"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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 29 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 16-18

Are we ‘MISERABLE COMFORTERS’ to others in their DISTRESS?

Then Job answered and said: "I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all!" (Job 16:1-2)

Job’s three friends had travelled from their home town, from a long distance, to be with Job when they had heard of his adversities. In fact, they had made appointments together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him (Job 2:11). When they met Job, they could not recognize him due to the physical infirmity that had afflicted him. They wept aloud in sorrow, tore their clothes and sprinkled dust upon themselves as an outward expression of grief (v. 12). They sat down on the ground with Job for seven days and seven nights without speaking a word, seeing that Job’s grief was too intensive to be expressed aloud (v. 13).

However, when each of Job’s friends started speaking – Eliphaz (Job 4:1-5:27; 15:1-35), Bildad (Job 8:1-22), and Zophar (Job 11:1-20) – the words that came out of their mouths were words of condemnation and not of comfort. Instead of providing relief to Job, they were like inflicting pain to his wounds. To all the previous allegations from his three ‘friends’ Job simply responded, in essence, “I’ve heard it all before - you are all miserable comforters” (Job 16:2).

In his book ‘How to Get Along with Almost Anyone’, H. Norman Wright has categorized four different kinds of people who express various forms of destructive criticism:
  1. First, there are the ‘blamers’. They avoid accepting responsibility for their actions by criticizing other people or blaming past experiences which cannot be changed or undone.
  2. Next, there are the ‘hurtful jokers’. Humor is a positive method of relating with others, but hurtful jokers make others the butt of their humor. They specialize in laughing at people instead of laughing with them.
  3. Then, there are the ‘fault-finders’. These people have the insatiable need to point out others’ defects, but usually do that with a smile and the words, “I’m just trying to be helpful…”
  4. Finally, there are the ‘cannibals’. These people do not criticize in a joking manner or settle for mere nitpicking. They go for the jugular…they attack through the most severe forms of personal criticism and put others down with complete disregard of their feelings. These destructive critics are intent in tearing down and manipulating the hurting person.
As children of God, we should never engage in destructive criticism or turn out to be ‘miserable comforters’ like Job’s friends. In fact, Satan engages in these activities, and he is referred to as a thief by our Lord Jesus Christ. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10). Satan is the "accuser of God's children” who accuses them before God day and night (Rev 12:10).

If we are engaged in destructive criticism, let us detest from this activity once and for all. This is what God’s word counsels us to do: "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal 6:1-2)

Let us never be ‘miserable comforters’ to others in their distress!

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