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, August 5, 2014

LIVING on MISSION with GOD so that HE gets the GLORY

LIVING on MISSION with GOD so that HE gets the GLORY

August 5 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 61-63

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Although these are words of prophecy spoken by God’s servant Isaiah, the words take on greater meaning when Jesus reads from this section (vs.1-2a) during His visit to the synagogue in Nazareth and closes His reading with the statement, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). Thus, He applies these verses to Himself. This prophecy was literally fulfilled in the ministry of Christ. Isaiah is included (62:1) as a shadow or forerunner of Jesus.

Jesus Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism and His earthly ministry was concerned with bringing the good tidings of salvation to the poor, binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to sin’s captives, and opening the prison of those who were bound. The reference to “liberty” and “opening of the prison” allude to the Year of Jubilee, during which all debts and obligations were erased (Lev. 25:8-10).

These words of prophecy also describe the character and office of the Messiah. We should note that Jesus ended the quotation with the words “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” because what follows, “the day of vengeance of our God” will not be fulfilled until His Second Coming. At His glorious appearing He will proclaim the day of God’s judgment. Then He will comfort those who mourn in Zion, granting to them a garland in place of ashes on their heads, the oil of joy instead of mourning, praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. His chosen people will then be called trees of righteousness, planted by the Lord, and bringing glory to Him. They will rebuild the cities of the Promised Land that have lain in ruins.

What were God’s purposes for anointing Jesus with His Spirit? We can see that there are six purposes from Isaiah 61:1-3:
  1. To preach good tidings: This refers to the proclamation of the gospel and to the priority of evangelism.
  2. To bind up the brokenhearted: This refers to placing the ‘balm of Gilead’ (Jeremiah 8:22) to heal the hearts that have been broken by sin and guilt.
  3. To proclaim liberty:  This refers to freeing slaves in captivity of sin, addictions and sickness.
  4. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord: This refers to announcing the “year of the Lord’s favor”. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the “day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2) in which the gospel is preached all over the world, and those who are bound in sin and sickness can be liberated through Him (Eph. 2:12, 13; 3:5; 2 Tim. 1:10).
  5. Christ would comfort all that mourn after His great and awesome judgments: (To be fulfilled in the future.)
  6. Christ would exchange the evidences of mourning with the evidences of rejoicing: (Also to be fulfilled in the future.)
Through this anointing, the end result would be that God gets the glory (61:3c). Like Jesus, the purpose of anointing of God’s Spirit in our lives is that through His power we can also be a witness of the gospel, heal people from sickness, deliver them from bondage, comfort the people who are broken hearted and plant God’s Word in their hearts. Let us live on mission with God being anointed by His Spirit so that He gets the glory!

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

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