Scripture reading for July 20th: 2nd Chronicles 19-20, 2nd Kings 1, Psalm 20, 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, Jesus’ cousin, was called by God to a prophetic ministry in Israel similar to that of Elijah. John, dressed in camel’s hair with a leather belt, called all people to repentance in preparation for the coming Messiah. The repentance was acted out through water baptism by all who received his message. But John spoke of the One coming after him, Who would be greater than him. This One would baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire! He would gather His wheat into the barn but burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. The Messiah would be judge of all!
Psalm 20:6 “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer Him from His holy heaven with the saving might of His right hand.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. Purify my heart and life today and empower me to proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Lord.
1st Kings 1:8 “They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.””
Scripture reading for March 13th: Numbers 30-33, Psalm 35, Luke 3
Key Scriptures: Luke 3:15-17 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but He who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.””
God had raised up John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin as a prophetic voice to prepare the people for Jesus’ ministry. Many asked if John might be the long-awaited “Christ.” John’s answer was a firm “No!” The Christ would be mightier than John and would have a better baptism. John baptized with water, but the Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. He would have the power and wisdom to separate people as a farmer separates the wheat from the chaff. ‘Wheat’ would be in His ‘barn’ but the ‘chaff’ burned in unquenchable fire!
Leviticus 31:21-23 “”This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean.”
Psalm 35:5 “Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away.”
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for baptizing me with the Holy Spirit and fire. Guide me in Your path that I might be pure and holy in Your glorious presence, like wheat in Your barn.