A dire warning and a prophetic promise!
Scripture reading for July 1st: Matthew 3
Key Scriptures: Matthew 3:11-12 “”I baptize you with water for repentance, but He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.””
John the Baptist, was Jesus’ cousin and was called by God to be the prophetic forerunner of the Messiah. He lived in the desert and dressed in prophet’s garb. He called all the Jews to repentance and was noted as the one spoken of by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'” He was baptizing in the Jordan River all who responded to his message of repentance and preparation for the Messiah. But John never claimed to be anything but a ‘voice’ crying in the wilderness. He pointed everyone to the One that was to come, the Messiah. This Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. This Messiah would also come in judgment and reward towards His people. He would come to separate the wheat and the chaff to their eternal destinies. The ‘axe’ was laid to the roots of the trees that produced no fruit of repentance.
Matthew 3:10 “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for preparing the way for me and all who will hear Your Word and repent. Thank You for Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, my Savior Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire. Fill me again with the Holy Spirit and the fire of Your passion and love for the lost and hurting. May I proclaim Your Word boldly and clearly in a manner pleasing to You as Your Son.
Matthew 3:16-17 “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a Voice from heaven said, “This is My Beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.””