'John the Baptist' Tagged Posts

'John the Baptist' Tagged Posts

PLEASANT PLACES

You may recall that at the end of The Small Catechism, Martin Luther tacked on what he called “The Table of Duties.”    For husbands and wives, parents and children, pastors and parishioners, labor and management he set down the Bible passages that apply to each, concluding:    “Let each his lesson learn with care and all the household well shall fare.” Escaping from a church that exalted holy orders and man-made works, Luther emphasized the sacredness of each Christian’s…

THE BACKSTORY REVISITED

An old man named John wrote it down in a little letter years later:  “We have heard…we have seen…we have observed….our hands have touched.”   Those days long ago scroll across the old man’s memory.  He was a young man then, maybe all of nineteen.  He was hanging on the words of a rugged preacher named John the Baptist on that day when Jesus came in sight of the Jordan River.   “Look!”  said the preacher, pointing at Jesus, “The Lamb of…

“TREASURE IN CLAY JARS”

Speaking of the life-giving gospel he preached, Paul once said, “We hold this treasure in clay jars” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Martin Luther echoed this in the 62nd of his 95 Theses.  He said: “The true treasure of the church is the holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.” You would think that God would entrust the priceless treasure of the gospel to some exceptionally strong containers.  After all, you don’t keep gold bars on the front porch, or…

TURN OUR HEARTS, O LORD!

Calling to mind the prophecy of Malachi, the angel Gabriel tells old Zechariah that his son, John the Baptist, will go before the Savior to “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous”  (Luke 1:17).  Where this does not happen, said the prophet Malachi, then there is nothing left but “complete destruction” for those unprepared for the coming of Christ (Malachi 4:6).  So just what does this mean?  By…

“CONTEND FOR THE FAITH”

There is a “call to arms” in the little book of Jude on the far end of the New Testament.  “Contend for the faith!” says the sacred writer.   There is no getting around it.  If you are a faithful Bible reader, then you know that many portions of God’s Book sound a militant tone.  The apostle Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of…

“O THOU WHO CHANGEST NOT”

“I the Lord do not change,” says God on the pages of the prophet Malachi.   Many want God to change.  In fact, they demand that God change. The old saying goes:  When the word of God is preached, a person is either converted or he gets angry.  We see it on the pages of the Gospels. When Jesus spoke, He inspired either the deepest devotion or the hottest anger from those who listened. Many in the modern church think…

“TURN OUR HEARTS, O LORD!”

Echoing the prophecy of Malachi, the angel Gabriel tells old Zechariah that his son, John the Baptist, will go before the Savior “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to prepare a people who are ready for the Lord” (Luke 1:17 EHV).  Where this does not happen, said the prophet Malachi, then there is nothing left but a curse upon those unprepared for the coming of Christ.…

READY OR NOT?

There are two kinds of people in this world – those who are ready, and those who are not.   For some folks, being ready is an obsession.  Some have their Christmas shopping done in July, their Christmas cookies in the freezer by Thanksgiving, their supper menu planned out two weeks in advance.  On the other end of the scale are those who do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, pick up some cookies from the bakery on the way…

GET READY FOR THE KING!

There are two kinds of people in this world – those who are ready, and those who are not.  For some folks, being ready is an obsession.  Some have their Christmas shopping done in July, their Christmas cookies in the freezer by Thanksgiving, their supper menu planned out two weeks in advance.  On the other end of the scale are those who do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, pick up some cookies from the bakery on the way home…

LABOR DAY TO THE LORD

Folks from different walks of life asked John the Baptist how they could show their repentance and faith.   The answers John gave were amazingly simple.  If you’ve got two shirts and someone else has none – then give one away.  Share your extra sandwich with the one who has none.    And those notorious tax collectors or publicans – Jews who worked for the Roman government – John did not tell them to quit their jobs down at the revenue office…

“IT IS THE LORD CHRIST YOU ARE SERVING!”

Suppose Jesus asked you to sweep a floor.  Would you do it?  What kind of job would you do on that floor?  A sloppy job?  A really good job?  Why?  Suppose Jesus asked you to take out the garbage.  Would you do it?  Would you be grumpy or happy when you did it? Either way, why? You may recall that at the end of The Small Catechism, Martin Luther tacked on what he called “The Table of Duties.”  For husbands…

“TURN OUR HEARTS, O LORD!”

Calling to mind the prophecy of Malachi, the angel Gabriel tells old Zechariah that his son, John the Baptist, “will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous.”  Where this does not happen, said the prophet Malachi, then there is nothing left but a curse upon those unprepared for the coming of Christ.   So just what does this mean?  By the preaching of law and gospel, God the Holy…
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