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, December 1, 2012

December 1 Bible Reading: Ephesians Chapters 1-3

We are GOD’s WORKMANSHIP created for GOOD WORKS: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:8-10)

The above passage reflects three fundamental truths that we should always remember about our spiritual new birth in Christ, and our renewed life thereafter:
  1. We have been saved by grace through faith: The grace of God is the source of our salvation. Faith is the channel through which we are saved by God alone. We cannot earn or work to achieve our salvation, which always arises out of the lovingkindness of God.
  2. We are saved for good works, not by good works: Our good works having no part in obtaining salvation, which has been obtained through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Our good works should follow, and not precede our salvation.
  3. We are God’s workmanship to result in producing good works: Like any great “work of art” we are the handiwork of God. A born-again believer is a masterpiece of God, a new creation through union with Christ, for “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). We are God’s work-in-progress; His unfinished works of art, and God is working in us to produce good works. We do not work in order to be saved, but work because we are saved since “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). So, our faith in Christ leads to salvation, which results in good works that will eventually be rewarded by God one day (2 Cor. 5:10).
Let us be clear that God has a blueprint that He has mapped out for us. Our responsibility is to discover, accept and obey the plan that He has drawn up for us by doing the following: (1) confess and forsake sin as soon as we are conscious of it in our lives; (2) be continually and unconditionally yielded to Him; (3) study the word of God to discern His will, and then do whatever He tells us to do; (4) spend time in prayer each day; (5) seize opportunities of service as they arise; and (6) cultivate the fellowship and counsel of other Christians. When we do all of the above, our lives will bring greatest glory to God, most blessing to other people, and produce greatest reward for ourselves. God prepares us for good works while He prepares good works for us to perform, after which He rewards us when we perform them!

Just like a master sculptor chisels on a big rock to carve out a beautiful image that He has purposed to create, God removes the unwanted areas of our lives and shapes us to His image and prepares us to do good work in His kingdom. Sometimes, God uses circumstances to bring us to our knees before Him. God also uses the twists and turns of our lives to shape us to be more like Christ. "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

Finally, God wants us to join Him in the work that He is doing in our world. What He requires from us is that we “be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2), “do good” as Jesus did during His earthly ministry (Acts 10:38), “be rich in good works” (1 Tim. 6:18), and also “maintain these good works” (Titus 3:8). Let us be submissive to God’s plan and allow Him to work in us every day of our earthly lives so that we produce the “good works” in our lives that he has “prepared beforehand” for us (v. 10).

"Therefore, my beloved...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:12-13)

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