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, November 9, 2014

The VISIBLE MARKS of a ‘TRUE’ CHRISTIAN

The VISIBLE MARKS of a ‘TRUE’ CHRISTIAN

November 9 Bible Reading: Acts Chapters 10-12

"So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." (Acts 11:26)

Christianity is ranked as the largest religion in the world today with approximately 2 billion adherents, and 33% of the world's population is considered to be ‘Christian’. According to World Christian Encyclopedia (2001), there are approximately 38,000 Christian denominations in the world. Of the 2 billion Christians in the world today, 648 million (11% of the world's population) are ‘Evangelical’ Christians. Evangelicals have grown from only 3 million in AD 1500 to 648 million worldwide, with 54% being Non-Whites.

Today in America, about 75% of adults identify themselves as ‘Christian’, while there are more than 1500 different Christian faith groups in America. We need to probe a bit further, and get a clear understanding about who can be referred to as a ‘Christian’, and what are the visible marks of a ‘true’ Christian - strictly based from biblical standards only.

The name ‘Christian’ means ‘adherent to Christ’ or, ‘one who sticks to Christ’. From our biblical passage today, we can understand that the name ‘Christian’ was first given to the disciples in Antioch by others who noted their behavior being similar to that of their teacher Jesus Christ. There are two things that defined the early believers or followers of Christ:
  1. They talked and preached the gospel and the resurrection of Christ to others (v. 20) with the objective of witnessing to them based on the directive of Acts 1:8.
  2. They taught scriptures to the believers who assembled in the church (v. 26) with the intention of making them disciples based on the ‘Great Commission’ described in Matt. 28:19-20.
Even though the name ‘Christian’ was first directed at the followers of Jesus in scorn, these believers embraced this name as a badge of honor and as a mark of allegiance to Jesus. The question that we are facing today is: “Are we living lives that are worthy of the name ‘Christian’?” In order to truly identify ourselves with the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we should display love to one and all and reach out to them as acts of compassion. To unbelievers, we should witness and speak the gospel, to believers, we should disciple them by teaching them what Jesus has taught us already. We should impact others in both word and deeds as the disciples did to their neighbors in Antioch!

Let us truly obey the ‘new’ commandment that our Lord Jesus Christ has given us: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)

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