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

Posts tagged ‘Persecution’

Living A Godly Life

Tuesday, 2019-02-19

Bible Reference: 2 Timothy 3:12
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

APPLICATION:  On reading the subject of this devotional, one may have thought that our study might give reasons to worship today, because surely we could rejoicing over the joys of living a godly life! Yes, there is much to rejoice in as we, Christians, think about our eternal home in glory with our Master. However, what Paul is warning about in this short verse, is what we might expect to see while we remain here on earth. Of course you might respond that of course, we spread the joy of the Lord with everyone, and we worship and adore our Savior at every opportunity. As true as that may be friend, notice carefully the verbiage used by Paul, for he said that for us to live a ‘GODLY’ life, we should expect persecution. Living a ‘godly’ life means that you are not just going to obey the commands of God, but you have committed to study His Word carefully and then live your life patterned after Jesus. It means that your life will be so different to that of the general public, that they might look at you like you are really ‘strange’! Think about this friends, Jesus was not a ‘yes man’ to all that the Pharisees expected of Him, for He showed them the true meaning of unconditional love; of unselfish leadership; of placing others before themselves; of standing up for God in every aspect of life, even in our careers; and of changing certain rituals because they may not be aligned with the image or expectation of Jesus Christ. In short, Jesus upset the ‘apple cart’ every time He recognized wrong or ungodly living, regardless of who was caught in the crossfire. Let’s look at this from our current scenario. In almost every conversation with Christians, we recognize that we have mellowed a lot from the ways of our ancestors, because we have calculated that their ways were just too strict, or too literal, regarding Biblical teachings. We allow things in our churches now that were unheard of in the early church. When last have you heard of a summit where church leaders would humble themselves before God and surrender totally to His will for the churches they are leading? How long would church leaders be permitted to stay in their roles, if they returned from a conference and started making changes, because they felt God was wanting them to help steer His church back to Him? Are we ready to challenge our work bosses because we see the need to stand up for what we discern to be ungodly principles and/or practices? I don’t believe we will find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus caved in to the practices of the day because He was being too literal with the commands of His Father. If we have committed ourselves to live just like Jesus, should we cave in to worldly practices and demands? How will we explain that to God on Judgment Day? Although it is very easy to look at the general public and see the wrongs, and softening effects of the Gospel, I want to encourage each reader to look deeply inside of self, and examine yourself in light of the Gospel that you claim to be your guide. Allow God to speak into your life, will you?

PRAYER: Dear God, You have placed Your perfect Son before us so that we might have the pattern for life that would be pleasing to You. Yet, much like the Pharisees, we have designed our own pattern of living. Unfortunately not all aspects of our design meets the standards that were demonstrated by Jesus. Father, we want our lives and our churches to be aligned with You, yet we tend to place our own little spin to the truth You have taught us. Please forgive us for doubting; for changing Your ways to conform with the ways of this world; and for assuming Your role, when we should really be seeking Your face and Your will. To win the world for Jesus Christ, I feel like we should first be willing to demonstrate before them a sincere ‘godly’ life so that they can clearly see what they are committing to. Lord Jesus, please have Your will and Your way in the lives of Christians today, beginning with me. Please work miraculously in our churches so that we may truly be the cornerstone of Your worldwide mission to reach the lost while we wait for Your Big Day when You will come to take us home with You. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, 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!

2019

Be Kind to God’s Messengers

Monday, 2016-07-11

Scripture

Bible Reference: Acts 26:10–11; 13–14

Bible Text: 10 ….. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.

13 …. as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

In some translations, the word ‘persecute’ is used several times in the few verses referenced. Here’s what that means: “to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs“. I feel like God opened my eyes and reminded me that when we treat God’s messengers with contempt, then we are actually persecuting the Lord Jesus himself. This reminds me of a loving parent who feels condemned when their child is persecuted or ill-treated. So what is our lesson in this? After all, we don’t go about ‘persecuting’ our religious leaders. Or do we? How often do you hear corners of conversation that tend to chew up the sermon from your last service, or the dress code of the pastor, or the makeup on the worship team leader, or the audacity of the pastor to say what he did during his sermon? Is that complimentary of God’s messenger? Is that the precursor to a time of prayer that the group will have for their pastor? I’ve always said that one will get as much from a sermon, as they have prayed into it. Do you feel like we tend to persecute the pastor because God didn’t respond like we expected to our prayers for His messenger who stood in the pulpit? Friends, over in 2 Chronicles 7:14, God said that if we would humble ourselves and pray (not belittle or try to humble the pastor), and if we would seek His face, and if we would turn from our wicked ways, then He would hear from heaven, forgive our sins and restore our land. Notice the personal application there? Nothing about God taking care of all that we feel are inadequate, or who screw up at every opportunity. Friends, I believe that these scriptures are warning us that we have a full-time job doing all that God expects of us, so if we find that we are ‘persecuting’ anyone, then we are meddling and need to get back to the basics. Take care of self first, then perhaps we will not be near as critical of everyone else. Please don’t shrug this off as being super applicable to all of your friends. Allow God to search your heart and convict you of your sin and shortcomings. I believe you will find that there’s lots there to keep you on your knees for a very long time, including praying for your spiritual leaders.  There just won’t be time enough to persecute others. 

Prayer

Lord God, You created all things and You are above all things. Thank You for sending messengers, Your angels, to minister to folk like me, even though we tend to persecute the very ones that You send to bless us, love on us and warn us about our sinful lives. Please help us to love these ones, in spite of them not meeting all of our expectations, and in spite of our sinful desire to persecute them. I believe it is obvious that Paul was not the only one that persecuted Christians. Please dear Lord, rest Your hand upon Your children today, beginning with me, and help us to accept Your power and desire to help us succeed in this Christian life, so that we may serve You better and more fully. We are your messengers as well, please encourage us to treat other messengers in the same way that we want to be treated. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may we be ready and obedient in every way, every day! 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!

Living A Godly Life

Arbuckle

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 Timothy 3:12
Today’s Bible Text: Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: On reading the subject of this devotional, one may have thought that I would be giving you reasons to worship today, because surely I would be rejoicing over the joys of being a follower of Christ! And yes, there is much to rejoice in as we, Christians, think about our eternal home in glory with our Master. However, what Paul is warning about in this short verse, is what we might expect to see while Christian remains here on earth. Of course you might respond that of course, we spread the joy of the Lord with everyone, and we worship and adore our Savior at every opportunity. As true as that may be friend, notice carefully the verbiage used by Paul, for he said that for us to live a ‘GODLY’ life, we should expect persecution. Living a ‘godly’ life means that you are not just going to obey the commands of God, but you have committed to study His Word carefully and then live your life patterned after Jesus. Think about this friends, Jesus was not a ‘yes man’ to all that the Pharisees expected of Him, for He showed them the true meaning of unconditional love; of unselfish leadership; of placing others before themselves; of standing up for God, even if it may have damaged their political careers; and of changing certain rituals because they were not in the image or expectation of Jesus Christ. In short, Jesus upset the ‘apple cart’ every time He recognized wrong or ungodly living, regardless of who was caught in the crossfire. Let’s look at this from our current scenario. In almost every conversation with Christians, we recognize that we have mellowed a lot from the ways of our ancestors, because we have calculated that their ways were just too strict, or too literal of Biblical teachings. We allow things in our churches now that were unheard of in the early church. When last have you heard of a summit where church leaders would humble themselves before God and surrender totally to His will for the churches they are leading? How long would church leaders be permitted to stay in their roles, if they returned from a conference and started making changes, because they felt God was wanting them to help steer His church back to Him? Are we ready to challenge our work bosses because we see the need to stand up for what we discern to be ungodly principles and/or practices? I don’t believe we will find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus caved in to the practices of the day because He was being too literal with the commands of His Father. If we have committed ourselves to live just like Jesus, should we cave in to worldly practices and demands? How will we explain that to God on Judgment Day?

Prayer: Dear God, You have placed Your perfect Son before us so that we might have the pattern for life that would be pleasing to You. Yet, much like the Pharisees, we have designed our own pattern of living. Unfortunately not all aspects of our design meets the standards that were demonstrated by Jesus. Father, we want our lives and our churches to be aligned with You, yet we tend to place our own little spin to the perfections You have taught us. Please forgive us for doubting; for changing Your ways to conform with the ways of this world; and for assuming Your role, when we should really be seeking Your face and Your will. To win the world for Jesus Christ, I feel like we should first be willing to demonstrate before them a sincere ‘godly’ life so that they can clearly see what they are committing to. Lord Jesus, please have Your will and Your way in the lives of Christians today, beginning with me. Please work miraculously in our churches so that we may truly be the cornerstone of Your worldwide mission to reach the lost while we wait for Your Big Day when You will come to take us home with You. I ask these things 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

Attention Please?

Unfortunately there are times in the lives of individuals that, although God made them to love Him, Worship Him and Obey Him, yet in their minds, confused and controlled by Satan, they decide to do their own thing. In doing the opposite of what they think God might want from them, they often attack the people and things of God – Christians and the church as a whole. Saul was a good example of this. But also in my Old Testament reading this morning another such character is identified – Manessah (2 Chronicles 33:1-20).  In Manessah’s case, God got his attention by allowing his enemy to attack him and badly hurt him (almost to the point of death). While in a vulnerable position, he pleaded to God for help and, because of God’s mercy and love, He forgave him and Manessah made a 180 degree turn/change in his life’s direction and purpose. In Saul’s case, God boldly got his attention while on the road to his next mission to destroy the Christians in Damascus. He, also, made a 180 degree turn/change in his life. I feel compelled to remind Christians that there are misguided folk that we come into contact with every day. I challenge you to be that forgiving, loving, accepting, life-changing representative of God that will help them to make that same 180 degree change that Saul and Manessah made. It will make the difference of eternal death or eternal life to them, and you will then boldly stand before Jesus on the day of His return and not be ashamed of having obeyed Him, even in challenging circumstances. I also feel compelled to warn those who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord of their life that it is important that you listen and obey the voice of Jesus when He touches your life. Just as He was powerful enough to touch the lives of these two men whose mission it was to destroy God’s work, He too can lift you up from the evil things that you may be involved in. Remember, there is only one God, and He alone is powerful enough to help you make a 180 degree change in the way you are living your life. He is seeking your attention and wanting to see you on the right path that He sacrificed His life to provide for you. Won’t you stop, listen and obey today? Jesus loves you right where you are at, just let Him work in you friend!

Book cover

As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed round him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said. “But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.”

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