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

Posts tagged ‘Love one another’

THE Most Important Commandment

Wednesday, 2019-09-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 22:36-40
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

APPLICATION:  Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two very carefully:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. To consider this being a priority, means that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very innermost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more and more, or ways to love Him better and better, than anything else.
2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is prideful, and could easily lead to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.
Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought ‘yes’, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish that day! Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and that You display ‘Love’ in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, 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!

Jesus’ Definition of ‘Greatness’

Post Date:

Sunday, 2017-07-23
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 9:46-48 (TLB)

Text:

 46 Now came an argument among them as to which of them would be greatest in the coming Kingdom! 47 But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he stood a little child beside him 48 and said to them, “Anyone who takes care of a little child like this is caring for me! And whoever cares for me is caring for God who sent me. Your care for others is the measure of your greatness.”
OBSERVATION:
It seems like Jesus’ definition of ‘greatness’ is quite different to ours. So we will look at this a little deeper today to make sure that we are not only getting the meaning of this word from Webster or some other English dictionary, but also to make sure that we are following God’s desire for our ‘greatness’ in this world.
APPLICATION:
In this world, and even in dictionaries, we learn that ‘greatness’ is considered: superior; or possess a natural ability to be better than most; illustrious; important; famous; etc. However, from everything we know of Jesus, He never showed any of these characteristics. He was born in a lowly manger in a cattle stall, and for the rest of His life there is no talk of Him living, or desiring to live anywhere near a palace. He simply obeyed His Father and served all mankind with sincere love and admiration. Yet He was the greatest man that ever lived! In our Scripture today Jesus is teaching His disciples that for them to evaluate who among them is the greatest in the kingdom of God, they must consider who is the greatest servant, for simply looking through worldly eyes at what they each might be famous for, will only impact what the world thinks of them and expects from ‘great’ people, in their terms. Let me suggest that we stop and consider how concerned, helpful and caring we would be towards a little child as they go helplessly down a river. Now think about the child, they are totally dependent upon you to keep their heads above water and from the harm of all rocks or debris, plus keep them warm once they are ready to exit the water. I believe Jesus wants us to care for everyone here on earth in much the same way as we would for that child in the river. This includes those who are very close to us, those that we think are above us in status and especially those that we know society always look down their noses at.  ALL are precious in His sight. Jesus also wants us to be like the child going down the river: fully dependent on Him; begging for His helping hand to guide, protect and keep us; and willing to accept help from anyone that stretches out ther hand to help us. At the end of life’s road when we meet Jesus, we will all be considered children of God, or not. There will be no ‘greatness’ that will get us there, only the simple invitation of Jesus into our lives. What’s your position today friends? Do you know my Jesus personally? Are you serving Him faithfully in all phases of your life and with whomever you come into contact with? If so you may one day stand to hear: ‘Welcome my child, you have been faithful over many things on earth, now come and dine with me and my Father as we rejoice together  throughout eternity!
PRAYER:
Lord, thank You for all that You have demonstrated through Your example, and from all that You have taught us through Your precious Word. We will meet many that are different in many ways from us. Please teach us to always welcome one another with the same grace that You welcome us. It is unimaginable that a King would willingly sacrifice His life for my sin, and my opportunity to spend eternity in heaven. Yet You did just that. Thank You Lord Jesus! Now may I, and all my readers be prepared to act in similar fashion and accept even those who persecute us; who have more money than us; who may live in mansions; and who may live under bridges. All are precious in Your sight, and so should they be in ours. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever, 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 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Proof That You Know God

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-03-27
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 John 4:7-8 (Voice)

Text:

7 My loved ones, let us devote ourselves to loving one another. Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
OBSERVATION:
The first verse details how to know if we know God, while the second explains how we will know when we are not one with the Father, and this all revolves around how well we do with loving one another.
APPLICATION:
I believe that our first instinct when we read verses like this, is to reflect on how much we love our spouse, children, mother, father, siblings and possibly our friends. However, by comparing our love with the love of God, we must also consider how well we do at loving the person who is not very lovable to us, or the person who always acts like they hate the world, especially Christians. To make a difference in this world, and truly show that the supernatural God of this universe plays a key role in our life, we must strive daily to be more like Him, and to give Him total control of our lives, for I believe that until we are totally submissive to Him, there will be too much of the sinful nature controlling us. Friends, these verses are very clear that this kind of love comes straight from God. They are also clear in telling us that when we fail to love one another, then the evidence shows that we do not know God. Now let that sink in for a moment. Since God is love, and He showed His ultimate love for us by sending His only Son to die on a cross for our sins, then if we claim to be His children, under His control, surely we would automatically strive to love just as He did. So may I encourage you to analyze yourself today as you go about your way? Better still, have a little talk with Jesus and ask Him to make you very aware of when you are not acting like Him, or loving others as He would. If you truly know Jesus as Lord and Savior, then you know the plumb line against which you will compare yourself. Please don’t compare to anyone one else, your ability or willingness to love others.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for first loving me! For loving me unconditionally – in spite of who I once was, The love that You show each day for Your children here on earth is beyond all description, but it has set a precedence for us to seek Your help and Your guidance so that we might love one another with that same kind of love. Please forgive us when we take things into our own hands and mess up so royally. I am convinced that it is only through the amazing grace of Jesus that we could love the happiest of people and the most miserable unloving, unkind individuals that You will place before us today. May it be easy for us to reflect back on the day and say the it was solely by the grace of God that we showed love even to the most challenging individuals, just as You would have done. Teach us to especially get this particular characteristic in order, so that the world might see Your grace and Your love even through us. 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 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Of One Heart and Mind

Monday, 2016-11-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 17:20-22

Bible Text: 20 “I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. 21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me—the glorious unity of being one, as we are

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that if 5 families left my city in Florida to head to Atlanta, Georgia, there would probably be several different routes taken because we all have our own ideas about what will be the fastest route, or the most scenic, or the most enjoyable due to attractions along the way that we would like to visit. However, we will all probably wind up at our final destination in Atlanta, Georgia at some point. I believe it was extremely evident to Jesus that this would be the case with His children in many walks of life, even in religious circles where we have the ultimate goal of coming face-to-face with Jesus in heaven when we pass on from this old world. I was reminded in a very bold and obvious way in our scripture today that Jesus knew right from the very beginning that this would pose a challenge for His children. I was able to see where Jesus approached the Father in much the same way as I would, if I was leaving the state of Florida on an extended retirement trip throughout the rest of the United States. There would be concerns for ministries I am involved in at my church, and there would also be concerns that my relatives would be OK with me out of the picture for an extended period of time. Now, I must quickly acknowledge that I have nothing to worry about with any of these things falling apart, because I am not the glue that holds all these things together. However, we do worry about things that mean a lot to us, if we’re not around to do our part. Friends, Jesus came to this earth for one intended purpose, to save mankind from eternal damnation. To achieve this, He showed Himself in some very bold ways – through miracles, through loving the unlovable, through sacrificing Himself so that we might not have to sacrifice anything in order to be saved from our wretched sin. However, in spite of all that He did, we went back to the Father and prayed about His concerns for the wellbeing of His church – His children here on earth. I believe that anyone meditating on this devotional today will agree that the concerns of Jesus were right on target, just like the rest of His life and ministry were. For we have such a problem here on earth in that we segregate ourselves from other believers who are headed for the same destination. In my example above, if we come across one of our friends on that long trip to Atlanta who had chosen a different route than we did, we may tease and poke a little fun at each other, but we would still welcome them and celebrate with them at the destination point. In religion, it seems like we have become so secure in our understanding of the Word of God and/or other ancillary books given to us from our respective denominations, that we erect walls between ourselves that non-Christians probably look at and wonder how many destination points are there, because obviously we are not headed to the same one! Friends, I know that this may seem like I am picking on religious denominationalism, and perhaps I am, but I believe that Jesus has shared the concern with us to ponder, that He shared with His Father when He returned to Him. What can we do about it? Jesus wants us to be ‘one’ just as He and the Father are ‘one’. We know that the trinity represents three persons all in one, meaning that they have the same attributes and same power and are the same in the eyes of the Almighty God. For us to appease Jesus in His wish for us, we must be willing to tear down the walls of hatred and separation, and love one another as we love ourselves (according to the commandment of God). Great walls separate men and women, yet they are ‘one’ in marriage. Can we please set our goals on unity in the only thing in common, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I get the distinct impression from our scripture that this would please Jesus beyond anything else we may attempt today. Please don’t wait for your church to adopt a philosophy to do this, I believe Jesus wants this to begin with you and I. Let’s personally commit to this wish of our Lord, and love one another unconditionally.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You saw this coming and You prayed for this scenario ever since the beginning of time. I don’t know that things have gotten any better, so I want to commit myself to You today asking that You open my eyes to any injustices that may occur between myself and other believers in Jesus Christ. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that regardless of what part of the world one might be from, or the color of their skin or their financial status, we all have the same channel to travel through in order to one day see You and the Father in heaven. Please help my readers and I to live today in a way pleasing to You, and in a way that we intend to live when we sit around your feet in heaven as one body of believers. Lord, may we practice today what we expect to do ‘tomorrow’ when You call us home to glory! I ask these things in the only One who can change our hearts and our minds, and the One who set the example for us while here on earth. 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!

It’s Difficult To Counterfeit LOVE

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 John 1:5–6
Today’s Bible Text: Dear friend, I am not writing to tell you and your children to do something you have not done before. I am writing to tell you to love each other, which is the first thing you were told to do. Love means that we do what God tells us.
The Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take Away: There is a lot of emphasis in the Bible about how much God loves us, and about how we are to love one another. Ever wondered why, especially in the New Testament, there are references on the impact this has on the believer? As I studied this today one of my commentaries suggested that there is a lot of emphasis placed on showing our love for others, because it is probably the most challenging thing to counterfeit. Wow, never thought of it that way – but there is a lot of truth in that. There are numerous occasions where Jesus openly showed His love, the greatest of which was to die a cruel death on the cross. With His arms totally outstretched, He showed us that His love was limitless – no end or perimeter to His love. He also demonstrated that His sacrifice was for ALL who would believe on Him, and ALL has no restrictions if one would only believe on Him. So I must challenge you with a very key question/thought today: do you sometimes feel like you are faking it around some Christians? I’ve heard some say that they only love a person for Jesus’ sake. Friends, love comes from your heart, so if you can’t find it in your heart to love that one, then I believe that it is seriously time to talk with God about righting your heart. After all, none of us are perfect, and we expect Christian friends to love us just the way we are. So if they could ‘bight the bullet’ and love us in spite of our failures or peculiarities, ought we not do the same? I believe one of the easiest ways to overcome this issue friends, is to start praying for that individual you are challenged to love. Pray for their success in life, their health, their family and their welfare. You will quickly realize that it is easy to love someone who you are praying for, and in whose life God is actively working. 1 Corinthians 13 is a whole chapter dedicated to the Biblical meaning of ‘Love’. Re-read it as you ask God to re-orient yourself to loving like He expects.

Prayer: Father, we acknowledge that way too often we allow the works of Satan to interfere with the true design for our lives that You would have us follow. Very often we fail in displaying Your perfect love, one for another, and we come before You today in shame because of counterfeit and pretense that we have shown to our Christian Brothers and Sisters. What’s inside of us, is what comes out, so we sincerely ask that You fill us again with Your holy presence, reinvigorate us with the love that You demonstrated for us, so that the love of Christ will flow from us to all that we come into contact with. Lord, because of our love towards others today, may they see Jesus – please? I ask these things in the wonderful, loving and precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016

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