Integrity

John the Baptist called people to more than words or ritual; he told them to change their behavior. “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins” means that God looks beyond our words and religious activities to see if our conduct backs up what we say, and he judges our words by the actions that accompany them. Do your actions match your words?

Publishers, Tyndale House. NLT Life Application Study Bible, Second Edition (Kindle Locations 145150-145153). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Purpose

God has given each of us a purpose for living, and we can trust him to guide us. John did not have the complete Bible as we know it today, but he focused his life on the truth he knew from the available Old Testament Scriptures. Likewise, we can discover in God’s Word the truths he wants us to know. And as these truths work in us, others will be drawn to him. God can use you in a way he can use no one else. Let him know your willingness to follow him today.

Publishers, Tyndale House. NLT Life Application Study Bible, Second Edition (Kindle Locations 120642-120645). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Forgiveness

When Stephen forgave those who stoned him in Acts 7:60, he may have opened the door to the eventual salvation of some of them. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus said that whatever the apostles bound on earth would be bound in heaven, and whatever they loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven, and in John 20:23 he said “If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” This is the same behavior we see from Jesus on the cross. Perhaps an integral and necessary part of our salvation was his release of us for the sin of crucifying him. Perhaps his declaration that “they know not what they do” wasn’t limited to those who crucified him. Perhaps it was in reference to all sin, for he did bear the sins of the entire world in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Do we ever really know what we give up when we choose sin over deeper relationship with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we ever really comprehend the cost, either in what we lose or in what He suffered? I think not. And while we do know that we are sinning and choosing to sin when we do make that choice, I dare say that we don’t really know the cost, either in our loss or his suffering.

“God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”

Job 28:23‭-‬28 NLT

“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! “Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’ God will save them. Even sinners will be rescued; they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”


Job 22:21‭-‬30 NLT