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Bread by Faith

Bread by Faith Devotionals
  1. Today

    April 25: Matthew 16:27-29

    KJV Key Verse: Matthew 16:28
    28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

    Devotion:
    There may be some debate amongst scholars as to whether this passage talks about the times immediately after the day of Pentecost or the final judgement. I’m not here to try and take on the scholars but to look at the spiritual context in which it was probably intended to be read.

    God has given each of us an edict to go out into the world and tell others of His Word. How we do that is largely going to be according to our abilities. There is no way we could all go out and preach God’s Word to others because some do not have that ability. But each of us does need to make sure we do what we can to allow others to know how we stand up for Jesus wherever we go! If we are not doing that, then we are ignoring God’s request. Why should we do that? Are we not assured of our salvation no matter what? (There always seems to be a but just around the corner)

    If we get a steady job, in an ideal world, we are assured of an income from that job. What we are not always assured of is how much money we get from that job. The harder we work, the more likely we will be to get more money for what we do. Oh how easy it is to think of things in worldly terms; money and life! What we need to remember is we are headed for an eternity with God where we will have things which we cannot dream of yet. We will no longer look at things as being dependant on money, wealth or comfort, but rather on things we may not yet understand.

    God continues to reward us with blessings whilst we are here on earth. He continues to give us things and continues to allow us to live so we will be able to be a living testimony for Him. The better we do our job, the more likely we will be rewarded for what we do. The more we are willing to draw closer to God, the closer we will be and the more of His comfort and strength we will feel. It really does depend on what you do after you have accepted Him into your life!

    Points to Ponder:
    Do you like it when your parents reward you?

    How much more would you enjoy rewards that God can give?

  2. Day -1

    April 24: Matthew 16:24-26

    KJV Key Verse: Matthew 16:26
    26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

    Devotion:
    How often do you change the rules so you can get your own way? How often do you make sure you get your own way before others? How often do you do it your way instead of God’s way? If we are going to be honest then we are going to admit to having our own way as our first thought more often than not. Whether we carry it out to completion or not is another matter – our mind is set on ourselves!

    If we really want to be the Christians that Christ wants us to be, then we have to make sure we do allow others to come first in our lives, more specifically to allow God to come first in our lives. If we make sure we start every day with God first in our lives, we are going to at least start off in the right manner. That alone should give us the encouragement to continue doing His will for the rest of the day. But it is those days where we start out by thinking of ourselves first where things may well start to look bad.

    How about focusing on God first by praising Him for what He has done in other people’s lives first, and then for what He has done in your life. Then put forward your prayers asking Him to support/encourage/look after other people and then finally ask Him to encourage you to keep others first in your day.  If we turn over our day to others to show Him (and them) that we are not selfish but want to be able to do His will, then He will answer our prayers. If we are going to be selfish and just think of ourselves and what He can do for us, then would you really expect Him to listen to you? Well, He does! But will you get your own way?

    What gain would we have if we were to get everything going our way, to gain everything, if we would not make it to the first hurdle of actually putting our faith and trust in Him. How would we really feel if we got everything whilst others around us suffered? Do you really want God to make you first in His life, or are you willing to make God first in yours?

    Points to Ponder:
    How often do you get your own way?

    How often do you ask God for your own way, ignoring others?

  3. Day -2

    April 23: Matthew 10:38

    KJV Key Verse: Matthew 10:38
    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

    Devotion:
    What would you think of a person who called you their friend and continued to do what friends should do right up to the point where you had something difficult to do – then disappeared or worse still, supported the other side? Would you then call them a friend, or call them an enemy? Would you think they had been a spy all along just to trap you? What sort of things would go through your mind?

    When we are alone and get into trouble, we have to bear the consequences for what we have done. When we are in a crowd, yet different to everyone else in that crowd, we have to bear the consequences for being different to everyone else… Like a football fan sitting at the wrong end of a stadium in amongst the opposition, we may well feel totally cut off from everything ‘normal’. We may even give in to those around and follow what they are doing just to fit in. What we should be doing is standing up for our beliefs and others around should be respecting that… not much hope for that at a football match!

    Being a Christian is going to mean we will be that odd one out a whole lot more than we used to be – unless we continue to walk amongst other Christians for the rest of our life. But whilst we think that would be good for our strength, comfort and faithfulness, we really need to get out into ‘the other side’ so we can demonstrate our beliefs and actually get stronger and not relax in our ‘safe environment’. Earlier in verse 27 we have Christ saying, “What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear, proclaim on the housetops”. There will be times where we have to be careful and talk in the dark to avoid detection, but most of the time we can and need to be open, true, plain and faithful. Christ could not do so much of the time until the time was right because He knew He would be crucified – we do not have that hanging over us.

    If we are not willing to listen to Christ when He said we should take the gospel and tell it to everybody, then are we any better than a so called friend who has turned and run?

    Points to Ponder:
    Are your parents still there when you find yourself in trouble?

    What more does God have to do before you recognise all you have done?

  4. Day -3

    April 22: Matthew 10:37-42

    KJV Key Verse: Matthew 10:39
    39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

    Devotion:
    When non-Christians tempt us by asking if we love them (or others) more than God our response should be immediate and firm. “Of course I love God more than you!”

    If they are willing to listen a few more seconds you can explain why it is so important to love God with your whole heart. It does not mean to say that you do not love them at all; far from it. For the more we can love God, the more we will be able to love others too – I know it sounds a bit of a cop-out for those who do not fully trust Him, but the more you actually trust God, the more you will understand just how this is possible. It makes your whole life worth living and gives you a much deeper understanding of how love can be whole!

    Can you imagine being able to listen to the thoughts of those around you? Can you imagine what will be going through their minds as you ask them about who they love the most? Think about what actually goes through your mind and then expand that a bit for them! I would probably want to run away and hide in the desert to get away from the constant bickering! Can you now understand why God wants to know that you do love Him? Can you now understand why God wants you to hold Him above all else?

    When we do turn the focus of our attention to Christ, we are able to build up our relationship with Him. Just as any relationship, the first short while (short as in not eternity) will be a rocky ride as you get to know Him. The fact He has already accepted you means He is miles ahead of you in the relationship and He is willing to forgive you already. We tend to have to be in a relationship for a while before we do fully trust in our partners. By showing them respect and trust we are showing them how we love them. By trusting their judgements, we are confirming that love.

    Why should we leave God out of anything in our lives when He has already proven His absolute love for us?

    Points to Ponder:
    How do you judge how much a person loves you?

    Do you think you live up to that with God?

  5. Day -4

    April 21: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

    KJV Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:10
    10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

    Devotion:
    There are two sides to every story, the right side and the wrong side! It is amazing how many people will try to take the words of others and mix them up into something the opposite of everything which was intended. Many people will take God’s Word and try to make it say something which is simply not written down – this way they can confuse others who are genuinely seeking the truth.

    When the apostle talks here about being made strong in his weaknesses, he is not talking about being made strong in his sins. How could we even begin to think about being made strong in any sins when we know that any sin drives a wedge between us and God? How can that then lead to strength? If we want to be made strong, we have to have any wedges removed so we can draw closer to God where we will be able to find strength. The apostle is not talking about walking off by himself and finding his own inner strength, he is talking about the one who strengthens him, God!

    When we find we do have ailments and imperfections (not a weakness to give into temptations, but rather physical or mental imperfections) then we need to remind ourselves how we need to seek His glory rather than our own. Yes, we can submit our prayers to God to beg for those imperfections to be removed, but whatever the outcome we need to remember that everything works to the glory of God. If we are genuinely walking with God, He would not have allowed it if it would not lead to His glory! If we have wondered off track and left Him behind, why blame God? We need to remember that each thing in our lives has a purpose – more often than not we cannot see it, but it has.

    Don’t be tempted to say that your spiritual weakness is there for a reason – that is not what God teaches us… that is just our personal choice we have made! The truth of the matter is that God knows what He is doing and He alone knows what we need to strengthen our relationship with Him!

    Points to Ponder:
    Have you ever tried to take the wrong medicine just to see if it could work?

    Why must we continue to think that we can do better without God?

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