In those days, John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is near!” Yes, this is he of whom this was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.” John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan were going out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You promised us a messenger who would come to prepare the way for our Savior. John was that person preparing Jesus’ way. He told the people to repent of their sins because your kingdom was coming. We should heed his warnings today. Lord, we do not know the time or the day when we will be called home or the end of the world will come. So, I confess to you: I have not loved others the way I should, and I have not loved you above all other things; often, I make things more important than you. Send you Spirit to be with me to prepare and strengthen my heart to be ready when that last day should come, so I can joyfully head home to you. Lord, I thank you for the forgiveness you have given me through Jesus, my Savior. Through his holy life and innocent death, I have a sure hope in his resurrection. Through faith, give me a direct path to Jesus. That when I fall into temptation and sin, he is there for me to repent of my sins. Father, I have one more request, please send your Holy Spirit to me so that I have the courage to share this good news with others around me who do not know their Savior. Please give me just a portion of John’s courage to be like him and tell those around me to “repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
Our sins separate us from God; Christ’s work restores us, and the Holy Spirit delivers the faith in Jesus’ forgiveness to us. Through faith, we are restored.