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 26, 2013

January 26 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 25-27

‘SHINE OUT’ in this WORLD as GOD’s LAMPSTAND: "You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work…And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel." (Exodus 25:31; 27:20-21)

Among the different articles placed on the tabernacle, the golden lampstand (Exo. 25:31–40) stood in the holy place, opposite the table of showbread. It held seven lamps, flat bowls in which a wick lay with one end in the oil of the bowl and the lighted end hanging out. The purpose of this lampstand was to illuminate the interior of the tabernacle at all times. It was the responsibility of Aaron, the High Priest and his priestly descendants to maintain the lampstand, and to make sure that wick is lighted up always with a continuing supply of olive oil that was donated by the Israelites (Exo. 27:20–21).

According to the rabbinical teachings recorded in the Mishnah, the pure oil of pressed olives produced for the lamp was clear, colorless, and of the highest quality (see Lev. 24:1- 4). To obtain the oil, olives were gently pounded in a bowl and the oil was extracted from the pulp. The purity of the oil was indicative of the standard God demanded for all sacrifices offered to Him. We are never to offer God anything that is mediocre!

The “the tabernacle of meeting” (or, “the tent of meeting”) speaks of a provisional tent erected by Moses that would be God’s dwelling place in the wilderness (33:7). Even before a description was given of the garments and consecration of the priests, provision was already made for perpetual light in the sanctuary. The lamp was the golden lampstand that stood on the south side of the holy place, and produced a bright, pure light with little smoke. It was to burn continually—that is “from evening until morning”. The oil to be burned in the lampstand was tended by Aaron and his sons “before the Lord” (v. 21). Priestly ministry was for the benefit of the people, but was only to be done in God’s presence and with His approval. We see that even though the oil produced the light, the priests had to work in order to keep the light burning!

The spiritual lesson that we can learn is that like the lampstand kept inside the tabernacle, God has placed us within His church (Rev. 1:12, 20). Just like the lampstand needs the pure olive oil to shine, we need the Holy Spirit to shine in our dark world. Just like the lampstand stood in the holy place and helped the priests to see as they served, we should help God’s ministers to keep His light shining brightly. One thing to observe is that the light coming out from the lampstand did not illuminate the entire Israelite camp; it was the glory of God that did that (Exod. 40:38). When we shine faithfully as God’s lampstand, God’s glory will be revealed to the people living in the dark world outside. Let’s keep our lamps trimmed and our light shining…always!

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:14-16)

"Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life." (Phil. 2:14-16)

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