What does John the Baptist have to do with Christmas? First of all, his life was fully intertwined with Jesus. He was only few months older than Jesus and he was called to clear the way for Jesus. John knew his place in God’s salvation plan. He had dedicated his whole life for serving God. His message for us this advent season is: prepare your hearts for Jesus.
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless it is given from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that I’m not the Christ but that I’m the one sent before him. The groom is the one who is getting married. The friend of the groom stands close by and, when he hears him, is overjoyed at the groom’s voice. Therefore, my joy is now complete. He must increase and I must decrease. (John 3: 27-30, CEB, emphasis added)
John had found the secret of joy: “Jesus must increase and I must decrease”. John passes on his wisdom: Less junk, more Jesus! This is not just material junk in our life (and God knows we could practice simplicity like John!) We also are somehow drawn to fill ourselves with mindless entertainment and heartless busyness. And we feel empty. And then we wonder why. The secret of joy is this: Jesus must increase and we must decrease.
The one who comes from above is above all things. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all things. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever accepts his testimony confirms that God is true. The one whom God sent speaks God’s words because God gives the Spirit generously. The Father loves the Son and gives everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever doesn’t believe in the Son won’t see life, but the angry judgment of God remains on them.”(Jon 3: 31-36, CEB)
Whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life. Without Christ there is no gospel. Without Christ we don’t have hope. Without Christ we don’t have grace. Lord, have mercy!
If we know the One who has the words of eternal life….shouldn’t we do everything in order to be fully intertwined with the Good News? If we know the One who holds the secret of joy…shouldn’t we flock to Him?
Thank you for drawing us to you.
Thank you for not giving up on us.
Thank you for sending us voices in the wilderness
calling us back to you.
Show us what needs to go
so that we could be fully concentrate in you!
Enable us to live the secret of joy in our own lives!
May you increase and we decrease!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What needs to go from your life that you’d be able to fully concentrate in Jesus?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim as you prepare your heart for Jesus!
Giving thanks today for
#43 all the voices in the wilderness calling us back to God
#44 ever-faithful God
#46 the gift of grace
#47 the secret of joy
#48 less junk, more Jesus
#49 the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives
The third WINNER of the Common English Bible softcover edition is Leslie Bligh- McCarthy!
Do you want to win a copy of the Common English Bible softcover edition? Just leave a comment on any blog post this week (or any week during the blog tour). The winner will be announced again on Monday!
All these CEB give aways are possible because I am participating in the Common English Bible Blog tour. During the next two months I will mostly be using the Common English Bible (CEB) on my blog posts. Let’s check out this fresh new Bible translation!