"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, May 18, 2012

May 18 Bible Reading: Nehemiah Chapters 4-6

GOD will ACCOMPLISH His WORK through OUR LIVES: "So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God." (Nehemiah 6:15-16)

After the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians about 586 B.C., the prominent people of Judah were carried away as captives and resettled in the pagan city of Babylon. When the Babylonians were overthrown by the Persians about 70 years later, the stage was set for God’s people to return to their beloved homeland. God was about to accomplish His work through different sets of people that He had prepared for the rebuilding work.

There were actually three separate groups of Jewish citizens who made the return from Babylon and Persia to Jerusalem. Each of these groups had a specific job to accomplish, and they were all initiated, guided, inspired and strengthen by God.
  1. The first group of Jewish exiles, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, returned about 525 B.C. to rebuild the temple about 61 years after its destruction. The temple was rebuilt with a great deal of efforts and the work was completed about 515 B.C., in about 10 years’ time. This temple was dedicated with great celebration and rejoicing by the Jewish people (Ezra 6:15–22).
  2. The second group of Jewish exiles, under the leadership of Ezra the priest, returned to Jerusalem about 458 B.C. Ezra’s job assignment was to reestablish the Law as the basis of Jewish life. In a special assembly in the city of Jerusalem, Ezra read from the Law and challenged the people to follow the Lord’s teachings (Nehemiah 8:1–12).
  3. The third group of Jewish exiles, under the leadership of Nehemiah, returned to Jerusalem about 444 B.C. Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem and the gates that were destroyed in the fire. In spite of continued opposition from their enemies, Nehemiah rallied and encouraged the people so effectively that the entire project was completed in just 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15).
This was a remarkable feat and was accomplished by zealous workmen, who labored without rest from dawn to dusk (4:21), except during the Sabbath. It is interesting to note that beyond the adversity and opposition from within and without, the work was completed during the hottest part of the year (Lange). The wall was finished in such a brief time that the opposition had to acknowledge that the work was of God (6:15–16). They recognized that God was vitally involved in the process and had helped the Jews complete this mammoth task. Even today, archaeologists are greatly impressed by the size and design of this wall that was completed by the Jews under the leadership of Nehemiah in such record-breaking time!

Let us understand today that God has laid for each one of us a specific work that we have to accomplish in our lives. Just like God assigned specific leaders like Zerubbabel to reconstruct the temple, Ezra to restore the worship and Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem, God has assigned us with specific tasks that we have to discern through prayer and meditating in His Word daily. God will accomplish the work that He has already started in our lives!

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil 1:3-6)

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