I try not to post 2 devotionals in one day, but this time I just can't help myself. Beyond "I'm Sorry"  June 18, 2008  Key Passage: Matthew 3:1-12  Topic: Obedience/Discipleship; Holiness  "Bear fruit in keeping with repentance." (Matthew 3:8, ESV)   Let's make it clear right now: the Christian life is not about proving to God how good you are. That's too rules-oriented and performance-based for His liking. God is after life transformation--aligning our thoughts and motives to His standard.   So doesn't it seem arrogant for John the Baptist to boss people around like this? Well, maybe a little. But the guy did know a thing or two about what's vital in a relationship with Jesus.   No, John didn't need proof for himself that people had turned from sin, but he knew the importance of repentance--a big word for the process of asking for God's forgiveness and running in the opposite direction toward truth and godly living.  John is actually giving a call to action because repentance is much more than saying a quick "I'm sorry" to God. It involves examining the heart, understanding why change is necessary and taking steps to not repeat the same sin.   Repentance is not about is making yourself look good on the outside with no inner change. Anyone can do that. But don't forget that a person actively growing closer to God will have inner changes that will result in outer changes--sometimes called spiritual fruit.  So the next time you mess up, ask yourself, What can I learn from this so I become more like Jesus and so I'm less likely to do it again? It's a lifelong process that's definitely worth your time. ~~~ sooooo true, so so true