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

Posts tagged ‘salvation’

Be Faithful in Following Jesus

Friday, 2019-09-13

Bible Reference: Matthew 4:18-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

OBSERVATION: Accepting Jesus because mom pressured you to do so, or because your prospective father-in-law only wants his daughter to marry a believer, would receive a totally different commitment from you, than a personal encounter with God, where He called you to repentance for the way that you have totally ignored His gift of salvation. In our example today from the Scripture, God had a personal encounter with the disciples. I believe that you should also listen closely for the call of God on your life, and that you should quickly respond.

APPLICATION:  Imagine for a moment if Peter and Andrew had concluded after meeting Jesus that He was a good man and would make a wonderful Savior for many people, especially for those who had time to follow Him around and observe His marvelous works. Imagine how little impact Jesus would have had on these two men if they chose to continue making a living and left Jesus alone to go and impact the brothers up the road who had nothing better to do. James and John had similar choices to make in verses 21 and 22, but like Peter and Andrew, these guys immediately dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. Friends these stories were included in the Word to show us the impact of total surrender. I don’t believe for a moment that God intends for every Christian to give up our jobs to be obedient followers of His. However, I do believe that God is showing us that it is important for us to take a 180 degree turn from what we did as a sinner, so that we might prove to whom we now belong. We don’t need to prove it to God, for He knows our very inmost thoughts and desires, but we need to convince ourselves that we have seriously redirected our lives to following the Savior, the King of all kings, Jesus Christ. We need to prove it to our friends. We can’t continue doing the things of this world (Satan approved things) and still expect our friends to see a difference in our lives. Think about everyday scenarios: what do you do when you go on a diet? You can’t lose weight eating the same junk food and sweets that brought you to your obese state in the first place. What do you do when you get married? You can’t hang out with your buddies until the wee hours of the morning and expect to go home and find your new spouse happily waiting for you. So what about the Christian walk? I would dare say that you can’t live like the Devil and say that you are a Christian. We have to leave the garbage behind, much like the disciples left their nets and their boats behind, and choose to give God our all – our undying allegiance, our unwavering love and dedication. Show Him that You are serious about the decision you made to follow Him – perhaps He will use you like He did in the case of the disciples mentioned! Won’t that be awesome!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for being patient with us. I’m afraid that too often we tend to try and continue doing what we’ve always done, yet expect different results, or worse still – try to convince ourselves that our allegiance has changed. Lord, I believe that these four disciples were so sold out to you that they gave up their fishing careers to become ‘fishers of men’ in your kingdom work. I am convinced that we need more folk like this today Lord, so that the world might know without a doubt who rules in our lives. Please work on us today and convict us of any shortfall You see in our lives and our commitment to You. May we be usable instruments in Your hands to reach the lost. I ask this in the strong and unwavering name of Jesus, 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 If God Turned His Back On You?

Tuesday, 2019-09-10

Bible Reference: Judges 10:9-14
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: …. The Israelites were in great distress. 10 Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, saying, “We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.”
11 The Lord replied, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. 13 Yet you have abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!”

OBSERVATION: We have become such a spoiled people, that we seldom ever think of God turning His back on us. We hear it all the time: Oh, well, I will just ask God to forgive me; Oops, I shouldn’t have done that, but God will forgive me; God always forgives me; etc, etc. I’m sure you may have even uttered these words as well, so I hope that our Scripture passage will not be a shock to you today, for God told the Israelites “NO”! Meditate with me friends, for we must know the truth about God, and His plan of forgiveness.

APPLICATION:  We hear so much about death-bed conversions – that is, folk who do not want to make a decision while they are healthy and enjoying life, but when they know that there is no choice and they are indeed dying, then they ask to know and accept Jesus. Friends, I’m not saying that those decisions are necessarily hopeless, but there are at least two dangers:

1. Who knows whether you will survive a fatal crash and have the ability, and possibly last opportunity, to accept Jesus before passing away from this world? We could be snatched from this world instantly and without further opportunity to accept Jesus.

2. The Israelites in this Bible story, were blessed by God, protected, guided and loved dearly, but they were easily led by Satan to follow other gods. However, when they got into serious trouble and needed rescuing, they didn’t turn to these ‘little’ gods for help, but rather turned to the Almighty God. The good thing is that, like the prodigal son, they came to their senses and they realized that they needed something/someone greater – God.

Words that I wish no one meditating on this would ever hear, “Go away for I never knew you” or “I will not accept you, because you rejected me and worked against me so much during your lifetime”. But the Israelites heard similar words because of their stubbornness and ungodly acts.

I would beg all that may meditate on this today, and especially all that I know and love, to not delay in surrendering your life to Jesus. Please know that He loves you, and loved you enough that He gave up life itself so that you may have life everlasting with Him in glory. That’s a gift offered to you today, but its only yours if you accept it. Please respond to this post if you would like to learn more about accepting the gift of eternal life with Jesus, I would be overjoyed to help you biblically with this. Alternately, you are free to read every detail in my Footnote, and follow the plan outlined in the Bible.

PRAYER: My prayer today is that I will always be steadfast in my faith and my commitment to Jesus. May He find me faithful. My prayer for family and friends who may read this devotional and might be afraid of giving up a life of ‘fun’ to accept Jesus, I pray that God would open your eyes and help you see that there is never as much fun when you are living in fear. Living life without the fear of hell and the fear of dying unprepared is a life of peace and assurance – a life worth living! Friend, know God and know peace! When there is no God, there is no peace. May God grant you the boldness and the strength to make the right decision 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!

God Will Take Care of You!

Friday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:2-4
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

OBSERVATION: No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

APPLICATION:  I Love that old gospel song: “Be not dismayed …. God Will Take Care of You“! On reading these verses this morning I was reminded that for all those times that we feel so worn, or so distraught about life’s circumstances – perhaps the loss of a loved one that leaves us wondering how on earth can we possibly go on without them; or perhaps because of financial woes that make us feel so trapped into thinking that we work to satisfy bills only; or perhaps unemployment that makes us look inward and question our own personal worth; no matter the circumstance, we tend to wonder ‘Why me, Lord’ and then question how can we possibly overcome our particular circumstance. Friends, I wish you would take time to read the whole passage linked in the scripture reference, because you will see the reason why God sent Elijah to the Jordan River bank to hang out in the first place, then you will also see what other miracles God performed to take care of Elijah, even beyond this feeding miracle at the Jordan River. Whether Elijah realized it or not, he was at a crossroads to where he may not have survived the drought if God had not intervened and taken care of him. I rejoiced in seeing how God worked through Elijah later on to bring a young man back to life, because it made me realize the importance of not giving up on God, and instead allowing Him to work on us, in us, and through us for the purpose of His greater accomplishments – for the kingdom, and at a time pleasing to God. Friends, our ways are not God’s ways, so we are called on to be faithful and sure in our faith, knowing that what He works out in and through us will serve to benefit Him and bless us tremendously. So may I encourage you dear friend to stand firm in your faith, depend on God, and open yourself to the wondrous things He will do through You. Please know that your personal circumstances may look totally different to what God has in store for you. Trust Him, wait on Him and allow Him to be God in your life. Know that when You place your faith, trust, and total life in His hands, He WILL Take Care of You!

PRAYER: To the loving, caring, awesome God that I serve; thank You Father for watching over me, taking care of me, and guiding my footsteps each and every day. Because I am still alive, I know that Your work is still in progress and I trust in You for whatever You would have me do. Please have Your will and way. Please continue to take care of me, and especially on those days when life seems impossible to me, or the future seems so questionable. Lord, there are many who will stop by to read this devotional today, please reinforce to them how much You care for them, and remind them of the enormous love that You have for them. Lord, I ask these thinks in faith, and in the precious name of Jesus, Your Son and my Savior, 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!

To Live Forever In Heaven

Friday, 2019-07-26

Bible Reference: Luke 10:25-28
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 25 Just then a religious scholar stood before Jesus in order to test his doctrines. He posed this question: “Teacher, what requirement must I fulfill if I want to live forever in heaven?”
26 Jesus replied, “What does Moses teach us? What do you read in the Law?”
27 The religious scholar answered, “It states, ‘You must love the Lord God with all your heart, all your passion, all your energy, and your every thought. And you must love your neighbor as well as you love yourself.’”
28 Jesus said, “That is correct. Now go and do exactly that and you will live.”

OBSERVATION: Some people will try to copy what successful people have done, because they hope that they could also become successful. The religious scholar in our story today knew what the Bible said about what one must do to gain eternal life, but hoping to entrap Jesus he asked Him the question anyway. I wonder if others gain a fair assessment of how they might get to heaven, by following in our footsteps?

APPLICATION: Don’t you find it fascinating to watch a child’s actions, and especially how they tend to imitate an adult that they tend to admire? I believe that each of us have a deep desire for success, and that depends on whether we are looking to improve our stance here on earth, or if we think about what happens after our struggles here on earth. Many believe in God, especially in times of personal crisis, but many tend to not surrender to Him in the prime of life, because they feel there might be something better here on earth. I believe that although this Jewish scholar initially started out to try and trap Jesus, he may have felt like he was challenging Jesus with the question in verse 25, with hopes of reassuring himself that he knew everything possible about securing his eternity. Fortunately, the scholar chose the right person to question, for Jesus not only knew the answers to his questions, but He also knew the details of this man’s life, and what in particular needed attention from God’s point of view. I believe that there are some today who might ask Jesus the same question that the scholar asked, because they want to make sure that they are doing, at minimal, everything to gain favor with God, in case they ever need Him during their earthly travail. Please re-read the above verses again, and notice that Jesus was emphatic about the relationship that the Scholar had with His Lord – Jesus Christ, and with his fellow man. Friends, you may hear about our Lord and Savior, and you may appreciate all the miraculous things He did for mankind when He was bodily upon this earth. Knowing that the Bible also teaches that You can only achieve heaven through Jesus Christ, you may be looking for a set of standards – rules that you can follow, to make sure that you never wind up in Hell after life on earth is over. Notice how God made it as simple as ABC: Accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior – this means that you surrender your self-will and stubborn determination to the simple act of trusting Jesus with every aspect of your life; Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – that He died (was crucified) and He was buried, yet He arose from the dead so that we might have eternal life in heaven around the throne of God for ever and for ever; and Confess your sins before Him, knowing that He knows everything about you, then acknowledge your sin to Him and ask His forgiveness of your sin. If you are concerned about whether Jesus would ever accept such a sinner as yourself, please read John 3:16, for Jesus assures us that whosoever comes to Him will be saved. He loves us that much dear friends!

PRAYER: Thank You Heavenly Father for loving me enough to accept me, just as I was, and for cleansing me and making me as white as snow in the eyes of our Father. Only a God like You could do such an awesome work in love for even the worst of sinners. Lord Jesus, I beg You today to reach into the hearts of all those that might surrender their heart to You today in response to the Scripture presented, and the humble expression of simple faith shared by the writer. Lord, I lift Your name on high today. Please draw mankind unto Yourself as You promised in Your Word! 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!

A Reflection of Oneness

Wednesday, 2019-07-24

Bible Reference: John 17:20-23
Translation: God’s Word Translation (GW)

Bible Text:  20 “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. 23 I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

OBSERVATION: The world will look to the church in hopes of seeing Jesus. Will they see enough oneness to know that Jesus abides there, or will they tell from the division and backbiting that Jesus has no place there? Let’s consider how well our church is doing today in the light of the desire of Jesus in the Scripture today.

APPLICATION:  In this chapter Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples and the church at large. In these verses He prayed in all sincerity that those (Christians) who know Him would be in such unity, that the people to whom they speak (the unsaved world), would believe in Him and accept Him as the Savior of the world sent by God the Father. Friends, I often reflect on what the opposite effect must have, and also how that must have an impact on the unsaved as they fight the will of God. That leads me into considering what happens to the ministry of Jesus Christ when children of God can’t agree – when they fight and bicker among themselves so much that the unsaved world wants no part of the confused mess they see occurring in and among churches. Is it any wonder sometime why we stop and ponder why our ministries are ineffective? It seems like even among ‘friendly’ denominations, we go out to minister in Jesus’ name, and wind up putting down another denomination. Oh my, friend, that is not a sign of ‘oneness’. When our job description dictates that we spread the love of God, and our lives reflect the joy of the Lord living inside of us, doesn’t that mean that we should be so busy praising and bragging on our Lord that there will be very little time or desire to find fault with another believer who may not show their Christianity in exactly the same way that we do? In fact, when I reflect on this prayer of Jesus and really gain the breadth and depth of His heart as He prays to His father, I see where He really wants us to reflect the ‘oneness’ that He portrays with His Father. There is no where in scripture that Jesus puts down His Father or speaks evil against Him or disagrees with Him. Instead, it is just the very opposite, for He respects the role of the Father in ultimately making decisions (especially about the second coming of Jesus), and He speaks as one and the same when conveying the truth and love of the gospel. So where do we get off at in being His follower, imitating Him in every way, yet being critical of fellow disciples who are working towards the same goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? This type behavior or ministry will not serve the ultimate wish of Jesus in verse 21 when He prayed that we will go out and minister in such unity that the world (the unsaved) would know that God truly sent the One in whom we believe, and the One we are spreading Good News about. ‘Oneness’ points to us truly representing Jesus, who was sent in the likeness of His Father. Anything else tears down the ministry of Jesus Christ and promotes the intent and heart of Satan. I believe we all know what we should be busy doing today and every day of our life. Let’s get to work – unified in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our weakness in allowing so much of this world to indwell us, and interfere in the ministry, that You have assigned to us. As these verses today reflect, You actually prayed for us to be one with You and You are with Your Father. Our lack of success in ministry is a direct result of our disobedience to You and Your Word, and caused by our selfish desire to tear down another while trying to promote our selfish goals. Reading these verses today causes me to seriously consider keeping these pinned in an obvious place for daily inflection, and as a guide towards my daily goal. Lord, I need Your power to overcome the desire to tear another down in order to promote self. May I ask that You grant me strength to overcome this weakness, but also to touch the heart of Your followers today and embed a deep desire within them to also do the same. Please strengthen and guide us towards ‘Oneness’ – the kind that You exampled before us in being ‘One’ with the Father. I ask this knowing that Your desire is that through our ‘Oneness’ the world will know that You were sent by the Father to save them. May this be accomplished today in and through your earthly representatives, for this is my pray that I ask in the name of Jesus, 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!

Calling Those Who Know They Are Sinners

Monday, 2019-05-06

Bible Reference: Mark 2:15-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

OBSERVATION: Going into a hospital a doctor will find sick people and know that’s where he/she belongs. Jesus emphasised that He came especially for those who know they are sinners – because they are really in need of a Savior. So if we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we will most lightly be ministering more outside of the church than inside the sanctity of the four walls of our church buildings. How do you do with that Christian Brother/Sister?

APPLICATION: It’s really easy for Christians to hang out with Christians – because we have so much in common, and we feel comfortable that no one will question us, if seen associating with folk of the same belief. Praise God, Jesus was different in this respect. He shows us that if we are to reach the unsaved, and if we are to truly show God’s love to all people, then we had better make ourselves friendly to all. When we look down our noses at folk, we must remember that they have a very hard time looking up to us and accepting anything that we may have to say to them. Jesus came so that sinners might recognize their need for a Savior and feel welcomed in coming to Him for forgiveness of their sins. As Christians, we are to be Christ followers and therefore follow the lead that He displayed while here on this earth. How are we doing? Do we show love to the sometimes unlovable? Are we humble enough to sit and listen to the deep struggles and concerns of someone that may be deep in sin? Unless we do this, how will they know Jesus?

PRAYER: Father, I pray that You will open my heart today and make me aware of those around me that need You as Savior. Make me very aware that although they may not look like me, or they may not follow the same guidelines of living that I follow, and they may not even attend, or perhaps never attended, church, please help me to see them and You see them. Please allow me to present myself in way that they will see Your love, acceptance and willingness to listen and help them to overcome their shortcomings and see a better way – a way that leads to Jesus! Help me to set my selfish desires and ideals aside so that You may shine through me today! Help to never forget that You reached far down to lift me up from my sin and in my time of deepest need. There is none like You Heavenly Father. Please help me be obedient to Your will in doing Your work, so that others may know and believe. 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!

Determined To Be With Jesus

Tuesday, 2019-04-16

Bible Reference: Mark 2:2-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: ….While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

OBSERVATION: The determination of these men carrying the paraplegic is to be admired. They didn’t let the crowds stop them, nor the leaders that were probably there helping with crowd control. They didn’t let the walls of the building stop them, for they got up on the roof with the man on the stretcher. The roof was no hindrance, for they dug a hole through it that was large enough to fit a stretcher through it – probably 80″ by 30″ or more. They had a determination to get their friend before Jesus, no matter what obstacles stood in their way.

APPLICATION: I wonder how disappointed the men were after going through all that they did, yet when Jesus saw the young man He didn’t immediately address the issue of paralysis, but rather attended to the condition of his heart and his readiness to meet God. I wonder how much this story parallels our earnest prayers to God, where we are concerned for our family and friends’ welfare or health, but seldom show deep concern for the salvation of their soul for eternity? Would we ‘go to bat’ over their salvation as much as we would for other things in their life that we feel might impact their normal living here on earth? How often do we forget that the things of this earth are temporal and could very easily be gone today or tomorrow? Yet the condition of their soul will determine their eternity. Should we be concerned for the physical, financial and personal welfare of our friends? If we didn’t then one would question if they are truly our friends, but I believe Jesus showed the Pharisees, and is showing us, that there is one concern that trumps all other concerns in life, and that is the spiritual condition of the individual. When you know that your friend is ready to meet their Savior and Lord, and that they are living daily to be more like Him here on earth, then all other needs will fall into place, for God cares intimately for His children and He will not bring anything on us beyond what we can bear, nor will He burden us with anything that will not bring glory to Himself. So friends, let me encourage you this Easter weekend, to look just a little differently at those you love and will spend time with this weekend. Look beyond their physical and material needs and pray with them about their spiritual needs, should there be a need to do that. Our greatest need in life is to be the individual that God designed us to be – one that will worship Him and bring glory to Him, in everything we do, until Jesus returns to take us all home to heaven to spend eternity with He and His Father. I’m ready for that reunion friends, and I want each of you, and all of my family and friends to also be ready to join me for that meeting at the foot of the cross! Oh ‘What a Day That will Be’!

PRAYER: Than You Jesus for all that You willingly did that very first ‘Good Friday’ and the glory of that first ‘Easter’ morning! As we celebrate the events of that occasion again this year, I pray that although we will be touched by the drama of all that You went through, yet we will never lose sight of the fact that You did it all for us. Thank You Lord Jesus! I am eternally grateful Heavenly Father! In much the same way that You were willing to do whatever it took to save Your children from the awful stain of sin and damnation, I pray that each of us will commit to being so concerned about our family and friends that we would recommit to sharing Your love with them and allowing them to see the meaning of the cross and the possibilities of their eternity with You. There was nothing more important to You Lord Jesus. I pray that we would be very much the same in our concern for others. May You be glorified and lifted up this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of the crucified, yet risen Lord Jesus, 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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