Dear Student of the Word,
Well, here it is. This is the last study in our series from John's gospel. What a great feeling it is to finish another book in the New Testament. What's more, with ten more studies, I will have finished the entire New Testament in verse-by-verse studies by the end of May, 2010. I will take three weeks off before I begin sending out studies from 1 John. But before we look at an excerpt from this week's study, may I wish you and yours a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. Now let's look at one of the days from John's study
Is it possible to love one of your children more than the others and still be a good parent? I think it is possible. How much more can a perfect God love a disciple with distinction without diminishing His love for the others?
v. 25 – Jesus was a busy man! He was constantly on the move and did more than could possibly be recorded in His three and a half years of ministry. John was an eyewitness of much of that and we know, as he wrote in the previous verse, that his testimony is true and accurate. How do we know? We know because the Spirit bears witness with your spirit that it is true. Plus John wrote to exalt and honor Jesus and not to promote himself, as evidenced by his hesitancy to identify himself as the beloved disciple.
As we close this study of thirty weeks, we see that John wrote with purpose and chose to include the things Jesus did to support his purpose – that readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God! John could have included more, but did not.
You don’t have to do or be it all to serve God. You can take your perspective and gifts and allow God to use them for His purpose and glory. John told a story from his experience with the Spirit’s inspiration and it was true to who he was. The same can happen to you. I am not implying you can write more of the inspired Word of God; that has already been done. You can, however, be true to who you are and perform deeds that are consistent with your insight and passion.
So as we close, I pray that this special gospel study has ministered to your needs. I know it has to mine. I have learned a lot about the Lord and His work through Jesus. John’s gospel has not always been my favorite, for I felt it was hard to understand at times. This verse-by-verse study has helped me appreciate the beauty of John’s work and the story it has told of Jesus’ magnificence.
The things that stand out to me as I close are:
- Jesus was clear about who He was in an indirect kind of way. Those who did not want to see would not see, but those who wanted to do so heard loud and clear that He was the Son of God.
- Jesus had enemies, not the least of which was Satan himself.
- John’s gospel did not feel compelled to repeat stories of the other three gospels, making it unique. I want to be unique in what I do as well.
Father, I thank You for the grace to finish this work. I commit it to You and Your watchful care and ask that You would use this study so that men may come to know you more fully. I pray that You will breathe on this study and take it to places where men and women need the Word. I pray that people will read this and see You, while they know that another John has endeavored to write about the Lord He loves. Lord, this work was and is a labor of love for You and I thank You for the privilege of looking into Your word and seeing things, by Your grace. Amen.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. You can write them or find the studies to Corinthians, Colossians, First Timothy, and Matthew's and Mark's gospels on the site where this week's entry is posted. You can also go there to sign up to receive each week's study.
Plus my website archives contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse Bible studies from Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Hebrews, James, 1&2 Peter, Hebrews and Revelation, along with the unpublished volumes of The Faith Files.
LETTERS FROM KENYA: Please, please take the time to read my latest update on the Sophia Fund and the Deborah Foundation here, this time written by three Kenyans. You will see how critical this work is from those who are touched firsthand. Then give as you can this holiday season. Your giving will make a big difference in the lives of many children and adults.
Not a lot of money arrived this past week, but a lot of stuff did. I have no idea how I will get all this over to Kenya, but I am not worried. I have people going with me in February and we will take as much as we can. I truly believe that God will work all this out, so I refuse to fret for even one minute.
After you read these updates, I hope you too will act to help today as we approach the Christmas holiday. I need money and supplies to feed and educate them in a difficult environment. I am grateful for your prayerful and prompt response to the children's needs. If you need more background or information, go to my blog to see my latest posts or go to my Facebook page. I will figure out a way to get everything to Kenya. You just figure out a way to get them to me.
NEXT STUDY: Remember, you won't receive another study from 1 John until the first week of January. Happy New Year!