PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
By The Way I LiveMarcus Sanders
Matthew 3:8“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” NASB “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” NLT
People were coming to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist. Also on the scene religious were leaders of the Jewish Faith. Because John wasn’t one of theirs, these leaders came to check him out. They sensed something special about John but came with intent to judge whether this man was from God or not. Spiritually most of them were closed to the move of God unless it was according to their standards and expectations. These leaders put God in a box that was framed by the pride that Abraham was their Father. John makes a profound statement – “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” In another words if you want to prepare your heart for the Lord you need to change. The kind of change God wants from you is not a one-day change. He wants a steady change that grows through a steady move in the right direction. Your consistent lifestyle will prove you have turned from your sins to God.
Life is all about turning to God. God turned to us when He sent Jesus. God is all in. His love shows it, his commitment shows it and the cross proves it. The cross was a very brutal instrument to humiliate and demoralize a criminal before the world. Jesus was no criminal. In the moment of his humiliation he turned to God proving his heart and commitment to the Father and to us. Talk about fruits; it was enough to fill heaven & earth. My take home is: God is looking for fruits that reveal a heart that is turned to him. I think for some, fruits are more of a show and tell. “Look at my good works, isn’t this great. I did this because I love God.” Blowing a trumpet because of good works is prideful and seeks recognition from others. This sort of heart attitude really looks like this-I may have turned to God but the people see ME. On the other hand, because I have turned to God, the fruits will flow out of the way I live through repentance. These fruits will draw attention to God and not to me. Jesus is calling me to change. Change is my turning point towards God in the right direction. To solidify change will require growth. Growth will show the fruits of my repentance that I am steadily moving in the right direction.
Father, again Your word speaks to my heart. There are times I fall short in the fruit department because I’ve somehow placed you in a box. I turn to You in repentance and face this day to bear fruits that draw attention to you. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. I simply turn to you.