A brief look at John the Baptist

Mark_1_BlogImg1John the Baptist was an interesting character. I think many would see his choice of lifestyle as verging on romantic…after all, today, many people are going green, or vegan, or minimalist, or one of myriad other lifestyles that are a rejection of the mainstream American way. Our culture has long been an indulgent one…isn’t that in fact what “the American Dream” is all about. You can be anything YOU WANT!…you can do anything…you can have anything YOU WANT! It only takes a little hard work and elbow grease and YOU can make it happen. Choosing to reject this way of living can’t be altogether bad. However, if we briefly examine the thoughts underlying these common contemporary choices and those of John the Baptist, I think we’ll find some stark disparities.

So, why in the world would people today give up personal comforts for the sake of saving trees or animals, the ozone, or other people. This has to be good…after all, stewarding God’s creation well and, by all means, loving other people are principles taught by scripture and are, therefore, always good…right? This is a complicated question, and I think the answer is both yes and no. Any time people perform actions that oppose the manifestation and advancing of sin in this life, it’s a good thing, and God chooses to work through believers and non-believers to do “good”. All suffering is a result of the curse, and the church, as partakers of His Kingdom, are victorious over the effects of sin and are to be about the undoing of sin. So, yes, ministering to physical needs is good, but not ultimately good. And we are left to question whether any “good” thing that keeps us from that which is “best” is in fact good to begin with.

The reasons people give up meat or animal products, electricity from major companies, shoes made in factories, or even a meal or two…these things are in fact good and people do so with good reason. These sacrifices are made for the sake of being better stewards, or loving people well, or for taking care of their bodies. But this is fundamentally different than John the Baptist’s giving up a comfortable and mainstream lifestyle. He didn’t choose to spend his entire life in the desert, to eat only locusts and honey, or to wear garments of camel hair and a leather belt for “good” reasons, but for the ultimately good reason. He sacrificed all (I’m hesitant to say all, but honestly, I think this is categorically accurate) those things which would have satisfied the flesh for the sake of serving as a living illustration. He rejected all the comforts of society to send the message that “I’m living in a physical wilderness, but possess all the spiritual riches God has to offer…but you, though you possess material riches, dwell in a spiritual desert…REPENT!”

John didn’t make sacrifices to save the whales or reduce hunger but to be a minister of reconciliation. Christian, you are called to be a prophet not unlike John the Baptist. You are called to help people understand that apart from Jesus, they’re spiritually bankrupt. I think it’s worth asking ourselves a few questions: 1) Do I stand out against mainstream culture? 2) Do I sacrifice everything that indulges the flesh for the sake of loving people? 3) Do my sacrifices do good only or do they serve the ultimate good?

Personally, I know I have much room for growth…let’s pray God, by His Word and His Spirit, works mightily in the lives of His Church for the sake of His name.

Grace & Peace!
Pastor Jeff

Jeff Belcher
About the Author
Jeff is the Pastor of Preaching and Teaching at Church of the Harbor. More info about Jeff can be found on his bio page: http://churchoftheharbor.org/jeff-kelly-belcher/
  1. phen375 where to buy Reply

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus
    the rest of the site is also really good.

    • Pharmg394 Reply

      Hello! aefaeab interesting aefaeab site! I’m really like it! Very, very aefaeab good!

    • Pharmc838 Reply

      Very nice site! cheap viagra

  2. Charles Reply

    諸位 當俺成為 二合族 他朝君體也相同的喲 二合已經半支720ml 甘一支飲半合 試4支便剛好二合了 cf: 期待 14代系列 還有熊本 靈山 和 武田信玄 領地之 諏訪泉 菊姬 你曾品嚐過嗎?一待秋風起 燗酒可以出場 期待 大七 系 肌燗比試和 黑龍 的 燗飲大吟釀 和其 九頭龍 燗酒 睇下何以甘吋 以燗來做賣點 julian: 我們還能飲回 真澄 系列否? >_<"呀 最後中秋可以飲 得月 了 if 唔得 寫封信予 朝日酒造總部投訴 有人可能要 切腹 ……暈

  3. cheap_cialis Reply

    Farmville farms even include free gift that is

    • Pharmd11 Reply

      Hello! aaeceee interesting aaeceee site! I’m really like it! Very, very aaeceee good!

    • Pharma229 Reply

      Very nice site! cheap viagra

  4. generic_cialis Reply

    Surely together with your thoughts here and that i adore your blog! Ive bookmarked it making sure that I can come back &amp read more inside the foreseeable future.

    • Pharmc61 Reply

      Hello! kadcfcd interesting kadcfcd site! I’m really like it! Very, very kadcfcd good!

    • Pharmf316 Reply

      Very nice site! cheap viagra

  5. cialis Reply

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes that make the most important changes. Many thanks for sharing!

  6. Daniel Reply

    I am now not certain the place you’re getting your info, however good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent info I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

    • Pharmk450 Reply

      Hello! bkkgkac interesting bkkgkac site! I’m really like it! Very, very bkkgkac good!

    • Pharmc447 Reply

      Very nice site! cheap viagra

  7. before Reply

    It sounds like you would meet that definition and viagra before pharmacy may be useful for you.

Leave a Reply

*

captcha *