The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the perceiver (also called “prophet”).
1 …the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”
7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”
14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the character and motives of John the Baptist to better understand the motivational gifts of the perceiver / prophet. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) each person is born with which drives his/her actions.
- Perceiver / prophetically motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in the personality and ministry of John the Baptist? Comment and give verse references from the Scripture above.
- Honesty and truth is central to their life.
- They have a strong sense of justice and have a strong sense of conviction.
- They are driven by obedience, and seek to move others towards it.
- They crave sincerity and despise hypocrisy – they want to see change in others.
- Their life radiates moral excellence and goodness, and inspire that in others.
- They are generally confident people who speak up for the truth even if it hurts.
- Where did John the Baptist spend most of his time? What does that suggest of the relationships of the perceiver motivated person?
- Considering the imprisonment and later execution of John the Baptist (Luke 9:7-9), what honorable characteristic do we see in perceiver motivated people? [hint: why was he locked up and later killed?]
- Looking at John the Baptist as an example of a perceiver / prophetically gifted person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of when confronting people? [hint: how can they be easily misunderstood in terms of their behavior?]
- Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider perceiver motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?
Application and Prayer
Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org
- Are you a strong perceiver / prophet motivated person? Considering the life example of John the Baptist:
- What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
- What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
- What must you cherish with all your heart and guard with all your strength? [hint: if you betray this you betray yourself and your witness falls apart]
- Thank God for how he made you, and pray that you may grow in a love for the truth, a sensitivity to His Spirit, for confidence and humility to speak the truth in love, and lastly for grace to walk in integrity all your days.
- Who do you know that are strongly perceiver / prophet motivated?
- Thank them for their good influence in your life – be specific about what they have challenged you with and how that helped you walk in righteousness and the fear of God.
- Thank God for them and their influence for the good in your life. Pray that God will bless with a greater love for the truth, sensitivity to His Spirit, greater boldness and humility to speak the truth in love, and that they may live true to their God-given conscience.