In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:1, 2, R.S.V.
John the Baptist in his desert life was taught of God. He studied the revelations of God in nature. Under the guiding of the Divine Spirit, he studied the scrolls of the prophets. By day and by night, Christ was his study, his meditation, until mind and heart and soul were filled with the glorious vision.
He looked upon the King in His beauty, and self was lost sight of. He beheld the majesty of holiness and knew himself to be inefficient and unworthy. It was God’s message that he was to declare. It was in God’s power and His righteousness that he was to stand. He was ready to go forth as Heaven’s messenger, unawed by the human, because he had looked upon the Divine. He could stand fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs because with trembling he had bowed before the King of kings.
With no elaborate arguments or fine spun theories did John declare his message. Startling and stern, yet full of hope, his voice was heard from the wilderness: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2. With a new, strange power it moved the people. The whole nation was stirred. Multitudes flocked to the wilderness. . . .
In this age, just prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, such a work as that of John is to be done. God calls for men who will prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. . . . As a people who believe in Christ’s soon appearing, we have a message to bear–“Prepare to meet thy God.” Amos 4:12. Our message must be as direct as was the message of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. Notwithstanding that his life was imperiled, he did not hesitate to declare God’s word. And our work in this age must be done as faithfully.
In order to give such a message as John gave, we must have a spiritual experience like his. The same work must be wrought in us. We must behold God, and in beholding Him lose sight of self.
Maranatha p. 116
—– My Mama was taken from the rehab facility to the ER this morning because of her severe back pain that seems to have returned with intensity and very high blood pressure. Discovered she has an L5 compression fracture in her lower back. I believe her physical therapy will take a different direction now. Prayers for her are appreciated. Carol
—–A and D have job interviews today. Please pray that God will lead them to the right job. L
There is a yellow house about a mile from us. Some years ago someone moved into that house, who started making changes. I first noticed a large banner with some type of oriental writing on it. At the time I wondered what it said. Time passed and I thought little of the sign.
One day I noticed something different in the large yard to the south of the house. There in the middle of the yard was a large statue of Buddha. A few days later I noticed a group of people planting trees around the perimeter of the yard. They have grown tall enough now that I can no longer see the smaller statues of monks looking toward Buddha and praying. Each time I pass that way, it surprises me to see the place. Here within a mile of my house an idol is being worshipped.
What about the idols that are even closer than that? Don’t we have idols in our lives? Our Great Creator says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:” Ex 20:3-5 Often we think that these commandments are for those who worship an idol of stone, but that is not the case. Anything that takes our minds away from our loving Saviour is an idol. We do not literally bow down to our idols, but in a figurative sense we do.
John advises, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21 When we ask our Dear Saviour to show us the idols in our lives, we are surprised to see how many we have. For some it might be money. Money can be an idol even for those who do not have enough. For others it might be sports and the athletes who play the various games. We make idols of music and the ones who sing it. Even other people can become an idol to us if they have first place in our hearts.
Let us turn from the idols that have found their way into our lives. Let us “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;” Heb 12:1,2 Let us meditate upon His Holy Word and put Him first in all our thoughts is my prayer.