Luke 3:1-6 – In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar–when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene– during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God's salvation.' "
Luke continues to accurately record the events surrounding Jesus life and ministry by identifying Caesar and the year of his reign. He goes a few steps further by including locations, names and offices of the governor of Judea, the tetrarchs of Iturea and Abilene, and even identifying the high priest at that time. You see, Luke believed in accuracy and integrity in reporting. It was important to him that everyone should know for certainty the things that took place at this time. This is a time of greatest human and historical significance and it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that someone records it from an accurate, truthful firsthand experience. Luke wants us to understand that it was during this time period that “the word of God came to John.” Luke phrases it this way because, like all the prophets before John, this was the way it happened! God calls and raises up men and women, boys and girls BY HIS WORD! Without such anointing, enlightenment and inspiration, no one would ever be able to GO into all the country around and effectively proclaim the Word of God. The Word of God came clearly to John and he couldn’t keep it quiet. By it he was impassioned and commissioned to GO and PREACH a message of repentance and forgiveness of sins. And so HE WENT!
There was not a place in all the country around the Jordan that did not hear his message of repentance, baptism and the forgiveness of sins. He WAS the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3-5. “A voice calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord…’” The Word of God came to John, and that Word burned deeply upon his heart. He could not keep this Word silent! It had to be spoken! It had to be delivered! It had to be shouted to the countryside! John HAD to preach repentance! He HAD to preach baptism and the forgiveness of sins! This is the way the Word of God comes to people – through faithful ambassadors of the Word! And the Word was calling everyone to prepare the way for the Lord! That meant cleaning up crooked ways and straightening out lifestyles. The Word of God calls for repentance that changes the self-serving and rebellious attitudes people have toward Him, into smooth avenues that easily receive His will and His plans. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” – Romans 10:14,15.
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Give thanks for the Word of God that calls us to repentance, baptism and forgiveness of our sins.
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Ryan Hackett, Matt & Becky Hakes (Stevie, Lydia), Taylor Isselhard.
- Praise God for sending His Word to trustworthy servants who faithfully proclaim it to others!
- Thank God for revealing His salvation to those who hear His Word, turn from their sins and clean up their lives!
- Praise God for a voice calling out in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.”
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Make sure that you are prepared to receive the Word of God by forsaking sin and disobedience!
- Be among those that repent, believe, are baptized and are saved!
Prayer Challenge: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call." – Acts 2:38,39.