PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Truly TurnJustin Smith
Luke 3.8 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.
The question, “If you were on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you” arose to the forefront of my mind this morning, as I read through Luke 3. Being a Christian is not a mere title, position, or name, but a calling that should affect every facet of life. Being a Christian must not be compartmentalized to only a few hours during a weekly bible study and a couple hours on Sunday. For most of us, the response is, “Yeah, I know”, but the question that I am confronted with is, has my knowledge of what I am called to truly transformed me…my thoughts, my actions, what I give my time to, my decisions…me? As John condemns the crowd for their false religiosity and reliance on their heritage rather than an acceptance of denying everything to follow Jesus, John explains to them what surrendering to the Messiah truly looks like. If there are needy people in your midst then share out of your abundance, if you are extorting or stealing you must refrain, and making false accusations for personal gain must cease. For many of the listeners, they needed to understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ needed to impact their careers, their free time, and their money-making ventures.
The eternal principle is clear: Following Jesus alters every facet of your life for good. My life surrendered to Jesus should be seen in the way I speak to my wife, in the patience and grace I extend to her, and in the way I choose to selflessly love her. My repentance from sin and flesh should be evident in the way I generously share and give to the needy, both in monetary value and quality time, in the way I spend the seconds of my day, and in the motivations of my heart. My life of discipleship should be perceived in the way I invest time teaching, training, and loving my children. Honesty in speech, integrity of heart, diligently keeping my hands to the plow, and so much more should reveal the work of Christ in me. A True Turning to Jesus transforms everything.
Lord, please forgive me for so often taking the salvation found in you for granted. Forgive me for allowing the things of this world to pollute my simple and pure devotion and for compartmentalizing “real life” and “spiritual life”. I rejoice in the calling to live every moment for you and allowing you to alter every facet of my being.