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.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18 Bible Reading: 2 Kings Chapters 13-15

OVERCONFIDENCE will ‘LEAD’ us to our DEFEAT: Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, "Come, let us face one another in battle." And Jehoash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, "The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, 'Give your daughter to my son as wife'; and a wild beast that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle. You have indeed defeated Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Glory in that, and stay at home; for why should you meddle with trouble so that you fall--you and Judah with you?" But Amaziah would not heed. (2 Kings 14:8-11)

King Amaziah started very well (14:3) by establishing justice in the land and obeying the Word of God (Deut. 24:16). However, after he won a great victory over Edom, he became proud and overconfident. Being advised foolishly (2 Chronicles 25:17), Amaziah arrogantly challenged the Israelite king Jehoash to face him in battle (v. 8).

Jehoash replied to Amaziah in the form of a fablea kind of story designed to teach a moral. By speaking of Amaziah as a thistle in comparison with the cedar of Lebanon, Jehoash tried to help Amaziah put a more realistic construction on his recent victory. In the “thistle fable” (Judges 9:8–15), the thistle said to the cedar, “Give your daughter to my son as wife” (a bush was making an impertinent request to a mighty tree). In this fable, the thistle (Amaziah) thought it was equal to a cedar of Lebanon (Jehoash) only to be trampled underfoot!

Actually, the northern kingdom of Israel was larger and more powerful than the southern kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 14:30; 15:16, 17). However, Amaziah was so confident of victory that he attacked Jehoash on his own territory at Beth-Shemesh, about 15 miles west of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:11–12). What we see was that Judah was soundly defeated by Israel, the wall of Jerusalem was breached, the palace and the temple were spoiled, and Amaziah himself was taken captive and was probably consigned to serving Jehoash (2 Chr. 25:23–25).

This story teaches us a very important lesson: overconfidence will certainly lead to our defeat. We should be content with our sphere of victory as God gives us faith (Rom. 12:3). When we keep our eyes on God, our victories will humble us and God will get all the glory. But when we forget God, our victories in themselves will make us overconfident, which will eventually lead us to our spiritual defeat!

"Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces, none will go unpunished" (Proverbs 16:5)

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