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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 9 Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapters 22-24

It is MORE IMPORTANT to FINISH WELL than to START WELL: "For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; but the Lord delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash. And when they had withdrawn from him (for they left him severely wounded), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died. And they buried him in the City of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings" (2 Chron. 24:24-25)

In all ways, Joash started well. When all his brothers were assassinated by Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah (22:10), Jehoshabeath, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, hid him in a bedroom so that Athaliah could not find and kill him as a one-year old baby (22:11). After that, "he was hidden with them in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land" (22:12).

In the seventh year, the priest Jehoiada “strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains” of the army of Judah (23:1). He then got Athaliah killed so that Joash could take over the throne of Judah. Joash was only seven years old when he became king, and he did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest (24:1-2). In fact, Jehoiada the priest nurtured and guided Joash spiritually from his childhood through his growing years into maturity as an adult. As long as the godly priest Jehoiada was around to guide young Joash, the king ruled well. He repaired and restored the temple of God that was broken down by Athaliah, and brought spiritual renewal to the land of Judah (24:7-14).

However, soon after the priest Jehoiada died (24:15-16), Joash turned to wickedness and began listening to other counselors who did not lead him in the right direction (24:17). Very soon Joash allowed idolatry to creep back in and led the nation down into moral depravity (24:18). This became such a problem that even the prophets of God could not resolve (24:19). His apostasy reminds us that leaders today need spiritual mentors and religious guidance if they are to stay on course!

One of the prophets of God Zechariah, who was the son of his mentor Jehoiada, stood in the power of God to condemn Joash and his cronies for their violation of God’s covenant (24:20). This was an act of boldness that cost him his very life! Sadly, Joash became victim of the conspiracy hatched by the leaders of Judah, as he ordered the righteous Zechariah to be stoned to death in the courts of the temple (24:21). "Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son" (24:22).

The way that Joash treated the son of Jehoiada reminds us about Asa’s dealings with Hanani (16:10). However, before he died, Zechariah uttered the following words to King Joash: "The Lord look on it, and repay!" (24:22b). Zechariah became a true martyr for the faith that he stood for, and his murder was even remembered by the Lord Jesus Christ who condemned the scribes and the Pharisees with these words: "the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar" (see Matt. 23:35).

Perhaps in answer to Zechariah’s dying prayer, God sent His judgment on Joash by allowing a small Syrian army to attack and plunder Jerusalem, and in the process kill all the sinful leaders of Judah: "So they executed judgment against Joash" (24:24) Those who had given wicked counsel to Joash were killed, and Joash himself was severely wounded. The close of his life was embittered by a painful malady, which long confined him to bed. While weakened from his suffering caused by wounds, Joash was killed in a conspiracy by two of his own servants. Then just like his grandfather Jehoram, Joash was denied burial with the kings of Judah because he had fallen far short of the Davidic ideal (see 21:20; 24:25).

What a tragic ending to what started out as a good reign! Because Joash forsook God in the latter part of his life, all that he had done earlier was in vain. Let us always remember that it is good to start well, but it is far more important to finish well. Joash refused to listen to God and became another example of a person who made a good beginning but came to a tragic ending! Let us listen to Apostle John who warns us to "look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward" (2 John 1:8). Let us "be faithful until death, and (Jesus) will give (us) the crown of life" one day (Rev. 2:10).

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