Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 220/260: Read John 10

How frustrating is it to talk to someone who denies plain truth? Despite all the evidence in the world, they still refuse to accept what you see and understand.

John records an incident that happened at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem in which the Jews questioned Jesus, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

John the Baptist proclaimed the truth of Jesus’ identity. “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.”’…The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’…‘And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’” (John 1:15,29,34).

Jesus’ disciples knew who He was. Andrew told his brother Peter, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41). Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49). Peter declared, “Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:69).

Jesus answered the Jews, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (John 10:25).

The answer was in front of their very eyes, but they could not acknowledge the truth.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Pray

Pray for the wisdom to accept Jesus at His word.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 219/260: Read John 9

Why do bad things happen to good people? From physical ailments to natural disasters, we see good people suffer all around us. Why?
John presents to us in the ninth chapter of his gospel account a man who was born blind. The Lord’s disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” It is a common assumption that bad things happen because of sin that one has committed.

Job’s friends argued this when trouble befell him. Eliphaz said, “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (Job 4:7-8). Bildad said, “Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, nor will He uphold the evildoers” (Job 8:20). Zophar’s comments to Job were similar, blaming Job for all of his suffering.

While it is true that we can suffer from our personal sin, we must not jump to conclusion that all suffering is caused by such. There are times that we are affected by the sin of others. In fact, there are times that we suffer because we refuse to sin (2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 5:10-12).

In addition to this, there are times that we may suffer so that God can be glorified. Jesus answered His disciples, “Neither this man nor his parent sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in Him.”

Whatever happens in this life, good or bad, look to God and glorify Him. Seek opportunities to praise Him despite less than ideal circumstances.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My ________________, you are My ________________ indeed.”

Pray

Pray for opportunities to shine the light of Christ in your life, even when bad things are happening.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 218/260: Read John 8

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” This statement of Jesus is often used by those who are engaged in open sin, rebelling against the authority of God and daring anyone to call them out. Look a little deeper at the incident, though, and you’ll see there is much more to it.

The woman was “caught in adultery.” The scribes and Pharisees that brought her to Jesus said that she was caught “in the very act.” I can’t help but wonder why the man was not also brought to the Lord.

The scribes and Pharisees appealed to the Law of Moses for punishment, citing the command to stone those who were guilty of the sin of adultery. Jesus refused to answer them, so they asked again, and finally He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Perhaps they were bearing false witness, or had entrapped this woman. Or perhaps they came to realize that God desires repentance rather than retribution. Whatever the case, they understood that they were not without guilt themselves.

Then notice Jesus’ words to the woman. He did not pass final judgment on her, but neither did He condone her actions. He told her, “Go and sin no more.” The intention of pointing out sin should not be to embarrass or belittle another, but to bring them back to the truth so that they may “sin no more.”

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who ________________ Him, “If you ________________ in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Pray

Pray for those who have given in to temptation, and encourage them to make their life right with the Lord.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 217/260: Read John 7

It has been said that Jesus can fit only one of three descriptions. Either he was a liar, a lunatic, or He is the Lord. This is not a new thought; there were disputes during the first century about His character.

“And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, ‘He is good’; others said, ‘No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.’” The Pharisees and chief priests wanted Him arrested, and they mocked their officers when they came back empty-handed. “Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” They reasoned that Jesus was lying to the people, deceiving them.

Others claimed Jesus was paranoid and possessed. They said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?” In another passage, we read that even those close to the Lord doubted His sanity. “But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind’” (Mark 3:21).

Was Jesus a liar? Was He a lunatic? Some recognized the truth of His identity. “And many of the people believe in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?’”

How do you view Jesus? Is He your Lord?

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Pray

Pray for a better understanding of Jesus’ identity as the Christ, the Savior of mankind.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 216/260: Read John 6

There are seven times in the gospel according to John that Jesus says “I am,” describing Himself in figurative terms. The first, found in John 6:35, is “I am the bread of life.” Notice what Jesus says next about those who desire to partake in that bread: “He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

There are many in the religious world that teach the concept of inviting Jesus into your heart, but the Bible teaches just the opposite. Jesus invites us to come to Him. We are the ones who must move. We are the ones who must make changes. We conform ourselves to His life, rather than trying to make Him fit into ours.

What does it mean to eat His flesh and drink His blood? It is impossible to escape the thought of the Lord’s Supper here, but there is much more to it. Jesus says, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” To eat His flesh and drink His blood is to take His words, believe them, and obey them. Then and only then can we truly abide in the Son of God.

He sets the terms. He is the Creator of the universe. He is the Savior of sinful man. We have no right to make demands on Him or to change what He has established in His Word.

At the end of this chapter, after many had left Him, Jesus asked His apostles, “Do you also want to go away?” Peter wisely answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Pray

Pray for the humility to accept God’s Word at what it says without trying to modify it to fit preconceptions.

Always Abounding in the Work of the Lord

Always Abounding in the Work of the Lord

(1 Corinthians 15:58)

I. Powerful faith

    A. Scriptural examples (Mark 5)
    B. Developed through study and application of the Word (Romans 10:17)
    C. Faith is foundational (Hebrews 11:6; 2 Peter 1:5-8)

II. Prevailing power

    A. Scriptural examples (Jabez, Solomon, Nehemiah, Daniel, Ezra)
    B. We should pray as we work, we should pray as we prepare to work, and we should pray for others who do the work as well (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:10-20)
    C. The example of Elijah (James 5:17-18)

III. Passionate zeal

    A. “To boil with heat” (Romans 12:10-11)
    B. Zeal and preparedness (Titus 2:13-14; 3:1; Ephesians 2:10)
    C. Zeal in spreading the gospel (Mark 16:15-16; 2 Timothy 2:2)

IV. Personal love

    A. If there is no love in our work, it is all done in vain (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
    B. Love for God (Matthew 22:37-38; John 14:15)
    C. Love for others (Matthew 22:39; Romans 13:10; Ephesians 4:15)
    D. Love for self (Matthew 22:39; 1 Timothy 4:16)

V. Persistent effort

    A. Perseverance pays off (Galatians 6:9-10)
    B. The example of Paul (Philippians 3:13-14)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 215/260: Read John 5

The religious elite of the first century opposed the truth that Jesus demonstrated in His life and words. He would not bow to their authority, for His authority superseded any authority to which they laid claim.

He told them, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” At that time, He was speaking of the inspired Old Testament, the things written by Moses, David, the prophets, and others. But couldn’t the same be said today? The writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter, and Jude continue to testify of Jesus in this twenty-first century, and if we heed the things written, indeed we can have eternal life.

Yet, Jesus continues, “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” Again, these words could apply to those in the religious world that want to deny the things recorded in the New Testament Scriptures. People want to set their own terms for coming to Jesus, rejecting His inspired instructions.

The Lord said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). We don’t get to set the terms; the Creator of the universe has established a way to salvation. If we reject His way, then we are just as guilty as those first-century religious elites. Jesus lamented, “I do not receive honor from men.” Sadly, those words are still true today.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Pray

Pray for a soft heart to receive the words of Jesus in faithful obedience.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 214/260: Read John 4

When Jesus passed through Samaria with His disciples, He spoke with a woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well. This surprised the woman; John explained, “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” But Jesus was more than a Jew, and the woman was more than a Samaritan. She was a soul, and Jesus was a soul-winner.

When the disciples returned from their errand and saw the Lord speaking to her, they “marveled,” wondering why He was talking to her. She then goes to the men of the city, and Jesus has a discussion with the disciples about the harvest.

“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”

When Jesus issued the Great Commission to these men, he told them to go everywhere. They were to begin where they were—in Jerusalem—but they were not to stay there. He said they should “be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus showed them in the fourth chapter of John that all souls everywhere mattered to Him.

Do they matter to us?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

John 1:1. In the ________________ was the Word, and the Word was with ________________, and the Word was ________________.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with someone who does not look like you, talk like you, or act like you.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 213/260: Read John 3

It is not Jesus’ desire that any man should spend eternity in everlasting punishment separated from the Father. Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God di not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Man is already condemned, separated from God. That is not God’s fault, not by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it is man who has chosen to be separated by iniquity. Jesus’ mission was not to tell man that he was lost, but rather provide for man a path to reconciliation with the Father. And He did that because He loved man.

Why did my Savior come to earth
And to the humble God?
Why did He choose a lowly birth?
Because He loved me so!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

John 1:1. In the beginning was the ________________, and the ________________ was with God, and the ________________ was God.

Pray

Pray for a greater appreciation of Christ’s marvelous love.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 212/260: Read John 2

The Jews of the first century demanded to know the source of Jesus’ authority. He had driven the sellers of livestock and the moneychangers out of the temple, saying, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” The Jews requested a sign to prove His authority for His actions.

He was the Word, He was with God, and He was God (John 1:1). Why did He need to prove Himself? Because He left heaven and came to earth. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Though He possessed the nature of God, He “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). In so doing, “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).

And so, when the Jews demanded proof of His authority, He did not point to Himself and to His divinity, but to the future when the Father would show power through His resurrection. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Jesus said after His resurrection, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). How wonderful it would be if all men would recognize that and turn to Him to learn what God desires.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Pray

Pray for humility in submitting to the Word of God.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)