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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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

DISENGAGE YOUR ANGER

James 1:19-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”

an•ger n. A strong feeling of displeasure or hostility.
To make angry; enrage or provoke.

       Why do we get angry? Impatience could be one reason. When things just aren’t going our way on a given day we have a tendency to lose our temper. In the metallurgical world losing temper means simply that the material has either lost its hardness and become soft or lost its flexibility and become brittle. In our case, we have lost our flexibility. We have allowed circumstances beyond our control to get the better of us. We have allowed ourselves to get riled up, to become ticked off and it’s usually all downhill from there. I know because I lose my temper when things don’t go my way sometimes. I’m much better than I used to be, but that side of me still rears its’ ugly head from time to time.  How silly. We allow things that we cannot control get us so upset that we act in uncharacteristic ways and say inappropriate things.
       Fortunately, this comes as no surprise to God. He knows us better than we know ourselves and I think He may just send some of these annoyances our way to see how we handle them. As believers we are to grow spiritually. The resources are at our disposal at all times, we just always seem to be doing something else besides taking advantage of them. We need to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ. Are we acting like it? Are we living like it? God knows we are frail and fault-filled. He also knows what we can be in Him. Let us all avail ourselves of His wonderful tools to become all we can be in Him. It’s a learning process; we are constantly under construction. Let us learn from our mistakes and make adjustments in our behavior so as not to look foolish to others. 
       Each trial comes with a lesson from God attached.  We should be asking Him to reveal that lesson to us so we don’t have to continue to deal with the same type of situations over and over until we get it right.  The Lord loves us and anything that He causes or allows is for our ultimate good and His greatest glory!  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource:  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

Monday, May 30, 2016

ACCOUNTABILITY

Romans 14:12  New Living Translation (NLT)
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.”

ac•count•a•ble adj. responsible to someone for one’s conduct; answerable.
                                                  
       We have been given such a wonderful gift. It is called life. Some embrace it and live, others neglect or abuse it and therefore waste it. What we do in this life that we have been given matters to God. He created us to worship Him and to live for Him that we might receive the multitude of blessings He provides for His creation. We so readily get drawn onto tangent paths that take us places that appear to be good, but turn out bad. We will stand before God someday. What will He say about our life? Notice I asked what He will say to us, not what will we say to Him. I truly don’t believe we will be saying anything, just listening, perhaps some of us for the first time.
       On a day when we recognize and remember our Armed Forces past and present, we should also remember that we too are called to serve. We serve a merciful God. He is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. Someday we will have the privilege of standing before Him. What will He say to us? Did we stand for Him? Did we live for Him? Did we live for others or did we live our lives solely for ourselves? Simply living for oneself rather than for others can diminish a glorious life. God is watching, not to swat us into submission, but rather to protect and guide us into all truth. We should avail ourselves of all He has to offer us. We can look at His creation with new eyes and see the beauty in it, rather than the dysfunction. We are beautiful in God’s sight and a blessing to Him. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

** Thank you to all our Armed Forces past & present,
some who risked their lives 
& others who paid the ultimate price
to keep America safe & free.

May God in His mercy bless America once again! **

Saturday, May 28, 2016

FOOLISHNESS

1 Corinthians 1:18-19 New Living Translation (NLT)
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.  As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” (1)
       Ever wonder why some folks have such disdain for Christians and what we believe?  Part of it is that the message of the cross sounds insane to them.  We believe in the unseen as if we can see it.  Mental Institutions are filled with people who believe very similar things, yet there is a very specific difference.  We are definitely in our right mind.  We simply choose to exercise our faith in such a manner.  I understand why it seems incredible, even unbelievable to the nonbeliever.  We live in an experiential society.  People want to experience things with their six senses; otherwise they are skeptical.  They want to know something is real before they take the leap.   They want to get their hands on it, inspect it and then come to their own conclusions.   Faith in God doesn’t quite work like that.  Sadly, even if God stood among us so that He could be seen, touched and spoken to, millions would still not believe. 
       People make choices every day. With most people outside the family of God, their most important choice isn’t going to be whether they believe in God or not.  They quickly dismiss the question with a “of course I believe” hoping that will cause a change in subject.  Finite minds cannot fathom the plan God set in motion a long time ago.  It’s nonsense that they cannot wrap their mind around. 
       The wisest of the wise will be frustrated in the end, because there is no rational explanation for God’s existence or His gracious offer of forgiveness for every sin we ever committed.  Frankly, we can’t prove God doesn’t exist either.  For those who do believe, those who have placed all their trust in Him to provide for and sustain them, the message of the cross is their salvation.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

(1) Isaiah 29:14 “Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites with amazing wonders.  The wisdom of the wise will pass away and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.”

Friday, May 27, 2016

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Acts 20:24 New Living Translation (NLT)
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
       What’s more important to you, what you get out of life or what you put into it?  What you put into it will dictate what you get out of it.  But if your focus in life is recognition, fun, money and success, then your focus, at least as a Christian, is on the wrong thing. We are to be different than the world.  Look at Paul; his life was one of dedication to the Mosaic Law. He considered it his duty to rid the world of all who followed Christ.  Then his life made a sudden, unexpected turn that would change his focal point forever.  First it was God without Jesus, then it was God thru Jesus.  His whole life was turned upside down.  After his startling conversion he was led to say the above.  His life, his desires, his personal agendas didn’t matter to him any longer.  Unless he was spreading the gospel of Christ he considered his life worthless.
       In the busyness of our days we struggle to stay focused on the things of the Lord.  At times it isn’t very easy.  I have a deep desire to minister to the body of Christ thru the spoken word and my writings.  I have no desire to work a regular job, but rather would choose to focus on the things of God. I work a forty-hour a week job because that’s what the Lord wants from me at this time.  I reflect on the fact that Moses waited 40 years until he participated in the ministry God had for him.  So I write and share God’s grace whenever and wherever I have the opportunity at work or outside of work.  In spite of my time restrictions God manages to use me to be somewhat of a blessing to others and for that I am grateful.  My point is, I hunger to finish the work that has been assigned to me by my Lord. 
       Do you have gifts the Lord has given you?  Are you using them for His glory?  It’s our calling to utilize those gifts we’ve been given to further the kingdom of God in this world.  We must be compelled to do it.  We must be driven to do it.  We take no glory for what we do in the name of Christ, for all glory, honor and praise go to our Creator God.  We do what we do for Him because we have been called and because we can.  We are not to literally feel worthless as human beings if we aren’t out saving the world 24/7, but we should take a hard look at ourselves in the mirror and assess our life in Christ.  Are we doing all we can do for God with the tools He has given us?  Stretch your faith by using your spiritual and natural gifts for His glory and not your own.  We are nothing without Him.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource:  The Application Study Bible – New Living Translation – Tyndale House Publishing, Inc.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

OUR STEADFAST GOD

2 Thessalonians 3:3 New Living Translation (NLT)
“… the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 
         To be faithful is being worthy of trust.  It’s also being reliable and consistent.  This is our God; worthy of our undying devotion and trust for He is consistently reliable in all that He does.  There is no time when God has failed any of His creation.  He is here to lead us through life’s maze by the power of His Holy Spirit.  He will strengthen and protect us from the wiles of the evil one.  That is the steadfast faithfulness of our unchanging God.
          We must understand that just as with Job, Satan must seek permission to harass us.  If this were not true then there would be something out of God’s control and that is impossible.  Satan is the one that attempts to lead us off the narrow path onto rabbit trails that either lead us nowhere or to our ultimate destruction.  This is why we must stick close to the Lord each day.  Read His word for our daily dose of encouragement, edification and direction.  God is faithful and consistently reliable.  Men will fail us, God never has and never will.
          If you are in need of supernatural strength to overcome an obstacle or guidance for the future, you can rely on our trustworthy God to lead, guide and support you through any situation.  See what scripture says about His steadfast nature: “I am the Lord, and I do not change…” (1) and again: “God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, …” (2).  When temptations threaten to overtake you remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (3) God never changes like shifting shadows (James 1:17 New Living Translation NLT)(4).  There is nothing this side of heaven that we can say that about except our Lord. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Reformation Study Bible.
(1) Malachi 3:6 New Living Translation (NLT)
(2) 1 Corinthians 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)
(3) 1 Corinthians 10:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

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