Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Senior Pastor,
Metropolitan AME Church
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Scripture: Mark 1:1-8. John the Baptizer. The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you; He’ll make the road smooth for you. Thunder in the desert! Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road smooth and straight! 4-6John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey. 7-8As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.” The Message Bible
Everyone needs some “good news” after the world takes you on a roller-coaster ride – financial problems, home foreclosure, job loss, dismantled families, sickness – whatever your challenge, it pays to hear some “good news.” The Good News of God crashing into your world is exciting. In the scripture text, the “good news” comes from John the Baptist. God singled out John the Baptist to stand in the gap to let the people know about the good news of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist stood in the gap crying: “Get ready, get ready, get ready – God is about to do what He promised He would do! The real action comes next! I’m baptizing you in the river, turning our old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism will change you from the inside out!” God may not come when you think He should come, and He may not do it the way you think He should do it or when you think He should do it, but when He does it – look out!
1. God has a strange habit of, every now and then, CRASHING into our worlds. Have you experienced a situation when a family member or friend is in trouble, and God taps YOU on YOUR shoulder, saying: “Hello, this is God.” We oftentimes find God crashing into our lives, inconveniencing us, calling us to do something that we did not plan to do. “Hello,” he says. “This is God; go stand and be my witness in this gap. Abraham, go to a place; I will show you when you get there. Moses, hello; this is God. I hear the cry of my people. Moses responds, Lord, I can’t do it. God says: Yes you can; go and do it anyway, and I will give you what you need when you get there.”
When it comes to God, we often try to mind our own business. But God has a peculiar habit of breaking into our lives, sometimes when we least expect it. If you don’t believe me, ask Gandhi, ask Rosa Parks, ask Richard Allen, ask Martin Luther King, Jr., ask Harriet Tubman. And He doesn’t come crashing just for big causes. God provides a life-changing opportunity through Christ Jesus for those of us who walk in dark situations to see the Lord and to hear him say: “I am with you.”
2. When God comes crashing into your life, you may not be looking for Him, but He comes when He comes. I was watching that movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I’ve seen it many times, but this time I focused in on the George Bailey character’s words when things had gotten so bad he just couldn’t figure out what to do to solve them. He said: “God, I am not a praying man, but I need you now to make a way for me. God, show me a way!” No matter what situation you are in, God will come down; He will turn your life around, if you ask Him. He will change you from the inside out; and when He changes you, you won’t look like you are troubled; you won’t look like the diagnosis that the doctor gave you. He will change your whole situation, your spirit, your entire way of living.
When God comes crashing into your life, you will feel like the song: “I looked at my hands, and they were new; I looked at my feet, and they were too!”
- Sermon Notes: When God Goes to Work in a Life
- Sermon Notes: Live a Grateful Life
- Sermon Notes: Living a Marked Life
- Sermon Notes: When the Winds Blow Your Life Off Course
- Sermon Notes: Setting Your Sights on Higher Places
Tags: Rev. Ronald E. Braxton