"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, March 11, 2012

March 11 Bible Reading: Joshua Chapters 22-24

FIVE criteria to DECIDE our ‘TRUE’ Christian DISCIPLESHIP: "But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents. (Joshua 22:5-6)

Just before the Israelites were about to enter the land of Canaan, the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh came to Moses and requested that they wanted to be allotted land property east of the Jordan River because the land of Jazer and Gilead had lots of green pastures to feed their cattle (Numbers 32:1-4). Instead of the Promised Land, they wanted this land property as their eternal possession, and did not want to cross the Jordan River (v. 5).

However, when Moses explained to them that it was God’s intention all along to take them to the Promised Land that He had sworn to their forefather Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, these two and half tribes understood the implications of their decision. They requested Moses that their families may remain in the cities of Gilead, but they (the men) would arm themselves and go with the other Israel tribes to fight and subdue the Canaanites. They would return back to their land only after all of Canaan was subdued by the Israelites (Num. 32: 16-32).

It was now over seven years since the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh had left their loved ones to fight the Canaanites. They had endured the hardships of combat until the land of Canaan was secured for the Israelites. Now that the land west of the Jordan River had been divided for the remaining tribes, Joshua permitted the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh to return to their territory east of the Jordan, as originally agreed. He also told them to take with them their share of the spoil from the battles they had fought!

However, just before these tribes headed back to their families east of the Jordan River, Joshua gave them five criteria to decide for themselves if they were truly obeying God’s commandment (Joshua 22:5-6), which are as follows:
  1. Love God sincerely
  2. Walk in the ways of God
  3. Keep God’s commandments
  4. Hold fast to God alone
  5. Serve God with all heart and soul
While Joshua released the two and a half tribes from present military obligations, he imposed upon them other spiritual obligations by reducing the content of the divine commandment to five important statements: to love the Lord, to walk in His ways, to observe His commandments, to cleave to Him and to serve Him. Following these five criteria in the lives of the Israelites would ensure that they are doing everything that God desired from them!

Let us remember that for the New Testament Covenant Church also, these five criteria will decide if the believers are truly Christian disciples. These five criteria are the essence of the “first and great commandment”, to love God wholeheartedly (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). Loving God is much more than an affirmation or a feeling; it is obedience, loyalty, and service to God above all else. Let us make a decision today that we will obey God using these five criteria, and please Him through our daily Christian living!

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)

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