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

Posts tagged ‘Lord’

Fasting and Prayer

Thursday, 2019-01-17

Bible Reference: Matthew 6:16-18
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 16 “When you fast, don’t look like those who pretend to be spiritual. They want everyone to know they’re fasting, so they appear in public looking miserable, gloomy, and disheveled.[o]Believe me, they’ve already received their reward in full.17–18 When you fast, don’t let it be obvious, but instead, wash your face[p]and groom yourself and realize that your Father in the secret place is the one who is watching all that you do in secret and will continue to reward you openly.”

OBSERVATION: The Word of God is clear that if we publicize that we are fasting, our reward will be nothing more than what we hear back from our audience. That defeats the whole purpose of fasting, for we are dedicating ourselves to petition God for a specific need that we have personally, or corporately. Today, let us consider why we should fast, how should we fast, and what do we expect from a fast.

APPLICATION: I believe that when you look at an entrepreneur starting out in business – one that is pictured in their mind as a unique opportunity to fulfill a specific need for consumers, or industry, or intense profitability, you will hardly see them in their usual places of worship, at events with their family, or just having casual fun. For they are 100% engrossed in making that business succeed, and to be all that they pictured in their minds. So what about the Christian who is desperately seeking God to intervene in their lives personally, or in their family unit, or in their church, or even in their workplace? Does it seem natural to just ask someone else to pray, or casually commit those specific needs in corporate prayer, or even in your personal prayer time, when you tend to cover a wide spectrum of things, and of life itself, before God? I would say yes in all cases, but I would go a step further by sharing what I believe the Bible teaches on fasting and praying. You see, the businessperson spoken of above, will skip meals, miss family events, and more, just to totally dedicate themselves to their new business opportunity. In the life of a Christian, we might casually pray about the weather, or our child in school, etc, but consider how much more intense our prayers become when a loved one is barely hanging on to life, and the doctors are uncertain if they will possibly survive the medical issues they are having. The latter is more of the mindset of a believer when they fast, and dedicate time in prayer over a specific request. For they are willing to forego one or more meals, or perhaps give up caffeine or Facebook, or something that they feel could be sacrificed for dedicated time to plead in prayer before their Maker on a matter of prime importance to them. Think about if friend, what is the most important thing in your life right now? What do you feel is the most critical need in your life, or in the lives of those you care about, and for which you would be willing to do ANYTHING, in order to turn things around in those circumstances? Would you be willing to give up something important to you, just so that you could spend intimate and intense time talking to God about that? The Scripture tells us today that should you consider a fast, it is something that you decide together with God. There is no need to send a note to the local newspapers, or your pastor, or anyone else. For the pat-on-the-back you receive from those around you is the only reward you could expect. A one-on-one, intimate and private relationship with the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the world, our soon coming King, a commitment to commune with Him alone, and a mindset that you are willing to do anything as you seek God about a specific need, is the key to fasting and praying. It’s between you and God – no one else need be involved. Do you have a need of that importance to you today? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to dedicate the time in prayer before God Almighty over that need? What takes place in privacy between you and God, will be rewarded publicly by the King of all kings, according to His promises in His Word!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it just rolls off our lips without effort or thought, that we will pray for someone. Oh that we may become a people of sincerity, especially in the matters of prayer. When asked to complete chores at home, we don’t look for excuses or distractions, but we seek to serve one another faithfully as we try to please each other in actions and words. The privilege of spending time with You, Almighty God, is beyond our wildest imagination, for who are we that our Creator, who put us together for His glory, should look on us in tender mercy and listen to our petitions. Please forgive us for our littleness, and our insincerity, and our lack of commitment. Lord, we need You every hour of every day, and often a lot more frequently. Please teach us to pray, and help us to see the urgency of prayer before the only One who could make a difference in our lives. May we be willing to give up the world to meet with You, Heavenly Father. You are the only one who could answer our prayers. May we commit to pray, and in times of our deepest need, may we never hesitate to fast and pray. 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 Right Start for Your Day

Wednesday, 2019-01-16

The Bible Reference For Today: Psalm 59:16–17
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

The Bible Text: But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.


My Take Away: In almost every aspect of life, a good beginning sets the stage for a good ending, and everything in between. Take for instance the construction of a house. If care is not taken to get the foundation perfectly level, can you imagine the disaster you will be faced with in every other phase of the construction, and even when you try to live in the house? So what happens then to your day when you wake up disgruntled, start by grumping at the dog and being less than respectful to your spouse? Can you possibly turn that around when you arrive at work and find the air conditioning or heat broken and the first employee to arrive prepared to quit your company and move on in their career? What if we had to imitate David and begin our day reflecting on, and singing about God’s power? You know, the same God who showed His gracious love for you by sacrificing His only Son, Jesus, to facilitate your way into heaven? You know, the same God that you witnessed bringing sunshine to your previous day – especially when you stopped and reflected on the number of friends and family who seemed doomed for an eternity in Hell and, had no hope here on earth? You know, the One who helped you to reflect on the satisfaction of having a job to go to and subsequently support your family – especially when you stopped and considered the relatives and friends who did not have a job? You know, the One who made sure that you had a safe place to rest your head the night before – especially when you turned on the news channel and saw stories of some sleeping under bridges or in tents? Friends, I believe we would have no difficulty at all finding a number of things to praise God for each morning, if only we could concentrate on the precious gifts that He gave to us the previous day. Yes, we live in an imperfect world, and I’m not naive enough to believe that everything went perfect in your previous day, but what I do know, is that if we learn to praise God for His many, undeserved, gifts then the stuff we didn’t like wouldn’t look near as bad. Furthermore, reflecting on the miracles, and the blessings, and the good things, and giving God credit for all that He did for us, gives us a sense of assurance to present our new day to that same God and plead His presence, His refuge, His guidance and His blessings on us as we strive to represent Him in every aspect of our lives. Imagine placing yourself in the hands of the Creator of this universe! Can you imagine any mountain that may be too tall or too tough for Him? Your anticipated path may seem impassable to you, but just remember friend, our Designer and Creator put those mountains in place for a purpose, and if we are to walk over, or through those mountains, He has the power to level the ground for us to pass! Praise the wonderful name of the Lord!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, glorious and almighty in all Your power, we are humbled before You today, feeling a little ashamed about how we tend to concentrate so much on the impossibilities of life instead of the accomplishments that were obviously handled by You on our behalf. Lord, we are so weak and helpless, but praise to Your wonderful grace, we who have accepted You as Lord, can praise You today for Your powerful hand intervening in our lives and protecting us from Satan’s destructive and misleading hand. Father, please inspire within us the desire to praise You with all assurance that You’ve got control of all things in the life of a believer, and for that reason we should always recognize Your power and Your might in all things, because of Your love for us. You are holy and so worthy oh Lord, and we are so needy. We humble ourselves before You in recognition of these things. Thank You for being our God, our Deliverer, our Protector, our Guide, our Savior and soon coming King! 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

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!

The Rewards of Faith In God

Saturday, 2019-01-12

Bible Reference: Genesis 13:1-5
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 1-2 So they left Egypt and traveled north into the Negeb—Abram with his wife, and Lot, and all that they owned, for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. 3-4 Then they continued northward toward Bethel where he had camped before, between Bethel and Ai—to the place where he had built the altar. And there he again worshiped the Lord. Lot too was very wealthy, with sheep and cattle and many servants.

OBSERVATION: In reading the whole chapter of Genesis 13, I glorified God for all that He rewarded Abram with in verses 14-16, and I would encourage you to read down to at least those verses. You see, in verse 4, Abram had stopped to worship the Lord, in spite of being without a place to call ‘home’ for he and his family. Let’s meditate on our ability, or inability, to worship God in all circumstances of life, especially in those times where it seems like things are not going well for us. How well do we do at that?

APPLICATION: Let’s stop to consider this scenario for a few moments today. Let’s try to place ourselves in Abram’s role and try to imagine what we would’ve done, or perhaps would do, in our current relationship state with God. Abram had just been kicked out of town by Pharoah, and now, with the responsibility of leading his precious family, Abram must find a place to call ‘home’. There is no indication that Abram had any remorse about the situation he found himself in, but he knew that he needed God. But notice the one thing that the Scripture made clear – Abram was very rich in livestock, gold and silver. I live and work in agriculturally rich towns, but I hear repeatedly of people facing similar challenging times in life, regardless of their monetary worth. Friends, we were designed by an awesome God, and if you go back to the beginning chapters of the Bible, you will note that He loved us so much that He provided everything for us to survive, enjoy and be in awe about. We should therefore always remember that, no matter how inflated our bank accounts are, or how big our farms are, we must remember from whence we came, and who exactly gave us the opportunities and blessings of becoming earthly ‘rich’. Often when hard times of health degradation or losing a loved one comes our way, there is no degree of earthly richness that will satisfy our souls. But also be reminded of how awesome our God is, for He saw the faithfulness of Abram; He saw the trust that Abram placed in Him even after he had attained much earthly wealth; He saw the humbleness in Abram, that even though he was the senior member of the family, yet he gave Lot the option of choosing his area of land first, and leaving Abram to settle in the remainder. I feel like often God looks at our choices in circumstances when we think no one is watching, to truly bless us, for He then sees the ‘heart’ of man. Notice in verses 14-16 how God, having recognized the ‘heart’ of Abram, blessed him beyond all measure. Notice that this blessing came even though Abram was not pleading with God for more, more, more. Friends, let us be consistent and persistent in our relationship with God, especially in those times that we can’t see what lies ahead for us. Be reminded that you are a child of the most high God, He loves His children, and He gives His very best for us, just as He did at Calvary. If you have never surrendered Your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to consider that today? It is the one critical means of bringing you into the sonship of the Almighty God. Please don’t delay that decision my friend. Let this be the best day of your life here on earth, as you prepare for eternity!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please have Your will and way in the lives of each one reading this devotional today. Just as You presented Abram with unlimited blessings, I believe that You are prepared to bless us with unlimited time with You and the Father. It just doesn’t get any better than that! May You be glorified today in all decisions made for true relationship with You. 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!

May Others Praise Jesus Because of You

Friday, 2019-01-11

Bible Reference: Matthew 5:16
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 16 You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.

OBSERVATION: This verse shows us what happens when someone sees the glory of God, even through something He may say or do through us (Christians). The emphasis here is ‘God’ and His mighty works, and not our abilities. Let’s meditate on how we might best align ourselves in this scenario.

APPLICATION: We have some who are super smart, and we have some who could use a lot of help, while others place themselves at the feet of Jesus with open hearts and ask God to fill them with His grace, His love, His wisdom and His mercy. Friends, it once again struck me as a very humbling thing that someone would actually praise God because of something I may have said or done! Of course, we want to extend praise and thanksgiving to the individual when we hear something of interest from them, because we want to encourage them. But can’t you see where there would be no better way of encouraging them, than for you to thank God: for creating them; for placing them in your path; for giving them the words that may have blessed you; or for giving them the financial capabilities to help you through some very tough times; or for speaking the right words to your son, that opened his eyes and heart to salvation? Wouldn’t it be awesome to walk up to your Sunday School teacher and instead of praising him for his giftedness in explaining the scriptures, you prayed with Him and glorified God for His gifts to this individual, which in turn brought a great blessing to you? Friends, as a worker in God’s kingdom, I could tell you right now that such an experience would help me change my mind from quitting, or lift my spirits beyond anything that might be said about my words or actions. You see, for those who are sincerely about the work of the Lord, it is all for His glory. So to hear Him being praised for any impact His ministry had through me, would be worth it all. May I encourage you to try this sometime, while I try to do the same? To God be the glory for everything that He does to get our attention or encourage us, even if He uses mere man to accomplish that!

PRAYER: Lord You are good and Your mercies are never ending. Thank You for all the ways that You get through to this humble servant. Thank You for all those that You have placed in the path of my readers and I, that encourage us personally, or remind us of Your awesome power and love. Please open our eyes to more miracles today that may happen right in front of us. Lord, may You be glorified at all times, especially in lieu of praises being addressed to us. We just don’t need that extra pride to deal with, as our strength, wisdom and direction comes from You alone. In Your name I pray, because it’s in You that I depend for my every move here on earth, so that You may be glorified. 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!

In Habitual Fellowship With God

Tuesday, 2019-01-08

Bible Reference: Genesis 6:9-13
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text:  9 …. Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God. 10 Now Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The [population of the] earth was corrupt [absolutely depraved—spiritually and morally putrid] in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence [desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power]. 12 God looked on the earth and saw how debased and degenerate it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way on the earth and lost their true direction. 13 God said to Noah, “I intend to make an end of all that lives, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I am about to [d]destroy them together with the land. 

OBSERVATION: I believe that the earth has once again become, as described in verse 11. However, I want us to ponder today ‘who will be the ‘Noah’ of our day?’. Could be it be you? Could it be me? Only God knows. But we also might know whether we are truly righteous in all of our ways. We may camouflage the truth to our friends around us, but remember – God knows every little detail about our actions, and even our thoughts. Think about it friends…

APPLICATION: Imagine with me that you are constructing a project, and you leave at the end of the day feeling very proud of your accomplishments that day. But while your mind is at rest at home that evening, you remember that there was a key ingredient that you accidentally left out of your day’s work on that project, and it would lead to total disaster in a few weeks if you go on with the project instead of fixing the issue. Next morning you arrive at the project location and ask for help in destroying everything you did the previous day, so that you could start afresh and do everything according to its perfect design. In the time of Noah, God looked at everything He had created, and was extremely disappointed at the totally opposite direction that everything was going, compared to His original intent, so He decided to start back over with just one righteous man and his family. I can only believe that today the world must be in much worse shape than it has ever been before. Why, think about the little value placed on human life itself. From killing the innocent unborn, to being snatched by a Human Trafficker, or targeted by a murderer, or a pimp, or an organ reaper. The world is being destroyed in every way possible by mankind, for just as God declared in verse 12, it has become corrupted and debased in every way. Friends, we know what God did when He saw the world in such a mess in the days of Noah. I am confident that He is still God, and that He could very easily do the same thing to our world today, although I’m sure that He would never break His promise to never destroy all of creation again. But we have a responsibility, to make sure that our lives are aligned with what God demands of us in His Word, and to seek in every way to be in a condition like He found Noah to be – righteous. Prayer changes things, and we could certainly do that, but the Bible is clear that we must be ready to meet our God, no matter what circumstances are going on around us. May I encourage you today to first of all, know Jesus in an intimate and personal way; and secondly, aim for righteousness – being right with God. This would be living in a habitual relationship with God! To do this, you must seek to live according to His instructions; follow His example; and seek His will daily so that you may stay in line with His will. You may not be able to change the world, but you can become associated with the only One who can. Seek after His righteousness, friend, and all this will be given to you!

PRAYER: Lord, You created the world, and You saw fit to destroy the world with a flood. However, You have promised to never destroy the world again. Nonetheless, please help us to never lose our sense of alertness and readiness, because You have also promised in Your Word that You will return to take Your saints home to glory with You. Yes, our world today is probably worse than You’ve ever seen it before, but precious Lord, how we long for the day that You will take us ‘home’ with You! You’ve shown us in Your Word how we might become, and remain, ‘right with You’. Thank You for the assurance of our salvation Lord! May I please ask that You speak gently to the hearts of all those who will read this devotional, as You draw them unto Yourself, and open their eyes to the urgency of the hour that is quickly approaching for Your return. I want to see You Lord, and I truly want to ask the favor of You miraculously touching many who will be impacted by Your Word, and even by this humble blog. To God be the glory for all things that You will accomplish in Your time! 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!

Excuses Won’t Work

Thursday, 2019-01-03

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:11-13
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 11 God said to the man, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that special tree? I told you not to eat from that tree!” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me gave me fruit from that tree. So I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” She said, “The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”

OBSERVATION: Right from the very beginning of time, when there were only two humans alive, mankind found it easier to make excuses rather than owning up to their actions and accepting the consequences that may follow. Often this involves throwing the blame on someone else, with hopes that they will bear the brunt of the punishment for the crime. However, I believe that God might have a lesson for us to learn in this. Let’s think about the excuses we find, when trying to deflect blame on to others.

APPLICATION: Not sure when last you stopped to consider the many excuses we find in life, but I believe the habit is much worse than we could ever imagine! In our Scripture today, we might think of the peaceful garden that God created for His first children. How He created Adam and immediately saw how lonely he was, so He carefully chose to make Eve from Adam, to help set the stage of submission, that God wanted in place. God wanted to make sure that His kids learned right from the beginning that there were some rules – things that they would not be permitted to do, or touch, or eat. Are you starting to see a comparison to what we still face today in our various diets and disciplines? However, it is clear from the Word, that God carefully and lovingly created everything especially for us to enjoy – the beauty of His creation; food of many varieties; animals to bring life to everything around us; and a keen sense to recognize the God of this universe who loves us more than anything else in the world. Would you not assume that we would be immensely grateful, and therefore consistently and persistently looking for ways to praise our Father for His goodness? But right from the start, Adam and Eve assumed the attitude that is so prevalent in us, that no matter who sets the rules, we are going to do it our way. Yes, the serpent caused Eve to really ponder the rule set by God about the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, but it was Eve who caved in and committed the sin in disobedience. Yes, Eve offered the fruit to Adam so she could have a partner in crime, but Adam had a choice to accept the fruit and sin, or be the spiritual leader of his home and lead Eve to a point of seeking forgiveness. I believe that our lesson to receive in this today, is that we are accountable before a holy God for our own sin. Of course I believe that we could help each other refrain from sinning, but I don’t believe there is ever a time that we could honestly stand before God and try to give the excuse that someone else caused us to sin. Let’s do our best to not let anything hinder us from praising God; from seeking His face in reflection and in honor to His holy name; from causing us to willingly disobey Him and sin – in spite of all that He has taught us. Remember, unlike our court systems, we will not stand before God with an attorney or witnesses who will try to find loopholes or excuses for our sin. It will be us alone, before God alone. He already knows the truth about every aspect of our life, and it will be up to us how willing we are to admit the truth about our words and our actions while here on earth. How well do you suppose you will do, without giving excuses?

PRAYER: Lord God, You provided a perfect setting in which we could live, and You provided everything we need to live in perfect harmony, and with respect for the One True God who created us. We approach You with deep regret that we have allowed so many things to step in the way of our right relationship with You. Please forgive us. We have entered into a brand new year, with opportunities to let our lights shine for you. Please grant us strength and wisdom to reject those ones who will cause us to sin, and fill us with so much of Yourself, that they will be convinced of their sin and search for You instead. Lord, Satan has taken such a hold on people around us that it is only with Your power and Your might, that we could ever survive the onslaught of sin. We need You desperately Lord. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. 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!

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