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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Friday, July 29, 2011

THE LOVE OF GOD


Ephesians 3:14-19 (NKJV) “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height … to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

It is a sad thing that so many people go through life without feeling loved. Even Christians, at times, feel love has escaped them. Due to events from their past they may feel they don’t deserve to be loved or perhaps they were never shown love by their parents. This makes the love God has for us seem like a foreign concept; something that seems too good to be true.

Regardless of our feelings, the love of God is a real thing that can be experienced by all.Personal human barriers must either be dropped or broken down for this love to be fully experienced. Maybe you have done something in your life that you regret. You have brought pain to another individual … perhaps a loved one … and you don’t feel that you deserve ANYONE’S love, let alone God’s.

Understand this: the love of God is tied to His grace and the definition of grace is unmerited or undeserved favor. So the love we are offered by God is not something we deserve, but it is something that is freely offered by God as a part of His plan of salvation.

If you are not a believer in Christ, what are you waiting for? We will try just about anything these days to feel good; however, those things invariably make us feel bad. With Christ there is no hangover to endure or sickness that is induced. Just a free gift, which wasn’t free for God … He sent His One and Only Son to His death on a criminal's cross for crimes He did not commit. And He willingly went to pay for each and every misdeed committed by humanity. Did you know that? Your debt has been paid, yet you are still trying to pay it and you can’t … you never could and never will be able to.

If you are a believer, ask the Lord to help you shed your skin of self pity and chip away at the hardness around your heart. Don’t torture yourself any longer. God’s love is for you too and it is free of charge. It is the only thing in this life that is worth anything and it is free … submit to the love of God and be as blessed as God desires to make you.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

IN THE NAME OF JESUS


Colossians 3:17 (NIV) “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

It’s a funny thing. We go through our lives saying and doing things day in and day out and many times, perhaps most of the time, we don’t give a second thought to our words or deeds. We say what comes to mind and move on. As Christians we strive to be honest and emulate God, however, never take the time to think of what God would say or do in a given situation. Is that right?

I am not saying that we shouldn’t say a word or make a move without consulting God first. As believers we shouldn’t need to do that. Our Lord wants us to know Him so intimately through His written word that we know His mind in a given situation and thus know what to say and do to encourage and edify. For isn’t that what we are to do each day.

With so many people “shooting from the hip” or “telling it like it is”, where are all the people we have a sincere desire to build others UP, rather than tear them down. Those that tear others down do it to elevate themselves, which reveals a weakness in their character. Those that build others up reveals a strength in their character and a humble spirit. God will elevate us when it is necessary for us to be elevated. We don’t need to seek our own elevation.

If our primary goal in life is to be like Jesus, then our focus will be on Him rather than on ourselves. God promises to meet all of our needs … not our wants, our needs. We tend to TAKE our wants, at times to our own degradation, but our needs are met by our eternal provider and sustainer, the Creator of the Universe and man’s first breath, Jehovah God. He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider. So do not seek material possessions or monetary gain as a means to elevate your own stature. Allow God to do His good and complete work in you and you will want for nothing in this life.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

BEWARE THE FLATTERER


Psalm 12:3 (NIV) “May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue … .”

They are called schmoozers, conmen, manipulators, glad handers … they flatter and boast to impress. Beware of such people. They come in all sizes and shapes; male and female; young and old. They feel invincible when they are speaking, for they believe that their power to influence comes from their words ... the power source of these manipulations is the heart.

Psalm 26:2 (NIV) “Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind … . “ This is a prayer they could never utter and mean it, for if they did God would shine a light on their true intentions.

Luke 6:45 (NKJV) “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

It is from this that we can differentiate a good man from an evil man. While we are not to judge others based on the motives of their hearts, for only GOD truly knows the heart’s motivations, we certainly can be fruit inspectors. You can tell by a person’s words and actions the type of individual they are. Scripture tells us in Matthew 10:16 to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves”. To avoid being duped by a flatterer, we must use discernment.

DISCERNMENT defined as: The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment.

God is the judge of man. We are to lead men to God. We must, in the process, use caution when dealing with those around us so as not to be sucked into a web of deceit from which we may have difficulty extracting ourselves from. God is kind and forgiving; slow to anger, abounding in love. As we seek His face we shall find peace and obtain the ability to deal effectively with those around us. Be spirit led. Block out the clang and clatter of this world and listen to the Spirit of God. He desires to speak to your heart.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

FREE WILL


1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV) “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

“The great gift of freedom -- tragically abused. It's a scenario God knows all too well. Because some of the people He has set free are using that freedom in ways that hurt Him, that hurt them, and hurt other people.” ( taken from http://hutchcraft.com … Ron Hutchcraft Ministries )

FREE WILL is defined as: The ability or discretion to choose; free choice.

The issue of free will is monumental to the Christian faith. Do you HAVE to become a Bible believing Christian? No, not at all. Can you become a Bible believing Christian? Yes indeed. First, you have to believe there IS a God, an unseen spiritual entity, in Whom you are to believe in and place your trust in. Second, you need to accept that the Bible is His book of instruction and guidance to His children. It is so much more than just that, but for the moment you need to at the very least believe that. Once you have accepted those two (2) key pieces of information as fact you have a jumping off point.

You get to choose what you believe. There are different factions that are vying for your allegiance. Lucifer, who has fallen from God’s grace and is the “Prince of the Power of the Air” or this earth on which we live and Jehovah God, the Creator of all things (including Lucifer). Now you can do whatever you want, but whatever you do there are consequences. It is not merely a Biblical principle, but a universal law. For every action there is a reaction. Every word out of our mouth either builds up or breaks down. Every thought, when put into action, creates a result, sometimes desired, sometimes undesired. We have the choice to think, say and do ANYTHING we want. However, Paul cautions us before we get too carried away that everything isn’t always going to be helpful or constructive to us.

God’s desire is to lead us into a life of peace, at times in the midst of a storm. He wishes to lead and guide us down a narrow path that leads to an eternal reward that we cannot even imagine in our wildest dreams. Lucifer, aka, Satan, promises all things, yet provides nothing but heartache and pain. If you follow him until you leave this earth, you will go to be with him forever and will find out first hand that all the “things” you thought you wanted will be dangled just out of your reach for all eternity. Think of that; any pleasure you could ever want … you can see it, smell it, but never touch it or taste it. EVER. How do I know this? Let’s just say some things you don’t have to experience first hand to believe. A weak answer? Well, my friend, I sincerely hope you do not experience it first hand, for if you do, it will be too late … for Satan is a cruel task master and once you are dead and have entered his realm you are lost forever with no hope of redemption.

God forgives ANY transgression when forgiveness is sought with a contrite heart. Material goods rot and decay; things of the spirit last forever.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Monday, July 25, 2011

BEEN AWAY

Been out of town the past few days. Will pick up with my devo Tuesday morning, July 26, 2011.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THE ROD & STAFF


Psalm 23:4 (NIV) “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

The use of a rod in herding sheep:
1. Throw the rod gently at a sheep to get its attention or warn it not to do something. Shepherds use rods this way as a tool of discipline. Do not throw it to hurt the sheep, just to startle them into compliance.
2. Throw the rod at a predator to scare it away from your flock, or club aggressive animals or snakes with it. Throw the rod hard at dangerous creatures, aiming to wound or kill them rather than just to alert them.
3. Inspect your sheep closely by pulling their wool away from their skin with the rod. Check them for rashes, wounds or infestations. Shepherds also traditionally pass their sheep one at a time under their rods to count them.

The use of a staff in herding sheep:
1. Guide sheep in the right direction with the staff. Use it in place of a sheepdog to gently poke and press the animals into line.
2. Lift sheep with the hook on the staff and carry them out of dangerous situations. If a sheep has fallen into a hole or is stuck in a bush, use the staff's hook to lift it to safety. You can also use the hook to carry lambs to their mothers without touching them.
3. Comfort a nervous sheep by keeping constant contact with it through the staff. Continuously touch it lightly with the staff, reminding it that it has your attention and that you are guiding it. [ How to Use the Rod & the Staff in Sheep Herding by Stephanie Mitchell; www.dailypuppy.com ]

Not much has to be said here. You can see from the text above that our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, disciplines us, protects us, inspects us, guides us and comforts us all with His rod and staff, just as Shepherds in our day and time still do for their sheep herds. We may act as dumb as sheep from time to time, but this doesn’t surprise or anger our Lord, for He created us and knows us so much better than we know ourselves. Yield to his will and live in peace even in the face of the storm.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

RESTRAIN & OVERLOOK


Proverbs 19:11 (Amplified Bible) “Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.”

It is never a good thing to fly off the handle. Holding your tongue shows wisdom. The answer, though, is not to push your feelings down and not express them. Holding a grudge is never healthy. It will eat away at your soul and devour your spirit. Nothing more than a seed of bitterness will, over time, grow into a monstrous gaping sore that will infect you in every way. The answer to this is the “overlook”.

Allowing a transgression to pass without a word may or may not be the appropriate course of action. Stopping the offender to chastise them roundly may reveal a haughty spirit. Discussion, if possible, regarding the offense may in be the offing depending on the willingness of the offender to discuss the offense rationally. But in the end, the “overlook” is what is required of you. Look at it this way, God hasn’t forgotten any of your offenses against Him, yet scripture states that He “casts them into the sea of forgetfulness and remembers them no longer against us”. Are we not supposed to emulate our God? Are we not to do as He does? It isn’t an easy task to “overlook” the transgression of another against you, but you may just have won a soul into the kingdom with your forgiveness and the mercy you extend. If it is not received then it shall lie as hot coals upon the offenders head.

We cannot be responsible for the words and actions of others, only our own. Restraining ourselves from anger is what God would have us to do. If you lose your temper seek forgiveness from God and the recipient of that anger and move on. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t beat yourself up endlessly because of it. Why, because we are all far from perfect and will probably act in this way many times more in our life as we seek to be more like our Maker. Simply shake it off and seek the face of God for counsel so that each time your offense is less and less severe until it is no longer your inclination to say or do such a thing. Everything takes time in life and becoming more like Christ is no different. While we are instantaneously sanctified in the eyes of God because of the blood Christ shed on the cross, our actual sanctification takes place progressively, over time. Allow God to teach you how to “restrain & overlook” starting today. It will end up being a tension releaser in the end.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

"I Turn Everything Over" by Switchfoot


Monday found me on my knees again
Breathing you in
To blur the lines that mark where I begin
And where you end
No use in trying to pretend
Come take me again
Cause rumor has it I'm not who I've been
Come define me

What can we do
If the rumors are true?

I turn everything over
I turn myself in
I turn everything over
I turn myself in
There's nothing left of me to defend
I turn everything over
I turn myself in

The evidence convicts the hollow man
After looking inside
To my dismay I find I'm just one of them
Cause I'm an already but not yet resurrected fallen man
Come break this limbo
And I know you know just who I've been
Come define me

Rumor has it you love me
Rumor has it the world spins upside down
Rumor has it my only hope is you
And the rumors are true
I turn everything over

(from NEW WAY TO BE HUMAN - 1999)

Friday, July 15, 2011

If Not For Christ by FFH


If not for Christ I would surely fall
Over myself and bear the fault
Of all my deeds so terrible
If not for Christ I would surely fall
If not for Christ I would surely fall
If not for Christ I would surely break
Under the weight of my mistakes
And in my sin be kept away
If not for Christ I would surely break
If not for Christ I would surely break
It was for me He bled and died
It was my sword that pierced His side
It was my name that Jesus cried
When on that tree He bled and died
It was for me He bled and died
And now to Christ I owe it all
He is to me a tower strong
Salvation does to me belong
It is to Christ I owe it all
It is to Christ I owe it all

Thursday, July 14, 2011

EVIL PEOPLE


Psalm 10:4 (NIV) “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”

WICKED defined: 1) Evil by nature and in practice

Those people in the world that are evil make no quarter in their lives for the unseen God. They base their thoughts and practices on what they have been taught, thinking that they know better then all others. Or perhaps they have placed some idol on the alter of their heart. At any rate, they seek not the one true God and for that suffer without even knowing it.

Have you ever wondered what brought a person to the state that they are currently in? Whether they are homeless or wealthy, beaten down or haughty, all were born of a mother just as you and were someone’s child at a point in their lives. I confess I have wondered not only what makes certain people tick, but how they got to where they are now. When I was in college and didn’t have 2 nickels to rub together, I would go to the mall and people watch. I didn’t know Christ at that time, but I still had an interest in people. Their various looks and shapes … some tall and thin, some big boned, some short and round, some dressed provocatively, some buttoned down … it was interesting then and it is still an interesting exercise today. Looking without judging is the key. Praying for them as they pass is a worthy occupation of the moment. The most prideful soul might be broken inside and in need of comfort. What shall we do as believers?

We tend to steer clear of truly evil people, don’t you think? In this day and age, one never knows who will pull out a pistol and blow you away for no good reason other than they are angry at the world and someone WILL pay for that. Those that do not seek God need to be shown somehow in a loving, kind and relative way that they are in need of a Lord and Savior. There are layers and layers of social prejudice and thought processes that must be peeled through before they will see that need. Nothing is impossible for God. Nothing. God has reached cases that were considered lost causes for thousands of years without flinching and He is still in the miracle working business today.

So when we see a “wicked” person, don’t shun them or cower away from them, but rather say a pray for them that God will soften their heart and reveal Himself to that individual and if He so desires, that He might use you as the conduit to lead that soul to a life with Christ. The family of God has plenty of room for more members. Seek God’s guidance and go about your work for Him without fear. He hasn’t taken you this far to dump you off in a blind alley.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

GREAT LENGTHS by Pray For Rain


Here i am once again
pleading
to the sky
kneeling to the sands shedding my
regrets
knowing You'll forget everything

Chorus: Why didn't i go to such great lengths to
try to please You
instead i tried to please myself
in the end when your heart is broken
i see the folly of trying to please myself

I have not yet arrived
seeing
anything
quiet my desires till they die
until they die
or align with Your will

Chorus 2x

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HOPE IN GOD


Psalm 31:24 (NKJV) “Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”

HOPE defined: 1. A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment;
2. Something that is hoped for or desired; 3. One that is a source of or reason for hope.

In Christianity, the theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help.

There are times in a person’s life when they grow weak of heart and their courage fails. In our heart we know what is right and pure, but we allow our hearts to become weary and begin to make poor decisions as a result. Be encouraged by the words of the Psalmist: as long as our hope is in the Lord and not in our own resources, we should be of good courage and strong of heart.

When the enemy of our soul attacks, he attacks us at our weakest point. Every chain has a weakest link; every sports team has its’ weaknesses; every battle plan has a weak point that must be protected. When we go about our day and allow our weakness to go unprotected, we become vulnerable to the wiles of our adversary. It should be understood that this is not without God’s knowledge. For if God wasn’t aware of the attacks that come against us, then that would constitute a flaw and He is without flaw or failing. The fact is that we bring on our own misery without thinking through the consequences of our words and/or our actions. God allows it to teach us and make us stronger in our faith, but at times we become so deaf to His Spirits voice and so dim of sight that we stumble forward into the darkness to our own peril.

Understand what is at play here ... your soul. We have a free will. We can do as we please, but as Paul so aptly puts in scripture “I can do all things, but not all things benefit me”. There are consequences to our every action. Some good and some bad depending on what our actions (or inactions) are. Does whatever you are planning to think, say or do, line up with God’s word? Would you think, say or do what you are about to think, say or do in the presence of Jesus Christ? If the answer is NO, then don’t think, say or do it. Now having said this, it should be said that this is many times easier said than done. There is a spiritual war going on. I believe there are angels in battle all around us constantly. Always remember this, God wins. God has already won. Tap into Him and win your battle against the various trials you encounter throughout your walk with Him. You cannot do it alone. It is foolhardy to think you can. Place all of your hope for your now and for your future in the everlasting, eternal and Almighty God.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

HE IS WORTHY


Psalm 30:11-12 (TNIV) “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.”

PRAISE defined: 1) Expression of approval, commendation, or admiration. 2) To extol or exalt; worship.

EXTOL defined: 1) Exalt, glorify, laud, proclaim

It has been said that when we WORSHIP God we are proclaiming His WORTHSHIP. I concur. To glorify God is what we were created for. It is far greater than simply acknowledging Him. We are to bow down to Him. That action alone is our voluntary subjugation to God. We are declaring ourselves subservient to our God.

I certainly understand how difficult that is for some many of us. In a world where people want to be their own boss and call the shots, being subservient to ANYONE is frowned upon. But this is quite different. Being a servant to someone who could potentially take advantage of their position over you is not a pleasant experience at all. Being servant to a loving, caring, merciful Creator God who only has your best interests at heart is magnificent. It is letting yourself go. It is allowing yourself to be taken over by a force so powerful, yet so gentle, that you would not believe if it were not happening to you.
But your first step is to surrender.

Oh how many blessings are missed out on for the lack of surrender. It comes down to, once again, a matter of faith and trust. Belief in an unseen spiritual entity and reliance on His ability to provide for and sustain you throughout your life, regardless of your circumstances. That is it in a nutshell. And for this we are to praise and worship this unseen spiritual entity. Undying faithful service on His behalf is sought. It’s the least we can do for the One who has provided a way of escape from our own sinful disobedience.

Bask in the glow of His majesty and worship God for Who He is if for no other reason. He is undoubtedly worthy of our worship and undying devotion.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

THE COMFORTER


John 14:16 (AMP) “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever … .”

John 14:26 (AMP) “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”

In a world where the word 'comforter' can mean nothing more than a down filled throw that covers your bed when you are cold in the winter, we see scripture that speaks of a more important use of the word. It is a title. The title of an entity. The entity is the One who is traditionally referred to as the Holy Spirit of God. The 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God knew we needed a lot of help on our journey through life, so He graciously and most willingly provided us with a “comforter”.

I purposely used the Amplified Version of the Bible because it lists all the other meanings for the word “comforter” in the above listed verses. He is all those things for us. He is also our guide when we are lost. He convicts us when we go against the will of God. Just like the credit card commercial which lists the value of certain things, the value of the Holy Spirit to a believer is ‘priceless’. Without the wisdom and direction provided by the Holy Spirit, we would be confused and stumble about like a man whose equilibrium was off.

God gives us this “Comforter” freely, just as with salvation, because He knows we cannot go it alone. However, like Christ, the Holy Spirit is a gentlemen … He does not force His will on you. You must seek His council and listen for it. And it will come in the “still small voice” rather than the clashing cymbals or a theatrical display. It is in our quietest moments that we learn the most profound lessons.

This world is full of clang and clatter. Noise can be our greatest enemy when trying to discern that which God is trying to tell us. Cloister yourself away when you can and listen. Read His word. Ask God for what ever you need and then listen for the Spirit of God. God has never failed you and He never, ever will. Trust Him in all things.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

THE UNSEEN


2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Believing in the unseen. In light of all the strange happenings around the world these days, believing in something you can’t see doesn’t seem so incredibly odd anymore. But you know what, it is the essence of faith. People have faith in lots of things. I would go so far as to say that people place their faith in just about anything or anybody … except God.

You know, I blame the church in large part for an unsaved world’s disbelief. We can be so judgmental and harsh at times when we need to be the most compassionate. We judge based on appearance first. We take to heart the phrase “First impressions are lasting.” We compartmentalize people based on their social-economic status, which is borne out by their dress and physical appearance. We assume people are a lot of things that they may not be based on the style of clothes they wear or whether they sport one or more tattoos. We categorize and roundly condemn them because of such things. It’s very sad really. Had God done that with us, none of us would have stood a chance of being welcomed into His family.

You know that homeless person you see all the time, wandering the streets or sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against a building? Regardless of his or her age, he is someone’s child. At one time, he was a small child being raised by parents. What is their story? More importantly, God loves them too. God loves them as much as He loves you and me. No more, no less. We can be salt and light to them. We can be God to them. By our actions and / or words we can show them the unseen God.

You know that person at school or work that is always complaining. They cuss like a longshoreman and don’t have anything good to say about anyone or anything. How do you handle that person? Are you attempting to be salt and light to that person? Or do you judge their behavior and shut them out? We can be Christ to them.

Everything around us, the pleasures we seek, the goods we consume, the vehicles we drive, the clothes we wear are all temporal. Nothing lasts forever in this life. Accumulating things this side of heaven is a fruitless endeavor. As the saying goes, “only that which is done for Christ will last”. See the world around you with different eyes today. Don’t focus on yourself, but rather on God and those around you. God will take care of you. Allow yourself to be used to take care of others. May unbeliever’s eternal sight come into sharper focus because of what we have said or done to or for someone today. May we give away that which was freely given to us, for just like the widow with the oil supply that never ran out in the OT, our love and compassion shall never run out if we dispense it liberally.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

YIELDING TO GOD


Job 22:21-23 (NIV) “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.”

SUBMIT defined: To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.

PROSPERITY defined: Having success; flourishing; favorable circumstances.

ACCEPT defined: To consider as true or believe in.

3 John 1:2 (NKJV) “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Yielding to God seems like it would be easy, but it can be very difficult if you have a mind to do something or go somewhere that is contrary to His word and potentially, His will for you. The prosperity you receive from God is more far reaching than what the world sees prosperity as. It can be wealth, but more times than not, in God’s economy, the prosperity of your soul is far more important to your Heavenly Father than all the riches this world affords.

Following His instructions requires knowing what those instructions are. His word acts as a guide book. We wouldn’t buy a new car without making sure it had a manual in the glove box to give us the key information needed to operate the vehicle. The Bible was given to man to provide a variety of functions: it is a history book, a book of parables, a rule book, a book of life lessons and so much more. How many times does it gather dust on a coffee table and/or book shelf? The more we familiarize ourselves with His word, the more we will know His word and as a result the better we will know its’ author.

Walking with God provides peace in your spirit. God is not a tough task master. He does not desire that we should struggle each and every day with choices that are clearly decided for us in scripture. If something is wrong, it is universally wrong and not just wrong in certain circumstances. If something is right, then the same is true. Scripture teaches us that in God “there is no shadow of turning”. He is perfect. He doesn’t change His mind. His instructions are pure and holy and true at all times and applicable in all situations. To achieve the peace and prosperity of soul that His word speaks of in Job, we must first surrender to the will of God. Nothing He commands us to do is harmful to us. It may not seem like something that we need to do, but I ask you this: Has God ever failed you? Although things may not have gone the way you wished they would have, can you honestly say that your plans were better than the plans God has for you? Can you see the future? Do you know all that will transpire in your life as an outcome of the choices you make? I know the answer to those questions … no. And not just ‘no’, but a resounding ‘NO’ that echoes through the ages. God always knows what is best. He makes a way of escape from our trials and temptations. He provides everything we need to be content in this life He has given us. Now we need to simply fall back on our faith and trust in Him to see us through any and all obstacles as we seek to serve Him.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GIVING GOOD FOR EVIL


1 Peter 2:12 (NIV) “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

PAGAN defined: 1) One who has no religion; 2) An adherent of a religion other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam; 3) a hedonist.*

HEDONISM defined: 1) Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses; 2) Philosophy The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good; 3) Psychology The doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.*

Those that have faults delight in pointing out the faults in others. It makes them seem more “normal” in their own minds. Another person’s vulnerability and weakness makes those finger pointers feel morally and/or ethically superior, in spite of their own flaws. It is beside the point that those being pointed out have never even pretended to be superior to anyone in any way. The perception that they are superior fuels the fire of those who are struggling with their own humanity.

Those who seek pleasure see nothing wrong with it in that, generally speaking, it neither harms, nor effects anyone other then the immediate participants. “Live and let live”. But life doesn’t work that way. Every word and/or deed brings about a subsequent action and/or reaction, many times unpleasant. Those who seem to have it all together are railed upon and verbally abused for their supposed calmness in the face of the fury of circumstances. It must be infuriating for those who do not know Christ.

All scripture tells us to do with such people is to live good lives among them. As Christ was silent when the Roman soldiers beat the crown of thorns down around his head, causing the long, sharp Judean thorns to dig into his scalp, drawing blood, we are to say nothing, but love them in silence by not giving back to them in like manner to that which they have given to us. It is God Who will “heap burning coals upon their heads” as their angry words of envy fall helplessly to the ground. Deep in their soul they know they are wrong. They, just like us, were born with a sense of good and evil, right and wrong. They are on a different path, going in a different direction, yet they are far from unredeemable. Do not shun them for their differences … befriend them. Reach out to them. We are not any different then they are, except that we have decided to follow the path that leads to life rather than death. It is like this: we have gone to court with a lawyer, they have none. They are unable to defend their actions. Neither are we, but our advocate is. So you see, aside from Christ, we are not very much different than those “pagans” that exist all around us.

Pray that God will allow you to see those that are lost through His eyes … to see them as He sees them. Don’t preach at them, meet their needs. Don’t avoid them; be as Christ would be to them. Christ didn’t condemn those He ministered to, but rather revealed their sin to them through parables and life lessons. Their own sins condemned them, as the enormity of what was taking place all around them became clear. So give good in exchange for evil and watch the fruit that grows from it.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

* all definitions courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com

Monday, July 4, 2011

FORGIVEN by Sanctus Real


Well the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I’m reminded of the wrong
That I have said and done
And that devil just wont let me forget

[Chorus:]
In this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am
I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
Cause I’m forgiven

My mistakes are running through my mind
And I’ll relive my days, in the middle of the night
When I wrestle with my pain, struggle with my pride
Sometimes I feel alone, and I cry

[Chorus]

When I don't fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ ‘cause
Cause I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
Cause I’m forgiven.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A HEALTHY EGO


Romans 12:3 (NIV) “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

EGO defined: a. An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit; b. Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem.

It is interesting to me and appropriate based on its’ definition alone, that the word EGO has two very contrasting definitions. A person can have a healthy ego or an overblown one. For many years I have had a negative opinion of myself. My self-esteem was low. There were a number of factors that throughout my life have contributed to this fact. Sadly, I had allowed circumstances, situations and people in my life dictate how I felt about myself. Shame on them for doing it, but shame on ME for allowing it.

A healthy ego is a good thing to have. Look at the ‘b’ definition. An “appropriate” pride in oneself. Okay, the appropriate is open to translation here. It’s like saying “act normal” … alright, define “normal” for me. Everyone has their own definition of the word ‘appropriate’. I would like to think that a believer in Christ would have a clearer, more ‘truer to what is meant’ definition than someone without Christ, but sadly, that is not always the case. We have many non-believers who have very healthy egos. They ‘do not think of themselves as more important than they ought’ at all. We have many Christians who think they are God’s gift to creation and we should be grateful to be in their acquaintance. They are unaware of their condition and cannot be told anything about their pride and arrogance, because they are above the fray in their own mind … a rather lofty place to reside and a very high place to fall from when their arrogance is revealed.

Think about your own situation. Look at yourself. Check your heart. Do you have a haughty spirit? Do you think of yourself as better than ANYONE else? If you do or even think you might, ask God to purge it from you so that you may be pleasing in His sight. Being pleasing in the sight of the world will get you nothing eternal and only shallow, meaningless accolades this side of heaven. Do not give away your birthright for a bowl of stew. Be what God wants you to be and not what you think you should be. God’s motives are pure and flawless. Are yours?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!