BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Friday, April 28, 2017

THE UNSAVED

But the people were displeased. “He (Jesus) has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Luke 19:7 New Living Translation
     Zacchaeus was a tax collector for the Roman Government. He was not welcome in common social circles & was despised by the general populous. He was short in physical stature, so when Jesus came to town & was walking by, Zacchaeus scrambled up a nearby tree to catch a glimpse of this supposed Messiah. When Jesus spied Zacchaeus up in the tree Jesus told him to come down for he would be coming to his house for a meal. Anyone would have loved to have Jesus as a visitor in their home, but he called out a man that was vile & despicable to all those around him.
     How often do we shun people because of their past or physical appearance? Not knowing their back-story we avoid them as if they carry the plague. Do we realize how UNChrist-like that behavior is? I am so guilty of that myself. I bring shame upon myself because of my preconceived prejudices. How about you?
     Jesus came for the sinner, not the saint. We were all sinners at one time, undesirable to a pure & holy God, yet desirable because he created & loved us regardless of what we had ever said or done. When we find a distasteful trait within our own heart do we go about seeking to alter that behavior or do we shrug it off and continue on?  God knows our shortcomings & is more than willing to help us purge the sinful behavior that lies within us. Submit to the mercy & grace of God & be changed from the inside out. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible

WILLING SERVITUDE

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 New Living Translation
     If we are being asked to have the same attitude as Christ, we must have an understanding regarding what type of attitude Christ had. Almighty God came to earth in the form of mortal man and was named Jesus*. Jesus didn’t shed his deity, but rather willingly submitted to the Father’s will by allowing himself to be restricted by the confines of time and space, just as mortal man was. Man thinks they have rights and seek to exercise those rights whenever they think they are being impinged upon. As a believer in Christ we submit our own will in favor of God’s will, thus laying down our rights. 
     Christ’s attitude was one of humble servitude. He didn’t consider himself superior, even though in reality he was the creator of all things. Rather, he lived among us, setting an example for us as to how we are to live. We are to live a life of submission to God, just as Christ did. Although it is not likely that we will be asked to give up our lives for the sake of our beliefs, Christ picked up that mantle, being willing to die in our place.
     Crucifixion was the form of capital punishment the Romans used on notorious criminals. While Jesus didn’t fit that description, it is what the Father asked of him to eradicate sin from the lives of all those who would believe. He deserves our servitude. He’s earned our submission. We will never have to suffer death as a result of our sin. Christ took care of that for us. All hail the power of Jesus name! Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.

* And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." – Matthew 1:21 NLT

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

OUR PERPETUAL INTERCESSOR

“Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:25 NLT
     The author of Hebrews mentions the distinction between the priests of the Old Testament and the priesthood of Christ. Israel's priests lived and died, thus making it necessary for subsequent priests to be called upon. Jesus was and is and always will be. He defeated death thru his bodily resurrection so his is an eternal priesthood. Nothing needs to be added to the salvation provided by Christ’s death.
     In addition to being our High Priest, he is also our Advocate; the mediator between God and man. The OT High Priests pleaded for the forgiveness of Israel’s sins each year. Jesus lives to perpetually intercede for his children. He stands in the gap between man and God to plead our case. Christ paid the price for our sin so that is exactly what his argument is, that each individual who stands before God as his child has had their sins paid for by the Son of God.
     This is a wonderful gift and blessing, one that should keep us humble, knowing that we deserved eternal damnation for the things we had done. God, in all his grace and mercy, sent his Son to cleanse us. What a mighty God we serve! Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

CHRIST IN YOU

“For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Colossians 1:27 New Living Translation
     The Apostle Paul never visited Colossae. The Colossian church was founded by Epaphras & other converts from his missionary travels. The congregation was made up of Gentiles. False teaching had crept into the church in Colossae, so when word of this issue reached Paul, who was imprisoned in Rome at that time, he wrote this letter. His basic theme was to present to them the complete supremacy of Christ. The heretics were pushing a teaching where only a select few were privileged enough to know God’s greatest secrets.
     Since the Jews rejected their Messiah, not realizing who he was, that opened the door for non-Jews to be grafted into the family of God (Romans 11:11-24). Paul not only points that out to the Colossians, but reveals the true secret of God which really isn’t a secret at all; Christ lives in you. That was true for the believers in Colossae as well as for all believers since then. Christ lives in all true believers in the form of the Holy Spirit. All 3 parts of the Holy Trinity are active in a believer’s life.
     For the sake of clarity, for me a ‘true’ believer is one who has committed his life to Christ and seeks to please God with his thoughts, words & actions. Too many people call themselves Christians, but are in reality are only giving lip service. The Lord with sort such things out on the last day. Until that time we are to be diligent in our commitment to God. Our eternal destination depends on it. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.

Monday, April 24, 2017

TRUSTING WHAT IS UNSEEN

“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 New Living Translation
     The Apostle Peter is more than likely referencing Thomas’ encounter with the risen Jesus from the Gospel of John. In chapter 20 v.29 Jesus tells Thomas and the disciples “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” So that statement would mean not only that the recipients of Peters letter were blessed for believing, but all believers since that time as well.
     There is a phrase ‘Seeing is believing’, but that is not the case with followers of Christ. We are asked to believe in something we cannot see. Man relies heavily on his senses to recognize many things in this life, but a relationship with God doesn’t happen to be one of them. Peter uses the word ‘trust’ and that is exactly what God expects from his followers. We are not asked to understand, only to trust the written word of an unseen, yet infinite and all-powerful God.
     Our reward for trusting in him shall be everlasting life. Those who refuse will spend eternity apart from God, for he only seeks those willing to pledge their allegiance to him voluntarily. You don’t have to serve God or even believe in him, but consequences result from every decision we make, so make sure you make the right choice. Living for God is a lifelong commitment that results in everlasting contentment and fulfillment. Living for yourself gives you finite, temporal results that shall fade away over time. Choose Christ and live. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.