“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (v. 8)
Real repentence isn’t just feeling sorry for our sins, but turning from it and choosing to live differently. It means to follow Jesus and live in a way that produces “fruit” — brings positive results to our lives and the lives of those around us.
It’s interesting to note here that when his audience asks him what they should do, the kind of fruit John tells them to produce is all related to money and possessions. He says, for example, “The man who has two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” (v. 11) And throughout the gospels, Jesus too comes back to this idea again and again.I guess Jesus and John both knew that how we use our money and possessions shows our priorities, our hearts. Their example and teaching point us toward living as simply as possible so that we can more freely give and serve.
This is a pretty big challenge to our modern, materialistic ways of living. Are we letting society influence us into confusing our needs with selfish desires? Or are we willing to follow the way of Christ and live more simply, with less stuff, so that we can give more to help those in need?
Father God, I have everything I need, and then some. Thank You for providing for my needs. Teach me to use what I have in a way that honors You and furthers Your Kingdom.
(Sent from my iPad)