"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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 14 Bible Reading: Ezra Chapters 1-3

ELEMENTS of TRUE WORSHIP: When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: "For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel." Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off. (Ezra 3:10-13)

Cyrus, King of Persia, allowed the captive Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple as well as subsidized the journey back to their homeland. It was only by the second month of the second year of their coming to Jerusalem that they could get together to begin the work of temple restoration. When the builders laid the foundations of the temple of God, we can note some elements of true worship that we can adopt in our worship as well:
  1. The priests put on their priestly garments and blew their trumpets loudly.
  2. The Levites praised God using cymbals according the ordinance of King David.
  3. The priests and Levites sang responsively praising and giving thanks to God for His goodness and for His mercy towards Israel.
  4. The entire congregation shouted with a great shout as they praised God – the sound was heard from a long distance away.
  5. The older people (including the priests, Levites and heads of families) wept with a loud voice as they became emotionally carried away with the significance of the occasion as they remembered the glory of Solomon’s Temple that was destroyed.
  6. The younger people shouted aloud with pure joy as they could not contain the excitement of anticipation about what God was about to accomplish among them.
Our worship to God should include one or more of the above elements listed above – but the more importantly, our worship must be sincere. Worship is an encounter with the living and holy God and we should worship with reverence for God (Hebrews 12:28). In worship, we ascribe to the Lord the glory due to Him (Psalm 29:1-2), and we can worship boldly because of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (Hebrews 10:1-10). Let us be sincere in our worship to God!

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