The Life of Christ - John Preparing the Way - Tuesday, January 9th
(Starting this week and on through Easter our Devotionals will come from the Gospel of Mark and will be coordinated with Pastor Ben’s series on the Life of Christ from the Gospel of Mark)
John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:4-6
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
John the Baptist the person, his message of repentance, the response of those who heard him, and his baptism campaign, were all a part of preparing the way for Jesus and the ministry he would accomplish here on earth. While the ministry of John the Baptist was a ministry of preparation on many levels, it was primarily a ministry of revealing the openness and responsiveness of the people of Israel to God and all that he was about to do through his Son, Jesus Christ. If you had been there and heard John (keep in mind that the Gospel of Christ would still be obscure to you at this point), how would you have reacted?
God looks for, sees, is aware of, and tends to those who are willing to be aligned with Him and His ways. Those who respond to John will become those who respond to Jesus. This is because these are the ones who are willing to be aligned with God and his ways. Often when people come up against a truly pivotal moment of decision, they will say something like this, “Wow, this is really a heavy and deep thing that is above and beyond me.” However, if they were really in touch with what is going on within themselves, they would need to say, “I don’t know about going anywhere with this because it would really alter things for me and require a lot from me.”
How much easier it is to view a pivotal moment of decision as above and beyond us than it is to admit that the demand of the decision in front of us is above and beyond where we are willing to let it take us. This is always the case for the majority while it is the small minority who are genuinely willing to let God take them where he wants to take them. The focus of repentance and faith is always that of being aligned fully with God and his ways and so it is always a good thing to question the depth of our repentance and faith. The account of John the Baptist’s ministry reminds us of this need and challenges us in our proneness to superficiality.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I confess that the difference you want to make in make in my life is so much less than the difference I let you make in my life. I want your involvement in my life to be about you and what my life can bring to you rather than it being about me and what your life can bring to me. In repentance and faith I come to you afresh for a realignment of my entire being with you and your ways. Amen!
Posted on Tue, January 9, 2018
by Ken Hart