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

Posts tagged ‘Sin’

God Loves the Repentant Heart

Monday, 2019-04-01

Bible Reference: Psalm 51:16-17
Translation: The Voice (Voice)

Bible Text: 16 I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret, but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings. 17 What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest.

OBSERVATION: From a very early age, we demand our kids to say “I’m sorry” when they have wronged a sibling or someone else. Also from a very early age we easily detect that those words are sometimes forced out of kids, because they know that parents are not satisfied until they hear their kids, in obedience, say “I’m sorry”. So what do we think happens when we meet God personally? Let’s look deeper into our Scripture today…

APPLICATION: “Lord, I’m sorry for my sin”, might come quite naturally when introduced to Jesus, but how sorry are we, really, when we turn around and do the same thing over and over again. David, the Psalmist, was confronted about his awful sin with Bathsheba, and while he could very easily spurt those famous words out to Nathan the prophet, David had to face his all-knowing God with this sin. Now we should be reminded that God didn’t only know the fact that Nathan just presented to David, but God knows even our thoughts and the intent of our heart. So do you really think that it would have helped for David to sacrifice a sheep or a goat on the altar as his way of saying I’m sorry? For the world, that may have been enough, because from all apparent evidence, David would have acknowledged his sin and paid the price for his forgiveness. But just like you and I, David not only needed this to look good in the eyes of his friends and the local priests, but in true repentance, he wanted a clean heart in the presence of his God. So friends, we not only need to ask for forgiveness from our earthly friends, family and the impacted one(s) for our sin, but in order to right our heart and resume our oneness with God, and to one day present ourselves faultless before our King, we must get before God in humility and deepest sincerity and ask for His forgiveness. Like David, we must always be aware that God desires:

  • A broken spirit – this means that we must be willing to break down our pride of thinking we know everything, and thinking that what occurred was a private matter between two consenting adults. We must acknowledge that we recognize that our hearts and our lives are transparent before an all-knowing God, so we may as well ‘come clean’ and ask His forgiveness for everything we have done or said or thought that may be contrary to His perfect design and will. There is nothing we can hide from God, so may I encourage you to break down the walls of pride and secrecy and be totally open with God;
  • A humble heart that honestly regrets the past (our sin) – Our acts may have been fun at the time, or our words may have revenged the individual we were out to get back at, but I believe that when the God of this universe looks into our eyes and our hearts, and He sees unconfessed sin, then we will be pushed aside or rejected from His presence, as sin cannot enter His kingdom.

I was at a conference recently where we were reminded that when we stand before God, we will deal with our personal condition in the face of a righteous, all-knowing God. The normal tendency of our actions here on earth is to try and compare to another individual, or pointing out their sin, while pushing ours under the table. This is not the way God will handle our judgment on that day that we stand before Him, for that will be a one-on-one conversation. It won’t matter what the neighbor did, or the deacon said, it will only matter how in sync our heart is with a righteous and perfect God. If that was to happen today, and it could very easily happen, what would God challenge you with? Consider getting that straight today friend, for we have no assurance of a second chance to do so tomorrow.

PRAYER: Father God, You created us, including our heart, our soul, our mind and our intellect. Why would we ever think that we could hide anything from You is most astonishing to our sober minds as we try to escape Your wrath. Please speak to those who seek after you today. Lord Jesus, may the words from our lips and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Savior and our Lord. 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!

Excuses Won’t Work

Thursday, 2019-01-03

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:11-13
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 11 God said to the man, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that special tree? I told you not to eat from that tree!” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me gave me fruit from that tree. So I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” She said, “The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”

OBSERVATION: Right from the very beginning of time, when there were only two humans alive, mankind found it easier to make excuses rather than owning up to their actions and accepting the consequences that may follow. Often this involves throwing the blame on someone else, with hopes that they will bear the brunt of the punishment for the crime. However, I believe that God might have a lesson for us to learn in this. Let’s think about the excuses we find, when trying to deflect blame on to others.

APPLICATION: Not sure when last you stopped to consider the many excuses we find in life, but I believe the habit is much worse than we could ever imagine! In our Scripture today, we might think of the peaceful garden that God created for His first children. How He created Adam and immediately saw how lonely he was, so He carefully chose to make Eve from Adam, to help set the stage of submission, that God wanted in place. God wanted to make sure that His kids learned right from the beginning that there were some rules – things that they would not be permitted to do, or touch, or eat. Are you starting to see a comparison to what we still face today in our various diets and disciplines? However, it is clear from the Word, that God carefully and lovingly created everything especially for us to enjoy – the beauty of His creation; food of many varieties; animals to bring life to everything around us; and a keen sense to recognize the God of this universe who loves us more than anything else in the world. Would you not assume that we would be immensely grateful, and therefore consistently and persistently looking for ways to praise our Father for His goodness? But right from the start, Adam and Eve assumed the attitude that is so prevalent in us, that no matter who sets the rules, we are going to do it our way. Yes, the serpent caused Eve to really ponder the rule set by God about the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, but it was Eve who caved in and committed the sin in disobedience. Yes, Eve offered the fruit to Adam so she could have a partner in crime, but Adam had a choice to accept the fruit and sin, or be the spiritual leader of his home and lead Eve to a point of seeking forgiveness. I believe that our lesson to receive in this today, is that we are accountable before a holy God for our own sin. Of course I believe that we could help each other refrain from sinning, but I don’t believe there is ever a time that we could honestly stand before God and try to give the excuse that someone else caused us to sin. Let’s do our best to not let anything hinder us from praising God; from seeking His face in reflection and in honor to His holy name; from causing us to willingly disobey Him and sin – in spite of all that He has taught us. Remember, unlike our court systems, we will not stand before God with an attorney or witnesses who will try to find loopholes or excuses for our sin. It will be us alone, before God alone. He already knows the truth about every aspect of our life, and it will be up to us how willing we are to admit the truth about our words and our actions while here on earth. How well do you suppose you will do, without giving excuses?

PRAYER: Lord God, You provided a perfect setting in which we could live, and You provided everything we need to live in perfect harmony, and with respect for the One True God who created us. We approach You with deep regret that we have allowed so many things to step in the way of our right relationship with You. Please forgive us. We have entered into a brand new year, with opportunities to let our lights shine for you. Please grant us strength and wisdom to reject those ones who will cause us to sin, and fill us with so much of Yourself, that they will be convinced of their sin and search for You instead. Lord, Satan has taken such a hold on people around us that it is only with Your power and Your might, that we could ever survive the onslaught of sin. We need You desperately Lord. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. 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!

Who’s the Culprit?

Monday, 2018-11-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:6–8

Bible Text: 6 The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. 7 Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.
8 Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

On reading the title, you might conclude that I am about to introduce an old TV show by the same title! That’s not my intention, so no need to close the blog without reading today’s devotional!!! This scripture got my attention though, because we see in the three examples in this story how each party, Adam, Eve and the serpent, all found excuses for the cause of this very first sin that we read about in the Bible. In each case they quickly threw the blame, or cause of their action, on someone or something else. Unfortunately, in spite of all that transpired in this story, added to the enormous blessings that God has showered on us, I am amazed how little mankind has changed. I wonder today how much of our prayer time is spent on explaining to God who may have caused us to sin, or how it was possible for the infraction? Look at how Adam even went to the extent of trying to pass the responsibility of this sin to God Himself, for had God not sent the woman to Adam in the first place, then Adam thought that he would not have sinned! eeeennnk! I don’t believe so Adam! Think about our many excuses, men blame their distractions at work or even at church, on the pretty lady who wears very short dresses or very tight pants, for leading them to infidelity. I wonder when God looks at the deepest part of man’s heart what He must find is really happening, to cause such sin to erupt in a man’s heart? Yes friend, you read that right. God considers even our wicked thoughts when He judges us! Men, may I plead with you to join me in fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith? May I suggest that we commit ourselves more to the idea of drawing closer to God and being obedient to His Word, then perhaps our minds would be more focused on eternal matters than on the sinful things of this world? Ladies, I know you are not exempt from this condition, so please consider the gist of what I just shared and apply it to the challenges you face. God in His mighty wisdom actually distracted me on to the thoughts I just shared, because my initial intent was to actually introduce the Advent season into my blog over the next 24 days. Friends, we are introduced in this scripture today, to the very first sin – also known as the fall of mankind. You will quickly recognize that it was from the very beginning of time that God saw the need to send our Savior into the world to save fallen man. This ‘Savior’ of which I am referring is God’s very own Son that He sent – Jesus. It is the miraculous birth of Jesus that we celebrate each and every Christmas. Perhaps this should be the season of Thanksgiving when we consider the precious gift given for our benefit, even though we are personally embellished by the  weakness of sin!

Prayer

Father, from the time of our very first ancestor, sin has been a problem – a challenge for mankind. We are weak, and very gullible to sin, but then we are so quick to deflect the cause of that sin onto anything, or anyone else that we could think of. Please open our hearts to the awesome reminder of how You not only saw our sin, but You did everything to help us seek forgiveness of that sin in preparation for standing before a holy, sinless God. You alone are God in heaven, and yet You loved us enough to make the way clear for us to be with You! Thank You Heavenly Father, thank You Jesus, and thank You Holy Spirit. We are truly a blessed people. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may each person meditating on this thought today be ready to see You face-to-face on resurrection morning, all because of Jesus! AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Consequences For Our Sin

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-10-06
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Samuel 15:27-29 (ERV)

Text:

27 When Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught Samuel’s robe. The robe tore. 28 Samuel said to Saul, “In this same way the Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today. He has given the kingdom to one of your friends, a man who is a better person than you. 29 The one who lives forever, the God of Israel, does not lie and will not change his mind. He is not like a man who is always changing his mind.”
OBSERVATION:
Saul sinned against God, and the very man who crowned him king, had to go and confront him about his sin. In obedience to God, Samuel went to Saul and challenged him on what he had done. There is a great lesson for us in verse 28, for God decided not to accept Saul’s apologies and let him remain king, so I believe that we have a lot to consider in this Scripture today…
APPLICATION:
I’m sure you have noticed that some people are quick to say they are sorry, and some will even add to their apology, that they will never do the same thing again. While it is exceptional that you would agree to reconcile with another individual, this Scripture is teaching us that a mistake is something that should never happen again. however when we know deep inside that we are disobeying the law or a commitment that we have made to the contrary, then we are deliberately sinning and have no intention of trying to change our ways. In return, wouldn’t it really hurt to hear God say that you have sinned, and although He will forgive you, you cannot serve in the position He ordained you for? Add to that, God has already found someone better than you? Oh my, that would hurt to the innermost parts of your body and soul! Friends, I believe the message in this for us, is that if we claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior and seek to serve Him, we will seek to follow His ways. When we continue to act as we’ve always done and make our own decisions in spite of what we feel God is saying to us, then we need to go back to step one and make sure that we actually accepted Jesus as Lord, or did we just go through the motions. It is unfortunate, but I believe that in the same way we tend to give God orders in our prayer life, we also commit sin with the intent of pleasing friends, and hoping to immediately afterwards tell God you are sorry. Whose side are you on friend? If you claim Jesus as you Lord, then His Holy Spirit will work in your life to prompt you of right and wrong. You won’t just continue sinning and then run back to God on a regular basis asking for His forgiveness for you ‘taking the wheel’ again. Remember, God is not a robot, He wants to have a personal relationship with you and I, so that we might learn His ways and do His will. He wants others to see Jesus when they talk with us, or in response to the way we act with them. How are you doing with this friend? Let me recommend that you concentrate more on ways that you can please Jesus and be more like Him, rather than worry about the consequences for your sin! For as you become more like Jesus, the things of this world will grow strangely dim!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we are a work in process. For as long as we are here on this earth, we will be impacted by its evil thoughts and deeds – things that we used to do. Please touch Your children today, starting with me, to have such a glow on our faces that reflect the joy of the Lord in our hearts, that the lost will recognize Jesus in us and want to know Him personally. Help us to not stray from the only way You have paved for us, so that we will not be a stumbling block to others. You are our King, Lord, and as Your humble servants, we want to serve You with everything we have, or can gain from You. Please have Your will and way with us even today, so that You may be glorified, 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!

Sin Will Hold Back God’s Hand of Blessing

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-08-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

Joshua 7:13 (TLB)

Text:

 13 “Get up! Tell the people, ‘Each of you must undergo purification rites in preparation for tomorrow, for the Lord your God of Israel says that someone has stolen from him, and you cannot defeat your enemies until you deal with this sin.
OBSERVATION:
When God sent Joshua and the Israelites to conquer Jericho, He gave specific instructions to them about what should be destroyed (pretty much everything), and what must be brought back for the temple of the living God (silver and gold). God knew that there were some who disobeyed Him and brought back valuables for themselves. They sinned against God. Because of this unconfessed sin, God chose to see the Israelites punished when they went to battle against the people of Ai.
APPLICATION:
In chapter 7 of Joshua, we could see where the sinful acts mentioned above was performed by one person, yet God allowed many of the Israelite army to be killed by the very small army of Ai. Joshua was crushed by this and he mourned and prayed before God. Of course, God knew who was guilty, but He found a way to show the Israelites that it all boiled down to one man who then confessed his sin before God and the people. This made me think of how this applies to us today. Friends, we often sit and ponder why certain things happen to us, our church, our town, our state and even our country. We are quick to judge that it must be our run-away child that’s bringing judgment on our home; or the pastors and leaders of our church who make bad judgment calls that, in turn, causes churches to close its doors; or perhaps the president of a country who is so awful that our country is going to Hell. Friends, I don’t believe that we have to look very far, for often there is sin right within our own lives, even though we try our best to portray perfection. One of the very sad truths that come from this story is that, the sins of one man destroyed his whole family, a fair number of his army, and wreaked havoc on his leader who was totally heartbroken about what was happening under his leadership. Often we think that our absence from church is unnoticeable and our sin is insignificant because it only impacts us personally, but isn’t it a good reminder that our lack of commitment and our willingness to do our own thing, could impact a whole family; a whole church; or a whole lot more? We must remember friends, that a Christian might influence those around him into accepting Jesus as Lord, or he might be so hardened and obstinate towards God that he causes God’s anger to flare against a whole church or community because of his selfish and sinful attitude. You do make a difference friend, so seek the face of Jesus to help you be all that you have committed to Him, and more. Allow God to make you a usable vessel in His vineyard and not a roadblock to others.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for showing Your love towards us, even while we were still sinners without any hope. Representing You before our lost family and friends is such a great honor and privilege, but please help us to always be mindful that we could very easily become an ‘Achan’ as we take our eyes off You and allow sin to filter into our lives again. I don’t believe that anyone desires to be like ‘Achan’, so please help us Lord to stay closely in tuned with You so that our hearts will recognize when Satan tries to attack. We are Yours Lord, and we want to keep it that way until You call us home to glory, but we need You to guide us daily, and we need Your strength to help us make decisions that honor You. The glory belongs to You Lord! 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!

Our Heart’s Content Exudes from our Mouth

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-02-06
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 12:34-35 (NLT)

Text:

34 … How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.
OBSERVATION:
In the context of these verses, some folk were referred to as a ‘brood of snakes’ or ‘vipers’ because there was so much evil in them. And because there was evil in them, they often spoke evil words, especially about the things of God. Knowing that folk would often reflect on this and wonder how would God know about what they speak, Jesus assured His hearers, and those of us that would follow, that we had best be careful what our hearts are filled with, as it will infest the words that we speak and therefore make us accountable before God for every evil word spoken. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? So what then shall we do?
APPLICATION:
It is often said that our eyes are the mirrors into our souls, because folk can determine the honesty of what we say and the sincerity from which we say it. Now, Jesus said that there’s another way that He determines the content of our heart, and it also becomes very apparent to those we make contact with. We could never find something uplifting, or encouraging, or Godly to say when our minds are filled with the filth of this world and the evil of its ruler. It just doesn’t work that way. The evil one is out to kill, steal and destroy those who find joy in the Lord. When we make contact with someone who has nothing encouraging, loving, uplifting or Godly to say, then we had best protect ourselves with the full armor of God, because we are facing the evil one, or one of his cohorts. The Bible tells us that we are to flee from the presence of evil, and that’s because God wants to protect His children from the contamination of Satan himself. Why is that? It’s really pretty simple, for if you fill yourself with the evil attitude and character of an agent of Satan, your mouth will begin transmitting words that hurt, destroy, breakdown, discourage and humiliate – and the love of God will no longer prevail through the words you speak or the actions that you portray. Friends, these things have a very serious impact on the good that God is endeavoring to accomplish in and through us, and that’s why I believe He told us to therefore be prepared to account for every evil thing that comes from our mouth. I want to build up, and never tear down, so I must protect myself from all that might hinder me in my goal, or that would aid the very thing that I want to steer away from. Will you join me in asking God to renew within us a fresh desire to be filled with His love, His goodness and His words, so that the unsaved might hear, know and believe? Oh that we might return to our mission and fight off every inkling of evil.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, our hearts and our minds are filled with whatever we bring into them. May we who are called by Your name, be so indulged in Your Word that we will have a strong desire to fill our hearts and minds with even more words from our Master each and every day. Lord teach us to meditate on Your Word and to communicate with You often, so that we might be filled with Your goodness and be obedient to Your commands. We want others to know You personally, and we have a strong desire that You use us in Your work here on earth. As we are filled, so may we share with those looking to fill their cup. May the lost come into contact with believers who are filled with the Spirit of God and not a mixed bag of goods that confuse them. Lord, may we be usable vessels for Your great work here on earth, is my humble plea, all for Your glory 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!

Don’t Miss ‘The Boat’!

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-01-19
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 7:21–23 (MSG)

Text:

“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
OBSERVATION:
This 7th chapter of Matthew records Jesus teaching a crowd that followed him even to the mountains. Addressing this crowd was probably much like one of our pastors who address our congregations each week. However, Jesus knew the hearts and intentions of each one gathered, so He was able to speak directly into their lives. In this particular instance Jesus addressed folk who may have used church, or used their act of following Him as an act to brag about. They knew what it took to be recognized as a follower, and they thought they knew what to say, although Jesus exposed that thought in His teaching here. Jesus pulled no punches! While I believe He was honored that so many wanted to be near Him and hear His teaching, He also knew that He had to correct their misunderstanding of what it takes to meet His Father face to face on that Day.
APPLICATION:
Much like the crowd that Jesus taught at the edge of the mountain, I believe that many churches are packed with folk each week that may still be under the misguided understanding that church attendance; giving to their local church; wearing a big cross as jewelry every day; or using church-like words interspersed in conversation throughout their day, would convince the world that they know Jesus in a very intimate way. The problem with that, is that the world sees through your pretense almost as much as God does. Friends, it’s not the world that we must impress, and this may come as a shock to you, but it’s not Jesus that you must impress! Jesus knows your heart, friend. Therefore He knows very well when our words are misaligned with our heart and our inner person. Jesus wants us to change from the inside out, and not vice versa. There is only one way to the throne of the Father, and that’s through accepting Jesus, the One whose blood was spilled at Calvary – the sacrifice that He made for the salvation of folk like you and me. You see, this is really simple. As we seek God’s face and His forgiveness, our lives will change from the inside out. His work in our lives, and our aim at living obedient lives to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, prepares us with honest words and actions where the world will know and believe on the only Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Living that type of life means that it’s not something we calculate, or conjure up, but rather, the love of the Savior that resides inside of us spills out in our words and actions so that the world will know who Jesus is. Are you on the right track friends? If not, I encourage you to go back to the foot of the cross and talk with Jesus about your salvation. Reaffirm your faith in Jesus, so that you can stop trying so hard. Let Him have His way in your life.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we are nothing without You, so of course our efforts without You and Your power will have no impact on unbelievers. Time is precious to all of us, and Lord we would never want to merely pretend to be Your followers to impress those around us, for we are very much like them when witnessing or evangelizing in our own strength. Furthermore, people are smart enough to see through our pretense, for only You can speak to the hearts of Your children. Lord, I commend myself to You again, asking that I do nothing in my own strength, but that I seek Your face daily and allow Your precious Holy Spirit to guide my lips, my actions and my whole self, so that others will see Jesus, not this humble, helpless man. Please tender the hearts of my readers so that they too may realign themselves with Your will for their lives. The world needs You, precious Lord, not us. Use us if needed, but please work in the lives of those that we will come into contact with today, for I ask this in the wonderful, matchless 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 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!

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