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, July 16, 2016

CONSIDER & KNOW your RIGHTFUL PLACE with GOD

CONSIDER & KNOW your RIGHTFUL PLACE with GOD

July 16 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 1-3

"Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me; the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider." (Isaiah 1:2-3)

The book of Isaiah reveals on a broad basis the plan of God’s intentions for this world. In this regard, God evaluates His own people, the Israelites, and finds them far away from what He had originally planned for them, and had set forth in His Law. God then wants to purify His people through His judgments until they are purged of all their sins. This prophetical book looks ahead to a day when God will send a Messiah to be a servant to His people and to usher in an era of peace and righteousness in the world.

The first chapter of this book was probably the first of Isaiah's public messages, and may be described generally as a message concerning sin and salvation. Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents as they have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet then calls God’s people back to obedience to God, the “Holy One of Israel”.  

God is pictured as both the prosecutor and the judge as He summons His creation, both heaven and earth, to witness his indictment of the spiritually bankrupt Judah and Jerusalem (see similar summons by Moses in Deut. 4:26; 30:19; 32:1). The natural realm is called to witness how Judah and Jerusalem have unnaturally rebelled against God. The whole universe is summoned to attend a trial with God as the Judge, and with Judah and Jerusalem as defendants. The great preacher Spurgeon comments about this passage as follows:
"Angels and men, the upper and the lower worlds, are called to witness the solemn scene. The whole creation shall stand in court to testify to the solemnity and the truth of the divine pleading. Both earth beneath and heaven above shall unite in condemning sin; the guilty shall have no appeal, though all are summoned that they may appeal if they dare. Both angels and men have seen the guilt of mankind and the goodness of the Lord, they shall therefore confess the justice of the divine utterance, and say ‘Amen’ to the sentence of the supreme Judge."
Just like a disappointed father, God diagnosed sin in His people due to which they deliberately disobeyed and refused to submit to His authority and rule (63:10; 66:24). We can only imagine the pain that God felt as He presented His indictment against Judah and Jerusalem regarding the apostasy, ingratitude, and deep depravity of His chosen people with these words: “Even my children, those whom I have reared, even they have rebelled” (63:8; Ex. 4:22; Hos. 11:1). His people had failed to show even the natural devotion that could be expected of domestic animals like the ox and the donkey, which have enough sense to know whom they should follow. The whole of creation would be bearing witness against Judah and Jerusalem that God had warned them before of judgment if they ever broke their covenant with Him (see Deut. 30:19; 32:1). The fact that God’s people “do not know” and “do not consider” implies a deliberate and self-willed disobedience from their part!

Today, "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" (2 Chron. 16:9). God has loved us enough to send His only begotten Son Jesus to die on the cross for us and redeem us from our sins, and He has accepted us as His children (John 1:12-13). In return, do we consider and know our rightful place with God? Or, are we living in sin and far away from God?

Let us examine our hearts today, submit to God as we draw near to Him in humility. He will then raise us for His glory as per His promise: "Therefore submit to God...draw near to God and He will draw near to you...humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." (James 4:7-8, 10)

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