Summary: God wants us to: 1. Take care of our time (vs. 22-24). 2. Put away our pettiness (vs. 25-26). 3. Humble our hearts before Him (vs. 27-28; 30). 4. Have the full joy of knowing Jesus Christ (vs. 28-29). 5. Trust in the truth about Jesus (vs. 30-36).
How to Be the People God Wants Us to Be
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 7, 2016
(Revised July 17, 2019)
*Tonight in the last section of John Chapter 3, God's Word puts the spotlight back on John the Baptist. In these verses, John gave a glowing testimony of praise for our Lord. But John's testimony also shows us some of the things we must do to be the people God wants us to be. Let's begin by reading John 3:22-36.
*One of the good things about the internet is that it's a great resource for finding out how to do things. I searched Google yesterday for the words "how to," and got over 21 billion results. A few months ago, my computer was barely running. After so many updates, it had gotten "confused." And after trying a lot of other things, I realized I only had two options: Buy a new laptop or reset mine with the flash drive backup. Amazingly, I was able to reset it. But I never could have done it without the help of a very nice man in a YouTube video. Saved me a lot of money!
*You can get all kinds of "how to" help on the internet. Our daughter Katie has two precious children, and after they were born, she found some wonderful resources. Her babies were sleeping most of the night by the time they were two months old. Their mother didn't sleep all night until she was in kindergarten!
*The internet is a good resource for "how-to" help. But an infinitely greater resource is the Word of God! The Bible will give us the greatest help we can ever get in life. And tonight's Scripture can help us be the people God wants us to be.
1. FIRST: GOD WANTS US TO TAKE CARE OF OUR TIME.
*God wants us to make the most of our time in this world. John the Baptist reminds us of this sure truth in vs. 22-24:
22. After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.
23. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.
24. For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
*John was not yet cast into prison. The time was coming when he would be. John the Baptist only had about two years more to live. And the best source I could find estimated that he spent most of that time in prison. (1)
*But John the Baptist was still working in vs. 23. He was still serving the Lord. John was doing everything he could do, while he could do it, because the time came when he could do no more.
4. "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.''
*Even Jesus had time limits on His work. And what was true about Jesus is also true of us. We must do all we can for the Lord while we can.
*Time passes by quickly! It's hard to believe that it's 2019, and it's harder to believe that 2019 is more than half over! Time passes by so quickly. And we must do all we can, while we can for Jesus.
*We need to pray like Moses prayed in Psalm 90:10-12. There this Old Testament hero said:
10. The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12. So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
*Now it's interesting to me that Moses was 120 years old when he died. But this 70 to 80-year time limit basically holds true even today. There are well over 7 billion people in the world right now. But as of yesterday, there was only one person over 116 years old, a Japanese lady named Kane Tanaka. (2)
*Back in August of 2002, Adelina Dominguez went home to be with the Lord. At the time, Adelina was living in a nursing home in San Diego, California. And she was in the Guinness Book of Records when she died, because Adelina was the oldest person living in the United States. She was 114 years old! When a reporter asked Adelina the secret of her long life, she gave all the credit to God and His plan for her life. Adelina said, "I knew God had a purpose for my life." (3)