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, July 8, 2016

Two behavior QUALITIES to request from GOD - INTEGRITY & CONTENTMENT

Two behavior QUALITIES to request from GOD - INTEGRITY & CONTENTMENT

July 8 Bible Reading: Proverbs Chapters 28-31

"Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die): remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches--feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God." (Prov. 30:7-9)

The above verses contain the only prayer in the book of Proverbs, and were uttered by a wise man by the name of Agur, who may have lived during the time of King Solomon. His prayer was a double petition to God, which was all that Agur needed for himself. Many people in this world are of the opinion that more money will solve their problems and improve their lives. However, Agur has a different perspective on his life, and this prayer reflects a desire to learn from the kind of wisdom that is available in Proverbs.

What we see in this prayer is that Agur passionately requests from God just two behavior qualities before he died: one, covering his spiritual life and the other, covering his physical life. These two requests concern good character, and the circumstances that endanger the wise development of good character. The two specific prayers of Agur are as follows:
  1. First, “remove falsehood and lies far from me” (30:8): Regarding his spiritual life, Agur wanted his life to be worthwhile and honest. He didn’t want to deceive others or, to be deceived by others as well. Thus, his prayer was for a consistent and lifelong integrity, accompanied by a rejection of lies and riches. Let us understand that integrity is the key of living without any anxiety. When we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear as well. To live a life of honesty and integrity liberates us while living in deceit and falsehood enslaves us.
  2. Second, “give me neither poverty nor riches--feed me with the food allotted to me” (30:8): Regarding his physical life, Agur asked God to deliver him from the extremes of poverty and riches. He prayed for contentment, and would be completely satisfied when God would provide his daily needs. Agur was in fact echoing part of the prayer taught by Jesus: “Give me this day my daily bread” (Matt. 6:11).
Agur goes on to reason why he wanted to avoid the twin extremes of affluence and poverty. If he were full, he might become independent of the Lord and deny Him by not feeling any great need for Him. On the other hand, the peril of poverty would be that he might steal, and then, to cover up, he might deny under oath that he had done it. More may lead to pride; less may lead to theft. Thus, Agur rested on God’s adequate provision for him every day!

We see that Agur offered a simple prayer for daily bread with contentment. This contentment springs from trusting God to supply our needs every day, and gratefully accept what He provides for us. We can then boldly echo the sentiment of King David: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalms 23:1). Today, both integrity and contentment are available to everyone as God’s riches for the soul, and God will provide them liberally to those who ask of Him. Let us also imitate Agur by praying to God for two vital behavior qualities - integrity and contentment – in our daily prayers.

"For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints." (Proverbs 2:6-8) "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." (1 Tim. 6:6-8)

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