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.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11 Bible Reading: 1 Kings Chapters 13-15

DISOBEDIENCE to God brings DEATH: But the man of God said to the king, "If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, 'You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.'“ So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel. (1 Kings 13:8-10)

In 1 Kings 13, we read the story of an unnamed ‘man of God’ who travelled from Judah to Bethel to pronounce a prophecy to the ungodly King Jeroboam. We cannot get more specific details about this prophet except that He came by divine authority as he accurately predicted an event that took place three hundred sixty years later. His boldness and fortitude to stand and pronounce judgment before the king of Israel was remarkable. The two incidents that happened rapidly in close succession – the withering of King Jeroboam’s hand (v. 4) and the altar splitting apart with the ashes pouring out (v. 5) - were truly dramatic. When King Jeroboam requested this ‘man of God’ to pray for healing and restoration, he did that and the king’s hand was restored immediately (v. 6). By all accounts, this young prophet was in the will of God, and he was clearly told what he should not do after completing his ministry – he was not to eat bread or drink water in Bethel, and he was not to return back to Judah using the route that he had travelled.

This young prophet obeyed God by refusing the reward that King Jeroboam offered as a bribe (v. 7-9), and also took a different way to return to his home town. However, we see some definite steps that led this fiery young prophet to an early death through disobedience:
  1. DELAY: This young prophet delayed in his return journey, and we read that the old deceitful prophet found him sitting under an oak (v. 14). This act of delay allowed for the encounter with the old prophet. Our act of obedience to God should have no delays or looking back. Let’s remember Lot’s wife (Gen 19:26).
  2. DECEPTION: When the young prophet delayed in his obedience, he allowed himself to be deceived by the old prophet who was actually lying (v. 18).
  3. DISOBEDIENCE: Instead of recalling the specific command of God and following it completely, the young prophet disobeyed God’s word and went back with the old prophet to eat bread and drink water in his house (v. 19)
  4. DAMNATION: The old prophet showed his true color and intention only after the disobedience was complete. He cried out with passion (as a result of his own guilt and due to the young prophet's approaching misery) and pronounced the ultimate death sentence as damnation (v. 20-22).
  5. DEATH: Just as the old prophet had cursed, the young prophet was killed by a lion on his return journey (v. 24), and was buried in the old prophet’s tomb instead of his fathers’ (v. 22b, 30).
This incident teaches us an important lesson that disobedience to God’s word will result ultimately in death. Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s word (Gen 2:16-17) through Satan’s deception (Gen 3:3), which resulted in their eternal death (separation from God’s fellowship). "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" (Romans 6:16) "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23). 

Let us decide to obey God’s word completely and without any delay – no matter what happens in our lives or who tells us otherwise…!!!

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