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.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The ONE DISTINGUISHING MARK of TRUE DISCIPLES of CHRIST

The ONE DISTINGUISHING MARK of TRUE DISCIPLES of CHRIST

November 3 Bible Reading: John Chapters 13-15

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)

Before our Lord Jesus Christ left for His eternal abode in heaven, He told His disciples that the world will recognize them through one distinguishing mark: their love for one another. During His absence, they were to be governed by the ‘new commandment of love’. This commandment was new because the Holy Spirit would empower believers to obey it, and so it was superior to the old. The old said, “Love your neighbor” (Lev. 19:18) but the new said, “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:43-44). It called for a higher degree of love: “As I have loved you, that you also love one another” (v. 34), and thus this commandment has a new motive and a new scope. Christ commands us to love each other just as sacrificially as He has loved us! (See Matt. 25:40; Gal. 6:10; Eph. 5:25)

The badge of Christian discipleship is not a cross worn around the neck or on the lapel or some distinctive type of clothing. Anyone could profess discipleship by these means. The true mark of a disciple of Christ is the sincere agape love for other Christians. This requires divine power, and this power is only given to those indwelt by the Spirit! The world should recognize us as the Disciples of Christ because our relationship to each other is permeated with love!

Let us clearly understand that unbelievers recognize the true disciples of Jesus not by their doctrines, or, by their scriptural expertise or, by their ability to perform dramatic miracles, or, even by their love for the lost. They recognize His disciples by their deeds of love for one another. The servant-like, selfless love that Christians display toward one another witnesses to the world that they are true disciples!

A key test of our commitment to Christ and our love for God is indicated by our love for other believers. It is not just our words that express our love, but our attitudes and actions as well. The way to show love to fellow believers is by doing simple acts of service for our fellow believers who have needs. This may include sending notes of encouragement, visiting them, providing them meals, showing them empathy or, even giving them a friendly smile.  

Finally, note that Jesus did not say that others would know we are His disciples by what we say, or how we dress, or what we know, or the label of our denomination. He said, “As I have loved you” (John 13:34). Shortly afterward, He laid down His life for His disciples! How does our love to others compare with the love that Jesus has displayed on the cross of Calvary?

"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death." (1 John 3:14)

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