"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance" Matthew 3:8
A Christian missionary approached an Amish farmer and asked him, “Brother, are you a Christian?” The farmer thought for a moment and then said, “Wait for a few minutes”. He then brought down a list of names and gave it to the missionary and said, “Here is a list of people who know me best. Please ask them if I am a Christian”. The evidence of repentance and faith in Jesus is spiritual fruit.
The word _repentance_ in Greek literally means _"to think differently afterwards_". It signifies a change of thinking that leads to a change of heart that eventually leads to a change in behavior. In other words, repentance needs to be accompanied by a change in life which results in producing fruit of repentance.
When we bear fruit in keeping with repentance, our lives reflect a lifestyle, action and choice pattern which are consistent with having repented of sin. It is turning away from the things of this world and turning to the beautiful things of the kingdom of God. D.L Moody once wrote, “Man is born with his face turned away from God; when he truly repents, he is turned right round toward God; he leaves his old life”. Repentance is not a one-time act of confession; it is the ongoing and living decision to choose Christ and live for Him, even more so to allow Him to live in us.
John the Baptist calls out people to bear fruit worthy of repentance. What prevents us from bearing fruit? Is it a lack of humility? Is it asserting our self-will over God's sovereign will? Is it because we actively reject God's best for us and choose what seems best to us? As R.S Sproul rightly said, “We live in a society where not only does everybody think that he is right, but thinks and asserts that he has the right to be right”. Arrogance, pride and pomposity have gripped our culture. We live in a vacuum of humility and quite often humility is seen as weakness; but God is pleased with the humble. Martin Luther said, “God creates out of nothing; therefore until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him”.
Let us go flat on the ground and humble ourselves till we see our Lord and cry, "Father, I am not worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired servants so long as I may but dwell in your house". Our calling is to bear fruits that are in keeping with our repentance.
Let us pray, “Lord, help us to continually turn away from the things of this world that easily consume us, unto you Lord, who consumes us with Your love. Amen. God bless.