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, July 11, 2016

TRUE APPRECIATION & REWARDS will come from GOD ALONE

TRUE APPRECIATION & REWARDS will come from GOD ALONE

July 11 Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes Chapters 7-9

"This wisdom I have also seen under the sun and it seemed great to me: There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man." (Eccl. 9:13-15)

During the course of venting his feelings about the lack of appreciation that this world bestows towards people with wisdom, King Solomon (“The Preacher”) illustrates his thoughts through a parable that describes how an unstoppable military operation against a small city was prevented by the wisdom of one poor unnamed wise man. One of the conclusions of this parable is that wisdom should be preferred over brute strength and should be heeded (v. 15). This is because the wise strategy from the poor man saved the city that was under siege by a mighty king who was trying to take control with the help of his superior army strength.

It is so true that "wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers of the city" (Eccl. 7:19). On the other hand "a wise man scales the city of the mighty, and brings down the trusted stronghold" (Prov. 21:22). We can trust the following statement: "A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety" (Prov. 24:5-6).

There is another conclusion that can be drawn from this parable: wisdom is not always appreciated or remembered for long. Even though wisdom is better than strength and power, yet the poor man’s advice was subsequently despised (v. 16). As soon as the crisis was past, no one was interested in what he had to say. For some fleeting moments the poor man was a hero, but then he was quickly forgotten. The people of this world are vain because they forget the good deeds of the wise man as they earlier forgot the evil done by the wicked (8:10). We should therefore not be surprised if wisdom does not always receive its due reward here under the sun even though people have benefited greatly from it (v. 15).

There is a true story very similar to the parable in the second book of Samuel chapter 20 where Joab, the commander of King David’s army, was chasing after a rebel leader called Sheba in order to kill him. However, Sheba took refuge in a city called Abel which was walled and heavily fortified. So, Joab’s army tried to break down the wall, enter the city and destroy all its inhabitants along with Sheba (2 Sam. 20:15).  In that city lived a wise woman who intervened and spoke sense to Joab by requesting him to hold-off from breaking down the wall and destroying all the people. This is what happened next: "Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. So Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem" (2 Sam 20:22). Just as the parable, we do not read anywhere that this wise woman was ever rewarded for her wise counsel in saving the city from total annihilation!

The story again teaches us that in spite of the value of wisdom, it often goes unheeded. The poor wise man (in the parable) and the wise woman (in the story) gave extraordinary help but both were eventually despises, rejected, and ultimately forgotten just like our Lord Jesus Christ upon this earth. The patriarch Joseph had a similar experience in the prison when he had requested the chief butler to petition him before Pharaoh after interpreting his dream correctly. However, we read the following: "Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him" (Gen. 40:23).

It is possible that with our God-given wisdom, knowledge, influence and experience, we may be able to assist many people and organizations in this world. However, let us never do any favors for anybody expecting anything back in return- for they will eventually forget us and may even turn against us. Remember, true appreciation and rewards will come from God alone one day, "for God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Heb. 6:10). "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward" (Matt 10:42).

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