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

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

Where’s Your Heart?

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-05-19
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 11:7-10 (TLB)

Text:

So the colt was brought to Jesus, and the disciples threw their cloaks across its back for him to ride on. Then many in the crowd spread out their coats along the road before him, while others threw down leafy branches from the fields.

He was in the center of the procession with crowds ahead and behind, and all of them shouting, “Hail to the King!” “Praise God for him who comes in the name of the Lord!” . . . 10 “Praise God for the return of our father David’s kingdom. . . . ” “Hail to the King of the universe!”

OBSERVATION:
Many will recognize these verses as a scene that’s often taught or preached in church services leading up to Palm Sunday. Many different people involved in this story: Jesus; His followers; the town’s people; the obedient disciples who went and got the colt; the believing bystanders and the unbelieving bystanders. Very interesting roles that each of these folk took in this story and we will examine this closer to see which group each of us may have fit into.
APPLICATION:
As I read this Scripture this morning, it got my attention as to which group of people I may have been included in, so as you meditate on this devotional I would ask that you do the same. One thing about this exercise is that it is one thing to recognize which group you might fit into today, but an altogether different thing to seek the face of God for the desired group you may want to fit into, or ask Him to place you in the group where you would see the most growth, and be drawn the absolute closest to Him. Let’s think about some of the groups:

  • His followers – Some may have been in this group because they were part of the larger group that Jesus had miraculously fed, and they wanted to hang close in case He did that again. Others perhaps staying close because of the promised kingdom He had told them about, while yet others because of the personal relationship they had developed with Jesus. When the colt arrived, some placed their coats on the donkey for Jesus to sit comfortable on, and some spread their jackets on the ground, while others found palm branches and placed them on the ground ahead for the colt to walk on. I got the impression that there were some that did neither.
  • The town’s people – they didn’t beat up the disciples that snitched the colt, but don’t you imagine that they kept a real close eye on them for anything else they may have touched in their town?
  • The obedient disciples – imagine for a moment the conversation these guys had when they left Jesus and went into the town for the colt. The doubt that arose in their minds, or the reassuring by one to the other. Imagine the looks on their faces when they saw the colt, just as Jesus told them they would? Seeing other town’s people around, I wonder if they went sneaking around to get the colt, or boldly, knowing that they had a response from the Master, should the people question them.
  • The bystanders – some curious, some in doubt, some hoping to find something wrong so they could generate some town gossip, while some may have heard about Jesus and was looking for slightly more proof to convince them to either accept or reject Him.

Friends, I would really like you to take a moment and reflect on which of these groups you would most likely fit into. As you do this, evaluate your personal relationship with Jesus Christ; your boldness in being His witness; your commitment to spending time with Him daily; your lifestyle as seen in the eyes of the unbeliever – do they see enough of Jesus in you, to claim you as His child? Or do they see you as hypocritical because your actions and words do not match who you claim to be? Where’s your heart, friend?

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You know us intimately. In fact, You know us better than we know ourselves. As we evaluate our stance in life today, I pray that You will open our eyes of understanding and our stony hearts so that our shortcomings will be evident. Please give us clear thoughts and vision on where we should be in Your plan for our lives, then give us boldness and commitment to follow through, in Your strength. Lord, I pray that my readers and I will draw close to You and allow You to take full control of us, all for Your glory, honor and praise. 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!

Responsibilities of Christian Families

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 3:18-21): 18 A wife must put her husband first. This is her duty as a follower of the Lord. 19 A husband must love his wife and not abuse her. 20 Children must always obey their parents. This pleases the Lord. 21 Parents, don’t be hard on your children. If you are, they might give up.

Thoughts: Friends, I believe that what we are seeing in our world today in broken marriages, broken families, criminally minded children, and unconcern one for another, are results from a breakdown in our individual Godly responsibilities. Think about it. God created us, gave His chosen messengers His words to include in a book blessed and ordained by Him, the Bible, so that we might have instructions on how to live according to His divine nature and intent. Because of the lusts of this world, we have been so attracted to it, that we have laid aside our Bibles to catch dust. In the name of women’s lib, our wives have been taught to do their own thing and leave the ideas of God and their ‘old’ man behind. Our husbands have been so attracted to hunting, night-clubbing, and ‘loose’ women that they have disrespected their wives, abused them verbally and, through their absence, wives have totally lost respect for them. We have brought children into this sinful, ungodly environment and of course, they have automatically learned to disrespect their parents and anyone else that crosses their path. Do I need to say what is required to overcome this current predicament friends? I believe it is obvious. We need to return to God and follow His Word and His plan. In several areas of my study this morning God reminded me that HE is still God, and that without Him there is no other. We absolutely cannot do this ‘life’ thing without Him guiding us, directing us, and giving us strength and boldness to live according to His design and plan. This is not accomplished through a casual visit to church one weekend a month or less. To become the best employee you can be, you are attentive to all that your employer demands through many hours each day. It is plain to see that we must also be careful to stay attuned to what God desires for our lives, and this requires daily communication with Him – in prayer, and in His Word. Study the character of the Maker of your life friend. He wants you to grow up being just like Him! Listen to this song that speaks well to our position with God and it also gives an image of how important it is for our children to see the right example in us – Lord, I want to be just like You! You will be blessed, I assure you! It is time that this old world be impacted by genuine Christians like you and I friend. Are you on board?

Prayer: Lord, the evidence of our disobedience to Your will and call for the family structure is all around us in this world where Satan has touched the lives of so many with temptations, disrespect, selfishness, and disobedience to the things of Christ. Please Lord, touch us once again. Draw us closer to You than ever before. Melt our hardened hearts and teach us Your will. Remind us, as You did in this passage today, that it’s not about us, but only because of You, and only in You that we find the strength and courage to be like You. Next to You, our families are the next most important thing to our survival here on earth. Please help us to treat each other in ways that prove that statement, and make it evident to our family members and all others who look to us as an example of what Christianity is all about. Touch us Lord once again today. Only You can melt a hardened heart, so we place our faith and trust in You alone, and I ask this believing, and in the name of Jesus my Lord, in 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!

Spirit-Guided Relationships – Children

The Holy Bible

Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 6:1-3)

Thoughts:

Over the past two days I have shared with you some thoughts about the preceding verses that spoke to wives and then to husbands. One of the primary blessings that result from happily married couples is the gift of a child, therefore Paul also addressed the responsibility of children. In the case of wives and husbands, God gave us responsibility to one another and to Him. In the case of children, God attached a bonus to the command He gave to them. The command is that children, (several Bible translations actually delineate that this is addressed to Christian children) are to honor their parents by obeying them. Friends, I am convinced that there are benefits to Christian men/husbands/fathers that honor God by obeying Him, that there are benefits to women/wives/mothers that honor God through His command to honor and obey their husbands, and I believe that children who honor and obey these type parents are bound to benefit in many ways, as promised in God’s Word. So why is this, you might ask? Well, if God has already led and disciplined the parents, I would say it only makes sense for parents to pass that teaching and experience on to their children. Will children be tempted to ‘do their own thing’? I believe that we all have a free will that God has blessed us with. However, when our minds, and our lives have been built around certain disciplines, and when parents have led by example of what God has taught them, then variances to our ‘normal’ lifestyle and upbringing will be very limited. Another reinforcement to children is that as they mature into adults, they will also become responsible to God under the guidance given earlier to wives and husbands. Friends, I believe that you might understand by now that family relationships are interwoven with God and with each other. We have responsibility to each other and to God. As we exit this year of 2014, examine your relationship with your family and with God. Use the fresh start of a New Year to recommit to a fresh start in your family relationships and your relationship with God. With God’s help, this can be the best year of your life, friend! It’s up to you!

Prayer:

Father, we see on the news and hear from our friends where there are so many deficiencies in families today. This is very evident from our crime rates, and from our family stresses that often result in heart attacks and premature deaths. Please use this last day of 2014 to speak to the hearts of Your children – mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. The family structure was built by You and around all that You stand for and teach through Your Word. Please guide us unto all Truth so that we may set self aside and quit trying to do things ‘our way’. Instead, Father I plead with You that You might speak loudly and clearly to us, Your children, to be better representatives of Yours. I believe that this will not only bring honor to Yourself, but also open the doors of heaven and its many blessings upon our families. I would love for us to see the need for fewer law enforcement officials in 2015, because of the serious responsibility taken by me, and Your other dear children here on earth. I know that we can only accomplish this awesome task with Your help dear Lord, so as we lay ourselves at Your feet, may You pick us up, strengthen us and guide us in the way we should go, that ultimately brings praise and worship to You oh King. I love You Lord, and I thank You for Your blessings in 2014, while still stressing the sincere need for You in 2015. Into Your hands I commit my life to You for all that You will accomplish through me. Please be a blessing to my readers as they acknowledge Your Word today and make their own commitments to be more committed servants in the coming year. I ask this in the name of Jesus, and believing that He alone can direct our path today and in 2015, 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!

Spirit-Guided Relationships – Wives and Husbands

The Holy Bible

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Ephesians 5:21-24)

Thoughts:

For those who are following these daily devotionals, I’m sure you are aware that I am intentionally and strategically reading through the entire Bible, a certain reference in the Old Testament and from the New Testament each day, therefore no scripture is left unread. This section of Ephesians is part of my strategic reading for today, so if you feel like I must have an issue with God-ordained relationships, please instead look inward, as God may be saying something to you about your particular relationship, or some other person to whom this was intended, because He is strategic in bringing scripture to us at very necessary times in our walk with Him! Also, this is not targeted at women, because the theme/subject obviously reads both wives and husbands. I plan to share additional biblical direction for husbands tomorrow, God willing! So with that disclosure behind me, let me share what I believe God is saying to us in this scripture. Marriages are encouraged and designed around the Bible and were always intended to be between a man and a woman. Wives have a responsibility in the marriage, as we will see clearly in this study today, but husbands have an even great responsibility. I believe that when each are properly aligned with God’s Word in their respective area of responsibility, the result is a happily married couple that represents God before all others who might be considering such a union, and before those who have gone sideways in their relationship. For wives to submit to their husbands, the scriptures do not depict any man, and especially any man who has not taken his biblical role seriously and obediently. Instead there is an awesome responsibility on a man of God, in order to receive the respect spoken of in the scriptures. In fact, in vs 23 we are reminded that the husband is to play the same role as the true church that submits itself to the honor and authority of Christ. Unfortunately we see churches dying in every city today because of this missing link/headship. Unfortunately we see marriages failing in every city today due to either husband or wife not taking their respective responsibilities to God seriously. So in short, I might add that for us men, yes the scripture says that our wives are to submit to us, but if you feel she is not meeting your expectations in this area, please don’t complain to your wife or to God unless you are doing all that is expected of you. I believe that God will work on our wives, after He has gotten us men properly guided in doing our part as husbands!

Prayer:

Lord, You created us to worship You; to honor You and to follow in the example You set before us. Please touch Your children today, particularly our marriages, and help us to take our commitments seriously, one to another. Paul obviously saw issues in his day and addressed them in this scripture. Divorce rates are at an all-time high, so we know that there are deficiencies in our marriages today as well. Please help us to re-examine our personal relationships with You and better align our individual responsibilities with Your Word so that we may see happier marriages, loving families, growing churches and the lost won to You because of what they see in Your children. Fortunately the world sees hypocrisy in us much like You see, and they have therefore chosen to stay in their world of sin instead of following us or You. I am ashamed that this happens, because I know that the time is drawing close for Your return and only those who have accepted You will leave this earth with You. Please touch Your children once again today, and this year, so that we may not be a stumbling block to anyone seeking You. May they instead see Jesus in all that we are, so that they may welcome every opportunity to accept You and follow You. Please use even us to help grow Your kingdom, especially through our humble, obedient and respectful relationship with You and with each other. For all things are possible through Him who died that we might live eternally, and I ask these things in His 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! 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!

A Covenant Relationship

Scripture: Genesis 17

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! Gen 17:1-6 (NLT)

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

Much is said in God’s Work about covenant relationships. In this particular chapter there were several covenant relationships made with Abram (Abraham) and they all were similar in form. God made a covenant that He would do certain things and this was either preceded, or followed by, certain things that would be required by Abram and/or his people. In this particular covenant God told his servant who was once fatherless, that he would become the father of countless descendants and of many nations, and to mark this his name would be changed to reflect the new him, because Abraham actually means ‘Father of Many’. Now prior to all this being revealed, God demanded of Abram that he vow to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Throughout God’s Word He makes many promises to us, the greatest of which was the gift of His Son Jesus. In this particular covenant, God sent His Son so that those of us that believe on, and accept Him as Lord of our life, would have eternal life. At Christmas time we celebrate the gift that was presented to us. I trust that for all who may read this devotional, You would truly accept this gift and complete the covenant presented by God, for I guarantee you that He will live up to His part of the covenant by opening heaven’s gates and receiving us into eternity with Him. Friend I pray that your eyes will be opened to this invitation, because the alternative is not very bright for those who refuse to accept Jesus. An eternal life of damnation and the unpleasentries of Hell is not anything that I can imagine anyone wanting to set as a goal in their life.

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

Father I thank You for the greatest gift ever given – Your Son. I thank You also for touching my life and encouraging me to accept Your gift some 35 years ago. I am concerned about the numerous number of family and/or friends and/or co-workers that have chosen to ignore Your gift and the covenant You have offered to us. I pray that this will be an important Christmas weekend in the lives of those that You have touched my life through, because I pray that You will once again overly sensitize their hearts so that they will understand how hopeless life is without You. May they experience the real meaning of the reason that we celebrate Christmas as they surrender and submit their lives to You this week.

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