Posts Tagged 'daily bible reading'

The Vine

JESUS SPEAKING

                “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away; every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it might bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them in to the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples” (John 15: 1-8.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                In the first century, grapes were a highly prized commodity grown in Israel.  Most were familiar with how grapes were cultivated.  Many sizable fruit producing vineyards consisted of individual sections; each section possessed a main vine that sprouted from the ground and stretched at great length; this vine delivered valuable nutrients, such as water and minerals to the smaller fruit yielding branches.  In this parable, Jesus likens himself to the vine; his disciples, in turn, represent the branches.  God the Father is the vinedresser, or caretaker, who nurtures and cares for the fruitful stems; and like any good farmer, he prunes them; cutting away the twigs that are unproductive.  These unfruitful stalks represent those who claim to be Christians but consistently practice worldly ways. God also sanctifies his children by removing evil habits, thoughts, and actions from the hearts and minds of those who believe; making them more pure; more holy; and more righteous.  Jesus revealed that every true follower must allow his words to abide in their hearts and minds.  Therefore, daily bible reading is an essential part of achieving and maintaining a Godly life.

                On the night that I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I was given a cheap paperback copy of the New Testament.  I threw it in the back of my car, and rode around with it for days, not giving it a second thought.  Still, something began to stir in my heart; I suddenly felt the urge to read it.  I chose to utilize my lunch breaks at work to dive in to the scriptures.  As I read, my faith commenced to grow; my life began to change in new and wonderful ways; my spirit became strong and I began to do, say, and act more like Jesus Christ.  A peace came over me; my hatred and resentments were swallowed up by the grace and mercy of a loving God.  Today, I still read the bible; I have made scripture, and the words of Jesus Christ my foundation for living.  I keep them close; in my heart and in my mind; and they have produced much fruit in my life and the lives of those around me.

                Today there are many who willfully pass by the scriptures and pay them no mind; most are unaware of the transforming power of God’s word.  Such people, cut off from the true source of spiritual nourishment, go on to wither and die.  Still, there are those who do comprehend the value of daily bible reading; these individuals grow strong and produce much fruit.  Their hearts and minds find rest; their actions exemplify the love of God; and their lives become instruments of righteousness and peace.  So then the important question is, when was the last time you made daily bible reading a part of your life?

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You today and we ask that Your words would abide in us.  Give us a hunger to read the scriptures daily; that we might grow strong and be Your disciples.  May we discover Your truths and may we bear much fruit for You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Daily Bible Reading

JESUS SPEAKING

                So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8: 31-32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use language (words) to reveal Himself to mankind.  The written and spoken words of God and of His only Son Jesus Christ are recorded within the pages of The Holy bible.  These words have the power to grant eternal life; to purify and to heal; to transform and to enlighten.  The word of God can do so many things; but unless it is utilized it can do nothing.  Daily scripture reading is essential for the growth of the believer; a dusty bible is a reflection of the heart of its owner.

                Francis A. Schaffer was a brilliant 19th century American scholar and theorist.  As a young adult he had been eagerly studying the works of the Greek philosophers; in his quest for knowledge he had been exposed to many interesting questions; for which there were no answers (he nearly drowned in theory, speculation, and conjecture.)  At this time he was also attending a very liberal church on the weekends, which failed to provide him with the answers he desired (because they did not preach bible based sermons.)  ‘He thought, “I wonder whether I should stop calling myself a Christian, and discard the bible?”  Then he reconsidered; [and] faced the fact that he had never read the bible.’  In desperation he began reading the scriptures for himself; his amazement grew with every turn of the page.  He had finally found the answers to his questions.  His curiosity had led him to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ.  Francis Schaffer never stopped reading the bible.  He committed the rest of his life to helping others discover the truth he had recieved from God.  [Note:  I myself grew up in a very liberal church.  I attended weekly services, took communion, and even served as a cross-bearer.  Yet I was never instructed to read the bible; therefore, the scriptures played no role in my daily life.  I spent my early years steeped in confusion; not knowing that within the pages of God’s word lay the instructions for life.  One day I picked up the bible my church had given me (upon my conversion) and began to read it on my lunch breaks.  Like Mr. Schaffer, I too discovered the truth; since then the word of God has completely transformed my life (without it, I don’t believe I would be alive today.)]

                Nearly 130 million books have been written throughout human history.  Every year 50,000 new titles are published.  Yet in a sea of literary works, only the Holy Bible contains the truth.  The bible transforms lives; it creates affection, produces kindness, and generates love; it relieves addictions, and delivers from despair; it can heal the sick and bring hope to the hopeless; it contains the answers to life’s deepest questions; it is a powerful tool; yet like all tools, it can do nothing unless it is put to use.  Read God’s word and discover your purpose.  Grab hold of the promises of God and never let go.  Open His Holy Scriptures and you will neither stumble nor stray from the path that leads to everlasting life.

                 “Lord Heavenly Father, show us the importance of daily bible reading.  May we cling to Your words as a dying man clings to his last breath.  Instill in us the desire to seek You.  May we be transformed through the power of Your word.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may be more like Your Son; may others see our lives and praise Your Name.  We love You Father, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

The Vine

JESUS SPEAKING

                “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away; every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it might bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them in to the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples” (John 15: 1-8.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                In the first century, grapes were a highly prized commodity grown in Israel.  Most were familiar with how grapes were cultivated.  Many sizable fruit producing vineyards consisted of individual sections; each section possessed a main vine that sprouted from the ground and stretched at great length; this vine delivered valuable nutrients, such as water and minerals to the smaller fruit yielding branches.  In this parable, Jesus likens himself to the vine; his disciples, in turn, represent the branches.  God the Father is the vinedresser, or caretaker, who nurtures and cares for the fruitful stems; and like any good farmer, he prunes them; cutting away the twigs that are unproductive.  These unfruitful stalks represent those who claim to be Christians but consistently practice worldly ways. God also sanctifies his children by removing evil habits, thoughts, and actions from the hearts and minds of those who believe; making them more pure; more holy; and more righteous.  Jesus revealed that every true follower must allow his words to abide in their hearts and minds.  Therefore, daily bible reading is an essential part of achieving and maintaining a Godly life.

                On the night that I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I was given a cheap paperback copy of the New Testament.  I threw it in the back of my car, and rode around with it for days, not giving it a second thought.  Still, something began to stir in my heart; I suddenly felt the urge to read it.  I chose to utilize my lunch breaks at work to dive in to the scriptures.  As I read, my faith commenced to grow; my life began to change in new and wonderful ways; my spirit became strong and I began to do, say, and act more like Jesus Christ.  A peace came over me; my hatred and resentments were swallowed up by the grace and mercy of a loving God.  Today, I still read the bible; I have made scripture, and the words of Jesus Christ my foundation for living.  I keep them close; in my heart and in my mind; and they have produced much fruit in my life and the lives of those around me.

                Today there are many who willfully pass by the scriptures and pay them no mind; most are unaware of the transforming power of God’s word.  Such people, cut off from the true source of spiritual nourishment, go on to wither and die.  Still, there are those who do comprehend the value of daily bible reading; these individuals grow strong and produce much fruit.  Their hearts and minds find rest; their actions exemplify the love of God; and their lives become instruments of righteousness and peace.  So then the important question is, when was the last time you made daily bible reading a part of your life?

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You today and we ask that Your words would abide in us.  Give us a hunger to read the scriptures daily; that we might grow strong and be Your disciples.  May we discover Your truths and may we bear much fruit for You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Make God the priority

JESUS SPEAKING

            Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Therefore tell her to help me.”  And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 38 – 42.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            After eagerly welcoming Jesus in to her home for the evening, Martha began feverishly serving her new guests.  In Jewish culture, the women were traditionally responsible for meal preparation.  Martha therefore became angry when she saw Mary sitting at Christ’s feet, intently listening to His every word.  She attempted to correct her sister, and was in turn corrected by the Lord.  Martha (unlike Mary) had failed to place God first, ahead of all of her other duties.

            In the 1500’s a German Monk named Martin Luther sparked the protestant reformation (a movement that sought to restore the church to biblical truths, as opposed to church traditions.)  As the leader of this movement, he was an extraordinarily busy man.  Despite his many responsibilities, he would arise every morning to spend time in prayer; conceding that on his busiest days he needed God even more. He once said, “I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done.”

            Like Martin Luther, we must make God our number one priority.  The amount of distractions in this life are seemingly infinite. The busier we are, the less time we have to complete our daily tasks.  On our busiest days we can act like Martha and make less time for God and more time for our chores.  Or, we can choose to behave like Mary and make God our top priority.  By reading scripture, praying, and seeking God’s will first thing in the morning we are making the right choice.  When we make God the priority, everything else falls in to its proper place. Therefore the peace of the Lord will remain in us, as He accomplishes His work through us.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to make You the most important thing in our lives.  May life’s busiest moments never distract us from focusing on Your goodness.  Teach us and love us; pour Your Spirit out in to our hearts, that we might be used to effectively accomplish Your will in this place.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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