Morning, December 8
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Bible League: Living His Word
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

There have been many religious movements through the ages that failed to stand the test of time and/or failed to spread to the ends of the earth. They came into existence, flourished for a time, and then either vanished from the face of the earth or stalled in their missionary endeavors. They promised their adherents to be the final and ultimate key to life and reality, but they didn't have what it takes to sustain their spiritual momentum. They gathered adherents at first and spread for a time, but then somehow lost the spiritual dynamic that originally propelled them forward.

Christianity, in contrast, is different. Just before the start of the Christian church, which began on Pentecost Sunday, Jesus prophesied the prophecy of our verse for today. His prophecy, in effect, makes the claim that the Christian church will survive and spread over the whole earth. Unlike the prophetic claims of other religions, Jesus' prophecy has come true. In our own day we have seen and are seeing the spread of the church to the ends of the earth. This fulfillment of prophecy is one of the great pieces of evidence for an argument in defense of the truth of the Christian faith.

Why has this happened? What is different about Christianity?

No doubt there are many reasons, not the least of which is that the Christian faith is true, but our verse for today gives us an important one. Christianity has survived and thrived because of the power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples of Jesus and the millions of those who came after them have been propelled forward through time by the Spirit of God. They received the Holy Spirit, various gifts of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit and these have empowered and enabled them to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. Indeed, they became successful witnesses despite the sometimes fierce and destructive opposition of the religious alternatives.

The alternatives lack something. They lack the spiritual dynamic and spiritual power of the Holy Spirit. Instead, they are motivated by "deceiving spirits" and, as a result, they teach "things taught by demons" (I Timothy 4:1).

Although they may seem dynamic and powerful for a time, they will never succeed in any kind of final or ultimate sense.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Daniel 11, 12


Daniel 11 -- Prophesy of the Overthrow of Persia, Conflicts between the Kings of the South and of the North; Roman Invasion

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Daniel 12 -- Michael Shall Deliver Israel from Their Troubles

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
3 John


3 John 1 -- Walk according to God's commandments and Imitate What Is Good

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
Now may the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
        and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need
        for doing his will.
        May he produce in you,
        through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
        All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
Insight
This verse includes two significant results of Christ's death and resurrection. God works in us to make us the kind of people that would please him, and he equips us to do the kind of work that would please him.
Challenge
Let God change you from within and then use you to help others.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Revelation 3:4  Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

We may understand this to refer to justification. "They shall walk in white;" that is, they shall enjoy a constant sense of their own justification by faith; they shall understand that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them, that they have all been washed and made whiter than the newly-fallen snow.

Again, it refers to joy and gladness: for white robes were holiday dresses among the Jews. They who have not defiled their garments shall have their faces always bright; they shall understand what Solomon meant when he said "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart. Let thy garments be always white, for God hath accepted thy works." He who is accepted of God shall wear white garments of joy and gladness, while he walks in sweet communion with the Lord Jesus. Whence so many doubts, so much misery, and mourning? It is because so many believers defile their garments with sin and error, and hence they lose the joy of their salvation, and the comfortable fellowship of the Lord Jesus, they do not here below walk in white.

The promise also refers to walking in white before the throne of God. Those who have not defiled their garments here shall most certainly walk in white up yonder, where the white-robed hosts sing perpetual hallelujahs to the Most High. They shall possess joys inconceivable, happiness beyond a dream, bliss which imagination knoweth not, blessedness which even the stretch of desire hath not reached. The "undefiled in the way" shall have all this--not of merit, nor of works, but of grace. They shall walk with Christ in white, for he has made them "worthy." In his sweet company they shall drink of the living fountains of waters.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Galatians 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 6:1,2  Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. • Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

James 5:19,20  My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, • let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 1:22  Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

Romans 13:8  Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Romans 12:10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

1 Peter 5:5  You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

Romans 15:1  Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Evening December 7
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