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.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20 Bible Reading: 1 Peter Chapters 4-5

GOD gets the GLORY when WE use our GIFTS wisely: "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:10-11)

In the above passage, Apostle Peter makes the assertion that every Christian believer has received a gift from God, which is a special function to perform as a member of the Body of Christ (see 1 Cor. 12:4–11, 29–31). These gifts are our stewardship mandate from God, and are not to be used for selfish gain but only for His glory and for the good of others. We are not meant to be the end-terminals of God’s gifts, but rather, we are intended to be channels for the flow of God’s blessing to others!

Let us be clear that we have nothing to offer others that we have not first received from God! This is exactly what Apostle Paul asked the Corinthian church: "And what do you have that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7) God bestows spiritual gifts (or, grace gifts) generously to every believer, and they are sovereignly dispensed by the Holy Spirit. Stewards are managers (or, trustees) who will one day be held accountable for using their gifts wisely and effectively in God’s best interest. So, we are to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God, and the grace of God here refers to the undeserved favor which God offers to us!

God has given every believer at least one gift that he/she can and should share with other believers and so serve them. If not anything else, every believer is gifted to serve others through the resources that God has provided, including time, talents and treasures. Let us use our gifts and talents to serve others just as seven laymen stepped up to take responsibility of the daily administration and food distribution in the first-century church (see Acts 6:1-7). The Lord, who has given us the ability, will also give us the strength, resources and direction to use our ability for His glory. When every believer contributes, the teamwork will divide the efforts and multiply the results as well. In the end, God gets the glory!

Whenever we perform any service for God, we should do it with the humble recognition that it is God who alone empowers us for this task. We should perform every service so that God gets the credit. Thus, all glory will go to God, where it belongs! Whenever, we receive a compliment for an act of service, let us be careful to give God the glory. This way, God gets the glory when we use our gifts wisely!

"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:6-8)

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