This Changes Everything! Or Does It?
Do you know someone that says a lot but doesn’t seem to follow through? Are you that person? I remember growing up, telling my father I would do my chores, mow the lawn, clean the garage over the weekend. Well, the weekend came and went, and the chores weren’t done, the grass only grew, and the garage was not cleaned. My father took me aside and told me, be a man of your word. If you say you will do something, live up to what you say.
The Christian walk is similar, too often we say one thing but live differently. We claim Jesus on Sunday but live for ourselves on Monday. This is not a new issue; John the Baptist dealt with the same problem during his time of ministry.
7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 3:7-9)
We don’t just claim Jesus on Sunday and live for ourselves on Monday.
John came in strong! He is not mincing words or softening the blow. John the Baptist is telling the crowd to check their hearts, do not take for granted your salvation, nor take it lightly. God has prepared a way for each one of us to go from death to life, and as we step from darkness to light, we step from our old ways (sinfulness) to our new identity (redemption). This is an internal transformation that is proved by an external action. Everything changes!
Has everything changed for you? Can you look at your life and see where God has taken over, where depression has been replaced with joy? Anger with love? I am by no means saying that if you experience a negative feeling or experience, you may not be living with Christ. I am saying the goodness of God far outweighs the bad of sin. And that even through the most challenging times (which will occur) God can use us, and we can experience His goodness.
God has prepared a way for each one of us to go from death to life, and as we step from darkness to light, we step from our old ways to our new identity. This is an internal transformation that is proved by an external action. Everything changes!
Have you relied on your family, parents, or friends to secure your salvation? Do you think because you are associated with Christians you are good? John the Baptist had to speak to this issue as well. People thought they were safe because they were descendants of Abraham. I know for me this can be an issue, not as clear as because of my parents but because of my experiences, my life. I grew up in the church, my dad is a pastor for goodness sake, most of my friends either I met at church, or they began attending church after we met. I sound pretty good, right? Nope. None of those things matter, God’s forgiveness is for everyone regardless of action. I need to make sure I am seeking a personal relationship with Him not basing my relationships with others as a marker of salvation.
So today, look internally. You may not be worried about your salvation, you may question it. But what these verses can remind each one of us to do is to check our hearts. Are we pursuing God or pursuing safety? Are we truly transformed, following Christ sharing love and encouragement or are we saying words to gain us status?
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