BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
____________________

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


TOTAL PAGEVIEWS

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GOD IS MERCIFUL

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”  Psalm 138:8
       The operative word in this verse is MERCY.  Not just any mercy, but God’s mercy towards those He calls His children.  Defined below, mercy can be another word for grace.  Grace is divine favor, a reprieve.  It’s a second chance given to those who deserve nothing but punishment for their unwillingness to obey God’s decrees up to the point of forgiveness.  Mercy is compassion. Mercy is kindness.  Mercy is patience.  Mercy is forgiveness.  “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.” (Psalm 103:8)
            David is crying out to Jehovah to not forsake the works of His hands, which are those that He has created, more specifically in this setting, the children of Israel.  Our works are, in most cases, feeble at best.  For whatever good works I may have, they have come from You to me; and so they are more yours than mine.  For I hear from the apostle Paul, ‘By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.  Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus’”: Eph 2:8-10. 1 We can do nothing of any lasting value for the kingdom without God’s involvement.  The Lord, on the other hand, never leaves anything unfinished.  We can be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
            We must allow this great work to take place in us, for if we ignore the Holy Spirit’s efforts to perform spiritual surgery on us, we will stagnate like a placid pool of water.  We must have living water flowing through our veins.  It involves surrendering our will in favor of God’s.  He has shown us untold patience and mercy. Let us not waste this wonderful opportunity.  Until Christ’s return, walk with the King and be a blessing!
DEFINITION:  mer·cy  (mûr′sē), noun.
1. Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one's power; clemency.
2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy.
3. Something for which to be thankful; a blessing: It was a mercy that no one was hurt.
4. Alleviation of distress; relief: Taking in the refugees was an act of mercy.
Synonyms’: compassion, charity, pity, forgiveness, quarter, favor, grace, kindness, clemency, leniency, benevolence and forbearance.

1 Augustine of Hippo, aka, Saint Augustine; 354 AD – 430 AD; early Christian theologian & philosopher.

Monday, June 29, 2015

GOD IS PATIENT

“… do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:8-9
     We are in what the Bible refers to as “the last days”.  Ungodly living is on the rise.  Those who ridicule God-fearing people have increased dramatically.  Some believers have not helped matters by spouting hate and publically judging others. This was all foreknown by the Almighty.  There is nothing that has taken place in this world that has taken the Lord by surprise. The world today isn’t all that much different than what we read in Exodus 32 when Moses went up to the top of Mount Sinai to meet with the Lord.  The people got tired of waiting and fashioned a calf made out of all the gold they were wearing or carrying with them. “So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” (Exodus 32:6)  Moses had been gone for 40 days.  The impatience of the children of Israel was their downfall.
     God timing is not man’s timing. We want everything handed to us NOW.  Frankly, we don’t like to wait at all.  The believer is not of this world. His citizenship is in heaven.  Therefore he should not behave like those that live in this world.  God knows exactly what he’s doing.  Things come to fruition when He knows it is the perfect time.  When we take things into our own hands in an effort to speed up the process things tend to go awry.  Remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians; we can do whatever we would like to do, BUT not all things are beneficial or constructive.  When things go wrong for us we must face the consequences of our impatience.  Even some reading this now may believe that calamity will never strike them, believing they know what they’re doing. Their arrogance is fueled by their ignorance.  We can do nothing of any eternal value without the Lord.
       More specifically to the text, those we know who are outside God’s veil of grace still have time to surrender their will over to God.  God is not dragging His feet, but rather is infinitely patient with us all not desiring that any spend eternity apart from Him.  Pray for those you know who do not know Christ in a personal way and remain vigilant in your efforts to be Christ to a lost and dying world. Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

THE SOLIDARITY OF GOD

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one*.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6
     These verses are what the Jews refer to as the Shema in their services.  It could also be called the Creed of the Jews.  The Jews were and still are bound by the Mosaic Law and hundreds of offshoot laws that they have added.  The Law was meant to shine a light on man’s sinfulness.  God knew the children of Israel, nor any man for that matter, could adhere to every letter of His law, therefore the Lord set up a sacrificial system to provide a covering for man’s sin.
     The Law today does not bind believers for they are under God’s umbrella of grace or undeserved favor.  Once their sins have been forgiven they begin to live an altered life.  God’s plan is for man to make a 180-degree turn away from their previous life.  No mortal man could ever live a perfect life, which is why Christ came to pay for our sins. It was a debt that we could never pay.  If we love God with all our heart, mind, soul & strength (Mark 12:30), we will live according to His laws despite not being bound by them.  This is the language of devotion. God does not demand mere outward obedience to a law, but the heartfelt love and commitment of the whole person (Prov. 23:26).” 1        
     The Bible is very clear in its assertion that Jehovah is the one and only God.  The prophet Isaiah proclaims on the Lords behalf the following: “This is what the Lord says — Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 44:6)  As believers we are to take our relationship with God seriously.  Our sins were removed from us for all time, never to be held against us again.  That is reason enough to love with all that is within us God and follow His decrees.  Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: Barnes Notes on the Bible.
* It can also readThe Lord our God is one Lord.”
1 The Reformation Study Bible; Proverbs 23:26  “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways, … .”
NOTE:  “The God whom we worship is Jehovah; a Being infinitely and eternally perfect, self-existent, and self- sufficient. He is the only living and true God, he only is God, and he is but one.”  [Benson Commentary]

Friday, June 26, 2015

LOVING THE BRETHREN

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.”  Leviticus 19:18
     This is aimed at Christians as well as the Hebrews of the Old Testament.  The key words are “anyone among your people”.  In John 13:35 Jesus proclaims that the world will know we are His representatives on this earth by our love for one another.  We must forgive those things said and/or done to us by those of the brethren understanding that they too are from dust and to dust shall return just as we are.  If their actions persist there is a different course of action to take, but it never involves revenge or grudge holding.  You take the situation to another brother or sister or even to the pastor to act as a mediator.
     There are far too many breaches in the wall caused by those within the body of Christ.  My friends, this ought not to be. For those who seek to serve God with sincere hearts this is an anomaly that mustn’t take place. This departure from the norm that has been established by our Lord will break down the very fiber of our faith and cause us to be at each other’s throats over non-essential elements.  I believe it comes in part from a noncommittal attitude toward our walk with Christ.  If we all took our walk as seriously as I believe we are meant to, these breaches would be less frequent.  There will be no place for such behavior in heaven; therefore, we should be practicing godly behavior within the body during our stay on earth.
     The Lord is mindful of all rifts and strife that exist in His church and is no doubt displeased with its existence.  Forgiveness is available, but it must be sought and accepted with the idea that the individual turn away from past behavior.  We serve a merciful and loving God.  Let us not trample His grace under foot with ill-tempered words and/or actions.  Until Christ’s return, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE

“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.    Jeremiah 23:24

     The backdrop for Jeremiah’s prophecy is regarding the false prophets that have infiltrated Jerusalem.  The Lord tells the people of Jerusalem through Jeremiah “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes.  They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.” (v.16) Their ungodliness caused their own demise, for they had condemned themselves by their own words. 
     This particular verse above speaks clearly of God’s Omnipresence; His ability to be present everywhere at the same time.  His spirit permeates all of creation at all times.  This is very comforting to the believer.  Wherever we go He is already there.  He is totally aware of all our comings and goings.  He is also omniscient in that He knows all things that can be known.  There are no secrets from the Lord.  He knows our thoughts even before we think them, so the phrase being alone with your own thoughts isn’t entirely accurate.  So even when you feel all alone you are never truly alone.  If you are a true believer, bought by the blood of Christ with sins forgiven, you can take comfort in the fact that God not only loves you unconditionally, but also always has your best interests at heart.  No matter what set of circumstances you may encounter in this life, God is present, for His spirit is within you. 
     As you go through your day, always remember that God is with you.  With this in mind, act appropriately.  We are Christ’s ambassadors to a lost and dying world.  He loves each lost soul just as much as He loves you for He is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11)  In other words, He doesn’t show favoritism towards one over another.  BE Christ to those around you with.  Your life might be the only Bible some folks will ever read.  Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary; Matthew Poole’s Commentary.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

HIS WORD ENDURES FOREVER

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8
     God has been in existence since the dawn of time.  We don’t know when time began, nor do we know where God came from.  He just was and is and always shall be … God. Many simply refuse to believe in His existence.  Those that do believe in an unseen deity have been referred to as weak, in need of a crutch to survive. Along with disbelief in a spirit being who created all things comes a disbelief in His supposed “word”.  There are even those who do believe who dismiss certain portions of the Bible’s contents. Even though they weren’t there when the events chronicled in scripture took place, they find it difficult to place their trust in something that their logical mind will not allow them to accept. They simply don’t want to let go of control of their lives.  If those portions of scripture that seem implausible were to be removed the Bible would be a very thin book.  It isn’t necessary for us to understand every word written in scripture, we are asked to believe it as true and place our trust in it.
     It’s a matter of faith. Our faith must give birth to trust and our trust must be complete.  If we place our faith in Christ, we need to accept the infallibility of scripture.  To not do so calls into question God’s very existence.  Without the Bible we would have no written record of Him or His instructions and commands.  Once we allow for the certainty that the Bible is God’s flawless word, we need to also accept that everything God has said within its’ pages shall absolutely come to pass.  Mortal man is born, lives and dies without much fanfare, but the word of God was and is and shall endure forever.  The Bible contains words that can be relied upon without question.  Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  The Matthew Poole Commentary; The Pulpit Commentary; Barnes Notes on the Bible & The Asbury Bible Commentary.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NEVER ALONE

“The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  Psalm 121:7-8
     A person’s life is not their own if they have committed their way to the Lord.  This is not a problem for the believer, for God can be trusted to keep you from all harm & danger.  We know this because His word says so.  The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)  This verse points out that the Lord will essentially have you surrounded with His mercy & grace.  He doesn’t take coffee breaks, nor does He ever go on vacation.  As a result of our God watching over us continuously, day and night, therefore, we truly have no reason to be discouraged or afraid.  Fear is a natural human emotion.  It’s a mental thing.  We especially fear the unknown.  It isn’t always so easy to rid ourselves of fear, but as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord we will slowly begin to elevate our trust.  As we trust the Lord more we should give in to our fears less.   
     In Joshua 1:9, Moses speaks to Joshua saying “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
     “‘That God always keeps watch for us’ is deeply rooted in our hearts; so that, depending upon his guardianship alone, we may bid farewell to all the vain confidences of the world.”1  There is absolutely nothing in this world that we can unhesitatingly place our trust in because even the person closest to us will eventually let us down.  God never will.  If scripture tells us God is with us wherever we go, you can bank on that.  Just in case you think the Lord might handle things differently in this day and age, read Hebrews 13:8 which proclaims, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: The Treasury of David; Charles H. Spurgeon.

1 John Calvin, French Theologian; developed system of Christian Theology; 1509-1564.

Monday, June 22, 2015

REST & PEACE CAN BE YOURS

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”  Psalm 91:1
         Scholars have concluded that Moses, while in the wilderness, wrote this Psalm and the nine that follow.  With all the trials and tribulations that the children of Israel faced in their 40-year trek through the wilderness, it would seem logical that they would need to find rest in their God. It is with this backdrop that we are told whoever draws near to God shall find protection under His mighty wing.  No harm shall befall those who rest in the shadow of the Almighty and place their trust in Him and Him only.
         The same is true today.  There is nothing that can come against a child of God that cannot be overcome.  God alone is the One who can provide all that is needed to withstand the onslaught of doubt and fear that accompanies the many trials we encounter.  Finding rest and the peace that comes with it is a blessing unrivaled by the world, for this world and everything in it is temporal.  The things of God are eternal. 
         This is why we must have unwavering faith and trust in God.  The problems of this world fade from sight when compared to the glory and majesty that is found in just His name alone.  The name of Jesus is the sweetest sound one could ever hear in this life.  The One that bears that name has saved us from our sins.  Jesus is God in human form.  There is no other name in heaven, on earth or under the earth by which men can find forgiveness.  Our rest is available any time we choose to acquire it.  Kneel before the Lord and find peace. Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing! 

Resource: The Treasury of David; Charles H. Spurgeon.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

TRUE & LASTING LOVE

“A husband should love his wife as much as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.” Ephesians 5:25
     Men love to quote Ephesians 5:22-24 where it says that a wife should submit to their husbands, but the story doesn’t end there.  No, no.  Man is not told to govern over his wife but rather to love her.  How is he to love her?  Christ provided the example.  Christ has unconditional and everlasting love for His church so much so that He was willing to die for it.  THAT is the type of love a husband is to have for his wife.  This is his responsibility in a marriage.  Now the wife is supposed to encourage and support the husband, but that will come easy if he treats her with the respect she deserves.  
     Too many folks enter into matrimony figuring if they aren’t happy in a few years they can get a divorce.  Where is the commitment? Where is the willingness to work problems out?  We shouldn’t rely on anyone else to make us happy, that’s a mistake.  If you are relying on your spouse to make and keep you happy you are liable to be sorely disappointed more times than not.  Being happy is a decision.  We must decide to be happy and content in any and all circumstances in all areas of our life and it is no different when it comes to our spouse. Marriage is supposed to be a lasting, lifelong commitment to love, honor and cherish another as long as you both shall live.
     The devil uses various devices to stir up trouble in any marriage to cause friction that if left unchecked can cause any marriage to crash and burn.  Husbands, you must have loved your wife when you married her?  Don’t focus on her flaws, focus on your own attitude towards her and remember that we are called to be Christ not just to the unsaved, but also in our own households.  Love your wife with Christ-like love and see what type of response you get.  Men must realize that it is a command, not a suggestion. Follow God’s lead and work out any disagreements before your head hits the pillow at night and you will live a long happy life together.  Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Reformation Study Bible.