Friday, December 07, 2007

Inspiration from John the Baptist

Today's devotion is written by me from my mom's house. Jim and I had a meeting last night, and stayed overnight at their place. They took care of Justin while we were at the meeting.

Anyways, the scripture passage I've chosen is Matthew 3:1-12. I was inspired by the Goshen College reading for December 7.

I have to admit, I didn't pay alot of attention to what they wrote as it didn't seem relevant to me. I just thought I'd go to scripture.

John the Baptist: fore-runner to Christ. He came to "prepare the way of the Lord". This was his task. He went about it single-mindedly. He was even willing to take on the established religious leadership of the day...the Pharisees and Sadducees. Nothing stopped his message of repentance.

<>His boldness I admit, inspires me. He was a man who was not dressed in the day's fashion. He was not a social animal .... he lived in the desert, ate locusts and wild honey and dressed in camel's hair and leather. Not a man of the modern world....but people came. People listened to him. People's lives were changed by his message of repentance. He pointed folks to God even though he knew his message and the baptism that he offered wasn't enough. He still did the job that he was called to.

7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

I need that boldness. I need to have that type of fire lit in my life. As I look forward to Christ's return, I need to preach the message of repentance and salvation to those around me, and not be scared of the consequences....Oh Lord..... light in me that fire to do your will, to do the task that you have set before me.

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