One tree hill

17:32:00 Karen Li 0 Comments

There is a place in NZ called one tree hill. Currently, a monument marks the place where there was once a lone tree that stood on a hill. It's a distinctive landmark and easily recognizable from miles around. What a lonesome place to be, to not have anything to block the wind and to get little sustenance from other plants and mulch. 
Today's sermon was on John the Baptist. JtB was Jesus' nephew. He grew up in the desert alone and had to fend for himself. He did the will of God, which was to prepare the way for the lord, teaching the importance of repentance. There are many things that we can learn from this man. 1) He was willing to forego the comforts of an earthly life in order to do God's will. How many times have we made excuses to say we don't have time to do daily devotions or attend church fellowships but find the time of day to watch tv, surf the web, go on facebook? 2) He lived a lonely life, stuck to the will of God even under pressure of death (he was later beheaded). How many times were we afraid to step up and step out to tell people we are christians and do things that don't conform to worldly views? How many times have we held our tongue so that we can stay popular with people? 3) He was humble, he did not think that he was better than God or others. This is one I have to continuously keep a tab of for I know I am easily drawn to things to glorify my own name instead of God's. 4) And the results? People came to hear him, all the way in the desert and repented and baptized. We too have the opportunity in our daily life to make an impact in the lives of others! Let us grasp every opportunity!

Just my incoherent food for thought from today's sermon...

Matthew 3

John the Baptist Prepares the Way
 1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:   “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, 
   make straight paths for him.’”[a]
 4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
 11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

John also warned about those who say they have repented but truly haven't. It's kind of like us, knowing what we do is wrong, but not really changing our behaviour. Let us hope that we have truly repented and have the ticket to the kingdom in heaven! Otherwise, surely eternal suffering will result.

So until next time, even if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains :)

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