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

Posts tagged ‘Imitators of Christ’

May Others See Jesus in You

Friday, 2016-09-30

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:6

Bible Text:   6I pray that as you share your faith with others it will grip their lives too, as they see the wealth of good things in you that come from Christ Jesus.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

The apostle Paul wrote this letter while still in jail, because of his preaching the Word of God. The letter was to his Brother in the Lord, Philemon. Paul’s life had been enriched by Philemon, and he wanted Philemon to know that he was praying that the lives of others would also be enriched as he shares the Word with them. Friends, I believe that God got my attention on this because He wanted me to stop and think about how ridiculous we oftentimes are today. If we had a good relationship with the Governor of our state, or a senator, or the head of any country, don’t you know that it would not be hidden from anyone we come into contact with? You talk about name dropping – I bet we would do our share of that!! Can’t you imagine us casually saying in a conversation with one of our school pals, that we had dinner at the White House last weekend with our good pals, Michelle and Barack? Oh, and by the way, don’t forget that you have a free invitation to take a friend with you for dinner over the next weekend! Do you suppose you would have many takers? Of course you would, in fact I bet you would have a hard time deciding who to take, out of the hundreds of interested parties. Can you imagine the excitement they would hear in your voice as you share? Compare that to the way that most would mumble under their breath that they went to church last weekend, or they are now a child of the King of all kings.  How do you suppose God must feel when He sees us avoiding the issue of sharing excitedly about Christ in our lives? Sadly, in most cases our reason is merely because we are afraid of being rejected, or perhaps put down for being one of those ‘religious fanatics’. Friends, Paul was praying that the lives of others would be touched, and jolted into the reality of Jesus Christ, when they encountered Philemon. Sure the ‘man’ might be standing in front of them, but oh that they might actually see and encounter Jesus. You know, this is my prayer every day – oh that they might see Jesus! May I encourage you to pray the same? Pray that our hearts will be so intertwined with the life and teachings of Jesus, that our words will sound like something He would say, and that our actions would make our friends think of Jesus, and may our words and actions speak to the heart of our friends, that they too might desire to know our Savior. If we were losing weight, they would want to know what kind of diet we were on. If we were looking younger than the last time they saw us, they would want information on the ‘magic potion’ we must be taking! If we are excited about Jesus, and only concerned about His goodness, His mercy and our total relationship with Him, then perhaps they would want to know more, or even be introduced to Jesus. Let’s all try to do a better job at opening up our lives so that Jesus might shine through, dear ones.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your servants, Paul and Philemon. Thank You for Your Word, for it is powerfully filled with challenges such as we have studied today. Our lives, even now in the 21st century should be just as reflective of You and Your saving grace, as it was in the life of Philemon. Please help us to be unashamed of the gospel, unashamed of our Savior, and very open to reflecting the love of God in every aspect of our lives. Lord, may the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart, always be acceptable to You, representative of You, and usable by You to touch the lives of those that we come into contact with each day. Its all about You Lord Jesus. Help us be be usable instruments through which You can proudly minister. 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!

Faith Is…….

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Hebrews 11:1, 5-6): Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—”he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

THOUGHTS: This whole chapter is known as ‘The faith chapter’. It takes on the job of the dictionary in explaining the meaning of ‘Faith’, for it tells us that ‘Faith’ makes us sure of what we hope for, and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was ‘Faith’ that helped our forefathers know God and please Him in every aspect of their lives. This whole chapter is filled with examples of how our ancestors pleased God in and through their ‘Faith’. Verse 6 goes on to minister to us by telling us that we can only please God through our ‘Faith’, for if we want to know Him, we must have ‘Faith’, believe that God exists and that He rewards us as we sincerely place our trust in Him. I just love this chapter, because not only am I told to have ‘Faith’, but it goes on to demonstrate the very reason it was so important in the lives of our ancestors, and therefore helps me to understand that God has not changed, so if I want to be as successful in my relationship with God as any of our ancestors were, then I had better sharpen my ‘Faith’. This also helped me to reflect on my own Christian journey and identify areas of my ‘Faith’ journey, for if our offspring is to truly walk a path towards, and with God, they will not only look to Hebrews 11 for evidence of ‘Faith’, but they will also want to know how impactful was ‘Faith’ in the life of their dad/uncle/grandfather/brother/cousin. I was able to identify times where I stepped out in ‘Faith’ believing in the true leadership of the God to whom I prayed, and I saw where lifesaving medical help became available to two family members, plus the increase of my family, because of my ‘Faith’ in knowing that God approved of me moving my family to a different country. There have been other instances friends, but I want to challenge you to look into your own life and identify how impactful your ‘Faith’ in God has been in your life. I want to challenge you to talk about that with your family so that they might know that the miracles of God are not only told in the Bible, but in every aspect of our lives today also. If we are truly the only Bible that most folk will read, then it is incumbent upon us to reveal our ‘Faith’ by telling them of the ways that God has worked in our lives and showed His power and His goodness in miraculous ways. Imagine your daughter teaching your grandson about the subject of ‘Faith’ and using examples in your life, rather than, or in addition to those related in this chapter of Hebrews! If our God is truly alive today, then we should be a witness to what He is doing today in and through us, His saints who are alive today! Tell your story friend! Brag on our Savior and allow Him to be praised because of what He has done for you!

PRAYER: Father I am concerned that people are judging our salvation based on the amount of faith we portray. This could negatively impact Christians, however this is exactly what James taught us in James 2:14 when he said: “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” As we have come into Your holy presence; as we have invited Your Holy Spirit to live inside of us; as we have committed to live our lives imitating Your character, Your example and Your teaching, we have so much to brag about. Please empower us with boldness, to not brag on anything that we are deserving of, but on the One deserving of our praise and our worship, because of Your outstanding and awesome goodness and mercy to us. Thank You Father, for it’s in the precious and faithful name of Jesus that I ask all this, 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!

Clothed With The Life of Christ

The Holy Bible

26 It is through faith that all of you are God’s children in union with Christ Jesus. 27 You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, so to speak, with the life of Christ himself.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Good News Translation – Galatians 3:26-27)

Thoughts:

Paul was addressing a people who struggled with their national, spiritual and godly differences – Jews and Gentiles. In today’s society we still struggle with various differences, jealousies and beliefs. In this scripture, Paul told the Galatian church that these differences should be set aside, and even disappear, when they consider that their belief in, and acceptance of, Jesus Christ makes them one in Him. Today is not much different than the same bunch that Paul addressed, for although we might have also accepted the same Lord, we still face fighting and bickering when we don’t get our own way, or we may even resort to ungodly acts against each other. Paul’s advice then and now is that we act like the one to whom we belong. Personally, my earthly father would have been disappointed, and even embarrassed, if I had acted in a manner different to what he taught me, or practiced in his life. I can’t begin to imagine how my heavenly Father must feel when, considering the extent to which He went to prove His love for us, yet we who are clothed in His forgiveness, grace and love, still act in very similar ways as the Jews and Gentiles acted in Paul’s day. I’m sure that nothing comes as a surprise to God, but it should hurt our hearts knowing that we may have hurt God through our actions and/or words with those who are our brothers and sisters, under the same banner of Jesus Christ. Friends, when we are clothed in the blood of the lamb, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, then we are obligated to follow in His ways – to act just like Him; Love just like Him and to be His ambassadors in this foreign land. May I challenge you to live like the King today? He has demonstrated how He wants us to live, and He will help us to do just that if we are faithful and just to ask Him. This world can be a better place in which to live, if only we will do our part as Christ’s representatives, invite Him to direct our words and our actions, and apply heavenly, Godly principles to the things we do and say!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I was challenged by Your Word today, because I realized how easily this old world, and Satan, can suck us into the attitudes and distractions that take Christians off the track of godliness and living holy lives that imitate Your perfect example set before us. You are truly holy oh God, and we are to be the same if we are truly Your children. Please forgive me of my littleness and lack of effort to stay focused on Your will and character. Please help me to stay focused on the goal of eternity with You, and while allowed to remain on this earth, may I truly live according to Your instructions and the perfect example You have shown through Your Word. Please touch the lives of friends who might meditate on this devotional today. May they also recommit to live the life they committed to when they accepted You as Lord. I ask this in Your precious and most worthy name Lord 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 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!

Our Lives – An Expression of Whose We Are

The Holy Bible

Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Galatians 2:20-21)

Thoughts:

As in Paul’s day, I believe that today we find some Christian leaders who are in the church ministry business for an income, a place to work, prestige, or in some cases just to find an opportunity to use their knowledge from years of Bible College that their parents forced upon them. However, I also believe that we have some Christian leaders who, like Paul, are pastoring or leading various ministries because of a deep, fully committed relationship with the Lord, and obedient to the special call on their life by the Master of this universe. The difference will be obvious to those being served, for one will be speaking and acting from the learned, head knowledge, while the other will be responding to a deep, spiritual, personal relationship with the God that they follow, and serve. One will be committed to pleasing the ones that they serve and receive their paycheck from, while the other will be committed to serving the Lord God Almighty who distinctly called them into the ministry. Now the latter personality, while serving God and faithfully following Him, will also faithfully minister and serve the children of God, as that exemplifies exactly what God demonstrated to them/us. I believe that the difference will be very evident in the pulpit and in personal relationships with the congregation. The eye opener here for you and I, Mr. and Mrs. Layperson, is that individually we fall into one of these same two personalities. Using Paul’s analogy, you might say that in one person we might find ourselves committed to rule-keeping, and peer pleasing but without true dedication to the things of the Lord. While another person might be so filled with God that the fruit of the Spirit is being wonderfully and miraculously expressed through us. The big question is: Do others see enough of Jesus in you to convict, or accuse you of being a follower of Jesus Christ, and a faithful servant of His? Are you bearing fruit that family, friends and acquaintances will recognize your source of life?

Prayer:

Lord and Savior, Jesus my Lord. I just want to thank You for not only creating me and placing me on this earth to follow the same evil actions of those that I come into contact with, but instead, You loved me enough to show me through Your Word, and demonstrate for me though Your life while here on earth, the way that is pleasing to the Father. Please continue Your marvelous work in me, and please also speak to the hearts of those that might meditate on this devotional today. May we seek to serve You and You alone, without the need or desire of praise from those around us, for we want serve You oh God. May the people see Jesus in everything we do, say or think so that they may be drawn to You and not repulsed by us. Have Your will and way in the lives of those that claim You as Lord today, is my 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 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!

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