John the Baptist was some weird guy! Dressed in camel’s hair, munching on locusts dipped in honey, filled with the Holy Spirit from conception. Wow!
And when he preached, “Repent!” the crowds gathered. They were thirsty for something. This new message captured them. But it was a serious one. They heard that fruitless trees are going to be chopped down. Soon! “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (v.9)
“What then shall we do?” they ask.
John’s answer was fascinating. He didn’t say, “Pray more. Attend synagogue every time it’s open.” No. His message was to do the right thing. Repent — turn back wholeheartedly to God.
Does this mean we’re saved by good deeds? Scripture clearly says, “No” (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are saved by faith — a faith that says “yes” to Christ’s offer of life under his rule. John was the last of the prophets. He stood at the crossroads, preparing people for God’s Kingdom and making them ready for the good news of Christ.
I am at a crossroads. In retirement, a new vista lies before me. Will I devote my life to missions, write the books that are on my heart, or spend more time traveling? Maybe. But more importantly, will I daily choose to do the right thing? Is my neighbor in need? Am I doing God’s will? Good questions.
What questions do you have as you face the next step of your journey?
Lord Jesus, your Word makes it clear that first on your heart are the widow, the orphan, the sojourner. In fact, if my heart is hard toward those in need, I’m not ready for the Kingdom. Please keep my heart tender and tuned to yours. May I see people with your eyes every day. Amen.
Go Deeper — If Jesus came back today, would you be prepared to meet him? Or is there something you need to repent of? Don’t wait. Take time to do that now.
Go Further — Right now, the world is online, seeking help and answers to their questions. Would you prayerfully consider joining our team of volunteer online missionaries?
Photo Credit: TRAVELERGEEK