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 15, 2012

December 15 Bible Reading: Hebrews Chapters 7-9

JESUS CHRIST offers us a BETTER HOPE and a BETTER COVENANT: "By so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7:22-25)

In the Bible, a covenant involves much more than a contract or a simple agreement between two parties. While a contract has an end date and is governed by stipulations, a covenant is a permanent arrangement that cannot be broken. God entered into covenants with many individuals in the Old Testament. For example: with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:15); with Noah (8:21–22; 2 Pet. 3:7, 15); with Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3); with Israel (Deut. 29:1–30:20); and with David (2 Sam. 7:12–16; 22:51).

The agreement with Israel was especially significant, because it established a special relationship between God and the Israelites as a fulfillment to His earlier covenant with Abraham. Abraham’s descendants (the Israelites) were made His “chosen people” through whom He would bring blessing and hope to the rest of the world. However, because the Israelites misused this covenant time and again due to repeated transgressions, further provision in this covenant was necessary for the Israelites as well as for the rest of humanity. That’s why God promised a new and better covenant through the prophet Jeremiah (see Jer. 31:31–34) through which God would write His Law on human hearts. This suggested a new level of obedience and a new and intimate knowledge of God!

Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, thus became the surety as well as the guarantee of a new and better covenant - an unconditional agreement of grace - from God. By His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus provided a righteous basis on which God can fulfill the terms of the covenant. His endless priesthood is also vitally linked with the unfailing fulfillment of the terms of the covenant. Today, we can enjoy some of the blessings of the New Covenant but its complete fulfillment will not be realized until Israel is restored and redeemed nationally!

In all ways, Jesus Christ offers for us a better hope and a better covenant, and His priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood because it was established by an oath (see Psalms 110:4). The superiority of Jesus Christ is revealed in the book of Hebrews in the following ways:
  • Jesus is a permanent priest who is no longer vulnerable to death (7:23–25)
  • Jesus always makes intercession for us (7:25)
  • Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens (7:26).
  • Jesus has offered the one, final sacrifice for sins on our behalf—Himself (7:27)
  • Jesus offers to us a better hope than the Law (7:18–20, 22)
  • Jesus offers to us better (unconditional) promises (8:10, 12)
  • Jesus offers to us obedience from a willing heart and mind, not by compulsion (8:10)
  • Jesus offers a personal revelation to us about our future with Him (8:11)
It is no wonder that we are called to submit to Christ and follow Him closely during our life on this earth (10:19–22). Jesus is our High Priest and our eternal sacrifice, who alone can restore us to God and make us His beloved children. Let us declare our dependence on Christ and loyalty to Him alone!

"But now He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." (Heb. 8:6)

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