DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-01-07
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 3:13-17
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: 13 Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John kept objecting and said, “I ought to be baptized by you. Why have you come to me?” 15 Jesus answered, “For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do.” Then John agreed. 16 So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. 17 Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.”
OBSERVATION: Ever been asked to do something that is totally out of your experience, talent or God-given abilities? I’m sure that you were probably way more likely to take on the challenge than I, for if it’s not a proven thing, I would have lots of questions and objections, since I don’t want to mess up. This was the option first taken by John, for he didn’t feel worthy to do such an honorable task as baptizing the King of the universe, the One in whose name John was actually baptizing others. I pray that our thoughts today would center around doing what God demands, even if it’s outside of our talent or knowledge base.
APPLICATION: I believe that many of us have a multitude of excuses that we pull from when asked to take on yet another job at church. I’ve never done that before; I have never been trained to do that; I don’t believe I’m suitable for that; I have too many irons in the fire already; Can’t you find someone else to do that? Those are probably some of the most common excuses we would give to the pastor, or the nominating team when approached about taking on additional responsibility at church. BUT, what if it was Jesus who approached us to do a specific task? He knows everything about us, including what He could do with a willing, obedient heart willing to serve God in whatever He asks. Wouldn’t you think that perhaps God has a special work to accomplish through you, and only for you? In other words, you may think that your friend Susie might be best suited for that, only to find out that God has a different mission for her. In fact the task He presented to you may not be suitable for anyone else but you, so unless you allow Him to complete His mission through you, that particular task may not be fulfilled. How would you then feel? Supposing your declination may prompt God to ask you if you don’t trust Him enough to complete the task He asked you to do? But look at the story of Jesus again, the prophets foretold it, and Jesus particularly went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. Although without sin, Jesus was prompted by the Father to be baptized as a sign of His identification with the Father. John had preached to the people that One would come whose sandals he was not worthy to untie. So John knew that this action requested by Jesus might look like he was overstepping his authority. John knew that it just appeared wrong for the servant to baptize by the Creator. Why me, Lord? John asked it, and I’m sure that many times we ask it, when approached to take on a task that seems outside of our comfort, talent and knowledge area. BUT, I believe that God enables the one that He calls to handle His work. I believe that as we surrender ourselves to the Master each day, God uses us to complete His work in much the same way that He wanted it done. He calls us into service and He enables us in our service to Him, so that His work may be completed supernaturally, even through His messengers. What if we determined in ourselves, with God’s help, to turn this little phrase around from ‘Why me, Lord?’ to ‘Why not me, Lord?’. Don’t you think that God will then see the willingness in us to do whatever He demands? What if John responded to Jesus: ‘why of course Jesus, I would be honored to follow Your command, even though I feel so unworthy’? Trusting in God often means that we are trusting Him to do far greater things than we could ever accomplish on our own.
PRAYER: As Your humble servant stands before You today Lord, I acknowledge that talent, knowledge and trust is limited without You. Please encourage my readers to join me in taking the hand of the One who calmed the waters; who parted the Red Sea; who caused the blind to see again and so much more, for with You all things are possible. Many are dying without hope and they need to know our Savior. Please give us strength, wisdom, boldness and power to overcome the expected opposition of the evil one and instead keep our eyes and trust fixed on You. It was determined that John should baptize You from the very desire of the Father. I believe that He also gave us Jesus so that we could do mighty and powerful things through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Use us Lord so that Your work may flourish in our midst, even through using humble servants such as us. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: 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 might 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 subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!