"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 29, 2012

May 29 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 16-18

Strengthening OTHERS with our ‘WORDS OF COMFORT’: "I also could speak as you do, if your soul were in my soul's place. I could heap up words against you, and shake my head at you; but I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief." (Job 16:4-5)

When the three friends of Job heard about his adversity they made an appointment together to come from their homes and mourn for him and comfort him (Job 2:11). When they came near to Job, they could not even recognize him as his whole body was covered with boils (2:12a). Unable to contain their grief, they wept loudly, tore their clothes in anguish and sprinkled dust on their own heads as an outward sign of intense grief (2:12b). Then they sat down on the ground with Job for seven days and nights without speaking a word of comfort as they understood that his grief was very great (2:13).

However, after those seven days when the conversations started, instead of comforting Job and empathizing with him, they pelted him repeatedly with hurtful words. Eliphaz started first says that all this had happened since Job had sinned and he was being chastened by God (chapters 4-5). Bildad continued asserting that Job should repent (chapter 8), and this cue was repeated by Zophar who urged Job to repent (chapter 11). When Job started to justify himself, Eliphaz went up to the next critical level and started accusing Job of foolishness as he was trying to justify himself rather than admit his own sins (chapter 15).

To all the previous allegations Job simply responded, in essence, “I’ve heard it all before. You are all worthless comforters” (16:2). If they were in his place, he would at least try to ‘comfort’ them! He doesn’t really want their pity, but rather that they share his righteous indignation that an injustice has been done. In effect, Job is saying: “Please nod your head with understanding instead of mocking and ridiculing me”. Job has grown weary, not of the length of their speeches, but of their failure to say anything helpful.

Job’s three friends were indeed “miserable comforters”. They only added to his pain. If the situation were reversed, Job would have spoken words of strength and help to them in their suffering. Their words wore him out and made him shrivel up, as when a desert wind blows. In the similar manner, we all have a tendency to jump to hasty conclusions based on only partial evidence and accuse people of wrong doing instead of stepping back and analyzing the situation. Let us ask ourselves: Is God using my words to bring comfort to others in their grief?

Let us always remember that "a wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit" (Prov 15:4). Unlike Job’s friends who aggravated the crisis through their scathing remarks, let us bear others burdens by empathizing with them and comforting them through our words. This is what God requires from our lives as well.

"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal. 6:1-2) 

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