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, October 30, 2015

CHRIST must ‘INCREASE’ as we ‘DECREASE’ daily

CHRIST must ‘INCREASE’ as we ‘DECREASE’ daily

October 30 Bible Reading: John Chapters 1-3

 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!" John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease’. (John 3:26-30)

The disciples of John the Baptist were deeply concerned about the decreasing popularity of their leader. In their astonishment that Jesus was competing with and surpassing John’s ministry, they came to John and exaggerated the predicament, saying, ‘all are coming to Him’. However, without any hesitation John clarified the relationship between himself and Jesus. First, he talked about himself (vv. 27–29); then, he talked about Jesus (vv. 30–36).

In his reply, John clarified that each person has been given a place of service from heaven, and he had no right to claim any importance other than what God had given him. In God’s plan, John must diminish and Christ must continue to grow. John’s position was only as the forerunner of Christ. He was like the friend of the bridegroom, and his joy came from the success of the bridegroom. So, rather than regretting his loss of popularity to Christ, John actually rejoiced in his subservient role. John was content to be just a “voice” (1:23) and a friend.

John’s declaration that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (3:30) seems to repudiate the idea of personal achievement, recognition, or material gain—common measures of success in our society. Indeed, John labored ceaselessly to point men and women to the Lord, and to make them realize His true worth. In doing this, John realized that he must keep himself in the background only.

Why did John the Baptist insist that Jesus had to increase? This was primarily because the origin of Jesus was divine (v. 31), the teachings of Jesus were divine (vv. 32–34), and the authority of Jesus was divine (vv. 35, 36). Jesus was the Son of God (1:1-2); the Word who “became flesh and dwelt among the people” (1:14). The greatest joy of John the Baptist was from being privileged, as the forerunner to prepare the people for the heavenly Bridegroom!

For a servant of Christ to seek to attract attention to self is really a form of disloyalty to his/her Master. Let us note the following five strategic principles pointed out by Nelson's New Testament Survey that have been distilled through John’s reply (3:27–30):
  1. Every ministry is a God-given privilege.
  2. A servant’s role is to introduce others to the Savior.
  3. The joy of fulfilling service comes through serving the Master.
  4. A servant should always draw attention to the Lord and not himself or herself.
  5. The Lord’s servants must humbly recognize the Lord in their service to Him.
If we want an increase of Christ in our lives, there must be a decrease of self on a daily basis. Rather than desiring attention and adulation to self, we must seek to glorify God alone through our words and action. We must emulate John who celebrated the ministry of Jesus with his humility! Let us burn in order to shine for Jesus today. The oil and fire – signifying the presence and power of the Holy Spirit – are freely available for us to use. Let us be candles that melt away in the process of giving light of the gospel to others!

"But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; … as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." (2 Cor. 6:4-5, 9-10)

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