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, September 18, 2015

WAITING on GOD continually for DIVINE FAVOR

WAITING on GOD continually for DIVINE FAVOR

September 18 Bible Reading: Hosea Chapters 10-12

"He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, and there He spoke to us--that is, the Lord God of hosts. The Lord is His memorable name. So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually." (Hosea 12:3-6)

In the above passage, Hosea draws a lesson from the life of Jacob, the father of the nation. Jacob’s deceitful character was evident when he grabbed the heel of his brother Esau during the time he was born into the world (see Gen. 25:26). However, Jacob encountered many life-changing events, and his spiritual growth came to a climax when he had a wrestling match with God during the night before he was reunited with his brother.

During this incident Jacob wrestled with God, which highlighted his rebellious struggle with God at Bethel. At the end of this encounter, Jacob acknowledged his dependence on God by crying and begging for divine favor, and thereafter received God’s manifold blessings (see Gen. 32:24–30). So, just as Jacob had come to his senses and recognized his dependence on God, so Israel was to repent (return), reestablish justice in society, and depend (wait) on the Lord!

The patriarch Jacob, from whom the nation of Israel has descended, always wanted God’s best, even though he did not always seek it God’s way. He had finally ‘struggled with God’ until he finally ‘found him at Bethel’ (Gen. 28:10–22; 35:1–7). In the same way Israel needed to return to God. Israel, as did Jacob, must now find its strength in God alone!

Jacob tried to trip up Esau at birth (Gen. 25:26); he fought with God (Gen. 32:22–32); but he returned to Bethel and found God’s blessing again (Gen. 35). The time had come for Israel and Judah to return to God and repent of their sins (12:6). God does not judge only to destroy, but also to call His people to repentance, which ultimately leads to deliverance and restoration. In tenaciously seeking God’s blessing, Jacob set a positive example for the nation (v. 6). Like Jacob, who returned to Bethel to fulfill his vow (Gen. 35:1–15), Israel must return to the Lord.

As a spiritual application for our lives, we need to return to God by waiting on Him continually for divine favor and blessings. Jacob was willing to wrestle during the whole night with the Angel of God before He prevailed. As a result, God endowed Jacob with manifold blessings and even changed his name from Jacob (meaning ‘supplanter’) to Israel (meaning ‘a prince with God’). God’s divine favor flowed on Israel from that point forward.

Let us decide to wait on God continually so that His divine favor and blessings may flow through our lives as well. "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him." (Isaiah 64:4) "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him." (Lam. 3:25)

Let this be our prayer today: "Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed…show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day." (Psalms 25:3-5)

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