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.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 19-21

DIVORCE was NEVER intended for MARRIED COUPLES: They (Pharisees) said to Him (Jesus), "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" He (Jesus) said to them (Pharisees), "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." (Matt 19:7-9)

It is clear from the above passage that God’s original intent for the human family was that a man has only one living wife. The biblical teaching on divorce can only be understood against the background of Jesus’ view of marriage. Marriage was a sacred concept to Jesus. The permanence of the contract of marital union is stressed by the fact that two people have become one flesh. No one would contemplate severing even a limb, much less half of the torso through a surgical process. Yet, this is precisely the emotional and spiritual result of the fracturing of marriage!

Why does God reject divorce? Marriage is a divine institution initiated by express command where two people become one flesh. The first couple (Adam & Eve) show unbroken unity of lives. Furthermore, there are evil consequences in separation through divorce. Jesus has made no provision for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty, incompatibility, drunkenness, insanity or neglect.

In fact, Jesus gave three reasons for why married people should remain married: (1) God made one male and one female. If God had intended more than one wife for Adam, He would have created more. (2) God ordained marriage as the strongest bond in all human relationships. A man leaves his parents and is joined to his wife. The most permanent relationship in society is between husband and wife. (3) The husband and wife become one flesh through marriage. The basic element in marriage is a covenant, and part of that covenant is physical intimacy.

However, Jesus agreed that Moses had permitted divorce (Deut. 24:1–4), not as God’s best for mankind, but because of Israel’s backslidden condition. Bible scholars think that Israelites became familiar of divorce in Egypt. Divorce became so rooted in their culture that Moses could not overrule it. This will happen if God’s people will look to imitate the trends and fads of the world rather than stick to God’s standards through His Word.

Some practices are lawful but not biblical, so we should follow the principles given in Scripture. God’s original plan was one man for one woman for all of life (Gen. 2:18–25), but He made a concession for Israel and permitted divorce because of the hardness of human heart and the stubbornness of human will. Divorce is never the solution to the problems that arise within a marriage, and it is clear that divorce was never intended for married couples by God!

"Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence. Therefore take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously." (Malachi 2:15-16)

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