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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15 Bible Reading: Judges Chapters 10-12

"The terrible tragedy of making RASH VOWS to God" 

Jephthah the Gileadite stands condemned in history as someone who made a rash and foolish vow to God even though he was a mighty man who led the Israelites to win a decisive battle against the enemy. We read in Judges 11:30-31 like this: And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, "If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.". By the very wordings of this vow, it is clear that Jephthah expected an animal at his door when he returned back victoriously from battle. Jephthah’s vow however turned out to be rash and cruel as his only daughter was the one who greeted him at the door and he had to ultimately consecrate her as a sacrifice to God (Judges 11:32-40).

In ancient Israel, vows were solemn promises made to God (Psalms 76:11) in reference with devoting a person (Num 6:2) or dedicating children (1 Sam 1:11) or devoting property to God (Gen 28:22).  Vows needed to be voluntary (Deut 23:21-22), and performed faithfully (Num 30:2) without any delay (Deut 23:21, 23). However there was danger of inconsiderately making vows. "It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, and afterward to reconsider his vows" (Prov 20:25)

Several important lessons are to be learned from Jephthah's rash vow:
  1. There may be doubts in our hearts concerning our future but that should not drive us to make foolish vows to God.
  2. We should never make vows to God as a purchase of a favor we desire but only to express gratitude to Him.
  3. We need to carefully consider the consequences before making a vow, and the golden rule is: we should only make vows that we can keep.
  4. Finally, what we have solemnly vowed to God, we must perform even though it is hard – this is the least that God expects from us.
The BEST advice that we can receive from God’s word concerning making vows is found in Eccl 5:4-7: "When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed-- better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity…but fear God".

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