Monday, January 18, 2016

The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart - Daily Bible Readings January 18,2016

Saul thinks that he knows better than God. God has commanded him to destroy the cities, but Saul keeps some of the animals to offer as a sacrifice to Him. Samuel clearly points that God prefers obedience to sacrifice. We need to learn the importance of obedience for our own journey as disciples.
1 Samuel 15:16-23
16 Samuel said to Saul: “Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul replied, “Speak!” 17 Samuel then said: “Though little in your own esteem, are you not leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king of Israel 18 and sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them.’ 19 Why then have you disobeyed the Lord? You have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the Lord.” 20 Saul answered Samuel: “I did indeed obey the Lord and fulfill the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought back Agag, and I have destroyed Amalek under the ban. 21 But from the spoil the men took sheep and oxen, the best of what had been banned, to sacrifice to the Lord their God in Gilgal.” 22 But Samuel said: “Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams. 23 For a sin like divination is rebellion, and presumption is the crime of idolatry. Because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he, too, has rejected you as ruler.”
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
R: To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
8 “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always. 9 I take from your house no bullock, no goats out of your fold.” (R) 16 “Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, 17 though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?” (R) 21 “When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it? Or do you think that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes. 23 He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.” (R)
Fasting is an ancient and important aspect of our spirituality. Unfortunately, in our day of excess and self-focus, we have set it aside. It is time to recapture it, though maybe in a form that recognizes how society has changed over the years. Fasting does not have to be limited to food. We can fast from watching TV or from playing video games. We fast to demonstrate mastery over our passions and to spend more time in prayer with God.
The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
Mark 2:18-22
18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. 22 Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
think: We fast to demonstrate mastery over our passions and to spend more time in prayer with God.
Thank You Lord for: __________________
God’s special verse/thought for me today_

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