"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.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 1-3

Finding STRENGTH in ‘GOD ALONE’ to OBEY His WILL: "And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you." (Ezek. 2:6-8)

Ezekiel (meaning "strengthened by God") was one of the Jews taken to Babylonia with the second group of captives, eleven years before Jerusalem was destroyed. He ministered to his fellow-exiles immediately before and during the first twenty-some years of the captivity. They falsely expected to return to Jerusalem, so Ezekiel taught them that they must first return to the Lord!

God told Ezekiel his task was to declare God’s word to a “rebellious nation.” Whether they responded was their own responsibility. But when the events announced by Ezekiel finally took place, the people would “know that a prophet” had been in their midst. “Be not afraid” is spoken three times to Ezekiel to encourage him to fulfill God’s mission (v. 6). Ezekiel needed this encouragement because the task ahead was difficult and dangerous. Ezekiel was to communicate God’s word to a rebellious nation without fear.

As a prophet from the Lord, it was God’s message that Ezekiel was to proclaim. The people will respond negatively and perhaps even threaten him with harm, but he shall speak faithfully and not be discouraged. This is the context of what God had commanded Ezekiel:
  • Ezekiel’s message was only to consist of what God had commanded;
  • Ezekiel was to declare all what God had commanded
  • Ezekiel was not to be dismayed by the negative responses of the people
  • Ezekiel's confidence was based upon God’s promise to protect him.
  • Ezekiel was promised opposition but he was also promised victory by the hand of God.
The images of briers, thorns and scorpions vividly portray the nature of the rebellious opponents of Ezekiel’s warnings. These metaphors refer to those who are going to persecute Ezekiel for bringing an unpopular message from God (1 Kin. 18:4; Jer. 20:7–18; Matt. 23:29–31, 34, 37). God told Ezekiel not to allow fear to hinder his message, whether or not the message was wanted (v. 7).

In the similar manner, we also have been mandated to speak an unpopular message (the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ) to all the people in our world (Matt. 28:19-20). This message is unpopular, and we will be jeered, sidelined and even threatened for declaring the truth of God’s Word. We will be labeled as radical and opposed from all angles. At that time, let us remember that we can find strength in God and His Word alone to do His will every day!

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'" (Isaiah 41:10)

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