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, April 28, 2012

April 28 Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles Chapters 19-21

We NEED to ‘INTERCEDE’ on BEHALF of OTHERS: Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. And David said to God, "Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and my father's house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued." So the Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath. (1 Chron. 21:16-17, 27)

The above passage describes a terrifying sight that King David saw when he lifted his eyes up. He saw an angel of the Lord with drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem to destroy it as God’s judgment for sin. The reaction of David in interceding on behalf of the people of Israel is beautifully described by Henry in his four-point summary described below:
  1. David made an earnest confession of his own sin and prayed earnestly for pardon (v. 8).
  2. David accepted the punishment of his iniquity (v. 17).
  3. David cast himself upon the mercy of God in humility (v. 13).
  4. David expressed a very tender concern for the people as he saw them as innocent sheep (v. 17b).
By calling his people sheep, David was acknowledging himself as their shepherd (17:7). This was in the context of God’s covenant promises, and David was acknowledging his own covenant unfaithfulness and irresponsibility. As their shepherd, he was supposed to guide his flock to safety and security, but he had inflicted harm upon the people of Israel through numbering them by his arrogance. Realizing the foolish error he had committed in taking a census of the people, David cried out to God for mercy (v. 17). He now accepted full responsibility for the wrongdoing, and was willing to accept whatever punishment might befall him!

Many years later, Jesus also wept over Jerusalem when he looked at that city (Luke 19: 41-44). He knew the corruption of her leaders and priesthood. He saw in his mind's eye the utter destruction of the city that would take place later in 70 AD. And he wept because it all could have been avoided. There was a distinct failure of Jerusalem's leaders to discern God's visitation of their city through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Instead of welcoming and submitting to the King who entered to inspect His city and temple that day, they rejected Jesus, plotted against Him and finally killed Him mercilessly through hanging Him on the cross at Calvary.

Sin always causes a breach between God and His people. It is necessary to present appropriate burnt offerings and peace offerings (v. 26) for reconciliation with God as the divine law required (Num. 15:1–10). David built an altar to offer propitiatory sacrifices to pacify the impending judgment. Down the ages, Jesus Christ became the ultimate sacrificial lamb who died to reconcile humanity with God again!

What does God expects from us as His children today? God expects us also to intercede on behalf of the sinful humanity around us who are under God’s impending judgment of eternal death and condemnation in hell. Can we wake up, look up and see the drawn sword of God’s judgment over this sinful world and intercede on behalf of the condemned people today? We need to pay attention to what God has already spoken through Isaiah in this connection: "I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:6-7)

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