I had the amazing honor to speak at our church's young adults gathering recently, we have been going on an adventure through the book of Luke following the life of Jesus. When it was thrown out about me speaking I became incredibly excited and incredibly nervous. I've finally gotten used to speaking in front of my junior high students, and now I had to transition back over into the young adults phase of life, which to be honest, isn't too different. We're all trying to figure out some pretty heavy and big questions in life like: Who am I? Where do I belong? What is my purpose?
With those thoughts in mind and my nerves grew rapidly at the thought of speaking in front of people I may have met once, or have literally never seen in my entire life, I couldn't help but want to gain their approval or perhaps...their love.
My verses had been sent to me and I had been given Luke 3, John the Baptist prepares the Way. To be honest, I don't think I have ever gone through the book of Luke before. Maybe I "read" through it once in high school and when I say "read" I really mean read the headings because I didn't know how to read the bible until a friend showed me one day my sophomore year.
So as I started to study, I started to run full pace down these rabbit trails of thoughts. If you have never study John the Baptist, I highly suggest it, I mean how could you not want to find out more about a guy who chose to live in the desert, wear camels fur and eat bugs for his whole life? One of the things that really sparked my interest in him though was the fact that when he heard God call to him, he didn't just sit there and ponder it, he placed that call into action. John heard God call him, and so he went. How often do we hear the voice of God and instead of move, we question whether it's the right time, or make up some other excuse because our hearts are filled with fear?
The second thing I fell in love with during Luke 3 was when the voice of God came around a second time. You see, John was baptizing people in the Jordan, proclaiming the good news, when along comes Jesus. Jesus walks out to John and he is given the task of baptizing Jesus. When John agrees to do this, and Jesus comes out of the water, you guys, the heavens opened. The heavens opened and the holy spirit came down in the form of a dove, and a voice appeared from the heavens. Can you imagine being apart of the crowd, watching all of this happen right before your eyes? Like...what do you do?! Would you fall on your knees, stare, sing, be silent, weep, dance? I have no idea. But the voice that came from heaven was what got me, a voice from heaven said "You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
Maybe you have read this before and said "Awesome, God is talking to Jesus, and reminding him that he is loved." Friends, this is so much more than an encouragement.
This is groundbreaking.
At this point in Jesus' life, he had preached zero sermons, performed zero miracles, raised zero people from the dead, healed zero people from sickness, and cast out zero demons. Jesus' ministry hasn't even started.
He hasn't even started his ministry, and God is saying, "Jesus, you are my son, you are whom I love. My love for you has nothing to do with what you can or will do, it is simply because of who you are, my Son."
God is saying the same thing to you.
"My son, my daughter, my love for you does not depend on what you do, my love for you is based on who you are, my child. Never forget that."
He is a good, good father.
From one human to the next,
If you would like to listen to the full sermon on Luke 3 check-out this link!