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, March 23, 2013

March 23 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 10-12

Two important ‘RESPONSIBILITIES’ of a GODLY LEADER: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way." (1 Sam 12:23)

We should be aware that over and over God had proved Himself faithful to His people, even though Israel had grossly sinned and rebelled against God time and again. As God was so far loyal to His covenant pledges, Samuel challenged the people of Israel to reciprocate to the faithfulness of God by fearing God, serving and obeying His voice always (12:14–15). As a sign that God would continue to be with them, He sent thunder and rain in response to Samuel’s prayer, something unheard of in the time of wheat harvest (12:16–18).

Despite Israel’s sin, Samuel loved Israel and Saul (16:1) and pledged his continued help for them. His love for them, however, would not dim his perspective as to what ways were right or wrong in Israel. He would do his divine duty of speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). So, as Samuel was concluding his speech at the coronation of Saul as the first king of Israel, he revealed a very important truth that is essentially a two-part responsibility of a godly leader:
  1. Maintain a continued life of intercession for the needs of others, since failure to pray for God’s people was a sin against God; and
  2. Teach the people of Israel concerning “the good and the right way”, which is God’s standard for them.
So, Samuel pledges to pray for the people of the Lord and promises the continued prophetic function of teaching them the good and right way. Samuel’s responsibilities in the kingdom will include both intercession and instruction. For Samuel, a lack of prayer was a moral compromise, a sin. In fact, Samuel’s very life illustrates the importance of prayer (see 1 Sam. 7:5).

Those two responsibilities continue to be the spiritual tasks of God’s shepherds in any era, even today! To stop praying for the needs of others would have been sin, since prayerlessness is sin and not just carelessness. Spiritual leadership differs radically from this world’s ideas about how to lead. God’s leaders must realize that they represent Him in their role, since He has given them their authority. In order to honor God, His servants must be faithful both to Him and to His people!

Today, godly leaders are tasked by God to act both as the priests, being part of the ‘royal priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:9), and the prophets/teachers of God, who would teach the oracles/word of God. Our Lord is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), and it behooves every godly spiritual leader to teach people “the good and the right way” (v. 23). We please God when we fulfill our leadership responsibilities; otherwise, note that we are clearly sinning against God!

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thess. 5:16-18). “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (2 Tim. 4:2).

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