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

Posts tagged ‘pride’

A Community of Believers

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-12-20
SCRIPTURE

From:

Acts 2:42-44 (ERV)

Text:

42 The believers spent their time listening to the teaching of the apostles. They shared everything with each other. They ate together and prayed together. 43 Many wonders and miraculous signs were happening through the apostles, and everyone felt great respect for God. 44 All the believers stayed together and shared everything.
OBSERVATION:
Peter and the apostles taught the Word of God and many were saved. At one time over 3,000 joined the church in one day. I believe that these verses may hold the secret, or the key to the reason for the success in these services that started at Pentecost. I wonder if this could be repeated today? I wonder why there was such success? Let’s dig in and have a look…
APPLICATION:
I believe the biggest divide in churches today is probably caused by a few things: 1). Satan is determined to slow, or stop the work of the Holy Spirit and the advancement of God’s kingdom here on earth. 2). Riches and favoritism is probably one of the greatest divides in churches, for the affluent wants what they want, when they want it, or they will stop financially supporting the church and move to another one. This can even affect what is spoken from the pulpit, as the last thing some pastors want, is to ‘step on the toes’ of those that places food on the church family’s table. 3). The less affluent will soon feel left out, or abandoned, or ignored, and will move to a church where they feel like the love of God is extended to all attendees or members. As for this church referred to in these verses, everyone sold what they had and placed the money in a common account for the good of the whole congregation. Going before the throne of grace at that time, then meant that they were all equal in earthly things. It meant that they all went to God with their hands held out, waiting for His blessing and provision. It meant that anything achieved could only come from God. Can you imagine how humbling that would be today if everyone was in the same position when they stood before God? What impact do you suppose this would have on: our pride; our humbleness; our understanding and appreciation of each other; and our ability to feel what others are feeling outside of our group? I believe it will make all the difference in the world, and I believe that it will open our eyes to what it will be like when we stand before Jesus on Judgment Day. Perhaps despondent people will then flock to our churches, and to Christ. No matter how much money we ask our family to pack into our casket with us, we will stand before Christ just as we came into the world – of no earthly value. Perhaps we could learn today to reconsider our attitude toward others, and especially humble ourselves before Jesus as just another sinner saved by grace. If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus Christ yet, may I encourage you to make that a priority today? This may be the last opportunity you will have to approach Him from here on earth, and I really want you to be ready, friend.
PRAYER:
Lord, You used Your servants to minister to Your children gathered for that first Pentecost meeting recorded above. I believe that You are just as concerned for Your children today, and that You want them to be saved and/or encouraged to humble themselves before You just as they are. Thank You for opening our eyes today dear Lord, and thank You for giving us a second chance to rid ourselves of pride and all unrighteousness. Please make us holy, even as You are holy. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

What The Lord Hates

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-05-06
SCRIPTURE

From:

Proverbs 6:16-19 (ERV)

Text:

16 The Lord hates these seven things:
17     eyes that show pride,
    tongues that tell lies,
    hands that kill innocent people,
18     hearts that plan evil things to do,
    feet that run to do evil,
19     witnesses in court who tell lies,
    and anyone who causes family members to fight.
OBSERVATION:
The Bible is very clear on what displeases God. We know that He hates sin, so I believe that we can conclude as we look at each item listed in our Scripture that they are either sinful acts, or a result of sinful acts. As in any relationship in which we love someone, we should endeavor to always avoid the things that God hates.
APPLICATION:
In the case of our parents, our spouse or even best friends, we would do our very best to always avoid doing those things that they hate, despise, or dislike. So having read that God hates to see certain things going on in our lives, what then shall we do about that? I know you can read the verses above, but let’s just break these things down and have a closer look:

  • Eyes that show pride – generally refers to the actions of one whose heart is filled with pride. With their eyes, they tend to look down on people, and think less of them than they do of themselves;
  • Tongues that tell lies – referring to the one who, as part of their normal speech, tells untruths to promote self, or deceive others;
  • Hands that kill innocent people – this is self explanatory;
  • Hearts that plan evil things to do – hearts filled with wicked imagination that often lead to actions that are evil;
  • Feet that run to do evil – From the content of the heart the mouth speaketh and the feet will be anxious to rush to scenes that will lead to evil doings. Notice how investigators often find criminals who escaped prison, they find them at scenes where evil, or criminal things occurred?
  • Witnesses in court who tell lies – a false witness is one that has no value for truth and justice and they will do anything to help like minded individuals escape due justice, including lying for them;
  • One who causes family members to fight – God created the family to be an example to the world of His relationship to his Son. He also created man and woman uniquely to bring mutual happiness to each other. Children born to that union demonstrates necessary leadership by the father and obedience by the child. This makes it easier and understandable when we are taught that we are to  obey our heavenly Father. Yet we see many cases of folk deliberately trying to destroy families and cause strife between family members. God hates this.

All of these things are understably hated by God. If we have a personal relationship with God, we will do everything within our power to love Him and please Him. Therefore, if He hates the above things, we are to avoid them at all cost. He can help us with that if we struggle to do it on our own.

PRAYER:
Lord, there is nothing we would like more than to please You in every aspect of our lives. Yet as we read this scripture, we are reminded that we sometimes fall into the trap of displeasing You. Please give us strength and wisdom to overcome our weaknesses. In return, please direct us towards pure hearts and minds that are so filled with Your goodness that we would strive to please You in everything we do and say. We want the world to see You in every aspect of our lives, and we know that this would be impossible without them seeing evidence of Your teachings in every fibre of our being. So we beg for Your filling today oh 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Missed Opportunities

The Holy Bible

As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn’t concern me. God isn’t impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. And of course these leaders were able to add nothing to the message I had been preaching. It was soon evident that God had entrusted me with the same message to the non-Jews as Peter had been preaching to the Jews.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Galatians 2:6-8)

Thoughts:

The small statement that I bolded is also translated “God has no favorites” (NLT) or “God does not judge by outward appearances” (GNT). However, how often do we snub our noses at that person who is trying to minister to us, because they’re not dressed the way that we picture a pastor, or worse still, how often do we miss ministry opportunities because we just can’t be seen associating with a known drinker, or just a sinner in general – you know the kind of folk that Jesus died for? What do we find to say to Jesus when He questions us on our actions? How do we feel when we hear about that same person dying without anyone else ever having the opportunity to share the gospel with them? Missed opportunities sting a lot friends. Most of us have such a fear about sharing with others, because we feel inadequate. First of all, we are inadequate, as we should never attempt witnessing without giving God the lead. Please don’t make it a ‘me’ thing! Secondly, fearing what others may think or say was actually covered in my reading in the Proverbs this morning: “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.” (GNT – Proverbs 29:25). Let’s be careful to give God praise for all His mercies, and let’s stop focusing attention on ourselves. God, in His infinite mercy saved us, and it is He that could use us to minister to others, but we must be available to Him. Let’s use this week of Thanksgiving celebrations to truly open ourselves up to God, so that He might bless our family gatherings and each member present, in spite of what we know them to be away from the family! God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that ALL might come to know Him! Let’s let Him do His thing in and through us this Thanksgiving holiday time!

Prayer:

Father, I am thankful for all that You have done for me, especially the sacrifice You made for me at Calvary, and I am also thankful for Your watchful, protective hand over me each and every day that I live. Please help me to not allow those blessings to just channel up inside, but to openly share with those in need. Those who see no hope for their future. Those who have no hope because they don’t even know You. Thank You for sending Paul to minister to so many in his day, and that his written words, under Your inspiration, can continue ministering to us today. Paul encountered challenges, but he quickly allowed You control of his situations. Lord, may we also surrender ourselves to You so that Your perfect will might be accomplished, and not just our selfish desires. My greatest desire is that all my family, friends and acquaintances will come to know You and live for You, so that we may one day all celebrate around Your throne in glory! I realize that You are all powerful and can touch the lives of each of these, but please empower me to do my part and to be obedient to Your voice and Your instructions, regardless of my impressions of the person. You are all powerful dear God, and I’m not, so I humbly ask that You answer my prayer today, for it’s in the name of Jesus, my merciful Savior that I ask all this, 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!

For No Selfish Gain, Just Glorify God

The Holy Bible

17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”(Jer. 9:24)

18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.

(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 10:17-18)

Thoughts:

Here Paul is defending himself against a bunch of ‘super apostles’, who couldn’t stand seeing someone not from their group come in to share the gospel with their people. Do we have these type folk in our churches today? In my opinion, yes we do, and they are usually the troublemakers, much like Paul encountered in the early church. However what I feel like Paul was trying to clear up for us, is that Christians are to be loyal to God and always striving to please Him. If we please others along the way, then glory to God for whom the pleasing was intended! We should never have to boast on ourselves, after all it is God who created us; God who provides life each day; God who fills us with His love and the knowledge necessary to discern His Word and be able to share it with others. We are therefore just servants of the Master Designer and therefore He who should receive honor and glory from everything accomplished by Him through us. Friends, we are to be careful to pass the praises on to our Lord and Savior, and not soak them up in selfish pride with the assumption that it was due to anything we may have done. We are merely empty vessels with the love and power of God working in and through us as we open our mouths and or work any good deed. Please let us continue to please our Lord, and then worship Him together with others as we are blessed by Him. Don’t let our selfish pride get in the middle of this, for we are nothing without You.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, in all humility I come before You today asking that You might continue to receive glory for any and everything that You might accomplish through my efforts. Thank You for even considering using me to help others and to represent You. May I fade into the backdrop as You maintain prominence and receive praise for working in the lives of your people. Please keep me volunteering to help where You know that You can use me to receive glory, especially through people surrendering their lives to You. Please make me very aware of the times that I may be less than humble, as my desire and wish is to see people won to You, and only You can perform such a miracle. Please soften the hearts of Your messengers who may be less than obedient, or less than humble before an awesome and perfect God. May this be a day that we all learn to pass the praises up to You while continuing to seek Your face and Your perfect will for our lives as we serve You. Lord I ask these things humbly in Your name, 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 days 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!

Let The Love and Truth of God be Evident in Us!

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 106:6–8

6 Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!

7 Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the Lord’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.

8 Even so, he saved them — to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.

Thoughts:

I believe that way too often we look down our pious noses and try to convince ourselves of our greatness, and our sinless lives. Friends, whenever we feel that boastful and proud again, may I encourage you to look around and count the family, friends, coworkers or neighbors that have seen enough of Jesus in us that they have surrendered their lives to Jesus and to the leadership of His Holy Spirit, because of our actions and/or words. It is so very easy to look at someone and immediately analyze their problem, without first acknowledging our own, and seeking forgiveness for our own sin and littleness. It is unfortunate that we can train pets so well and they can generally be very obedient, however when it comes to training ourselves to be obedient to God, our Master, our designer, our Savior and our Friend, we suddenly take on a superiority complex as if we are in charge. Friends, just as God held back the Red Sea for our ancestors, why don’t we recognize His awesome intervention in our lives every day? You see, for our world to be impacted, our friends, family, coworkers and other contacts must see and hear the evidence of Jesus in our lives. They will not be impacted simply by us telling them about the miracles at the Red Sea or how Moses struck the rock with his rod and God produced water for His people. Our lives and our witness give validity to the Word of God. It’s the living witness of who God says that He is. Our unsaved loved ones must see this, friends!

Prayer:

Lord, I am reminded of a story about a man who had a lot of faith in a friend that he could push a wheelbarrow on a tight rope across the Niagara Falls. With all that faith, his friend invited him to ride in the wheelbarrow as he pushed it over the Falls!! This is the type of faith it took for the Israelites to follow Moses through the bottom of the Red Sea while the waters were rolled back. We are also faced with similar challenges each day and we make decisions that prove where our level of faith is. Dear Jesus, I am convinced that others will not be impacted to follow You if they see doubt in us, and if they see us living a double life, I pray that You will touch the lives of Your children today and convict us of our sin and our shortcoming. May we follow You through the little things and through the major crisis events. Today marks the anniversary of a terrible disaster here in the USA, a day that showed a lot of people their need for Your love and Your power. I pray that it will not take another disaster to draw the people to You, oh Lord, but rather, may they see Your love and our faith in You so prevalent, that they may be drawn to You, our Savior and our King. Please touch Your children who claim You as Lord today, then I ask that You please consider using Your servants to reach others, because of their faith that might become more and more evident every day. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and King, AMEN!

NOTE: 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.

What is Your ‘Tower’?

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 9-11

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.)4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” Gen 11:3-4 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Way back in the days when the earth was just being first populated we read about how the people found the need to build something that they could look on to identify themselves – some great accomplishment that they achieved. God saw that this was leading to pride and bragging rights for this clan so He intervened and placed a stumbling block to prevent them from the selfish desires that He saw in them. In fact, this is where the different languages started, for in verse 7 we are told how this was designed to confuse the people and stop them from self destruction. As I look at our world today I question myself of where our ‘towers’ are being built, and I had no trouble thinking of several that might give the same impression as to what God must have seen with the Tower of Babel:

  • Momentous Church Buildings – yes, we needn’t look very far to see this ‘Tower’. We talk about churches today as ‘The Crystal Cathedral’ (known for it’s beautiful, large glass structure) or ‘Liverpool Cathedral’ (known for its 31 ton bell installed in the tallest tower some 219 feet above ground). I agree that these are beautiful church buildings and I have no doubt that they probably perform great work for the Lord, but is this what we want to be known as? Would it not be good to be known as ‘The Church that ministers to the inner city’ or ‘The Church where folk come to know Christ every week’ or ‘The place where Jesus is found every week’? I believe that the true church will continue to be a ‘great’ church or ministry when it can succeed in any location in which it relocates, or any building in which it meets, or when its leadership is assumed by another leader, when attendees are constantly bringing in friends to meet Jesus, when communities look to that church as a ministry arm of the Lord Jesus Christ, because it reminds them of everything they have every heard about Jesus.
  • Big homes, fancy vehicles, big expensive televisions, etc. – Things that we tend to become know as having. In other words when we are identified by those things acquired, rather than by the Christian principles or character that we display in the best, or worst, circumstances every day, then we have a ‘Tower’ that we have built or bought to represent us.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I am reminded that You gave all that You had (Your precious Son) so that I may live eternally with You in Heaven. You didn’t sacrifice a great mountain that You created – although You designed and created some real beauties. I pray that people that I come in contact with may later refer to us as the “Child of God that led me to Christ”, or the “Christian that helped me in my time of trouble and despair” or “The friend that visited me when I was sick” or “He’s from that church where many of the folk from my community are coming to know Jesus”! May my church never be known as anything but an extension of Your love and caring for a lost and dying world. Please teach me daily to stay away from building any ‘towers’ that may prevent or distract my witness of You to this lost world in which I live. May the lost see so much of Jesus in and through me that they would have a deep desire to know You.

Speak in Boldness, But with a Humble Spirit

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Matthew 3

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matt 3:8 (NLT)

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” Matt 3:13-14 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Two things in particular caught my attention in this passage this morning:

  1. The boldness of John the BaptistHe was on mission for God and seems like he said what he felt led of God to say to the people that he preached to, without fear of repercussion from the government of that day, or the leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees). It seems like today we have become so politically correct in our churches in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings (and I don’t believe for a minute that we can only speak the truth if we know that someone’s feelings got hurt), but it just seems like we are afraid to say it like it is. An old saying that I always remember is that ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’, in other words if something that was said speaks to issues in your life, then obviously God is dealing with you through His spoken Word. As a people we have become so ‘thin-skinned’ that we retaliate when our feelings are hurt by holding back on our tithes, or not attending church, or gossiping about the preacher, etc, etc. Assuming that we have all prayed earnestly for the man of God, that he may discern God’s will and Word for us when he stands in the pulpit before us, are we then not challenging God Himself when we retaliate against the preaching or even God’s written Word? How dare us?
  2. The humbleness of John the Baptist – A man known for his boldness in speaking out, yet when Jesus comes to be baptized, John the Baptist said that in no way is he worthy to baptize the Savior of the world. How true this is. No matter how close we feel like we have become to God, we are but dirty rags compared to the only pure and Holy One of God. I believe that this is well worth keeping foremost in our minds so that we don’t let self pride come in the way. We are nothing without Christ, and we personally can do nothing miraculous, such as winning a lost soul or healing a sick person, but only through prayer and humble submission to the power and will of God. We should always pass any praise or glory straight on up to God for anything accomplished through us. It is encouraging for us to see lives touched by God because of something He may have said through us, but may our Words and actions be so filled with His love and His power that He may accomplish great things for the kingdom in spite of our human shortcomings.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

I believe that much could be accomplished through us and our churches today if we used the boldness displayed by John the Baptist, yet the humble spirit that he displayed in the presence of the Holy Son of God. Lord Jesus, it is You that I serve and You that deserves all the praise for anything accomplished in Your name here on this earth. Please may I find boldness in serving You, but be ready to step aside and let the glory all go up straight to You. Please have Your will and way in my life today, and may  there be opportunities for Your glory to shine through in something that I may say or do today so that Your kingdom may be fulfilled. Opportunities will come and go, and so will my words, but I believe that as You use me as Your humble servant today, Your words spoken through me will touch the hearts of Your people with lasting power and effectiveness. To God be the Glory for all that will be accomplished in Your name today!

Tag Cloud