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, January 6, 2012

January 6 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 16-18

Don’t take ‘SHORTCUTS’ to FULFILL your VISION: "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai." (Gen 16:1-2)

God gave Abram a vision when He took Abram outside his tent and told him to look towards heaven and try to count the stars in the sky. This was an impossible task for there are too many stars in the sky to be counted. Then God promised Abram that his descendents will one day be as numerous as the stars in the sky (15:5), and Abram will get a child who will be born out of his own body (15:4).

However, there seemed to be no sign that this vision would ever get fulfilled, as the above passage records a fact statement: “Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children.” (16:1a). Abram, being a man of faith, should have assured his wife of the promise of God, and that God will keep His word without fail. In God’s time, they would have a child of their own. But, Sarai took a shortcut in fulfilling her need to have a child and suggested that Abram should have a child through her Egyptian maidservant Hagar. Sadly, Abram “heeded the voice of Sarai” and Ishmael was born when Abram was 86 years old (vv. 15-16).

It was fourteen years later, when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old, that the promised child Isaac would be born (17:17) who would inherit the Abrahamic covenant (v. 21) of blessing. History tells us that Arabs (who are the descendents of Ishmael) are still in a perpetual conflict with Jews (who are the descendents of Isaac), and our world is no better off because Abraham took a ‘shortcut’ to fulfill his vision.

In the New Testament, the three wise men from the East started their journey following their vision to see the newborn King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1). What guided them in their arduous journey was the star in the sky, and all they did was follow the star. However, they took a ‘shortcut’ by asking the people in Jerusalem instead of following the star to their final destination (v.2). King Herod’s intervened and massacred many innocent children (vv. 16-18). Eventually, it was the star that guided the three wise men to fulfilling their vision to see the baby Jesus (vv. 9-11).  

The lesson to be learned from these ‘real’ stories is that we should never take ‘shortcuts’ to fulfill our vision. Our vision is for an ‘appointed time’ and God’s timing is the best. We should patiently wait for the fulfillment of our vision for God “who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil 1:6b)

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." (Habakkuk 2:3)

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