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How's Your Heart?

Monday, January 29th
How’s Your Heart?
By: Pastor Amie

Matthew 3:1-12

3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”[a]

4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The Pharisees and Sadducees in this passage are the religious power of that day. The Pharisees were seen as the most religious group in the entire Jewish community! Here’s the thing. These uber spiritual guys had discovered the place of Christ’s birth yet made no attempt at this point to visit him. They were more focused on power, popularity, and maintaining control. John the Baptist steps in and calls them out! “You brood of vipers! Check your heart!” 

This is a warning to the church of today, as much as it was for the day of John’s ministry. We can be so focused on how we look on the outside, that we can forget that true religion requires a transformed heart! We must go and discover who Jesus really is to truly love like Him. Repentance is the doorway to transformation and when you’ve been transformed you don’t have to look “holy,” rather God makes you authentically holy!

Church. How’s your heart?

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