SOAP Devotional 2014-09-02
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? 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. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:7-10 NLT)
Pharisees and Sadducees laid claim to their salvation first by heritage and then by their participation in religious rituals. It might be added that many of their religious rituals had little to do with actual scriptural commands, but rather made by cherry picking scripture and adding to what it actually said. John let them know that their claims based on family heritage were of no value at all in God’s kingdom, but rather emphasized that repentance and truly being productive for the kingdom were what was important.
Just cause my parents and grandparents served God and taught me how to go to church does not gain me safety. If anything it adds a greater obligation because I know better. I needed to not only turn to God, but also prove that I have done so by the life that I live. I cannot do good enough to be saved, but doing good is what I was recreated to do when I became a Christian. There is a children’s song that says, “If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.” As Christians we are to “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”
Father let my life say, to those who know me and come into contact with me, that I am a Christian. Let my life surely show it!