06/04/Th – Fruits of Repentance

Numbers 27:12-28:15; Luke 3:1-14; Psalms 62:1-8; Proverbs 16:19-20

NT: “…God’s word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins… He then said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don’t start saying to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭3:2b-3, 7-9‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Before Jesus began His ministry, John the Baptist (upon hearing the word of God) began preaching and preparing the way for Jesus. John’s message was a message of repentance unto forgiveness. The Greek word for repentance is metanoia. It means a change of mind. Repenting involves turning away from anything that doesn’t line up with God’s word, will, and ways, and turning toward everything that does. It involves turning away from wrong and sinful thought patterns and actions, and turning your gaze to God to receive His way of thinking and His instructions for living. John said it wasn’t enough just to give repentance lip service… it wasn’t enough to just say you were repenting. John said you need to produce fruit that proves that repentance has actually occurred. Repentance is a change of heart that should produce a change of decision and direction. Repentance is a change of thought  patterns that should produce a change in attitude and action. The good new is that when we truly repent and turn away from sinful thoughts, attitudes and actions, and turn to God to receive His thoughts, attitudes and actions; He will give us sufficient grace to walk in His word, will, and ways.

Psalms: “I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. How long will you threaten a man? Will all of you attack as if he were a leaning wall or a tottering fence? They only plan to bring him down from his high position. They take pleasure in lying; they bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly. Selah Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. Selah” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭62:1-8‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

One of the fruits of true repentance is complete rest in God. Although there were times in David’s life when he had sinful thoughts which led to sinful actions, he quickly and sincerely repented of those thoughts and actions and turned to God. His accounts before God were clean because he was a rapid repenter. So even in times when David was being physically and emotionally attacked by enemies whose only desire was to completely take him down, he could be at rest in God because his relationship with God was clean. He didn’t rest in God plus something else… he didn’t take rest in God plus his intellect or skill as a warrior. He rested in God alone, for God was the source of any skill or strength that he had. When he repented and turned to God… and kept his eyes on God, God filled him with all the peace, rest, ability, and intellect he needed to do what God had called him to do.

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