"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, October 21, 2013

October 21 Bible Reading: Mark Chapters 13-16

Are we ‘PRAYERFULLY WATCHING’ for the RETURN of JESUS CHRIST? “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:33-37)

The above parable from Jesus regarding the absent master of the house is unique to the Gospel of Mark. The master of the house gives specific responsibilities to his servants along with the adequate authority to carry out their tasks. This has a striking resemblance to the Great Commission that Jesus gave to all His disciples before He went away to a ‘far country’ (‘heaven’), which is as follows: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:18-20)

In the above parable, the master of the house had commanded the doorkeeper who was guarding his house to watch out for any intruder from breaking in while he was away. On his part, he could return anytime, even in the night during any of the four watches: the first watch - evening (6 to 9 p.m.), the second watch - midnight (9 p.m. to midnight), the third watch - rooster crowing (midnight to 3 a.m.), and the fourth watch - dawn (3 to 6 a.m.). The doorkeeper may be compared to anyone in spiritual leadership who are responsible for teaching, guiding and mentoring other people.

The key of this parable is the fact that since it is unknown when the master returns to the house, the doorkeeper must stay awake and be alert at all times. The servants have received their instructions and are to faithfully perform them until their master returns. So, all the servants must be vigilant, and the house doorkeeper must be watchful and waiting for the house master’s return at all times (Luke 19:11–27). The servants may be compared to all the believers and followers of Christ who have been mandated with fulfilling ‘The Great Commission’.

Thus, Jesus has likened Himself to the master of the house who is traveling, and has assured His people (us) that He will soon return. So He left this word for all His people - “watch and pray” - which extend even to this present hour! This parable reveals the need for constant alertness through prayerful watching from our lives at all times. In light of the certainty of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we should be doing our tasks responsibly and be ready at all times for the rapture of the church that may happen at any moment.

The imminence of Christ’s return should stimulate a new realization of the temporal nature of this life. Enough signs have been fulfilled that Christ could come today. We must always be ready, and our task is to watch prayerfully. Watching for the return of Jesus Christ does not mean that we should idly speculate about the time of His coming. Neither does it give us the license to neglect our earthly responsibilities, but we should “be alert and keep praying!” We should be found faithful when He comes, and He could come even today!

As believers, we are citizens of eternity, and so our confidence should be rooted in something far more important than our positions and achievements here and now. As we live our lives, God wants us to be loyal workers for His kingdom until He returns. God wants us to carry out good works as responsible people in His kingdom (Eph. 2:10). According to Scripture, our calling should be focused on eternal achievements, not merely temporal ones (Phil. 3:13–4:1). Let us serve others while being loyal to the great task that Jesus has given us before He left this earth. Above all else, let us prayerfully watch for the return of our Lord and Master Jesus every day!

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Heb. 9:27-28) “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:11-13)

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