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.

Monday, June 13, 2016

True CONFESSION & REPENTANCE brings FORGIVENESS & RESTORATION

True CONFESSION & REPENTANCE brings FORGIVENESS & RESTORATION

June 13 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 45-51

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight" (Psalms 51:1-4)

Psalms 51 was written by King David after Nathan the prophet had boldly exposed him for committing adultery with Bathsheba and for murdering Uriah. David was both remorseful and repentant of his wrongdoings after being utterly convicted of his sins. So, David pours out this torrent of penitence from his broken and contrite heart into this emotional liturgy of confessions, which explains why David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). Even though he was not perfect, he had a deep sensitivity concerning his sins. After confessing his guilt (vv. 3–6), David prays for inner renewal (vv. 7–12) and then promises both thanksgiving and ministry to God (vv. 13–17).

David begins his penitence and confession with a plea for God’s mercy (vv. 1, 2), and then acknowledges that his sins were against God alone (vv. 3, 4). What exactly was the sin to which David was admitting? The Bible tells us plainly that he committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and that when she became pregnant, David tried in vain to cover his sin, eventually scheming her husband Uriah’s death (2 Sam. 11). Even though David had sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah; he was underscoring the fact that his sins were first and foremost against God who had pulled him out from the fields taking care of sheep to be the king of Israel.

The fact that David recognized and acknowledged his sin was the first step in receiving God’s forgiveness and eventual restoration. As far as David was concerned, there was ultimately only one way to deal with sin: face it, confess it, and be forgiven, and his prayer expressed utter brokenness in his life. It is remarkable to observe that there is not one word of self-justification in this entire psalm (see also Luke 18:10-14). David was not evading responsibility for his sexual and moral indiscretions, but he recognized that ultimately sin was an offense against a holy, righteous God! Even when other people are hurt by our sins, it is God whose standards have been violated and we are ultimately accountable to Him alone!

By sinning, David’s whole being was affected, which included his eyes (v. 3), mind (v. 6), ears (v. 8), heart (v. 10), spirit (v. 10), and mouth (vv. 13–15). He lost fellowship with God (v. 11) along with the joy of the Lord (v. 12). However, when David was confronted by Prophet Nathan in this matter, he was truly remorseful and contrite. Let us understand that the first step in repentance is contrition for sin, and the second step is confession of sin. True confession is acknowledging our sins to God and admitting that we need a thorough cleansing from Him. God delights in forgiving repentant sinners, and His promise for us is that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). God is both merciful and gracious, and He will forgive us when we go to Him in repentance and faith.

Thus, true confession to God will bring His cleansing, for only God has the power to forgive our sins (Matt. 9:6; Isaiah 1:18). God will not only cleanse us, but He will forgive our sins as well. Like David, let us give God the gift of our own brokenness, confession and repentance. As an answer, God will refresh us with His forgiveness, acceptance and restoration. True confession and repentance brings forgiveness and restoration!

"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

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