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.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 19 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 4-6

SOMETIMES it gets WORSE before the FINAL BREAKTHROUGH: So Moses returned to the Lord and said, "Lord, “Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23)

Someone has once said that the night is darkest just before the daybreak. The night of the bondage of the Israelites under the Egyptians were about to end, and God had chosen Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. However, things did not work out exactly as Moses anticipated for he ran into opposition from the Pharaoh, who refused to listen to him (5:2-19). Then, when Pharaoh added additional burden upon the Israelites, they came to Moses and Aaron and complained to them: "Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us" (5:21). Let us not forget that opposition from within the ranks of God’s people is often harder to bear than persecution from without. It now appeared that everyone was against Moses in his attempt to rescue the Israelites from the Egyptian slavery!

Moses had expected Pharaoh to cave in as soon as he heard the use of the Lord’s name Yahweh (3:14, 15; 5:1). Yet, earlier God had warned Moses that Pharaoh would do the opposite (3:19). During the time of his trouble, Moses should have remembered what God had told him that He would harden the king’s heart: "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go" (4:21). Also, Moses had not yet learned that God’s delays are not necessarily God’s denials. Nothing short of God’s power could deliver Israel now!

Just as the people complained against Moses, in the same manner, Moses complained against God (5:22–23). In fact, Moses was greatly discouraged and began to (a) accuse God of wrongdoing (“why have You brought trouble on this people?”); (b) question his call (“why is it You have sent me?”); and (c) blame God for His inaction (“neither have You delivered Your people at all”). In the similar manner, when we are discouraged it is easy to be tempted and question God as we wonder about our position in relation to Him. However, we must trust Him, and rest assured that His love works for our ultimate good. Madame Guyon spoke of these kinds of difficulties: “In the commencement of the spiritual life, our hardest task is to bear with our neighbor; in its progress, with ourselves; and in its end, with God.”

God gave Moses all the assurance that He needed and told him to return back to his assignment of delivering the people of Israel. He was the El Shaddai (the all-abundant One) who had long ago promised to the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) that their descendants would inherit Canaan one day (6:1–5). The time had now come to implement the terms of the ancient covenant by redeeming Israel out of Egypt (6:5–6), by making a new national covenant (6:7), and by leading them into the Promised Land (6:8).

Let us remember that even when we do the will of God, things may go from bad to worse. However, God will accomplish everything in His time. What we need in our hour of trials and difficulty is a clear vision of God and His plans for us: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11)

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