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

Posts tagged ‘Rewards’

Life Improvement Key

The Holy Bible

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 2:1-6)

Thoughts:

Isn’t it interesting to watch the commercials this time of the year and learn how easy it is to improve happiness in your home, if only you would get off your wallet and buy the right gifts for your loved ones, or buy the right foods on which to splurge during the many parties and family gatherings? In a few weeks, that will change to finding happiness while improving your self-image, by losing all the pounds you gained during the holidays. Do you see the temporary results in each of these things? Paul had the same challenge with the folk he ministered to in the Ephesian church, and in these verses highlighted today you will note that he brought to their attention an important key to improve life over an entire year, not just during a particular season. Friends, this is the same choice that we can make today. Banks love it when you overspend to find those special gifts that you feel will bring happiness to your family and friends, but your budget suffers for months to come. Paul is reminding us that God, in His infinite wisdom knew what it would take to improve life on a permanent basis. He knew that it should be done out of love, and not at a financial cost to those that need it, otherwise it would be out of reach for some. In fact, this ‘improvement key’ would have to be something available to His children even though the rest of the world might look on in disbelief, because all they would see is the unworthiness of the individual. Additionally, Paul must have known that we would have gotten used to the various rewards programs here on earth, because in verse 6 he went on to encourage us with the rewards of heaven in company with the Savior of this world, Jesus, the Messiah of whom we sing in many of the Christmas carols. In other words, the rewards of this life improvement decision of which I have shared, is simply ‘out of the world’!! Friend, won’t you this Christmas season accept the best gift ever given, Jesus my Lord? He truly is the reason that we celebrate Christmas, and He is ready and willing to accept your ‘life improvement’ request today!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for going to the extreme to provide the best gift ever. One that would improve our lives forever. One that brings the rewards of heaven, and eternity with the Master of this universe. Lord You are good, and your mercies endureth forever! I love You Lord, and I life my voice, to worship You, oh my soul, rejoice; take joy my King in what You hear, may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear! Lord, may this Christmas time be a time that our lives are made complete in You, and may our family and friends also recognize the need for the gift of all gifts, the hope of glory, the key to true and everlasting happiness. For I humbly ask this in the name of Jesus, the newborn King, 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!

The Rewards of Giving

The Holy Bible

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 9:10-11)

Thoughts:

Over the past two days we have learned that God expects us to give out of what we receive, and to give with the right attitude. In today’s scripture we learn how God rewards us for our giving. I’m sure that many who meditated on the last two lessons may have questioned how they could possibly afford to give from the little they earn, especially considering the large amounts they owe. Friends, God answers that question in today’s scripture by reassuring you that He gives not only enough for ourselves, but also the where-with-all to supply the needs of others. In faith, we must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel, by works of giving. Remember this will be a reward to our faithfulness, and to bring praise and glory to God by others who are touched by our giving. Please also note that Paul was not just drumming up this idea of rewards to induce the giving he was asking his followers to do. For back in Matthew 10:42, Jesus told His followers that if they only give a cup of water to one of His, they would certainly be rewarded. In Hosea 10:12 we are told that if we plant righteousness (right-ness with God) we will reap a blessing! In Matthew 5:6 we are told that God will satisfy those whose greatest desire is to please Him. By now you are probably thinking that this is probably the way to go to bring you riches. To a certain degree I will agree with you, because there is nothing like building up the pleasure of our God with our obedience to His Word. Absolutely nothing like seeing those in need find reason to praise God for His wonderful gifts, knowing that we may have had a role to play in those gifts because of our obedience. I find way more delight in hearing that others are pleased with and/or blessed by something that I may have contributed to, rather than the richest dude on earth handing out $100 bills for everything they notice that I may have done. For you see, my actions are in response to God’s commands and for His glory, not for man’s attention or his returned praises to me. I would rather go unnoticed in my giving of finances or time. I am much more rewarded by hearing someone giving praise to God for answering their prayers about their needs. If God used something that I may have contributed to Him, then it is truly His to give away to a person in need. He’s the one that deserves the praise and glory. Give from a heart of obedience friend, and give it to the Lord, who gave it to you in the first place. Be ready to praise Him for the ability to give, and for the glory it might bring to a child of God in need, for your rewards are ‘out of this world’!!

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for showing us how to give, by first giving of everything You had to us. Thank You for accepting that bitter cup You mentioned in the garden, so that I might enjoy the sweet cup of fellowship with You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for blessing us daily with the love, assurances and resources that we might pass along blessings to others in need. I pray that my reader friends might, like me, gain a daily appreciation for Your goodness towards us, so that we may freely share with others and give liberally to You and Your work in response. I pray that through recognizing, and being reminded of the source of our blessings, we might be encouraged to give all the more. I so appreciate the rewards You have prepared for me, thank You Father! May we be reminded of those rewards daily so that our giving might be all the more joyful! All this I ask for You dear Lord, in Your precious and worthy 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!

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