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 30, 2011

July 30 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 43-45

God’s AMAZING PROMISE of PROTECTION: But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." (Isaiah 43:1-3)

This above passage is a declaration of God to protect His people Israel on the basis that He has created them from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7) for good works (Eph. 2:10); redeemed them from Egypt; set them apart for Himself and has entered into an everlasting covenant with them. God claims Israel as His own on the basis of four factors: (1) creation, (2) formation, (3) redemption, and (4) naming, which according to the oriental custom signified ownership.

In spite of Israel’s deliberate rejection of God to rule as her rightful king, God reassures them, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you". The theme of redemption appears twenty-two times in the Servant passages of the Book of Isaiah, and indicates redemption from physical and spiritual bondage as well as the eschatological redemption that is yet to come (Isaiah 43:5–7; 44:22; 49:16, 17).  In tones of tender love, Jehovah assures His people that they need not fear, because He who created, formed, redeemed, and called them will be with them when they pass through the waters and walk through the fire. Passing through the waters is an allusion to the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:21, 22) and the Jordan River (Josh. 3:14–17). Walking through the fire is a metaphor for protection in danger (Ps. 66:12) as we consider God’s protection of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:25–27).

In our case, there is no reason to be afraid when we understand God’s amazing promise of protection and realize what God has done for us. He has formed us (Isaiah 43:1) making us for Himself (v. 21) and for His glory (v. 7). When we have trusted Jesus Christ, God has redeemed us (v. 1) and blotted out all our sins (v. 25). He loves us (v. 4) and knows our names (v. 1). Even more, God promises to be with us (v. 5) and take us through the waters and the fire (v. 2). The waters can make us wet or bring us discomfort, but they will not overwhelm us or overflow over us. God’s presence and protection will be there when we walk through the furnace of affliction. We will not be burned nor shall the fire scorch us as we have God’s protection over us. Since we are called to holiness (set apart for God), we need to be separated from anything that is unclean or impure. So, when we walk through fire, we will realize that God’s purpose for us is to purify us and not to destroy us!

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:28-31)

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