BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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MINISTRY BLOG LINK: http://pandevidamin.blogspot.com

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Stop by and check them out from time to time to see what has changed. May God's blessings to you be abundant. rlkeller


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

SEEING GOD

Matthew 5:8 Amplified Bible  (AMP)
“Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.”
            Apart from God, we are neither blessed, nor are we pure in heart. Even though we think we know exactly where we are going, we are in fact lost. We live in a dark world without a light until we receive Christ, the light of the world. (John 8:12 AMP*)
            Look at how the editors of the Amplified Bible accentuate the words “pure of heart”. It is the one who has integrity, moral courage and a godly character. That is supposed to be our goal as a believer in Christ. Integrity can be defined as “adhering to a strict moral or ethical code.” I’ve said that if a person doesn’t have integrity they really have nothing. I say that because a person without integrity cannot be trusted. And a person who cannot be trusted isn’t worth anything to others. Anyone, both Christian and non-Christian alike, can stumble and lose their integrity by making a poor decision. The Christian serves a gracious God who can bring that type of person all the way back to a place of trust with his peers. The non-Christian can only rely on his own resources and that pales greatly in comparison to the resources God offers.
            How can we see someone or something that is invisible to the human eye? Colossians 1:15 (AMP) says, “He (Christ) is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator] of all creation.” We will see God through the eyes of faith, but even if we have a hard time seeing him that way, we can see the effects of his existence. Take the time to look around you and realize all that he has created. The savvy believer will notice his handiwork and praise him for his great power, love, mercy and grace. Once we are in our glorified bodies in heaven we shall “see him as he is”(1 John 3:2). Until next time, walk with the one true King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.
John 8:12 Amplified Bible “Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

EXHIBIT MERCY DAILY

Matthew 5:7 Amplified Bible
“Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
                  To show mercy to another person is a godly trait. Scripture is clear that the mercy we show others is the mercy God will show us on the last day. That sentiment shows up both in Matthew 7:1-2 & James 2:13. The Gospel of Matthew states that we “…not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” In James letter chapter 2, verse 13 he writes, There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.”
            We are not to administer revenge to anyone for God says in Deuteronomy 32:35, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” Sometimes we want to get back at someone so bad we can taste it, but we mustn’t. We must give it to God and leave it there. Turn and walk away. 
            This is very much a sowing/reaping thing going on here. Scripture tells us in the book of the minor prophet Hosea, just as Israel had, those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind. (Hosea 8:7)Mercy is a Godly characteristic and since we are to strive to reflect the behavior of Christ, we should exhibit mercy, even when we feel it is not warranted. Let God’s word be our guide, not the principles of this world. Until next time, walk with the one true King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

THIRSTING TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD

Matthew 5:6 Amplified Bible 
“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.
            In my study of this verse I saw two ways to view the righteousnesswe are to hunger and thirst after. 1) Righteousness can be a figurative reference to heaven, since we know that righteousness dwells there (2 Peter 3:13 AMP);2) It can be simply hungering and thirsting after God who IS righteousness personified (Psalm 42:2 AMP);righteousness thru maintaining a right relationship with God. The key there is the meaning of the word righteousness, which in ancient Judaism meant, “to acquit, vindicate, restore to a right relationship.”
            Regardless of which reason you choose to accept, they all lead to the same place; cultivating a right relationship with Almighty God. It should be encouraging to us that all our diligent efforts to follow the Lord’s lead will make and keep us “completely” satisfied. The satisfaction that the world provides is temporal. Nothing lasts forever in this world. Not one thing. God, himself, isforever. His love is forever. His forgiveness is forever. His judgment lasts forever. 
            So when someone says to you “nothing lasts forever” you have a response for him. Even if he blows you off, laughs at you or begins an argument, God’s word doesn’t return void. (Isaiah 55:11 AMP) The seed has been planted. Now you can pray for his salvation and watch the Holy Spirit work. Until next time, walk with the one true king and be a blessing.
Resources: The Life Application Study Bible; Expositor's Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): New Testament and Theology of Work Bible Commentary.

2 Peter 3:13 Amplified Bible “But in accordance with His promise we expectantly await new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

Psalm 42:2 Amplified Bible 
“My soul (my life, my inner self) thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and see the face of God?”

Psalm 63:1 Amplified Bible A Psalm of David; when he was in the wilderness of Judah. “O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You; My soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Isaiah 55:11 Amplified Bible “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Expositor's Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): New Testament.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A SUBMISSIVE SPIRIT

Matthew 5:5Amplified Bible
“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.”
            Those who are meek or gentle in spirit will be blessed of God. The expanded view of the word ‘blessed’ in the Amplified version of the Bible describes the meek, gentile, humble believer as one who has inward peace shall be yours. This is no doubt the peace that reassures the heart, yet is impossible to comprehend spoken of in Philippians 4:7. Such a peace stands guard over our hearts and minds, keeping the enemy from infiltrating us.
            The word in the Greek is defined as ‘meek’. It doesn’t mean we are weak willed pushovers or people who have no backbone. It simply means we have a kind heart and a sweet spirit toward others, whether inside or outside the family of God. It means we are to be self-controlled as opposed to out of control. One who allows the Holy Spirit to lead them.  The world tends to view the word ‘meek’ as being “overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame or docile”.(1)Nothing could be further from the truth. Believers aren’t submissive to the world, but rather to the spirit of God who seeks to encourage, comfort, lead and bless us as the Lord wills.
            There is a day coming when the earth shall be taken over by Christ and the children of God. That shall be once all evil is wiped from the face of the earth. This is the earth faithful true believers will inherit. Stay plugged into my “Look at the Beatitudes” when I look at verse 6 on Wednesday, July 17. Until next time, walk with the one true King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.

MOURNING OVER OUR SIN

Matthew 5:4 Amplified Bible
“Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].”
            Continuing on in our look at The Beatitudes, verse 4 encourages true believers by saying that if you grief over your sinful condition and repent God will comfort you. The Amplified translation really brings home the true meaning of this statement. If we grieve over our sinful life, we shall be ripe for repentance, which means we will come out on the other end with sins forgiven. 
            This view of mourning over our sins is also found in Paul’s 2ndletter to the Corinthian church. In Chapter 7 verse 10 he writes: “For [godly] sorrow that is in accord with the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow [the hopeless sorrow of those who do not believe] produces death.”(Amplified Bible) 
                  Whenevera person is in a state of grieving, what they need more than anything at that time is to be comforted. To comfort is to sooth as a cooling balm soothes aching muscles. It is to empathize and encourage. It is to provide relief. It is to lift one’s burden. The main burden in this verse’s case is the burden of sin that had accumulated over time causing us to be weighed down. What a blessing it is to know that when we come to the throne of grace, lay our burden of sin down and kneel before the one true King, we will never have to bear that particular burden ever again. Lay it down. 
            A Christians life no doubt seems very strange to those in the world. As believers we must be willing to “give when others take. Love when others hate. Comfort and help when others abuse and give up our own rights to serve others.(1) That is Christ-like living. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.
(1)The Life Application Study Bible; page 2003, footnote for Matthew 5:3-12.

Friday, July 13, 2018

DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES ...

... the devotional covering Matthew 5:4 will be sent out Monday, July 16. In the meantime ... walk with the one true King and be a blessing! rlkeller

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Study in the Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-3 Amplified Bible
“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him. Then He began to teach them, saying, “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].”
            For the next few days I will be taking a look at the portion of Jesus Sermon on the Mount referred to as The Beatitudes. I’ve used the Amplified version of the Bible for clarity as to the meaning of each verse. 
It should be noted that the Beatitudes can be understood in several different ways:
1 – As a code of ethics for both the disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers.
2 – As a contrast between eternal Kingdom values and temporary worldly values.
3 – As a contrast between the superficial faith of the Pharisees and the pure faith demanded by Christ.
4 – As an illustration of how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in Christ’s kingdom.
            Look carefully at the word explanations. A person that is ‘Blessed’ is not someone who has vast sums of money or material possessions. It is the person who is spiritually wealthy. Those are the ones who are content or happy with their life. Though it isn’t perfect, God is perfect and as we serve him faithfully we will lack none of life’s essentials. 
            Those who are ‘poor in spirit’ are those who are humble rather than haughty. Their first thought is regarding others and not themselves or their own need. God will take care of us. That frees us up to take care of the needs of others.
            The tag line in the Amplified version for the phrase “kingdom of heaven” expresses the eternal nature of God’s kingdom. His kingdom shall never end (Luke 1:32-33). If we live a life that is in humble obedience to God and his statutes we will be rewarded with eternal life in his presence. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the next verse regarding those who mourn. Until next time, walk with the one true King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.