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.

Monday, July 27, 2015

JOY and GLADNESS await the “REDEEMED OF THE LORD”

JOY and GLADNESS await the “REDEEMED OF THE LORD”

July 27 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 34-36

"But the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 35:9-10)

Isaiah 35 speaks about the future glory of Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem. The underlying message is that God announces His judgment upon sinners. However, God wants sinners to repent so that they will rejoice when they are set free from the bondage of sin (Isa. 55:12–13; Rom. 8:18–25).

Human history began in a garden, but man’s sin turned the garden into a desert. This desert will become a beautiful garden once again in the future (vv. 1–2, 7). The weak will become strong, and the disabled will no longer be handicapped (vv. 3–6). Those who wandered before will never lose their way as they walk safely on God’s “Highway of Holiness” (vv. 8–9), and everyone who were sorrowful will have their sorrows turned into joy (v. 10).

Thus, God will provide a roadway for His redeemed people to return and protect them from all dangers so that they can return to Zion in safety. When they return, they will be in joyful celebration as all their sorrows of their past vanish into oblivion. It is here that everlasting joy shall be their possession, and sorrow and sighing shall disappear forever. Here is the beautiful picture now of the redeemed people of God living in peace, joy, and harmony in the blessed millennial kingdom of the Messiah.

Psalms 126:1-3 describes accurately the condition of the “redeemed of the Lord”: "When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad."

Let us note that the two Hebrew words “redeemed” and “ransomed” often appear as parallels in Scripture (Jer. 31:11; Hos. 13:14), and are almost synonymous as they are used to describe the Israelites whom God had delivered from the land of Egypt (Ex. 6:6; 15:15). Jehovah God is the “Redeemer” (Isa. 41:14; 49:26) who alone can forgive Israel’s sins and redeem them from destruction (Isa. 44:22; Ps. 103:3, 4).

When we apply this passage to our lives, we can understand that only those who share in God’s holiness by justification through Christ will walk God’s “Highway of Holiness” with joy and gladness. As His redeemed and ransomed children we can eagerly anticipate joy and gladness to replace all our sorrow and worries in the future.

Today, let us join with the psalmist in boldly declaring the following: "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalms 16:11)

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