- Written by Jason Jones, Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor Jason Jones, Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor
- Created: 25 September 2019 25 September 2019
John the Baptist differentiated himself from Jesus, saying “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” John’s purpose was to make straight the paths and encourage us to “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” (Luke 3:8)
Similarly, St. Paul proclaimed that “God wants us to turn to God and perform deeds in keeping with our repentance.” (Acts 26:20) Reforming our ways is not about outward alterations or a political viewpoint. Indeed, “God has granted repentance that leads to life! (Acts 11:18)
Martin Luther and the reformers experienced intense personal reforming of their ways. God used them to unlock handcuffs that were slapped on the Gospel message. Jesus said in speaking about repentance, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7) The reformers discovered the Jubilee of forgiveness, and it caught fire.
Many in our times equate God’s kindness with prosperity, good looks, health or strong ability. However, if our ways aren’t reformed in the heart, where sin emulates, then it’s not likely to be a reformation that leads to Jubilee or eternal life. Paul asked the Romans, “Do you not know that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4b).
Reforming our ways also brings godly sorrow. St. Paul, inspired by the Spirit of Christ, informs us, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Is repentance reforming your ways? Jesus informs us, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) “…God is wishing that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9b)
When our ways are reformed by the Holy Spirit, we recognize our spiritual depravity before God. We then notice the things we manage are not ours, but we are only ‘caretakers.’ The implications to our lives, and for our loved ones, also reform. The way we plan to distribute the worldly wealth we manage for Him will characterize blessings rather than curses.