Luke 3

Read Luke 3.

As John is preparing the way for Jesus by preaching, teaching, and baptizing, he focused on a central theme…repentance. We think of this simply as turning from sin and turning to God, not only saying sorry and going about our day but rather coming to God with a heavy heart seeking to no longer linger in that sin. Seeking to grow closer to our Father by abiding in his presence. This isn’t an easy thing to do, especially if the things we need to repent of have become a way of life. Many of the people in the crowd listening to John were people whose current lifestyles weren’t exactly bringing glory to God. Tax collectors, soldiers, the general population. All of these people had habits that were centered on their own best interests, whether that was padding their pocket with extra “taxes” or bribery or basic greed.

Something changed when they heard John preaching on repentance. They began to question. They no longer wanted to live in their old ways; they wanted to understand how to live for God’s glory through repentance. The question that they asked over and over was “What then shall we do?” The answers John gave would require personal sacrifice and humility if they truly wanted to follow the one true King. This wasn’t necessarily a popular message to proclaim, but those whose hearts were being changed by the Spirit were baptized in faith to live a life marked by repentance. So…thinking about that crowd, the crowd who stood hearing a hard message, the crowd standing at the water’s edge searching their hearts and desiring to repent…I wonder if we ask that question often enough. What then shall we do? If we are followers of Christ, our baptism by water and spirit are not the end of our call to repentance, but rather the beginning of seeking a new way of life. Is there anything in our hearts that we have been avoiding? That maybe we need to question? It’s not an easy task, but one worth the sacrifice.

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