Friday, December 11, 2009

Daily - 12/11/09

Luke 3:10-18

10 And the crowds asked [John], "What then should we do?"

11 He said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise."

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, "Teacher, what should we do?"

13 He answered them, "Stop collecting more than what is prescribed."

14 Soldiers also asked him, "And what is it that we should do?" He told them, "Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages."

15 Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah.

16 John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.

17 His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

18 Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.

To truly receive Christ, we must be repentant.

"Repent" doesn't mean "I'm sorry", it means "I'm on the wrong path, I'm not going to act like this anymore." That's a HUGE difference. Those of us who have kids know exactly what it looks like - because we see our kids say "I'm sorry" but not be repentant darn near every day. We see them hanging their heads because they've been caught, saying what they need to say, then going right back and doing the same thing again.

Repentance is something we need to do over and over in our lives. As we grow in Christ, he shows us when we're walking down the wrong path. He shows us pieces of our life that need to be put to death for us to truly follow Him.

Over the last couple of years, I've had several times where Christ has shown me ingrained behaviors that are not His way. When that happens there is a battle of will. I am tempted to stick with the "worldly" thing that I know and love. It is one thing to recognize a behavior is wrong, and it's another to feel regret about it after the fact. True repentance, though, is resolving that I don't WANT to do it anymore.

This is one of those things that takes a while to grasp mentally, and even longer to grasp in practice. It's very difficult to cease to want something that is sinful. I've found that the only way to truly do it is to seek God's help ... and be willing to accept how slow the "detachment" process can be.