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.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2 Bible Reading: Zechariah Chapters 1-3

GOD HIMSELF will be our WALL of PROTECTION & our GLORY: Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. So I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.” And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to meet him, who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,' says the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” (Zech. 2:1-5)

Zechariah was a contemporary of the governor Zerubbabel (Hag. 1:12), the scribe Ezra (Ezra 7:1), and the prophet Haggai (Hag. 1:1). He was a priest who started giving his prophetic messages to the returnees at Jerusalem in 520 A.D. Zechariah’s third vision was that of the man with the measuring line. Its message is that the future Jerusalem will overspread its boundaries, and that God will be its Protector. This refers ultimately to Jerusalem during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ. The interpretation of the third vision of Zechariah in the above passage includes the following:
  1. Jerusalem will be greatly expanded and extend far beyond its former boundaries. The population of Jerusalem will overflow the limits imposed by the walls as Jerusalem will again be rebuilt and will overflow with people (vs. 4b).
  2. There will be no walls for Jerusalem for God Himself will be its Protector, and the inhabitants will dwell in safety without walls. Physical walls will be unnecessary because God will be “a wall of fire around it” (vs. 4b).
  3. Jerusalem will be filled with the glorious presence of God (Isa. 4:5; 60:19, 20; Ezek. 38:11). Jehovah will personally abide in and will protect Jerusalem from all their enemies (vs. 5). Jerusalem will have no need for defensive fortifications because God’s presence will guarantee its safety and security.
Thus, Zechariah envisioned a Jerusalem “without walls” in the future (v. 4). A city without walls for protection was unheard of in the ancient world, since the primary means of defense for a city was its wall. The attacking armies may breach the walls by scaling the walls, breaking through the walls using the battering ram, tunneling under the walls, and through a siege. Once an enemy penetrated the wall, the city was almost certain to fall (2 Kings 25:4). Therefore, urban defense was primarily concerned with maintaining and protecting the city wall. Indeed, at the time of Zechariah’s prophecy, Jerusalem was in “great distress and reproach” (Neh. 1:3) because its walls were still in ruins from the siege of the Babylonians about 70 years earlier.

However, these words refer ultimately to the future Jerusalem under the rule of its glorious king (see Zeph. 3:15–19), and these words drive us to the vision of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1–3, 10, 11, 22, 23). Zechariah’s vision is consistent with the prophecies of Isaiah, Haggai, and other prophets who foresaw God’s new kingdom as a place that would be open to anyone from any background (Isa. 66:18–23; Haggai 2:6–7). The nations and families of the earth will come together and live in New Jerusalem in safety (Zech. 14:10–11, 16–17).

Today, God Himself will be our wall of protection and our glory, for He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Heb. 13:5-6) Jesus has further promised to be with us always, as He has told us: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). We have no reason to fear or be troubled for we are blessed with the wonderful protective presence of God always!

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling." (Ps. 46:1-3) 

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