|Luke 3:7-9 (MSG)|
|7-9 When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life that must change, not your skin. And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as ‘father.’ Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there—children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.”|
|It was becoming quite a popular thing for people to go down to the river and be baptized by John the Baptist, and John quickly recognized that it was becoming quite the popular thing for folk to do in following the crowd. John felt an obligation to Jesus Christ to make sure that this was not becoming a popularity thing but rather one that followed the teachings of Jesus. We will explore how applicable this is to us today….|
|As a very young child, my daughter saw a friend baptized, and for weeks afterwards she tried to convince her mom and I on why she should be baptized. I believe that there may be lots of younger people that want the attention of parents, Bible School teachers and friends, or they may run to the pastor without fully understanding the purpose of baptism. There are others that are willing to take this step as a way to get mom, spouse, or perhaps a friend who had been witnessing to them, off their back. In our Scripture reading today we can see how John addressed this, and I’m sure we could follow his example on how to handle similar questions by others. However, we must feel comfortable sharing this in our own words. May I encourage you to click on the Scripture link above and read what Paul taught on this? The main emphasis is that the prospective candidate can clearly tell you how they were Spiritually saved, and also how Jesus has changed their way of living, because now they are about to show witness to the church at large and the world, that there has been a mega change in their life since inviting Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. The candidate must know clearly that baptism has no saving grace, but is scriptural because it demonstrates to the world an inward decision that you made at some point in your life. Friends, in following the commands of Jesus, I pray that you will demonstrate a full understanding of what He demands of you in His Word and not just follow the crowd as the popular thing to do, otherwise God may send another ‘John’ to rebuke you, like he did in this scripture. I encourage you to be brave in declaring to the world that you are a child of the King and that you don’t mind anyone knowing that. Being ashamed of the Lord here on earth might be reason for Jesus to disclaim you before His Father, according to His words in Scripture. If you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus, then baptism is a mockery to the church and you are telling the world a lie. However, baptism is encouraged for those who have sincerely surrendered their heart and life to Jesus.|
|Lord Jesus, You know how much we love baptismal services, because as a church, we celebrate with the candidates the decisions that have been made, and the miraculous change that God has made in their lives! It re-enforces the necessity for the church and personal evangelism. It confirms Your work dear Lord, because only You could truly touch and change broken and sinful lives. May we continue to be about Your work oh Lord, and may You continue to touch the hearts of those that are in need of a Savior. We long to celebrate baptism often as a means of celebrating the wondrous works of our Lord. To You we give hearts filled with glory, honor and praise for all that You do in the center of our family, friends and loved ones. AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Posts tagged ‘Conversion’
Unfortunately there are times in the lives of individuals that, although God made them to love Him, Worship Him and Obey Him, yet in their minds, confused and controlled by Satan, they decide to do their own thing. In doing the opposite of what they think God might want from them, they often attack the people and things of God – Christians and the church as a whole. Saul was a good example of this. But also in my Old Testament reading this morning another such character is identified – Manessah (2 Chronicles 33:1-20). In Manessah’s case, God got his attention by allowing his enemy to attack him and badly hurt him (almost to the point of death). While in a vulnerable position, he pleaded to God for help and, because of God’s mercy and love, He forgave him and Manessah made a 180 degree turn/change in his life’s direction and purpose. In Saul’s case, God boldly got his attention while on the road to his next mission to destroy the Christians in Damascus. He, also, made a 180 degree turn/change in his life. I feel compelled to remind Christians that there are misguided folk that we come into contact with every day. I challenge you to be that forgiving, loving, accepting, life-changing representative of God that will help them to make that same 180 degree change that Saul and Manessah made. It will make the difference of eternal death or eternal life to them, and you will then boldly stand before Jesus on the day of His return and not be ashamed of having obeyed Him, even in challenging circumstances. I also feel compelled to warn those who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord of their life that it is important that you listen and obey the voice of Jesus when He touches your life. Just as He was powerful enough to touch the lives of these two men whose mission it was to destroy God’s work, He too can lift you up from the evil things that you may be involved in. Remember, there is only one God, and He alone is powerful enough to help you make a 180 degree change in the way you are living your life. He is seeking your attention and wanting to see you on the right path that He sacrificed His life to provide for you. Won’t you stop, listen and obey today? Jesus loves you right where you are at, just let Him work in you friend!