Luke 3:21,22 – When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
                This was no offspring of vipers that came to John that day!  The bodily form of the Holy Spirit and the voice from heaven made that perfectly clear!  This was the One whose sandals the Baptizer was not worthy to untie.  He was the One who would baptize with fire and with the Holy Spirit!  However, in order to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15), Jesus came humbly, identified Himself with the crowds and stood among those whom John referred to as the “offspring of vipers” (Luke 3:7).  Although Jesus had committed no sin, nor did He have any need for repentance, He is found here doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right reason!  He is fulfilling all righteousness! 
While John was baptizing Him, Luke says that Jesus was praying – communing with His Father.  As John baptized and Jesus prayed, the Holy Spirit descended – in a form that was a sign to John.  "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." (John 1:32-34).  In the midst of everything there came a voice from heaven confirming Jesus’s identity – He is the dearly loved, well-pleasing Son of God! 
Gospel writers record two other declarations of a voice from heaven addressing Jesus: (1) on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:35), and (2) in the temple area during Jesus' final week (John 12:28).  Peter also bears witness to this – “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (2 Peter 1:16-18).  The message is clear – The Father loves the Son, DEEPLY!  John testified further to this in John 3:35 – “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands…”  Hebrews 1:1-14 also speaks of the great love and esteem God has for His Son.  Jesus is described as God’s final Word to us; He is the appointed heir of all things; the One through whom He created the universe; He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being; all things are sustained by His powerful word; following His obedient redemptive work, He sat down at God’s right hand; He is superior to all the angels; His righteous authority and His throne is established forever!  Yes indeed, Jesus is the Son whom the Father loves as His own exact image and likeness – loving, righteous, holy, just, pure, humble, obedient, faithful and true!  What’s not to love here?
  • 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.         
  • Thank God for the gift of His dearly loved Son.  Ponder the offering of so cherished a treasure!
  • Pray for the Good News families of the week: Kathleen Bauman, Bonnie Bitetti (Samantha, Denny, Chris), Brandon & Sandy Burtner (Elijah).
  • Praise God for the gift of His Spirit who affirms the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ!
  • Thank God for His own verbal confirmation of His precious and sacred Son! 
  • Pray that the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ may be confirmed in OUR speech and conduct!
  • Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
  • Pray that those in your sphere of influence may come to truly know and love who Jesus is.
  • Pray that you may love and cherish the One who is the exact representation of God our Father!

Prayer Challenge: Thank God for rescuing us from the dominion of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.  In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Celebrate the One who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  He is the One by whom and for whom all things were created, and the One who holds all things together.  He is the head of the church; His is the One who has supremacy in everything!  God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things…, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.  (Colossians 1:13-20).

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