Meet Jesus: Humility Matthew 3:13

Matthew 3: 13: Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

 Here is the Son of God, God in the flesh, submitting Himself to the gift and calling of another.  In most of our world, this is almost unthinkable.  The Master goes to the servant to be enabled for ministry.  It is so backward to our ego mindset that it almost hurts.  When you meet with Jesus, you will be asked to find Him in others and lay down ego.

There is nothing like being misunderstood to humble us.  Reading through a memo written by another staffer, I started to get upset.  It was evident that he really did not understand the conversation the day before.  How could he so misunderstand me?  Before I did something stupid, I opened the memo that had been sent by me after the conversation.  Taking a slow and deliberate look, it was easy to see how he was interpreting as my meaning.  He was simply walking out his understanding.  Humbled, I deleted my first response and crafted one more suitable and understanding to correct the confusion.

ACT! Think of a friend who has a gift you need.  Get with them and let them pray for you.

 PRAY! Whoops!  Father sometimes I miss it and mess it.  Sometimes You have sent Jesus to me in a wrapper that I did not receive.  Sometimes the unlikely has had the incredible for my life.  Help me find the some-times and receive from the gift of others in Him.

If we can pray for you regarding anything in your life, please let us know.  Our greatest blessing is to bless others in prayer.   Phil

Meet Jesus: Fire Baptizer Matthew 3:11

meetjesusfireMatthew 3:11: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

 Be ready for change when you meet Jesus.  John gets us focused in our preparation.  Meeting Jesus can make you different from the inside out.  He brings the Holy Spirit and fire to pour over you and change you.  Think of it this way.  It is like having chemical fire on the inside (the Holy Spirit) and liquid fire on the outside. However, the real you is strengthened not burned.  The stuff that is between you and Him will be cleansed.

Conflict is one of those baptizers in the Holy Spirit.  We want to avoid it, yet it is the right thing.  God used conflict to cause us to dig deeper into understanding of relationships and life.  The deeper we dig, the stronger we become.  In talking to a leader, it struck me to provoke him that leaders love resolving conflict.  They don’t love the conflict or the anger and frustration that may accompany it.  They do love the process of resolution and the end result.  Through conflict we are baptized in Holy Spirit fire.  He strengthens our resolve and our ability to move ahead.  He causes us to face hard items that need to be removed.  It is one way He baptizes us with fire.

 ACT!  Pick an item that needs to be burned away in your life.  Put it in front of Him for handling.

 PRAY!  Father, I am not afraid of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire.  I await continually meeting with Jesus to be continually cleansed. Let Your faithful and just character enter into my life as I confess my sin before You.  Forgive me and cleanse me from all ways that are unlike You.

If we can pray for you regarding anything in your life, please let us know.  Our greatest blessing is to bless others in prayer.   Phil

Meet Jesus: Fruit Inspector Matthew 3:7

Matthew 3: 7: But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8: Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

John’s preparatory help is worth really reviewing.   Fruit inspection is worth our time.  Fruit inspection should best be done by us.  Fruit inspection should best be done on us.  John noted some tough untended stuff in these leaders because they were standing in the way of others meeting Jesus with their bad fruit.  Hopefully, we do enough personal inspection that God doesn’t have to resort to outside help to get our attention.

ACT!  Take a little time to inspect and prune.  What in your life is preventing someone from seeing the real Jesus inside of you?  Can you cut it off?

 PRAY! Father, when I meet Jesus, He is so gentle, yet so true to the point.  Help me to be honest before You inspecting my attitudes and life.  Help me be a preparer of the way to Jesus, like John instead of being a hindrance to the way like the leaders in this story.  I open myself to Your Holy Spirit for inspection and pruning to bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

Meet Jesus: Destined Matthew 1:16

meetjesus4Matthew 1: 16: And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Born of men, born of a woman, and born to destiny was Jesus, the Christ.  Meeting Jesus means meeting a human full of humanity.  Jesus meets us in this frail human family of Joseph and Mary.  A simple husband was Joseph.  This family came from a line of prostitutes, murderers, connivers, kings, and faithful men and women.  They look just like our families.

Jesus is a family man.  While He is the Christ, the anointed, the Messiah, He is a simple family man from a flawed, fractured, but persistent family life.

ACT!  Thank God for your family line.  Don’t worry about the problems.  Praise Him that you exist at all through that family line.

PRAY! Faithful Father, You brought me to this time and place in life.  You gave me the family line.  You gave me a father and mother.  I exist.  No matter how flawed that line, I have destiny.  There is an anointing in Jesus for me through You.

Meet Jesus: Life Giver Matthew 1:2

Matthew 1: 2: Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

 Jesus comes from the line of Abraham.  Abraham was a giver of life.  Abraham turned faith into a lineage of ability and more life.  Abraham was an investor in the future.  His sights were always set forward.

Meeting Jesus means meeting the future.  He is future focused.  He intends to begat.  He intends to birth new life, new dreams, new ways, and new opportunities for you.

ACT! Take that dream of yours.  Think of who else could be involved.  Give them the opportunity to be a part.

PRAY! Gracious Father of Life, Jesus challenges me to be like You.  You are a Father.  Abraham got his ways from You, the Father of fathers.  Teach me to birth newness through others

Meet Jesus: Prepare Matthew 3:3

meetjesusstorm2Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 Meeting Jesus takes preparation.  So many times we want our friends to meet Him so quickly.  But that meeting takes preparation.  We have the opportunity to be John The Baptist’s for others to prepare.

Meeting Jesus in our daily life takes preparation.  Sometimes we need to adjust our attitude and thoughts to be ready to receive Him into our day’s activities.

ACT! Think about a friend who needs to meet Jesus.  Speak one sentence to them that will help prepare them for that moment of their first meeting.

PRAY! Holy Father, prepare me today to meet Jesus.  Help my attitude and approach get focused.  Surely Jesus has acted in my day, and I don’t want to miss Him.  Give me the words to speak to help another sojourner come one step closer to their first meeting with Jesus.

Meet Jesus: Nazarene Matthew 2:23

Matthew 2: 23: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

 Later in life when brother told brother about Jesus, one replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”.  Nazareth was just simple and probably had a more than ample share of troubles.  There was nothing good or outstanding about being from Nazareth.

Jesus wasn’t who He was because of  where He was raised or  a tremendous good family name.  He gives us the same opportunity to be the best of the best according to our calling and destiny.  Hometown, family, community standing, and other accolades of men mean nothing when we meet Jesus.  All of us can succeed.

ACT!  Erase out of your mind the idea that some status to men makes the difference in succeeding in Jesus.  If you take pride in it, put it out and stand tall in Him alone.  If you take shame in it, stand tall in Him alone.

 PRAY!  Father of Birthright, you placed me in the time and circumstance of my upbringing.  You will bring it to good in Jesus.  You will bring me to success in Jesus, the Nazarene.