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.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 16 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 68-71

Do we REALIZE that “GOD DAILY LOADS US WITH BENEFITS”? "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Our God is the God of salvation; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death." (Psalms 68:19-20)

Psalms 68 was written by King David probably on the occasion of moving the ‘Ark of the Tabernacle’ to Zion, since the first words of this psalm are the same that Moses had instructed to be sung during such an occasion (see Num. 10:35). This psalm presents God as both the Deliverer and the Destroyer. As Deliverer, He “bears our burdens and wins us the victory” (Knox). He is the God of our salvation, and He has the power to deliver us from death. As Destroyer, God has scattered all the enemies of Israel, and has killed them as smoke was driven away and wax is melted before the fire (vv. 1-2).

The above passage is the start of the benediction, a blessing on the ‘God of our salvation’ for His daily mercies in the lives of the people of Israel. Jehovah God had not only saved Israel from the clutches of Egypt, but had also saved Israel from their sins and has continued to save His people in their daily lives as well. God would not forsake them as they trusted in Him and obeyed His will (see 2 Cor. 1:8–11). Unto this God belonged the issues from death as He alone brought those who were dead (both physically and spiritually) to life. Jehovah was not a God far removed from Israel, but the One who bore Israel’s burdens day-by-day and was alone her salvation. God truly cared for His people and was constantly in touch with their needs!

The highlight of this psalm, however, is when David pauses to bless God for ‘daily loading with benefits’! This thought was so profound that David directs us to stop and think about it, referred by the term “Selah”. It is true that our God is our Savior, and salvation is the work of God alone.  But, He has given us even more than salvation. Our Heavenly Father watches over us daily (Ps. 121:4), and has provided us benefits - not sparingly - but “daily loads us with benefits”. God's benefits are not a few nor light, they are loads; neither are they intermittent, but they come to us daily.

The great theologian Joseph Hall has made an attempt to describe some of the benefits that God has provided us as follows: “a world to live in, a life to enjoy, air to breathe in, earth to tread on, fire to warm us, water to cool and cleanse us, clothes to cover us, food to nourish us, sleep to refresh us, houses to shelter us”, etc., etc. God provides for all of our needs, and is always with us: when we are afraid (Prov. 18:10); when we are brokenhearted (Ps. 147:3); when we are depressed (Ps. 34:18; Ps. 55:22), and when we are in trouble (Ps. 34:17; Nahum 1:7). We can also count many other benefits that God loads us daily, including forgiveness and healing (Ps. 103:3); redemption, lovingkindness and tender mercies (Ps. 103:4); justice (Ps. 103:6); mercy and grace (Ps. 103:8); eternal righteousness (Ps. 103:17); and membership in His kingdom (Ps. 103:19).

So, we should realize that God daily loads us with wonderful benefits, as He delivers our soul from death, our eyes from tears and our feet from falling (Ps. 116:8). In this regard, the psalmist proclaims, “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?” (Ps. 116:12).  How can we pay God for His benefits?  Obviously, nothing we could ever render to Him could repay what He’s done for us…because God has been so good to us…because He “daily loads us with benefits”…and, because He has saved us by His marvelous grace, we should cheerfully serve Him with a willing heart as we owe Him our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). 

Let’s pause for a moment today and acknowledge all of the wonderful benefits that we enjoy daily as God’s children. Let’s thank Him for the many benefits that He has even loaded on us - even today - as we join with King David in blessing God profusely: "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits." (Psalms 103:1-2)

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