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.

Friday, April 29, 2016

EVERY MEMBER has a ‘MINISTRY’ in the CHURCH today

EVERY MEMBER has a ‘MINISTRY’ in the CHURCH today

April 29 Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles Chapters 22-24

“And he (David) gathered together all the leaders of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and above; and the number of individual males was thirty-eight thousand. Of these, twenty-four thousand were to look after the work of the house of the Lord, six thousand were officers and judges, four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand praised the Lord with musical instruments, ‘which I made’, said David, ‘for giving praise.’” (1 Chron. 23:2-5)

Towards the end of King David’s reign, a census was taken of the Levites from the age of 30 years and above, as this was the age at which they could begin their active service. These instructions were divinely inspired and communicated to David through his prophets (see 2 Chron. 29:25). The total number of Levites counted from the age of 30 years and upward (presumably up to 50 years, see Num. 4:3) was 38,000. These Levites were then divided into four groups:
  1. 24,000 priests and their assistants who were divided into 24 divisions of 1,000 each; they were designated for temple service/overseers at any given time. Their work clearly involved anything around the temple.
  2. 6,000 officers and judges (26:29–32); they were to provide ready access to the Levites in matters of religious questions and activities.
  3. 4,000 porters or, gatekeepers (26:1–28); they guarded the temple and surrounding areas, and
  4. 4,000 singers who praised the Lord and led in worship through instrumental music (25:1–31)
What is interesting to note is that every Levite (including the priests) had specific tasks to do in the work of God’s temple! Today, we as God’s children, are designated as both the “holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5) and the “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). So, what God intends is that every member has a ministry in the church today!
  
In his classic book ‘Body Life’, Ray C. Stedman makes the argument that the present day churches are not following the original blueprint that Jesus Christ had in His mind for His Body, the Church. Many deviations have been permitted, which have become detrimental to the life of the Church. Through the centuries, the Church has turned away from the simple provisions that had made it such a powerful and compelling force in its early years. The popular thinking has fastened upon the building as the identifying symbol today. In the beginning, “working in the church” meant to exercise a gift or perform a ministry among God’s people, but now it means doing a religious act within a building.

There has also been a gradual transfer of responsibility from the people to “the clergy” (in Latin means clericus, meaning a priest). The scriptural concept that every believer is a priest before God has been lost, and now this special body of super-Christians called “the clergy” is doing the entire ‘ministry’ functions today. Since ‘the ministry’ has now been left to the professionals, the lay people just come to the church only to sit, warm the pews and listen. Christianity has now become a spectator sport, with just the ministers doing most of the action and everyone else watching the show!

It is high time that the entire body of believers attempt to do the work of the ministry today, whether it is evangelizing the world, counseling the distressed and broken-hearted, ministering to the poor and needy, relieving the oppressed and afflicted, expounding the scriptures to the believers, etc. Let each person exercise the gift that God has placed in his/her heart to minister for the glory of God. Let’s never forget this fact…every member has a ministry in the Church today!

"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:4-8)   

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