Give them Jesus as long as you can!

God would call us to be faithful to the ministry that He has given us regardless of what other people do.

January 2

In those days John the Baptist began preaching in the Judean wilderness. His message was, “Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

Matthew 3:1-2

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Give them Jesus as long as you can!

John and Jesus were related through their mothers, Elizabeth and Mary.  John was born about six months before Jesus.  There is no account of them meeting prior to Jesus coming to John to be baptized, though John recognized Him as the Messiah when he came.  John was given a very specific ministry; he was to prepare the way for the Messiah.  God called him from his conception to be the herald of the coming Savior.

And just like much of Jesus’ ministry on earth, John didn’t do his ministry the way others would think that he should.  One might think that the herald of the Savior would conduct his ministry in the populated areas of the country.  Instead John preached from the Judean wilderness.  We know at least part of that time was spent near the Jordan River where he was actively baptizing people.

His preaching was simple, straight-forward, and clear.  He called people to repent from their sins and return to a true worship of God.  The Bible indicates that he was very effective as a preacher.  People came from all over Judea and the surrounding area to hear him preach and be baptized by him.  And then they would leave.  Even the very religious people came to hear John.  He often confronted them in much the same way that Jesus would later confront them.

John was the forerunner of Jesus’ ministry on the earth.  He faithfully continued even after Jesus came onto the scene and people stopped coming to him and were following Jesus.  John continued speaking the truth of God even when it meant being put into prison by Herod.  John was faithful to the ministry given to him by the LORD right up to the time that they came to take his head.

There may be times as you are doing the ministry that the LORD has given you that you might relate to John in some ways.  As you lead your family, ministry, or church you might feel like you are out in the wilderness.  People come to get something from you and then leave.  Sometimes they are sincere and sometimes they are selfishly looking for a way to feel good about themselves.

God would call us to be faithful to the ministry that He has given us regardless of what other people do.  Even if they are coming for selfish reasons, you love them and serve them.  When they leave, remember that people left John and Jesus.  Not everyone wants to hear or do what the LORD wants them to do.  It is not your responsibility to get them to get it.  Your responsibility is to give them all you can as long as you can.  Then you trust them in the hands of their Loving God.  Your only responsibility is to be faithful.  Jesus, help us to keep at it when it gets hard.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Genesis 3:1-4:26; Matthew 2:13-3:6; Psalm 2:1-12; Proverbs 1:7-9