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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Saturday, November 29, 2014

GOD’S GOODNESS & LOVE

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
 His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1
         Good - positive or desirable in nature; having the qualities that are desirable; reliable; sure; valid or true; genuine; real.

         We don’t know the author of this Psalm, however, we do know that it was sung in Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 7:3,6).  There are 26 verses in this Hymn of Praise, every one ending with the phrase “His love endures forever.” How long is forever? The definition of forever is “lasting forever; eternal; continuing forever”.1  Suffice it to say, forever is a very long time.  It’s incalculable in its length.  It has no end. 
         That is one thing we know of the love of God. Another thing we know is that His love is unconditional.  God is love by His very nature (1 John 4:8).  His infinite love causes Him to act in a benevolent manner towards His creation.  God places no restrictions on His love and in fact, loves us in spite of our disposition toward Him.  Scripture tells us that He loved us even before we knew Him (1 John 4:19; Ephesians 1:4). 
         Above I have the definition of “good”.  I feel these words define the character of God very nicely.  He is positive or desirable in nature; there is no negativity in Him. He has qualities that are desirable and in fact should be emulated.  The Lord is always reliable, sure, true, genuine and real.  He is the quintessential example of all that we are to be in this life.  To imitate God is to imitate perfection.  While we are wholly human and will never reach any level of perfection, it’s something that should be strived for as a runner reaches for the finish line.
          There is nothing undesirable about our Lord; nothing that would cause us to pull back or walk away.  Our own humanness causes us to seek another path, but the truth and reality of life is found in One individual.  That is Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth and man’s first breath.  Give thanks to Him for who He is each day and seek to be like His Son Jesus Christ in form and character.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

1 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Friday, November 28, 2014

THANKING GOD DAILY

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
 proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations,
 his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
 he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols,
 but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him;
 strength and joy are in his dwelling place.”  1 Chronicles 16:23-27
         King David placed the Ark of the Covenant of God in a tent set aside for the Lord. He appointed Levites, the tribe that were anointed the priests of God, to minister before the tent expressing praise and words of worship to their God.  Above is some of what they had said.
         Every day of our lives God is at work making our path straight and our way clear.  Every day we have air in our lungs to breath when we rise in the morning, it is because of Almighty God.  Even when a terrible plight comes upon us He is present to see us through it.  His deeds have been chronicled throughout scripture, yet we easily forget how great our God truly is.  He is worthy to be praised every day, not just on a solitary day late in November. Thanksgiving has been so secularized that God is barely recognized at all in many households. 
         The gods of this world are all false and lifeless.  Anything that steals away your time causing you to shift your focus off of our life giving, soul saving God is an idol to you.  We’ve stopped reading His word and allowed the world and it’s troubles to creep into our hearts.  We become lazy regarding the things of the Lord, choosing rather to do just about anything else instead.  If we disregarded our spouses the way we disregard the Creator of the Universe we’d end up in divorce court.  Just because we cannot experience Him with our senses we find it easy to dismiss Him thinking we’ll give Him time at a later date.  God patiently waits for us to pull ourselves together and come back to the alter where we can meet with Him in solitude and listen to Him minister peace to our soul.
         The world is calling.  Will you go off to engage in that which is easy and fun or will you stay the course and enjoy the ease, enjoyment, peace and hope that God provides in the comfort of His arms?  The world is like the hollow chocolate Santa you eat around the holidays.  It provides pleasure for a season, but is without substance inside.  Worship God year round, but especially during the season that celebrates Christ’s birth. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

THE WEIGHT OF SIN

“Sinful men spoke words of hate against Christ. He was willing to take such shame from sinners. Think of this so you will not get tired and give up.” Hebrews 12:3
         Do you ever get weary of doing good? At times I do.  Sometimes I simply want to climb into a hole and pull the hole in after me.  How about you?  Its times like that we all need to take stock of what Christ actually bore for our freedom. 
         Earth weighs about 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds.  Think about how heavy that would be and how impossible to lift.  Now think about the weight of all the sins ever committed by mankind since creation.  It’s a different kind of weight.  It’s a heavy stress on one’s heart and soul.  Have you ever been heavy laden with grief? Perhaps it was the loss of a loved one; perhaps a parent, spouse or child.  Now multiply that by who knows how many times and you get the immense weight Jesus Christ willingly bore to buy your soul back.  You were lost in sin; we all were.  Christ paid our sin debt.  I liken it, in a way, to having an insurmountable credit card debt that we were unable to pay, say $250,000.  It’s as if Jesus Christ stepped up to your creditors and said “I will pay that debt in full.”  Although this is a simplistic example I believe it serves its purpose. 
         Whenever you feel tired of serving the Lord and want to sit down and rest, remember Christ’s long walk up the Via Dolorosa1 carrying a heavy wooden cross after He had been beaten to within an inch of His life.  We will never know for sure what He went through that day, but suffice it to say that any modern depiction simply could never do it justice.  Christ bore an incredible weight that day over 2000 years ago for you and for me.  It’s normal to get physically, mentally and emotionally spent; however, what are we exhausted from doing?  Are we busy with things of this world?
         I know many people at work are volunteering to work on Thanksgiving not because they need the extra money, but apparently because money rules them.  Those who recognize the importance of family and friends and thanking God for their blessings will be off work, knowing that if we give God our allegiance, He will see us through any and all situations.  In the light of who God is and what He has done for us all, money seems to pale in comparison, does it not?  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
1 This means “The Way of Grief”, “The Way of Sorrows” or “The Way of Suffering”.

THERE WILL BE NO DEVOTIONAL FOR THE HOLIDAY.  
ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS AND 
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO THANK GOD,
NOT JUST ON THANKSGIVING, BUT EVERY DAY

FOR THE LIFE HE HAS PURCHASED BACK FOR YOU. AMEN? rlkeller

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FOLLOW THE LORD’S LEAD

“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires.” “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”  Colossians 3:5a, 10 (NLT)
         We are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1).  The only problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps climbing off the alter.  We need to put to death once and for all time the sinful, evil desires that lurk within us.  I used the New Living Translation again today because I like their use of the word ‘lurk’. To lurk is to move stealthily. It’s like someone lying in wait to ambush you.  As true believers in Christ we must not allow this to take place.  Satan will send his demons to trip us up and will succeed if we allow them to. 
         What is your focal point?  What do you spend the most time doing in your life?  Do you pay God any mind?  Do you commune with Him at all during your day?  When you gave your life to Christ you received a new nature.  The old nature was given a deathblow on that day.  However, depending on where we place our allegiance, it might just experience a resurrection.  Renew your heart and mind daily by knowing your Creator a little bit more.  Seek to become like Christ in all you think, say and do. 
         Too many believers flirt with unsavory things.  They go to websites they shouldn’t go to, read what they shouldn’t read and watch on the tube those things that tear down rather than build up.  Who are you feeding when you do such things?  Oh you can do them, make no mistake about that.  No one is going to stop you.  But always remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians in response to their declaration that they can do whatever they like.  Paul says that is true but not all things are constructive or beneficial to our lives (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23).
              God knows what’s best for us.  We are supposed to strive to be more like Christ in our thoughts, speech and actions each day.  How is that going?  Or have we allowed ourselves to become caught up in earthly things.  It happens but the trend isn’t irreversible.  Shake off that which encumbers you and follow the Lord’s lead each day.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Monday, November 24, 2014

KNOW GOD’S VOICE

“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” Colossians 2:8 (NLT)
         There are many voices crying out that they are the true way to God these days.  Many are respected ministers who sidestep crucial Biblical trues as a means of making the Gospel message more palatable or so it seems.  Various systems of belief are springing up all the time to challenge the message of Christ crucified.  For those who are true believers in Jesus Christ, these other belief systems ring hollow and provide nothing but good feelings.  Christianity isn’t based on our emotions, even though our emotions are certainly involved.  The truths displayed in scripture have stood the test of time and remain true today just as they did in Bible times. 
         Man seeks an easier way to the truth of God.  They fashion Him in such a way as to make it easy to attain heaven.  All roads do not lead to heaven, if they did it would negate Christ’s death on the cross. 
         There is a choice that each one of us must make.  That choice is to live for Christ or live for ourselves.  That choice involves adhering to Biblical principles as a means of imitating our Lord.  It doesn’t involve some fluffy, feel good message that God loves all men and would never, ever deny anyone entrance into heaven.  He does love every created being just as a good, loving parent would love their own children, but even when our children veer off the chosen path and disobey there is some sort of discipline that must be administered.  If one continues to go down a path that doesn’t include anything but the acknowledgment of God’s existence then they cannot hope to find there way to heaven.  They have become a prodigal son or daughter.
        Believers, read God’s word regularly.  Draw close to Him and stay there.  The world is looking to trip you up.  The world is looking to trick you into following a tangent off the path God has chosen for you.  The tangent will corrupt you and keep you from reaching your full potential in Christ.  Cling to the Lord and know Him as much as He can be known so that you do not succumb to the banal chatter that dulls people’s senses toward the truth.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

(NLT – New Living Translation)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

LET PEACE RULE

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
       We are an anxious lot, us humans.  We are told to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6), yet we find peace to be so elusive.  Perhaps our focus is misplaced.  Are we gazing upon our circumstances or on the Lord of all circumstances?
         The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the church at Colossae from prison.  Now think about that.  He was incarcerated, his freedom taken from him and yet he speaks of peace.  I fear that my anxiety would overtake me in a situation such as that, but Paul just continued about his business writing letters to the various churches he had started.  Doing the Lord’s work tends to bring peace to your heart, does it not?
     Christians are to be examples to the world of what God’s love, forgiveness and undeserved favor looks like.  We are to be grateful for those things we have and not dwell on those things we don’t.  Whatever we need in this life we shall have according to God’s riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).  We truly have nothing to be anxious about.  In spite of that fact we all fret far more than we need to.  When will we ever learn that Christ is our all in all?  Although what we see with the naked eye may seem daunting, even impossible, we have nothing to fear or be anxious about.  Our eyes often deceive us.  Our spirit reveals to our heart the reality of any situation when seen through our spiritual eyes.
          Fear nothing. Place your trust solely and wholly in God.  He is the peace giver.  Be thankful for His patience and His grace, for without it we would all be a certifiable mess.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, November 21, 2014

OUR FOOLISH GOSPEL

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”  1 Corinthians 1:25
         Have you ever met someone who thought themselves wise?  What did you base their wisdom on, the fact that they knew more than you?  The wisdom of mortal man is based on limited brain function.  While there is no evidence that anyone actually uttered the statement that man only uses 10% of his brain capacity, the notion may have come from a quote by William James1 (circa 1908) who said "We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources".2  That being said, it stands to reason that if there is a God who created everything in existence, He would be vastly more intelligent than those He created.
         Have you ever met someone who fancied themselves strong?  Every year ESPN airs The World’s Strongest Man competition.  These behemoths compete in various feats of strength, like a double big rig truck cab pull and dead lifting over 700 lbs multiple times, among other events.  These are super strong men; however, their strength is nothing compared to the awesome power that is God.  Man, on his best day could never raise a dead man from the grave.  Almighty God did (e.g. Lazarus and Jesus).  Man cannot erase or blot out their own sin.  God can through the blood Christ shed on the cross. 
         It’s by faith that we believe in God and it is equally by faith that we trust in His wisdom and power to do that which we need to have done on our behalf via His Holy Spirit.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
1 William James (b.1842 – d.1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States.

2 Taken from The Energies of Men, p. 12