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.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4 Bible Reading: Joshua Chapters 1-3

It takes a STEP of FAITH to see MIRACLES in our LIVES: "So it was, when…the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still…and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan." (Josh. 3:14-17)

After the death of Moses, one of the first tasks that God had entrusted his successor Joshua was to lead the Israelites in crossing the Jordan River in order to physically enter the land of Canaan. This is what God told Joshua: "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them--the children of Israel" (1:2). It was a seemingly impossible task for this huge Israelite population to walk across the Jordan River, especially because this river was overflowing its banks at this time.

The miracle of the Jordan River parting (so that the Israelites could enter Canaan on dry land) was comparable to miracle of the parting of the Red Sea that the previous generation had experienced (see Exodus 14:21–31). This miracle also helped to confirm Joshua as the successor to Moses. We should note that many years later, a similar miracle would confirm Elisha as the successor to the prophet Elijah as well.

The detail concerning the Jordan River overflowing all its banks (v. 15) enhances the miracle, as an act of God displaying His sheer conquering power, by focusing on the seemingly impossible natural impediment. The symbol of God’s presence was the Ark of the Covenant, which served metaphorically as His throne (25:10–22; Deut. 20:1–4; 1 Sam. 4:1–11). So, God would lead the way in the person of the priests and Levites bearing the ark (vv. 1–6). When the priests’ feet touched the water of the Jordan, a miracle occurred. The river was stopped at the city of Adam, some miles to the north. The waters piled up there in a heap, and whatever water was left in the bed of the river below that point drained into the Salt (Dead) Sea.

The famed theologian D. K. Campbell has emphasized that this was indeed a special miracle due to the following six reasons:  
  1. The event came to pass as predicted (vv. 13).
  2. The timing was precise and exact (v. 15).
  3. The event took place when the river was at flood stage (v. 15).
  4. The wall of water was held in place for many hours, possibly an entire day (v. 16).
  5. The soft, wet river bottom became dry at once (v. 17).
  6. The water returned immediately as soon as the people had crossed over and the priests came up out of the river (4:18).
As the key instrument in the miracle, the ark conveys the powerful message of God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises. God, represented by the ark, led the people through the Jordan River even as He would lead them to victory west of the Jordan River. He was demonstrating that His presence, which caused the waters to flee before Israel, was their only hope of triumph!

It took great courage and tremendous faith in God for the priests to step into the rushing torrent of the flooded Jordan. But as long as they stood on the eastern bank, no Israelite would be able to cross the river. The priests had to take a step of faith and ‘get their feet wet’ before their task could be accomplished. As soon as the priests stepped into the water, the waters of the Jordan River backed up into a heap. True faith always produces miracles! The priests stepped into the muddy Jordan on faith, and the people accomplished the work of entering into the Promised Land. As Matthew Henry wrote, “God could have divided the river without the priests, but they could not without Him. The priests must herein set a good example and teach the people to do their utmost in the service of God, and trust Him for help in time of need.”

Let’s remember that our step of faith can encourage others in their walk with God as well. It takes great faith to walk through the water, but it takes even greater faith to walk on the water (see Matt. 14:25–31). We will see miracles every day when we follow God closely by taking small steps of faith by trusting in His promises. Let us never despair because the conditions in which we find ourselves are altogether beyond our power to overcome. Our troubles may have already reached the high-water mark, but when they ‘overflow’ beyond our expectations then we can expect God to show Himself strong in our behalf. "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." (2 Chron. 16:9)

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