MORE THAN WORDS
LUKE 3:8 & 10 NKJ
8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”
John the Baptist was not known for preaching a feel-good message, whatever that is. In other words, John was not concerned with niceties. He called some people a brood of vipers, basically offspring of snakes. I don't think that would go over well in today's cancel culture. But John also called people to action. He said don't just come and be baptized as a way of repentance; have actions that show you really have repented.
Repentance means to do a turnaround, to make a change. And the change is from bad to good, from darkness to light. Repentance indicates a change of mind. John challenged the people coming to him to indicate by their actions that a change had taken place. He also took away the excuse of the day that these people were true Jews, sons of Abraham.
John boldly told these Jewish people that their background, their heritage was not enough. His words rattled the nation, and their response to John is found in verse ten, "What shall we do then?"
True repentance is of the heart. When our heart changes, we change our thinking and then our actions. I have encountered many people who were caught doing something wrong, asked for forgiveness, and then expressed anger that they were not trusted. I have used John's words often. If you have truly repented, your actions will show it. This is bearing the fruit of repentance. Our walk with the Lord is not a onetime repent and we are done. We are constantly learning, growing, and yes, repenting and changing. But a change toward God is always a change for good.
Thank you, Father, that I can repent, be forgiven, make positive changes, and bear good fruit.