Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 2, 2016
But they refused to repent and glorify him. Revelation 16:9
Authentic repentance is not perfunctory, but fruitful in its follow through. When the Holy Spirit arrests my heart and pricks my conscience about my behavior, I want to change. It may be a bold, loving friend that exposes my bad habit or unacceptable attitude. If so, will I change? Indeed, fruitful repentance is not just words of remorse, but a change in the way I have been acting. It is the removal of my pride, an encounter with my blind spots.
Fruitful repentance may be the hardest for those of us who have been in the faith for a long time. We get settled in a track of thinking that quits learning and growing. We can become comfortable with Christ and forget to fear Him. We can take God for granted and go places with our mind that a newfound faith would have forbidden. Watch out, that excuses or cover up do not become a default when you encounter a need for change. Pride refuses to repent, be fruitful and glorify God.
“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).
When you hear truth that is contrary to your living, how do you respond? If it remains a secret between you and God, it will get worse unless you confess it to others. Do not hide behind your teaching role in the church or your status with your family. People who love you will love you more when you come clean with judgmental attitudes, a flirtatious relationship, or an air of spiritual superiority. For example, don’t hide any spending from your husband or wife, as this leads to great loss of trust between spouses. Penitent people do not conceal, but reveal sin.
So what are some evidences of fruitful repentance? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23a). Real repentance is not just being embarrassed that it was caught, but takes responsibility with positive and proactive change for the good. There is a transformation from haughtiness to humility, judgment to grace, fear to trust and pride to penitence. Fruitful repentance fears the Lord and finds rest for its soul as it returns to good standing.
“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” (Isaiah 30:15).
PrayerHeavenly Father, give me a sensitivity to sin so I quickly confess and turn from its influence.
ApplicationWhat attitude or actions of mine do I need to change? What positive fruit in my life is evidence of my repentance?
Related Reading2 Chronicles 32:26; Psalm 51:1-13; Matthew 21:32; Acts 3:19
Post/Tweet todayFruitful repentance is not just words of remorse, but a change in the way I have been acting. #WisdomHunters #benefitsofrepentance
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