Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 22 July 19:
Note, here is a short video overview of Luke, chapters 1-9: https://youtu.be/XIb_dCIxzr0
Luke 1:15-17 – “…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. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
John the Baptist was given the mission of preparing people to receive Jesus, which was a mission of reconciliation, preparing people to be reconciled with God through Jesus. Reconciliation with Jesus would also result in reconciliation between believers. While Luke was given the message of reconciliation to prepare people for Jesus’ earthly ministry, we have, likewise, been given the message of reconciliation to prepare people to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior and to prepare believers for Jesus’ Second Coming –
– 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
“…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….” John’s mission and calling was not self-appointed, and it wasn’t something he could accomplish in His own power and authority. God chose John and gave Him the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His mission. Likewise, you have been chosen by God and given the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish your mission of spreading the Gospel and making disciples.
– Ephesians 1:13 — In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit….
– Ephesians 5:18 — And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit….
– 1 Corinthians 6:19 — Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own….
– Romans 15:13 — May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
– Matthew 28:18-20 — And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom.” John the Baptist’s message was that unity and peace on earth could only come through repentance and unity with Jesus. The evidence, the fruit, of oneness with Christ is oneness with fellow believers in love. This oneness with God and others was the focus of Jesus’ prayer to the Father for us as Jesus prepared for the Cross – “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” How is your oneness, and does it proclaim the truth of Christ in your life “that the world may know” that Jesus is Lord? Are you being used by God to “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom”?
– John 16:33 — I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
“…to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Are you ready for Jesus’ return? Do you have a great sense of urgency to make others ready for Jesus’ return? What will you do today to prepare others?
– Matthew 24:44 — Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
– Luke 12:35-38 — Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
– 1 John 2:28 — And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
– Romans 13:11 — Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 22 July 19: Be a faithful ambassador to Christ today, faithful with the Gospel, the message of reconciliation. Proclaim the Gospel in word and deed to all around you. Let the evidence of the power of God be revealed to others by your obvious faith, hope, peace, thankfulness, grace, love and unity with fellow believers.