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In the Word

    by Chuck Livermore

A Voice in the Wilderness
Date Posted: March 10, 2009

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" He said: "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of the Lord," 'as the prophet Isaiah said."Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. And they asked him, saying, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose." These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. John 1: 19-28 NKJV

John had a purpose from God. What made John think that God had called him to anything? First, John likely was reading Isaiah one day and saw himself in the scripture. When he read about the voice crying in the wilderness, God spoke to his heart and gently said, “That’s you.”

Second, John had faith that God would take his simple act of water baptism and add His power to it. John knew that the water was only the appetizer. He knew that God would also send the Holy Spirit and fire as the main course.

Finally, John was humble. He didn’t see himself as a big deal because God had called him. He didn’t pout and complain to God, “Why can’t I be the Messiah? Couldn’t I at least be a prophet?” He also didn’t minimize his role and put himself down. He saw himself exactly as God saw him. That is the true standard of humility.

Did you know that you have a purpose too? It is not just pastors and missionaries that are called. If God called you to salvation, He also called you to service. Let me give you the evidence. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12: 7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” Again, in Ephesians 4:7, he says, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.” Not only Paul, but Peter declares this also. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.1 Peter 4: 10. Notice “each one” receives a gift along with salvation “for the profit of all”. Peter exhorts us to minister or serve each other with our gifts. Paul proclaims, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” God gave each of us a gift and commands us to serve others with it.

What is your calling? Search the scriptures and listen for God’s voice saying, “That’s you.” Have faith that will take whatever He has called you to and add His power to it to make something of it you could not. Be humble and see yourself exactly as God sees you: a sinner that doesn’t deserve His love, but so valuable that nothing was spared for your sake. Do this and God will reveal His call and purpose for your life.

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Biography Information:
Chuck Livermore's knowledge of the word is the result of a lifetime of study and reading. He is part of Galilee South Community Church, a multi-ethnic congregation in South Denver. He attended Wayland Baptist University and has participated in world evangelism through research of unreached peoples.
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