Tax collectors should collect only what is due and thieves should stop stealing. That is to say, we should live honest lives. Have you ever been “taken” by a salesperson because you trusted them to be the “expert” about what you were buying, only to find out they lied to you? I have to admit that I tend to trust people too quickly and have been “taken” too many times. Not only when money is concerned but also in situations where the truth about people has been stretched and twisted. My reaction is to never to go there again. The shame of it is I know some of these people are church-goers.
John the Baptist is preaching a baptism of repentance to his own people. He is not trying to convert anyone to Christianity. He is calling the Jews to live the life God called them to, according to his commandments. If we believe the Ten Commandments are the way we love God and each other, then why do we not do them? Would you sleep better if you knew your neighbor would live an honest life with you and honor and worship the God who created you both?
Prayer: Dear Lord, give us grace to believe your ways are a blessing to us, and give us the faith and strength to obey; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Hefner,
Pastor of Shiloh Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.