"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.--------------------------In my church we sometimes use Psalm 133 as a call to worship:
How very good and pleasant it iswhen kindred live together in unity!It is like the precious oil on the head,running down upon the beard,on the beard of Aaron,running down over the collar of his robes....For there the Lord ordained his blessing,life forevermore.The psalmist is describing the way that God blesses those who live in harmony. We know from experience what can happen in a church when people are pulling in the same direction, working in harmony to achieve common goals. New buildings are constructed, mission programs are initiated, and educational programs thrive.When we read in the Bible the history of God’s people, however, what we see is that this unity is as rare as it is splendid. Conflicts divided and weakened the people of God. Through it all, the Lord grieved for his chosen people, who were living in conflict, not unity.This lesson reaffirms the biblical teaching that God wants unity in the community of faith. Division is contrary to the will of God. Focusing on our differences results in conflict and chaos, while drawing on the strengths of our distinctiveness empowers us to serve Christ more faithfully.