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December 7

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“So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth” (3 John 1:8 NLT).

From: December 7, 2019

ARE YOU A GOSPEL PARTNER?

The apostle John was one of the last living apostles at the time he wrote this letter to his friend, Gaius. John was probably the youngest of Christ’s Twelve, but now he calls himself “the elder” in his opening address. His sweet demeanor remains, but he has little time for beating around the bush. So he commends Gaius for his faithfulness to support traveling teachers who pass through their city. He rebukes and corrects those who deny such missionaries their support. He further teaches all believers that we should support such missionaries, for in this way, “we can be their partners.” The apostle Paul also commended the believers in Philippi for their gospel partnership, or literally “koinonia,” or “fellowship” (Phil. 1:3-6).
 
Those who would be a gospel partner must listen to the Lord’s calling. For some may be called at times to go and serve, while others may be called to stay and give. Both are gospel partners. Let’s remember this instruction from old John during this Christmas season. It’s the perfect time to give sacrificially to Jesus by giving to international missions.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to remember this instruction to support missions and be partners for the gospel. We want to be marked by Your love and generosity. Empower us to give sacrificially, so that we are gospel partners with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6 NKJV).

From: December 8, 2017

Those who are obedient to “go forth” in sowing even while shedding tears of hardship, will one day “rejoice” in the day of harvest. As the apostle Paul wrote, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9).
 
Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted by faith. Keep sowing!

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3 ESV).

From: December 7, 2016

There is an answer for the nation that is under God’s judgment: Return to the Lord and desire to know Him. God is faithful. If we repent and desire to know Him, He will restore us and reveal Himself to us, just as surely as the coming dawn. This is the antidote for the nation that has lost the “knowledge of God” (Hos.4:1). Let us pursue knowing our God and let us teach the nations about Him.

“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. ” (3 John 1:9 NKJV)

From: December 7, 2015

In John’s third letter, he wrote commending Gaius for his care of the traveling Bible teachers that had visited his church. But John warned Gaius about the bad example of Diotrephes (Greek for “nurtured by Jupiter”) who apparently held some sort of leadership role in the local church and had denied help to the traveling teachers. Among the character flaws that John ascribed to Diotrephes was that he “loves to have the preeminence.” In other words, he was “fond of being first.” He was ambitious and power hungry, unwilling to submit to the apostle John. This is not the paradigm for servant leadership that Jesus taught. He taught that servant leaders were not to lord it over others as the Gentile rulers did, but that whoever would be great must become a servant and whoever would be first, must become a slave (Matt. 20:25-27). When people like Diotrephes take leadership in a church, the church suffers. But John promised Gaius that when he came to visit, he would confront this worldly leadership style.

“Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places for sinning!” (Hosea 8:11 NLT)

From: December 7, 2014

God had provided one way for the Israelites to have their sins forgiven, one altar, in one place called Jerusalem. Yet, they chose to build their own altars according to their own desires. They rejected God’s redemption by building their own means of morality. As if their sins were not great enough, this man-made religion was perhaps their greatest sin. In trying to cover their own sins, they multiplied them. This is a foreshadowing of how many have rejected God’s Son today. God provided Jesus as the only means for our redemption from sin, the only way to be reconciled to God. He is the fulfillment of the Jewish sacrificial system, which always pointed to Him. Yet, people today continue to build their own altars, declaring themselves good based on their own thinking. They say, “I have no need of a Savior. My sins did not crucify Jesus. I think He was a good man, a good teacher, but I’m doing fine on my own.” And in saying this they multiply their own sin.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126:5)

From: December 7, 2013

The principle of sowing and reaping is found throughout the Bible. The principle involves at least two features: 1) You reap according to what you sow. You sow grass, you get grass. Sow weeds, get weeds. 2) You reap more than you sow. This is the principle of multiplication.
We can choose to sow good seed even in seasons of suffering. Even when it is tempting to eat the seed rather than sow it. When we sow good seed, we can trust the Lord with the harvest. And when the time for reaping comes, He turns our weeping into joy.

“Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring” (Hosea 6:3)

From: December 7, 2012

There is an answer for the nation that is under God’s judgment: Return to the Lord and desire to know Him. God is faithful. If we repent and desire to know Him, He will restore us and reveal Himself to us, just as surely as the coming dawn. This is the antidote for the nation that has lost the “knowledge of God” (Hos.4:1). Let us pursue knowing our God and let us teach the nations about Him.

“After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence” (Hosea 6:2)

From: December 7, 2011

In the midst of a scathing critique and judgment on Israel, the prophet pauses to declare this word of promise. On the third day there will be a resurrection that will make it possible for us to live in God’s presence. Jesus has fulfilled this prophecy.