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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 22 Bible Reading: Esther Chapters 4-6

God ‘DELIGHTS’ to ‘HONOR’ His ‘FAITHFUL’ SERVANTS: And Haman answered the king, "For the man whom the king delights to honor, let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’” (Esther 6:7-9)

The book of Esther clearly reveals the providence of God, since God had seen beforehand what the enemy Haman has planned against His servant Mordecai, and then foiled his plans in the most amazing way. Upon the advice of his wife, Haman had constructed a seventy-five feet high gallows in order to hang Mordecai in it after getting the permission from the king. After making this evil scheme, Haman went to sleep, but God kept King Ahasuerus awake through the night. By divine coincidence the king came to know that Mordecai was not rewarded even though he had previously foiled an assassination attempt on his life.

God was in perfect control over everything that was happening at that time! While God planted the desire in the king’s heart to reward Mordecai, Haman was plotting at the same time to have him hanged. When Haman came before the king in order to suggest that Mordecai be hanged to death, the king attempted to reward the same Mordecai who had saved him from his assassins. In his arrogance, Haman presumed that the king desired to honor him, and then suggested a course of action that he would most enjoy himself: a royal parade through the city plaza so that everyone could see and hear about the king’s delight in him! Little did he realize that the king was planning this reward for a man whom Haman had regarded as his worst enemy! To add injury to insult, it was Haman who had to lead Mordecai through the streets and proclaim: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’ (6:9)

There is one more interesting fact to consider: just like Haman intentionally concealed the identity of the people that he had recommended to destroy (3:8), God caused the identity of Mordecai to be concealed until Haman had proposed the details of the tremendous honor that he had envisioned for himself. The famed theologian J. G. Bellett has remarked on this entire incident as follows: "... the wonderful interweaving of circumstances which we get in this history. There is plot and under plot - wheels within wheels - circumstances hanging upon circumstances, all formed together to work out the wonderful plans of God."

God caused Mordecai to be honored so lavishly because he had proved his faithfulness to God by his prior actions. God delights to honor His faithful servants always! There are three excellent examples in the Bible to substantiate this claim:
  • Take the case of Joseph in the Old Testament, who was faithful in his integrity and commitment to God even during his worst temptation (see Gen. 39:9). Due to this, God honored Joseph by raising him from prison to become the ruler of Egypt.
  • Similarly, Daniel was faithful in his commitment to maintain his ceremonial purity with food when he was young (Dan. 1:8). So, God honored Daniel by promoting him to become the “ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon” (Dan. 2:48).
  • In the New Testament, the best example of a faithful person whom God delighted to honor is our Lord Jesus Christ. God has decreed that one day every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue confess Him Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10, 11).
Let us remember that one day we shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and if only we are faithful to God shall we hear the following words: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord" (Matt. 25:21). Let us determine to be faithful like Mordecai, Joseph, Daniel, and our Lord Jesus Christ so that we too will receive due honor from Him one day.

"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods." (Matt. 24:45-47)

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