Thanks for joining us on this journey of building a consistent habit of reading our Bibles every day. The Bible reading plan we are using this year can be found here: One Year Bible or here on the Bible app. As always, if you miss a day, don’t feel compelled to go back and catch up. Just skip it and start back on today’s date. I am reading the NLT this year, but feel free to use whatever version you prefer. Now here are some thoughts from today’s readings:

John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.
– Luke 1:80

     Many of us are too eager to “make our appearance”. We think the world needs to know what a great gift we are to the Body of Christ. We think, “If they could just see me, hear me, know me, they would see that God has put His hand on me. I am special and chosen!” Of course, we’d never actually say this, but, if we are really honest, this is how many of us feel.

     None of this was more true about anyone than it was about John the Baptist. Yet, John stayed in the wilderness until it was God’s timing to use him in God’s way. We could learn a lot from John. Have you lived long enough in the wilderness for God to use you? Are you so eager to be “used” that you’re missing the wilderness season that God is trying to use to prepare you? Even Jesus wasn’t ready for His 3 year stint in the ministry until He was 30 years old. Even then, He had to be baptized and fast for 40 days in the wilderness before He, the Son of God, felt ready to begin the road to His purpose. Do you still feel ready?

     I just made a inaccurate statement on purpose. Jesus didn’t start the road to His purpose after fasting, but that’s how many us feel about our lives. We keep waiting for the real journey to begin. The problem is, the road to our purpose began long before we were born, and we are living on that road everyday we are alive. There might not be a lot written about Jesus’ life prior to His baptism, but, make no mistake, He was being prepared. If you’re playing a sport, you know you have to practice if you’re going to win the game. The practice is actually more important than the game. The same is true in life. The preparation season you are in right now, and the amount of energy and attention you put into it, determine the impact of your “ministry” later. So, decide today how you’re going to practice, because THAT will determine how God is going to “use” you tomorrow.

What can you do to engage better in your preparation season?