Thursday, September 26, 2013

Proving Our Repentance by Our Actions

John the Baptizer was not the typical itinerate preacher. He dressed in camels' hair, lived in the rocky, barren wilderness, and ate honey and locust. I'd probably have shunned him as a religious nut, but his preaching, just as radical as he looked, drew big crowds. 

People lined up to be baptized.

"Being a descendant of Abraham is not enough. Being baptized is not enough. God's wrath is coming and you don't want to experience it. The Kingdom of God will be here soon. Prove your repentance by your actions," John told them. "Live generously. Be kind. Love."

One day, some soldiers were in the crowd. "What about us?" they asked him. "What should we do?" (from Luke 3:14)

Roman soldiers were the toughest guys in the region, the first century version of our marines, but with considerably less integrity. 

If they wanted more money than they were paid, they could demand and receive it from the populace. 

They could falsely accuse someone, demand a bribe, and be assured of getting it. 

They could double fines and skim the extra. 

The soldiers had free reign and limited consequences, but, on this particular day, John's words struck a chord. "What about us?" they asked.

It's a great question. They weren't just hearers. It seems they wanted to be doers, too. 

There was no doubt John would have instructions for them, and that his instructions would be tough, but they didn't want to be left out. 

If the Kingdom of God was at hand, they wanted to do what it took to be a part.

Ponder that for a moment. Jesus has risen and His return is closer than its ever been. The Kingdom of God is available to us today.

Are we willing to do what it takes to be a part?

Are we willing to do what it takes to please God?

If we want to please Him, here's what we should do: Love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love our neighbor as ourself. 

Jesus condensed the entire Scripture into these two laws. They're simple and easy to understand, but they're not optional. 

Love God. Love everyone. 

If we want to be a part of the Kingdom of God, that's where we start.

"Don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." James 1:22 nlt
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Shouting Scripture and the Author Who Didn't Want to Write 

*** I'm sharing about my Jordan Journey at a brunch April 1 at 10:30-12 at Global Outreach home office, 74 Kings Highway, Pontotoc MS, and you're invited. Comment or message me if you'd like to come.***

If God has called you to help with this ministry of digital and in-person outreach (both in the US and around the world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 or you can mail your check or money order to:
Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.