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.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14 Bible Reading: 2 Kings Chapters 1-3

FAITHFULLNESS – the KEY to an EFFECTIVE MINISTRY: And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?" Elisha said, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." (2 Kings 2:9)

Elisha, the son of Shaphat, was a farmer engaged in plowing his field when the mantle of the prophet Elijah first fell upon him signifying the call from God for a higher ministry (1 Kings 19:19). Elisha demonstrated his commitment to his new calling by destroying the means of his former livelihood, turning his back on his parents and friends and following Elijah as his servant (v. 20-21). In fact, his new assignment was described by others as ‘pouring water on the hands of Elijah’ (2 Kings 3:11b).

After following Elijah for so long, it was now time for the transfer of the prophetic mantle to Elisha (2 Kings 2:1-7). The Lord had let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets in Gilgal, Bethel and Jericho to give them his last exhortations and blessing. All his efforts, however, to prevail on his attendant Elisha to remain behind, were fruitless. Elisha knew that the time was at hand, and at every place the sons of the prophets spoke to him of the approaching removal of his master. Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now as he hoped to receive the God’s anointing through Elijah’s parting blessing. Like the rod of Moses, the mantle of Elijah had the divinely operating power of the Spirit and parted the Jordan River which enabled both Elijah and Elisha to cross over on dry ground (v. 8).

The request by Elisha for a "double portion of Elijah's Spirit" (v. 9) was applied to the first-born (Deut 21:17), and therefore Elisha's request was, simply, to be heir to the prophetic office and gifts of his master. His request was granted because Elisha was faithful to his calling and stuck with Elijah like glue even until the very moment when Elijah was transported to heaven in a chariot of fire (v.10-12). The prophetic mantle of Elijah now fell upon Elisha as he continued his ministry with double fervor.

The removal of Elijah from the world was a type and figure of the ascension of Jesus Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Like Elisha, we are following Christ and His teachings. It is very important that we should be faithful in our commitment to our calling even unto death. When God will take up His faithful children to heaven, death is signified by the Jordan River which they must pass through. The death of Christ has already divided those waters so that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over, and boldly say: "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (1 Cor 15:55)

Let us "not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherited the promises" (Heb 6:12). "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful" (Heb 10:23). Let us "be faithful until death, and God will give us the crown of life" (Rev 2:10).

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