Monday, 29 June 2020

The Voice in the Wilderness

Scripture:  Matthew 3 v 1 - 3: "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,  
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

After 400 years of silence from God, the High Priest that year was Zachariah, a very old and childless man, and he heard very clearly from God in the Holy of Holies.  God told him that He and his elderly wife, Elizabeth, would have a son to be called John.  Because he doubted and questioned God he was struck dumb until the birth.

When John was about 30 years old he started baptizing people in water as repentance for sin.  He was a lone voice that touched many hearts as he prepared them for the coming of Jesus.  Many had forsaken the way of the Lord and followed strange gods and practices.  Their lives were broken and they desperately needed a Saviour.  Many thought John the Baptist was the One, but he denied it by saying that there was one coming after him whose shoelaces he was unfit to tie.

Do you know Jesus like that? The One who is mighty and so powerful in majesty yet as humble as a servant, who should be held in such high esteem that we would exalt Him above all.  

John said of Him that He would baptize us in the Holy Ghost, which happened to John when he was still in His mother's womb.  When Mary,  three months pregnant with Jesus, came to Elizabeth, who was six months pregnant with John, she and her unborn son were both baptized in the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1 v 41 - 42: "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."

John was one of three men spoken of in the Bible who were called Nazarites.  The other two were Samson and Samuel.  They were set apart from birth to the purpose of God and never cut their hair nor drank wine.  The anointing for John to be a Nazarite would have come when he was still in the womb.

Out God is so mighty and powerful that even the ministry of Jesus started before He was born by anointing his cousin, John, as the man who would announce His arrival as the Lamb of God who comes to take away our sins.  Certainly John had the attention of the people and was the perfect person to introduce Jesus to them.

There is no other religion that claims to take away our sins.  All the man-made religions promote various versions of self-improvement through reincarnation, psychology, and philosophy, or punishing oneself for sins.  Only Jesus shed His Blood to wash away our sins forever.

John was the voice of one crying in the Wilderness for people to turn their lives around through following the Lamb of God.  It seems like history is repeating itself these days as so few are speaking out against sin, but rather brushing it under the carpet.  

When Christians are deliberately baited by those whose sins are now legally protected, and it causes Christians to lose their businesses because they choose not to compromise with sin, something very rotten has crept into our society, churches and lives.  We cannot and must not compromise with sin and be in serious disagreement with our Heavenly Father.

Our God loves us and has given us the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has given us nine awesome gifts to help us live abundant lives, helping others, loving others, and sharing the truth about Jesus with them.

This is our opportunity to be the voice crying in the Wilderness and speaking the words that will bring salvation to the lost.  They have a free will to choose to be saved.  Pray for them all for the Light to shine through their darkness.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please make each one of us a voice crying in the Wilderness of this world to bring Your love and rescue plan to their knowledge.  Show each one of us where Your light should shine to gain the victory.  In Jesus's name. Amen.