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PREPARED . . .

PREPARED . . .
        Luke 3:1-38
 
"And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him, and a voice came down from heaven which said, 'You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.'"  Luke 3:22 (NKJV) 
 
The lesson in a nutshell states:  Jesus is the promised Messiah who brings judgment.  All choices have consequences . . . but in the spiritual realm our choices can have eternal results.  John the Baptist called on his hearers to repent and be saved . . . or reject the message of repentance and suffer the wrath of God. 
 
As Chapter 3 opens, the writer skips over 20 years of Jesus' life.  Hence Jesus' public ministry opens near the Sea of Galilee.  Dr. Luke begins with a genealogy of Jesus after mentioning Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist.  The essential truth outlined in these verses is . . . the Messiah has appeared and His name is Jesus.
 
WARNING  (Luke 3:7-9) 
John the Baptist received his message from God and then delivered it to the people.  He challenged them to prepare for the coming of the Messiah by repenting of their sins . . . and submitting to God's will in their lives.  John called his listeners a brood of vipers.  "Who has warned you about the wrath to come?  Repent and be baptized" he proclaimed.  (Baptizo = to immerse, dip, or soak) as  sign of genuine repentance.  This genuineness gives a clear demonstration that the individual has a changed heart.  God is able to raise up children for Abraham from stones.  If you don't bear fruit, God's ax can cut the fruitless tree down and throw it into the fire.  God's judgment will fall upon individuals (and nations) who disobey His way and will.  
 
RESPONSE  (Luke 3:10-14) 
Some listeners rejected John's admonition.  Others knew they were doomed and headed for hell.  Their persistent cry was "What shall we do?"  John warned each person must respond with evidence of a genuine change in behavior.  Evidence of being born again includes loving God with total heart, mind, and soul.  Plus it includes loving one's neighbor as yourself.  If they are hungry, feed them.  If they are naked, cloth them.  If he needs a shirt, share yours.
 
DIVISION  (Luke 3:15-18) 
And the people questioned within themselves if Jesus was the Messiah.  Overhearing their desire to make Jesus King, John the Baptist said . . . "I baptize you with water, but one more powerful than I am is coming.  I am not worthy to untie the straps on his sandals.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." 
Luke 3:16 (NKJV)  Such humility expressed the greatness of the One to come.  God has His winnowing shovel in His hand.  He will gather the wheat in the barn . . . and burn the chaff (unbelievers) with fire that never goes out.  Our "Boy Scout"motto was "BE PREPARED!"  Judgment is coming. 
            
 
 
 
 
 
 
Charles Foxworth
 
 
 
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. X, No. 01-03G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
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