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

Posts tagged ‘Unbelievers’

The Pyramid Of Life Decisions

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-04-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 4:15-20 (NIV)

Text:

15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
OBSERVATION:
In the earlier part of chapter 4, Jesus had taught the crowd through a parable that totally related to where they were at in life. He used a farmer, that probably applied to most who were in the audience at the time, so I’m sure they totally ‘caught His drift’. However, just like we tend to dance around the truth today by applying an interpretation that suits our circumstance, Jesus wanted to make sure that His teaching was caught and applied, so He went into detail about the parable. Let’s see how, or if this applies to us….
APPLICATION:
I recognized a pyramid in this teaching, and I believe that we will place ourselves in one of the levels of the pyramid, and I’m hoping that we will seek the face of God to help us strive for the top level (#1) of the pyramid through constant growth in our relationship with God, through His Son Jesus. Here is what I am seeing in this pyramid, starting with the bottom level:

5. Unbelievers – Although not mentioned in the parable, there are some who refuse to listen to the Word of God;

4. Easily accessible by Satan – These are ones who my live with godly parents, or work alongside a Christian, so they see God at work, and may hear the Word spoken at times, but Satan has full access to their heart, without any filters. So he immediately fills their heart with ‘sweet nothings’ in order to prevent their minds wandering away from his evil ways. They may hear the Word of God, but Satan quickly erases the thought from their minds;

3. Stoney ground – I believe these may have accepted Jesus as Lord at one time, probably through peer pressure or to please mom or dad. But they have no desire to grow in their ‘Christian walk’. So hearing the Word of God has no impact in their life. It’s like going to the top of a hill and trying to find enough soil to plant something that needs a foot of soil for its root system. The Word does not impact their lives;

2. Persistent thorns – Planting the Word of God in the life of one so distracted by the world, makes it almost impossible to take traction in that person. God said in another place in His work, that we are to be still and know that He is God. When we enter into a Bible teaching classroom or sanctuary, with our minds so bogged down in the worries of this world, or the sinful place that we attended last night, the distraction, or thorns of sin, will control our minds and block our acceptance and/or understanding of the Word being taught;

1. Good soil – A farmer finds the best soil to plant his seeds in, to ensure the most healthy and productive growth. A Christian whose aim is to be more like Christ in every aspect of life, will look for ingredients to enrich their lives. This might be daily quiet daily times that include some time in the Word of God; prayer; and reflection on God and His awesome goodness. These followers of Christ will look to produce fruit by finding ways to produce additional Christians and bringing ones up the pyramid. Just as farmers tend to spend more time enriching the soil, watering the plants and eradicating the weeds, so these Christians will have a deep desire to grow in their faith and find ways to not only develop a closer relationship with the Lord, but especially find ways to encourage those around them.

So I wonder friend, at which level of the pyramid did you find yourself? If, in your honesty, you found yourself below level ‘1’, may I encourage you to ‘Have a little Talk with Jesus’ and pour out your soul to Him. Ask Him for help in attaining level ‘1’ and watch how He will drive you to a deeper walk with Himself! I truly believe that His desire is to see us all be little ‘Christ’s’ because of our personal desire to do His will.

PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Savior, Master, and King, thank You for loving us enough to care about us and accept us as Your children in spite of our ugly past, or our easy tendency to sin. Your Word is so mind provoking, that we are frequently reminded of our inadequacies; our weak approach to holiness; and our walk that exemplifies a ‘perfect’ Lord. Please forgive us for deliberately keeping one foot in the world, while striving to place the other foot in a circle filled with Your holiness and righteousness. Although I plead Your blood and Your holiness on all those who my read this devotional, ‘It’s Me Oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer’. Please work on Your humble servant so that I may exemplify You in every walk of life and with everyone that I may find myself associating with. With all glory to You oh King! 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!

A Test of your Belief System

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-04-10
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 28:7-8 (NLT)

Text:

7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.
OBSERVATION:
The women referred to in verse 8 witnessed a second earthquake in just 3 days, for they were at the cross when Jesus died and the first one occurred, now as they arrived at the tomb to check on the body of Jesus, another earthquake occurred as He arose from the dead. Ordinarily this would put folk in a panic, but these ladies waited for the message from the angel, then ran to give the message to the disciples!
APPLICATION:
There were three types of hearers in this resurrection story:

  • Believers – The women heard what the angel said, and quickly obeyed the command to go and tell the disciples. Most of the disciples believed the women, even though they weren’t present to witness the angel or his message. This group are like Christians today who believe on the Son of God, even though they have never seen Him in person;
  • Doubters – Some of the disciples heard the women, but doubted that Jesus could be alive. The chief priest and leaders doubted what the guards told them, but yet they put a plan in place to have the guards lie about what really happened, and instead tell a lie to cover up the miracle that happened before their very eyes. This group reminds me of those today who hear a very convicting testimony, but choose to ignore the call of Christ on their life without a personal experience or miracle;
  • Unbelievers – There were some who heard and didn’t believe. They didn’t want to believe, because they had rejected who Jesus was when He was alive, and they wanted to continue rejecting Him even after hearing that He was alive. This group were much like those who refuse to hear the Word of God today. They are close minded even when presented with facts from eyewitnesses.

Friends, as you celebrate this Easter season, I pray that in all honesty, your eyes will be opened to placing yourself in one of these categories. My prayer is that God will convict you to move up the above list in your belief and conviction system, and that you will be open to the gospel message one more time. Although Jesus arose from the grave many years ago, I pray that He will truly come alive in your life this year!

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, the Bible speaks very clearly about Your death and resurrection, and from eyewitnesses, the evidence is clear that You are alive! Thank You Father for the evidence of Your mighty works in my life – clear evidence of a heavenly Father who loves me and, through Your precious Son, prepared a way for me to approach You as my Father! Lord, may my experience with You be such that others may see You and have a greater desire to know You better, and this is my prayer in deepest sincerity, 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!

Patience Without Limit

The Holy Bible (New Century Version – 1 Timothy 1:15-16): 15 What I say is true, and you should fully accept it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. 16 But I was given mercy so that in me, the worst of all sinners, Christ Jesus could show that he has patience without limit. His patience with me made me an example for those who would believe in him and have life forever.

Thoughts: I believe that these verses speak very loudly to both the believer in Jesus Christ, and to the non-believer (if they would read and accept the written Word of God).

To the believer: I believe that Paul is helping his associate, Timothy, know that he needn’t go into ministering and causing folk to believe that he is superior in faith to them. To us (believers), I believe that God wanted Paul to get across to us that sin is sin, and where God brought us from is no better than where we see those that we are witnessing, or ministering to. However, we are reminded that because of the grace of our Lord Jesus, He looked down in mercy, and because of our separation from God, our unholy lives bore no resemblance to His, however in mercy He heard our prayer, forgave us of our sin and crowned us as children of the King of all kings. As we constantly remind ourselves of where we came from, friends we will better identify with the needs of the unsaved, and we can more readily share with them the kind of loving, merciful, forgiving God that we are recommending to them. Just as Paul shared, we are plain evidence of God’s love and mercy, and we were no more special than the person we are witnessing to, other than we humbled ourselves and surrendered to His call. We gave up that old life and now stand as princes and princesses of the greatest King, only God and Creator, Jesus the only Son of God! Praise be the name of the Lord forever!

To the unbeliever: I believe it is evident that God wanted Paul to make it clear that the same power is available to the unbeliever today that saved Paul, a sinner who was feared by the church because of his undying desire to persecute the church and destroy anything or anyone who claimed the name of the Lord. Yes, in the eyes of many you may be considered a very bad person, but God sees you as His creation, one for whom He allowed His only Son to die on a cruel cross, and one for whom God loves way too much to see you die and go to Hell. Friend, I can safely and accurately tell you this from my personal experience, because I realized some 40 years ago that I needed Christ, and He looked down in love and accepted my plea for forgiveness and oneness with Him. He did it for me, for Paul, and I have every confidence that He will do it for you also friend. Jesus is patiently waiting for your word, what will it be today? Remember, no word at all means ‘No’, and I believe that anyone led to read this devotional today will not make that kind of decision! May God deal gently, but boldly in your heart today, is my sincere and humble prayer for you friend …. because I know that God loves you, and so do I!

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for going to such an extreme to show Your unswerving love for me and all of mankind. Please help me to never forget where You brought me from, in hopes that I can better identify with those that might be far away from You today. I am concerned for my family, friends, coworkers and church attendees who still have not accepted You as Lord, because I firmly believe that Your return is not only eminent, but will happen at any time. I want to meet around Your throne with all my family and friends present. I plead with You today to please melt their hardened hearts and create a desire in them to fully surrender their lives to You, like Paul did and like I and many others have already done. May this be the day of salvation for them today, please, dear Lord. May the unsaved see Your mercy and grace in action today through the many miracles You perform each day in and around us. I bring my praises, these petitions and awesome thanksgiving in the name of the only Savior, 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!

A Call To Prayer and Witness

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Colossians 4:2-6): 2 Never give up praying. And when you pray, keep alert and be thankful. 3 Be sure to pray that God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery about Christ, even though I am in jail for doing this. 4 Please pray that I will make the message as clear as possible. 5 When you are with unbelievers, always make good use of the time. 6 Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions.

Thoughts: In Paul’s departing remarks to the church at Colossae, he shared a few things that God laid on his heart that would help the people grow in Christ and improve the effectiveness of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that these points are very important to us today as we continue the ministry in this evil world in which we live. Here are some points that really got my attention in the highlighted verses:

  • Prayer – Paul even had some sub points to this particular need:
    • Never give up – just because we may have prayed for something last week doesn’t mean that we don’t pray for that need again this week. Be consistent, and persistent, in prayer;
    • Stay alert – when we hear of a Brother hurting or in need, pray. He may not have asked for prayer, but we can discern that he needs our prayers. We may hear of disasters, such as currently happening in churches in Africa at this time. It’s a news item, but we know that these are our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, so let us lift them up to the Father in prayer. Let’s be alert to the needs of one another;
    • Be thankful – Let’s learn to always thank God for His provisions, or perhaps His healing, or His guiding and protecting hand upon us, before we ever start our ‘grocery’ list of needs. Let’s be a thankful and appreciative people before God;
    • The ministry – whether it’s our own teaching or preaching, or that of our church leaders, let us pray that the words of God spoken through mere man will impact the lives of listeners. Let’s pray that people will not be distracted by the weaknesses of man, but instead by the power of the Holy Spirit, working through God’s messengers.
  • Witness – This one really stung, because way too often we will sit with an unbeliever and talk about everything under the sun, without ever rejoicing over the Son that lives within us and has played such a key role in us. In our midweek teaching at church last night we were reminded of the words of a great preacher who said, “In a day when everyone is ‘coming out of the closet’ what is stopping Christians from doing the same”! Of course, this is referring to the ‘closet’ of witnessing, for Christians are so afraid of saying anything that might ‘hurt the feelings’ of an unbeliever. However, should we not instead be enthused to share a life-changing, rescue-from-Hell, tip with someone we care enough about to sit and chat for a period of time? If they were about to walk across a very dangerous intersection, we would loudly shout out any life-saving tips to them. Why then do we hesitate to shout, or gently give them life saving tips that affects their eternal destiny? The tip from Paul in vs 5 is that we always make use of the time we have with our non-Christian friends, for they too need the Savior that we love and adore. They too deserve eternity in Heaven with the creator of this universe. What then are we waiting for?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as You are well aware, the needs are great here on earth, especially the need for Your Son, and the need to surrender our pride to Him. We badly need Your power, Your boldness and Your direction to show enough love for our fellow man by sharing Your message of salvation with them. There are folk that we know, love and care about, that are dying and going to Hell because we have been afraid to put self aside, and share the Love of Jesus Christ with them. I sincerely apologize for my shortcoming in this area Lord. Please forgive me. You died to save ALL who believe on You, please help me to not withhold sharing this good news with everyone that I know and associate with. Please don’t let me stand in the way of extending this privilege to family and friends of mine. Please impact my readers and I with Your Word in such a way today Lord, that we may be more constant in prayer and a bold witness of You to all that we come into contact with. May it be our mission to spread the joy of our salvation with all whom we come into contact with. We need You Lord, and we want You to be a part of our everyday life. I humble place these requests at Your feet with expectations of You working Your perfect will in and through us. For I ask this in the wonderful name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, with thanksgiving, 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!

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