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, June 28, 2013

June 28 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 143-150

THIRSTING for GOD’s POWER, PRESENCE & PROVISION everyday: "I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You." (Psalms 143:6-8)

Psalms 143 is the last psalm of lament written by King David. Even though this psalm lacks any clear historical setting, it appears that he was out in the wilderness escaping for his life from his own son Absalom (143:6; see 2 Sam. 17:29). The words of this psalm suggest that David was surrounded by enemies from all direction. However, David knew very well where he must turn in times like this!

David begins this psalm by addressing God and asking Him not only to listen, but to answer him in His faithfulness and righteousness (vv. 1, 2). David's enemy had persecuted and crushed him so badly that he was both overwhelmed and distressed at heart (vv.3-4). Then David remembered, meditated, and mused on God’s goodness to him in the past (v. 5), which resulted in a dramatic change in his attitude. Instead of complaining over his misfortunes, David lifted and spread out his hands to God in total surrender and pleading for help.

In doing so, David allowed his soul to thirst after God as a thirsty land (v. 6). He pours out his complaint to God (vv. 3–6) even as he recalls God’s help in times past during the periods when he was distressed (v. 5). David then offers his petition and supplication to the only One who could provide a solution for his problems (vv. 6–12). In the final six verses, David makes as much as eleven petitions to God for help!

There are six key characteristics in David’s prayer that is worth emulating in our prayers as well:
  1. David’s prayer was fervent: The fervency of David’s prayer is displayed by his hands that are pleadingly spread out toward God for help.
  2. David’s prayer was intense: David longed for God just like a parched ground thirsts for the refreshing rain. He felt like a thirsty man dying in a desert.
  3. David’s prayer was urgent: David made it clear that unless God hurried to his rescue, he would not survive much longer.
  4. David’s prayer sought God’s favor: The hiding of God’s face, either in anger or disinterest, would be tantamount to death. Without a renewed sense of God’s presence, David believes that he is as good as dead.
  5. David’s prayer put God as his only resort: God was not only David’s first resort during times of trouble; God was his last resort as well.
  6. David’s prayer requested for God’s guidance: For David, divine guidance was indispensable for his personal safety. He knew that only God-directed life was effective and enjoyable.
Like David, let us thirst for God’s power, presence and provision every day. In our daily living, let us be clear that like an oasis, God’s goodness is found in dry and difficult places of life. Many times we fail to see the goodness of God as our spiritual senses are dull and we are too comfortable with our lives. We see God’s gifts more clearly when we are tired and thirsty. In the midst of our weariness and thirst, God alone provides us the living water that can satisfy us. Can we take God up on His free offer today?

"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live" (Isaiah 55:1-3)

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