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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11 Bible Reading: Titus Chapters 1-3

How can we ‘LIVE OUT’ the GRACE of GOD daily? "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:11-13)

Through the above verses, Apostle Paul provides the theological basis for the practical instructions that he had given earlier to Titus (in vv. 2–10). In this context, Paul twice speaks of Christ’s appearance in history. The first time was when Christ came in grace to save (v. 11); and the second time when He will come in glory to reign (v. 13).

The salvation that appeared to all people was based on God’s grace (unmerited compassion) that has provided salvation universally for all humans through the unlimited atonement of Christ. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (2 Cor. 8:9). God’s grace appeared when our Lord Jesus came and lived among us, and especially when He offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of every human being. This is the wonderful salvation that grace brings. However, only those who truly receive Him as Lord and Savior are saved. As He has promised, Christ will return soon one day to substantiate that grace!

When Christ has done so much for us already by showering His grace upon us, it is our responsibility to live out that grace in our daily lives and conduct. We should reject all kinds of ungodliness (the root problem) and worldly passions (the manifestation of the root problem). These sensual passions offered by the world are the desires that everyone finds so appealing but which are not in harmony with God’s character and will. "Do not love the world or the things in the world...for all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world." (1 John 2:15-16)

The prerequisite to godly living through Christian discipleship is based on God’s grace, which not only saves us but also teaches us how to live out the righteous Christ-like life. God’s grace that redeems us also renews us so that we want to obey His Word (v. 14). God’s grace that saves us also trains us in the school of holiness. Let us remember that those who use God’s grace as an excuse for sin have never experienced its saving power (see Rom. 6:1; Jude 4).

In fact, God’s grace teaches us to live sensibly, soberly, righteously, and godly in the pure light of His presence in our present age. These are the virtues that should characterize us in this world, wherever we are. Even while we are living in this world, we should always remember that we are not of this world (see Heb. 11:13) and our desires should not be set on worldly system and its values. We should be prepared and looking for the glorious return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thus, we can live out the grace of God daily in two ways: First, we should resist the evil temptations of this world that attack us daily, and live godly in this present age. Second, we should look eagerly for Christ’s return as there is a special crown awaiting “all who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). This is the blessed hope of the church and every believer (see 1 Peter 1:3–5). Thank God for His grace that started it all. What started with grace will lead to glory one day in the near future!

"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)

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