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, March 16, 2012

March 16 Bible Reading: Judges Chapters 13-15

We should ‘ALWAYS’ stay within our ‘BOUNDARIES’: Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife." Then his father and mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well." (Judges 14:1-3)

The entire period of Israel during the rule by judges can be summarized in the following words: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Samson, who became the 12th judge of Israel at the age of twenty, was no exception as his unrestrained lifestyle reflects someone who did not stay within his boundaries!

Even before Samson was born, God had listed several restrictions upon his mother to observe strictly in her life. These restrictions were repeated again to Samson’s parents upon request (13:13). Samson was meant to be a “Nazarite to God from the womb”, and his mother had to raise him carefully within God’s boundaries so that he could be a deliverer of the Israelites from the Philistines (13:3-5). As Samson grew up, he was blessed by God, and the Spirit of God began to move upon him occasionally (13:24-25).

However, Samson did not stay within his boundaries, and had a weakness for women. His whole life revolved around three women in particular: the Philistine woman in Timnah (14:1-15:20), the prostitute at Gaza (16:1-3), and Delilah from the Valley of Sorek (16:4-31). God’s law forbade the Israelites to marry foreign women (Exodus 34:16; Deut. 7:3–4), but they did not matter to Samson. His own parents rightly opposed his marriage alliance (v. 3), but Samson was bent upon having the Philistine woman as his wife for “she pleased him well” (v. 3b). Samson’s words revealed his self-centered attitude. Instead of seeking to serve God, Samson was seeking to please only himself!

Despite Samson’s disobedient and careless life, God was able to use him to gain occasions against the Philistines (vs. 4) and bring about His good purposes for Israel. Samson’s life is a sobering reminder for us concerning the tragedy of self-will, and it demonstrates to us that it is possible for us to experience the gifts and power of God without the blessing of God. When God is not allowed to rule, He will overrule (Prov. 16:33) but that is not an excuse for sin (Rom. 3:8). We may ignore our sins, but our sins will not ignore us. We eventually reap what we sow!

Let us understand that God has set up certain boundaries in our lives, which we can discern through His written Word and from other sources like parents, elders and our community of faith. We should always stay within our boundaries, and pay particular attention to what Apostle Paul has clearly stated: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people’" (2 Cor 6:14-16).

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