When God Comes To Call…
Holy God, You have called me to holy living. I belong first and foremost to You. Help me to live that way.
Read MATTHEW 3:1-12
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Sin and the child of God are incompatible. They may occasionally meet: they cannot live together in harmony” (John Stott).
“God is coming back, and he’s going to bring comfort and rescue. It’s time to get ready!” That was the message John the Baptist brought the people. That had been the message to the Jewish people since Isaiah first exclaimed it (Isa. 40), but the people weren’t ready, even though preparing for the coming King was at the center of Isaiah’s vision.
John was anticipating an entirely new order (9-11). His message to the establishment was that there was no security in what they were by birth. Religious pedigree does not mean a guaranteed part in God’s kingdom. There was to be a new relationship, a new dimension. The prophets had said God would come when his people turned back to him wholeheartedly. This is what many now came to do (5,6) as they responded to John’s message.
Verses 2 and 8 provide a succinct summary of what is needed to live in God’s kingdom, as well as how to prepare for its coming. There is to be a radical changing of the mind. It’s not enough merely to feel bad about our sin. “As we think in our heart, so we are” (Prov. 23:7, KJV, adapted). Confession is to lead to action. There is to be fruit to demonstrate reality. There is to be sharing, honesty and contentment, to show change in our daily lives. This is how John expresses it in Luke 3:8-14. There are to be practical expressions of our repentance. And we are to respond like this because of the kingship of Christ. Our response is to recognize who he is and submit to his kingship, so that the agenda and interests of his kingdom become the focus of our lives. To enable us to live like this, we need the life-giving Spirit of God to cleanse and empower us (11).
Are there sins you need to confess to the Lord? Prayerfully take ownership of these things and agree with God about them. Release them to his forgiving grace.
Gracious Lord, open my heart to live in sincerity before You and experience Your ministry in my life as I humbly depend on Your Holy Spirit.