Matthew 3 NIV
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” 4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”
Who has been a John the Baptist in your life? How did they prepare the way for Jesus?
Throughout my life, I have been led, taught, and impacted by both people who love You and those who have a heart for evil. Who I have chosen to associate with has made a difference in the choices I have made. Not all were good. Thank You that You did put people in my life who had a sincere love for You. I witnessed sacrificial love and service for You and others. Their influence prepared the way for me to confess my sins and redirect my life to follow You. I readjusted who I called friends and mainly associated with people who love and serve You. I became hungry for Your Word and I listened and studied Your Word intently. I thank you for pastors who don’t sugar coat your Word. I thank you for small groups that help me stretch my faith and make me think. I thank You for people who demonstrate Your Love through the faithfulness of their lives. I pray that I can influence others through my faithfulness. I pray that my words and actions help others to recognize their sinful ways and help them to know and follow You. I pray that each day I grow in Your Spirit and keep my heart on fire for You so that I can share that fire with others. Prepare my heart as I spend quality time with You so that You influence my life. Lord, I want to please You. I want to be used by You to expand Your kingdom. I pray that as my faith and commitment are strengthened, that I boldly proclaim Your love with people who do not know You. Thank You for loving me and preparing my way, my precious Lord and friend. Amen