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, March 1, 2016

It is IMPORTANT to ‘RATIFY’ our COVENANT with GOD

It is IMPORTANT to ‘RATIFY’ our COVENANT with GOD

March 1 Bible Reading: Deuteronomy Chapters 25-27

And Moses commanded the people on the same day, saying, "These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin; and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. And the Levites shall speak with a loud voice and say to all the men of Israel..." (Deut. 27:11-14)

As the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, Moses urged them never to forget how they had the privilege to obtain the land of Canaan as their inheritance that God has promised to their great grandfather Abraham many years ago (Gen. 12:1-3). They were a people who had been called out of all the nations (Gen. 12) and out of slavery (Ex. 12). This land was God’s gift to them, and they were never to forget that fact all their lives (vv. 2–3). As they would step into their inheritance, they were to be a holy people who would obey God and be blessed as a result.

However, before they would move into their final destination, they had to ratify their covenant with God that was made 40 years ago at Mt. Horeb by the earlier generation. This would be done through an elaborate ceremony that would serve to reinforce the two alternatives available to the Israelites in their new land. In order to conduct this ceremony, Moses divided the twelve tribes into two equal groups. Six favored tribes were to station themselves on the side of Mount Gerizim and face the valley in order to pronounce the blessings for obedience. The other six tribes were likewise to station themselves on the side of Mount Ebal, face the valley and they were to confirm the curses for disobedience.

The Levites were to stand in the middle of the valley (which was approx. 1600 feet across) that formed a natural amphitheater where a speaker's voice could be heard on both hillsides. Likewise, the shouts of the tribes gathered on Gerizim could be heard on Ebal, and vice versa. A city called Shechem was located between these mountains where the blessings and cursing of the Law were heard, and this city became the ideal site for the nation of Israel to ratify their covenant with God. The Levites were to read the curses in unison, and in response to the readings, all the people were to say, Amen (vs. 26). Thus, the entire nation of Israel was involved in one loud praise service to God!

This ceremony must have been a spectacular sight, where an entire nation of perhaps several million people gathered on the two hills on either side of Shechem, shouting “Amen” as the Levites reviewed the conditions of the Law. As the Levites read off the curses (twelve in all), the people would assent with shouts of “Amen”. Let’s remember that the violations of covenant listed are related to the Mosaic Law already given in the Ten Commandments and cover many aspects of personal life as well. Thus, when the Israelites obeyed the Law, they could live together and enjoy the abundant blessings of God!

It is important for us also to ratify our covenant with God regularly. This can be done by giving thanks for what Christ has already done for us on the cross (Gal. 3:10–14) and what the Holy Spirit is doing daily in our lives (Rom. 8:1–4). The best way for us to ratify our covenant is by presenting our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, so that our minds get renewed in order to do the will of God and what is pleasing in His sight.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)

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