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.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27 Bible Reading: Luke Chapters 16-18

Understand that the KINGDOM of GOD is WITHIN US: Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21)

The theme of the kingdom of God runs through both Testaments, focusing God’s purpose for world history. In the Old Testament God declared that He would exercise His kingship (His sovereignty, Daniel 4:34, 35) by ruling over people’s lives and circumstances through His chosen King, the Davidic Messiah (Isaiah 9:6, 7) in a golden age of blessing. This kingdom came with Jesus and is known wherever the lordship of Jesus is acknowledged. This golden age of blessing is an era of salvation from sin and fellowship with God, leading to a future state of complete joy in the “new heaven and new earth” (Rev. 21:1).

The above verses indicate that there was an aspect of kingdom promise involved in Jesus’ first coming. The kingdom of God is among earthly kingdoms today; but one day the kingdom of God will swallow up all rival kingdoms (see Rev. 11:15). In vv. 22–37, Jesus makes it clear that the kingdom has two phasesone now and one to come. In the beginning of His kingdom on earth, God first prepares a King to rule; then He gathers a people for Him to rule over; then He gives the Ruler a realm in which to reign. The kingdom now is the presence of God alongside earthly kingdoms. The power of God is shown now in the distribution and work of the Holy Spirit in His power (see 1 Cor. 4:20). One day, however, Jesus will rule over all, and He will share that rule with His people (see Rev. 2:26, 27; 5:9, 10; 20:4–6).

In contrast to the expectations of the Pharisees, the kingdom of God was not external in the political domain, but rather internal and spiritual. The phrase “within you” (v. 21) may be translated “in your midst”. The fact that the kingdom of God was in their midst meant that it was present through the person and work of Jesus who was among them. Through His death many would come to believe in Him, thereby becoming members of God’s eternal, invisible kingdom (John 3:3; Col. 1:13).

We all know that Jesus died and rose up from the dead on the third day. Before He left for His heavenly abode to be seated on the right hand of His Father, Jesus promised to send the blessed Holy Spirit to be with us in order to lead and guide us (see John 14). According to His promise, Jesus did send the blessed Holy Spirit to His church that was assembled in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2). From that time on, this kingdom is present in its beginnings now as the ‘Interior Kingdom’.

For many Christians, the kingdom of God is a reality to be experienced in the heart, which is the inner life of the individual believer. This reality is substantiated by the following verse: "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). Since "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 15:50), this kingdom is essentially a spiritual reality in a believer’s life.

When the kingdom of God is within us, God rules over our lives from the inside and we are guided by God alone as we participate in all our daily activities. We are quickened by the power of the Holy Spirit to do His will. The kingdom of God is thus the acceptance of God’s authority over our lives. Let us understand this reality that the kingdom of God is within us, and let us sincerely accept God’s rule in our lives every day.

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