Recognized by its Fruit
Date: May 4, 2023
I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional.
B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Word and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases
S - Summarize and Share
You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?
B - Bible Verse: "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." (Luke 3:8 NIV)
L - Listen for God's Word and Pray:
Heavenly Father, help me to truly repent of my sins and produce good fruit in my life. May I not rely on my own achievements or status, but trust in You alone."
E - Explore the History and Meaning: In Luke 3, John the Baptist is preaching to the crowds who have come to him for baptism in the Jordan River. He urges them to produce fruit that shows they have truly repented of their sins. This means not just saying sorry, but actually turning away from sinful behavior and living a life that is pleasing to God. He warned them not to rely on their heritage or status as descendants of Abraham, but to live lives that reflected their faith.
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases:
Produce fruit: John is emphasizing the importance of tangible evidence of repentance, not just empty words.
In keeping with: The fruit should be consistent with the repentance that has taken place.
Repentance: This means turning away from sinful behavior and turning toward God.
We have Abraham as our Father: John emphasizes that being a descendant of Abraham does not automatically guarantee salvation.
S - Summarize and Share:
As I reflect on Luke 3:8, I can't help but feel a sense of conviction in my heart. John the Baptist's message to the crowds was clear: "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance." That means our actions should reflect the change in our hearts after we've repented of our sins.
In today's society, it's easy to get caught up in the idea of "doing good" without really examining our motives or the impact our actions have on others. We may volunteer or donate to charity, but if we're not truly repentant and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our actions, are we really producing fruit in keeping with repentance?
Our actions should flow from a heart that has been changed by Christ. When we've truly repented and turned away from our old ways, we'll naturally produce good fruit in our lives. Our fruit could be shown in any number of ways, such as kindness, generosity, and love for others.
But it's important to remember that producing fruit in keeping with repentance isn't about earning God's love or approval. It's about living out our faith and being a witness to others. As followers of Christ, we're called to be salt and light in the world, and our actions can have a powerful impact on those around us.
Let’s take some time to reflect on our own lives. Are we producing fruit in keeping with repentance? Are our actions reflecting the change in our hearts? Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us to be more intentional in producing good fruit in our lives. And let's be a witness to others by living out our faith in practical ways that show God's love to the world.
Bible Cross References:
Matthew 3:8: "Bear fruit in keeping with repentance."
Matthew 7:16-20: "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits."
John 15:2: "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."