"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.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 1-3

REPENTANCE – the FIRST STEP in OBEYING GOD: In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.'" (Matt 3:1-3)

John the Baptist was six months older than his cousin Jesus Christ (see Luke 1:26, 36). He stepped onto the stage of history to serve as forerunner for the Savior of the world. His dwelling was in the wilderness of Judea, an arid area extending from Jerusalem to the Jordan. John’s message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” The King would soon appear, but He could not and would not reign over people who clung to their sins. They must change directions, must confess and forsake their sins. God was calling them from the kingdom of darkness to the ‘kingdom of heaven’. The phrase, ‘kingdom of heaven’ is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic earth rule of Jesus Christ, the Son of David.

Repentance was the first command of both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ (4:17). It involves the change of mind and heart in response to the grace of God whereby a person recognizes the futility of his or her human condition apart from God and therefore places faith and trust in God alone for salvation. Let us understand that repentance is not merely being sorrowful. It involves a complete change of attitude regarding God and sin and is often accompanied by a sense of sorrow and a corresponding change in conduct. Such repentance does not arise within man himself, but is the result of God’s mercy in leading man to it (Acts 5:31; Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25). It involves the very process of conversion whereby we are born again. John’s message of repentance was necessary in order to prepare people for the kingdom of heaven which was at hand.

Thus John the Baptist was preparing hearts for the ultimate manifestation of God’s reign. In our own context, repentance means hating sin enough to turn away from it. Through repentance, we can change our attitude and mind about God that will in turn change our actions and decisions. We will escape spiritual death by trusting in Jesus, who alone can save us from our sins and eternal death. We confess through godly sorrow, forsake sin and live to honor God.

"He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." (Prov 28:13)

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