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, September 20, 2011

September 20 Bible Reading: Joel Chapters 1-3

GOD’s PROMISE to POUR OUT His SPIRIT upon US: "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days." (Joel 2:28-29)

This is the prophecy for which Joel has become most famous in modern days. This prophecy must be considered in the light of its context and in the light of its New Testament usage.

After describing the physical blessings that would come upon his generation if they would repent, Joel describes the spiritual blessings that God would bestow upon His people in the future. This passage was quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:17–21) to explain the miracle of speaking in tongues. Some Bible scholars suggest that Joel’s prophecy was partially fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. The gift of the Holy Spirit was given, but the signs mentioned in vv. 30–32 will be fulfilled later in connection with the return of Christ in great glory.

We need to note that the words “pour out” is derived from the imagery of Israel’s heavy winter rains; it speaks here of abundant provision. “All flesh” anticipates the inclusion of both Jews and Gentiles in one body in Christ (see Eph. 2:11–3:6). The ministries of the Spirit mentioned here were experienced in the early church (see Acts 11:28; 21:9; 2 Cor. 12:1–4; Rev. 1:1–3). The outpouring of the Spirit and the ministries done through His power will be accomplished without regard to gender, age, or class.

Christians are now experiencing the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of Joel’s promise. However, the prophet also describes other events associated with the “day of the Lord,” which it appears will not have their ultimate fulfillment until the end times.

The only condition throughout Joel’s prophecies is true repentance to the Lord, which involves turning from sin on the one hand and trusting by faith (with all one’s heart) on the other. The Old Testament emphasizes repentance (turning) and the New Testament emphasizes faith (trusting). Repentance and faith are inseparable. That is why repentance results in turning to the Lord with all one’s heart!

"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:38-39)

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