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 31, 2013

May 31 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 22-24

God’s WORD keeps us from SIN or, SIN keeps us from God’s WORD: "Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; you will remove iniquity far from your tents." (Job 22:21-23)

The above passage is part of the final speech of Eliphaz in which he castigates Job more viciously than any times in the past. Eliphaz has already assumed that Job is wicked, and his wickedness has brought about God’s judgment upon his life (22:1–5). In fact, Eliphaz brings out a list of past sins of which Job must be guilty of (22:6–20). However, towards the end of his speech Eliphaz turns around from his vitriolic attack and speaks eloquently on the forgiveness of God as he appeals to Job to repent from his sins (22:21–30). Little did Eliphaz know that God had already certified Job that "there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil" (1:8).

In making his speech, Eliphaz was actually urging Job to repent and be reconciled to God in order to be restored to favor with God, and thereby regain his material prosperity as well. Eliphaz both knew and feared God, but where he faulted was that he directed his diatribe at the wrong person using all the wrong assumptions. In reality, what Eliphaz wanted was that Job would repent and make things right with God thereby ending his present trials. Eliphaz wanted Job to return back to God (22:21–23), surrender his pride (22:24–25), and recognize that God will hear and answer his prayers (22:26–29). If he did all this, he could become God’s channel of blessing to others!

One of the highlights in the final speech of Eliphaz was when he urged Job to get acquainted with God and be at peace with Him. The way to do that was to receive the instructions from God’s Word, and hide God’s Word in his heart. God would then build Job up to a place of honor if he removed all sins from his life. This was in line with what the Psalmist tells us: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!" (Psalms 119:11) This also brings us to the all-important truth that we should be well aware of: God’s Word will keep us from sinning against God, or, our sins will keep us from God’s Word! It is our decision to choose between God’s Word and sins in our lives!

There is great value for us when we memorize and hide God’s Word in our hearts. The Open Bible has listed six crucial benefits for us when we memorize scripture from an early age:
  1. God’s Word keeps us from sinning against God (Ps. 119:11)
  2. God’s Word provides comfort to us in times of trouble (Ps. 119:52, 92)
  3. God’s Word helps us to stay our minds upon God (Ps. 43:3)
  4. God’s Word provides us daily sustenance for our spiritual lives (Deut. 8:3)
  5. God’s Word provides us continual and ready guidance in all the situations of our lives (Prov. 6:20–23)
  6. God’s Word provides the basis for formal and informal instruction of our children (Deut. 6:6, 7)
On a final note, our Lord Jesus Christ grew up in the home of a poor carpenter in Galilee – far away from the religious capital of Jerusalem and the temple, where the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees were located. All the four gospels are silent about his physical growth for eighteen years (from a 12-year old boy to a 30-year old man), and describes it in one short sentence: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52).

However, we can safely assume that Jesus was hiding the Torah in His heart as He was growing up, and His strong command of the Old Testament scriptures was evident in the way he resisted the temptation of Satan (Luke 4:1-12) and the way He answered the people at various times in His public ministry. Let us also emulate our Lord Jesus as we read, reflect and memorize God’s Word every day, which will make us successful in the eyes of God and people.

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Josh. 1:8)

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