Matthew 3:7-12 (MSG)
7-10 When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin! And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.
11-12 “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
Devotions for tonight. Ok, so in my own words, here’s what I think John is saying to those “super-christians.” You know the ones I’m talkin about. The “holier-than-thou” type. John says: “What do you think you’re doing? Just showing up to the occasion to look good? No-God doesnt want your little outward acts. He could care less about those stale religious acts that only boost your own pride levels. He wants to do a heart and sould transplant on your lives…He doesnt want a better church show. Oh-and dont think that your ‘popular name’ will get you anywhere! Tons of people can claim Abraham as a G-pa. Your name is worthless …what matters is your life. Are you known for your name or for your life? Here’s what it comes down to–is your life producing anything? Are you encouraging others, spurring on Godly actions among your friends, becoming more like God, putting your faith to action? Because frankly if your soul is dead and unfruitful, it goes to the fire (and I think you know what fire I mean). Here’s my part of this whole deal…I’m here to baptize you…to turn in your old ways and replace them with a life for the kingdom. But! It doesnt stop there…when God gets ahold of you, your kingdom life will explode inside of you. The fire will be fueled and the burning power of His Spirit will change you, cleanse you, purify you, energize you from the inside out. So that you cannot contain the changes inside your heart. You will live out those changes in your life. He’s gonna do some deep cleaning–making you squeaky behind the ears. He’s taking your junk and tossing it out with tomorrow’s trash. And those things still worthy of keeping will be prioritized by his organizational system–in which He is always first on the list!”
Main points I got from the passage:
God doesnt want a show–He wants your life.
God doesnt care about your name–He wants your life.
God wants control of all we contain, every part of our beings. He wants to explode a passion for Him in our hearts and strip us of all distractions and prioritize us. But that can only happen if His wish is fulfilled–if we give him our whole lives.