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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Birth of John the Baptist (His Name is John)

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 1:57 - 80
  • Psalm 58:1 - 11
Read Bible Passages Online

Luke 1:57 - 80
John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth and Zechariah.  Many people came to the circumcision ceremony when John was 8 days old.  The people then began to argue with Elizabeth over the name John, since it was not in the family at all.

We are told that people then turned to Zechariah, using gestures to ask him what he wanted the son's name to be.  Zechariah wrote "His name is John" (1:63), and instantly Zechariah could hear and speak again.  Praise the Lord!  Isn't it amazing how we can be instantly blessed for having faith?

We are then told that the Holy Spirit overcame Zechariah, and he prophesied over John.  Zechariah foretold the coming of the Lord, and that John would be come the prophet of the Most High (1:76).  John would lead people to salvation (1:77), give light to those in darkness (1:79), and -- most importantly -- prepare the way for the Lord (1:76).

In verse 80 we are told that John grew up strong in the spirit and lived in the wilderness until he was ready to go public with his ministry.

Psalm 58:1 - 11
8  May they be like snails that dissolve into slime, like a stillborn child who will never see the sun.
9  God will sweep them away, both young and old, faster than a pot heats over burning water.
This Psalm talks powerfully of the vengeance of the Lord against wicked people, people who have lied and gone their own way, even from birth (58:3). 

The imagery here is quite powerful -- snails dissolving into slime, stillborn children, and people who are swept away in no time at all.  I don't want to be wicked.  I don't want to be insignificant to the Lord so that I am swept away in a tide with the rest of those who have gone their own way. 

Thank you Lord for being with me, for making me complete.  Thank you Lord for filling me with your spirit so that I am not washed away with the lot of sinners who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, who refuse to repent.  Thank you, Lord -- Amen. 

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