"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 24, 2012

October 24 Bible Reading: Luke Chapters 7-9

How to be a REAL WITNESS of God’s DELIVERANCE? Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you." And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. (Luke 8:38-40)

The story of the healing of the demon-possessed man of the country of the Gadarenes took place in the eastern edge of the steep slopes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. This story (vv. 26-40) illustrates four traits of the demon-possessed unnamed man:
  1. He was insane and was totally out of his mind (v. 29)
  2. He was indecent and exposed his naked body completely (v. 27b)
  3. He was injurious and self-inflicted grievous wounds upon self (Mark 5:4–5)
  4. He was infamous and had no friends or family nearby (v. 39)
However, Jesus Christ healed this man spiritually, physically, socially and mentally. After the healing took place, this man was instructed to tell others what God has done for him, but he tells what Jesus did for him. The obvious identification of Jesus with God is noted by both Mark and Luke. The man who was formerly demon-possessed wanted to go with Jesus and His disciples, but Jesus commissioned the man to be a witness in his own community!

The healing of the demon-possessed man of the country of the Gadarenes (v. 28) should have endeared Jesus to the people, but these people were concerned more about pigs and money than about people and mercy. The man who begged to go with Jesus was the sanest one of all! Darby in his book ‘Synopsis’ observes the following: "The world beseeches Jesus to depart, desiring their own ease, which is more disturbed by the presence and power of God than by a legion of devils. He goes away. The man who was healed ... wants to be with Jesus; but the Lord sends him back ... to be a witness of the grace and power of which he had been the subject".

The restored man was most likely a Gentile from the country of the Gadarenes. Jesus sent him back home to tell his family and friends of God’s power and grace—possibly making him the first known Gentile evangelist. With Jesus gone it was important that the man work for God in that region and among his own family and friends. Along with his healing, the man received a responsibility: to bear witness of the deliverance that God has brought in his life!

As we read further, later when Jesus visited Decapolis, a large sympathetic crowd met Him (see Mark 7:31–37). This would have been the result of the faithful witness of the healed demoniac. So, we can ask ourselves: how can we be a real witness of God’s deliverance? This is possible through complete obedience of the command of Jesus (as the man obeyed Jesus completely by proclaiming in his own house and throughout his hometown what great things Jesus had done for him). The man told his own story of his own deliverance through Jesus to people with whom he encountered in his life.

Let us also be a real witness of our deliverance to the people that we meet in our life journey as we faithfully obey the following command of Jesus: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

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