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.

Monday, October 5, 2015

We must ASK God for His ‘SHOWERS of BLESSINGS’

We must ASK God for His ‘SHOWERS of BLESSINGS’

October 5 Bible Reading: Zechariah Chapters 10-12

"Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain." (Zech. 10:1-2a)

This chapter (10) focuses on the blessings that the people of Judah should expect when the Messiah comes. God would then bless His people and punish the wicked leaders who had promoted idolatry among the people. These leaders of Judah had been seeking wisdom and advice from idols instead of Jehovah (v. 2). God would also fulfill His promise to “care for his flock” as He Himself will be their Shepherd and their King (Ezek. 34; Jer. 23:1–8).

The background for God’s command to the people of Judah to ask Him for rain is because there were apparently droughts in Judah after the exile (v. 1), and some of the people were turning to diviners and false gods for help rather than the Lord (v. 2). These people are exhorted to ask the Lord for rain and not to pray to worthless idols that cannot help them at all. In fact, idolatry causes people to wander like sheep without a shepherd!

The latter rain refers to the rain that comes in late spring (late April or early May) and is essential for an abundant grain harvest. This was God’s promise of blessings to the people of Israel during the time of Moses: "And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil." (Deut. 11:13-14)

These showers of blessings will come because the people lift up their eyes only to God for the rain, and that will result in a bountiful increase in their grain fields and vineyards. They are reminded that they have to ask for it to Jehovah God, and He will supply abundant rain as a reply to their believing prayers. It is God and not idols who will give them the rain. The blessings of God’s renewal are expressed in agricultural terms that are appropriate to the God’s covenant promise of land to the people of Israel.

Prophet Zechariah thus reminds the people of Judah that God alone controls the showers of blessings in their lives, and they should specifically pray to God for rain (see also Hosea 6:1–3; Joel 2:23–32). When we apply this promise on a spiritual dimension in our lives, let us understand that only God can send sufficient blessings and power to enable us to mature in Christ. We must ask God for His blessings of God’s new covenant through Jesus Christ (Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor. 11:25) and look forward to the total renewal of God’s covenant blessings in the new heavens and earth (Rev. 21:1–22:5).

"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit." (James 5:16-18)

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