"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, October 18, 2011

October 18 Bible Reading: Mark Chapters 4-6

FAMILIARITY breeds CONTEMPT and UNBELIEF: But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house." Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. (Mark 6:4-6)

“A prophet is not without honor except in his own country” is a maxim still repeated and still true today. Not only was Jesus rejected by the people of the town and the wider circle of relatives there, but also by His own family (3:31). Perhaps others were jealous of Jesus’ popularity and huge following. Their envy even took the form of violence against Christ (see Luke 4:29).

The Nazarenes themselves were a despised people. A popular attitude was: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Yet these social outcasts looked down on the Lord Jesus. What a commentary on the pride and unbelief of the human heart! Unbelief largely hindered the work of the Savior in Nazareth. He healed a few sick people, but that was all. The unbelief of the people amazed Him. J. G. Miller warns:
Such unbelief as this has immense consequences for evil. It closes the channels of grace and mercy, so that only a trickle gets through to human lives in need.   
 It says that Jesus ‘could not’ do mighty miracles in his home town. The point was not that Jesus was suddenly lacking in ability to do miracles—He did perform a few there. Rather Jesus found contempt and hardness of heart in the people, which are the opposites of receptivity and faith. Under such circumstances, further disclosure of God’s presence in His Messiah was denied. Only here does Mark speak of Jesus as having ‘marveled’. Resistance to Him was tragically astounding.

This rejection of Jesus serves as an object lesson for us, as we also experience rejection of our mission to spread the gospel (6:10, 11). Believers today can expect to face the world’s rejection as they deliver the message of salvation in Christ. At the same time, let us not become too familiar with God and His teachings that our faith turns into contempt and unbelief like the people in Jesus’ hometown!

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." (Heb 3:12-15)

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