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.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 13-15

‘SELF-IMPORTANCE’ is the FIRST STEP for FAILURE: Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. (1 Sam 15:10-11)

When Saul was selected by God and confirmed by Prophet Samuel as the first king of Israel, he was a very humble person. There are three definite signs that indicate that Saul was a humble man when he was just a citizen of Israel:
  1. When Prophet Samuel first indicated to Saul that the desire of Israel was upon him and his father’s house, this was his response: "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?" (1 Sam 9:21)
  2. When his uncle asked him what Prophet Samuel had told him, Saul did not brag to his uncle that he was anointed by Prophet Samuel as the king of Israel. He just mentioned casually that the prophet told him that his donkeys had been found, but "about the matter of the kingdom, he did not tell him what Samuel had said" (1 Sam 10:16).
  3. When Prophet Samuel officially drew lots and chose Saul at Mizpah, Saul was nowhere to be found. In fact, he had hidden himself among the equipment, and the people had to bring him out to present him before Prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 10:17-23). He was taller from his shoulder upwards from all the other people of Israel, but he was very small in his own sight.
God certainly saw the humility of Saul, and lifted him up to be the King of Israel as His word indicates to us: "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:6). In fact, Prophet Samuel indicates about this as he addresses Saul’s indiscretions: "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?" (1 Sam 15:17)

Sadly, when Saul became the king of Israel, his title, power, riches and position went into his head. He started thinking of himself as someone great, and started giving importance to himself. Saul’s self-importance then developed to such an extent that he disregarded God’s laws. God’s judgment was inevitable, and God rejected Saul as the King of Israel (1 Sam 13:13-14; 15:10-11; 22-26) just barely after two years on the throne.

Self-importance was the first step of failure in Saul’s life! He did not realize the cardinal truth that "…exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another" (Psalms 75:6-7). It began when Saul claimed credit for his position and did not give God the glory that was due to Him alone! We achieve true success in our lives when we stay on the path God has laid for us by following His Word, and give God praise for everything good in our lives instead of receiving the honor and glory ourselves. Let us strive to be little in our own eyes, and make sure that we do not follow Saul’s footsteps in our lives as well!

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor 10:12-13)

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