"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, December 9, 2013

December 9 Bible Reading: 1 Timothy Chapters 4-6

How can RICH BELIEVERS truly SERVE GOD? “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19)

Just before Apostle Paul concluded his first letter to his spiritual son Timothy, he remembered that there were many rich believers in the church in Ephesus, where Timothy was pastoring. Some followers of Christ had a lot more money in their possession than others. The church in Ephesus was unlike the early days of the church in Jerusalem where "all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need" (Acts 2:44-45).

It is a known fact that money has incredible power to create feelings of pride, superiority, and self-sufficiency (v. 17), and people of means have to learn to look beyond their money to God, the ultimate source of wealth. So, Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that he should command the rich people to do five specific things so that they can truly serve God alone:
  1. They should not be proud of their riches, but be like Christ (see Phil. 2:5–8).
  2. They should not trust in their riches that may not last forever but in God alone (see Luke 12:21).
  3. They should be rich in doing good works and store up true riches in heaven (see Matt. 6:20).
  4. They should be ready to give generously for worthwhile causes (see Eph. 4:28).
  5. They should be willing to share with people who are less fortunate (see Deut. 24:18, 22).
Today, God wants us to join Him in the work that He does, and we must excel in doing good works that God has prepared beforehand for us: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). God requires of us that we “be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2), “do good and be rich in good works” (v. 18) and also that we “maintain these good works” (Titus 3:8). We do have a lot to give others, including the spiritual gifts we possess along with our experiences, training, talents, time, and treasures. We should never let gold be our god as we honor God with our possessions (Prov. 3:9) and serve Him alone (Matt. 6:24).

The great British evangelist John Wesley’s rule of life was, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” Someone has once said: “we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”. Freely we have received from God; so we should freely give (Matt. 10:8). Our natural tendency is to grasp what we have instead of freely giving to those in need. When God gives us material riches, we should not forget God (Deut. 8:11), rather, we should remind ourselves where riches come from and how much we should be thankful for. So, we should love the Giver - who is God (James 1:17) - more than the gifts that we receive! When we are focused only in owning stuff, it can lead to spiritual loss as the more we have, we will forget our need and even our desire for God.

In fact, we do have a lot to be thankful to God, and the best way to express our thankfulness is by opening out to others. Let us never forget that God has redeemed us when we were in distress, and in doing so, He has "blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). Let us also not "forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Heb. 13:16). 

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