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

Posts tagged ‘submission’

God’s Work among the Nations

THE HOLY BIBLE (English Standard Version – Habakkuk 1:5): “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.

THOUGHTS: It is so easy for us to see the ‘bad’ in everything, or the ‘wrong’ in everything, or the ‘hopelessness’ in everything, but very challenging for us to see the positive things. I believe that this happens very often when our expectations are not met, and especially when we don’t try to align our expectations with God’s plan. We have become such an instant world that any action that takes longer than a few seconds we tend to think of as inaction by God. We are told in God’s Word that our ways are not His ways, and His ways are not ours. This means that God is not a puppet set to our agenda, or programmed to act exactly like we may want to program Him! So why then do we whine or complain? It may be the same reason why churches are not running full capacity. It may be lacking folk who feel like God and the church has stopped listening to them and not performing up to their expectations. Friends I believe that we have tried to sit in the ‘driver’s seat’ and, in our weakness and powerlessness, we are trying to ‘run the show’. How ironic that we would then get disappointed or disgusted when we see failure and try to blame God! Habakkuk was told that he would be astounded by the work that was already going on in nations around him. I would dare say that if we would set aside our personal agendas and expectations, that we would see the marvelous work of the Lord also in our day. We can’t change the politicians, so why get worked up over all that we wish they would do differently. Let us refocus on God and His handiwork. Let us stop focusing on the things we feel should be done differently and start praising God for all that He does in and around us. He deserves our glory and praise for even the things that we take for granted, such as the sun, the moon, the air we breathe and the water to drink. Perhaps as He recognizes our thanksgiving in these things then He might open our eyes to other ways that He is already working around us and blessing our nations.

PRAYER: Lord You are awesome, and again this morning I am reminded that You are busy at work in areas that we often forget or overlook. Please help us to keep our eyes focused on You and look for ways to celebrate Your mighty works, rather than picking apart the things that we selfishly feel should be different. Lord may You be the focus of our attention and may You be recognized as God of this universe in every aspect of every day, so that we may praise You as we should at all times, for You alone are worthy. I ask these things in the wonderful name of Jesus and for His sake, 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!

How To Handle Life Challenges

The Holy Bible (Good News Translation – Isaiah 37:16-17): 16 “Almighty Lord, God of Israel, enthroned above the winged creatures, you alone are God, ruling all the kingdoms of the world. You created the earth and the sky. 17Now, Lord, hear us and look at what is happening to us. Listen to all the things that Sennacherib is saying to insult you, the living God.

(Contemporary English Version – Isaiah 37:18-20) 18 It is true, our Lord, that Assyrian kings have turned nations into deserts. 19 They destroyed the idols of wood and stone that the people of those nations had made and worshiped. 20 But you are our Lord and our God! We ask you to keep us safe from the Assyrian king. Then everyone in every kingdom on earth will know that you are the only Lord.

Thoughts: So many times we are faced with circumstances where we realize that we have allowed our walk with the Lord to fall into second place. Notice that I said ‘we’ allow, instead of indicating that God leaves us and moves on. Friends, I believe that when we sense a distance between God and us, we needn’t wonder whose fault it is, for our God is always the same – He loves us, cares for us and will remain with us to the very end. Way too often we beat up on ourselves so badly that we convince ourselves that there is no way that God could love us in our sorry state. I’m here to tell you that anytime you sense a distance between you and God, please search your heart and His will for what He would have you do. Notice in verse 16 that King Hezekiah recognized God for who He is – ‘You alone are God’. That’s a very powerful acknowledgment that each of us must recognize, especially when we are feeling isolated, alone and powerless. However, it will be challenging for you to recognize this fact when you’re in need, if you didn’t also acknowledge Him as God when everything was going well for you. The way that God got my attention in the second set of verses is that the king acknowledged that in spite of the overwhelming circumstances, he knew that the balance (final say) remained in God’s hands. Friends, this is an awful lot like us when we face very challenging circumstances, for in faith we must say that: in spite of what the doctors say, or in spite of what my check book says, or in spite of all odds ‘You are our Lord and our God’ and it is in You that I place my faith, believing that all things work for best, for those who love and serve God! King Hezekiah went before God in great confidence. We serve the sane God and we can go before Him in the same faith and confidence that the king did! Anything stopping you friend?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are weak, but You are so strong. Please help me/us to place our faith and trust totally in Your hands and depend on You in every walk of life and through every circumstance, especially those times when we realize that things are way out of our hands and/or abilities. As indicated above, I realize that such trust can only be achieved through our faith in You during the ‘good’ times also, for if we only come to You in trouble, how would we know to trust You. So Lord, I plead with You to touch my heart, guide me and lead me in the path of righteousness. Teach me Your ways and help me to live so that my life will glorify You. May I learn to trust in Your ways and allow You control of my circumstances, even when the way seems dark and impossible to me. May Your Word touch some soul today who may be facing circumstances such as this, for I ask this in the precious and holy 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!

Trust In The Lord

The Holy Bible

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take
.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Proverbs 3:5-6)

Thoughts:

I know this sounds like a fairly simple topic today, but if we’re honest with ourselves we will acknowledge how often we do things on our own, then when we mess up, we come back and ask God to clear it up for us. Often as I study the Word I will see what the commentators have to say about certain verses. Although these two verses seemed very clear to me, I want to still share with you what Matthew Henry had to say in his commentary on these: “In all our ways that prove pleasant, in which we gain our point, we must acknowledge God with thankfulness. In all our ways that prove uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must acknowledge him with submission. It is promised, He shall direct thy paths; so that thy way shall be safe and good, and happy at last”. This brought new life to these verses for me, because I have always just looked at these as simply placing my trust in the only one that knows everything, period. However, life can really have both twists to it like explained by Matthew Henry, pleasant or uncomfortable! The bottom line is friends, please consider being obedient to the Word and our Father. Don’t wait until you’ve made a stupid mistake before inviting God into the picture to clear it all up for you. Suppose that the decision you made is not His choice for you? Will He still clear it up for you? I don’t think so! When you are blessed to awaken each morning, you may have an idea of what your schedule is, but who knows what you will truly face? When you make a decision that day, who knows what long-reaching effects that decision will have on you and your family? The answer to both of these last two questions is “God”. He’s the only One that knows what lies ahead for us. So instead of us screwing this up, why don’t we commit today to always seek His perfect will for our lives at the beginning of each day? Let’s submit to Jesus for each decision we might make that day, that He might direct us and give us wisdom, so that He might ultimately receive glory from our actions and our decisions. We must learn to trust in God for the little decisions for which we feel like we have a handle on, as well as those decisions that really scare us. Will you, together with myself, dare commit to this today? We really need to if we are children of the King! God being our helper, please direct our path to obedience and submission each day, please dear Father!

Prayer:

Lord, we often sin by excluding You from the daily decisions that we make each day, and we ask Your forgiveness. Lord Jesus, my life belongs to You, so decisions I make every day must be guided and directed by You. Please work on me to humbly get before You each day in submission, and humility as I ask You to direct my path, protect me while on the path, and guide me to decisions that are pleasing in Your sight and that would prove beneficial for my relationship with You. Please work in the lives of my friends that will meditate on this devotional and recognize similar actions, and needs by them. May they also open up their hearts and lives to You, is my humble prayer, that I ask in the name of 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 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!

Speak in Boldness, But with a Humble Spirit

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Matthew 3

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Matt 3:8 (NLT)

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” Matt 3:13-14 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Two things in particular caught my attention in this passage this morning:

  1. The boldness of John the BaptistHe was on mission for God and seems like he said what he felt led of God to say to the people that he preached to, without fear of repercussion from the government of that day, or the leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees). It seems like today we have become so politically correct in our churches in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings (and I don’t believe for a minute that we can only speak the truth if we know that someone’s feelings got hurt), but it just seems like we are afraid to say it like it is. An old saying that I always remember is that ‘if the shoe fits, wear it’, in other words if something that was said speaks to issues in your life, then obviously God is dealing with you through His spoken Word. As a people we have become so ‘thin-skinned’ that we retaliate when our feelings are hurt by holding back on our tithes, or not attending church, or gossiping about the preacher, etc, etc. Assuming that we have all prayed earnestly for the man of God, that he may discern God’s will and Word for us when he stands in the pulpit before us, are we then not challenging God Himself when we retaliate against the preaching or even God’s written Word? How dare us?
  2. The humbleness of John the Baptist – A man known for his boldness in speaking out, yet when Jesus comes to be baptized, John the Baptist said that in no way is he worthy to baptize the Savior of the world. How true this is. No matter how close we feel like we have become to God, we are but dirty rags compared to the only pure and Holy One of God. I believe that this is well worth keeping foremost in our minds so that we don’t let self pride come in the way. We are nothing without Christ, and we personally can do nothing miraculous, such as winning a lost soul or healing a sick person, but only through prayer and humble submission to the power and will of God. We should always pass any praise or glory straight on up to God for anything accomplished through us. It is encouraging for us to see lives touched by God because of something He may have said through us, but may our Words and actions be so filled with His love and His power that He may accomplish great things for the kingdom in spite of our human shortcomings.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

I believe that much could be accomplished through us and our churches today if we used the boldness displayed by John the Baptist, yet the humble spirit that he displayed in the presence of the Holy Son of God. Lord Jesus, it is You that I serve and You that deserves all the praise for anything accomplished in Your name here on this earth. Please may I find boldness in serving You, but be ready to step aside and let the glory all go up straight to You. Please have Your will and way in my life today, and may  there be opportunities for Your glory to shine through in something that I may say or do today so that Your kingdom may be fulfilled. Opportunities will come and go, and so will my words, but I believe that as You use me as Your humble servant today, Your words spoken through me will touch the hearts of Your people with lasting power and effectiveness. To God be the Glory for all that will be accomplished in Your name today!

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