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

Posts tagged ‘Stand Firm’

Things You Might Do Under Pressure

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-12-29
SCRIPTURE

From:

Acts 5:40-42 (ERV)

Text:

40 They called the apostles in, had them whipped, and ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus; and then they set them free. 41 As the apostles left the Council, they were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of Jesus. 42 And every day in the Temple and in people’s homes they continued to teach and preach the Good News about Jesus the Messiah.
OBSERVATION:
For the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, the apostles were sent to jail. However, the prison door were soon opened by God, and the apostles were able to escape. Because they immediately returned to preaching and teaching, the king ordered that they be brought before him and his council. It is evident from the preceding verses that the intent was to kill these men, however one wise priest, Gamaliel, convinced the king that to kill these men, might be like trying to kill God, if they are correct in reporting on who their Master truly is. It is interesting to see what the apostles’ thought of their arrest, their whipping and their warnings upon their release. I wonder how many of us would do the same as the apostles?
APPLICATION:
If the above story was written in today’s news journals, it probably would have had a much different twist. I could see a lot of emphasis being placed on how badly they were beaten – hoping to accuse the palace of battering, and possibly finding reasons why these men were beaten and not other evangelists just like them. I could hear the comments of how long the men should have been imprisoned, for deliberately disobeying the king. I wonder how many ‘Gamiliels’ there would have been who tried to speak to the king on behalf of the apostles/evangelists. I wonder how many government leaders would have stood up to this group for fear of losing votes during the next election, because of their stand. The same applies to leaders who would not have challenged these men, because of their personal faith in God and their conviction of spreading the gospel to an impoverished world. Now, let’s consider the apostles. If a group of us just got out of jail, went back to preaching, and immediately arrested, beaten and warned again, I wonder what we would do? Many churches have closed down over recent years for various reasons. Do you suppose that this would have been yet another reason for church leaders to close the doors and go underground? Friends, what I was really touched by, is the rejoicing from the apostles as they left the meeting with the government leaders, because they were allowed the privilege of suffering for spreading the news of their Savior. Wow, when last have you heard of church leaders rejoicing over the fact that they suffered because of their commitment to, and spreading the news of, Jesus Christ? Thankfully in some countries we are blessed with the privilege of freely preaching the Word of God. However in those same countries, we are already being warned of our freedoms – no prayer in schools; most work places will not allow us to display or share God with customers or fellow employees; some may be arrested if special permits are not obtained for ministering on street corners; etc, etc. In this whole thought today, please know that this message is for you, not for your preacher, or your elders, deacons or Sunday School teachers. Any child of God should be a minister of the same Gospel that saved them. Are you?
PRAYER:
Lord, You are our Savior and our King. If we seriously believe that, we should be willing to tell the world about that. However Lord, we know that Satan will try in every way to cause us to cower and hide the joy of the Lord in our witness to others. I am reminded of a chorus “it you’re happy and you know it say AMEN”, and the last verse goes on to celebrate “if you’re saved and you know it say AMEN”. Oh how I wish that we could all sing that openly as our testimony in every place that we go any day of the week, not just in Sunday School. Savior, You were beaten and crucified publicly to show Your love for us and to save us from our sins. May we be willing to share that love publicly without fear of human rejection or mockery. Thank you for giving to us Lord, may we learn to give more to You so that the lost might 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 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!

Guidance For Any Kind Of Day

THE HOLY BIBLE – 13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ~ New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. ~ Psalm 30:4-5 ~New Living Translation (NLT)

THOUGHTS: Nearing the conclusion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he continued to speak to them as a father would to his children, especially in light of everything they were facing at the time as a church under persecution. In light of everything that we face in our world today, I was extremely encouraged by Paul’s blessing, because here’s what I got from the first two verses above. Paul admonished the church to:

  • Be on guard, or be alert – Don’t you feel some days like it may have been better if you had just stayed in bed? It is so obvious that Satan is out to tear us down at every possible opportunity. Paul, in telling the Corinthian church, is also telling us, to be strong in our relationship with the Lord, so that we will be armed with God’s love and His power and His strength, to face any and all circumstances that Satan may fire our way. Imagine leaving home with an armed guard by your side, and one who knows all things, sees all things, made all things and who happens to be the one who loved you enough to have given His very life for you. Wouldn’t that be an ultimate way to guard your way and keep you alert to the attacks of Satan that are just lurching around the corner?
  • Stand firm in the faith – Friends, it’s impossible to do this if you don’t have faith. Likewise, if you don’t maintain, and grow in your faith, do you really have something that you can trust when under pressure? I would encourage you to get connected to God in Bible Study and Prayer, and further strengthen your faith by getting with folk of like faith as often as you can. ‘Iron sharpens iron’ is a phrase used in the Bible. I would suggest to you today that not only do you need the strength and encouragement of other believers, but they need you also. As your faith is sharpened and strengthened, you become better equipped to not cave in to the things of this world – Satan’s tools that he has placed to trap you;
  • Be courageous – I believe that we must be willing to stand up for what we believe, and often this will involve a courageous spirit, especially to one who is generally timid in life;
  • Be strong – This is especially important, because folk are judging whose inside of your heart based on your actions, your attitude and your words. When we consider all that God has done, all that He is doing and all that He has prepared for our future in heaven, and then to imagine that He is the one controlling us, protecting us and guiding us, whom then shall we fear?
  • Do everything in love – It’s so easy to do loving things for those who show love towards us, but we know all too well how challenging our job is when folk are unkind to us. Perhaps we should take our eyes off others and stay focused on God, then perhaps we will more easily ‘do everything in love’ knowing that God will be pleased with us? Imagine the smile on His face when He recognizes that we have depended on Him and done amazing things for others, knowing that we are aiming to please Him, regardless of how others may react to our actions?

I realize that I have gone a bit long today, but friends would you take note of these two verses and my commentary, then read the two verses I included from Psalm. Don’t you see that we serve a most awesome God, and that joy will come in the morning, regardless of what the night has revealed? My earthly energies are geared towards honoring, worshipping, pleasing and adoring the God that I plan to spend eternity with. Where do you spend your energies each day? The above information gives you guidance on how God expects you to spend your day!

PRAYER: Father, You are awesome, and I thank You for conveying Your principals, Your character, Your will and Your encouragement to us through your Holy Word. May it be a light to our feet and a constant guide to our path each and every day, so that others may see and believe on You. I ask these things in the name of the One who gave it all for me, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

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

Stand Firm

THE HOLY BIBLE – 56 Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin. 57 But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory! 58 My dear friends, stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:56-58 ~ The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

THOUGHTS: I’ve heard terms like ‘hunker down’ and I’ve heard it used in scenarios where all preparations have been completed, so now settle in for the main event. Before I give you another scenario, I promise you that I will not talk politics on this blog, because my story, and this blog, is about a much more important matter and individual. However, I’ve seen in every case where politicians will begin their campaigns in fairly low gear as they try to organize their campaign and gear up towards the BIG day, but they will stand committed to their campaign principles and goals. Now, let’s think about all that Paul is sharing in his admonition to the Corinthian church, and why I believe that God placed this in His word especially for us. In the verses preceding the ones above, Paul explained what happens to our bodies after they wear out here on earth. I realize for the non-believer reading this devotional, this simply means that life is done, so no need to worry about any possible future life. The Bible teaches otherwise, friend, and I would love to share more on that with you. However, for the believer, it’s almost like a kid looking towards Christmas and counting down the days, for we know that the greatest gift ever imagined, was given for us through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing that the time for us to see Him, builds our anticipation towards that day, and it causes us to rejoice in anticipation of His presence throughout all eternity! Praise to the everlasting Prince of Peace! When a child builds up so much excitement about Christmas, parents must find ways to really keep them busy, so they don’t become overwhelmed with anticipation. Paul knew that we would have that same type of anticipation, but yet face ongoing pressure and distractions by the evil one while we remain in his territory here on earth, so Paul advises that we are to ‘hunker down’, or stand firm in our faith, so that He in whom we have placed our faith, will be our strength, our deliverance, our provider, our encourager and therefore, become the focus of our faith and our trust while we wait for His return. As we do this, we encourage those who are still in doubt and who tend to waiver when faced with challenges and distractions. There’s a little children’s chorus with words “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”. I would like to encourage all God’s children with the words we are reminded of in these verses today, “if you’re truly His and you know it, stand firm and don’t be shaken by anything Satan will fire at you while living in his territory here on earth, for we have a much brighter future to look forward to and an awesome Savior awaiting our welcome home to spend eternity with He and His Father – God”! It just don’t get any better than that friend! The great news for everyone – especially the unbeliever, is that you can have this truly awesome experience also, if you surrender your life to, and accept the invitation of, my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Even better news is that there is no big secret in how you can be saved, in fact, I have all the help you need in the Footnote below! Make your decision and commitment today friend, then join us in standing firm in our faith as we await that awesome day, when our Lord will welcome us home!!

PRAYER: We are so blessed by the Gift that You provided for us dear God, so that we might have a means of seeing You and worshiping You in person one day! Thank You dear Father, thank You dear Jesus for the greatest gift ever given! Please help us to stay focused, stand firm in our faith, so that we would not cave in to the snares of Satan and his many cohorts here on earth. As we focus on eternity with You, may we aim to live like You and in full obedience to all that You have instructed us, may we stand so firm in our faith, that it will become obvious to all that we come into contact with, whose we are. It’s You we love, and live to be with, dear Jesus. Please grant us strength and perseverance to live our life pleasing to You, for I ask these things in the precious name 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Faith Is…….

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Hebrews 11:1, 5-6): Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—”he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

THOUGHTS: This whole chapter is known as ‘The faith chapter’. It takes on the job of the dictionary in explaining the meaning of ‘Faith’, for it tells us that ‘Faith’ makes us sure of what we hope for, and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was ‘Faith’ that helped our forefathers know God and please Him in every aspect of their lives. This whole chapter is filled with examples of how our ancestors pleased God in and through their ‘Faith’. Verse 6 goes on to minister to us by telling us that we can only please God through our ‘Faith’, for if we want to know Him, we must have ‘Faith’, believe that God exists and that He rewards us as we sincerely place our trust in Him. I just love this chapter, because not only am I told to have ‘Faith’, but it goes on to demonstrate the very reason it was so important in the lives of our ancestors, and therefore helps me to understand that God has not changed, so if I want to be as successful in my relationship with God as any of our ancestors were, then I had better sharpen my ‘Faith’. This also helped me to reflect on my own Christian journey and identify areas of my ‘Faith’ journey, for if our offspring is to truly walk a path towards, and with God, they will not only look to Hebrews 11 for evidence of ‘Faith’, but they will also want to know how impactful was ‘Faith’ in the life of their dad/uncle/grandfather/brother/cousin. I was able to identify times where I stepped out in ‘Faith’ believing in the true leadership of the God to whom I prayed, and I saw where lifesaving medical help became available to two family members, plus the increase of my family, because of my ‘Faith’ in knowing that God approved of me moving my family to a different country. There have been other instances friends, but I want to challenge you to look into your own life and identify how impactful your ‘Faith’ in God has been in your life. I want to challenge you to talk about that with your family so that they might know that the miracles of God are not only told in the Bible, but in every aspect of our lives today also. If we are truly the only Bible that most folk will read, then it is incumbent upon us to reveal our ‘Faith’ by telling them of the ways that God has worked in our lives and showed His power and His goodness in miraculous ways. Imagine your daughter teaching your grandson about the subject of ‘Faith’ and using examples in your life, rather than, or in addition to those related in this chapter of Hebrews! If our God is truly alive today, then we should be a witness to what He is doing today in and through us, His saints who are alive today! Tell your story friend! Brag on our Savior and allow Him to be praised because of what He has done for you!

PRAYER: Father I am concerned that people are judging our salvation based on the amount of faith we portray. This could negatively impact Christians, however this is exactly what James taught us in James 2:14 when he said: “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” As we have come into Your holy presence; as we have invited Your Holy Spirit to live inside of us; as we have committed to live our lives imitating Your character, Your example and Your teaching, we have so much to brag about. Please empower us with boldness, to not brag on anything that we are deserving of, but on the One deserving of our praise and our worship, because of Your outstanding and awesome goodness and mercy to us. Thank You Father, for it’s in the precious and faithful name of Jesus that I ask all this, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Importance of Integrity

The Holy Bible

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…

(Bible Translation and Location: The New International Version – Ephesians 6:14a)

Thoughts:

In this chapter of Ephesians, Paul is warning the church, and I believe that since Paul’s words are inspired by God for our benefit, that we also are being warned, to be prepared for challenging times. I find it interesting that the first thing we are warned to have in order, is our integrity. For Paul says that it is vitally important that we represent Truth, and that we will stand for Truth in every circumstance of life. I believe it is outstanding how the New Testament backs up and supports those things prophesied in the Old Testament, for in Isaiah 11:5 we were told that “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” and this was referring to Jesus Christ! Now, if we are to be ‘little Christs’, how much more important it is that we also always have Truth as our foundation? I believe that it all boils down to integrity, for if we had found where Jesus didn’t always stand for Truth, we would have lost all faith in Him as our divine Savior. Do you suppose that the reason we may not be winning the lost for Christ is that we have lost our integrity in their eyes? Are they seeing someone different outside the four walls of our churches than they see when worshiping with us in church? God saw integrity of vital importance for His Son, Jesus, to have prevalent in His life. Paul saw it of super importance in his life. May I challenge you to join me in also making this of utmost importance in our lives? We will be put to the test daily friend. Be sure that the world can clearly see whose you are in every scenario, if you ever expect to be a witness to them for Jesus.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for showing us the way of truth, and for living a consistent life of truth, in spite of the circumstances that You were forced into by very evil people. Most of us have never been pushed to the limits that You have, because we want so badly to please others, and are so filled with greed, that we often cave in to the ways of the world. Please forgive us Lord, and raise up a multitude of saints that will stand firm for what they believe in Your Word and let the world know what it truly means to be a follower of yours. This may sometimes place us in unpopular situations, because we may have to go to the back of the line, or our choices may cost us more money. Father, please help us to always evaluate our decision based on our loyal servitude to You vs being more concerned about this old world, Satan or even our friends. Please fill us with boldness and confidence to stand for Truth in every circumstance of life, so that there will be no doubt about whose we are. Only You can give us this strength dear Jesus, so I ask all this humbly in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Our Legacy

The Holy Bible

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous (brave). Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Thoughts:

I believe that most of us have a desire to leave a legacy of some sort. Yes, but I can also assure you that the way we live our lives today will be remembered by those who know us long after we leave this world, whether we specifically aim towards a planned ‘legacy’ or not. Sounds scary, but consider that thought carefully! If we are prone to do good, we will be referred to, in comparison, when someone else also does good to our loved ones. Unfortunately, the reverse also happens. After reading Paul’s admonition to his fellow Christians at Corinth during his farewell wishes, God really spoke to me through these two verses. You see, to me, each of the short phrases in these verses carry a very important message. Let me explain:

  • Be on guard: Always be ready. We are often told that we should never go to bed mad at our spouse. How much more powerful are these words when it comes to our relationship with Jesus? Always be ready to defend your beliefs. Always be in such close communion with God that You are ready (without regrets) whenever He calls you home. I was reminded last night of a friend who was watching TV and fell asleep. He woke up in heaven. There was no time to clarify and/or correct any misgivings. We must be on guard, for the Bible says that Jesus will come in an instant for us! Be ready, and stay finely tuned with the Master!
  • Stand firm: Know what you believe and stand firm in that. There are numerous agents of Satan that will attempt to lead us away from the Truth. It may even look and sound like the Christian faith, but without full knowledge and a close relationship with the Master, we might be easily misled.
  • Be courageous and strong: Those with opposing views to yours, will try to trip you up, ‘beat you up’ and try to force their point of view upon you. Don’t lose hope brothers and sisters. Let God be your guide. Be brave and proud that you are standing on the Word of God and representing the King of all kings! You are royalty, because your Father is THE KING!
  • Do everything in love: I find it very interesting how one person can say something and it creates havoc in a whole audience, while someone else can say the same thing in a different tone of voice, in love, and convince the audience of their need for change. Friends, we have the wonderful love of Jesus living inside of us. We represent the One who loved us enough to sacrifice His only Son so that we might live eternally with Him. When we surrender our hearts to Him, He sends His Holy Spirit to live inside of us. Think about the agony He must feel when we allow sin to govern us, instead of the One living inside of us. When we can’t figure out how to say something loving, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you the words. He’s as close as the whisper of His name. Friends, we must truly imitate Jesus if we stand a chance of impacting this world for Him!

If you are reading this and wondering how you might accept this Jesus of mine, so that His Holy Spirit lives within you, please read the footnote and allow a Christian Brother or Sister to help you. I would be honored to help!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You told us in Your Word that You did nothing without the direction of Your father, God. May we be Your faithful follower and do the same. Thank You for loving us enough for providing the means by which salvation is available. Thank You for assuring us of Your power and strength that can guide us lovingly through this life, yes even life today that is so filled with a multitude of sins that temp and bombard us in every walk of life. Your very nature is ‘LOVE’ and because You reside inside of us through Your Holy Spirit, we too can be loving in all we do and say. Please give us the boldness to do exactly that. May we be faithful examples of our Father and His Son, Jesus, because of whose we are! I ask this believing and trusting, in the name 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 so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

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