"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 27, 2012

December 27 Bible Reading: Revelation Chapters 7-9

‘REPENTANCE’ should be an INTEGRAL part of our LIFESTYLE: "But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts" (Rev. 9:20-21)

If there was one repetitive message that is consistent throughout the pages of the Bible from the very early days, it is the message of repentance. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned in the Garden of Eden, their eldest son Cain could not please God through his sacrifice offering (Gen. 4:5). Thereafter, God gives Cain a chance to repent (“do well”): "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it"(Gen. 4:7). However, Cain refused God’s generous offer, murdered his brother Abel, and was forever cursed as a “fugitive and a vagabond” (Gen. 4:11-12). This particular behavior of refusing to repent from wrongdoing has been described as the “way of Cain” by Jude (v.11) for our reference.

Repentance involves making a radical turn from our old ways of sin to the new way that God wants us to travel, and is a call to conversion from self-love, self-trust, and self-assertion to obedient trust and self-commitment to God. It is a change of mind that involves a conscious turning away from wrong actions, attitudes and thoughts that conflict with a godly lifestyle and biblical commands, and an intentional turning toward doing that which pleases God. In repenting, we make a complete change of direction (180° turn) toward God. When we change our mind about sin, our behavior will change naturally. In the Old Testament, God sent His prophets at various times to repent of their sins, and those who did that often showed outward evidence by tearing down idolatrous statues (Ezek. 14:6).

The above referenced passage (Rev. 9:20-21) offers an informative glimpse into the religious and moral conditions during the Tribulation period. The purpose of these plagues is to lead people to repentance, and these plagues intensify as the end approaches, but sadly they fail to produce the desired response. The unwillingness to repent despite the incredible devastation of the plagues reminds us of Pharaoh’s attitude of hardening his heart toward most of the plagues that came upon Egypt (see Exod. 7:22; 8:15; 9:7). For those people who will not repent of their sins and come to God for forgiveness, God will judge them one day. It is C. S. Lewis, who wrote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains.”

Although two-thirds of humans survived these plagues, they did not repent, but continued to bow down to demons and idols (Eph. 4:17–19). These people were living in gross sins (including murders, sorceries, sexual immorality, and thefts) that were specifically prohibited in the Ten Commandments (see Exod. 20:3–17) and other scriptural passages (Exod. 18:23; 21:8; 22:15; Gal. 5:20). It is important to note that the people who do not repent are not those who “have the seal of God on their foreheads” (v. 4; 7:2–4). So, the first step towards repentance is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts by faith (see Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 26:20).

For us who are following Christ daily, repentance should be an integral part of our lifestyle. We should confess our sins and turn towards God every day as we walk closely in His footsteps. We should also lead people to God, and remember that He is waiting patiently for all people to come to Him through repentance: "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

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