BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

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

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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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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

LOVING LIKE CHRIST

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3
            Here we find the Apostle Paul thanking God for the dear brothers and sisters in the faith at Philippi.  What a lovely thing it is to have a dear brother or sister in Christ as a friend.  Someone you can confide in. Someone you can prayer with about anything. Someone you can fellowship with.  Someone who is like-minded regarding Christ and our need to lovingly serve Him.  A trusted friend is a gift from God and a wonderful blessing.
            We can certainly be friends with those outside the faith, even with someone who doesn’t even believe in the existence of God, but there is something very special about the bond that exists between Christians.  In this day and age there is a sad propensity to bicker and divide within the walls of our churches.  Personal agendas take the place of what God is trying to do.  This ought not to be.  Scripture clearly tells the church “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (John 13:35; The New Living Translation)  How will be appear any different to those in the world we are trying to reach if we within the walls of our sanctuaries we act just like the world?
          Overlook flaws as God overlooked yours.  Overlook idiosyncrasies as God overlooked yours.  Love, don’t fight.  God loves us in spite of ourselves and He desires that we do the same.  We should come to the place where we can echo Paul’s words and really mean them.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing.

Monday, September 29, 2014

DARKNESS VS. LIGHT

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”  John 3:20-21
            There’s a reason why most crimes are committed at night; why affairs and devious deeds are done under the cloak of darkness.  That’s because there’s the conception that darkness conceals the act.  Those who don’t know God don’t realize that He not only sees all things that transpire, but also knows the deepest motivations of men’s hearts. 
There is nowhere to hide from the ever-watching eye of the Lord.  This is bad news for those whose deeds are evil.  For those whose deeds are righteous in the sight of God, they are words of comfort.  He knows our comings and our goings.  There is nowhere we are that the Lord is not aware of.  If truly saved, the Holy Spirit resides within us to comfort and guide.  It’s God’s way of showing us He is always with us.
Sneaking about doing deeds that fly in the face of moral and ethical standards leads one nowhere but further from God.  One day all evil, ungodly deeds will be brought into the light.  That will be a fearful day for those who insisted on having their own way.  For those who have been redeemed and done their best to live a life that is pleasing to God, it will be a glorious day.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, September 26, 2014

ONCE FOR ALL TIME

“He sets aside the first to establish the second.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”  Hebrews 10:9b-10
            The ‘He’ mentioned is Jesus and ‘the first’ are the annual sacrifices required by God that were offered up to Him to cover man’s sins in the Old Testament.  Such offerings didn’t remove the sins of the one making the sacrifice or they wouldn’t have had to offer them up each year.  Christ’s death replaced the need for annual sacrifices.  It established forgiveness once for all time for all the sins we had ever committed.  In addition, Christ’s cleansing blood made us holy in the sight of God. 
            There are some who seem to feel that salvation is blanket forgiveness not only for all past sins, but also every sin they might commit going forward.  How can this be true?  If it were then we could go on living as we pleased knowing full well that any misdeed done is already forgiven without us even asking.  This is not true.  All past sin is paid for by Christ’s death, however, we must become what we are said to be, a new creation.  The old things have passed away; behold all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are to have made a 180 degree turnabout in our lives.  A changed life is testimony of the saving power of God.
          Realize the great and wonderful gift you’ve been given through salvation.  You’ve been given a second chance, not to live your life as you choose, but to live it as God intended.  God desires for us to have a blessed, fulfilled life filled with peace and hope.  Christ is coming for us; will you be ready for His return?  Live your life as if His coming was imminent, for no one knows the hour or the day of His return.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

THE DIVINE LAWYER

“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.”  1 John 2:1
            The believers John is writing to have experienced a split in their church.  Some believe they are spiritually superior and it has caused a rift.  The verses above should not be misunderstood.  It is not a license to sin because forgiveness is always available.  It is, however, inevitable that any believer will stumble at times despite their best efforts to avoid it. 
When we do fall into sin we have what the Greek refer to as a parakletos, a paraclete or lawyer, an advocate to stand in the gap for us.  It is Jesus Himself.  When we do happen to fall into sin, Jesus Christ represents us before the Father.  Christ’s blood has covered that sin if we ask for forgiveness.  That’s very important.  It isn’t a blanket of forgiveness for all mankind from ‘the big guy upstairs’.  It is forgiveness given in response to our request for it.  Christ blood removed all past sins, not every sin we will commit in the future. 
We must always realize that with salvation comes the understanding that we will obey the commands of God.  Scripture refers to us as a ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are different and as a result should act like it.  Salvation is not a license to keep sinning; quite the contrary.  We should seek to do God’s will in all things.  Our life is no longer our own.  It was bought with a price and a hefty price at that.  Christ gave up His own life willingly so we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty ourselves, knowing full well that we were unable to pay it. 

The grace of God is a marvelous thing.  Don’t trample it under foot by your indifference to His commands.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD

“So do not throw away your confidence*; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”  Hebrews 10:35-36
            Generally speaking, Christians allow their circumstances to throw them into a tailspin far too often.  Something unexpected comes their way and their confidence is shaken.  Confidence is nothing more than another way of saying we have faith and trust.  Why do we allow our faith in God to be shaken so easily?  The Bible is filled with examples of people who stood their ground faith-wise and were victorious.  Allowing our faith to falter, though human and understood by God, gets us no good thing.  We are not punished for our lack of faith.   We simply must pick up the pieces and move forward.  Our God is merciful and loving.  His patience is never-ending; I myself am testimony of that. 
            Just as placing our faith in an unseen God is a choice, so is keeping our faith in the face of life’s obstacles.  They are placed there or allowed by God to build our faith up, not shut it down.  This is why we’re supposed to stay in the Word of God.  It’s our lifeline, our guidebook.  Scripture gives us advice on all aspects of our life.  It’s also filled with promises that God shall fulfill when the appointed time has arrived. 
            Perseverance is a sort of ‘stick-to-it’ type of attitude.  We must let nothing sway us or persuade us to leave the appointed path God has set before us.  Obstacles are not meant to thwart us, but rather are merely situations that we must either climb over, go around or go straight through.  Regardless of the route we take, God is with us and His Holy Spirit serves as our divine guide within us.  So never throw away your confidence in the Lord or His promises.  They will come to pass just as sure as the sun shall rise in the morning.  Understand this, even though you may not be able to see the sun through a thick cloud cover, it has risen nonetheless. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

* con·fi·dence  n. 1. Trust or faith in a person or thing; 2. A trusting relationship; 3. A feeling of assurance that a confidant will keep a secret; 4. A feeling of assurance, especially of self-assurance;  5. The state or quality of being certain.        

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE

“… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8
            God’s very nature is love defined.  Jesus Christ is the embodiment of that love.  Think about it.  We were blissfully going our own way, completely unaware of our condition.  It’s like we had a terminal disease and didn’t know it.  In a way that’s exactly what we had.  The disease was sin, disobedience to our Creator.  Being given a choice to receive forgiveness or not, to serve Him or not, we turned away to our own devices. We were ignorant of our true heart’s condition.  Jesus Christ was and is the only cure for our heart’s condition.  If he didn’t come we would be lost forever.  God’s love isn’t just talked about, it is seen through the bloody cross that stood on a hill called Golgotha.
            Sin began with a single act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden.  God’s establishment of the Ten Commandments shined a light on man’s disobedience.  Man rebelled against all that was godly and they still do that today.  In spite of ourselves, God loves us unconditionally.  He proved His love for us by sending Jesus to willingly take on the sins of all mankind as a means of removing that sin.  Who ever heard of such a thing?  The words of a chorus resound through the ages: “Such love, such wondrous love, such love, such wondrous love. That God should love a sinner such as I, how wonderful is love like this.”  God loves us.  If you want to see a definition of what love truly is, look to the cross, then read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A LOVING BALM

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”  Romans 15:7
            Our life as Christians is to emulate the example Christ left for us to follow.  Christ didn’t resent anyone or talk ill of anyone.  He was the embodiment of the love God has for us all.  To look at some believers you’d not really have any idea what Christ was like.  We tend to be self-absorbed, self-centered individuals with our own personal agendas.  This is not what God intended when He provided forgiveness for our sins.  We are to turn from sin and not continue to associate ourselves with it.  The whole idea of the forgiveness Christ purchased for us was to wash us clean, then teach us to keep ourselves clean.  If we run right back to the mud puddle we will never stay clean for long.
            John 13:35 tells us the world will know we are followers of Christ by our love for one another.  We are to lovingly accept one another just as the Lord accepted us, warts and all.  We are to overlook the flaws in others just as God overlooks the flaws in us.  Somehow we’ve lost that loving feeling toward one another, choosing instead to take issue with the smallest discrepancies that we find in another’s walk.  We are to love one another in spite of their flaws, just as God loves us.  We are to encourage and edify our brothers and sisters, becoming a balm when needed to heal their wounded hearts.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

AUTUMN & SPRING RAINS

“Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.”  Joel 2:23
       The Israel grain fields are largely dependent upon the rain that falls, for their fruitfulness.  No rain falls in the land from May to September. This is a message to all who place their trust in the Lord.  He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. 
            Why do we struggle and strain to make things happen in our lives?  Has not the Lord promised to take care of us?  One of the main reasons believers should spend time reading scripture is so they can begin to understand the character of God.  We will never truly know Him as He may be known without doing that.  We will also never know all the promises that appear throughout scripture.  These promises are meant to encourage our sagging faith in times of trouble. 
            There is nothing we can do this side of heaven that will have any value spiritually speaking without consulting the word of God for guidance.  He is our rock and our redeemer.  He is the reason that our heart should sing.  He seeks to be worshipped and glorified.  We tend to get caught up in the mundane things of life rather than walk through life with joy in our hearts.  God will not ever fail us.  He will lift us out of the malaise we so often find ourselves and place us upon a rock.  He will provide for us all we need exactly when we need it most.  He is to be fully trusted because He has never failed to fulfill that which He has promised.  So look for the rains, for they shall refresh your soul. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

1 http://www.bible-history.com/mannersandcustoms/rains

Friday, September 19, 2014

SPEAK LIFE

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Ephesians 4:29

Unwholesome (defined): Injurious to physical, mental, or moral health; unhealthy; offensive or loathsome; morally harmful or depraved (morally bad or debased; corrupt; perverted).

Moral (defined):  Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior; conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous; rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong.

            Knowing our terms is crucial to understanding the meaning of anything and scripture is no different.  As Christians we are not to let any offensive, immoral or perverted talk come out of our mouths.  The definition of ‘moral’ speaks of rules or standards of conduct.  Where do they come from?  Who has set them up?  Did man?  How does man know what is right, true, good and wholesome?
Man is not, by his very nature, good. He thinks, says and does good things during the course of his life, but by and large, man is not good.  Neither is he moral.  There must be a standard that is to be followed.  I submit to you that it is the word of God.
       Nearly everyone is at least remotely familiar with The Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:11–27).   As believers, we should build up and never tear down.  Using Christ as our lone example, we are to speak words that encourage and bless individuals, not make them feel bad about themselves in any way.  We are to be salt and light, not vinegar and sulpher.   Let us be a benefit to those we speak to and not a downer.  We have the power of life in our tongues (Proverbs 18:21 – speaks of spiritual, not physical life and death).  We must use this power wisely.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

THE SHEDDING OF SELF

“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
            If you believe that God provides for and sustains you in this life, then it should become easier to look to the interests of others over yourself.  Society today has a ‘me first’ mentality, one that focuses on self rather than others.  One of the mantras that is espoused is ‘God helps those who help themselves’. While not found in the Bible anywhere, this attitude definitely reveals the selfish nature of mortal man.
            It becomes difficult for believers as they wonder how they can value others above themselves when their own finances are unstable and their life is filled with tension as a result.  My friends be at peace.  Has the Lord failed you?  Have your core needs of clothing and food been met?  Perhaps your focus is on your supposed lack and not on the One who provides all things to those whose trust is solely in Him.  Ask the Lord to free you from your worry so that you may once again look to the interests of others.  Be not selfish or vain in your pursuits for it is unseemly for a child of the Most High God.
                     It is not the intention of God to make your life more difficult.  He wishes you to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18).  The more we know of the Lord the more we will trust Him even in the most dire of circumstances, knowing full well that He and He alone is the only true and lasting answer to any and all problems we may encounter in this life.  Shed selfishness, pride and vanity through the power of the Holy Spirit and live a life that is wholly pleasing to the Lord. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!


Note:  Philippi, named after Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, was located eight miles north of Neapolis, the port city. Philippi became a Roman colony in 42 b.c. It was a strategic city for the launching of Western Christianity.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ARE YOU UNGRATEFUL?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:29-32
            In a world where cussing has become almost a badge of honor for both genders, we read the Apostles Paul’s words to the believers in Ephesus.  As believers we are to build up not tear down.  It’s been said that for every negative statement said, five positive ones are required to nullify its effect.  Too much anger and profanity exist within the church.  Too many people stay focused on the situation and not on Christ.  It ought not be this way. 
The Holy Spirit desires to perform spiritual surgery on us from day One of our new life, but we must allow it to take place.  If we remain bitter and angry regarding perceived injustices we will only hurt ourselves in the long run.  We must shed our old self as a snake sheds its skin.
If we stay focused on Christ and all He stands for we will have no time to seethe over circumstances that very well may be out of our control.  God desires for us to live in peace with kindness, compassion and forgiveness in our hearts.  Think of how much has been forgiven you.  Think of how Christ willingly and without hesitation gave up His own life to die in your place.  Then seek to emulate Christ and not the world.  Don’t let your words and actions reveal an ungrateful heart.  Love God and serve Him faithfully.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WISDOM LEADS TO UNDERSTANDING

“Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”  James 3:13-16
            Wisdom is the ability to judge what is true or right.  A wise person is one who exhibits common sense and good judgment.  To have understanding is to have a firm grasp of the meaning and importance of something.  For the Christian, it would be the one who has ingested spiritual insight and grasps its significance to their life.  The individual who has a humble spirit will not be prone to boasting regarding any of their accomplishments for they realize that nothing of any spiritual significance takes place without God’s assistance through His Holy Spirit.
            The folks who harbor bitterness, envy and selfish ambition in their hearts will find themselves on a lonely road with misery as their only companion.  Anywhere you find disorder and evil, immoral behavior you will find those whose practices are ungodly.
            Sadly, even in the Christ’s church, we see boasting and selfish ambition.  It’s a sad human condition that needs to be purged, but first the individual needs to recognize it in him or herself, and then ask the Lord to remove it.  God wants you to be all He knows you can be; however, He doesn’t force you to serve Him.  It’s a voluntary decision that must be made by each man, woman and child.  A humble spirit is the result of understanding who God truly is to us.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!