BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Stop by and check them out from time to time to see what has changed. May God's blessings to you be abundant. rlkeller


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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

PUT ON YOUR NEW SELF

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”  (Ephesians 4:22-24)
         This letter is supposed by Biblical scholars to be a cyclical letter that may have started in Ephesus and worked its way around to other churches in Asia Minor, such as the one in Laodicea.  Ephesus was the ministerial hub of Paul’s missionary work and it is there on his third trip that he found the believers dealing with such things as black magic, cult religion and demons.  Paul was quick to dispel any message that offered less than Christianity, for within it lies the very power of Almighty God.  In these verses we find the great Apostle reminding the recipients to put off their old nature and put on their new self.  Imagine putting on a fresh, clean new set of clothes or in their case, a new tunic, free from spot or wrinkle.  In our mind’s eye we should picture ourselves in this manner, for that is how God sees us when He looks upon us.  We are cleansed; our mind, body and soul.  We are ambassadors of Christ.  We are to shun our old life, with our old, deceitful and sinful nature, and wear our new self for all to see.  Continuing to dabble in the former things, when they are meant to be behind you, is nonproductive and not at all conducive to right living according to God’s standard.  As believers we should know better.  Once we have tasted the fruit of righteousness we should no longer crave that which is unwholesome.  If we do then something is wrong.  The closer we become to our God the more His will and desires will become ours.  Otherwise, how can we possibly ever hope to show Christ to a dying world by the way we live?  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BE A TREE

“Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the Lord, … . That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, … whatever they do prospers.”  (Psalm 1:1-3)
       A tree that’s planted by a stream reaches its roots deep into the rich soil and out towards its source of nourishment.  Because the water feeds it constantly the tree thrives.  Believers in Christ are like that tree.  If we delight in the word of God and learn to abide by its instruction we will prosper spiritually and be blessed.  One definition of the word prosper is “to bloom”.  I like that.  As a flower slowly opens its petals, blooming in the springtime sun, so we will bloom before our Lord.
       When we become Christians we have become representatives of Christ in this world.  Delighting in the law of the Lord should set us apart from those who do not.  That doesn’t make us weird, but rather simply different.  We need to show this dying world in a tangible way the difference Christ has made in our lives.  Talking about it and then not following it up with action only makes us look like hypocrites.  People want to see Jesus, not just hear about Him.  If scripture tells us to think of others before we think of ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4) as I spoke of in yesterday’s devotional, then let us begin to practice that.  Be Jesus to those around you.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, April 28, 2014

DEATH TO SELFISH AMBITION

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  (Philippians 2:3-4)
       As Christians, we are to believe that God will meet all our needs.  Not our wants necessarily, but our needs.  We often confuse wants for needs, but God knows what our needs are.  He will take care of us if we let Him, but a humble spirit is required to receive provision from another.
       Paul tells the believers in Philippi to shed their selfish ambitions and vain conceits and seek to take care of the interests of others over themselves.  Man tends to have a ‘me first’ attitude regarding most things.  If we truly believe God has our best interests at heart at all times, then why is it such a hard thing for us to put others before ourselves?   We can’t see God’s hand of provision in the natural so we decide to take the bull by the horns to make things happen.  Taking care of ‘number one’ seems to be the rule of the day; however, taking things into our own hands isn’t the answer. When patience is lacking, chaos and disappointment tend to be the result. 
       We must ask the Lord to allow us to see others as God sees them, whether believer or nonbeliever.  If we are able to do that we can become much more effective in placing another’s needs over our own.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

RELATIONSHIP, NOT RELIGION

“The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”  (Hebrews 7:18-19)
       The former regulation spoken of is the Mosaic Law or the Ten Commandments.  They were brought forth to reveal to man their sin, not cleanse them of it.  It was the standard God had set for the Israelites to follow.  Each year they needed to provide a spotless sacrifice to atone for any sins they had committed.  The writer of Hebrews points out the weak and useless nature of the law because it made nothing perfect.
       The better hope introduced was Jesus Christ.  The blood He willingly shed on our behalf shall never be equaled for it provided atonement for all man’s sins once for all time.  While we are not perfect, because of Christ’s blood Almighty God sees us as perfect.
       Religion isn’t what draws people to God.  Entering into a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe is.  Receiving Christ and the forgiveness God freely offers through His blood should change you from the inside out.  Your desires should begin to line up with God’s.  His will should begin to become clear to you as you comb through His Word.  This is how we draw close to our God.  His desire for us is to know Him as we are known, intimately.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, April 25, 2014

SIN NO MORE

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  (Colossians 1:13-14)

Think of yourself floating in the middle of a vast ocean at night.  It’s a new moon so there is no lunar light to reveal the depth of your dilemma.  You’re bobbing up and down with each undulation of the waves.  You’re in the dominion of darkness.

Now picture the ocean being your sin.  On the horizon you see a rescuer.  A form of lifesaver from the One who loves you before you even knew Him.  Your rescuer is Jesus Christ.  He allowed Himself to drown in your ocean of sin.  He took your place.  Your sin held you hostage.  His spilt blood provided the ransom necessary to set you free.  You’re forgiven. 

Do you realize that when you received the precious gift of God’s undeserved favor every spot that sin had created in your life since you were born was washed away?  You’re clean.  This incredible news should have made a permanent and lasting difference in your life.  You’ve been given a second chance. However, there will be a day when all second chances will end.  Until that day, live for Christ, for He is the One that gave you a second chance.  He loves you and would die for you all over again if it was necessary, but it isn’t.  You’re sins are forgiven, once for all time.  Now go and sin no more.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

BE SET APART

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”  (1 Peter 1:17-19)
            We are called to be holy even as God is holy.  To be holy is to be set apart.  This holiness, according to the Asbury Bible Commentary, is both “spiritual and social”.  It is to be seen in our own “personal integrity before God and in our public responsibility”.  God’s grace or undeserved favor, is supposed to change us.  Once we realize the depth of God’s love for us, we should desire to live for Him.  Our conversion should cause in us a compulsion to please the Lord by living according to the standard set forth in scripture.  The standard is only difficult to follow if we continually strain at the leash, desiring to go our own way.  If we submit to His wisdom and authority we will grow spiritually and be of great value to the kingdom.  It’s when we live for ourselves, ignoring the standard set before us, that the enemy gains a small measure of victory.  Our redemption was bought through Christ’s death on the cross.  When we live for Christ we must understand that someday we will be judged for the things we have done for the Lord while under His umbrella of grace.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WHERE WILL YOU STAND?



“For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”  (Romans 14:10b-12)
            Paul is quoting Isaiah 45:23 when he declares that all shall one day bow before the Lord and give an accounting of ourselves. It’s my belief that we will not be giving any explanatory statements regarding the life we have lived, but rather our lives themselves will speak for us. 
Where will this take place? There is the White Throne Judgment of God (Revelation 20:11-15) for those who don’t know the Lord and face His judgment.  Then there is the Mercy Seat or Bema Seat of Christ (Hebrews 9:3-5).  The first passes judgment, the second passes out rewards for our faithfulness to Christ or withholds them for our unfaithfulness. 
Some folks foolishly think that will have an opportunity to state their case when they face God as if they can wangle their way into heaven.  Your name either appears in the Lambs Book of Life or it doesn’t.  The way you lived your life and the decisions you made along the way will determine which seat you stand before at the end of time. 
If you think this is the stuff of fairy tales, study your Bible carefully and consider the words of Nobel Peace Prize winning French philosopher Albert Camus who once said “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.”  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

RIGHTEOUS STANDING

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  (Romans 3:22-24)
            Through the blood of Christ we have all been declared righteous.  To be righteous is to be “morally upright; without guilt or sin”.* We know from scripture that sin cannot abide in the presence of Almighty God; therefore, it must be removed.  We have been made sinless in God’s sight.  This is what Jesus death accomplished.  It’s the reason He came to earth to begin with; to eradicate sin once for all time.  It isn’t a blanket forgiveness for all mankind, but rather a gift that must be sought and received.  Forgiving someone who either isn’t aware they need it or sincerely sorry for past behavior makes the gift unappreciated.  It’s an individual endeavor, this seeking of forgiveness.  No one can do it for you.  Upon receiving the gift of God’s grace or undeserved favor, a change should occur.  This is a sign of an honest and true conversion.  It results in a 180 being taken.  What I mean by that is that our new righteous standing should cause us to make a 180-degree turn away from our previous behavior and allow the Holy Spirit to make the necessary alterations to our character so we can fulfill our responsibility as Christ’s ambassadors.  It’s time to assess our walk with Christ.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

* The American Heritage Dictionary.

Monday, April 21, 2014

SALVATION ACTIVATED

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”  “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:17-18, 30)
      Christ’s death and resurrection is what Christianity bases their entire belief system on. Christ’s shed blood and His rising to new life is the foundation everything else is built upon.  While it makes Easter a very special occasion in the life of the believer, it truly does so much more than that.  Every day that we rise from our bed is a new opportunity to live for Christ.  Every day we should ask God to bless us so we might be a blessing.  Every day we should ask God to reveal His will for us that day.  Every day we should ask God to bring people across our path that we can share faith to.  Let us not shortchange our own existence by living for ourselves alone. 
          “I lay it down of my own accord”.  Knowing all that must transpire to activate God’s salvation plan, Christ ignored the pain and suffering that was to come and willingly laid His own life down for the sins of all men.  That’s something that never ceases to amaze me. While we were still sinners God loved us and sent His Son to die in our place.  Have you allowed that great news to transform your life?  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

TREMENDOUS NEWS

“I passed on to you right from the first what had been told to me, that Christ died for our sins just as the Scriptures said he would, and that he was buried, and that three days afterwards he arose from the grave just as the prophets foretold.”  (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
            The Apostle Paul was told these truths after his conversion on the Road to Damascus.  He now reiterates them to the believers in Corinth.  They are the crux of the Christian belief system.  Without Christ’s death on the cross no plan of salvation would exist.  Without the Jews rejection of Christ as Messiah there would be no salvation for Gentiles (Romans 11:11-24). 
            Easter, or Resurrection Day, is the most blessed and glorious of all Christian holidays, even more glorious than Christ’s birth.  This is because it ushers in a new time for the believer, the time of salvation through the blood of Christ. Those who embrace Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and place their faith in His blood to erase all their sins have become free in a way that would otherwise not be possible.  They are free from the burden of their sins, for that burden was borne by Christ Himself.  Having any debt paid for is good news, but to have every sin we’ve ever committed removed from our account before God is the most tremendous news any man could ever receive.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, April 18, 2014

THE LAST SUPPER

“Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”  (Matthew 26:27-28)
            The Last Supper; we commemorate this event every time we take communion.  The bread is His body, the wine His blood.  This event is refers to as a sacrament; a rite instituted by Jesus to do in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19).  It matters not what elements are used, for they are nothing more than symbols.  The main point is that we remember Christ in this manner.  Regardless of how frequently we do it we must insure that we do it from the heart and not out of obligation.   

God judges us by our heart’s motivation and nothing else, because as Jesus says in the Gospels, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”.  What we think, say and do in this life comes from the motivation that lies within our hearts.   From this day forward, when you take part in communion, truly reflect on the seriousness of the moment and what historical events are being represented. It’s a time to remember once again all that God has done for you and for the blood Christ shed to save your soul.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!