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

Posts tagged ‘Praise’

Actions That Are Dependent On Obedience to God

Thursday, 2019-12-12

Bible Reference: John 21:4–6
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: As the sun was rising, Jesus stood at the water’s edge, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then he asked them, “Young men, haven’t you caught anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered. He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.” So they threw the net out and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish.

OBSERVATION: When you are secure in your job and have been doing it for a while, it becomes challenging to accept advice from someone else. So could this be some of the same challenges that we face when we are confident in what we feel needs to be done, and someone suggests that we seek God for His direction? Granted, that challenge becomes much more palatable when we have done all that we could, and we are left with, what seems to be, no other options available to us, other than seeking what God may direct us towards. As we meditate on this today, let us place ourselves in the disciples dilemma and honestly consider how obedient we would be.

APPLICATION: Three of Jesus’ disciples, who really struggled with believing and obedience, are now faced with a decision that many of us could very easily face each day. Having fished all night and caught nothing, they were ready to pack up their nets and call it a night. But from the shoreline a man questions them, and begins to tell them what to do. Now I’m sure that many of you have encountered professionals before, and you know what to expect from them. Often men who know what they are doing, yet they are going through times of unsuccessful results, will snap at anyone questioning, or especially telling, them how to do their job. Yet these fishermen faced this exact dilemma. Exhausted, and tired from a long night, they approached the shoreline a man begins to hand out instructions to them. Perhaps they felt like one more attempt could have no worse results than the entire night of fishing did, so the disciples decided to give it a try. Could it have been a God inspired moment? Because through obedience to the Master of the sea and of the fish, the disciples obeyed and saw marvelous results. Interesting that at this point they then realized that it had to have been Jesus on the shoreline instructing them! Could it be that often when we feel like our Christian ministry seems to have plateaued and/or become stagnant, that it might be because we have not yet invited the Master in? We are reminded here in this Scripture that just a word is enough from Him! Reminded that our obedience to His instructions could make a world of difference. Let’s invite Him in friend, and ask for His involvement and direction. Doing this right from the very beginning will achieve God-like results that will make a difference to the kingdom, because He would be in charge. Remember, our ministry is all about Him anyway, and when we include Him perhaps we would not be so centered on our personal agendas. Oh that we may let go and let God have His perfect will in our hearts and lives – for His glory!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your grace! Thank You for Your saving power that reached into a selfish and sinful heart and showed me a better way. As my readers and I come to Your throne today, it is because we acknowledge that we cannot handle this complex, challenging, sin-controlled world that is determined to destroy Your work through us. Of ourselves, we are like the disciples who toiled all night and caught nothing. Praise God, we know the Master! We know the maker of the sea and all that is in it. We know that control of the sea and all its inhabitance is still controlled by You. The same is true with the wonderful world that You created, but which Satan has marred with his deception, lies and sinful acts. Please fill our cups Lord, and make us whole, bold and useful for Your kingdom’s sake as we walk through this dark world. May our words and deeds be used by You to impact all those we will come into contact with today, so that Your kingdom may be enriched as a result of us having been allowed to live here. 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!

Our Mission

Tuesday, 2019-12-10

Bible Reference: John 20:21-23
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 21 Jesus repeated his greeting, “Peace to you!” And he told them, “Just as the Father has sent me, I’m now sending you.” 22 Then, taking a deep breath, he blew[l] on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.[m] 23 I send you to preach the forgiveness[n] of sins—and people’s sins will be forgiven. But if you don’t proclaim the forgiveness of their sins, they will remain guilty.”[o]

OBSERVATION: Multiple times we see where Jesus emphasized to His disciples what their ongoing mission would be, but in our Scripture today we see where Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that our mission would be the same as His was. So one might ask: ’Well, would you kindly encapsulate that for me?’ As we meditate on these verses today, let us consider what our mission here on earth might be.

APPLICATION: I am often recognized as a son of my earthly father, because of the things that I do, or the corny jokes that I tell, or just the things that I say in general. Jesus reminds us in today’s Scripture that just as He was sent by His father, spoke only those things ordered by His Father and did only those things directed by His Father, His followers should also follow His (Jesus’) pattern in life while He was here on earth with us. I believe that establishes our direction, or mission for life, so let us seriously look into what this might be. I believe that it is important to notice right at the very beginning that the New Testament is filled with the words, actions and directions of our Savior, and the Old Testament is filled with prophecies of what would be expected of us. So the best way for us to learn, or be reminded of certain actions of our Lord, is to deliberately spend intimate, quiet, God-directed time seeking the will and direction of God each day, by studying His Word. I know, you really don’t have time to sit and read large chunks of the Bible every day – right? I understand dear friend, but please allow me to suggest to you that when you get in conversation with God again, consider replacing the words ‘I didn’t have time’ with something like this: ‘Dear God, please listen to your son/daughter who didn’t make it a priority to seek Your direction from Your Word today…..’ I bet by now you are ready to close this devotional because you feel like I am trying to lead you on a guilt trip, but friend of God, may I suggest that the ‘lack of priority’ words I used, really explains why there was not time to study God’s Word and seek His direction for your life that day? For we found it a priority to: Spend extra time in preparing ourselves for work; Spend time watching the morning news so we could be on top of our game while speaking with business leaders each day; And spend time at the local coffee bar to be encouraged by true leaders that meet there each morning. However, it was not a priority to seek the will of the Creator of this world, the One who ordains everything that will occur today, the One who could guide us to success here on earth AND to our heavenly kingdom that He has especially prepared for those who know Him. Many years ago I was prompted to accept the love and direction of my Savior. In a very deliberate act of maturity in my relationship with Jesus, I was prompted, and I followed in obedience, to make it a priority to spend time in God’s Word each day. To do this, and still leave home in time for work, I had to get up earlier. In being led to also make Nuggets From God’s Word available to the world, I deliberately awoke 2 hours earlier so that my commitment would be a priority. This information was not intended to brag to you dear friend, but instead to help you see how you might make time alone with God a priority in your busy life’s schedule. If it’s important to you, I believe that you will make it a priority. Reading God’s Word each day will lead you to pattern your life after His Son that was sent for this purpose. In our verses today, Jesus told us that He did what His Father told Him to do. As you learn from God’s Word what you should be doing each day, you will one day say like Paul: ‘follow me as I follow Christ’! Please consider making this a priority in your life precious child of God!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have shown us in Your Word that there was nothing more important than you giving up Your life in order that we might have life eternally in heaven one day with You and Your Father. You have also taught us many things that should be a priority in our lives so that we might pattern our after Yours. As You observe our lack of priority to spend time alone with You, but yet a glimpse of our desire to reflect You in all aspects of our life, please open our hearts to be willing to make the main Thing the main thing. In every walk of life here on earth, our lives are pulled towards every lust and material obsession that our neighbor or coworker might desire or boast of. Please help us to be leaders, by making You a priority in our life – something that will draw others towards a similar commitment and a firm desire to be a child of the King in every aspect of life. YOU are our King! May it be evident in the choices we make and the way we spend our time. AMEN!

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

Because of Our Personal Faithfulness, God will….

Monday, 2019-12-08

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 15:1-5
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: Abijam became king of Judah during the eighteenth year Jeroboam son of Nebat was king of Israel. Abijam ruled in Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. He did all the same sins his father before him had done. Abijam was not faithful to the Lord his God as David, his great-grandfather, had been. Because the Lord loved David, the Lord gave him a kingdom in Jerusalem and allowed him to have a son to be king after him. The Lord also kept Jerusalem safe. David always did what the Lord said was right and obeyed his commands all his life, except the one time when David sinned against Uriah the Hittite.

OBSERVATION: Some of us may stand proud before God and brag about our faithfulness, while others will stand at a distance with heads lowered in shame because of our lack of commitment and faithfulness to our God. Our Scripture today tells of God’s faithfulness to David and his ancestors that followed, because of David’s commitment and loyalty to His God. Let us reflect on what we anticipate hearing from God, because of our own faithfulness, or lack thereof.

APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting to consider the excuses that we make for missing the mark that we know God has established for us? It might be in the words we speak, where we quickly adapt to the ways and wishes of the crowd, but find it so impossible to try and speak words of Truth taught to us in the Word of God? I will be the first to tell you that I am not good in remembering Bible verses. However. In my grandmother’s last years of life here on earth when her sight diminished, she completed her daily devotional time with God by sharing back with Him, Bible verses that she had memorized over her lifetime. So can we memorize God’s Word? Of course we can! Consider also the things that we memorize from the world. How many jokes can you sit and tell at once time? How many stories from you childhood can you still share with friends? How often do you sit and share what you heard from friends (gossip)! So is it a matter of remembering God’s Word, or is it due to the lack of time that we spend in the Word, compared to the time spent around the television or with the unsaved? And what about our actions? When last have you stood firm for what you learned from God, while you attended a party or a work social? Do friends recognize whose you are, based on your actions inside the four walls of your church AND at all events they might find you at? Remember, just as God knew David’s heart and that David was diligent to obey all of God’s commands in every circumstance of life, except in the case of Bathsheba and Uriah, He also know our every move and the vain words that we frequently utter. David earned the title given by God as ‘a man after God’s own heart’, is that one of the titles God might give to you dear friend? A true reality check is that only God truly knows you (your heart). For you can fool those around you, seeing that they only see your ‘public’ life, but God sees you without any filters being applied. Oh that our God may be able to bless others because of our faithfulness; because of our telling the truth; because of our love for others; because we gave honestly of our income to God and His work; because our actions towards others are a result of all that God blessed us with and not because of selfish reasons or in an effort to attain recognition. God loved us because of who He is. Oh that we may do the same, love others because of who God is! Lay your cares before God today dear friend, and allow Him to have His way in and through you, so that You may serve Him with every good intention that He has in mind for you.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please help us to do your will and be obedient to Your every command. You laid out a perfect plan for us to follow so that we could look like You, talk like You, love like You and give freely of the gifts that You bless us with so bountifully. May the Words of our mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in Your sight and be a pleasing aroma in Your nostrils precious Lord, so that You may be glorified in all the earth. May others see Jesus today, and not us in all of our weakness and selfish desires. 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!

What’s Your Sign

Friday, 2019-12-06

Bible Reference: John 19:17-20
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 17 Jesus carried his own cross out of the city to the place called “The Skull,” which in Aramaic is Golgotha. 18 And there they nailed him to the cross. He was crucified, along with two others, one on each side with Jesus in the middle. 19–20 Pilate had them post a sign over the cross, which was written in three languages—Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. Many of the people of Jerusalem read the sign, for he was crucified near the city. The sign stated: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”[k]

OBSERVATION: Pilate was almost persuaded, in that he seemed to have believed that Jesus was, who He said He was. Why he even used part of the title given to Jesus in the sign he had posted over him on the cross. In our time of meditation today, I believe that the Holy Spirit prompted me to have us consider what we may have placed on our sign to identify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. to the crowds that passed by. I wonder…..

APPLICATION: Don’t you find it interesting that we might call someone by their name when addressing them face-to-face, but we may have other names for them when referring to them in discussion with our friends? Of course, that could change when we speak with close friends or relatives of the individual; and it may change even more when we become upset with the individual. But what about Jesus, what might you place on a sign to identify Him? What does He mean to you? I would dare say that at church you might have a very religious name for Him; Among Christian friends you might have a similarly religious name; In close communion with God and when you feel like He is answering your prayers, you may still have a very positive reference for God. But let us consider how that changes when things are not going our way, and in fact, when we feel like the world is against us, or when our prayers seem to not leave the dark room in which we find ourselves. Are you still willing to use strictly complimentary names for God, and/or His Son? There is a saying in Christian circles that may contain more truth than we care to accept at times: Jesus is either God of all, or perhaps He’s not our Lord at all. Oh my. When we consider that He went to the cross for our sin, and our eternal destiny in heaven, how shameful for us to place conditions on our relationship with Him. Conditions, you might ask? That’s correct, my friend. For if Jesus is not Lord of all in the good times when everything is going our own way, AND in those challenging times when we can’t understand why we lost a young sibling, or our job, or our car in an unfortunate accident, then obviously we are not truly entrusting all of life’s circumstances into His awesome hands. The whole reason we ask God about our circumstances, or for direction, is that we want His will to be done, and not our wishful, selfish thinking and/or desires. I therefore feel like it is very obvious that we should not only accept His agreement with our requests, but also His decisions to offer us a better way at times. With Jesus in our corner during the rough times of life, we are much more blessed than doing things our own way during the highlights of our blessed life. Perhaps we should write our sign, and each day re-visit that sign to either remind us of who God was yesterday, but also who He still is today – in spite of the change in circumstances. Our God is awesome my friend! He has shown us that, He has proven that in so many ways, and He has promised that He will be with us right up until He returns to take us home to glory! I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to take that which I’ve committed unto Him until that day!

PRAYER: Lord, You are so wonderful to me in so many ways, and I thank You for loving me and caring for me in the good times, and in those times when I feel like all hope is lost. Please keep me near the cross, for there’s a precious fountain. A place where You gave it all so that I may have eternal happiness – both here on this earth and in the glories of heaven. Please speak to my friends and I when we struggle with the challenges of life, and help us to know that the same loving Savior who gave it all for us, is still with us even when we feel abandoned. You are my King, my Savior and my ever-loving Master. I commit myself anew to You and ask that though I may doubt at times, that You will always love and care for me in every circumstance of life. 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!

What To Do With Jesus – Your Decision

Thursday, 2019-12-05

Bible Reference: John 19:4-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”
When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

OBSERVATION: Like our pastor does each week, Pilate told the crowd ‘I recommend this man, for I find no fault in Him’. Just like the congregation of a church decides each week what they will do with Jesus, Pilate also asked the angry mob what will they do with Jesus. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we will decide what we will do with Jesus. What will you do with Him?

APPLICATION: Pilate presented Jesus to the crowd and asked what was their pleasure. What do do about Jesus, or with Him, was the question of the day. Is that not what most pastors/churches do each week when the gospel is presented? Don’t they ask the crowd to respond to a similar question? Yes, I know that you really enjoy the worship music, for I also enjoy those very special times of worship. However, if you leave church without having encountered the Master, you may have really missed out on an excellent opportunity to respond to a question like Pilate asked: ‘Now, what will you do with Jesus?’ Unfortunately, most of us leave our churches having said something very similar to that of the crowd, when they responded ‘crucify Him’. We may not respond ‘crucify Him’, but in our unresponsive action we are saying, hey you may as well crucify Him, for we have this ‘life’ thing under control. I don’t need this Jesus interferring and telling me what to do or how I should act, or especially highlighting my wrongs. Perhaps some may totally ignore the Pastor’s message, and the idea that Jesus is in control of us and all of life’s happenings. I’m afraid that too often we convince ourselves that clearly the message was directed to the criminal just behind us, or perhaps the liar/gossiper/cheater/known sinners across the room. But I believe Jesus calmly reaches in to the heart of each individual and reminds us of our sin. Or are you one who decides that since Jesus is always available, You could easily and quickly call on Him if, and when, you need Him? Friends, in and of our natural selves we have no desire for godly things. So if you ARE alerted to the things of Christ, you are actually being called by GOD Himself. Your first response is to then humble yourself, listen and obey the Creator, and not to aim at crucifying Him. Unless you make a decision to give Jesus full control and leadership of your life, you might be echoing the words of the angry mob, ‘crucify Him’. Please don’t look at Saturday or Sunday as the day you set aside to listen to Jesus, while you are at church. Because then at other times you may convince yourself that you have a business to run, or you have friends to impress, or a boss to please, and there is no time for Jesus through those types of stressful times. In conclusion, let me remind you that whether you remain silent to such questions as mentioned above that came from Pilate, or those that come from your Pastor, you are actually joining with the crowd in shouting ‘crucify Him, crucify Him’. The opposite, or right thing to do, is to thank Jesus for bringing you to a point where you could hear the cry of mercy from a loving God as He calls you to salvation through His very own Son, Jesus. Following through in asking Jesus into your heart then affirms that you are ready to follow Jesus and allow Him to guide and control your life! The excitement behind such an awesome decision is that God has prepared a glorious place for you after your time here on earth. It is your eternal home, with Jesus sitting at the right hand of His Father receiving praise from all those who accepted His call while here on earth! Friends, that’s a day that I long for! And the only thing that could make me happier, is to know that all my readers accepted the call to salvation and are standing besides me! Today my wish is that while here on earth, we could joyful and honestly sing ‘When we all get to Heaven!’, knowing full well that our hearts are right with God!

PRAYER: Thank you Heavenly Father for sending Your precious Son to died on a cruel cross so that those who accept You as Lord, can be assured of kneeling at Your feet one day in glory! Oh I want to see You, look upon Your face, there to sing forever of Your saving grace…. I want to join millions in singing that song as we relax at Your feet and sing our praises! Blessed be the name of the Lord! Thank You precious Lord! 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!

When We Choose Who We Will Hurt

Wednesday, 2019-12-04

Bible Reference: John 18:38-40
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 38 ……… As silence filled the room, Pilate went back out to where the Jewish leaders were waiting and said to them, “He’s not guilty. I couldn’t even find one fault with him.[ab] 39 Now, you do know that we have a custom that I release one prisoner every year at Passover—shall I release your king—the king of the Jews?”[ac]
40 They shouted out over and over, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!”[ad] (Now Barabbas was a robber and a troublemaker.)

OBSERVATION: When you read the subject, I bet that your mind went on someone that ‘chose’ to hurt you, or on someone you may have ‘chosen’ to hurt. However, in our verses today we could see where the very ones that Jesus chose to help, or perhaps He May have helped their loved ones, or their neighbors, yet a certain hatred developed in their hearts and minds, that resulted in a passion to destroy Jesus. How is that? Why would anyone choose to go after, or hurt someone who is strictly doing good in their midst? As we meditate on this thought today, let’s not look at our neighbor’s attitude/intentions/actions but our very own. Do we sometimes hurt those who strive to love us?

APPLICATION: A vital part of the church that I attend, is a great team of retired missionaries. From time to time they share about persecution they experienced on the field in various foreign countries, and they pray in earnest for friends who are still on the mission field and being terribly persecuted. Some are locked in containers for days at a time, because they showed the love of God to friends who wanted to know Jesus, and/or seeking after His love and compassion. We know of missionaries currently in foreign lands that live from day to day in fear of their very lives, yet they go on sharing Truth with these people because of their love and commitment to their Father. But that’s what happens in foreign lands, isn’t it? Can you stop and think of any scenarios in your own country? What if I remind you that in my very own country, prayer was taken our of our schools, because we didn’t want religion imposed on our kids. Years later we could look at the statistics and see how, without the truth of God’s Word to guide our teachers and our kids, we are frequently and deeply saddened over the increased crime rate, including children shooting other children right in their own schools. Children – our loved ones – being shot at, killed, and sometimes doing the shooting themselves. It’s horrendous, and we are so saddened when we hear of yet another news report on incidents from our school system. Even in small towns we are having to deal with extreme crimes where loved ones are being shot. But friends, it is so obvious that when our folk are objecting to the church being the church in all of our community, our young people are only left with guidance from desperately wicked individuals who will harm you because they don’t like where you live, what you wear, or the beautiful smile on your face. Why have we not learned from the wickedness of the Jews in our Bible verses today? They preferred to have a wicked criminal released, rather than the Savior of the world who showed nothing but love to relatives, or even to the very individuals who were falsely accusing Him. May I suggest to those who know Jesus, that we all strive to live like Jesus did? Let us learn, or ask God for His strength, to love those who always show love to us, but also let us be bold enough to love everyone else the way that Jesus loved us. Jesus willingly went to the cross as an expression of love for us, even though we were mere sinners. As we seek to live like Jesus did, we will yearn to love like He did. In the Garden where He was arrested, he healed the ear of one who was attempting to arrest Him. On the cross He blessed and forgave those who led Him to the cross. Can you do that friend? Perhaps not, but I know a man who can! I also know that this same Jesus has the power to bless each reader with grace, with an extra measure of love and with boldness to love, in spite of the attitude taken by your accusers to despitefully use and abuse you. Seek a closer walk with Jesus dear friend, and allow Him to pour His love on you so that you might love others! When this happens, you will have no reason to seek revenge, hurt or attack in any form.

PRAYER: Lord, please forgive us for our tendencies to seek after self gratification, even at the expense of hurting others. That was never displayed by You, or taught to us by You. Please forgive us for allowing Satan to steer us into the evil deeds that he is known for. We are ashamed dear Lord, because in our aim to live like You and in obedience to Your commands, we should daily seek Your face and allow You to steer us aright. It is so true that our lives reflect what we ask You for. Guide us to all Truth so that we may be true examples of You in every form while here on the earth. May You always receive praise and honor because of whose we are and because of Your reflection in everything we say and do. 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!

Aren’t You One of Them?

Tuesday, 2019-12-03

Bible Reference: John 18:25-27
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 25 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire, he was asked again, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?”
“Of course not,” he replied.
26 But one of the household slaves of the High Priest—a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off—asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?”
27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.

OBSERVATION: Way too often we tend to look at the way that Peter handled himself the night that Jesus was arrested, and so many of us may wonder why was Peter such a coward. As I studied these verses today the Holy Spirit dealt with me and caused me to look inward and consider what I may have done in a similar situation! No, in fact it was more than that, for I was prompted to review my situations that I face each day, and how I react to them. Perhaps you may also be honest enough to acknowledge your weaknesses as well, so meditate with me as we consider this Scripture!

APPLICATION: Driving to a business meeting and reception with three other executives, I believe our youngest member was pondering the alcoholic drinks that awaited him at the reception, and he must have wondered what a Christian would do at such a reception. So I was questioned about why Christians tend to not drink alcohol. I could have come back with a joke to break the awkwardness of that moment, Or I could have given a variety of responses that may have taken the emphasis away from me responding based on the Word of God, but thankfully God gave me the right words for the moment that maintained His integrity and mine. In another situation, I was asked to accompany another deacon to visit an unsaved husband, where his wife was very concerned about him entering eternity – in Hell. Prior to our visit, we were coached about building relationships with people first, in order to build their trust. So of course, we went overboard with building that trust, and never broached the introduction of our Savior to that ‘needy’ man. I reflected on that visit as a ‘Peter’ moment, for I went along with the husband’s agenda, instead of trying to help guide him towards life eternally in heaven. I have a few other illustrations that I could share about how I could easily identify with Peter, but to all my readers, please allow me to simply say that our God is all-knowing and all-seeing, so He knows exactly when we deliberately hide behind cowardliness taught to us by the world. He knows the influence that Satan still has on us, and how easily we bend to the desire of Satan to abstain from sharing the most valuable aspect of our lives. Friends, I’m sure that you are very much like me, if you careful consider all that God has blessed you with. So as we thank God for everything that He has provided for us, and all that He continues to pour on us, let us always stop to say thank You Jesus for being our King! Let us always be ready to declare that awesome fact to everyone that we come into contact with, and not be guilty of the choices made by Peter. Our friends never hide behind anything that they did, so why should we hide it, or not share with them about the blessings of our Lord? Perhaps one day they might ‘get it’ and want to know more about our wonderful Savior! Please don’t shrug off the awesome news about the One who rescued you from the eternal destination of Hell, and the daily pitfalls that Satan imposes upon his followers here on earth. It’s amazing what praising can do! Lift up the name of Jesus in every circumstance of life! Let others know the source behind your joy and your outlook on life!

PRAYER: Listening to the world, we will do exactly what Peter did, and way too often we do that. But dear Lord Jesus, we are so thankful for our salvation, so blessed and humbled by all that You do for us each day, that we could praise You eternally and still not feel like we adequately showed enough appreciation to You. So Lord, as we encounter friends who need You today, please help us to simply share our story, our praises to our King, and our hope for eternity. May others see so much of Jesus in our words and actions that they would want to know You personally as well. Dearest Lord Jesus, oh that You may be glorified in all that we do and say today! AMEN!

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

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