SOAP Devotional 2014-09-01
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. ” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” (Matthew 3:1-3 NLT)
Preparation for the kingdom of God has always involved repentance. Repent of your sins and turn to God! Rev. John Broadus, a past Baptist Theological Seminary professor, used to say that this is the worst translation in the New Testament. The trouble is that the English word “repent” tends to mean “to be sorry”, but John did tell the people to be sorry, but to change their mental attitude and their conduct.
We cannot earn our salvation by the works that we do. John was not saying that changing their minds and their conduct saved them. However scripture does include this in our preparation for the kingdom of God. I change my mind about God Himself, change my thinking about continuing in a life of sin. I call it making a decision that you cannot keep on your own, but God by His grace empowers you to walk out that repentance, that changing of the mind and your conduct. He makes us righteous by his grace gift of salvation.
Father, search my heart oh, God, and reveal in me any sins that I need to rid myself of. Help me to change my way of thinking and my conduct so that I may continue to grow in you.