John the Bapitist was the Greatest
John the Baptist was the Greatest
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he" (Matt 11:11-12).
John the Baptist did no miracles. Elijah performed miracle after miracle. Daniel interpreted dreams for kings and he and his friends impacted an entire nation. Jeremiah and Isaiah were two of Israel's greatest prophetic voices. Jesus built his church through the twelve disciples. But Jesus made a profound declaration about this man who performed no miracles - He is the greatest among all the prophets.
Why did Jesus make such a claim? Because he did one very important thing - he fulfilled his purpose on earth in every way.
The disciples asked John the Baptist, "Are you the one we have been waiting for? John responded quickly, "No." Then he made a profound statement: "A man can receive only what God gives him" (John 3:27). He had a complete understanding of why he was placed on earth.
Jesus proclaimed John the Baptist was the greatest because he (John) knew and fulfilled his purpose. The angel Gabriel described John's purpose to his father: "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous - to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).
His purpose was absolutely necessary to be achieved in order to prepare the way for Jesus. Do you know why God made you? Are you fulfilling the destiny He has planned for you since the foundation of the earth?
Understanding your work life purpose is key to receiving your inheritance. Paul said no matter what kind of work you do, if God has called you to do it, you will receive an inheritance for doing it. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Col 3:23-25).
Dear God of peace, make me perfect in every good work to do your will. Work in me that which is well pleasing in your sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever (based on Hebrews 13:20-21). You are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. Please see my worth through the blood of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer. Please forgive me of my shortcomings, and help me to live a holy life unto You, oh my God of peace. In Jesus' name, amen.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders
You're Not Stuck
1 Corinthians 10:13 says,
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The word temptation in this verse also means test or trial. With that in mind, here are a couple of thoughts to encourage you today.
1. Whatever test, trial, or temptation you are facing today, it is "common to man." That means that you are not the only one who has gone through whatever you are facing.
It is comforting to know that others have faced similar problems before us and made it through!
2. God makes a way of escape with the trial or temptation. That means you're not stuck! Before your difficulty ever arose, God designed a way of escape. And that means of escape comes with the problem.
So if you find yourself embroiled in trials, tests, or temptations today, start looking for God's way of escape—it exists. Trust Him to guide you safely through and out of your difficulties!
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God
Our Missionary Mission
Dr. Charles Stanley
Paul and Barnabas set the standard for the church's mission work when they obeyed God's call to go forth. The local body of believers—those left behind to share Christ with neighbors and friends—equipped the men for their journey. They did so for the same reasons that apply today:
1. The spiritual condition of mankind. Romans 1:21-32 describes this sinful world. Unchecked sin leads people down a slippery slope toward a depraved conscience and, ultimately, a darkened mind that cannot perceive what is right. Every unbelieving person is sliding on that treacherous path.
2. God's spiritual provision. The Father responded to mankind's plight with grace: He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to save the world. On the cross, Christ bore the sin of every person—living, no longer alive, and yet to be born. The offer of salvation is for all; God's grace is blind to race, creed, and color (Rom. 10:12). Those who believe in Jesus are forgiven their sin, and they will spend eternity with the Lord.
3. The commission from Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8 says we receive the Holy Spirit so we may bear effective witness to those who need salvation. Notice that we don't simply begin at home and work steadily outward. People everywhere are waiting for the Good News. The word is to be carried far and fast.
The purpose of the church is to worship and witness. Some will go and some will send, but all are called to the work of spreading the gospel. This is not a suggestion; it is a command (Matt. 28:19). Believers living in God's will are all to be involved in missionary work.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Prophecy in the News: Earth's Sun is Waking Up!
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Thursday, February 24, 2011