It is safe to say John the Baptist was not a shy and beat around the bush kind of guy. By most modern preaching standards he would not be well received. Calling people a brood of vipers is not generally a good opener. However, it seems to work for him and people become convicted and turn to the Lord. As knowledge of John grows people begin to mistake him as the long awaited Messiah. Quickly this gets cleared up by John, there is one coming whose sandals I am not worthy of working with. John knew is was not him but that he was preparing the way for what God was about to do.
Life in Christ is to be different than life before our decision to follow Christ. The way we conduct ourselves, the way we treat other people, all of it is to be different. As we follow Christ we become fundamentally different than we were before. Much time is spent telling people about how we follow Christ, and declaring our Christianity, I wonder if that time is equal to what people see in our day to day lives?
We will get criticized for chasing after God. Many will not believe God to be true, while others will reduce God to a more manageable form. No matter how much others criticize and call into question to chase after God we must not stop. While there are many paths in life, and many options of how to live our lives, only one leads to truth. This truth we seek comes from only one source and that is God, and we learn about this God through the Scriptures. Hold fast to them and delight in learning from them.
1 Kings 13 and 14
The decline of Israel is in full swing here just a few chapters after the great Solomon dedicated the Temple to the Lord. The sons of Solomon have carried on the work of Solomon and taken it to a whole new level. God is pushed from the scene and other gods are invited in and worshiped. I wonder how often we do the same thing? Then we turn around and get mad at God for abandoning us when we are the ones who went our own way. God is always right there ready to receive us, only it is not on our terms it is on the term of God. As the people are lead farther from God by their earthly kings, God's grief increases and the people struggle more and more.
Lord, I am sorry. All too often I think I know what I am doing and how to best run my life. Quickly Lord I move away from you and get mad at you for leaving me. May I live the live you call me to live, and remain close to you. Grant me strength, and grace to chase after you. In Jesus Name, Amen.