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, August 21, 2012

August 21 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 43-45

RETURNING to ‘EGYPT’ is NOT an ‘OPTION’ for God’s PEOPLE: "So Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces, and all the people would not obey the voice of the Lord, to remain in the land of Judah. But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to dwell in the land of Judah, from all nations where they had been driven--so they went to the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the Lord. And they went as far as Tahpanhes." (Jer. 43:4-5, 7)

When we study the history of the people of Israel, the first time Egypt was introduced in the scriptures was when Joseph was sold by his own brothers to Ishmaelite traders, who took him down to Egypt along with their merchandise for sale (Gen. 37:26-28; 39:1). Even though Joseph started well in Potiphar’s home as an overseer, he was soon accused falsely by Potiphar’s wife of improper conduct (Gen. 39:11-18) and soon landed in prison (v. 20). But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy (v. 21), and by divine intervention he was elevated to be the overseer of Egypt (Gen. 41:39-41). He brought down his father, his siblings and their families to live with him in Egypt.

However, it was not God’s plan for His own people to continue living in Egypt. So, God made life intolerable for His people by hardening the heart of Pharaoh against them. At the same time, God chose Moses, who was trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians (see Acts 7:22), to deliver His people out of Egypt with the objective that they would never return back to Egypt under any circumstances!

During the wilderness journey, some Israelites attempted to return back to Egypt (see Num. 14:1-4), but God prevented them as it was not His plan. After the Israelites lived in Canaan for many years, King Solomon made a treaty with the Egyptian Pharaoh, married his daughter and brought her to the City of David (1 Kings 3:1), and even had horses imported from Egypt (1 Kings 10:28). This was the beginning of King Solomon’s downfall. Returning to Egypt has never been an option for God’s people!

With relation to the above passage, God specifically instructed to the remnant of Judah not to go back to Egypt. "The Lord has said concerning you, O remnant of Judah, 'Do not go to Egypt!' Know certainly that I have admonished you this day." (Jer. 42:19) In fact, God pronounced death sentence through prophet Jeremiah to the people returning to Egypt: "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will send and bring Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant…when he comes, he shall strike the land of Egypt and deliver to death those appointed for death, and to captivity those appointed for captivity, and to the sword those appointed for the sword.'" (Jer. 43:10-11)

In the spiritual context, Egypt can be equated to the world around us and all the attraction that is enticing us all the time. This is what God’s Word speaks to us about our connection to the world: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2:15-17)

Let us realize that we are on a spiritual journey relinquishing the clutches of Egypt (world) to our eternal destination (Heaven) that God has promised us eternally for our life after death. Let us focus our eyes on matters with eternal values and live to please God "who (has) called (us) out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). The lesson for us today is that returning to ‘Egypt’ is not an option for us…instead, let us move forward and "run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1)

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