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.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Always ‘WATCH OUT’ for the ATTACK from the ENEMY

Always ‘WATCH OUT’ for the ATTACK from the ENEMY

July 22 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 19-21

“My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me; the night for which I longed He turned into fear for me. Prepare the table, set a watchman in the tower, eat and drink. Arise, you princes, anoint the shield! For thus has the Lord said to me: ‘Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees.’” (Isaiah 21:4-6)

The prophecy by Isaiah was made about 200 years before the fall of Babylon when he prophesied that Babylon would be conquered by Elam (Persia) and Media (v. 2). Babylon was a flat country, which was abundantly watered and vulnerable to the attack from the enemy forces. In this vision that gives the background of the above passage, Isaiah sees the events in which he is transported into the future to observe the Media-Persian invasion of Babylon. Thus, he predicts the fall of the very nation that would conquer and deport his own nation Judah eventually!

When God showed Isaiah this vision during the night, it was so terrible that it caused great anguish to Isaiah. The horror and destruction that was to befall the Babylonians during that night of feasting and drunkenness was beyond any words could describe adequately. Although Isaiah longed for the fall of Babylon, he feared its consequences to Judah as now no one could rescue Judah from Assyria. Isaiah had hoped that Babylon would stop the advances of Assyria and thus save the Jews from suffering!

In the above passage, Isaiah imagines himself among the exiles in Babylon and cannot help feeling moved by the calamities which come on it. The prophet supposes himself one of the banqueters at Belshazzar's feast, on the night that Babylon was about to be taken by surprise; hence his expression, "the night for which I longed" (see v. 4; Isaiah 14:11; Jer. 51:39). This night that Isaiah mentions may be in reference to King Belshazzar’s grand banquet that is described in detail in Daniel 5:1-31.

In his vision, Isaiah first summons the feast in Babylon to be prepared by furnishing it with meats and drinks. The Babylonians would be feasting when their enemy was at their doors. Having summoned the princes of Babylon to eat and drink, Isaiah summoned them again to anoint the shield in preparation for self-defense. Babylon had many watchtowers on its walls to give notice of any approaching danger while the party was going on. God's direction to Isaiah was to "declare" what he saw just like a watchman (v. 10).

However, "that very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom" (Dan. 5:30-31). In one night, the self-sufficient Babylon fell to her invaders in 539 B.C. Thus, the Apostle John repeats Isaiah’s solemn statement (v. 9) in the book of Revelation (18:2) with a double emphasis: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” After the invasion the city of Babylon was indeed “fallen” with all her idols demolished!

The destruction of Babylon prophesied by Isaiah gives us a glimpse of how the enemy attacks us personally, even today. We have a real enemy – Satan – who is always looking to attack us, so we should "be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). We need to "resist him (Satan), steadfast in the faith" (1 Pet. 5:9) by "fighting the good fight of faith" (1 Tim 6:12). The way to do that is to "resist the devil and he will flee from us" (James 4:7). We should "put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11).

Along with all the different parts of our spiritual armor (truth, righteousness, preparation of the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and God’s Word that are listed in Eph. 6:14-17), we should also be "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Eph. 6:18). This is how we can always watch out for the attack from the enemy! This is what our Lord Jesus Christ has told us to do as well: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt. 26:41). 

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