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Bread by Faith

Bread by Faith Devotionals
  1. Today

    September 19: Isaiah 61:1-7

    KJV Key Verse: Isaiah 61:1
    1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted*, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

    Do you think you find it difficult to pray for certain people? What makes it difficult for you to pray? How about telling others about Jesus? How about telling your family the gospel story? The prophet says here how the Spirit of the Lord is the one who enables him to do things; this is exactly what Jesus said would happen for each of us too – the Holy Spirit would enable us to do and say things.

    I find it difficult to say things to other when they are saying things against me or despising what I am trying to say in one way or another. I have learned to turn things over to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide me in what I say and when I say it. No, I don’t always listen, because I am stubborn and allow my feeling to get in the way at times – but I know God knows me better than anyone else and know He is always trying new ways to guide me. If I do continue to get tongue tied, it is normally because I have not spent enough time listening…

    God wants us to reach out to the people who do not have hope in their lives because they are often the ones who will listen; if we can show them hope, they are willing to stop and listen. This does not mean we stop preaching to the rich and famous, just don’t expect a nice easy ride when you do try to reach them – they are more likely to be side-lined by things going on in their lives which they have learned to look out for quickest.

    God wants all people to be reached with the gospel. Those who turn their backs on Him because they are caught up in worldly pursuits are going to need to have their eyes opened – sometimes the best way is by them seeing the biggest change in others who have got to know Christ. Seeing someone turn their lives around from a life embedded in crime and deceit to an open and honest life can make a big impression on others; we need to reach them just as much as our friends and families. Allow people to have their lives released from being captives of this world!

    Points to Ponder:
    How often do you tell others about Jesus?

    Have you tried living your life so others see the difference?

  2. Day -1

    September 18: 2 Timothy 4:1-5

    KJV Key Verse: 2 Timothy 4:2
    2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

    We do have more of a duty than to just talk nicely about Jesus and a God who loves everyone; we have the duty to tell people the truth about things which will also mean telling them about the things they should not be doing. It is not an easy job to tell people when things are wrong, but without them knowing the difference between right and wrong, they do not have much hope of getting to understand Jesus and His ways.

    Do you find it easier to believe someone who always says the same thing, or someone who tells you different things all the time? Yes, quite subjective I know, but by in large we do find it much easier to believe someone if they don’t keep changing the story they are telling! But blindly believing someone just because they repeat something time and time again is not right – we need to discern what is right and wrong by comparing it with something which is known to be the truth.

    But where do we start to find out the ‘base’ truth? By continually comparing what people say with what others say, we can normally find common ground and agreements between the slightly different stories. You may notice the different letters/books in the bible do say things in different ways, but there is common ground where things agree and we can discern what is true from that. Just as lawyers try to find common witness statements to find out whether subjects are innocent or guilty, so should we be doing the same.

    With this in mind, we then have to be careful about what we say to others. If we tell one person one thing and another something else, they may talk to each other and find out we are telling different stories. Should they be expected to believe us? What happens when someone says they don’t believe us? Should we give up and move on? Patience and persistence are two things I have grown to learn and exercise daily when talking about God to others. Take you time talking to others so you do not confuse them by talking at them; share the gospel carefully and diligently!

    Points to Ponder:
    How often do you give up telling others about God?

    Do you always tell people the same thing – there is only one truth!

  3. Day -2

    September 17: Matthew 13:10-16

    KJV Key Verse: Matthew 13:15
    15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

    Do you hate it when people talk ‘Christianese’ at you? It is not going to help anyone understand God if Christians talk in their own code or language. I Know the Jews would do that during the war to prevent the Germans from knowing who were Jews and who was not, but when we are trying to talk to others about Christ, we need to be able to speak to them in a way they will get the big picture!

    It is not our job to forgive them. It is not our job to take away their sins. That belongs to Christ because He is the one who willingly gave His life on the cross instead of us having to pay for our sins with our own deaths. What Christ has asked us to do is to take the message about the gospel to other people who have not heard it yet; the Holy Spirit will then give them the understanding they need when they are willing to listen and see.

    The concept of free choice was nothing new but Jesus made sure we would understand it properly by making sure the disciples themselves knew exactly what He was saying. So, how do we go about giving people the best chance at understanding the truth and getting to know Christ? Asking questions is always a good way of finding out what we need to know when we don’t quite get it. If we don’t ask the questions, how are we going to find out the truth?

    Have you ever noticed the worst teachers were normally the ones who just stood up and spoke at you, but the better teachers would get you involved with the talk and even got you to ask questions! When we tell people about Christ, we should not be talking at them and throwing all our latest Christian sayings at them – there is nothing better to turn them off than that sort of attitude. Getting them involved with what you are saying and giving them the chance to ask questions is much better…

    Points to Ponder:
    Do you like people talking at you or to you?

    How often do you ask questions about God?

  4. Day -3

    September 16: Hebrews 3:7-13

    KJV Key Verse: Hebrews 3:8
    8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

    The writer reminds the Hebrews here of what God had said and done and what the Holy Spirit wanted them to remember – but they would have to try and listen to the Holy Spirit first of all. There is nothing new about listening out for the Holy Spirit; this is how Jesus taught the disciples and how we need to confirm our relationships with God today, just as they were doing so back in the times just after Christ was here on earth.

    We will go through tough times and during those times it may well seem a lot easier to go the way of the world instead of stopping and listening out for God and His instructions. It may well sound a better idea to go with the flow and see how many people you can make happy; but it is not what God is calling you to do. God calls us to stand up for what is righteous and truthful, to spread the gospel message and to listen out for new instructions in our lives.

    So why do people shy away from listening out for the Holy Spirit today? Because it is easier to go along with something you can see and touch than to rely on something unseen. That is what faith is all about, not just believing in the unseen, but stopping and listening out for what God is trying to tell you. Jesus is not here to give us the words in plain language; but He left behind someone who is trying to talk to us in plain language. The Holy Spirit is here with us and trying to give us our daily instructions.

    Stop for a while now and just wait to hear from God; wait to hear what He is trying to tell you today. He is not a God who has written down things and expects you to follow those instructions to the letter – that was written down for the people at the time. But those instructions are still important for us to understand God and to know what to listen for and to look out for. Stop now and listen…

    Points to Ponder:
    How often do you stop and listen?

    Are you willing to obey the Holy Spirit?

  5. Day -4

    September 15: Acts 14:8-20

    KJV Key Verse: Acts 14:15
    15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein*:

    Has there been a time in your life when people have gathered around to give you praise for something you have not actually done? What was your response to that praise? Do people know the truth yet?

    Paul and Barnabas were following God’s calling and going out to the gentiles to spread the gospel. They had also listened to what Christ said when He told the apostles to go out and heal people in His name. They were under no illusion that it was Christ doing the healing, but they were the ones who people saw ‘performing the miracles.’ How they reacted to the outcome of those miracles is probably quite different to how we react to every day situations in our lives. Far too often we are willing to accept the praise and adoration for things we do not do; that is not what God taught us!

    Paul and Barnabas had to go a bit further than what we would want to go – they had to face a crowd who turned viscous on them because they dared to question what they thought was right. I know it is judicious to step back from certain situations in life just to help keep the peace but taking on the praise due to God is what Satan did and what he wants us to do so he can take the glory away from God! Don’t just sit there and take God’s glory!

    God is the one showing us miracles each and every day, miracles we take for granted and don’t praise Him for. The miracle of life, be it in animals, vegetables or anything else; God is the one behind it all and the one keeping that life going every day. God is the one who answers our prayers and allows us to heal and help others. We may work for a ‘living’ and get paid earthly wages to buy things with, but without God instituting this regime in the beginning, we would have nothing to go on. Give God the praise He deserves for all the things He does, always!

    Points to Ponder:
    Do you like being praised?

    Are you giving God praise due Him?

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