BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

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

AUTHOR BLOG LINK: http://rlkeller-christianauthor.blogspot.com

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, December 31, 2016

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

2 Corinthians 5:17 New Living Translation
… anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
            It’s the last day of 2016; the day when people all over the world make resolutions for the upcoming year.  A resolution to lose weight, a resolution to be kinder, one to be less aggressive or more patient.  People come up with resolutions to be a better person; to do things differently as if it were a new life they had been given.  Well Christians truly have been given a new life.
            Salvation may be many things, but it is not reformation, rehabilitation or reeducation.  Believers are re-created on the inside.  People have a change of heart, but God’s people receive a new heart; one that seeks to live this new life as Christ lived his. 
Look at Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae.  He wrote: “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” [1]
            Resolutions are harmless and many times, all best intentions aside, go by the wayside rather rapidly once the New Year starts.  Living as Christ each day is a resolution that has eternal ramifications.  Don’t allow another year to go by without taking seriously the commitment that comes with being a representative of Almighty God. You were created to do great things, not in the world’s eyes, but in the Lord’s.  We may be a failure in the eyes of this world, but with each selfless thing we do for another in the name of Jesus a jewel in placed in our crown.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource:  The Life Application Study Bible.

[1]Colossians 2:6-7 New Living Translation

Friday, December 30, 2016

JESUS AT THE TEMPLE

LUKE 2:41-44 NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.”
     According to Mosaic Law every Jewish male was required to go to Jerusalem 3 times per year. Since Jesus was nearly a man at 12 years of age, it would be only natural according to their custom to be involved in this, the most important of the three annual festivals held by the Jews.  Passover commemorated the night God killed all of the Egyptian’s firstborn, yet passed over the home of the Israelites.*           
     When families went long distances they normally traveled in caravans with the women and children up front and the men taking up the rear. This provided protection from robbers during their trek thru the desert and as they passed remote outposts.  After the festival was over, Jesus stayed behind, unbeknownst to his parents, to speak with the Rabbi who were in the Temple courtyard. Jesus fascinated these men mainly due to the wisdom by which he spoke. He asked questions of them and listened intently to their answers. 
         Like any parents, they were frantic when they realized their son wasn’t with either traveling group. They rushed back to Jerusalem only to find Jesus conversing with the religious teachers. It was where he belonged.  It was his Father’s house.  We can learn something from this story. First, we need to have a heart for the truth of God and sincerely want to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord just as Jesus did. Secondly, we need to understand that fellowship with God is far more important than anything or anybody else in our lives. It doesn’t mean we become arrogant, rude, inconsiderate or disrespectful to anyone as a result of our commitment.  It does mean that we must seek his will and his way in our life so that we end up following the path HE has set before us. To Jesus it was only natural that he would be at the Temple speaking about the things of God. We should study the life of Christ and imitate it as best we can with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible; The Matthew Henry Commentary of the Bible.

* Exodus 12:21-36

Thursday, December 29, 2016

ANNA, THE PROPHETESS

LUKE 2:36-39  NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
“Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.”
         Anna, was a prophetess, indicating not that she predicted future events, but rather that she was exceptionally close to God.  A prophet’s main role was to speak for God by proclaiming his truth to the people of Israel. Anna and Simeon are just two of the many Jews who were anticipating the coming of the Messiah.  Being spokespersons for the Almighty, they were keenly in tune with godly events that were to transpire. Just as God granted Simeon’s wish to allow him to see with his own eyes the Deliverer of God’s people, so too he allowed Anna, who at 84 years old had waited a very long time to see the Messiah as well. 
         Anna was a young widow, having lost her husband after only 7 years of marriage. She dedicated the remainder of her life to serving the Lord. Being a prophetess it is likely that she had some sort of lodging provided at the Temple where she stayed day and night worshipping God. Her constant presence there allowed others to consult with her or seek her advice on important spiritual matters.  It is very likely that she lived in an almost constant state of prayer. While everyone has other duties to perform throughout the day, we need to always be ready to pray.  Prayer grabs ahold of the Lord and makes things happen in his timing.  Since nothing ever surprises him, God is always well aware of our needs and what we are praying for. We pray for our benefit and the benefit of those we pray for so that when the answer does come our faith can be bolstered and our spirit encouraged. 
         The last portion of the above scriptures states that Jesus was “filled with wisdom and God’s favor was on him”. What a wonderful thing to be said about someone.  Because we are redeemed by Christ’s blood God’s favor is upon us as well.  It is his grace, God’s undeserved favor which he blankets us with if we establish a personal relationship with him.  If you wish to grow in wisdom as Christ did, then we must draw close to the Lord and immerse ourselves in his word.  Allow yourself to be led by his Spirit.  This is what a follower of Jesus Christ does.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible; The Matthew Henry Commentary on the Bible.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

SIMEON’S PROPHESY

LUKE 2:25-27 New Living Translation
“At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.”
      The thought I would like to convey deals with Joseph & Mary’s trip to the Temple in Jerusalem to have their child circumcised.  It was then that he was given the name Jesus.  Simeon, led by the Holy Spirit of God, came to the Temple, went up to Joseph & Mary, took the baby in his arms, praised God and prophesied regarding the child.  In verses 34 & 35 Simeon spoke of many in Israel falling and many rising because of Jesus.  There would be no neutral ground. Like today, people would either joyfully accept him or totally reject him.
         Mary would suffer greatly because of the widespread hatred and rejection her son would face.  This causes me to reflect on the many people who suffer because of harm done to their loved one(s). Too many times they blame the Lord and turn away from their faith in him.  There is nowhere in scripture that says anyone’s life would be easy; neither saved nor unsaved. In spite of grief and hardship it is those who cling to what they have believed that are at some point rewarded for their tenacity of faith. 
         The existence of Jesus Christ is paradoxical in nature in that the results of his life cause two major differences in emotional response. Love and hate are two diametrically opposed emotions, which react like oil and water or fire and ice. One cannot coexist with the other.  This is what the birth of the Christ child caused and still causes, a paradox of major proportions. Men’s deepest thoughts, buried deep within their hearts, were & will be brought to light. The coming of Jesus wasn’t just any event in history, but the one event that makes all other events, with the exception of his death and resurrection, pale in comparison. Whether he was born in April, October or on December 25th it matters not. What type of manger or dwelling he was born in doesn’t matter either.  The fact that he WAS born makes all the difference to mankind in the world.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource:  The Life Application Study Bible.
Paradox – “A statement that seems to contradict itself but may nonetheless be true.”  

Monday, December 26, 2016

NEXT POST WED, DEC 28

Taking a very brief hiatus to enjoy family during this celebratory time of year.  My hope is that you have had a blessed Christmas and going forward you will have a happy and healthy new year; a year where you prosper even as your soul prospers.  

God bless ... 
rlkeller
Bread of Life Ministries

Saturday, December 24, 2016

WHO IS JESUS?

Mark 1:1 New Living Translation
“This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.”
       According to certain sources there are over 200 names for Jesus in scripture. We already know from the verse above that Jesus is called the “Son of God”.  This shone a light on his special relationship to God.  He is also called the “Son of Man” which revealed his human identity.  He is referred to as the “Son of David” because he is a direct descendant of King David.  Jesus is called the “Word” because he reveals God.  He is called the “Lamb of God” because he is the sinless sacrifice that atoned for all the world’s sin.  He is called “Christ”, the “Anointed One” of God.  He is called “Savior”, for only he is the One who saves. He is called Rabbi (Teacher) because he taught his followers about the things of God.  He is called the “Alpha and Omega”, the beginning and end of all things.  He is the “Lion of Judah”, the title given for the Messiah.  He is the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, which signifies that he is the ruler over all people.  He is the “Bright Morning Star” for he is the One who gives true light.  He is the “Word of God” for he is the voice of God to the people.  These and more are listed throughout the New Testament as identifiers for Jesus of Nazareth. 
          There are several names listed for Jesus in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament as well.  Jesus is called “Immanuel” which means “God with us”.  It’s the name the Angel told Mary and Joseph to call the baby. He is referred to as the “Prince of Peace” because he is the bringer of everlasting peace.  He is called “Wonderful Advisor” for he will always rule with honesty and justice.
He is called “Mighty God” for he is supreme over all his creation and he is call the “Eternal Father” simply because he is eternal; there is no beginning or end to him. 
          The Advent Season is a special time when we reflect not only on the baby Jesus and his coming into the world, but all the events and people that were a part of this historic time.  I’ve tried to cover events and individuals that I thought would shed some additional light on the holiday season.  Regardless of what this dying, sin sick world may think, Christ is the reason for the season and the Savior of the world.  We must never be so consumed with what the holiday has become to forget its’ true meaning.  No amount of good deeds will ever win one entrance into heaven. Only receipt of the one true and eternal gift of forgiveness and a changed life will open your door to eternity with the Lord.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!


Merry Christmas to all.
May the Lord of Light touch and bless you all and may your new year be happy, healthy and prosperous even as your soul prospers.
Rlkeller

Bread of Life Ministries

Friday, December 23, 2016

ANGELS

Luke 2:8-10 New Living Translation
“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.’”
          People have many different ideas about angels and what they look like.  We envision anything from chubby little children with wings flitting about to beautiful women in shiny white gowns with sparkling wings. According to scripture neither appears to be the case. In Daniel, the prophet describes what he saw during his encounter with an angel: “I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.” [1] In Matthew’s gospel the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb where Jesus’ body lay were severely shaken and collapsed like dead men at the sight of an angel: “Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.” [2]
          We can learn several things from these two accounts. 1) These angels sound like very large  men who were extremely strong; 2) there appearance was so striking that it immediately struck fear in the hearts of those who encountered them. 
         According to Jack Wellman[3] angels are not composed of physical matter, but are spirit beings created by God for God.  They took on human form when they encountered mortals, typically in the male gender. They do the bidding of the Lord and perform duties for God more so then for man.  They are messengers of God and “agents to bring punishment and display his holy wrath.” A good example can be found in Revelation 18:21[4].  So when an angel suddenly appeared before the Shepherds at night and they were terrified you can understand a little clearer why.  The angel was there to proclaim the glorious news of Christ’s birth.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
[1] Daniel 10:5-6
[2] Matthew 28:2-3
[3] Jack Wellman is a father and grandfather and a Christian author, freelance writer, and pastor at the Mulvane (KS) Brethren church in Mulvane, Kansas. He did graduate work at Moody Bible Institute. His books are inexpensive paperbacks that are theological in nature: “Teaching Children The Gospel/How to Raise Godly Children,“ “Do Babies Go To Heaven?/Why Does God Allow Suffering?,“ "The Great Omission; Reaching the Lost for Christ," and “Blind Chance or Intelligent Design?, Empirical Methodologies & the Bible."         

[4]  “Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a huge millstone. He threw it into the ocean and shouted, ‘Just like this, the great city Babylon will be thrown down with violence and will never be found again.’”