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, January 22, 2015

OFFERING the ‘BEST’ that WE HAVE to GOD

OFFERING the ‘BEST’ that WE HAVE to GOD

January 22 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 13-15

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine...and it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord's." (Exodus 13:1-2, 11-12)

Immediately after the children of Israel left the land of Egypt for the Promised Land, God set up a clear directive for them to follow. The directive was that every male firstborn child born in any Israelite family and every male firstborn animal born in their stall shall be consecrated to God. The firstborn sons would become priests of God, until the tribe of Levi was later set apart for this service. The firstborn of clean animals were to be sacrificed to God within a year. God gave this command so that every Israelite family will thereby prove their allegiance to God!

The first child born in any family is considered as the most valuable gift that God gives to any parents. The perceived value of the child is multiplied if it is a male child as this child will grow up to inherit the major portion of the family estates, and carry on the bloodline of the parents forward. So is the case of the firstborn male animal that is considered to be of immense value to the animal owner, and usually that animal is retained in the fold for propagation of that animal’s species.

There was however a deeper message for the children of Israel within God’s ‘law of the firstborn’. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to release the children of Israel, whom he considered a good labor force to serve the interests of Egypt, God took away from him and all the other Egyptian families a greater value through killing all their male firstborn children and all their male firstborn animals. God had delivered the firstborn of every household of faith in Israel. He had done this by redemption, by purchasing the firstborn with the blood of the Passover lamb. Therefore, the firstborn of men and animals were to be “set apart” for His service!

This commandment also speaks to us, who are the New Testament Israel, about offering the ‘best’ that we have to God. Whatever we possess belongs to God, for "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (James 1:17) God demands that we offer Him our very best for His use just like He demanded the very best from Abraham when He said these words: "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." (Gen 22:2)

When we are ready to offer our very best to God, whether it is our very best time, talent or treasures, God will bless us greatly even as He blessed Abraham (see Gen. 22:15-18). Not only that, God will provide for us everything important that we need in our lives!

"Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matt 6:31-33)

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