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

Posts tagged ‘Readiness’’

God Readies Us For The Moment

Thursday, 2016-08-11

Scripture

Bible Reference: Daniel 1:9, 17

Bible Text: 9 Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel.
17 God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I find it extremely interesting how, as humans, we try so hard to change certain aspects of what God has already perfectly made. For example: the color of our hair perfectly designed by God vs the color we feel we need, to be prettier or successful in life; if our hair is curly, then often we want it straight, or vice versa; numerous surgeries that are performed to transform us into the person we envision, vs what God has perfectly made in His perfect design; etc. Friends, I believe it is obvious from our scripture today, that God aligned everything for His servant Daniel so that lives would be impacted along the way. Think about this: Daniel was intricatly made with the looks and necessary smarts that would be later used in this scenario; Out of all the young men that could have been chosen in obedience to the king’s command, God designed it so that Daniel would be among the chosen, even with his peculiar eating habits; God gave the chief of staff respect and affection for Daniel (vs 9), therefore he worked with Daniel to provide the foods matching his diet; God gave Daniel and his three friends unusual, or extraordinary, smarts and understanding for literature and wisdom; God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret visions and dreams, and guess what? The king had a dream that none of his normal magicians could handle, and this opened the door for interaction between Daniel and the king. Can you see how God’s plan came together? However friends, the story doesn’t end there, for God showed Himself worthy in many other scenarios in the Bible, and even to me in my short lifespan, I have seen Him work miraculously to align His perfect will, so that lives would be impacted – in at least two cases I saw where the lives of two family members were physically saved, and in another where one was rescued and given the opportunity for an extended life. I believe that God is also working in many of Your lives to accomplish His will, and I believe that He desperately wants to work in the rest of you, who have not totally surrendered to God. Are you being humble, obedient and willing to totally surrender your life to His calling? May I encourage you to submit to God and let Him work out His will for your life? It will surprise you what our awesome God can do through a humble servant willing to be used by Him in His awesome plan!

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for providing for Daniel and all those who were touched by his life, because He was obedient to You. You have reminded us today that we too are Your special design, Your chosen children, and that there is much to be done and many to be reached for Your ultimate glory. I immediately thought of that contemporary song ‘I’m Yours Lord, everything I am, everything I have‘. Lord, may Your children recommit themselves to be totally Yours today, so that You may enact Your plan to reach our lost loved ones and friends, even through us. You used others we know to reach our hardened hearts, and I have every reason to believe that You can use us also – all for Your ultimate glory. I ask these things in faith, and for the enrichment of Your kingdom oh 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!

Are You Prepared?

The Holy Bible  (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18): 14 We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. 15 Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. 16 With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. 17 Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. 18 Encourage each other with these words.

Thoughts:  To help understand how the decisions we make today impact our future, I want to compare what happens when a natural disaster approaches, versus the decisions we make regarding our relationship with Jesus Christ. For when we evaluate our decisions in either scenario, the result can make the difference between life and eternal death. Here are some choices we have to consider in both scenarios:

  1. When the warnings of an approaching disaster are up – such as a hurricane, or other killer-type natural disaster/storm:

    Natural Disaster: We may have time to make some last minute preparations or purchase supplies to help us while we are displaced. But most importantly we must decide if we will obey the evacuation and/or preparation orders;

    Spiritually: Again in this scripture today we are given the warning that only those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will go beyond life as we know it today. In other words, eternal life in heaven. We are either reassured of our impending resurrection with Jesus, or we are stubbornly deciding to continue in the way of this world and accept our destiny in Hell when Jesus comes to take His children home to glory;

  2. During the preparation period:

    Natural Disaster: We are warned at the beginning of each hurricane season about the items we should have stashed away for a quick evacuation, should it become necessary. After visiting with a friend up north and seeing his disaster kit in the trunk of his car, I know that in cold areas you are also warned to be prepared should you be forced to remain in your vehicles in extreme winter storms. In both cases, in advance preparation we are able to get quality items and avoid disaster at the stores before the last minute preparers hit the stores. We also stand the chance of getting to the stores and purchasing what we need while there is safety and time to do that. Plus the stress of entering an announced impending disaster period is much reduced when we are ready in advance;

    Spiritually: We are warned whenever we read the Bible. We are reminded when we read the newspapers and see all that is going on in our world today. Fellow Christians and/or pastors remind us whenever given the opportunity. As in the case of Natural Disasters, we have a choice to prepare in advance and enjoy the blessings of Christianity even while here on earth. However, of even greater importance, we stand ready to meet God, should sudden death come upon us.

  3. The results of our readiness, or lack thereof:

    Natural Disaster: We often hear of deaths resulting from unprepared citizens. They made a choice to be unprepared, and they paid the ultimate price. Even if prepared, the individuals still went through a lot of stress evacuating, and possibly still got caught in some of the fury of the disaster;

    Spiritually: Even so Come Lord Jesus, Come! Paul likened it to the greater joy that is to come, compared to the joy that is ours here on earth with our Master at the wheel of our lives. Imagine the sweet, sweet spirit of being in the presence of Jesus, worshiping and glorifying Him for endless days. What a Day that will be! This is the peace and joy that Christians have while here on this earth. We are happy here, but sure that we will be even happier with the Lord!

Please forgive me for writing such a long blog today, but sometimes it may take a side by side analogy to help some folk truly understand the importance of accepting Jesus Christ today, being prepared in advance, and anxious about the day that Jesus calls us home. Are you ready for that friend? See my Footnote for further instruction. Jesus is Coming Soon, let’s be ready to go!

Prayer:  Lord, Your Word has displayed a warning light for us again today, for it has reminded us of the need to be ready for that glorious day when You will call us home to glory! I know that this will not be a shining day for some, because they have chosen to ignore the warnings. If they are granted time enough to read this devotional today, I pray that You might graciously soften their hearts and convince them of the need to be prepared, for I believe that Your return is very near. I especially pray for family and friends who have not yet heeded the warnings from You, and I pray earnestly for their salvation. In Your own perfect way Oh Lord, please deal in their lives today, for I want to see them when I join all the saints around Your throne in Heaven. Thank You for drawing me to Yourself some 39 years ago, please continue to use me for Your glory while allowed to remain here on earth. I will praise and honor You for all things Oh Lord, for I ask these things in anticipation of Your perfect will being accomplished, and with thanksgiving, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE:  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Things to Do While We Wait

The Holy Bible

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 1 Peter 4:7-9)

Thoughts:

Living in a hurricane prone area of the world, we know how to be prepared for the often short notice about an approaching hurricane. However, when warned, we quickly hit the streets and pay a visit to our grocery stores and possibly to hardware stores for last minute items to make sure we are fully ready for eventual power cuts or breaks in deliveries to our local stores. Similarly, living in this world and having taken the first step of readiness for God’s eminent return, God, through Peter, is warning us of some last minute things we should really be doing to avoid any regrets when we stand before Him. Here are some things that we should be doing right now friends:

  • Be earnest and disciplined in our prayers – A Christian living in a world stained by sin, and where sin abounds, must stay close to God and constantly seek His guiding and protective hand to help us to stay on track and not be distracted by the sin that initially entrapped us and kept us at bay from God. “Being earnest and disciplined at it” gives me the impression that we are to make this a priority even when we don’t feel like it, but like vitamins and food itself, do it because we are told to, and because we know that we need it;
  • Show deep love one for another – Generally we will exude what’s inside of us. If God has filled us with His love, then we should have no trouble showing love for one another. However, I believe that just how a perfect God chose to love imperfect people like us, God wants us to love even those who might otherwise be unlovable. Ones we despise because they believe different to us, or act in ways that we have overcome (with God’s help). Ones that have hurt us, or who we may have hurt, because the Word says that this kind of love will be greater than the hurt, and also help us to overcome the hurt. Loving those who are different to us is much like what God was faced with when He looked down on us – sinners, yet He loved us anyway. Praise the name of the Lord!
  • Freely share your home and your food – Who blessed us with what we have, friends? Therefore, because all that we have, became possible because of our loving God, we should therefore pass the blessing along and bless others with it! Let’s truly be an example of the Savior that we worship and adore!

Friends, we are God’s very own and He has blessed us way more than we could ever imagine or deserve. As He has blessed us, let us therefore bless others! Let’s learn to pass along the blessings and not just hog them up to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I thank you for giving me Your Word to plainly tell me what I should be doing right now. As I was obedient in Your call upon my life to accept You as my Lord and Savior, please continue to nudge me along with reminders to live according to Your book of instructions so that I might do what You require of me on a daily basis. These verses today are excellent reminders of what I should be doing as I wait for Your return. Please give me strength today, and a willing and obedient heart as I strive to obey You and do Your will. Please allow Your Word to make an indelible imprint on the minds of Christians that read this today so that they also might be realigned to obedience. For others that You may point to this devotional today, please work a miracle in their life so that as they see the need to surrender their life to You, they may also catch a glimpse of Your expectations after their initial decision. Thank You for being so gracious to even me dear Lord. May I now be gracious and obedient in response to You. I am asking this in Your awesome, powerful and loving name, 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 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!

Godly Sorrow????

The Holy Bible Says…..

10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 7:10-11)

Thoughts:

I believe that most of us go to church to be uplifted, to renew our strength in the Lord, to be filled with enough joy to last us all week around family, friends and coworkers who can often get on our very last nerve, right? So, of course God got my attention in verse 11 when Paul spoke of this ‘godly sorrow’! Please allow me to bring this into perspective today, so that we might reap the benefits that the Corinthian church gained. I have a four year old nephew, and anytime I threaten to, or actually, snatch away his favorite toy, there’s a time of unhappiness! If we go to church and God didn’t challenge us on one character flaw in our life that should be changed or enhanced for His glory, then what else might we have gained from the service? When we are challenged by God’s Word to get rid of certain behaviors that actually defy the truth, or intention, of His Word in our witness for Him, that’s often a sad time. After all, we are acknowledging that under our own strength, we really screwed things up. Friends, please know that there is good that results from this kind of surrender and forgiveness. Paul explains in verse 11, that because of the people’s godly sorrow, he actually saw some very positive character and godly changes in their lives, and I would like to see us apply these to our lives. Here they are: earnestness (a carefulness to make peace with our God because of our breach of His laws, and to preserve peace by avoiding similar breaches in the future); clear ourselves (purging ourselves of the guilt of self, and/or the church, and by dealing with issues in a Godly fashion); indignation (displeasure with self-directed successes); alarm/fear (an attention to the fact that certain temptations might easily cause us to fall back into the same sin, or separation from God); zeal (a zeal for our Christian duty – not that of the qualified or most holy or younger); readiness to recognize and punish sin (acts of discipline, denying self to avoid sin to self or against others); and of course just overall peace with God and man as we attempt to live God-directed lives that are pleasing to Him in every way. So to think godly sorrow may at the surface seem like a play on words, it really is more of a mind sobering time where God straightens us out about our weaknesses and waywardness. Friends, let’s learn to place close attention to God’s Word, whether in our daily devotions or through teaching and/or preaching at our churches, and let’s apply it to ourselves. Let God deal with that person besides you or behind you that you are convinced needs to hear the topic a lot more than you. Let God speak to you privately and personally, so that you may be aware of the things requiring attention in your life. It is only then that we can be a true, honest, servant for Him in ministering to others.

Prayer:

My Lord and Savior, please forgive me for the times I am stubborn, and pay so little attention to the sorrow and disappointment that I must bring to You when I fail and/or don’t persevere in my obedience to Your Word. Thank You for providing a path to righteousness, and eternity in heaven with You. Thank You for not giving up on me, but continuing to mold me and guide me into all truth so that I might have everything I need to leave the things that dishonor You behind, and to reach for the positive and glorious future that You have in store for me. Lord, I pray that I might become more useful in Your earthly kingdom so that others who need You will witness Your peace and glory in everything that I do or say. May the ‘old’ and forgiven things that once filled my life, remain just that. May I always be prompted by Your Holy Spirit to live according to Your Word, for Your sake, and ultimate kingdom. May others who meditate on this devotional today also be inclined to honor You in this way today, is my humble prayer, that I ask in Your precious 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 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!

Prepared For The Resurrection?

The Holy Bible

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

(The New Living Translation – 1 Corinthians 15:21-23)

Thoughts:

Living in the part of the world where I live, we are used to the idea of being prepared for hurricanes, should one become a threat to our area. We have written plans on the type kits we should have prepared to just take off with, should we hear of a threat, and we have our escape routes all mapped out ahead of time. No doubt many of you have similar scenarios in your respective areas. Many of us do well with these, and we are therefore ready when the call comes, others sometimes die a horrible death because they become trapped in their environment by the terrible storms, due to their lack of readiness. I find it interesting that many non-Christians take these preparation efforts so seriously, especially when they are basing their actions on the weather man’s word, and on something that he/she has no control over. However, when it comes to believing the Word of God, we are often told by these non-Christians about the many fallacies they see in the book. Lord Jesus, oh that they may realize in time, that the same God who steers the currents that control hurricanes, winter storms or any other type of natural disaster, is the same God that inspired the Word of God, and who stands firm on His Word and its promised actions. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on these verses wrote: “There will be an order in the resurrection. Christ himself has been the first-fruits; at his coming, his redeemed people will be raised before others; at the last the wicked will rise also. Then will be the end of this present state of things. Would we triumph in that solemn and important season, we must now submit to his rule, accept his salvation, and live to his glory.” So friends, I realize that we don’t care to think about morbid things like the end of our life, but I want to remind you that the decisions you make today will result in whom you will serve here on this earth, and with whom you will spend eternity. As in the case of natural disasters, how prepared are you for your eternal peace? If you feel a tugging in your heart to straighten up your spiritual life, please use information in the Footnote as your guide for help. One of these resources would love to pray with you and guide you into a peace that surpasses all understanding, I especially would love to help!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, my friends are I are crazy about, and super concerned about tomorrow, next year and especially about retirement. We become super excited about preparations and readiness for hurricanes or other such disasters. Yet, unfortunately, we spend little time in our readiness for eternity. I realize that there is so much hype about the various ‘feel-good’ programs, that we are generally not anxious about preparation for such things as death, but I thank You Lord for reminding us in Your Word today about the reality of this life-event, and the good, bad, and the ugly about what our outcome will be, based on our decisions today. Please forgive me for my littleness in not sharing this enough with my lost loved ones, in an effort to help them be as prepared for eternity as they are for all other milestones in their lives. Please touch the hearts of those who are ready (Christians) so that we might not only stay closer aligned with Your will for our lives here on earth, but enabled to help others who have not yet prepared themselves of this inevitable life event. Please tender the hearts of the non-believer today dear Jesus, and encourage them to accept You as their Lord and Savior, for without salvation, eternity with You is impossible. Lord, You are good and Your mercies endure forever. I ask this all in Your precious and wonderful name, believing that You will touch the lives of Your children (Christians) to better prepare for this important resurrection 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 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 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!

Don’t Lose Hope, God Says I Will….

So many times we have either said, or at least we will hear someone say things like: “What else could possibly happen in this wicked world?” or “Has God removed His hand from this generation?” or “This world is becoming more and more wicked”. Friend, we may jump to these conclusions because of what we see with our mortal eyes, but let’s not take our eyes off the Word of God. For it says that God will pour out His Spirit on everyone…. Now you will quickly conclude that you are not seeing such a thing. Here’s a BIG reminder friend, God does not lie! We place our faith in Him for every breath and ever new day, we must stay grounded in the Word and take Him at His Word. He said it, so I believe it – that settles it!! Instead of doubting, look in anticipation for how His promises are fulfilled. Better still, use this time to encourage everyone in your circle of friends and family to accept Jesus as their Lord and together, be ready to go when He is ready for us to join Him in glory! What a Day That Will Be!! Praise be to God!!
Book cover

‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams. Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message.

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