Clearing a Path for Jesus in the Wilderness of Life

In Luke 3:1-14 John is in the “country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (verse 3).” Luke noted that this was is in accordance with what was written in the book of Isaiah. But it is not just repentance that John preached to the people. In verse 8 he said, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Our repentance isn’t just an act of verbalizing our faith in Jesus. John warns in verse 9, “every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” In the next verse the people listening to John ask what they should do and he proceeds to tell them how to live out their repentance. He tells them to share with those who have none. He tells tax collectors not to cheat and soldiers not to exhort money, “to be content with their pay (verse 14).”

We are messengers for Christ Jesus, preparing the way for the Lord in what often seems like a wilderness of unbelief. Yet it is our faith lived out in patient hope that prepares hearts to receive Christ. Our repentance lived out causes us to not cheat others; to be generous with what we have; to be content with what God gives us. This is the straight, clear path of a changed life that stands out in the twisted jungle of a corrupt world.

We need to stay vigilant and not let the overgrowth of discouragement creep in and overtake our path to Christ. We need to focus on making a way for Christ to work in the lives of those around us. We can point the way to Jesus so that the Spirit of God can transform lives. As John said, “But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (verse 16).”

#Retrospective: This post originally published January 22, 2019.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:9-11

© 2019 CGThelen

10 thoughts on “Clearing a Path for Jesus in the Wilderness of Life

  1. Chris, I appreciate the topic of this post. Recently, I was reading a discussion about repentance by Pastor Tim Keller. He emphasized the avenue of trust which must come with the bridge between repentance and forgiveness.

  2. Excellent word here! It is so important that we don’t just have an “intellectual” faith, but instead, a real-world practical faith that everyone can see working in our lives. It isn’t enough to simply believe in God. Even the demons do that-and shudder! We have to live lives of faith expressing themselves through our good works, the proper result of a real life faith. This is what the world needs to see in us and how Christ is demonstrated to those who do not believe.

  3. Such important words of life application. Will take these to heart as I travel navigate the day and make choices.

  4. So true! If I have learned anything in my walk with the Lord, it is that people around me are watching. which makes the producing the fruit of repentance vital. My faith needs to be active in ways that make it clear who it is I follow.
    Our ministry has been structured around James 1:27: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (NIV).
    This spells it out: See to the needs of people while avoiding the pull of the world. It is the second part of this command that is most difficult, hence the need for repentance on my part.
    Thanks and blessings to you,
    Pastor Chuck

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