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.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 22-24

PRAISING GOD in the MIDST of JUDGMENT: "When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, it shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; for the majesty of the Lord they shall cry aloud from the sea. Therefore glorify the Lord in the dawning light, the name of the Lord God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: "Glory to the righteous!" (Isaiah 24:13-16)

The four chapters from Isaiah 24 to 27 form one continuous poetical prophecy. In particular, Isaiah 24 is descriptive of the dispersion and successive calamities of the Jews (vv. 1-12); the preaching of the Gospel by the first Hebrew converts throughout the world (vv. 13-16); the judgments on the adversaries of the Church, and the final triumph of the Church (vv. 16-23).

What we can understand from Isaiah 24:13-16 is that God’s intervention and judgment will not be dreaded by everyone. The prophecy of gloom and doom is interrupted by the sound of a distant song of praise by a redeemed remnant as they sing the praises of Jehovah for His saving grace. From the east to the west (and everywhere in between) a believing remnant will glorify God for His righteous actions. Those who had been persecuted and oppressed by the world will rejoice to see God’s punishment of the wicked.

This passage in Isaiah is thus a prophetical reference to the fact there will be a righteous remnant that will remain in this earth who will suffer through the Great Tribulation. This remnant that remains shall lift up their voice and shall sing in recognition of God’s divine deliverance of them from the Great Tribulation. The new song that they sing is in response to God’s act of salvation (see Isaiah 12; 35:6; 42:10–13; 44:23; 49:13; 52:8, 9; 65:14). The reference to the “ends of the earth” (v. 16) emphasizes the universal nature of the prophecy in this passage. The phrase “glory to the righteous” (v. 16) refers to the righteous people of God who have lived to please God.

The lesson for us from this passage is that we should love God and be willing to suffer for the sake of righteousness to escape the coming judgment of God against the wicked! 

We have this wonderful assurance given by our Lord Jesus himself: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:10) Here’s another prophecy by Jesus concerning the upcoming tribulation: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." (Matt 24:21-22)

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