A daily devotion for January 14th
Testimonies About Jesus
31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.
33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light(John 5:33-35)
Jesus says something that sounds a little strange to us:
Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved. By this he means that though he does not need testimony from John for himself, it may be a saving help to those who heard John. It is a strange phenomenon, frequently seen, that men and women who pay no attention to the voice of God directly will often listen very interestedly to someone who tells what his experience with God has been.
I gathered with about 650 other people to hear a former Senator tell how God had drastically changed his life. When he was a hopeless alcoholic, wallowing in his own vomit, so despairing he was ready to take his own life, God met him and delivered him through much struggle and pain, and led him to a place of prominence and power. I sat on the platform watching people hanging on his every word, listening to a man describe what God could do.
The Bible, of course, is the Word of God. It is the most widely distributed book ever — the perennial best seller — having been translated into more languages than any other book. Thus it has always struck me as strange how few people ever open the Bible to see what God has said. But they will listen instead to what some man says about what God has said! That phenomenon is what Jesus is talking about here:
For your sake John has been sent. For your sake I call attention to the witness of John, in order that you might be saved. This is a marvelous insight into the compassionate heart of Jesus. He is willing to use any approach as long as people will listen to what God is saying.
Jesus goes on to say a very beautiful thing about John:
He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. John was a lamp. He was not a light, he was a lamp. A lamp bears the light, but it is not the light itself. If a lamp is not burning, it is not shining either. The lamp is there but there is no light. Many people are like that. They are lamps, they have the capacity to be lights, but they are not shining. John was the kind of lamp who shone brightly. He was a witness who told people where they could see, hear and know the light.
Would you like to be a shining lamp? Let me tell you how to do it. Burn! Let the truth of God fuel your heart until it begins to burn. When you understand the amazing revelation of how God operates in this world your heart will begin to burn, and then you will start to shine. When we sing the words to the familiar hymn that we are going to let our little light shine, this is how to do it: Burn!
Lord, I want my light to shine as John's did, pointing people around me to you.
Life Application: When the Light of the World who is Jesus Christ lives in us, we are called to be His lightbearers. When our hearts are aflame with His Light and Love, we cannot help but burn as His witnesses.
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Daily Devotion © 2014 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.