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, October 7, 2013

October 7 Bible Reading: Malachi Chapters 1-4

Give GOD your BEST because He gave you His ‘VERY’ BEST! “You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ by saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” says the Lord of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” says the Lord. (Mal. 1:7-8, 13)

In His final Old Testament utterance through the prophet Malachi, God is making some startling accusations that He has observed in the priests of Israel. In particular, they had refused to show Him the honor that was due to a father or, the respect that was due to a master. When the priests retorted with this question, “In what way have we despised Your name?” (v. 6), God’s answer revealed their actions (“You offer defiled food on My altar”) and their attitude (“The table of the Lord is contemptible”). They were offering blind, lame, sick, and stolen animals as sacrifices to God—even though they would never think of giving such worthless offerings to their governor. They were treating their Almighty God in a way that they would not dare to treat a mere human leader!

The demands of holy worship of God had been made clear in the Law. Only the very best should be presented as an offering to the Lord (see Lev. 1:3); no one was to come with an offering that was blemished or unclean (Lev. 1:10; 7:19–21; 22:17-25; Deut. 15:21; 17:1). Thus, the open contempt of the sacrificial requirements of unblemished offerings was a disgrace to Jehovah God. The bread (see Exo. 25:23–30) and the table on which it was displayed were holy symbols, but the priests were treating them like ordinary things. In fact, tainted and defiled sacrifices were being offered without any sincerity to God. What God required was pure offerings from people all around the world, from the rising of the sun even to its going down (v. 11).

Thus, God charges the priests with both despising His holy name and failing to reverence Him! They offered defective sacrifices, animals that they would never give as gifts to their authorities. They even brought sacrifices that were stolen! They were so far away from the attitude of King David, who had once exclaimed: “I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing” (1 Chron. 21:24). Thus, to sacrifice something of no value was not a viable sacrifice since God deserves our very best at all times!

Are we giving God what He deserves, or are we guilty of offering Him our ‘leftovers’? God is not pleased with our lame efforts, weak excuses, or cheap gifts. In fact, we despise God’s holy name when we offer Him less than our best, and when we do His work in a careless manner. God’s word through His prophet Malachi should be a challenge for us to take God seriously, and to seek God and His kingdom before anything else in our lives (Matt. 6:33).

Today, let us give God our best because He gave us His very best – His precious Son Jesus Christ. The best that we can offer God is our own bodies as a living sacrifice. This was specifically what Apostle Paul had requested from us as well: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom. 12:1).

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