BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BELIEVE IN THE NAME

1 John 3:23-24 New Living Translation
“And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.”
        The Apostle John directs our attention to two of the Ten Commandments passed on to Moses by Almighty God. They are instructive commands that are to be followed. First, we must believe in the name of Jesus. Now believing and having that belief change us are two distinctly different things. To believe in Jesus has to do with understanding who he is, why he came and what he did for us. It’s not like just believing the sky is blue or that birds can fly. Scripture tells us that demons believe in the name of Jesus and tremble at the sound of his name (James 2:19). We must delve into the truth of the Bible to fully comprehend that which we believe.
            The law does not bind us as those in the Old Testament were, but once saved, if you live a life according to the standards of God found throughout the Bible you will end up living out the Ten Commandments. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (John 13:35) We need to lead with love for our brethren and not waver. If not the world will never see any difference in us. We must stand out for all the right reasons so that those outside the fold are drawn in.
            God lives within us if we have given our life over to him. His Spirit dwells inside us to comfort and guide. It’s the payoff for becoming a believer in Christ. Follow God’s lead into fulfillment and peace in spite of your circumstances.
            Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: The Life Application Study Bible and the Reformation Study Bible.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

GOD’S PLANS FOR US

Jeremiah 29:11-13 New Living Translation 
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
            In 586 BC Babylon conquered Judah. At that time the Jewish elders, priests, prophets and all the people were taken into exile; stripped from their homes. For all they knew this was a forever exile from this homeland. They had not honored God with their lives and this was the result.
            The verses above are part of a letter that the Prophet Jeremiah, who wrote from his home in Jerusalem, sent to those exiled to Babylon. This portion of the letter was meant to give the people hope. The Lord told them they would be under Babylonian rule for 70 years at which time they would be allowed to return home to Judah.  After those 70 years the Lord would come to them and fulfill the promises he had made to them.  Although the Jewish people had been disobedient to the Lord, nothing can really break the fellowship they had with God.  They were in a strange land with sorrow, persecution and various physical maladies, yet nothing separated them from the spirit of God. 
            The Lord of the Heavenly Armies said thru Jeremiah that he would listen when they prayed and allow himself to be found by those who seek him. Their future was filled with hope in spite of their present situation, because though they were disobedient, God never went anywhere. He remained on his throne, where he had always been.
            This should speak to our hearts today as well. Should we ever find ourselves in exile due to our own indulgences or sinful behavior, we need to know that while God doesn’t wink at our indiscretions, he does show us mercy and grace when we ask for it. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 24, 2017

USE GOOD JUDGMENT

Proverbs 14:15 New Living Translation
“Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.”

            Simpleton – “A person who is felt to be deficient in judgment, good sense, or intelligence; a fool.”

            Some people have a gullible nature. They are willing to believe whatever they are told regardless of the content of the message.  Everything from gossip to prophetic utterances are excitedly gobbled up by these folks.  This is why having keen insight and good judgment is extremely important. Some have it, others have to develop it; however, the Lord is more than able help you achieve these abilities if you ask him. God respects your free will. He gave that to you and as a result forces nothing on you. Whatever you want from the Lord you need to ask for. If it’s within the parameters of his will for your life you shall receive it. Discernment is something God will most definitely give you if you seek it for it is an important tool in a Christian’s life.
            Those who carefully structure their life according to the standards God sets forth in scripture will be far more likely to consider each step they take wisely. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, has untold riches of wisdom to offer us if we will only avail ourselves of it.  Doing this doesn’t make you any better than anyone else, but it will make you wise in the decision making process. You must read, pray, ponder, reflect, acquire and apply.  Sometimes the process is short, sometimes long, but patience and confidence in God’s ability to do all things will allay any doubts you may have.
            I believe Proverbs 3:5-7 says it best: “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.”  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
- New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

* Resource: American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

PLAN TO DO GOOD

Proverbs 14:22 New Living Translation  
“If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.”
            There are premeditated actions that take place in a person’s life; actions that you plan and carry out, that may not always line up with God’s standard for living. Evil actions are met eventually, if not immediately, with negative consequences. Nothing good or positive ever comes from evil actions. Especially those that are preplanned. God will never honor or bless evil.  Never. Those who do good, whether premeditated or spontaneous, shall be blessed of God. Your heart’s motivation comes into play with actions taken. Did you do it for your own glory or for the glory of God?
            This verse shows that giving thought to the outcome of your actions is paramount in the decision making process. Those who are wise consider the end result of their actions. Those who are foolish make unwise decisions without thought to the consequences at all. They shall reap the folly of those decisions.
            It’s sad to see how many people in this life think they know exactly how to chart their own course without the help of anyone. Those are the ones who end up crashing on the rocks not once but multiple times. Adhering to the wisdom that is written in the Book of Life will assist you in steering clear of the rocks altogether.  Do that which is good in the eyes of the Lord. Seek his wisdom in scripture and abide by it. You will always be a success in the eyes of God if you do.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: Asbury Bible Commentary; Matthew Henry Commentary of the Bible & Reformation Study Bible.
- New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
* Proverbs 12:2 (NLT) “The Lord approves of those who are good, but he condemns those who plan wickedness.”

* Galatians 6:7 (NLT) Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FORGIVING FAULTS

Proverbs 17:9 New Living Translation
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”
            Love is a powerful force. When we overlook one’s faults we are displaying not only mercy and grace, but love.  If we continue to bring up past faults and indiscretions we will lose a friend or loved one. The main thrust of God’s character is one of forgiveness. He has no regrets, nor does he change his mind. He exhibits the characteristics revealed by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the church in Corinth.
Chapter 13, the love chapter; verses 4-7 define ‘love’ better than any other one I’ve ever seen.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

            The underlined portion of scripture above speaks to the headline verse. If you constantly bring up things from the past to make some sort of point in the course of a conversation or argument you are risking the severing of a relationship. It’s unnecessary and serves no good purpose.
            As we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord we must seek to act and react to situations we are confronted with with loving kindness and a sense of forgiveness. We will gain respect and retain a friend. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

RIGHTEOUS THRU FAITH

Psalm 97:12 (GNT)
“All you that are righteous be glad because of what the Lord has done! Remember what the holy God has done, and give thanks to him.”
         Did you realize that once you give your life over to Christ, in addition to having all your past sins removed as if they were never committed, you are looked upon by God as being righteous*? To put it in simple terms, we are clean and stand righteous before God by virtue of what Christ did for us on Calgary’s cross. We are to be glad and should always remember what God through Christ has done for us, for it is something we never could have done for ourselves. For that we should be eternally grateful. I shudder to think of where I would be without Christ in my life. It’s all due to God’s mercy and grace. He saved me from certain death at the hands of my own selfish desires. There is no doubt that we are our own worst enemies. We make wrong decisions based on wants rather than needs and get ourselves into all sorts of trouble all by ourselves..
            Do you trust God today? You can. You cry out to Him only when you feel you need Him most, but I tell you, you need Him always. If you embrace God you receive the greatest love you have ever experienced. Think of it. The One who created you in your mother’s womb loves you and that love will never change. Ever. He loved you before you ever knew Him. The Christian life is not free from problems or pain, but it is filled with the mercy, love and forgiveness of Almighty God. People consider anything to sooth their pain, but the pain doesn’t go away. It’s still there when the dust settles at the end of the day and when the sun rises on a new day. You cannot escape life’s hardships no matter what you do; however, you can go through them knowing in your heart that God is in complete control of all things. You don’t have to simply endure life; you can enjoy it to the fullest in the face of any obstacle. God doesn’t remove obstacles, but rather teaches you thru them to deal effectively with all life’s many issues, if you will listen. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
NOTE : GNT is the Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition) Copyright © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
RIGHTEOUS (def): Morally upright; without guilt or sin.

Philippians 3:9 (GNT) “I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law. I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith.”