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Fruits in Keeping with Repentance

Daily Reading: Luke 3


Scripture Focus: Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. (Luke 3.8)


Devotional Thought: John the Baptist was a rather brusque figure, refusing to curry the favor of the crowds. But, crowds he had. People were flocking to him to hear his message. Even the religious authorities could not resist going to the wilderness to hear this fiery preacher. To everyone – commoner, ruler, saint, sinner – John had the same message: “Repent!” It was exactly the message they needed to hear. The crowds responded, but the elites from Washington, Hollywood, and New York – I mean Jerusalem! – did not.


John’s repentance, however, was not a simple apology or feeling bad about getting caught. John insisted on bearing “fruits in keeping with repentance.” Today, too much of what passes for being "born-again" is simply a catharsis for guilt and a desire to get away with sinful behavior. John would have nothing to do with that kind of religion. Neither would Jesus. Without life change – fruits in keeping with repentance – there was no real conversion. When asked what these fruits were, John responded quite clearly: generosity, honesty, integrity, and fairness. Jesus explained "fruits in keeping with repentance” even more succinctly: “Go and sin no more” (John 8.11).


Followers of Christ are to be the most compassionate and morally upright people in the community. Any attempt to follow Jesus, without real life-change, is doomed to failure. The Apostle Paul later wrote, “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6.9-11).


Hallelujah!


Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for washing me, sanctifying me, and justifying me. Now, help me to live clean, holy, and righteous. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 134.1-3

1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord! 2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!

3 May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!

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