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, November 19, 2015

God wants us to be LIKE-MINDED towards ONE ANOTHER

God wants us to be LIKE-MINDED towards ONE ANOTHER

November 19 Bible Reading: Romans Chapters 13-16

"Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God." (Romans 15:5-7)

It is a well-known truth that human societies tend to encourage people to divide along racial, ethnic, and cultural lines, or else, assimilate into the dominant power group. However, Apostle Paul calls for a different approach in the above scriptural passage. He doesn’t ask Jews to give up their Jewish heritage and become Gentiles, nor does he ask Gentiles to become Jews. Instead, he affirms the rich ethnic backgrounds of both groups while challenging them to live together in unity (v. 7).

In fact, Apostle Paul prays for the unity of all believers and expresses the wish that the God who gives steadfastness and comfort will enable the strong and the weak, Gentile and Jewish Christians, to live harmoniously according to the teaching and example of Christ Jesus. The result will be that the saints will be united in the worship of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is an amazing picture that we see ‘saved Jews’ and ‘saved Gentiles’ are of one mind and worship God with one voice in unison!

This is the kind of unity in the church that God calls us to— a diverse body of people who are unified around Christ. Our background, ethnicity, and cultural heritage are God’s gifts to each of us and to the church. He has placed us in our families as He has seen fit. We can rejoice in the rich heritage that God has given us and be enriched by the heritage and background that He has given others.

Paul’s point is that if God can receive us with the great chasm that existed between Him and us, should we not also be able to accept one another even if there are minor differences between us? The result of such acceptance of one another will be the harmonious praise to God from all His children, and God gets all the glory. Unity in the church is essential if God is to be glorified!

Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah who accepted Gentiles unconditionally, is the role model for all believers. Gentiles and Jews can sing praises to God in unity (vv. 9-12). The strong must bear the weak and help them grow, and that takes love and patience. This kind of unity among believers comes only from our union with Jesus Christ, who has paved the way before us. Unity becomes a reality when people who are deeply divided begin to thank God for His mercy shown through Christ. They are filled with joy, peace and hope “by the power of the Holy Spirit” (v. 13).

There is no doubt that God wants us to be like-minded towards one another! Let us be grateful to be a part of God’s family and live in unity so that the world will know about our love to God and to one another. When we are like-minded, there is synergy through teamwork as we turn against a common enemy (Satan) while we magnify our combined strength and work together in building God’s kingdom here on earth!

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity." (Eph. 2:13-16)

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