S (Scripture): Luke 3:7 Then John said to the crowds who came to be baptized by him, “You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire.”
10 The crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”
11 He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must share with the one who has none, and whoever has food must do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He replied, “Collect no more than you are authorized to collect.”
14 Soldiers asked, “What about us? What should we do?”
He answered, “Don’t cheat or harass anyone, and be satisfied with your pay.”
O (Observation): John speaks for God – he is a prophet. Many come come to be baptized by John to show that they wish to receive forgiveness of sins and wish to change their lives. No longer does John think it sufficient to be a Jew – from the lineage of Abraham and Sarah. That “status” is of little significance should one not change one’s life.
John says that God expects a changed life in response to the grace given to each.
Life in Christ gives ALL people a chance – even a pile of rocks : )
Jesus forms a new way of life with God, one that is open to all.
A (Application): Complacency is our biggest threat as Christians in the world. “I’ve done enough. I’ve done my part. There’s nothing I can do about it.” These words are our excuses.
Instead of relying on our baptism as our “ticket home,” let’s also think about our baptism as our call to serve and our being equipped for mission in the world!
Rest not only on what God has done FOR you…through prayer and community discern how God is working THROUGH you!
P (Prayer): Lord, make me a channel of your peace. Amen.