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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Messages » Fresh Bread

Fresh Bread

           I have been doing a lot of thinking about human nature lately. It seems that no matter who we are we all have common shortcomings and weaknesses. Isaiah wrote that we all, just like sheep, have gone astray and followed our own ways (Is 53:6). I am just like you in that I don’t like to admit weaknesses. Some days I’d prefer to hide behind a mask and pretend that everything is better than it really is. Maybe we have even been taught by society to keep a smile and at least act nice when things are really bad. I conclude, after reading God’s Word that He wants us to live truthfully and honestly in this world.

          If you and I are surrounded by people in the church who are putting on a façade each week we will get the impression that our own lives are simply failures. The fact is that everyone is struggling in this life. Some churches have taught their members to only speak things in faith and to not utter when something is negative. They have done this to ridiculous levels in order to try and maintain the faith of the rest of the body. If I had a serious injury in my hand my entire body would stop to tend to it. To follow through with that logic; the crowd who never utters negative things is like putting your hand in your pocket and ignoring that it hurts.

I hope you are following me in this because it is a serious matter today. Many years ago Angie attended one of these faith churches. An older woman there had a husband who was seriously ill. She had been out for several weeks and the church had been praying for his healing. The woman began to attend again and everything seemed normal. Angie asked her how her husband was and she told her he was better. A few weeks later she found out that the man had already passed away. The pastor had told the woman to not tell anyone that he had died because it would damage their faith! Listen friends, we don’t need to lie to glorify God. Truth glorifies Him! We don’t need to fake our walk with Him either.

A young man once told me that he had always heard that we should “fake it until we make it”. In other words his philosophy was to pretend things were good until they were. I want to take you to a passage in 2nd Corinthians today that you have probably never seen. In chapter three Paul is writing about the glory of the New Covenant we have in Christ. He compares the fact that there was glory in the Old Covenant (v7) and that there should be even more glory in the New Covenant. The old one, according to Paul, was a covenant of condemnation. It was laws written out to obey and follow. Once God gave the law those who failed to follow were condemned to death. Only the sacrifice of a lamb would cover the sin and even then it was a temporary covering. In all of this, Paul says, there was a glory to behold.

I have often thought of the sacrificial offering system on days when I butchered animals. It’s a messy job that I don’t look forward to. In the end I know we will have meat in the freezer so I do it. Those who were under this covenant would have had to watch the result of their failing. The innocent lamb would have had to suffer because of man’s sin. But Paul says there was a glory in it. In verse nine Paul says that if this ministration of condemnation had glory how much more the ministration of righteousness does. I like the way he put that! The covenant we are under is one of righteousness and not condemnation.

You may be wondering how all of this ties in with being honest and truthful about your life. In verse thirteen Paul gives insight to something about Moses that is not mentioned anywhere else. We sometimes think that ministers are more perfect that the rest of us and that they have less temptations and falls. Many a church member believes that their pastor has it easy and that he doesn’t have the same weaknesses as they do. Read verse thirteen and you will discover that Moses actually hid the fact that the Glory of God was fading from his face! Do you see it? Moses didn’t want anyone to know that the Glory was not there. In Exodus 34:29-33 you can see that the Glory of God on Moses face was frightening to the Israelites when he came down fromMount Sinai. Moses put a veil over so that they could approach him.

But in Paul’s writings we discover this little secret. Moses kept the veil there after the light was gone. Think about that for a moment. How many times past have we walked with God and basked in His glory. Everyone around us knew that we walked with Him and we got confirmation that we were on the right path from every source. Then we got down the road and became weary in our walk. Maybe we are not so devoted to Bible Study and daily prayers have become weekly prayers. Our convictions have become less than they used to be. We know how we should act. There begins the problem.

It is not just the professional actors of Hollywoodwho pretend to be someone they aren’t. We all can play a pretty good role when we need to. We can pretend that our marriage is just fine when we go to church, can’t we? I used to play that game. I would leave the house in a screaming match with my wife and children. We raced down the road and a block before we pulled into the parking lot we put our church faces on. For the two hours of service we smiled politely at all who were there. Once back at home it all began again. Yes, I know something about acting. I can pretend as well as anyone and so can you. It’s not just our problems with the things of this world that we like to deny either. We are often guilty of slipping away from a deep relationship with God. We begin with joy and gladness that we are able to spend time with Him. We can hardly wait to get to church. Then, the sermons seem boring to us and it seems that we are going through the motions each week. When we bless our food we habitually say the same thing instead of truly thanking God. We have drifted away from God and because we do know how to act, we put on a performance that could win an Oscar.

We need to be honest friends; honest with ourselves, others and honest with God. Yes-we even put the veil over to try and hide from God. We may be fooling ourselves into thinking He doesn’t know, but He does. So, how do we get from here to there? What road takes us to the place where we can be free to be truthful with ourselves and others?

What you and I need, friends is fresh bread. We have eaten the stale bread of the past and are not satisfied. It may keep us alive but is not refreshing to us. Have you ever noticed the difference between stale bread and fresh? I happen to be blessed with a house full of good cooks. One of the things that they make is bread. I love to come home to a house that smells like baked bread! When it comes out of the oven I want to slice it as soon as it’s cool enough to handle and swipe some butter or honey on it. I can make a meal out of it and be satisfied. Now, think about stale bread. I could pretend to like it for someone’s sake if I tried. I could act like the bread was fine and that I was satisfied with the food. But I’d be lying. It might even sustain me day after day. But what a miserable existence.

When the Hebrew children were redeemed from slavery inEgyptthey ate bread that God sent called Manna. God told them to pick it up every day and that if they tried to get more than a days worth it became moldy and full of worms (Exodus16:14-31). On the day before the Sabbath they gathered twice as much so that they wouldn’t have to work on the Sabbath. Have you been living on the bread of yesterday? Perhaps many years ago you had a real experience with God. You walked close to Him and felt His presence. Maybe you labored in his work and taught Sunday school or worked missions. Now, there is no joy in your walk. You don’t get excited about church anymore. The devil has given you excuses and you’ve used them gladly. It doesn’t have to be this way. You and I have the opportunity to get this fresh bread every day. Jesus said that He was the Bread of Life. We can have Him new every morning. He has a plan and purpose for your life.

Do you want this bread today? He is there waiting patiently for you. You will never have to put a veil on again. People won’t just think that you are walking with God-they will know it.

Prayer-Father, today we all need to reevaluate our lives and make sure we are not pretending to have a relationship with You. We may even be living in the past and don’t want others to know it. I pray for those who need a fresh relationship with you-that they might regain the excitement they once had. May we all live day by day with You in the forefront of our lives.

In Jesus’ Name I ask it-Amen


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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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3 Responses to "Fresh Bread"

  1. Le-Teisha says:

    Thank you for the Word from God. I’ve been praying about what to do as far as church goes. I did belong to a big church and the focus seemed to be more on music, and who wore what instead of on God. I feel closer to the Lord when I fellowship at home or when I read your message each week than I do when I attend a church. Your family and a few other women I have met on the internet seem to be the only like-minded believers I know. Please if you can keep me in your prayer and know that I do appreciate your Weekly word very much.

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Dearest Le-Teisha,
      We do keep you in our prayers and are so thankful for the connection we have been able to have with you. Please know that we feel that you are part of us even if you cannot be with us physically – spiritually you are right here!! Much love!

  2. Denise says:

    Dear Brother Paul,

    Thank you for your message this week. I missed hearing (reading )your message a few weeks ago………sure makes me appreciate it even more. Are you no longer posting video messages? I can enjoy them many times over….I feel like I am right there with y’all.
    May the Lord continue to shower your family with His Blessings!


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