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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

RETURN BACK to GOD for RESTORATION & RENEWAL

RETURN BACK to GOD for RESTORATION & RENEWAL

August 25 Bible Reading: Lamentations Chapters 4-5

"Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old" (Lam. 5:21)

The last chapter of the book of Lamentations describes a prayer to God for restoration and renewal as this book ends with a note of hope rather than gloom. After describing their bleak conditions that entailed their loss of their freedom, land and respect, the people of Judah now asks the Lord to return them back to Himself so they can be restored and renewed. Their ultimate hope for restoration was God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises!

There are three key words to note in the above prayer:
  1. Return: This is one word that can summarize God’s earlier message to His rebellious people through prophet Jeremiah (1:13; 3:40). In fact, in one of Jeremiah’s earlier messages, he had exhorted the people to “return” to God no less than seven times (see Jer. 3:1, 7, 12, 14, 22; 4:1). The Hebrew word for “return” means to turn back from sin to God. This is the first step for repairing the broken relationship of man with God!
  2. Restore: The term "restore" could be either a physical return of exiles to the land or, a moral and religious repentance back to their former relationship with God. To “restore and to build Jerusalem” was the prayer of the prophet Daniel as well (see Dan. 9:25). Without repentance and conversion there can be no restoration to their former relationship with God!
  3. Renew: As a verb, the term “renew” (Psalms 51:10) can mean “repair” (Isaiah 61:4). As an adjective, this word identifies something new in contrast to something old, or, something different when compared to the status quo (such as “a new spirit”; see Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31). The Bible teaches that God alone is the One who makes things new, whether it is a new song that God gives to the one He rescues from the horrible pit (Psalms 40:3), or, a new phase in God’s plan of redemption for mankind (Isaiah 42:9; 43:19), or, a new name that God gives to His children (Isaiah 62:2), or, a new heaven and earth that God is going to create one day in the future (Isaiah 65:17; Rev. 21:1).
For anyone who has wandered away from their relationship with God (as in the case of the captive people of Judah described in this book), there is a time to look up to God for help through genuine prayer. God can change us radically if we allow Him to work in our lives. We can see that in the case of Apostle Peter who was restored after declaring his love for Jesus three times to compensate for denying three times earlier (compare Mark 14:66-72 with John 21:15-19).

As in the case of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, there is a point of time that we need to come to our senses and realize our true pitiable condition. It is at that time that we need to return back to God through genuine repentance and conversion. When we do that, God will both renew and restore our relationship with Him (Psalms 23:3).

God has His arms wide open waiting to embrace His lost son or daughter. Can we sincerely examine our relationship with God today? If our relationship is not intimate with God, it is time for us to return back to God for renewal and restoration! This is what Jesus is telling us today: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Rev. 3:20)

Google+ Followers