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 17, 2012

February 17 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 25-27

BEWARE of the ‘WORLDLY INFLUENCES’ in YOUR LIFE: Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel." (Numbers 25:1-3)

The Israelites had now arrived at Acacia Grove (Hebrew: Shittim), which was their last encampment before crossing the Jordan River into Canaan (Josh. 2:1). At the end of their long wilderness wanderings for 40 years, the Israelites had their first encounter with the false religion of Canaan.

Although Balaam’s name is not mentioned in this chapter, we learn in Numbers 31:16 that he was responsible for the terrible corruption of the children of Israel that is described here. All of Balak’s rewards could not induce Balaam to curse Israel, but before he left, Balaam advised Balak how to make the Israelites stumble (Num 24:14) by getting them “to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality” (Rev. 2:14). Balaam could not destroy Israel with his curses, but he could defile Israel with his counsel!

This resulted in many Israelites forsaking the godly way and the commandments taught by Moses and committed abominable sins following the counsel of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15). Many Israelite men accepted the invitations from Moabite women to join in their festivities at Peor (Num 23:28), and became involved with those women and with the immoral worship of Baal (Psalms 106:28–31). Often when Satan cannot succeed in a direct attack, he will launch indirect attacks through world influences that are hard to resist!

What the men of Moab could not do, the women were able to accomplish! They trapped the Israelite men in sexual immorality and false worship. We see that God punished the Israelites for breaking the 1st of the Ten Commandments, and a severe plague broke out killing about 24,000 people (v. 9; Exodus 32:35).

This incident at the Baal of Peor is a prime example of the temptations to which the Israelites were exposed by the surrounding peoples (Deut. 4:3; Josh. 22:17; Hos. 9:10). Moses had commanded the people to separate themselves from the nations around them in order to avoid their abominable religious practices (Exodus 34:10–17). However, Israel abandoned its special position, compromised with sin and disobeyed God.

When the world cannot eliminate your witness through direct persuasions, it often tries to neutralize your witness by absorbing you into the worldly entrapment. Here’s a good lesson for today: Always beware of the 'worldly influences' in your life!

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2:15-17)

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