GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Friday, October 20, 2017

God does EVERYTHING for our GOOD

My Musings in the Morning
('musing' = a period of reflection or thought)

"My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue:" 
 (Psalm 39:3)

#6: God does EVERYTHING for our GOOD

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son." (Romans 8:28-29)

There are five elements in this promise so that we can see how God works together for our good to help us rise above our circumstances:

1. Certainty
The first thing is the certainty of the promise. Notice how the verse begins: “We know”. This is ironclad certainty. We can be certain!

2. Completeness
The second thing is the completeness of the promise: “We know that all things work together for good”. God gives the test first, and then He gives the lesson. We learn through affliction. Think about Joseph in the Bible. Think of all the terrible things that happened to Joseph. He was maligned by his brothers. He was thrown into a pit and sold as a slave; he was lied about and accused of rape. Then he languished in prison. But Joseph, as he looked back, said something that is much like Romans 8:28. Talking to his brothers, Joseph said, “As for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

3. Cause
The third thing is the cause of the promise: “We know that all things work together for good.” Greek scholars tell us that literally the verse says, “We know that God works all things together for good”. It is God who made this promise. He is the cause of it.

4. Condition
The fourth thing is the condition of the promise. What is the condition? “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” If you don’t love God, you can’t claim this promise. The condition is that we must be lovers of God. But can we love God? The first and great commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”. This will please and honor God above everything else.

5. Consequences
The fifth thing is the purpose of the promise. It is about those who are called according to His purpose. What is His purpose? In Romans 8:28-29 we read, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” That’s the key. What is the good that all things are working together for? To make us like Jesus. To be conformed to the image of His Son. There is no higher good than to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today let’s realize that God does everything for our good when we truly love Him from our heart and serve Him faithfully!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Focus, Will Power & Capabilities

My Musings in the Morning
('musing' = a period of reflection or thought)

"My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue:" 
 (Psalm 39:3)

#5: Our Focus, Will Power & Capabilities

"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

In order to bring a fundamental and major change in our lives, three key elements need to exist simultaneously in our internal make-up: 
  1. Focus: This constitutes a clear sense of purpose and entails clear goals to guide our life activities. 
  2. Will Power: This directs our motivation & enthusiasm to sustain the actions we take. 
  3. Capabilities: This consists of the skills & abilities to fulfill our purpose & goals.
In order for us to reach our goal, we need to start with focus. This is because our focus is powerful & based on a very deep sense of our innermost purpose in life, which God will reveal to us through prayer & consecration. In the words of Apostle Paul: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).

This transformed focus will provide us with the will power that we need to keep us going forward as we cling to this statement: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). If we have a clear driving focus in life & the will power (with God’s help) to achieve our desired goals, we will develop the skills & capabilities that we need to make it happen. Our passion, enthusiasm & our reliance on God will make the desired changes in our life!

Be blessed as you press yourself towards your desired goal starting today!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The four-fold purpose of our church gatherings

My Musings in the Morning
('musing' = a period of reflection or thought)

"My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue:" 
 (Psalm 39:3)

#4: The four-fold purpose of our church gatherings

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."  (Acts 2:42)

If the initial church in Jerusalem is to be a model for our church gatherings today, we can understand four significant and crucial activities that used to take place during each time that they met together based on the above scripture:
  1. They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching: The apostles had been personally taught and mentored by the Lord Jesus Himself during the last 3.5 years with the objective that they would transmit those teachings to the church. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who would bring to remembrance everything that Jesus had taught them (John 14:26), the apostles made a deliberate effort to teach the laity everything that they knew. This is just what Apostle Paul had instructed his spiritual son Timothy as well later (see 2 Timothy 2:2). These teachings eventually got written down as Epistles meant for our instruction. The equivalent activity for us in the church today is the preaching of God's Word, exhortations & Bible Study.
  2. They devoted themselves to fellowship: They were simply together because of the joy they experience for being together in each other's company through fellowship & worship. As it mentions in Hebrews 10:24; they stirred up love (for God and each other) and to do good works (for God's kingdom) in one another through these meetings. Their fellowship was a strong base for them to reach out to others with the gospel. We need to develop a close knit community of faith as well, which will energize us to do kingdom work.
  3. They devoted themselves to breaking bread together: This signified the sacrament of Holy Communion during which they remembered the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ to redeem themselves from sin. This was usually significant when they came together to break bread especially on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). However, the breaking of bread also signified other meals that they had together as a faith community,
  4. They devoted themselves to prayer: Last but not the least, the purpose of their gatherings was to pray together to God together through Jesus Christ who would be present in their midst according to His earlier promise in Mathew 18:20. They prayed unitedly at the temple initially (Acts 3:1) and in different homes later (Acts 12:12) as they were united in their efforts to pray for their specific needs and for the furtherance of the gospel.
May our church gatherings include all these four significant and crucial activities listed above. Be blessed as you meet with your faith community regularly & fulfill God's mission on earth today!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Are you enjoying the presence of God daily?

My Musings in the Morning
('musing' = a period of reflection or thought)

"My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue:" 
 (Psalm 39:3)

#3: Are you enjoying the presence of God daily?

"In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" - Psalms 16:11

When God created Adam & placed him in the garden of Eden, it was God's plan that he enjoy an intimate fellowship with God daily. In fact, God would leave His heavenly abode to meet with His supreme creation "in the cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8). However, sin distanced Adam & Eve from that intimate fellowship, and they were driven out of the garden of Eden shortly thereafter (Genesis 3:24). However, it was always God's intention to have fellowship with man, which is evidenced by God's call to Abram, and at a later stage, God setting up His tabernacle in the midst of the Israelite camp & directing His temple to be built for Israel in the Promised Land.

When Jesus came to this earth, He destroyed the temple ("His own body") and paved a way for us to enjoy an intimate fellowship with God through the abundant life that He has provided for us (John 10:10). Unable to be presented physically with His children after Jesus ascended to heaven after His resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to this earth to abide in us. Today, God has given us the provision to enjoy His presence daily through 'delighting in His Word' (Psalms 1:2) and being 'filled with the Holy Spirit' (Ephesians 5:18), which is evidenced by us 'singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord (v. 19), 'giving thanks always for all things to the Lord' (v. 20), and 'rejoicing in the Lord always' (Philippians 4:4).

Today, and everyday going forward, let us enjoy the presence of God daily as we echo these words of King David: "O God, You are my God; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips." (Psalms 63:1-5)

Be blessed as you enjoy God's presence today!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It all begins with giving thanks to God

My Musings in the Morning
('musing' = a period of reflection or thought)

"My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue:" 
 (Psalm 39:3)

#2: It all begins with giving thanks to God

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:21-22)

It is my firm belief that we have never grasped the importance of thanking God every moment of every day in our lives. In his first letter to the Thessalonian church, Apostle Paul exhorts that we should give thanks to God 'in' everything; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. However, it is very much possible that we neither think about God nor we are thankful to Him for what He is doing each & every day of our lives. Many times we only profess to give a 'lip-service' thanks to God when we wake up in the morning, during our meal times, on our birthday, during the year-end service or, even on the 'Thanksgiving Day' that occurs in the fourth Thursday of November of every year.

God's word is clear that it all begins with giving thanks to God if we are to end up either as 'wise' or as 'fools'. We all know that God exists, but it matters greatly whether we are thankful to Him or not, each and every day of our lives. The scripture text (above from the book of Romans) describes our downward fall, when after 'knowing' about God, we do not glorify Him by acknowledging Him as the source of all our blessings & give Him thanks:
  1. Our thoughts become vain or futile as God is out of our thought process.
  2. Without the light of God's wisdom and Word, our hearts become darkened.
  3. Although we think we are 'worldly' wise, we actually become 'fools' in the sight of God.
  4. The evidence of the fact that we have become fools is that we end up denying even the existence of God. The fool says in his heart, “there is no God” (Psalms 14:1).
Today and everyday going forward, let us be careful to acknowledge God & thank Him for what He has done & is doing in our lives. Let's develop a godly fear as "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).

Let's end up in becoming wise in attracting others towards God as "those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).

Be blessed as you purposefully express your thanks to God today!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Way of the Cross

My Musings in the Morning
('musing' = a period of reflection or thought)

"My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned: then I spoke with my tongue:" (Psalm 39:3)

#1: The Way of the Cross

The way of the cross provides the way to victory and glory - not defeat and humiliation. Even though I may appear to lose my battle today, when I keep my eye on the prize ahead I should see the ultimate victory ahead in the horizon. Even though my path is treacherous and discouraging, I will ultimately reach my destination as I continue to keep my eyes upon Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Apostle Peter exhorts me that instead of being surprised by the painful setbacks and suffering, I should instead rejoice that I am participating in sufferings with Christ (1 Peter 4:12-13). God will work through my pain to bring Him glory at the end!

So, my friend, remember that there is no 'prize' without the 'pain', there is no 'crown' without the 'cross', and there is no 'exaltation' before 'exhaustion' (Philippians 2:5-11).

Be blessed as you faithfully follow the way of your master today!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Are we getting READY for the ‘MARRIAGE of the LAMB’?

Are we getting READY for the ‘MARRIAGE of the LAMB’? 

December 31 Bible Reading: Revelation Chapters 19-22

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Rev. 19:6-8)

As the book of Revelation comes to a close, Apostle John speaks about a wonderful event that is going to happen in heaven, which is the marriage of Jesus Christ (“the Lamb”) to His Church (“the bride”). Apostle Paul had earlier spoken about the relationship of Christ to His Church with that of a husband to his wife as being a great mystery: “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:32)

In order to get a better understanding of this event, we should look into the steps involved in a Jewish marriage. It all begins with the betrothal of the bride to the groom, which is as binding as marriage itself (Exo. 22:16). Due to this fact, the betrothed couple is normally referred to as husband (2 Cor. 11:2) and wife (Luke 2:5). During the period of betrothal, the groom prepares to pay the dowry to the father of the bride and also prepares room in his father’s house for his bride, while the bride prepares herself for the upcoming wedding. It is the father of the groom who decides when the interval of betrothal should end. With his father’s consent the groom along with his friends goes to the bride’s home, from which he brings her back to the home that he had prepared for his bride. There the wedding supper is held and the marriage is finally consummated through the union between the groom and the bride.

The above particulars of the Jewish marriage can be applied to the marriage of Jesus Christ and His Church, which has been announced many times in the Old Testament through God’s messengers, the prophets. While Israel is called God’s wife in the Old Testament (see Isa. 54:5–8; Hos. 2:19, 20), the Church has become the bride of Christ in the New Testament (see Eph. 5:23-27). When Jesus took on flesh and blood and came down to this sinful world, He became the sacrificial lamb for humanity and became betrothed to His followers (the Church) who accept Him in their hearts as their Lord and Savior. He paid the ultimate price (the dowry) by shedding His last drop of His blood on the cross at Calvary. Thereafter, He has left for His heavenly abode to prepare a place for us (His bride, the Church), and He has exhorted us not to be troubled about this matter (John 14:1-2).

One day, in the near future, Jesus will return for His bride, for so He has stated: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). In fact, in the last chapter (22) of Revelation, Jesus has emphasized three times that He will return quickly with these words: “Behold, I am coming quickly!” (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20) He will take us with Him to heaven to participate in the “marriage of the Lamb” (v. 7). This wedding imagery expresses the intimacy, love, and joy between Christ and His bride, the Church (Matt. 22:2–14; John 3:29). For the Jews, this wedding imagery stresses the intimate relationship that will exist between God and His people in the earthly messianic kingdom.

The “marriage of the Lamb” (v. 7) is thus the eternal union of the bride (Church) with Jesus Christ following the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:17). The basic clothing of the bride is the garment of salvation, which she received at her acceptance of the Lamb’s gracious offer of marriage (Isa 61:10). Her white garment signifies faithful obedience to God (Matt. 22:11, 12). The fine linen in the garment represents the righteous acts of the saints justified by faith in Jesus Christ, which has now been judged and purified at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:12–15; 2 Cor. 5:10).

As the bride of Christ, the Church has to make herself ready for the judgment seat of Christ, and take away her “spots and wrinkles” in order to receive rewards for faithful service. As we close out this year and complete our journey through God’s Word, a good question to ask ourselves today is: Are we getting ready for the marriage of the Lamb? Let us be truthful in our answer.

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