"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, April 13, 2012

April 13 Bible Reading: 1 Kings Chapters 19-22

We SERVE a GOD who is ‘GRACIOUS’ and ‘MERCIFUL’: But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. And he behaved very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house." (1 Kings 21:25-29)

The initial two verses in today’s passage sum up what really troubled Israel. Ahab had sold himself out to evil because he was incited by his heathen wife Jezebel, and for this reason God would judge Ahab and his descendants (see vv. 20b-24). Elijah, God’s prophet, pronounced these terrible judgments upon Ahab, but then Ahab humbled himself and God would not let the calamity happen in Ahab’s lifetime!

One of the root problems in the home of Ahab and Jezebel was the reversal of God-assigned roles (Eph. 5:22, 23). Jezebel’s dominant leadership in the home was against the divine order, as was Ahab’s refusal to assume leadership. The vacillating nature of Ahab’s character is evident from these passages. He could be easily led into wickedness by his wife but at times he displayed courage (22:34, 35) and even humility before God (v. 29). Unfortunately, Ahab never really entered into a genuine spiritual relationship with God and despised God’s mercies due to which he would perish eventually (2 Pet. 3:5–10).

This passage reflects some key character traits of God – He is full of grace and mercy. "‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?’" (Ezek. 33:11). Even Ahab’s superficial repentance made God postpone His judgment towards Ahab! We can also discover the goodness of God, and God’s readiness to show mercy and grace even to wicked people like Ahab. Let us also take notice of the goodness of people even though they may be of the worst possible kind. This may be why the wicked people prosper around us: God rewards what little good is in them. It is possible that one day they may repent and turn back to God.

In the case of Ahab, he had a complex personality. At times he could respond to divine rebuke and instruction. Ahab humbled himself before God, not because he felt the burden of his sins but because he faced the terror of death. God delayed the execution of the sentence, but it came just the same. Ahab had sold himself to do evil, and his master—sin—finally paid the wages (Rom. 6:23). So, despite God’s longsuffering kindness to him, there was little indication of any spiritual reality in Ahab.

Just like God was patient with Ahab, He is gracious and merciful to us today. That is why Jesus is delaying His coming back to this earth even though He had promised us over 2000 years ago that He was ‘coming quickly’ (Rev. 22:20). God does not want anyone to perish but that everyone should enjoy eternal life through Christ. Let us serve God with reverence and godly fear for He is a consuming fire as well (Heb. 12:28b-29).

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

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