Almost thirty years have passed since the events of Chapter 2.  After growing up in Nazareth and working as a carpenter, Jesus is ready to begin His public ministry.  The first thing He did was to travel to the Jordan River to be baptized by a wild-looking prophet called John the Baptist.  John’s purpose was to announce the coming of the Savior.  Hundreds were moved by his uncompromising message of repentance and were baptized.  When John sees Jesus, he is the first to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah – “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  All of John’s listeners knew that every morning and evening a lamb was sacrificed in the temple for the sins of the people.  A life had to be given to pay the penalty for the people’s sins.    Now God is giving an unimaginable, staggering sacrifice for once and for all.

We want you to catch just a glimpse of what God gave up for you – of how much He loves you.  You can trust Him with reckless abandonment when you understand the depth of His love for you!  Author Tim Hansel tells the story of going rock climbing with his young son, Zac.  As they hiked around the cliffs, Tim heard a voice from above him yell, “Hey Dad!  Catch me!”  Tim turned around just in time to see Zac joyfully jumping off a cliff straight at him.  He had jumped and then yelled, “Hey Dad!”  After a miraculous catch and tumble to the ground, Tim gasped, “Zac!  Can you give me one good reason why you did that????”  Zac responded with remarkable calmness, “Sure … because you’re my Dad.”   His assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy.  He could live life to the hilt because his Dad could be trusted.   Isn’t this even more true for a Christian?

Jesus says, “Come, follow me.”  Today, you have a choice to follow Him, to consciously be like Him.  Choose Christ, and brace yourself for the adventure of a lifetime.

Bible Reading:  Matthew 3: 1-17 (NIV)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Bible Reading:  Matthew 4: 1-25 (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Jesus Begins to Preach
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

 

 

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  1. Tempted in everyway, but because His love was so great for us, Jesus endured whatever it would take to show His great love for us. God has always wanted you, when no one else has. He has always interceded for you when no one else would. Jesus laid His life down to give you eternal life, with Him in heaven. Is there any friend that has ever done so much for so little. He did all that, so He could share all He has, with the ones He loved so much. Just for me, just for you, I can’t even imagine the sacrifice so great, that He would want me. He is all I think about, it’s consumes me, and yet compels me to share with others, the Greatest Love Story of all.

    What is keeping you from connecting to God.

    • I have many things that come between me and full trust in God to follow Jesus completely. I am a Christain, and I do trust God because he has proven his grace for me. I fear the strangest things though.
      As a preachers son, I fear full time ministry. I grew up lower middle class as my dad chased the guidence of the Holy Spirit for full time service. I watched him be a servant to powerful business men and powerful farmers. As I grew to respect my dad, I also grew to despise the people in Church. Although God has provided Woolands Church and now sent me to Thailand for work and provided ECB to worship, I have found many church people that I do not despise and love to see their service. I still fear to give my self for service so they can ridicul and condescend me. I would give you the shirt off my back. I would clean your yard after a storm. I would send you money or clothes or gifts at Christmas but I don’t want you to know my name. I don’t want you to know how to reach me to expect or require my service. That’s pride, fear, insecurity.
      My career has afforded me many of this worlds goods and allowed me to be freely giving. God has given me the most beautiful supportive wife. She has an awesome heart for Jesus. Sometimes, even as I know God provided all this to me, I fear he will take these things from me to be His minister. I pray he relieve me of these obstacles of service.

  2. Dolores Duron says:

    Thank you for making this a meaningful daily experience. This morning as I read Proverbs 13:12b;19a, as my study I wrote, True Fulfillment found in Jesus. He is the tree of life and only He is the the One my longs for. Then I read the Scripture for today and it filled me with joy as I read JESUS’s words, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to “fulfill all righteousnes”, how awesome next He begins His 40 days fasting. Thank you again for this awesome experience. Love you, may our Lord continue to bless you as He leads you to do what is His will.

  3. I am so excited to see the wonders that God will work in these upcoming days. I look forward to this 40 day journey with Christ. I cam to realize this past Saturday night during the service that I have been holding on to a problem at work that is not mine do deal with, but rather God’s. I had a sense of peace that came over me that I have not had in a while. I know that God is in control of this, and really every situation. I am trusting Him to fix this problem the way that He sees fit. I will give Him all the praise and glory for doing so.

  4. I love to wake up and read the word of GOD. knowing there is other people doing the same makes it even more powerful to me. This is just day 2 and I can already feel the life changing experience. coffee and the word of GOD

  5. I received this devotional this morning on my phone but it did not come through on my home computer. Can you help me receive on my home computer as well?

  6. Am doing One onOne with God now & getting so much out of this . This forty day journey with Jesus came at a good time . I’m also in the process of reading the Bible from beginning to end.Its such a wonderful book to read & don’t want to put it down & encourage all to do as it brings do my JOY in my life.

    Blessings
    Gail Ramirez

  7. Thank You Chris for this delightful 40 Day Journey with Jesus. I am enjoying the narrative immensely and feel deep inner peace in my heart afterwards. A true blessing that I pray others receive also.

  8. Kerry & Chris, my husband and I are so happy to be part of this church with the passion to make us grow in Christ. Thank you so much!

  9. Robert and Helen Thomas says:

    It was very interesting that Jesus was a carpenter. Also its was amazing to us that everyone dropped everything and followed Jesus. We should do that everyday and the Lord Jesus Christ should be first in our life always.

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