A special man for the job

“He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Christ’” John 1:19.

What a unique figure John the Baptizer was in God’s plan to redeem sinful man. Like a herald that would go through the city streets in medieval times proclaiming, “Make way for the king!” John was God’s “voice of one calling in the desert,” prophesied of old.

It is as if God’s Son in the flesh would come onto the scene in such humility and obscurity that God knew we unobservant humans would need someone, along with the heavenly host at His birth, to point out the culmination of His plan since the creation of the world. And we did!

It would take a special man to do that job, though, one who would not steal the spotlight for himself and not shy away from speaking harsh messages. And John didn’t, declaring himself the best man at the wedding and taking on the establishment at the Jordan River while wearing camel’s hair and eating locusts.

In the end, he would lose his head for calling out Herod, but this also removed such a prominent figure that some may have tried to rally around after Jesus’ crucifixion, proving again that we are all clay in the Potter’s hands.

How is God using you in His Kingdom?

Doug Kashorek

douglaskashorek.com

#John-the-Baptist

A characteristic worth imitating that John learned from the wilderness

John the baptizer was a man accustomed to “wide open spaces” to say the least (Luke 1:80). And I believe several personal characteristics came from his experience of living outside the “city limits” of Jerusalem…or any other area of Jewish pop-culture of the day for that matter. Of these characteristics was the obvious lack of concern for the wants of society.

With organic locusts and honey on his plate, and a camel-hair coat and leather belt for a wardrobe, I think it’s safe to say John wasn’t worried about keeping up with the Herod’s when it came to cuisine or clothing. John was more interested in God’s desire for his life than he was in trying to get God interested in some worldly desire.

Am I saying it’s wrong to have a closet with several changes of camel-hair-free clothing or a refrigerator with a steak in it? Nope. I’m not saying that at all.

What I am saying is that John was more interested in having an effect on his culture for God’s sake than he was in allowing his culture to influence his pursuits in life. And I’m saying that we could all learn the lesson that the wilderness no doubt helped to teach John – we will not take anything with us that our pop-culture considers to be so important when our body feeds the grass and the flowers that the locusts and bees enjoy.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”” (Luke 12:15 NKJV)

#important-things, #john-the-baptist, #popular-culture

February 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Heroes of Faith)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Noah: Obedient Faith in a Wicked World! (Mike Bonner)
  • Abraham: He Who Staggered Not in Unbelief (Cody Westbrook)
  • Barnabas: He Who Met the Need (Don Walker)
  • John the Baptizer: The Most Humble Disciple (Carl McCann)
  • Peter: From a Pebble To a Rock (Clay Bond)
  • Joshua: The Courageous Leader (Bill Burk)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#abraham, #barnabas, #christian-worker, #faith, #john-the-baptist, #joshua, #noah, #peter

One wild preacher!

If you had to name the wildest preacher in the Bible, who do you think it would be?

I think it would be John the baptizer!

Think about it: John’s ministry was based in the wild, he dressed wild, he ate wild, he preached a wild message of repentance and he received a wild response from the people!

Maybe we preachers need to be a little less “civilized” and little more wild like John. Just a thought.

#john-the-baptist, #preaching

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5-11-2015 What God Is Able To Do

John the Baptist told the Jews, “do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones” (Matthew 3:9). Under the Gospel of Christ, Jews, “if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Romans 11:23). And to Christians, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). God is able to by-pass the Jews, save obedient Israelites, help Christians serve Him. The issue is never what God is able to do – but what are you willing to do? Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptized, #believes, #by-pass-jews, #christians, #jews, #john-the-baptist, #unbelief

The Blessed!

When John was in prison, he sent some of his disciples to Jesus. Though he acknowledged Jesus was the One he had been given the mission of preparing the way for by the sign shown at His baptism (John 1:32-34), it seems John was desiring some confirmation. Perhaps he had that need because, being in prison, things may not have appeared to be going according to expectations. Personal expectations have a way of causing questions to arise and for some it even leads to discarding entirely the proofs that confirm. Therefore, Jesus sent the followers of John back to relate what they had heard and had observed of the power of Jesus.

We read. . .

(4) And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: (5) the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. (6) And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11:4-6 ESV)

Who else had power to do such? On another occasion, some who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah were urged by Him to at least “believe the works” (John 10:38) because it was those works done in His Father’s name that bore witness about Him. (John 10:25) In spite of the personal Messianic expectations held by some, God’s plan was unfolding as He intended and Jesus was to be acknowledged for Who He was and is!

There are many today who refuse to accept Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of the world. Some even claim to be offended when His name is mentioned. They don’t mind prayers being ended with “AMEN”. They may not even mind God being addressed in the prayer because that reference has come to mean different things to different people. However, to bring the Name of Jesus into it narrows things down more than some are willing to accept. Still, it must be learned what the Lord’s place is between us and the Father. (John 14:6) In Him is found the path to blessing both now and forevermore.

As Jesus stated, blessed is the one who is not offended by Him. Unfortunately some are missing out on the blessings associated with Him now and the hope relative to the place for eternity He has gone to prepare. May our life reveal the difference Jesus is presently making in our life so that others might be drawn to the power that can make all the difference for them as well.

Have a great day ENJOYING THE BLESSINGS OF LIFE UNITED WITH CHRIST! – Carl Hanson

“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

#blessings-in-christ, #jesus, #john-the-baptist, #name-of-jesus, #offense

Sermon Snippet from John 3:22-36

I preached a sermon yesterday from John 3:22-36 called, “Relationships, Relationships.”

One of the relationships that I focused on was the one that John the groomsman and Jesus the bridegroom had.

John may be better known as a powerful preacher than a humble one. After all, he’d tell people to turn the cat around if they told him he was rubbing the fur the wrong way. But in reality he was as humble as any other preacher we can find in God’s word when it came to his work.

John understood the necessity of humility in God’s people. He knew that the Lord rewards humility (Psalm 149:4), and humility was something that he wanted his own disciples to pick up on from the beginning when it came to his relationship with Jesus. It was John who mouthed the familiar words which say, “…He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” (John 1:27)

John preached with the power of Elijah but he gave way to the increase of Jesus’ work and popularity with the meekness and humility of Moses. That’s only one reason why Jesus said, “…among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist….” (Matthew 11:11)

John modeled humility across multiple spectrums in a way that’s worth striving to impersonate when he said, “[Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

When is the last time that we could honestly say in our relationship with Jesus that we have decreased so He could increase? How long has it really been? It’s something worth asking and answering if we, like John, desire a proper relationship with Jesus.

#humility, #jesus, #john-the-baptist, #relationships, #religion, #sermon-snippet-from-john-3