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, November 5, 2013

November 5 Bible Reading: John Chapters 19-21

What did JESUS mean when HE said “It is finished!”? After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:28-30)

The above passage details the final moments of Jesus Christ as He was hanging on the cross awaiting His death. The words of Jesus on the cross are significant and during His final moments Jesus uttered seven cries from the cross out of which two are recorded only in the Gospel of John. His fifth cry was “I thirst!” (v. 28; Ps. 69:21) where the ‘giver of the living water’ became thirsty, and indicates the extent to which Jesus went to procure salvation for everyone. His cry, “I thirst!” indicated real, physical thirst, which was intensified by crucifixion. But it also reminds us that greater than His physical thirst was His spiritual thirst for the salvation of human souls.

Just prior to His arrest by the Romans, Jesus had prayed His last public prayer, asking His Father to glorify Him, just as He had glorified His Father on earth, having “finished the work you have given me to do” (John 17:4). The work Jesus was sent to do was to “seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10), to provide atonement for the sins of all who would ever believe in Him (Rom. 3:23-25), and to reconcile sinful people to a holy God (2 Cor. 5:18-19). None other but Jesus could accomplish such an enormous task!

Jesus had always said that He came not to do His own will but that of His Father (see John 4:34). He had a mission and work to do, which led Him directly to His death on the cross just like a corn of wheat that He had illustrated in John 12:24-27. Thus, the sixth cry of Jesus “It is finished!” carries a lot of significance and purpose in the light of the Old Testament prophecies and God’s ultimate redemption plan for humankind. The statement “It is finished!” referred to the completion of His task of obeying the Father and paying the full price for sin. Everything foretold concerning the earthly life of Jesus had been accomplished and Christ had finished His active ministry on earth.

The cry of Jesus “It is finished!” is found only in the Gospel of John. The Greek work from which “It is finished!” is translated is ‘tetelestai’, which is an accounting term that means “paid in full.” When Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the debt owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever. Thus, through His ultimate sacrifice Jesus had completely eliminated the debt of sin owed by humankind. The finished work of Jesus on the cross was the beginning of new life for all who were once “dead in trespasses and sins” but who are now made “alive with Christ” (Eph. 2:1, 5).

So, what did Jesus mean when He said “It is finished!”?  It meant that He had finished the work that His Father had given him to do. It meant that His soul had been poured out as an offering for sin. It meant that Jesus had accomplished all what the old covenant sacrifices could not do (see Heb. 10:1–18). The prophecies and types had now been fulfilled and the sacrifice for sins had been made by the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29) once and for all – forever! It meant that His work of redemption and atonement was fully accomplished, and that included the Mosaic covenant with its priesthood, temple and sacrifices, the curse of the law, Satan's dominion over humankind, and the separation between the Jew and Gentile. “It is finished!” was the final victory cry of Jesus and His final report to His Father. Jesus Christ had fully accomplished His mission! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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