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.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 19 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 82-89

Let’s have our HEARTS set on a PILGRIMAGE: "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion." (Psalms 84:5-7)

Psalm 84 is a song of pilgrimage penned by the sons of Korah whose duties included being gatekeepers of the temple (1 Chron. 26:1, 12–19). This psalm reveals an intense longing for God’s house – the temple in Jerusalem (Psalm 84:1-4), and this impulse for worship was so strong as to overcome any obstacle that might stand in the way of the pilgrim (v. 7). God was there, and to worship Him there ultimately was the height of all joy and blessing (v. 10).

There are five lessons that we can learn from the above verses 5-7 that are listed below:
  1. God considers those people blessed who have learned the secret of putting their focus/trust in God: We are blessed (divine favored) when our strength to believe, obey and suffer lies in God alone. This happens when the doctrines, precepts, and promises of God are deeply engraved upon our hearts, and we are passionate in following God’s ways during our life’s journey.
  2. God is not only their power source, but their hearts are set on a pilgrimage: Pilgrimages to the tabernacle were a grand feature of Jewish life and these blessed people had an earnest desire to take this journey, even though they lived far off from the tabernacle. We need to realize that this earth is not our own – we are just passing through. We need to closely follow the footsteps of the fathers in faith who confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth (Heb 11:13).
  3. As these pilgrims pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring (or, well): The Valley of Baca represents the valley of weeping – the testing/trial experiences in the life of a believer. These tragic experiences should create wells of testimony regarding the faithfulness of God, and these experiences may be used to bless others as we go through similar experiences. Let’s always remember that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalms 37:23).
  4. When we use our life experiences to bless others, God will fill our wells of experience with His rain: God will pour His showers of blessings upon our efforts to glorify Him through our life tragedies. God will help us to overcome our tragic situations and help us to be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).
  5. We will go from strength to strength until we appear before God: At the end of all our valley experiences, we will appear before God in Mount Zion, the holy mountain of God. Even though weary from the demands of the journey, we will gather strength as we trudge along in God's ways, and finally reach the wonderful presence of God.
Let’s set on our heart on a pilgrimage today knowing that our ultimate destination is the presence of God! Let’s follow the example of the Old Testament saints who did exactly that: "(They)…died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." (Heb 11:13-16)

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