But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Devotion by Julia Shiver
In this passage, John the Baptist says to “Bear fruit worthy of repentance.” Okay, great. Now what? Fortunately, God gives us that answer. In Galatians 5:22-23, Jesus lays out the fruits of the spirit. These are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It has nothing to do with race, sexual orientation, economic status, education level, or even (as we say in the south) who your daddy is.
It would be so nice if we could wake up on January 1, having all of these attributes mastered. But it doesn’t work that way. It is a life-long journey, building from skills learned and experiences reflected on. It takes lots of patience, and help. No one does it alone. Church community has a big role to play. As well as our daily spiritual practices. But it is a goal worthy of a life spent on the journey. What fruit is your life bearing?
Dear God, You have given us a blueprint for living our lives in Your Word. As we work to make our actions be for good, our faith deep and wide, our lives modeled on Jesus, we ask for Your strength, guidance, and courage to be with us. And Your grace to be with us when we fall short of the mark. Amen.