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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 49-50

INHERIT the DIVINE BLESSINGS through WORKS of FAITH: "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people." (Gen. 49:8-10)

Towards the end of the book of Genesis, the patriarch Jacob concluded his life as many other saints who spoke words of blessing before their death, including stalwarts like Isaac (Gen. 27), Moses (Deut. 33), Joshua (Josh. 24), and Samuel (1 Sam. 12). Having reached an advanced age and knowing well that his death was near, Jacob first blessed the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh (48:13–22), and then his own twelve sons and their descendants (49:1–28).

Jacob’s pronouncements before his twelve sons included both prophecy (v. 1) and blessing (v. 28), but cannot be categorized as a father’s blessing on his sons. Rather, it was a prophecy of what his sons could expect in the future because of their individual characters and the decisions they had made at different times of their lives. Reuben, the natural firstborn son of Joseph, was lustful enough to defile his father’s bed (see 35:22) due to which he lost the firstborn privileges and blessings from God (49:3-4). After him, next in the line of birth came Simeon and Levi, who displayed unrestrained anger in killing all the males of Shechem for defiling their sister Dinah (35:25-29). Their anger and cruelty brought about a bad reputation for Jacob among their neighbors (35:30) as well as made them forfeit the blessings of birthright (49:5-7).

Judah was next in order of birth, so Jacob granted him the blessing of the firstborn. He would be a ruler over Israel and the nations. Judah would be the royal tribe, for the Messiah (Shiloh, “the peace-bringer”) would come from among his descendants.  Judah (meaning ‘praise’) would be praised and respected by his brothers because of his victories over his enemies. Thus, of all the magnificent prophetic blessings of Jacob on his sons, the blessing on Judah is most theologically significant, for it identifies Judah as the tribe through which the future ruler would come (49:10–12). This regal person was first David (Ruth 4:12, 18–22), then his dynastic descendants (1 Chron. 3:1–24; Matt. 1:6–16), and finally and fully Jesus Christ, the Messiah (Acts 2:29–36).

How did Judah inherit the blessings of the firstborn? His superiority of character had appeared early, when he proposed to sell Joseph rather than take his life (37:26). Judah’s character rose higher when he offered himself to Jacob as a pledge for Benjamin (43:8-10) and then pleaded with Joseph on Benjamin’s behalf (44:16, 18-34). It was Judah’s moving intercession that broke down Joseph’s resolve not to reveal his true identity before his brothers, and we see that Joseph could not “restrain himself” any longer (45:1). So, Judah’s leadership qualities were revealed through his good works, especially when he put himself on the line before his nervous father Jacob and the stern stone-faced Egyptian official Joseph. Thus, Judah rose to the leadership of the twelve sons as Jacob passed over Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, and he started the royal line that culminated in the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ (Rev. 5:5).

Like Judah, let us also inherit the divine blessings through our works that are initiated out of our faith in God’s Word. Let us endure all the temptations (lust, anger, etc.) that may sidetrack us from our ultimate goal, and get approved by God so that we will receive the crown of life that God has kept for those who love Him: "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12) 

Google+ Followers