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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 43-45

God’s AMAZING PROMISE to POUR out His HOLY SPIRIT! “Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.’” (Isaiah 44:1-3)

In the above declaration through His prophet Isaiah, God draws the attention of the nation of Israel, His servant of choice, and assures them He would sustain them. God had chosen the Israelites through the blessings of Abraham to carry out His mission based on His sovereign purpose and strategy. Israel had a two-fold mission to fulfill: (1) to serve as the family through whom the promise and blessing of the Messiah would come into this world (Gen. 12:1–3; 15:5–7; 17:4–8), and (2) to be a spiritual light to the other nations of the world (Isa. 42:6–7; 44:8; 49:6). They were to fulfill their mission through their complete obedience of God’s commandments and becoming faithful witnesses of God’s wonders to their known world!

In the above referenced passage, we hear the heartbeat of God’s love for His people. He addresses them with three names: Jacob (the supplanter) who became Israel (the prince of God, see Gen. 32:28) and Jeshurun (the upright one, see Deut. 32:15; 33:5, 26). God had made them, formed them, and chosen them to be His people. He will now help them with the promise to pour His Spirit and to change their character from the inside. The pouring out of water is paralleled to the pouring out of God’s Spirit. Like streams of water giving new life to barren ground, God said that He would pour His Spirit upon the future descendants of Israel (Isa. 44:3).

This promise was reinforced by the prophet Joel later: "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days" (Joel 2:28-29). The futuristic nature of this promise indicates that a time is coming when all this will happen.

Isaiah’s prophecy “I will pour water on him who is thirsty” was initially put in context when Jesus invited the onlookers in Jerusalem to this great experience, available from the following gospel narrative: On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39). This promise of the Holy Spirit was initially fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost many years later when God poured out His Spirit on a group of 120 Jewish men and women praying together in the upper room (see Acts 1:12-15; 2:1-4).

We should note that Moses, the man of God, had prayed for God’s Spirit to come on all Israel (Num. 11:29) and Jesus Christ had literally fulfilled it (Isa. 32:15-17; Acts 2:14–36). This promise of the Holy Spirit outpouring was extended to us today through Apostle Peter who spoke out the following words to the people in Jerusalem: "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39).

Through this promise, our spiritual barrenness and deadness will give way to a new relationship with God so that we can truly say today: 'I am the Lord's' (Isa. 44:5). God reminds us today that He has formed us, He has chosen us, and He would help us through His Spirit. He has given us both the authority (Matt. 28:18-19) and the power (Acts 1:8) through His Spirit. There is no need for us to be afraid - for God will meet our every need through His abiding presence (Matt. 28:20b). He knows what lies ahead of us and will help us to meet them victoriously. After all, God has kept His solemn promise to pour out His Holy Spirit that He had made so many years ago!

"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication" (Zech. 12:10). "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezek. 36:27).

Google+ Followers