"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 15, 2013

January 15 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 43-45

God is FAITHFUL in FULFILLING His PLANS & PROMISES: And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth. Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?" And they answered, "Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive." And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves. (Gen. 43:26-28)

About 20 years ago, when Joseph was just 17 years old (Gen. 37:2), he had a dream about what God had planned about his future, which is described in this manner: Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, "Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf." (Gen. 37:5-7) His brothers immediately understood the implications of this dream as we see their reaction to Joseph: And his brothers said to him, "Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?" (Gen. 37:8)

It is therefore evident from Joseph’s dream that God had planned and purposed for him to be a ruler or authority figure of some sort, and there would come a time in their lives that his brothers would bow down before Joseph. It is interesting to note that Joseph’s dream was built around sheaves of grain that the farmer collected as the harvest from the field. So, it can be inferred that the reason why the brothers of Joseph would bow before Joseph would have a connection to the food grain of the field.

In order for God’s plan to be fulfilled in Joseph’s life, he had to go through intense suffering and betrayal, including being sold away to slavery by his own brothers, lied upon by his master’s wife being falsely accused of molesting her, and finally being put into prison. However, it was God who orchestrated these events in Joseph’s life, as we read from the following passage: "Moreover He (God) called for a famine in the land; He (God) destroyed all the provision of bread. He (God) sent a man before them--Joseph--who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, he was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him, the ruler of the people let him go free." (Psalms 105:16-20)

We know that God faithfully fulfilled His plans and purposes in Joseph’s life after some years. As the dream had indicated, Joseph’s brothers went down to Egypt to buy food grain upon instructions from their father Jacob as they were experiencing acute food shortage on account of the famine (see Gen. 42:1-5). Also, exactly as a fulfillment of Joseph’s dream, his brothers came and bowed themselves before Joseph – not once but four times – as we can see below:
  1. "And Joseph's brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth." (Gen. 42:6)
  2. "And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth." (Gen. 43:26)
  3. "And they answered, 'Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.' And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves." (Gen. 43:28)
  4. "So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, and he was still there; and they fell before him on the ground." (Gen. 44:14)
The fact that the brothers of Joseph bowed down before Joseph brings to mind (Gen. 42:9) the fulfillment of the dreams they had gone to great lengths to thwart. The experience of being put in prison caused the brothers to discuss their guilt concerning Joseph (Gen. 42:21, 22), which may have been Joseph’s purpose in testing them. George Williams writes eloquently about Joseph in his book Student's Commentary as follows: "He acted so as to bring their sin to remembrance, to make them confess it with their own lips...His detention of Simeon, and afterwards of Benjamin, was skillfully designed so as to find out if they were still indifferent to the cries of a captive brother and the tears of a bereaved father. His plan succeeded admirably; his sternness and his kindness both conspired to disquiet them; and his goodness helped to lead them to repentance."

Let us remember an important truth: God is faithful to fulfill His plans and promises for our lives. He thinks thoughts of peace concerning us that will give us a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11). Let us trust in God’s master plan and purpose for us as we wait for His time to fulfill it so that it brings glory to Him alone!   

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday." (Psalms 37:5-6)

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