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, May 15, 2014

GOD will TURN every BLOCKADE to our BENEFIT

GOD will TURN every BLOCKADE to our BENEFIT

May 15 Bible Reading: Ezra Chapters 4-6

"So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them." (Ezra 5:2) "Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy." (Ezra 6:15-16)

When the Jews under the leadership Zerubbabel and Jeshua started building the Temple, the Gentiles in the area of Judah and Jerusalem tried to block the efforts. These were the Samaritans who had been planted in the land of Israel (2 Kings 17) who did not mean to unite in the worship of the Lord according to His word. At first they attempted to join forces and requested that they wanted to be a part of the Temple reconstruction (Ezra 4:1-2). However, Zerubbabel and Jeshua did not allow them to participate as they were wise and discerning. Then these adversaries tried to discourage the people of Judah (v. 4a), troubled the people who were building (v. 4b), and hired counselors to frustrate the building efforts (v. 5). When these attempts still did not succeed, they wrote a letter of accusation against the building efforts (v. 6-16), to which the king responded by promptly halting the construction (v. 17-24).

However, God used prophets Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the leaders (Ezra 5:12) as well as the elders of the Jews to secure permission to resume building the Temple (v. 3-17). In response to this request, King Darius issued a decree for rebuilding the Temple immediately (Ezra 6:1-7). Not only that, the entire cost of rebuilding will be borne by King Darius through the money taken from the taxes of the people (v. 8). All the sacrificial animals and other materials would be provided by the king as well (v. 9-10). If anyone resists the building efforts any more, they would be hanged to death (v. 11-12). "So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." (Ezra 6:14)

This teaches us a very important principle – when we are doing God’s work according to God’s plan in God’s timetable, God will turn every blockade that comes against our efforts to our benefit. If we are steadfast in our work of God, we will definitely succeed when we put our trust in God. Today, we are involved in the work of God in building the church of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ has issued this wonderful promise to us: "...I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matt 16:18). Let us not become intimidated or discouraged by the attacks of Satan, who is our enemy. Through God’s help, let us rise up and do our part without fear in building the church of God as Zerubbabel and Jeshua did in their time (Ezra 5:2). 

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