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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

UNDERSTANDING God’s STANDARD of HOLINESS

UNDERSTANDING God’s STANDARD of HOLINESS

February 3 Bible Reading: Leviticus Chapters 10-12

"For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." (Lev. 11:44-45)

One of the key themes of the Book of Leviticus is ‘holiness’ and “You shall be holy; for I am holy” is a recurring theme in Leviticus (11:44; 19:2; 20:7, 26). The basic idea derived from ‘holiness’ is ‘separateness’. When applied to God, ‘holiness’ denotes God’s uniqueness and separateness from everything earthly and wrong; when applied to man, it denotes a life of purity and obedience.

In the Old Testament, God instructed the Israelites not to pattern themselves after the nations around them. As God’s people, they had to be separate from everything that God called unclean. Instead, He asked His people to consecrate themselves (or, set themselves apart from others) and be holy, for He, the Lord their God, was holy. One of the main ways that the Israelites were to be different was in the way they worshiped God. The closing song at the end of Leviticus, Israel’s manual for ritual and worship, says: “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Lev. 26:12).

Later, the New Testament church also came to define itself as belonging to God first and foremost, with a responsibility for holy worship and living. Even today, God challenges us not to be like everybody else. Those who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God are to live separated and holy lives (1 Pet. 1:13–19; 2:9–10). As God’s followers, we should be holy because we should reflect God’s character. He is our Father. He has created us. He has chosen us as His own. Therefore, we should be like Him as that is His ultimate plan for us (Rom. 8:29–30).

The basis of God’s laws listed in Leviticus was grounded in the holiness of God. God’s people are to be set apart unto Him. We can now disregard all of these regulations because Christ nailed them to His cross (see Col 2:14; I Tim 4:3–5). But we are still today commanded to be a separate people from the world (see Romans 12:1–2; II Corinthians 6:14–7:1; I John 2:15–17). God desires our conduct to exhibit His nature, because we are His children. To be separate to God is much more important than to be separate from other things.

As God’s people who are separated to God, we become more and more conformed to the image of God, and we become the persons that God intended us to be when He created the first man and the first woman in His image (Gen. 1:26, 27). We imitate God by living lives according to His code of holiness!

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24), demands perfection from us as well (Matt. 5:48). By His perfect sacrifice, Jesus has removed our sins forever (Heb. 9; 10), and has inscribes His moral law on our hearts by His blessed Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:3; Jer. 31:31–34) so that we will emulate God’s standards of holiness. Without that level of holiness no one will see God anyway (Heb. 12:14), so let us live holy and blameless lives upon this earth.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love". (Eph. 1:3-4)

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