BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
____________________

MINISTRY BLOG LINK: http://pandevidamin.blogspot.com

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

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


TOTAL PAGEVIEWS

Friday, November 30, 2012

GOD'S LIVING WORD

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21
 
          It is by faith that we believe such a statement as is made by the Apostle Peter. We weren’t there. We don’t and cannot know the truth of it. We all believe something. Some believe in God, others believe there is no God. It is a choice we all must make, but we better be sure in our choice. We have a free will. What does that mean? In a nutshell it means we are able and allowed to choose as we please; To believe whatever we would like to believe. If you want to believe the sky is purple and the moon is black you can (although I can’t promise you the men in the little white coats won’t come calling on you.). I made a choice in 1979 to believe in God. It was a deliberate choice. No one made me make that choice. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do and even now I do not question my decision. It has been the most important and greatest positive thing I have ever done for myself.
          So here is Peter declaring that whatever prophecy was spoken was not spoken strictly by humans of their own volition, but rather by the unction or direction of the Holy Spirit of God. They were compelled within their own spirits to speak forth or write down that which was revealed to them. As we read scripture I believe we find truth and in that truth we find peace and hope. I could be cute here and say “It’s a God thing, you wouldn’t understand”, but actually, if you are not in relationship with God on a personal basis, then truthfully you probably wouldn’t understand. It takes work to understand the things of God. It takes discipline and determination. It takes patience and perseverance. This is no quick fix, this is a life-long pursuit, this knowing God thing. There is no way you can do this on your own, that is why we are given the Holy Spirit.
          The prophets spoke the words of God to His people and they listened, most of the time. Is everything in the Bible absolutely accurate and true? I believe it is. Perhaps I am na├»ve, but I would rather believe it, learn it, love it and live it than spend valuable time trying to prove it is false. If we open our hearts to the word of God we will realize, if we allow it, that God is real and His word is vital to our existence as Christians. If it weren’t why would people be trying to silence its proclamation? If it were just another book then why would people want it removed? For that matter, why is Jesus Christ the lone religious figure that stirs up so much violence and hate? Would that happen if it were known to not be true?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

THE FOREVER LOVE OF GOD

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” - Psalm 136:1, 26
 
Endure – remain in existence; last.
Forever – for all future time; for always.
 
“… do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”2 Peter 3:8
 
“Love is patient, love is kind. … Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”1 Corinthians 13:4a, 6-7
 
          The love of God is a remarkable thing. It is unconditional and everlasting. We are His creation. Just like an earthly parent will always love his children, God will always love us. Psalm 136 has 26 verses, each with two statements separated by a comma. The second statement in each verse is the same: “His love endures forever.” It was sung as a hymn by God’s people as evidenced in 2 Chronicles 7. This particular Psalm speaks of God’s greatness, deliverance of Israel from Egypt, His protection in the wilderness and Israel’s entrance in the Promised Land. Israel had much to be thankful for, for they had experienced the love of God first hand. We also experience that love in that we have air to breath and food to eat each day. 1 Corinthians 10:26 tells us that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” There is no good thing that God has not had His hand in.
          When we see the word ‘endure’, what do we think of? I know the first thing that comes to my mind is its association with pain and suffering; however, the dictionary shows us a second meaning: ‘remaining or lasting’. There is no end to the love God has for us. It goes on until time ceases to exist and there is no indication that it will end at all. The love of God for us is unchanging. There is never a time when He does not love us. Even in our sin He still loves us. If He did not, why would He send Christ to pay the sin debt of those He hated?
          Forever is a very long time. We need to understand that time is irrelevant to the creator of all things. Scripture is clear: one single day, which seems to drag on for an eternity for us at times, is just like 1000 years to our God. So when God says He will bring something to pass, time is not taken into account. He knows exactly when we need what we need and will not fail us. That is how great His love is for us. God is patient and kind with us, He always protects us and trusts us to do that which He has proclaimed. No matter what may happen to us in our lifetime, we can always rely on the fact that God’s love for us will never fail; it shall endure for all time.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WHAT GOD HAS DONE

“Give praise to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” - 1 Chronicles 16:8
          What has the Lord done for you? Do you even know? There are the obvious things that I will get into in a moment, but frankly, there are some things orchestrated by God that take place in our lives that we experience, never realizing His hand was in it. We are called to make His mighty deeds known far and wide. That doesn’t mean we are supposed to fly around the world extolling the virtues and deeds of our God any more than “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) means we are to never, ever stop praying … as in 24/7, 365 days of the year without stopping. We are simply to testify of His mighty deeds and glorious mercy when called upon or when an opportunity presents itself. We are to lift up the name of Jesus continually and call on Him when necessary.
          So let’s take a look at what God has done for us. He has made himself accessible to the masses by virtue of the veil separating the Holy of Holies from the Most Holy Place in the Temple being torn from top to bottom. This symbolizes the fact that God opened access to Himself for all people. No longer did they have to meet with God via the High Priest. The veil was “40 cubits (60 feet) long, and 20 (30 feet) wide, of the thickness of the palm of the hand”.* It reportedly took 300 priests to put it in place so no mortal man tore it in half; especially not top to bottom.
          God allowed gentiles to be grafted into the family due to the Jews rejection of Christ (Romans 17:7). We can assume gentiles were the ones grafted in since it is said to Roman gentiles by Paul in his letter to them. So all had access to the forgiveness God freely gave. God provided a payment for our sins in the form of Jesus Christ, His only Son. Without acceptance of Christ there is no forgiveness and therefore we must pay for our sins ourselves, which we are unable to do. God also provides to those who have entered in: His grace, mercy, peace, joy, contentment, fulfillment, and so much more. Scripture says “eye has not seen, nor ear heard that which the Father has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
           We have much to be grateful for. God has saved us and all He asks in return is our unflagging obedience and our unending praise. In the words of the old WHO classic: “I call that a bargain … the best I ever had.”

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!


* Alfred Edersheim; The Life & Times of Jesus the Messiah; Hendrickson Publishers; 1993.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” - Colossians 3:16
 
          I would like to highlight two words from this verse of scripture; message and gratitude. What is the message of Christ? From a layman’s perspective it is the following: it is peace, forgiveness, love, mercy, grace and hope. It is much more than that, but those are some of the key elements of Christ’s message. He came in love and peace and administered them liberally to all He came in contact with. He showed mercy and grace to all He encountered. He dispensed forgiveness to those who sought Him out and as a result of that forgiveness gave each one hope. This message is to resonate throughout our homes, our churches, our communities, our regions and our world. It does in small measure, but it can be more than it is.
          In this verse the word ‘as’ implies that we are going to actively do two things: 1) teach and 2) warn or reprimand one another with scripture. This is what we use our Sunday school classes for. We also spend time in Bible Studies doing that same thing. It is in recognition of the wisdom and value we find in the Bible itself. We are to learn from its’ pages. We are to do as it says. Why else would it be given to us? Some say it cannot be trusted because of the potential for improper interpretation. I say I have found no one as trustworthy or believable as Almighty God and I have chosen to trust Him and the bible as His word rather than find reasons not to.
          We should have unbridled joy and gratitude in our hearts for all God has done for us as genuine believers. If we truly have a relationship with Him we should embrace our calling as His ambassador. Gratitude doesn’t simply mean to be thankful, it means “to be ready to show appreciation and return kindness”.* It’s usually pretty simple to say ‘thank you’, but to be ready to return the kindness, that is another story. It requires deep appreciation and a willing heart. It requires us to step out of ourselves and our self-made comfort zones and reach out. God didn’t have to say and do all that He did. It was for our benefit, not His. So let us allow the message of Christ to permeate our souls so that we may live our lives with true and abiding gratitude in our hearts. Let this motivate us to live our lives for His glory and not our own.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

* www.oxforddictionaries.com

Monday, November 26, 2012

RUNNING THE RACE

“… let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”Hebrews12:1b-3
 
          Perseverance … a certain ‘stick-to-it’ attitude; a ‘never give up’ type of stance. To fix your eyes on Jesus is to look straight ahead, to look at what lies directly before you. We are to look to Jesus, who is standing directly in front of us. Our faith is in Christ; our faith is in God. They are one in the same.
          It is unbelievable to me that Jesus considered it pure joy to go to the cross. I am assuming it was because He knew what that one single act of selflessness would do. He knew that the bloody beating He took would be for our benefit. That is an understatement. The brutal suffering Christ was made to endure was done willingly. He took each lash to His back knowing we wouldn’t have to. Oh don’t kid yourself, He felt the pain. Christ was wholly God and wholly human. He felt each sharp pain just as we would have. Those who needed Him most cast Him aside to be crucified. Crucifixion was reserved for criminals of which Christ was not. We deserved the punishment and the pain. We did; not Him. He took it for us. We are to remember His act of mercy, grace and love so that we do not grow weary and faint. We mustn’t lose heart in the face of the trials we face in this life. There is nothing we will ever have to endure that could even lightly compare with what Christ endured for us. Not one solitary thing.
          Let’s look for a moment at the beginning of this portion of scripture. Our relationship with God is likened to a race that is to be run. I ran cross-country in high school. It’s all about pacing yourself. If you race ahead you will burn out and fade towards the end of the race. There was a term for a runner like that. It was ‘rabbit’. Once in a while a team would send out a rabbit who would sprint from the starting line in the attempt to break the pace of the other team’s lead runners. The rabbit was bait. He sprinted as long as he could and then drifted back in the pack. He was never counted on to win the race, just disrupt the pacing of the opposition’s runners. As Christians we must learn to pace ourselves so we don’t grow weary and lose heart.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 53

“What you are is what you do.”C.S. Lewis

          Now I don’t pretend to know exactly what was on his mind when Mr. Lewis said this, but I have an idea what he might have meant. Example: I am a writer, so I write. A swimmer swims, a logger logs and so on. So what does a Christian do? First, what is a Christian? A genuine Christian is a person who has accepted his sinful state, submitted to the grace of God and received forgiveness. This forgiveness isn’t a one-time deal for immediate sins, but rather forgiveness for sins past, present and future. A genuine Christian recognizes his inability to make it in this life on his own. A genuine Christian has a personal forever relationship with Almighty God. What he does with all this reveals the true state of his heart. You see, God never judges man by his outward appearance, but rather by the condition of his heart. A genuine Christian strives to be more like Christ each day. A genuine Christian is compelled to read the word of God. A genuine Christian has a heart for lost souls. These are just some of the things a Christian is. What he does is an outcropping of who he is. It is something we grow into. Once we receive Christ we are not expected to be the quintessential Christian, perfect in every way. What we are is cultivated as we walk with God. I have walked with God for over 33 years and I am still learning and growing. When we stop learning we stop growing and begin to stagnate. I have had periods of stagnation in my life. They weren’t God’s fault, but my own. So now the question is yours: who are you? rlk

Friday, November 23, 2012

THANKS BE TO GOD

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” - Psalm 100:4-5
 
“So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. Mercy permits us to enter his gates; … .””Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs. And bless his name. He blessed you, bless him in return; bless his name, his character, his person.” *
 
          The mercy of God is upon us whether we feel it or realize it. If we are genuine Christians who have a bona fide relationship with our Heavenly Father and are not Christian in name alone then we are under God’s grace. It is His unmerited or undeserved favor. I repeat these terms and phrases often in my writings so we (and I) never forget them. May we never make His grace a cheap thing.
           When we enter into a relationship with God and our heart begins to change towards all that which we encounter, we should begin to feel a compulsion to give God thanks. We should feel a deep, abiding sense of gratitude to the One who set us free from sin and cleansed us from the filth and stench of this world. We must see God as our all in all, our provider and sustainer, our protector and defender. We could never praise His name enough for all He has done for us. We would be lost forever if it were not for God. No other god can compare. No other religion can match the faithfulness and love our God bestows upon His followers. We are His children. We are, like King David, the apple of His eye. Jesus Christ willingly suffered unspeakable torture for something He did not do; yet He willingly bore our sin … every last one of them. For this we are to worship Him. How come we barely pay Him any mind so frequently in our lives? I believe it is because we do not understand. We don’t even try in many cases. Knowing God is one of the greatest things we can ever do in our lives. We will never find a greater friend, confidant, counselor or guide then the Holy Spirit. For all this we are to give thanks and not just on a certain day in November each year. We are to give thanks for our God and TO our God each day for without the breathe He provides for us to breath we would perish. Thanks be to God for His indescribable love, mercy and grace.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

* Treasury of David; Charles H. Spurgeon; http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps100.htm

 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

GIVE THANKS FOR GOD IS GOOD

“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”1 Chronicles 29:12-14
 
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” - 1 Chronicles 16:34
 
“Historically, Thanksgiving had roots in religious and cultural tradition. Today, Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday.”Wikipedia entry under the word Thanksgiving.
 
          If we are to believe this Wikipedia entry, we no longer thank God for our many blessings. Now I’m assuming the above statement wouldn’t apply to bone fide Christians, but who knows. Christians are susceptible to the secularization process just like anyone else.
          So why should we thank God on Thanksgiving in particular and every other day of our lives as well? Because He is the creator of all things, is in all things and above all things; because He gave us life; because if we have allowed Him to be so in our own lives, He is our ruler and giver of strength and power. All financial blessing and honor come from God and not from anything we ourselves have done. We have a free will to believe or disbelieve that. We can do as we choose. With each decision we make comes consequences. We can embrace the forgiveness God has bought for us through His own Son or we can turn away from it. It is our choice. His blessings await those who embrace what millions of people consider to be the truth. His wrath awaits all others. It’s the way of things. We truly must break away from the whole idea that it is all about us, because nothing could be further from the truth. It is about God and others. We come somewhere down the line.
          Being thankful is being grateful. We are grateful for all the things we have and the associations we have made and the good health we have. Are we grateful for the salvation God has wrought? Are we grateful for the mercy and grace He has displayed toward us? We should be. I can honestly say that nary a day goes by that I am not both baffled and grateful for the incredible love and patience God has shown to me throughout my life. In spite of my own stupidity and lack of good judgment, He loves me … without condition. That is unbelievable to me. Perhaps because nothing side of heaven even comes close to the love and patience God shows any of us. I have nothing to compare it to. But it feels good. I am blessed and I know it. So are you, especially if you have a personal, life-altering relationship with God. Have a very happy, healthy, blessed Thanksgiving!

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

GIVING THANKS FOR HIS GRACE

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.” –                        1 Corinthians 1:4
          I enjoy Thanksgiving; digging into the dark meat of the bird, enjoying jellied rather than berried cranberry sauce, plopping a large wad of mashed taters with turkey gravy on my plate and we cannot forget the stuffing. We look forward to time off from work and uninterrupted time with our families. We see siblings, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, friends … the doors are open for whosoever will enter. The desserts are always over the top. Dieters beware for there will be no weight loss on a day such as this; and football on the tellie. Pro games, college games, basketball games … sports of all kinds for the day. We cannot forget the traditional high school rivalry football game, which seems indigenous only to certain areas of the country; New Jersey being one. All these things are fun and there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of it (as if you needed my approval, right?).
          On Thanksgiving some folks recount the first meal between Pilgrims and Indians, a part of our national heritage. Some are grateful for our country. Many are thankful to God for the bounty He has bestowed upon them during the past year. It is true that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives. In most cases patriarchs speak of the blessing of family, financial gains, comfortable living accommodations and good health and thank God for them; but what of the blessing of God’s grace. There is no doubt that many mention this in their Thanksgiving Day speeches before opulent tables filled with a feast fit for a king. Frankly, everyday should be thanksgiving for the Christian, for it is on each day of the year we experience the result of God’s undeserved favor; His grace.
          Unmerited favor; being given something we scarcely deserve and neglect to fully appreciate. Without the grace of God we would not have found Christ or had sins forgiven thus permitting us a blanket pardon for all our misdeeds. Without the grace of God we would be lost and while we would have celebrated Thanksgiving nonetheless, something within us would have been missing. I believe Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter are times of deep inner contemplation for the Christian. We ponder the greatness of God, the wonder of His mercy and seemingly unlimited patience with us, and His grace. God knows us better than we could ever know ourselves. He knows we will eat too much and fall asleep on the couch or in the recliner with the football game on the TV. He also knows our propensity to forget the most obvious things. May God cause us to pause and reflect on His goodness, mercy and grace toward us during this time of year in particular and throughout the year as well.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

OUR CREATOR GOD

“…the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”Psalm 95:3-5                                                                          “The 95th Psalm asserts Jehovah's Godhead, and his power over all nature, and exhorts his people to serve him.” *  Only 11 verses long, Psalm 95 is meant to encourage the people of God that He is all powerful and above all the supposed gods concocted by the neighboring nations. Evolution is an unproven theory, while the history of Jehovah God is chronicled for all to see. Atheists, agnostics and the like demand proof of God’s existence, yet none shall be given for proof requires your senses and that is not faith. Faith is required to believe in that which you cannot experience with your senses. It is a choice we must all make. If we choose to place our faith in the One true unseen God, then everything that touches Him is open to us. His word becomes alive to us. Faith leads to trust which when combined with patience and perseverance leads to hope.
          This Psalm of David announces his faithful acceptance that God Himself created all things. The seas and the dry lands were formed by His own hands. Surely He can control them if He created them and I believe He can. I also believe He allows certain events to take place for His own reasons. These reasons cannot be known and at times seem cruel; however, in the end the purposes of God are borne out and those left standing are those who have faithfully trusted in Him. Our lives are not always the way we would like them. Many times our circumstances are of our own making, at times not. We are not called to trust and obey only in good times, for often when we are going through good times we barely acknowledge God at all. It’s as if we only need Him when times are tough, but nothing could be further from the truth. We need God for the very air we breathe. He is our provider and sustainer. Even when things are good, God still mans the wheel of our ship. When trouble finds us, we need look no further than within our own heart, soul and spirit to find evidence that God is present during each moment of each day by His Holy Spirit. He wishes for us to know Him intimately, not just in times of calamity. As we consciously decide to serve God at all times, we see His hands of mercy at work in our lives; the same hands that created all things.
 
Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!
 
* Taken from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon; www.spurgeon.org

Monday, November 19, 2012

IN STEP WITH GOD


“Blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but who delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on his law day and night. They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”Psalm 1:1-3
          If you look up the word ‘blessed’ it says endowed with divine favor and protection. Those who are children of God, who have received the forgiveness of God through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, are blessed. We are called to live lives that fall in line with the standards set by our Heavenly Father. We are also recipients of His limitless grace. Grace is favor we do not deserve on our own; it is given to us in spite of ourselves and our natural inclinations. It is as the Holy Spirit of God begins to make interior alterations to us that our natural inclinations change, slowly making us more like our Heavenly Father. We no longer have the same desires we once had. We no longer wish to ‘walk in step’ with non-believers. Slowly we become more conscience of His presence in our lives. We begin to make decisions based on how God sees things.
          There was a time in my life when I would pass by believers as they lifted their hands up in worship to God and laugh, thinking of them as blind sheep who looked ridiculous as I headed to the college campus newspaper office to put the final touches on a sports article for that week’s edition. Sometime later I was in there with them lifting up my hands in worship to the obtainable God. We are largely unaware of what we need in our lives. We don’t realize that everything begins and ends with Almighty God. We don’t understand and we never will, yet our allegiance is required and even demanded of us. It is a small price to pay but we still have our free will intact and may leave the comfort and security of His care at any time. Grasping what Christ went through for you and me helps us pledge our allegiance for without the blood of Christ, we would be lost in our sins with no hope of redemption. While we are not being asked to literally meditate on the law of God day and night to the exclusion of all else, we are to read and know His laws and precepts for in them is life and right living; living that brings joy, peace, hope and fulfillment.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 52

          It’s interesting how disaster brings out the best in folks. People who normally mind their own business and simply live their lives, under certain circumstances, come out of their self-made cocoon and offer all sorts of help to those in need. This isn’t something that is solely done by the ‘religious’ people of the world. Some of the most hard core keep-to-themselfers step up to the plate and pitch in. It’s a wonderful sight to see. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, electric companies from Alabama, Ohio and Oklahoma found their way to the East Coast to help restore power (and those were just the states I personally saw). Neighbors who had never spoken to each other were sharing food, clothing and generators. Churches all up and down the coast are setting up distribution centers to dispense blankets, clothing items, toiletry items, water, non-perishable food items and more. It’s at a time like this that while government assistance is needed and appreciated, the locals fend for themselves just fine. It’s what I might call a ‘9-11 mentality’. When tragedy strikes, people rise up. It’s when the good in people shines forth and shows the world that mankind may not be inherently evil after all, but perhaps inherently good. It just needs to be jump started is all.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

LIVING FOR GOD

“How can those who are young keep their way pure? By living according to your word.”Psalm 119:9
          Frankly, how can anyone keep their way pure? With all the temptations available today and things that are wrong in the eyes of God portrayed as right, who on earth has any chance of living a pure life anymore. Our youth are kept in the loop with the latest social trends via the internet. With 4G iPhone now available, can 5G be far behind? God forbid we have to wait for anything, let alone our information. Parents are portrayed as morons on television with children saving the day displaying wisdom far beyond their years. Satan has worked overtime to all but destroy the traditional family unit. Living according to God’s word is something that is not even considered in many circles. Doesn’t belief in God matter anymore? It should. Satan has done a good job making the insignificant seem highly significant and that which is critical to our survival false or unnecessary. Satan, in the form of a serpent said those immortal words “Surely you will not die” (Genesis 3:4), thus making God, who said just the opposite (Genesis 2:17), out to be a liar. In fact, according to John 8:44, it is Satan who lies and is the “father of lies” by virtue of his whopper in Genesis.
          One cannot be too careful when living this life. Living for God doesn’t go uncontested. Satan is allowed by God to try and test us. Our lives are not free from angst and frustration. Everything happens for a reason. Living for God may not reveal those reasons to us, but living for ones’ self won’t either. Not trusting in God leads to a new level of frustration that is not remedied by the comfort God’s Holy Spirit can give. Living according to His word is the only way to truly live life to its fullest and keep ourselves pure in the sight of God. Are we literally pure? No; however, being under the blood of Christ means God sees us as pure. Keeping ourselves pure is to live a life that follows the rules for living that God has laid out in His word. Satan wants you to believe you don’t need God or anyone else to master this life. No so. He fooled Adam & Eve and he will fool you as well if you are not careful.
          Faith and trust in God is no trivial thing. It must start with when we are young. Children today must be raised to see the relevance of living for God. We must help them see the trustworthiness of our Lord. If we live according to the word of God, we will live not a perfect life but a life worth living.

Walk with the King and be a blessing!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

WHAT DO YOU VALUE?

“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” * - Psalm 119:36-37
          Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the longest book of the entire bible. Its’ 176 verses are in the form of a prayer from one who delights in living according to the word of God. These two particular verses above ask God to do something very specific for the writer: turn his heart and eyes towards God and away from that which is valueless. This is a worthwhile request and one we should all consider in our own lives today.          
          The statutes of God are precise and clear. They exist to instruct and guide us into a life that is pleasing to Him and will provide us with the greatest blessing. If left to our own devices we would naturally fall woefully short of God’s standards. We would seek out selfish gain every time. The word of God is available in many forms today and so there is no excuse for us not to avail ourselves of a copy for it is in the pages of scripture that true life is found. So many things in this life seem to have value, yet are completely worthless when all is said and done. Think about what you would grab if you home was on fire. Would it be jewels or CDs or a laptop … maybe money? I would probably grab my laptop, but I would also want my bible. I say that not to appear ultra-spiritual, but rather because I respect its value and know it can help me where all other possessions cannot. The most important thing is our own lives. Anything else can be replaced, even a bible. Most of the things we accumulate throughout our lives amount to nothing more than stuff; worthless things that will be tossed in the trash at some future time. I am emptying out my Dad’s house and find that so many things that were of value to him for one reason or another are nothing more than trash now; an accumulation of things which in the end have no worth. We are to value our life above things and shun selfish gain. We are to instead make it our lives goal and sole ambition to preserve our life according to the word of God. As Christians, to seek anything less is only cheating ourselves.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing

* Most ancients texts read “preserve my life in your way”.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

REPAY WITH KINDNESS


“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, ‘Whoever among you would love life and see good days must keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’”         - 1 Peter 3:9-12
          Peter shows his knowledge of the Psalms by quoting Psalm 34:12-16. This shows us two things, 1) that it is good and helpful to know scripture so that you can call on it when necessary; 2) scripture is good for instruction. These verses are applicable to us today for I believe it is the natural tendency of man to want to repay evil with evil or insult with insult. God asks us to do the opposite. Bless those who insult us or do evil deeds against us? How hard is that? Very hard. God isn’t concerned with how difficult we may think such a thing is to do, He simply asks us to do it. He has a plan. His plan is that none should perish, but that all would come to the saving knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:9). You see, God knows that if we repay with kindness we will pour out hot coals upon their heads (Romans 12:20). It is a way of causing them mental anguish. The idea behind it is to lead them to repentance. Anyone can repay evil for evil. It takes discipline and trust in God’s word to do otherwise.
          We are called to keep our tongues from evil by not concealing the truth or misrepresenting it in any way when speaking with others. That is exactly what deceitful speech is. We are to do a 180 from evil deeds and do good instead. As we pursue peace we shall invariably find it. Our promise from God is that His eyes are ever on us as we strive to live for Him. He hears us when we pray; He answers us when He knows it is the right time. We must dust off our cloak of patience and endure for what at times may seem an eternity for His instructions; however, as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ we begin to realize that His answers are always appropriate and exactly when they are needed. Our Heavenly Father is never late … ever. We must remember not to repay evil with evil for the Lord is against those who do evil and shall repay them in like kind at a time of His choosing. Even those we come to despise in this life are loved by God. He doesn’t wish to see them cast out. Our patient kindness to those who come against us will reap us blessings in heaven.
 
Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NOT ORDINARY

“… you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”1 Peter 2:9-10
          Peter wrote this letter to the exiled believers scattered throughout the known world. They were under extreme persecution, to which Peter was no stranger. I dare say we today have it easy compared to the first believers. They were beaten and thrown in jail for preaching the gospel message. In America we have religious freedom, so while folks may turn away from our message, we have the freedom to speak it out at will whenever and wherever we please. We don’t, but we can.
          We, as Christians, are no ordinary people. We are set apart to do good works for God, who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We received mercy. We chose to serve the one true living God and because of that decision have been made holy in His sight through the blood of Christ. Why do so many of us receive the gift of salvation and then go about our business as if no change has occurred in us? Perhaps it is a lack of understanding. Once redeemed our hearts should be filled to overflowing with peace, joy and gratitude. We should feel different. We should begin to act differently. Our whole mind set should change. We are a child of the King. We are adopted; grafted into God’s family. We have received mercy in exchange for our sin. We have received grace or undeserved favor from a holy God who does not look upon sin as whimsy. Sin is what has separated us from God in the first place. There is a price tag on our sin. Christ paid that price. We are free from the bondage sin had ensnared us. We are to praise his holy name because he saved us. He didn’t have to do that. He could have left us mired in the quicksand of our iniquities. He chose to save us unto himself. An attitude of servitude toward our Heavenly Father should be our natural inclination based on what has been done for us. Yet we allow ourselves to become so easily enraptured by that which is around us. We must adjust our focus, “fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith …”. (Hebrews 12:2). Only then will we be truly free.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

RECONCILIATION

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”Colossians 1:19-20
          Who is Jesus Christ? He is the only begotten Son of God. Verse 19 reveals to us that God the Father filled Jesus with Himself, thus making Him both man and God when He walked the earth. Matthew 1:23 declares that Mary shall give birth to a son and they shall call Him Immanuel; ‘God with us’. To ‘reconcile’ is to restore a right relationship between two or more parties; to make peace. Because God the Father indwelt Jesus the Christ He was able to restore a right relationship with all of mankind. The tricky part is getting mankind to accept this restoration. Mankind has been duped into believing that God the Father doesn’t even exist and those who do happen to believe in Him are weak; in need of a crutch to lean on in life. Mankind has been led to believe that they can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and make a way for themselves without the help of anyone. That might make for a good movie, but in reality, we could never make it in this life alone. There is this nagging sin that must be atoned for. Christ’s blood paid that sin debt; however, mankind has turned a blind eye towards the cross. They question its validity and brush it aside as if it were valueless. Foolish mankind. Little do they realize that making peace with God is of paramount importance? Satan has done a good job leading man down a prime rose path that leads nowhere but to hell. Serving God doesn’t seem nearly as exciting as the party life lays out for us. The glitter ball of temptation provides nothing but emptiness and pain. This fact is carefully concealed by the enemy or no one would be enticed.             
          Eternity is nothing to trifle with. Where we go when we die is of the utmost importance. The way to heaven has been laid out for all. Shun it and you are left having to pay for your sin all by yourself. Embrace it and you receive a clean slate, as if you had never committed one sin. Christ’s death on the cross is a very real event in history. It is the linchpin on which Christianity hangs. Jesus not only paid for all sin, but defeated death in the process so that we might life with Him in heaven for all eternity. Embrace the cross and don’t ever let go.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 51

          The headlines screamed “God, why have you done this to us?” and “God hates us!” in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and Winter Nor’Easter Athena. If Sandy was a punch in the face, Athena was a sucker punch to the gut. There are millions still without power nearly two weeks later. The scapegoat, as usual when things of this nature happen, is God. While I believe God either causes or allows everything that takes place in time, I do not believe He was punishing the East Coast. If that were the case, He would have pounded Sodom & Gomorrah relentlessly up to their ultimate destruction. God punishes the unrepentant in the end; however, these storms were part of life. There is no mother nature. There is God.
          In a world where everyone want explanations so they can understand, we will probably never understand the ways of God. Why did this have to happen? Storms form and happen as a part of daily life. Is it due to global warming? I don’t believe that. I know God and I know that bad things happen to good people on a daily basis. Job, from the Old Testament, had some serious tribulation, perhaps similar to that which has happened to some in our area. His response was never to curse God. Frankly, I can’t begin to understand why things like this happen, but life is not some nirvana-like existence filled with pleasure, blessings and satisfaction. Life is hard. When Adam & Eve sinned and were tossed from the Garden of Eden, their disobedience made it hard for us all throughout time. I choose to believe that. So in the aftermath of such devastation, we should look to God, not cast Him aside as some malevolent deity who gets enjoyment out of poking us until we bleed. Maybe we place too much importance on things rather than the creator of all things. Just sayin’ …

Friday, November 9, 2012

IF YOU ARE WILLING

“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”Isaiah 1:18-20
 
          In the first two verses of Isaiah 1 it lays out the reason for the speech the prophet gave concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It was a vision given to him by the Lord during the reigns of four kings of Judah. Israel had a long history of sin, rebellion and disobedience to the Lord and this vision spoke directly to that, pointing out their sins and saying that their sacrifices were meaningless to Him.
          Throughout my years as a believer I have heard verse 18 countless times, but I have never heard verses 19-20, which are tied to 18. I believe it speaks directly to every believer and even to the United States. In fact, it applies to any nation who seeks the face of the one true God. As believers we sin. In spite of all good intentions, we sin. Like Paul declares in Romans 7:15, we do that which we know not to do and don’t do that which we know we should do. We live our lives with one eye on the world and one on the Lord. We are divided in our hearts and minds. We strive to please God yet allow those things around us which could never save us to influence us. We have received a promise from God. While our sins have been paid for by Christ’s death on the cross, we still end up sinning. God continues to forgive if we confess our sin and make a 180 degree turn from it.
          God makes a conditional statement in verse 19. He starts out with the word ‘if’. “If you are willing and obedient …”; BUT (*) if you resist and rebel.” Consequences. We cannot avoid them, no matter what we do. As believers, if we want to prosper (even as our soul prospers - 3 John 1:2), we need to be willing to hear the voice of God and obey His instructions. We strain at the leash, wanting to go our own way. God will allow it full knowing it is not the best course to follow. Don’t be obstinate. Strain at the leash no longer.

Walk with the King and be a blessing!!

(*) my capitalization.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WHOM SHALL YOU SERVE?


“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 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.”Joshua 24:14-15
          In the 24th chapter of Joshua, the Lord God speaks through Joshua reminding the nation of Israel how He had guided and protected them through the years. Their covenant with God was renewed at Shechem on that day. Joshua’s famous words “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” reverberates throughout history and is still applicable today. With all the distractions and temptations that abound in our world, the query remains the same to the Christian: choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. Will you serve your own desires and live according to the understanding you have concocted for yourselves out of scripture, shirking your responsibility of living out what you know to be true? Or will you trust God and His word and live according to His clearly laid out precepts? The choice is entirely yours. Doing the former is tantamount to serving false gods, for those things which have replaced God in your life are nothing more than idols. Doing the latter shall bring you lasting peace and fulfillment. Too many times people have tried to live for God, yet at the first sign of trial or trouble they scurry away and hide behind a cloud of doubt and confusion. God’s tests find many of us wanting; lacking the spiritual stamina to hold up against temptation and desire. We have been given so much by God. People in other less fortunate countries must sit in darkened closets with a lit candle or small flashlight to read their Bibles, for even owning one is against the law. We have religious freedom, yet easily become either lazy or pompous thinking we know enough of God to carry us through to the other side. My goodness are we a foolish lot; myself included. Many of us are knowledgeable in the things of God yet fail to put them into practice. In spite of any hardship, in spite of any obstacle, we must be willing to say with eternal conviction “as for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord.” Whom shall you serve?
 
Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PLEASING GOD

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone … . This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and human beings, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” 1 Timothy 2:1, 3-6            
          Christians are to be a praying people. I asked myself one time years ago, ‘if God knows everything why do we pray?’ It wasn’t long after that I realized we pray for OUR benefit, not God’s. God is intimately aware of all things. He is never taken by surprise. We seek His face so that we can see our God act on our behalf or on the behalf of another. We don’t pray out of desperation and we don’t ever have to plead or beg. God knows what we are in need of and shall take good care of us. We need to pray for others, for they may not know how to pray. They may not even know God in a personal way. We need to thank God in the face of trials for they are a testing of our faith. If God didn’t know you could handle what you were going through He never would have sent it your way. This is pleasing in the sight of God. Scripture is clear; God doesn’t want anyone to be cast out, but all to be redeemed. The truth is right before us, yet so many do not have the spiritual eyesight to see. Jesus Christ was wholly God and wholly human when on this earth. He was sent to pay our sin debt. He paid not just a portion of our debt, but rather, paid it all. When we receive the forgiveness of God we stand as Adam and Eve stood in the Garden in the beginning, sinless. We are not in any way, shape or form perfect so we do not remain sinless for long. As we grow in the knowledge of the truth we change within, slowly becoming just a little more like Christ each day. It is a determination we must all make; to live our lives for Him instead of ourselves. We will never take on Godly characteristics if we do not cultivate our relationship with the living God. We are to lay our requests before God in Jesus’ name and wait for our responses. Our faith and trust in God needs to be strong and unwavering. With our faith we please God and with our trust we begin to operate in the spirit. This too is good and pleasing to God.
 
Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

INVOKING THE NAME


“… his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that can be invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”Ephesians 1:19-21
          To ‘invoke’ is to call upon a deity or spirit in prayer. Scripture is essentially telling us that no other name that can be called upon for inspiration or assistance is any higher or has more authority than the name of Christ. Sadly, millions of people today either don’t even believe in God, let alone Jesus Christ. Millions more see him as nothing more than just another moral teacher or prophet. Scripture tells a different story and within that story is the truth that God is powerful. As example, with great exerted force God raised Christ from the dead, thus defeating death and the grave. This is a foreshadowing of what is to come, when the dead shall rise first than all those who are living and remain shall rise to meet Christ in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
          This is the same power that is at our disposal to do great and mighty things for God. We don’t invoke the name of Christ often enough. In this day and age where challenges abound, we can call of the name of Jesus to provide peace in the midst of life’s storms. We can call on His name for whatever we need as long within the parameters of God’s will. He has promised to provide for and sustain us (Matthew 6:25-34). Any need we have shall be provided for. Is it always immediate? No, perhaps not, but as we place all our trust in God we shall find that He will not forsake or forget us. In the end, we will realize that our help came just as promised exactly when it was needed the most; many times from an unexpected source.
          Christ has power and authority over all things as given to Him by the Father. There is nothing that can befall us that He cannot rectify. He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Nothing escapes His gaze and nothing is impossible for Him. When we invoke the name of Christ, we can know that we will be taken care of for He has authority and dominion over all creation. It is simply a matter of faith and trust.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

LOVE IN ACTION


“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”Romans 12:19-21
          Paul, in his letter to the Romans, quotes Solomon from Proverbs 25:21-22 when he writes verse 20. The only omission from Proverbs are the words “and the Lord will reward you” after the burning coals statement. There are many times in our lives that we want so badly to avenge ourselves with people who have wronged us. They come from all walks of life. They can be cruel, thoughtless, even heartless. They are the self-centered, self-absorbed, ‘me-first’ in the crowd of humanity who seem to think the world revolves around them. We are not to pity them or hate them, but rather be kind to them. This is God’s way of dealing with them. You see, God knows that this way will cause conviction that may drive them to repentance. If you treat them the way they have treated you, you are no different than they are and will galvanize their unbelief.
 
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 7:12
 
          God has never said that this would be easy. Neither did He say the response of others would be what we seek. Some people absorb our kindness and go on. That’s alright. We are judged on our behavior, not the behavior of others. We are each responsible for our own actions and reactions. In all that we do, we must expect nothing in return. Not even a thank you. For our accolades shall come to us in heaven, but even that should not be the reason we do these things prescribed in Romans. We should do them because we believe them to be the right things to do. It is irrelevant what others do to us. In the end God repays for the hardness and hardship some have doled out to others. We need not concern ourselves with all that. Our grand mission should be to live life to please and honor God. If we do that, we will be inclined to do those things that bless others and bring blessing, peace and fulfillment to ourselves. God takes care of us so that we can help take care of those who cannot take care of themselves; God’s arms extended, if you will. In the end we shall receive jewels in our crown. But that is not the reason we do it either. We do it because God spoke it and therefore it is what is expected of us.
 
Walk with the King today and be a blessing!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 50

The Casino Pier roller coaster in Seaside Heights, N.J. lies crumpled in the ocean after the pier was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.                I would like to have done something special for my 50th Rambling, but unfortunately, Sandy hit us in the face full force this past week and changed everything.  Sandy was the rude gal that made a sharp left hand turn in the Atlantic and punched the Jersey coast and all surroundings areas with Hurricane force winds and an ocean surge that left the coast nearly unrecognizable.  Millions of us are still without power.  We are the lucky ones.  I couldn’t even tell you how many thousands upon thousands of homes have been completely obliterated. I mean there aren’t even two sticks standing. Homes swept off their foundations.  Bridges with houses and boats on them, making them unusable.  Places where the ocean crashed through and met the bay. Entire homes nearly covered with sand. No beaches left to speak of.  The boardwalks and amusement piers destroyed.  The coast all the way up to Rhode Island was affected.  Parts of Long Island were leveled. Areas there look like they went through an all-night bombing raid with houses gutted leaving virtually nothing left standing.  Some would ask how God could let this happen.  God didn’t cause this, but according to my beliefs I suppose I would have to say He allowed it for some reason unbeknownst to us.  Was it a test of faith? Perhaps. Was it some punishment for a lack of morality in the country? I don’t believe so.  I choose to believe that God didn’t arbitrarily choose to take lives and possessions; that because of the fall of man life happens. That bad things happen to good and bad people all the time.  Job experienced the same type of things and yet never cursed God.  I cannot understand it all, but I know that some turn to God in times like this and some turn from Him, thinking He is mean and unfair.  I choose to turn to Him for there is hope and salvation in no one else.    
Sand from the beach reaches the windows of a home as a vehicle rests on its side in Seaside Heights, N.J.

 

Friday, November 2, 2012

THE GRAFTED ONES

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
          Due to the rejection of the Jewish religious leaders in accepting Christ as their Messiah, the gentiles were allowed to be grafted into the promise. The Jews were unwilling to see what the eyes of faith could clearly see, that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the One sent by Almighty God to free all men of the bondage of their sin. Those who embrace Christ as their savior and Lord are now a part of the chosen. We have been made a priesthood and holy nation unto God. We are of incalculable value to God. He created us to praise and worship Him. If all He ever did for us was save us from our sin that would have been more than enough; but He offered, in addition, to provide for and sustain us in all situations. He gave us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to instruct, guide, direct and enable us to do all things to the honor and glory of God. We weren’t in darkness as we would be going through a dark tunnel with light at the other end; we lived in complete and total darkness as one who lost power due to a tremendous storm. God, in all His gracious mercy, saw fit to draw us out into His wonderful light where we may live forever if we so choose. He has set us apart. We are the branches that have been grafted onto the vine. Our hope lies in Christ and in nothing else. When calamity strikes, do we curse God as Job’s wife encouraged him to do in Job 1:9 or are we to cry out to God for an extra measure of His mercy and grace to be poured out upon us. While I would never presume to know why certain things happen in life, nor would I render a guess as to why devastation wreaks havoc upon the earth, I do know this: I have chosen to believe that God is who He says He is and He has a reason for all that He causes or allows. Those who curse God have no hope except that which lies within them. That hope, over time, will fade and be snuffed out due to circumstances beyond their own control. Those who trust God no matter what befalls them shall always have a small flame of hope flickering within their heart and soul. God takes care of His own and that alone is worth praising Him for.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

FORGIVENESS AVAILABLE

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7-8a
 
          The Judeo-Christian belief system is the only one that requires a blood sacrifice to forgive sin. Others believe in achieving certain stages of enlightenment which causes one to live a sinless life, yet their standards are man-made. Still others believe you are repaid in a future life for the deeds you have committed in this present life. No mention of Jesus and even with those who do, he is relegated to the status of a moral man or prophet, not at all who he claims to be. If he were truly the Son of God, then it would throw their neatly constructed system of belief into chaos. They cannot exist side by side, because they are polar opposites. 
          For those who have chosen to believe that God exists and the bible is truly His word, Jesus Christ is indeed God’s Son and we can without question receive forgiveness. The difference between Jews and Christians is that we have accepted Christ as the Messiah, the promised deliverer, who will remove the shackles placed on us by our own sinful behavior which started in the Garden so long ago. Jews are still waiting for him. Back in the time of Jesus they were watching and waiting for a warrior king who would strike down all who came against Israel. They were not prepared, nor were they willing to accept an infant born in a lowly manger as their deliverer. So they remain under the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments.
          In Christ, the believer has the promise of a full and forever pardon of all sins when His redemptive act on the cross is fully accepted and embraced. We are justified in the eyes of God. Those sins shall never be brought up against us again. That doesn’t give us the license to continue to sin, even though we do. Forgiveness is available to all and so even when we do sin after our initial cleansing, we can receive forgiveness for future sins for the asking. We must strive to avoid such eventualities, however, God knows us and knows that we will do those things we ought not. The key to forgiveness from our standpoint is a sincere and remorseful heart, one that is truly sorrowful for what it has committed against our Holy God. Once forgiven, we are to strive wholeheartedly to live our lives more like Christ, our example. The grace or undeserved favor that God offers us should not be spat upon by cavalier actions. We must be diligent in our efforts to please God in all we do. The word lavish means sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious, very generous or extravagant. God poured His infinite, eternal grace out upon us. Once redeemed, we should be living significantly changed lives. We must never make it into a cheap thing.

Walk with the King today and be a blessing!