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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 31-33

Our SPIRITUAL TRANSPARENCY through the ‘NEW COVENANT’: "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jer 31:31-34)

The ‘New Covenant’ is the fifth and last of the theocratic covenants (pertaining to the rule of God). God made the ‘New Covenant’ primarily with Israel and Judah (v. 31). This is a covenant of grace through which humans will be given a new moral nature, and knowledge of the Lord will be universal (see Heb. 10:15–17). Unlike the Mosaic Law, it is unconditional. It emphasized what God will do, not what man must do (vv. 33-34).

The ‘New Covenant’ is the culmination of God’s covenant-making with Israel. There are some marked differences between the ‘Old’ and ‘New Covenant’ (v. 32; Gen. 9:13):
  • The ‘Old Covenant’ (given at Mount Sinai) demanded obedience, while the ‘New Covenant’ offers forgiveness of sin.
  • The ‘Old Covenant’ was written on stone tablets, while the ‘New Covenant’ is carved on the hearts of God’s people (see Ezekiel 36:26, 27).
  • The ‘Old Covenant’ was between God and the nation Israel, whereas the ‘New Covenant’ is between God and all believers.
At the foundation of the ‘New Covenant’ is the fact that God is everything; He will make His people what they ought to be. The new covenant came into force with the atoning death of Christ. All believers in the present church age are the recipients of its benefits. Eventually those benefits will also be extended to include a repentant and regenerate Israel (Rom. 11:25–29).

Four provisions are made in this ‘New Covenant’:
  1. Regeneration—God will put His law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts (v. 33)
  2. A national restoration—Yahweh will be their God and the nation will be His people (v. 33)
  3. Personal ministry of the Holy Spirit—they will all be taught individually by God (v. 34)
  4. Full justification—their sins will be forgiven and completely removed (v. 34)
The ‘New Covenant’ is made sure by the blood that Jesus shed on Calvary’s cross. Jesus’ payment for sins is more than adequate to pay for the sins of all who will believe in Him. The ‘New Covenant’ is called “new” in contrast to the covenant with Moses which is called “old” (Jer. 31:32; Heb. 8:6–13) because it actually accomplishes what the Mosaic covenant could only point to, that is, the child of God living in a manner that is consistent with the character of God.

The New Testament reveals that the words that God has promised to write on the hearts of His people are written by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:1–3), who empowers them to live in a manner that reflects the very character of God. This profound truth of God’s ‘New Covenant’ is so significant that this passage is quoted three times in the New Testament (John 6:45; Heb. 8:10; 10:16–17).

We are the ‘living epistles’ of Christ in these end times, and we must reflect Christ with love and goodness through a steady pattern of living excellence. We have to be spiritually transparent living under the ‘New Covenant’.  This is what Apostle Paul tells about our status: "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart." (2 Cor 3:2-3)

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