"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, January 16, 2012

January 16 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 46-48

ATTAINING a ‘TRUE’ PERSPECTIVE of LIFE: Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and set him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How old are you?" And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my father’s in the days of their pilgrimage." So Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh. (Gen 47:7-10)

When Joseph brought his aged father Jacob before Pharaoh to introduce him, as in the normal custom those days, Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was. Jacob could have simply answered that he was one hundred thirty years old, and would have been accurate in his answer. However, when we examine the answer that Jacob gave to Pharaoh we can see that Jacob had truly gained a better perspective of his own life. It will be helpful for us to analyze Jacob’s answer in order to get a better perspective of our own lives, and here are four key points for us to note:
  1. Our life is a pilgrimage (“The days of the years of my pilgrimage”). This observation is a key insight that should channel our priorities every day. Psalms 84:5 tells us that we are blessed when we set our hearts and lifestyle as though on a pilgrimage. The writer of Hebrews observed that the Old Testament Patriarchs “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13b), and this should be our daily confession as well.   
  2. We are growing old (“one hundred and thirty years”). Jacob was one hundred thirty years old when he appeared before Pharaoh, and he would live in Egypt for only seventeen more years before his death (Gen. 47:28). We know that Moses has made the following observation: "the days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years" (Psalms 90:10). When we realize that we are growing old, this will be our prayer to God: "so teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalms 90:12)
  3. Our days are few and evil (“few and evil have been the days of the years of my life”). Though he was one hundred thirty years old, Jacob presents his lifespan by days (compare Psalms 90:12), which he calls few, as they appeared in retrospect and evil, because his life had been one almost unbroken series of trouble. Let us remember the words of Jesus before His death that in this world we will have tribulation, but we can rejoice through it all for He has overcome the world (John 16:33b).
  4. We are no better off than our parents (“they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my father’s in the days of their pilgrimage”). All his life Jacob had schemed and struggled to achieve something more in his life, starting from his birth (Gen. 25:26a), for Esau’s firstborn birthright (Gen. 25:29-34), for his father’s ancestral blessings (Gen. 27; 28:1-5), and for God's blessing (Gen. 32:22-29). However, now when Jacob looks back at his life achievements, he realized that he was not better off than his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac.
Let us understand the essence of our life through Solomon’s observation about human life: "as he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand." (Eccl. 5:15). The righteous Job also came to the same conclusion when he lost everything that he possessed (see Job 1:21). Like Jacob, let us also attain a ‘true’ perspective of our lives, and live our lives for eternal purposes!

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