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 16, 2015

‘PRAYERFULLY WATCHING’ – the best STRATEGY to overcome TEMPTATION

‘PRAYERFULLY WATCHING’ – the best STRATEGY to overcome TEMPTATION

October 16 Bible Reading: Matthew Chapters 25-28

Then He (Jesus) said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matt. 26:38-41)

The disciples of Jesus needed to stay awake and pray because they were about to be tested with the greatest temptation that they had ever faced in their lives. Their beloved Rabbi and Master Jesus Christ was about to be betrayed by one of His own disciples whom He had trusted with money and had faithfully mentored for over three years. Jesus was about to be tried through six different stages in two different courts (three stages in a religious court and three stages in a Roman court) before Annas (the former high priest), Caiaphas (the current high priest), the Sanhedrin, and before Pilate, the Roman Governor. He would be soon charged in these courts with blasphemy for claiming to be the Messiah, condemned, punished and crucified on the cross.

However, the disciples of Jesus were asleep due to emotional fatigue and physical exhaustion, and Jesus had to repeatedly urge them to prayerfully watch for the ordeal that they were about to go through. The translation from the Greek text indicates that they were to ‘continually keep watching through prayer’. Since the disciples were not prayerfully watching, they were not prepared for the tragedy that is about to happen in their lives. We should not be quick to condemn the disciples of Jesus when we think of our personal prayer schedules since we sleep better than we pray and our minds wander when we should be watching and waiting before the Lord. Our regenerated spirit may have good intentions, but our spirit must control our bodies already offered as living sacrifices (see Romans 12:1) in order to gain spiritual victory.

We must be alert and in communication with our heavenly Father always, as we do not know when the next temptation will strike us. Opportunities for getting tempted are almost endless so we should always be on the lookout. God’s Word provides us four distinct alternatives for dealing with temptation:
  1. We should avoid temptation whenever possible (see Proverbs 4:14–15)
  2. We should flee from temptations when they arrive (see Genesis 39:11-12; 1 Corinthians 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22).
  3. We should confess our weakness to God and ask Him to strengthen us (see 2 Corinthians 12:9)
  4. We should resist temptation until we overcome it (see Christ as our best example in Matthew 4:1–11; James 4:7).
We can only resist temptations through hiding God’s Word in our hearts (Psalms 119:11) and standing our ground, which can be achieved through prayerful watching. Thus, prayerfully watching is one of the most important strategies that we can use to avoid temptation in our lives since we can resist temptation only by God’s help. Because our flesh denotes human weakness, we badly need supernatural empowerment (see Romans 8:3, 4).

Finally, we have wonderful promise that the temptations we experience will never go beyond the common experiences of others or, beyond our ability to deal with them. Praise the Lord!

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10: 13)

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