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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 28-30

GOD’S PLAN to give us HOPE and a BETTER FUTURE: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer 29:11)

In 597 B.C., the Babylonians began to deport the Jews to Babylon. To those who were deported, Jeremiah sent a letter in which he told them to prepare for a long stay in Babylon. Instead of hoping for Babylon’s quick destruction, they were to seek its peace and prosperity. The Lord would restore the exiles only when the seventy years of judgment that He had announced were completed (Jer 25:11–12).

In the above key verse, we can understand that God places considerable emphasis on His unchangeable plan to bring peace and not evil in our lives. He wishes to give us hope and provide us with a better future. Even though Judah was in captivity, God has not terminated His relationship with His people. God remembers His covenant promises of restoration that He had promised in Deut. 30:1–10.

In his exposition of Jer 29:10–14 in ‘Preaching’, Yates makes the following observation: "God’s Word to His people in the day of Jeremiah is still His sure word for men who have sinned and lost touch with the Infinite. He is always available. His longing is that all men may look to Him and live. His arms are always open in loving invitation to any who will turn to Him. Cleansing, peace, joy, victory will be his at the hand of a loving God who delights to welcome His children home."

According to the Bible scholar Warren Wiersbe, Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles helps us understand how we can make the best of a difficult situation:
  • Accept it. We should live as normal a life as we can and put up with inconveniences without complaining. We should try to be a blessing to others, and be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker.
  • Be patient. God has the timing all worked out, and His plans never fail. He knows how long and how much.
  • Trust God. Verse 11 is a powerful promise to claim when we are “in exile”. God thinks about us personally and is planning for us. His plans are for peace, so we need not fear the future. His plans are purposeful, so we should let Him work out His will. No matter how difficult our situation may be, we should not waste our suffering by resisting God.
  • Avoid false hopes. It is human to indulge in false hopes and grasp at every straw, but this approach leads to despair. We should avoid the subtle voices of the false teachers with their false hopes. The Word of God will tell us what to do.
Today, we are somewhat like the Jewish exiles in Babylon, for we are away from our heavenly home and living among those who do not accept our way of life. We live with a future hope in the return of Christ and spending eternity with Him. In the meantime, we are just visitors and pilgrims on earth. This is what Apostle Peter tells us to do within our context: "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Peter 2:11-12)

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