BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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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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Saturday, May 30, 2015

WHAT GOD HAS DONE

“Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction … .”  Psalm 103:2-4
            For some reason, folks seem to forget the most important thing about knowing God.  He has made a pact with all those who would place their trust in Him.  It is the reason Jesus came to earth to dwell among us.  It’s the reason He had to bleed and die a horrific death.  It was all part of God’s eternal plan to save us from ourselves.  Does that make God worthy of being blessed and praised? You bet it does!  He forgave our iniquities, which simply said means God forgave all our misdeeds, errant thoughts and ungodly actions and reactions.  That’s right, every thing we have ever thought, said or done that was considered sinful behavior in God’s economy was forgiven us.  The most awesome thing about it is that none of it would be brought up against us again … ever. 
            The Jews call Him Jehovah Rophi, the God who heals.  Does God always heal folks the way we want?  No, He does not.  He does what is best in His estimation.  The Lord either causes or allows all things that transpire in this world.  If He did not there would be something that was out of His control and that contradicts His very nature.  Sometimes people we earnestly pray for end up dying.  Our faith is shaken.  We question God as to why they had to pass on.  Knowing the future and the past, He is much more capable than us to make those type of life and death decisions.  The fact of the matter is that when a loved one we have prayed for passed away in spite of our most heartfelt prayers for their healing, God has in fact answered our prayer in the most perfect sense.  Is it not true that the person in question shall never be sick or in pain ever again?  They are now with the Lord for all eternity if they are redeemed and will never be sick again.  Now that is what I call a healing.  It’s not the way we imagined it, but we got what we asked for.
            Let your heart never forget all that God has done for you.  No one else could have ever done what the Lord did.  He alone is worthy of all our glory, honor and praise.  Until Christ’s Return, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource:  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

Friday, May 29, 2015

ACCESS YOURSELF SOBERLY

“Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” Romans 12:16
            Here we find the Apostle Paul letting his readers know they have no business being conceited about their status in life.  How we think regarding others and ourselves determines how we live out our life.  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (Romans 12:3)  Healthy pride in an accomplishment well done is fine, but pride that leads to an arrogant attitude and a haughty spirit is not of God.  We are to acquire a humble spirit, giving credit and glory to the Lord for all things we have and /or have done. Many of us know for a fact that it only takes one bad decision and its’ subsequent consequences to take us down.  To be forced into a humbling situation is never pleasant, but it necessary at times to get God’s message across.  That is how much He loves us. 
            Solomon cautions in Proverbs 3:7 to “…not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Arrogance borne out of ignorance is a strange, but lethal combination.  Our arrogance refuses to allow our ignorance to step down and listen to others.  We can never have the same mind as our brethren if we insist on thinking more highly of ourselves then we ought.  It is truly not all about us.  Christ is the head.
            God is far greater than we could ever even think of being.  If we set our mind on high, godly things and allow the Holy Spirit to mold us into what God has intended us to be for Him, we will develop all the behavioral characteristics needed to be Christ to those around us.  On our own we are a shadow of what we can be.  Submit to the power of God’s love and change your world.  Until Christ’s Return, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; The Reformation Study Bible & The Asbury Bible Commentary.

Bible Translation: The New King James Version.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

PRACTICE EMPATHY

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”  Romans 12:15 NKJV
         From my vantage point on the east coast (NJ), the unity of the church appears to be waning.  People have become much too self-centered & self-absorbed.  It has infected the church on the whole as well.  We may support one another in the wake of a crisis, but once the dust settles we go back into our self-made caves and place our focus back on our own problems. 
            There is a marked difference between sympathy and empathy.  Sympathy, simply put, means you pity or feel sorry for someone.  Empathy, on the other hand, means you have the ability to identify or understand another’s situation or feelings.  Folks don’t want our pity; they want someone who understands what they’re going through. The empathizer has either gone through the same thing or can imagine what it would be like to go through such a difficulty.  A church can rally around a fellow believer with a spirit of empathy and can truly lift the suffering member out of their malaise and place them on a plateau of comfort and peace. 
            Rejoicing with those who rejoice is easy.  We all like to share is someone’s happiness.  It is when people weep and have great difficulties that we become uncomfortable.  Have we lost the ability to empathize?  We must pray for the Lord to enable us to get it back, because it promotes unity within the church and brings about healing to the individual that is hurting. 
            As a side note, there are few things as liberating as weeping.  It has a cleansing effect that comforts us when we are done.  A good hard cry frees us up to begin living again.  Until Christ’s Return, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource:  The Reformation Study Bible; The Asbury Bible Commentary & The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

GOD > I

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (NKJV)
         These are the words of John the Baptist when he found out that Jesus, the Messiah, had come.  These words can very appropriately be applied to the life of every believer. 
            We wouldn’t think of skipping multiple meals or even one meal for that matter.  Well it’s no different with our spirit man.  He must be fed daily.  Why must we do that?  Like our bodies, our spirit man will become weak and more easily fall victim to temptation.  What can we do to feed our spirit man?  We can feed our spirit regularly with the word of God in the form of songs sung, sermons preached and the simple act of reading the Bible.  Fellowship with others of like faith would give us a sense of accountability.  The Lord must increase in our lives.  We must decrease.  If we don’t our deliberate choices will be in constant conflict with God’s will.  We do not know what we’re doing, but we balk at admitting this.  It would do our hearts good to read the Book of Job paying special attention to the final four chapters where God starts each proclamation with the words “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.”
            We think we are so incredibly smart, but the fact is we are astoundingly ignorant and often closed to new ideas.  We know what we know by whatever means and figure that is enough.  Spiritual expansion is unnecessary in our minds.  We believe, we go to church, we’re kind to others and we don’t kick our dog, but it’s not enough.  The Lord must increase in our lives.  We are to become more like Christ in our thoughts, words, actions and reactions.  The world wants to see Jesus.  We are His ambassadors, His representatives in this world.  It is imperative that we decrease in all areas; our thought processes, our verbiage, how we act around others and how we react to others.  Become more like Christ and lose yourself in God.  Until Christ’s Return, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource:  The Asbury Bible Commentary.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

BELIEF IS NOT ENOUGH

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”  John 3:17-18
            Let’s read and understand what Christ is saying here.  The judgment of God comes on the final day that is known only by our Heavenly Father.  Jesus didn’t come to the earth over 2000 years ago to condemn the world. The world already stood condemned by the way they lived.  Christ came to bring salvation, the forgiveness of sin to mankind.  The main point I would like to hammer home here is that the statement “Whoever believes in him (the Son) is not condemned.”  Many people down through the ages have believed in the existence of God, yet would not consider themselves Christians.  By the same token, many believe that Jesus is real and came to visit the earth, yet don’t allow that admission to change their life.  James 2:19 reveals to us “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.”
            The problem arises regarding the entirety of the gospel message and the Bible as a whole.  It’s more than just believing.  Hebrews 11:6 says “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  People place faith in many things, but it is only faith in God that will cleanse you of your sins. Then comes the change. Paul proclaims in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

          So you see it’s not just believing.  It’s believing, then allowing the change that must take place at our core by God’s Holy Spirit so that we may live a godly life from that point on.  It’s not believing and than going forward as if nothing significant has taken place in our heart.  Christ never intended His bloody, selfless, horrific death to bring about no change at all.  He died in our place.  We belonged on that cross to pay for our own sin, but He paid it all for us.  Should you now not live for Him?  Until Christ’s return, walk with the King and be a blessing!