“In Luke’s gospel account of John the Baptist,” Stan began, “there’s an important lesson for me. John was in the wilderness, near the Jordan River, preaching and baptizing. He was talking to the people.”
“And he said something a long time ago that is a lesson for you today?” I replied.
“Exactly!” Stan responded. “Luke gives the account that John told the people, as well as me, to ‘bring forth fruits in keeping with your repentance’.”
Continuing, he said, “To me, that is a clear statement that I am to be examined on a regular basis to see where I am on the repentance scale.”
“Repentance scale? What’s that? And who is doing the examination?”
“What this means to me,” Stan replied, “is that if I have confessed and repented, my life and what I do and what I say should be a whole lot different than it was before. If it’s not, I had better check and find out out why. As to who is doing the examination, that is the Holy Spirit.”
Continuing, he said, “If there are not fruits in my life that are in accordance with what I said when I repented, it is likely that my repentance was not real. I need to look at that. And if my repentance is not real, maybe my confession wasn’t either. That, too, deserves a look.”
“Thus,” Stan added, “I need to honestly surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to let me know where He thinks I am on the scale of repentance. Am I closer to zero than I am to ten?”
“The answer I get from the Holy Spirit will determine whether I need to make further adjustments so that my life is actually producing fruits that are in keeping with my repentance.”
“And,” Stan continued, “it is essential for me and my walk with God that I allow the Holy Spirit to examine my fruit-producing repentance on a regular and ongoing basis.”
“Not only am I to allow the Holy Spirit to examine,” he concluded, “I am to allow Him to report back and I am to take seriously what He has to say. Then comes the obedience part that will get me to where I am supposed to be on the repentance scale.”
Therefore bring forth fruits in keeping with your repentance. Luke 3:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for speaking to me through your word and through your Holy Spirit. Thank you for the forgiveness you pour out on me through the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross. Thank you for new life through His resurrection. Thank you for providing the way for me to come before you in confession and repentance. Too often, what I do and what I say is not in keeping with what you want through my repentance. I confess that and I ask you to forgive me. I also ask that you help me in following your lead in truly repenting so that my life and everything in it keeps with what you want and what you have for me. Please, Lord, help me to bring forth fruits that align with my repentance. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?