BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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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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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ALLOW GOD TO MOVE IN YOU

Psalm 86:5 (TNIV) “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”

This statement comes from a King who has led less than a stellar life. King David is a perfect example of how we fall into temptation and when it goes unchecked, into sin and yet is still loved by God. He is called in scripture as the apple of God’s eye. How is this possible for a man who slept with another man’s wife and then had the woman’s husband killed? Only with God is this possible.

Oh there were consequences for David’s actions to be sure; dire consequences at that, but God’s love for him never waned. The infant son born of Bathsheba died causing much grief and sorry in David’s heart. In the end he knew he had sinned through a visit from Nathan the Prophet. Our actions always lead to consequences of one sort or another. In it all God’s love for us never changes.

The Almighty Jehovah is a forgiving God. We must ask for forgiveness and we must ask with a sincere and contrite heart. It is not a glib thing that we do. We must come to God as we would a parent and confess what He already knows. Then we must have true contrition, true sorrow in our heart for our words or deeds. The love of God is boundless. He has already forgiven us before we even asked, yet we are required to ask nonetheless. There can be no forgiveness if we do not request it. The asking is designed to cause a change in us. No one likes to have to apologize. It is humbling and at times embarrassing. It is also builds character in the offender.

God forgives and God loves, but He is not a genie in a bottle, nor is He One who winks at our sin. Notice that the last 6 words in the above verse are “to all who call to you”. Something is required of us at all times. Forgiveness doesn’t just happen. His love permeates all of creation, but forgiveness must be sought.

In the end we realize that God hasn’t changed, nor will He ever, but rather we have changed. We begin to see things differently. We begin to marvel at the love God has for us. We begin to understand that the love that is defined in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 really represents the love God has for us. It is pretty astounding when you think about it. With all the incredibly stupid things we say and do in our lives, God still loves us. His aim is to make us whole. His aim is to change us for the better. We must succumb to His correction. Only then will be grow and become all God knows we can be; an individual living for Him and others instead of solely for ourselves.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Monday, January 30, 2012

PLUG INTO GOD

Ephesians 4:2 (TNIV) “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

VIRTUE (def): Moral excellence and righteousness; goodness; an example or kind of moral excellence.

You have no doubt heard the saying “Patience is a virtue”? Well, patience can also be painful. Some of the folks we encounter push our patience to new levels; at times to its’ breaking point. How can we be patient with the unlovely people in our lives? How can we be patient with the agitators, the foul mouthed, the ones who get joy in pushing all our buttons? WE can’t, but God CAN through us if we let Him.

It comes from knowing Him and knowing that He rewards those among us who are faithful to Him. Knowing Him comes from reading the Word of God and allowing it to seep into our heart, soul, mind and spirit and change us for the better. We must do this in order to have any chance of “bearing with one another in love”.

Patience is a virtue that we cannot attain alone, we need help. The author and provider of said patience is the source that we need to tap into. We cannot live this life and hope to have any eternal impact on others by ourselves. We have to first accept that as fact. Our limited resources run dry far too quickly to deal with some situations on our own. God, however, has limitless resources to draw from. Sadly, some people try to stumble along with their tank on empty, trying to deal with others effectively and at times do more harm than good. With our resources depleted, we become agitated and irritated much more easily. God’s resources are there for the taking, yet we continue to attempt to do things without help. Our effects, though perhaps effective in the beginning, have become futile.

Some people in our lives simply put require more grace from us. Prior to our salvation, God showed us limitless grace (and still does). Why would be show those around us any less? We are not God, so we succumb to our humanness and botch things up without even realizing it. While our intentions are honorable, they are ineffective in the long run due to a lack of resources. You see, it really all comes back to that. When our car’s fuel tank is on empty, we go to the gas station to fuel up or fill our tank. THAT is precisely what we should be doing on a daily basis in our lives.

When our resources run dry, “fuel up” with God’s word. He is watching and waiting for you to realize that you cannot do this thing called life by yourself. The things that truly matter in this life are unattainable without God. You will never find pure and lasting peace on your own. Not the kind that “passes all understanding”. You will not be truly comforted unless you encounter a believer, sent by God Himself, to meet that need in you. Truth, wisdom, kindness, all things that ultimately come from God. He uses willing believers as conduits to reach out and touch others in need, but God is the common denominator.

We are called to be patient with others, ALL others, no matter what situation or circumstances we find ourselves or they are in. Go to the One true source of all things … Almighty Jehovah God, Creator of the Universe and man’s first breath and be filled to overflowing afresh and anew each day with all the resources you need to do His will.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

PREPARE FOR BATTLE

Ephesians 6:12-13 (CEB) “We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens. Therefore pick up the full armor of God so that you can stand your ground on the evil day and after you have done everything possible to still stand.”

We war against things we cannot see. Our battle is not against God but against “the prince of the power of the air” as one translation of the Bible puts it. That would be Satan. According to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we have armor
(vv. 14-17) we can put on to defend ourselves against the wiles of the enemy. In all things God provides protection. It is our job to utilize it.

Hebrews 4:12 (CEB) “… God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions.”

The Word of God is a mighty weapon against evil. We must read it and know it to use it effectively. Without it we are walking into a battle zone unprotected. We need to read God’s word just like we need to feed our bodies; to nourish ourselves and help us get stronger. To get stronger in the faith enables us to trust in God all the more, allowing Him to work in us and through us more completely. There is nothing the enemy can do to us that is not allowed by God Himself. If you
doubt that spend some time in the Book of Job, especially the first chapter or two. God knows what He is doing. We don’t always understand what is going on, but that is where our faith and trust kicks in. God can and will enable us to defeat that which hinders us; which thwarts us on every side.
When David, still a boy just prior to his encounter with the mighty Philistine Goliath, was offered King Saul’s armor for protection against his foe, David found that it was way too big for him. The good thing about the armor Paul speaks of in Ephesians is that it is tailor made for us and fits like a glove. God knows what we need in this life. We must tap into His word and begin to live it to feel the full force of His love and protection for us. We must come to the place as His child that every word is true and meant as instruction for us. Take this seriously and you will never be defeated. Blow it off and you are defeated already. Make no mistake about it; there is a right way and a wrong way to following God. Give yourself over to Him and let Him make you into the person He created you to be.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GOD'S PEACE

Philippians 4:6-7 (CEB) “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”

I had an interesting conversation with my chiropractor last week. He said that he simply didn’t believe that there was this supreme spirit being who fielded billions of prayers at the same time and answered each and every one of them. I told him, “we all have the freedom to believe whatever we choose. You don’t have to believe in God if you don’t want, however, what if this whole thing about God and heaven and hell is all literally true? I would rather believe something that is good and just and right and pure then do as I please in the hope that it wasn’t true. I happen to think living for God is a pretty nice way to live.” I then asked him, “what about you?” He said, “I guess I would be going to hell if it were true.” I said, “it doesn’t have to be that way.” There is no miraculous salvation story to tell at this time, but I hope I gave him something to think about. I say all this to introduce the entry relating to the verse above with relation to “bring(ing) up all your requests to God.”

It is very difficult, with what we consider to be reality staring us directly in the face, to NOT be anxious at times. Yet Paul tells the Philippians not to be anxious about ANYTHING. Bring it up to God, says Paul. What do we receive first and foremost when we pray … peace. At times it can be instantaneous, other times it may not hit us until later when we notice that we are not anxious anymore. Can we thwart God’s peace? I believe so if we continue to feed our fears rather than drink in the cool water of life through His word or through prayer and praise. Many would rather cuss and fuss, punch someone out or drink themselves into oblivion, but the fears and problems will still be there when the dust settles. They will still be there in our peace, but they will no longer have a hold on us.

God provides us with all we need to survive this life. We must tap into it regularly. We wouldn’t get very far with no gas in the tank of our car, neither would we get very far spiritually if we didn’t feed our spirit. It must be a routine … regular, like clockwork. It matters not whether it is morning, noon or night, just that we do it. Read a devotional and ponder its meaning for today. Read a portion of scripture and roll it over in your mind, thinking of all its meanings. Don’t say you don’t have time, MAKE time. Even five minutes is better than NO minutes. You wouldn’t think of going through an entire day without eating or drinking something. We need to hydrate our spirits too. This stuff doesn’t just happen on its own. Like an athlete doesn’t become world class by being a couch potato, we will never be a useful soldier for God without putting in the time and effort to become one.

I am not here to tell you that I never get anxious. I am speaking to myself as I write this just as much as I am speaking to the masses. I fret about things quite frequently as a matter of fact. I DO know how to combat it … I pray. I rebuke the devil and all his demons in Jesus’ name and ask the Lord to calm me down. The situation IS what it is, it isn’t going to disappear. The thing about it is that you will never walk through it alone.

Psalm 23:4 (CEB) “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff they protect me.”

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BEARING BURDENS

Galatians 6:2 (CEB) “Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

BURDEN (def): 1. Something that is carried; 2a. Something that is emotionally difficult to bear; 2b. A source of great worry or stress; weight; 3. A responsibility or duty.*

We all have burdens that we carry. How much easier would our burdens be to carry if we had assistence. God provides assistance in the form of brothers and sisters in Christ. I also believe that He might send an angel to assist you depending on the situation you are in.

In the true spirit of WWJD, what do you think Jesus would do if He were confronted with an individual whose burden was too difficult for him/her to bear alone? Based on the Gospels, I’d say it was a no brainer that He would reach out and lend a hand to lighten that person’s load. We are called to do likewise. We are given the tools needed to accomplish this as well. God never leaves us out on a limb by our lonesome. He is always there to provide help when it is required.

Galatians may be referring to bearing the burdens of fellow believers, but in verse 1 of chapter 6 he is SPEAKING to brothers and sisters, yet refers to “a person” who is caught doing something wrong. The next sentence states that “you who are spiritual should restore them in a spirit of gentleness”. I think this instruction is for followers of Christ regarding the burdens of ANYONE they come across.

Some people we encounter are nice folks, some are gruff and unappreciative, but either way, we are to NOT judge by appearances or attitude, for God didn’t judge us that way. He overlooked our faults, failings and character flaws and chose to love us regardless of any of that. Is it not interesting that we have such a hard time doing the same for others.

We are a work in progress. When we stop reading scripture and seeking the face of God on a daily basis it is like a construction grew walking off a build site. The construction of the edifice stops. For us to grow spiritually, we MUST continue to feed our spirit man sustenance through the written and spoken word. Make wise choices regarding what we listen to and read. Make sure it glorifies God in every way. If not, we are feeding garbage into our brain. If we are truly to be more like Jesus, we must feast on the word of God. How else can our faith and trust in God increase?

Understand that carrying each other’s burdens is NOT getting to heaven by works. It is rather our living our lives as Christ would have … being His hand extended because it is the right thing to do, not so that we can earn a place in heaven. Nothing but the blood of Christ can purchase that for us. Other than receiving that precious gift of salvation, there is NOTHING we can do to get into heaven.

In the end, we are to do what we do for the glory of God because our relationship with Him and our understanding of what He has done for us compels us to do nothing less. All glory to God!

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

*definition courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

SEEK WISDOM

James 1:5-6 (CEB)* “But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. Whoever asks shouldn’t hesitate. They should ask in faith, without doubting. Whoever doubts is like the surf of the sea, tossed and turned by the wind.

Understanding that we have no clue how to live our lives to the fullest without hurting others in the process, we must ask God for help. He is standing at the ready with all that we need to survive in this chaotic world. It stands to reason that when wisdom and discernment is needed, all we need to do is ask. God gives to all His children liberally, without hesitation.

James 4:3 (CEB)* You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings.”

There are times when we ask for things that are not essential to our well being. God is not a genie in a bottle. We are not to ask for every whim and fancy that we wish to have. It is the necessities and not the Xbox or the iPhone that we need to be asking God for. While there is nothing inherently evil in those things, they are not essential to our survival. Things like wisdom, patience, guidance, healing, and tolerance … things that are designed to assist us in making right choices in life. These are the important things we must seek from God; to help us withstand temptation or make a critical decision. It is those Godly attributes which we are called to acquire and that we are to seek, even ask for.

God gives us all we need to succeed in this life for Him. If we truly seek to serve Him and be like Christ, then we need to read His word to find out all that is required of us. The Bible tells us to “count the cost” (Luke 14:27-30) of following Christ. Much may be required of you, but you will in turn experience some of the most wonderful blessings you could ever imagine. Sometimes they are not easily seen with the naked eye, but rather with the eye of the spirit. We must train ourselves by quieting ourselves; being still before the Lord. It can be a mighty challenge for us with the cacophony of noise that is around us nearly all the time. Practice blocking it out. I have always had trouble silently waiting for anything, let alone God to speak to my heart. He handles each of us differently. Each of us has a different story to tell of how God ministers to us. With me, I get ministered to quite a bit through the spoken word, whether it is a sermon, a song or a verse of scripture. I get distracted reading for long periods of time, yet can concentrate long enough to write for quite some time.

Everyone learns differently. I happen to learn best by visual means. I get more out of watching a cinematic version of a story, then reading it. I retain more and remember pictures in my mind better than when I imagine it. Others learn better through the written word and are quite voracious readers because of it. When I read scripture, I tend to read brief portions and then write down what I think it means and then what it means to me. I retain it better that way. How do you learn things? Try using that technique to learn about God through His word. The Bible is, in a way, life’s road map and owner’s manual all in one. You really cannot live a successful life in God’s eyes without following its’ directives. Why go it alone? Seek the One Who desires to make your trip through life a little easier.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!
*CEB – Common English Bible translation

Saturday, January 21, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 14

Today we got our first snow. I believe it is done now, but snow always looks so pretty just after it has fallen. The scene is so serene … peaceful, calm, motionless. Then people begin to venture out of their cozy abodes and everything gets stirred up. The roads slowly become a slushy mess that freezes the next night. Footprints dot the landscape and the once undisturbed scene is now no more.

If white stands for purity in this ramble, as is typically does, then I could liken it to a new born baby. Innocent, pure as the driven snow. They know nothing of sin or evil or deceit or violence. They will soon enough, but for that short time, they maintain that air of innocence. How will they be raised, in what type of family environment? Will it be nurturing or hostile? Like the snow, a child’s serenity can be disturbed by the footprints of life which tromp through its’ little life. Before you know it they are walking, talking and oh so cute. Unfortunately, just like the snow, the innocence doesn’t last forever, as they are influenced by millions of things as they grow up and mature.

For now let’s just reflect on the innocence. Put a small child and the wonder of a new fallen snow together and you’ve got free fun. They may come home soaked to the bone, but achieving that good soaking involved adrenaline laced fun. Pulling out the saucer, snow tube or sleigh and finding a hill. When I was a child I went across and down the street to a small hill that was plenty big enough for me. When it snowed, it was packed with kids taking turns riding down it, screaming with delight each time. It never got old. The true test of a good sled was being able to reach the edge of the small brook that ran through the woodsy area below. I remember having my sled break the water only once in all the years I went down that hill. It was cold, but we didn’t care. We got wet, but that was ok too. You really didn’t notice the wetness and the cold until you eventually decided to make the brief trek home. Your hands were red inside your mittens from the wet cold. Your entire body cried out for warmth. Once home, you received hot chocolate and a mother’s love.

Unfortunately, too many kids do NOT receive any of what I just described. Selfish parents withhold the positive and seem to take all their angst from life’s disappointments out on their children, as if their life choices were all their fault. In the end, the only salvation for anyone is God. God can be that cup of hot chocolate and mother’s love for anyone who seeks it. Does that sound strange? God is everything good and righteous in this world. Any good thing that you seek can be found in Him. If life’s many disappointments have you despondent today; if it seems like your entire life is one big mess and you have no idea which way to turn … turn to God. Christ died for you too. The gift of salvation is real and it is available for the asking. Seek God today … do not delay, for you never know what day could be your last.

I simply cannot end this on that morbid note. We are alive today because our Heavenly Father sustains us. He gives us the air we breathe and the health in our bones. Seek His face … cry out to Him. Whether a believer or a seeker, cry out to Him for direction and assistance. He will never, ever let you down. There, that is a much better way to end this ramble.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Friday, January 20, 2012

DON'T DEVIATE

James 1:2-4 (TNIV) 2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 12 Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

PERSEVERANCE (def):  Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.*

You have no doubt heard the saying, “Stay the course”? It means to stay on the course you are on, to hold steady, don’t deviate. When we become Christians, we begin to be buffeted about by various trials and tribulations which are sent by our enemy to knock us off course. It is like the winds and waves at sea which can redirect a ships course of direction by their force. If our eyes are fixed on Jesus and Jesus alone, we will be more inclined to stay on course. Fears, real or imagined, will disappear. With each trial our faith is bolstered; a testing of our reliance on God.

Trials and tribulations are allowed by God to strengthen us. We need not fold under the pressure of them, for our faith, no matter how small, will slowly grow in the face of them.  God doesn’t allow anything that will harm us and is ever watchful to protect us. He is seeking to produce in us a stick-to-it mentality that will not waver in the face of mounting pressure. Your maturity and growth as a believer depends on it. We shouldn’t want to exist on the baby food of life when a hearty meal is waiting. It is our perseverance that matures us. With each test and trial our faith increases. We begin to realize that God was there to see you through last time, so it stands to reason that when scripture says “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6,8) it really means it.

James tells us to consider it a joyful experience to receive trials in our lives. We are worthy of being tested. Take Job for instance. Satan went into God’s throne room and God offered up Job for Satan to test. He was allowed to do whatever he wished except take his life. What an honor to be chosen by God for a test of faith. Job is a good read. It is long, but reveals the true nature of a man and God’s providence. God has never and will never leave us nor forsake us. It will never happen. Just when you think all is lost, a solution is provided or a way of escape appears.

We are not to turn from God because of these for them will lead us to greater blessings. God seeks to make us strong in our faith and trust so that we can withstand any trial that we face in life. In the end, no matter what our social standing, we will be a winner in the eyes of God. It is the insignificant ones in this world that do the most significant things in God’s economy. They have the least to lose and in my opinion, are more prone to seeking divine assistance.

It has been said that Jesus is a crutch, used by the weak and failing to hold themselves up. If that is true, then I will lean on Him all day long, for I realized a long time ago that I cannot do this thing called life by myself. My best efforts pale in comparison to God’s smallest feats. Face your trials head on knowing that God is with you and will see you through each and every one of them. In the end, your faith will be strong and your example to be a beacon of light to those around you.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!
 
*Definition courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com


Thursday, January 19, 2012

HOW TO TREAT OTHERS

Matthew 7:12 (TNIV) “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

This is something I believe everyone should adhere to. We shouldn’t treat those unlovely people around us shabbily, for this is not at all what scripture teaches. It is easy to be nice to those who are nice to you, but what of those who grate on your nerves or are just plain mean? Remember this, according to scripture, if WE got what we deserved we would be bound for an everlasting hell. That would be based on the sins from our life that we could never pay for ourselves. We required a sacrificial lamb by the name of Jesus Christ to pay that debt for us. Mean people do not deserve our kindness, patience or love, but neither did we. We are loved unconditionally and without reservation. No matter how difficult it may be at times, and trust me, it can and will be extremely difficult with some folks, we are to strive to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Should they be our enemy, our kindness would heap burning coals upon their head, figuratively speaking of course. (Romans 12:20)

When it states that “this sums up the Law and the Prophets” , that may seem perplexing. Are we still under the Law of Moses? No, we are not as New Testament believers. However, it is my contention that while are do not have to literally follow the 10 Commandments as they did before the coming of Christ, if we live as God commands we will by default be living them out in our lives.

I have had both wonderful people and loathsome people cross my path throughout my life. I have always tried to the best of my ability to follow this scriptures directive. It has not be easy and it even made me an easy target at times, but it is what God requires of us as followers of Christ. If we treat others the way WE feel they deserve to be treated how would that make us any different than the unbelievers who “live and let live” and care not how others feel about anything. The point is it doesn’t make us any different at all. We are to be “salt and light” to a dying world. (Matthew 5:13-16)

We are not called to warm a pew each Sunday morning, nor are we called to be in church each time the doors are open if it doesn’t cause a change in us. As the old saying goes, being in church makes you a Christian like standing in a garage makes you a car … it doesn’t. Just attending and tithing does not cut it in God’s economy. He doesn’t NEED your help, but He is asking for it. He has chosen us to be a difference in this crazy, mixed up, hedonistic world where anything goes and God is considered a myth or some sort of crutch some need to sustain themselves and feel good. We should consider it an honor to be chosen. If you are standing still you are losing ground, because millions have answered the call and are passing you by. God will not leave you dangling out on a limb. You may treat an undesirable individual with kindness and you may receive anger or hatred in return, but your kindness has planted a seed in their hearts that God can cultivate. You do your part and leave the rest to God. Some of us plant, some water and some reap the harvest … but God is truly the One at work here.

WALK WITH THE KING AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

THERE IS A WAY OUT

1 Corinthians 10:13 (TNIV) “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

The enemy of our soul, namely Satan, has placed snares all about to trip us up. If we stay close to God we can avoid them. But we want to have our ears tickled and our senses massaged, so we dabble in things we should not. I know, I was sucked into things that made a mess of things for me. I am here to tell you that God DOES provide a way of escape from whatever you become entangled in. I am also here to tell you that you can turn away from that way of escape and become even more entangled. I lived it. I saw the way of escape yet chose to remain in the sin I was engaged in. That is not the way God wants us to act.

I am living proof that your mistakes do not define you as a person or as a believer. Got still uses those who have fallen to temptation and risen up again. God does the rising. God makes the alterations and God gets all the glory. There is nothing we do that requires any praise whatsoever.

You can could on the fact that if you are in right standing with Almighty God, you WILL face temptations of various sizes and shapes. Especially if you are living for Christ. I am here to tell you that you do NOT have to succumb to them. God enables us to walk away from them. God, and God alone can provide this “way out”, as scripture calls it. Left to our own devices we would fall and fall hard. Only God can rescue us from ourselves.

Even IN our temptation, God is in control and will not allow it to be more than we can bear. Satan desires for us to be totally defeated as Christians; incapable of blessing anyone and discouraged. We can, according to scripture, rebuke* the devil in the name of the Lord (Jude 1:8-10). We can ward off our enemy and all his demons with a word, in Jesus’ name. I believe in a spiritual realm and I believe there are angels and demons at war over the souls of men. I believe angels are messengers from God who can act for Him to save us from calamity. We are protected from evil if we would only accept His assistance. Surrender to His Lordship and receive that which He has for you.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

*re·buke - 1. To criticize or reprove sharply; reprimand. 2. To check or repress. 3. A sharp reproof.
  (definition courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com)


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

LOVE OTHERS

Galatians 5:14-15 (TNIV) “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

There is a lot of back biting and anger in society today. Selfishness abounds; a lot of ME first. It has seeped into our culture and it is not a pretty sight. People want to fight over the least little things anymore. Just last week I was at a restaurant and a man apparently made a comment to the man in front of him and they went at it; hands to throats. Threats and shouting. What on earth has come over people? Scripture tells us to live peaceably with others as much as it is within us to do so (Romans 12:18). What is taking place is what happens in a society whose population wants to do things their own way. ME first. What do I get out of this? We will devour one another in the end. The general callousness of some people is shocking to say the least.

God commands us to love our neighbor the way we love ourselves. That is a tall order for some of the folks who simply DO NOT even LIKE themselves and therein lies part of the problem. You can’t love anyone else until you love yourself. Sometimes layer upon layer of self loathing has built up, so I know this devotional isn’t going to cure all ills, but hopefully it may just start some positive thinking toward us.

We are created beings. Our Creator loves us without conditions or reservations. He loved us before the dawn of time. He loved us as we were in our mother’s womb. And He loves us still. He loves us enough to provide an escape hatch from this world of sin and debauchery. This world is the realm of Satan. God has allowed him to have it, but God is in complete control at all times. I don’t know what some folks have lousy, loveless upbringings. I wish I had an answer for that, but I do know the cure. It is surrendering your life to the One who created you to begin with.

Life is hard, no doubt about it. People will try just about anything to get by. Drugs, alcohol, meditation, Satanism and witchcraft … any way to either numb yourself or get an edge. But they will not try God. Other things promise the world but cannot deliver. God promises you what you need and created the world. When God is discussed with some folks, questions abound: Where was God when that Tsunami hit Japan? Why did Katrina have to happen? Why do children die? Why is life so hard? The only answer I have ever heard for most tragedies is that they are a result of the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. We do not live in heaven. That may seem like a glib answer. I apologize if it comes across that way. Seek God to finds the answers you are looking for. Make it your mission in life to find God. Call out to Him. He is there. He sees you. How do I know? I believe it by faith … believing in the unseen as if it can be seen. I trust Him with my life. Everything doesn’t become perfect if you surrender your life to Him, but He gives you the tools to cope with it so much better. Peace instead of chaos; comfort instead of pain; hope for a better tomorrow instead of misery and disappointment. With God calling the shots, life takes on new meaning. It isn’t a cakewalk, but trust me as a person who has walked with Him for over 30 years, the peace He provides in the face of disappointment is worth it. The operative word for 2012 is SURRENDER!

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

LIVE AS FREE MEN WITHOUT SINNING


Galatians 5:13 (TNIV) “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”


Scripture says that all things are permissible; however, all things do not benefit us. We have been given a free will. This is illustrated in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Through Christ we are made free, and Whom Christ makes free is free indeed (John 8:36). Being free allows us to serve Whom we choose, understanding that we are to serve the One Who freed us. We do not have to, but we need to.

Only God can protect us from the enemy of our soul. Only God can enable us to live a life that is pleasing to Him and beneficial to ourselves. Satan seeks to destroy us. It’s what he does. When we indulge in sin, we satisfy our baser instincts; that which provides pleasure at any cost to ourselves.  In the end, we are found wanting, no better off than we were before our indulgence. God knows what is best for us. It is a matter of faith and trust. In whom are we going to place our trust? Ourselves? Hardly. The sooner we realize that we truly know nothing of any consequence and that all the ‘things’ that we engage in are only  temporal endeavors, the better off we will be.

God knows what we are in need of. He knows everything about us. He knew what would benefit Adam and Eve the most in the Garden, but they were tempted to disobey. We are still tempted regularly to this very day. Satan hasn’t changed his methods. They are pretty transparent. We don’t see them because we are blinded by the promise of satisfaction.  It would be like having your favorite food item placed in front of you, an offering in exchange for your very soul and once you made the commitment to serve only him, you tasted the food only to find that it had no flavor at all. Satan’s promises look incredibly on the surface, but are empty and shallow, with no life attached to them at all.

We are free to do as we please however, we must not take our liberties at the expense of our true freedom in Christ. The consequences that are the result of the actions we take at times can cripple our walk with God. God loves us just the same, but the consequences must play out before healing can begin. Why is it that we must stumble through mistake riddled valleys before we realize that God truly is our best option. He watches and waits for us to come to this realization. He guides us towards the light when we ask. He sends angels to assist.  Conversely, Satan sends everything possible our way to trip us up and lead us away from God. But God is everywhere at one time so you can never be far from Him. He is only a prayer away, no matter how far from Him you may feel.

Serve God humbly in love. Don’t succumb to the lies of the enemy. You can avoid some of the pain and heartache by setting out to truly KNOW your God. Get to know Him like you would someone on this earth that you really loved and cared about. It is a little more difficult to stay on task with that because God cannot be seen or felt. But His love is all around us and can be experienced through the hug from a child, a special friend or loved one.  God is light and in Him there is no darkness. Embrace the light this day and follow His path for you.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 13

3 brief snippets

1) Yesterday was Friday the 13th. Oooo, ahhhhh. I suppose bad things are supposed to happen on Friday the 13th. Superstitions abound in our culture; everything from not stepping on a crack for fear of breaking your mothers back to getting up on the same side of the bed each morning. If you talk yourself into believing such things, they have the potential to one day create unnecessary havoc and unwanted stress. They can literally immobilize a person if they let it. These things are solely in one’s mind. They are derived from something the person heard, saw or read at one time. It is nothing but pot shots from the enemy to control you. Shed yourself of it. Do it sooner rather than later. Friday the 13th is just another day. I never give it a second thought. Oh you can conjure it up into something more than it is, but it is nothing.

2) Now that I’ve solved all the problems in the universe, let me say this … God is with us every second of our lives. He is aware of all things and will protect you from harm if you let Him. So many people today refuse His help believing that they can make it on their own. They are mistaken. What can they accomplish in their lives? They can produce material things which are temporal. The only things that are of any true, eternal value come from God. We cannot manufacture them in a factory. We cannot make them out of wood in our workshop. We cannot buy them in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco. The things that have true eternal value come from the One true God. Material possessions are fine for what they are. We shouldn’t rely on them for anything truly important. They fulfill their purpose in our lives and then go the way of the dinosaur. Only God is eternal. Only God can save from sin. Only God can provide a heavenly home for us when we pass on from this world. Only God can do these things. Satan can’t. We can’t do it. God can.

3) In this world where no one is perfect and even Christians fall flat on their face by virtue of poor judgment or misdeeds, I want you to know this one key fact: no matter who you are or how bad you feel you may have blown it, your mistakes DO NOT define you as a person. God still wants to use you and can use you in a mighty way. Will you let Him? Cancel the pity party, stop feeling like you are a screw up. Even if no one in this world cares, God does. He is waiting with open arms to embrace you and get you back on track. Will you let Him?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Friday, January 13, 2012

AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (TNIV) “… that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”




RECONCILE (def): To reestablish a close relationship between.

If reestablishment is required then there must have been a separation. The Garden of Eden provided the separation by virtue of Adam and Eve eating of the forbidden fruit. Christ provided the reconciliation by BEING the perfect blood sacrifice Who would give Himself up for our sins. God never counts our sins against us if we confess them and embrace the cleansing flood of Christ’s blood meant to wash those sins completely away. It’s as if they were never committed in the first place. It doesn’t happen automatically though, we have to seek it out and request it. Like any gift that is offered, it must be taken from He Who offers it.

We are now reconciled to God if we have received the gift of salvation. What do we do now? Did you know God now calls you an Ambassador for Christ? He wants to use you and me to proclaim His glorious word. We get so caught up in what we can’t do or at least can’t do well that we miss the point entirely. Moses apparently had a speech impediment (Exodus 4:10), yet God used Him mightily. It is the socially insignificant ones that God can use to do great things. Probably because they don’t have problems with pride and arrogance, which can be seen from time to time in believers. It is as if they feel somehow special because they are being used by God. We are ALL special; unique creatures. One of a kind. There is not another one like us in the whole world. And God has not only chosen to love us unconditionally, without exception, but has also chosen to use us for His glory. Whatever it is that God requires of us He will equip us for. Count on it.

We have an important mission in this life as believers. It can be accomplished through the spoken word or through our actions. They say actions speak louder than words anyway, so BE like Christ rather than speak like Him. Anyone can talk a good game … but as the saying goes, “seeing is believing”.

“WWJD?” was a worn out phrase that Christians embraced for quite a while. It still is in some areas of the country. I think some people were turned off by the commercial aspect of the slogan. It was everywhere … on tee shirts, rubber bracelets, dog tags, ball caps, note cards, bumper stickers and so on. But let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water so to speak. Is it not a valid question? What WOULD Jesus do in this or that situation? First, we must KNOW Jesus. I mean, study Him. If nothing else, read the Gospels. See how He acted and reacted to different situations. If we are to be His Ambassadors we should know who we are to represent. We need to emulate Him is every way. Now this, like sanctification, is a progressive thing. You can’t expect to wake up one morning and “poof” you are just like Jesus. We are faced with trials of many sizes and sorts every day. But if we are serious about BEING like Christ, we must count the cost and then proceed. God made you and loves you and also wants to use you, perhaps in a small way or perhaps in a large way. Be available. God needs to be paramount in your life. He needs to occupy your thoughts so that your actions will be gracious and kind. He needs to consume you to your core. You know what I mean by that. This doesn’t mean you quit your job and join a monastery unless you feel specifically led by God’s Spirit to do that. It means that you give God a portion of your day. It means you focus on Him and what He may be trying to say to you. It means you go to church expecting to hear from Him. It means you have your Spiritual antennae up and functioning at all times. Maybe it means you stop to help fix a flat. Maybe you hold a door open for a struggling mother with 3 children. Maybe its saying something encouraging to a check out person, which may just be the first encouraging word they’ve heard all day. Maybe it’s cooking dinner so your wife can sit and rest for a change. There are many ways you can BE like Christ that don’t necessarily involve evangelism. And then there is ministering the word of God to others. Be prepared. Scripture tells us to be ready in season and out to defend that which we believe. God has the weapons ready and waiting. We just need to pick them up and go forth into the day. We can do this. God has enabled us. Allow your faith and trust to kick in and you might be surprised at what can be accomplished in His name.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

NON-CONFORMITY

Psalm 4:3 (TNIV) “Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.”

Romans 12:2 (TNIV) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

1 Peter 1:14 (TNIV) “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.”

CONFORM (def): to be in agreement through actions and behavior with socially accepted standards or norms.

Sanctification is a process. It is both a process and is instantaneous at the same time. When you receive Christ for the forgiveness of sins, you are then and forever more seen by God as being totally justified and sanctified; holy in His sight by virtue of the blood of Christ which you are now cleansed with. It is a process because we must live out our lives on this earth, which is an unholy place. We are tainted by it and influenced by it and need God’s help to make it through. To be holy would be to be perfect and sinless and we are not. We sin every day in some way or another.

According to His Word, God has set us apart to do a good work on His behalf. We are to be strangers in a strange land. We are to be non-conformists, flowing upstream against the social norm. We are just passing through on our way to glory. We have a mission, which I fear too many Christians do not realize. Our lives should entail more than just being blessed and living in material opulence, praising God for all His many blessings as we go. We are called to minister His grace and mercy to those around us. We are in a unique position in that each of us has access to people that might otherwise never even consider the importance of a relationship with God. If not for us they might simply think we are born, we live and we die … period.

Let’s get one thing very clear here … I am NOT speaking of becoming religious or even spiritual … I am speaking about a very personal and specific relationship with Almighty God, Creator of the Universe and man’s first breath. Being religious is nothing … it is not even a word in the Bible. Knowing God intimately on a relational basis is going to take a lot more than just attended church. It will take work and time. If we are not going to conform to this world and to the evil desires that once ensnared us, we must truly KNOW God.

Let me ask you, what does God mean to you? Do you know Him well enough to know His plan for you? Do you know Him well enough to tell others about Him? We are to be set apart. We should feel uncomfortable in this world. This world is not what it appears to be. It is all smoke and mirrors. Temptations abound. We can get duped into old habits and fooled into making God less important in our lives by virtue of the “things” we spend our time on. DO NOT be fooled any longer. God loves you and is patient as we learn our lessons. But there will come a day when time will be no more and we shall stand before our King. Will we stand before the Mercy Seat of Christ as a believer or the White Throne of God, where non-believers shall be judged? People don’t like to hear about the judgment of God, but it is a real thing. If you are His child, live like it to the best of your ability. Get up and dust yourself off when you fall; continue seeking His face as you live for Him. You have nothing to fear. If your walk with God is suspect, look deep inside yourself and make a self-evaluation. We must be God’s hand extended to a lost and dying world. If not us, then who?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WHOM SHALL WE SERVE?

Psalm 118:5-7 (TNIV) “When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can human beings do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.”

Have you ever been afraid of anything or anyone? Afraid of a situation perhaps? I have. Many of us have. I think circumstances in our lives have us more afraid than people most of the time, but they are our enemies just the same. Circumstances rob our joy and run away with our peace. What can we do to prevent this? Pray … often … in faith, trusting God to work things out the way they are meant to work out.

Our circumstances do not take God by surprise. It’s not like sits on His throne and says, “Duh, I didn’t see THAT coming.” He is the creator if all things. He knows everything about us. He causes or allows everything that takes place in this universe. If it were no so than something or someone would be greater than Him and He would cease to be God. But that is not the case. Why would He allow such circumstances to befall us? Perhaps they are by your own hand? Perhaps they are there to allow your faith to grow. God has He reasons … He has His divine purposes for everything that takes place. Perhaps the circumstances are the result of some sin in your live; consequences of something you shouldn’t have been doing. Everything we say and do comes with a set of consequences that play out. Every thought that is put into action has consequences.

When people themselves become a threat to us, we must rely on our Heavenly Father all the more. This also has not taken God by surprise. He has allowed it to give you a chance to trust that His word is true and that there is nothing to fear. Truthfully, what can another person do to you? Short of killing you, which may be in retaliation for something you started, what can any man do to you? God is there. He sees it all. There is nothing that He cannot work out for your ultimate good and His glory. It’s what He does. We protect our children to the death, what makes you think it is any different with God. Only He already died on a cross, so He doesn’t have to die again. He is our protector and savior.

Even when our circumstances look bleak; even when the storm clouds are forming and nothing seems to go right … pray. Ask for His help. Thank Him in advance for what He will do and then watch the manifestation of an answer come about. It may not turn out the way WE think it should or the way WE would have wanted it to, but that is where the trust comes in. We must understand that in God’s economy everything has a purpose. There is no wasted motion. Everything happens for a specific reason. We must trust Him in that. He has never failed us. He WILL never fail us. He is our hope and our salvation. He is the only hope and salvation we have. It is God or nothing. What shall it be today? God or nothing.

Joshua 24:15 (TNIV) “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WE ARE FOREIGNERS

1 Peter 1:17 (TNIV) “Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.”

REVERENCE (def): respectful, awed, solemn, loving, humble, adoring, devout, submissive.*

FEAR (def): Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.*

“This world is not my home I'm just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore …”**

Life is a funny thing. It can seem that we are here today and gone tomorrow. Life is a fleeting thing. The saying “Time waits for no man” is literally true. There is but One who can control and alter time and that is Almighty God. We are called to live out our lives on this earth with a solemn and respectful reverence or awe for our God. We are not to take Him or His commands lightly. He is the One Who can change all things with one spoken word. God is the One who parted the Red Sea in Moses’ day. He is the One and only Jehovah God, the One Who was and is and is to come; the One who is to be revered over any other.

We are given a certain allotted amount of time on this earth. God ordains it and knows when we took our first breath and when we will take our last. He is completely impartial. He does not favor any one person over another. He never has and never will. He looks at His entire creation the same and loves us all equally, in spite of ourselves. We are to consider ourselves as foreigners in a foreign land as we live out our lives here in the present. It is difficult to do this, what with all the responsibilities we take on throughout our lives. Some are quite necessary, some only necessary in our own minds. We would much rather enjoy this life than live a life of servitude to our Lord. We don’t understand that which the Lord has equipped us for. We strive for the wrong things in life and leave God out of some of the most important decisions we make. We do NOT need to be “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good” as the saying goes, but we DO need to be conscious of His presence in our everyday lives and seek His direction and guidance. You see we think we know what we are doing from day to day, but we are wrong. Our thinking is askew; it is off the mark.

It is my contention that what God is wanting from us as followers of Christ beside praise and worship, is a striving. I believe that God desires for us to seek to be more like His Son each and every day. That requires us to stop “living like there is no tomorrow”, but rather live like tomorrow was your last day on earth. The former refers to the following: “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die”; the latter takes on a much more somber tone. If you knew tomorrow would be your last day on this earth, what would you do?

Living like you truly don’t belong here makes you different. People many times like to blend in, be a part of the crowd. God wants you to be set apart. He desires for you to be a lighthouse in the raging seas of life. He desires for you to put your own personal desires aside and BE Christ to someone. He will provide for and sustain you; He always has, even if you haven’t realized it. Give your life fully to Him and watch things change all around you. But you must look through the eyes of the Spirit. Listen and learn from the Holy Spirit and you will see things and experience that which you never could have dreamed.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

* Courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com
** Gospel song written by SD Burton; Music by EB Graham

Monday, January 9, 2012

TIME WITH GOD


Matthew 6:19-21 (TNIV) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I am a collector. I have collected comic books, graphic novels, ball cards, ball caps, tee shirts, lighthouses and so on. Through the years I have amassed quite a bit of “stuff”. I have also moved around a lot. Starting in New Jersey, I moved to North Carolina, then Texas, then back to New Jersey. And have moved quite a few times within each state. Each move became a little more cumbersome because of accumulated “stuff”. Things that have value to me, yet are essentially valueless otherwise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with collecting and nothing wrong with accumulating things throughout your life, but I use it as an example of how we so easily get entangled in that which has no eternal value.

It was only recently that I began to realize that this “stuff”, while fun to collect and marvelous in and of itself, was nothing more than extra boxes to tote around with me. I began to realize for the first time that anything that is lost to you, yet can be replaced can’t be all that important after all. I began to understand in some small way, what Matthew was talking about. The treasure he is speaking of doesn’t have to necessarily be gold or silver or some great wealth or valuable material possession. It can be something whose value is known only to you. If anything we possess becomes more important to us than our Heavenly Father, who gave us life to begin with, then it becomes an idol to us. As long as it retains its’ proper place in our lives, it is fine.

God will share praise and glory with no one and nothing. Things that replace Him in our lives as having paramount importance must be removed. It is so easy to go through days, weeks and even months without spending time with God. I have done it. We get caught up in life’s ‘junk’; the busyness of the day. The mundane ‘stuff’ that we must do to survive … grocery shopping, errand running, bringing the kids to and from school, bringing them to practice or going to classes, studying, hanging with friends, playing sports or any number of other “important” and “necessary” things that we must do. There is no doubt that these things have to be tended to, but should they take place to the exclusion of time with God? Is there NO time for God in our 24 hour day? Not even 5 minutes we can carve out of our day? It is more difficult that we realize, because our natural inclination is to go-go-go. Society dictates it. Our world demands it. And we try to spend time with our God, yet fail more times than not because of those things that pull at us constantly, demanding our time and attention.

Stop for a moment. Just stop. Slow your breathing down. Ask the Lord to help you clear your mind of all the ‘things’ that are swirling around in it. Listen. Listen intently. Now sit down. Concentrate on the silence. Even if there is noise around you, concentrate on the silence. Block out the noise. Focus on God. Picture Him in your mind’s eye. If you can be somewhere alone, your car, your bedroom, some woodsy spot near your home … just stop and listen. Thank God for Who He is. Thank Him for not only what He has done in your life, but what He will do. Then listen. Perhaps you hear nature, if you are outside. Perhaps you hear nothing. Savor it. Embrace it. We can do this. We can. We just need to reflect on who God is, who we are to Him and what He has done for us. He saved us. He died for us. He loves us unconditionally. Now smile and know that you can do this each and every day of your life going forward and it will bless your soul.

By the way, I come by my collecting honestly … my dad has the biggest vinyl record collection and coffee mug collection you will ever see.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 12

Have you ever noticed how the world has trivialized LOVE? Even the word has been made to be so commonplace it hardly holds any meaning anymore. Oh it does to many, probably the majority of people, but Satan is hell bent on destroying anything that is pure and decent in this world. His desire is to make love into a sexual thing, when true love is far from that. True love is defined in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, also referred to as “the Love Chapter”. You should read it to see what true love really entails.

While true love can lead to a physical love when two people fall in love and become one, it doesn’t always have to. Parents can truly and deeply love their children in the Biblical sense; so can friends, even friends who are the opposite gender. I believe the key to loving another completely is tied up in the word “unconditional”.

UNCONDITIONAL (def):  Without conditions or limitations; absolute; total.

Without limitations; without conditions. God places no restrictions on the depth or breadth of His love for His creation. There is nothing this side of heaven to compare with it. Being flawed creatures, we try but fail so often as we attempt imitate what we see and feel love really is. This world’s version of love is a cheap imitation. It is nothing like the real thing.

True unconditional love is absolute and total. It is a complete package. It doesn’t HAVE to include the physical part, but it can. It is forgiving and pure. True love is not a dirty thing. It is a beautiful emotional experience. God defines it in His power and purity. Jesus reflects it in His words and actions. God loves us with ‘agape’ love; a love that is spiritual, not sexual, in its nature. In it we find peace, comfort and hope.  The most amazing thing about all this is that He loved us with this type of truly perfect and incredible love before we ever gave Him a thought. No matter what we can or will ever think, say or do, His love for us never changes. It is enduring. It is eternal. THAT is the type of love people are clamoring for. They don’t recognize it when is appears, so Satan imitates it with a cheap, tawdry version of it which is physical and erotic and not at all what the real thing is. People accept it because it feels good, but that feeling passes as soon as the encounter is over. God’s love shall always remain and never fail … ever. 

Would you like to know this type of never ending love? You need to embrace God and surrender to Him. He will escort you into joys unspeakable over time. Give your life to Him today. Why wait?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!


Friday, January 6, 2012

WHY WAIT?


1 Peter 1:3-4 (TNIV) “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, …”

In this life we strive to acquire things. We want a nice house, a nice car, nice clothes, nice friends and there is nothing wrong with any of that. It’s when those THINGS become the focal point of our lives that our value system goes askew*. When what we have in this life becomes of paramount importance, then other things must step aside. For the believer, that is usually time with God. Many times we overreach our financial capabilities and get into debt in our efforts to attain a certain lifestyle. It is God who must be paramount in our lives and not the things around us.

Focusing on God has never caused anyone to go into debt. As the world sees it, quite the opposite would be true. The world sees believers as weak people in need of a crutch. They never once consider that perhaps there just may be something bigger than they are out there.

In 1st Peter, the author writes of praising God and of a living hope. Part of our hope lies in the inheritance God has stored up for us in heaven. The things of this world shall perish … metal items will eventually turn into a pile of rusty dust; other things will fade and become misshapen over time. The treasure that is kept for us in heaven “can never perish, spoil or fade”.

What is our inheritance? Is it not God Himself and our eternal dwelling place? In my search through scripture it appears to me that this is what we can count on. We haven’t been promised wealth, because we will not need money in heaven. We will not need vehicles to get around. We will have provided for us all that we will need to exist in heaven. That is good news, especially to those who have not had much this side of heaven.

I have a suspicion that when we are in the presence of God, we won’t be bored. There will be no need for TV’s or Xboxes; movies will no longer exist, but music will be there.  Some seem to think that when they arrive in heaven they will have a thing or two to tell God. Uh, I doubt that very much. At the mere sight of Almighty God I have no doubt we will all fall prostrate on the floor, afraid to look at One so holy and just. Our best deeds are as filthy rags by comparison to His glory.

Yes, we have a heavenly inheritance and it will be more than enough. We may struggle making ends meet on earth, but up in heaven there are no tears, no pain and no need will go unmet. God’s inheritance for those who are His children is something this world could never in a million years understand or even desire. The devil has duped millions into believing life is all about what you can get for yourself. He has people fighting against people for the last super toy that little Johnny has to have. He has us shooting one another over a pair of sneakers.  Values are slowly becoming extinct, and morals as well.

Surrender to God today if you have not already and allow His peace to flow through you as you come to know Him in a personal way. If you are already a child of God, tap into His grace one more time; bask in the light of His mercy and be comforted. No matter what you are going through, He will see you through it to the other side if you will just let Him. Allow Him to have full reign over you starting today. Why wait?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!
< * off to one side; not centered; awry - www.thefreedictionary.com >

Thursday, January 5, 2012

STOP DOING WRONG!


Isaiah 1:16-17a (TNIV) “… wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!”

Isaiah’s admonishment to Israel is quite clear and even rings true today. We still live lives that are displeasing to God in many ways, sometimes out of ignorance to His word. God is not restrictive, although many see Him as such. He happens to know us better than we could ever know ourselves and knows what will benefit us the most and bring us the most contentment in life. We don’t want to be told how to live, so we strain at the leash, even as Christians. We need to surrender to the will of God for our lives. As we delve into God’s scriptures, we begin to wash ourselves in His truth and education ourselves in His ways. If we do this with an open mind, we will slowly begin to realize that He is only trying to spare us heartache and pain.

As a parent we can be frustrated by our children. We want so much to spare them some of the pain we have experienced through the trial and error that was our life to that point. We didn’t listen to our parents either, so it shouldn’t seem so strange that our children don’t listen to us, but it is strange to us. We don’t understand why they won’t listen to our “wisdom”.  This is how it is with God, only He is not surprised by our ignorance. He knows us all too well and understands that we are but dust and to dust we shall return some day. He created us with a free will to do as we please. Why did He do that? Because He wanted us to praise and worship Him not out of requirement, but because we wanted to.

Nike had a slogan that was quite prevalent in our society for many years:  JUST DO IT!  Well, this is what Isaiah is telling us in these verses. STOP DOING WRONG! You were born with a sense of right and wrong. Stop doing that which only hurts you and those around you. LEARN to do right. How do we learn to do right? God’s word is, among many other things, a guide book. It has life lessons. It teaches us, if we let it, how to act and react to any given situation. It can infuse us with peace and contentment. It can cause hope to grow within our hearts in spite of our circumstances. We learn that God is no respecter of persons, meaning what He did for those in Bible times He will most assuredly do for you. You are His child. He loves you without conditions.  He wants only that which is good for you and wishes no pain to come to you. We feel that we know better and go wandering off on our little rabbit trails, seeking that which we feel will meet some imagined need. God does not condemn us for this. He allows it so we can learn through doing what is truly best for us. He would have loved for us to avoid that self-inflicted pain, but will not stop us from stumbling on our own.  It is part of the growing process.

Proverbs nails it when it says “there is a way that seems right to a man, but whose end is destruction”*God knows all about everything. We do not. It is that simple. It is at THAT point that God can mold us and make us all we can be IN Him. When we realize, perhaps for the first time, that we are NOT in control of anything, then we will begin to grow. Are we living for ourselves or for others? Does our own well being mean more to us than anything else in this world or are we more centered on being a blessing to those around us? The whole concept of faith and trust is realized when an individual accepts that God will not allow those to fail who live for Him.  Surrendering to His will and way of doing things is to be our only option.  JUST DO IT!

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

* Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25; www.biblegateway.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND


Isaiah 43:18-19 (TNIV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

We all have a tendency to dwell on the past. I know I do. We can’t change one thing about it, yet we replay it in our minds as if we could. It is no benefit to us except to help us not make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past. We should heed the warnings from the past and that is all. If we don’t learn from our mistakes than we will continue to make the same ones over and over again.

God tells us to forget the past; don’t dwell on it. When you woke up this morning you were given a fresh 24 hours to do something good for yourself and for your fellow man. God has a will for each and every one of us. His will is being laid out daily before us. He makes a way where there IS no way. Man’s ways are nothing like God’s ways. God moves on men’s hearts and whispers thoughts into their minds via the Holy Spirit. He creates unlikely scenarios which only make sense to the righteous and unfolds His plans to perfection. Will we see it? Only if we are looking for it. It all lies in the level of faith and trust we have in our Heavenly Father. He is trustworthy, without question. There is no falsehood in him. So when He states in scripture that He is “doing a new thing” and that He is “making a way” you can believe it.

The past in unchanging … it stands as a testament to what we have done. It doesn’t have to have any pronounced effect on what we will DO going forward. Today is a new day. God is doing a new thing constantly. We must know Him to partake in what He is doing. Then we must grow in our knowledge and trust of Him. Once we do that we will begin to see things differently. Seeing life through the eyes of faith is a wonderful thing. Obstacles no longer seem like obstacles at all, but rather challenges. There is nothing this life can throw at us that God cannot see us through. Think about that. God is in complete and ultimate control. He has to be or He could not be who He says He is. So what on this earth could possibly stop us from doing that which is righteous and holy? Nothing. Knowing God may not get you a Mercedes Benz or a mansion this side of heaven, but it WILL provide for you peace and comfort when you most need it, guidance and direction when you are lost and strength to deal with the worst things you can imagine. The things God gives are priceless in value, unlike the things of this world which are here today and gone tomorrow. If you rely on God for all things, you will find that He truly IS doing new things all the time and would do something completely different and new just for you if necessary. What a wonderful God we serve.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

HEED GOD'S CALL

Titus 2:11-14 (TNIV) “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

We live in a world that is deceitful. Those seeking to get their own way tend to be that way. The grace of God offers freedom from that which binds us. Sadly, millions of people don’t know they are bound.  They don’t realize the benefit of living a Godly life. They only think of that which they find enjoyable which would be lost to them. Christ came into the world to free men from bondage and let them live in the fullness that they were created to live in. But we all think we know better.

The devil propagates a lie that has inflicted pain throughout the ages. It is that man doesn’t need God. That man can BE his OWN god. Man doesn’t reject such thought because it “tickles their itching ears”.   

They listen intently and soak in the lie. They begin to live for themselves rather than ANYONE else. They entertain ungodly and worldly passions, leaving self-control at the door. Testimonies of ruined lives are littered along life’s road, but men do not see them, for they are hell bent on fulfilling the urges that they perceive to be needs.

What God offers doesn’t appear to be pleasurable, however, the pleasure is found in the tasting. You must come on into the waters of salvation to experience the freedom it provides. We cannot withstand the wiles of the enemy by ourselves. We are foolish if we think we can. Here is how it is done:

James 4:7-8a (TNIV) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

The Spirit of God gives you the wherewithal to withstand Satan’s attacks. He is a defeated foe. The Bible declares it. Hell was created for him and for those who follow him, not for the man who follows God. Believers can be lured into Satan’s lair before they know it their lives are upside down and the consequences suffered can be devastating. Even when we make foolish mistakes, God is there to receive us back. We have a free will and can go off on our own little rabbit trails if we so desire, however, nothing good has ever come of it; nothing of an eternal nature that is. Oh, there may be some temporal good that comes of it, but that which is lasting will have eluded you and you will not even know it.

Surrender to God. Surrender to His grace and mercy. It is there for the taking. Christ willingly died on a cross so that you could enjoy the forgiveness His death provided for you.  Give up your worldly passions and that which you seek that is not pleasing to God. You will try anything and everything, yet not even consider serving God for an instant, when the answer to your deepest yearning is right in front of you. Surrender yourself to the most wonderful Creator of all things and you will know true peace and blessings untold. You may be living a lie, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!