"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
Infusion Bible eStudies are downloadable small group studies that can be read online, printed, or emailed. Each study includes a leader guide and a study guide and is suitable for a one-hour group Bible study.
Listen...to the words of the Scripture, and in them discover God's message for you today.
Look...at a brief verbal snapshot from the scrapbook of contemporary life and discover its connection both to you and to the Scripture passage.
Live...inside the Scripture to discover its context and message; then allow the Scripture to come alive in you and cause you to live out your faith in new and more-effective ways.
Read an excerpt from this study below.
I have had a lifetime in the church and nearly forty years as a pastor, so it is not surprising that I have a store of Easter memories. I think of outdoor sunrise services, choir anthems that lifted my soul, and dozens of Easter sermons. I remember an Easter sermon I heard when I was perhaps fifteen; God bless the preacher who could leave such an impression on a teenager! And I am happy to say that I can recall quite a number of the sermons I myself preached over many years as a pastor in Wisconsin and in Ohio.
My most striking Easter memory did not happen on an Easter Sunday, however. It happened in a cemetery, which offers its own kind of appropriate Easter setting. The deceased was a schoolmate of mine, nineteen or twenty years old. I admired him for the beauty of his faith and character; he was the kind of person whose very presence always made me want to be better than I was. But his body was as weak as his faith and character were strong; it almost seemed that he died because he was not strong enough to live.
As they lowered his casket into the ground, a trumpet quartet played a familiar Easter hymn, “Lo in the Grave He Lay.” Suddenly his mother, an exemplary Christian, lifted her arms toward heaven and audibly gave praise to God. She was victorious in the hour of loss; her resurrection faith was utterly certain.
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