Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

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Real, Day 4

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MATTHEW 3:8, 10 | Bear fruit worthy of repentance…Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

I have a tendency to live moment to moment and task to task, deploying all the attention I can muster on the immediate issue at hand. There is something good about this practice. Since we can only live in “the now,” we should try to be fully present in the present, rather than worrying about tomorrow or remaining stuck in the past.

Yet John, and Jesus, remind us that while we must live in the now moment, we must never become oblivious to the end of the story. Time has a destination. History has a denouement. We have a Judge, and what is done now is examined then. Knowing the Judge today, the one who was judged in our place on the cross, is the best preparation for tomorrow.

Do you live fully in the present moment?

Do you ever step back and consider your life from the End?

 

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Real, Day 3

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MATTHEW 3:7 | But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” 

Wow. That comment from John is not “seeker friendly.” His question seems odd, for isn’t he himself issuing the warning?! Does he suspect they are insincere in their repentance, simply going along with the crowd because the people in their thousands have identified John as a prophet? Later in Jesus’ ministry, he asks the leaders whether John’s calling was authentic and they prevaricate. Or is John asking them if it is his message that has led to their actions; is he teasing them that their baptism constitutes an approval of his legitimacy?

It is hard to choose between these possibilities; it is possible some of the Sadducees and Pharisees saw John as genuine. There were plenty of previous warnings, in the classical prophets, that God would express his wrath in final judgement, in the “Day of the Lord,” as described in Joel and Zephaniah.

Do you believe in Judgement?

How do you picture Judgement

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