With a humble heart
December 8, 2021 | Erika Baker
About the author: Erika has attended ZPC since 2005. She currently serves in the 4-5 year old classroom as well as on an usher team. She has four children: Tommy, Drew, Lauren, and Kennedy.
Today's scripture: Luke 3:7-18
The people at the beginning of today's scripture are expectantly waiting. They knew Christ was coming but who should appear...[insert Law & Order sound...well, in your head because the sound is trademarked]…John the Baptist! Was he the Messiah? The people sure thought he was acting like he might be the Messiah. He had been preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins throughout the desert. It was with great urgency he did so calling ALL people to right their way of life in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. He baptized with water but informed the people that the one true Messiah would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. John compared those that refused to live for God to chaff which is the useless outer husk of the grain. However, if you repented you were compared to the nourishing grain. The chaff and grain were separated with a pitchfork. The chaff was not rooted thus it was so light that it would blow away and could easily catch fire and wither away; whereas the wheat had substance and “stuck.” So those people that refused to live for God (the chaff) would be discarded and those that repented and began a new life of service to God would hold great value in his eyes. That illustration of the chaff being burned encourages me to not wait another day. I don’t know how long it takes to be rooted so what should I do and when should I do it?!
We are all given different gifts and abilities and we are encouraged to use them to honor God. I know I do not have the gift of leadership. However, if there is a way I may serve using the gifts God gave me I hope I am doing so in a way pleasing to him. Thinking back to the verse, was John the Baptist a leader? He was not the Messiah but he did pave the way for the coming Messiah. He was doing the work of a leader and did so with a humble heart. John did not want eyes on him. His ministry was to point people to Christ. John the Baptist was very intentional and knew his role as a follower of Christ and what he was to do. All ministries to which we devote our time, gifts, and resources should only be those that honor and glorify Christ. At times I may be stretched to serve in ways I am not necessarily comfortable or that make me anxious (for instance, writing this devotional) but if I am doing so to glorify God it can’t be wrong. Right? There are ministry opportunities around every corner for us to use the gifts that God has given us. Let’s continue to serve God with a humble heart and with great urgency as directed by John the Baptist.
If you have not taken the spiritual gift test, this week may be a great time to take it and while taking the test listen to the song All For You Jesus.
Thank you God for giving each of us our own unique set of gifts. Let us, with intentionality and a humble heart, use our gifts to walk through life together. Open our eyes to opportunities that we may glorify you and diminish ourselves. Thank you again for loving us so much that you have made us each uniquely and complete in you.