joi, ianuarie 17, 2008

What Jesus did? - for January 18

Preparing the Way - Matthew 3:3-4

John the Baptizer is the one that Isaiah the prophet was talking about. Isaiah said: "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight.'" John's clothes were made from camel's hair. John had a leather belt around his waist. For food, John ate locusts and wild honey. (ERV)

Key Thought
Preparation is hard work. To be the one who prepares the way for someone else’s travel, but doesn't get to go down that road, well, that is even tougher. To live all your life so someone else can find the spotlight is toughest of all. But to lose your life in this cause, goes beyond words. John spent his life for one purpose: to prepare people to know Jesus as God's Son, the Christ. Can our purpose in life be any less? What would happen if we decided to begin each day with the commitment that we would live, talk, act, and care for people with the express purpose that their hearts become prepared to acknowledge Jesus as Lord? So let's find out, beginning today!

Today's Prayer
Loving and patient Father, I'm a little slow sometimes to catch on to what you want me to do. But, I know you want me to live my life with the same purpose John lived his: to help prepare people to know Jesus as Lord. Give me eyes to see those searching for Jesus and a life that beckons them to follow him. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Awesome God

Dumnezeu spune: "Eu sunt Dumnezeul Cel atotputernic." (punct)
Este oare ceva prea greu pentru Domnul? (Genesa 18:14)

What Jesus did? -for January 17

At the Door - Matthew 3:1-2

At that time John the Baptizer came and began telling people a message {from God}. This was in the desert area of Judea. John said, "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon." (ERV)

Key Thought
So often the things we most desire, the things we are looking for most earnestly, are near us, but we miss them. "If it had been a snake, it would have bitten you," I heard growing up. We would "give our eye teeth" to have been witnesses of all the things that will transpire from the baptism of John down to the giving of the Great Commission. We will see so many people who come into Matthew’s story of Jesus and who just flat out miss him and God's Kingdom. How could they be so close to Jesus and not recognize him? The Kingdom and God's Son are right in front of their eyes! But, the key to finding the Kingdom, both in their day and in our own, is our willingness to change our hearts and reform our lives to live passionately for God as we trust his grace to save and redeem us. Those who followed John were ready to find Jesus and his Kingdom. Those who refused to repent missed it.

Today's Prayer
Holy God, Almighty Father, and King of Heaven, I confess that I often lose my way and live for myself. This selfishness hurts my family, those I work with, and especially me. But, dear Father, I know it hurts you most of all, because it blinds me to your truth, hardens me to your grace, and makes it so difficult for me to yield my life to Jesus as Lord. By the power of your Spirit, transform me to be like your Son. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.