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, January 31, 2015

CALLING OUT TO GOD

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”  Psalm 86:5
         Psalm 86 is one of the five psalms referred to as Tephillahs or prayers.  It consists of both praise and prayer, which are directed toward Almighty Jehovah. It speaks of God’s goodness and willingness to deliver from the depths.  The Lord is “good at giving and forgiving; supplying us with his good and removing our evil.”1 He supplies us with joy and peace.  He alone provides for us hope for all our tomorrows. 
         It’s necessary that the all who call on God recognize their circumstances without Him.   David clearly states that he is “poor & needy” (v. 1) and in need of God’s mercy.  Since Christ’s resurrection, we have entered into a dispensation or period of God’s grace; which is His undeserved favor toward those who place their trust in Him.  Placing your trust in the Creator of the Universe will reap enormous benefits.  Forgiveness is applied to your sin debt.  Guidance from the Holy Spirit is yours for the asking.  A heavenly home awaits those who remain faithful.  God offers more than the world could ever hope to offer, for all created things decay and are gone at some point in time.  Man’s greatest efforts to extend their existence fail miserably.  Even if we could live forever, without God what would it matter?  We would continue on in our own mundane existence until time was no more.  Our resources would remain limited and be no match for God.  His resources are limitless and eternal and we can draw from them any time we need to. 
         It would seen that the phrase “all who call to you” would open the door to all humanity and it does in a manner of speaking.  However, those who see the need for God to intervene in their lives can tend to be meager compared to the world’s entire population.  Those who are inclined to call on God should do so with a long-term commitment in mind.  It’s not all right to cry out when in need, then return to a godless life when things stabilize.  I mean, you can do that, sure.  God will not stop you.  But this isn’t a game and the stakes are high.  Our soul weighs in the balance.  Know your circumstances and also know that you can call out to the Lord at any time for His assistance.  He knows of your plight already.  He’s just waiting for the call.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, January 30, 2015

UNWHOLESOME TALK

“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
         Being negative, discouraging or cutting with our words benefits no one.  It perpetuates the negative thought processes that exist in the speaker and brings down the recipient.  This is not what Christ intended. We are to build up one another, speaking words of kindness at all times.  A person’s moral and spiritual growth may depend on it. Profanity only exacerbates the situation, as it is used many times to emphasize one’s point. It is totally unnecessary, yet is extremely prevalent in today’s society. It’s impossible for us to go through a day without hearing someone’s foul mouth. 
         God never intended for us to misuse words the way we do. As believers, we must seek to be purged of all ungodly talk so as to become more like Christ in that area of our lives. We must first recognize the inappropriate nature of such language for someone claiming to be a child of God.  I have struggled with cussing all my life. I have come to understand that God may not miraculously rid me of the problem.  I have worked hard in union with the Holy Spirit to lessen its use.  I take comfort in the fact that I am more like Christ now than I was before. 
         Some believers would say that if a person still cusses even occasionally how could they be truly born-again?  Are we not new creatures when we get saved?  Don’t old things pass away and aren’t new things now here?  We are not perfect in any way, shape or form.  We are, however, perfect in God’s eyes once forgiven.  While our old self is dead, occasionally it rises from the grave to cause havoc at inopportune times. We must recognize the problem and seek to have it removed from your life.  This is the appropriate response of a godly man or woman.
         If you have unholy habits, whether in thought, speech or actions, talk to the Lord about it and pray for deliverance from these things.  It may take time or it may happen instantly. That part is up to God. While we are human, we can be so much more if we will only seek the face of God and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
* Unwholesome – morally harmful

** Edify - To instruct especially so as to encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

SELLING OUT FOR GOD

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  Matthew 10:21
         A wealthy young man came to Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life.  When asked, he readily professed that he had kept all the commandments land down by Moses since he was a child.  However, when Jesus asked him to give up all he had and give to the poor the man balked.  What have we given up to serve Christ?  Are we truly required to give everything away?
         I believe, rather than giving everything away, the point is more that we are to give our hearts away.  If our heart is as it should be toward the Lord, then everything else will follow suit.  We will begin to make godly decisions and seek less of what this world has to offer.  If you feel compelled by the spirit to shed yourself of earthly possessions and follow Christ, then by no means am I saying you shouldn’t.  That’s between you and God, however, I don’t think that is what God requires.  Total commitment and devotion to the Lord is what is required.
         The rich man wanted to be able to follow written laws set down in stone to achieve heaven, not realizing that it was God’s grace that offered forgiveness and a spirit-driven life that led to eternity with the Lord.  He missed the point.  We are to offer our full allegiance to God.  We are to commit ourselves to seeking His will in our lives and not our own.  Selling out for Christ’s sake so the world can see with their own eyes what a difference God can make in people’s lives.
          The wealthy man was downcast and left the same as he came.  We never need to.  Offer yourself up to God daily as a living sacrifice.  Start off your day with prayer and worship to your Lord.  It could be 5 minutes of uninterrupted time with God.  That alone can change the course you take during your day.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  John 4:23-24
         Jesus was speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well.  He was revealing to her that a time was coming and in fact had come in the person of Jesus Himself, when true worship will be done in the spirit.  A temple will no longer be required or necessary to worship God.  Jew and Gentile will be as one to God.  The veil between God and man shall be torn asunder.
         One of the greatest obstacles people have in believing in God is the fact that He cannot be seen with the naked eye.  People have said, “If I could only see God I would believe in Him.”  That statement comes from ignorance in what true Christianity is.  It is not see and believe, but rather see the unseen as if it can be seen and believe.  That is faith in a nutshell.  God can be seen, only not in the natural.  God reveals Himself in nature around us.  To the spiritually discerning, God reveals Himself all the time. 
         For those who wish to know and worship God, they need to step into the world of the Spirit. Not just any spirit, but the Holy Spirit.  Evil spirits abound.  Becoming fine-tuned in our faith so we can determine which spirit is from the Lord and which is not requires diligence on our part.  If we don’t feed our spirit man with the word of God we shall be spiritually weak and lack discernment. The Lord wants us to have wisdom and discernment, but we have to have the ‘want to’.  If we don’t have the desire to draw closer to the Lord, then He cannot help us become all He knows we can be for Him.  We must seek it and then receive it when God offers it to us.
        The Mosaic Law was temporary, until Messiah came to fulfill the necessary sacrifice once for all time.  Through Christ, God bridged the gap between the creature and his/her Creator.  God desires us to worship Him with our mouths and with our lives.  Spirit living is to live your life as a reflection of Christ.  We should strive to think like Him, speak like Him and act and react like Him in all things.  That may seem like a tall order, but in the spirit all things are possible.  Worship God with your lives in spirit and in truth.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
NOTE: “True” worship is contrasted with the worship regulated by the temporary provisions of the law, especially the separation of Jews and Gentiles and the requirement of temple worship at Jerusalem. The ceremonial and sacrificial aspects of the law were not false; they were temporary and provisional. Worship “in spirit” is worship in the Holy Spirit. He continues the work begun by Jesus (14:16–18; Acts 2:33). Prominent marks of the age of the Spirit are the removal of the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, and the ability of Christians to worship without the need for a temple of any kind.  [Reformation Study Bible; P & R Publishing; 2nd Edition; 2010.]

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

OUR 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.”  Galatians 4:22-24
         Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth makes the statement in chapter 5, verse 17 that we are now a new creation.  Old things have passed away.  All things have become new.  His letter to the church in Galatia says something similar, however, goes one step further by declaring that our new self was created to be like God in righteousness and holiness.  I have said before that it’s to be understood that our salvation was designed to mean something special to us.  It shouldn’t be business as usual after we’ve asked for and received forgiveness from God.  A hefty price was paid for our freedom from sin.  Too high a price for us to shrug off a major shift in our lifestyle.  Our attitude should change.  Our desires should begin to line up with God’s desires for us.  Our old, corrupt, deceitful self must die.  In order to do that we must relinquish control of the reins and allow the Holy Spirit to steer the carriage. 
         If we make no change to our conduct or our way of thinking then we have made Christ’s death useless, at least to us.  The fact that Jesus bled and died for you should humble you and bring you to a place of submission.  So many folks are unwilling to give up those things that seem so incredibly important to them, not realizing that the eternal destination of their soul is at stake. 
         Disbelieve in God if you choose.  Consider scripture a myth or fairy tale if you wish.  To that I offer a quote from Albert Camus1: “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.” Camus was not a Christian as far as I can discern, however, his quote is very poignant.  For us, to live our lives as if there were a God may mean something different from what Camus had in mind, but nonetheless, that doesn’t diminish the incisiveness of his observation. Our lives as Christians should be a reflection of Christ.  Is it?  Ask the Lord to help you be more like His Son in this life.  This is how we can truly change the world, through godly actions, not merely by words.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

1 Albert Camus was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher.

Monday, January 26, 2015

WRONG vs. RIGHT MOTIVES

“You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”  James 4:2c-3
         God conscious people and many casual Christians seem to think that whatever they ask for of God they will receive. I mean doesn’t the Bible even say “Ask and you shall receive…”? Yes, taken out of context one could come to that conclusion; however, God isn’t a genie in a bottle granting wishes arbitrarily to any and all that should happen to ask.  God is a sovereign, righteous, holy spiritual being that created man for His good pleasure.  It’s to be understood that God answers the requests of His children, not Joe Bag-a-donuts off the street who wishes to have a nicer apartment or car.  Joe asks, doesn’t receive and concludes that there is no God.  The children of God ask and receive that which God knows is best for them at the precise moment He knows it is needed and we praise His name.
         The fact of the matter is that when the righteous ask for things that fall in line with the will of God for their lives they receive in ample supply.  While material possessions in and of themselves are not evil, they are not the best God has to offer us. We are human beings who often give in to worldly wants. In the process our definition of wants vs. needs becomes out of focus.  What is our motive for the things we desire?  God knows our hearts deepest motivations.  Nothing is hidden from Him.  We need to understand that the One who created all things shall meet all our needs.  We don’t receive at times because God in all His mercy is sparing us from what will happen if we do receive what we ask for. You’ve no doubt heard the secular phrase “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.”
          The issue comes down to trust.  Do we trust God enough to meet our needs and fulfill our greatest desires?  Or do we feel we must help Him by providing some things on our own.  God will not stop you for side stepping His wishes for you.  He will let you go your own way, always watching, always loving you, until the day that you stop and realize what you’ve done.  Then He will be waiting with open arms to welcome you back onto the path you have wandered off of.  Seek the will of God for your life and trust Him to take good care of you along the way.  No one knows you better than He does.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

GOD KNOWS

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Galatians 6:7-8
         Almighty God knows all things. There’s nothing He doesn’t know or isn’t aware of.  There are several types of people who either are ignorant of this or have forgotten it.  They are the unbelievers who don’t even pretend to care about God’s existence, the casual Christians who believe in God but live by their own rules and then there are those who are saved but have been caught up in some temptation.  
         The unbelievers live as they choose without any thought of displeasing God, for they don’t know or understand what is entailed to living for Him.  All they know is that they aren’t such bad people, so if there is a God surely He will concern Himself with those who do horrible things in their lives.  It’s kind of how many feel about police officers.  They shouldn’t be concerning themselves with them going 10 miles over the speed limit when there are robbers, murderers and rapists to catch.  It simply doesn’t work that way. 
         The casual believers go to church each Sunday, but still abide by their own rules.  They believe they live by the 10 Commandments even though they couldn’t recite them if their life depended on it.  They have deceived themselves into believing they are safe from the wrath to come. 
       Then there is the Christian who has found himself entangled in a web of temptation.  The lines between right and wrong become blurred leaving them at the mercy of the temptation they have entertained.  Nothing else matters but to satisfy the desires at hand.  The will weakens and disaster follows.
          God is aware of every place we go, every thought we have, everything we say and everything we do.  It isn’t a Big Brother scenario, but rather a loving Heavenly Father who wishes to keep us from harm and heartache.  Sometimes we have to learn our lessons the hard way, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Take your relationship with God seriously. He loves you and only wishes you to thrive in this life.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, January 23, 2015

JUDGE NOT (3)

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”  Matthew 7:6
         Today’s verse is part of a judgment that Christ actually approves of: using discernment to distinguish unbelievers from believers.  I refer to that not as judging, but rather as being a fruit inspector. 
         There are those in this life who reject the gospel with contempt. They have trampled under foot the pearls of wisdom that come from the word of God.  No judgment from us is necessary for they have condemned themselves.  The word of God is sacred or holy in and of itself.  It should not be given to dogs.  How many times in your life have you shared your faith and non-believers have used that against you?  That’s because they have a faulty view and understanding of what a Christian truly is.  The word Christian comes from a Greek word meaning little Christ. But being a Christian is so much more than that.  First, “it’s so others can identify all who have placed their trust in Jesus for their salvation. Secondly, Jesus’ actions show us the appropriate way to respond to God’s blessing of salvation.  Literally, to be a Christian is to interact with God and others like Jesus did.”1
                  It should be fairly easy to spot those who don’t practice the teachings of Christ.  Not only do we have those who show disdain for God and His word, we also have those who proclaim the name of Jesus or say they believe in God yet don’t walk the talk.  Is it all right to judge these folks?  Yes; however, a gentle and humble spirit is needed to deal with such individuals, for they do not see themselves as lacking. 
         So what have we learned: 1) generally speaking, it’s wrong to judge others, for we will be judged with the same judgment we have meted out; 2) we should not continuously proclaim the gospel to those who show contempt for it, for God will deal with them on the last day; and 3) there are times when being a inspector regarding the spiritual fruits of others is appropriate and actually needed.  Some folks will make the corrections necessary, others will not, but that isn’t your concern.  Offering correction with a gentle rather than a prideful spirit can draw a person back to the path God has chosen for them. Always remember from whence you came.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
1 http://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-a-Christian.html

Thursday, January 22, 2015

JUDGE NOT (2)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Matthew 7:1-2
         The world has a major problem judging people by their appearance.  It’s been a personal problem of mine for many years.  I have been asking the Lord to rid me of it and while I am much better than I used to be, I still do it at times.  People, both Christian and non-Christian, pre-judge others by their physical appearance, their apparent monetary status, the cars they drive, even the way they talk.  What’s the matter with us?  Did God judge us in this manner?  I dare say no … and not just ‘no’, but a resounding “NO!” We seem to think we are better then others; however, we are comparing ourselves to the wrong person.  This is why so many people think they’re doing just fine, because they believe they are a good person that is better than most others that they know or hear about.  Compare yourself to your Creator and you might feel a bit differently.
         How daunting a thought is it to think that God will mete out the same judgment that you have used on others.  It should make you stop and think about how you view others.  We are all God’s creations. To quote Oscar Wilde1, “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” There is always hope for a lost soul to find salvation.  How much of a damper do we put on their future association with their Maker if we judge them due to externals.
       Now its true that most people will probably never know how we feel about them, since we don’t know them and will probably never meet them, but wouldn’t it be so much more productive kingdom-wise to be friendly with all people and try to be a blessing to them regardless of their race, monetary status or physical appearance.  People need the Lord.  Are we driving them away by showing distain toward them?  Who are we to do so?  If God treated us the way we treat some others we’d never stand a chance to be forgiven.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

1 Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer and poet.  After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s.