Our pastor has given the Church a challenge. He called it the 5 Challenge! (snazzy title I thought)
1. Read God's word Daily
2.Pray Pray Pray
4.Be in SS. and Church
5.Love your neighbor
As I was writing this down I thought to myself I can do all of these NO PROBLEM. The only problem is I don't make or take the time I should to really devour God's all inspired and Holy word. Yes, I do read daily mostly to teach Bro. I must confess I am not really digging in and eating myself. (I am ashamed). Every day I should be preparing my heart and the hearts of my kids for the coming of the Lord.
I do find it easier to get into The Word when I have a bible study to do even then I may find myself doing it every now and then. I have started Jesus by Beth Moore.. I just love her. I believe God has just moved through that woman's whole life. I pray for wisdom like hers and, I then, I think again she is really eating God's word.
My reading for today was short but moving and awe inspiring. Matthew 3:13-15 We have all read or heard it before. The day Jesus came to the waters to be baptized by John a simple man. I took this from her notes today. It is all fiction but, the thought of what John may have been thinking is moving.
"My tongue had been like a flame that day. The Word of God came to me in the desert like fire from heaven. If I hadn't preached it, it would have consumed me. I had no fear. No intimidation. God sent me to those Jordan waters, and I knew they'd come. NO prearranged meeting. Just the wind of the Spirit wooing, drawing, then blowing away the debris of sin, preparing the way for the Deliverer. No matter who came to the shore to hear or to jeer. The message was immutable, "Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near."
The fruit of repentance pierced the wind with cries of confession and waves of grief. I hardly stepped out of those waters that day. My voice grew raspy and hoarse but never quiet. Boldness was the marrow in my bones. Funny how stunned we are when the future we prophesy suddenly becomes present. I had told them I was unworthy loose His sandals and that I would only baptize with water for repentance. He would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. I spike lie an authority. Like an associate of the closest kind. Like someone who know it all. I didn't.
I was just raising a repentant man from the waters when I saw someone out of the corner of my eye walk to the water's edge. As i think back, how those waters kept from parting that day, I'll never know. Numbers were gathered on the shore. Others were waist deep in the water. Suddenly I became oblivious to all but the overpowering presence of the One. There He stood, looking straight at me. Through me. Oh, it was Him alright! I had been preparing form Him all my life, and yet I was not ready. All I could do was look at Him and shake my head. "No Please, no!" Not me. I have need to be baptized by You!"
Suddenly I was overcome by my own compulsion to flood the shore with waves of repentance, and He answered"let it be for now. It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." So I consented, shaking all over. I placed my left hand on His back and my right hand on His chest. I felt the heartbeat of the Son of God. As if in slow motion, I leaned Him back into these waters, His weight submitting to my hand.
All of the sudden the Jordan chilled me to the bone. I raised Him from the waters, and He stood before me drenched in the river of promise. The water dripping from His beard seemed to drop like diamonds, proclaiming His endless perfections. He alone had no confessions to make that day. Only one was made over Him, The confession of His holiness enthroned in heaven. "This is my Son whom I love and with Him I am well pleased!" The blessing of the Father fell like a dove from heaven. He walked out of those waters and into our lives, interrupting a fallen worked with grace and truth. My name is John. I am the son of a simple mand and woman. I baptized the Messiah that day."
These thoughts are not true but, you do have to wonder what was going through John's mind that day as he lay the Son of Man/God down into those waters that day. I often think when I was laid in those waters. How far I have come and how far I fall. Some days I feel like I am on a roller coaster just waiting on my next Jesus high but all to often I am just coasting along in the slump of life.
I have come along way from where I used to be. I used to not believe at all. I can still remember the day God called me by my Name. It is a day I will never forget. It still moves me as I sat in church that day thinking these "Christians" are crazy people and how stupid all this was. I thought I will never be like this. Never say Never. I know that now. Then there was the alter call. I made my way to that alter that day with the unfailing urge to come forward. I couldn't believe it here I am a skeptic making my way to the alter to pray. With many thoughts going through my head.
What do I say?
How do I act?
What am I doing?
Yet when my knees hit that padded alter my body began to shake and all I could do was cry out. Just like the story went wave of confessions just came flowing. I couldn't believe all that I had done in my life that God still loved me and wanted me as His one of His beloved Children. Moments later Bro. Steve came over and laid his hand on my shoulder and asked me if I believed and I said YES! WITH ALL MY HEART!! I could hear the word of God in my heart saying "Come to me and I will take care of you!"
He did and still does.