Jesus’ Baptism: Week 7 of 52 Weeks of Devotionals by Shelia~s Notes

Week 7 of 52 Weeks of Devotionals by Shelia~s Notes

Jesus’ Baptism

We have talked at great lengths in the previous weeks about how Jesus Christ is prophesied throughout the OT. Jesus is in every book of the Bible. How awesome is that?

Last week I jumped right into why Jesus came to earth. He was rich but He became poor for our sake. He came to save the lost world of humanity. He came to teach us what we are to do to obey.  He came to seek and save the lost. He came to be our Passover sacrifice as we learned earlier. He came to fulfill the prophecy of God. These are some of  the reasons He came.

This week we will look at His Baptism.

Jesus’ Baptism

What does Jesus’ baptism say about the importance of obedience and of baptism?

Matthew 3:13-17

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.  But John would have hindered him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?”
But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.  Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.  Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was without sin but He did the will of His Father by being baptized. We are taught what to do to have our sins forgiven in Acts 2:38  Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We are to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. This is what we must do to be obedient to the will of God.

Jesus learned the Obedience. Hebrews 5:8-9 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

Jesus lived, suffered and died as a man to show us what obedience to God looks like. Jesus did not have to be baptized for the forgiveness of sin. He had no sin. He was baptized to fulfill the righteousness of God’s will.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves not having been baptized by John. Their hearts were too stubborn to obey.

Jesus’ baptism fulfilled the appearance of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in one spot of time. This is a huge statement and witness of the power and might of God.

As we read in Matthew 3:13-17  Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

  1. Jesus was baptized
  2. The Holy Spirit came in the bodily form of a dove,
  3. The Father spoke from heaven.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three distinct Beings.

God miraculously demonstrated Jesus’ special nature when Jesus was born. He again demonstrated Jesus’ special character at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.

Jesus and His disciples taught us what we must do to obey and be saved through Jesus Christ precious blood.

  1. I must Hear the saving message of Christ’s Sacrifice. Romans 10:17, 1 Cor. 1:18
  2. I must Believe Jesus is the Son of God. John 8:24, Hebrews 11:6
  3. I must Confess Christ as my Lord. Matthew 10:32-33, Romans 10:9-11
  4. I must Repent of my sinful conduct. Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  5. I Must be Baptized for the Forgiveness of my sins. Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16
  6. I must Teach others the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:20

If you have any questions, please notify me. Thanks for coming.
For a free Bible Study go to: http://www.worldbibleschool.org

 

Why Do We Do What We Do???????

Photo by Laurie Hanson Thompson 2005
Psalm 139:13-14 NASB
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
 for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
A group of ladies from Baker Heights put Birthing Kits together to send to Zambia for the 2014 Medical Mission. 
Some people ask, “Why don’t you put this and that in? Why? Why? 
It is hard to comprehend the poverty that the majority of Zambian people live in. How do we as Americans comprehend  what it must look like for 80% of Zambian people to live on $2.00 a day or less?  A lot of Zambians do not even have that $2.00. Their survival depends on what they can garner from the earth.
Copyright by Shelia Holmes
For most Americans it is impossible to understand that the clothes on some Zambians back maybe the only clothes they own. When one looks at their feet, they are often bare.                                     
How do we as Americans understand that the field mice they catch may be the only food they and their family have for the day?
Copyright by Shelia Holmes

How do we really realize that a lot of the water they have to drink and cook with is the same water they bathe in, wash clothes, cook with, animals drink from, and they carry on their heads for miles to get it to their village?

Most Americans just do not have a knowledge base to understand.  

The first time I went to Zambia I was so overwhelmed by the extreme and widespread poverty.  Seeing truly is believing. It has changed my perspective.  And I thank God.
Back to the birthing kits.  What good can a piece of plastic, a scalpel, two pieces of string, two pairs of rubber gloves, two anti-bacterial wipes, four gauze, soap, a baby blanket, a tiny baby cap, an HIV/AIDS pamphlet and an Intro lesson the WBS do?
The plastic can provide a clean place for the mother to lie on to birth her baby.  The rubber gloves can keep germs off the baby and out of the mother.  The wipes can clean the birthing site as well as hands. The clean string can be used instead of dirty elephant grass or a dirty rag to tie the cord.  The clean sterile scalpel can be used to cut the cord.
The sterile gauze can clean the baby’s mouth, eyes, ears, etc.
The gauze can help stop some of the bleeding of the mother.  The HIV/AIDS pamphlet can inform them and others about AIDS prevention and the Intro lesson to WBS may very well lead them, as well as others to Christ.
Think about what happens when they do not have these things. They have a dirty birthing site, dirty hands wiping the eyes, mouth, and nose of the baby. They have dirty hands handling the cord and using dirty elephant grass to cut the cord. Possibly they will never learn about AIDS prevention. 
How will they hear if no one teaches them?  Remember the majority of the people in Zambia have no Bible.
Many women have to trek to hospital on foot or go by bike while heavily pregnant.  Some women who live in more remote areas cannot even make it to a health facility in time. These women are frequently forced to give birth at home in unsterile conditions and with little assistance.  
Zambia suffers from an excessively high maternal mortality rate of 591 deaths per 100,000 live births.  More than 50% of Zambian women receive no postnatal care at all. http://blogs.unicef.org.uk/2014/02/18/children-commonwealth-zambia-babies
Why take the time to gather supplies and make the Birthing Kits? Maybe we will get to be a tiny part of some ones precious birth. God knows the unformed substance of these children and He knows the number of their days.  Maybe we will be a tiny part of God’s work in Zambia. Maybe He wants us to have the privilege of helping one of these babies survive so it can grow up to serve him.
Some may have heard the story of Wellington’s birth on the side of the road on the way to the clinic. His mother and grandmother birthed him, wrapped him and carried him on to the clinic. Look what God has done with Wellington. What if he had not survived?
I am reminded that God does not need anything from us.
In Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
Verses 26-27 sums up why we take the time and trouble to put together a simple Birthing Kit and go to Zambia.
26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;.  
The focus is not on what we are doing, the focus is on what God wants us to do. Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,.
God does not need us to do His work but He blesses us by allowing us to participate in His mighty work. Thanks you God.
For a free Bible study go to:www.bigcountry.worldbibleschool.org

I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:13-18 NASB
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
 for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,

 And skillfully wrought in the
depths of the earth;
And in Your book were all written 
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your
thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would 
outnumber the sand
When I awake, I am still with You.
We recently put Birthing Kits together to take to 
Zambia for Medical Missions. 
Some Americans said, “why don’t we put this and that in, 
why don’t we do this or that?” 
They do not understand the poverty that 
the majority of Zambians live in,  
$2.00 a day or less is what 80% of them live on. 
Some do not even have that $2.00.
For most Americans it is impossible to understand the 
extreme poverty that a large percent 
of the people in the world live in. 
They just do not have a knowledge base to understand. 
The old saying, “seeing is believing” is so true.
The first time I went to Zambia I was so overwhelmed by the extreme,  widespread poverty. When I came home, 
I could hardly bare to spend money on clothes or shoes. 
I definitely had more than the clothes on my back 
and many pairs of shoes in my closet. 
I was not walking around barefooted. 
I still have  a lot of trouble with that. 
My closet has a lot less clothes than it used to. 
There are not near as many shoes as before. 
I have more than I need.
Seeing truly is believing. It has change my perspective. 
And I thank God.
Many Americans do not understand laying down 
on the cold dirty ground to deliver a baby. 
They can not comprehend why we need to send 
a few simple items in Birthing Kits.
What good can a piece of plastic, a scalpel, two pieces of string, two pairs of rubber gloves, two anti-bacterial wipes, four gauze, soap, a baby blanket, and a tiny baby cap do?
 What good can those items possible do?
The plastic can provide a clean place for 
the mother to lay on to birth her baby.
The clean string can be used instead of dirty 
elephant grass or dirty rag to tie the cord. 
The clean sterile scalpel can be used to cut the cord.
The wipes can clean the birthing site as well as hands.
The sterile gauze can clean the baby’s mouth, eyes, ears, etc.
The gauze can help stop some of the bleeding of the mother.  
The rubber gloves can keep germs off the baby and out of the mother. 
Think about what happens when they do not have these things.  
Dirty hands, dirty birthing site, dirty hands wiping the eyes, mouth, nose of the baby. 
Dirty hands handling the cord and using elephant grass to cut the cord. On and on. 
Thank you Father that I was born in America.
But most of all Father, Thank you that you have allowed me to travel to Zambia four times to have my perspectives changed.
Thank you Father that you formed my inward parts;
Thank you that You gave me the Mother you did.
Thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Thank you Father for writing the days of my life in Your book.
O, God how can I comprehend the depth of Your thoughts of me?
Thank you Father that You are still with me when I awake.
Father God, thank You for giving me another year to live and serve You.
In Jesus Christ Most Holy and High Name I Pray.
Why take the time to gather supplies and make the Birthing Kits? Maybe, just maybe we will get to be apart of some ones precious birth. God has already known the unformed substance of these children and He knows the number of their days. 
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Out of Africa and Back Again.

 I never get used to this sight of a young girl child with 
a baby on her back and a water bucket on her head.
 One of the many buildings we have worshiped in.
A Baptism (the main reason I go)

My heart has been stubborn about being willing  to go to Africa in the summer of 2014. The trip has been planned for three years now but my heart has been hard and has said,”NO, I will not go in 2014.” 
One night as we laid down, I asked my husband if he had thought about going to Africa in 2014.  I fully expected him to say no I do not want to go because I am getting my shoulder replaced.  Instead he said, “I have thought about it.” That really shocked me. He asked me if I had thought about going.  I said, Yes I have thought about it and I do not want to go. You can go without me. He said, “I will not go without you.” So, I said, “Does that mean I have to go?” One reason it shocked me so much is that when he went in 2003 he promised he would never go without me again. I knew that he had made that promise and that he would not break it.  If he goes, that means I will go or he will stay home too.
When he went in 2003 I was as resistant as a spoiled brat child who wanted her way no matter what.  He was asked to go with a group of men so there was no way one lone woman would fit in.  As plans were being made I dug my heels in deep. 
I pouted, cried, got mad, you name it I resisted with all my might. 
Like that spoiled child I said, “I have always wanted to go to Africa.” 
On and On I went as the days and weeks ticked off to the dead line to buy tickets. 
The Sunday before the deadline the lesson at worship was one that was undeniably from God to me.  It also spoke to both of our hearts in a way that we could no longer ignore what had to be done. 
We did not say a word all the way home as our hearts burned like hot coals inside our chests. I almost chocked on my pride and selfishness.
After we had changed from  our “church” clothes into more comfortable clothes, he said to me, “Shelia, I cannot, not go.” My heart burned in my throat. I felt so much shame as I admitted that I was standing in God’s way. I choked the words out of my burning throat, “I know you have to go.”  This had been my thought on the way home as I tried to swallow my pride and selfishness.  I was so ashamed of myself at the realization that I, by my childish behavior, had to admit that I was rebelling against God and not my husband.
We both knew that I could not stand in God’s way any longer. 
We knew that he had to go and do whatever God wanted him to do. I knew that I had to do whatever God wanted me to do and accept what he wanted to teach me.
I do not know why my heart has been stubborn against going to Zambia this summer. I cannot put a finger on the reason. I can only speculate.  This has been a challenging year for us with our adult son who has dealt with a drug addiction for many, many years. This has been and still is a challenging time with my mother-in-law being sick and in and out of the hospital for the last two months. 
On one hand I am so excited to be going back to Africa again, for the fifth time. On the other hand I am feeling a little stressed to think that the trip is so close to being reality. 
I only asked to go one time. I know that if God is truly willing for us to go He will provide the way for my fifth trip to Zambia. Tickets are bought and plans are being made to go in a short time. 
We shall see what the future holds. I am now willing and ready if God is. 
We recently attended the funeral of a 90 year old lady who got into mission work when she was 65 years old. Her grandson read some of from one of her diaries she had kept about her mission work. He said Granny said, “You have to be willing to write a blank check and hand it to God. Let God fill in the amount. You have to be willing to do whatever God wants you to do.” 
Just write the blank check has become mine and my husbands motto. 
We have written a blank check to God about the trip to Zambia in 2104. We will soon know what He requires us to do. We just have to be willing to do it.
Philippians 4:4-9  
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  

What Does Addiction Look Like???????????????

What color is addiction?
What economic class is addiction?
What sex is addiction?
Who is an addict?
Who can identify an addict?
Who can stop an addict?
If you look at this picture of this “happy” family you may never suspect that one of the people in the picture has struggled a long term addiction. You name it and they have shot it in their vain.
You may never know which one has struggled for over 20 years with a terrible drug addiction.
You may never know which ones in the picture have struggled with that person who has had a horrifying drug addiction. 
The choice is one out of three. 
Which one is the one? 
The woman in the middle? The man on the left? The man on the right?
They all look like fine upstanding citizens. They do not look like your common thief. 
They do not look like someone who would lie about anything to get their next fix. 
They do not look like some one who would stick a needle with a syringe full of cocaine in their arm, ankle, or wherever. 
Truth is, drug addiction comes in all colors.
Truth is, drug addiction comes in all sexes.
Truth is, drug addiction comes in all economic classes.
I was once told, “You cannot always tell who is an addict.”
Who can stop an addict from being an addict?
That is a very good question.
Can you?
Can I?
I am finding that I cannot stop the addict in the picture. So, there is a clue. I am not the addict. That leaves two in the picture who may or may not be an addict.
Who can stop an addict?
I hate the word addict. How can a person be described as “he is an addict”. What, how can that be? How can you say, “He is an addict.” He is a man. He is (insert name).  So how can you refer to him as addict as if that is all there is to him?