Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19 - I Have Seen and I Testify

Today's Reading:
Leviticus 7:28-9:6
John 1:29-51
Psalm 31:1-8
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses: John 1:32-34
32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

John the Baptist was born to parents of advanced age. The angelic visits and miracles that accompanied his conception and birth (Luke 1) were signs that John was a special voice—a prophet who would announce the coming of Messiah. At his birth, John's father, Zechariah, exclaimed, "You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation, through the forgiveness of their sins..." (Luke 1:76-77).

John the Baptist, was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy (Isaiah 40:3). He was "A voice of one calling: 'In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." He was also the fulfillment of God's promise through the prophet Malachi: "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..." (Malachi 4:5-6).

All this adds tremendous force to John's declaration that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. John was giving prophetic notice that Jesus was the one who would fulfill God's promise to save sinners from judgment. Jesus was God's solution to humanity's problem of sin. Jesus was the one who would be the instrument of God's saving grace and salvation for the world.

Response and Action:
I accept the testimony of John the Baptist. John's birth, life, and ministry give prophetic credibility to his witness. I am putting my faith in Christ Jesus and I look to him as the one who can save me from sin. I believe that Jesus saves me from the penalty of sin and from bondage to sin. As I follow Jesus, I pray that my life and my voice, as John the Baptist's, might be a testimony and declaration of the saving and transforming power of Jesus.

O God, thank you for Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Help me to recognize him, to follow him, and to trust him. Make my life a testimony of his salvation, and use me to point others to Christ Jesus, your Son, my Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 
1 John 5:11-12
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Jesus: Lord and Savior
by F. F. Bruce

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