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The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,

2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”—

3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

A deep and lasting work of the Lord in our lives is always preceded by the call to turn away from sin.


The good news of Jesus Christ becomes good news to me personally only after my waywardness is in full view and I see my offenses clearly.


A person may be able to say “I know I am a sinner”, in a vague, invulnerable way, and all the while remain personally unchanged and unexposed.


But when the the way of the Lord is truly prepared in a human heart it is deeply personal and precise. True confession is coming into agreement with what God says about us and our sin specifically, and carries an often painful honesty that places us directly before the judgement seat of Christ. It is not just “sin”, it is my sin.


God is very exacting in His exposure of our sin and need, and He is perfectly unmuddied in His view. “Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13) It is at this point that the “good news” becomes ours personally, and the ONE more powerful steps in. It is in that very place of naked honesty and exposure in the Light, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit will come and make all things new.


Let the Lord search you out and show you your own condition. Receive the forgiveness of Jesus and then you will be positioned for a true outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


That is good news.

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