Bread By Faith NKJV

  1. December 6: 1 John 4:1-6

    NKJV Key Verse: 1 John 4:5
    5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.

    These are the verses I turn to when I am reminded not to live according to the world, a letter written to John. This is not something new because of our modern world or because of technology or whatever else you want to blame things on – this is something that was prevalent in the times of Jesus and afterwards. We were born in it, brought up in it and live in it; so, it is little wonder then we are caught up in it and its ways. Let’s have a look at why we get caught up…

    There are many things in our world which we do find funny and many which we find objectionable, but do we give thought to how others will feel if we had those things on display in our homes or lives? We should never do things which cause offense to others and certainly not if they take people away from God and His ways. Then there are those things which we think must be ok because so many people have them or are liking them – but that does not make it right!

    We need to make sure what we do is in line with what God would have us to do. We have been given the scriptures so we can have a reference to find out what is good and what is not. It really is an invaluable recourse in our hands, one which is not used as often as it should be! We can use our bibles to make sure we are more in tune with Christ, but how often do we do that? Showing our support for the birth of Christ and His life will allow others to see there is a different way of living, one which does not mean giving in to all manner of questionable things in our lives!

    The closer we draw to God, the more we realise we do not have to follow the world. Thankfully we do not have to rely on our own strength to break free from the trapping of the world – God will be with us every step of the way and strengthen us to resist giving in to the ways of the world too. Sometimes it is hard to wait on God, but we all have to learn just what He is capable of and we will only find that out by waiting for Him to answer our prayers and needs.

    Points to Ponder:
    Do you ever think about how your life affects others?

    Will you ask God for guidance and strength to promote His life for you?

  2. December 5: 1 Corinthians 12:1-3

    NKJV Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:3
    3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

    Sometimes it is hard to believe in certain things in life; many times we require physical proof before we believe, or something which will give us a certainty beyond doubt. But how much proof do you have to have in a juicy bit of gossip before you believe it and start to spread it far and wide? I fear we have a very low threshold for the need for proof in the case of a juicy gossip story!

    But one thing we need to have a firm belief in is the Holy Spirit because it is what gives us the truth and removes the doubt in our lives when it comes to the gospel story. Somehow, we are more willing to give in to certain things in our lives than in the Holy Spirit even though the Holy Spirit will guide us with feedback as we need it! The greatest thing is that our belief in many things are strengthened by the Holy Spirit simply because we do get feedback from him.

    Here the people of Corinth are encouraged to listen to the Holy Spirit to hear the clear truth and not to be led away by other gossip. We are going to be told by many people who do not believe in God that Jesus was just a prophet or didn’t really exist… but the more you get to know the Holy Spirit, the more you too will be convinced of the existence and deity of Jesus Christ. Our history does have so much proof that Jesus was born and lived over 2000 years ago, and yet many choose to try and put His life in the realms of fiction or fairy tales; they obviously do not yet know the Holy Spirit!

    Once we ask Jesus into our life and ask Him to forgive us of our sins, we are opening ourselves to the promise He gave us that He would send a comforter and guide to dwell with and in us: that is the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to live amongst us as a mere human but without the limits we see as humans because of His knowledge of God the Father and the Holy Spirit. He depended on God answering His prayers and lived knowing the Holy Spirit would be there at all times. If we can look at His life and strive to be just a little like Him, we too can listen to the Holy Spirit for our daily guidance.

    Points to Ponder:
    Do you like hearing encouragement and guidance?

    Do you listen to the Holy Spirit?

  3. December 4: Psalm 106:34-39

    NKJV Key Verse: Psalm 106:36
    36 They served their idols, Which became a snare to them.

    Whilst we may look at things like this and decide the people of that time were quite barbaric, it is the same thing which happens to us nowadays but in a slightly different guise. We think we are strong enough to go into a new area and make a difference, but pretty soon we fall into many of the habits and ways of the local people; those very same habit we thought we could persuade the people to give up!

    God is the one with 20/20 vision. We just see what it is like after the fact, but when we are faced with the people and the way they live, we tend to try and fit in by giving in to those habits and ways. God could see this was a trap so many of would fall into and gave us words like these in our bibles to remind us we are not as strong as we think we are!

    One way you can help avoid falling into this trap is by going into an area with a team of like-minded people. If we try to go it alone, we may well give in to the local ways just because it is easy; but when we go in with a team of people, we can help to encourage each other to do what is right with God and not to give in to the people. We may look at the old testament days and comment how the Israelite were one huge team of people who should not have given in… but as soon as we leave God out of one position in our lives, we give in to more and more!

    God does not want us to be guilty of wrecking other people’s lives just because we are trying to sort our own life out. He has given us the scriptures to guide us through rough and tough times and to try and avoid the pitfalls many people fall into when they don’t know any better. We need to share the gospel story with people to show them they have a choice and they have someone who is willing to guide them every step of the way.

    Just how far would you go before you realised things were not right? I like to think we would not sacrifice our children to other gods just to fit in… but just how much do those other things add up to? When you give in with a bit more swearing, a little cursing and a drink or two too many, are you still in control or have you given control to someone else?

    Points to Ponder:
    Do you think you have a strong will?

    Is your will as strong as the evil ones?

  4. December 3: Philippians 2:12-16

    NKJV Key Verse: Philippians 2:15
    15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

    What is the real reason behind the things you do? Do you do things when others are watching just so you can get praise from them? Do you only work when you know you are going to get recognition or even money? We all have our faults and I have been down a few of the roads mentioned above; but I have also learned that I must not do things just so I can get the recognition – what about the people who may benefit from what I do?

    Timothy had obviously done some very good things and had been persistent in doing what he was doing – but do we detect a bit of ‘brotherly advice’ coming in here? I know I have had to be reminded about the work that I do and the reasons for doing that work. It is for Christ and it is for His glory and not our own! We must not moan and groan about the work just because we are having a bad time; just maybe there is something going on behind the scenes.

    The evil one will try to trip us up and throw obstacles in our way. He does this to try and make us unhappy in the work we are doing because there is nothing better than a bit of trouble and friction to bring our spirits down to a point where we start asking “why am I bothering to do this!” Do not be disheartened, this is the evil one who has thrown a spanner in the works.

    Timothy is encouraged to do things without grumbling and without arguing. When we start grumbling, we are not only bringing our own spirits down, but also the spirits of those around us too. When we start arguing, we are putting up walls between us and the people who could be helping us. But when we work together as a team, the light of Christ is able to shine through us and encourage many more people to think about why we are doing what we are doing. It should be a big signpost pointing directly to Christ!

    Points to Ponder:
    Do you have to get paid before you work?

    How much have you done for all Christ has already given you?

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