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.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11 Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapters 28-30

ELEMENTS of WORSHIP in a *TRUE* SPIRITUAL REVIVAL: "The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. So all the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped." (2 Chron. 29:26-29)

The worship at the temple in Jerusalem had reached the lowest point when Hezekiah became the king at the age of 25 (29:1). He reigned from 715–686 BC, and is best known for enacting religious and political reforms, including the removal of idolatrous practices and centers, the restoration of temple worship, and the resumption of nationwide observance of the Passover (2 Chr. 29–31). In fact, this marks the beginning of the most extended account of any revival in biblical history (29:1–31:21), with the exception of the one which started on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) many centuries later.

In order to bring about this revival, Hezekiah cleansed the temple (29:3-19) and restored the worship in the way God had commanded David in I Chronicles 25 and thereafter divinely instituted through the commandment of two prophets: Gad (I Sam 22:5) and Nathan (II Sam 12:1).

Let us note the elements of worship that resulted in this amazing spiritual revival:
  • All the musical instruments that deemed appropriate for temple worship during David’s time (see 1 Chr. 25:1, 3, 5, 6) were made available (29:25).
  • The priests and Levites were stationed in their appropriate places as appointed in the time of David (29:26).
  • The priests and Levites sang and played the musical instruments while the burnt offering was being offered (29:27).
  • All the people present (including the king) bowed their heads in worship and thanksgiving (29:28-30).
  • All the worshippers rejoiced because of the suddenness of the revival and how God had prepared the people for worship in this manner.
As we can note from this incident, an indispensable part of the worship was the singing of praises and playing of instruments (even loudly, 30:21). The musicians, the priests, and the people all joined in with joyous celebration singing the praises of the Lord. This has been true of the worship of God throughout the ages.

Hezekiah’s formula for revival was simple: sanctification, sacrifice and song. He started with the priests and Levites (the worship leaders), which transcended to the people (worshippers) as they sanctified the temple, offered the sacrifices, and sang the song of the Lord. We also need to sanctify our bodies, which are the temples of the living God (2 Cor. 6:16), through the cleansing by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:9), the Lamb of God (John 1:29). We should then offer the sacrifices of praise that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Heb. 13:15). This will be done when we sing and praise God with joy and gladness (Psalms 100:1-2).

When this happens, revival will surely take place and it will happen suddenly as it happened during the time of Hezekiah (v. 36). This is simply how we return to the ways of the Lord (Jer. 6:16).

"Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?" (Psalms 85:4-6)

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