Today we are praying for the country of Libya. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers. If you want to pray for more nations in North Africa and the Middle East you can click HERE and explore the different nations and peoples that makes up the region.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as we continue to consider 1 John 2:7.
Watch the Video Below and Pray or Libya
Today's Devotional Thought
If you missed the last devotion, please go to www.missionsurge.com/blog and catch up! We are considering the old commandment: the gospel.
I. This is what you heard when you first came to Christ.
What did they hear in the beginning? What was the message John preached to them in the beginning?
What we have seen and heard, we proclaim to you. What had they seen and heard? Jesus! His life, His death, His resurrection, and His preaching and teaching. John records a key part of that in his gospel. It could be that this was part of the message he delivered to these people when they first heard and believed.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life
There are 5 huge words that make up this verse and that make up the old commandment: the gospel. First, there is the word, “God.” The gospel begins with God. Do you understand who God is? Do you know God? Yes? How did you come to understand who God is? How did you come to know God? Have you read and studied the entire Word of God? Have you read and studied the Word of God in search of who God is? No? Then where did you get your information? If you did not get it from the Word of God, then where did you get it? Most of us, if we are honest, have obtained our view of God from second hand information at best or our imagination at worst. There is so much more to God than we ever get to because we presume that we know Him. Atheists create a God that they hate. Christians create a God that they love. And they are both wrong! Moses warns us in Deuteronomy 11:16, “Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.” The way to avoid being deceived is by getting to know Him through His Word.
The second major word is “world.” What does this word mean? First we must recognize that this is not referring to the bigness of the world, but rather the badness of the world. This God of holy, sinless perfection loves the unholy, sinful world. Yet, because the world is sinful, and God’s standard is sinlessness there is really no hope for us because God is a just judge and He must judge our sin. This leads to the third major word: “Son.” God, so loves the sinful world that He made a way for us to be made right with Him. He became man and lived the life that He requires of us. He died the death that our sin deserves and demands. He rose from the grave on Sunday morning and is now seated at the right hand of the Father to make intercession for us…and one day He is coming again! How can we be ready? That leads us to the fourth major word: “Believes." What does it mean to believe? It means more than just believing. The demons believe! And they tremble. When is the last time you trembled? They believe more than us, yet they are going to hell. So “believe” must mean more than just believing. It is repenting and trusting. It results in obedience. We see Jesus use the words believe and obey in almost interchangeable fashion in John 3:36. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
The final major word(s) is “Eternal Life.” The holy God of all creation loves the sinful world so much that He became man to make is possible for us to believe in such a way that we can have eternal life. This is the message that you heard from the beginning: the gospel! But this gospel message goes farther back than John’s proclamation of it.
II. This message has been preached since the prophets.
Paul wrote in Romans 1:1-4 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is the gospel message and it was proclaimed by the prophets in the Old Testament many years before Christ was born in Bethlehem.
Consider one of those instances of the gospel revealed in Isaiah 53. Take time to read Isaiah 53.
The gospel of Jesus Christ in this chapter is so clear that is is undeniable! And that is just one instance in the prophets that points to Christ. It goes back even farther than Isaiah!