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, November 4, 2013

November 4 Bible Reading: John Chapters 16-18

Why should we PRAY in the NAME of JESUS? “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. In that day you will ask in My name...” (John 16:23-24, 26)

During the course of pouring out His heart to His disciples before his capture, mock trials and crucifixion, Jesus carefully explained the new rules of communicating with God to His disciples. Until then, their prayers were directed to Jehovah God alone. For the last 3+ years, Jesus had been with them at all times, listening to them, meeting their various requests and answering their questions with great patience. However, the day was soon approaching when Jesus would not be physically present with them to answer their questions or, solve their problems. During that time, they could still pray to God the Father through Jesus, who would make them worthy to approach the “throne of grace” with boldness and faith (Heb. 4:16).

What Jesus was referring to was the moment when He would ascend up to heaven, and would thereafter send the Holy Spirit to His disciples in order to reveal the truth about what He had been speaking to them all along. The Holy Spirit would increase their knowledge about spiritual things and would enhance their prayer life by even interceding on their behalf at times (Rom. 8:26). However, the disciples were to direct all their prayers to God the Father in a spirit of complete agreement only with the will and purposes of Jesus. They were to pray in the merits of the finished work of Jesus. Through answered prayer, their joy would be fulfilled. However, they were now required to direct their prayers to God only in the name of Jesus Christ!

Let us be clear that we do not pray in the name of Jesus so that Jesus could somehow convince God the Father to answer our prayers, for God loves us anyway as His children and we address Him as “our heavenly Father” (Matt. 6:9). Jesus provides forgiveness of our sins through His death, and He now intercedes for us sitting at the right hand of God the Father (see Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1). It is through Jesus that we now have direct access to God the Father. So, the question before us today is: why should we pray in the name of Jesus? There are seven valid reasons listed below:
  1. Jesus is the only way for us to connect with God, as He Himself declared: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).
  2. We are saved only through the name of Jesus: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)
  3. Jesus has repeatedly stated that we should ask only in His name: "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:13-14). "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you" (John 15:16).
  4. The name of Jesus carries divine authority, since we baptize born-again believers in the name of Jesus: Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:38; Matt. 28:18-20)
  5. We can confront our enemy Satan only in the name of Jesus (Eph. 6:18), just like the young David confronted the Philistine enemy Goliath in the “name of the Lord of hosts." (1 Sam. 17:45) This way we can dismantle all the works of the enemy (like sickness) in the name of Jesus just like Apostle Peter who declared: "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (Acts 3:6)
  6. We are fulfilling an Old Testament promise when we pray in the name of Jesus: "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved" (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13)
  7. Finally, the name of Jesus is exalted above all other names, and is worthy to be invoked through our prayers: "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him (Jesus) and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:9-11)
When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are approaching God with the authority that Jesus has given us based on His finished work for us on the cross (Matt. 28:18). When we pray in Jesus' name, operating in His will, we are exercising the authority given to us. Praying in Jesus' name means praying according to the will of God (1 John 5:14-15). Praying in Jesus’ name means praying for things that will both honor and glorify Jesus! Let us not neglect to ask God the Father in Jesus' name for those things we need to live and do His work!

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