Day 39 – True Repentance
On: December 9, 2014   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

“John said to the crowds coming out to be baptised by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 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 3:7-9]

Yikes! This is strong stuff. Surely, if people were coming forward to repent of their sins, they should have been given a warmer welcome than this? Apparently not. Let’s look closer (always worth doing!). A few key words jump out at me: crowds, flee, fruit, father.

1). Was everyone (the crowd) just going with the flow, without having worked out for themselves what this wild guy in the desert was getting at? Our repentance must be personal.

2). The people were fleeing out of fear. Wrong call. We run into the arms of Love (God is Love) because we are attracted to Him. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18).

3). Repentance without fruit is not real, any more than faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17).

4). Faith is not inherited. Just because the people counted Abraham as their father, it did not make them right with God. Just because we might have believing parents or be part of a nation with a Christian heritage, or even belong to a church, it does not make us right with God. Faith is “current” and needs to be worked out by me.

In conclusion, faith is personal, responds to love not fear, bears good fruit and needs continual refreshment. It is a relationship to be lived, not a badge to be collected.

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I come before you today, on my knees, to lay before you, once again, not just my sins but my sinfulness. Embrace me in Your arms of love and empower me to live a life of fruitfulness – to Your praise and glory. Amen.

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