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.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 7 Bible Reading: 1 Kings Chapters 1-3

Does our SPIRITUAL TEMPERATURE meet God’s STANDARDS? "Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm" (1 Kings 1:1)

Bible scholars are united in their assessment that the books of 1 and 2 Kings were originally one book, and were joined to 1 and 2 Samuel. Whereas the books of Samuel tells about the rise and reign of David, the books of Kings gives an account of what happened to the nation after King David passed away from the scene. The narrative is organized around the reigns of David’s successors, and that is why the book is named in this manner.

As the first book of Kings begin, David is about seventy years old (2 Sam. 5:4-5; 1 Kings 2:11; 1 Chr. 29:26–28), in declining health, and is about to pass off the stage of history. The wear and tear of an active military life, bodily fatigue, and mental care, has totally exhausted the energies that David had when he was young. David is now sinking under infirmities, and the long years of warfare had doubtlessly taken their physical toll. In fact, King David could not now get warm even when he was covered with bed-clothes!

We may recall that when David burst into the scene as a young boy, the scriptures describe him as "ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking" (1 Sam. 16:12). In fact, one of the servants of King Saul describe David in more glowing terms: "Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him" (1 Sam 16:18). David was very brave even when he was taking care of his father’s sheep, and his testimony before King Saul attests to that fact: "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it" (1 Sam. 17:34-35). This led David on to a head-on encounter with the Philistine giant Goliath as he ran towards his enemy, slung one stone from his sling shot that struck Goliath on his forehead, and then David killed the giant with his own sword (1 Sam. 17:48-50). This is how David started his public life in Israel, and he "…went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him" (2 Sam. 5:10)

King David was very passionate with regards to worship as well, as we can attest from the fact that when the ark of God was brought from the house of Obed-Edom to Jerusalem, "David danced before the Lord with all his might…wearing a linen ephod" (2 Sam. 6:14). As an outpouring of his zeal for God, David wanted to build a permanent temple for God in Jerusalem, but God did not permit it and instead commissioned his son to oversee this great task (2 Sam. 7:1-16). David was a mighty warrior, and his exploits against the Philistines, Moabites, Zobahites and Syrians became legendary (2 Sam. 8:1-14). Through it all, the "Lord preserved David wherever he went" (2 Sam. 8:6, 14b). Throughout his life, King David maintained a high spiritual temperature, which is evident from his prayer: "Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice" (Psalms 55:17). However, sadly now, King David could not even get physically warm anymore! (1 Kings 1:1)

In our spiritual life, God desires that we should always maintain a high spiritual temperature. In the last prophetical book of Revelation, God had the following message for the church in Laodicea: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Rev. 3:15-16). The people of the Laodicean church were both worldly and spiritual, so their spiritual temperature was lukewarm. God hates when His people are lukewarm in their passion to serve and worship Him, and even prefers that they be even cold and indifferent towards His cause!

It will be good for us to take our spiritual temperature in order to examine our spiritual health today. The Apostle Paul wrote that we should examine and test ourselves to see if we are really in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). Have we "left our first love" (Rev. 2:4) somewhere? Do we still have the same passion and zeal in our worship as before? Check out the passion for worship expressed by the Psalmist: "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?" (Psalms 42:1-2) Are we truly elated to go to our church meetings to worship God as a corporate body? David becomes our role model in this regard as he exclaimed: "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord'" (Ps. 122:1). Let’s ask ourselves all these above questions, and especially this key question today: Does our spiritual temperature meet God’s standard?

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