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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 1-3

TRUST GOD even when HE says “NO”: Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen. 2:15-17)

In the beginning chapters of Genesis, the book of beginnings, we see how God started His creative work by creating the earth first and making it habitable for humanity (1:1-2:3) even before He created the human race (2:4-25). In fact, God planted a garden eastward in Eden and placed the crown jewel of His creation – man – in that garden to live (2:8). In order to sustain man’s life, God planted every possible tree that was good for food and pleasing in looks along with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:9).  

After providing everything for man, God gave only one responsibility and one restriction to him. Man was made responsible to tend and keep the garden beautiful (2:15). We should note that God was appreciative of everything He had created so far (1:10; 20-21), and wanted to maintain everything that He had created. Since man was created in the image and likeness of God (1:26-27), man was to be a good caretaker and steward of the blessings he enjoyed. We also note that God had placed only one restriction on man, that is, God had said “NO” to only one thing: man was not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil…!!!

The punishment for disobedience was also clearly spelt out: man would surely die on the day he eats this forbidden fruit. As we know now, this death would be actually a separation from enjoying the close fellowship and intimacy with God. The point to reflect from God’s directive is that He never offered an explanation as to why He did not want man to eat this one fruit of this one tree located in the middle of the garden. Every time that man would glance at this tree, he was to remember the restriction placed upon him and trust God’s Word in complete obedience even when God had said “NO” to this one thing.   

The tragedy in this story was that the woman got tempted by the old serpent Satan, and doubted God’s Word and the reality that He meant well for them with this one restriction (3:1-5). She saw that the tree was good for food (“the lust of the flesh”), pleasant to the eyes (“the lust of the eyes”), and desirable to make one wise (“the pride of life”). She loved the ‘world’ over God, breaking God’s cardinal rule: "Do not love the world or the things in the world...for all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world" (1 John 2:15-16).  

Not only did the woman did eat the forbidden fruit, but she gave this fruit to her husband who also ate without giving a second thought at God’s prohibitive command. The woman who was designed to be a helper as man’s companion (2:20b) actually became a hindrance for him to obey God’s mandate and purpose for his life.

Let us understand that sometimes when God says “NO” to us, we should still continue to trust Him, and obey His Word without doubting or questioning. God knows what is best for us and that should be good enough for us throughout our life’s journey!

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." (Psalms 37:3-5)

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