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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12 Bible Reading: Philemon Chapter 1

UNDERSTANDING the DEPTH of GOD’S LOVE: "Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love's sake I rather appeal to you--being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ-- I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me." (Philemon 1:8-11)

The background of Apostle Paul’s letter from his prison to Philemon is to ask for a favor through an appeal. Philemon’s slave, Onesimus stole from his master and ran away to Rome where he had an encounter with Paul. Paul led Onesimus to the saving knowledge of Jesus, so this runaway slave became a Christian believer. How should Paul deal with Onesimus now? Should he allow him to stay in Rome knowing that he has offended both his master Philemon and God in stealing and running away?

Instead, Paul writes a very personal letter to his “beloved friend and fellow laborer” (v. 1) on behalf of Onesimus requesting that Philemon receive Onesimus back as a beloved brother and no longer as a slave (v. 15). He would pay for any loss from his personal account (vv. 18-19).

The name Onesimus means ‘profitable’. But when he ran away, Philemon was probably tempted to call him a worthless rascal. Paul says, in effect, “Yes, he was useless as far as you were concerned, but now he is useful to you and to me.” The slave who was returning to Philemon was a better slave than the one who had run away!

We can understand the depth of God’s love through this moving story. On the cross, Jesus paid the price of our sins because He loved us so much. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8)

How can we repay the love of God? Only through obeying God’s commandments, for this is what Jesus told when He was on earth: "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15)

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