Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - June 7, 2017

Today's Reading:

Romans 12

1 Samuel 23-24

Psalm 67

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

In Romans 12:1-2, Scripture tells us a powerful motivation for what I like to call "thanks living". Yahweh has done so much for each of us, that the only way to truly live thankful is to yield ourselves fully to Him in every area of our lives.

Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

The reason the apostle Paul tells us that it is "reasonable service" to "present our bodies a living sacrifice" is that God has done so much for us. If we truly understand even a fraction of all that He has given for our salvation, we cannot help but love and serve Him wholeheartedly in response. This is the reasonable response for Heaven's extravagant Grace. But, even though we understand this intellectually, we sometimes lose sight of thanks living when the going gets tough.

There is no denying that times are tough. Many people are out of work, cannot find a job and are struggling financially. The unemployment rate is still up and food stamps and unemployment benefits are being distributed at record levels.

When times are good, it is easy to be grateful to Yahweh for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us. But during hard times, it is often difficult to be grateful. Whatever our personal circumstances, Yahweh is still God and He is still good.  So, when we feel like we have struggled enough or lost more than our fair share, how do we remain thankful and maintain a grateful spirit toward God?

The more thankful we are, the more there is to be thankful for. A person cannot be complaining and thankful at the same time, nor can we worry about money or health or anything while being thankful.

Instead of complaining and viewing the glass half empty, we need to stop and praise Yahweh for His many blessings. Because Yahweh never fails, and because He works everything together for good, there is always something to be thankful for.  

"Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6) So how can you still be thankful if you are facing financial troubles and monetary setbacks? 

Life is not all about accumulation of things. He who dies with the most money or the most toys, still dies. No one can take their friends or their collections with them to the grave. Job, in Job 1:21 said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away; Blessed be the Name of Yahweh.”)

A very well-grounded perspective. Solomon repeated the truth in Ecclesiastes 5:15.
“As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand. Yahshua asked the rhetorical question, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25) And Yahshua taught clearly in Luke 12:15 to “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Life for the Christian is about loving God and loving others, and introducing people to the Master Yahshua Messiah. People are to be loved and things are to be used, and never the opposite. All things considered, life is precious and fleeting and fragile, and it behooves believers to take time often and just be thankful. Make a list of things to be thankful for if necessary, but part of presenting yourself as an acceptable living sacrifice is taking time for thanksgiving. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). 

In Deuteronomy 8:7-18 we find that the best way to thank God for all that He has done is to live for Him, obeying His Will. In other words, be an acceptable living sacrifice!
Deuteronomy 8:7-18   "For Yahweh thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills. A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey. A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless Yahweh thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.
Beware that thou forget not Yahweh thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;  Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget Yahweh thy God... And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 
But thou shalt remember Yahweh thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His Covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.  
We all have many blessings - even amidst our hardships. So, I’d like to encourage you to seek contentment. Praise Yahweh for His many blessings. Dwell in continual praise and thanksgiving for His abundant goodness towards you. And walk in this pattern every day, whether easy or hard – this is true Thanks Living. And as you do, you'll find the motivation to be a living sacrifice. This is what it means to present yourself as an acceptable living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service.