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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 43-45

Take ‘ADVANTAGE’ of the ‘OPEN DOOR’ before you: "Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held--to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron." (Isaiah 45:1-2)

Cyrus is named as God’s servant to accomplish the deliverance of His people. God has given the Persian emperor his victories so that he can set God’s people free. Cyrus is said to be anointed in the sense that God chose him for a special mission. God, through Isaiah, called Cyrus by name 100 years before his time to prove to the Persian king that He, Yahweh, was the only true God.

The Lord calls Cyrus His “anointed” (the same word as “messiah” in Hebrew) because the Persian monarch was a prototype of the Messiah who would give final deliverance to His people. This is the only instance in which a Gentile ruler is referred to as “anointed”. Jehovah promises to give him victory over nations, principally Babylon, to remove all hindrances to his conquests, and to hand over to him tremendous amounts of hidden riches in secret places (v. 5). God does all this for the sake of His people, and so that the whole world may know that He alone is the Lord.

The famous theologian MacRae notes that the various statements about Cyrus bring out these basic facts:
  • God raised up Cyrus for His own purposes;
  • The great successes of this Persian king went beyond those of any previously known conqueror;
  • The coming of Cyrus was predicted by name far in advance;
  • Cyrus was to serve as both a temporary Shepherd and Messiah to God’s people; and
  • God’s purpose in blessing Cyrus was to make him an instrument for delivering Israel from the captivity and returning her to Jerusalem.
Therefore, God is the author of both the destruction of Jerusalem and her subsequent deliverance. Whereas, Jeremiah speaks of the time of this deliverance (2 Chron. 36:21), Isaiah speaks of the agent of this deliverance who will be Cyrus, the king of Persia. God promised to go before Cyrus and break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron (v. 2). Let us remember that Babylon had one hundred gates of bronze. History reveals that the double doors, which were part of the gates connected with Babylon’s defensive moat, were not shut when Cyrus captured Babylon (44:27) and that was something God did behind the scenes without anyone’s help.

In our personal lives, God opens doors of opportunities at different times. He has already promised never to leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5b), and sometimes He will go before us to open doors that we can use our talents for His glory. Are we sensitive to God’s guidance in our lives?

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it" (Rev 3:7-8)

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