LIFe with God: April 4

Posted on April 4, 2011

Scripture

Matthew 3-4 (NET)

(3:1) In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness of Judea proclaiming, (2) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (3) For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken: “The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’ ”
(4) Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. (5) Then people from Jerusalem, as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him, (6) and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. (7) But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (8) Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, (9) and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! (10) Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (11) “I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am — I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (12) His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.”
(13) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John to be baptized by him in the Jordan River. (14) But John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?” (15) So Jesus replied to him, “Let it happen now, for it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John yielded to him. (16) After Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up out of the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming on him. (17) And a voice from heaven said, “This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.”

(4:1) Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (2) After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. (3) The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” (4) But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (5) Then the devil took him to the holy city, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, (6) and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” (7) Jesus said to him, “Once again it is written: ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” (8) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur. (9) And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship me.” (10) Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ” (11) Then the devil left him, and angels came and began ministering to his needs.
(12) Now when Jesus heard that John had been imprisoned, he went into Galilee. (13) While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, (14) so that what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled: (15) “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way by the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — (16) the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and on those who sit in the region and shadow of death a light has dawned.”
(17) From that time Jesus began to preach this message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (18) As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen). (19) He said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.” (20) They left their nets immediately and followed him. (21) Going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in a boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. Then he called them. (22) They immediately left the boat and their father and followed him. (23) Jesus went throughout all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of disease and sickness among the people. (24) So a report about him spread throughout Syria. People brought to him all who suffered with various illnesses and afflictions, those who had seizures, paralytics, and those possessed by demons, and he healed them. (25) And large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan River.

Observation

Why did Jesus insist that John baptize Him? How did He overcome temptation?

Application

Am I willing to do whatever is required to fulfill the will of God? Do I guard against temptation by focusing on Scripture?

Prayer

Pray today’s Scripture back to God:
Dear Father God, Help me to produce fruit that proves my repentance. Give me a heart that desires to see all righteousness fulfilled. I thank You that You take great delight in Jesus–I desire to do likewise. Fill me with Your Spirit, move me to transform my mind by Your Word, and help me to sacrifice my will to Yours so I can overcome temptation as my Lord did. I ask this in His Name, Amen!

Pray to BLESS!

One good way to pray for people is to use the acronym BLESS to pray for God’s blessing on every area of their lives:

  • B – BODY (physical health)
  • L – Labor (their job or school)
  • E – Emotions (emotional health as well as guarding against letting emotions rule)
  • S – Social (relationships with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, church, etc)
  • S – Spiritual (remaining true to God and growing in Him)

Spend some time praying for the following people and ministries:

  • Amy & Debbie Brueggemann
  • Chris Carlton
  • Travis & Hali Davidson
  • Mike Daniels
  • Theresa Daniels
  • Brian & Eileen Davis

Missionaries:

  • Tim & Miranda Penn (Samid, Sarah), missionaries to Albania

CLF:

  • That Christian Life Fellowship would be a church that is devoted to the Word of God, and that we would be doers of it and not just hearers; that we would study the Word and so always be prepared to give everyone an answer–in season and out of season–and be approved workers who do not need to be ashamed, able to accurately understand and explain it.

Community: Pray for area pastors and their families:

  • Encouragement
  • Faithfulness in the Lord’s work
  • Finances
  • Marriage/family relationships
  • Work/life balance
  • Deep friendships and support from other Christian leaders

MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:

So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. – Galatians 6:10 (NET)

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