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.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 22-24

God 'TESTS' us to CONFIRM our COMMITMENT to HIM: Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." (Gen 22:1-2)

This is the seventh time that God revealed Himself to Abraham since Abraham came to the land of Canaan. In this instance God tested Abraham in order to give Abraham an opportunity to show his true character and confirm his commitment to God. This incident also reveals remarkable faith both on the part of Abraham and Isaac, and evidently points to the future sacrifice of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ for us.

Isaac was the only ‘true’ son of covenant promise (17:1) born to Abraham and Sarah bringing ‘laughter’ to them in their old age (21:12). Thus, God’s requirement of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac was the supreme test that would demonstrate both Abraham’s reverence for God and his confidence in God’s faithfulness to keep His covenant promise. The writer of Hebrews reveals to us that Abraham prepared to offer up his beloved Isaac being fully convinced that God would raise Isaac from death itself (Heb. 11:19).  However, God made a timely intervention and provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac (22:12-14). 

This is a dramatic foreshadowing of God’s offering His only begotten Son to die in our place (John 3:16).  The place where Abraham travelled for three days to sacrifice Isaac – Moriah - is the mountain range where Jerusalem is situated (2 Chron. 3:1), and also where Calvary stood. The two words ‘love’ (v. 2) and ‘worship’ (v. 5) are first found here in Scriptures. Abraham’s love for his son is a picture of God’s love for His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Isaac is a picture of the greatest act of worship—the Savior’s self-sacrifice to accomplish His Father’s will. God provided a ram (22:13) in place of Isaac also illustrates Jesus dying in our place.

We should be clear that God does not tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13); but He tests us to prove our faith, loyalty and commitment to Him (James 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:6, 7). This episode in Abraham’s life was a test of his faith (if Abraham really trusted God over everything), this was a test of his hope (if Abraham had hope in God alone for providence), and this was a test of his love (if Abraham loved God more than his beloved son). If we will believe and obey God like Abraham, He will reward our faith as well with His goodness and righteousness!

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Heb 11:17-19)

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