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

Posts tagged ‘human’

Obedience that shows our fear of god

Scripture: Genesis 22 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”  Gen 22:12-14 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Abraham had been an outstanding child of God up to this point, obeying God’s every command and doing what he thought would please God. Yet in verse 1 of this chapter we are told that God tested his faith, and oh what a test! He commanded Abraham to sacrifice his dearly loved son, Isaac. The scripture shares nothing about Abraham questioning God or trying to make any deal with God, he simply followed God’s instructions. Because of his obedience, God intervened and saved Abraham from such a sacrifice. I wonder if we, or if I am obedient enough to God’s instructions that I would do whatever He asked me to do, and secondly, am I obedient enough for God to say, OK you have proven that you truly fear Me. In my opinion, this is the ultimate proof of our love for God and our obedience to Him, when we are willing to follow what He tells us to do no matter what. God loves us so much that He willingly sacrificed His Son, Jesus, and He didn’t hesitate and withdraw at the last moment, like He allowed in the case of Abraham and Isaac. So lessons learned here tells me that God loves me so much that He sacrificed it all. He also loves us so much that He would be willing to step in and save the day for us, His children, when we prove to Him that we truly love and fear Him. Perhaps we will be blessed enough to name the place where we recognized God’s miracle in our life, much like Abraham did in the case of ‘Yahweh-Yireh’!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

The kind of love that You extend to me is way beyond human comprehension, O Lord. You have shown in Your Word just how loving and kind You were to those before me, and I have every reason to believe that You love me equally as much. May I be bold enough, obedient enough, honest enough and committed enough to show my love and respect in all that You command of me. Abraham was obedient even to the extent that he was willing to sacrifice his greatly loved son. May I be obedient to Your voice today dear God!

Strive for Perfection, Just as Christ is Perfect!

Scripture: Matthew 5

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

At the conclusion of a chapter devoted to telling us how to live a true Christ-like life, Jesus tells us that we are to strive for perfection like the only perfect One – Himself. I feel like there are several things to consider here:

  1. In Character: When we continually sin and just shrug it off to excuses like: “Well I’m sorry, after all I’m just human” or “It’s OK, I know that God will forgive me”or “Well, there’s always another chance for me to try and do this right”, then I believe that we are giving in to being a child of this world and accepting the pitfalls and weaknesses of this world rather than placing our faith solidly in the hands of the almighty and striving wholeheartedly to be like Him. Let’s aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. He will see our sincerity and help us through our human flaws;
  2. In Holiness: In striving to be more like Christ, we will find that love for, and service to others, become a priority in our lives. God showed mercy and love even to those who hated Him and chose to fight against Him. Look at how He healed the soldier in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s remember that we are chosen by God to carry His love into this sick world and represent Him in all of our interaction with sinners.
  3. In Maturity: Christ-like maturity doesn’t happen instantly. Just like we expect more from a teenager than we do from a child, or more from an adult than we do from a teenager because of the years of maturing into adulthood, so it is as we study God’s Word, learn more about Him and how we can become more like Him. We should be showing signs of maturing more and more each day. Friends, we don’t mature into adulthood strictly by what we learn in school – we learn it from our everyday living. So it is with maturing as a Christian – don’t depend solely on what you may learn from a weekly sermon. Get into the Word (God’s book of instruction) and learn daily what it is that God is teaching you that day to help you mature in Him.
  4. In Love: We must seek to love others with the same love that Christ loved us. He gave His life for us, while we still hated Him, while we plotted to kill Him, while we spat in His face and mocked Him. We weren’t deserving of His love, yet He gave it all to show His love for us. That’s the kind of love we must have for those that we come into contact with daily.

Christ calls us to rise above mediocrity and be perfect even as He is perfect. When we strive for this perfection we stop accepting anything less. One day we will be perfect, just as He is perfect!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I serve the only perfect one. My desire is to daily grow to be, or mature to be, more like You in every way. This means that I am striving to also be perfect. This requires my daily time on Your Word and my ultimate desire to overcome the things of this world that will distract me in every way possible. However, I have the confidence in knowing that I serve the only One who could give me the strength, wisdom, desire, boldness and power to overcome the sinfulness of this world and strive for ultimate perfection in You. Please give me a constant desire to be more like You so that others may see Jesus in me and want to also know You. thank You for providing such an example for me to follow and mature in.

The Reward of Thankfulness and Appreciation to God

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 8

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things.22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Gen 8:20-22 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Noah could very easily have complained while on the ark about how long he had to be penned up in tight quarters with the stench of animals, and he could have been so relieved after exiting the ark that he could have left everything behind him and went on to the joys of everything he saw in front of him. However, he took time to stop and offer a praise and thanksgiving offering to God immediately after getting off the ark, and before indulging in anything else. Are we careful to do this every time we recognize God at work in our lives? Do we stop and thank God for all He has done? Do we give Him credit for the things accomplished in our everyday lives, or do we attribute the successes to luck, or our personal achievement? God was so please with what He saw in Noah, until He made a few promises that Noah never even thought, or knew to asked for. I believe that God has way more good in store for us than we could ever imagine. He’s just waiting for us to let Him, and to do our part in recognizing Him and thanking Him for all that He does. there’s a song that I like to sing along with, “God of Wonders” that comes through in expressing how awe struck I am as I consider all that God does for me each and every day, and how special His children must be to Him. I want to always be mindful of all that my God does for me and those that I call ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister’. Thank You Father!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, You loved us so much that You gave it all for us. You created us, and everything around us to enjoy while here on this earth. You provided the ultimate sacrifice so that we may have a means to enjoy the ultimate prize of worshipping You in heaven one day. Thank You Father for loving me so much and providing for me every day. Please forgive me when I am selfish and whine about things that really don’t count towards my ultimate journey in being with You.

Speak in Boldness, But with a Humble Spirit

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Matthew 3

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matt 3:8 (NLT)

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” Matt 3:13-14 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Two things in particular caught my attention in this passage this morning:

  1. The boldness of John the BaptistHe was on mission for God and seems like he said what he felt led of God to say to the people that he preached to, without fear of repercussion from the government of that day, or the leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees). It seems like today we have become so politically correct in our churches in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings (and I don’t believe for a minute that we can only speak the truth if we know that someone’s feelings got hurt), but it just seems like we are afraid to say it like it is. An old saying that I always remember is that ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’, in other words if something that was said speaks to issues in your life, then obviously God is dealing with you through His spoken Word. As a people we have become so ‘thin-skinned’ that we retaliate when our feelings are hurt by holding back on our tithes, or not attending church, or gossiping about the preacher, etc, etc. Assuming that we have all prayed earnestly for the man of God, that he may discern God’s will and Word for us when he stands in the pulpit before us, are we then not challenging God Himself when we retaliate against the preaching or even God’s written Word? How dare us?
  2. The humbleness of John the Baptist – A man known for his boldness in speaking out, yet when Jesus comes to be baptized, John the Baptist said that in no way is he worthy to baptize the Savior of the world. How true this is. No matter how close we feel like we have become to God, we are but dirty rags compared to the only pure and Holy One of God. I believe that this is well worth keeping foremost in our minds so that we don’t let self pride come in the way. We are nothing without Christ, and we personally can do nothing miraculous, such as winning a lost soul or healing a sick person, but only through prayer and humble submission to the power and will of God. We should always pass any praise or glory straight on up to God for anything accomplished through us. It is encouraging for us to see lives touched by God because of something He may have said through us, but may our Words and actions be so filled with His love and His power that He may accomplish great things for the kingdom in spite of our human shortcomings.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

I believe that much could be accomplished through us and our churches today if we used the boldness displayed by John the Baptist, yet the humble spirit that he displayed in the presence of the Holy Son of God. Lord Jesus, it is You that I serve and You that deserves all the praise for anything accomplished in Your name here on this earth. Please may I find boldness in serving You, but be ready to step aside and let the glory all go up straight to You. Please have Your will and way in my life today, and may  there be opportunities for Your glory to shine through in something that I may say or do today so that Your kingdom may be fulfilled. Opportunities will come and go, and so will my words, but I believe that as You use me as Your humble servant today, Your words spoken through me will touch the hearts of Your people with lasting power and effectiveness. To God be the Glory for all that will be accomplished in Your name today!

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