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.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7 Bible Reading: Malachi Chapters 1-4

GOD’s PROMISE of ABUNDANT BLESSING: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it." (Mal 3:10)

Under the Mosaic Law, the Israelites were required to give tithes - a tenth of all their produce and livestock - to God (or, they could redeem it with money and add a fifth part). These tithes were in addition to their numerous offerings, and were an acknowledgment from their part that everything belonged to God and that He was the Giver of all their possessions. However, in prophet Malachi’s day, the postexilic Israelites were withholding their tithes and offerings from God (vv. 8–9). Apparently they preferred to keep more for themselves rather than give what God asked. In doing so, they were not only robbing from God, they were in effect robbing from the Levites and the poor!

In the Old Testament, the reward for Israelites for tithing faithfully was in God blessing them with material wealth. If they would be faithful with their tithes, God would bless them with such abundant blessings that there will not be room enough to receive it (v. 10). God would also deliver the Israelites from drought, plague, enemies, and locusts, and make them a blessing in the earth that He had promised their patriarch Abraham (Gen. 12:3).

The New Testament however teaches believers to give systematically, liberally, cheerfully, and proportionately as the Lord has prospered them. But no mention is made of tithing in the New Testament. Rather, the suggestion is that if a Jew living under law gave a tenth, how much more should a Christian living under grace give!

Thus our pattern for giving is characterized by freedom (2 Cor. 9:6) and responsible planning (1 Cor. 16:2). Jesus demands more in terms of stewardship than merely the precise compliance with the tithe (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42).

The New Testament teaches us to give substantially to the Lord. When we do that, our God delights to respond with gracious provision, especially to meet our essential needs (Matt. 6:25-34).

"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Cor 9:7)

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