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Work While the Opportunities Last

Rev. Enoch Thompson | February 26, 2024 | John 3:22-25

 


KEY VERSE:

(This was before John was put in prison.), John 3:24 (NIV)

 

MESSAGE:

In my short life I have seen people who were once strong and energetic, become weak and incapable of the least stressful work. I have often reflected, and a few days ago, in a conversation with a retired medical doctor, I wanted to ask at what point weakness sets in. My mind quickly shut me up by alerting me about my uncle, Mr. Adotey who is over ninety years old, reads without glasses, has all his teeth intact, walks easily without aid, and takes care of some house chores. I was also reminded of a recent encounter with Rev. Professor Gilbert Ansere who is over ninety years old but could pass for any far younger age because of his energy and ability to read without glasses and presently actively engaged in research.

 

The above is to say that some retain strength even in their old age. But that is the exception. I cannot go into the examples of loved ones and church people we have ministered to who were weak and helpless because of age. Our text puts in parenthesis the fact that John was actively carrying out his work of baptising Jewish people who repented in response to his preaching, preparing them for the manifestation and ministry of the Messiah Jesus. The parenthesis jumps forward in the story of John the Baptist because there was coming a time when he would be imprisoned and would not be able to do ministry again.

 

We are all subject to situations in life that make it difficult or impossible to do certain things that we would have loved to do or continue doing in our walk with and service to God and humanity. There is the imprisonment of sickness, lost opportunity, lack of resources or the ultimate inevitable, death. The Lord Jesus taught us, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4 (NIV).

 

 FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

Do you maximize the opportunities you have to express yourself, in words, in a dance, in songs, in acts of charity? John must do the works of God before the imprisonment comes!

 

PRAYER:

Lord, help me to maximize my opportunities to serve you and humanity, before the prison of night when I cannot do anything. For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.

 

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: IN PRISON In John 3:24 (NIV), the phrase "in prison" is translated from the Greek words "ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ" (en tē phylakē). The word "ἐν" (en) denotes "in" or "within," indicating the location, while "φυλακῇ" (phylakē) refers to a prison or place of confinement.


This phrase underscores the physical confinement of John the Baptist, emphasizing his literal imprisonment for his bold proclamation of truth and his challenge to the prevailing religious and political authorities.


The Greek word "φυλακῇ" (phylakē) is also used elsewhere in the New Testament to describe imprisonment or custody. For example, in Matthew 14:3, it is used to depict the imprisonment of John the Baptist by Herod Antipas.


The imprisonment of John the Baptist serves as a reminder of the persecution and opposition faced by those who faithfully proclaim the message of God's kingdom. It underscores the cost of discipleship and the willingness of believers to endure suffering for the sake of righteousness.


Reflections:

How can we maintain our faith and commitment to God even in difficult circumstances, following the example of John the Baptist's devotion to God's truth while in prison?

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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