"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 23, 2013

January 23 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 16-18

FIVE CRITICAL RESPONSIBILITIES of a GODLY LEADER: “Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times" (Exo. 18:19-22)

After Moses began his enormous task of leading over 600,000 Israelites to the Promised Land under the direction of God, his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, visited Moses in the wilderness bringing with him Zipporah, Moses’ wife and their two sons Gershom and Eliezer (18:1-6). After exchanging the usual pleasantries, Jethro had the chance to observe Moses he sat down to judge the people. It is obvious that already many disagreements had started among the people of God, some trivial and others complicated. Other than Moses, there was nobody designated by Moses yet, nor was his judicial responsibilities delegated to anyone else, who could be able to judge these matters.

What Jethro observed was that from morning to evening, Moses sat on a particular seat to judge the people and everyone else stood beside him to hear his judgment. People came from all the different camp sites to know God’s will in their particular matters of interest. Through this interaction, Moses would both judge as well as make known to the people the statues of God. It soon became obvious to Jethro that it would be detrimental to Moses’ health and well being if he was to continue to be the sole judge and lawgiver of Israel. Moses was already overextended and overstretched (v. 13), and all the Israelites were already making too many demands from him (vv. 14-15). In fact, Moses wore too many hats – leading the Israelites, arbitrating personal disputes and handing down legal judgments for a great multitude – and from a humanly perspective, he would not be able to continue in this manner for a long time. Moses was a classic case of a workaholic heading toward burnout!

So, Jethro gave wise counsel to his son-in-law that was not disputed or rejected by Jehovah God. What Jethro told Moses was that he should delegate more trivial disputes to other godly and wise people that he should appoint, while taking up the more challenging counseling cases for himself (vv. 18-22). While giving this counsel, Jethro also mentioned five critical responsibilities of a godly leader that all spiritual leaders should take note and follow:
  1. INTERCEDE: A godly leader should stand before God on behalf of the people (v. 19). This act is primarily the responsibility of an Old Testament priest. However, God has designated us as part of the “holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5) and “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). As a spiritual leader, this responsibility as God’s under-shepherds should be performed intentionally every day.
  2. TEACH-EQUIP: A godly leader should teach God’s Word faithfully to the people (v. 20a). For the New Testament disciples, the Lord Jesus Christ has required that they should especially teach “all things that He has commanded” or, the commandments of Jesus as recorded in the four Gospels (see Matt. 28:20a).  
  3. MODEL: A godly leader should model to the people the way they should walk and the work they should do (v. 20b). We find that many church leaders preach one thing but their lives reflect something else. Every godly leader should be able to tell to the people the following words of Apostle Paul: "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Cor 11:1).
  4. CHOOSE: A godly leader should be able to select godly people in order to designate them in areas of responsibility (v. 21). Here the selection criteria include choosing men who are talented and capable, who revere God, who are truthful and those who hate covetousness. In the early New Testament church, however, they chose seven men “of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:3).
  5. DELEGATE: Finally, a godly leader should empower and delegate their leadership responsibilities to capable people (v. 22). In this case, Jethro counseled Moses to allow able men to be able to judge the smaller cases of people at all times, even in his presence. These days, godly leaders should delegate tasks and responsibilities to capable people even while empowering them with the adequate tools and resources.
Thus, Jethro gave his wise counsel in the context of his new faith in God, but it was rooted in experience and wisdom he had gained throughout his life. We also need God’s help with our priorities as we understand what’s really important and needs to be accomplished. At the same time, we should delegate lesser important matters to others. Remember, Godly leaders should be God-fearing, trustworthy, and honest while they govern righteously. Maybe God may not have called you to be a leader, but He may want you to help a leader do a better job!

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