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.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16 Bible Reading: 2 Kings Chapters 7-9

UNBELIEF in God’s WORD will ‘DEPRIVE’ us of God’s BLESSINGS: "Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. So it happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, "Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria." Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, "Now look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?" And he had said, "In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it." And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died. (2 Kings 7:17-20)

The background of this story is that Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria had launched a major invasion of Israel and laid Samaria the capital under a long and devastating siege. Food had become so scarce and expensive that Israelites eventually resorted to cannibalism, which is eating the flesh of other humans (6:24–30). King Joram of Israel was powerless in this matter and had refused to accept responsibility for his people’s plight. Instead, he was blaming the prophet Elisha for this crisis (v. 31). It was at this time that Elisha prophesied to the king that the siege would end immediately and the basic food items like fine flour and barley would be available so freely to everyone that their prices would drop drastically – all in a day’s time (7:1).

Listening to Elisha’s prediction was an unnamed officer of the king who refused to believe the word of God through His prophet. He declared publicly that even if God would make windows in heaven, this thing was not possible. He just could not believe that God could do such an extraordinary miracle. This unbelief would later deprive him of God’s blessing just as Elisha predicted: "In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it" (7:2).

In accordance with the prophecy of Elisha, fine flour and barley were sold at very low prices that day itself. The king’s officer (vs. 17) was appointed to control the crowd as it rushed from the city. He witnessed the miracle and the excitement it created, but he could never participate in eating the food; for he was trampled by the crowd he could not control, and he died. Verses 18–20 reemphasize that the man died according to the word of the Lord because of his unbelief. Unbelief robs us of enjoying the blessing God choses to give His children!

Let us be assured that God will open the windows of heaven when we obey Him through giving. "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" (Mal 3:10).

Let us be careful that we do not develop an ‘evil heart of unbelief’ in the precious promises of God that He has given us through His word. "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today’, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13).

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