"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 5, 2013

August 5 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 61-63

DECLARE the ‘WONDERFUL’ ATTRIBUTES of our SAVIOR-GOD: "I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, 'Surely they are My people, children who will not lie.' So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old." (Isaiah 63:7-9)

The above verses contain a sermon-prayer by prophet Isaiah for the restoration of the nation of Israel along with God’s protection for the faithful remnant, the servants of God. In doing so, he proclaims the saving mercies of God (see Ps. 51:13–15; 77:12; 89:1). It is possible that Isaiah had in mind God’s redemption of Israel from Egypt when the people were in distress (Exo. 2:23–25) and when God had sent “the Angel of His Presence” to deliver them from their distress (Exo. 12:1–30). Thus, Isaiah ruminated over the great deeds of God in the past for which He deserved to be praised by His people!

The above prayer of Isaiah contained three elements: thanksgiving, confession, and intercession. Isaiah was willing to celebrate and declare the greatness of God before others, and he recalls four wonderful attributes of God that are listed below:
  1. God’s lovingkindnesses: This refers to the past kindness that God had displayed through His mighty acts. The psalmist asks God to show this attribute in his life through this verse: "Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them." (Psalms 17:7)
  2. God’sgoodness:  This refers to the great and beneficent goodwill that God had extended to the children of Israel in the past. The psalmist declares about the goodness of God in this manner: "Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!" (Psalms 31:19)
  3. God’smercies: This refers to His sympathizing tenderness towards His people. The psalmist speaks about this attribute of God in very lavish terms: "The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works." (Psalms 145:9)
  4. God’slove: This refers to God’s amazing love that has enabled Him to redeem and sustain the children of Israel. Isaiah declares this matter in his prayer: “in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old" (v. 9). The Apostle John has emphasized this attribute as being the very essence of God when he stated that "love is of God...God is love" (1 John 4:7-8).
Thus, Isaiah declares God’s four wonderful attributes: lovingkindness, goodness, mercies, and love. The “Angel of His Presence” refers to the presence of God Himself (see Exo. 23:20–23; 14:19; 33:14–15). So, the prophet Isaiah is celebrating the grace of God that is extended towards His people. His people includes all those who were united nationally to God by blood and history through Abraham’s flesh (48:1; Ex. 3:7), and all those who were united to Him inwardly through Abraham’s faith and obedience (Lev. 26:12; Deut. 29:13).

Let us understand that the way that God has dealt with His sinful people is rooted in His grace, His deepest sympathy and His inherent goodness. As a mother carefully carries and cares for her children, so did God both carry and care for His people so far, including us. Not only that, Jesus had redeemed us by paying the price of His own blood on the cross of Calvary. This redemption is rooted in His love and His forgiving gentleness toward us. So, like Isaiah, let us declare the wonderful attributes of our Savior-God and join with the psalmist in praising God today!

"Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands...come before His presence with singing. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations." (Psalms 100:1-5)

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