Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
John the Baptist warned the Pharisees to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8) He recognized that true repentance would produce good fruit. What is true repentance? It is turning from sin and towards God; it is agreeing with God. Re-pent means we must go back again to “penthouse” thinking – thinking that is higher, like a penthouse, a way of thinking that lines up with God’s Word. When we repent, we turn from sin and turn towards God’s way of thinking. True repentance will always bear fruit. John the Baptist recognized that the Pharisees were religious on the outside, but their hearts were far from God. He preached repentance to the Jews, declaring that their repentance needed to be genuine and that the evidence would be the fruit seen in their lives. John the Baptist was beheaded because his message was offensive to the king’s wife; his strong message offended many.
Jesus entered his ministry on earth with the same message, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. (Matthew 4:17) Jesus’ first message was “repent” so that the people could turn away from those things that blocked a relationship with His Father and turn towards God.
Today, the message of repentance is not always received. People want to feel good, and the message of repentance seems too incriminating. It is easier to preach a message of love than a message of turning from your sins.
Most people desire to live a fruitful life in Christ, but we must never forget that the foundation for the fruit is laid by the root. If the root is healthy, then the tree will be healthy and bear fruit. Likewise, if we turn from our sins, the root of our spiritual lives will stay healthy and the fruit of it will follow.
Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your life and reveal to you any attitudes of unforgiveness, bitterness, or anger that are causing you to sin.
Seek the Lord in repentance and His forgiveness will make the root healthy; soon you will see the fruit.
Examine my life and see if there is any offensive way in me. (Psalm 139:23-24) I repent for any negative attitudes that I have and turn back to You. I pray that my life will be filled with fruit for Your glory.
In Jesus’ name, Amen