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

Posts tagged ‘Savior’

Our Part In Preparing For Our Blessing

Thursday, 2019-07-18

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 11:18–21
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  18 ….. I want you to clear the land of all disgusting idols. 19 Then I will take away your stubbornness and make you eager to be completely faithful to me. You will want to obey me 20 and all my laws and teachings. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 21 But those who worship idols will be punished and get what they deserve. I, the LORD God, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: Our Youth & Families Pastor recently challenged 28 youth to leave their devices at home so that they might truly seek God’s face in very primitive living conditions at a camp, while they worked hard to help the poor in that community. Do you suppose that this gave our youth some uninterrupted time with God? You may quickly respond that you don’t have that problem. May I suggest that you sign up for the next trip with our Pastor? I wonder if this would help us on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings and evenings? Read on as we meditate on this Scripture!

APPLICATION:  I have a relative who surrendered his heart to the Lord, and immediately went home and broke up his music records and tapes, and burnt up all of his cigarettes that he had on hand. He felt like these were ‘idols’ that would tempt him back into sin. In our scripture today, there are many Israelites that were scattered away from their home country and God told Ezekiel that He would bless them when they returned, provided that they first clear the land of the idols. This made me think about the idols that may be interfering with our blessing today. I know, we don’t have the huge idols that some people go up to and worship, as if they have power to help them overcome some issue they might be going through. But friends, these chosen verses today really spell out what types of idols may be applicable to us today, for God actually explains to Ezekiel what He will do to actually bring the people more in line with himself. Here are some of the things, with a few ideas from me:
—-Take away stubbornness – Isn’t this brought on by us wanting our own way? Wanting our own will, instead of totally surrendering to the will of a righteous and holy God?
—-Eager to be completely faithful to God – I wonder what all God would need to de-clutter from our lives so that we might be completely faithful to Him? How about things like: televisions; phones; tablets; cars; boats; finances; shopping; etc? Friends, when you stop and think real good about it, God (and the things that tend to draw us closer to God) often takes second place to many other things in our lives, some of which I just gave you as an example.
Isn’t it unfortunate that God really only moves into first place on our priority list, when a need arises that we can’t solve via Google, or that our TV shows really haven’t addressed yet? I realize that all of this probably don’t apply to all of my precious readers, but may I ask you anyway to consider the following: First thing each morning, do you reach for your Bible, or some idol (device)? After getting your cup of coffee or tea, do you stop and get energized for the day mentally through the Word of God, or do you depend on what you are fed from your idol (TV; Mobile Device; Newspaper; etc)? In spite of God’s Word declaring that we should assemble ourselves together for worship and fellowship on our Sabbath, which of your idols tend to interfere with that? God said that He would really bless when we get rid of our ‘idols’. May I encourage you to take a missions trip to a third world country where many of these idols are not readily available and see how this might feel? It’s amazing how we easily find uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord! It can be done friends! Are you ready for your blessing?

PRAYER: Father, You have blessed us beyond measure and I thank You. It is so unfortunate that we are now idolizing the very things that You have blessed us with, and often to the extent that we are excluding You, or at least distracted from all that You have to share with us. Please open our eyes to all that we have allowed ourselves to become, and please help us to become more in love with the One who sacrificed His very own Son so that we might have a way into heaven. Lord, be glorified in us today. Help us to place aside our ‘idols’ for very specialized and personalized time with You. I ask this humbly in the Name of Jesus, my Lord and 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!

God’s Closeness to His Messengers

Thursday, 2019-07-11

Bible Reference: Acts 26:10–11; 13–14
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  10 ….. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.
13 …. as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that it is very challenging for us to read our Scripture verses today, and to imagine that this sort of thing continues even today. But I want us to stop and meditate on whether these verses are truly applicable to us, and how God might speak to us as He attempts to correct our ways.

APPLICATION:  In some translations, the word ‘persecute’ is used several times in the few verses referenced. Here’s what that means: “to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs“. I feel like God opened my eyes and reminded me that when we treat God’s messengers with contempt, then we are actually persecuting the Lord Jesus himself. This reminds me of a loving parent who feels condemned when their child is persecuted or ill-treated. So what is our lesson in this? After all, we don’t go about ‘persecuting’ our religious leaders… Or do we? How often do you hear corners of conversation that tend to chew on the sermon from your last service, or the dress code of the pastor, or the attitude of the worship leader, or the audacity of the pastor to say what he did during his sermon? Is that complimentary of God’s messenger? Is that the precursor to a time of prayer that the group will have for their pastor? I’ve always said that one will get as much from a sermon, as they have prayed into it. Do you feel like we tend to persecute the pastor because God didn’t respond like we expected to our prayers for His messenger who stood in the pulpit? Friends, over in 2 Chronicles 7:14, God said that if we would humble ourselves and pray (not belittle or try to humble the pastor), and if we would seek His face, and if we would turn from our wicked ways, then He would hear from heaven, forgive our sins and restore our land. Notice the personal application there? Nothing about God taking care of all that we feel are inadequate, or who screw up at every opportunity. Friends, I believe that these scriptures are warning us that we have a full-time job doing all that God expects of us, so if we find that we are ‘persecuting’ anyone, then we are meddling, and need to get back to the basics. Take care of self first, then perhaps we will not be near as critical of everyone else. Please don’t shrug this off as being super applicable to all of your friends. Allow God to search your heart and convict you of your sin and shortcomings. I believe you will find that there’s lots there to keep you on your knees for a very long time, including praying for your spiritual leaders.  There just won’t be time enough to persecute others. 

PRAYER: Lord God, You created all things and You are above all things. Thank You for sending messengers, Your angels, to minister to folk like me, even though we tend to persecute the very ones that You send to bless us, love on us and warn us about our sinful ways. Please help us to love these ones, in spite of them not meeting all of our expectations, and in spite of our sinful desire to persecute them. I believe it is obvious that Paul was not the only one that persecuted Christians. Please dear Lord, rest Your hand upon Your children today, beginning with me, and help us to accept Your power and desire to help us succeed in this Christian life, so that we may serve You better and more fully. We are your messengers as well, please encourage us to treat other messengers in the same way that we want to be treated. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may we be ready and obedient in every way, every day! 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!

Add This To Your Vacation Plans

Wednesday, 2019-07-03

Bible Reference: Acts 21:3–4
Translation: The Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text:   3 ……. We went ashore at Tyre, where the ship was going to unload its cargo. 4 There we found some believers and stayed with them a week……

OBSERVATION: It might be challenging for many to get out of bed to attend church while on vacation, so to follow in Paul’s footsteps might be an impossible challenge for most! But I believe that our relationship with the Master helps us determine each week whether going to church is more important than anything else on our to-do list. Be ready to be challenged by the Word today as you read my blog!

APPLICATION:  By using the only means of transportation from one place to another, Paul wound up having to be at the Port of Tyre for over a week while goods were being unloaded for the local people. In our world today, think about when a cruise ship stops into a port. They will inevitably have lots of tours and/or suggestions for its passengers, but I don’t believe you would hear them suggest time at a local church, or listening, and ministering to the poor and downtrodden. What do you find to do while on vacation with regards to God, His church and/or His people? Do you tend to take a vacation from all of your ‘God related things’ also? I once heard a sermon entitled ‘Saints on Vacation’, and it truly was an eye opener! Here’s what I really enjoy about attending a church in the area in which I vacation: (a) It is refreshing to see God at work not only in my home church, but also in fresh new ways that are so apropos for the area that I am visiting. In other words, ministry in a rural town to mostly farmers, might look quite different to ministry in a coastal town to mostly college-aged kids. (b) I find that there is greater freedom to worship in a place that I am visiting, because we tend to build a box around us, as to what is permissible in worship at our home church, mostly because of what our friends and family may think. (c) I look for ideas that I could bring back and share with my home church. Perhaps a bulletin, or other literature; and (d) I find it refreshing to just worship with these new-found believers without the distraction of any side jobs on my mind. When it was time to leave the island, Paul’s new found Christian friends followed him to the seashore and sent him off with a prayer meeting. I believe that visiting a church while on vacation, might bring similar results, for fellow Christians are often out to minister to attendees – especially visitors! Be sure to always include church attendance as part of your vacation plans, won’t you?

PRAYER: Father, we are either a Christian or we’re not. We either want to be with you, or we don’t. These things will hold true in our normal work week, but they will also hold true even when we’re out of town and even when out of sight of our pastor or church leaders. Mixing with saints of other towns remind us a lot of what it might be like when we worship around Your throne with saints from all nations and all cultures from all over the world. Please help us to hold true to our faith, and to desire times of worship with other believers, even when out of town or far from our local church. Heaven will not just be made up of members of my church, so please help us to get used to the idea of worshiping with other believers while still here on earth. Thank You Lord for who You are and especially who You are to such a vast cloud of witnesses here on this earth today. I look forward to the day that we will all be gathered around your throne worshiping at Your feet! 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!

Blessed is the One Who…

Friday, 2019-06-21

Bible Reference: Psalm 1:1-3
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 1 Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. 2 They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night. 3 They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don’t die. Everything they do will succeed.

OBSERVATION: I believe that everyone alive might have a desire to know what it takes for them to live a happy and fulfilled life. In fact, I believe there are times that we clip reminders on our refrigerator to help remind us of what’s best for us, and what should we try to avoid that day. God does exactly that through the Psalmist, so let’s meditate on this Scripture and see how it applies to our individual lives.

APPLICATION: In the Word of God, we are told that God himself called David a man after His own heart. In other words, David’s life imitated what God expected from His creation. I believe this should be every Believer’s goal, for we know that when we follow God’s commands and His teachings to us in His Word, then it must be pleasing to God! In this very first Psalm, David gives us some attributes, or indicators of a blessed person, and I wanted to draw attention to these qualities so that today we may strive to achieve these qualities ourselves:
1).  They don’t listen to the wicked – this might happen when we listen to what the world is directing us to for happiness. Unfortunately, every time we turn the TV on we are given these options;
2).  They don’t go where sinners go – don’t go to a place where you would be embarrassed to take Jesus with you. Remember, you invited Him into your heart. Remember He lives and reigns in us, through His Holy Spirit. Will you really take Him into a questionable place?
3).  They don’t do what evil people do – these are folk that don’t know Jesus and have no concern for Jesus in the things that they do. Our actions are to be compared to what Jesus did or what He taught us to do. Pilots and doctors follow their text book for obvious reasons. We should be doing the same thing – those things that God has taught us to do or that His Holy Spirit is directing us to do. These will be totally opposite to what the evil person might lead us to do;
4).  They meditate on the Word of God, love His teachings and continually think about them – God’s Word is our textbook. It is our guide to living like Jesus expects of us. To keep it fresh in our minds and to follow its directives, we must make it a priority to read it and meditate on it regularly.
When we follow the above, we become strong in our faith and committed to God’s commands. We will not be easily eroded away like a tree beside the water’s edge, but we will stand firm so that others might catch a glimpse of what Jesus actually looks like, and how, through faith, our lives are living examples to the unsaved.
Let me encourage you to reflect back on your life over the past few days, who have you imitated? Does your life reflect the ways of Christ, or just the general public (this world)? Did your life show enough of the qualities of Jesus that you were accused of being a Christian? Friend, you shouldn’t have to tell someone you are a Christian, they should know you are by your actions, your speech and your demeanor. Let us all commit to live our lives with the teachings of the Psalmist very prominent in our character and our actions. Then, perhaps, others will see Jesus and want to know Him personally.

PRAYER: Lord, we your children need You, and we need you desperately. To live in this world, yet to not live like the world, is very challenging. It’s like swimming upstream. It’s like doing just the opposite of what the rest of the world does. And this has become quite a chore for us. Please mold us into the person that You need here and now to touch the hearts of the folk that are still in need of you. We need the same power that gave David the strength to be called a man after Your own heart; that gave Moses the fortitude to stand firm for You, even when his people were plotting to kill him. I know that You can still give that kind of strength to me and also to my friends that are committed to serving you today. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, I humbly plead in Your precious and holy name, 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!

It’s Not You They’re Rejecting

Monday, 2019-06-17

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 8:6-8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance.
7 “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me (God) they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.

OBSERVATION: Way too often we take the weight of the world on our shoulders and assume that everyone is out to get us. For they are rejecting our message and our lifestyle. In fact, they just don’t like us, and won’t listen to us! Be encouraged today, for our Scripture gives an example of where God helped His servant realize that it was really Him that they were rejecting. As we become more like Christ, this will happen to us also. Here’s how we should handle that…

APPLICATION:  Times have not changed very much, for when we consider how churches treat their pastors when they really preach the Word, without regards to whose toes they might step on, then I believe that we could easily identify with Samuel and the Israelites. Friends, it is so unfortunate that we tend to blame someone else for issues that we have caused. It is likewise unfortunate when we look beyond the issues in our own lives, or the condition of our family, or our church or our group, and see so much wrong with others. Let’s think for a moment about issues with a church. Of course, we all know that it’s not the building where the church meets that is the problem, it’s folk like you and I that attend the church that causes the challenges. So look no further than inside yourself when issues arise. Changing pastors will have a similar effect as it was when God told Samuel to go ahead and give them what they want. In most cases things will only get worse. Friends, unless we commit and dedicate ourselves to becoming more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives, then anything we become a part of will suffer from the sin brought into our lives by the world. Becoming one with Jesus, means a perfect life, a life without sin – and that should be our aim everyday friends. Only then will we contribute positively to our churches and the groups that we become involved in. Remember, the world hates Jesus. Always have, and always will. So if we look enough like Jesus, they will hate us also, just like God told Samuel. So what shall we do? Determine this day who you will serve, and give it all you have. Be determined to serve only God and His righteousness, so that He might be glorified in everything we do and say!

PRAYER: Lord we so desperately need You in our lives. We want to add positively to groups that we become involved in, because of Your love that is steeped in everything we do and say. Anything else would only add to the confusion and the hatred that normally results. Unfortunately, this also happens in church groups we join, so we are seeing churches that are marred terribly by the impact of this evil world, instead of seeing a church that is always ready to forgive, always looking out for the best in the other person, always contributing to the best in others, always praying for and supporting their pastor/shepherd/leader. Lord, it is very obvious that we need more of You in our lives individually so that we can see more of You in our churches, so that we can see Your church effectively reaching out to the lost community that we serve. We need You in our lives personally Lord, please humble us to earnestly seek Your face and allow You to rule in our lives.

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!

Who is Your Pilot?

Thursday, 2019-06-06

Bible Reference: John 7:16-18
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text:  16 Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. 17 Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18 A person who speaks on his own authority is trying to gain glory for himself. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him.

OBSERVATION: Jesus spoke the words of His Father. Are you still caught up in self-recognition, or are your audiences hearing the words of your Father? Meditate with me today in this Scripture and examine your own heart, as I do the same.

APPLICATION:  The people recognized that Jesus was an awesome teacher. However Jesus wanted to make it clear that His words came directly from the Father. Verse 18 reminded me of some of our current day teachers, preachers and evangelists, where we see, or hear one speaking from a very selfish ‘me-ology’, instead of the unadulterated Word of God. Could that be the kind of person that Jesus was talking about – trying to gain glory, or draw attention to themselves, by speaking from their own authority? Let’s remember that our godly responsibility is to pray for those who teach us, not to judge them, or make fun of them or ridicule them. That’s where God takes over. Fortunately though, we also have preachers and teachers who display a true sensitivity to God and His Holy Spirit, and therefore there is a deep honesty and openness that causes them to lean on their Master and seek His will in their ministry. Did you notice that Jesus depended on His Father for the right words, and the best timing in which to say them? How much more should we do the same today? So you might wonder, what is there in this Scripture for laity, like you and I? 1). We have been given the litmus test to help us discern whether we are being fed the honest truth of God’s Word, or whether we are seeing a popularity contest, or perhaps self promotion. Honesty to ourselves will help us to place ourselves under the right preaching or teaching, so that we can be truly taught by God; and 2). Look inwardly and allow God to show you any faults that may be evident in your life. Perhaps you are the false teacher/preacher. Are you promoting self every opportunity, or are you standing behind the cross of Christ, with Him as your spokesman, His work will be accomplished? Let Him have His way in your life, friend. Don’t just let Him be the ‘co-pilot’ in your life, but give Him the wheel and let Him pilot you through this life. Let Him receive glory for all that is accomplished in your life and in your ministry.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is so easy to sit back and gloat on the praise that others may give us. Yes, I know it is meant to encourage us and lift us up, but dear Lord, in humility we need to constantly learn that it’s all about You, and not of ourselves. Oh that the people might always see Jesus, without attention being drawn to us. For without You in our lives, and without You guiding our every step, our impact on a lost world would be non-existent. Please continue to use our talents and our willingness to serve for Your glory, and hopefully for the growth of Your church. Please help us to display so much of You, that those that we come into contact with, may receive Your glory. Please forgive us Lord for those times that we may have promoted self instead of You, the One who makes this whole life possible, and worth it all! To God be the glory! 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 Hinders You From Knowing Christ Intimately?

Wednesday, 2019-06-05

Bible Reference: Philippians 3:8-10
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  8 Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. 10 All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life.

OBSERVATION: In our effort to reach the finish line well, we will face many temptations and the ‘filth’ and ‘garbage’ of this world on a daily basis. If we know the Master, then we are plugged into the powersource that will help us overcome the ‘garbage’ that may tend to hold us back. This is worth taking a few minutes to meditate on before God!

APPLICATION:  Some of us are living ‘on top of the world’ – having the time of our lives with: great jobs; awesome friends; lots of ‘things’ for entertainment and/or enjoyment. However, there are some who are struggling to make it each day because they struggle to enjoy anything in life. At the foot of the cross, both types of individuals come with the same problem if they have yet to accept Jesus as Lord, for they come to the cross laden in sin. Believe it or not, Paul (aka Saul) was the chiefest of sinners in his day, yet God used him to show us through this scripture that just as he surrendered, or gave up everything to follow Christ, so will we have to give up the sin in our lives. Often this involves the things that have always led us to sin, or distracted us from knowing God. This challenged me, and I am sharing this with you so that you may be challenged, to think about this also. What is there in our lives that hinders our relationship with God? Is it time to throw out the ‘garbage’ so that our minds and our lives might be freed of the pull of sin? This could be hindering your acceptance of the Lord, or if we know Him already, this could be distracting and/or hindering our intimacy with Him. I want you to commit with me, as Paul did in verse 10, that from this very moment in life, we will reach for the finish line, to stand before God without any fear of shame, or rejection, or penalty from Him. The distractions that we will face getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ are the sins that we have to watch out for, and avoid, each day. Will you join me in going before Jesus each and every day to ask for His strength, His guidance and His power to overcome the ‘garbage’ that will try to trip us up each day? For we want to see Jesus! We want to know Him and the awesome power that raised Him to life! Let us therefore run this race of life with God at the center of all we do. Let us lean on His awesome power to help us stay ‘garbage free’ and strive to serve Him faithfully each and every day!

PRAYER: Lord You have allowed us to stay on this earth so that we might represent You and witness to others who need Jesus. You know all about the ‘garbage’ that we have allowed to enter our lives that really stinks and repels the sinner from wanting to know You. We are ashamed that we have been so weak and ineffective. I was convinced in Your Word today that others, in the heart of a ‘garbage’ pile, really don’t want more ‘garbage’, for they are looking for a way out, a cleansing, a new and better life. Lord Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life for those looking for a new life. Thank You for opening my eyes to this truth over 40 years ago. Please help me to keep my eyes and my life fixed on You and determined to avoid the ‘garbage’ that will easily and quickly pollute my life. Please touch the lives of my readers with a renewed desire to know You and to live for You in a closer and more dedicated way. May Christians today truly represent the God of their Christianity and fight off the distractions, or the ‘garbage’, that will try to trip them up and distract their walk with You. Please touch the hearts of those that do not know You, with a softened heart and a strong determination to dump the ‘garbage’ in their lives and refill it with Your holiness, love and compassion. I ask all this in faith, believing in the Son of God, for it is only He that can help us be all that He desires of us. 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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