He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3:3
Read: Luke 3:1-18
Listen: Luke 3
The chief priests ask the first question and now Jesus asks his. Jesus asks them about John’s authority. John the Baptist’s dad was a priest, so John is basically one of the religious leaders gone rogue. Instead of calling people to worship in the temple, he led them into the wilderness and told them to repent.
What does it mean to repent? Repent means to change our whole approach to life. It means admitting the way we live and think is wrong, and we head in a different direction. When the people ask John what to do after repenting, John tells them how their life should change based upon their new approach to living. He tells them to stop collecting more than necessary and instead be generous. He tells them to stop being greedy and bending the rules to get wealthy. He tells them to stop exerting their control or influence to hurt others or get what they want. These are all examples of living life differently and a new approach to life.
John’s message is incredibly relevant for us. We tend to make life about ourselves. We still struggle to be generous, instead choosing to accumulate more. Our culture tells us bending the rules isn’t that bad, especially if we don’t get caught. It seems like new stories of people using their power or influence to manipulate others are coming out daily. God calls us to repent of these things and live differently. It starts with the heart and shows up in our actions.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Follow John’s admonition and repent. Identify one area of your life where you would like to see yourself think and act differently. Admit the way you have been thinking and living is wrong and ask God to help you move in a different direction. Ask him to change your heart and your actions.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.