"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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17 Bible Reading: Hosea Chapters 7-9

DARE to be DIFFERENT by STANDING APART for GOD: "Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it; yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it." (Hosea 7:8-9)

Israel, addressed in the name of its most prominent tribe Ephraim, was reminded of the mission that God had called it into existence in Gen 12:1–3. Instead, they had mixed themselves among the heathen people by shifting alliances with Egypt, Philistia, Aram, and Assyria, and had adopted their ways. They had much religious activity to show for, but no religious reality.

In this sarcastic metaphor, the people of Israel was compared to an unturned cake because they had refused to turn to the Lord and showed lack of balance. As far as religious activity is concerned, they were overdone. But so far as their attitude and reality towards God was concerned, they were raw. This example fitted Israel’s condition perfectly!

Because Israel had entered into foreign alliances and assimilated other cultures, it had lost the distinctions that gave it worth. Their alliances, rather than empowering them, had sapped their strength. The people were “half-baked”; there was no depth in their religious experience. The nation was aging, weakened and feeble but did not realize it, and national death would come much sooner than the people realized.

Let’s take a valuable lesson from this metaphor concerning Israel. When we truly live as God’s children by taking the Scriptures to heart and attempt to live them, we will inevitably come into conflict with the world. We belong to no one but Christ. To be a true Christian is to stand apart and yet to remain within – to dare to be different. In order to obey God faithfully, we may need to make changes in our hearts and our lives. Let’s stand apart for God by making a change within and declaring a new start today!

"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:13-14)

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