BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WILLFUL IGNORANCE

“There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust him to save them. But those who don’t trust him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God. Their sentence is based on this fact: that the Light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” John 3:18-19
       This is wonderful news for the believer. However, if no eternal doom awaits those who trust God, that would mean the reverse is true for those who do not trust God.  Non-believers wallow in their own self-indulgence, living only for today. Their willful ignorance regarding Christ and the forgiveness He purchased with His own life has left them self-condemned.  It’s not anyone’s fault but their own that they refuse to believe and no one is sending them down a highway to hell but themselves. 
       There are many things that men do in this life that we consider horrific.  You can see man’s depravity displayed on the evening news each day.  Yet no evil act will condemn a man to hell.  Until the last wisp of air leaves their lungs they have time to repent.  No matter what anyone has ever done in this life, forgiveness is available until the Lord says it is no longer available.  It is solely their rejection of Jesus Christ as the savior of the world and forgiver of men’s transgressions that will send them to hell. 
    “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 3:9)  God doesn’t send anyone to hell, they go there of their own free will.  No one will ever stop a person from sinning, no even Almighty God, if that is what you truly wish to do with their life.  For those who decide to shed their past and embark on the journey of a lifetime, that person will not simply receive a reprieve.  It’s much more incredible then that. They are no longer condemned.  The One who created them proclaims them NOT GUILTY of any and all transgressions they have ever committed.  In addition to that your past sins will never be held against you again. This is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  The American Heritage Dictionary; Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary; The Reformation Study Bible and The Asbury Bible Commentary.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

THAT WE MAY UNDERSTAND

“… no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”  1 Corinthians 2:11b-12
       Due to faulty teaching from some folks who had infiltrated the church, the Corinthians had come to an unhealthy and even arrogant understanding of who they were in Christ. They believed they knew the mind of God and thus thought that the Lord would sanction anything they did.  Paul wrote to them that only the Holy Spirit, an integral part of the Trinity, knew the deepest thoughts of Almighty God.  Man only thinks he’s tapped into God.  In reality, without the proper humility and hunger to know God intimately, we cannot know Him at all.  Our own thoughts and presuppositions enter into our thought processes and skew things in our mind so that a personal message from God becomes based on our own wants and desires.  This is why it is so incredibly important to align ourselves with God’s Spirit. 
       The Spirit is one with God, just as Jesus is.  That is the Trinity; the Godhead, three in one.  Therefore, if Christ is God and the Spirit is God, it stands to reason that only a member of the Godhead can know the deepest recesses of God’s mind.  The Spirit of God is omniscient (a knower of all things) just as God the Father is.  Just as with Almighty God, the Holy Spirit has exact knowledge of all things pertaining to the Father and to us, His children.  No one on this earth can have such a thorough knowledge of anyone; perhaps not even our own selves.
       The world could never give us what God has given us. That thing that was given to us was grace.  The Holy Spirit helps us understand this wonderful gift that was freely and willingly given to us.  We must embrace this faith that we have and understand the deep significance of what God has done for us. Without His forgiveness we would never now true peace and fulfillment and would live out our days on this decaying earth and die without hope.  Life doesn’t end when we die, for as it states in Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,…”. Give your mind over to the Holy Spirit so that you might understand the deeper things of God.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resources: The Matthew Henry Bible Commentary; The Asbury Bible Commentary.

Monday, September 28, 2015

TRUST GOD FOR TODAY

“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:30-34
       British preacher and author Matthew Henry (see note below) expounded on verse 33 from the above text: “Seek the comforts of the kingdom of grace and glory as your felicity (your source of happiness). Aim at the kingdom of heaven; press towards it; give diligence to make it sure; resolve not to take up short of it; seek for this glory, honor, and immortality; prefer heaven and heavenly blessings far before earth and earthly delights.”  Christians fall into the worldly trap of dwelling of future concerns.  Jesus is very clear that we have nothing to be concerned about.  God sees to it that the flowers of the field and the birds of the air are well taken care of as proof that He has everything under control. There is no reason to ever think He will leave us hanging.  The Lord intends to see to it that we find our way thru this maze we live in clothed and fed.  We don’t need to concern ourselves with such things, but rather we are to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  The things we are in need of will be given to us.  It’s a promise in scripture. 
       Worry is inconsistent with the priority of seeking God. We are told throughout scripture not to worry or be afraid.   This is not the way the Lord intends us to live.  If we seek Him we will know Him and if we know Him we will trust Him.  Digging into God’s word regularly will help you know Him better.  God’s Word is riddled with references to His character traits. Scripture shows that He can absolutely be trusted, however, sometimes we have to learn that on our own.  Experiencing that for ourselves is better than placing our belief on someone else’s experience.  That’s good for starters, but stepping out in faith can be a real builder of trust. 
       There is no doubt that each day has enough trouble for anyone. Leave tomorrow alone and concentrate on trusting Him for today.  Tomorrow will take care of itself for the Lord is already there setting it up for your arrival.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible; The Reformation Study, Bible and the American Heritage Dictionary.

NOTE: Matthew Henry (18 October 1662 – 22 June 1714) was a Welsh-born British Non-Conformist minister and author.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

IF WE SIN

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”  1 John 2:1
       There is a school of thought that says in part that if you sin you have not been saved for those who have received Christ no longer sin. While those that follow Christ certainly don’t sin habitually, they will end up sinning at some point or another in their walk with the Lord.  That absolutely does not mean you aren’t a believer.  If that were true, what then would we say of King David who not only lured another man’s wife to his chambers and lay with her, but also had her husband killed?  What of Abraham who lied about his wife being his sister?  What about Moses striking the rock with the stick in anger instead of tapping it as the Lord instructed him.  We will make mistakes in judgment at one time or another; however, if we truly seek to follow God’s standards for living we will have a feeling of conviction from the Holy Spirit and desire to 1) seek forgiveness and 2) seek to alter our behavior in the future.
      It is obviously better if we don’t sin at all, but that is unrealistic.  We shouldn’t become uptight regarding sins we might commit.  Rather, we should spend our time seeking to learn more of God’s character, for that is what we are to imitate.  We sin out of ignorance many times and that is nobody’s fault but our own.  The more time we involve God in every aspect of our lives, the less we will be tempted to go off on rabbit trails.  The path we are to stick to is the one laid out before us by the Lord Himself.  It is the narrow path that leads us over hills and down thru valleys, around obstacles and thru difficulties. 
     We can learn from every twist and turn we encounter in life as long as we are attentive to God’s word and His will for us.  Jesus is our advocate, our lawyer, so to speak.  He stands up for us before the Father and declares that His blood has removed our sin.  So if you think you’ve finally crossed the line and there’s no turning back, think again.  As long as you are seeking to please the Lord with your life, a momentary lapse in reason isn’t going to send you to hell.  You must always remember to confess it and move past it.  Our sins are never held against us, nor are we ever reminded of them again.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  The Asbury Bible Commentary; The American Heritage Dictionary; The Reformation Study Bible.

* Micah 7:19  “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” 
* Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." 
* Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” 

* Jeremiah 31:34 “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Friday, September 25, 2015

RECEIVING THE PROMISE

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.” 1 Hebrews 10:36-37
         Yesterday we spoke of perseverance as a “stick-to-it” attitude.  Here is what the American Heritage Dictionary has to say about perseverance: To remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.”  This is exactly what God expects from us; to remain constant in doing His will. 
         God has a general will for the corporate body of Christ and a personal will based on using the gifts and talents He gave you for the glory of the kingdom.  There will be days when we will simply want to shut things down for a while, but the Lord needs us to always be ready to share the hope that is within us.2 Down time is essential for anyone, but we must always be mindful of the cost of our salvation so as never to take it for granted. 
         The promise the writer of Hebrews is speaking of is our eternal inheritance.  We shall live with God for all eternity.  The condition is surrendering your will over to the Lord and living according to His will for your life.  It’s not a matter of simply being forgiven.  What has Christ’s death on a cross done to you within your soul and spirit?  Living outside God’s standards while calling yourself a Christian is a contradiction of the highest order. Live like Christ matters to you.  Live like your belief in God is more than just a concept you have accepted.  Let your belief and faith permeate into your bone and marrow until it flows out of you like living water.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  The Reformation Study Bible; The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
1 Habakkuk 2:3  “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; It will certainly come and will not delay.”


2 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, … .”