John the Baptizer – 7-05-22

John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Luke 3:16 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 3 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, [a]while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough ways smooth;
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

John Preaches to the People

Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood[b] of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”

11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”

12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”

13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”

14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?”

So he said to them, “Do not [c]intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”

15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his [d]brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.

John Baptizes Jesus

21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 3:2 NU, M in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas
  2. Luke 3:7 Offspring
  3. Luke 3:14 Lit. shake down for money
  4. Luke 3:19 NU brother’s wife

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 6:1-2-

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Luke give us the background historical things we need to set the scene for John the Baptist. Prophesied by Isaiah.

1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

The term watchmen means men who watch and prepare. John is the ultimate watchman. You and I are told repeatedly by Jesus and the apostles to watch and pray – watch – and – pray. We too are preparing the way of the Lord. He is returning for His children, to be caught up in the sky with Him – he is also returning as the political and warrior messiah to fulfill prophecy. We prepare the way, by fulfilling Jesus’s command to GO tell everyone about Him.
Watchmen are also aware of the seasons and know what is happening around them. So we too must understand that signs of this day and age in which we are living. The hour is late. We used to be able to say later we will tell our neighbors and later never came yet. But we cannot take such liberty any more.
But they will think I’m crazy. Yeah, they will. Who cares. It is a more fearful thing to disobey God and be sane in the eyes of man.

Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Broodof vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

John was radical. I am sure he did not need to be a burley insect eating, leather wearing, wilderness dwelling, stranger. But God separated Him and those separations hit home the point of being consecrated to God. To top it off – His words were fire, or a sword cutting to the quick.
Ironically – today, people are entertained by such boldness and deflect any conviction. It is a badge of honor to speak harshly, but it lack anointing that brought John’s audience to their knees as they cried out:

10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”

What shall we do then? In a time of false prophets and strong delusions. I warn you AND MYSELF. Be every so prayerful and careful that we do not fall for the wrong things and that we prosper in the will of God. It is hard to hear the will of God sometimes.

11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”

But the will of God doesn’t change regardless of our dim look through the glass. Like Christ gave it all for us, we should give, as unto God. John says one of two tunics and give of your food.
Do you give your clothes to charity? Do you pass them onto someone in need in your church? Same with food?

12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”

We must give to Caesar what is his and to God what is Him and to other, what God has told us to give situation by situation.  But at on the same hand, we should only take that measure that is ours. Let us not give place to greed. Let us not take more than we need. And when God gives more, give it. yes, plant another seed to grow.

14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?”
So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”

Listen – you do not need to be a soldier to obey this command.  So many put others down or bully others to raise their own self esteem in this broken world where abuse is perpetuated through intimidation, manipulation and false accusations. The satan is the accuser of the brethren, not you. Don’t help him out!
And with inflation, and the economy slipping away – pray for protection over your heart that you can be content with your wages. Easy for me to say, right – since I do not work for a wage. If you’d like to live like me, go ahead and leave you job and throw yourself completely into the hands of God and faith for survival. Not because it is better to worse – but you won’t make it until God has it in His will as He refines and prunes for his will.
Spend time in the word, learn the will of God for your life.

15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

John knew the will of the Lord. John knew what God had in store. He may not have known how it was all going to play out, but he knew the Tora and the prophets and understood the times. 
I notice, John doesn’t seem to believe in a nationalistic, militant savior. He seems to grasp Jeremiah’s heart, that God wasn’t as concern about government and politics as God is concern with the hardened or softened hearts of man.
And the more you are soften, the more God cleans, separates away the tares and gathers; and the more God burns the chaff from your life with unquenchable fire.

18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.”

I do not know why John got involved in politics – moreover the scandals of an immoral king. But John was a thorn in his side and rebuked him and pointed out the sin every chance he had.  I am troubled that we have false prophets speaking rebukes from afar to our leaders, which miss the point, although are pleasing to the ears of the believers. They say thing we want to hear – but the anointing of John is NOT upon them.
SO I pray for a John-Like anointed one to sand next to Biden and speak the way the truth and life. And one to stand next to each of the leaders in my government and do the same. Oh that God would raise up and anoint one for every leader in every place in the world – for such a time as this. That the hearts will be pricked and have opportunity to repent!

There are few moments in Bible history that I really want to go back and see / be part of. That is because we really have things so much better now than they did. But one of the moments would have been in the garden, to commune with God, walking with him in the afternoon. Another is this:

21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

God the Father SPOKE, can you imagine?! The Holy Spirit came down and for a brief moment John, Jesus and everyone around was in the presence of the trinity! Wow!
I wish to be in the presence of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Our goal is heaven, our prize is to be in their presence forever. And our eyes should be on the prize.

Luke finishes the chapter of the genealogy of Christ. Matthew went back to King David. But if this was Paul’s legal defense, it isn’t important that King David was in the line. So Luke brings it back to the first man essentially showing that Jesus was a thread from the beginning to the end.   

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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