The words of Hebrews 11:4 - "he died, but through his faith he is still speaking" provide us with an apt description of John the Baptist. He belongs to the distant past, yet his words continue to speak to us today.
As we read of the ministry of John the Baptist, we read of a man who was fully devoted to the Lord, a man who was mightily used by the Lord.
Let us pray that the hand of the Lord will be upon us. With thanksgiving, we remember those whom the Lord who has so graciously and powerfully used for His glory in past generations. We are not, however, locked in the past. We learn from the past so that we can be greatly used, in this generation, to bring men, women and children to the Saviour.
John the Baptist was a bridge between the old and the new. He followed on from the Old Testament prophets. He pointed forward to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are to be like John the Baptist. We are to be a bridge across which people travel as they make their way to Jesus Christ, the living Saviour, We build on the past, basing our teaching on the Scriptures. We learn of the Saviour as we read the Scriptures. As we seek to point sinners to the Saviour, let us pray that the Spirit will work mightily in the hearts of many and that God will be glorified as many are brought to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The ministry of John the Baptist had a great impact on a large number of people - a "multitude came to be baptized by him" (Luke 3:7). Let us pray that God will raise up many preachers who will call many people to return to the Lord. May God grant that His faithful servants will see much fruit for their labours.
This is not only about John the Baptist. It's about us. It's about the purpose of God for our lives. He calls us to be His witness. He calls us to be faithful and fruitful in His service. We learn from John the Baptist - "a voice crying in the wilderness" (Luke 3:4). We look at the "wilderness" of today's world. It is a world of "ungodliness and unrighteousness." It is a world that has fallen under the judgment of God (Romans 1:18). Is there a way back to God? John the Baptist gives us God's answer to this all-important question. He points us to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He calls us to look away from ourselves. He calls us to look to Jesus, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). May our words, in this sinful generation, be a living echo of the voice of John the Baptist in his generation. May our words point to the Saviour. May our words call men and women to come to Christ and receive, through faith in Him, the forgiveness of all their sins.