Jesus' Footprints

Posts Tagged ‘water

jesus_second_comingThe apostle, Peter wrote in his second letter, ‘First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: “Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.”

“They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will perish.

“But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:3-9)

Make no mistake. Jesus is coming again.  The Lord does not make idle promises.  We do not know the hour but we can be certain that He is coming back.  The world has changed.  We are seeing evidence that it is soon coming to an end.  We serve a merciful God who desires that none should perish.  He is being patient for our sake.  He is giving people time to turn from their sins—to turn from their wicked ways and seek Him.

Don’t be discouraged. Be patient.  The Lord will come soon.  Prepare your hearts and lives for that glorious day when He will appear in the clouds with His angels.

Don’t doubt or despair because He hasn’t come as yet. Instead, remember this promise Jesus made: “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

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BaptismOfJesusJohn the Baptist, when he saw Jesus, testified that He was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world.  He mentions that Jesus is the One whom he had spoken of before.  He knew Him not but that He should be revealed to Israel and that he, John, comes baptizing with water.  His baptisms are his way of preparing Israel for the Messiah who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.

Luke’s Gospel elaborates on John’s role.  He was to come before Jesus in the manner of an earlier prophet–Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to wisdom of the just; to make people ready–to prepare them for the Lord.

John the Baptist was called the prophet of the Highest because he was to go before Jesus to prepare His way.  He was to let the people know about salvation by the remission of their sins.  John went about saying, “Repent you: for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  He was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.  God revealed Jesus to John, for John testified that he had seen the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove and settle on Him.  God had told John that the person he saw the Spirit descend and remain on was the One who would baptize with the Holy Spirit.  John witnessed this phenomenon and testified that Jesus was the Son of God.

Like John the Baptist, Jesus is revealed to us and it is up to us to share this revelation with others.  We can declare to others that Jesus is the Son of God and through Him we receive the Holy Spirit.  After Jesus came, baptism was done in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  As in Jesus’ case, we too receive the Holy Spirit in baptism.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,  by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

Peter makes these statements:

  • Christ died onec for our sins
  • Christ who was innocent died for us who are guilty
  • Christ died in order to bring us to God
  • His body was put to death and His Spirit made alive
  • Christ preached to the spirits kept in prison
  • The people disobeyed God while Noah built the ark
  • Eight people went in the ark and God brought them safely through the flood

What these verses say to me is that Jesus died for our sins in order to reconcile us with God because sin separated us from the Father. 

Christ preached to the spirits in prison during His ministry here on earth.  He preached, “Turn back to God!  The kingdom of heaven will soon be here” (Matthew 4:17).  The people were prisoners of sin but Jesus came to free them.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Jesus read this to the people and then after He closed the scroll, He announced, “What you have just heard Me read has come true today” (Luke 4:18-20).  Throughout His ministry, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.  He healed the sick, the lame, the crippled, gave sight to the physically and spiritually blind, cast out demons and taught people the good news about God’s love and His kingdom.  He freed many from spiritual darkness and the bondage of sin.

He also preached to the people in Noah’s time.  He did so through the Holy Spirit.  These were the people who disobeyed God while Noah was building the ark.  God was patient with them, giving them ample opportunity and time to repent.  He gave them 120 years during which Noah preached to the people.  Peter referred to Noah as “a preacher of righteousness”.  Sadly, in the end, only eight people (Noah and his family) were saved. 

Today, Jesus through the Holy Spirit is preaching to us, urging us to repent so that we could be saved from the destruction of the earth.  We ought to pray like David that God would bring our souls out of prison (Psalm 142:7).  Just as in the days of Noah, God is patiently waiting for people to repent and turn to Him so that through Jesus, they could be saved.  Peter confirms this, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  God wanted to save more than eight people in Noah’s day but when the people continued to wallow in wickedness and rebellion, God had no other choice but to condemn them to destruction.

Don’t make God do something that breaks His heart.  Follow Peter’s advice, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.  Don’t allow yourself to be being led away with the error of the wicked;  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:14, 17, 18).

The other day when we were in the gas station, my four year old and I were sitting in the car while my husband was filling the tank.  I was thirsty so I went into my handbag to get some change.  As my husband passed to pay for the gas, I called out to him but he didn’t hear me.  Disappointed, I put the coins back into my wallet.

A few minutes passed and then I heard a tap on the window beside me.  I turned to see a woman standing beside the car looking at me.  I hesitated.  I couldn’t roll down the window because the car engine was off.  I wasn’t sure that it was a good idea to open the door.  However, I did.  I had to in order to find out what she wanted.

She told me that she needed change for the bus.  I hesitated and then I took out my wallet.  My fingers closed over the same coins I was going to give my husband to buy me water and I gave them to her.  An expression of gratitude came over her face and she took the coins.  She reached out to shake my hand.  I stared at her hand.  I don’t normally shake hands with perfect strangers.  Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I held her fingers in a feeble handshake.  And she said, “God bless you.”  Of course, I felt badly that I didn’t give her a nice, warm handshake.

Any way when my husband returned, we talked about it.  He had seen what happened and he was happy that I helped the woman out.  He believed that God sent her to me for the bus money.

This evening as I was reading the story of the Sheep or Goats found in Matthew 25 to my four year old, I thought of the woman at the gas station.

Jesus spoke of a king who will separate two groups in the last day just as a shepherd separates the sheep in his flock from the goats.  One group of people will be on the king’s right and the other on his left.  The ones on the right will be those who will share in His kingdom because they helped those who were in need while the ones on the left did not.  The words that struck me were, “Every time you saw one of my followers–however unimportant–and refused to help him in his need, you were refusing to help me.”  Had I refused to help that woman, it would have been the same as refusing to help Jesus.  She was a follower of His and she was in need.  She needed money in order to get to where she needed to go and I had the money.  Yes, I was thirsty but her need was greater.  I didn’t need the water and she needed the change I was going to use for that water.  God had other plans for that money.  He saw a greater need for it and prevented me from wasting it.

I am very thankful now that God used me to help someone in need.  I am grateful that helped someone who needed it.  I hope and pray that the next time God gives me an opportunity to help someone in need, I will not hesitate.

When God’s judgement day comes, which group will you belong to–the sheep or the goats–the ones who will live with the King forever or the ones who will be banished from His presence forever?  I pray that you will be among the sheep.


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