"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, October 17, 2012

October 17 Bible Reading: Mark Chapters 1-3

How can we BECOME true DISCIPLES of JESUS? "And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons." (Mark 3:13-15)

In the above passage, we see that Jesus chose twelve disciples to serve with Him during His ministry and to provide leadership for His church after His ascension. Jesus had spent much time in prayer with God the Father before choosing His disciples, so His choices were in conformity to His Father. These twelve disciples were selected because the number twelve corresponds to the twelve tribes of Israel as these disciples would be judging the tribes of Israel in the future. Jesus Himself has so stated this later: "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt 19:28)

The twelve disciples that Jesus appointed to be His followers came from different backgrounds, and there was nothing unique about these men except that their connection with Jesus would catapult them into further greatness. As the select disciples of Jesus, these men were chosen to fulfill a particular set of mission on the earth. In fact, there was a threefold purpose behind the call and mission of the twelve disciples: (1) that they might be with Him; (2) that He might send them out to preach; and (3) that they might have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.
  • First, they would be trained one-on-one by the Master Himself. They were to prepare in private before preaching in public. This gives us a basic principle of service: we must spend time with Jesus before we move out as His representatives (see Acts 1:21; 4:13). The purpose of the appointment is that they might spend time with Him in order to learn from Him, and then go out into their world to extend His work.
  • Second, they were commissioned to preach the advent of God’s Kingdom. They were to proclaim and preach the words of Jesus as missionary evangelists with the authority that Jesus would give them. This is the same authority that Jesus has given us as well: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..." (Matt. 28:18-19)
  • Third, they were given supernatural power to heal and cast off demons. Healing the sick and casting out demons were confirmations of the power that Jesus had bestowed to His disciples (Matt. 10:1). This would further demonstrate the truth of their message of the kingdom of God that Jesus had proclaimed during His earthly ministry. In fact, signs, wonders and miracles are the credentials of the true disciples of Jesus today!
So, the question is: how can we become true disciples of Jesus? Let us understand that discipleship is both relational and experiential. For the disciples of Jesus, they were required to be under the immediate supervision of Jesus: watching His behavior, hearing His words, interpreting His plans and proclaiming His message to the world. They were to preach saying what He said and doing what He did, as Jesus Himself has stated: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (John 14:12)

As the true disciples of Jesus, we will still depend on Him to carry out the earthly tasks of His Kingdom. We can learn from Him, and then reach out to our community to be His mouthpiece in proclaiming the gospel, which will be confirmed through accompanying signs and wonders. This is exactly how Mark ends his gospel as he describes the continuing work of the true disciples of Jesus: "And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs." (Mark 16:20)

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