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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, January 12, 2020
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)
Today’s scripture reading:
[He will receive you; help you live your life.]
John the Baptist burst onto the scene. His theme was “Repent of your sins.” The people needed to repent—make a 180-degree turn—from the kind of self-centeredness that leads to wrong actions, such as lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, taking revenge, abusing, and indulging in sexual immorality. A person who turns from sin stops rebelling and begins following God’s way of living prescribed in his Word. The first step in turning to God is to admit your sin, as John urged. Then God will receive you and help you live the way he wants. Remember that only God can get rid of sin. He doesn’t expect us to clean up our life before we come to him. (NLT)
Matthew 3:1-12 – In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!”
John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire. . . .”
Quoted verse: In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea. – Matthew 3:1 (NIV)
“Story” – M. J. George (Indiana, USA) story is titled “A REMARKABLE OPPORTUNITY;” here is a portion of M. J.’s story:
“In the 1970s, one winter afternoon after classes, I hurried to Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery to study a painting entitled Appearance of Christ to the People by Alexander Ivanov. My plan was to sit alone and reflect on the life-sized masterpiece, but a young stranger soon joined me on the bench. ‘Can you explain it?’ he asked.
“‘The setting is 2000 years ago,’ I began. . . . I explained that John was calling people to repent because God was sending a Messiah to save them. . . . ‘. . . The story is in the Bible.’
“‘Have you ever seen a Bible?’ the young man asked. I pulled a small Russian Bible from my handbag, opening it to Matthew 3, and with a silent prayer watched him read.
“Filled with wonder, I realized that God offers us opportunities in our daily encounters to meet people who need to hear about Jesus.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Interruptions are often opportunities from God.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to share your word with people who cross our path every day. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/