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, February 10, 2012

February 10 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 4-6

BLESSING OTHERS as ‘THE PRIESTS OF GOD’: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." ‘“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." (Numbers 6:22-27)

After the Israelites removed all defilement from their midst (see chapter 5) and dedicated themselves to God (6:1–21), the priests were to bestow a liturgy of blessing on the people (vv. 22–27). By performing this ministry the priests would “put the Lord’s name” on the people so that they are identified with God in such a way so as to ensure His grace and goodness toward them always.

This is one of the most beautiful priestly benedictions in the Bible and is given in part in Psalms 4:6 and Psalms 67:1. This blessing continues to be the ‘priestly prayer for Israel’ and invokes the power of the divine name Yahweh three times serving as a mark of God’s outstanding grace and mercy. In his book 'Notes from My Bible', the famous evangelist D. L. Moody wrote these flattering words concerning this priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27:
"Here is a benediction that can go all the world over, and can give all the time without being impoverished. Every heart may utter it: it is the speech of God: every letter may conclude with it; every day may begin with it; every night may be sanctified by it. Here is blessing—keeping—shining—the uplifting upon our poor life of all heaven’s glad morning. It is the Lord himself who brings this bar of music from heaven’s infinite anthems."
This threefold, divinely inspired blessing was to be pronounced by the priest with uplifted hands (Lev. 9:22). It moves from a general blessing (v. 24), to an invocation of God’s favor and presence (v. 25), and finally to a climactic mention of the peace that comes only with God’s gracious presence (v. 26). The pronouncement of this blessing placed God’s covenant name ‘Lord’ (Yahweh) on the people (v. 27). This blessing includes God bestowing prosperity, protection, grace, favor, glory, provisions and peace upon His people, and they would bear the benediction of His name as a mark of identification that they were His people.

As the current priesthood of God (1 Peter 2:5, 9), we are commanded by Jesus Himself to bless those who curse us (Matt 5:43-45) and persecute us (Rom 12:14). We can read words of blessing for believers in Apostle Paul’s concluding words to his letters (see 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 13:20–21). What a privilege it is for us to share God’s blessing with others! He blesses us so that we may be a blessing (Gen. 12:1–3). No matter how trying your circumstances may be, you can always bless others with a smile!

"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:8-9)

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