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

Website: https://rlkeller4291.wixsite.com/mysite

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, May 31, 2013

THE WISDOM OF GOD


… if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. - Proverbs 2:3-6
 
          Wisdom and knowledge are not achieved by osmosis, but rather by seeking them. True wisdom and knowledge are only obtained from God, for the wisdom and knowledge of man is flawed because he is flawed. God wishes us to have all the gifts He has generated to be at our disposal. We only need to ask for and then utilize them.
          The fear of the Lord spoken of in scripture is not to be afraid of God, but instead, to view Him with awe, reverence and respect. No one else is like Him. He is the beginning and the end; He is Almighty, all-knowing and everywhere at the same time by His spirit. The wisdom He offers is perfect and if heeded, understanding follows. We will never know all things this side of heaven; however, tapping into the knowledge and wisdom of God gives us an upper hand on the things of this world. Seek God daily.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

NO HARM SHALL BEFALL US


When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? – Psalm 56:3-4
 
          David was sent on a mission by King Saul. He feared for his life by the hand of Saul and while on his mission fled to Gath. Now David had killed Goliath, the champion of Gath, so he feared having to stand before their king, Achish. He feigned insanity so as to escape the clutches of the Philistines. (1 Samuel 21:1-22:1a)
          In the first two verses of the 56th Psalm David voices his complaint to God, yet his complaint quickly turns to confidence in the above verses. We would be wise to consider David’s circumstances in relation to our own, for we find ourselves in undesirable circumstances far too often by our own hand. We must accept and understand that if we have drawn close to our God, He is drawn close to us and there is nothing mere mortals can ever do to us that God has not allowed for our ultimate good. Our faith must give birth to full trust and reliance on God, for it is only then that we will shed our fear and walk boldly in the name of the Lord. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

GOD’S UNDERSTANDING

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. – Psalm 103:13-14

          For those who have reverence and respect for Almighty God, He shall have compassion. Reverence and respect should lead to obedience. We are not required to obey God, but rather, are to be compelled to by what He has done for us. No one or nothing else can provide the cleansing God can provide through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we have made a genuine commitment to God, forgiveness is received and a compulsion begins to build in our soul. That compulsion is to be the driving force that causes us to read scripture, attend church, testify of His goodness, pray and give an accounting of the reason for the joy you now have in your heart. It means no longer living for yourself; you are listening intently to God’s Holy Spirit regarding how to be Christ to those around you and see the world as God sees it. God knows from whence we come and while He doesn’t excuse our disobedience, understands us intimately and will patiently guide us through this life if we let Him. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

EMPATHY

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. - Romans 12:15

          In verse 9 Paul says “Love must be sincere”. We are to be genuine in both our joy and concern for others. Faking empathy is transparent; people can see right through it. Patronizing others is condescension and serves no positive purpose. If we see others the way God sees them we will be able to, with sincerity, rejoice with them in their victories and mourn with them in their grief. We don’t have to experience the same event to empathize with others. Our happiness or consolation can grow out of our consistent life in Christ enabling us to feel what others feel with genuine compassion. As a result, people will seek us out during their times of joy or pain. There is a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes with being used by God in this manner. Be real, not fake and you will be a blessing to those you encounter each day. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, May 27, 2013

SUBMISSION NEEDED

… I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. – Acts 20:24

          Paul’s dogged determination to complete the task set before him by the Holy Spirit should serve as an example to us all. Paul was at risk of being thrown in jail for preaching the gospel. While those conditions may exist elsewhere in the world today, they don't in America. We have it easy by comparison. Is it possible that we have become complacent?
          What matters most to us in this life? Living our lives in service to our Lord is an honor and a privilege. We are, in fact, His representatives wherever we go. We must feed our spirit man and listen to the instruction of God if we are to be successful in serving Him effectively. We can each make a difference to those around us if we will go about each day prepared to emulate Christ in all we say and do. If our testimony is consistent and genuine, people will notice and lives will be changed. Submit to God and move out in His name. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

LISTEN WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – James 1:19-20

          James admonishes the “twelve tribes scattered abroad” to be eager to listen to those who are of God and think twice before they open their mouths. Man learns nothing by speaking. It’s only in listening that he acquires knowledge. Who or what he listens to also determines what knowledge is acquired. James tells the churches to be slow to bring retribution against another as well. There is a reason God says in Romans 12:19 that vengeance belongs to Him alone. We are unable to administer retribution without emotion. Our vengeance is mostly of a personal nature based on things that have been said or done to us or our loved ones. God takes emotion out of the equation, thus being able to administer fair and righteous judgment every time. Be quick to listen, slow to speak and leave retribution to the Lord. By doing so you shall learn those things God wishes you to know to better serve Him. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, May 24, 2013

THE PERFECT WILL OF GOD

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

          I believe there is a general will and a personal will for each believer. Let me explain. The general will of God for His followers is to love one another or fulfill the Great Commission, etc. God has a will for each of us as individuals as well. For me I believe it is to utilize the gift He has given me to write for His glory and speak publically for the sake of the kingdom. When Paul tells the Romans not to follow the actions of the world, he is saying not to think like them, speak like them, act or react like them. Our minds become renewed when we immerse ourselves in the things of God. James 4:8 tells us that if we draw near to God He will draw near to us. It should be an intimate, personal relationship that we seek with our God. Then we will know what His personal will is for our lives. God wants to use us to promote the kingdom. He doesn’t need us, but rather chooses to use us. Draw near to the Lord starting today. Use the gifts He has given you and be a blessing to all you encounter. Until next time … walk with the King today and be a blessing!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

ACCEPTANCE OF THE BRETHREN

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. - Romans 15:7
 
          Paul’s letter was to both Jewish and Gentile believers. While they may have had slight differences of opinion on less crucial issues, Paul was advising the recipients of this correspondence to accept and not reject one another, just as Christ had freely accepted them.
          Today, many of us have the tendency to compare our walk with another’s as a means of feeling good about our relationship with Christ. We may differ in the minutia of our beliefs; however, this is no reason to think less of a brother or sister in Christ, for Christ didn’t look upon us in this manner. He lovingly accepted us with all our faults and foibles. Why do we not do the same with our brethren? The mere fact that there are so many denominations with various different nuances of belief shouts out that we do not accept those who don't believe as we do.  See others through the eyes of Jesus and put aside our own prejudices. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

LIVE AS AMBASSADORS

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
 
          In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he parrots their claim that they have the right to do anything. His response is not everything is beneficial or constructive (1 Corinthians 6:12). Here Paul echoes the same sentiment to the Galatians, only under different circumstances. The Galatians were bewitched by another gospel which questioned Paul’s authority to teach and preach, among other things.
          We are free in the spirit and due to our free will can do whatever we choose; however, not all things are good for us. Each word, action or reaction brings with it consequences; the nature of the consequences depend on our words and/or actions. We are not to indulge in those things which are contrary to the directives God has laid out for us. In our faith we must allow for trust, for without trust we will question God’s instruction to us. We are to love the brethren in humbleness and humility and live our lives out as ambassadors of Christ, devoted to the One who saved us from ourselves. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. (1 Corinthians 2:12)

          When we receive Christ and the forgiveness He so freely offers, we also receive within us God’s Holy Spirit. This is not a spirit that has come from this world. As a result the world cannot fathom the depth and breadth of God’s love for His creation, for it is only through the Holy Spirit that such things can be discerned; even then it is a mystery to the finite mind. God desires to give so much to us and not in short portion, but liberally, yet we shy away not realizing the magnitude of the gift we have received. As we feed our spirit man, we must become in tune with God’s Holy Spirit so that we might begin to understand the things God wants to reveal to us. Drink deeply from the well of wisdom that is the Spirit of God within you. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, May 20, 2013

EMULATE CHRIST

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

          What is the mind of Christ? His general “attitude of mind” was not to please Himself, but rather one of obedience to the will of the Father. We are to be like-minded with our Lord. Our Heavenly Father will give us the “endurance and the encouragement” to follow suit with Christ in obedience to be of one mind and voice in the glorification of God. We must keep our focus sharp and our vision clear. We must seek the face of God daily to deal effectively with the complexities of life. We are to love one another and seek to bless rather than curse. We are to praise the name of our God through good and bad times alike. We are to recognize the greatness of our God and seek to serve Him with our lives. This is the example Christ left for us; it is His life we are to emulate. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

PATIENCE

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. (Hebrews 6:13-15)

They say patience is a virtue. With God patience is essential. Without patience, we would be racing ahead of Him, getting into all sorts of trouble. Paul cites God’s promise to Abraham from Genesis 22:17 to show his readers and us that what we have been promised, if we wait patiently, we shall receive. We must understand that time means nothing to God. In 2 Peter 3:8, we are told that to God one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. Time means something to us; too much in many cases. God knows the beginning from the end. He will provide that which we are in need of and will honor His promises when the time is right. We think we know, but in all honesty, we haven’t got a clue. Exercise your faith in God by trusting in and relying on Him for His promises to be fulfilled in His time. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, May 17, 2013

OUR INDESCRIBABLE GOD

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:34-36)

 Simply put, God’s ways are unknowable; we cannot understand them. God is not indebted to us, for we have never given Him anything. We have done nothing, nor could we ever do anything that would impress God for He is creator of all things. All things that exist come from His hand for His own purposes. God does as He pleases with the permission of no one, for there is no one that He need report to. He is our supreme, righteous and Almighty God. This is the same God that loves us unconditionally, has us under His umbrella of grace and will never, ever let us down. Although we cannot know His mind, we can know that God will only do to us and for us that which will benefit us and bring Him glory. God is not a tyrant who demands our servitude, but rather a loving, compassion, merciful God who desires our allegiance. It should be our compulsion to serve Him without reservation. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

GOD, OUR PROTECTOR

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.” (Zephaniah 3:17a)

          The Lord is the mighty protector of Israel and by extension, due to being grafted in to the tree of life, the non-Jew or gentile as well. We should picture our Lord as a mighty warrior who protects and saves us from harm. Back in the days of the prophet Zephaniah, during King Josiah’s reign, there were nations that lived wicked lives and did evil deeds, some intended against Israel. God was and is their protector. In this day and age, we can take comfort that the same God who protects Israel, protects us as well. The trials we experience are to test the genuineness of our faith, but no harm shall befall us. It is only when we ignore God’s directives and go our own way that we reap the consequences of our folly. Always remember and never forget, if you are in right relationship with God, He is with you. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

THE GREATNESS OF GOD

“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

In a world where intellect rules and power is sought at any cost, God declares that our greatest wisdom and our most impressive power are no match for Him. He who created the wind and our intricate bodies from nothing in our mother’s womb has a plan to save mankind from themselves. Even those who stay close to God and strive to be like Christ each day cannot fathom all that He has done or will do. Those fixated on the acts of evil men, asking where God is in all the chaos need to adjust their line of sight and focus on the creator of all things, for in doing that they will find no need for answers. Our faith must lead us to trust in and rely on God for our everything, even in the face of calamity. God knows what He’s doing. Until next time … walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MADE BY GOD

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

          Ever wonder where you came from? According to the Bible you were created in your mother’s womb by God. You can choose to accept that and believe it or not, but the above scripture makes it clear that the God of all creation, included you in His plans. If we look closely at our bodies, we can see signs that we have been “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Just the working of our fingers is a marvel to behold. God is ever-present and willing to infuse us with the power necessary to live this life for Him. Living life for ourselves is a lonely road that leads us nowhere. Living life for the One true God is the essence of fulfillment. Why were we put here? If God created us, then God has a reason and plan He wants to work out in our lives. He wants us to live for Him alone for God knows that is where our greatest blessings lie. Embrace the love God has for you and live for Him each day of your life. Until next time … Walk with the King today and be a blessing!

Monday, May 13, 2013

BEAUTY IS ONLY SKIN DEEP

     “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) A woman can have beauty within that far outshines any physical beauty she may have. Spiritual beauty, which comes from knowing the Lord, can enhance the appearance of even the most seemingly commonplace physical attributes. It comes from their core and radiates outward. Fearing the Lord is to be in awe of Him rather than afraid. Respecting God for who He is brings about a certain level of obedience that causes that person to appear different than those around them. In a world where a nip here and a tuck there seem to be the order of the day, growing older gracefully should be far more desirable. It reveals what is important to a person. Focusing on the Lord and what is important to Him will cause our countenance to shine like the sun and no plastic surgeon can replicate that. Until next time … Walk with the King and be a blessing!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

NEW FORMAT

     Had an interesting chat with a brother the other night. Simplify; be brief or you will lose people. Okay, I am taking his advice. Why? I sensed that it was one of those (what I like to call) 'divine appointments'. See he and his family were sitting behind me at a concert. That's what God does ... He orchestrates our lives so we encounter people who can help us accomplish God's will for our lives. My devos will be shorter starting tomorrow morning (Monday, May 13, 2013). Perhaps just a paragraph. They will still have a corresponding picture and a title. As always, may God's will be done in my life. Amen? Until next time ... ybic, RL Keller

Saturday, May 11, 2013

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 77

          Why do we worry? It makes our stomach ache. It furrows our brow. It doesn’t do anything positive for us at all. Maybe events from our past cause us to worry about potential problems in the future. Matthew 6:27 poses this question: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” The answer to that question is obviously ‘no’. For those who have a personal relationship with Christ, the question takes on somewhat of a deeper meaning because the Lord can move mountains on our behalf to bring His will for us to fruition. It is in the closeness of that relationship that we can dismiss our worrying and face the day with renewed confidence. The more intimately we know God the more we trust Him and the more we begin to rely on Him to disperse the clouds of doubt and fill our hearts with peace. Peace leads us to hope. Hope for today and all our tomorrows. Why do we worry? We are human and probably, to some extent, will always be prone to worry no matter how close we become to our Lord, but just knowing it doesn’t have to be that way should give us reason to relax and enjoy our lives. God knows what He’s doing and has it all under control. rlk

Friday, May 10, 2013

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

“Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” (Matthew 17:20)
 
          Here we find the story of a demon possessed boy. The disciples were approached by the father of this boy with the request that his son be healed. They could not drive out the demon thus prompting the above verbal exchange. We know what faith is; Hebrews 11:1 defines it for us. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We also know that it is impossible to please God without it according to Hebrews 11:6. So are we to assume that the disciple’s faith was so miniscule that they couldn’t accomplish what to Jesus was a simple task?
          Our notes below show us that a mustard seed is the tiniest seed known to ancient man, yet rather than a small plant, it was a tree that grew tall in the warm Middle Eastern sun. Is it possible that the mention of mustard seed size faith also references the fact that like the mustard tree our faith must grow allowing that it takes years for this growth to take place? Perhaps; but why couldn’t the disciples perform this task when called upon? They were obviously perplexed by their inability. Could it be that their faith, as well as ours, must be solely fixed upon God’s ability to do that which may seem to some impossible?
          Mountains are good examples of something that would be impossible to move, at least in the mind of mortal man. The Hebrews back in Bible times thought of mountains as being rooted far beneath the earth, therefore, it would seem to them that moving one would be virtually impossible [ref: IVP NT Commentary Series]. Our faith must be non-wavering and must be fixed firmly on Christ, for without Him we can do nothing of any lasting and eternal value (John 15:5). Do we no longer see healings of this magnitude today because they no longer occur or do they no longer occur because doubt has replaced our faith? We see miracles all around us, yet find our faith lacking when it comes to those things that we may be required to do. There is nothing that is impossible for our God. If we are genuine believers who have placed all our faith, hope and trust in Him, then nothing will be impossible for us as well. In Jesus’ name we can do all things. We must believe that and then live it, for in not doing so we short change ourselves.
 
WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!
 
NOTES:
1 - The disciples’ shortage of faith was not that they lacked confidence or did not expect success—they were apparently surprised by their failure—but because their expectation was not properly grounded in relationship to God. A tiny grain of true faith, rooted in submissiveness to God, is effective. [Reformation Study Bible]
2 - Grain of mustard-seed - The plant here described was very different from that which is known among us. It was several years before it bore fruit and became properly a tree. Mustard, with us, is an annual plant: it is always small, and is properly an herb. The Hebrew writers speak of the mustard-tree as one on which they could "climb," as on a fig-tree. Its size was much owing to the climate. All plants of that nature grow much larger in a warm climate, like that of Palestine, than in colder regions. The seeds of this tree were remarkably small, so that they, with the great size of the plant, were an apt illustration of the progress of the church and of the nature of faith, Matthew 17:20. [Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

Thursday, May 9, 2013

FREE FROM GUILT


“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
 
Guilt - the fact or state of having done something wrong or committed a crime.
 
Condemnation - to declare to be reprehensible (deserving of), wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation.
 
          The Mosaic Law was put in place to pronounce the guilt of sin; God alone condemns sin. The Law identifies it, the Lord declares it evil. Christ came as sinful man to overcome the condemnation brought on by sin. Sin cannot and will not abide with God (Revelation 21:27). It was imperative that Christ came to eradicate all sin. For those who have accepted what Christ did on the cross, there is no longer any condemnation. All who have surrendered their will to the One true God of all Creation are set free from the shackles sin had placed on them. No longer should you fear death, for you have already died once … to self. You shall never die again. Your earthly tent of a body will perish, but your soul and spirit will live on with your Heavenly Father for all of eternity.
          Those who do not take seriously the warning that scripture gives will end up on the outside looking in and that is putting it mildly. Man stands condemned by his own actions. In the case of his rejection of Christ, his condemnation would come by his own inaction. Their inaction has pronounced their death sentence, for those who reject the gift of salvation will experience the second death, the result of which is the Lake of Fire. It doesn’t have to be that way. God has provided ample time and opportunity for all men to receive the indescribable and gracious gift of forgiveness. Imagine having all your misdeeds, errors in judgment and dumb mistakes that fall under the category of sin completely wiped clean, like an eraser wipes a white board clean. The sin isn’t covered over as in Old Testament times, but rather wiped away and thrown into the sea of forgetfulness, never to be held against you again. To forget your sins would constitute a flaw in God’s character. No, He chooses not to hold it against you ever again as if it never happened in the first place.
          Our responsibility as believers is to live our lives as if we truly believed in this God who died for us. We must allow Him to alter our behavior from the inside out by His Holy Spirit. Only then will the world see what God is really like.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

OVERCOMING EVIL

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 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,’[1] 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.’[2] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21)
 
          Although the temptation is to choke the living daylights out of those who are evil to you in this life, the Lord instructs us not to repay evil for evil. The Apostle Paul quotes two passages from the Old Testament (listed in the footnotes) to make his point to the readers of this letter. We never achieve anything good by doing bad. We are to be different than those in the world. We are in many ways to do just the opposite as they do. If they do evil, we are to repay with good. When we continually do good, we heap burning coals on their heads. The Reformation Study Bible explains that phrase thusly: “The most likely meaning is penitence through a burning sense of shame. Some associate the image with an Egyptian penitential rite in which coals were carried on the head to show contrition.” The Holy Spirit of God tends to such things. We need not trouble ourselves with repayment. We are not to waste our good time worrying about how to bring fire down from on high regarding such people. God wishes that all would repent and be saved from their sins (1 Timothy 2:4). Our repayment would only solidify their anger towards us in a ‘tit for tat’ fashion, giving them a reason to retaliate. It would never end. But if we show kindness to the worst of our enemies, it may do what it is designed to do; that being to bring them to repentance and eventual salvation. God knows what He's doing and never allows emotion to come into His decisions. We react without thinking many times allowing our emotions to drive our words or actions and it can tend to get us into hot water. Overcome evil with good, no matter how difficult it may seem at the time and the Lord will reward you for your obedience.
 
WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!
 
[1] Deuteronomy 32:35 – The entire verse reads as such: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”
 
[2] Proverbs 25:21-22 adds this phrase to the end … “and the Lord will reward you.”

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT GOD


“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:14-16)
 
          Continuing on in the same vein of presenting the gospel in a concise way, Paul echoes the words of Jesus from Luke 6:27-28. Jesus said to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. He continued on by telling his listeners to bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you. In light of how some folks treat others today, that can be a tall order, but as we draw closer to God His Holy Spirit will enable us as we surrender our will. We must have the “want to” though. The unity we are to have with our brothers and sisters in Christ is to be evident in our empathy for them in joy and deep sorrow. Our unity, just like our faith, is to be genuine and not just for show. We are to be as one unit, loving, assisting and being patient one with another. We are to be void of any conceit or pride in our position in this life. Conceit breeds contempt for others of a lower stature and according to scripture we’re to be willing to associate with those among us who are of low position.
          Proverbs 3:7 tells us “Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” Our wisdom is so minute compared to the wisdom of our Heavenly Father, that to lord it over anyone is a joke. Humbleness and humility are to be the order of the day for the Christian. There is nothing about us that should give us cause to be prideful. Anything we are and anything we happen to achieve is orchestrated by the Lord and not our own doing. It behooves us to give credit where credit is due and not puff out our chest as if we’ve actually accomplished anything of any significance. Our greatest accomplishments in this life pale in comparison to the smallest of God’s accomplishments.
          To think of oneself as better than another is foolhardy and only gives one a false sense of superiority. Even the wealthiest, most powerful person on earth is nothing compared to Almighty God. Those who deny Christ preen and thrust out their feathers as proud peacocks, displaying themselves for all the world to see, but it only appears as arrogance to those around them. We are to understand that we are nothing without God. Then and only then will be begin to develop the appropriate characteristics that are exemplary of our Lord.

WALK WITH THE LORD TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Monday, May 6, 2013

BE GENUINE


“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)
 
          Paul uses strong words in this portion of his letter; love, hate, cling, devotion, honor, joyful, patient, faithful. We are to take heed of such words and seriously strive to apply these characteristics to our walk with Christ. Genuine love should be the driving force in our lives when it comes to dealing with others. We are not to be phonies for God knows the motivation of our heart and our disingenuous behavior will hinder rather than help those we are intending to assist. Hate is a strong emotion. Defining it as “strongly disliking someone or something” (1) doesn’t adequately describe the word. It is an ugly word that should have no place in a believer’s vocabulary. Devotion is to be “dedicated and loyal” (2). To honor others is to show them respect; however, Paul says that we are not just to honor them, but rather honor them above ourselves. Paul instructs us to keep our enthusiasm, energy and effort strong as we serve God. We are to be joyful, patient and faithful in our walk with the Lord. When affliction strikes us, we are to ride it out knowing that God is with us. This can be much easier said than done; however, we can know that God takes good care of His children and will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
          Paul intended to systematically present the gospel to the Romans and also instruct believers whom he had undoubtedly met at one point or another during his missionary travels. These believers apparently had since moved to Rome from outlying areas. The most important aspect of a Christian’s life, which holds true for us today just as it did to those in the early church, is a genuineness of our faith. It is to be sincere and honest, not false or fake in any way. Nonbelievers can smell a phony from a mile away, so being diligent in our sincerity is vitally important. If we don’t live our lives differently than the world around us, we give non-believers no reason to feel compelled to accept Christ. When the Holy Spirit draws people in, what will they find in you that will make them want to join you on your walk down the narrow road?
 
WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!
 
(1) Cambridge Dictionary; (2) Merriam-Webster Dictionary
 
* Romans 12:9 - be genuine - In classical Greek drama, the hypokrites (actor) wore a face-mask. The Christian’s loving behavior should not be acting a part or wearing a mask, but an authentic expression of goodwill. (The Reformation Study Bible)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 76

          Why do I call my ministry Bread of Life? I gave it that name about 30 years ago when I was starting out in ministry. It’s been a long time from then until now, but the name remains the same and the meaning has never changed.  In John 6:35 Jesus says “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” I wanted people to know that Jesus was the catalyst for what I do under this banner. I wanted people to know that Jesus means more to me than my own life. I wanted people to know that although I don’t always act like it, I love Jesus Christ with my whole heart, mind and soul.
          When Jesus says whoever comes to Him will never go hungry or thirsty, He is referring to a spiritual hunger and thirst. We can have full bellies and yet still be in sin. Jesus Christ meets our every need. So when I present Bread of Life Ministries to the masses, I want them to know that I represent the One who can meet all their needs and bring peace to their souls. I want them to know that forgiveness for anything and everything they have ever done is only a prayer away. That is why I call my ministry Bread of Life. rlk

Friday, May 3, 2013

BE A NONCONFORMIST

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
 
Nonconformist - a person who does not live and think according to accepted customs and standards.
 
          With this world heading on a downward slope, is it prudent or wise to strap yourself to the mast of a sinking ship?  This world as we know it will not survive; only those who have accepted God’s gracious gift of forgiveness and allowed His Holy Spirit to alter their lifestyle will be ushered into His Kingdom. I add the second part to the equation because to simply accept Christ’s forgiveness and not allow it to change your life from the inside out will not keep you from wallowing in the mud again. We are not to live according this world’s accepted customs and standards, for they fly in the face of all that God stands for. We are to be nonconformists and allow a spiritual transformation to occur in our hearts and minds. Paul refers to it as a “renewing of your mind”. How else would we ever be able to know what God’s will for us is? We must read scripture to know what God says is right and wrong. The world has a new standard that is being altered each and every day. God’s standard is the one true standard that never changes. We need consistency in our lives and God is the only one who can provide that for us. He loves us and cares for us and wants to meet our every need, but we are constantly trying to go our own way. The world is calling. Those who march to the beat of God’s particular drumbeat are ridiculed and despised. It’s the ‘Jesus’ factor that causes this. Buddhists and Hindus are not treated in this manner. Those who seek their own way through their own existential* system of beliefs are not ridiculed, but rather praised for being in tune with their inner being. To truly know God and His will, we must move as close to Him as humanly possible through time spent with Him (James 4:8). Talking to God (prayer), listening to songs with eternal meaning, buddying up with a fellow believer of like gender for accountability, becoming a part of a local fellowship are all ways to ward off worldly influences. Be open to the instruction of God and learn what His good, pleasing and perfect will is for you.
 
WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!
 
*The modern system of belief made famous by Jean Paul Sartre in the 1940s in which the world has no meaning and each person is alone and completely responsible for their own actions, by which they make their own character. [http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us]

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DECIPHERING GOD'S WILL

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
 
          We must take note that John doesn’t say in his letter to an unnamed church that anything we ask we shall have given to us. He is careful to say that anything we ask according to God’s will He hears and will provide. God has a general will and specific, personal will. His general will is seen throughout the New Testament in the commands to love your neighbor as yourself, treat others as you wish to be treated, fulfill the great commission, be angry and sin not, etc. God’s will for us as individuals is crafted to mesh with the gifts He has given us. I believe His will for me entails, in part, writing. He has given me that gift and I am using it to His glory. Another person’s gift might be singing or comforting or preaching or teaching. God hears every request we utter; yet He gives us those things which He knows will benefit us the most. If we received everything we asked for, then our wants, desires and needs would intermingle. Truthfully, we don’t always faithfully decipher which things are wants and which things are needs. God has promised in His word to always meet our needs; our wants are another story.
          I think we can all agree that we don’t always know what is best for us. God does. That is where trust comes into the equation. To trust in God means we are to begin to rely on Him for our everything. He offers us the intangible things that mold our character and assist us in being more like His Son. Material things have no value to God other than to be vehicles for His use. They corrupt and decay and eventually disappear from sight. What God offers us is everlasting and eternal. To know God is to know His will and the only way we could ever know His will is to work at our personal relationship with Him daily. Commune with God; speak to Him and more importantly, listen to Him through His word. Don’t read into scripture what is not there. Take it in its entire context and ask God to expand your mind to understand how it applies to you. God knows what He’s doing. Bend to His will for your life and be free of the worldly baggage that so easily weighs us down.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

SEEKING GOD

“…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Earnest - a serious and intent mental state.

          Hebrews 11 … the faith chapter. Throughout its forty verses lies example after example of Old Testament patriarchs who lived by faith, which was credited to them as righteousness. Jesus ushered in the dispensation of grace which had tied to it as a requirement, faith. Paul tells us in Hebrews without telling us straight out that good works are nothing more than good works and do not earn us passage into heaven. What he says is direct and impossible to misunderstand: “without faith it is impossible to please God.” He continues by saying that the criteria used regarding our faith is that we must not only believe in God’s existence, we must earnestly seek Him as well. God rewards those who diligently seek Him for in seeking Him we find Him and in finding Him we begin to know and understand, even in small part, who God is and who we are in Him. To truly know God is to strive to link our desires to His. To truly know God is to allow His Holy Spirit to work in us. When and only when we do this will we begin to become like Christ in the way we think, speak and act.  It isn’t an easy road we choose when we receive Christ. It’s a slow, grinding process fraught with pot holes and diversions, but we can be assured that the reward far outweighs the pain it takes to get us to our final destination. It should be understood that we are not to do our striving solely to achieve a reward, but rather out of obedience to the One who purchased for us a second chance. Without Christ’s death we have no hope.
          Other ‘religions’ provide a way to a tranquil existence in this life; however, never address the problem our sin causes. Simply saying sin doesn’t exist or telling individuals that they must strip themselves of any and all pleasure in this life in order to come back in the next life as something far grander is simply man’s way of attaining heaven by some other means then through the One who declares Himself the only one true and Almighty God.
          If we place the entirety of our faith and trust in Jehovah God, we shall be blessed with a lasting peace that the world can neither attain, nor understand. It is not fleeting as with other belief systems, but rather rests within us at our core. God shall reward those who seek Him earnestly.

WALK WITH THE KING AND BE A BLESSING!