Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 23, 2016
The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up. Revelation 8:7
Spiritual fruit from the past is no substitute for fruit produced in the present. Praise God for our faithful ancestors of the faith, but their fruit was for their time. The Spirit of God looks to harvest fruit of repentance for this generation. The good old days of spiritual renewal are inspiring to reminisce upon, but today the Lord calls those of us with a little gray hair to grow up in His grace. We who identify with Jesus have a significant role and responsibility to produce fruit of repentance.
Those who ignore spiritual fruit bearing in this life will experience the severe discipline of the Lord in the next life. Indeed, as we close in on Christ’s second coming, it is imperative we are prepared to meet our Maker with lives that reflect God’s standards, not the anemic morality of a sick society. The picture of a world that rejects repentance of sin and turning to Jesus is not a pretty site: the discipline of the Lord on unrepentant sinners will escalate across a scorched earth.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
How do we know if we produce fruit of repentance? Private belief for salvation and public confession in baptism are the first fruits of repentance, but just the beginning point. The ongoing fruit bearing process is a lifetime of leaning into the Lord. The Spirit reminds us when we drift into bad habits or wrong thinking. We confess spiritual pride and remember that only by the grace of God can we do good. We turn from self righteousness and turn to God’s righteousness.
What is the proof of fruit produced by repentance? Good deeds from a heart of humility and grace are fruit that glorifies God. Your Spirit-filled actions of abstinence, generosity, tutoring, public service, faith sharing, foster care and orphan adoption please your Heavenly Father. Jesus smiles when you are hospitable or when you visit the sick or those in prison. Your authentic repentance keeps you broken to care for the broken. What breaks God’s heart breaks your heart!
“I [Paul] preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20).
PrayerHeavenly Father, grow in me a humble heart that is quick to confess and repent of my sin.
ApplicationWhat do I need to repent of and turn to the Lord for forgiveness and the faith to produce good deeds?
Related ReadingDeuteronomy 4:30; Jeremiah 18:11; Luke 3:8-9; Galatians 3:7
Post/Tweet todayAuthentic repentance keeps us broken to care for the broken. #delayedrepentance #wisdomhunters
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