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

Posts tagged ‘Not Ashamed of the Gospel’

Not Ashamed

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 1:11-14 (NET)

TEXT:  11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

APPLICATION:   Many churches in America, and perhaps other parts of the world, will celebrate when one of their own commits to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some churches may even make particular mention of individuals who commit themselves to serving as elders, deacons, teachers or other leadership/servant roles in the church. Because of this recognition, often folk will be prideful of these positions, but nonetheless, committed to serve for the duration of their committed term. There are some ministry jobs and assignments that remind me a little of what Paul experienced, such as missionaries who travel to countries that they know are unfriendly to the gospel of Jesus Christ; pastors who serve in churches that may or may not be able to pay them, yet they work encless hours to win the lost and disciple the saved, just as if they were serving the richest of congregations. Of course, all church positions require a heart for representing our Maker to those that we serve, and with hearts  and mindsets of volunteering of our time, effort and complete selves. But to put this all into perspective and try to identify with Paul, I believe that we need to think about the sacrifices we may make in serving and in our volunteering, even if we knew that we would be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, cursed at, or imprisoned for what we do. Would we still be able to stand upright and share in the words of Paul, that we are unashamed of the message and person of Jesus Christ?I believe that my biggest appeal today would be for the lay persons who might read this devotional. Sure these verses were written to Timothy who was a young pastor. Sure these are very applicable to pastors, elders, teachers and other church leaders. But friends, let me remind you that God didn’t save us so that we might shut up inside of us that good thing that He did for us. I refuse to believe that He wanted to create another Red Sea phenomenon, but instead a river of life that would flow out through our actions, our speech and become very evident in our outward expression and reactions to others. Remember, we don’t want others to see how cool we are, or how rude we could be, but instead, we want them to see Jesus in and through every aspect of our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of my friend, allow that good thing that has made a difference in your life, to be revealed to others so that they may desire our Savior also. Paul made reference to ‘that day’, meaning the day that we meet Jesus face to face. May we live in such a way that we will be overjoyed and filled with celebration on ‘that day’, opposed to a time of regret, God being our helper and guide.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, and to make the way possible for us to see You face to face one day! In fact, we are so thankful of that precious gift, that we want to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to evangelizing that ‘good thing’ that has gotten hold of this old sinful person, and caused a complete turn around in our walk. Lord, we surrender all to You, so that You may fill us with more of Yourself, so that others will see Jesus, and not the earthly sin-filled bodies that would constitute the alternate man. People need the Lord, not more of the same old sinful world. Use us Lord as Your instruments to fulfil Your purpose here on earth. 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!

 

Your Ashamedness vs God’s Ashamedness

Friday, 2016-11-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 9:23-26

Bible Text: 23 Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me. 24 Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me will save it. 25 It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are destroyed or lost. 26 Don’t be ashamed of me and my teaching. If that happens, I[a] will be ashamed of you when I come with my divine greatness and that of the Father and the holy angels.

Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take

While on the way to a business reception I remember being challenged in the presence of about 4 others, why is that I don’t drink alcoholic beverages and whether it was related to my religious beliefs. I’m not sure if the businessman was starting to think that he might be ashamed of me while at the reception if I was one of the few not drinking, but I believe it was intended to question my Christian stand on the subject of drinking alcohol. There are many other stories I hear of individuals being challenged with similar questions. At times, I believe it opens the door for entertainment while the Christian is put on the spot about a belief that may be contrary to the worldly beliefs of others in the group, but I also believe that many times Satan is using his messengers to challenge us on our beliefs so that we may question our selves and possibly sweep our God-infused beliefs ‘under the rug’. Friends, there are many times that it is safer to blend in with the rest, than to stand out like a sore thumb, all alone in believing something contrary to the crowd. Might I suggest that this challenge is our ‘cross’ that we must carry every day? Let’s compare for a moment. Jesus carried a cross all the way up to Calvary that He knew He would be hung on to die. He also knew that, as the Son of God, He had all power to reverse the whole crucifixion, for we know that previously He had disappeared from a crowd of witness during His earthly ministry. He had miraculously turned water into wine, caused the blind to see and brought the dead back to life. Was there something about this crucifixion that was more difficult or impossible than any of the miracles just mentioned? However, remember when He prayed to His Father in the garden? In response to His own pleading for the cup of suffering to be taken from Him, Jesus said to His Father “none the less, may Your will be done”. Now let’s consider our ‘cross’ that we are called to carry every day. Like Jesus, we may commit to Him in private that we are determined to carry our ‘cross’ each day. However, like Peter, I believe we often cave in to the popular thing to do – the joys of partying and going along with the crowd, even if it takes us into choice areas that we would never agree to, if we sought to do the will of God withough any worldly pressures. Friends, I believe this all boils down to two things: First – Popularity – which means that we want to be super popular with the organizer of an event where we may have to compromise, or we just allow Satan to misguide us into putting God into a ‘box’ – a segregated comfortable ‘box’ we call the church, or even in the privacy of our home. We want to fit in with the crowd. However, Secondly – is Integrity – which means that we will stand firm to our commitment to serve God in season and out of season; at church or on the byways and at our parties or worldly events. Friends, if we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, then transgress to living like the world, are we not saying that we are ok being a Christian in private, but publicly we are really ashamed of standing up for what God really teaches in His Word? Please allow me to be the first to tell you: that is not being a person of integrity. If you commit to something, or someone, let it exude from your mouth, your actions and every aspect of your life. If it’s in you, it will exude from you! I feel like these verses basically say that when we choose to be popular,  or feel ashamed to be obedient to God, we are showing that we are ashamed of Him. Isn’t that the same as saying that you are really not sure that you want to commit to God for all aspects of your life?  God declares that if this happens, He will shun us when He returns, for He will be ashamed of us. Is that what you truly want to happen? I pray that each of you reading this devotional today will stand firm and practice obedience to everything God teaches you to say and do, God being your helper!

Prayer

Lord, as I reflect on this today, my mind goes back to the sign that I see near the exit of many churches ‘you are now entering your mission field’, for daily we leave the comfort of our homes, and the safety of our commitment to you, to be bombarded by the practices of the world and the dictates of it’s leader. Lord, I pray that daily we can mimick Your words to Your Father and commit ourselves in saying:  not my will oh Lord, but may the words of our mouth, the meditation of our heart and the actions we take, be pleasing to You and represent Your compassion for our lives and witness, 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 http://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!

Sharing Your Story

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: Luke 8:38–39
Today’s Bible Text: 38 The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, 39 “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT}

My Take Away: I wonder how many friends will be told that you went to church this weekend? How about the experience resulting from what you garnered from the Word of God? Or perhaps the touch of the Master during the Praise and Worship time? Are you feeling healed today of something you and your church members prayed about? Will you be brave enough to share that with critics at work today? In our scripture story today we read where Jesus healed a man of demon possession, and we see where he was excited and ready to board a boat and travel with Jesus to continue spreading the story of salvation. Instead Jesus asked the man to go and share his story with his family. The man was way too excited to just tell his own family, so he went all throughout the town telling his story. Let’s put this into perspective. I challenged you at the beginning to share your worship experience with your coworkers today, and especially any extraordinary interactions with Jesus from your weekend. I believe I saw some dirty looks from some of you, but I still want to take that a step further and ask you to share your experience with a store clerk, or a waitress! Isn’t it interesting how we find it easier to share information about a movie we saw or an event in our child’s life, but not about the miracle that occurred when the Savior of the world reached down in love and touched a sinner such as we are? A total transformation, yet we don’t want to offend our friends by sharing our good news with them? Friends, I am convinced that if it’s in us, it will come out of us! Our genuine experiences with God will impact our lives and everyone will notice! Perhaps if we are ashamed to share the blessings God has showered on us, He should withdraw those blessings and give them to someone who will openly share the Good News with others! What’s your hang up friend?

Prayer: The privilege of being touched by the God of this universe is much more news-worthy than anything else that could possibly hit the front page of the paper today! Please forgive us Lord for placing you in a ‘forbidden box’ when it comes to sharing our interactions with You to others. I believe that others will be convinced of Your power and Your love, when they see us get excited about it and they hear us bubbling over with the glory of having been in Your presence. Please embolden us with great power so that we will not be ashamed of the gospel, but will gladly share how it has impacted our lives. May others see Jesus, because of their encounter with us today. I ask these things in the wonderful and miraculous name of the One who saved me from my sin, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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

Be Not Ashamed of the Gospel

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: Nehemiah 8:1–3
Today’s Bible Text: On the first day of the seventh month, the people came together in the open area in front of the Water Gate. Then they asked Ezra, who was a teacher of the Law of Moses, to read to them from this Law that the LORD had given his people. Ezra the priest came with the Law and stood before the crowd of men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. From early morning till noon, he read the Law of Moses to them, and they listened carefully.
The Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take Away: I found it awesome that the Israelites gathered in the square, in unity, and asked that the book of Moses be read to them. Friends, I had to stop and think carefully about when church goers would ever call the pastor and ask that he come and read the Bible in their large, public group setting. Also, think with me about the length of time that Ezra was allowed to read, and compare that to the length of time that we would sit around in a church service or allow a pastor to participate in a public setting. Could it be that we have come so far – perhaps in our knowledge and our modern day conveniences and technology, that we feel like we have a lot of things worked out on our own and really don’t need to sit through an extended period of training in the basics of God’s Word? I recently attended a prayer summit, and many attendees were very curious as to how we would handle sitting through a conference where all we would do is to wait before God, pray, read His Word and sing. However, we saw God come and bless us with His awesome presence, and the time slipped by without anyone losing their mind! I believe it comes down to what we are willing to set as a priority in our life. God is waiting for us to open our hearts and reach out to Him, so that he could fill us with His awesome presence. What are you willing to do in order to draw closer to God and allow Him to speak to you? Are you willing to fully surrender your life to Him? Are you willing to take God with you into your homes, into our churches and even into our public places? He hung on a cruel cross and died a criminal’s death for you and I, and never considered it ‘shameful’. Are you willing to do the same for His sake? I started this devotional yesterday, but due to illness I had to return to my bed. Praise God that I was able to pick it up again, because this chapter is loaded with great truths that can benefit us all.

Prayer: Father God, You endured it all for us. Please strengthen us so that we may be willing to allow You to shine through us wherever we may find ourselves. Please help us to never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter where we may find ourselves. Perhaps if Your children would truly be Your people out in the highways and byways, perhaps the lost might stand a chance of seeing Jesus and having a greater desire to know Him personally. Lord, unfortunately I believe that if we are not representing You well, we may very well be a stumbling block to someone coming to know You because we are not living the life we are claiming. Lord may that never be the case, I pray. I ask for boldness to be a better witness for You, and I ask this in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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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