"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, February 27, 2012

February 27 Bible Reading: Deuteronomy Chapters 19-21

Leave ‘FINAL JUSTICE’ into the HANDS of GOD: "If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, then both men in the controversy shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you. And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." (Deut 19:16-21)

One of the key elements that is emphasized in the Old Testament laws is that taking personal revenge was forbidden for the Israelites (see Lev. 19:18; Deut. 32:35). The Old Testament laws exacted ‘just’ punishment for all offenses: “life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (see Exodus 21:23-25). So, for any offense that was committed in those days, the accuser and the accused were required to “stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days” (v. 17) as the plaintiff and the defendant.

God’s desire for us clearly is not to judge others and exact personal revenge, and this was stressed to a greater degree all through the New Testament. We are instructed to "repay no one evil for evil" (Romans 12:17). Taking this a step further, God has told us specifically not to judge others: "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Matt 7:1-2) Instead, we are required to forgive others when they wrong us, so that our Heavenly Father will forgive us as well when we wrong Him (Matt. 6:12, 14-15).

Still taking this another step further, we are required to repay evil with good, as Jesus tells us not to resist an evil person (Matt. 5:38-42), but rather try to be perfect as God Himself by loving our enemies, blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate us, and praying for those who spitefully use us and persecute us (Matt. 5:43-48; 1 Peter 3:9).

As God’s children, instead of carrying out a personal vendetta against others who wrong us, we are required to live by Christ-honoring alternatives guided by the Holy Spirit. We should try our very best to live at peace with everyone (Rom. 12:18), submit to a spiritual mediator within the church (1 Cor. 6:1-6), and ultimately leave the ‘final justice’ to the hands of authorities who are ordained by God, and God Himself who is coming soon to “judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His truth” (Psalm 96:10, 13).

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:19-21)

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