John’s ministry was a preparation of the hearts of men, and notable for its moral power; a baptism of repentance with a view to the repentance of sins. John took an old custom and gave it new meaning. Baptizing a Jew as a sign of repentance was a profound departure from Jewish custom (they were familiar with baptizing converted non-Jews only). In John’s ministry, baptism was a visible sign that a person had decided to change his or her life giving up their sinful and selfish way of living and turning to God. This baptism was for all who knew they had missed the mark, knew they were a sinner, that they needed a redeemer and who would be ready to receive Him. Repentance is not just a one-time act, it’s a way of life. It’s not simply a matter of feeling sorry but a whole new attitude brought about by a radical re-orientation in direction in living. Is this how you live your life? Is it one that says to God, “I’ve turned away from the things that have broken the heart of God and turned to the One who forgives and gives life?”
Great God, pierce my heart to reveal those things I continue to cling to. Reveal the hidden things that grieve You. Give me a whole heart that desires to please You; remove that half-hearted effort that shows me to be lukewarm. Help me to readily repent and truly change!