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June 24, 2018
"The Church...Defies Human Tradition"
Focus Scriptures: 
Malachi 3:1-4    Luke 1:57-80
Eight days after the birth of John the Baptist, friends and family members joined Elizabeth and Zachariah in celebrating the purification ceremony of their son.  This was a joyous time when a Jewish boy would become a part of God’s covenant nation.  At that occasion, the child would be given a name.  Traditionally, the child would be named after the father or a male family member.  However, Elizabeth and Zachariah decided, on the instruction of God, to defy tradition and name the child John.  Four hundred years prior to the birth of John the Baptist, Malachi prophesied the coming of two messengers.  John the Baptist who would prepare the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom Israel was expecting.  Malachi speaks of Jesus as the refiner’s fire and launderer’s soap which describe the purifying of God’s people in preparation of Christ’s reign.  



Daily Devotion
June 20, 2018
A Voice Crying Out


“In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is the one of whom the prophet Isiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” Matthew 3:1-3. This week we are remembering the significance of John the Baptist’s life, and how his calling prepared the way for Jesus. Just as Jesus’ birth was foretold in the book of Isaiah, John the Baptist’s role in preparing the people for the Messiah was foreshadowed. He would be the one crying out in the wilderness. Sometimes it takes someone crying out, speaking at the top of their lungs, for us to listen. When someone really wants to get our attention they raise their voice. Children do it too when they want their parent’s attention. At times we respond to loudness with a quieting of our own voice, and an opening of our ears.  John was sent to get the people’s attention and make sure they would hear the message of the coming Messiah. Take time to quiet your voice this week and listen to the message God may be wanting you to hear. Prayer: “Lord, my ears are open and my heart is listening for You. Please come and join me. Amen.”

Written by Jamie Witt


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