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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

For His Name

…to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name…
(Romans 1:5 – ESV)

It is all about Jesus – anything that has as its focus something other than the person of Jesus Christ, His atoning work, and our becoming like Him is not from God. No matter how right it may seem, and how much it sounds like the real thing or how much it talks of Jesus, if the primary focus is something else, it is a distraction, which leads to diversion, and ultimately to deception. No work you do for God that comes from your own power will survive the judgment seat of Christ and anything good but not for him is of no eternal worth either.

This includes partnering with non-Christians of other faiths for “the common good”. The common purpose may seem right, however, it is not done for the name of Christ but for the good of men. It is certainly right and good to help hurting people, of course, but there are limits. The church is not to be a “partner” with government and business to help eradicate society’s ills; that is the old social gospel of the early twentieth century. When an effort places the gospel as being secondary in importance to other needs, even if they are real and epidemic it is wrong. The most important thing is a person’s soul, and to set the gospel aside in order to work with non-believers is to deny Christ. A watered down gospel is no gospel at all. We may work with them for noble purposes, yes, but if it means that we have to silence our voice about the gospel then no, no matter how pressing the need.

The true gospel offends people. It reminds us that we are fallen creatures in bondage to sin and on our way to hell apart from God and His offer of salvation in Christ. It reminds us not to expect popularity in the world when we are true to His Word. Instead we are called to follow His narrow, difficult road, no matter what the cost.

Look at what Jesus said in John 15:18-21 – If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

In contrast to this, deeds done in the name of humanity will win the world's approval. So will a gospel cleansed of offensive truth, and focused on man's worth rather than God's righteousness.

The gospel cannot be partnered with the world – 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NKJV) – For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. You are an offensive smell to either God or the world; you cannot be a pleasing aroma to both. For His name, choose the sweet odor of death to self and life to God.


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4 Comments:

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Thank you everyone for continuing to pray for my father in law, JR...

His status as of 12-25-06 - 5pm...

He has been moved to a rehab hospital, and is undergoing aggressive physical therapy...we have seen him move his left leg (the paralyzed side) and left elbow and hand...the physical therapist says she believes that he might regain use of both, but that he must "retrain the brain" to be able to use those muscles again...

He has been given some tracts, and is glorifying God in all of this, and witnessing where he can...

Thank you again for your prayers, I told him today how all of you are lifting him up before God, and it touched him to hear this...

It will be at least two weeks of therapy, but his vitals are good, he is in otherwise good shape...

Pray for his complete recovery of movement, and that souls will be won to Christ...the nurses are already calling him the "all star" because of his cooperative, courageous, and congenial behavior (of course we would use the word Christlike, amen)...

For His Glory

JD

 
At 11:32 PM, Blogger Paulie said...

Love that good news! Thanks for the update, I'll be back in the afternoon tomorrow to read your latest Post JD, Rest well, our love to Marrgie as well as yourself. Oh, Melissa meationed she is looking forward to getting together at some point, (her words not mine)!

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Good news! Praise God!

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Taliesin said...

I'm thankful that he is making progress and that he is bearing such a witness for Christ. I hope and pray the rest of the family is holding up as well.

 

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