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, December 19, 2013

December 19 Bible Reading: 1 Peter Chapters 1-3

Do WE have any REASON to PRAISE GOD? “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Many years ago an unnamed psalmist has declared a very important truth regarding praising God: “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (Ps. 147:1). Quite similar to this is another expression in this context: “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Ps. 146:1-2).

Many times when we are searching for a reason to praise God, we should realize that we should praise God for two reasons: for who He is, and for what He has done (see Ps. 117:1-2). In the Old Testament, we see many instances of people praising God for what God has done, for e.g. Moses and Miriam praising God for their deliverance from the Egyptian army (Exo. 15:1-21), or, for who God is, for e.g. King David dancing in the street before the Ark of the Lord and praising God unashamedly (2 Sam. 6:14).

When Apostle Peter wrote his first epistle to the born-again pilgrims scattered in different parts of the world (1:1), he wanted to let them understand that they have many reasons to praise God. In fact, Apostle Peter elaborates on seven reasons for us to praise God, which are as follows:
  1. We are a chosen generation. We have been chosen before the foundation of the world to belong to Christ (Eph. 1:4), elected by God according to His foreknowledge and born again to a living hope in Christ (1:2–5). God had called us out of the world from the clutches of sin to be part of His redeemed people.
  2. We are a royal priesthood. We are the actualization of God’s plan to prepare a kingdom of priests for Himself (see Exo. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6). We are to worship God by presenting our own bodies as living sacrifices to do His will and live for His purpose (Rom. 12:1).
  3. We are a holy nation. We have been called by God to be separate for Himself (Isa. 52:11; Ezek. 20:34, 41; 2 Cor. 6:17-18) as the holy people of God (1:16; Exo. 19:6). We are to reflect the very character of God by our lifestyle.
  4. We are a special people. We have been called to an intimate and unique relationship with God and to one another as a community of faith. We are His special people (Exo. 19:5) whom He has redeemed with His own precious blood (1:18-19), with having unique and immediate access to His very presence (Eph. 2:18).
  5. We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light. God has delivered us from darkness out of the clutches of Satan, and “has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6; Isa. 9:1).
  6. We have been made the people of God. Just like the Israelites in the Old Testament (Hos. 1:9; 2:23; Rom. 9:25), we have been made the people of God, and we are left on this earth to work towards building God’s Kingdom here on earth (Matt. 6:10).
  7. We have obtained mercy from Him. Just like in Christ, we have become God’s new people; in Christ, we have also obtained mercy from God (Ps. 86:5; 145:9; Eph. 2:4). Even today, God’s mercy extends to all undeserving Jews and Gentiles alike.
Thus, we have plenty of reasons to praise God today! When we think about who God is and what He has done for us; we should lift up our voices and sing praises of God. We should praise God even though we are in adverse circumstance, just as Paul and Silas praised God within the Philippian jail (Acts 16:25). The truth of God’s Word is our foundation for praising Him. God is worthy of our praise, even today! (See 1 Chron. 16:25; Rev. 5:11-14)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:16-17)

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