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, December 8, 2015

The ESSENCE of GOD’s COMMANDMENT is to ‘LOVE’

The ESSENCE of GOD’s COMMANDMENT is to ‘LOVE’

December 8 Bible Reading: 1 Timothy Chapters 1-3

"Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith" (1 Tim. 1:5)

The two letters of Apostle Paul to his spiritual son Timothy reflects the heart of a father as he tries to counsel his son regarding what he should look out for during his pastoral ministry of the church at Ephesus. It is obvious that truth and error have battled since the early days of the Christian faith in the first century, and at the start of his letter, Paul urges Timothy to counter those who taught strange doctrines, myths, and endless genealogies at the church of Ephesus (vv. 3–4). Thereafter, Paul gives many guidelines for sorting out and testing what people say about faith issues and practices, and lays out God’s ultimate commandment regarding the practice of love (v. 5).

The essence of God’s commandment for us is to love others from a clear and pure heart. There is a spiritual progression evident from our lives: our sincere faith in Jesus Christ produces a good conscience in us as we are cleared from all wrongdoing before God by Jesus’ atonement. This in turn leads to a pure heart, that is, a life free of sin, which in turn produces real love to God, to our fellow believers, and to the world in general. This process is followed every time when the gospel of the grace of God is preached to us and God’s Word begins to work in our lives.

God desires that our actions reflect a pure heart, and a clean inner life. If our inner life is unclean, then true Christian love can scarcely flow from it. Our love must be the by-product of a good conscience, that is, a conscience void of offense toward God and people. On top of this, our love must be the outcome of sincere faith, that is, faith that does not wear a mask of a hypocrite. In our contemporary Christian world, however, it is not unusual to see many proponents of Christ, whose spiritual houses are in disarray. They may speak Christian-talk with all the appropriate lingo and jargon, but their conduct does not align with their hearts. Their behavior is just a performance of piety and they behave as hypocrites (Matt. 23:28).

Apostle Paul wanted to promote God’s love in the church, and his instruction to Timothy highlighted the close connection between Christian faith, belief and practice (Gal. 5:6). God’s commandment does not lead to strife and debate but rather to love for God and man. It is the teaching of the grace of God that produces a pure heart, a good conscience, a sincere faith, and these inner attitudes should result in love. Thus, the test of all true teaching of God’s Word should produce real love from our words, actions and lives, which will distinguish us as true disciples of Jesus Christ. Let us move beyond outward display and truly love others as Christ has commanded us:
"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)

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