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.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 4-6

OBEY GOD even when it doesn't make SENSE: And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it...” Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Gen. 6:13-15, 22)

When God appeared to Noah, and commanded him to build a huge ark to escape the judgment to destroy the earth by flood waters, it would not have made much sense to Noah.  The reason for this is that until that time, as clearly stated earlier in the narrative: "For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground" (Gen. 2:5-6). Throughout his lifetime, Noah had never seen even a drop of water fall from the sky as rain drops!

However, Noah was a godly and just man, perfect in his generations, and more importantly, Noah walked in step with God (Gen. 6:9). So, when God revealed His plans with Noah to destroy the earth with a flood, how Noah reacted is actually recorded by the writer of Hebrews: "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith" (Heb. 11:7). Even though faith and fear are directly contradictory to each other, the way God’s Word operated in Noah’s life makes an interesting study for us to emulate.

When Noah was warned about the divine judgment, initially, he was “moved with godly fear” as he imagined the earth being destroyed by water completely. Even through rain and flood did not make any sense to Noah, but still he trusted God in faith in that He would surely fulfill His promise in due time. As a result of Noah’s faith in God and complete obedience in carrying out the detailed instructions of God, Noah was able to save at least his own family of eight people: "in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water" (1 Peter 3:20).

God may ask us to obey Him at times when it appears illogical and unconventional. His directive may make no sense by human standards or, conventional wisdom. However, when we choose to obey God, we will be richly rewarded. There are many examples offered in the Bible, where the stalwarts chose to obey God’s seemingly absurd instructions rather than follow their own experience. These examples include, Abraham being asked to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac (Gen. 22:1-2), or, Joshua being asked to march the Israelites around the city of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-5), or, Gideon being asked to fight the mighty army of the Midianites with just 300 men (Judges 7:7). In each case, there were tremendous blessings or victories as a reward for obeying God!

Today and hereafter, let us decide to obey God even when it doesn't make sense. God’s thoughts; ways and plans are much higher than our thoughts; ways and plans (Isaiah 55:8-9). So, instead of trying to figure out everything using our limited wisdom, let us trust and obey God without any reservations. Like Noah, let us do exactly what God desires through faith in His unchanging Word!

Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the Lord. (Jer. 9:23-24)

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