Friday, July 25, 2014

Hear the Voice?

Matthew 3:11 - I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

I just wanted to see how something from the Word would progress. I had no subject or plan. I decided to start in the New Testament for a subject. And the first scripture I read was Matthew 3:11. It was quite evident that the main point was the Holy Spirit. I wanted to see where this would take me. Where I thought I would go, I didn't!

The scripture above came from the voice of one crying in the wilderness, John the Baptist. He was crying out that a Messiah was coming soon. He was crying out that repentance for remission of sins among the people. He could only proclaim this but this Man who was to come would give even more.

John the Baptist...the first to begin to preach...about a Man he thought he didn't know. From this one man's obedience to do the will of the Father... ...the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness (Luke 3:2). How did that word come? Through the power of the Holy Spirit.

John the Baptist proclaimed the Christ. He did it by faith in God. He did it in obedience and in the power of the Holy Spirit, which had filled him before he was born. Referring to John: For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15) John didn't know it would be his own cousin! Later he would be directed by God. He became "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 40:3,5)

We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It guides us to truth. By what I see in this world, very little of God's Spirit exists. (Probably why we are told following Christ is a narrow road with few people on it.) We would not have the violence, hatred, anger, disagreements if it did. And the fact that anything related to God is met with opposition means people don't want to know truth. It amazes me that people can think if they don't believe in or commit themselves to God He will just go away and life will be fine. That ain't ever gonna happen. Let's move on...

Joel 2:28-29 - "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall have visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days." God is still using His Holy Spirit in the lives of people. When we come to Christ we are filled with His Spirit. Evidence is a change in our lifestyles. What once was so important has been replaced with what God deems important, like wanting to read the Bible, hearing God speak, learning what truth is, what sin is...and opting to believe what the Word says hands down. And Jesus tells us that we "shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

Jesus came, as John has already shown us, to seek and save the lost. John preached repentance. Jesus offered forgiveness based on that repentance. He also offered eternal life, in Him. It's all about Him. That's why it is important, necessary, to understand whether one has a true knowledge of who Jesus is. He is not just Someone who died 2,000 years ago so all would have eternal life. That is false preaching. He came for all...but only for all who would receive Him. Remember, it's all about Him.

When one has received Him it is natural for one to want to share this Savior, what He has done for us, how He has changed us. It is our responsibility to share Christ with others...we are now His disciples. We are commanded by Christ, as the early disciples were, to: Go therefore and make disciples of all 
the nations... (Matthew 28:19)

We are to share the gospel, in love and truth and through what the power of the Holy Spirit has shown us. The truth is in the words of Christ. We are to show others Who He is, what He has done and what He has to offer. I know that not everyone will listen. I try to do my part. My wish is that all would understand where I come from. I have heard the truth. ...of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth... (Colossians 1:5-6) This word came to me and brought the hope and grace mentioned.

We already know that the truth of God's Word is being preached...and that even in our own country is  being despised...but it will continue at any cost. Jesus told us: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)  And then the end will come...the more God's word is despised these days, the sooner He may return.

All I know is what I believe. The power of the Holy Spirit has given me this knowledge. Like John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness, we who know Christ are to cry out in the wilderness to the lost souls in this world. We can all have this power. John didn't know Jesus, his own cousin, was this Man. He just knew there was Someone coming. Well, people, He has come and He still lives. I have not met this Man face to face, but I know Him because my spirit has met His. And that is an amazing thing.

If you have not had this experience, heed the words of those crying out in the wilderness who tell the truth based on God's Word. They may be preparing your way to Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit you, too, might receive.

Romans 10:16-18 - ...For Isaiah says, "LORD, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

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