It is difficult to hide rotten fruit.
Luke 3:7-14 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?
8 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!
9 Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees! Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What then should we do?” the crowds were asking him. 11 He replied to them, “The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same.”
John had a very practical message for the new converts, he told them that they would need to live a different lifestyle, there would need to be a change of behavior that would prove that their conversion experience was authentic. At the same time John didn’t want to get them dragged down with a bunch of legalism. John gave them a short practical list of “how-to” tips:
- be generous (Luke 3:10-11)
- be fair (Luke 3:12-13)
- don’t steal (Luke 3:14)
Take note that the correct process is new convert first and then new lifestyle second. Jesus doesn’t expect us to become experts at living to please him overnight.
You should understand that all of us are producing fruit, it is just a matter of whether the fruit is good or not, Jesus says we can’t produce both. (Luke 6:41-45) We can try and cover up the truth about ourselves but when the produce is rotten then the whole world will figure it out.
I need to protect my heart so that the things that I say and do will be a testimony to the change that Jesus has made in my life. I need to live out Matthew 5:16 so that the world will see good fruit and be drawn closer to Jesus.
Thank you Lord for giving me a new life, I want to produce good fruit as a testimony of your goodness.