"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.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 9 Bible Reading: 1 Timothy Chapters 4-6

Are we CONTENT with just FOOD and CLOTHING? "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." (1 Tim 6:6-8)

Apostle Paul’s first letter contains both direction and encouragement to his spiritual son Timothy. In the above passage, Paul speaks of two important elements: godliness and contentment. Godliness is our desire to see God’s character reproduced in us, while contentment is our acceptance of God’s will in our lives. The absence of godliness and contentment will bring great loss, especially in the Christian life. Godliness without contentment would be a joyless and legalistic righteousness, and would give a one-sided testimony. On the other hand, contentment without godliness describes a person sadly disconnected from God’s truth, and would not be distinctively Christian at all. But to have real godliness and at the same time to be satisfied with one’s personal circumstances is more than money can buy!

Christian believers should be content because their needs are met by Christ (2 Cor. 12:9, 10). In the case of a marriage relationship, the believer should be content with the soul-mate whom God has joined to him/her. Too many marriages are in jeopardy because this principle is violated, and many couples are straining by putting enormous pressure on their marriage. However, contentment coupled with godliness will bring harmony in a marital relationship!

We should remember that we have brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. Before Alexander the Great died, he said: “When I am dead, carry me forth on my bier, with my hands not wrapped in cloth, but laid outside, so that all may see that they are empty”. We enter this world at birth possessing nothing and we will exit this world taking nothing with us. Since material wealth is relatively insignificant, we should pursue other important things like righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness! (v. 11)

Thus, contentment consists of satisfaction with the basic necessities of life. This happens when we have a firm understanding of the passing nature of life. We should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and God will see that we do not lack the essentials of life (Matt. 6:33). True godliness brings contentment with the material blessings that God has provided when we keep our values in right order!

Let’s ask ourselves: are we content with just food and clothing? Augustine has once said that we do not realize how much we are attached to the good things until they are taken from us. Let us not love self, money or any other thing that this world has to offer us (1 John 2:15), instead, let us keep our eyes above on God alone (Col. 3:1-2).

Let us remember that real gain comes from the acquisition of godliness that includes an attitude of contentment with our material possessions. Having the basic necessities of life, food, and clothing, we can and should be content with what we have: Jesus (see Heb. 13:5–6). Paul had learned this lesson of healthy detachment from material things in his own life, and we must learn it too.

"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:11-13)

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