September 8, 2019

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

- John 1:6-8

6 Things we can learn from John the Baptist

John the Baptist had a role in foreshadowing the most magnificent Light the world will ever see, Jesus Christ. Substitute John's name for yours and reread the passage. All believers are called to light our local society with the reality of Jesus. How do you think you fare?

We were not witnesses of His time, but we are all called to be witnesses of the transformation within each of us in our time. We are not that Light but are here to bear witness of that Light. Therefore, we are not meant to be something we are not, yet, we are meant to be something we are — a witness! What did John the Baptist do that made an impression on others, which led the way for Christ to appear?

1. Food? He ate locusts and honey. We all like a bit of crunch in our food, that’s why we enjoy toast. They may have tasted crunchy and sweet to him, but I won't be indulging. In other words, He kept his fare simple.

2. Clothing?  Sackcloth or something similar. Again, it may have suited him at the time, but we would be considered nutters if we walked around in that today. In other words, he kept his dress code simple. Today we are told to dress like we are still male and female and to keep it simple referring more to the inward adornments (1 Pet 3:3-4), focussing on how the inward has changed due to Christ's involvement in our lives. Anybody can adorn outwardly, some better than others, but only Christ can correctly match up the inward parts to present our best features.  

3. Speech? He was never preaching of himself, but of the person whose sandals he considered he was not worthy to undo. Like Christ, he spoke kindly to the multitude. Today, as in any other era, we are told to keep our conversation chaste, ever being a witness preaching Christ instead of ourselves. 

4. Life plans? He understood that he would not be here for a long time, but had a specific duty. Today, I think it is easy to put aside our primary focus on Christ and live for ourselves and the future of our family. We are to be wise and not simple regarding our future, yet, we cannot leave Christ out of it. Without Christ, we would be looking at a lost eternity, a boring life, and superficial internal changes. A world without Christ puts us in the category of the animals, who don't know Him. God made us in His image, yet we often forget to present that image to others. Saved or unsaved, we should be all thanking God for that alone!

5. Depth of knowledge? He understood the scriptures and could  easily quote from anywhere in the manuscripts. He found that to convince the multitude of the reality of Jesus Christ; he would need to cover the prophecies written of Him, bringing them into a contemporary state for the people to understand. Listeners were taught of him in the Synagogues for years, but only as a future king, not as one who was with John at the time. Christ is with us in our time, and we shouldn't forget that He is here now, and personal change is imminent for others also, if only they let Him in. 

6. Free Will?  John the Baptist showed us, as did previous prophets, that although we are born with free will, it needs to be harnessed to a horses hitch to ensure it doesn't run up and down the street like that of the town fool. Often our mouths do that when our free will is left to roam unattended through the avenues of life. We become experts in everything, except discretion. John sold his free will to his Master, Christ. Like the slaves of the Old Testament, he allowed, in a sense, his ear to be awled. He was then marked for life as a servant always under instruction. The Lord would like us to voluntarily do the same, ensuring we never forget we are servants of the Most High, always under direction. We sell our free will for the protection provided by our Master's Household. 

Today's Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for all the interesting points brought out by John the Baptist's life. Please help me to give my all over to you, to serve you as ardently as he did. Please help me overcome my oft-failures, to rise to the occasions you set before me in my ministry, never denying your oversight. 

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