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.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 31-33

UNDERSTAND the ‘FATE’ of ‘UNGODLY’ people: "To which of the trees in Eden will you then be likened in glory and greatness? Yet you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the depths of the earth; you shall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord God." (Ezek. 31:18)

The empire of Assyria was extremely powerful, affluent and influential, like one of the beautiful cedars of Lebanon (Ezek. 31:3). Yet just as God humbled the arrogant Assyrians, He promised to humble the Egyptians, who were just as arrogant. Assyria was the perfect example to show Egypt the effects of God’s judgment, and Assyria’s fall was an object lesson to Egypt. If the strong “cedar” (Assyria) could fall, then how could any lesser “tree” (like Egypt) hope to remain standing? The implication for Egypt was clear: like Assyria, God says, you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the depth of the earth (v. 18).

We need to understand here that Egypt never could match Assyria’s greatness, and Assyria had been brought down by the Babylonians. What, then, was the basis for Pharaoh’s pride? Like powerful Assyria, the weaker Egypt also would be brought down (see vv. 2, 3, 5–9). The Assyrians enjoyed on a gigantic scale Eden-like privileges which they abused through their pride and sin. Just as in the case of the first man in Eden who ended in ruin, the same fate was to be repeated in the case of Egypt. It was as if God was pointing His finger at the previous Pharaoh buried in the depth of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:30, 31) and stating that this Pharaoh also will be delivered to the depths of the earth (v. 18).

Our unchangeable God governs the world on the same unchangeable principles! The trees in Eden refer to the nations, with the outstanding one being Pharaoh and his people. As the other proud nations were brought to hell, so also will Pharaoh. This message was for Pharaoh, who thought his nation was indestructible. Assyria once had the same idea, but look what God did to her. God would rebuke Pharaoh’s pride, cut down his nation, and cast it into hell as well (vv. 15, 17).

From this allegory, we can understand the fate of ungodly people. The fall of proud ungodly people is for warning to others, to keep them humble. It is best to be a lowly tree of righteousness, yielding fruit to the glory of God, and to the good of men. The wicked ungodly people are often seen flourishing like the cedar, and spreading like the green bay tree, but they soon pass away, and their remains are no more found. Let us therefore remain humble and obedient to God, who will exalt us in due time (1 Peter 5:6).

"Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches. When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me--until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors." (Psalms 73:12, 16-19)

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