Welcome back. One thing about today’s devotional is that it stems from several places in Scripture. (There are several verses. I’m sorry!) I have provided them here for you so it shouldn’t be difficult. I certainly don’t want to leave them out. It is so important that we know where these verses live and today’s lesson is no different.
I’m glad you are here. I pray you benefit from this plan as greatly as I have.
Day 2: Follow John’s Lead
for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
“Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5″Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. 6″He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”…
2″Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.”
3 A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. 4″Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley;…
Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
So they said to him (the Pharisees), “Who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet: “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’
“Behold, The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”
the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.”…
We have time for one Biblical example in this plan on discouragement. Know there are others who needed God to restore their hope and their joy–their very life. God has been there time and time again to do the work and show Himself faithful.
In these moments we are going to take a look at John the Baptist, the cousin of the Son of God. Possessing the Holy Spirit from the womb, this guy was SOLID!
The Old Testament prophesied that before the Messiah came Elijah would return, and God would send someone to prepare the way. When John the Baptist arrives on the scene with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, he goes out into the wilderness looking very much like Elijah, sporting a leather belt and eating locusts as Scripture promised.
Fast forward through John’s ministry. John recognized Jesus as the Son of God and calls it out on the banks of the Jordan. Then before the crowds, John declared that the reason he came baptizing with water was to reveal this very man.
Once Jesus is out in public ministry, the crowds began to leave John and head over to the Jesus wagon. Naturally, John’s groupies are upset by this disruption, disturbing their awesome follower numbers. But John gets it! He understood His purpose. It wasn’t to have the most likes, high baptism numbers, or the greatest ministry success. Instead, it was to be overshadowed by this guy. Harold the new guy and get out of the way! That was his mission. But don’t stop ministering, John, in spite of the lessening crowds, the dropping numbers, and the discouragement it naturally arouses. Don’t stop speaking the truth regardless of the cost.
John lands in a dark, miserable prison for his faithfulness. Prison was not on the agenda. Preaching? Yes. Heralding the new guy? Absolutely. Preparing the Way was his calling, not wasting away in a dungeon.
Life wasn’t turning out as he planned. It begins to have an effect on him. Here he was doing everything God had asked of Him. He frankly couldn’t do anymore. For that, he’s in a dungeon. John begins to question very foundational premises that once rooted His life and mission.
What about you?
Have you ever found yourself in a different place in life than you planned? It’s not working out like you’d hoped or envisioned? Maybe you too, have experienced two handfuls of hardship for your faithfulness, and it’s causing you to question your own foundational premises.
Keep reading. Follow John’s lead. He takes his questions to Jesus. What you and I are going to see is that this makes all the difference.
Today, you and I can do the same.
Can’t wait to meet you tomorrow.
With much affection,