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, March 1, 2014

“By HIS Stripes, we are HEALED”

“By HIS Stripes, we are HEALED”

March 1 Bible Reading: Deuteronomy Chapters 25-27

During the process of explaining the miscellaneous laws to the Israelites, Moses speaks about God’s ruling concerning punishment: "...if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, that the judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to his guilt, with a certain number of blows. Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these and your brother be humiliated in your sight" (Deut 25:2-3).

In judicial sentences, which awarded punishment short of capital, scourging was the most common form in which they were executed. The Mosaic Law, however, introduced two important restrictions; namely:
The punishment should be inflicted in presence of the judge instead of being inflicted in private by some heartless official; and The maximum amount of it should be limited to forty stripes, instead of being awarded according to the decision of the magistrate.

The Egyptian, like Turkish and Chinese rulers, often applied the stick till they caused death or lameness for life. The scourge used in Israel was formed of three cords, terminating in leathern thongs, and thirteen strokes of this counted as thirty-nine stripes (2Co 11:24). Thus, the corporal punishment by stripes was prescribed in the Mosaic Law for committing the sin of fornication (Lev 19:20; Deut 22:18), and also for other wicked offenses (Deut 25:2). Forty stripes was the maximum number (Deut 25:3), which sometimes was even fatal (Job 9:23, Exodus 21:20).

Our Lord Jesus Christ allowed himself to be scourged (Matthew 20:19; 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1), not because he was wicked or deserved this heinous punishment, but he wanted to take our place for our sins. God’s justice required that He "…will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes" (Psalms 89:32). “And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes(Luke 12:47).

Let us remember that our Lord Jesus took stripes upon himself for a reason. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus took the stripes and scourging upon Himself so that WE could be FORGIVEN, HEALED and DELIVERED from our SINS and SICKNESS!

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