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.

Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10 Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapters 25-27

We should FOLLOW after God ‘WHOLEHEARTEDLY’: "Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart." (2 Chron. 25:1-2)

King Amaziah became the 9th king of Judah at the age of 25 after the tragic demise of his father Joash, who died in ignominy and in much pain. Amaziah was a moderately good king who reigned for twenty-nine years from 796–767 B.C. The records are clear that he served God, but not with the same fervor as his great ancestor David. One of his first actions was to execute the servants who assassinated his father, and he obeyed God’s commandments by sparing their children (see 2 Kings 14:6). However, his obedience was only partial, and in his later years he succumbed to pride and picked a fight with the northern kingdom of Israel, which led to his eventual demise.

What is striking about Amaziah is that even though he did some things that were pleasing to God and in conformity to God’s laws, he did not follow after God wholeheartedly (25:2). Apparently, he kept some of the stipulations of God’s Law, but he may have done it more out of tradition than out of his heartfelt commitment to God. In fact, it is possible that Amaziah commitment to God was purely based out of convenience. While he spared the lives of Israelite children of murderers in accordance with the Law (25:3–4), he killed 10,000 innocent Edomites that was totally against God’s stipulations (25:11–12; 2 Kings 14:7–10). During other times as well, Amaziah was half-hearted in his trust and loyalty to God. Instead of trusting God for victory, he hired men from Israel; then he worried about the money he would lose if he obeyed God. Thus, he lived for the wrong values, following the wrong counsel, and eventually he died as an utter failure!

The legacy that Amaziah left for his future generations is a sobering reminder for us that having a nominal faith in God is almost as bad as having no faith in God at all. We can live as followers of Christ in name only, by having little or no relationship with God. We may attend church and show little (if any) spiritual commitment for the things that God desires from us. This is what Apostle James has to tell us in this regard: "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:19-20) Our outward works displayed through our talk and action has to underline our total commitment to God as His children!

God expects us to give Him the first place in our lives (Matt. 6:33), and to love Him and other people as much as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40). The evidence that we love God is that we will obey Him wholeheartedly, as our Lord Jesus has instructed: "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Today, God is seeking disciples who are wholehearted in their commitment to Him (see Matt. 6:19–24). Instead of merely following a religious tradition that is of little value and dangerously self-deceiving, we should be totally committed in obeying, loving, and serving God every day of our lives.

Lastly, let us remember that if we do not follow after God wholeheartedly, this will be what God says about us - just as what He said about the worldly church in Laodicea to Apostle John in the 1st century: "These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 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. 3:14-16)

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