Are you ok being the predecessor to the guy? Are you ok being someone else? Are you ok being the person who God created you to be? Are you sure who you are? Do you realize that you were created on purpose with purpose for a purpose? Do you know what it is? Are you seeking to find out? Are you seeking to become all that you can be?
Today’s reading speaks about John who knows who he is and that “the guy” is yet to be revealed.
John the Baptist’s Message
(Matthew 3.1-12; Mark 1.1-8; Luke 3.1-18)
19The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John to ask him, “Who are you?” 20John did not refuse to answer, but spoke out openly and clearly, saying: “I am not the Messiah.” 21“Who are you, then?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No, I am not,” John answered.“ Are you the Prophet?” they asked. “No,” he replied. 22“Then tell us who you are,” they said. “We have to take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah: “I am ‘the voice of someone shouting in the desert: Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!’” 24The messengers, who had been sent by the Pharisees, 25then asked John, “If you are not the Messiah nor Elijah nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?” 26John answered, “I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know. 27He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals.” 28All this happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing. –from John 1
What if your purpose was to set the table for someone else’s work? What if your purpose is to share Jesus and His love with everyone you come in contact with? What if your purpose is to share the Good News of Jesus and how He came, He gave His life on the cross, He conquered the grave and rose on the third day, He sits at the right hand of the father interceding for those who believe? What if your purpose was to introduce people to Jesus? What if your purpose was deliver gifts from God? What if your gift was to reveal the truth that good and evil both exist? What if…
In all our lives, we will be tested and tempted as the devil tries to pull us from Jesus. Nothing can take us away, but due to freewill, some may choose to walk away. Choose to walk with Jesus not away from Him. Today’s reading speaks to this testing…
Testing and Tempting
12Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him. 13If we are tempted by such trials, we must not say, “This temptation comes from God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires. 15Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16Do not be deceived, my dear friends! 17Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning. 18By his own will he brought us into being through the word of truth, so that we should have first place among all his creatures. –from James 1
So let’s live life on purpose with purpose! Let’s be ok not being the guy, for Jesus is the guy! Let’s live lives that point to Him! Let’s not be deceived or tempted away from God! Let’s rebuke the devil for when we resist the devil, he will flee! Let’s live lives that will please God rather than trying to temporarily please ourselves! Temporary highs are just that, temporary, short lived, and usually end up with regrets, pain, and suffering. Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength! Let’s store up our treasures in heaven where dust and moths can’t destroy it and where thieves can’t steal it. Let’s seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! Let’s live life His way, walking in relationship with Jesus! Talking to Him throughout the day, not just once a day, but throughout the day! That is why the Bible says to pray without ceasing.
Today’s reading continues with …
1I decided to enjoy myself and find out what happiness is. But I found that this is useless, too. 2I discovered that laughter is foolish, that pleasure does you no good. 3Driven on by my desire for wisdom, I decided to cheer myself up with wine and have a good time. I thought that this might be the best way people can spend their short lives on earth. 4I accomplished great things. I built myself houses and planted vineyards. 5I planted gardens and orchards, with all kinds of fruit trees in them; 6I dug ponds to irrigate them. 7I bought many slaves, and there were slaves born in my household. I owned more livestock than anyone else who had ever lived in Jerusalem. 8I also piled up silver and gold from the royal treasuries of the lands I ruled. Men and women sang to entertain me, and I had all the women a man could want. 9Yes, I was great, greater than anyone else who had ever lived in Jerusalem, and my wisdom never failed me. 10Anything I wanted, I got. I did not deny myself any pleasure. I was proud of everything I had worked for, and all this was my reward. 11Then I thought about all that I had done and how hard I had worked doing it, and I realized that it didn’t mean a thing. It was like chasing the wind—of no use at all. 12After all, a king can only do what previous kings have done.So I started thinking about what it meant to be wise or reckless or foolish. 13Oh, I know, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness. 14The wise can see where they are going, and fools cannot.” But I also know that the same fate is waiting for us all. 15I thought to myself, “What happens to fools is going to happen to me, too. So what have I gained from being so wise?” “Nothing,” I answered, “not a thing.” 16No one remembers the wise, and no one remembers fools. In days to come, we will all be forgotten. We must all die—wise and foolish alike. 17So life came to mean nothing to me, because everything in it had brought me nothing but trouble. It had all been useless; I had been chasing the wind. 18Nothing that I had worked for and earned meant a thing to me, because I knew that I would have to leave it to my successor, 19and he might be wise, or he might be foolish—who knows? Yet he will own everything I have worked for, everything my wisdom has earned for me in this world. It is all useless. 20So I came to regret that I had worked so hard. 21You work for something with all your wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and then you have to leave it all to someone who hasn’t had to work for it. It is useless, and it isn’t right! 22You work and worry your way through life, and what do you have to show for it? 23As long as you live, everything you do brings nothing but worry and heartache. Even at night your mind can’t rest. It is all useless. 24The best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have earned. And yet, I realized that even this comes from God. 25How else could you have anything to eat or enjoy yourself at all? 26God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness to those who please him, but he makes sinners work, earning and saving, so that what they get can be given to those who please him. It is all useless. It is like chasing the wind. –from Ecclesiastes 2