Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 62

                             Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 62: Choose Holiness

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 14:1-12

John the Baptist Beheaded

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” (Matthew 14:1-2) Herod was, (I'd like to say 'convicted,' but that just wasn't the case) 'afraid' of John the Baptist, while John the Baptist was alive, so much so that after John's death, Herod was still worried of the punishment that would come on himself for his own sin. Herod thought Jesus was John the Baptist back from dead- that is back after Herod had him beheaded. He was worried. He was afraid of having killed God's prophet, as he should have been, but apparently not afraid enough to have changed his ways. I believe God wants us to be convicted when the sin in our lives is revealed to us. God desires for us to be convicted so we will turn from our sins, repent, be made new and live the life He has called us to. 
3 "Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet." (Matthew 14:3-4) So, John the Baptist was put in jail, not because he was preaching in the dessert, not because he called the Pharisees a brood of vipers, not because he was telling everyone to get ready for the 'King' was coming. John the Baptist was put in jail because he zeroed in on Herod's personal sin of adultery. Herod put John in jail to stop John from talking about his own sin. It says that Herod actually wanted to have John killed, but he was afraid of what the people would do because they considered John a prophet. I'm thinking that Herod must have thought John was a prophet or at least a very holy man too for he had not had John killed until he was coerced to do so.
6 "On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother." (Matthew 14:6-11)  This guy, Herod, is completely messed up. Herod was lusting after his niece! He desired to please her and did so by promising her, by oath, that he would give her whatever she asked. Well, for his lack of dealing with his fear of John the Baptist, or his fear of his own sin, got him caught in a net. Herodias' daughter asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. She did not just want John the Baptist dead, she wanted his head brought to her on a platter. She wanted her power over Herod and the people flounced. This woman had problems too. 
As crazy and sad as I think this event was I think there is something we need to stop and think about. What do we do when the Lord is trying to convict our hearts of sin? Do we ignore it? Do we box it up, the way Herod did with John the Baptist, and try and forget about it? If we are seeking God, if we call ourselves Christians, than God is going to convict us of our sin and it is up to us to respond, repent, and change or ignore it. I know for me God had been convicting me of over eating. I kept telling Him that I just couldn't handle the hardship I was going through AND eating right at the same time. I actually told God that I needed donuts! God was so patient. He got a hold of my heart, healed my hurt and pain and than reminded me again to stop over eating. I was ready. With my heart healed up, tears dried up, I was ready to live the way He wants me to live. I have since lost thirteen pounds and will not stop until He says so. I desire every area of my life to be holy- and that means my eating too!

12 "John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus." (Matthew 14:12) I cannot even image the pain John's disciples experienced in burying John the Baptist. I cannot imagine the fear that must have circled around them too. The thought for standing for the truth could get you imprisoned or killed. Honestly though, not much has changed. I know many times in my own life where I have stood for truth I have been rejected and treated like an outcast and even tied up and gagged. It is not easy to live differently from the world and even different from some Christians, but if God is calling us to live differently for His Name and His Glory, we best do it. 

Pray with me:
Jesus, how my heart aches as I read about John the Baptist's death, but I thank you for his story. I thank you for giving me a role model to look up to. Someone who stood for truth and the Gospel no matter what the cost- his own life. Jesus, help me to stand for truth and live a life worthy to bear your name. Help me to respond to the convictions of sin in my life. Help me to live for you in every area of my life. Wash me clean. Make me holy. In Jesus' Precious Name, Amen. 

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