Summary: Message describes what to look for when God does a work with emphasis on the type of man/woman God uses.
WHEN GOD DOES A WORK
In these verses, we find John the Baptist preaching and baptizing out near the Jordan River. He is announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God. He tells people that things are changing. God is about to do something new.
Did you notice? The Bible tells us that people from the whole region were flocking to hear him. Why? because God was at work.
My friends, when God does a work there are many indicators you can look for. This morning I would like to share with you only two. First, when God is at work, I want you to know that He has a plan.
I. HE HAS A _PLAN_ - v3
Verse 3 says that John the Baptist was fulfilling something Isaiah had foretold more than 700 years before. More than 700 years before JTB came on the scene, God spoke through Isaiah saying this was going to happen. He even said the guy was going to be preaching in the wilderness. God knew the details.
My friend, when God is at work, nothing surprises Him. He’s had it worked out for a long time. He knows who’s going to be faithful and who isn’t. He knows the supplies that are needed. He knows the difficulties involved.
100 years before He sent the flood, God told Noah to build a boat. More than 500 years before the Israelites went into the promised land, God told Abraham it would be their’s one day.
My friend if you are involved where God is working, don’t sweat it. He knows what’s going on.
Second, when God does a work, He calls a man; He calls a woman, to be involved.
II. HE CALLS A MAN / HE CALLS A WOMAN
> John 1:6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.
THE MAN/WOMAN GOD USES
1. Joins God in His work –
> John 1:23 I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.
Did you notice that? John wasn’t trying to come up with a plan. He wasn’t trying to devise a ministry. John realized he was getting involved where God was already at work. It wasn’t his ministry. It wasn’t his work. He knew he was just doing what God had already planned.
2. Seeks glory for God, not Himself
- Matthew 3:11 John saw himself as being unworthy to even undo Jesus’ sandals. There are far too many in the ministry, far too many people today supposedly serving God, who act as though God is supposed to be serving them, and when God does work, they want to claim the glory and recognition for what God has done.
In Matthew 5 Jesus said, Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Who’s supposed to get the glory? God is!
In John 3:30, some of John’s disciples came and complained to John that some of the people who used to follow him had left and were now following Jesus. John answered, He must increase, but I must decrease.
You remember when Paul wrote the church in Corinth? The people were divided. Some said, “I follow this preacher”, others said, “I follow such and such.” Paul responded in
>1 Corinthians 3:6-7, I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
My friend let me ask you something. Who do you want to receive the praise for what you do? Are you serving, are you working so people will think what a good person you are, or are you seeking glory for God?
When God does a work, He calls a man/woman to join Him in HIS work. When God does a work uses a person who seeks glory for God. When God does a work, He uses a person who stands for truth.
3. Stands for Truth –
When John was preaching in the wilderness, he began to get quite a following. People began to flock from everywhere to hear him. So some of the back-slidden, glory-seeking, religious leaders decided they wanted to get in on it. They decided they wanted to be baptized also. John saw them coming and he laughed in their faces. He said, “If you want to be baptized, then let me see some fruit in your lives. Let me see a change.”
Now, you need to realize. These folks were leaders in the denomination. They expected John to be honored by the fact that they showed up. They expected him to be awed by the fact that they were allowing him to baptize them. John said, “I don’t care who you are. You’re sinners just like the rest of them. There needs to be a change in your lives if I’m going to have anything to do with you.”