BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

PUTTING 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 is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that we are a new creature when we receive salvation.  The old has passed away, behold all things become new.  We are to reject our previous lifestyle and embrace a new, godly one, fashioned by God Himself.  There is interesting imagery here in the words “put off” and “put on”.  It should be as if we are taking off a frayed set of clothes in favor of a new set.  Our former way of life offered much but delivered little.  Without spiritual eyesight we never saw that.  Now it has become plain to us.  The new self that God creates in us by His Holy Spirit guides us into all righteousness and holiness. 
            The world has no clue what they are missing out on.  If they knew they would be more interested; however, the ruler of this world, namely Satan, has clouded the minds of the unregenerate souls in his dominion so that they remain in their sin filled haze.  Even those who would be considered good by most standards fall far short of God’s glory and therefore are lost. 
            Our attitude is a manner of thinking, feeling, or behaving that reflects a state of mind or disposition.  God, through His Spirit, now influences our state of mind and disposition.  The world has absolutely nothing of any eternal value to offer us as believers.  We are to sell out to Christ for He sold out for us.  Christ is returning for us sooner rather than later.  Trim your lamps and be ready (Matthew 25:1-13).  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: 1) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. 2) Reformation Study Bible; Ephesians 4:22–24.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

THE HUMILITY OF CHRIST

“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 believers in Christ we are to exhibit humility.  What is humility?  It is having a proper estimation of oneself, being well aware of both one’s strengths and one’s weaknesses.  We rarely have much of a problem knowing what our strengths are, but it is in knowing our weaknesses and flaws that humility lies.
            Pride has a competitive edge by nature.  We strive to be better than others, to rise to the top of the class.  In Christ we are to learn to do just the opposite.  That fights against our natural tendency until we submit to the Holy Spirit and allow spiritual surgery to take place.  Humility is easier for some, for they seem to have a more submissive spirit.  Others struggle with it mightily.  Being concerned for the needs and interests of others doesn’t come naturally for many folks; however, it is an essential ingredient in being humble.  False modesty has no place in this.  It only comes across as cheap and phony.  We are to encourage and edify or build up others, promote harmony rather than conflict and be a servant to all.  That is the essence of a servant’s heart, placing others above yourself.
            Scripture is very clear that God will meet all our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).  That being the case, we shouldn’t have to strive for anything for the Lord has our needs covered.  That should free us up to meet the needs of others as God’s vehicle of blessing.  If we are striving for anything in this life it should be to be a reflection of Christ’s humility, for He humbled Himself by becoming obedient unto death (Philippians 2:8).  Submit to the will of God for your life each day.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The IVP New Testament Commentary Series; Philippians - The Philippians' Affairs: Exhortation to Steadfastness and Unity (1:27-2:18); The Appeal Renewed: Unity Through Humility (2:1-4) … The Content of the Appeal (2:3-4).

Resource: Reformation Study Bible; Philippians 2:3.

Monday, April 27, 2015

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27
            This verse, in its context, is speaking of salvation; however, it does speak of a very basic and powerful truth regarding Almighty God.  There is nothing that is impossible for Him.  No thing.  Whether it be salvation or the healing of a person with a terminal disease, God is more than capable of accomplishing it.  Matthew phrases the same statement in the same scene with the rich man slightly different:  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (19:26)
            What is this whole thing about a camel going through the eye of a needle found in verse 24?  The camel was the largest animal in Israel at that time.  It is widely accepted that Jesus is doing nothing more than using a “figure of speech or hyperbole to exaggerate for emphasis.  Christ used this technique at other times when He referred to a ‘plank’ in one’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5) or swallowing a camel (Matthew 23:24).”1
            The point of all this is that salvation is available to all who would shed themselves of self and be willing to follow Christ.  Rich or poor, young or old, male or female, sick or well, it matters not.  God created all things, including man.  Their propensity to go against God’s will was evident from the start.  God had foreknowledge of this and had a plan from the beginning to make things right again.  When the fullness of time had come He sent His own Son to die in our place, thus making salvation available to all who would avail themselves of it.  Always remember, nothing in this life is impossible for your God.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
1 Got Questions.org - http://www.gotquestions.org/camel-eye-needle.html

Saturday, April 25, 2015

BE A LITTLE CHRIST

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, …”  Colossians 1:9b-10
          The “we” spoken of here is the Apostle Paul and Timothy, his compassion in ministry at that time.  They are letting the faithful believers in Colossae know that their spiritual growth, which is of paramount importance, is being prayed for.  We should all seek to gain the knowledge of spiritual things from God’s Holy Spirit, who is the disseminator of all godly wisdom, guidance and direction. 
          We know from scripture that on our own we could never live a life worthy of the Lord, therefore, once we receive His gracious forgiveness for past ungodly endeavors our desire should then be to alter our lifestyle, putting it in line with God’s will for us.   Without the help of the Spirit, it is very difficult for the unregenerate soul to put a finger on such ungodly indiscretions, for their value system is skewed due to their sinful nature.  It is the individual that is quickened by the Holy Spirit who can see clearly where they are lacking when compared to God.  Far too often we compare ourselves to those around us.  This can cause a person to have an irrational view of themselves.  Let’s face it; no one wants to think ill of themselves.  It takes a willing heart and a submissive spirit to see who we really are in the light of who God is.  We are nothing, a speck of sand on creations largest beach.  Yet God loves and cares for each of us as individuals. Why?  Because He created us.
          It should be our heartfelt desire to live a life that pleases our Lord on all levels.  If not, then what is the purpose of calling ourselves Christians.  The title came about in the early church and means “little Christs”.  It is our mission to be Christ to a lost and dying world.  What is your purpose for calling yourself a Christian?  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, April 24, 2015

NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”  1 Peter 1:18-19
            The OT sacrificial system required a sacrifice that was free from all defect.  There could be no spot or blemish on it whatsoever.  Enter the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  Due to the nature of His being He was wholly man and wholly God.  He was the God man, who came into the world at a time prescribed by the Father to rid men of their sin once for all time.  Christ’s blood is the only remedy for the sins of man.  A payment must be made according to God’s Law.  Sin must be atoned for.  In other words, the gap between man and God must be bridged.  We caused the gap by our sin and there was only one could provide that bridge, Christ.  That is precisely why He was sent down to earth. 
            When the blood of the Lamb cleanses a person they are free from their sins.  Far too many individuals fail to understand the significance of that act.  They receive forgiveness and then carry on with their lives.  A change has occurred yet they barely recognize it out of ignorance.  Forgiveness was purchased for us and is free for the asking; however, the change that has taken place is supposed to alter the path we’re on.  I know when I gave my heart and life to the Lord everything began to look and sound different.  I realized through the reading and preaching of His Word that a 180 degree turn away from my past lifestyle choices was necessary to live an effective life as a believer in Christ. 
            God’s grace, His undeserved favor, has offered us a second chance to get it right.  We may stumble occasionally or even fall flat on our face, but God is there to pick you us and place you on the road He knows is best for you.  You must let go and trust Him with your entire life.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Reference used:  The Reformation Study Bible.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

WORLDLY NONSENSE

“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 is a whirlwind of false teachings today that seek to steer people’s focus away from the truth of God.  They tickle the itching ears of those who are seeking an alternate path then the one prescribed by the Lord. People don’t want to have to answer to anyone, nor do they wish to have to follow a set of laws.  This is what many people seem to feel Christianity is, nothing more than a rigid, restrictive set of do’s and don’ts. 
        Sadly, the church is seen as hypocritical, making it less effective.  Those believers that don’t see themselves as hypocritical don’t realize how closely the world is watching.  This is why we must be like Christ in our daily lives rather than simply talk about him.  Actions speak far louder and more clearly than words ever will.
          Every man, woman and child must make a choice at one time or another in their lives.  That choice involves what, if anything, they will believe about Almighty God.   No other “religion” speaks of Jesus Christ as the Son of God who dies for the sins of mankind.  In that respect Christianity is unique.  The empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense presented by equally deceived individuals, will do nothing more than waste your time.  They provide nothing of any lasting value and cannot cleanse you of your past indiscretions.  Only Christ’s blood can do that.  Christianity isn’t a “religion”, but rather a relationship with God through Christ.  Don’t let the spiritual powers of this world trick you into thinking there is any other way to heaven but through the blood of Christ.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GOD’S WRATH IS COMING

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20
         The deceitfulness of Satan has led people from all walks of life to believe various things about Almighty God.  We find a heavy emphasis on the love aspect of God’s nature. While it is true that God is the very definition of love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), there is a lot more to the story than just the love of God. 
          Many seem to think that believing in His existence and counting on the fact that He is loving is all that is needed to make ones way into heaven after they die; however, simply acknowledging Him is wholly inadequate. Christ didn’t die so you could stay the same.  A life change must occur. God’s wrath is coming for those who deny His existence, but also for those who acknowledge Him with their mouths yet deny Him with their lifestyles. All roads do not lead to the top of the same mountain.  That would make Jesus a liar, for He clearly said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but by (or through) me.” (John 14:6).
          For those who don’t believe God would harm anyone and that we are all going to heaven except those we deem unworthy like the Ted Bundy’s and Adolph Hitler’s of the world, read the Bible.  We don’t decide who goes to heaven.  We only decide on our own eternal destination.  All men have sinned and are unworthy of entrance into God’s heaven on their own merits (Romans 3:23).  It’s only those who are washed in the blood of Christ whose names will be found in the “Lambs Book of Life” (Revelation 13:8 & 21:27). Choose wisely this day who you will serve, the Creator of all things or the Prince of this world.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!