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[John Series No.5] John the Baptist Who Made Straight the Way of the Lord

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And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. (John 1:19~23)

When the Heart of God Flows in Our Heart

When the heart of the book of John speaks of flows in our heart, the heart of God will flow in us. When the heart of God flows in us and we become one-hearted with God, special things begin to happen. I often say that electricity flows through electrical wires, running water flows through pipelines, and the work of God flows from heart to heart. But sadly, many people’s hearts are blocked from God through sin and through distrust. Suppose your heart is closed toward your wife or your husband. How miserable would your life be? Even though a couple is poor or in difficulty, they are truly happy when their hearts flow together. How great it would be if our hearts could flow with the heart of God! There is no peace in you, but you become peaceful when the peace in God flows in you. There is no hope in you, but you can live in hope when the hope inside God flows inside you. Even when you should be in pain, you can be joyful when the joy in the heart of God enters you. You become righteous even though you have many sins when the righteousness of Jesus enters you. And you become holy even though you are impure when the holiness of God enters you. In this way, spiritual life is not done through you zealously doing something. When that which blocks you from God is removed, spiritual life is automatically done and your life becomes joyful. But people do not deeply understand spiritual life and try to labor to do something well. This is the problem.

The Sadness of the Directing Pastor of an Orphanage

The book of John records Jesus Christ, but John the Baptist appears first. This is true with the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke as well. John the Baptist was born six months before Jesus and always works before Jesus. Why is this? John the Baptist explained himself, saying, “I am the voice of the one in the wilderness who straightens the way of the Lord.” The way of the Lord here is talking about the path by which Jesus comes into our hearts. John the Baptist says that he came to straighten that way. Most people dream of change when they go to church. They read the Bible, pray, keep the law, quit smoking and drinking, and do good deeds. They think that if they live this way they will become good and happy. But when they actually do it, this is not the case. This happened quite a while ago. There was a pastor who I knew who saw that the children of an orphanage near his church suffered so much. He then became the director of that orphanage. There he saw that the previous director had done so many things wrong, and he thought, “I should do well.” This pastor had three sons, and he had his sons eat and live exactly like the orphans. Not long after becoming the director, one cold winter night, this pastor saw the room where children three or four years of age were sleeping and was completely shocked. The children were not wearing anything, not covered with anything, and sleeping on the wooden floor. The pastor yelled at the nurses. “What are you doing? How can you let the children sleep like this in the cold?” The nurses who watched the children answered. “Director, these children pee when they sleep. We do not have the clothes for them to change into, and the orphanage cannot afford diapers. We have no choice but to do this.” The pastor moved the kerosene furnace from his room to the children’s room, clothed the children, and covered them in blankets. To keep them from peeing at night, the pastor woke up the twenty children one by one and put them back to sleep. He was able to do this for one week. But he had so much work and he became more and more exhausted each night. Then he felt that he was becoming more and more like the previous director whom he had so hated and detested. He thought he could do well, but things were going otherwise. This was extremely disheartening to this pastor. Thirteen children graduated elementary school and had to enter middle school, but they distrusted the pastor. “You should start middle school.” “I am not going to go. I will find a job at a factory and make money.” No matter how much he explained and tried to convince them to go, they had the distrust, saying, “What pain are you gonna give me when you send me to middle school?” They were full of distrust and did not want to go to school. The pastor dreamt that the orphans would follow him and that the orphanage would become very beautiful if he would pour his heart into it, but he became exhausted afte