“…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” ~ Luke 1:17
John the Baptist had a unique birth, being filled with the Holy Spirit at conception itself, followed by a set apart lifestyle of a Nazarene. No fermented drink was supposed to be taken. The angel Gabriel foretold – “Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Paul had a unique encounter with God on the road to Damascus.
Hearing Jesus call out his name and speak to him brought the light of salvation into his life. From then on, he became a new person with a motto ‘To prepare people for works of service.’ The life of John the Baptist had a unique calling that was echoed in the life and mission of the apostle Paul too. They both focused on people. The aims and ambitions of their lives was to work at getting people prepared, equipping people to meet with God in the person of Jesus Christ by setting their lives right by repentance that flowed into works of service, building up the body of Christ, the church.
All activities and desires were centered on this motto. Paul saw himself as a wise master builder. Both prioritized their lives around the divine calling received. The Lord Jesus too spent his entire life revolved around the divine calling received. The three years of his ministry were aimed at preparing people for the coming of God’s kingdom. He made them aware of deeper truths, values and principles that were God based than tradition based. His teaching of parables and sermons brought new light of understanding to those who listened. In all their lives we can see the degree of change that they had to accommodate inorder to do God’s will. Their will had to be surrendered. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given for edifying the body of Christ and helping in preparing people for works of service. We are not to use them to show off or glibly parade them so as to win the appreciation and adulation of bystanders.
When the spirit of competition comes in, a breech occurs making way for unhealthy desires and ambitions. The goal of the church which is to glorify God our Father, is set aside and earthly passions take predominance. May we seek to follow the way of our Lord – surrender our will and humbly fulfill the divine calling received. Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me when I act improper to the calling received. Grant me a fresh vision and insight into the ways I can serve you by serving those inside the church and those outside as well. May my life revolve around you.” Amen.
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