BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Monday, October 31, 2016

IT’S NOTHING WE’VE DONE

Ephesians 2:8-9 New Living Translation
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
            There is nothing you can do to earn forgiveness from the sin you have committed throughout your life … not one single thing.  That statement alone will probably cause more than a few readers to say “but I’m not a sinner”.  I suppose it depends on what your definition of sinner is, but unfortunately we don’t get to decide what sin is or isn’t.  The Creator of the Universe decides that.  He has rules laid out thru the Ten Commandments that are established to bring about a peaceful, fulfilling life to its’ adherents.  Knowing full well that mortal man could never live by these Laws without slipping up God set up a sacrificial system to pay for man’s sin.  It involved the blood of an animal without spot or blemish. 
            Wishing to include his entire creation in his plan for the salvation of man, God sent his Son to be born, minister and die for all sin.  That’s a heavy load to bear.  Even the sins of one man is a heavy load, but we are talking about the weight of all sin committed by all people since the beginning of time.  Jesus came to die because God knew he was the only one pure and sinless enough to take on all sin and be successful in eradicating it.  The undeserved favor of God (his grace) was the greatest gift ever given to man, yet man seems generally unaware of it.  Even those who have been redeemed and cleansed seem to have a difficult time getting their arms around it. 
            When we receive a gift we accept it, say thank you and put it to it’s associated use.  In the case of salvation, we are to apply the knowledge of sins forgiven to our life and allow it to revolutionize everything in and around us.  It’s nothing to brag about, but rather is something to invite others to take part in.  A life fulfilled is not one that serves and pleases only ourselves.  It is meant to enable us to be God’s arm extended as a means of assisting others in Christ’s name.  Live like Jesus each day and treat other not as they deserve to be treated, but the way you would like to be treated instead.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

Luke 18:27 New Living Translation
(Jesus) replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
IMPOSSIBLE: 1. Incapable of having existence or of occurring; 2. Not capable of being accomplished; 3. Unacceptable, intolerable; 4. extremely difficult to deal with or tolerate.

POSSIBLE: 1. Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances; 2. Capable of occurring or being done without offense to character, nature, or custom. 3. Capable of favorable development.
            Perhaps you are in a situation that looks extremely difficult. Maybe you fell it cannot be accomplished. To the human eye this may be true, however, God doesn’t see things the way we do.  God is the great I AM. He existed before creation. He created everything we can see all around us. Is there anything that could possibly be impossible to Him?          
            Knowing the Creator of the Universe personally will tend to change your perspective on a few things. I know a few things about the character of God and one thing I know is that it’s impossible for Him to lie; according to Hebrews 6:18 that is an unchangeable truth. There is no falsehood in Almighty God. This I believe by faith.
            Doesn’t it seem strange that we would place our trust in so many people who are naturally prone to lie and yet not give credence to the maker of all things? He does as He wishes at any time. That which seems impossible, is possible in the economy of God.  If you can bring yourself to trust in God you can believe in Him to do that which seems totally illogical and yes, even impossible.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.

NOTE: The dictionary used was the American Heritage Dictionary of English.

Friday, October 28, 2016

GOD'S LIVING WORD

2 Peter 1:20-21 New Living Translation
“Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit and they spoke from God.” 
          It is by faith that we believe this statement made by the Apostle Peter. We weren’t there. We cannot know the truth of it. We all believe something. Some believe in God, others believe there is no God. It is a choice we all must make, but we better be sure in our choice. We have a free will. What does that mean? In a nutshell it means we are able and allowed to choose as we please; in other words, believe whatever we want to believe. I made a choice in 1979 to believe in God. It was a deliberate choice. No one made me make that choice. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do and even now I do not question my decision. It has been the most important and most positive thing I have ever done in my life.
            Peter is declaring that whatever prophecy was spoken was not spoken strictly by humans of their own volition, but rather by the unction or direction of the Holy Spirit of God. They were compelled within their own spirits to speak forth or write down that which was revealed to them. As we read scripture I believe we find truth and in that truth we find peace and hope.  Frankly, if you aren’t in relationship with God then this would make no logical sense to you at all. It takes work to understand the things of God. It takes discipline and determination. It takes patience and perseverance.  Knowing God is a life-long pursuit. There’s no way you can do this on your own, which is why we‘re given the Holy Spirit.
          The prophets spoke the words of God to His people and they listened … most of the time. Is everything in the Bible absolutely accurate and true? I believe it is. Perhaps I am na├»ve, but I would rather believe it, learn it, love it and live it than spend my life trying to prove it is false. If we open our hearts to the word of God we will realize that God is real and His word is vital to our existence as Christians. If it weren’t why would people be trying to silence its proclamation? If it were just another book then why would people want it removed? For that matter, why is Jesus Christ the lone religious figure that stirs up so much violence and hate? Would that happen if it were not true?  No other ‘religious’ leader thru the ages has been so reviled, which was predicted in scripture.  Yet we weren’t saved from our sin to prove others wrong but rather to be a living example of God’s love, grace and mercy to this sin ravaged world.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

CHRISTIANITY IN A NUTSHELL

Proverbs 3:5-7 New Living Translation
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”
                  This happens to be my favorite portion of scripture and the first verses I ever learned back in 1979 when I gave my heart to the Lord.  I feel that it encapsulates the Christian walk perfectly.  There are many things in this life that we simply do not understand and probably never will.  That’s precisely why it‘s by faith that we believe and are saved and not thru anything experiential.  We don’t experience the Lord until we believe in his existence by faith.  Those who deny his existence demand for him to show himself so that they might believe never realizing that he is all around them in the things he has created. 
            The will of God seems so elusive at times, but if you pay close attention while reading the scripture you will find that it’s really pretty clear. Live your life imitating Christ in obedience to God’s word and spread the gospel message whenever and wherever you can.  I feel those are the main ingredients to God’s general will in each believer’s life.  His personal will for us as individuals is up to you to find out.  It’s not a secret, but it takes seeking, praying and listening to his spirit.  It is the mature Christian that hears the voice of God thru the whispers of the Holy Spirit and senses the direction that he is to go.  God wants to lead us into every blessing and also wants to use us as we find out and hone the gifts he has given us.
            We are never, ever to be prideful or arrogant regarding our abilities or wisdom, for they are given to us by the Lord and were not attained thru anything we may have done.  God will endow believers with wisdom if and when they need it. We do not receive Godly wisdom simply for the sake of having it.  All gifts are given so that we might us them to further the kingdom of God.  Be attentive, be humble and always view God with a sense of awe for he is a mighty and powerful God.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SEEKING GODLY WISDOM

Proverbs 9:10 Amplified Bible / New Living Translation
“The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.”
            There are many people who misunderstand the meaning of the phrase to “fear the Lord”.  What it does not mean is that we are to be afraid of him, but rather to revere and be in awe of him simply for who he is.  This is a theme that appears in the seventh verse of the first chapter as well. It says, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”  The foolish shun wisdom and mock God, believing in their heart that they have it all together.  Sadly most will not find out until it is far too late that they didn’t really understand anything at all.
            Getting to know God isn’t strictly knowing facts about him, but having an intimate, personal relationship with him.  The word ‘intimate’ in this case means ‘close’.  It should be our spiritual goal to truly know God and place everything in his care.  Once we arrive in heaven with our Lord we shall know even as we are known.*
            We must not strive to be part of the crowd by emulating them; rather we must strive to emulate our creator God.  Jesus was the example in flesh to show us how to act and what to say.  If you are in awe of God’s character than you will serve him, not out of obligation or fear, but out of reverence and awe at his glory and majesty as seen in nature all around us.  Seek understanding and insight into the things of the Lord and you will grow in spiritual maturity. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Amplified Bible & The Life Application Study Bible

* 1 Corinthians 13:12; James 1:5 & 2 Peter 1:2-4.