Good Morning. It’s Tuesday, September 20, 2022. Today we are in Oxford, England, at the Great Hall of Christ Church. Here, George Whitefield, John Wycliff, John Hus, and Wesley’s changed the face of Christianity through their dedication to the Scriptures. But, like John the Baptist, these were “unknowns.” God still calls the “unknowns” who will hear Him and simply follow. These will change the world. Will you be one of them? Read on …
Daniel 5,6; Psalms 130; Luke 3
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” (Luke 3:1-2)
Here is an amazing contrast between those whom men chose and those who God will choose. Six of seven possible choices were in public, visible, prestigious positions. Among these would seem to be the obvious choice. They held all the marbles, all the votes, and all eyes looked to them.
But I noticed God’s eyes swept right by the palace and focused on a remote location in the wilderness. His Word came to John the Baptist!
God chose John the Baptist as the herald, the one whom the Spirit of Elijah would seek (Malachi 4:5). But what were some characteristics that prompted this choice? What was God looking for? What is He still looking for today?
- John would do something with the Word that he heard.
When the Word of God came to him, we find in the very next verse that he left the wilderness and "went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."
- John was willing to change — regardless of how he felt.
When God commissioned him, he got up and obeyed, regardless of how tough the job would be. He didn't wait for his emotions or comfort meter to signal his readiness. Instead, God's Word was the signal, and the rest would work out along the way. There will be many times like this in my life — when God's Word requires my readiness. I must respond, lest His Word, as with the six, pass me by.
- John had an uncompromising heart when it came to sin.
John laid lines pretty straight. He recognized false motives and saw the pretension and confronted it! He confronted Herod when he and his brother's wife were having an affair—which ultimately got him killed—but this showed that he would treat all men alike; he was not enamored by those in places of prominence or position. His commitment to heralding the ways of God was uncompromising.
These are characteristics that God still looks for today — people to whom God's Word will be delivered, so they will prophetically bring His Word to the church.
Father, please find these things in me. Please teach me whatever I need to develop, build, prune, or learn. Help me not only be a deliverer of Your people but, like John, a deliverer of Your Word!