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 4, 2012

April 4 Bible Reading: 2 Samuel Chapters 16-18

UNDERSTANDING God’s ‘ROLE’ in OUR TROUBLES: And David said to Abishai and all his servants, "See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day." (2 Sam 16:11-12)

In his best known psalm, David had confidently stated the following: "I will fear no evil" (Psalms 23:4). He did not purposely state “I will face no evil”, since David’s life was rocked with numerous troubles to came to him one after the other. First, he had to run for his life because his own son Absalom, whom he had forgiven and reinstated back in his life, had rebelled against him. Then, his longtime counselor and friend, Ahithophel, had joined forces with Absalom. Right after hearing this terrible news, David met Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, who told him—falsely as it turned out (19:24–30)—that Mephibosheth also had gone over to Absalom (16:1–4). To add insult to injury, Shimei a relative of Saul met David’s company and not only heaped verbal abuse at David but threw stones at them as well…!!!

However, David understood God’s role in his troubles, and his reaction was to assume that God may have ordered Shimei to curse David. After all, as a member of Saul’s clan, Shimei had more cause to seek David’s life than his own son Absalom. It was also possible that David remembered Uriah’s murder through his order, and realized that he deserved these troubles and even more. David recognized that his own general sinfulness certainly qualified him to receive such a cursing from Shimei. Knowing that that whole incident could be of God’s doing, David forbade retaliation and hoped that God would look upon his repentant heart and render a blessing to compensate for Shimei’s curse!

Thus, David humbly accepted Shimei’s wicked cursing as God’s judgment and left all matters with God. If the cursing was unjust, then God would repay David with good (16:12). David’s ready submission to God’s judgment was consistent with his character (12:20–23; 15:26). We know that Shimei later apologized (2 Sam. 19:18–23). On his deathbed, David put a limit on his mercy, and Solomon had Shimei executed when he violated his terms (1 Kings 2:8–9, 36–46).

The lesson that we can learn is that nothing happens in our lives without the knowledge of God. When David faced compounded troubles, he squarely faced them with the confidence that God would bring out something good through his troubles. God doesn’t allow troubles into our lives for our destruction but only for our instruction. God chooses what we go through but we choose how we go through it. There are times when silence and submission to God’s will are our best responses to the troubles that come in our way!

For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:19-23)

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