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, January 28, 2016

DON’T be IMPATIENT: the CONSEQUENCES can be DEADLY

DON’T be IMPATIENT: the CONSEQUENCES can be DEADLY

January 28 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 31-33

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." (Exodus 32:1)

Starting from the above passage, the next three chapters in Exodus (32–34) is a narrative about both apostasy and renewal in Israel. One thing that we need to understand is that redemption does not bring immediate sanctification! Although the Israelites were redeemed and had an eternal relationship with God, sin continued to dominate in their lives. Impatience and dissatisfaction with Jehovah God led to murmuring, which then advanced to disobedience, and, finally, to idolatry that ultimately proved to be deadly for about 3000 Israelite men (32:28).

While Moses was on the top of Mt. Sinai receiving the covenant revelation (31:18; 24:12–18), the Israelites at the foot of this mountain almost immediately began to break its stipulations, especially the first two commandments (32:1–6). They persuaded Aaron to lead them away from Jehovah God (breaking commandment # 1) and to make a gold idol instead (breaking commandment # 2).

How did this gross dereliction of the basic covenant preamble (the Ten Commandments) even happen?  This infamous story began on a very human level. The people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain. The extended absence of Moses (24:18) and the terrifying setting into which he had disappeared (24:9-17) led the people to think that he might never return. The people were the redeemed of Israel (12; 14:31), but in their discouragement they wandered to other gods. Moses was gone for only forty days, but the people ran out of patience before then. Being impatient at Moses’ delay in returning back, the people asked Aaron to make an idol for them. He meekly complied by converting their golden earrings into a golden molded calf, an act that was expressly forbidden by God (Ex. 20:4), and this resulted in disastrous consequences.

Actually, what was going on was a spiritual warfare where unseen forces worked to encourage evil among God’s people. Stephen alluded to this event when he said that the fathers “turned back to Egypt” (Acts 7:39, 40). Not only were the Israelites impatient due to the lengthy absence of Moses, but that they had cast off their allegiance to Jehovah God and their hearts had departed from Him totally. Instead of being loyal to Jehovah, their vision was narrowed to a molded golden calf as their hearts were already divorced from God. This calf clearly represented the impatience of the Israelites, which ultimately led to God’s judgment on them.

Despite all that God had said and all that the Israelites had promised to do in return (19:8), the Israelites did not know how to live by faith. Moses had been gone for just forty days (Deut. 9:11) but the people had already become impatient. They still had the fire and cloud to assure them of God’s presence over the mountain, but that was not enough as they wanted another visible representation of Jehovah to encourage them. It was unbelief in Jehovah that was displayed in the behavior of the Israelites, for “whoever believes will not act hastily” (Isa. 28:16).

Let us not become impatient with God as it will lead to sin and death. Don’t be impatient – the consequences can be deadly! This is what Apostle Paul had written concerning these impatient Israelites: “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, ‘the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’" (1 Cor. 10:5-7)

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