Our True Daily Bread

<strong>Our True Daily Bread</strong>

Bread is a symbol of many things.  In the Old Testament, the Lord provided bread from heaven when His people were wandering in the wilderness after escaping from Egypt.  (Ex 16:4, 14, 31)  In this context, bread was a forceful symbol of God’s provision for His people. 

For decades in America, the husband in a family was referred to, in informal terms, as the breadwinner.  Even now, bread is a synonym for money.

Let’s read what God’s Word says about bread.

Give us today our daily bread.  (Mt 6:11 NIV)

Give us day by day our daily bread.  (Lk 11:3 ASV)

Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say:  ‘No one can live only on food.  People need every word that God has spoken.’ ”  (Mt 4:4 CEV) 

In the above verse, Jesus reminds us that we need to know and love God’s Word as much as we do our daily food.

Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  (Joh 6:31-35 ESV)

In John, chapter 6, Jesus clearly declares Himself to be the true bread from heaven.  Through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we become partakers in eternal life.  It is vital to maintain an ongoing faith in Jesus and an ongoing relationship with Him because we need to depend upon Him continually for our every need. 

The Lord Jesus proved Himself to be forgiving, merciful and loving to those who followed Him.  He was a fount of wisdom and grace, and being in His presence provided a powerful blessing.  He was also the hand of God who healed the sick, maimed, deaf, blind, and hurting.  People received deliverance and miracles and wonders through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Heb 13:8)

 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.  (1 Cor 10:16-17 NIV)

When we partake of the Communion elements, we are remembering the sacrifice and obedience of Jesus. Through the ceremony of remembrance—which is the observance of Communion—we declare our unfailing gratitude to God for the precious gift of salvation that we have received.  Praise the Lord!

Be Steadfast

Be Steadfast

Be steadfast in your spiritual life.  Steadfast means unwavering, unfaltering, loyal, devoted, or constant.  So how can we be steadfast and in what ways?

. . . rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer . . .  (Rom 12:12)  Continue in daily prayer interceding for yourself and for other people and for our leaders—both spiritual and national.

For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.  (Gal 5:5)  As we eagerly wait for the return of Jesus (or to arrive in heaven ourselves), wait with a sense of anticipation, eagerness and joy. 

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  (Joh 16:33)  The Lord warns us that we’ll experience tribulation somehow, at some point in our lives, but that we should be cheered up knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world.  So be loyal and stalwart in believing the truth of this Scripture.  Remember that the Lord is with you and that He fights FOR you.  (Deu 3:22; Josh 23:10)

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  (1 Cor 15:58)  Be devoted to thriving in the work of the Lord, knowing that one day you WILL receive your reward.  The “work of the Lord” involves ministering to others (by prayer, service, or helps); sharing the gospel with others; and baptizing new believers or bringing them to church so that they can be baptized in water.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.  (Ac 2:42)  Be unwavering in having fellowship with other believers; in sharing meals with them; in taking communion with other believers, and in prayers with them and for them. 

Above all, rejoice in hope! 

We Are His Offspring: His Children

We Are His Offspring: His Children

All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord are children of God.  Here is what the Bible says.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name . . .  (Joh 1:12 NKJV)

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring.  (Act 17:28 KJV)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith . . . (Gal 3:26 NIV)

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  (Rom 8:14 NIV)

The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are His children.  (1 Joh 3:1 NIV)

Characteristics of Children

  • In Christ, we are children of God through faith. As such, we are able to feel an affectionate, devoted, and respectful confidence in our Father God.
  • We know that we are greatly loved by our Father. We recognize that we are precious to Him.
  • We have a spirit of ready obedience to our Heavenly Father—because of our love for Him and His love for us. We have an earnest desire to obey Him because we trust that His plans for us are totally good and always in our best interests.

Advantages that Children Receive

  • We are in a loving relationship with our Father, and are continuously surrounded by His supernatural and miraculous favor.
  • We are forgiven, cleansed, and free from bondage.
  • We are entitled to fellowship and communion with our Father.
  • Our Father gives us wise counsel and teaching by the Holy Spirit.
  • Exceeding great and precious promises have been given to us by our Heavenly Dad. We are encouraged to “ask and receive so that our joy may be full.”

Trust God to pour out the benefits of salvation in Jesus Christ upon you.  Because we are His children, He invites us to turn to Him and ask Him for everything that we need.  Put away any timidity, and with loving trust and assurance, ask Abba Father to meet your needs right now.  God bless you.

Guard Your Fellowship

Guard Your Fellowship

What is fellowship?  Genuine fellowship indicates a communion or spiritual union between like-minded and like-hearted people.  For a believer, our deepest fellowship can only take place with Christians who are as committed to the Lord and as mature in their walk of faith as we are.  How can light ever cooperate with darkness?

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  (2 Cor 6:14 NIV)

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  (Jas 4:4)  Don’t be so committed to friendships with unbelievers that you become lukewarm in your faith. Don’t learn to love the world’s ways.

Do not gather my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, 10 in whose hands is a sinister scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes.  (Ps 26:9-10)  Unbelievers may want to engage in behavior or activities in which no Christian would take part.

But they mingled with the Gentiles [nations] and learned their works . . .  (Ps 106:35) Associating with unbelievers can teach us habits which are not pleasing to the Lord, or may even lead us into an area of temptation.

I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.  (Ps 119:63)  Rather, it is far better for us and for our friends if we are both Christians and brothers/sisters in the Lord.  Because we believe God’s Word and we choose to obey His Word and His Spirit, we can encourage one another in faith and in good works.

This article is not teaching against evangelism by any means.  If you develop a friendship with someone in order to share your testimony with them, then you have embarked upon a holy purpose.  But if the person doesn’t accept the Lord as their Savior, then one might consider changing the status of that relationship to an acquaintance.  It would be appropriate to continue, in a spirit of love, to share unfolding testimonies with the person, or to invite them to church-related events where they would be exposed to other believers and opportunities to hear the Gospel. 

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned.  (Eph 4:17-20 NIV)  The fact is that unsaved people, no matter how nice they are or how much fun they may be, have no sensitivity to the spiritual realm or to the Spirit of God.  They are darkened in their understanding of spiritual things because spiritual things are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14)

True fellowship walks in the light as He is in the light.  (1 Joh 1:5-7)

We’re One with the Lord

We’re One with the Lord

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  (1 Cor 6:17)

. . . as He is, so are we in this world.  (1 Joh 4:17b)

When we become born again (saved), one of those mysteries occurs that the Bible mentions. “What mystery?” you ask.  The mystery of our spirit being joined to the spirit of Christ.  The mystery that the Bible reveals in 1 John 4:17 that as Jesus is—right now in heaven—so are we (believers) on earth.

How is that possible?  That is why it is called a mystery, because we will understand it fully when we are in heaven, face to face with the Lord.  Until that day, we trust in this verse by using the gift of faith that He gave to each one of us.

Because we are one spirit with the Lord, we have intimate communion with God through Christ.  Our salvation experience has baptized us into Christ.  We have “put on Christ.”  (Gal 3:27) 

Being “in Christ” allows us to experience this new life that we’ve been given in community with all those who are also in Christ.  We have fellowship as well as unity.

To my thinking, Jesus, Himself, is the robe of righteousness to which Job 29:14 and Isaiah 61:10 refer.  (Rom 8:1; Gal 2:16)

Daily Bible reading will keep us attached to the True Vine.  (Joh 15:1-11)  The more the word of Christ dwells in us richly, the more fully the joy of Christ will dwell within us.

As you ponder this mystery of being joined to the Lord, take time to thank and to praise God for it.  Allow yourself to celebrate and to enjoy the sense of awe and wonder that this living mystery deserves.

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 1

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 1

People who have not been exposed to church attendance or religious teaching of any kind may not know how to answer our title question.  They may not even understand why anyone would like to go to heaven!  What is the definition of heaven

Heaven is

  • the dwelling place of the Deity and the blessed dead;
  • a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God;
  • a place or condition of utmost happiness;
  • the abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; and
  • the place or state of existence of the blessed after mortal life.

One thing mentioned more than once in these definitions is that heaven is the dwelling place of God.  Since we believers know that God is love (1 Joh 4:8), the concept of living forever with the God who IS LOVE becomes a very appealing goal for us. 

A key aspect of our life as human beings is the understanding that God created all humans in His own image.  (Gen 1:27)  Since we’ve all been created in the very likeness and reflection of God, not only is a relationship with God important to us but love, itself, is important to mankind. 

We need to recognize these two facts because every human being needs to make a decision about faith in God, and every human being wants to receive and to give love. 

In the next article, we’ll continue with this subject.

Proclaiming His Death

Proclaiming His Death

. . .  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.   (1 Cor. 11:24-26)

To proclaim means to announce, declare, make known, broadcast, or state publicly.  In the verse shown above, Jesus tells us to remember Him through the Communion ceremony.  He also says that as often as we take Communion, we proclaim His death till He comes.  Why is it important to proclaim His death?

As often as we announce Jesus’ death, we are making known the New Covenant He established by His blood.  (1 Cor. 11:25)  We are declaring the Good News that we have been reconciled to God through Jesus. 

We are broadcasting Jesus’:

  • Resurrection (Acts 4:33);
  • Triumph over sin and evil (2 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 4:8-10);
  • Soon return. (1 Cor. 11:26; John 14:3)

We are stating that we:

  • Are united together in the likeness of His death and in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5);
  • Abide in Christ and He abides in us (John 6:56);
  • Are under the covenant of grace (2 Cor. 13:14);
  • Live in covenant with the One who has destroyed the works of the devil.  (1 John 3:1)

The Bible teaches us the importance of declaring the Truth in Christ:

He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit.  (Pro 12:17)

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.  (Pro 18:20)

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”  (Isa 43:9)

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach) . . . (Rom 10:8)

Partaking of Communion is a prophetic act—a declaration.  Did you know that actions can speak?  They announce our faith, obedience, and allegiance to Jesus Christ.  It’s good to remember when we take communion that in doing so, we proclaim His death in obedience to the Word of God.