Evening, 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

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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

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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
Psalm 68:10  Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.

All God's gifts are prepared gifts laid up in store for wants foreseen. He anticipates our needs; and out of the fulness which he has treasured up in Christ Jesus, he provides of his goodness for the poor. You may trust him for all the necessities that can occur, for he has infallibly foreknown every one of them. He can say of us in all conditions, "I knew that thou wouldst be this and that." A man goes a journey across the desert, and when he has made a day's advance, and pitched his tent, he discovers that he wants many comforts and necessaries which he has not brought in his baggage. "Ah!" says he, "I did not foresee this: if I had this journey to go again, I should bring these things with me, so necessary to my comfort." But God has marked with prescient eye all the requirements of his poor wandering children, and when those needs occur, supplies are ready. It is goodness which he has prepared for the poor in heart, goodness and goodness only. "My grace is sufficient for thee." "As thy days, so shall thy strength be."

Reader, is your heart heavy this evening? God knew it would be; the comfort which your heart wants is treasured in the sweet assurance of the text. You are poor and needy, but he has thought upon you, and has the exact blessing which you require in store for you. Plead the promise, believe it and obtain its fulfilment. Do you feel that you never were so consciously vile as you are now? Behold, the crimson fountain is open still, with all its former efficacy, to wash your sin away. Never shall you come into such a position that Christ cannot aid you. No pinch shall ever arrive in your spiritual affairs in which Jesus Christ shall not be equal to the emergency, for your history has all been foreknown and provided for in Jesus.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Ecclesiastes 12:7  then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; • it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; • it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:47  The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.

Genesis 3:19  By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."

Job 21:23,25,26  "One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and satisfied; • While another dies with a bitter soul, Never even tasting anything good. • "Together they lie down in the dust, And worms cover them.

Psalm 16:9  Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.

Job 19:26  "Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;

Philippians 3:20,21  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; • who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Psalm 39:4  "LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.

Psalm 90:12  So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

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.

Morning December 8
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