"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.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 16 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 22-24

The tragedy of following God’s PERMISSIVE WILL: Today’s reading of Numbers 22-24 tells us the story of Balaam, the son of Beor, who originated from Mesopotamia (Deut 23:4). He was a soothsayer by profession (Joshua 13:22) and used sorcery (Num 24:1) to bewitch others. He is referred to as a prophet as well (2 Peter 2:15, 16) because God was pleased to inspire and direct him to speak prophecies towards Israel (Num 24:2-9). In fact many of the Jewish writers say that Balaam had been a great prophet, who for the accomplishment of his predictions, and the answers of his prayers, had been looked upon justly as a man of great interest with God.

When Balak the king of Moabites saw the Israelites camped in the plains of Moab, he knew that his people’s fate (Num 22:1-4) would be similar to that of Sihon, the king of Amorites (Num 21:21-32) and Og the king of Bashan (Num 21:33-35). He sends for Balaam to curse Israel with large sums of money (Num 22:5-7, Joshua 24:9, Nehemiah 13:2, Micah 6:5). When Balaam talked to God regarding cursing the Israelites (Deut 23:5), God revealed His PERFECT WILL in this matter to Balaam in Num 22:12: And God said to Balaam, "You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed." However, when Balaam persisted with his request, we see that God revealed His PERMISSIVE WILL in this matter in Num 22:20: And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you--that you shall do."
Following God’s PERMISSIVE WILL, Balaam almost lost his life being rebuked by a donkey and the Angel of God (Num 22:22-35, 2 Peter 2:16). Balaam was covetous, and desired to become rich quickly through unrighteousness (2 Peter 2:15). The apostle Jude describes Balaam's sin that he ‘ran greedily into an error for profit’ (Jude 1:11). When Balaam could not curse the Israelites because of God’s favor, he gave wrong counsel to Balak that caused Israel's corruption with the Midianites (Num 25:1-3; 31:16; Rev 2:14, 15). However it is certain, that afterwards for his covetousness, God departed from him. He wished to die the death of a righteous (Num 23:10b), but his end was tragic to say the least (Num 31:8; Joshua 13:22).

What is the lesson for us through this real life story of Balaam?
If we follow God’s PERMISSIVE WILL instead of His PERFECT WILL, our life will end in tragedy. We have to draw near to God (James 4:8) and seek His PERFECT WILL through total consecration of ourselves. “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)

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