"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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Can we truly JUSTIFY OURSELVES before GOD?

Can we truly JUSTIFY OURSELVES before GOD?

June 6 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 40-42

Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said: "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it." Then Job answered the Lord and said: "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; yes, twice, but I will proceed no further." (Job 40:1-5)

If there was one thing that Job bemoaned during his pain and intense suffering, it was the fact that he was not able to meet God personally and defend his case. This was what Job had exclaimed in his grief earlier: "He (God) does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number. If He goes by me, I do not see Him; If He moves past, I do not perceive Him; If He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, 'What are You doing?'" (Job 9:10-12)  Now, God finally gave Job the one thing he wanted most, which was the opportunity to meet Him and defend his case!

In conversing with Job, God confronts him two times (38:2-3; 40:1-2) regarding his erroneous utterances during his moments of doubt. Job had earlier accused God for bringing a lawsuit against him (10:2), and now God reprimands Job for his error. Who was Job to judge God? Did Job have any right to correct or rebuke God in the realm of providence when he knew so little about the natural creation? Since God had responded to Job’s challenge, Job must now answer God or lose his claim to innocence. So God gives Job an opportunity for rebuttal and invites him to respond in the light of the new revelation.

In fact, God’s summation was both a question and a challenge, to which Job gives the appropriate and only answer. No longer was Job planning to confront God with his evidence, and no longer was he seeking vindication. God has shown not only His power but also His goodness. Job’s intellectual dilemma was still unresolved: “Why am I suffering?” But Job did find God come to him in the midst of the painful situation to undergird Job’s faith in His love and goodness!

Job really nothing much to say now! He saw himself as insignificant, ignorant and totally unable to confront God. So, he abandons his obsession with being vindicated. It was his turn to speak, but he has nothing to say. In view of God’s wonderful declaration of His creative power and sovereignty, all Job could say was that he had nothing to say. He had spoken once, he said, and now found himself unable and unwilling to add anything further (40:3–5). Thus, Job’s reply was one of humble submission in the face of an omnipotent and omniscient God. Overwhelmed by the wide-ranging knowledge of God, he determined to say nothing on this subject any more.

Thus, when the righteous Job - who was described as "blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil" (1:1) - could not justify himself before God, where do we stand a chance in this regard? In another episode, the great prophet Isaiah who, when confronted with the holiness of God, saw himself as totally sinful and unable to stand before God. This is what Isaiah exclaimed: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5).

Both Job and Isaiah had to face their own self-righteousness, when they came face-to-face with the righteous and holy God. While Job realized the astounding wisdom and sovereignty of God, Isaiah saw the holiness and glory of God. Both were stripped of their self-righteousness, and could only admit their own unworthiness before God. In the light of these episodes, the question to ask ourselves is this: can we truly justify ourselves before God? The answer is an emphatic “NO”. When we truly understand the greatness of God, it should lead us to humility by refusing to trust ourselves to fulfilling our own needs. Rather, we should seek God alone, who has all the answers we are looking for!

"I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" (Psalms 34:4-8)

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