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, May 15, 2016

Let us RISE UP & BUILD the BROKEN AREAS of our LIVES

Let us RISE UP & BUILD the BROKEN AREAS of our LIVES

May 15 Bible Reading: Ezra Chapters 4-6

"Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them." (Ezra 5:1-2)

Due to the persistent sins of the people of Judah compounded by the utter disdain that they had shown towards God, God had allowed Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon to invade Judah and destroy Jerusalem including God’s temple that was located there in 586 B.C. This is what was described about the carnage: "Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions" (2 Chron. 36:19).

After this utter destruction, it was the plan of God to rebuild his temple back to its former glory, and God had stirred up Cyrus, the king of Persia to issue the following proclamation: "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem" (Ezra 1:2-3).

For the rebuilding effort, God then raised up Zerubbabel, the civil governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest, to lead the efforts and the people for rebuilding the temple of God. This work was progressing smoothly until some “adversaries of Judah and Benjamin” (Ezra 4:1) tried to infiltrate and cause trouble for the building project. When their request to help was snubbed, these wicked men "troubled them in building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose" (4:4-5), and even "wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem" (4:6) to Artaxerxes king of Persia (4:7-22), who ordered the rebuilding work to be halted immediately (4:23-24).

Thus, the work of rebuilding the temple stopped for fifteen long years. During that time, God prepared two prophets - Haggai and Zechariah - to encourage the people so that they could restart their temple rebuilding efforts. Haggai challenged the people to pay as much attention to God’s house as they were paying to their own houses, while Zechariah excited them with visions of a blessed future for those who obeyed. Thus, they spoke messages of encouragement and reminded the Israelites of their obligation to finish rebuilding God’s temple. Then, the leaders and the people responded to the messages by the prophets, and they began to build the house of God three weeks after Haggai began preaching (see Haggai 2:20–23; Zech. 4). After all, God’s Word had commenced the project (1:1), and now God’s Word would complete it as well.

Today, let us rise up and build the broken areas of our lives as well. It may be a broken relationship with God as that of the prodigal son with his father (Luke 15:14-20), or it may be a broken worship as that of the Israelites during the time of Elijah who had to repair the broken altar of God (1 Kings 18:30-32). God is waiting for us to come to our senses, repent and rise up from our sinful life, and return to our heavenly Father who will receive us with open arms of love. When we listen to His voice, and start doing the work that He has destined for us, we have this great assurance from God that He will help us through the Holy Spirit: "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6).

God will accomplish His work in our lives that has stalled due to Satan’s attacks if only we rise up and build the broken areas of our lives. Let us remember this wonderful promise from God today: "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

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