Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
John the Baptist here in Matthew is known as being the last of the prophets of old, declaring the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was called of God to declare the truth of the coming of Jesus Christ. His simple message was a call for the people to choose to repent of their sins and to trust in Jesus. John the Baptist was a man who chose to answer the call to engage a wilderness generation of people with the Gospel.
In case you might have forgotten, did you know that we as Christians have the same call as John the Baptist? Now we may not be a prophet of old but we are called to proclaim the excellencies of Jesus to a world that is in the wilderness! John the Baptist was just like us, an ordinary human being who answered the extraordinary call to go and share. Now how was he able to do it?
1). HE WAS SECURE IN THE MESSAGE: Listen, John the Baptist was secure in the message of the Gospel. He knew the message of the Gospel and was able to share that message with boldness and confidence. I believe the reason why many do not share the good news of Jesus is because they just do not know it. They do not know how to articulate it. The message of the Gospel is that we are sinners in need of a great Savior, and the God of the Universe out of His love for us sent that Savior Jesus Christ to hang on an old rugged Cross and die so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life. We must know the message of the Gospel that saved us in order to share that message with others.
2). HE WAS SECURE IN HIMSELF: As you see in the scriptures, John the Baptist did not care about appearance and what others thought of Him. He was on assignment. He might have been seen as a weirdo for wearing a garment made out of camel hair and eating locusts but he didn’t care. The task was to engage the wilderness generation for Jesus. If we could be honest this morning, how many times do we stifle our own efforts of sharing the good news of Jesus with others because we are concerned about what they will think of us? How many times have we ignored the voice of the Lord in our hearts to go and engage that individual with the Good News because we were worried about how we were going to look? Listen in Galatians 1:10, it tells us that we are called to seek the approval of God, not man. Let’s be secure in ourselves and bold with sharing the Good News.
The story goes that one day in 1985 the staff of a local municipal pool in New Orleans threw a party to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at their pool. There were over 200 guests in attendance with 100 of them being lifeguards who worked at the pool, and they all had a good time. As the party was ending, the lifeguards on duty found a fully dressed man at the deep end of the pool who was lifeless. The guards tried to resuscitate him but it was too late. The man drowned surrounded by lifeguards who were too busy enjoying the party to even notice or engage the drowning man.
Will we be a people who engage a wilderness generation before it is too late? Will we choose to be a people like John the Baptist, boldly declaring the message of repentance to a lost and dying world? May we choose to be a people who engage a wilderness generation for Jesus.
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Lord, thank you for the Gospel message. Thank you for saving me. Help me today to be a bold witness for you, sharing the message of Hope with a lost and dying world. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)
But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.