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, October 11, 2013

October 11 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 10-12

TRUST GOD for His infinite CARE & PROTECTION: "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matt. 10:28-31)

The above passage is part of instructions that our Lord Jesus Christ gives to His twelve disciples before sending them off in pairs on a missionary journey. They were to spread the good news about the kingdom of God that He had come to establish on the earth. Some of these instructions apply mainly to the twelve apostles that Jesus had selected to be His disciples (vv. 5–15), and some to those serving just before the His return (vv. 16–23). However, the rest of these instructions are timeless spiritual principles that are applicable for all the servants of God through the ages until His return to earth (vv. 24-42).

As Jesus sends His disciples out with a missionary mandate, He gave them the "power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease" (v.1). Thus, Jesus thoroughly equipped them for their deliverance ministry and the tasks that He wanted them to fulfill just as the popular saying goes: “The will of God does not send us where the grace of God cannot keep us”. All they were required to do now was to fear and obey God, and not the people, just as the epitaph of the saintly John Knox reads, “Here lies one who feared God so much that he never feared the face of any man”.

It is therefore not surprising that the disciples should not fear the murderous rage of people who would confront their belief system as the worst these people can do is kill their physical bodies. Physical death is not a tragedy for a believer in Christ since to die is to be with Christ which is far better (see Phil. 1:21-23). For a child of God, physical death is really a deliverance from sin, sorrow, sickness, and sufferings of this world. Death is actually a promotion to eternal glory in heaven! So the worst that people can do is the best that can happen to any child of God. On the other hand, the disciples should fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Fear ‘Him’ refers to God, and not to Satan. This is the greatest losseternal separation from God, from Christ, and from all hope. Spiritual death is the loss that cannot be measured and the doom that should be avoided at all cost.

In the midst of their fiery trials, the disciples were to take comfort in God’s care, provision and protection. In this regard, Jesus gives them a life lesson from the ubiquitous sparrow. Two of these insignificant birds were sold for a copper coin that was worth about one-sixteenth of a denarius. But not one of them died outside the will of God, or without His knowledge or His presence. The same God who takes a personal interest in the tiny sparrow even keeps an accurate count of the hairs of the head of each of His children. We are thus reminded of God’s gracious providential care over His children!

Let us trust God for His infinite care and protection over our lives! We are precious to our heavenly Father who never loses track of us (v. 31). He cares for us deeply, and He is always in control over our lives. God’s eyes are in every place and nothing escapes His attention as it says in the book of Proverbs (15:3): "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good". Today, let us acknowledge that only God has power over death and hell. When we fear God, we do not need to fear anything else.

“Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; he will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies. His righteousness endures forever; his horn will be exalted with honor." (Psalms 112:1, 6-8, 9)

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