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, August 11, 2011

August 11 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 13-15

Going “BACK-to-the-BASICS” with GENUINE REPENTANCE: Therefore thus says the Lord: "If you return, then I will bring you back; you shall stand before Me; if you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you," says the Lord. "I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible." (Jer. 15:19-21)

Even the great prophet Jeremiah could miss God’s way. Self-pity is forbidden because it accomplishes no good. Jeremiah was spiritually facing the wrong direction through self-pity (vv. 15–18) and it was necessary that he must voluntarily “repent” (Jer. 3:1, 7, 12), after which God would restore him to his prophetic position as God’s spokesman. “Stand before” means “to serve”, so we can infer that genuine repentance is necessary to serve God faithfully.

The Hebrew term translated “return” can be rendered “to repent.” Therefore, the challenge implies more than a mere return to a former position; it indicates instead a new moral and spiritual direction of life. Jeremiah was faced with the options of either repentance for his doubting God’s love and wisdom, or dismissal from his prophetic office. The Lord teaches Jeremiah two important lessons about repentance: (1) it is necessary and volitional; and (2) God must work this repentance (“I will bring you back”). If Jeremiah will return to his work, his words will continue to have divine authority. Only then will Jeremiah be restored to his prophetic task.

Let us always remember that when we fail, God will confront us (v. 19), but He will also encourage us. Rebuking Jeremiah for his doubt and self-pity, God told him to remain steadfast. God then restated the promises He made when He commissioned Jeremiah as a prophet (v. 20). Though opposition would come, God promised to keep Jeremiah safe from his enemies (v. 21).

Sometimes God will take us “back-to-the-basics” to remind us what He has promised us during His initial call into His ministry in order that we may “repent” and return back to Him. For prophet Jeremiah too, God was taking him “back-to-the-basics” to remind him what He had promised when He had initially called him into the ministry (compare vv. 20-21 to 1:18-19) so that Jeremiah will genuinely “repent” and return back to his place in ministry.

"For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land--against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you," says the Lord, "to deliver you." (Jer. 1:18-19)

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