Gifts For The Building Of His Kingdom
3rd Sunday of Advent
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
December 13, 2020
Readings: Isaiah 65:17-25
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-28
John 3: 23-30
“Behold I create a new heaven and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a Joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.”
This is the heart of God. He desires that His people are joyful. God does not want us to be sad. We’ve been listening to the world’s tragedies and bad news which brings us sadness. The promises of the Old Testament are being fulfilled in the New Testament today. Our mission is to live out the life of Christ and do His will.
The gospel today talks about the humility of John and that we are to have unity. Christ came to explain about the Father and shows us how we were created to be. After Christ’s baptism, He started ministry work in the southern part of Judea. John the Baptist had been ministering in the north. When the people heard about Jesus and were all going to Him, John’s disciples got intimidated because it was John who was the one who had first taught them about God, and now these people were going to Jesus. John said, “did I not tell you that I am not the Christ? I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.’”
No one has any gift that did not come from God. We should give God all the credit. John knew his assignment. He was to introduce people to go to Christ. There is no competition at all between his ministry and Christ’s ministry. We have received gifts from God and each person has a different task to fulfill. John the Baptist and Jesus had different tasks. We can compare this to a friend of the groom who introduces him to the bride to be married. His joy is full knowing that it was he who brought these two together.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not?”
Hebrews 5: 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.”
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows
John 1:16 For from His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace.
Ephesians 2: 8-9 For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Ephesians 4:11-12 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Every joint should supply. Every individual part should be functioning properly. God is waiting for us to fulfill our tasks in the Kingdom We need to realize what our task is in building the body of Christ. May people see in our lives the commitment in serving the Lord and building His Kingdom.