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, November 6, 2015

NEW LIFE in CHRIST demands a CHANGED LIFESTYLE

NEW LIFE in CHRIST demands a CHANGED LIFESTYLE

November 6 Bible Reading: Acts Chapters 1-3

"Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:41-42)

In the above passage, we see that Luke shifts from what took place on the day of Pentecost to a more general description of the lifestyle of the early Jerusalem church believers shortly after that day (see Acts 4:32–5:11; 6:1–6). The impact and the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these trailblazing believers (numbering 3,120 - see Acts 1:15; 2:41) transformed their lifestyle to adopt four important regular habits (Acts 2:42–47):
  1. They followed the apostles’ doctrine: Uniformity of belief concerning the person of Jesus Christ—based on the eyewitness testimony of His followers—was essential. The disciples followed the apostles’ doctrine - the inspired teachings of the apostles, which were delivered orally at first, and were now preserved in the New Testament. These included the Old Testament Scriptures as well as the teachings of Christ on earth and the revelations He gave to the apostles from heaven.
  2. They practiced the community fellowship: The Greek word translated ‘fellowship’ means sharing in the lives of other believers. There was a great desire among the new believers to be with the people of God and share things in common with them. There was a sense of being separated to God from the world, and a community of interests with other Christians. They demonstrated their lifestyle changes by even sharing their possessions with one another.
  3. They remembered Christ by breaking bread: The “breaking of bread” probably included the Lord’s Supper as well as a meal in connection with that celebration (see 2:46; 20:7; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23–25). This may refer primarily to the Lord’s Table as it would be quite unnecessary to say that they continued steadfastly eating their meals. From Acts 20:7 we learn that the practice of the early Christians was to break bread on the first day of the week. However, some scholars believe this is a broader reference to the “love feast,” a meal of fellowship in the early church. 
  4. They worshiped God with prayers and praises: Through this, they expressed complete dependence on the Lord for worship, guidance, preservation, and service. In prayer the believers praised and thanked God, and interceded for His glory. Corporate prayers were viewed as an essential part of the spiritual growth of the church. The feeling of awe that the obvious working of God in their midst inspired, continued among all the people in Jerusalem.
Thus, we see the pattern that had become a trendsetting lifestyle for true Disciples of Christ. People heard and received the word of God; they publicly professed their faith through baptism; then they united in the fellowship of the church, continued in the apostles’ doctrine, remained in fellowship with the brethren, and frequently observed the Lord’s Supper and prayer as a part of responsible church life. Church membership was a privilege granted to those who had experienced genuine conversion followed by believer’s baptism. These essential behaviors of the first believers form a challenging summary of behaviors that should characterize believers today as well.

Based on the above passage, this is a question that we need to ask ourselves: has our lifestyle changed as a result of our adopting a new life in Christ? If not, we need to make the changes that are lacking for this is what Christ expects from our daily life.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Cor. 5:17)

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