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Developing Your Devotional Life

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Here comes a cosmic truth…Your “spiritual temperature,” or health is directly related to the quality of your devotional life.  Most married couples learn, the hard way, that to neglect quality time together is to court relational disaster.  So it is with God.  Did you know that if you are a Christian, you are married to the Lover of your soul?  Forever.

Some of the most arresting verses in the bible describe the spiritual condition of Christians in a young church in Laodicea two thousand years ago who gradually strayed from their “first love” and paid dearly for it.  Like a spurned lover, God openly complains,

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.”[A]

God longs for our company and is jealous of “the stuff” in our lives that squeeze Him out.  We manage to spend hours watching a football game on TV and can’t spare fifteen minutes alone with God—what does that say about the condition of our hearts?  So what can we do about it?  In her book, “Lent, A Season of Returning,” Ruth H. Barton observes,

“As we clear out the clutter of compulsive behaviors and emerge from the fog of inner distractions, we become more finely attuned to the presence of God and all the ways in which that Presence satisfies us utterly.”

The following practical thoughts and suggestions are intended to prevent deadly “soul drift” and keep our relationship with God fresh, vibrant and fulfilling. Going deeper with God is not just for mystics and so-called spiritual giants, it’s for all of us to “seek Him with all of our hearts.”  Someone once said, “Coasting is a downhill process,” and nowhere is that more true than in matters of the soul.  Think about it, what could be more important than regularly connecting with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe?

Few things are needed—indeed only one

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’  ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ [B]

In this well-known exchange between two people who truly loved Jesus, but who approached Him in very different ways, we learn the secret of life direct from the lips of the Master.  First, don’t live your life distracted by “things,” even good ones.  And second, sit down regularly at the Lord’s feet and listen.  That’s it folks!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened…how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! “[C]

What could be more plain?  We have not because we ask not.  Yet how often we complain to God that we didn’t get something we wanted, only to remember, “Duh! I never really asked Him about it in the first place.”  I’ve often feared that when I get to heaven, God will show me a warehouse of blessings that I could have had, if only I had asked.  But not me!  I forge on without Him, and then get “all weepy” when things don’t work out, all the while protesting, “Lord, don’t you care!”

Engaging your heart

We are tempted to think that God is primarily interested in our “time, talent, and treasure.”  We scurry about “doing” things for God, sometimes even secretly expecting to post “points” on some spiritual scoreboard in the sky.  But hear this,

“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. “[D]

Do you get it?  Between the covers of that bible you hold, if you put it up to your ear and listen, there is a Heartbeat.  The pages of scripture are alive with a Father’s love; a Father who is longing to connect with his always-too-busy kids, without conditions, demands, or expectations.  Just show up.  You don’t have to earn your way into His presence, nor beg for His attention, He’s “all ears.”

What a sad home it would be if its children felt compelled to “earn” their parent’s approval and acceptance by continually performing duties.  Scripture assures us that we are God’s children, His heirs, His “flesh and blood.”  Can you accept that?  The world, with its “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” value system tends to drown out God’s gentle nudges to come up, sit on His “lap,” and bask in His presence–empty-handed and undeserving.

Getting alone with God

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” [E]

If anyone “had it together” it was Jesus.  Yet even He felt the need to get alone with the Father and “charge His batteries” before facing the rigors of His daily ministry.  Jesus understood the dangers of the many soul-numbing distractions that came His way, and was proactive in making space for silence, alone with His Father.  When is the last time you heard from God?  I mean clearly and unambiguously?

The missing link is intimacy, which flourishes in unhurried communion and withers in the face of hustle and bustle.  Children “got it,” when Jesus approached.  He filled them with a sense of expectancy, as they hung on His every word, knowing that something really important was happening.  Somehow we tend to lose that excitement as “life comes at us,” and the resulting narcotic-effect of losing our spiritual bearings leaves us exhausted and confused.

Living intentionally

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.  Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.  Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.  The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.  Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”[F]

The three examples above cited by Paul to his disciple Timothy stand as great examples of intentional living—a soldier who dies if he fails at his job; an athlete who forfeits the prize if he fails to train; a farmer who starves to death if he doesn’t produce.  No one “coasts” to the finish line of a race worth running.  Christian commitment is a life-and-death matter, and while the stakes are high, the rewards are incalculable.

So what’s the “catch” here?  What is it that so many miss?

“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.  All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” [G]

The pearls of great price in God’s kingdom aren’t just laying around for anyone to trample.  They are revealed to a select few, a chosen few, who take the time to become as children and “hang out” with their dad’s.  I will forever value those few but precious hours with my earthly dad alone in a boat fishing.  It was then that I really got to know the real him, with his guard down and not being rushed.

Is it worth it?  Will it last?  Does it matter?

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” [H]

Dwelling “in the now.”

Are you haunted by past mistakes and regrets?  Do you find yourself ruminating about them?  How about the future?  Are you obsessively planning, plotting, and perspiring to “secure” that place in the sun?  Don’t let them crowd into your present.

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” [I]

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [J]

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”[K]

Often in the word

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” [L]

There is the old adage about the Operator’s Manual being the first thing we throw out after unpacking an appliance.  That may be humorous when all that is at stake is a flat soufflé, but not so much when it comes to your soul.  The bible is God’s Owner’s Manual for you, and as such, he wants you to get to know it well.  It’s an adventure that will last a lifetime.  We have listed one way to do this below.

oneyearbible

Daily reading from God’s word according to the “One Year Bible.”[M]

Here is a handy outline for building up your own personal understanding of scripture:

  1. Observation [What does it say?]
  2. Interpretation [What does it mean?]
  3. Application [How does it apply to my life?]

Listening for God

 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. “[N]

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” [O]

Staying in step with the Holy Spirit

“All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”[P]

Praying like your life depended on it

Simply stated, prayer is “synching up” with God.  Jesus taught us how:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” [Q]

Someone has suggested that a good acronym for the main types of prayer would be ACTS:

A — ADORATION. This is the purest kind of prayer because it’s all for God — there’s nothing in it for you. You don’t barge into the presence of royalty. You begin with the proper salutation. So worship Him. Tell the Lord that you love Him. Reflect on His greatness, His power, His majesty, and sovereignty!

C — CONFESSION. Confession comes from a root word meaning “to agree together with.” Apply this to prayer. It means to agree with God. Something happened yesterday you called a slight exaggeration — God calls it a lie! You call it strong language — God calls it swearing. You call it telling the truth about somebody in the church — God calls it gossip. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).

T — THANKSGIVING. Express your gratitude to God. Think of several specific things to thank Him for: your family, your business, your church and ministry responsibilities — even thank Him for hardships. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).

S — SUPPLICATION. This means to “ask for, earnestly and humbly.” This is the part of your prayer life where you make your petitions known to Him. Ask for others, then for yourself. Why not include other people around the world, such as missionaries, students studying abroad, friends in distant places, and above all the people of many lands who have yet to hear about Jesus Christ.

Consider this paradox:  The real “you” can only be seen when no one is looking; when you have no one to impress, when your guard is down, and when you allow what is “inside” to show on the “outside.”  We are talking about integrity and it only comes through honest dialog with God.  Guess what? He knows you through and through anyway—do you think He ever says, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”  So get real with Him, it absolutely obliterates anxiety.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [R]

A typical twenty-minute devotional

There is nothing magic in the time it takes for a devotional, the key is quality.  For that reason, it is best done first thing in the morning before emails, phone calls, and the rush of the day press in.  In the early morning, your mind is clear, the coffee is fresh, and the silence is restorative.  Here is a suggested outline for your daily time with God:

  • Confession, cleansing, renewing (1 John 1:9)

Put your sins “on the table,” ask forgiveness, appropriate God’s strength in overcoming these in the future

  • Ask God for spiritual insight (Ephesians 1: 17-19)

We are spiritually blind apart from the Holy Spirit, ask for His wisdom and revelation

  • Bible reading for each day (One Year Bible)

Take-away application of reading.  What stood out to you from your encounter with God and His word?  How will you apply it?

  • Pray for your needs and other’s blessings (Philippians 4: 6-7)

Don’t be afraid to ask, God loves to bless us.

And finally,

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” [S]

It could be asked, what do I have in my life that is more important than getting to know my God—the One with whom I will spend eternity?  As Jesus pointed out in the verses above, “knowing” God is a matter of revelation, and revelation requires that I regularly “tune in” on Him and find out what He is doing.  We are far too enamored with what we are doing and the resulting burden of self-absorption can become unbearable.  The verse above promises faithful followers of Jesus will be beneficiaries of one of the most elusive and precious human treasures, “rest for your souls.”  Money can’t buy it, making time for God assures it.

Takeaways

  • Your spiritual health is directly related to your personal devotional life, regardless of the number of bible studies, church services, and religious activities you can jam into your schedule.
  • The time you commit to being alone with God says something about the condition of your heart and how serious you are about a relationship with Him in the first place.
  • God promises rich rewards for those who seek Him with all their hearts, demonstrated by a willingness to embark “on a holy quest” to connect with Him at all costs.
  • Forming the habit of regular personal devotions is surprisingly easy. Twenty minutes a day will do it, although as the benefits accrue, you will find yourself wanting more.  Forming this new habit takes less than six weeks.
  • The greatest benefit of personal devotions is that it takes our focus away from self (blessed riddance!) and on to God and what He’s doing.

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Evidence for the Resurrection

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Here is an extended excerpt from Josh McDowell, author of Evidence that Demands a Verdict and one of the most popular speakers among university students. He has spoken on more than 650 university and college campuses to more than seven million people in seventy-four countries during his ministry:

LIVING WITNESSES

The New Testament accounts of the resurrection were being circulated within the lifetimes of men and women alive at the time of the resurrection. Those people could certainly have confirmed or denied the accuracy of such accounts.

The writers of the four Gospels either had themselves been witnesses or else were relating the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events. In advocating their case for the gospel, a word that means “good news,” the apostles appealed (even when confronting their most severe opponents) to common knowledge concerning the facts of the resurrection

F.F. Bruce, Rylands professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, says concerning the value of the New Testament records as primary sources: “Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective.”

IS THE NEW TESTAMENT RELIABLE?

Because the New Testament provides the primary historical source for information on the resurrection, many critics during the 19th century attacked the reliability of these biblical documents.

By the end of the 19th century, however, archaeological discoveries had confirmed the accuracy of the New Testament manuscripts. Discoveries of early papyri bridged the gap between the time of Christ and existing manuscripts from a later date.

Those findings increased scholarly confidence in the reliability of the Bible. William F. Albright, who in his day was the world’s foremost biblical archaeologist, said: “We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after about A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today.”

Coinciding with the papyri discoveries, an abundance of other manuscripts came to light (over 24,000 copies of early New Testament manuscripts are known to be in existence today). The historian Luke wrote of “authentic evidence” concerning the resurrection. Sir William Ramsay, who spent 15 years attempting to undermine Luke credentials as a historian, and to refute the reliability of the New Testament, finally concluded: “Luke is a historian of the first rank….This author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians. ”

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I claim to be an historian. My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history…

E.M. Blaiklock

Professor of Classics

Auckland University

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BACKGROUND

The New Testament witnesses were fully aware of the background against which the resurrection took place. The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial custom, was wrapped in a linen cloth. About 100 pounds of aromatic spices, mixed together to form a gummy substance, were applied to the wrappings of cloth about the body. After the body was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. Large stones weighing approximately two tons were normally rolled (by means of levers) against a tomb entrance.

A Roman guard of strictly disciplined fighting men was stationed to guard the tomb. This guard affixed on the tomb the Roman seal, which was meant to “prevent any attempt at vandalizing the sepulcher.” Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb’s entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law.

But three days later the tomb was empty. The followers of Jesus said He had risen from the dead. They reported that He appeared to them during a period of 40 days, showing Himself to them by many “infallible proofs.” Paul the apostle recounted that Jesus appeared to more than 500 of His followers at one time, the majority of whom were still alive and who could confirm what Paul wrote. So many security precautions were taken with the trial, crucifixion, burial, entombment, sealing, and guarding of Christ’s tomb that it becomes very difficult for critics to defend their position that Christ did not rise from the dead. Consider these facts:

FACT #1: BROKEN ROMAN SEAL

As we have said, the first obvious fact was the breaking of the seal that stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The consequences of breaking the seal were extremely severe. The FBI and CIA of the Roman Empire were called into action to find the man or men who were responsible. If they were apprehended, it meant automatic execution by crucifixion upside down. People feared the breaking of the seal. Jesus’ disciples displayed signs of cowardice when they hid themselves. Peter, one of these disciples, went out and denied Christ three times.

FACT #2: EMPTY TOMB

As we have already discussed, another obvious fact after the resurrection was the empty tomb. The disciples of Christ did not go off to Athens or Rome to preach that Christ was raised from the dead. Rather, they went right back to the city of Jerusalem, where, if what they were teaching was false, the falsity would be evident. The empty tomb was “too notorious to be denied.” Paul Althaus states that the resurrection “could have not been maintained in Jerusalem for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact for all concerned.”

Both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions admit an empty tomb. Those resources range from Josephus to a compilation of fifth-century Jewish writings called the “Toledoth Jeshu.” Dr. Paul Maier calls this “positive evidence from a hostile source, which is the strongest kind of historical evidence. In essence, this means that if a source admits a fact decidedly not in its favor, then that fact is genuine.”

Gamaliel, who was a member of the Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin, put forth the suggestion that the rise of the Christian movement was God’s doing; he could not have done that if the tomb were still occupied, or if the Sanhedrin knew the whereabouts of Christ’s body.

Paul Maier observes that “…if all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, in which Jesus was buried, was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy, or archaeology that would disprove this statement.”

FACT #3: LARGE STONE MOVED

On that Sunday morning the first thing that impressed the people who approached the tomb was the unusual position of the one and a half to two ton stone that had been lodged in front of the doorway. All the Gospel writers mention it.

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There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies….Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.

Clark Pinnock

McMaster University

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Those who observed the stone after the resurrection describe its position as having been rolled up a slope away not just from the entrance of the tomb, but from the entire massive sepulcher. It was in such a position that it looked as if it had been picked up and carried away. Now, I ask you, if the disciples had wanted to come in, tiptoe around the sleeping guards, and then roll the stone over and steal Jesus’ body, how could they have done that without the guards’ awareness?

FACT #4: ROMAN GUARD GOES AWOL

The Roman guards fled. They left their place of responsibility. How can their attrition he explained, when Roman military discipline was so exceptional? …The fear of their superiors’ wrath and the possibility of death meant that they paid close attention to the minutest details of their jobs. One way a guard was put to death was by being stripped of his clothes and then burned alive in a fire started with his garments. If it was not apparent which soldier had failed in his duty, then lots were drawn to see which one would be punished with death for the guard unit’s failure. Certainly the entire unit would not have fallen asleep with that kind of threat over their heads. Dr. George Currie, a student of Roman military discipline, wrote that fear of punishment “produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches.”

FACT #5: GRAVE CLOTHES TELL A TALE

In a literal sense, against all statements to the contrary, the tomb was not totally empty–because of an amazing phenomenon. John, a disciple of Jesus, looked over to the place where the body of Jesus had lain, and there were the grave clothes, in the form of the body, slightly caved in and empty—like the empty chrysalis of a caterpillar’s cocoon. That’s enough to make a believer out of anybody. John never did get over it. The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes–undisturbed in form and position.

FACT #6: JESUS’ APPEARANCES CONFIRMED

Christ appeared alive on several occasions after the cataclysmic events of that first Easter. When studying an event in history, it is important to know whether enough people who were participants or eyewitnesses to the event were alive when the facts about the event were published. To know this is obviously helpful in ascertaining the accuracy of the published report. If the number of eyewitnesses is substantial, the event can he regarded as fairly well established. For instance, if we all witness a murder, and a later police report turns out to be a fabrication of lies, we as eyewitnesses can refute it.

OVER 500 WITNESSES

Several very important factors are often overlooked when considering Christ’s post-resurrection appearances to individuals. The first is the large number of witnesses of Christ after that resurrection morning. One of the earliest records of Christ’s appearing after the resurrection is by Paul. The apostle appealed to his audience’s knowledge of the fact that Christ had been seen by more than 500 people at one time. Paul reminded them that the majority of those people were still alive and could be questioned. Dr. Edwin M. Yamauchi, associate professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, emphasizes: “What gives a special authority to the list (of witnesses) as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren being still alive. St. Paul says in effect, ‘If you do not believe me, you can ask them.’ Such a statement in an admittedly genuine letter written within thirty years of the event is almost as strong evidence as one could hope to get for something that happened nearly two thousand years ago.” Let’s take the more than 500 witnesses who saw Jesus alive after His death and burial, and place them in a courtroom. Do you realize that if each of those 500 people were to testify for only six minutes, including cross-examination, you would have an amazing 50 hours of firsthand testimony? Add to this the testimony of many other eyewitnesses and you would well have the largest and most lopsided trial in history.

HOSTILE WITNESSES

Another factor crucial to interpreting Christ’s appearances is that He also appeared to those who were hostile or unconvinced.

Over and over again, I have read or heard people comment that Jesus was seen alive after His death and burial only by His friends and followers. Using that argument, they attempt to water down the overwhelming impact of the multiple eyewitness accounts. But that line of reasoning is so pathetic it hardly deserves comment. No author or informed individual would regard Saul of Tarsus as being a follower of Christ. The facts show the exact opposite. Saul despised Christ and persecuted Christ’s followers. It was a life-shattering experience when Christ appeared to him. Although he was at the time not a disciple, he later became the apostle Paul, one of the greatest witnesses for the truth of the resurrection.

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If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.

F.F. Bruce

Manchester University

THE RESURRECTION IS A FACT

Professor Thomas Arnold, for 14 years a headmaster of Rugby, author of the famous History of Rome, and appointed to the chair of modern history at Oxford, was well acquainted with the value of evidence in determining historical facts. This great scholar said: “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” Brooke Foss Westcott, an English scholar, said: “raking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.”

REAL PROOF: THE DISCIPLES’ LIVES

But the most telling testimony of all must be the lives of those early Christians. We must ask ourselves: What caused them to go everywhere telling the message of the risen Christ?

Had there been any visible benefits accrued to them from their efforts—prestige, wealth, increased social status or material benefits—we might logically attempt to account for their actions, for their whole-hearted and total allegiance to this “risen Christ.”

As a reward for their efforts, however, those early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified. Every conceivable method was used to stop them from talking.

Yet, they laid down their lives as the ultimate proof of their complete confidence in the truth of their message.

©1992  Josh McDowell Ministry[44]

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[A] Revelation 3:15-17 The Message (MSG)

[B] Luke 10:38-42 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[C] Luke 11:9-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[D] Galatians 4:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[E] Luke 5:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[F] 2 Timothy 2:2-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[G] Luke 10:21-22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[H]  Revelation 22:12-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[I] John 8:58 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[J] Matthew 6:33-34 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[K] Philippians 3:13-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[L] Matthew 4:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[M] The One Year Bible: Arranged in 365 Daily Readings. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1986. Print.

[N] John 6:63 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[O] Ephesians 1:17-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[P] John 14:25-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[Q] Matthew 6:5-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[R] Philippians 4:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[S] Matthew 11:27-29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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