John the Baptist Exalts Christ
Life is full of choices. Some are just a matter of preference, while others are a matter of “life or death”! Most of us don’t face the latter very often...or do we? As Jesus explained to Nicodemas, “Whoever [chooses to believe] in the Son of Man (Jesus) will have eternal life” (verse 15). John the Baptist’s followers were faced with the same choice: would they cling to their identity as John’s disciples, or trust their beloved mentor’s testimony that Jesus was the Christ. We, too, must determine whether or not we’ll believe Jesus is who He says He is: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (verse 36). It, therefore, is as much a life-or-death choice for us as it was for the Baptist’s disciples.
But what if we can’t yet choose to believe, give up what is familiar to us, or relinquish what we understand? What if our sin seems too great? We can cry out: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). God knows where we are spiritually, and starts with us at that place in our spiritual journey. Here are some passages that have been helpful to me in drawing closer to Jesus, especially if I feel burdened by my sin: James 1:2-8 (Yikes!); Hebrews 4:12-16 (God sees my sin but invites me to COME anyway - through Jesus’ blood); Psalms 32 and 25 (He is always ready to receive me when I acknowledge my need for Him). It’s HIS righteousness, not ours, that redeems us!
Stepping Out in Lent – During this season, just engage Jesus and His word honestly, and EXPECT Him to respond. Then sincerely thank Him for every good thing, noticing all the small personal ways He blesses you! Your faith will grow.
Author – Louisa Martin, LMFT, is a Christian Counselor in private practice. Her passion is to help others develop a deep, honest relationship with and dependence upon the God who sees us. She and her husband Peter attend St. Peter’s regularly; Louisa sings in the choir.