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.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Qualities of a God-appointed LEADER

Qualities of a God-appointed LEADER

March 23 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 10-12

Samuel had been an exceptional judge over Israel but he was old now (1 Sam 8:1). He had failed to mentor and raise up godly sons to take his place when it was time for him to retire. His sons were corrupt and inadequate for leading the nation (1 Sam 8:4). On the other hand, the Israelites failed to recognize that God ALONE was their king, and their disobedience to God was the reason of their problems. Now, they wanted a king as they wanted to be like other nations and they relied more on human strength and leadership. It is important to note here that seeking God’s will and being obedient to Him will alone lead us to victory.

So, God appointed Saul through Samuel as the first king of Israel. There are many good qualities in Saul that God saw in him, which we can emulate in our lives:
  1. Physical Qualities: Saul was a choice and handsome young man and taller than everyone else in Israel (1 Sam 9:2; 10:23-24). However, physical appearance is not important as other qualities. Our Lord Jesus had no (physical) beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2).
  2. Obedient to Parents/Elders: When Saul was asked by his father Kish to go and look for the missing donkeys, he obeyed without any hesitation (1 Sam 9:3-4). He was obedient and respectful to Samuel as we read in his encounter narrative with the prophet.
  3. Honoring God’s servants: Saul wanted to honor Samuel with a gift when he asks for his counsel. This must have been a good trait that he learned from his parents.
  4. Humility: Saul was a humble person, and we can see this trait in his reply to Samuel who had told him that on him was the desire of Israel. And Saul answered and said, "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?" (1 Sam 9:21) 
  5. Lack of self-promotion: Saul was not willing to reveal the prophecy of Samuel that he was chosen as the King of Israel (1 Sam 10:14-16). Also, when the selections for the king was being made, Saul was hiding among the equipment (1 Sam 10:22). Saul was not willing to promote himself in any manner.
  6. Restraint in his reactions: When some rebels questioned his ability to be the king, Saul kept silent. But some rebels said, "How can this man save us?" So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace. (1 Sam 10:27)
  7. Willing to take risks: When the time came to rescue Jabesh Gilead from the Ammonites, Saul stepped out and took a risk to fulfill God’s plan. He exemplifies that God protects us as we take intelligent risks to accomplish His will.
  8. Magnanimous: After the victory against the Ammonites, some people urged Saul to bring out the people who doubted his ability to be the king of Israel and execute them. It is here that we see the magnanimity of Saul: But Saul said, "Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has accomplished salvation in Israel." (1 Sam 11:13)
With all the above qualities of Saul, God had made the right selection. After Saul was anointed by Samuel to be the first king of Israel (1 Sam 10:1), God gave Saul another heart (v. 9). The Spirit of God empowered Saul to take over the leadership of Israel during times of crisis (1 Sam 11:6). All Saul had to do now was to fear God, serve God with all his heart, and obey God’s commandments (1 Sam. 12:14, 20-25) and his leadership would have been secured. Let us ensure that we have the same qualities that Saul had when he was selected for leadership over Israel. God will then choose us for leadership assignments as well.

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