Do you get discouraged that many Christians are indistinguishable from unbelievers? Their compromising lifestyles conform to the world. Instead of being on fire for God, they are lukewarm. Passiveness instead of passion becomes their calling card. They refuse to believe if it's risky.
Therefore, they adopt the path of least resistance. They coexist with sin instead of confessing it. They depend upon themselves instead of the Holy Spirit. They practice mediocrity and not excellence; fear and not faith; and avoidance, not activism. Despite what is seen today, John the Baptist is one example to follow that will help yourself and others.
1. Understand people’s basic spiritual needs
In the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar when Pontius Pilate was governor, John preached a baptism of repentance and the forgiveness of sin. From Isaiah, he quoted, ". . . Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. . . . And all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3:1-6). Preach Christ for forgiveness of sin so people admit sin to receive Him as Savior.
2. Build on conversion experience
John told the multitudes to "bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance" and not rely on their physical heritage in Abraham. True spiritual children would be born when bad fruit was cut down and burned. He told them to share basic necessities like food and clothing with others. In response to a tax-gatherer's question, John told him to collect the right amount and to a soldier, not to take money by force or accuse anyone falsely, but be content with his wages. (Luke 3:7-14). Repent of sin to be an example of God’s faith and power.
3. Rely on the Holy Spirit
People wondered whether John was Christ. John said he baptized with water, but a mightier One was coming who baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. This Mightier One would burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Luke 3:15-17). Rely on the Holy Spirit for power to live a pure and holy life reflecting Jesus and His works.
4. Expect persecution
John confronted Herod for marrying his brother's wife, Herodias. His proclamations against Herod got him imprisoned
(Luke 3:18-20). Obey Christ without compromise to experience persecution by the world (this is a good thing because we experience the kingdom of heaven: Matthew 5:10).
5. Pray expectantly
After John was baptized and prayed for Jesus, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. A voice from heaven said to Jesus, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased" (Luke 3:21-22). Pray to feel God’s love and care profoundly.
6. Expect help from Jesus
Because Jesus as the God-man went through life like any other human being, He will come to your aid (Luke 3:23-38). Pray and ask God for help.
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to give me a fire for God.
2. Pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit in my life.
3. Confess all known sin and refuse any compromise.
If you want to hear me share more about an Outreach Lifestyle,
come to the Empowering Men of Kingdom conference
Sat., June 1st, breakfast @ 8 a.m.,First Baptist, 1340 K, Lincoln, NE