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, September 18, 2011

September 18 Bible Reading: Hosea Chapters 10-12

It’s TIME to BREAK UP our HARDENED HEARTS: "Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you." (Hosea 10:12)

The prophet Hosea calls upon Israel to repentance, reminding them that a decision could not be postponed, and that God’s blessings could still be restored. Israel had to reestablish social justice (righteousness) and loyalty (mercy) in the land. The only thing that could prevent God’s judgment from falling was repentance and a life of righteousness. The time to come to this repentance and righteousness is now, before the judgment falls. Their repentance will put them into a proper relationship with God, and He can then teach them His ways.

Plowing and planting are the necessary preliminary steps for growing a crop, which eventually sprouts when the rain falls in season. In the same way, repentance would set the stage for restored blessing, which God would eventually rain down on His people. Sowing that which is right and good brings a harvest of blessing from the Lord. Fallow ground is land left uncultivated. When fallow ground is plowed, it produces a particularly abundant harvest, which only God can give (1 Cor. 3:6, 7).

In the above passage, Israel is invited and encouraged to return to God by prayer, repentance, and reformation. What was wrong with Israel? They had tried to serve two masters (Hosea 10:1–2), they had lied to God (v. 4), they had worshiped idols (vv. 5–6), and their hearts were hard and needed plowing up (v. 12). They had sowed the wrong seed in the wrong kind of soil and yet expected to reap the right harvest! The only hope of escape for Israel would be through repentance and seeking the Lord!

For us, it’s no different. It is high time for us to break up our hardened hearts by drawing near to God and seeking Him earnestly through repentance. As God’s word reminds us: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up." (James 4:6-8, 10)

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