Scripture: Luke 3:1-14
Key verse: (10) And the crowds asked him “What then should we do?”
Reflection: John the Baptist preached in the wilderness, proclaiming “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” The gospel writers looked back and saw John as the prophet who prepared the way for the Messiah to arrive. John’s sermons were full of “fire and brimstone.” He called people to repent, literally to turn their lives around, by recognizing that their relationship with God didn’t depend on their ancestry but instead on their own behavior.
Fortunately, we believe that our relationship with God depends on God’s grace alone, and not on us to get our lives right first. (I would be in big trouble. How about you?) However, John’s challenging words are a call for us to respond to grace with our behavior. If we have experienced God’s love, our lives should bear good fruit. Our actions and our character should reflect the love and grace God has for us and for the world.
In response to John’s proclamation, the crowds asked him “What then should we do?” Then the tax collectors asked him, “what should we do?” Then the soldiers asked him “And we, what should we do?” They all clearly understood that hearing God’s word should lead to behavior. What should we do? What should you do?
Ponder that question today. Pray about that question. Talk about that question with your family or with a close friend. If you read these devotions regularly, do you close and delete and then go about your day, or do you pause to think about what you will do to respond?
Prayer: O God, thank you for your love and grace poured out on me in Jesus Christ. Show me how to respond to you. Enable me to bear good fruit. Give me the discipline and the courage to ask “what should I do?” Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].