His goodness. He tells us that He will forgive us based on our degree of forgiving one another. We must be willing to ask, pray and forgive in a manner pleasing to God, not for our own selfish reasons. Our submission to fasting is another example for us to show our humility to the God that we serve, and to reveal the honesty in the very reason for which we are fasting. When we do this in the right spirit and for the right purpose, God says that He will once again reward us. Friends, when we seek the Kingdom of God more than everything else, and when we live righteously before a righteous God, He promised that He will give us everything we need! Are you there yet? If you are not being rewarded in one of these areas mentioned above, then perhaps there are self-inflicted roadblocks preventing God’s outpouring of His rich blessings that He would really like to shower on us. Friends, let’s clear the path to blessings! God wants to bless His children, I believe. We just need to do our part to be vessels worthy of His blessings!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our littleness, our selfishness and our desire to please and promote self, instead of You. It is evident that You have such awesome rewards in store for Your children. Now if only we can learn to be humble and obedient servants so that You may freely pour out Your blessings on us. You alone are worthy oh Lord, and we cannot do this thing called ‘life’ without You. We are fully dependent on You, yet Satan is so determined to distract us from all the rich blessings You have in store for us. Please forgive us for our desire for independence, and help us instead to be totally dependent on the God who can do all things. We’re at Your mercy dear Lord. Please fill us with more of You and Your promised rewards. I humbly ask all this in the strong and powerful name of the only One worthy and able to intercede for us, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Blessings Based on Priorities

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Haggai 1:8-11): 8 But first, go to the hills and get wood for my temple, so I can take pride in it and be worshiped there. 9 You expected much, but received only a little. And when you brought it home, I made that little disappear. Why have I done this? It’s because you hurry off to build your own houses, while my temple is still in ruins. 10 That’s also why the dew doesn’t fall and your harvest fails. 11 And so, at my command everything will become barren—your farmland and pastures, your vineyards and olive trees, your animals and you yourselves. All your hard work will be for nothing.

THOUGHTS: I found it interesting how God got His point across to Haggai about why his people were not being blessed. I believe it is obvious that our God is a jealous God, yet we have clearly been forced to think about what a selfish and ungrateful bunch we are. Let’s reflect for a moment on how we act. We were created to worship and serve God. We are blessed beyond compare in the homes that we have and the food that we eat, plus the rich churches and church leaders who welcome us under their care. We enjoy fair health, and many of us enjoy jobs that help us to care for our families. So I believe you might agree with me that God keeps His end of the bargain in our lives. In the case of Haggai’s people, the Israelites, is it any wonder that God became upset when He declared that the people thought so little about Him that they allowed His temple to run into disrepair while their houses were extravagant and plush? In other words, their priority was definitely not on worshipping God and giving of their best to Him in their lives. So now let’s see how this might relate to us today in a comparative scenario. In spite of fairly high levels of unemployment and poverty, I believe that there has never been a people as blessed as we are. Yet we still see folk starving in our world, and we see churches closing their doors because of lack of finances. We make decisions about our church attendance based on the weather – good weather equals beach and/or family time versus bad weather means that since there’s nothing better to do we may as well go to church. Some have enormous incomes while others have only minimal wages, yet some won’t give a tithe because it sounds like way too much to give to the church, while others feel like they can’t afford a tithe, even though God promised to bless the remaining 90% in both scenarios, beyond anything we could imagine. When God orders that we give, do we not trust Him to properly handle the gifts we give, or the remaining portion to meet our needs? Did He really mean for us to put conditions on everything that He ordered for us to do or give? Yet we have become a people that expect everything promised without any conditions being applied to us! John 3:16 says that God loved the world so much that He gave…. No conditions, just that He gave… Can we love Him enough today to just give…. without conditions? Perhaps our blessings are in direct proportion to the heart of our giving, friend!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for giving unconditionally to us. Please continue to work on us so that we might eventually learn to give in appreciation for all that You give and do for us. May we give of ourselves and in in return for all the ways that You bless us. May we learn to trust You to do all that You have promised, and to properly handle all that we give in response to Your commands. You gave out of love for us, may we learn to love You enough that we will gladly give unconditionally back to You. Please forgive us for our littleness and selfishness, and make us obedient servants willing to do, or give whatever is asked of us by the Master. This I ask in the blessed name of Jesus, my wonderful Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

God’s Perfect Gift!

The Holy Bible

    Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 2:7-10)

Thoughts:

I believe that most folk reading this devotional today would probably welcome the thought of a gift during this season of giving and receiving – ‘Christmas’! This may be a result of us relating to God’s perfect ‘gift’ to us through His Son, Jesus. A celebration called ‘Christmas’ that we have continued for years. However, did you ever stop and think about why this all happened? It becomes a whole lot more meaningful when we reflect on the reason, as explained by Paul in these highlighted verses. For we are reminded that the gift (Jesus) given to us was not at our request. It was God’s idea from start to finish. In fact, He made/created us with a purpose in mind – to worship Him and to join Him in His work of loving His creation and ultimately saving the lost in this world. In other words, after creating us with a purpose, He saw that through giving us free will, we chose to ignore His goodness and His mercy, and instead follow the evil path of sin and destruction. Therefore, He then gave us the gift of His Son miraculously, so that we might find power and strength to overcome our evil desires and be redirected to the original plan of joining Jesus in the work already explained. So is this gift given to us meaningful to us? You better believe it, for it is God’s very precious gift, given to benefit our return to Him. In the latter part of these verses you will note that I bolded the specific purpose for which we were created and saved. Will you join me in recommitting ourselves to join Christ Jesus in the work that He does – the work that He got ready for us to do? This would not only be a gift to God through seeing obedient children, but also a gift to others as we serve for their benefit and ultimate cause of Christ. This type commitment can create a very special Christmas for all of us and, based on this passage, can be done without breaking our budget! If you are reading this and finding this all very strange, please follow the contact information in the footnote to get in touch with me and allow me to introduce you to my heavenly Father. There is no better gift you can receive this Christmas!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I come humbly before You acknowledging You as my Savior, my Lord and my King. While I often search for a unique gift for my loved ones at Christmas time, I can truly say that I am a very blessed man today, because Your gift given in that manger in Bethlehem was given deliberately and with such purpose and love for me. Thank You dear God for loving me so much and for caring about what happens to me here on earth and even in the life to come, where I will be with You eternally in heaven. Thankfully, You have placed family, friends, coworkers and others in my path so that Your work might be fulfilled through me. Please given me strength, wisdom and an unrecognized boldness to openly share Your love and Your goodness with others that I come into contact with. Please help me to freely become involved in Your work, the work that You have prepared just for me, so that Your perfect will might be done, even through me! Lord, I believe that some will read Your Word presented herein and they will have lots of questions. Please tender their hearts and help them to accept You, the author and finisher of our lives. May they truly recognize the greatest gift ever given during this Christmas season, and may their lives be eternally impacted by You. I ask this believing, for I ask it in the name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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