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, October 12, 2011

October 12 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 13-15

God HATES HYPOCRICY in our WORSHIP: "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "(Matt 15:7-9)

Our Lord Jesus Christ had harsh words to speak about the scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem (the religious elite) who tried to find fault against the disciples of Jesus who did not do the ceremonial cleansing before they ate food. Jesus bluntly told them that they were fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 29:13: Therefore the Lord said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men" (Isaiah 29:13). Isaiah spoke it of the men of that generation to which he prophesied, yet Christ applies it to these scribes and Pharisees.

These scribes and Pharisees professed to honor God with their lips, but their heart was far from Him. Their worship was worthless because they were giving higher priority to the traditions of men than to the Word of God. How were the scribes and Pharisees hypocritical in their worship?
  1. They drew close to God through empty words showing to others their spiritual piety as they were the ‘professional’ worshipers of Israel.
  2. Inwardly there was no love towards God; they just made their voices to be heard as a lip service (Isaiah 58:4).
  3. Their hearts were far from God even during their motions of worship.
Let us clearly understand that hypocrisy is a contradiction between our words and deeds. We show hypocrisy when we praise and worship God, but our hearts are not in our worship (vv. 5-7). We are eager to listen to God’s word, but we do not do what God requires from us (Ezek. 33:31-32). We preach to others only and not to ourselves (Rom. 2:21-23; Psalms 50:16). God hates hypocrisy in our worship – let us avoid it at all cost!

"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." (Eph 4:17-19)

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