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, March 18, 2015

The VALUE of ‘FASTING’ during our ‘TROUBLES’

The VALUE of ‘FASTING’ during our ‘TROUBLES’

March 18 Bible Reading: Judges Chapters 19-21

Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. So the children of Israel inquired of the Lord (the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, "Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?" And the Lord said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand." (Judges 20:26-28)

This fasting incident took place not long after the death of Joshua and his generation, for Phinehas was the high priest in those days (v. 28). The tribe of Benjamin had only 26,700 soldiers, against 400,000 from all the other tribes of Israel (vv. 15–17). However, in the first battle the tribe of Benjamin killed about 22,000 Israelite men (vv. 18–21). In the second battle, again about 18,000 Israelite men were killed (vv. 22–25). The reason why the other tribes of Israel could not be victorious was because they were not walking close to Jehovah!

So, the Israelites were forced to humble themselves before God through fasting until finally success was promised. The situation called for a day of fasting and weeping, as the people cried out to the Lord for mercy and wisdom (v. 26). They implored the favor of God by offering burnt-offerings and peace-offerings to make atonement for their sin and to acknowledge their dependence upon God. This time the Lord promised them success (vv. 26–28). It was only after Israel recognized that the battle was not theirs but the Lord’s that they were able to prevail.

We too cannot expect the presence of God with us, unless we thus seek it in the way God has appointed. When we operate on the basis of human wisdom, we create one problem after another, but when we pause to pray and seek the mind of the Lord, He shows us what to do. Fasting is a means toward spiritual focus by concentrating on God through soul searching rather than on food and other personal needs!

Let us understand that there is a great value in fasting during our troubles. Fasting must center on God alone as our eyes are fixed on Him. As we spend our time on fasting and inner reflection, it will reveal the things that really control us. We would truly be sustained by the word of God (Matt. 4:4) as we fast in His presence. Fasting will help us keep our balance in life as we afflict ourselves before God (Psalms 35:13). Fasting is a discipline that will ultimately give us true freedom, and our prayers will be more effective as we will be guided by God in our crucial decisions!

God will truly reward us when we diligently seek Him in fasting. Have you tried fasting and prayer to effectively face the troubles in your life?

"But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." (Matt 6:17-18)

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