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.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 16-18

It’s TIME to TURN to GOD & LIVE to PLEASE HIM: "In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands; He will not respect what his fingers have made, nor the wooden images nor the incense altars." (Isaiah 17:7-8)

The northern kingdom of Israel had allied with Syria (Damascus), and both would fall to the Assyrians (Isaiah 17). If the people we trust do not trust the Lord, we will partake in the judgment that God has prepared for them. God’s judgment on Israel is pictured by a sunset and a heavy person losing weight (v. 4), as well as a field that has no grain for the harvester and no fruit for the gleaners (vv. 5–6). Israel had decayed, and all her efforts at recovery were wasted (vv. 10–11). If only they had turned to God before the sun set or the disease wasted away the body or the blight destroyed the harvest! But they trusted their own idols and not the true God (vv. 7–8). How easy it is to put confidence in the work of our own hands and not in the God who made those hands!

However, there is still hope for Northern Israel as they will turn to the true and living God, their Maker, the Holy One of Israel, and will renounce everything that has to do with idolatry that they had followed all this time. "Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made." (Isaiah 2:8) These idols included the Canaanite goddess Asherah who was a fertility goddess symbolized by sacred groves and poles (27:9; Ex. 34:13; Deut. 16:21; Judg. 2:13). Since their idols could not deliver them, the people of Northern Israel will be prompted to turn back to God one day. Often it is only after some disaster that we realize how far we have drifted from God!

We have a choice to make today – either we follow after our self-manufactured idols (which may be anything that takes the place of God in our lives and may include our jobs, hobbies, leisure, friends, social networking, television, internet, music, etc.) or, we seek and follow after God and His kingdom (Matt. 6:33). The Bible is clear that we cannot serve two masters – we will hate one and love the other or else we will be loyal to one and despise the other (Matt. 6:24). Whether we like it or not – if we do not bow to Jesus Christ today, we will bow to Him one day. Turn to Jesus today – look to Him and live to please Him in our lives – otherwise a day is coming when we will bow before Him and acknowledge that He is Lord over all…!!!

"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him (Jesus Christ) and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:9-11)

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