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.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1 Bible Reading: Deuteronomy Chapters 25-27

We are God’s ‘SPECIAL PEOPLE’ in this world: "This day the Lord your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. Today you have proclaimed the Lord to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice. Also today the Lord has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the Lord your God, just as He has spoken." (Deut 26:16-19)

In the above passage God is ratifying the Abrahamic Covenant with the Israelites, and these verses are a part of the covenant renewal ceremony. Moses concludes his lengthy exposition of the covenant by demanding total obedience from the Israelites as they were God’s ‘special people’. Since the Israelites had accepted the terms of God’s covenant by their pledge of obedience to God (v. 17; Exodus 24:7), the two parties of the covenant (God and the Israelites) now “proclaimed” loyalty to each other (vv. 17, 18).

God acknowledged the Israelites as His own ‘special people’ and promised to exalt them above all other nations, since they had agreed to walk in godly ways. They were to be a ‘holy people’ set apart from the other nations by God as His peculiar treasure. In turn, the Israelites were to respond to this great honor by completely obeying God!

Throughout the book of Deuteronomy, God is demanding obedience from the Israelites, which should be part of their loving response to God accepting them as His ‘special people’. The first generation had declared their loyalty to God at the foot of Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:7). Now, in this covenant renewal ceremony, the new Israelite generation reconfirms their commitment to God that they will live by His revelation henceforth!

The Hebrew word for ‘special people’ speaks of God’s delight in His people as His special jewel, an adornment that He treasures. This also denotes an elect people, set apart by the Lord to Himself, committed to the Lord and His revelation, and exalted above all the other nations (Exodus 19:5; Malachi 3:17).

As God’s ‘special people’ of our times, we should be totally obedient to God’s Word as well. When we are close to God, we will separate ourselves from the worldly system (1 John 2:15-17) and anything that stands in our way to do God’s will in our lives. If we do that, God promises to honor us as He did to Abraham long ago (Gen. 12:2, 3; Isaiah 60; Romans 8:18, 19). God has designated His church as His ‘special people’, holy and separated for carrying out His plan in this world. Let us rise up to carry out our responsibilities today!

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

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