LIST YOUR REFERENCES

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Yesterday in our study of John 7, we discovered how we can know the Bible is true. Today, we discover another proof of how we can know that Jesus is true.

John 7:18  “The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.”

I will never forget my first big research paper I did in high school. I was a sophomore, and our American History assignment was a 20-page paper on a topic of our choosing. I chose the Pony Express. The requirements for the paper were as follows: 20-pages typed and double spaced; a minimum of 20 different sources cited and referenced; grammar, spelling, and punctuation accounted for 20% of the grade

Remember, this is before the internet, so all research was done at the library, requiring the use of the Dewey Decimal System for locating books. There were no copy machines, which required the use of a pencil and notecards for referencing all quotes and information used in the paper. Every paragraph required at least one footnote listing the source of information. You see, no matter what my grandkids think, I was not present to personally witness the Pony Express in operation. All of my information had to come from another source. I wrote the paper based on no authority of my own.

One of the fundamental principles of teaching is to be able to verify the source of information. It is also supposed to be a fundamental principle of journalism. The passing on of information is only so trustworthy as the source of the information.

Jesus declares to us that He never speaks on His own authority. He is never teaching anything that exalts Himself or seeks His own recognition and honor. Everything He says is sourced in God the Father. The result of such commitment to the One who sent Him is that He never utters an untruth. There can be no falsehood in one who proclaims only what they have been told to say. Since Jesus only speaks what the Father has authorized, Jesus is always telling the truth. If we doubt that, we must doubt that Jesus was sent by God, and also doubt that God is perfectly truthful.

The question for us to consider, then, is this: “When we speak, what is the source of our information; by whose authority are we speaking; and for whose glory are we speaking?”

I think I will just leave you with that question to ponder – if you dare. Maybe it will help if you were required to add footnotes listing your sources to every sentence you speak.

Pastor John

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