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.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19 Bible Reading: Mark Chapters 7-9

Do WE acknowledge JESUS as the ‘CHRIST’ of our LIVES? Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?" So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." (Mark 8:27-29)

This was the first time in Mark’s narrative that the name ‘Christ’ appears after the title (1:1), and Peter’s recognition that Jesus is ‘the Christ’ is pivotal in the Gospel of Mark. ‘Christ’ (in Greek ‘Christos’) means ‘The Anointed One’. The Hebrew equivalent of Christ is ‘Messiah’, which was originally a title for Jesus (see 14:61, 62). Matthew adds to this title “the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16).

As a background of this incident recorded above, Jesus and His disciples sought solitude in the far north in some towns called Caesarea Philippi. These towns were named in honor of Caesar Augustus and lay north of Galilee at the foot of Mount Hermon. It was an isolated place where Jesus could talk undisturbed with His disciples. As they were approaching the towns, Jesus suddenly asked His disciples two vital questions that would take His ministry to the next level:
  1. “Who do men say that I am?” (8:27).
  2. “Who do you say that I am?” (8:29).
It was Jehovah God who had revealed Himself to Moses beside the burning bush with the name "I AM WHO I AM" (Exodus 3:14) or, 'I AM’. Jesus Christ was the personification of the same Jehovah God draped in human flesh at the present time. Through these two questions, Jesus wanted to probe deeper into what other people, and in particular, His own disciples thought about Him. It is possible that Jesus wanted to remove any false ideas of His identity (6:15, 16). Also, Jesus wanted His disciples to grasp firmly His true identity before He revealed to them the necessity of His coming death and resurrection (8:31).

The disciples were quick to answer that other people believed that He was more or less a powerful religious leader such as John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the Old Testament prophets. Even King Herod’s counselors saw Him that way (6:14–16). But Peter had settled in His own mind about who Jesus was, and so he immediately stepped forward to answer the second question: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (8:29; Matt. 16:16). In doing so, Peter promptly declared Him to be the Christ, that is, the Messiah, or the Anointed One!

Life would never be the same for Peter as he could never be satisfied with a self-centered existence any more. If Christ was the Messiah, then Peter must now live for Him in total abandonment! The key point of the incident, however, is that Peter acknowledged publicly that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. He was much more than just the Messiah of the Jews; He was the Savior of the whole world.

If Jesus were to ask us the same question that He had asked His disciples two thousand years ago, what would be our answer? Are we willing to acknowledge that Jesus is the ‘Christ’ of our lives? Are we willing to confess that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, who had come into our world to redeem us from sin and death? Let this be the top priority in our agenda today!

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God." (1 John 4:1-3)

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