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, August 6, 2012

August 6 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 64-66

ALL DAY long GOD is STRETCHING His HANDS to US: "I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here I am, here I am,' to a nation that was not called by My name. I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts". (Isaiah 65:1-2)

In response to the prayer in the previous chapter (63:15–64:12), God now speaks to the Gentiles who have come to trust in His salvation, and has become part of the New Testament church of God. This verse (v. 1) has been quoted by the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:20 in relation to the unconditional election of the Gentiles as the ‘people of God’. This happened only when the rebellious people of God (the Jews) refused God’s gracious offer of salvation and provoked Him greatly. Because of Israel’s election as the covenant people of God, their false assumption was that this was an election to privilege and not to responsibility. In time they falsely assumed that their election as the chosen (vs. 15) nation was based on some merit of their own!

When God says “I was sought” it literally means “I allowed Myself to be found”. God’s glorious presence assures salvation. “A nation that was not called by My name” include the Gentiles (42:1; 49:6, 22; 52:15) and the remnant who “sought” God (v. 10). Together they are the servants who will be called “by another name” (v. 15). As mentioned earlier, Apostle Paul saw his ministry to the Gentiles as a fulfillment of this promise (Rom. 10:20, 21). Peter calls the New Testament Church “a holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9).

“I have stretched out My hands” pictures God beckoning Israel to respond to Him. “All day long” suggests God’s long-suffering patience. The “rebellious people” describe Israel (63:10) who provoked God through their abominable religious practices including arrogance (65:2), open defiance (65:3), idolatrous fertility rites (65:3), divination (65:4), eating unclean foods (65:4), and blasphemous self-righteousness (65:5). God had “held out [His] hands to an obstinate people,” but they provoked Him with their idolatrous practices!

Let us understand that in a similar fashion, God is stretching out His Hands towards us all day long with love, and will only act on our behalf when our repentance is genuine and our obedience is real. However, when our religion is as thoroughly contaminated with paganism as the people of Israel whose “hands were full of blood” (1:15), God can do little for us!

Like in the case of Israel, God is pleading with us today to turn from our sins and come back to Him. While the Jews rejected God’s call, the Gentiles responded in their stead. In the similar manner, if we reject this persistent call of God, He will choose someone else in our place. Let us beware that Israel’s fate does not repeat itself in our future lives as well.

Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?’ Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it." (Matt. 21:42-43) 

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