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.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1 Bible Reading: Proverbs Chapters 7-9

How are we REACTING to INSTRUCTION, CORRECTION & REBUKE? "He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Prov. 9:7-9)

The above verses give us insight into how we can distinguish a foolish and a wise person, and this is how a person reacts to instruction, correction and rebuke. The Word in Life Study Bible actually distinguishes a foolish person in four different ways as listed below:
  1. The Simple: This person can't tell the difference between truth and falsehood, is gullible (9:4, 16; 14:15) and lacks understanding (7:7). It is not surprising that this person lacks direction!
  2. The Scoffer: This person loves to scorn those people who try to do what is right, but when corrected turns surly (9:7–8), and shames those who try to correct him/her (15:12). Scoffers will not listen to rebuke (13:1) or, love those who rebuke them (15:12). This behavior actually emanates from inward pride (21:24).
  3. The Arrogant: This person willfully ignores wisdom and lives for self with the only thought: “What’s in it for me?” In fact, this person makes a sport out of doing evil (10:23) and likes to give his/her opinion rather than learn (18:2) being wise in his/her own eyes (26:5).
  4. The Rebel: This person actually hates wisdom and instruction (1:7) while mocking the idea of sin (14:9). It is sadly true that this person cannot be separated from his/her foolishness (27:22) unless God intervenes in his/her life.
Thus, one way to distinguish a wise person from a foolish person is how that person reacts to wisdom and instruction, or even, correction and rebuke. The more shallow and foolish a person is, the less willing is he or she to listen to wise and godly counsel. The scoffer goes beyond a simple lack of judgment, and has made a conscious decision to do evil. So, any effort to correct such a person will fail and may even backfire! If we correct a scoffer, we may get abused in return, but when we rebuke a wicked person, we may even get assaulted. Thus, the manner in which a person receives correction and rebuke is an index of his/her character!

A scoffer is thoroughly set against wisdom (1:22) and mocks at godly things. Thus, it is advisable not to correct such a person. By contrast, a wise person accepts correction and responds with gratitude to the one who points out his/her error. A wise person always welcomes constructive criticism; by implication, he/she is also humble (v. 10; 3:7; 11:2). Thus, true wisdom perceives the positive side of correction; is not defensive and easily offended, but is humble and responsive. Instead of resenting criticism, a wise person takes it to heart and thus becomes still wiser. In fact, the wise are eager to receive knowledge and understanding and to profit from correction and rebuke.

How do we react when parents, teachers, supervisors, or friends corrects us? Let us remember that correction involves both instruction and exercise designed to train in proper conduct. To achieve this, rebuke may also be inflicted as a means of correction. Let’s embrace the discipline of instruction and heed reproofs gladly as "faithful are the wounds of a friend" (27:6). Remember, the way we respond to criticism and rebuke reveals the kind of person we are. Let us be always aware that rebuke is an evidence of love (27:5), so let us value it (25:12) and gain understanding from it (19:25).

Today, let us join with the psalmist as we make the following decision: "Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it." (Psalms 141:5)

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