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.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7 Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians Chapters 1-3

Hold FAST to the TRADITIONS taught by GOD’s WORD: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work." (2 Thess. 2:15-17)

When Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica the second time, they were in the midst of intense suffering (1:4–5) and many difficulties (2:1–12). However, Paul encouraged them to look beyond their immediate troubles to the return of Christ (1:6–7) with whom they would be glorified forever (1:10). It would be just a matter of time before Christ would judge all their enemies once and for all (1:8–9).

In view of this fact, Paul exhorts the believers in Thessalonica to stand fast and hold the traditions which they were taught, either by the apostles’ words or by their letters. The important thing here is that the only traditions which were reliable and authoritative were the inspired utterances of the apostles. We are aware that Christ had condemned the scribes and Pharisees for nullifying the commandments of God by their traditions (Matt. 15:6). In a similar tone, Paul had warned the Colossians against the traditions of men (Col. 2:8). In reality, the only traditions that we should hold on to should be the great truths which have been handed over to us in the sacred Scriptures!

In the early church, traditions were the principal means of Christian instruction (Luke 1:2). The New Testament had not yet been written, and the essential beliefs of the Christian faith were being communicated through the apostles’ preaching and letters. The traditions mentioned above refer to more than customs but referred to the totality of the apostolic doctrine as it was given to them by God. It made no difference whether these traditions were given orally (by word) or in written form (epistles) as they were authoritative, being God’s Word. Paul used the word ‘traditions’ to describe his teachings (both by word and by letter) especially at Corinth and Thessalonica (Rom. 6:17; 1 Cor. 11:2, 23; 15:3; 2 Tim. 1:13).

Today, God calls us as His people to finish our lives well by holding on to the truths that last. We should maintain lifelong faithfulness and be busy about our responsibilities at hand (3:6–13). We should sit under the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, but when the content conflicts with the Scriptures, the teaching of men should be disregarded for the certain truth of the Bible (Matt. 15:2; 2 Tim. 2:15). Beware of “prophets” who contradict what God has already said in His Word! As God’s people, we can face the future with assurance, hope, and comfort because of the unfailing grace of God through His Word. Let us hold fast to the traditions taught by God’s Word alone!

"Knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21)

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