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.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1 Bible Reading: 2 Samuel Chapters 7-9

Enjoying God’s PROTECTION in our DAILY BATTLES: "When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of the Syrians. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became David's servants, and brought tribute. The Lord preserved David wherever he went. And David made himself a name when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Syrians in the Valley of Salt. He also put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David's servants. And the Lord preserved David wherever he went." (2 Sam 8:5-6, 13-14)

When David became established as king internally within the country of Israel, he looked at the neighboring heathen countries that surrounded Israel from all directions and saw that they could attack Israel at any moment as they had done in the past. So, instead of waiting for an attack from outside, David led Israel to fight with the enemies of Israel. 2 Samuel 8 gives us a brief record of the major conquests of David, which included Israel’s battle with the Philistines (v.1), Moabites (v.2, 12), Zobahites (v.3-4), Syrians (v.5-8, 13), Ammonites (v. 12), Amalekites (v.12) and Edomites (v. 14). David was victorious in all his military conquests and he managed to subdue all the enemies of Israel!

However, a close reading of the passage brings out the role that God played in those battles, and this is repeated twice in verses 6 and 14 that “the Lord preserved David wherever he went”. During any of the battles, David could easily have got hit by a stray arrow and got killed instantaneously. However, God had installed a protective covering around David, so he was not hurt, let alone killed, during the numerous battles that he fought. So the question arises – why did God preserve and protect David wherever he went?

To get the answer of this question, we should examine one of the psalms in the Bible – Psalms 121, which ends with these verses: "The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth and even forevermore" (Psalms 121:7-8). This is a unilateral promise from God that applied to David’s life completely. However, this promise is not available to everyone, but only to that person who literally looks up to God for help. Let us examine that psalm and see how it starts: "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (Psalms 121:1-2).

There is a lesson for us from today’s passage – if we are to enjoy God’s protection in our daily battles as well, we should literally look up to God every day for help. Remember, God made the heaven and earth, and we can never find a better person than God to give us protection. Unlike King David who had heathen kings and their armies as his enemy, we have a ‘real’ enemy in Satan and his legion (Ephesians 6:12), who is attacking us every day from all fronts (1 Peter 5:8-9). Can we look to God for help today so that He will protect and preserve us in all our daily battles as well?

David recovered lost territory and gained new territory, he is a good example for us to follow in our daily spiritual walk and warfare. Let us join David in making the following declaration today: "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me" (Psalms 27:5-6)

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