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, June 2, 2016

EVALUATING our ‘DAYS of PROSPERITY’ in the ‘LIGHT of ETERNITY’

EVALUATING our ‘DAYS of PROSPERITY’ in the ‘LIGHT of ETERNITY’

June 2 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 28-30

Job further continued his discourse, and said: "Oh, that I were as in months past, as in the days when God watched over me; when His lamp shone upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness; just as I was in the days of my prime, when the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were around me." (Job 29:1-5)

In the above passage, Job continues with the first of his three monologues in which he recalls his past happiness, material blessings and prosperity. Job speaks in glowing figures of speech to describe God’s bountiful blessings upon him in the past (vv. 1–25). He had lived under God’s protection (v. 2), his family was blessed (v. 5), he himself was materially blessed (v. 6), he had enjoyed the respect of his community (vv. 8–11), he had been in a position to minister to those in need (vv. 12–17), and he had thought that he would live out his days in peace, enjoying his position of influence in the community (vv. 18–25).

Thus, Job had enjoyed God’s favor as he lived in luxury and was respected in the city by young and old, by princes and nobles, because of his deeds of charity, his righteousness, and justice. The picture of God’s lamp shining on Job’s head symbolized divine blessing and success upon Job. This is in direct contrast with his present suffering (described in the next chapter, 30) where Job feels very much alone with his children dead and his wealth gone, as stands abandoned by God and misunderstood by his wife and friends. As his trials and tribulations lagged on and as the ‘counsel’ of his friends wore him out, Job began to look back and evaluate his ‘days of prosperity’.

Just like Job, we should also evaluate our ‘days of prosperity’ in the ‘light of eternity’. We should look at several issues with which Job was dealing, and examine them closely as we ask ourselves three questions:
  1. Does our ‘days of prosperity’ mean that God is in favor with us (vv. 2–6)? On the other hand, when we are experiencing difficult times, does it mean that God is against us? In the end, Job discovered that his ‘days of prosperity’ and his external circumstances are not necessarily evidence of God’s favor in and through his life.
  2. To what extent is the adulation of other people during our ‘days of prosperity’ important to us (vv. 7–11)? Do the words and actions of other people indicate either God’s favor or opposition in our lives? In the case of Job, even though his friends had had turned away from him, yet he knew he was innocent of all wrongdoing. His three friends had harshly criticized him, but towards the end of his story Job was vindicated by God Himself (42:7–8).
  3. Can we function as the source of strength and support for others when are we closer to God (vv. 12–17)? On the other hand, should we depend on others when we are weak and broken down (30:9–15)? Job honored God both during the times of his prosperity (1:1–3) and adversity (1:22; 2:9–10).
Let us remember that our prosperity comes from God alone, and like in the case of Job, God can take away our prosperity very quickly in order to test us. So, in the light of eternity, our days of prosperity and adversity are just tools to confirm us into the image of Jesus Christ (see Rom. 8:28-30). When we are experiencing difficulties and sufferings in our lives, we should remember those times when God has blessed us, and trust that God will turn everything around in His time just like He did in the case of Job. Our past must be more than a memory; it must be a ministry to move forward. Today will soon become yesterday, so let us use today to grow and mature in Christ so that we prepare ourselves for the testing and temptation that we will face tomorrow.

"Blessed is the man (or, woman) who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he (or, she) will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12)

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