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, October 11, 2012

October 11 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 10-12

How can WE become ‘MORE LIKE JESUS’? "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!" (Matt. 10:24-25)

Through the above statement, our Lord Jesus Christ implied that His disciples will be identified with Him by virtue of their relationship: He was their Teacher and they were His disciples; He was their Master and they were His servants; He was the Lord of the household of which they were members. To be a disciple of Jesus was to follow His footsteps!

It should not be surprising that a disciple should expect to be treated better than his/her Master. If the religious Jews had called Jesus “Beelzebub” (the Philistine god of flies, name used by the Jews to denote the Devil), it is certain that they will heap even greater insults at His disciples. Thus, discipleship involves sharing the Master’s rejection! To the disciples of Jesus in the first-century it was clear that they would have to endure ill treatment and that included persecution and even martyrdom in the hands of the other people.

Thus Jesus clearly states what it would cost to be His committed disciple in a hostile environment. In fact Jesus exposed one of the greatest hurdles that would prevent anyone from being His disciple: fear—fear of being misunderstood, fear of being persecuted by the crowd, and fear of being alienated from one’s own family. When the disciples of Jesus were identified with Him however, their fears are countered with the ‘blessed hope’ of having the promise of a better, rewarding relationship with their Lord and Master. Jesus was actually preparing His disciples to take up the daunting responsibilities and accept the repercussions of representing Him on earth in a skeptical world.

In today’s marketplace, for the disciples of Jesus (born-again Christians) what does it mean to “be like Jesus”? The Word in Life Study Bible has beautifully drawn eight different portraits from Matthew’s eyewitness account so far that give us some clues:
  1. To be like Jesus means to accept our roots (1:1–17)
  2. To be like Jesus means to engage the world’s pain and struggle (1:18–2:23)
  3. To be like Jesus means to commit ourselves to other believers, no matter how “weird” they appear to be (3:1–17)
  4. To be like Jesus means to admit our vulnerability to temptation (4:1–11)
  5. To be like Jesus means to openly proclaim the message of the gospel (4:12–25)
  6. To be like Jesus means to commit ourselves to changed thinking and behavior (5:1–7:27)
  7. To be like Jesus means to serve others, especially those who are oppressed or without Christ (8:1–9:38)
  8. To be like Jesus means to affirm others in leadership (10:1–42)
The world will hate us because it hates Jesus while He was in this world (vv. 24–25; Phil. 3:10). However, be rest assured that it is a wonderful privilege for us to be disciples of Jesus even though there is a heavy price to pay. We are like sheep among wolves (v. 16), enemies of our own household (vv. 34–36), and cross-bearers of our own responsibilities in this fallen world (vv. 37–39). Let us sincerely attempt to be more like Jesus with every passing day! 

Let the following hymn by Eliza Edmunds Hewitt be our prayer today:

More about Jesus would I know, more of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see, more of His love Who died for me.
More, more about Jesus, more, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see, more of His love Who died for me.
More about Jesus let me learn, more of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be, showing the things of Christ to me.

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