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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August 2 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 52-54

Jesus Christ – the Sin-Bearing Suffering Servant who took OUR place: "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Isaiah 53 is a prophecy about Jesus Christ – the suffering Servant - God’s perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world (Acts 8:26–40). This prophecy actually begins in Isaiah 52:13 telling us that the Servant suffered for doing God’s will and yet was highly exalted by the Lord. Jesus was humiliated in His birth and life (vv. 1–3) as well as during His trial, His sufferings and His death (vv. 4–9). He was depicted as a beaten servant (52:13–14), a root (53:2), an innocent lamb (53:7), an offering for sin (53:10), a woman in travail giving birth to spiritual “seed” (53:10–11), and a victorious general (53:12).

Our Lord Jesus suffered all five kinds of wounds known to medical science: contusions (through blows by a rod), lacerations (through scourging on His back), penetrating wounds (through crown of thorns on His head), perforating wounds (through nails on His hands and feet) and incised wounds (through spear on His side). It was for our transgressions, for our iniquities, and in order that we might have peace, in order that we might be healed. The truth is that we were the ones who went astray and who walked in self-will and Jehovah placed our iniquity on Him, the sinless substitute.

Our Lord Jesus literally fulfilled all the prophecies made by Isaiah with regards to the Suffering Servant:
  • He will be exalted (compare Isaiah 52:13 with Philippians 2:9)
  • He will be disfigured by suffering (compare Isaiah 52:14; 53:2 with Mark 15:17, 19)
  • He will be widely rejected (compare Isaiah 53:1, 3 with John 12:37, 38)
  • He will bear our sins and sorrows (compare Isaiah 53:4 with Romans 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24, 25)
  • He will make a blood atonement (compare Isaiah 53:5 with Romans 3:25)
  • He will be our substitute (compare Isaiah 53:6, 8 with 2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • He will voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment (compare Isaiah 53:7 with John 10:11)
  • He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (compare Isaiah 53:9 with John 19:38-42)
  • He will justify many from their sin (compare Isaiah 53:10, 11 with Romans 5:15-19)
  • He will die with transgressors (compare Isaiah 53:12 with Mark 15:27, 28; Luke 22:37)
Let us consider the glory of the salvation that Jesus has purchased for us on the cross. God, the Father was pleased, not that His Son suffered, but that His sacrifice accomplished eternal salvation. God’s justice was satisfied, and believing sinners can be justified (v. 11; Rom. 3:21–31). Griefs (or pain) and sorrows (or sickness) refer to the consequences of sin. Our Lord Jesus came to this earth to suffer and die for our sins and sickness (Isaiah 53:6, 11, 12; Matt. 8:17; Heb. 9:28), so that we can enjoy redemption, health, joy, peace and eternal life. Have you taken advantage of His sufferings and death by accepting Him as your Lord and Savior?

"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:21-24)

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