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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Thursday, December 31, 2015

LEARNING FROM CIRCUMSTANCES

The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, … .  Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced.”  Joel 2:25-26  
     Are you in despair regarding your present circumstances?  Do you feel that the enemy has had his way with you? Fear not, for your God is very much aware of all that afflicts you and causes you distress.  Your Heavenly Father has allowed your present circumstances to teach you to trust Him. Nothing that you are going through will harm you if you will trust God. He has promised to provide for you and sustain you throughout your life as you serve Him.
     Having said that, one must realize that you cannot do as you please expecting God to wink at transgression and bless you regardless of your behavior.  We are here to praise Him both verbally and with our lives.  Wallowing in self-pity due to our present situation serves no positive purpose.  Is He not alive? Does He not see?  Has He not blessed you countless times throughout your life? Why would He stop now?  Focus on God, not the circumstances. It’s a matter of faith and trust. Faith, that the seeds of your circumstances will grow and provide a harvest of blessing in His time. Trust, because He has never given any of us a reason not to.  Rely on him as a cripple relies on a cane. Why do I use the example of a ‘cripple’ … because we are all crippled by our own humanity.  In spite of this the love of God shines a bright light on the path we are to follow. 
     Your circumstances are but for a season. When you are on the backside of them you will hardly remember them.  So don’t allow worry and fear to steal your joy. Rejoice that God has the situation well in hand and in a time He has foreordained, the clouds will part and the sun will shine again. Nothing that happens to you this day can separate you from the love of God and His providence.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
NOTE:  The translation used is the New Living Translation, published by Tyndale House Publishers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

TROUBLED TIMES REQUIRE TRUST

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”  John 14:1  NLT
     While this verse leads into Jesus speaking of his return and our place with him in heaven, I wanted to tap into the first verse as a stand-alone statement.  We live in troubling times.  The economy is down, prices are up, wages are down and jobs are few and far between.  Terrorist attacks create apprehension in the world and our natural inclination is to become deeply troubled. Christians are faced with an important choice.  Will we trust God when things become their worst or will we not?  To trust him only when things are going our way is a spiritually immature way to view life.  The growth process that takes place in a believer can be stunted if we give in to fear and panic regarding life events that inflict their instability upon us.  Understanding that things that take place in life are either caused or allowed by a holy, righteous and almighty God should enable us to shove fear aside and maintain a calm spirit. 
     Believers all have times when troubling events grab them by the throat.  We’re human, not divine; therefore we must learn to lean on the Lord during such times as these.  We must strap ourselves to the mast of life and ride out the troubling circumstances.  We may become battered and bruised, but we will benefit from these events and come out stronger than when they first started. 
     Trust is akin to hope, in that when we trust we are placing our hope in that person or thing.  In the case of the Christian, our trust and hope is in He who created us.  The Lord alone is the only one who truly knows what we need and how to effectively meet those needs.  Becoming troubled or even depressed by our circumstances leads us down a road where trust fades and hope seems unreachable.  Place your full faith and trust in God, shedding your cares like a winter coat on a summer day and look to the Lord to lighten your burdens.  He is the only one who can.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

NOTE:  Translation used is the New Living Translation, published by Tyndale House Publishers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

REST FOR THE WEARY

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28 NLT
     Notice Christ doesn’t invite those who are strong, but rather those who are weak and weary.  We all become bone weary at times.  It is at those specific times that we are to reach out to the Lord and give our burdens over to him.  We can continue to carry them if we so choose, but we certainly don’t have to.  Christ wishes to replace our weariness with rest and our stress with peace.  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  John 14:27
     “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)  There can be a lot to be anxious about in this life.  This anxiety is another way our lives can become burdensome. The very thing that is weighing us down must be turned over to God.  Christ can and will give you rest if you ask for it.  Remember, the Lord wishes for us to be at peace.  We think more clearly when we are at peace.  We are more Christ-like when we are at peace.  His peace cannot be found on earth.  It comes from heavenly realms of glory.  It comes from the finger of God.  Ask for it and wait for the tension to flow from you.  Peace, comfort and rest can so subtly infuse itself into your life that before you know it your stress is gone. 
     I am asked at times why I always seem so relaxed, calm and happy.  I am quick to tell them that it’s the Lord God working in me.  It’s God’s work and nothing I am doing on my own.  I know my redeemer lives.  I know he is real and I know who I am in him. If you are stressed, lay it at the feet of Christ and trust that it will be taken care of.  It may happen in an instant or over time, but either way God isn’t in the business of building up hopes just to knock us down.  He will answer the call, without question.  Receive the peace of God and lay your burdens down.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

NOTE:  The New Living Translation, Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers Inc.

Monday, December 28, 2015

GIVE YOUR PRAISE TO THE LORD

“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”  Psalm 103:1-2 NLT
     Have you ever felt like praising God?  Now I’ve heard non-believers say “thank God” or “hallelujah” when things go their way, but I don’t think they mean it the way believers do.  I say that because they are the same people that blame God when things don’t go the way they want them to.  A true believer in Christ will learn thru life’s circumstances to praise God in the good and the bad.  Job learned that lesson the hard way.  He lost everything he owned including his children thru dire calamitous events.  Let’s take a look at Job 2:9-10:  (Job’s) wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”  He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman.  Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”  Job never forgot all the good God had done for him.  Even when he was sitting on an ash heap covered in boils he still maintained his faith in the Lord.
     My belief is that we should be ready to praise the Lord at all times.  I feel it is highly productive and spiritually uplifting to praise the name of the Lord to start our prayers.  God doesn’t need to be reminded of all the wondrous things He has done down thru the ages, but it does wonders to stabilize our faith.  Whenever you find yourself in difficult circumstances, remember all that God has done for you.  Even if He did nothing else, redemption alone would be reason enough to praise and glorify His name for all eternity. 
     David wrote this Psalm to honor the Lord.  He did that quite often.  Do you take the time outside of church to praise and glorify the name of the Lord?  Do you ever recite some of His great deeds throughout scripture and in your own life?  It’s a faith building exercise that will benefit you greatly.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

NOTE: The translation used is the New Living Translation (NLT), Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers Inc.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

IF CHRIST HAD NOT COME


[ I first read this devotional a number of years ago and have never forgotten its profound message. Here I post a copy of Christ’s Consolation taken from Mrs. Charles Cowman’s wonderful devotional Streams in the Desert. ]

     “A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, “If Christ had not come.” It was founded upon our Savior’s words, “If I had not come.” The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.
     In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared.
     A ring at the door-bell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with, the weeping child and as he reached the home he sat down and said, “I have something here that will comfort you.” He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.
     Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open Heaven, but only “dust to dust, ashes to ashes,” and one long eternal farewell. He realized at length that “He had not come,” and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.
     Suddenly he woke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by: 
“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,
O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.”
Let us be glad and rejoice today, because “He has come.” And let us remember the annunciation of the angel, “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10, 11).”
Public domain content taken from Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman.

Merry CHRISTmas to all.  
Christ is the reason for this wonderful season.

My next devotional will be posted 
Monday, Dec 28th.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

OUR SAVIOR

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”  Luke 2:8-11  NLT
     There are several points I’d like to make from this portion of scripture.  I believe the sight of an angel, any angel, would be terrifyingly beautiful.  It would radiate with God’s glory and have a voice that cut thru any other noise that was present.  For the angel to utter the word Don’t be afraid must mean that he saw fear in the eyes and the faces of the shepherds.  I believe it’s a fair bet that they had never seen a celestial being before.  I think it is safe to say the angel had their attention.
     The next point is what the angel was there to announce.  The Savior of the people of Israel had been born exactly where the Old Testament prophecies had said. (see Micah 5:2)  He is the Savior because he saves us all from our sins or as I like to say, from ourselves.  I say that because if we were left to our own devices only God knows where we would end up. 
     As the Messiah, Jesus Christ was the liberator of God’s people and by extension Gentiles who would receive as well.  He didn’t come as a warrior King, but rather as an infant.  He was under God’s protection otherwise Herod would have succeeded with his plan to erase all Jewish newborn male children.  Jesus came to save those who were lost.  This is the basic meaning of Christmas.  Not gifts, but forgiveness.  Not parties, but Hallelujahs.  What does Christmas mean to you?  While there is nothing wrong with celebrating the holiday with family and friends, never forget the friend who sticks closer than a brother and died so that you might live.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Note:  The American Heritage Dictionary was used for any and all definitions.