GOD’S APPROVAL EXCEEDS MAN’S APPLAUSE.
“THERE WAS A MAN SENT FROM GOD.” John 1:6 NKJV
MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS TODAY ARE ABOUT, “ORIGIN AND PURPOSE.”
Every person needs a healthy, holy sense of their origin and purpose. When either is lacking the other is diminished. Origin is where your journey begins. And your journey truly begins when you submit yourself to God’s will. Purpose defines, directs, and enables you to accomplish the will of God throughout your life. Solomon observed that, “Without a vision people cast off restraints.” Proverbs 29:18. When you lessen the vision of your future, your achievement in life is diminished as well.
I am intrigued by the Bible’s unvarnished introduction of John the Baptist. The Bible simply says of him, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” John 1:6 NKJV. There is much that could be said of John in tribute. His birth was miraculous. His life was exemplary. His death was for righteousness. His ministry and words pricked the heart of a generation. His Godliness convicted a King. His preaching angered a queen, who sought his life and succeeded.
Jesus was a cousin of John, and said of him, “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” Matthew 11:11 NIV. Never before. Never after. Take a moment to consider Jesus’ endorsement of John, a tribute of highest praise. John walked a clear and certain path while his peers lived by whim. John stood out from the crowd, because he sought the approval of God more than the applause of men.
What made John outstanding in his generation? What put the manly resolve in him to stand fast and stay true to God’s plan for his life? Reading his story in Scripture, his ministry was prophesied, and his life’s assignment given before his birth. He was an ascetic, calling a nation to repentance, for a few years receiving surprising popularity while preaching repentance and baptizing converts along the Jordan River. His calling and purpose were to prepare the way for Messiah, and he had the joy of baptizing Jesus in the Jordan, being the first to publicly announce, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” See John 1:29-34 NKJV.
John’s origin was miraculous, specifically ordained of God and announced to his aged, childless parents by an angel. Read Luke 1:5-25 NIV. John was an impossibility by every natural means. Above all else that could be said of him are words that grip my heart and capture my fascination. The Bible simply says, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” His origin was supernatural, not natural. His origin defined his purpose, as does yours.
At salvation, Jesus chose you for a purpose. “He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ.” Read Ephesians 1:7-9 NIV. The Apostle Paul had much to say about purpose. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” Read Romans 8:28-30 NIV. That is motivating, liberating truth.
Your purpose is to be a little more like Jesus every day. How does that happen? You learn His Word. You welcome the Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart. You walk in obedience to God’s Word and will. The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to continually conform you and me into a growing likeness of Jesus.
As truly as was said of John, in Heaven the same is said of you, “There was a man – or woman – that was sent from God, whose name was (insert your name here).”
Today I pray for you to know you are chosen and sent by God.
Christian Communications 2018
Website and archives: allenrandolph.com