BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Monday, November 30, 2015

GIVING THANKS

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. …He remembered us in our low estate. His love endures forever.”  Psalm 136: 1, 23
     There is no record of who the author is of this Psalm, but it’s content tells us of the heart from which it is written.  It is a grateful heart, one that remembers what the Lord had done and knows full well what He can do in the future.  It’s no different with believers today.  Those who truly know God and have a grateful heart towards those things He has done for them.  They understand where they have been compared to where they are now.  They also are ever mindful of what may have happened to them had the Lord not saved them from themselves.
     This Psalm contains three distinct portions of praise to the God of gods and Lord of lords (vv. 2-3).  The first portion gives us six verses of praise to our Creator (vv.4-9).  Six more speak of the Jews deliverance from the land of Egypt (vv.10-15).  The third gives us seven verses regarding the Jews journey thru the wilderness and their entrance into the land of Canaan (vv.16-22).  There are 2 verses speaking to God’s present mercy (vv.23-34) and a last verse speaking of our never ending praise to Him (v.26).
     There is nothing God would not do for His faithful children.  He isn’t a genie in a bottle that will answer every request you utter.  He is a loving Heavenly Father who hears us when we call out to Him and gives us exactly what we need, when we need it.  It may not always be what we want, but He knows what we need and has promised to meet those needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).   We are to give Him endless praise for His love for us endures forever!  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing.

RESOURCES:  Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

IT’S GOD’S CHOICE

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”  1 Corinthians 1:27-29
     There are those in this life who consider themselves wise, yet their wisdom pales in comparison to the wisdom of the One who made them.  Others spend countless hours in fitness centers pumping iron to get strong only to strut their stuff in public as a means of showing off their newfound physique. Their so-called strength is nothing compared to the power of Almighty God.  God has chosen to use the things considered weak and foolish to advance the kingdom. He has chosen to use those that society has cast off as less desirable to proclaim His goodness. Perhaps it’s because they are the most pliable, the most easily molded into what He seeks to use. Those who see themselves as wise or strong do so to their own discredit. Their conceit is their undoing. They take credit for things that they haven’t done and therefore diminish the role of God who shares His glory with no one (Isaiah 48:8 &11).
     It should be made clear that we are talking about those that are perceived by society to be weak and foolish by worldly standards. God can use what and whom He chooses to accomplish His will. Humbleness and humility are two traits Christians are to have. The self-proclaimed wise or strong men are not who God is looking for to perform service in His name.  Their fixation on self makes them of little use to Him.  It is the meek, the humble, the passed over who God delights in using. They are the ones who think of themselves as unworthy; however, it’s God who lifts them up and makes them worthy. What the world things of us is irrelevant. Being seen as worthy by our Heavenly Father is all that is truly important. Moses was a murderer with a speech impediment, David was an adulterer and also a murderer, Noah was a drunk, Jacob was a liar, Rehab was a prostitute, Jonah ran from God, Peter had a quick temper – they have one thing in common: they were all used mightily by God.  God knew their heart and knew that though they all had made errors in judgment a time or two, they always came full circle back around to God, who is the source for all things that are meaningful.
     Those whom He chooses to use are flawed, fault-filled people who, as a result, seek no glory for themselves. They seem to understand who God is in the grand scheme of things and realize that they are incapable of anything without His guidance and assistance.  It’s truly an honor to be used by God.  He could have chosen anyone in creation and He has chosen you.  Live your life to the fullest for the Lord.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

NOTE: Translation used is the New International Version.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

HAPPY THANKSGIVING
and
may God richly bless one and all!
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The next devotional will be posted 
Saturday morning, November 28th, 2015.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BELIEVING THE UNSEEN

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed —a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.1 , 2’” Romans 1:17
     Why is having faith important? To not have faith is to believe only what you can see, taste and touch for yourself.  To not have faith is to be like ‘Doubting’ Thomas who wouldn’t believe Christ was alive from the dead until he could touch where the nails had entered His hands and where the spear had pierced His side (John 20:19-31). We are being asked as Christians to believe in the unseen. The world says, “seeing is believing”; Christians say, not seeing we believe anyway”.  It must seem strange to non-believers that those who believe place their trust in something or someone they cannot sit down and have a conversation with. Believing such a thing defies logic. Even the fact that a man would willingly die for another man is illogical. Who would do such a thing? It boggles the mind of believers and non-believers alike. Yet we are not being asked to understand it; there’s nothing to figure out. We are being asked to believe and trust in an unseen deity who exists in an unseen spiritual realm. 
     Once we let go of our sensibilities and consider the possibilities of such a thing actually being true, we open ourselves up to God’s Spirit, who can expand our vision and ignite the ember that resides within us all.  Once we give God the chance to change us from the inside out, we will never be the same. Everything looks different; we begin to see things we never saw before. We see things through spiritual eyes.
     We are not just asked to belief but also to rely on God. Believing is one thing, but allowing God to guide and direct you is quite another. As we begin to know God better through reading and hearing the word preached, we start to embark on a wonderful journey. We need to be Christ centered in our thinking and our actions. It’s a growing process that never ends. If we allow God to do His work in us it will be impossible to remain the same as we once were.
     God sees us as righteous through our acceptance of the forgiveness He freely gives. Our righteousness was born out of our faith to believe the unseen. A heavy price was paid for our redemption. A price we are unable to pay. We must live our lives soberly, enjoying it, but not abusing it. In the end our lives speak volumes to those all around us. Make your life count for the kingdom. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
1  “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright - but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.” Habakkuk 2:4
2 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BE THANKFUL YEAR ROUND

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”   Psalm 100:4-5 NLT
     In the Old Testament, under the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, only the High Priest was to go into the inner courts of the Lord.  By God’s mercy, His courts are now accessible to us, even the inner most place behind the veil which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.  We should thank Him for His great mercy.  Too many of us have stepped away from an in depth relationship with our Creator God.  We have become comfortable, even satisfied with the peripheral union we have allowed.  We need to reflect on all He means to us and all He has willingly done for us and ask the Lord to draw us closer to His side.
     It is always a good thing to give thanks to God.  Without Him we have no forgiveness and without forgiveness we have no hope.  For that alone we should praise His name.  His love is steadfast and true.  In Him there is no shadow of turning 1.  “(God) has entered into covenant with his people, and he will never revoke it, nor alter the thing that has gone out of his lips.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)  This is good news.  It means God can be trusted and relied upon.  Scripture reveals no time when the Lord didn’t follow thru on a promise.  He cannot fail.  With Him at the wheel of our ship, neither can we.  Staying in tune with God’s Holy Spirit is the safest and best way to know Christ better.
     The Lord desires our praise and worship.  He wishes us to come to Him and lift up His name.  Thanksgiving for the believer shouldn’t be celebrated one time a year, but instead, every day for there is always something to thank God for.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary; The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon.

1 “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)

Monday, November 23, 2015

AN AMBASSADOR FOR CHRIST

“…whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:17
     When we give our life over to Christ we become His representatives or ambassadors.  Our lives should begin to be a reflection of Christ’s.  It’s not immediate, but rather a progressive thing.  As much as we put into knowing God is how quickly we will be that reflection.  That’s what we’re to strive for; to be just like Christ in all situations. We are the beneficiaries if we make that our life’s work. The aim of all our words and actions is to bring glory to God.
     With all the trials and tribulations that we endure in our lifetime, living each moment for Christ can be harder than it needs to be.  If that’s the case we need to be more diligent in feeding our spirit man.  We are ambassadors to the King.  We have a mission.  We are to bring the gospel message into the highways and the by-ways.  Some will listen and respond favorably and others will tune you out and go on with their lives.  Don’t be discouraged.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)  We aren’t the ones who do the saving.  We may be planters one day and one who waters the next.  It matters not.  What matters is that you are ready for the call to step out in faith and minister in the name of Christ.
     With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, many people are thinking about the things they are thankful for.  Consider this though; shouldn’t every day be Thanksgiving for the believer?  I challenge you to start your daily prayers with thanksgiving to God.  Thank Him for who He is and what He has done and is doing in your life.  Acknowledge who He is and who you are in Him.  It will lift your spirit and ignite your soul.  Be Christ’s representative. Let folks see the Lord in all you say and do.  And thank God for choosing to use you.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources:  Barnes’ Notes of the Bible; Adam Clarke’s Commentary; The Asbury Bible Commentary.
REPRESENTATIVE – “One that serves as a delegate or agent for another.” - American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company