Hello friends, you may already know we are going through a series on the Gospel of Luke. Let me start by asking you a question. If you would have the option to go out for dinner with one character from the bible, who would it be? In my opinion, John the Baptist would be a very interesting character to go out with for a dinner. I don’t know what will be on the menu or what the dress code will be but I’m sure that you will have a fantastic time talking to John the Baptist. John the Baptist is quite interesting character from the bible. He has an unusual and non-seeker friendly attitude. The first things we hear from John’s mouth are “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” Then he wore clothing made up of camel hair and a belt around his waist and he ate locust and wild honey. Not only this, even the place he chooses to start his ministry is quite unusual. Many people would have gone right in the center of Jerusalem to start a ministry. However, John the Baptist chooses to start his ministry out in the wilderness. There are some excellent things that we are about to see about John the Baptist. I’m going to make few points and the first one is:
Always be open to the word of God – Luke 3:2
John the Baptist was an incredible person and more importantly he was very intentional in the way he followed God. He wasn’t interested in any of the trappings of the world. He wasn’t interested about how much money he could make. John the Baptist was focused on one thing and one thing alone, which was his relationship with God and telling other people how they too could have that relationship with God. Nothing else mattered for him, what he ate, what he wore and even how he preached, it really didn’t matter for him. He was totally intentional on following God. Now in the second verse of Luke 3, it says that the word of God came to John. The important thing to notice here is where the word of God came to John. It came to him in the desert when he managed to get rid of all the distractions of life. He’d gone away to get alone with God and focus on developing the relationship with God, hearing from God, listening from God, reading the word of God. It’s amazing that how many Godly people in the bible spend time alone with God. Let’s think about it, where is our wilderness or desert space. It doesn’t have to be a literal desert; it can be right in the center of a busy city but where is that place where you and I can get alone with God and hear Him speak to us. I think in today’s busy world it's very important for us to get rid of all the distractions and spend some time alone with God. If there is one key of being a Christian who can hear the word of God speaking to him, it’s getting alone with God. If we would get rid of all the distractions and seek God through prayer, He will speak to us in different ways and He will start opening our eyes.
Know that God wants to speak through you – Luke 3:4
John the Baptist as I told you had his ministry in a very remote place and people flocked to hear John the Baptist preach even though they had to go out to the desert. It’s not like nowadays we can find people preaching online and we can see them from across the world. People had to trek a long way to hear John the Baptist preach. It must’ve been hard for people, but people did gather in thousands to listen John preaching. The verse 4 from Luke 3 says “A voice of one calling in the wilderness” here the word is calling but if you see some other translation use the word crying. And if you look up that original word, it means declaring something with a loud and confident voice. It can also mean a cry of joy or a cry of pain. So, when John is crying out and calling out, he’s not just whispering in the corner, he’s just going all out for it. He had no microphone, he had no sound equipment, he cried out with a loud voice. He was strong, he was clear, and he was confident. He knew that he had a message from God to proclaim and that is why he was so confident. What about you and me? How loud do we call out or cry out to encourage other people around us. Maybe God have some people that he wants you and me to reach out to. Are we strong, clear and confident enough to do it? Let me tell most of the people are not, but as Christians it is our duty to encourage one another with the word of God.
Live a spirit filled life – Luke 1:15
Let’s go back a little bit in Luke 1:15 and it says, “he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born”. John was filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born. The Holy spirit is working powerfully in John and it’s the Holy Spirit that is giving John his gifting, his anointing and his ability to impart. It’s the Holy Spirit working powerfully. And God wants for every Christian to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Our bodies might be just empty jars of clay, but God wants every Christian to be filled with His Holy Spirit just like John was. It is with the help of the spirit we can go out in the world and serve the Lord with all our hearts.