Read: Luke 3:7-18
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.
Be the Lord’s Kind of Person Because He Is Near
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“You’re my kind of guy,” said the hunter, as he followed his friend up into his brand new hunting hideout. “That’s my kind of girl,” said the soccer coach, as she watched her star player helping out her new teammates. “You’re my kind of teacher,” said the computer-lover to the woman who taught him how to write the code for a video game. When we meet someone who likes the same things that we like, then we say, “That’s my kind of person!”
So… what is God’s kind of person like?
Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to earth as a human being. He met people, talked to them, and liked to spend time with them. The people who were on earth back then wanted to be God’s kind of person. Some people thought, “I live in the same country as Jesus, so I’m his kind of person.” Others thought, “I have the same extended family as Jesus, so I’m his kind of person.” Lots of people thought, “I live a good life. I don’t murder people or steal things. I only tell a few small lies, but not very often, so I’m God’s kind of person.”
John the Baptist told all of them that they were wrong. John was getting people ready to meet Jesus. If they wanted to be Jesus’ kind of person, then they need to hate what Jesus hates and love what Jesus loves. Jesus hates sin, and Jesus loves God. The Bible has a particular word for hating sin and loving God; it’s called “repentance.” Jesus spent time with people from many countries. He ate with people who did not live good lives. He came to earth to be with sinful people, and his favorite sinners felt sad when they sinned and loved to hear about God’s love. They were repentant, and they were Jesus’ kind of people.
Jesus is returning to earth soon. He will come down from heaven and take his people to be with him forever. Because we are going to meet Jesus someday, we want to be Jesus’ kind of people. You don’t have to be from a particular country. You don’t have to be from the right family. You don’t need to be a person who always does what is right. Jesus’ kind of people know about repentance. When we do wrong things, we are sorry for our sins; we hate that we do it. When we hear how God forgives us, we trust him, love him, and try as hard as we can to live how he wants us to live.
When Jesus comes back, he is going to see you and all other believers. He will remember how he deleted all your sins when he died on the cross. He will see how you felt sad about the times you sinned. He will see how you loved to hear that God forgives you. And do you know what he’ll say? He’ll say, “You are my kind of person!”
Dear Jesus, thank you for taking away all my sins. Help me to run away from sin and run to you. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What are some things Jesus hates?
- What can you say to Jesus when you do something wrong?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Describe what Jesus’ kind of person is like.
- Why can you say that you are Jesus’ kind of person?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why did John the Baptist want his listeners to repent as soon as possible?
- If a person was looking at you from the outside, how could they tell that you hate sin and love Jesus?