March 12 – Transformation Testimonies – John the Baptist

Read Matthew 3:1-17

Keys to a “John the Baptist Makeover”

Makeovers are a point of fascination in our culture currently.  Whether it is your personal appearance or the place you live, you can watch television shows and purchase products that will give you a new you or make a new home out of your current one.

But the kind of transformational “makeover” that God wants to bring into your life and mine is often less focused on such externals.  Instead, it is related to such things as character, dependence, and fruitfulness.  In that regard, John the Baptist serves as an incredible example of someone to aspire to be like.  After all, Jesus described him like this:  “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist…”  (Matt. 11:11)

Here are four areas in which I yearn to be more like John:

  1. Additional personal security – John seemed comfortable in his own skin (or at least in camel skin!). He wasn’t afraid to go against the norms in dress or diet (v. 4).  He was a non-conformist, willing to be the person God made him to be.  To be sure, this is a tightrope walk.  But sometimes I cave or even compromise to culture or to the expectations of others.
  2. Greater Christ-honoring humility – John understood that it was his role to point people to someone else, Jesus Christ. He recognized his own unworthiness to baptize Jesus or even touch His sandals (vv. 11, 14).  He wasn’t concerned about building a following, but yearned to have Christ increase while he decreased (Jn. 3:22-30).  I can certainly use a bigger dose of that!
  3. Multiplied ministry fruitfulness – The contrast of verse 1 with verses 5 and 6 is amazing. On the one hand, John was preaching in the wilderness (v. 1).  That sounds like a great place to practice a sermon but not to actually preach it!  But people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the district around the Jordan were going to listen and be baptized.  Oh that God would enable me to have a greater impact for His purposes!
  4. Increased truth-proclaiming boldness – John models well a Holy Spirit boldness. He was not afraid to say what needed to be said.  In fact, he even called out the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees of his day, describing them as a bunch of snakes (v. 7).  Boldness doesn’t always mean name-calling, but I could sure grow in the ease with which I speak the truth in love!

Are any of those four areas where you should pause to pray with me that God would transform you?

Steve Kern

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