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, April 14, 2016

Spiritual LEADERS should ‘PASS ON’ their MANTLES of MINISTRY

Spiritual LEADERS should ‘PASS ON’ their MANTLES of MINISTRY

April 14 Bible Reading: 2 Kings Chapters 1-3

"He (Elisha) also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him." (2 Kings 2:13-15)

Not too long ago, God had designated Joshua to take over the leadership of Israel from Moses (Num. 27:12–23; Deut. 31:1–8; 34:9; Josh. 1:1–9), and Joshua had led the Israelites across the Jordan River into the Promised Land, just as Moses had led the Israelites across the Red Sea from their land of bondage (Exo. 14; 15; Josh. 3). In the similar fashion, God had designated Elisha to be the successor to Elijah at Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:16), which was later reaffirmed when Elijah had cast his mantle upon Elisha as a symbolic sign that Elisha would be his successor (1 Kings 19:19).

Elijah’s mantle was the symbol of the authority he had been given by God in his prophetic ministry. Now when Elijah was transported to heaven through a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire through a whirlwind into heaven (v. 11), the mantle that Elijah carried with him all along throughout his earthly ministry fell upon Elisha, who was witnessing this incident close by. With Elijah’s departure to heaven, Elisha took up the prophetic status and ministry that this mantle symbolized. Even though this mantle was only a symbol, but in the hands of Elijah it became an instrument of God’s power just like the rod had been for Moses in the past (Exo. 4:1–9; 7:9).

When Elisha cried out: "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" (v. 14), God reaffirmed the transference of the double portion of Elijah’s spirit by parting the River Jordan just as He did for Elijah (v. 8). The sons of the prophets had witnessed both the miracle of Elijah (v. 8) and the similar miracle of Elisha (v. 14), and affirmed that "the spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." They bowed in respect before Elisha as they recognized his prophetical authority now in place of Elijah.

After the resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ has passed on a similar authority to us as His followers with these words: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:18-20). The mantle of authority and power has been demonstrated through the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), which was promised by Jesus earlier in Acts 1:8.

Today, every believer is mandated by Jesus to ‘make disciples’, while every spiritual leader is now required to ‘mentor disciples’ to take leadership roles, just like Elijah mentored Elisha and passed on a double portion of his spirit when he left the earth. When spiritual leaders mentor able and qualified disciples, it would involve investing time, energy, labor and loving sacrifice in their lives. It is very important that spiritual leaders intentionally take effort to pass on their mantles of ministry to able disciples today, just as Apostle Paul did to his spiritual son Timothy through his two letters (1 & 2 Timothy). This way, the work of God will be carried forward to the next generation without any interruptions. May God give our spiritual leaders deep insights in the area of succession planning and preparation in these last days!

"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." (2 Tim 2:1-3)

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