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The Baptism of Jesus
God’s presence is real, full of love, and completely transformational. It takes what was broken and brings healing. It takes what was lost and guides us to our rightful place in the Father. It satisfies the weary, brings light to the darkness, and pours out the refreshing rain of God’s love on the dryest, deepest parts of the soul. Scripture contains story after story of God coming down to meet God’s children where they are, and your heavenly Father has the same heart for you as he did them. He longs to make the reality of his presence known to you. He longs to refresh you with his nearness. You were created for encountering God, and you will never be satisfied until you continually live in the experience for which you were created. Allow your desires to be stirred up to encounter the living God this week as we read powerful stories of God’s people encountering his manifest presence. May you respond to God’s word by seeking out that for which you were made: continual encounter with your heavenly Father.
Scripture:“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:16-17
The baptism of Jesus lays the foundation on which you and I can return time and time again to experience the abundant life made available to us at salvation. Matthew 3:16-17 says, “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” Through the baptism of Jesus the Spirit of God powerfully enters into the scene of humanity. The Holy Spirit’s always been moving and working, but through Christ the way was paved for him to fill us and rest on us. Through the baptism of Jesus, we can all be baptized with the Spirit (John 1:33, John 3:5).
Peter says in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” And Romans 6:4 tells us, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” At salvation the Spirit descends on us and fills us. He is the promise of God for our eternal life. He is our Helper, Teacher, and Comforter while we are here on earth. And he is the one who leads us into the abundant, new life made available to us through Christ.
You see, just as the Spirit rested on Jesus, through his presence in our lives we have untapped resources of unconditional rest. God desires that we would rest in him as he rests on us. He desires for his children to find the only consistent source of peace available to us through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Where do you need rest today? What trouble, situation, thought, or person is stealing your peace? The Holy Spirit wants to descend on you today as he did on Jesus. He wants to guide you into the rest of your heavenly Father. Isaiah 40:28-31 says,
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
You have the one who never faints or tires and gives power and might dwelling within you as a follower of Jesus. You have an inexhaustible resource of joy, strength, renewal, and rest readily available to you in the Spirit. All that is required of you is to make space in your life to enter into the rest God longs to provide you. Allow him to lay a foundation of his presence in your life by spending time simply being with him, and he will transform you into a person of the Spirit who fellowships and receives from the Spirit constantly. Learn to listen to his voice, follow his guidance, and enjoy his presence today.
Wherever you need rest today the Holy Spirit is waiting to provide it for you. As you pray, make space in your heart and day to rest in him as he rests on you.
1. Meditate on the Spirit’s desire to descend on you as he did on Jesus. Allow your faith to be stirred to have a real, tangible encounter with the Holy Spirit.
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:16-17
“I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’” John 1:33
2. Reflect on your own life. Where in your life do you need rest today?Where do you need a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit? What trouble seems to plague you? What brokenness needs healing and peace?
3. Ask the Spirit to descend on you and bring you rest. Ask for him to make his presence a reality to you. Follow him as he guides you into his presence. Worship, pray, and read the word. Do whatever will guide you into an encounter with the presence of God. God longs to bring you rest. It’s his desire that brings his presence, not your ability to feel him. He makes himself known when we open up our hearts and wait on him. Spend time waiting on his presence and resting in his love.
“And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” Exodus 33:14
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25
May you discover today the path to continual encounter with the Holy Spirit. He isn’t a God who separates himself into different sections of your life. You are created to live in continual, tangible relationship with your heavenly Father. You are created to find consistent rest in his loving presence. When you begin to feel the burdens of the world weighing you down and robbing you of the abundant life that is yours in Christ, take a minute and receive his presence again. Find consistent times throughout your day to press into the heart of God and discover his continual, new, and refreshing presence that’s available to you anytime and anyplace. Don’t allow a mediocre day to be enough today. Press into the Spirit for more and find all that God intended for your life.
Extended Reading: Isaiah 40
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