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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 28 Bible Reading: Nahum Chapters 1-3

We promote ‘REAL’ PEACE only when we proclaim the GOSPEL: "Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off." (Nahum 1:15)

Starting from the above passage (1:15–2:13) Nahum is announcing a prophecy of judgment through a “vision” (1:1; Num. 12:6–8) that he has received from God. The style of writing this section is in the prophetic present tense where future events (that took place later in 612 B.C.) are pictured as if already present. In its context, the above verse describes a messenger who brings the good tidings of Assyria’s destruction and the resulting peace in Judah (Isa. 40:9). The good news is summarized in the word ‘peace’ (Hebrew, shalom), signifying not only the end of hostilities but also the return to normal, abundant living conditions and total well-being!

In the Hebrew text, this verse is joined to the second chapter to continue the narrative of this event. The mountains refer to those that surround Jerusalem. The message is one of deliverance from the oppression of the enemy, which allows the people of Judah to resume their appointed feasts and fulfill their vows without the threat of the wicked one (v. 11). These verses describe how the destruction of Nineveh and the death of Sennacherib will mean ‘good news of peace’ for Judah. Therefore, Judah will be able to perform the vows (Ps. 116:14, 17–19) and keep the solemn feasts, which it has not been able to do at all during Sennacherib’s siege.

The prophet Isaiah refers to a similar deliverance from Babylon when he states the following: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isa. 52:7) The destruction of their enemy is good news for God’s people, and is nothing better for God’s people in any age than to live in obedience to Him and in anticipation of His coming deliverance.

The Apostle Paul quotes the passage from Isaiah’s prophecy, and points the ‘good news’ in the context of the ‘gospel of peace’ when he makes this statement: And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom. 10:15) This ‘gospel of peace’ refers to the message of spiritual deliverance for humankind by Jesus Christ from the clutches of Satan, which should be heralded by every redeemed child of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the "Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6) came to bring real peace to humankind just as the angels announced to the shepherds: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14) As our suffering Messiah, "the chastisement for our peace was upon Him" (Isa. 53:5), and He ushered in real peace for us by destroying the power of Satan on the cross of Calvary.

The fact is that we are on the winning side, and we will have final victory in the end when "the God of peace will crush Satan under (our) feet shortly" (Rom. 16:20). The certainty of our final victory should encourage us to live in obedience every day: "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Cor. 15:57-58)

Today, as the redeemed children of God, we are mandated to preach the gospel (or, good news) to everyone who is headed to an eternal separation from God through these words of Jesus Christ: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16). Let us equip even our "feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (Eph. 6:15) for we promote ‘real’ peace only when we proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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