"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.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 40-42

BLIND TRUST in PEOPLE may have ‘GRAVE’ CONSEQUENCES: Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and said to him, "Do you certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to murder you?" But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them. Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah in Mizpah, saying, "Let me go, please, and I will kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he murder you, so that all the Jews who are gathered to you would be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?" But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "You shall not do this thing, for you speak falsely concerning Ishmael." (Jer. 40:13-16)

Gedaliah was the son of the godly Ahikam (26:24; 2 Kings 22:12–14), son of Shaphan who was Josiah’s scribe (2 Kings 22:8). As the son of a family with a rich history of faithful participation in governmental service, Gedaliah may have had considerable experience that qualified him for the important post of being Babylon’s district governor. He was appointed governor of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem, until he was assassinated just after two months in office (25:22–26; 40:7–41:3).

The real tragedy was that Gedaliah’s assassination could have been avoided! Johanan had led a group of leaders to Gedaliah to warn him of a plot hatched by Ishmael and the Ammonite king to assassinate the governor. Johanan had even asked Gedaliah permission to kill Ishmael secretly as he feared reprisal from Babylon. Unfortunately, Gedaliah was far too trusting of Ishmael and so he rejected warnings concerning a plot to kill him (40:13–16). In the seventh month, just two months after the fall of Jerusalem, Gedaliah was assassinated. His tragic death, commemorated as a Jewish day of fasting, led to the flight of Jerusalem’s survivors to Egypt against the protests of Jeremiah (42:1–43:13).

Was Gedaliah too naïve and trusting? Yes, and we can see from the turn of events that blind trust in people may have grave consequences! Gedaliah should at least have taken precautions to protect his life as Ishmael was loyal to Zedekiah (41:1) and had rejected the rule of the governor. Our Lord Jesus Christ has exhorted us with these words: "be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matt. 10:16).

Let us understand that to be naïve and to blindly trust people is a sign of immaturity. Immature people are usually gullible and easy target of cheats and criminals (like Ishmael in this incident). However, when a person matures, one of the ways to recognize maturity is seeing how well the person can distinguish right from wrong and good from evil. "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). Let us earnestly attempt to grow in maturity, even up to the stature of Jesus Christ!

"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Eph. 4:11-14).

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