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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

God REFINES us so that we will GLORIFY HIM in our LIVES

God REFINES us so that we will GLORIFY HIM in our LIVES

July 31 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 46-48

"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another." (Isaiah 48:10-11)

This message is addressed to the house of Jacob, which includes the people of Judah. They are criticized for calling on God’s name but refusing to live by His laws. For His own sake however, God promises to end their exile. He will refine them, not like silver in literal fire, but in the furnace of affliction (the Babylonian captivity). Then, God will restore them for His own name’s sake—a name that has been profaned by them. However, God will not share the credit for this restoration with their idols that they have been serving for so long!

Thus we are reminded here that even God’s acts of judgment are ultimately tempered with His acts of mercy. The reason why God allowed His people to go through the Babylonian captivity (1:22, 25; 4:4; Ezek. 22:18–22) was that they would finally emerge from their afflictions without their sin stains, and that they would reflect God’s glory and greatness among the people of their world. Thus, this act of God is ultimately a celebration of divine mercy. Though they deserve to be obliterated from the face of the earth, nevertheless, God seeks to refine them and not cut them off!

In our own lives, it is natural that we desire glory and adulation for all our accomplishments. At these times, God allows us to go through suffering and problems so that we understand clearly that all glory and honor belongs to God alone. God’s acts of mercy in our lives are His own initiative, springing from the depths of His mercy (37:35; 42:21; 43:25) as He wants to protect His own name and reputation. God says clearly: “I will not yield my glory to another”. God will not share His glory with anyone down here on earth and up there in heaven!

So, it is important that we do not absorb any glory that we receive due to our accomplishments. Rather, as shining pure silver and gold, we should reflect all glory to God alone as Paul and Barnabas did in Acts 14:15. Let us be reflective of our current situation, so that we develop the same attitude of the patriarch Job, who declared: "But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)

God does not want us to perish but only refined so that we always glorify Him through our lives. If we resist, the fire of affliction will burn us and make us hard; if we submit, the fire will purify us and make us tender. Let us submit ourselves to the refining work of God today, so that everything we do – by word, by deed or by lifestyle – will please God and ultimately reflect His glory alone before others!

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6-7)

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