BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

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

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

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


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Thursday, July 31, 2014

CHILD OF THE KING

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”   John 1:12-13
         The fourth gospel is written to reveal to mankind that Jesus was of divine origin, not a mere mortal as some suppose.  When a person receives the forgiveness He freely offers, we are changed.  We are no longer of this world although we live in it.  We are now officially children of the Most High God. 
According to scripture (Psalm 139:14) we have been fearfully and wonderfully made by God’s own hand.  How anyone can look at the fine intricacy that exists in a newborn’s body and not believe in a divine creator is totally beyond me?  To say this just happened by chance or by the will of man is simply a lack of understanding regarding all that is involved in the forming of a fetus within the womb of a woman.  God created us in His own image and desires for us to surrender our will over to Him.  He is not a cruel task master such as we see in the world, but rather a kind, gracious, merciful and loving Heavenly Father who only desires what is best for us.  If we allow Him to He will direct us to each and every blessing He has stored up for us. 
Surrendering seems to fly in the face of folks who see it as a weakness; however, that would suppose that man has all the answers and is capable of living autonomously without anyone’s assistance. That’s impossible, for, as I have said in the past, once man’s finite resources dry up he has nowhere to go but to God.
If you are a true, dedicated believer, you are a child of God.  Emulate Him in all you think, say and do so as to draw others into this divine family.   Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BE A SHINING LIGHT

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”   Matthew 5:14,16
         Do you have trouble being a witness to the faith that lives within you? Being a verbal witness can be daunting.  Scripture tells us that God’s Holy Spirit lives within us if we are truly redeemed; yet our humanness consistently takes over whenever we are faced with an opportunity to testify of the goodness of God and what He has done for us.  You are not alone. 
It shouldn’t be a forced thing as I found out some 30 or so years ago.  I wanted to share my faith so badly that I alienated the person driving me to Washington, DC and the bulk of the ride was done in silence.  There are many ways to testify and it doesn’t always include speaking.
I personally like friendship evangelism.  You befriend another individual within your sphere of influence with the ultimate goal of winning them to the Lord.  That shouldn’t be your sole motivation though.  You need to genuinely like people.  You need to step out of your comfort zone far enough to see their need of a Savior and then look for ways to meet some common personal need.  Let them see Christ in you.  Words are nothing but a clanging cymbal if they are not followed by action.  We can tell a person all day long about their need to have their sins forgiven or how good God is, but if they don’t see God’s loving forgiveness, patience, mercy and grace in us each day then we are wasting our time.
Shine your light before men.  Trust God to bring to the increase.  Admit your flaws.  Let others see you without your “Sunday suit” on, so to speak.  Be Christ to those around you.  Let Him live through you.  Only then will you be relatable to this dying world.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

HIS PRECEPTS, OUR STANDARD

“I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.” Psalm 119:93
         The word of God is a standard by which we can live by.  We all need a standard to follow.  Living for yourself requires a whole different standard, for God’s standard is based on love, humility, forgiveness, grace and mercy. These are not characteristics that come naturally to mortal man. To know God’s word is to know the very heart of God.  His character is defined and His promises are laid out for all to see. Those who refuse to even acknowledge His existence are trying to be autonomous1, believing that they can handle anything life throws at them.  The thing they fail to realize is that the resources they draw from, whether intellectual, material or financial, will eventually run dry.  The resources God provides are eternal, in that they shall never run dry. 
          We must determine for ourselves that our God is the One who can be trusted above all.  Until we do that we will always question the wisdom He provides.  God knows what we need and exactly when we need it.  He has never failed at anything He’s ever promised to do.  His silence isn’t a denial, but rather simply a delay for the proper time to reveal itself.
        Knowing God’s word is imperative for the believer to have a spiritually successful life this side of heaven.  Each decree is made for our benefit, but we must trust Him to accomplish that which He has set apart for us to do.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
1 Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent in mind or judgment; self-directed.

Monday, July 28, 2014

THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”  Philippians 3:20-21
         These two verses are chocked full of encouragement and hope.  If we have given our lives over to God and to Him alone then we are no longer of this world.  As the old gospel song puts it, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through. My treasure’s all laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”  
Someday our Lord will return for us.  He’ll meet us in the clouds and we’ll no longer live within the constraints of this world.  We’ll no longer be sick.  All disabilities will disappear.  All our problems will be no more.  We will receive glorified bodies like His and will remain with the Lord for all eternity.  There we shall be worshipping our God forever.  If you think that sounds boring then you don’t know God. 
A final point I want to mention is regarding the statement: by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control.  I have often said that all things are under God’s control.  There’s nothing He’s unaware of – nothing that escapes His ever-watchful eye.  It’s the same power that raised Christ from the dead.  Is there anything Almighty God cannot do?  I dare say not just ‘no’, but a resounding ‘NO’!
As we wait for Christ’s return, we must encourage each other with the truth that one day we’ll be in His presence forever. That will make everything we have had to go through this side of heaven all worthwhile.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

WHERE OUR JOURNEY BEGINS

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1
           Faith.  Seeing the unseen as if it could be seen.  Martin Luther King Jr referred to it as taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase”. Scripture tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it’s impossible to please God.  It’s where the Christians journey begins and is the one essential element that we cannot do without. 
         People place their faith in many people and things.  Christians choose to place it in an unseen deity whom we believe forgives sin and provides for them.  Faith must lead to trust or it’s empty and lifeless. Trust is the catalyst that sets our faith ablaze.  We can have faith in something or someone but until we actually place our full trust in that thing or person we will go nowhere.  Trust is the fuel than runs the car.  Without it we stand still.
          It’s exciting to trust an unseen God.  His will for us will unfold before us and we get to watch the unfolding.  His benefits to us are fulfilled promises that can be found in the Bible.  Our faith has been placed in One who never lies and never fails. You cannot find an account anywhere in all of history or chronicled in scripture to prove otherwise.  He is the One true and everlasting God.  He is more than worthy of our faith and trust.  Unleash both and watch the excitement begin.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, July 25, 2014

TRUSTING GOD

Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.  Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.  Psalm 119:89-90
         For those who chose to believe in God, His word is eternal.  It is flawless, the one living standard of truth. Some argue about the impossibility of its’ perfection, stating that there are multiple errors throughout.  I have chosen to reject the words of scholars for even with their immense intellect, their knowledge pales in comparison to the One who created them. 
         We all need a standard to live by, whether it is from an unseen God or not.  The only standard that is consistent, as in it never changes, is God’s word.  Things said thousands of years ago remain true today.  While I can’t prove the existence of the God I serve, I choose to believe in Him and therefore, whatever His word says is worthy of listening to by virtue of His very nature. 
It’s easy to reject something or at the very least dispute it, but it is more beneficial to weigh the words spoken against every else said.  If we are honest with ourselves we see that the Bible rings true. It’s only our unwillingness to abide by its’ precepts that keeps us from accepting this.
God is faithful, just as the sun is faithful to rise every morning.  Just because there is cloud cover and we cannot see it rise doesn’t mean it hasn’t risen.  He is the one lone constant in a sea of inconsistency.  Place your full trust in the Lord. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE WAY OF THE LORD

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.  Proverbs 3:7
         Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 both say that there is a way that seems right to a man, but its’ way leads to destruction.  In man’s effort to be autonomous he makes decisions on his own without God’s counsel.  Not consulting the One who knows the beginning from the end and all in between is like attempting to row a boat without any paddles; you’ll go nowhere. 
The wisdom that God can provide to us is unrivaled, for no other being has access to full knowledge.  He can and will lead us where we need to go, for the Lord wishes us only to succeed.  Remember, true success is not measured by the world’s standards.  Meeting the needs of someone who is without is being a success.  Being an encouragement to someone who is down is being a success.  Leading someone to Christ is being a success.  All the money and fame in the world cannot match the glory that awaits those who do what is wise in the eyes of the Lord.  So don’t seek to do that which seems right to you.  Lift up each important life decision to God and seek His direction and guidance.  Ask Him to reveal to you His perfect will for your life.
When will we learn that our ways are weak and fraught with mistakes, especially compared to the way carved out for us by our Lord?  Show God reverence and shun all evil.  Seek His ways and not your own.  That will take you down a path prescribed by the Lord that will lead you not only to spiritual success, but also to heaven. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LIKE A LITTLE CHILD

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
         Think about the way little children are. They believe in the impossible and trust those who have authority over them.  This is what Jesus was referring to; that adults need to be like little children when it comes to spiritual things.  Our faith and trust needs to be just like that of a small child. 
Unfortunately, as we grow up we start to think we have all the right answers and see no need to believe in anything that we can’t experience with our senses. How sad that is, for all the biggest blessings we could ever hope for lie under God’s control and He can’t be experienced with our natural senses.  He can only be experienced through the spirit.  He can speak to our hearts through the third person of the Holy Trinity, namely, the Holy Spirit who lives within us once we repent and receive forgiveness.
It doesn’t take great intellect to believe or understand these things.  In 1 Corinthians 1:27 Paul says that God chose to use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Simple childlike faith, rather than vast knowledge, is what is required to see God.  Our belief in God is a choice, the most important one we will ever make.  What choice have you made? Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SHOWING MERCY

The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back. “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.  Matthew 18:27-30
         This is a parable Jesus taught which illustrates the mercy we are to show those who owe us some sort of debt.  This illustration speaks of a monetary debt; however, our debt is one of a spiritual nature.  We have a sin debt that needed to be washed away.  It reminds me of an old song we used to sing in church many years ago.  It’s called He Paid a Debt. The chorus goes like this:  He paid a debt he did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed someone to wash my sins away. And now I sing a brand new song -  Amazing Grace. Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.
          In the light of those wonderful words we stand, a new creature.  Forgiven for every sin we had ever committed.  Yet we don’t show the same mercy and grace to those we encounter on a daily basis.  We shoot our own wounded and verbally rough up those who are either newer to the faith or not of the faith at all.  If we truly want to emulate Christ with our life we must study His words and actions so that we can be Jesus to others.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, July 21, 2014

DEPRESSION NEED NOT OVERTAKE US

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”   Psalm 119:28
            David is expressing his extreme weariness from sorrow due to the many afflictions he has experienced.  Some of his calamitous situations are due to poor decisions on his part, some as a matter of course.  He was the King of Israel and his leadership was put to the test continuously.  Some scholars note that David may have been in a depression.  He knew God intimately and therefore knew that the word of God could strengthen him through the mere hearing of it spoken.  It’s no different with us today. 
            Depression is a very real thing that happens to a person who has lost hope.  Their circumstances have caused them to become so downcast that they have, at least temporarily, lost the ability to pull themselves up.  It can become an almost catatonic state if allowed to be.  It need not take us in its’ grip.  Christians have a never-ending source of peace, contentment and hope at their disposal in God’s word. 
There are times when even the strongest believer will have the inability to crack open his or her bible and read God’s life giving words.  We find ourselves in such a malaise that we check out, unable to sort things out rationally.  That’s when having a trusted brother or sister in Christ can be invaluable.  Having someone else stand in the gap for us in prayer or for counsel can lift us out of our funk and put us back on our feet again.
Remember, the Word of God is the lifeblood of the believer.  Read it, meditate on it and know it, for it will keep you far from trouble and even in your darkest hour will give you something to draw from for encouragement.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

NO REASON TO FEAR

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10
         This message from God through the prophet Isaiah was to the Jews exiled1 in Babylon.  The phrases ‘fear not’ and ‘do not be afraid’ appear frequently because their posture was one of fear rather than faith.  They were reminded that their God was with them and would strengthen them.  They had nothing to fear and neither do we today.
         God, being no respecter of persons2 (Acts 10:34), will do for us what He has done for other believers in the past.  Therefore, we have no reason to fear what might befall us for God has all things under His control.  There is nothing that happens to us by chance.  God orchestrates it for our greatest benefit and His greatest glory.
           The Jews were faced with slavery at the hands of an enemy nation.   Every day they had to deal with this controlled situation; however, God had not forsaken them even in their disobedience. Their exile was a consequence of their forsaking their God. When we turn away and go our own way thinking it is far better than where we are being led, many times unfavorable consequences are the result. We are to be mindful that God doesn’t tell us to follow His standards just so He can control us.  Being omniscient, as in that He knows all things, God truly knows that which is best for us.  Don’t fall into the trap so many others fall into.  Submit to the will of God for your life and what it bloom in front of you slowly like a beautiful flower.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

1 Enforced removal from one's native country.

2 The phrase "God is no respecter of persons" means that His dealings with a man are not based on outward appearance, position, rank, wealth or nationality.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FOLLOWING GOD’S STANDARD

“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 - they do no wrong but follow his ways.  You have laid down precepts1 that are to be fully obeyed.”  Psalm 119:1-4
         While Christians are certainly not blameless in real life, they are seen as so by the God who saves us.  The instructions He gives us in His word for right and just living have stood the test of time and are sound.  It is far better to live by a moral standard than to live by your own.  It is why I like Albert Camus’ quote so much.  Albert Camus was a French philosopher and Nobel Prize winner who died in 1962.  He is quoted as saying, “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” He wasn’t a Christian that I am aware of, but the point I take from his quote is that living by the standard set forth by God is far better than living without one at all.  And frankly, that is what I tell people when they say to me “What if there is no God?”  That I have lived a life following a good, righteous, moral standard from a God I have chosen to believe exists.  There’s nothing wrong with that.
          If we as believers seek God with our whole heart and follow His ways, we will be successful in all that we do.  Not successful as the world sees it, but successful in the eyes of God.  If my writing touches one soul and lifts it up to God, then I am a success in God’s eyes. If we believe in God, then what is the point of our belief if we don’t follow His standard for living?  We are blessed by God is we do.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

1 A rule, guide or instruction for moral conduct.
* Moral - Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior.