He will be one of God’s great men; he will touch neither wine nor strong drink and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment of his birth. Luke 1:15, Phillips.
On heaven’s record of noble men the Saviour declared that there stood not one greater than John the Baptist. The work committed to him was one demanding not only physical energy and endurance, but the highest qualities of mind and soul. So important was right physical training as a preparation for this work that the highest angel in heaven was sent with a message of instruction to the parents of the child.
They were to faithfully co-operate with God in forming such a character in John as would fit him to perform the part God had assigned him…. John was the son of their old age, he was a child of miracle, and the parents might have reasoned that he had a special work to do for the Lord and the Lord would take care of him. But the parents did not thus reason; they moved to a retired place in the country, where their son would not be exposed to the temptations of city life, or induced to depart from the counsel and instruction which they as parents would give him.
In the wilderness, John could the more readily deny himself and bring his appetite under control, and dress in accordance to natural simplicity. And there was nothing in the wilderness that would take his mind from meditation and prayer. Satan had access to John, even after he had closed every avenue in his power through which he would enter. But his habits of life were so pure and natural that he could discern the foe, and had strength of spirit and decision of character to resist him.
The book of nature was open before John with its inexhaustible store of varied instruction. He sought the favor of God, and the Holy Spirit rested upon him, and kindled in his heart a glowing zeal to do the great work of calling the people to repentance, and to a higher and holier life. John was fitting himself, by the privations and hardships of his secluded life, to so control all his physical and mental powers that he could stand among the people as unmoved by surrounding circumstances as the rocks and mountains of the wilderness that had surrounded him for thirty years.
Conflict and Courage p. 270
Prayer Requests
—–_Please pray for Yvonne, Bernedette, and Frances. Yvonne and Bernedette need healing. Please pray for Frances as she is 91. She needs salvation. Roberta
—–Needing Prayers that everything turns out good on my test results.Leslie
Dear Friends,
When Eileen we in 5th grade, she had a classmate that enjoyed doing things to irritate people. He took delight in trying one’s patience to the limit and thought it was great fun when he could get a reaction out of the victim he was tormenting. I was Primary leader that year and every time I would get up to speak, he would repeat everything I said a split second after I said it. He thought it was great fun: I didn’t. He would get me so flustered that it was really hard for me to talk or even to remember what I was going to say. Worse still, was the fact that his mother sat beside him as she was one of the teachers in that class. His behavior didn’t seem to bother her a bit.
Paul did another thing that irritated me so. Each day, when I came to take Eileen home, he would run and leap up onto the hood of our car. He would not get off until he had thoroughly upset me. We had a little blue Datsun at the time, so it was easy for him to jump up on it. This behavior was not only irritating but was also dangerous.
One day when Paul leaped up onto the hood of our car, he did not stay there for long. This time he happened to jump up onto the part of the hood that was right over the battery. This day he had sat down a little too hard. Instead of staying on the hood like he usually did, he quickly jumped off. His slacks were smoking! The metal of that little car was very thin and the metal hood had hit the battery terminal. It burned a hole through the hood, through his slacks, and into his skin! Never again did Paul jump on our car.
How often we do something that gives us momentary pleasure that is forbidden in God’s Word. Even though we feel guilty afterward and ask forgiveness, we go right back to this fleeting pleasure day after day. God bears long with us for He is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. Ps 34:6,7 Yet, there comes a time when He can do no more. If we stubbornly persist in our sin, He must leave us to bear the consequences of that sin. With breaking heart, He must say of us as He said of Ephraim. “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17 By persisting in sin, we destroy all of our happiness both for now and for eternity.
Our Great Creator does not want to destroy us. He loves us with an everlasting love. He longs to save us. He pleads with us even as we are doing those things that hurt so much His Great Heart of Love. He pleads, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die?” Isa 1:18, Eze 33:11 “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lam 3:22-26
He bears long with us waiting as does a farmer “for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it.” James 5:7 Because of His great forbearance, many spend their precious probationary time in self gratification instead of getting ready to meet their Maker. Yet, there comes a time when they “leap onto the battery” and their momentary pleasure brings them nothing but pain and regret. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10
Peter explains, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:9-14 Let us, in every aspect of our life, “so speak and so do as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” “[working] out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in [us] both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Rom 13:12-14, Phil 2:12,13

One of God’s Great Men