BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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MINISTRY BLOG LINK: http://pandevidamin.blogspot.com

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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, April 30, 2016

WALKING A HIGHER PATH

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9
       This portion of Isaiah is directed to the nation of Israel in exile.  The grace that God offers them is beyond their comprehension.  The prophet is telling Israel there is hope of deliverance for them if they will place their unwavering trust once again in their God. 
     These two verses can be applied to many different scenarios in the life of today’s believer.  We, who draw on our own limited resources, can dip into the pool of wisdom that God provides and follow him to higher ground where his way is seen clearly.  While God’s path is not void of potholes and rough terrain, we have his Holy Spirit as our guide if we choose to utilize him.  There is nothing that can harm us or impede our progress when we rely on the Lord.  His thoughts and ways are so far higher than our own that we could never attain them without knowing him.  It is, as with all things associated with God, a matter of faith and trust.  Relying on our Heavenly Father to lead and guide us into all things that are good and fair and just is what we are called to do.
       If our focus is not on the Lord each day we can easily be drawn off the righteous path into a ditch or worse.  Tap into that which is infinite and eternal and find out what it means to truly be free.  It takes a diligent effort on your part to attain such things, but with the help of the Spirit there is nothing you can not do. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Friday, April 29, 2016

DOING GOOD IN THIS LIFE

“Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.” Psalm 34:12-16
      Scripture outlines a formula to achieve a good life.  Turn from evil, do good, seek peace and tell no lies.  That seems pretty straightforward. Believers in Christ are called to devote their lives to pursuing God’s standard for living and share their faith when and wherever they’re led to.  God’s watching us; He hears us when we cry out.  Just because we can’t see Him doesn’t mean He isn’t there.
       We needn’t seek retribution against those who wish us harm, for the Lord is against those who do evil, particularly those whom He calls His children.  Our responsibility is not to war against those who strive to derail us.  It’s to seek and serve God and leave the unnecessary distractions to the Lord.  He will cause their deeds to come to nothing in the end.
       Whatever takes place in our lives is either caused or allowed by God.  He orchestrates events like pieces in a massive chess game so that the outcome is to our ultimate benefit and advantage in the end.  Even when things don’t go as we’d like, there are reasons that are unknown and lessons to be learned.  The lessons are important, the reasons are not or they’d be made known. Everything in a believer’s life is based on faith and trust.  If we trust God without hesitation and live according to the standards He’s set forth, we will have nothing to fear in this life.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

NO PLACE TO HIDE

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”  Luke 19:10  NLT
       There is a great divide between God and man that was created by sin.  Man wanted to do what he thought was best rather than what God knew was best.  It began with Adam and Eve and kept on going like a snowball rolling down a steep embankment, getting larger and gaining momentum.  Eventually it would come crashing down and that would be the end of it.  That is sin.  Many times it starts small, but once you justify the first one it starts to become easier and easier until you are embroiled in a full fledged ungodly lifestyle.  Your decisions have benefited you so much so that you barely recognize the wrongness of what you’re doing. 
       It can even happen to believers.  Soon the once clear voice of the Holy Spirit begins to be drowned out by the white noise of our manic society.  Things that challenge our faith don’t seem so wrong anymore.  The malaise that creeps into our soul keeps us from God’s word, keeps us from church … even our brethren don’t seem to matter to us anymore.  God is in the saving and restoring business.  Even those who know Christ in a personal way can feel lost.  The interesting difference between the unsaved feeling lost and the saved feeling lost is that the unsaved truly are lost, while the saved have been duped into believing they have no hope by the satanic influences of this world.
       No matter which person you are today, I’m here to tell you there is always hope until time is no more.  God loves you more than you can even fathom.  He will stop at nothing to either bring you in to the fold or bring you back in.  I have heard God referred to as ‘the hound of heaven’. 1 A hound is used for hunting purposes.  That’s because they get on a scent and will not give up until they’ve found what they’re after.  There’s no place to hide in God’s creation (Jeremiah 23:24).  He seeks those who are lost due to His never-ending love for us all.  Until next time, walk with the king and be a blessing!
1 A poem by Francis Thompson (1859-1907) which is about attempting to run from the love of God.  In the end he is in the midst of God’s glorious heavenly saints.

Jeremiah 23:24 “Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

OUR FOREVER PRIEST

“There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save (completely) those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:23-25 NLT
       In the Old Testament, priests came exclusively from the tribe of Levi. They were assigned sacred religious duties associated with the worship of God and the sacrificing of animals to pay for the people’s sins. They had a limited existence by virtue of their mortality.  They were born, lived to serve the Lord and passed on to their eternal reward.     
       Melchizedek was a godly priest who had no recorded beginning and no recorded end.  His genealogy shows no parents or kin.  Since no one knew from whence he came or anything else about him other then he was a priest of the Most High God he was considered forever a priest. Jesus also has no beginning and no end; therefore His priesthood is likened to that of the great Melchizedek.
       Christ is our forever priest, the only One qualified and willing to administer forgiveness to all those who would ask for it.  Unlike the forgiveness that is offered in the Old Testament, the forgiveness given by the Lord is once for all time.  Once saved, we are completely and totally rid of all sin that held us in bondage.  Not only is forgiveness in the offing, but Christ is also forever our intercessor with the Holy Father.  Nothing can separate us from His love, mercy and grace, nothing but our own desire to be separated.  No one can snatch us out of His mighty hand, but we can jump out.  Count the cost of knowing Christ, but also count the cost of walking away.  We have a golden opportunity in this life as believers to live for the kingdom in Jesus name.  Let’s take the time to soak in His goodness and mercy and pass it on to others in need of hope.  Until next time, walk with the king and be a mercy.

Resource:  Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2012.       

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

REJECTION INVITES SALVATION

“For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.”  Colossians 1:27 NLT
       Israel, God’s chosen ones, rejected His plan of salvation thru the blood of Christ; therefore, the plan was made available to the entire world.  In his letter to the Colossians, Paul was letting the gentiles know that they are now a part of God’s family due to this rejection of Jesus (Romans 11:11-31). The Jews expected a warrior king who would crush the head of their Roman oppressors, but instead got something quite different. Jesus talk of love and mercy, grace and peace left them cold. They couldn’t see past the veil God himself had put in front of their eyes. 
       The Lord provided a secret ingredient to the salvation He provided.  It was the fact that Christ lived in them and being no respecter of persons, He lives in us as well.  Inviting Christ into our hearts to dwell in the person of the Holy Spirit ushers a whole new chapter into our lives.  It invites us to become spiritually mature thru growth administered by the Spirit within. 
       We can be assured, due to scriptures like this one, that our future eternal home with the Lord is guaranteed by virtue of Christ’s blood and our reliance on it to cleanse us of all sin.  If it were not for the grace and mercy of God we would have been left in our sin to fend for ourselves.  With no other way to become cleansed from our sin we would have left this world and spent eternity in hell.  With the assurance we have, we should feel deeply compelled to live our lives for God each day.  Never allow yourself to forget all that you have been saved from and rejoice that this day you are free.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource:  Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2012.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A RANSOM WAS PAID

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT
       A ransom is the paying of a certain price to obtain one’s freedom.  In Biblical times a slave was ransomed thru the money a person paid for their freedom.  Our Heavenly Father, knowing how desperately engulfed in sin His creation was, paid the ultimate price to ransom us.  It’s interesting to me how this translation refers to a person’s life prior to their conversion.  It’s empty.  Anything that’s empty can be of no value to anyone.  For example, an empty water jug, an empty gas can, an empty bank account and so on.  If not filled with something, preferably what it is designed to hold, it is of no help to us.  Our soul had been bought back from the edge of sins ledge and has had new life breathed into it.  Only the One who created us can do that for us. 
       I’m sure you must realize that all the amassed riches of the world cannot save us from our sin.  Anything this world offers is temporal in that it shall either decay and crumble into dust or lose it’s value over time.  The only thing that could possibly erase every sin and wash us white as freshly fallen snow is the blood of Christ.  He is the spotless Lamb spoken of in scripture.  He is the only sinless One who conquered death and the grave.  He is the only One that now sits enthroned at the right hand of the Holy Father. 
       There is no only name by which men may be saved (Acts 4:12).  Men attempt to find a simpler way to get to heaven.  However, these ways are without sacrifice or a standard to follow. Men fail to listen to the one story that can liberate them from the bondage they are in.  They are heavy laden with sin and don’t realize it.  They’ll come up with all sorts of ideas, notions and concepts to replace the one way to eternal life.  It’s so much simpler than most realize.  Access to God’s heaven only comes thru Christ’s blood.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource(s):  American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011; published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company and the Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2012.

Friday, April 22, 2016

WE’RE SAFE IN GOD

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” John 10:28-30 NLT
       Those that are born again in the name of Jesus are forgiven of all their sins and have eternal life awaiting them when they pass from this life to the next.  While we will die in the physical some day, in the spirit we shall never die. Satan can buffet us about, however, he cannot touch our soul or steal from us our right to an eternal home with the Lord. Once we receive Christ we can rest in the knowledge that our eternal destination is secure.  Does that mean we can do as we please from that point on?  Well, yeah, if that’s what you want, but that isn’t what God intends for us. That’s why we have the scriptures and brethren to spend time with. That’s why we pray and worship the Lord alone or corporately in a church setting, to grow spiritually.  If you do none of those things you will never grow spiritually and that will cause you to be tossed to and fro by every errant thought and wind of change.
       God is watching over His children at all times.  If you are in His constant care, who could possibly snatch you from His mighty hand?  The devil himself can’t. The evildoers of this world can destroy your fleshly body, but they can’t destroy either your soul or your spirit.  That is what God holds in the palm of His hand. 
       Jesus says something interesting in verse 30.  It’s a simple statement, yet it packs a powerful punch.  The Father and I are one. Now they are not the same identical person, they are rather one in spiritual essence and nature.  Therefore Jesus wasn’t just a good teacher, a healer or a prophet like those of the Old Testament.  No, Jesus was and is God.  Essence is one’s character or the fundamental properties that make them who they are.  Therefore Christ was the essence of the Father.  Add the Holy Spirit and you have the Trinity.  Three separate entities who are individuals yet are the same in nature and character.  There is no one we should be more willing to follow and learn from then the Lord Jesus.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2012.