Date: 2020-01-05
(Sunday, Christmas 2)





1. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
2. and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
3. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’ ”
4. And John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
5. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him
6. and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8. “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
9. “and 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.
10. “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12. “His winnowing fan [is] in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”


One striking revelation in our text today is that John was focused in his ministry. His message was very direct: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” His ministry was not miracle-centred yet people went out to him from Jerusalem, all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan (v.5), confessing their sins and gettingbaptised. There was no compromise to his message as he told the people the consequences of sin and an un-repented life. Despite the great influence he was commanding, he was still humble and focused enough to tell people the limit of his ministry and the power of Jesus who would come after him.

John did not perform any miracles but what made him great was his message of repentance. What makes a preacher or prophet great is his message. Let your message, lifestyle and influence be centredon making people citizens of heaven. Again, live a purpose-driven life. Understand your divine mission on earth;focus your life on achieving what God sent you here to achieve. Don’t abandon your mission and create a generational gap -think of what would have happened if John had channelled his calling towards seeking material gains. Irrespective of your level of achievement and success in ministry and life, still remain humble in life and focused on your calling.

✝? PRAYER: Consecrate me Lord to Thy service


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