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Journey to Bethlehem Day 20 Luke 3:7-14

Friday, December 21

Luke 3:7-14

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

John the Baptist called people to repent in preparation for the coming of Jesus. He knew the beginning of faith would require them to examine their lives and see how far short they fall and recognize how desperately they needed a Savior. He knew that the Jewish people were relying on their heritage to Abraham to be enough and he made it very clear that was not the case. No one can ride on the coattails of another when it comes to faith. Just as the Jews couldn’t ride on the coattails of Abraham’s faith, we can’t do it with the faith of our parents or grandparents, nor can our children do it based on our faith.  Faith is a very personal thing because it requires a personal relationship with Jesus.

In preparing the way for Jesus, John spelled out what it would mean for people to bear fruit. They would have to be willing to share with others. This would require them to be cognizant of those around them and to not only recognize the needs of others but to help take care of those needs. Regardless of what job a person held, it was to be done honestly and in a way that honored the Lord. The same is true for us. We are to serve the Lord in all we do including our occupations. In doing so, we will bear good fruit and will be preparing ourselves for not just the birth of Jesus but for His return.

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus or are you relying of the faith of others? How aware of the needs of others are you and are you willing to help fill those needs even if it requires sacrifice or if it is inconvenient? Are you serving the Lord well in your work?

Lord Jesus, help us to live our lives in personal relationship with you and to serve you well in all we do. Amen.