What Jesus Did! 'No False Pride in Our Heritage' — Luke 3:7-9

Saturday, February 11, 2023

When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, "You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the 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."
— Luke 3:7-9 NLT

Key Thought

Often, we want to claim the efforts and status of those around us, and those who have gone before us, as our own. Faith certainly IS aided by a long heritage, but all GENUINE faith is always first-generation faith. No one can believe for us. Many in Jesus' day wanted to claim lineage, race, and heritage as their spiritual guarantee. John reminded all of us — all people for all time — that the essential thing is that our faith is genuine, regardless of what our religious heritage and pedigree might be. Let's show the genuineness of our faith in what we do, not in who we claim as our parents or what religious group we claim as our home.

Today's Prayer

Father, may my faith be my own and may it be real in my heart and show itself in my daily behaviors. May I never depend on my heritage or my religious affiliation as a substitute for a true, deep faith. Empower me to have such a faith and to live that faith before others each day. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • James 2:14, 17-20
  • Matthew 7:15-23
  • 1 Peter 3:8-12


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Illustration of Luke 3:7-9 NLT — "You brood of snakes!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.