Reading the instructions can save us so much pain and heartache

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(1 Samuel 12:15)

Reading the instructions can save us so much pain and heartache. Last Thursday morning, I was in my office and very hungry. I looked in my desk drawer and found a cup of Quaker Instant Oatmeal. It was not exactly the best breakfast in the world, but at that point I was hungry and it would have to do. So I went into the room where the microwave was, pulled off the lid, filled it up with water, put it into the microwave, turned the microwave to 2 minutes, and went back into my office to work.

I answered a couple of emails, got a phone call, had a problem come up in the office that had to be dealt with, and a good 20 minutes went by before I remembered that I was starving and breakfast was waiting for me. I opened the door of the microwave up, and there to my horror was my breakfast…ALL OVER THE MICROWAVE! Globs of Quaker Golden Brown Sugar Oatmeal all over the inside of the microwave.

It might have helped if I had taken just a few minutes to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. If I had, I would have known that there was a dashed line on the inside of the cup that showed you how much water to put in. If I had, I would have known that I should have only set the microwave for 1 minute. If I had, I would have enjoyed a good bowl of oatmeal for breakfast instead of spending 10 minutes cleaning it up from the inside of the microwave.

The point is that we live our lives at times the same way I cooked that cup of oatmeal. WE DON’T FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. We are in a hurry to fill a need in our life, and don’t take the time to do it the right way…God’s way. Please, don’t miss what I just said to you. We are in a hurry to fill a need in our life, and don’t take the time to do it the right way….God’s way. The end result is usually a mess that we end up spending lots of time and energy cleaning up.

God gave us His Word, the instruction manual, so that we can live life correctly. He doesn’t make us guess, and have to figure out this life by ourselves. Quaker Oats didn’t make people figure out for themselves how to cook that cup of oatmeal. They put instructions on the outside so you could cook it correctly. God didn’t leave us to figure out for ourselves how to live. He gave us His Word so that we would know how to live this life correctly.

I love you and care about you so much. I pray today that you will take the time to READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL. READ GOD’S WORD! It will save you so much pain and heartache if you do. Life is challenging enough without adding to the problems because we were too lazy, too much in a hurry, to read God’s Word. READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2015, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Do you work for the things of God as hard as you work for the things of this world?

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( I Corinthians 15:58, Galatians 6:9, 2 Timothy 4:7 )

Do you work for the things of God as hard as you work for the things of this world? Last January, Jon Gruden, became the youngest coach in history to win the Super Bowl, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to
victory over the Oakland Raiders. Living in the Tampa area, I have had the opportunity to follow Coach Gruden since he became the coach of the Buccaneers. One of the trademarks of Coach Gruden is his incredible work ethic. He is famous for getting up at 3:17 a.m. each morning, and working until 10 or 11 p.m. each night. His entire life is focused on, and dedicated to winning football games. On Super Bowl Sunday, he received the ultimate payoff for all of his hard work and determination as the Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII.

I have had the pleasure throughout my life of personally knowing many people that are extremely successful by the worlds standards. The one common bond that they all share is an incredible work ethic. They are driven to do whatever it takes to succeed in their given profession. They will routinely put in 100 hour plus work weeks, they will make whatever sacrifices they have to, in order to be successful. There is literally no price that they are not willing to pay to achieve their goals.

My question to you this morning is this. If people are willing to literally give their very lives for the temporary success that this world can offer, how much more should the men and women of God be willing to work for the eternal success the Creator of this world can offer?

Let me ask this question again, and I pray that right now you will stop whatever you are doing, and ponder it. IF PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO LITERALLY GIVE THEIR VERY LIVES FOR THE TEMPORARY SUCCESS THAT THIS WORLD CAN OFFER, HOW MUCH MORE
SHOULD THE MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD BE WILLING TO WORK FOR THE ETERNAL SUCCESS THAT THE CREATOR OF THIS WORLD CAN OFFER? If Jon Gruden is willing to get up at 3:17 a.m. and put in 20 hour days to win a football game, that in the light of eternity is absolutely meaningless, how much more willing should the men and women that God has called to His service be willing to do to win souls for eternity?

My sole motivation for this word to you today is this. We can ALL do more. EVERY man, woman, and young adult that has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, is called by God to His service. Sharing the hope and love of Christ is not just the job of your pastor, or an evangelist, but is the job of EVERY person that has accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives. THIS IS NOT AN OPTION.

It has only been because of the tireless work and efforts of those saints who have gone on before us that we share in this great faith today. It is OUR JOB AND RESPONSIBILITY to insure, should Jesus tarry, that the next generation of saints who are still not even born, have a rich and solid Christian heritage and family throughout this world.

That will not happen by accident, but through the hard work and efforts of men and women of God all over the planet. There is a very real enemy that would love to destroy the people of God. We live in a world today that will not let the message of hope and love through Jesus Christ be heard without a fight. We have to fight, we have to work hard to make sure that the TRUTH of the Bible is boldly proclaimed.

The enemy has no shame or fear in telling people the lie that there is no God, that there is no truth, that you can live any way you want. We have to be equally as bold and fearless to tell people worldwide that there IS a God that loves them very much, that there is TRUTH found in the Bible, and that the only real peace, joy, and abundance that this life can offer comes from living for Christ 24/7/365.

I love you and care about you so much. I pray that you will be encouraged and motivated to take some time and ask God what more you can do to serve Him. There is nothing wrong with working hard to be successful in whatever your earthly profession may be. However, should we not be equally as passionate and diligent in our work for God?

I think back on what a handful of mostly uneducated men totally sold our for Jesus did right after his death. These men that had no great position in life, they did not have great financial resources, traveling was very difficult, and there were no form of modern communication. Yet they literally turned the world upside down as they helped lay the foundation of Christianity. With our incredible education opportunities, people in the Kingdom that have vast resources, being able to fly around the world as easy as it is to drive down the
street, and all of the amazing communication devices we enjoy….HOW MUCH MORE CAN THOSE MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD WHO ARE SOLD OUT…MAKE AN IMPACT FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST???

IF PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO LITERALLY GIVE THEIR VERY LIVES FOR THE TEMPORARY SUCCESS THAT THIS WORLD CAN OFFER, HOW MUCH MORE SHOULD THE MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD BE WILLING TO WORK FOR THE ETERNAL SUCCESS THAT THE CREATOR OF THIS WORLD CAN OFFER? God is speaking to YOU today!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2015, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Polluting the Temple of God…and OUR Temple of God

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( 2 Chronicles 33:7, 36:14, Jeremiah 7:30, Ezekiel 8:16, 44:7, Zephaniah 3:4 )

Polluting the Temple of God…and OUR Temple of God. During the recent memorials for 9/11, I was saddened to see so many churches, houses of GOD, being used for multi-faith memorial services. There is NO EXCUSE for allowing the house of God to be used to give credibility and a visible public platform to the false gods of this world.

There is but ONE GOD! The God of the Bible! The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! THERE ARE NO OTHER GODS! Please take a few moments and read the anchor verses that I supplied today. This will tell you that it is not MY indignation that the house of God is used to honor false gods, it is GOD’S indignation!!!

Of course, the “church” is NOT a building, but it is the people of God. However, the structure the people choose to use as a place of worship is a holy place, and NOT to be polluted with the false gods and religions of the world. How would you feel if your church or any other house of God was used to film a pornographic movie? You would be outraged! Tell me what is the difference between pornography and worshipping a false god? They are BOTH an abomination to God!

The key point is that polluting the Temple of God is not acceptable. But never forget, when you accept Jesus Christ as your savior, YOUR BODY become the Temple of the Holy Spirit. You actually become a living tabernacle of the Lord Jesus Christ! To pollute ANY Temple is an abomination to God, INCLUDING polluting YOUR Temple….YOUR body.

THAT is why I speak so strong on sex outside of marriage. That is why I speak so strong on watching what you see and hear. THAT is why I speak so strong on keeping YOUR Temple pure from sin. When you sin, you pollute the Temple of God (your body), just as much as if a pornographic movie was being filmed in a local church!!!!!

I love you and care about you so much. We all make mistakes in our life, we all sin. That is why God in His grace and mercy gave us 1 John 1:9. READ IT!!!! But it is up to us to keep our Temples pure and holy. Just as we must guard against what is allowed in our churches, the physical Temples that we go to, we also must watch what we allow in our physical Temples, our bodies.

God loves you so much, and only wants the best for your life. The Bible calls us to be “holy, as He is holy.” That is our goal. That is what we must strive for in our life. To live a holy and pure life before a holy and pure God. Yes, we live in a sin-filled and evil world. That is all the more reason why we must guard against sin and allowing anything impure into the Temple of God, whether it is the physical Temple (the church) or our personal Temple (our body).

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2015, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The God of restoration

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(John 21:15-17)

The God of restoration. One of the most encouraging things the Bible teaches us, is that God is a God of restoration. The Bible tells us that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but what happens to us after we sin is what I want to focus on today. One of the most visible sins in the Bible has to be Peter’s denial of Christ. After following the Lord, living with Him, seeing the miracles, hearing the teachings, even being so bold to proclaim Jesus to be “the Son of the living God”…this same Peter in fear of his life denies even knowing who Jesus is.

If the story of Peter ended there, it would indeed be tragic. However, we see that same Peter, just days later in John chapter 21 being restored to fellowship by Jesus. We then read about that same Peter in the book of Acts, becoming a pillar upon which the early church was founded, boldly proclaiming Christ without regard to his own life any longer. The lesson is that in spite of our sin, God is a God of restoration so that He can use us to fulfill His plan.

After we sin, the most important thing we can do before the restoration process takes place is to confess our sin and ask God’s forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God wants to forgive you! God wants to cleanse you! But you have to make the first move. You have to swallow your pride and admit to God you sinned. You have to be sick enough of the sin to want to be rid of it once and for all.

I am not talking about that “morning after” confession either. I am talking about that confession that says I am sorry, and I am ready to walk away from this sin once and for all. We all feel sorry for our sins after we commit them. The issue is whether we are ready to deal with them once and for all, and allow the restoration process to begin. My friend, it is not God holding back that process, it is you. You have to be serious about getting rid of the sin that is in your life.

Once we make up our mind and decide to make the necessary changes to walk away from our sin, we then confess our sins and repent, and have now opened the door for God to restore us. You see, God never stops having a plan for your life. Don’t forget, your purpose is to serve and glorify Him. He desires to restore us to fellowship, not only because He loves us, but because
He still has work for us to do.

If you are looking for that peace, that joy, that abundant life the Bible speaks of….I am telling you that you will ONLY find it in a daily, intimate relationship with Christ. You will only find it in a life totally and unconditionally surrendered to Him and His will. You will only find it when you are fulfilling your God-given purpose of serving and glorifying Him with your life.

Be encouraged today, God is not through using you. He still has a perfect plan and purpose for your life. It is now up to you. Just like He restored Peter, and used Peter in a mighty way, God wants to use you. The only difference between you and Peter is that Peter turned from his sin, repented and confessed his sins to the Lord…thus opening the door to God’s forgiveness and restoration.

I love you and care about you so much. God loves you so much. Turn from your sin, confess and repent of those sins, and let God restore you today. No matter what you have done, God’s grace is sufficient and His love is endless. He wants to say to you, just as He told Peter…”Do you love me?…Feed my sheep.”

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2015, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The wisdom of Internet romances

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(Proverbs 8:11, James 1:5)

The wisdom of Internet romances. One of my number one goals every day is bridge the gap between our unseen faith and the very real world we find ourselves living in each day. If there is one area the church as a whole has failed in, and why so many find little relevance in many churches, is because of the failure to take the very real day to day life experiences we have and put them in the context of our faith in the Lord. As you know, if you have read many of my Devotionals, I will not back off even the most controversial issues, since it is usually THOSE issues many struggle with and need spiritual guidance in. One of those issues is Internet romances.

I discussed in the past the trap of chatrooms and how easy married people fall into sin in this area. Today however, I want to address those who are single, and the wisdom of Internet romances. First, there is NO SCRIPTURE that says “thou shalt not have an Internet romance.” The spiritual application here is from a standpoint of wisdom and discernment. After all, it is God who gives us wisdom, and like all gifts He gives, we are to use it.

I realize that there may be some of you reading this Devotional right now that met your spouse over the Internet, you developed a spiritual foundation in your relationship, dated over a period of time, had confirmation in both of your lives from God that this was part of His plan for your life, and have a very healthy and happy marriage. ***There are always exceptions! However, I can tell you from dealing with this issue over the last 48 months, having seen tens of thousands of emails from men and women, Internet romances are NOT a good idea!!!

You have two basic problems with Internet romances. First, is the distance factor. Second, is the fantasy problem. The problem with long distance romances is the fact that without being in the physical presence of a person, it is very difficult to develop any chemistry, develop a bond, and really get to know each other well enough to make a wise decision on whether this is really a lifetime relationship.

Again, I know there are many examples where two people have made it work, but trust me, those are exceptions and not the rule! Two people who potentially may spend the rest of their life together, need a period of time to see if they can build a spiritual foundation to their relationship, to see if they can communicate, to have the time to be able to properly hear from God about His will for them. There is NO substitution for spending time together.

With the Internet, you have a blend of fantasy and reality. When your main form of communication is email, Instant Messages, and chatrooms, you are in a blended world. You build a mental image of who this person is with little basis in reality. Of course, via email, they are PERFECT. They literally become to some extent, a creation of your imagination. This is NOT healthy and extremely dangerous!!!

Some of the frequent problems I encounter daily in regard to this issue are these. Many of the “single” men and women you are dealing with are NOT single, but married. Of course, you don’t find out about this until you are very well into your cyber relationship. Another major problem is no matter how spiritual your conversations may be, at some point, sex enters into the mix. This often leads to involvement in cyber sex, usually advances into phone sex, and commonly ends up in the real thing.

The biggest problem however is at some point the “relationship” advances to a point where you actually meet each other in person. Usually you have had many months of contact with this person, you have created in your mind who this person is, and there is incredible thrill and anticipation in actually meeting
‘real time.” Many men and women are predators and use the Internet to find their prey. Because you DON’T really know them since you have never spent any time together, since you have fantasized who this person is in your mind without really knowing for sure, you have left yourself wide open to incredible problems.

I love you so very much, and I really do care about you. After these 48 months you are like part of my family. The things I have shared with you today come from dealing with real people, many who have had their lives turned upside down from Internet romances. I realize many of you are lonely, and thus you become easy prey for those men and women trolling the Internet for someone to take advantage of.

But you are not using wisdom, and playing a very dangerous game. The end result of most of these situations range from people being used sexually then dumped, people being taken advantage of financially, marriages that end in divorce, and in one case…death. Internet romances are NOT a good idea. They are not wise.

You are much better served doing it the old fashioned way. Meeting someone in a real face to face meeting. Dating. Building a spiritual foundation together. Ultimately, putting yourselves in a situation where God can confirm to both of you that this is part of His plan for your life. God is the one who gives us wisdom. In regard to Internet romances, use wisdom and don’t get involved in one!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2015, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

YOU could be wasting your life

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(John 10:10)

YOU could be wasting your life. If you smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, abuse food, engage in sex outside of marriage, gamble, are greedy, or in any other kind of bondage…you ARE wasting your life away. The problem is the bondages in our life sap the very life out of us each day.

The time spent engaged in some sort of bondage, and then recovering from our episodes, is precious time that we could be doing something productive for God. The bondages we get involved in dominate our thoughts. They cause health problems. Once you are involved in any kind of bondage, you are wasting away your precious life.

Today’s Devotional is one of the shortest I have ever written. It is designed to do only one thing. To make you STOP, perhaps for the first time in a LONG time, and be honest with yourself. Ask yourself what has become a bondage that could be destroying your very life.

Of course all bondage is from satan. His purpose is very clearly defined in our verse today. It is to KILL, STEAL, and DESTROY. He wants to kill you to keep you from an everlasting relationship with God. He wants to steal your joy and peace to keep you down. He wants to destroy you so that you are of no use to God.

Because of the victory Jesus won on the cross 2,000 years ago, YOU CAN LIVE IN VICTORY!!! Satan can only win if you quit fighting and let him!!!

I love you and care about you so much. I can’t force you to stop whatever has you in bondage today, but I can pray for you. Our life is so short even under the best circumstances, that we need to treat each day as the gift from God that it is. When we waste it by allowing a bondage in our life to take over, we lose out on so much.

I will be praying today that for those of you NOT in some form of bondage in your life, you stay strong and avoid allowing yourself to get caught in that trap. For those who are fighting some bondage in your life today, let me tell you that God is a God of deliverance. I will be praying today that you open your heart and hear HIM speaking to you today. IT IS NO ACCIDENT THAT YOU ARE READING THIS TODAY!!!

Please know God loves you so much. Take a moment and be honest with yourself. If you have allowed some form of bondage to take over your life, TODAY can be a day of deliverance for you. Don’t waste another moment of your precious life. God has blessings for you that you cannot even begin to comprehend. Never forget, the devil has only one goal. To kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus came to give you life, and life more abundantly. Take your life back today, and LIVE!!!

In his love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2015, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Those we love who are living in rebellion to God

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(James 4:7)

Those we love who are living in rebellion to God. One of the hardest things in life is when someone we love, someone that we care about, a husband or wife, a son or daughter, a mother or father, a brother or sister, a family member or friend, is living in rebellion to God. It breaks our heart because we know that there will not only be consequences for their rebellion, but much pain for them and many others in their life as well.

YOU CANNOT LIVE APART FROM GOD AND NOT PAY A PRICE! A quick note for those who may be living in rebellion to God. Sin is selfish! You cannot sin in a vacuum. Your rebellion not only affects your life, but many other lives as well.

One of the biggest traps of the enemy that people fall into when someone they care about is living in rebellion to God, is to blame themselves. Especially when it is your spouse or child. Hear what I have to say very clearly. ***YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF SOMEONE ELSE!!! One more time. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF SOMEONE ELSE!!! God has given each one of us freewill. The ability to make choices. Every day, literally hundreds of times during each day, we each make the choice to obey God, or to rebel against God. When someone that you love makes the choice to rebel against God, THEY made that choice, NOT you.

When someone you love is living in rebellion to God, it is actually a time for you to make your faith real. We all go through life claiming to have faith, but hoping to never have to see if it really works. However, there will be those times in life, there will be situations when you have absolutely NO CONTROL over the situation at all. The choices someone you love makes is exactly that type of situation. YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER WHAT THEY CHOOSE TO DO. Your only weapon is your faith. It is one of those times in life where the rubber meets the road in regard to the faith we claim to have in God. It is at those times in life we must make our faith real and trust Him.

Practically speaking, we can do three things. First, do our best to talk to the person we love to try and help them see that the choices they are making are only going to cause them great heartache and pain. Sadly, most people living in rebellion are not very receptive to advice from anyone. Sin has a way of blinding a person to the point where they rarely listen, but we have to at least do our best to talk to them.

Second, love them. Love them does not mean to enable them in their rebellious choices. But never let them forget, no matter how much hurt and pain they may cause, that you will always love them. One of the greatest powers in the universe is the unconditional love that we show others, especially those who may hurt us.

Third, pray. Prayer changes things. Obviously, when someone we love is living in rebellion to God, only THEY can make the choice to change. When they make the choice to change, God will help them. That is your prayer. Pray that they will have a desire to change.

I love you and care about you so much. I realize that most of you probably have someone close in your life that is living in rebellion to God. You are not responsible for their choices. What they chose to do is not your fault. You have to make your faith real and turn them over to God. Talk to them, love them, and most of all, pray for them. God is still in the heart changing business!!! I will stand in prayer with you today for the one or ones you love and care about that are living in rebellion to God. Our God is able!!!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2015, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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