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.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

YIELDING to FORBIDDEN PLEASURES has TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES

YIELDING to FORBIDDEN PLEASURES has TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES

April 3 Bible Reading: 2 Samuel Chapters 13-15

"After this Absalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. Amnon was so distressed over his sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin. And it was improper for Amnon to do anything to her." (2 Sam. 13:1-2)

Soon after the confrontation of Prophet Nathan with King David in which God’s judgment was pronounced on David for committing both adultery and murder (2 Sam. 12:10-12), we see the consequences of David’s sins starting to take effect upon his own children starting with his firstborn son Amnon, who was considered by all in Israel to be their crown prince and heir apparent. The repercussion of David’s sins arose from within his dysfunctional family as the crimes of sexual immorality; rape and murder committed by David’s two oldest sons, which were part of an outworking of David’s own sins of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah (12:9–12). David’s sons would soon follow their father’s example of adultery (Amnon, vv. 1–22) and murder (Absalom, vv. 23–39).

Amnon, the eldest son of David, lusted after Tamar, his own half-sister. He did not see how he could get near her because of her secluded life and her purity. Marriage to a half-sister was forbidden by the Law of Moses (Lev. 18:9, 11; 20:17). However, Amnon’s lust had made him obsessive; his was on a self-destructive course of life. Using trickery (as suggested by David’s nephew Jonadab), Amnon feigned sickness, lured Tamar into his bedroom to nurse him and then forcibly raped her. Then after stealing her virginity (which was a terrible curse in Israel), Amnon also rejected Tamar as his wife, again contrary to the Law of Moses (Deut. 22: 28–29).

After committing this lowly crime of molestation, Amnon then hated Tamar intensely and drove her out of his home. Lust was replaced by hatred, for both are born of violence, and hatred resulted in Tamar’s being ostracized in Israel. For this reason "Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar" (2 Sam. 13:22), and for two years plotted, waited, and then avenged his sister Tamar by killing Amnon through trickery. King David now began to reap the harvest of sowing to the flesh (2 Sam. 12:10; Gal. 6:7–8). Of all the trials of life, the most difficult to bear are those that come from our own family because of our own failures!

This entire episode is described candidly in the New Testament in the following words: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15). In the case of Amnon, he yielded to forbidden pleasures through his lustful desires, which gave birth to the triple sins of incest, rape and sexual immorality. This ultimately brought a premature death for Amnon, who could have become the third king of Israel if only he had restrained himself properly. Like Joseph, he should have fled from temptation knowing fully well that he should not sin and commit such a great wickedness against God Himself (Gen. 39:7-12). Remember this; yielding to forbidden pleasures has tragic consequences!

"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor. 6:18-20)

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