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, October 10, 2013

October 10 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 7-9

Do we have a ‘HEART of COMPASSION’ for the LOST? “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” (Matt. 9:35-36)

In the above passage, Matthew summarizes the Galilean ministry of Jesus as an early introduction to the great commission that He gave to His disciples towards the end of His ministry. In this summarization, Matthew highlights both the words and works of Jesus and the continuing plight of the people under the failing leadership of the Jews. The threefold ministry of Jesus in Israel included teaching in the synagogues, preaching the gospel of God’s kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and diseases.

As Jesus carried out His ministry, He focused on both the villages as well as the cities (urban centers) of Palestine (v. 35; 11:1; Luke 4:43; 13:22), and visited Jerusalem at least three times. This brought Him into contact with a great number and wide variety of the Jewish population including women, soldiers, religious leaders, the rich, merchants, tax collectors, Gentiles, prostitutes, beggars, and the poor. In fact, Jesus attracted large crowds of people through His amazing teaching, preaching and healing miracles as He visited each and every village and city in Palestine.

As Jesus traveled throughout all the cities and villages, He preached the good news of the kingdom of God, namely, that He was the King of Israel, and that if the nation repented and acknowledged Him, He would reign over them. As Christ taught and preached, He healed all kinds of sicknesses as well. However, as He gazed on Israel’s multitudes, harassed and helpless, He saw them as sheep without a shepherd. His great heart of compassion just went out to them!

In fact, when Jesus saw people, He saw their real heart-needs instead of their outward appearance, and met them exactly at the point of their need. Jesus not only noticed the pain and hurt of broken people, but He responded to it by challenging His followers to pray for His heavenly Father to respond to the hurts and the needs of many people all around the world (v. 38). As we follow Christ’s example, a heart of compassion for the lost around us will compel us to make a difference in the lives of people who are in our sphere of influence.

A world in despair with no answers to their hurt and emptiness needs followers of Jesus who care today. In this regard, we should emulate Jesus who was moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes (v. 36). When we look through the eyes of Jesus, we’ll see a needy world of people around us who needs a Savior to save them from their sins and heal them from their diseases. We should then be willing to go any time, any place, any distance for the sake of these people. 

As we think about our Lord Jesus, who gave up his glory and eternal abode in heaven to come down to this lowly earth to live and die among us, no distance is too great to go. What God had given us; He wants us to share with others as well. Let us examine ourselves today, and check if we truly have a ‘heart of compassion’ for the lost and the hurting among us!

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” (1 John 3:16-19)

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