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GOD’S TRANSFORMING PRESENCE

Daily Devotional Matthew 3:1–17


When I was a pastor, the local fire marshal would regularly inspect our church building. He needed to make sure we were within code and that our building was safe for occupants. Most of the time there were no issues, but occasionally, minor violations needed to be fixed. Our church needed to listen and obey those warnings to remain in good relationship with our local authorities.


A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

MATTHEW 3:17


John the Baptist was acting a bit like that inspector when he pointed out spiritual violations to those who came to hear him preach in the Desert of Judah near the Jordan River. He called for people to repent of their evil deeds and prepare the way for the One greater than him. John’s purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus.


When Jesus came to be baptized by John, the heavens opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove. A voice from heaven declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (v. 17). God was present in that moment—as the Spirit who descended like a dove and by His direct voice from heaven at the precise moment Jesus was baptized by John.


God’s presence was clear to everyone at this pivotal event—the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. It not only communicated to the crowd that something significant was about to happen, but it also was a clear sign to Jesus that the other members of the Trinity would be with Him as He launched into the public eye.


The truth of God’s presence in our midst is a call to purify ourselves and make sure that we are not violating God’s spiritual code as found in the pages of God’s Word. We also learn that even Jesus in His human form experienced the presence of God as an encouragement for Him to do the will of the Father!


Go Deeper


What was unique about Jesus’ baptism? How did God show up at that moment? How has God made His presence known in your life?


Pray with Us:


Lord Jesus, we praise You for Your goodness, faithfulness, and love. We confess that we often tend to overlook our sin, but the truth of Your presence in our midst purifies us and brings us new life. Thank you for being “with us”!

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