You are His Beloved {Matthew Chapter 3: 1-17}

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On Repentance and Its Fruits


John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by preparing others to welcome Him. John was a prophet who urged the people to confess their sins and live for God, in other words, to repent. To repent means a 180-degree turn from our old ways and begin following God's way of living as His Word declares.
Repentance happens inside with a cleansing that isn't not seen right away. Changes of habits do not happen overnight. Only God can get rid of sin. He doesn't expect us to clean up our lives before we come to Him.

John was very different from other religious leaders of his days, because unlike them, he was not looking for winning people's praise but he was just concerned with the praise of God. John not only preached God's law but he lived it. That's why he encouraged people to DO more than simple words  or rituals but to change their behaviour. God looks beyond what we say, actions should match up our words.

Jesus Baptism 


Baptism is an outward sign of commitment that is accompanied by an inward change of attitude leading to a changed life.

Jesus came to John and asked to be baptised, but why? it was certainly not for repentance for sin since Jesus never sinned. The Life Application study Bible gives four reasons why Jesus might have been baptised:

1) "to fulfill all righteousness" = accomplish God's mission.

2) Jesus was confessing sin on behalf of the nation, as other prophets did in the past.

3) He was validating and showing John's ministry support.

4) He was identifying with the penitent people of God.

God's Beloved


Jesus was baptized even though, He had not yet publicly taught, performed any miracles, or "done" any sort of ministry. Yet God called Him "My Son, My beloved Son, in Whom I delight". It is a beautiful reminder that God takes pleasure on us, delights in us not because of  being "good enough" or "doing enough"but because we are His children. 

Being His Children pleases Him far more than anything we can do. I believe this takes a lot of burden off our shoulders...we don't have to proof ourselves to get His love and please Him. He takes pleasure in us just because of the simple fact we are His children.

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” 
― Brennan Manning, Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” 

― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

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