This world will drive you crazy; shift your focus and ...
BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES
DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
MINISTRY BLOG LINK: http://pandevidamin.blogspot.com
AUTHOR BLOG LINK: http://rlkeller-christianauthor.blogspot.com
Stop by and check them out from time to time to see what has changed. May God's blessings to you be abundant. rlkeller
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
There I sat at a high school graduation just a few hours ago and I was thrown back to my own college days. At that time in my life I had no money to speak of so I would go to the mall and people watch. I wasn’t a believer at the time, so my thoughts were all over the place regarding people’s appearance, the way they were acting or something as simple as the way they walked. I would critique and categorize each one who passed by. I found that interesting. It wasn’t that I was making fun of people or determining which ones I was better than. It was just a hobby of mine, people watching. Well, I was doing it at the graduation this evening, some 43 years later.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I still analyze people passing by. But today I looked hard at them and said to myself, God loves those people just as much as he loves me. I wonder if they know the Lord. I also wonder what their back-story is. Who were their parents, where did they go to high school, did they go to college, where was their first job, what do they do now, how many times have they been married, is or was it a harmonious union, do they go to church? I think to myself, that person was once someone’s little baby. How were they raised? Were they raised in church? When you think like that other people watching takes on a whole new perspective. We begin to look upon them with compassion and mercy.
People are a lot more than the ones others can laugh at on a “People of Wal-Mart” video on YouTube. I’ve been guilty of judging by people’s appearance for a long time, but now I am slowly beginning to see them differently. I believe it began when I asked the Lord to let me see others thru HIS eyes and not my own. We must learn from our mistakes and shortcomings or we are no different than the world we seek to change. rlkeller
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Ephesians 5:25-26 New Living Translation
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.”
Today was a day of reflection for me. The Lord revealed a simple truth to me that humbled me and filled me with regret. I opened Bible Gateway online and was confronted by the verses above. They hit me right squarely between the eyes. I haven’t loved my wife the way Christ loved the church and died for it.
It’s a sobering thing when you go rolling along thru your life and only when you are in your early 60’s realize you are selfish. In fact, you’ve been selfish most of your adult life. It’s an eye opener to say the least. I had to call my wife during lunch break and ask for her forgiveness. Now this neither makes me a super Christian nor a super husband. What it makes me is obedient. I’d been disobedient to God in this area most of my life and I will be making a change immediately. With God’s help I will become exactly what my wife needs me to be.
What these verses are really telling us men is that we are to love our wives with a self-sacrificial heart. There is no room for selfish thoughts or actions. They must be purged out. God desires that we follow his instructions for living. They aren’t suggestions, but decrees. God presents these things to us in that fashion because he knows without question or hesitation that if we follow them we will achieve the greatest benefit. If we want contented and loving spouses, then they must come right after God in importance in our lives. Our wives are far too precious to be overlooked or taken for granted.
We expect our wives to honor, respect and obey us, but we don’t love them as scripture says we ought to. If we do as we are instructed, our wives will honor and respect us. Too many husbands seem to think they are to govern their wives. You might come to that conclusion if you read the verse out of context, but for those who truly want to know the truth of the matter, they will read scripture regarding the entirety of the subject. We are called to love them as Christ loved and still loves the church. Period. Do that and you’ve done what God expects of you. Anything less and you have missed the mark. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Monday, June 18, 2018
James 4:2c-3 New Living Translation
“… you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
God is not in the habit of denying his children what they ask for, but there is a catch. He is not a genie in a bottle. Rub the lamp and ask for whatever you wish and you shall receive it. It doesn’t quite work that way. You may point to John 14:13-14, which says, “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.” Yes and that’s all well and good, but when you ask in Jesus name you are invoking according to his character and will for us. You must not only understand scripture in its context, but also know the character of God to know that he doesn’t go about dispensing your wishes like some human Pez dispenser.
Our Heavenly Father knows the desires of our heart better than we know them ourselves. He sees the deepest motivations of our heart, which we think no one else can know. We cannot trick God into giving us what we want. I shake my head in disagreement when people pray akin to begging for some worldly trinket such as an expensive European car siting the verses in John’s gospel in the process. We will not get everything we want if God knows it will hurt us in some way. He would know that, while we would not because our lustful desire for such a thing would cloud our reason.
God withholds no good thing from his children. However, we must trust him that he knows far better than we do what is best for us. That’s why we should always ask if it is God’s will then please allow me to have thus and so. Having said that, I believe it is far more important for us to seek to be merciful, kind, loving, forgiving, non-judgmental and so on. In other words, it is more important to seek being like Christ. Those necessarymaterial blessings will come as we are in need of them. It is far better to allow the choice and decision to God. His decisions are never clouded with wants rather than needs. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.
Psalm 103:8-12 New Living Translation
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful,slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.He will not constantly accuse us,nor remain angry forever.He does not punish us for all our sins;he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.For his unfailing love toward those who fear himis as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.He has removed our sins as far from usas the east is from the west.”
When the Lord forgives sin he forgives it completely. He removes it from our record and chooses to never remember it or hold it against us ever again. His mercy is like nothing we have or will ever experience this side of heaven. His love and mercy have no limits. All this is given to those who fear him. Fearing God isn’t being afraid of him, but rather in awe of his greatness. We must show him the proper respect due him. He is a jealous God in that he will not compete for our affections. Therefore we must be careful not to tie up our time with meaningless endeavors that amount to nothing in the end. God is calling us to commit and move forward in the name of Christ.
The Lord knows our heart. He knows our motivation as well. We must always have godly motivations for everything we think, say and do. This is not always easy for we are painfully and woefully human and we can think, say and do some pretty incredible things; in this case incredible being a bad thing. Avoid sin by seeking wisdom and direction each morning. Seek to be not just blessed but a blessing. Don’t do things knowing God will forgive you, but rather, work diligently to be a reflection of Christ. Being Christ to others will do far more to expand the kingdom of God than words ever could. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Reformation Study Bible.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Proverbs 23: 4-5 New Living Translation
“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.Be wise enough to know when to quit.In the blink of an eye wealth disappears,for it will sprout wingsand fly away like an eagle.”
I once knew a young man whose only goal in life was acquiring his first million dollars. He was in his early 20’s and working to establish links with people who were already successful. I never heard how he made out, but I do know this, money can do a lot of things for a person, but all the money in the world can’t buy them forgiveness or get them into heaven. That may not seem all that important now, but it will be at some point.
Money is a necessary evil. We need it to pay our bills, buy food, buy gas for our purchased vehicles and so on. I would also like to say there’s nothing wrong with having great wealth. There are only two questions I have for those who fall into that category: how did you acquire it and what are you doing with it? If you got it legitimately, spend it wisely and include God in all your monetary decisions. If you got it by dishonest means, then you will never have lasting peace because you will feel you never have enough. When we do something wrong we know it’s wrong. It’s those that try to justify or explain away the reasons for the means by which their wealth was gotten that will end up miserable in the end.
Whether you have a lot of money or not, it disappears as quickly as it appears. It’s the person whose focus is on Almighty God and his will for their life that will find that whatever they have is more than enough. Chasing after great riches will take the place of everything else in your life, consuming you in the process. The more you have the more you want. It seems as though you never have quite enough no matter how much you’ve accumulated. Scripture is clear: "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24 NLT Your focus is askew. Focus on God and your need for riches will dissolve, replaced by a new set of godly desires. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Philippians 3:20 New Living Translation
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.”
There is a logo, NOTW, that stands for ‘Not Of This World’. I happen to have it tattooed on my right forearm to forever remind me that I no longer belong here. I’m not better than anyone else just because I have a personal relationship with Christ; if you also have a personal relationship with Christ then you’re sins are forgiven just like mine and like me you’ve become a citizen of heaven. That statement happens to be an ‘if-then’ clause. Ifyou or I do thus and so, thenthis is what the result will be.
To be clear about this, it doesn’t mean “I’m no better than any other Christian, but am definitely superior to non-Christians.”Not at all. The only difference between a non-believer and me is that I sought and received forgiveness from God. That puts a person in right standing with him. Without this relationship a person is separated from God, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Forgiveness is available to every person with no restrictions or conditions. You must acknowledge your need of forgiveness, then ask God to forgive you from a sincere heart.
What does it mean exactly to say we are citizens of heaven? Philippi was a colony of Rome, therefore people living there can declare that they are citizens of Rome. It’s no different with a true believer in Christ, because the church is a colony of heaven, therefore we are its’ citizen. Knowing this we should live accordingly. We should never live a certain way to get something in return. We should live godly lives out of gratitude for the second chance God has given us. He didn’t have to be he did because of his undying, unconditional love for his creation.
If you have chosen to believe in God and believe what scripture says, then you would know that one day Christ will return for his church. We long for that day with eager anticipation. No one can know the date of his return; scripture makes that clear. Matthew 24:36 states, "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” We must live in a state of readiness. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Reformation Study Bible