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.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 28-30

It is DANGEROUS to DECEIVE people and DEFY GOD: Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the Lord: 'Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the Lord.'" So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month. (Jer. 28:15-17)

In this particular incident, Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet made a false prediction that the Babylonian captivity will end in two years! This was a brazen act of this false prophet who displayed lack of fear both of Jehovah God and His true prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah then denounced Hananiah as a lying prophet and told him that he will die that year itself. This short-term prediction by Jeremiah would attest the fact that he was the true prophet of God (see v. 9; Deut. 18:21, 22). God’s judgment fell on Hananiah soon and he died just two months later (compare v. 1, the fifth month with v. 17, the seventh month). This confirmed to everyone the validity of Jeremiah’s message as well.

Rebellion against God’s servant is also a rebellion against God, and is a capital offense (vv. 16, 17) that is punishable by death (see Deut. 13:5; 18:20). Even greater is the punishment for one who, in addition to rebelling personally, teaches rebellion to others (v. 16; 29:32). Since Hananiah had taught rebellion against God, he would die as a punishment from God. This was what exactly happened and his rapid death was a demonstration of God’s judgment upon apostasy and rebellion!

Hananiah had misled the people of Judah by denouncing Jeremiah’s prophecy and then giving a prophecy of his own preceded by the words, “Thus says the Lord.” But in fact, God had not spoken to him (Jer. 28:10–11). That kind of false prophecy was a grievous sin, punishable by death (see Deut. 13:1-5; Ezekiel 11:13). Not surprisingly, the Lord called Hananiah to pay for his deception with his life (Jer. 28:15–17).

The Bible gives other examples to show that “he who speaks lies shall perish” (Prov. 19:9), and that the Lord hates dishonesty (Prov. 6:16–17). In the Garden of Eden, sin and death were introduced into the world because a lie was told and believed (Gen. 3:1–7; 1 Tim. 2:14). In the New Testament, Ananias and Sapphira lied to the early church and the Holy Spirit about the sale of their property, which brought about their untimely death as well (Acts 5:1–11).

Jesus spoke clearly about the nature of lying when he declared that lies are of the devil (John 8:44). Let us always remember that it is dangerous to deceive people in defiance of God. "For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb 12:29) By contrast, Jesus is the source of all truth, and those who speak and practice the truth show that they belong to Him (John 14:6). Let us always practice truth and integrity in our words and actions every day!

"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God." (1 John 3:18-21)

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