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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PRAYING for God’s SUPERNATURAL BLESSINGS

PRAYING for God’s SUPERNATURAL BLESSINGS

April 23 Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles Chapters 4-6

"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested." (1 Chron 4:9-10)

There is a virtually unknown Bible character hidden in First Chronicles named Jabez. Jewish writers affirm that he was an eminent doctor in the law, whose reputation drew so many scribes around him that a town was called by his name (1Chron. 2:55). The name ‘Jabez’ literally means, “He will cause pain” given by his mother at birth as that was her expectation about him in the future. Yet, Jabez apparently overcame his “painful” background because he alone was singled out as being blessed by God. Why? Because Jabez said a prayer and God granted his request. Obviously, this is a very special prayer that we should note.
The Prayer of Jabez is not about asking God for more material wealth. It is not about placing specific personal demands. It is about asking for God's maximum blessing in our life--whatever, wherever, whenever, and however He wants it to be. It is about using those blessings to become a person of influence for His glory.

As we carefully examine this prayer of Jabez, we can distill five elements that we can use in our own personal prayers to God:
  1. Oh, that You would bless me indeed…sounds selfish, but not when we understand that this blessing can be ‘supernatural favors from God’. Asking for a blessing is seeking the power of God to flow through us. We are asking God to make us a channel of His blessing.
  2. And enlarge my territory…challenges us to go beyond what is comfortable. Let us begin each day asking God to do something new in our lives. Let us go into new places (that we have never gone before) taking new risks for God that He may use us to expand His kingdom.
  3. That Your hand would be with me…reminds us that stepping beyond what is comfortable can be dangerous as we are in uncharted territory. We need God’s presence with us and His favor upon us at all times to be truly successful.
  4. And that You would keep me from evil…is a simple recognition that we will be tempted in so many ways as we move forward. As in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:13a) we need to ask for God’s protection everyday from the constant attacks of the enemy (Eph. 6:12; 1 Pet. 5:8).
  5. That I may not cause pain…gives us the sober realization that our blessings may cause us to inflict pain upon others through our condescending attitude and pride. We need to ask God to give us a clearer perspective about ourselves, and make us humble especially when He blesses us.
Jabez was a good and honorable man who asked God to bless him and God answered his prayer. It's an example of God providing for and caring for His chosen people. The focus of Jabez's prayer is on God and His provision and protection. Jabez asked and God gave him what He requested—not because Jabez said the right thing or manipulated God into granting his request, but because God decided to be glorified through Jabez by answering his prayer.

Let us earnestly ask God to truly bless us with His supernatural favor so that God’s name may be glorified through us as we become channels of His blessing to everyone around us!

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