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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 18 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 78-81

PAST stories of God’s PROVIDENCE inspire FUTURE acts of FAITH: "We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done...that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God." (Psalms 78:4, 6-8)

Psalms 78 is one of the two historical psalms (the other being Psalms 105) that traces all the significant moments of Israel’s history, and details God’s mighty acts on behalf of His people of Israel. The biblical history of Israel covers a comprehensive period of 1,800 years and represents a marvelous panorama of God’s gracious working through promises, miracles, blessing, and judgment. The writer, Asaph, begins this psalm with an appeal to reflect on the past, particularly on the occasion of the giving of the Sinai Covenant (v. 5), and learn from the past mistakes of the ancestors. The key objective of this psalm is specified in verse 7: “that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God.

God had established a relationship with the Israelites even as He gave them important laws to live by and show their loyalty to Him. These laws were summarized in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20; Deut. 5), and these laws and faith principles were to be passed along from generation to generation (Deut. 6:4–9; 32:7). Adam Clarke notes that at least five generations appear to be mentioned in verses 4-8: (1) fathers; (2) their children; (3) the generation to come; (4) their children; (5) and their children. God had appointed laws, statutes, testimonies and commandments in Israel so that from generation to generation there would be oral transmission of God’s divine dealings to future generations. This instruction process was to continue so that future generations would be aware of God’s mighty acts and commands!

God gave His laws to Israel with instructions that it be faithfully transmitted to succeeding generations. There are six reasons mentioned in verses 6–8 as to why parents are to instruct their children in the things of the Lord:
  1. That the generation to come might know them;
  2. That the generation would declare them to their children to transmit this knowledge;
  3. That the generation would set their hope in God;
  4. That the generation would not forget the works of God;
  5. That the generation would keep the commandments of God;
  6. That the generation would not imitate their fathers in their stubbornness and rebellion.
When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River, they took twelve stones from the middle of the river, and set them up as a memorial for future generations to remind them of God’s faithfulness and mighty works. This practical value of studying Israel’s history is threefold: (a) it sets forth examples to be followed or avoided (1 Cor. 10:6); (b) it shows God’s control of all historical events (Ps. 78); and (c) it serves as a model for all ages of God’s kindness and mercy toward His people (Ps. 103:14). The Jews were commanded to teach their children the works and ways of the Lord so that each generation would know the Lord and trust Him (Deut. 6:1–9). We have the same obligation today to teach our children as well…!!!

Let us always remember that past stories of God’s providence inspire future acts of faith. In Psalms 78, Asaph was aware of the possibility of God’s mighty works being forgotten, so he exhorted the people of God to continue telling the inspiring stories of God’s redemptive acts to future generations (v. 4). This would actually inspire faith, obedience and hope in Jehovah God (v. 7), and keep future generations from indulging in unbelief and rebellion like that of previous generations (v. 8).

Just as our parents passed down to us a record of the past, so we are obligated to pass on to the next generation an account of God’s dealings with His people in grace and government. Because of God’s mighty power and grace in our lives, we must be faithful to recount the wonderful works of God in order to inspire faith and obedience in our future generations!

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." (Deut. 6:5-7)

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