Becoming a disciple: Genuine repentance

Scripture – Matthew 3:8,10

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Observation

Repentance is turning from sinful ways, attitudes and behaviors and walking in a new direction.

If there is no evidence of change in our lives, the repentance is shown to have been for show and not genuine, and we know that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

God knows and sees the heart.

Fruit does not just appear out of nowhere. It grows. Often it grows slowly. A tree will always produce fruit but the question is whether or not the fruit is good or bad. No amount of looking like a “good Christian” on Sunday mornings will prevent bad fruit if the repentance is not genuine. This is why John the Baptist is looking at the Pharisees and Sadducees and telling them that just because they go through the spiritual act of being baptized, if it isn’t a public demonstration of real repentance from the heart, then it’s just another religious show and will not stop the bad fruit growing on the tree of their lives.

Application

I want the fruit that grows on the tree of my life to be born out of genuine repentance. Repentance for pride, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, judging others, and other sins that essentially describe modern-day Pharisaic thinking. I want it to be good fruit. I am reminded today of my need to lay myself before Jesus, to repent of wrong thoughts, attitudes, words and actions, and to allow the fresh water of his forgiveness to nourish my tree that it would produce good fruit, and lots of it.

Prayer

Jesus, you are the Lord of my life. You are my God and I surrender all to you today. I can’t do it without you. I repent of trying to. Please plant good seeds into my life and water them with your Word by your Spirit. Thank you. In your name I pray this, amen.

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