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, December 20, 2013

December 20 Bible Reading: 1 Peter Chapters 4-5

The STEPS to VICTORY in our FIGHT against SATAN: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

The story of humankind reveals that the devil (a.k.a. Satan) has played a prominent part in bringing a rift between God and man by planting doubt and allurement in the minds of Eve and Adam in the Garden of Even (Gen. 3:1-8). From that moment, Satan has become the #1 enemy of humanity that was part of the first prophetical curse in the scriptures, stated as follows: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Gen. 3:15). The ‘Seed of the woman’ Jesus Christ did indeed bruise the head of Satan on the cross at Calvary. Now, this bruised ‘animal’ is all set to attack God's children using any means whatsoever.

In the above passage, Apostle Peter wants us to be aware about the attacks of our only ‘real’ enemy Satan. Peter tells us that Satan wants to devour us by winning us over to his ways just like he did in the Garden of Eden. He does it very effectively by polluting the truth of God’s Word (John 8:44), and trying to deceive us (Gen. 3:1). As God’s children we should adopt the following seven steps in our lives very seriously if we have to be victorious in our everyday fight against Satan:
  1. Recognize our enemy. God’s Word is very clear that our enemy is not any human being, but Satan and his forces: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). We should understand that it is the wicked Satan who throws the fiery darts against us (Eph. 6:16b), and he alone is our enemy.
  2. Be on high alert and watchful always. Peter tells us to be “vigilant” at all times so that we can successfully evade our enemy. We should be always alert and clear-headed (“sober”). When we live in this state of active readiness at all times, we can discern false teaching (see 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 1:7-11) and overcome temptation at all times (Matt. 26:41). We can then see the danger lurking from a distance, and be ready for the attack of Satan when it comes.
  3. Recognize that our enemy is not really powerful as he appears. We should note that Peter has described Satan who “walks about like a roaring lion”. He is acting like a lion, but we serve the true “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5). We will be victorious in the end!
  4. Put on the whole armor of God. The way we can resist the attack of Satan is to put on the ‘whole armor of God’ that include integrating truth, righteousness, preparation of the gospel of peace, faith and salvation in our personal lives. We also have the Word of God to attack Satan, and prayer to empower us (Eph. 6:13-18). This is exactly how our Lord Jesus faced the attack of Satan in the wilderness after being empowered through fasting prayer and having hidden the Word in His heart (Matt. 4:1-11).
  5. Resist the attack of the enemy. When Satan attacks us, we should not keep silent, but rather resist his attacks through prayer and God’s Word. James counsels us to resist the devil and he will flee from us (4:7). We do not have strength in ourselves to oppose him, but as we are firm in our faith, in our dependence on the Lord, we can resist him boldly (1 John 5:4). We should resist him “steadfast in the faith” since we have God on our side to lead us to victory.
  6. Be aware that Satan attacks every child of God in the same manner. We should be rest assured that we are not the only ones whom Satan attacks and persecutes. Rather "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).
  7. Seek God’s help as we draw closer to Him. Ultimately, it is God alone who will give us the victory over the attacks of Satan. Victory comes when we remain committed to God, because He is greater than our enemy (1 John 4:4). When we humble ourselves in the sight of God, He will lift us up (James 4:10). We should submit ourselves to God, and draw near to Him so that He will draw near to us (James 4:7). We can then lean upon His strength as He is greater than our spiritual enemy, and He alone will make us victorious in the end!
Today, let us cling to God, dwell in His secret place and under His shadow in order to resist the attack of Satan in our lives: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” (Psalms 91:1-4)

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