What Jesus Did! 'A Call to Turn' — Luke 3:3

Monday, February 9, 2015

John went through the whole area around the Jordan River. He told the people God's message. John told them to be baptized to show that they wanted to change their hearts and lives. Then their sins would be forgiven.
— Luke 3:3
Illustration of Luke 3:3 —  Then their sins would be forgiven.

Key Thought

John came to prepare the way for Jesus. For that to happen in most people's lives, they had to re-orient their priorities and values. In other words, they needed to make a U-turn in their lives and go in the opposite direction—no longer living by their own instincts and values, but living based upon God's will. One of the biggest problems with post-modern secular culture is that some people have an arrogant heart that believes it can decide its own way and choose its own path based upon what seems right to itself. For true conversion to take place, for real salvation to come, there has to be a surrender of this personal arrogance and a genuine turning to God. John preached this message with personal integrity. Do you live your life based upon God's will for you? Are you committed to obey his will? Or, are you still trying to live based on what seems right to you? You see, repentance isn't just about being sorry for the mistakes, wrongs, transgressions, sins, or hurtful things you've done; it's about turning from them to God and living by God's holy standards. Our own ways are flawed and destructive. Without doing the things of God, we will invariably find ourselves doing things that hurt others and ourselves. Let's turn our hearts and lives fully in the direction of God!

Today's Prayer

Forgive me, dear Heavenly Father, for so often seeking things based upon my own will and wisdom. Humble me gently and turn me to your ways. I know your will for me is life and blessing, so I renounce my own ways as destructive and selfish and seek to turn my will fully over to you. Bless me with the power of your Spirit to do so more and more, as I seek to serve, honor, and obey you each day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

It was the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, the ruler of Judea; Herod, the ruler of Galilee; Philip, Herod's brother, the ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At that time, a command from God came to John, the son of Zechariah. John was living in the desert. John went through the whole area around the Jordan River. He told the people {God's message}. John told them to be baptized to show that they wanted to change their hearts and lives. Then their sins would be forgiven. This is like the words written in the book of Isaiah the prophet : "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled. And every mountain and hill will be made flat. Roads with turns will be made straight. And rough roads will be made smooth. Every person will know about the salvation of God!'" People came to be baptized by John. John said to them, "You are like poisonous snakes! Who warned you to run away from God's anger that is coming? You must do the things that will show that you have really changed your hearts and lives. And don't think that saying, 'Abraham is our father' will help you. I tell you that God can make children for Abraham from these rocks here! The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not make good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

Luke 3:1-9

Related Scripture Readings

There is a way that seems right to people. But that way leads only to death.

Proverbs 16:25

Being sorry like God wants makes a person change his heart and life. This leads a person to salvation, and we cannot be sorry for that. But the kind of sorrow the world has will bring death.

2 Corinthians 7:10

We always remember you when we pray and we thank God for all of you. When we pray to God our Father we always thank him for the things you have done because of your faith. And we thank him for the work you have done because of your love. And we thank him that you continue to be strong because of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, God loves you. And we know that he has chosen you to be his people. We brought the Good News to you. But we did not use only words. We brought that Good News with power. We brought it with the Holy Spirit and with sure knowledge that it was true. Also you know how we lived when we were with you. We lived that way to help you. And you became like us and like the Lord. You suffered much, but still you accepted the teaching with joy. The Holy Spirit gave you that joy. You became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord's teaching spread from you in Macedonia and Achaia. And also your faith in God has become known everywhere. So we don't need to say anything about your faith. People everywhere tell about the good way you accepted us when we were there with you. Those people tell about how you stopped worshiping idols and changed to serve the living and true God. You began waiting for God's Son to come from heaven. God raised that Son from death. He is Jesus, who saves us from God's angry judgment that is coming.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-10


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.