Thursday, January 21, 2010

Daily Digest #385

The word of the Lord has sounded forth . . . in every place. —1 Thessalonians 1:8

Allow me to share 2 articles from the Purpose Driven Life online, and 1 from Max Lucado online.

Show caring, consistent love

Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn't find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, 'Friend, I forgive your sins.' Luke 5:18-20 (Msg)

Give caring, consistent love to those who don't know Jesus.

Like the four friends who helped the paralytic, sometimes it takes something radical to lead someone to Jesus!

And sometimes it just takes the caring, consistent love of a small group of Christians. As we enter the holiday season, I want to encourage you to plan with your small group to reach out to friends and neighbors who do not know Jesus

The reason God used the four friends mentioned in Luke 5 is because they cared for the paralytic. Just like those four, your life mission should start with love - caring for those around you and caring enough about those who do not know Jesus that you reach out to them during this holiday season. The number one reason Christians don't share Christ with others is that they are too preoccupied with themselves.

Before you can care about others, you must become aware of them. When your small group meets, try to identify the people you know who need to know Jesus.

And start praying for them, that God will give you an opportunity to share your faith in a non-threatening way. Pray that God will soften their hearts and soften your heart.

Then, make a plan for how you can reach out to these people as a small group.

Believe God works through you

Your small group must believe God can work through you to reach people for Jesus.

No one is hopeless. When the four friends looked at the paralytic's condition, they could have responded in doubt: What could Jesus do? Instead, they believed God could heal him -- they had faith. The Bible said the paralytic's sins were forgiven when Jesus saw the faith of the four friends.

There are people paralyzed in our world, who aren't necessarily physically paralyzed, but who have a paralyzed faith. Whether they're paralyzed by doubts, loneliness, fear or anything else, the result is the same -- they need the faith of the others.

In a sense, they don't have enough faith to believe, so your faith is going to have to bring them to Jesus. The Apostle Paul asked for prayer, so "that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ ..." (Colossians 4:3 NIV)

A Useful Vessel

“If you give up your life for me, you will find true life.” Matthew 16:25 NLT

When you’re full of yourself, God can’t fill you.

But when you empty yourself, God has a useful vessel. Your Bible overflows with examples of those who did.

In his gospel, Matthew mentions his own name only twice. Both times he calls himself a tax collector. In his list of apostles, he assigns himself the eighth spot.

John doesn’t even mention his name in his gospel. The twenty appearances of “John” all refer to the Baptist. John the apostle simply calls himself “the other disciple” or the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”

Luke wrote two of the most important books in the Bible but never once penned his own name.

Let us pray. May we become worthy servants of Christ -- selfless, generous, caring and loving without conditions nor expectations. Lord, help us recognize opportunities to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. May humbly walk through the path You have laid out for us today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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  • RE: John doesn’t even mention his name in his gospel… John the apostle simply calls himself “the other disciple” or the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”

    When the Bible urges the readers of scripture to “prove all things” it was not suggesting that they should look to the traditions of men as their standard of truth but, rather (in accord with Ps. 118:8), that they should look to scripture and trust the authority of God’s word -- not the traditions which men add to it. And these words are true: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Pr. 30:5-6), so one is always better off conforming their hypothesis to the scriptures rather than the other way around. Therefore, I hope you will be willing to receive the following note of biblical correction.

    You obviously think that John was "the disciple whom Jesus loved" but here you are misled by the traditions of men because the truth is that there is not a single verse that would justify teaching that John was the unnamed "other disciple, whom Jesus loved" (the unnamed man who wrote the fourth gospel) and that is why non-Bible sources must ALWAYS be used to sell the John tradition. While non-Bible sources may say that John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, what happens when one subjects that claim to biblical scrutiny, will it hold up? No it will not because two things are true:

    1: No one can cite a single verse of scripture that would justify promoting the idea that the unnamed “disciple whom Jesus loved” was anybody named John — not the Apostle John, nor any other John. Moreover, the reason that this cannot be done is that no such verse exists, which is the reason that no such verse is ever cited by those who put forth the unbiblical John tradition.

    2: The facts in the plain text of scripture can prove that WHOEVER the unnamed “other disciple, whom Jesus loved” was he could not have been John — because that idea forces the Bible to contradict itself, which the Bible cannot do if it is true. (A presentation of the biblical evidence on this topic is available at

    Two good rules of respect for the authority of God’s word: A) One should not be presenting an idea AS IF IT WERE BIBLICAL if they cannot cite a single verse that would justify teaching that idea – and – B) If the facts in the plain text of scripture prove that an idea is false, then those who love the truth will reject that false idea — no matter how many people believe it, no matter how loud some may shout it, no matter if a big-wig so-and-so believes it, no matter how long the false idea has been around, etc.

    One can surely find a NON-Bible source to cite if they want to justify their belief in the idea that the unnamed “other disciple whom Jesus loved” was John. But what no one has ever done is cite a single verse that would justify teaching that the unnamed “disciple whom Jesus loved” was John — not those who originated the unbiblical John idea and not those who repeat their error to this day.

    Unlike John, who repeatedly identified himself by name in the Book of Revelation, we can see that the unnamed "other disciple, whom Jesus loved" repeatedly used cryptic terms to conceal his identity, even though we see that he included himself in the text at key moments in the ministry of Jesus.

    The fact is that the John tradition is simply a case of mistaken identity. This, for example, explains why Jesus’ transfiguration, his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and his raising of the daughter of Jairus are NOT in the fourth gospel. Only three disciples were present at each of these events and John was one of them. Thus John was able to give eyewitness testimony when it came to these key incidents and yet there is no mention of these events in the fourth gospel, because the author, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, was not John. And the missing ‘John testimony’ is just the tip of the iceberg.

    By Anonymous John, at 4:33 AM, January 22, 2010  

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