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

Posts tagged ‘no turning back’

Don’t Turn Back Now!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 6:4-6 (TLB)

TEXT:  There is no use trying to bring you back to the Lord again if you have once understood the Good News and tasted for yourself the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, and know how good the Word of God is, and felt the mighty powers of the world to come, and then have turned against God. You cannot bring yourself to repent again if you have nailed the Son of God to the cross again by rejecting him, holding him up to mocking and to public shame.

OBSERVATION:   At first read, this appears to be a very challenging passage of Scripture, but I sincerely feel like God has a message in it for us today. Just consider how the Word of God opened your eyes at some point in your life, and moved you to accept Jesus as the resurrected Son of God, who came to make the way possible for you to enter heaven’s gate. Then consider at some point denying all of this. God wants to speak with us today about not turning our backs on Him. 

APPLICATION:   I want us to think for a moment about the ‘day of salvation’ for us. Perhaps we heard a sermon, or was blessed to have a friend share with us one-on-one about their Savior and Lord, or perhaps we were reading the Word of God and was touched by what we found to be true of our Heavenly King. Reflect back on your early days as a Christian, when you felt like you and God could conquer the world. What awesome times you enjoyed basting in the love of Jesus, feeling the touch and leadership of the Holy Spirit, and seeing the hand of God work in miraculous ways in your life. Now I want you to fast forward five years, after losing a child, divorcing your spouse and returning to some bad habits from your ugly past. For the friend that knew you in all three worlds – before you were saved, while you were saved, and after returning to your first world, what might they be saying about you. What is your witness saying to the one you were trying to win to Christ while you were at the height of your Christian life? Do you suppose that they are convinced that Jesus is alive and well, or whether He may still be dead and hanging on the cross? Friends, these actions are so serious, that God said through the writer of Hebrews, that a person who fits that description and lifestyle cannot be saved again. I understand that we are told in life not to use the word ‘never’, as in ‘never be saved again’, but God’s Word is true dear One, and there is reason why He would warn us so strongly about this. So may I encourage readers who are unsaved, to please examine the truths of Jesus, and please run a reference check by asking other believers about their life after accepting Christ. Be convinced that Jesus is alive forevermore, and that His love for you today is just as strong as the day that He voluntarily hung on that cross to die for our sin. It is worth it all to accept my Lord as your Savior, and make a lifetime commitment to serve Him until He calls you home to glory. You don’t get married, just to try it out. You don’t have a child, just to see what it’s like to have one. Please be deliberate about your decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, it’s for the rest of this life and for all eternity! There is no other love, like His love for us. No one else cares for us like He does. No one ever did as much for us as He has done. When we commit to Jesus, He will keep Satan at bay, if we are serious and ask Jesus to do that. No one can pluck us from the hand of Jesus, as recorded in the Word of God. Know Him today and know that peace my friend!

PRAYER:   Lord, You are so good to us! Thank You for providing the means for us to enter Heaven’s portal to be with You and Your Father! Oh how we look forward to that day! For as long as You see fit to leave us here on earth, I pray that You will bless us with a sincere commitment to serve You and to lift up Your name before all those that we come into contact with. Lord, may You rule and reign in our lives and be evident to those we associate with, so that together we can walk into Your presence and enjoy the promise of heaven for all eternity. Please keep us strong, and determined to never turn back. 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 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!

What Is This?

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: Isaiah 52:4–6
Today’s Bible Text: 4 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Long ago my people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria. 5 What is this?” asks the LORD. “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation.* My name is blasphemed all day long. 6 But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: I believe there are times that Christians drift so far away from God, and lose sight of all that God has done for us, that God must look down in amazement, shake His head and say “young man/lady, what have you done now? What have you gotten yourself into now? Just a few days ago I rescued you from deep trouble (health issues; job reemployment; family issues; financial impossibilities; etc.) yet today you appear so far away from me. What is this?”. This would be similar to the situation God found with the Israelites. For He had rescued them from slavery, brought them into a happy place – the Promised Land, and made sure they were well taken care of. Now as He looks on them, He finds them back in slavery again while those who rule over them, blasphemes the name of their Lord. Friends, our lives will drift towards the very lifestyle that we live. If we drift towards the world, it will make its way into our lives and control the way we live, the things we say and the way we act. It will enslave us. May I encourage you to stop and consider the awesome price that God paid for us when He sacrificed His only Son for the redemption of our sin? May I suggest that you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and draw closer to Him in every way, each and every day? He truly deserves our praise and our ultimate dedication, friends. When we do this, we’ll not leave room for the world/Satan to slip in, distract us and pull us away from the cross. Jesus paid it all for us, and I feel like He deserves our all in return. We can do this!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your all for me, so that I may have access to the throne of God. Please fill my life to overflowing each and every day, so that I may gain strength to stand up against the temptations of this world and the enslavement of the Evil One. Lord, I believe that my friends face very similar issues in a day, so I humbly ask that You also surround them with Your love and Your strength, so that they may determine in their own minds to not cave in to this old wicked world, but to be fully dedicated to Your kingdom. We need You blessed Jesus. I ask these things in faith, and through the all-powerful 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

A Warning To Those Running From God

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? We tend to adhere to warnings about approaching natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, but today I am sharing a warning about turning your back on God. Read up, take heed, and be blessed friend..

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 Peter 2:20-22
Today’s Bible Text: 20 People can be made free from the evil in the world. They can be made free by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they go back into those evil things and are controlled by them, then it is worse for them than it was before. 21 Yes, it would be better for them to have never known the right way. That would be better than to know the right way and then to turn away from the holy teaching that was given to them. 22 What they did is like these true sayings: “A dog vomits and goes back to what it threw up.”[Prov 26:11]And, “After a pig is washed, it goes back and rolls in the mud again.”
The Bible Translation: Easy To Read Version (ERV)

My Take Away: I will do my very best to keep personal feelings out of this friends, because the Word of God is very capable of speaking earth-shattering truth to us all by itself! These verses come at the end of a discussion about false teachers who looked for opportunities with weak Christians to lure them back into their previous worldly lifestyles. I believe that if we think about the two choices here: (1) to encourage and promote someone on their walk for the Lord, or (2) to tempt someone with things from their past; we all may have some guilt here! However, Peter also saw this as prevalent in the day he wrote this book, and I believe God used the opportunity for Peter to warn all of us, because He knew we would fall into the same traps today. But here is a vivid picture of what Peter is talking about:

  • Where you were: You were a part of the world controlled by Satan and filled with sin and all kinds of acts and habits that lead a person to sin against the commands of the God who placed us here in the first place;
  • Christianity: You recognized the voice of Jesus who called you from this old world of sin, so you surrendered your life to Jesus and accepted Him as Lord. You learned about His commands and you did your level best to be obedient to God in every way;
  • Your return: Through a gradual slipping away from God; From many invitations from friends in your prior life; From a lack of plugging yourself into a Christian environment and friends; Through listening to the temptations of Satan through his earthly followers, you returned to a place in your life that was once attractive to you.

I believe you might get the picture, right? So I believe the warning is this for the child of God: If there was a time in your life that you stepped from the first stage above into the 2nd stage mentioned. You probably learned a lot about the character of God; the love of God and the instructions of God. Just because you might return to your former life, you did not have a strong magnet that erased all memory about what you learned, lived and experienced as a child of God. Therefore you return to a life of sin, while daily acknowledging to yourself that you know what you are doing is wrong, but you’re going to do it anyway. Friends, our God is a very faithful God, but He is a very jealous God. I don’t believe He has extended patience for a stubborn and obstinate child that looks Him in the face and says that I’m going to do it anyway, even though I know better and that it opposes the will of God. Be warned friend. Read the Old Testament and be reminded of how many were killed because they ‘chose’ to disobey or turn away from the God of this universe. Please don’t be fooled into thinking that this can’t happen again, especially to dear ones that you know, or perhaps to you personally.

Prayer: Dear God, You showed us sincere, sacrificial love like we have never seen before, yet some have chosen to leave a life that You have called them into, and return to the superficial love that this old world has to offer. Please once again work in the lives of my family and friends, and in the lives of those who will read this devotional today. May they feel Your holy presence so strongly that they would surrender their live to You today, oh Lord. I would be forever thankful. Please protect me with a wall of strength that will help me to stay strong in the faith and eternally grateful for the Savior who loved me so much. I ask these things in the precious and loving 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

Loving Jesus and Willing to Follow Him

THE HOLY BIBLE – 19 ….Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them. (This was the follower who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and said, “Lord, who is it that will hand you over?”) 21 When Peter saw him behind them, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “Maybe I want him to live until I come. That should not matter to you. You follow me!” ~ John 21:19b-22 ~ Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

THOUGHTS: All of our lives we are trained to think about the other person and not be selfish, but I believe you will note in this scripture today that there comes a time in life where Jesus calls for our undivided attention to what He is saying directly to us. In this chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus had just questioned Peter about HIS relation – HIS love for the Master. Jesus got so personal with that question that He asked it of Peter 3 times. When we repeat a question like that, usually we are trying to make sure that we have the person’s undivided attention, and by the second or third time we ask it, the person is really questioning to himself if he truly understood the question, or if the hearer is doubting his answer. You might remember that this is the same Peter who will deny Jesus three times while Jesus hangs on the cross, even though Peter told Jesus ahead of time that he would be with Him right up the very bitter end. As for how we might normally handle this type of question, I believe it all depends on where we are at and in whose presence. At church, where we are surrounded by a crowd of fellow Christians. I bet we would easily respond in the affirmative to Jesus, as we listen for a loud ‘Amen’ from those around us! But how would our response differ if we were asked the same question by Jesus at work; or at the football stadium where folk all around us are drinking and partying? Would we be as quick to respond affirmatively? However, this was not the only sobering thought of this scripture. As indicated already, imagine if the question Jesus asked Peter was asked of us individually in a crowd. Can’t you see us looking around for support, before we respond? “Come on church, let’s respond collectively”, we might say. Imagine Jesus stopping your parade and saying “wait a minute young man/lady, I am looking for a personal response from you only. May I hear your heart’s response, in spite of what you feel the rest of the church/co-workers/theme park crowd might say collectively with you”. Friends, this is exactly what Jesus did to Peter, for He told me that He was more concerned that he (Peter) would follow Him, even if no one else did. What about you friend? If you were singled out like that, how would you respond to Jesus? Are you at that place in your relationship with Jesus that you will respond, based on your heart, and not what you think the crowd would like to hear? Friend, I would encourage you to join me in solidifying our relationship with the Lord. This could be the day that He decides to take one or all of us home, and I don’t know about you, but I really want to know that Jesus was pleased with my life while here on this earth. That I stood firm in my faith and in my witness for Him. I pray that this would also be the desire of each reader.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You stayed true to Your mission right up to Your time on the cross. Like us, I believe that Peter stayed true to you, but he and us, we are so easily swayed in our decision making, that the crowd (Satan) may easily find a ‘soft spot’ and distract our thoughts and commitment to You. Lord, we are so weak. But praise to Your glorious name, You are so strong. So Lord, we come to the solid ‘Rock’ today pleading for Your strength in our commitment; our boldness; and our witness – regardless of the environment or crowd that we might be in. Please help us to remain strong. For those reading this who have not made a personal decision to accept You as their Lord and Savior, I ask for clarity in their minds so that they might recognize the priority of accepting You as Lord, before following the crowd to ask a total stranger for help. Please impact the lives of Your children today, so that we might stand firm in our faith. May our transformed lives be so sincere, that the lives of others will be transformed when they ‘rub shoulders’ with one of Yours today. For I ask these things in the strong 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!

No Turning Back

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Voice – Hebrews 6:4-8): 4-6 It is impossible to restore the changed heart of the one who has fallen from faith—who has already been enlightened, has tasted the gift of new life from God, has shared in the power of the Holy Spirit, and has known the goodness of God’s revelation and the powers of the coming age. If such a person falls away, it’s as though that one were crucifying the Son of God all over again and holding Him up to ridicule. 7 You see, God blesses the ground that drinks of the rain and then produces a bountiful crop for those who cultivate it. 8 But land that produces nothing but thorns and brambles? That land is worthless and in danger of being cursed, burned to the bare earth.

THOUGHTS: I believe that the same types of problems that were being dealt with in the early church, are very evident in our churches and our world today. I believe the hardest part of this scripture is to imagine that one might be turned away at the cross. However, after closer study of this, I concluded that this is definitely referring to one who had given their heart to the Lord, enjoyed His blessings and His goodness, then went in a totally different direction that led to a very strong falling away from the faith. I don’t believe that there is a discussion as to whether the person is saved or not, but rather more about restoration of the heart. When one drifts away it is as if they are ignoring, or perhaps even denouncing the God in whom they claimed to have enjoyed a relationship. In fact, in this passage of scripture it suggests that this person is then very similar to the one that would have participated in the crucifixion of Christ, for they are literally denouncing the truth of what transpired in their life, and in the life that God provides to those who believe in Him. In fact, I believe that this deceiving action is the same as denouncing the Holy Spirit – the one unforgivable sin. Therefore I question if that’s not partially the reason why the writer felt like “it is impossible to restore the heart of one” such as described. I’m sure we’ll know when we sit at the feet of Jesus and can discuss all these questions in detail for a few hundred years!! However friends, the main thing I want to challenge you with today is that we should make every effort to not fall into the trap of falling away. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His part of that covenant is to keep us secure in His hand throughout eternity. Why should we mean anything different? My greatest desire is that we will not fall into the trap of some who make a decision to do something, and that decision stands – until something better comes up. We expect God to keep His end of the covenant, I would encourage you to mean nothing less on your end of the same covenant.

PRAYER: Dear God, You have been so faithful to us, and I thank You very deeply for Your love in remaining faithful, even when I know that we have disappointed You. Please strengthen us with Your love and Your guidance today so that we may remain strong in the faith and totally committed to serving You all the days of our life. We tend to think of those who have chosen to step away from the faith, especially when we study scripture like the one today. However, if not for the grace of God, this could easily be us. So loving Jesus, please give us strength to be overcomers and totally committed to the everlasting covenant that we agreed to in accepting You, our everlasting Savior with whom we plan to spend eternity. I ask these things in the wonderful and blessed 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 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!

What Can Your Life be Likened To?

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – 2 Timothy 5:6-7): 6 …. My life is like a drink offering being poured out on the altar. 7 I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful.

THOUGHTS: I believe that we might want to stop and think about an earthly example to help us apply this heavenly application. Let’s imagine for a moment we are being interviewed for a job, not as in a first job scenario, but later in life. The interviewer asks you to summarize your life so far so they could better understand the heart of the man/woman they are considering to bring into their employment. While this will challenge us to think about all of the good things that we’ve done in our lifetime, in order to promote ourselves for the job being applied for, I believe that we will still give a different response than if we were standing before the Lord and answering the same question. Think carefully about this as you consider your answer before God, Paul declared that his life was like a ‘drink offering’, a sacrifice, a life surrendered totally to what pleased God and responding in every way to His will and direction. It would truly be a challenge for any of us to come close to saying anything similar to Paul, especially before an all-knowing God, wouldn’t it? So then, how do we strive towards that? Well, I believe that this comes from a daily commitment to truly seek God, both in prayer and in the study of His Word; and through a totally committed life to the Master, so that we don’t let the ups and downs of this world get to us, weaken us, or cause us to wander off the course charted towards eternity with our Master. Friends, we must live today as for the Master, then when we stand before Him on Judgment Day, we’ll have nothing to be ashamed of. Paul proved that this CAN be done. We just need to be as committed as he was!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the clear-cut path You have developed for us. Not only have You provided the rule book for us, but You have given us clear instructions in Your Word to help us succeed in our walk here on earth. Please empower us with the will and commitment to honor Your Word, to obey it and allow it to guide us daily in every aspect of life. Lord, I believe that each of Your children would declare allegiance to You, however, please help us to have the will of Paul, so that we may live as a sacrifice to You, allowing Your will to override ours, and Your Word to direct our path each day. With the temptations of this world, I believe that we can only achieve all this under Your complete guidance and with Your all-powerful hand. Please continue to bless and endow us with Your strength each and every day. I ask this believing wholeheartedly in You and depending on You, in the name of Your Son, 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 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!

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