Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 3, 2013
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Luke 3:8-9
A surrendered life to the Lord produces fruit of repentance. Like a well kept vineyard of grapes seasonly tills rich soil and meticulously removes weeds, so a Spirit-filled life is watered with grace, love and mercy. Character cultivation happens to a heart turned toward heaven, captivated by trust in Jesus. Hail storms damage, even destroy the best kept crops, but the sun’s life giving rays and the nurturing farmer bring them back. So, God grows a disciple into His hearty harvest.
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 fruits of repentance for this generation. The good old days of spiritual renewal are inspiring to reminisce, 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.
I [Paul] preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. Acts 26:20
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. So, the Spirit reminds us when we drift into bad habits or wrong thinking. We confess spiritual pride and we 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 arefruit that glorifies God. Your Spirit-filled actions of abstinence, generosity, tutoring, publicservice, faith sharing, foster care and orphan adoption please your Heavenly Father. Jesus smiles when you are hospitable and when you visit the sick and those in prison. Your authentic repentance keeps you broken to care for the broken. What breaks God’s heart breaks your heart!
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I repent of known and unknown sin in my heart, I turn to Your heart for forgiveness and the faith to produce good deeds.
Post/Tweet today: Our authentic repentance keeps us broken to care for the broken. #fruitofrepentance
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