"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 25, 2012

March 25 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 16-18

It’s TIME to move ‘ON’ from our DISAPPOINTMENTS: Now the Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons." (1 Sam 16:1)

Saul became a big disappointment for both God and Samuel. After the incident with the Amalekites in which Saul disobeyed the specific commands from God through Samuel, the following were the three immediate aftermaths:
  1. Samuel intentionally broke connection with Saul until he died. It is written that "Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death" (1 Sam 15:35a). There was no longer any godly mentoring or, spiritual counseling for Saul for the rest of his life.
  2. Samuel grieved for Saul for a long time. "Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul" (1 Sam 15:35b). He must have gone through the numerous “if only” scenarios in his mind concerning Saul, and was truly sorry for him.
  3. God regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel. It is written that "the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel" (1 Sam 15:35c). God was surely not happy with His own decision.
However, instead of grieving over the disappointing Saul, God told Samuel that it was time to move on, for God had provided Himself a king among the sons of Jesse from Bethlehem. It is said that “our disappointments are actually God's appointments for Him to do greater things through us”. God had already sought for Himself “a man after His own heart” in David (1 Sam. 13:14), who would prove the greatest king in Israel’s history.

What then happened was a transfer of anointing from Saul to David, which is evident from the following verses: "Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him." (1 Sam 16:13-14)

Martin Luther King has once remarked: “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope”. It was true that Saul was a big disappointment for everyone, for this was what Samuel had remarked to Saul when he first met him: "And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father's house?" (1 Sam 9:20) But now, Samuel had to hope in the wisdom of God who sent him to David in order to anoint him as the next king of Israel.

We should understand that many situations and various people in our lives will bring us disappointments, and we will tend to stop on our tracks and grieve over the matter. However, today’s scripture portion clearly counsels us that we should forget about what has already happened for we cannot control it nor can we change the past. Let these incidents be life lessons for us that we should never repeat. Rather, let’s move on from our disappointments to doing God’s will in our lives!

Let us adopt the following statement by Apostle Paul in our lives: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:13-14)

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