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.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 13 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 37-39

Our DECEPTION shall RETURN to us MULTIPLIED: So they took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" And he recognized it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, "For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning." Thus his father wept for him. (Gen. 37:31-35)

As we read the story of Joseph, we can see him greatly loved by his father Jacob (v. 3), but hated (v. 4, 8) and envied (v. 11) by his ten brothers. As a result, he was plotted against (v. 18), sold as a slave (vv. 27-28), arrested unjustly, and made to suffer in the prison. But he went from suffering to glory and eventually became the savior of his own people who had rejected him. Though often read as a tale of treachery, abuse, and profound sorrow, the story of Joseph is rather one of celebration of the sovereign, but mysterious purposes of God. Though he was sold into Egyptian slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph eventually became their means of salvation and blessing in the later days!

The story of Joseph is also similar to the story of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was rejected and sold by His own, but eventually became the Savior of the whole world. However, both Joseph and Jesus had to suffer before they could enter into their glory (Luke 24:26; 1 Pet. 5:10). The goal was glorious, but the whole process was painful. The lesson for us through these two stories is that God desires that we become like His Son Jesus Christ, and we may need to go through certain painful process before we become more like Him. "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

However, lurking behind this grand story of Joseph is a certain truth that we encounter about his father Jacob: his own deception had returned to him multiplied after a period of time. Over 20 years ago, Jacob had similarly deceived his own father Isaac, and now he was being deceived by his own sons in a grander scale. There are a few points for us to ponder concerning the similarities of these two deceptions:
  • Earlier, Jacob had deceived his father Isaac with the full knowledge and active participation of his mother Rebekah (27:6-17); now, his own ten sons had conspired together and participated in deceiving him (37:29-35).
  • Earlier, Jacob had killed two young goats and prepared their meat for his father for obtaining his blessings (27:9-14); now, his own sons had killed a young goat in order to deceive him (37:31).
  • Earlier, Jacob had deceived his father Isaac using goat skins in order to impersonate his brother’s hairy arms (27:16-23) and with Esau’s clothing (27:15, 27); now, he was being cruelly deceived by the blood of a goat on his son Joseph’s coat (37:31-33).
Clearly, the deception that Jacob had to encounter was far greater than the deception he crafted with his mother in order to obtain his father’s blessings. His sons had dipped Joseph’s tunic in the blood of a goat and then callously returned it to Jacob, who naturally assumed that Joseph had been killed and mourned for him many days refusing to be comforted (37:34-35). Jacob had now reaped manifold of what he had sown in his early life. Jacob, the deceiver in his youth, was now himself being cruelly deceived. The pain of deceit that Jacob had inflicted on his father Isaac and his brother Esau was experienced by Jacob in a more intense level.

Let us be careful that we do not deceive anyone knowingly, for if we do that, we will definitely reap the consequences of our doings one day in the future. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Gal. 6:7-9)

Google+ Followers