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 24, 2013

May 24 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 1-3

There is HOPE even in the most HOPELESS situation: "So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes." (Job 2:7-8)

The Book of Job raises some fundamental questions about evil, suffering, justice, the meaning of life, and the extent to which we, as human beings, can understand God’s ways. There are few people in this world who have experienced such immense pain, loss and suffering to the level that Job had experienced, and anyone who has experienced a tragedy will also struggle with the same question that had occupied Job and his friends: “Why?” The book of Job is a timeless story of human beings trying to use their finite understanding to explain calamity. However, one fact emerges from the story of Job: there is hope even in the most hopeless situation!

It is evident that Job was a man of high moral character who practiced what he preached. He was a man of integrity who was "blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil" (1:1). However, on a single day all of Job’s possessions and his children were taken away from him (1:13-19); he also lost his health (2:1–8) and even his wife told him to “curse God and die!” (2:9). Finally, Job even lost hope (7:6) and it appeared that God had turned against him. In reality, it was just the opposite – God was so confident in Job’s integrity that He trusted Job in his battle against Satan, and allowed him to go through the whole ordeal. It was much later that Job’s hope was renewed when his fortunes and family were finally restored to him (42:7–17).

One lesson for us from Job’s story is that we can never fully understand or explain misfortune in our lives because we do not have all the facts, but we do know that God responded with compassion during each episode of Job’s experience, and proved that He was both trustworthy and kind. God initially limited Satan’s attacks and did not allow him to kill him (1:12; 2:6); He answered Job even if His questions went beyond Job’s understanding (Job 38–41); He vindicated Job before his friends (42:7–9); and He finally restored Job’s losses (42:12–17). When we can truly comprehend God working behind the scenes on our behalf, it should drive us to the place where Job ended up finally—at the feet of God, in humility, worship, and praise!

Let us not blame either Satan or God for the troubles we face today. In fact, we are morally responsible for the choices that we make. God’s sovereignty is a comforting thought as we contend with an increasingly chaotic world. God may allow evil in His world, but He does not allow it to take total control. He will permit it to spread only so far before He cuts it back. Ultimately He will do away with all sin and evil and those who promote it, handing over the rule of His perfect creation to His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:24–28; Phil. 2:9–11).

Remember, there is hope even in the most hopeless situation of our lives! In the case of Job, he could maintain his integrity even after loosing everything that was valuable for him (2:9); he had a wife through whom he had children later, he had friends who kept him occupied through his suffering, and he had a God on his side who had immense faith in his integrity. Through Job’s experience, we understand that only God knows best how to bring glory to Himself; He always works for our ultimate good, and that He is always worthy of our total love and commitment at all times. Furthermore, God always has a purpose in permitting suffering in our lives even though we may never fully comprehend it.

Job knew nothing about Satan’s challenge to God, and had no idea that the enemy was using him as a reason for slandering God. Neither did Job know that God would use his sufferings to defeat Satan. But, God trusted Job and for that reason his faith was tested. Let us be clear that if our faith is not tested, it cannot be trusted as well (Jam. 1:1–8; 1 Pet. 1:3–9). We are bound to face suffering in the near future, but we should always remember that there is hope even in the most hopeless situation of our lives.

Let us have the divine peace that only God can give us (Phil. 4:6-7) even during the most violent storms in our lives, and be joyful because God is in ultimate control over our lives: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

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