September 8, 2020
John 1:9-13
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

New International Version (NIV)
                What is God saying to you these days?  Yesterday, I met with a family to talk about the Lord with their young grandson.  In the circle of his family’s love, he wanted to talk about baptism.  In the course of the conversation, he decided to put his trust in Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He prayed a simple prayer with me.  My prayer is that this beginning will bear fruit in him for a lifetime and all eternity. 

                Each of the four gospels in the New Testament offers us a slightly different lens into the life of our Lord.  We call Matthew, Mark and Luke “synoptic” gospels because they are similar in orientation.  John is noticeably different.  For one thing, John is unapologetically evangelistic.  Again and again we meet people who encountered Jesus and believed in him.  This good news is contagious.  So later in this chapter Andrew finds his brother Simon and brings him to Jesus.  Philip believed and then found Nathanael and invited him to come and see Jesus, too.

                Why does John want people to believe in Jesus?  Not everyone gets Jesus, or wants to.  But those who receive him by believing in his name become children of God.  Jesus who was full of grace and truth fills them with his grace and his truth.  A true encounter with Jesus leads us to share our story with others.  God so loved the world that we must also love the people in this world.  Our goal is not to make bad people leave good people alone.  Our goal is that everyone comes to know Christ and is transformed by his power. 

                I shared on Sunday in my sermon at Tallowood about the untimely death of my friend Donnie Prado.  Our mutual friend Fred Campbell told him about Jesus.  I prayed with him and he received Christ.   In the twenty-five years that followed, Donnie became an uncommon evangelist.  He was winsome and kind.  Connecting with people, he often connected them with Christ.  It’s not so much that he knocked on doors of strangers and handed them gospel information.  He so inculcated the gospel in his soul that he integrated it in everything he did.  So when he helped people get their cars repaired, they came to trust him and listened to what he said about Jesus. As one of the best bicyclists in Austin, he cared about others and so was able to share with them about God’s love for them.

                As I read and listened to story after story about my friend Donnie, I sensed the Lord renewing my own heart to share his good news.  I’ve been leading others to Jesus since I was a fourth grader in Germany.  This is all we Christians have to offer the world.  The gospel is God’s only plan for changing the world.  I know we hear a lot of voices saying, “Christians change the world by voting for people who follow Christ.”  I believe this and I vote in every election.  One of my good friends is running for statewide office.  I support him and believe in him.  He will make a huge difference.  Another of my good friends is on the local school board.  I love the way he represents Christ there.  

                 Don’t misunderstand me.  I love our country and I want our whole country to be right with God.  This will not happen by outvoting others who disagree with us.  I still believe that the world is actually changed one life at a time.  When we who follow Jesus invite others to “come and see” him, their lives will be changed.  Even more, when they see Jesus in us, they will want to know our Lord.  After Andrew introduced him to Jesus, Peter would write, “Always be ready to give them an answer when they ask about the hope that is in you.”  By the way, are they asking?
Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for the good news of Jesus.  Grant us an opportunity to tell somebody about your love today.  May our own lives of loving obedience to you verify and confirm the truth of our message.  Change us, Lord, and make us agents of change in your world.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:29-30
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

About Duane Archives
Subscribe to our email list.