BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

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

AUTHOR BLOG LINK: http://rlkeller-christianauthor.blogspot.com

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


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Monday, April 30, 2012

"I URGE YOU ..."

Ephesians 4:1 (TNIV) “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Paul, writing from his prison cell, urges the Ephesians to live lives worthy of the calling of Christ. He clarifies what he is referring to in the following verses … be gentle, be patient, be loving and be unified. He is speaking to the believers of his day. Today, we seem to be distracted by everything that comes our way. Living a life that is worthy of being called a Christian seems the furthest thing from our minds. We have so many other things that we have deemed more important that simply must be done.

We can be just as effective as human beings in this life if we live our life worthy of Christ’s calling. We are His ambassadors; we represent Him everywhere we go and in everything we do. Are we making a good showing or embarrassing the name of Christ by our words and deeds. God enables us to live for Him. Many believe living as a Christian is restrictive, but in fact nothing has ever been so liberating. God wants what is best for us always. Give your all to Him and see what happens.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 24

awe·some adj. 1. Inspiring awe; 2. Expressing awe; 3. Slang Remarkable; excellent; outstanding.

28 times in the TNIV translation of the Bible, all being in the OT, either God Himself or His deeds were referred to as AWESOME. Today, in our culture, anything can be awesome from the morning’s oatmeal, to a first date, to a vacation. I have a question: Have we trivialized the word “awesome”? God parted the Red Sea and it was AWESOME … a miraculous event. How does that truly compare to a first kiss or a movie we just saw? I too have fallen into the trap of using the “slang” term awesome to describe my day or the weather.

Perhaps we should ascribe such a descriptive adjective to God alone and nothing or no one else. Wouldn’t that be AWESOME!! Just a thought.

WALK WITH OUR AWESOME KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

BE CHRIST TO OTHERS

Luke 19:10 (TNIV) “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

Luke 15:4 (TNIV) “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”

Jesus is referred to in scripture as the Great Shepherd. As depicted in Luke 15:4, a shepherd will seek high and low to find the one sheep from his flock that has wandered off. Those under his care are safe, but the one that is lost is in great danger. Jesus shed His own blood to save those lost and dying souls who don’t know Him as well as those who have embraced “the gift” of salvation.

We need to start seeing those around us with Jesus eyes. We don’t need to see them as if they are somehow less than us because they are unable to see the truth right in front of them. No, just as Christ showed us mercy in our ignorance, we must also see all others with that same type of mercy. We see some pretty interesting looking people out there in this wacky world of ours. We need to look past the outer shell and see that they too have a beating heart in need of love, patience, grace and forgiveness. Just because we believe in Christ doesn’t make us any better than anyone else. We need to see people as God sees them and display His love, patience, mercy and grace for them.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

SHALL WE?

Hebrews 7:26-27 (TNIV) “Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”

These verses in Hebrews are referring to Jesus Christ. Aside from Jesus, there is no one who shall never die. While we that believe on Christ and have given ourselves TO Him shall never die, that is because of our association with Him. In and of ourselves we shall die just like everyone else in creation. Therefore, Christ alone is the true High Priest who can by His own blood forgive our sins once for all time. The OT High Priest had to offer a sacrifice to cleanse themselves first; Christ needs to make no such offering. So when we except Christ’s gracious offer of forgiveness, nothing else need be done on our behalf.

So what are we to do with so precious a gift? Without it we are doomed, with it we are saved. Something in us should be stirring. We should sense a difference in our souls. Once we are “saved” from damnation, shouldn’t our lives be altered forever? Shouldn’t we live like it? I dare say YES!! The fact that the blood of Christ cleansed us from all sin should cause us to want to live FOR Him and no longer for ourselves. Shall we? That is a question only you can answer.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

THE GAUNTLET

Colossians 1:10 (TNIV) “… so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,…”

Here’s a good rule of thumb for every Christian. Would you say or do what you say or do if Jesus Christ were with you? Would you watch what you watch or go where you go if He were with you? We are human, that’s a fact. We are flawed, that is undeniable. However, that is no excuse for not trying. Failing is just a speed bump. We can do this. We can live a life that is worthy of the Lord.

While perfection is unattainable this side of heaven, that is no reason we shouldn’t attempt to be perfect. Striving for something is much better than sitting back and coasting. God gives us all we will ever need to live a life that honors Him and blesses us and those around us. Take up the challenge. Pick up the gauntlet* and live like Jesus is with you at all times.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

*be dared to do something and attempt it

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BLOOD

1 Peter 1:18-19 (TNIV) “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

BLOOD (def): The fluid consisting of plasma, blood cells, and platelets that is circulated by the heart through the vertebrate vascular system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to and waste materials away from all body tissues.

Without blood we could not exist. Without the blood of Christ we could not exist as well. It is a different type of existence by comparison, but each blood is equally important. When God created us he put blood in our veins to sustain our lives. In the OT His required the blood of an animal with no defect to receive forgiveness for their sins. When Christ came to earth to put into play God’s plan of salvation for sinful man, His perfect blood was required to completely eradicate our sin.

Blood plays such a big part in our society with all the vampire movies, war games and in general spilling of blood that goes on today. I think it may trivialize the significance of blood, especially to the believer. Without the spilling of blood in a very specific sense by a very special individual, there is NO forgiveness for sin. No other blood will do. No other blood has that power. What does the blood of Christ mean to you?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

JUDGE NOT

Romans 14:12-13a (TNIV) “… we will all give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.“

Someday we will all stand before God; Christians before the Judgment or Bema Seat of Christ, non-believers before the White Throne Judgment Seat of God Almighty. Just because people don’t believe that doesn’t make it not so. One school of thought regarding the Bema Seat is that believers will not have to pay for sins committed while under the blood, but rather will gain or lose rewards in heaven based on what we either did or did not do for Christ on this earth.

The White Throne Judgment is for every non-believer throughout time. Its judgment is swift and sure; it is irreversible. Those who have NOT accepted Christ and what He has done on the cross shall be found guilty of living for themselves and relying on their own good works to achieve heaven. Only the blood of Christ can save a soul from hell. They shall be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity.

We must stop being judge and jury, of which I am one of the worst. We must pray for lost souls that they may realize their condition and receive Christ. It is our commission and directive as believers.

2 Peter 3:9 (TNIV) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 23

This song reminds me of me; does it remind you of anyone you know?

BEST I CAN

Been thinking about all of those lies that You heard me say/ I can't make them go away/ Been thinking about all the mistakes You've seen me make/ When I can barely hold on/ You promise You won't let me go

(Chorus) And I want You to know I don't live a perfect life/ But God knows I'm trying the best I can/ And I have wasted so much time/ Pretending I'm not lyin’ about who I am/ Now I'm living the best I can

Been thinking about how it's so hard to see what You see in me/ Would You lay it out for me?/ Been thinking about how this isn't the way that I thought (my life) would be/ When I can barely hold on/ You promise You won't let me go/

(Chorus)

I'm breaking down and now I've found a reason to make it this time around/ No matter where I go, I want You to know I know that I'm never alone

(Chorus)

< Song by Decyfer Down; album: Crash; Sony Records; 2009.>

Friday, April 20, 2012

FUTILE FAITH?

1 Corinthians 15:17 (TNIV) “… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

People place their faith in many people and things. Those who place their faith in God are believing and relying on the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the grave. It is what we base our entire belief system on. Without that, we are believing in nothing more than a myth or legend. Did Jesus even exist? Jewish historian Flavius Josephus declared the following almost 2000 years ago (he was not a believer):

“3. (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross [2], those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day [3], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.”

"Flavius Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) was born to an aristocratic Jewish family, served as a priest, and later became the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee following the revolt against Rome that began A.D. 66. Captured by the Romans, Josephus spent his later life in Rome under the patronage of the Roman emperors where he composed his history of the Jewish people and his account of the Jewish war that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70."*

Our faith is far from futile. Rejoice in the fact that Christ IS risen and that our sins are completely removed from us.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

*"Jewish Antiquities", by Flavius Josephus. Book 18, Chapter 3, paragraphs 1-5. Paragraph 3 is the Testimonium Flavianum itself, which contains the reference to Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

GOD OF TRUTH

Titus 1:1-2 (TNIV) “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness — in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, … .”

God is the essence of truth. However, we can say that all day long and it doesn’t necessarily make it so. As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the tasting”. First one must have an open mind, heart and spirit to receive from Him. Then they must consider His word for what it is, or at least what it says it is. The Bible refers to itself as the “word of God” 39 times in Today’s New International Version. The most important thing, though, is that they must release their faith. They must believe in an unseen deity. Once they let their guard down and allow the Spirit of God to minister to THEIR spirit, they will begin to see, feel and sense that God IS who He says He is; that He IS the truth and that there is no falsehood in Him. It is definitely a faith and trust issue.

Any other means by which people attempt to achieve eternal life shall vanish right in front of them. As Christians, our one true hope for eternity is wrapped up in a promise from an unseen Spirit deity we call Jehovah God. We trust Him because He has never given us a reason to NOT trust Him. The more we know about Him, the closer we allow our relationship with Him to be, the more we will realize that He has not, will not and could not lie to us. He is our only totally reliable source of hope in this lost and dying world.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MAKE YOUR LIFE COUNT

Romans 10:9-10 (TNIV) “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Romans 8:27 (TNIV) “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

It may seem from our first verse that anyone who speaks the name of Jesus will be saved from eternal damnation. While that is technically true, God knows the heart of a man. Just saying it without meaning it gets you nowhere. Now we cannot see the motivation of a man’s heart, but God most surely can. We may never know, but God knows the sincerity of a man. God is not mocked and He is not fooled. He knows our thoughts before we think them, our words before we speak them and our actions before we do them. He also knows the motives by which we do those things.

Be careful to put on the mind of Christ in all you do. We are fallible, no question about it. We stumble through this life, sometimes looking as if we will barely make it, but God is with us. He is our guide and our sustainer. Once a life is given over to Christ, we can feel His presence. His Holy Spirit can and will help us if we allow Him to. We must get our eyes off ourselves and place them squarely on that which is around us. Allow God to use us for His glory. We cannot fool Him. If we simply say we are believers yet not live like it matters to us, we will spin our wheels the rest of our days. Do something for the Kingdom today.
WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A FOOLISH MESSAGE

1 Corinthians 1:18 (TNIV) “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

To the believer, those who have embraced the cross and all that it stands for, the thought of the message associated with it being foolish is preposterous. The scales have fallen off our eyes and we can see the truth for what it is. I can tell you that before I accepted Christ the whole concept of accepting Him and living for God was ridiculous to me and I grew up in a Presbyterian church (which doesn’t speak very highly for that particular church). It should be easy for believers to see and understand why non-Christians would find our faith to be foolish; a crutch for WEAK people to lean on.

What about us would compel them to change their mind? Is there anything? That is why it is imperative that we strive to BE LIKE CHRIST in our daily lives. In and of ourselves there is nothing that would cause anyone to change their opinion about anything, let alone a faith-based decision as important as this one. We must let Christ use us as a conduit; a vehicle that will carry those around us to the foot of the cross where they might see what we saw when we gave our life away. Let God use you to save the world or at least a little piece of it anyway.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Romans 13:8 (TNIV) “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

With regard to this verse, let’s look at love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. That seems like a “no-brainer”, but there are people in our churches who rub on our last nerve. They are those that fall in the following category: EGR … extra grace required. God loves them and we are trying, right? We all know people like that. Maybe WE are that person to someone else and don’t even know it. We are called to love all, not just those we like or get along with; anyone can do that. We don’t know the baggage people are carrying. We must be Christ’s hand extended IN the body as well as in the world.

What about folks from a different denomination? Should we love them as well? Can a Church of Christ member love a Presbyterian, or a Catholic love a Pentecostal? We should. We are all one body.

Loving one another isn’t just telling them we love them; Chapter 13 in 1st Corinthians spells it out for us. To make a difference in this world, we have to show them something that is inspiring; that shows them hope. Genuine kindness, love and compassion for all men should be the banner that flies above us. God can do that IN us if we let him. We must first get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Stop the squabbling and back biting. Let God rule and reign in our hearts and lives. Without that we are no different than anybody else.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

FALLING SHORT

Romans 3:23-24 (TNIV) “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Ever notice how some people feel that they are above the law. I knew someone years back who used to make friends with local cops and state troopers so that when he got speeding tickets they would take care of them for him. The Bible clearly states that no one is innocent. There is no “fixing” what we have done. We are guilty … every one of us. If it weren’t so then why on earth would Christ go to the cross. It obviously wasn’t for the fun of it.

The good news is that the payment that Christ made on that cross, when cashed in, makes it “just as if I’d never sinned”. That is what justification is. Our slate is wiped clean. Sometimes I wonder if I fully appreciate what was done for me. Have you ever wondered that? Without being there to see it for ourselves, could we ever feel the weight of the full impact of what was done FOR us? Perhaps not. For now though we should love God and seek to serve Him to the best of our human abilities … and appreciate Him and what He has done to redeem us.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DON’T FIND YOURSELF LOST

Luke 9:25 (NKJV) “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”

In your life, have you ever felt like you were in a pitch dark room groping for a light switch? I have. It’s a kind of lost feeling, isn’t it? No one wants to lose himself or be destroyed. Yet Jesus tells us that if our goal in life is to gain all this world has to offer we will forfeit our soul and our life. The Bible is very clear; you can never serve two masters. You will love only one and detest the other. Money seems to be at the root of evil. The Bible declares it to be so. What have you truly accomplished if you have amassed worldly goods if you have forfeited your soul in the process.

Christians, I am speaking to you as well. Let those things that are least important in this life fall by the wayside and embrace Christ like you never have before. For without Christ in our lives we have no hope. We are a rudderless ship. We may think we have done all these wonderful things all on our own, but we are fooling ourselves. Without Christ we can do NOTHING that has any eternal value. I want to do something in this life that matters in the eternal scheme of things. How about you?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CHRIST TOOK IT ALL

1 Peter 2:24 (TNIV) “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Think about the worst pain you have ever experienced or can think of and times it by infinity. Now think about a bloodied God/man hanging on a wooden cross. Every single wrong we have ever done, sins in the eyes of God, for all men throughout the ages into the future was what Christ bore for us. He took it on as a cloak of death and went to hell to purchase our souls. A payment is due for every man and someone MUST pay it. God made the payment Himself in the form of Jesus Christ, that we might see and understand what true love was. He bore our sicknesses and diseases, and it is by this one act we may be free of sin, be seen as righteous in the eyes of God Almighty and receive healing of our mind and body.

That act reminds me of a chorus: “What love, what wondrous love, what love, what wondrous love, that God should love a sinner such as I, how wonderful is love like this.” Who is like our God? No one. God stands alone as the King of all mankind. May His name be praised forever.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OUR SUBSTITUTE

Romans 5:8 (TNIV) “… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Humans can tend to be an unlovely group. I don’t think I will get any argument there. We can be impatient, rude, inconsiderate … a rather brutish group at times. God created us and so none of this comes as a surprise to Him. We constantly want to strain at the leash; to go our own way. In spite of the UN-loveliness we display for all to see, God loves us … without condition. We think we know all about life and in actuality know nothing.

Do you realize what an unbelievable statement it is that Paul makes on God’s behalf to the Romans? Do you understand the nature of the statement? We have been redeemed from the punishment we justly deserve. Christ willingly became our substitute. He took the blame for us. He suffered a brutal beating in our place. What does that mean to you? We go about our daily lives without giving God a single thought. Embrace the cross and all it stands for, then see the empty tomb and know that you are free from sin … now go live your life accordingly.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

MINISTERING SPIRITS

Hebrews 1:14 (TNIV) “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

Do you believe in angels? I do. I believe God sends angels to do His bidding on this earth. I believe they tangle with the fallen ones in battles that take place in the spirit realm. I believe these things happen all around us without us even knowing. I also DON’T believe they are cute little cherubs, but rather mighty warrior angels. I also know that Satan does not have a hold on us if we have placed our trust and faith in Jesus Christ, who according to scripture is the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) Throughout scripture we see the appearance of angels who are bringing messages to those who have put their trust in God. God had told us that He will neither leave us nor forsake us.* That is a promise.

Beloved, do you feel forsaken today? Fear not, for God is with you. His spirit is IN you if you have received the gift of redemption God has placed before every man. Without it you are on your own, subject to the wiles of the devil. With it you have the very angels of heaven protecting you as you serve Almighty God. Nothing can befall you that has not been allowed by God and if He has allowed it He will see you through it. There is nothing this world can do to us unless we turn from God and seek to go our own way. Seek His face in all things and live.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

* Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Hebrews 13:5.

NOTE: For an interesting insight into the spirit realm I speak of, get a hold of Frank Peretti’s two books “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness”. You can buy them on Amazon.com for a little over $10 a piece. They are novels but after I read them I felt as if God Himself had revealed something special to Mr. Peretti to be able to write such a vivid presentation of the spiritual realm.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 22

While I grew up in a rather large Presbyterian Church in Red Bank, NJ, I have spent the majority of my years as a believer in Assemblies of God, Baptist, Independent and Church of Christ churches. Back in Jersey after 20 years I find myself attending a Presbyterian Church again with a Spirit-filled Pastor who loves the Lord very much and is seeking to serve Him daily. I am experiencing for the first time in my life the services that go before Easter Sunday; Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, The Great Vigil & tomorrow, Easter Sunday. Our Pastor takes the time to explain the significance of each day in the life of Christ so that all can better understand what took place over 2000 years ago. It has been a very meaningful experience for me. It has helped me focus on that which is truly important in this life.

God became a man to save mankind from their sin. He was born in a lowly manger; lived among us; was baptised like one of us. As a grown man he preached love, hope and forgiveness. He healed the afflicted, gave sight to the blind and raised from the dead. In the end He made the ultimate sacrifice by willingly allowing Himself to be scourged; bludgeoned nearly to death, then hung on the wooden cross normally used for criminals. He was mocked, spat on and ridiculed mercilessly; in some cases by the very people who praised Him just 4 days before. His response was "Forgive them for they know not what they do." Due to our lack of attentiveness to His life, death and resurrection and the ability He has to change our lives like no one else can or ever could, apparently His above reply still applies to us today. Happy Resurrection Day!!! He is risen; He is risen indeed. Embrace the significance of this "holiday".

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

WHAT LOVE IS

1 John 3:16 (TNIV) "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another."

Would we ever truly know what real love was without the example Christ set for us? I don't believe we would. Scripture tells us that dying for a good man is difficult enough, but to be God and come down to earth in human form to show the world how much You loved them by dying in such a gruesome fashion is pretty unbelievable. People may say "I never asked anyone to die for me." Well He didn't do it so people would feel obligated in any way. He did it because He created us and in creating us, loved us. When we went astray He had a plan to save us from ourselves put in place.

So you see, Easter really isn't about bunnies and candy, but rather a celebration of Christ risen from the grave. A grave He voluntarily ended up in to save us from ourselves. Redemption. The paying of a sin debt. God did that for us all. You either believe it or you don't; but you can. Angels rejoice in heaven when one soul comes to the realization that his sins can be erased as if he had never committed them. What a joyful day that is when we finally receive Christ in our hearts and allow our lives to be changed forever. Yes, what a glorious day that is indeed.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

ONCE FOR ALL

2 Corinthians 5:15 (The Message) “One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.”
          Has anyone ever died for you? Me neither. Not until I found out that Jesus Christ did over 2000 years ago. He did it with a specific purpose in mind and it was a twofold purpose: 1) that my sin debt would be paid in full; and 2) that I would have life, true life. We live our lives not even knowing most of the time that our lifestyle flies in the face of everything God is and stands for. Once God reveals Himself to us individually and we accept His gracious GIFT of redemption we truly begin to live. We experience true joy and peace. Our eyes are opened to the reality that God truly is real and alive. We begin to understand that He wants what is best for us all the time. Our hearts and entire being are at rest. It is like taking a big, long, deep sigh and realizing, perhaps for the very first time in our lives, that everything is going to be alright.
          Life without Christ can be a vicious grind. I look at people who don’t have God in their lives. You can see it in their eyes, in their faces. They look miserable. All the stress of this world shows in their posture; their body language screams out for relief from their burdens. They try anything to escape it. But they avoid like the plague the one solution to their pain and anguish – God. If we could just be REAL and not overpower them with judgment; if we could just BE JESUS to them. Let’s try to see people the way God sees them. That should be our life’s goal.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

GRACE EQUALS REDEMPTION

Ephesians 1:7 (TNIV) “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

          Picture a white board … now picture a all sorts of things scribbled all over its surface. Things like HATE, ENVY, STRIFE, BULLYING, GOSSIP, FIGHTING, ASSAULT, PAIN … any negative feeling, emotion or action you can think of sprawled over the once pristine, white surface of the board. They represent your sin. Now watch as an eraser passes over the “sin” and makes the board that was once clean, clean again. That is what the blood of Christ does for us. God’s grace, His unmerited favor, affords us another chance. Redemption; it can be defined as “payment of an obligation or ransom”; a rescue of sorts. Christ rescued us from certain death. Our soul was in need of cleansing; He provided the washing.
          Now picture this … we are covered in grime and filth. There is a shower that we must go through to be made clean again. It is a shower of blood. Amazingly enough we are not blood stained when we come through the shower, but rather clean; white as freshly fallen snow. THAT is what the blood of Christ does for us. If you have experienced this is your life, praise His name and give Him all glory. If you haven’t , you don’t HAVE TO, but you CAN. Why stay filthy from your sins when you can be forgiven; cleansed of all the wrong you have ever done. It’s time to act. In the iconic words of Nike, JUST DO IT!

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

RUN THE RACE

Hebrews 12:1-2a (TNIV) “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

          When I think of throwing off that which hinders me, I think of being covered in one of those big goose down comforters. We need to simply heave it off us. Those things can be heavy if you’ve ever had one, but it is no match for the power of Christ. We need to FIX our eyes on Christ. Our faith is in Him and not in those things that attempt to trip us up. Satan can be relentless, but in reality is a toothless lion who has no hold on us.
          If we focus on the One who saves rather than that which hinders we will be much better off; in fact, we will be victorious in all that we do. The sins that entangle us are from our own doing. We entertain thoughts or see things that are contrary to the things of God and we find ourselves sprawled out face first in the muck. Shake yourself loose of such things and refocus on Christ, the only One who heals and gives hope.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

OUR SWORD

Ephesians 6:14-17 (TNIV) “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The last piece of a believer’s armor is their sword. It is the Word of God; the Bible … the Sword of the Spirit. I affectionately refer to my small New Testament as my dagger. You cannot effectively utilize it without reading it. Just like you cannot find your way from point A to point B without studying a road map (with all apologies to the GPS Navigation Systems liberally used today), you cannot know how to ward off your enemy without the Word of God embedded in your heart and mind.

While it should be obvious that the Armor of God listed here in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is figurative in nature and not literal armor that we must put on, it paints a perfect picture in the believer’s mind of what each piece can and will do for you if you take full advantage of them. Note that only one piece of your armor is offensive in nature. The rest is to protect you.

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.”

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!