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, April 2, 2015

Move ‘PAST’ your ‘FAILURES’ to be ‘USED’ by God

Move ‘PAST’ your ‘FAILURES’ to be ‘USED’ by God

April 2 Bible Reading: 2 Samuel Chapters 10-12

So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." (2 Sam 12:13-14)

After enjoying tremendous successes in the battlefield against the enemies of Israel, David encountered temptation, and he let himself be conquered by lust. God’s word describes this battlefield of the mind as follows: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. (James 1:13-16) David succumbed to his fleshly desires, became enticed and committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then arranged to have her husband Uriah the Hittite murdered.

"But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord" (2 Sam 11:27) God sent His prophet Nathan to David after he had committed adultery and murder, as God wanted David to be aware and repent of the heinous crimes that he had done. With the help of a story, Nathan was able to drive home the seriousness of David’s crime (2 Sam. 12:1-12). This is where David distinguishes himself from many other people – he confessed his sins immediately before Nathan, and Nathan declared that God “also has put away (his) sin” (2 Sam. 12:13b). To err is human and to forgive divine. God forgives our sins when we confess them to Him openly and turn away from our misdeeds (John 1:9). "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" (Prov 24:16)

This story of David teaches us how we too can move past our failures to be used by God again in His kingdom for His glory:
  • Confess our sins openly before God. David acknowledged his transgressions without any reservations (2 Sam. 12:13). "For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight" (Psalms 51:3-4) 
  • Seek forgiveness from God and those we have hurt in the process. "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies" (Psalms 51:1)
  • Pray to God that others may be spared from the consequences of our actions. "David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground" (2 Sam 12:16)
  • Finally, recognize that the consequences of our sins have to be endured. Even though David fasted, pleaded with God for the life of his child and lay on the ground for seven days without any food or drink, the child died (2 Sam. 12:16-18). The sword never departed from David’s family line (v. 10). His own son Absalom rose against David in rebellion, and openly committed the crimes that David had done in secret (v. 11-12; 16:21-22).
If we have offended God or anyone else through our previous actions, let us move past our failures today. Let us remember many of the spiritual giants in the Bible also moved past their failures to be used by God tremendously: Jacob was a liar - Moses was a murderer - Gideon doubted - Elijah was burned out - Jonah ran from God's will - Paul persecuted the church - John Mark deserted Paul. Let us go to Jesus today who will never cast us out according to His word: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out" (John 6:37)

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