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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22 Bible Reading: Esther Chapters 4-6

God will grant us ‘FAVOR’ when we ‘STAND UP’ for Him: Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house. So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, "What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you--up to half the kingdom!" (Esther 5:1-3)

Sometimes it takes a crisis to remind us that we never serve God alone. Esther enjoyed comfort and ease in the palace, but now she had a difficult task to perform. She made a crucial decision and stood out as a model of taking courage and acting wisely in order to withstand evil. We should note here that she does not act on her own but decided to fast with her maid, Mordecai and all the Jews from Sushan for three days and nights so that God would intervene on their behalf. Even though Esther had a strategy, she trusted God to work out the details!

On the third day, when the fast was completed, Esther put on her royal robes, summoned her courage, and appeared before Ahasuerus uninvited (5:1). Recognizing that only a very important matter would cause his new queen to risk her life, the king held out to Esther his golden scepter offering entrance and favor (5:2). This indicated that she was free to come before him and that she had found favor in his sight (2:9). The king also promised to grant her request, up to half his kingdom (a figure of speech meaning that he would give her anything at all within reason). Thus, we see the providence of God that was demonstrated by the king’s response to Esther, which was a direct answer to her fasting for the last three days!

Esther’s bold gesture of seeking an unscheduled audience with the king (Esth. 5:1–5) showed a great deal of courage. Access to the Persian ruler was limited to those summoned by him. Anyone who violated this policy could be punished by death. Yet Esther’s faith, encouraged by her cousin Mordecai, gave her the resolve to speak up on behalf of her people.

Here is an uplifting thought from the Inspirational Study Bible:
“Courage is the power to do well when the air is turbulent and the going gets tough. It is having the character to do well when things are tempting, when things are painful. It is easy to be a mother when a baby is cooing and gurgling over breakfast; it takes courage to be a mother when the child suffers from a terrible and incurable handicap. Courage is the power to do well in the face of a threat—to your life, to your security, to your future, to the things you hold dear.” (From “Basic Moral Characteristics” in Practical Christianity by Lewis Smedes)
Like Esther, let us also be courageous at the onslaught of evil into our lives knowing that God will grant us favor when we stand up for Him!

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