BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

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

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

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


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

PERSEVERANCE


“… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us …“ (Hebrews 12:1b)
     The difference between a 440 yard dash and a 2.5 mile race is that in one you run as fast as you can for a short distance and with the other you must pace yourself so that you can make it a much longer distance. It requires toughness, determination, strength of will and perseverance. Even if things aren’t going your way, you must learn to focus on the prize that awaits you … the finish line.
      It’s no different with the Christian. We encounter hindrances and temptations throughout our lives which require perseverance on our part. Instead of complaining about our misfortune, we need to learn to seek the lesson that God wishes us to learn. He has a will and a plan for each one of us. It’s our responsibility to determine what that is. Don’t allow yourself to burn out. Press on, running life’s good race to its completion; for at its end awaits an eternal prize. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, November 25, 2013

FORGIVING OTHERS


“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
          It’s been said that when we forgive someone we are the beneficiaries more so than those we have forgiven. I wholeheartedly agree. To forgive relieves a burden within us that releases us to be at peace. However, there are times when we feel our anger is justified and we either don’t see the need to forgive or worse yet, simply don’t want to. That’s a very human reaction which God understands; His patience for us is unending and at times it needs to be. We need to embrace the forgiveness God gave us and understand the magnitude of this precious gift. Perhaps then we can fully appreciate what our forgiveness means to one who has offended us in some way.
          Christ isn’t like us at all; instead, Christ is our example. We are to think, speak and act like Jesus in all things. God knows that’s difficult for us because He made us. We are a work in progress; learning lessons as we go. One important lesson for our benefit is to forgive as we have been forgiven. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

THE BLESSINGS OF 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)
          It’s possible, according to the Reformation Study Bible, that Psalm 100 may have been sung by worshippers as they made their entry into the Temple courtyard for a festive occasion. While the author is unknown, it is without question a psalm of praise to Almighty Jehovah.
          You know, honestly, if God never did a thing for us He would be deserving of our honor and praise simply for who He is. If we take the time to think about all the ways that our life has been blessed by God, how could we not sing out to Him in worshipful praise? His goodness and enduring love are recorded throughout scripture. He faithfully guides us into all truth and will never fail or forsake us. With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, take time to thank God for the multitude of blessings He has bestowed upon your life. If you are unaware of them, ask Him to reveal them to you. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, November 22, 2013

CHRIST’S RETURN


“… the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:2b
        A thief comes under cloak of darkness quietly and quickly to take that which is not his. Christ shall come just as a thief taking only that which belongs to Him. The world will not expect Christ’s return and therefore will not be watching for it; however, believers patiently wait for His coming in the clouds. As we are told, it will happen in “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52). What a glorious day that will be.
        The Greek word used for the ‘catching away’ that is referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is ‘parousia’ (pa-roo’zee-ah), which represents Christ’s Second Coming and literally means ‘being present’. This is because when Christ takes us unto Himself in the clouds we will forevermore ‘be present’ with Him.
        Christ’s Second Coming is called ‘The Blessed Hope’ of the church (Titus 2:13). To know by faith that one day this life of pain and hardship will end is good news of the highest order. No one but the Father knows when Christ shall return (Matthew 24:36); therefore, live as if He were returning today. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” - 1 Corinthians 1:18
          There are those who place faith in a wide variety of things, yet consider it unfathomable to even consider placing their faith in an unseen deity. To them it is foolishness. They see nothing wrong with their thoughts, words or deeds, and as a result feel no shame or regret for past transgressions.
          Then there are those who have embraced the message of the cross and as a result have found salvation. Along with that they have all the resources of God at their disposal. What a wonderful blessing to place one’s trust, reliance and hope on a Heavenly Father whose love is unconditional and eternal. Whether it seems foolish, illogical or not, there is no other route to heaven. Men down through the ages have sought easier paths and believe they have found them, but there is one way to heaven and that is through a bloody cross. If there were a multitude of ways to heaven why on earth would Christ have had to die at all? Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SING UNTO THE LORD


“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” - Psalm 95:1-2
         David loved the Lord and praised His named at all times. He set the example for Christians the world over. Acknowledging the greatness and majesty of our God is a good thing; it’s a liberating thing. When we worship and praise the name of our Lord all else seems less important. Problems melt into joy. We are reassured and feel a sense of hope. When God tells us in scripture that He is for us and favors us, what else could possibly matter? He is worthy of any and all praise. As we allow the Spirit of God to move within us we cannot help but be overcome with peace. At that moment in time we catch a glimpse of who He truly is; our redeemer King, the Rock of our salvation. He is not heavy handed as earthly rulers who seek power and glory for themselves, for our best interests are always in the forefront of His thoughts and actions. God loves us and shows it by making His presence known to us in our most difficult circumstances. Allow yourself to get lost in the glory that is our God. He is truly worthy of our endless adoration. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

OUR EVER WATCHING GOD


“For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” – Psalm 1:6
          We can know that as we travel through this life our Heavenly Father looks down upon us in love. He lights our path and guides us on our way. This is a tremendous blessing and should be a relief to those who are lost or weary. His strength is our strength, His wisdom is our wisdom. All we need to do is seek it and then accept it from Him.
          Nothing escapes the gaze of God. We may feel alone and desperate in our situation; however, our Lord is with us at all times by His Holy Spirit which resides within us, so in reality we are never alone. What Moses spoke to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 31:8 prior to their entry into the Promised Land stands true for us today: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, November 18, 2013

BEING FRUITFUL


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5
          Here we see Jesus describing Himself as ‘the vine’; His Heavenly Father as the tender of the vine. Jesus uses such imagery because in their culture growing grapes was widespread. From this we are to understand that it is Jesus who provides spiritual nourishment to His followers. It was readily understood that any branch that was cut from the vine would as a result wither and die.
          I readily admit that without Christ I could do nothing of any eternal value. On our own we are nothing more than a faded and worn out piece of clothing, but with Christ in us we have life. It is our responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate in us fruitful tendencies. God didn’t pay our sin debt so we could go on living as we choose; we are expected to take our walk with Him seriously. Rejoice in the fact that Jesus paid for all our sins and then live a fruitful life honoring Christ by being a blessing to those you encounter each day.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

GOD’S ENDURING LOVE

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” - Psalm 118:1
     In a world where 1 out of every 2 marriages end in divorce in America today we hear of forever love. Who ever heard of such a thing? We say we will love our future spouses forever and a day, yet find that our love has faded in a relatively short time. The stresses of life cause our marital relationships to erode to a point beyond repair.
     God gives us a succinct definition of what love truly is or is supposed to be in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. There are 7 things that it should be and 8 things it shouldn’t be (13:4-7). If we apply those attributes to God Himself we will find that He is all those things to us. His love never fails; neither does it ever gives up on us. Even when we fail miserably He continues to love us. It's an unconditional love, meaning we don’t have to do anything to earn it. God is good and worthy of all praise, honor and glory. In the midst of that stands His love which is never-ending. If you ever come to a place where you feel unloved know that God will always love you and will never leave you alone. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, November 15, 2013

WE ARE BLESSED

“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” - Psalm 119:1-2
     A blessed person is defined as one who is endowed with divine favor and protection. Jesus used this term in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-8). Have you ever thought of yourself as blessed?
     These first two verses in the longest Psalm (176 verses) reveal the conditional nature of being blessed. If you walk blameless according to the law of the Lord you are blessed. You have to know His statutes to walk in them; therefore drawing close to God and knowing His word are prerequisites to walking blameless. We aren’t blameless in a literal sense, but rather seen as blameless similar to the way we are seen by God as totally righteous once cleansed of our sins. We aren’t literally righteous, but flawed individuals who must work out our salvation throughout our lives. Seeking Him with all our hearts is a perfect place to start. God desires that we seek Him and equally desires that we enter into an intimate, personal relationship with Him. It’s never too late to start. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

THE GOSPEL TRUTH


“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” - 2 Peter 1:16
     Many times the Apostles authority and the validity of their preaching were challenged by false teachers. Peter writes his letters to verify the truth of what he had been saying. He clearly states that the Apostles didn’t make up what they spoke of, but rather lived with Christ and were taught by Him personally.
     When Peter says they were eyewitnesses to His majesty, he is referring to Christ’s transfiguration found in Luke’s gospel (9:28-36). These verses give an account of Jesus hand-picking Peter, John and James to accompany Him to a mountain to pray. There Christ is met by Moses and Elijah in glorified bodies. God spoke to them from a cloud which had encompassed them, confirming once again just who Jesus was*.
     Everything we believe as Christians requires faith. We must know in our heart, mind, soul and spirit that what we believe is true in its entirety and not doubt it. Our belief system hinges on faith. It’s easy to doubt. Embrace your faith and believe. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

*“This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF GOD

“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 2:10
     The Apostle Peter is using inclusive language here to tie the Old Testament Israelites to the New Testament gentiles. We are all the people of God if we have entered into relationship with Him.     
     Mercy is defined as showing compassion or forgiveness to those you have the power and authority to harm or punish. What a picture this provides for every believer; Almighty God, who could snuff us out like a cheap cigar any time He chose instead shows us compassion and offers us forgiveness for any and all acts of disobedience.
     It is said that today we live under the umbrella of God’s grace. Grace is favor displayed to those who are undeserving of it. What a wonderful thought. Forgiveness, mercy and grace are ours and it is everlasting. No one has the power or authority to remove it from us.
     Now we must show ourselves worthy of such a precious gift. We must live our lives each day as if it were our last day on earth. Allow God to mold and make you into all He knows you can be. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GOD’S FAVOR


“Grace and peace to you from God our Father (and the Lord Jesus Christ*).” - Colossians 1:2b
     This is a common greeting the Apostle Paul started his letters with. What a kind thing to say to someone. You are asking that God’s favor, which is completely undeserved by us, continue to be on the recipient as they go through their day. In addition to that, as if that weren’t enough, you are asking that the peace which this world cannot fathom or comprehend be theirs as well. Have you ever said that to someone? I have had brothers in Christ type that at the end of their emails before. It’s a lovely thing to say to another person.
     The fact of the matter is that God’s favor is ever upon us if we have received Christ and are striving to live for Him. As we draw closer to God we will find that we are at peace more and more when facing trying situations. If God is for us what set of circumstances can defeat us (Romans 8:31)? The bare bones fact is that nothing can defeat us unless we allow it to. God’s favor is upon us. Live for God and be at peace. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

* Some manuscripts add this phrase.

Monday, November 11, 2013

OUR ADVOCATE


“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” - 1 John 2:1-2
     The Apostle John is writing this letter to an unnamed church who is experiencing division due to some believers’ claim of being spiritually superior to others in the congregation. The letter is specifically for those who are said to be spiritually inferior. John is reminding them of the truths they have come to believe, assuring them that they are part of the one true faith.
     In these two verses we find comfort and strength. Since none of us are perfect we will sin against God. It’s our duty as followers of Christ to avoid the possibility as any and all cost; however, if we do sin we have someone who will stand up for us. That person is none other than Jesus Christ. He took our place on a cross that should have been for us. We sinned, He was sinless. He bore our pain and our shame willingly. Avoid sinning, but if you stumble, seek forgiveness and you shall find it in the person of God’s Son. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

FORGIVENESS IS AVAILABLE


“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18
          Isaiah was called to be a prophet as a young man to declare God’s word to the stubborn and rebellious Israelites. The word ‘vision’ in verse one indicates that these are words directly from the mouth of Almighty God. This alone carries with it a sense of authority. The Lord tells His people if they turned from their rebellious ways and once again sought Him He would cleanse them of their sins.
          Verse 18 has long been associated with the promise to cleanse the sins of the unrighteous through the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. Even today followers of Christ want their own way rather what God knows is best for them. Our hope lies in the fact that our Heavenly Father is willing and able to forgive our stubborn nature and remove all our sins if we submit to His will rather than our own. What an incredible thought that we can have every mistake and indiscretion removed from our record simply by admitting our need of forgiveness and then accepting it. A spotless white garment looks so much better than a soiled one any day of the week, don’t you think? Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, November 8, 2013

FEAR GOD, NOT MAN


“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
          If you believe as I do that God either causes or allows everything that takes place in this universe, than what can mortal man do to us. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus tells his listeners they should fear God and not man, for man can only destroy our physical body, but God can destroy both body and soul in hell. Our fear of God should be one of reverence and awe rather than being afraid. For those who place their trust in God there is truly nothing to fear.             Those that mock God openly have much to fear, but those who praise Him simply for who He is will be at peace and begin to see Him for who He is. He is our loving Savior God who created everything that exists. He is the great I AM who shows mercy to those who seek Him. He is the only One who can remove our sin debt. He is Almighty God and He loves us unconditionally. Until next time, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

THE SEA OF FORGETFULNESS

“If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, … who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.”
 - Psalm 130:3-4
          God doesn’t give us a ‘wink and a nod’ when it comes to sin. He also doesn’t keep a list of our transgressions should we seek forgiveness. Psalm 103:12 tells us that God removes our sin from us as far as the east is from the west and remembers it against us no longer. Is this a flaw in His character? Does God have a faulty memory? No, my friends, that's not the case at all. God chooses, in His great mercy to never hold our past sins against us ever again. When we ask Him to forgive our transgressions with a sincere and sorrowful heart, He is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9). He places them all in the Sea of Forgetfulness, never to bring them up again. The enemy of our soul reminds us constantly of our past indiscretions, but not our Lord. Any condemnation that is heaped upon us needs to be recognized for what it is. The enemy would have us be ineffective for the Lord; however, be encouraged, for God loves you and we stand completely and totally forgiveness in His sight. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GOOD WORKS IN CHRIST’S NAME

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

          When we look around us each day all that our eyes see was created by an unseen spiritual architect. God, as we know Him, has made all that exists and that means us as well. It may be hard to comprehend that every mortal man & woman that has ever existed down through the ages was formed in their mother’s womb by Almighty God. Have you ever considered that someone like Adolf Hitler was created by God? Now God didn’t cause him to turn out the way he did; that was the result of the life choices Hitler made throughout his life, however, his life began just as ours did.
          Before time began God prepared good works for us to do to illustrate the change that has been made in us when we received Christ into our hearts and lives. I have often told people through the years that any good thing they see in me is Christ shining through me. I am painfully aware of the fact that I am capable of no good thing of any eternal value on my own. Show the world you are different; let the love of Christ shine through you into a lost and dying world without hope. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

AVOID TRIVIAL ISSUES

“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” - Romans 14:1

          Every believer’s level of faith is different. A lot of that depends on what they have been through in life and a lot depends on how long they have walked with God.  Some enjoy squabbling about non-essentials; I refer to them as not being “heaven or hell” issues.  Things like whether speaking in tongues is for today or whether God stills heals are inconsequential.  I would submit to you that they are what Paul is referring to in 2 Timothy 2:23 when he instructs us not to become involved in “stupid and foolish arguments”.  All they do is produce anger and nothing is ever solved.  Agree to disagree and part as friends.  There are so many areas of discussion for the Christian that are much more fruitful.  Discussing the goodness of God and His faithfulness to us is something we can all agree on and can both bless and encourage us.  We should spend our time building up the body of Christ rather than looking to be right regarding trivial issues that arise.  Our belief in Christ and desire to be more like Him in our daily lives should dominate our thoughts.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!    

Monday, November 4, 2013

JARS FILLED WITH TREASURE


“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:7
          The ‘treasure’ Paul speaks of in his second letter to the Corinthians is the gospel message itself and the associated power than comes with it. The ‘jars of clay’ represent our frail human bodies and our weak nature. Our propensity to do wrong rather than right makes us weak by comparison to the awesome power that is God. We have no power aside from God. While we think we have it all together each day, without Christ we are rudderless ships only hoping we are going in the right direction yet never arriving at our destination.
          When we enter into a relationship with God, we need to relinquish control of our will. Only God knows what is truly best for us. Even if we made all the right decisions 100% of the time, we would still be lacking for we would still be stuck in the quagmire that is our sin. It is only with Christ and the blood His willingly shed that we can know true freedom and peace that passes all earthly understanding. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

HE BORE ALL OUR SINS

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” - Isaiah 53:6

           Sheep are said to be one of the dumbest animals, wandering off from the Shepherd without a moment’s hesitation. It’s no mistake that mortal man is compared to them. We think we know all we need to know to be successful in this life, yet we stumble and fall flat on our face time after time. In His unfathomable mercy, God sent His Son to bear all of our sins so that we might have life. This life God provides is one of complete and total absolution. We stand forgiven if we choose to receive the gift of grace that is waiting for us. Those who reject the gift remain in their sins, but it doesn’t have to be that way. God laid the entirety of our iniquity upon Christ so that we might be free. Christ willingly bore the weight of those sins for our sake. No longer do we have to carry that weight. If you haven’t ever surrendered your life over to the God who made you, what are you waiting for? He loved us enough to die for us. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, November 1, 2013

WE ARE ALIVE IN CHRIST


“… we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:3b-5

          Did you know that there is no way to get to heaven but through Christ? Other religions scoff at that, declaring that there are a wide variety of ways for one to get to heaven or even deny the existence of heaven altogether. In like manner they either deny the existence of Christ or deny His gruesome death on a cross for the sins of men. It’s a matter of faith; it always has been. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares that it is by faith that men are saved.  We must place our trust in a deity we cannot see, believing that He is real, the Bible is His word & it is true. We are deserving of hell fire; each and every one of us. It is by His undeserved favor, His grace, that we have been given the opportunity to become dead to our sins and alive in Christ. His mercy knows no end. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!