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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Our TIMES are in the HAND of GOD

Our TIMES are in the HAND of GOD

June 10 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 23-31

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me." (Psalms 31:14-15)

For almost ten years David was a fugitive in the wilderness being chased around like a dog by King Saul. During this extended period of persecution and isolation, there were multiple instances that David had close encounters with death. This psalm from David expresses frustration (v. 9) as he sees traps laid out for him (v. 4), his own sins (v. 10), abandonment by friends (vv. 11-12), and plots schemed against him (v. 13). David thus expresses his despair in no uncertain terms (vv. 9–13) as he prays earnestly that God would preserve him in his troubles.

In the midst of his troubles however, David turned his eyes toward God for help as he knew that all the varied events of his life were in the hand of the Lord God of heaven and he need not fear. What a great statement of faith coming from the depths of depression! David thus reaffirmed his earlier expression of complete dependence on God (v. 5) even as he petitioned God, who was in complete control of his life, for deliverance. Thus, David’s faith was in God alone (vv. 14-15) as he knew that God’s goodness would carry him through (v. 19). Because of his faith, David was not ashamed (v. 1) but rejoiced in God (vv. 6–7) and even enjoyed the smile of God upon his life (vv. 14–16; Num. 6:22–27).

David’s eye of faith saw that both troublesome times and times of triumph were in God’s hand, which is exactly the sentiment expressed by William F. Lloyd in these words: “Our times are in Thy hand; Father, we wish them there! Our life, our souls, our all, we leave entirely to Thy care.” We now know the complete story of David’s life: God did not permit King Saul to kill him, but David eventually "died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor" (1 Chron. 29:28).

When we apply David’s faith into our lives, we too can be certain that God alone knows and decides how long we should live on this earth. Under the new covenant, our calling is to complete the work that God has assigned us to do on this earth. Jesus Christ took only thirty-three and half years to finish His earthly ministry, and this is what He declared to God the Father before He died: "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do" (John 17:4).

We glorify God not by living a long life, but by completing the task assigned to us. It is the quality of our lives, as we fulfill the will of God that is important, and not the length of our lives. God has planned the exact number of days that we will live on this earth even before we were born (Psalms 139:16), and if we are obedient, God has promised to ensure that we will live out the full number of days as per His declaration: "I will fulfill the number of your days" (Exo. 23:26).  While we live on this earth, let us create a legacy of faith in God’s Word through our lives, words and actions, as we display our sincere love to others around us. When God calls us eventually to His heavenly above, we can also declare “it is finished” as we commend our souls into the hand of our heavenly Father. Let us never forget this…our times are in the hand of God!

"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:24-28)

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