Clear the Decks!
Jesus, thank You that You humbled Yourself and came into our world!
Read Mark 1:1–8
 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,  as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”-  “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'”  And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat was John’s role?
The good news about Jesus begins with the removal of anything that would delay or impede his arrival (3). So John calls on people to repent and be forgiven of their sins (4). The Greek word metanoia that we translate as repentance has to do with seeing things differently because they now have a new context. In response to the arrival of Messiah Jesus it seems to me that I am called upon to see the world, my actions, attitudes and beliefs in a new light, and that these insights will cause me to behave in new ways, just as happened in Jesus’ time (Luke 3:8–14). John administers baptism, a common Jewish ritual of the time, as a symbol of this change of heart, will and choices; but he acknowledges that the One whose way he is preparing will introduce us to, and immerse us in (to translate baptize literally) a new source of power who will enable us to live life in a new and unselfish way (see Galatians 5:19–26). I wonder what attitudes and habits I have that hinder Jesus coming to me and being with me in fresh and transforming ways?
Talk to God about an increase in the fruit of his Spirit in you as listed in Gal. 5:22,23, and spend some time reflecting on your life.
You who baptize with the Holy Spirit, immerse me in the life of God till I am overflowing to all the world.
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