Summary: New Beginnings. We crave new beginnings from time to time. New Year: “New Year/New Me” . Pandemic: Ready for a new start when over. Sin: when we’ve messed up in life. Sometimes a season of life can signal a new beginning.
New Beginnings in Discipleship
New Beginnings. We crave new beginnings from time to time. New Year: “New Year/New Me”. Pandemic: Ready for a new start when over. Sin: when we’ve messed up in life. Sometimes a season of life can signal a new beginning.
Dr. Luke moved quickly from the infancy of Jesus to his 12th year, and today to his 30th year. Most of what we know about Jesus from last 3 yrs of life. He is about to begin his public ministry, a new beginning.
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them. But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
What can we learn about new beginnings in discipleship? Whether you are ready to become a new Christians
Whether you are ready to rededicate yourself to Him.
1. Focus on Getting to Know Jesus (Luke 3:15-16)
JTB is clear in his pronouncements about Jesus! John was an iconic prophet in the wilderness who enchanted many people with his fiery preaching. When people would have exalted him, he instead pointed to Jesus.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. (KJV)
What are the ways you need to decrease so that Jesus can increase in your life? We need to focus the center of our life on Jesus.. JTB cleared the way for Jesus. Are we clearing a pathway through our life for Jesus?
-In our thinking
-In our habits
-In our priorities
-In our aspirations
We gain this knowledge by reading the Gospels and spending time with people living the Jesus life!
2. Listen Carefully to the Message of Jesus (Luke 3:17-20)
John’s message doesn’t sound like good news! John’s presentation is a warning. Warning that the truth about judgment exists! Herod heard the judgment news and moved against JTB. (19-20). The NT does contain warnings for those who reject Christ or who walk away from Him. Hearing those warnings reminds us of why we followed Him in the first place. John’s presentation is a Blessing! There is salvation and hope and grace!
Romans 2:4 God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance
Romans 11:22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God…
3. Approach the Lord With A Humble Spirit (21a)
Jesus shows humble spirit when begin baptized by John. All of the Gospels record the baptism of Jesus, but only Matthew reveals the discussion between John and Jesus about his baptism. John felt he should be baptized by Jesus! We agree! Jesus, however, has a bigger picture in mind. Jesus is not baptized to have sin removed! He is baptized to identify with sinners. He is submitting to the will of the Father. He is embracing the mission of God on Earth. He did it for us … to teach us … and to point us to the gift of eternal life He offers! Jesus got down into the muddy river to show us how to be clean.
“Baptism is the biblical, visible, public picture of saving identification with Christ.” - David Platt
Discipleship requires a humble spirit - not only at baptism but for the rest of our lives. We are submitting ourselves - yielding ourselves to Jesus Christ as followers, learners, apprentices. Humility admits the reality that we are all sinners without the ability to remove even one sin on our own. If we are going to follow Jesus we will have to humble ourselves and submit to His Lordship. Admitting that we need God’s help requires humility.
4. Practice Your Prayer Life (And as he was praying, heaven was opened 21b)
Luke mentions the prayer life of Jesus more than any. Jesus was a man of prayer - we should be also. When we pray, heaven opens and God hears what we are praying. There is no greater power in the universe than a praying person. (Prayer gives us peace, hope, connection, and strength.)