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, June 10, 2015

How can we ‘LIE DOWN’ in GOD’s GREEN PASTURES?

How can we ‘LIE DOWN’ in GOD’s GREEN PASTURES? 

June 10 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 23-31

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." (Psalms 23:1-3)

Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved passages of the Bible – the crowing jewel among the Psalms. However, Psalm 23 is not for everyone but is only applicable to those who can say, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” It is true that the Good Shepherd died for all, but only those who actually receive Him by a definite act of faith are His sheep. Even though the saving work of Jesus is sufficient for all, but it is effective only for those who actually believe on Him in faith!

The word pictures David uses for God come from his own life and experience as he had been a shepherd in his youth (1 Sam. 16:19). Under a metaphor borrowed from scenes of pastoral life, with which David was familiar, he describes God's providential care in providing refreshment, guidance, protection, and abundance. God is our provider in life as our shepherd and we are the sheep of His pasture (Psalms 100:3b). The sheep of the Lord’s pasture is free from want. Those who abide in the presence of the shepherd never lack for temporal things (Psalms 50:10; 84:11; Phil 4:19).

The shepherd stays with the flock (Is. 40:11; 63:9–12). His sheep are totally dependent upon him for food, water, and protection from wild animals. Green pastures ("pastures of tender grass") are mentioned, not in respect to food, but as places of cool and refreshing rest where there is both delight and plenty of provisions.

So, what more could we want? We will not lack food for our soul or body because He makes us to lie down in green pastures. We shall not lack refreshment either because He leads us beside the still waters. We shall not lack vitality because He restores our soul. We shall not lack moral direction because He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

How can we lie down in God’s “green pastures” and refresh beside the “still waters”? This is by spending time alone with God through Bible reading, meditation and reflection when God satisfies us with His word. “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalms 119:103). The green pastures and still waters are signs of contentment. The sheep only lie down after they have eaten. They do not lie down if they are nervous or frightened, but only if they feel secure. Let us be content in Him alone!

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is revealed as the shepherd of His people (John 10:11, 14), fulfilling the prophecy that God will come to shepherd His people (Ezek. 34:7–16, 23). Let us understand that God will meet the everyday needs of our lives as we closely follow Him (Psalms 37:25; Phil. 4:18). We need to disconnect from external distractions in order to connect with God daily through His word. Through this connection, we can commune with God and hear His “still small voice” as He restores us and leads us through the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Can we take some time out and lie down in God’s “green pastures” today?

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