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, September 10, 2015

Genuine WORSHIP should CHANGE our LIFESTYLE

Genuine WORSHIP should CHANGE our LIFESTYLE

September 10 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 46-48

"But when the people of the land come before the Lord on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate." (Ezek. 46:9)

In the above passage, we read the specific directions that are given to the Israelite worshipers entering the temple area. They should enter by one gate and exit by the other. As they walk through the temple courts, they should pass from one side to the other so that those going out are not in the way of those coming in. Some theologians infer that this was to prevent thrusting and jostling one another; for God is the God of order and not of confusion. Such regulations were needed on the special feast days due to the participation of large numbers of people. This may also symbolize the order that is to characterize the community of the new order of worshipers today!

The prince was to worship only at the threshold of the gate and the people only at the entrance (Ezek. 46:2–3), but today we have the great privilege of entering into the very presence of God (Heb. 10:19–25). However, like the Israelite worshipers (both prince and people), we should not return from worship as we came but things should be different because we have met with God (Ezek. 46:9).

In our worship where we minister unto God, we should press forward and not turn back; similar to the Israelite worshipers. Apostle Paul has described this aptly as follows: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13-14) We should not leave the worship place in the same condition as we came but leave in a condition that is more holy, heavenly, spiritual and pleasing to God.

The word ‘worship’ means ‘giving reverence or devotion’. It comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘worth-ship’ that means ‘ascribing worth to a person or object’. When we ‘worship’ God genuinely, we are saying ‘God is worthy of all my love, my attention and my devotion. He is worthy to receive all that I can give Him’.

Genuine worship of God is giving our absolute love, complete trust and total devotion. Genuine worship is submissive, like Abraham was willing to worship by submitting to God's command, even being willing to pay the cost of the life of his beloved son Isaac (Gen. 22:3). Genuine worship is marked with obedience just as Jesus has instructed us: "If you love Me, keep My commandments. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." (John 14:15, 21)

Worship is not something we do but what we are. Genuine worship sees the hand of God in all of life and loves Him through the good and the bad. Through our worship, we shut out the world and separate ourselves unto the Lord. Genuine worship is costly because it requires us to make sacrifices. It requires that everything of value be placed on the altar and given to God (Rom. 12:1-2) When we worship God sincerely,  we bow before God in adoration and thanksgiving  as we realize who He is and what He has done in our lives so far. Genuine worship comes from the heart, and is spontaneous as God works in our lives.

Our way of living is an outward manifestation of our worship. Genuine worship affects our daily lifestyle that overflows with the abundance of the heart impacted by the grace of God. Our worship is an extension of our lives. God is seeking genuine worshipers today. Can we worship God in such a way that our lifestyle is changed completely?

"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24)

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