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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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

BEING LED BY GOD’S WISDOM

Proverbs 9:10-12 New Living Translation
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.”
       Fear of the Lord repeats a sentiment that is first laid out in Proverbs 1:7 and is not being afraid of the Lord, but rather treating him with awe, reverence and respect.  That is the base that we are to start with to gain Godly wisdom.  Using good judgment comes from our knowledge of the things of God.  The closer our relationship is with God, the better judgment we should theoretically have.  One who is wise is one who has or shows experience, knowledge, and good judgment in all matters of life.
      Solomon’s Proverbs are meant to instruct and guide us into a deeper understanding of the finer points of God. They speak to our needs and refresh us with council. We are to take heed and not merely skim through them as if it were a race or some sort of rigid obligation. We are to read all scripture slowly and let it soak into our heart, mind and soul.  God’s word can and will change us from the inside out If we allow it.         
       Our acceptance of God is accepting as reality the abstract belief that though not seen in a physical sense, he is real and is to be worshipped. Solomon is telling us in essence that wisdom begins and ends with God. The beginning is when we bow down to him and allow the spirit of God do his work in us. Once we receive Christ into our lives our understanding begins to grow and expand. We must pay attention so as not to miss any nugget of truth expressed within the book. Being in a hurry makes reading nothing more than an exercise; however, reflecting on what is being said will nourish our soul. Reading and remembering is vital to our spiritual well being. A willing and teachable spirit is required to get anything out of the scriptures in general and out of the Proverbs in particular.  We need to cultivate the ‘want to’ because we don’t have to read the Bible.  We don’t have to do anything, but doing nothing will keep us from being all God knows we can be in this life.  This life isn’t about US; it’s about God and who we are in him. Live to please God with your life.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible

Monday, August 29, 2016

GOD’S BLUEPRINT FOR LIVING

2 Timothy 3:16-17 New Living Translation 
“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.
       There are those who don’t believe in the existence of God. Not believing in God, they dismiss the Bible as His inerrant word. I choose to believe that all scripture is from the mouth of God and was given to those faithful believers who would wrote it down through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I choose to believe scripture when it says that it is useful to us. 
       Can I prove God exists? No. Can I prove the Bible is His inerrant word? No; but Christianity isn’t a belief system based on evidence, it’s a belief system based on faith. Faith requires no evidence. When you truly believe in something by faith it permeates your soul and changes you. The word of God is meant to change you from the inside out. You have to believe it and place your full trust in an unseen deity. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith; a five letter word that spells the difference between heaven and hell. The whole redemptive process starts with faith. God, Jesus Christ, forgiveness from sin, new life, eternal home with the Lord; nothing comes into play unless you start with faith.
          So having said all that, those that choose to believe in God and in His word should know that it is a very useful tool for all the things Paul mentions in his second letter to Timothy. How can we possibly know how to act or react as believers without an example or a blueprint for living? Christ is our example and the Bible is our blueprint. We must understand that when Jesus says in John 15:5 that we can do nothing without Him, he is speaking in eternal terms, not physical. I have always taken that verse to mean that while we can go about the normal events in our daily lives like eating, dressing and bathing by ourselves, we can do nothing of any eternal value without the Spirit of God working in and through us. We can do great things in this life for God if we will accept God for who He is and allow Him to do a great work in us. So let’s get out of His way and let God be God in us.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.
Hebrews 11:6  “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

BE A LIVING SACRIFICE

Romans 12:1-2 New Living Translation
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
          Paul was urging the Roman Christians to make their own bodies a living offering to God. To urge is to earnestly recommend or encourage one to do something. It is a statement that is being made with sincere and intense conviction. The sacrificial system in place in the Old Testament and even in the new with the Pharisees and Sadducees (religious leaders in Jesus’ day) involved using animals without flaw. They were cut up and placed on an altar and consumed with fire to atone for sin.  Paul is speaking of a living sacrifice; an individual who is in tune with those things that are pleasing to God. 
       Holy living is a foreign concept to most people in this day and age. We stand as sanctified and holy in the eyes of God due to our acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary; however, his desire for us is to live a life that is set apart for His use.  We are to do that which lines up with His word and thus is pleasing in his sight. Many times, in the interest of comfort or convenience, we make God an afterthought.  We know what we should do but hesitate because it would make our lives a little more complicated.
       The world has one way of doing things and God any quite another. The renewing of our minds comes from reading His word, not reading into it what we want it to say, but reading it with an open heart and mind.  It’s a good thing to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts regarding that which God wants us to know.  Putting God’s word into practice requires being obedient to that which we know we’re being asked to do.  The compassion and understanding of God is limitless; however, there comes a time in each believer’s life when they must allow themselves to be fully transformed by God. In light of his incredible mercy it’s truly the least we can do.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.

Friday, August 26, 2016

GOD THE PEACE-GIVER

Psalm 119:165 New Living Translation
“Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.”
       The world seeks peace of mind, yet it is not found.  Any peace that is found is temporal and dissipates quickly.  Almighty God is the only source of eternal peace of mind.  So many people seek rest from the trials of life, but without the one true source of that rest it shall never be found.  The Lord provides a life devoid of any mental stress and/or anxiety.  Even believers can experience mental stress, depression and/or anxiety.  These are evidence that one has shifted their focus off the Lord and onto the circumstances.  It’s very normal to do that, however, the longer we know the Lord and the closer we become to him, the less likely our focus is to shift.
       Peace of mind comes from a clear conscience.  A guilt-ridden person will have a difficult time achieving peace of mind.  If you have any conscience at all, guilt should lead to feelings of remorse on some level.  To be void of any conscience might make you a sociopath for you would be void of any guilt or remorse regarding your words or actions. Living by God’s standards will not make you perfect, but it will provide a perfect template to follow.
       The author of the 119th Psalm is confident in God’s ability to provide exactly what he’s in need of at a time when he needs it most.  He trusts the Lord with his well being and we should also.  Our perception of God’s inability to meet our need is evidence of our impatience, not his inability.  God is more than able to meet any need we may have, we simply get tired of waiting.  Waiting is a way God uses to stretch our faith and build up in us spiritual endurance.  If we never grew in the things of the Lord we would stagnate.  Standing still is losing ground as others pass you by.  We need to place our undivided, unwavering faith in the one constant who is the only one worthy of our trust.  He has never failed, nor will he ever.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

WALKING IN STEP WITH GOD

Psalm 1:1-3 New International Version
“Blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but who delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on his law day and night. They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”        
       If you look up the word ‘blessed’ it says endowed with divine favor and protection. Those who are children of God, who have received the forgiveness of God through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, are blessed. We are called to live lives that fall in line with the standards set by our Heavenly Father. We are also recipients of His limitless grace. Grace is favor we do not deserve on our own; it is given to us in spite of ourselves and our natural inclinations. It is as the Holy Spirit of God begins to make interior alterations to us that our natural inclinations begin to change, slowly making us more like our Heavenly Father. We no longer have the same desires we once had. We no longer wish to ‘walk in step’ with non-believers. Slowly we become more conscience of His presence in our lives. We begin to make decisions based on how God sees things.
       We are largely unaware of what we need in our lives. Even as believers we don’t realize that the more we delight in obeying the Lord the more spiritually fruitful we will become. Our allegiance is voluntary, for God desires willing followers. It’s our choice; we don’t have to follow Christ.  We can live as we choose; however, as scripture reveals, ‘that which we sow, so shall we reap’.(1) We are to read and know His laws and precepts for in them is life and right living; living that brings joy, peace, hope and fulfillment. 
       In contrast to the verses above, those who do the opposite of that which is portrayed in this Psalm shall be like a tree planted in dry, cracked soil. They shall bear no fruit and their leaves shall wither and fall off.  Rather than prosper, they shall die. Which tree are you?  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.
(1) Do not be misled: God is not mocked. For whatever a man might sow, that also he will reap.” (Galatians 6:7) – Berean Literal Bible, published by Bible Hub.

Note: “As there are two sorts of sowing, one to the flesh, and the other to the Spirit, so will the reckoning be hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” – Matthew Henry Commentary re: Galatians 6:6-11.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

OUR COVENANT WITH GOD

Psalm 94:18-19 New Living Translation
“I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’ but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
       Did you know that when you receive God’s forgiveness and surrender your will to his leadership you enter into covenant with him? A covenant is serious business.  It’s a binding contract, in this case, with the one entity who can see to it that all things work for your benefit.  That is if you honor the covenant. Nothing can neutralize his love for you; his love is unfailing.  However, you can walk away from it, thus neutralizing it in your own mind.  People walk away from God for a wide variety of reasons, none of which are bible based, all of which are ones’ perception. 
       Even when we doubt God’s presence and/or his love for us, he is glad to offer comfort with renewed hope and joy, but we must receive it to become a reality to us.  If we, for some reason, perceive that God has abandoned us, our perception becomes our reality and we begin to sincerely believe it. The enemy likes nothing better than to have us not read scripture, instead believing lies. 
       No matter what situation you find yourself in, God is there and desires to lift you from danger.  You must have faith and trust that he will do what scripture repeatedly says he will do. Things can look very bleak at times, but the Lord does not fail.  Our faith and trust becomes stronger when we patiently wait for God’s plan to materialize.  His support is continual and steadfast.  Even our own faltering faith cannot extinguish it.  The Lord is our one constant in a sea of inconsistency. Trust him and live accordingly.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.