"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.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 13 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 16-18

FORGIVENESS is ‘CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION’: Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." (Matt 18:21-22)

Peter asked Jesus a sincere question of how often he should forgive a brother who sinned against him. He probably thought he was showing unusual grace by suggesting seven as an outside limit. Actually Peter was being very generous in his willingness to forgive up to seven times. The traditional limit was three times, possibly because of the refrain in Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6. Peter had gone beyond the religious leaders’ limit of forgiving an offense three times by suggesting one could be forgiven seven times. However, Jesus raised the level to “seventy times seven,” a hyperbole meaning no limits. He did not intend us to understand it as literal 490 times; this was a figurative way of saying “indefinitely”, which is that forgiveness really knows no boundaries.

When any brother wrongs us, we should forgive him immediately in our hearts. That will free us from a bitter and wounded spirit. After we have forgiven him in our hearts, we should go to him and rebuke him in love, hoping to lead him to confession. As soon as he apologizes and confesses his sin, we should tell him that he is forgiven. This is God’s instruction to us concerning this matter: "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4)
“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” - George Herbert
Let us understand that unlimited forgiveness must characterize the true disciple. Jesus asks us to forgive no matter what the attitude of the offender. He means limitless forgiveness (see 1 Cor. 13:4, 5). God has freely forgiven our debt; therefore, we also should practice forgiveness in that liberal fashion. We are to forgive others because God has forgiven us (Col. 3:13), and He has forgiven us at great cost to Himself!

"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." (Eph 4:32)

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