"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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7 Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapters 16-18

WALK, SEEK & DELIGHT in GOD for LASTING REWARDS: "Now the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah gave presents to Jehoshaphat, and he had riches and honor in abundance. And his heart took delight in the ways of the Lord; moreover he removed the high places and wooden images from Judah." (2 Chron. 17:3-6)

Jehoshaphat took over the reign of the southern kingdom of Judah from a father like Asa who did not leave a godly legacy for him before he died. There were two prominent transgressions committed by Asa towards the end of his life, which are pointed out clearly by the writer of Chronicles. First, Asa relied on Syria for help against the attack from the northern kingdom of Israel instead of Jehovah God (16:1-9). Second, Asa did not seek God but only the physicians for a healing from the disease in his feet before his death (16:12).

However, when Jehoshaphat became the fourth king of Judah, he strengthened his kingdom against Israel. He fortified his kingdom, but the secret of his successful reign was that he wholly followed the ways of God. In fact, Jehoshaphat was the first king (since David) who walked in the righteous ways of his great grandfather David as well as walked in (literally, obeyed) God’s commandments and God’s ways. Not only that, Jehoshaphat took delight and his heart’s desire was to follow the ways of God (17:3–5). His desire was so pronounced that he recognized the need for constant vigil against idolatry. In order to accomplish his spiritual warfare against idolatry, Jehoshaphat removed high places and idols, and sent out his leaders and Levites to teach the people in the cities of Judah “the Law of the Lord” (17:7–9).

Actually, Jehoshaphat emulated the heart for God that Asa had shown in his earlier years, and for this God granted Jehoshaphat seven lasting rewards that would last him throughout his lifetime, which are as follows:
  1. God established the kingdom in the hand of Jehoshaphat (17:5a)
  2. All the people in the kingdom of Judah gave presents to Jehoshaphat, as a result of which he had riches and honor in abundance (17:5b).
  3. The nations surrounding Judah started having a healthy respect for Jehoshaphat, and they lost their appetite for aggression against Judah (17:10).
  4. Some of the other nations like the Philistines and Arabians even sent gifts with the obvious intent of cultivating good relations with Jehoshaphat (17:11).
  5. Jehoshaphat became increasingly powerful and a force to be reckoned with because of his fortresses, storage cities and vast property holdings in the cities if Judah (17:12-13a).
  6. To add to the above, Jehoshaphat had a powerful army to defend his kingdom that included mighty men of valor (17:13b-19).
  7. Finally, God protected Jehoshaphat from certain death during the next war with Syria even though he was wearing the king’s costume. In fact, God diverted the attention of the Syrian soldiers, and they gave up chasing after him (18:28-32).
In reality, since Jehoshaphat lived in godly fear before God; he was protected by God’s fear from his enemies. Let us always remember that when we fear God, we do not need to fear anything else, and we get truly blessed by God: "Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments" (Psalms 112:1).

In fact, Jehoshaphat walked in the right counsel (17:3), delighted in the ways of God (17:6), and was fruitful in his service by sharing God’s Word with the people of Judah (17:7–9). All the above lasting rewards happened to Jehoshaphat because he walked, sought, and delighted in Jehovah God!

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper" (Psalms 1:1-3).

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