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.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 34-36

Be careful ‘NOT’ to STEP OUT of your BOUNDARY: "Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, "Get me this young woman as a wife." (Gen 34:1-4)

The name of God is not mentioned in this chapter (34), and this incident occurred during the return journey of Jacob and his family back to his ancestral home. Jacob halted and purchased a small property opposite to Shechem and decided to settle there by pitching his tent in that place (33:18-20). We can recall that Shechem was the place sanctified by Abraham as his first stop in the land of Canaan (12:6).

As an afterthought, instead of residing at Shechem, perhaps Jacob should have fulfilled his vow at Bethel (28:22; 31:13; 35:1) and moved on. We know that Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom and lost his daughters (19:30), and Jacob pitched his tent toward Shechem and lost Dinah. While Jacob and his family were living in Shechem Dinah, Leah’s only daughter (30:21), mingled socially with the heathen women as she was looking for women companionship. She stepped out of her family boundary and breached the proper separation from the ungodly!

What we can infer from this incident is that Satan attempted to pollute the godly line of Abraham through intermarriage between the Israelites and Canaanites by granting full rights for the Israelites as citizens of the land. There is no separation from idolatry as well, a sad commentary on Jacob’s spiritual leadership (35:4).

There is also a real problem of contamination of God’s elect people through improper relationships with the pagan people of the land (34:30). In his analysis on this chapter, Kidner has remarked the following: “Chapter 34 shows the cost of … rape, treachery and massacre, a chain of evil that proceeded logically enough from the unequal partnership with the Canaanite community”.

Let us be careful everyday that we do not step out of the boundary that God through His Word has placed upon our lives! If we do that, even innocently as in the case of Dinah, we may slip into a terrible place (see Psalms 73:18) that we will regret for a long time. Let us only keep our eyes on Jesus “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) during our life journey and stay close to HIM.

Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate", says the Lord. "Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor 6:17-18)

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