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

Posts tagged ‘Joy’

The Inside Man Is Shown To The Outside World

The Holy Bible (New Living Translation- Philippians 2:12-13): Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Thoughts: I believe that way too often we, who have placed our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus, confuse the idea of ‘works’ when it comes to our salvation. Let me explain. I am 100 percent in agreement that we cannot ‘work’ ourselves into heaven, and that it is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we have a chance of seeing heaven. However, I am totally convinced that there should be lots of evidence of our salvation, and that this will often be revealed through our actions and/or our ‘works’ as a Christian. A life that has not been impacted by Jesus Christ, may not have Him as a vital part of their life. When I got married, anyone could tell I was a married man, not just because I had a ring on my finger, but through my talk, and my actions. Paul is teaching that we are to work hard at showing the unsaved world that we belong to Jesus. The results of our salvation is peace, love, joy, humbleness and forgiveness. I wonder if Jesus was to base your entrance into heaven based on the evidence shown to the world of your salvation, would He have enough evidence to let you in? This scripture is teaching us that God works in and through His children by not only giving them the desire to please Him, but also the power to accomplish the necessary actions. Friends, there was no shame or hesitant fear when Jesus was taken to Calvary to die for our sin. Why would you possibly find an excuse not to openly confess that He is your Lord and Master? Why would you restrain His mighty works through you? Please consider recommitting your life to Him today and giving Him complete control, so that His will might be accomplished through you? If all of this is pretty strange to a reader, let me encourage you to read the ‘Footnote’ below and take some first steps towards surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. All of which I have shared today comes after this initial, but vitally important step.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Jesus my King, thank You for saving my soul, and thank You for all that You accomplish through me. I am somewhat ashamed at the lack of Christian evidence that others may always see in me, so I humbly ask Your forgiveness for the pride and fear of rejection that may often impede my witness. Thank You for the reassurance in vs 13 that You are constantly working in me and giving me power and the desire to always confess You as Lord, and to openly worship You and please You in every aspect of my life. Please don’t give up on me. Lord, I believe there will be readers meditating on this devotional today that are in various stages of life’s challenges. Please speak to their hearts and give them the peace and reassurance that You have blessed me with this morning. May we all be Your humble servants today, but ones that shine with the bright glory of our risen Christ, so that others will be encouraged to know You in a very personal and committed way. May we praise You today for who You are, and for all that You accomplish through us, for I ask all this in the name of my risen and everlasting 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!

Gifts For Believers

The Holy Bible

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Galatians 5:22-26)

Thoughts:

If I told you that I was going to send a little stranger kid to college next year, there would be a few questions you would have for me, such as how do I know the kid, how long have they shown a desire to want to attend college, etc. Similarly, in these verses today, we should ask a few questions or rather, observe a few obvious answers:

  1. The Holy Spirit produces the mentioned fruit in those who have accepted Jesus and have a desire to live like Him. Others who do not know the author of the gifts would either not appreciate the gifts or recognize them as coming from God;
  2. These gifts are not given to make us proud, but rather to reflect more of Jesus in our lives – the author of these gifts;
  3. The gifts are beneficial, as they are given to folk who have totally surrendered the passions and desires of their sinful nature. In other words, they are given as a needed replacement for the sinful gifts already surrendered at the foot of the cross;
  4. The gifts serve the purpose of helping us not become conceited, or agitated with one another, or jealous of one another, but instead lead us towards loving one another as Christ first loved us.

By meditating through these verses, I believe you will see where there will be times when you might recognize a few of the characteristics in #4 sneaking back into your life. Please note that these are not of God and should automatically put you in a mode of constant and serious prayer, asking for help from Jesus so that you may see the gifts mentioned in verses 22-23 return to you. Many of us are looking forward to gifts at Christmas. It can be Christmas every day for Christians as God, through His Holy Spirit, showers us with the wonderful gifts mentioned in these verses.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I pray that there will be friends who will read this devotional today and wonder why they are not receiving the gifts mentioned in these verses, because that will indicate a soul that is either strained in their relationship with you or who do not have a relationship with You. It will also indicate that they have been led by You to the truth of Your Word and how it could apply to their life, if only they would surrender their life to You. Father, I pray that many will be impacted by the greatest gift of all this Christmas, Your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. As You shower us with the gifts mentioned in these verses, may we allow You to use us as Your representatives to bring joy, peace and love to those that we come into contact with. Please soften the hearts of those we love, who need You as Lord of their life, is my humble plea this Christmas season, and I ask all this in the wonderful 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! 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 Love Remains – In Prosperity and Hard Times

The Holy Bible

13 Accept the way God does things,

for who can straighten what he has made crooked?

14 Enjoy prosperity while you can,

but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.

Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Ecclesiastes 7:13-14)

Thoughts:

The last verse in this chapter, Ecclesiastes 7:29 reads: 29This is all that I have learnt: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated. I believe that this verse sums up our human race so well, for we are never satisfied with just the facts, we have to prove they are true, and that the speaker or the author had no bias towards what they said! Friends, our key verses today is basically reminding us that our God is way more powerful than we could ever imagine, in fact Solomon went on to illustrate the majesty and power of God by reminding us that no one can straighten out the curves in this universe made by God. Therefore we should continue to trust Him through our praises and celebrations when things are prosperous and going well for us. However, although we often neglect to stop and praise Him for our everyday happiness, safety, family, friends, work, knowledge and so much more, we seem to do just the opposite when it comes to those hard times in our lives. We are reminded in verse 14 that ‘everything’ comes from God, both the good and the challenging times. Think about it friend: if God loves His dear children, why would that differ when things are going wrong, vs the times when we are on cloud nine with joy and happiness? When we discipline our children, it is not because we hate them today vs yesterday. We discipline because we love them and want to help them do better. There’s a popular song out today entitled “I will Praise You in the Storm” that speaks very loudly and clearly to this unconditional love of God for which we are to be thankful and praise-worthy at all times. Will you join me in shifting our negativity during challenging times to more of a praise time because of God’s love to discipline us and show us a better way to live? Can we learn to praise Him in spite of our personal circumstances – good or bad?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You made us, so I am confident that You are well aware of our weaknesses, especially during those challenging times in our lives. Please touch Your children today and help us to be more of a thankful people. For I believe that if we did a better job of praising, thanking and celebrating during our ‘good times’ then, perhaps, we will more easily recognize that You are still God, still in control, and will do nothing to harm us, but rather continue to mold us during the times when we feel so out of control. You went through some very challenging times even as our supreme Lord, so help us to understand that these times will come. However, help us to follow Your example in dealing with our challenges, for You healed the ear of an attacker in the garden, and You prayed for the Father to bless those who hung You on the cross. Please help us to recognize You daily for the loving God that You are, knowing that You have our best interest at heart. Please continue to bless others through us, both during our prosperous times and especially through our challenging times, and may we continually praise You through every event in life, for I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my 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 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!

Ready For A New Life?

The Holy Bible

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

Thoughts:
I’m sure at the end of our day we look back and reflect on the things we said that we regret; the things that we should have said, but didn’t; the attitude that should have been better when talking to an associate; the family relations that should have been superior to what actually transpired, and on and on. Life is filled with these types of disappointments, especially when we try to handle it alone and bear the full burden. God’s Word clearly states that He came to this earth, was crucified and rose again, so that we might have life (now and forever), and if we surrender our life to Him and allow Him to guide us each day, we will experience life more abundant, secure, protected and loved. Therefore, we should gladly surrender our burdens and disappointments to Him for direction and help in resolving. Furthermore, the only way for our ‘old life’ to be considered gone, is if we surrender it to God. Friends, our life in Jesus takes on a whole new outlook. For we then live by faith and under God’s direction, in ways that He has taught us in His Word and through various means throughout our day where He sends roadblocks or open doors for us. For those meditating on this today but do not identify with what I have shared, may I suggest that you have a conversation with my Lord? You see, it is only through faith in Jesus that you will experience the kind of life of which I speak. If you have never taken this step, I would humbly suggest that you follow the steps in my footnote. To my Christian friends reading this but who are still experiencing the days of tumult and battles that you’ve always faced, I would humbly suggest that you quickly put time aside to speak with our Lord and Savior, for you may not have surrendered as much of your life to Him as you once thought. In a fully surrendered life, you are able, with God’s power, strength and direction, to help others. You will really confuse them if you are still experiencing the same issues that they are facing. Fully surrender your life to God and experience the life in Him that He promised, so that you may bless others for Him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, please forgive me for often hanging on to parts of my life that I should have already surrendered over to You. This lack of trust and faith hinders my walk and witness for You. Please work in my heart so that I may be one with You. I want to be all that I can be because of Your mighty hand guiding me and using me for Your complete glory. May I be used of You to impact the lives of my family and friends who need You, and to be Your hand outstretched to the stranger in need of a Savior. Please be especially close to my Christian friends who need this same experience today so that Your glory may shine brightly throughout our realm of influence. Please impact the life of an unbeliever with this message today. May they find reasons to seek You and know You while there is still time for them to do so. I ask this in Your precious and holy name dear 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 days 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!

Brighter Days Ahead!

The Holy Bible

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Thoughts:

Ever notice how you might visit a person laden with pain and discouragement, so much that they can barely move, but when they see you for the first time in a very long time, how they don’t notice the pain and they are ready to go wherever you take them? They quickly become very refreshed in their mind? I believe it is very easy for us to get in that rut also, because we tend to lose hope and the joy that once filled us, especially if we are not humanly seeing results. Paul had a similar experience in ministering to the church in Corinth. For with the bare eye, one may have looked at Paul and quickly agreed that they would stay far enough away from whatever he was proposing to them, because it only got him beatings, imprisonments and hardships. However, to the Christian who witnessed the joy, inward excitement, boldness and peace that exuded from this man of God, I believe that they would deeply desire a similar walk to that of Paul. In these verses, Paul is warning the church that we need to look beyond what might bless us today, and focus on the far-reaching effects of the gospel being proclaimed. You see, our hearts should overflow today when we do the Master’s work, especially when we do it in earnest for the Master’s sake and His glory alone. It is hypocrisy to promote self when attempting to teach and/or preach and/or witness, for without Christ we are nothing. It is His grace that saved us, His love that sustains us, and His promise to welcome us home in glory that center our hearts on Him, in anticipation of our glorious reunion with Him! I’m afraid that when we get discouraged, it may very well be ‘self’ that is not being satisfied. Let us always remember that our Christian work here on earth is to bring glory to God. When an earthly war is over, it is the country who sent the soldiers into battle that wins, not the soldier who fired the last shot. Many earthly soldiers will gladly place their life on the line for their country, are you and I willing to do the same for the battle we fight against Satan? Let’s learn to allow God to use us in His service for His glory, rather than us mentioning God’s name while promoting self. There is a hope friend! Let is rejoice in that hope as we present the gospel through our words and actions each day, knowing that one day soon we will be with the Master in all His glory!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, Savior of this world, please help me to keep myself in proper proportion to the One in whom I represent and witness to others about. Like Paul, I too must stay focused on who I’m working for and who will receive the glory from anyone touched by Your message. Lord, I am convinced that as I see glory going up to You by folk, there is little value in what I may have contributed to that, because I am merely Your messenger obeying Your commands. My desire is that I may be obedient to what You require of me. I am merely an instrument in Your hand to accomplish Your work with those who need You. You have strategically placed me here, with all of the experiences I have encountered, so that others who need You might identify with You through my earthly experiences. Thank You for choosing me to be Your child and Your servant. May Your Holy Spirit continue to use me – my talents, my experience and my hope, is my humble prayer this morning. Lord, may Christians that meditate on this devotional identify with what I have shared and grow stronger in their relationship with You. May the lost that You direct to this devotional find hope in the mighty works that You do, knowing that they too can become Your child, when they accept You as Lord and Savior of their life. I ask all this in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, my Lord and 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 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 days 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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