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Alone In The Wilderness?

. . . the child grew up and his spirit matured. He lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel
Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 139:1-3,13-15; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66,80

Sermon Week The Birth of John the Baptist Cycle B

Scripture Summary Luke 1:80

After attending months of Bible Study, a man approached the pastor and said that he wanted to be baptized and become an active member of the church. The pastor asked for some details of the man's conversion. “How can you be sure that you really want to become a Christian?” he asked. To which the man replied, “I just feel that something good has come into my life that I never before experienced.”

“But can you be more specific?” the pastor inquired.

“Well,” the man said, “I can’t talk theology to you. And I still don’t know my Bible very well. But I can tell you this: I work in housekeeping in a downtown hotel. And ever since I got religion, I don’t sweep dirt under the rug anymore!”

From the very beginning of His public ministry, Jesus proclaimed this theme: "Reform your lives! Change your way of living!" His call to transform our lives and to follow Him are inseparable. He is telling us, in effect, "I understand human nature. I know each one of you is anything but perfect. And I want you to know that to follow Me -- to be My disciple -- you must be devoted to the task of bettering yourself, moving into ever closer union with God and His life of Love. In other words, if you want to be My Disciple you have to stop sweeping the dirt under the rug!

To follow Jesus is to work at ongoing change in your life. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime transformation Jesus is calling for. It is an ongoing, continuing change -- a process of development and growth that stretches out over your entire life.

There is a story in which God is interviewing prospective Apostles ...

He says to one man, “If I should recommend you to My Son, what would you do for Him?” The man replies, “Lord if I am chosen, I will build shrines in His honor all over the world. They will be made of the finest materials, fashioned with the most expert craftsmanship, and their beauty, for all to see, would [...]

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