BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Friday, March 31, 2017

GOD’S SACRIFICE

“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:5b-6 New Living Translation
     The fate of the Messiah is revealed in the book of the prophet Isaiah. The sinfulness of man made it necessary for God to come down to earth in bodily form to reveal his true nature and pay the immense sin debt that was owed. The one word that is fascinating in its meaning in the face of such rebellious behavior. With all that man had done and still does today without a thought to the outcome, still the Lord forgives. No matter what you could ever do that would keep you from God, still he loves you. He laid the sins of us all upon himself, for Christ was the only spotless one who could absorb the torment and punishment due such an accumulation of sin. His blood erases any and all sin from a man.
     Scripture tells us that even though we did not know him, hence did not love him; he loved us. True love is this: “not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:10)  Even as believers we rebel, straining at the leash, wishing to do that which we ought not do. We all become tantalized by the lure of this world. It is those with self-control that can withstand the temptations that fly at them. YET, in spite of our wayward nature and our propensity to do things that may be considered ethically or morally sketchy, God shows us mercy by extending his grace to us all. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

RESOURCES: The Life Application Study Bible; The Reformation Study Bible.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

RECONCILED TO GOD

“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 New Living Translation
     The world has a bartering system where two or more items of relatively equal value are exchanged. God didn’t barter with us for our forgiveness, for we had nothing of equal value to trade. The Lord offered his righteousness, something of infinite and immeasurable value for something that was totally worthless.  Our sins were an anchor about our neck; millstones, as it were. We could and still can do nothing on our own to deliver us from our sin. Only the blood of Christ has that cleansing power.
     What Christ did for us we are meant to share as his representatives in this world. Just as God became flesh in the form of Jesus to present his own message of redemption, so we are sent. Aside from our lifestyle differences we blend in to our world and are able to somewhat relate to their plight as we were once as they are. We have a powerful message of a full pardon for all the ungodly deeds man has ever done.
    To this message, some will listen, some reject, but still others will take action, embracing this glorious gift of forgiveness. It’s a gift that cannot be bought or sold. It can however be acquired simply by asking for it. Once acquired it can change the direction one is going in life and change their ultimate destination as well. That’s something worth sharing. Seek God’s leading to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We don’t need to venture out on our own. Let the Spirit lead you. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

THE PEACEMAKER

“…There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.”  1 Timothy 2:5-6 New Living Translation
     There are not many ways to God, only one. The study notes from The Life Application Study Bible for these two verses gives the following illustration: “We can stand on one side of a gorge and discuss the possibility of many bridges across the abyss, but if we are determined to cross, we will have to commit to one bridge.”  If there were many ways to God why would Christ have had to die? Christ was the go between; the only one who could make peace between God and man. We walked away from God and in some cases don’t know the first thing about him. In spite of that he loves us all with a never-ending, completely unconditional love.
     Jesus Christ gave his life up for a very specific reason. He laid his life down in our place to pay the price owed for our sin.  That is the freedom that he purchased. Old Testament sacrifices only covered sin; Christ’s blood washed it away.
     This is the message that God gave us to share with this sin sick, dying world. As Christ’s ambassadors we are to represent him with our lives, displaying his attributes to those we encounter each day. The Holy Spirit enables us and God blesses our efforts. What a wonderful God we serve. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

OUR FORTRESS

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6 New Living Translation
     Psalm 62 is a psalm of David that was written during the time of Absalom’s rebellion*. This is the 2nd time in the psalm that David announces that, 1) he will wait quietly before God & 2) that his hope is in Jehovah.
     A fortress can have walls from 8 to nearly 20 feet thick**, depending on the region it was built. The chances of an enemy blasting thru the walls of the fortress were slim to none. David calls God his rock, his salvation and his fortress. Nothing could have defeated David because he belonged to God. The same holds true with us today. Since God causes or allows everything that takes place in our lives, he can certainly make sure that nothing harms us. If we remain steadfast in our faith and trust in the Lord regardless of our circumstances, we will experience the peace of God that gives birth to hope. 
     The challenge many believers struggle with is waiting quietly. It takes a humble heart and a mature spirit to quietly and expectantly wait for godly results to materialize. It will happen when God knows it is the proper time and not before. The Lord understands our impatience, for we are truly no different than our own children in that regard. We must dig deep into the infinite resources of God’s Word to learn what it takes to quietly and patiently wait for the Lord, even in the face of some calamitous event. God knows what he’s doing at all times and will be that fortress wall for you if you will only rest in his presence. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.
* 2 Samuel 15-18

** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_fortification

Monday, March 27, 2017

SERVING IN HUMILITY

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:3-5 New Living Translation
     A selfish attitude can destroy a church. God, thru the Apostle Paul, stressed to the brethren at Philippi that a humble spirit would give birth to spiritual unity. It is this unity that will promote church growth. This thing called Christianity isn’t about you or me; it is about Christ and what he did to pay for our sins. We are told to have the same humility Christ exhibited when he stood before the Sanhedrin, when we stood before Pilate, when he took the 39 lashes and when he was nailed to the cross. He allowed this to take place for our benefit.
     The attitude of self-righteousness or some ignorant form of grand entitlement must be gotten rid of.  We are nothing without Christ. Absolutely nothing! We are nothing yet we have everything. A humble spirit doesn’t seek to impress others with anything they have said or done. A humble spirit seeks to lift others up.
     The diversity of this world spills over into the church as various ethnicities and personalities come to Christ. This is a factor that makes unity that much more difficult. What is difficult for man is not at all difficult for God. Unity among disagreeing brethren is not impossible, but surrender must take place. It’s our will that must be given up and over to the Lord. Let go of selfish pride and seek to represent Christ with a pure and holy heart. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.