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, October 31, 2015

GOD’S GRACE

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
     God’s grace is His undeserved favor.  He offered us forgiveness for all our disobedience, which is counted as sin, without us having to do anything.  The power to believe in God is given by God, but a person must utilize that God-given power or it is of no benefit to them.  There is nothing we could ever do to earn our way into heaven. Sadly, some religions teach that it is your good works for the Lord that enables you to achieve heaven as your ultimate eternal destination. That teaching is a contradiction to what Paul clearly states above.
     Salvation is the forgiveness of sin; a universal truth that is available to all mankind. No good thing can earn us salvation..  You can’t earn it; you certainly cannot buy it because it’s not for sale. It is a gift.  Like any gift we are offered, we must take possession of it and then we must open it or it is of no use to us.  If it were merely our natural abilities that were required to achieve heaven then some would have an advantage over another. It applies to everyone and is available to everyone
     "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Isaiah 42:8) Scripture is clear, God will not share glory with anyone or anything.  Neither man nor idol shall be given praise in God’s economy. God alone brought forgiveness into being as His remedy for man’s sin problem. God alone is the One who can administer it, for our sin is against Him.  Once we are forgiven our sin is cast into the sea of forgetfulness and remembered against us no more.  This doesn’t mean the Lord is forgetful, it means He chooses to not remember our sin against us ever again.  Don’t take God’s grace for granted. Live for God. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resources: Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible; The Asbury Bible Commentary.

Friday, October 30, 2015

HEIRS TO GOD’S GLORY

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT)
     The light afflictions and troubles that we experience this side of heaven are nothing compared to the glory that waits for us in heaven.  In spite of this we allow them to weigh us down to the point that we become like a truck mired in mud, spinning our wheels. Our countenance falls; our eyes stay in a downward gaze as if searching for something on the ground. But there is nothing to see there, for our hope lies in the heavenlies. It is in God that we find our hope. It is in God that we find our peace. And it is in God that we find our guidance. The enemy of our soul would have us stuck in idle forever. He would have us going nowhere, as if we were on a perpetual merry-go-round, constantly moving, yet making no progress and ending up exactly where we started.
     The troubles we go thru prepare us for a great reward one day.  We need to see our trials and troubles as lessons to be learned.  If we ask the Lord what He wants us to learn from a given situation, we can grow spiritually.  That is how our faith and trust in God increases.  Scripture tells us of joy that is ahead. “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.” (1 Peter 1:6-7; NLT) In Paul’s letter to the Romans he speaks of heirs of God’s glory: “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”  (Romans 8:17; NLT)
     So what is the answer to this mess we continually find ourselves in? Rebuking the enemy is a good place to start. Do it in the name of Jesus and you might be surprised at the results. Then seek the face of God afresh and anew.  Ask Him to clear your mind. Ask Him to remind you of all the blessings you that are yours thanks to simply knowing Him. And make a conscience effort to know Him more. If we spent half as much time pondering the wonders of God as we do wondering why we find ourselves in the circumstances we are in, we would be much better off. Our enemy is a cruel taskmaster. He wishes to bog us down in fear, worry and doubt. These emotions are NOT from God. They are the antithesis of what God provides and wishes for us. Seek the face of God. His yoke is easy and His burden light.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!!

Resources: The Reformation Study Bible.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

NOT SEEING IS BELIEVING

“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9
     Peter, who was the Apostle to the Jews, refers to the recipients of his letter as “God’s chosen people” (v.1).  They were Jews who had come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was in fact their much anticipated Messiah.  These folks had never laid eyes on Jesus, yet they have come to love Him.  That is the work of the Holy Spirit. 
     God reveals Himself thru the Holy Spirit, which ignites a flame of faith that chooses to embrace Him with love.  That is the beginning of what a true Biblical Christian is.  Our faith gives birth to trust.  When we trust God we win salvation.  Salvation is God’s willing forgiveness for every act of disobedience we have ever committed.  Trusting in an unseen God seems crazy to those around us, however, this equation is the only way we could ever hope to please God.
     Believing in the unseen is difficult without God’s involvement.  We need spiritual eyesight to see what the world cannot.  God isn’t hidden from us, but rather is in full view.
While we may not actually see Him, we can see the evidence of His existence all around us if we choose to.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)  For those who choose to find God, He will be found. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

The translation used is the New International Version.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

“For the word of God is alive and powerful.  It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 NLT
     What do we mean when we say God’s word is alive?  We mean that it’s active.  It can seize the conscience of a sinner and cut him to the heart.  It can also “comfort him and bind up the wounds of the soul.” 1 It is also very powerful.  The Word of the Lord can convince, convert and comfort with power.   It can pull down the strong holds of the enemy               (2 Corinthians 10:4-5), raise the dead, heal the deaf and blind, cause mutes to speak and lame men to walk.  God’s Word is so powerful that it can crush Satan’s kingdom and build the kingdom of Christ upon its ruins.  Never doubt the supreme power of the Word of God.
     It is said that wielding a two-edged sword is far more dangerous than a single edge blade.  The double-edged sword cuts both on the forward and backward stroke.  The meaning of it cutting between joint and marrow is simply that it cuts into our most intimate parts of the body.  It is a symbolic reference that represents cutting off “the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life”. 2
     God knows our deepest thoughts and the intents of our heart.  The Word of God helps us stay on the path set before us.  Conviction from the Holy Spirit and from scripture is designed not to break us and leave us broken, but rather to break us down with the sole purpose of building us up more in His image.  This is the reason why it is so critical that we spend time in His Word.  It is the lifeblood of the Christian.  Without the Bible to guide us we are like a rudderless ship without a compass.  Living without God’s direction would be like driving down a narrow, winding mountain road at 90 mph in the dark with your headlights off.   Lay yourself bare before the Creator of the universe and surrender your will over to the One who knows you better than you know yourself.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
1  Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Old & New Testament.
2  For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world.”  (1 John 2:16)

“People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25a

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

GOD’S WORD

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT
     The scripture that Paul is speaking to Timothy about is the Old Testament and not the new, which was not yet written. We know from the Gospel accounts and the evidence revealed in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (aka, The Book of Acts), that the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus disciples, who then became Apostles.  When it was time for them to chronicle the events they had seen with their own eyes, these mostly unlearned men wrote down what the Spirit revealed to them.  Some were learned men, like Luke who was a physician; Paul who had studied at the feet of well-known and respected Rabbis’ and Matthew, who was a tax collector. Some were not learned like Simon Peter, his brother Andrew and brothers James and John, who were common fishermen. Based on this information it is fair to say that most of these men most assuredly had never written down anything of this magnitude before.  Now whether an individual believes the Word of God is the Lord speaking thru obedient followers or not is up to them. Like anything in Christendom, it takes faith and trust.
     Peter, the unlearned fisherman, wrote the following in his second letter: “Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) If a person refuses to believe the truth and goodness of scripture then obviously God’s Word will be of no use to them.
     It is a matter of faith that we believe in an unseen deity at all. It is a conscious choice that all mankind must make. God is the author, source and authority of all Scripture. Human authors penned it, but nevertheless scripture has the full weight of God’s authority behind it. God’s word is the only tool given to us to equip us so we might be used by our Maker to bring glory to His name. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
NOTE: The translation used is THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION.
RESOURCES: Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible; The Reformation Study Bible; The Asbury Bible Commentary; Barnes’ Notes on the Bible; American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
Disciple - One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.

Apostle - any important early teacher of Christianity or a Christian missionary to a people.