Produce fruit in keeping with repentance? What does it mean to produce fruit?
As a child I thought I could hide things from my parents, and sometimes I was able to get away with some things and keep some secrets. Sometimes I might now think God is far away, that he doesn’t see me, and that I can keep secrets from him. The real God, not the one I may have made up for my convenience, sees and knows all. He sees me across time as if yesterday and tomorrow are today. Remarkably he still loves me intensely, but his perfect justice and nature expect me to turn to him in heart, mind, and deed. The lying to self must stop as well as the lying to him.
To produce fruit means to turn away from living to please myself and turning toward that which pleases God. Sometimes I might think I can hide behind and justify my selfish desires through religious tradition. John challenges this in Matthew chapter three. To produce fruit does not mean to be religious; to produce fruit means to be in relationship with God.
- How do I view repentance? Passive intent? Something I will get around to? Decisive action?
- What does ‘ produce fruit in keeping with repentance’ mean for my life?
- Luke 3:10-14 expands on producing fruit and gives examples. Where can I produce fruit in keeping with repentance?
- How can religious tradition be used by us as a ‘God glaze’ to avoid repentance?
- What does this chapter tell me about God’s view of a life devoted to self that has a ‘God glaze’ in contrast to a life devoted to him?
- How does Jesus fulfill righteousness in this chapter? Why was this important?
Passage for Meditation
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8
Forgive me father. Too often I say one thing and do another, and I live in a culture that encourages self deception and covering over selfishness with statements of good intent. Forgive me for my hypocrisy and dishonesty. Forgive me for thinking that I could do, think, and say what I wanted and cover it over with a ‘God glaze’ of religious practice. Show me who and what I am, I accept it, and confess it. Give me the wisdom, courage, and perseverance to repent. I thank you that you give me the strength and ability to become the man that you want me to be. Help me to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.