Words from a changed heart: Mark 1:7
When one reads the words in our text of John the Baptist, he is reading words that give evidence of a heart that has been transformed. While it is possible for one to speak in religious platitudes and still have a spiritual heart that is dead, our words indicate and reveal what we are like on the inside. Just to be clear, by the inside we do not mean one’s internal organs, but rather the soul or the spirit of a person. The invisible heart of the person is what he really thinks and what motivates him.
Discuss: Luke 6:45, We noted on Sunday that a person who has had a changed heart enjoys talking about the things of God and reveals his personal knowledge of Him.
Pray: Let’s ask the Lord that our hearts would be ever increasing in our affections for Christ and Christ like things. Also, pray that those who are hard and dead of heart would be made alive unto God, revealing by the way that they speak that there has been a change of heart.
John’s words reveal that he understood:
I. Who Christ is.
Many do not. Sadly, the majority of people while familiar with Christ do not see Him for who He really is. Christ is not esteemed by the overwhelming majority of the population of this planet.
Discuss: Isaiah 53:3. What does it mean to esteem Christ?
Pray: That Christ would become esteemed and revered by many. Pray for a massive spiritual awakening.
John saw that Christ is the:
[All of these definitions could be under the heading; The Holiness of Christ.]
A. Sinless Lamb (John 1:29a); see I Pt. 1:19, Heb. 4:14&15, Rev. 5:6
We noted why He was called the Lamb, discuss what this means.
B. Merciful (John 1:29b); He is the One who takes away the sin of the world.
C. Son of God (John 1:34).
The tragedy is that it is quite possible for one to acknowledge and at least superficially embrace these aforementioned attributes or definitions of Christ and still remain in his sin. Our text reveals something else about Christ that John saw that makes an infinite difference between the one who acknowledges correct things about Christ and one who has been affected by Christ. John saw that Christ is:
D. Mighty. That is, while John had the ability to dunk people in water, Christ had the might and power to change the persons heart. A person who is a christian is one who has been affected by the might or strength of Christ.
Discuss: Job 42:5
Pray: That we would long for the might of Christ to be seen in our own lives, in our church, and in our community.
II. John recognized who he was.
Note and discuss: Matthew 11:11
Even though John is described by Jesus as the greatest (except for Jesus Himself) person born of women, John saw himself as not even worthy to untie the strap of Christ’s sandal.
We noted that this is the Christian’s permanent place of joy. For to see one’s self in the light of Christ’s glory is to have the ability to behold the majesty and greatness of Christ; this is pure joy.
John puts himself in the position of a slave (even lower). See Romans 6:18-23
Discuss: What are the dangers of the self esteem messages we often hear? What is the danger of messages that tend to glorify man and make God our servant? (see II Timothy 3:1)
This is not a picture of someone at the feet of a scornful, maniacal, and spiteful king. Rather, this is the place where we experience mercy, grace, and overwhelming love. This is our permanent place, because it is the place of humility as we recognize that we are unworthy servants. Yet, the King in His grace lift our faces, wipes away our tears and seats us with His Son. However, to experience forgiveness, we must first realize we actually need to be forgiven. Those who participate in grace see their utter need for it!
Pray: That our hearts would be continually awed that unworthy servants like us have been forgiven and raised by the Worthy One.
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