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 29, 2013

July 29 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 40-42

To BE like JESUS is to BE a SERVANT like HIM: "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, my Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street." (Isaiah 42:1-2)

As we approach the closing chapters of Isaiah’s prophecy, it becomes increasingly evident that the election of Israel as ‘the chosen people of God’ is seen as a means toward the goal of the salvation of all the non-Jewish people (the Gentiles) in this world. This would be accomplished by the coming of an individual who is referred to as “My Servant” above. With all the traits of King, Prophet, and High Priest, He is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself! He would be the ultimate fulfillment of the ‘Great Promise’ that God had made to Abraham many years ago: "And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3).

The above passage is the beginning part of the first among the four individual “Servant Songs” (42:1–7; 49:1–7; 50:4–11; 52:13–53:12) that point toward Israel’s Messiah. The New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Matt. 12:18–21). Empowered by God’s Spirit, His task would be to “bring justice to the Gentiles” (v. 1). The Servant— Jesus Christ—possessed the Holy Spirit (4:4; 11:2; 48:16; 59:21; 61:1; Luke 3:22; 4:18; John 3:34), which empowered Him to bring justice to the world. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well. Of all of the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact most clearly!

A new song of praise will be sung for the victory that God will accomplish through His Servant, Jesus Christ. It is interesting to note that the Greek word ‘pais’ translates both ‘son’ and ‘servant’. To achieve this victory, Christ left His glorious abode – heaven – to come down to this lowly earth by putting on a garment of flesh to taste death for all (Heb. 2:9) so that we can taste His goodness daily (1 Pet. 2:3). The ‘High and Holy One’ came down to our level to become the ‘Meek and Lowly One’. As a lowly servant, Jesus lived and died victoriously to disarm our wrong doings. He is still opening the blind eyes, and freeing people incarcerated in their self-made prisons and from the inner darkness that they have created (v. 7).

Let us remember that Jesus Christ was chosen by God before the foundation of the world to accomplish a great work for an atonement of humanity (Zech. 3:8; 1 Peter 1:20; Rev. 13:8). He pleased God the Father as an object of His love and favor (60:10; 62:4; Matt. 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 9:35). Jesus was called, chosen and empowered by His heavenly Father, so He did not get discouraged and quit. As part of God’s eternal purposes Jesus fulfilled His unique mission (John 17:4), and left us a co-mission for us to fulfill as His representatives (Matt. 28:18-20). He lived as a servant in humility and served by faith by trusting His Father in heaven to meet His needs, and that is the way we must live today!

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:5-8)

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