"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.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8 Bible Reading: Leviticus Chapters 25-27

We should ‘PAY OUT’ our ‘PROMISES’ to GOD: Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When a man consecrates by a vow certain persons to the Lord, according to your valuation...all that anyone gives to the Lord shall be devoted offering that a man may devote to the Lord of all that he has, both man and beast, or the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted offering is most holy to the Lord." (Lev. 27:1-2, 9, 28)

Moses closed the Book of Leviticus by exhorting Israel to present to the Lord dedicatory offerings, and then to pay out their promises to God. These promises were offered not to gain any favor with God but as expressions of gratitude and commitment to Him for all the manifestations of His grace. However, even voluntary offerings were not be done at the whim of the worshiper and in a self-chosen manner, but were to follow certain guidelines that God had laid out, which were necessary to offer gifts to God in a way that pleased Him.

The promises made to God could be people, cattle, houses, and fields for the service at the tabernacle. It was possible to offer oneself or a member of one’s family to the full-time service of God, as we see in the way Samuel was offered by his mother (1 Sam. 1:11). In a moment of extreme joy or trial, a Jew might make a vow to God, offering to give Him something valuable in return for His blessing (see Judg. 11:29–40; 2 Sam. 15:7, 8; Jonah 2:9). This included commitments regarding people (vv. 2-8), animals (vv. 9-13), houses (vv. 14, 15), land property (vv. 16-24), and even tithes (vv. 30-33). However, every person who was offered in this manner had to be redeemed according to the regulations prescribed by God (vv. 3–8). The purpose of these regulations was to prevent foolish or rash commitments and to warn against the temptation to forget or alter vows.

The principle involved in estimating the value of persons was that the greatest value was placed on males in the prime of life, from ages twenty to sixty. Thereafter, the value decreased drastically, indicating the decline that comes with age. Females and those under age twenty were also valued accordingly. What this all meant was that the person making this voluntary vow would pay this sum to the Lord within a specified time. By redeeming at a certain price the person dedicated to the sanctuary, the Israelite gave the value of the gift he had vowed. Vows were strictly voluntary, but once an Israelite made a vow, he was obligated to pay his vow. A vow of consecration was very special to God, and if a person was vowed to God, then the redemption price was to be paid to the priest in due time.

We should clearly understand that God never demands from us that we pay Him vows. In fact, in His Sermon of the Mount, Jesus admonishes us against swearing, but commands us to be true to our word: "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." (Matt. 5:33-37)

Talk is not cheap and rash promises can become very expensive for us in the long run. Let us be careful during times of experiencing great joy or great sorrow that we do not make promises to God that we cannot keep (see Prov. 20:25; Eccl. 5:4–5). If we do make promises to God, we should pay out each and every promise that we have made, as the Psalmist says: "What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people." (Psalms 116:12-14)

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