Produce fruit in keeping with repentance

I wish I could have come up with a better title – more contemporary, creative, culturally relevant – so instead I found this picture.  I do not think two wrongs make a right, just wanted to reveal how true that statement is.

So, how prosperous can we get in our walk with Jesus when we introduce the element of repentance – the turning away from being in rebellion against God, acknowledging the gulf that exists between us, acknowledging that what Christ did for us on the cross bridged that gulf and that His spilt blood, though we were stained with sin, we are made whiter than snow.

I was talking to a wonderful missionary couple yesterday and he declared that every  morning, the first thing he does is ask God for forgiveness.  That puts him in right standing with God, starts his day in right standing with himself because he is acknowledging that he cannot do this day without God’s help and he humbles himself to His Lord and Maker, yielding whatever may come, to Him.

My question is always the same – whether I pray, or someone else will pray a prayer of repentance – that is, am I just sorry, or have I truly turned away from and by doing so, have turned to following Jesus.  There is no way of answering that question – because what if He asks you to sell everything you have, give to the poor and follow Him?  I know of only one person in my lifetime that has done this.  Others have come close as I have heard of those who try to live on 10% of their income and give 90% away.

So what fruit is John talking about – what does he think should be happening in our lives that would indicate that we have made a legitimate claim to Christ and have turned to follow Him?

John defined it as having an attitude of mercy, not just following the rules so that are engaged to do all the good we can and to be just to all.  Meaning we need to take a pass on collecting on unjust gain, restore that we obtained by wronging others, reminding those of us in position of authority or power that our duty is to serve and not abuse for the temptation of power has led more people astray.

So our sorry needs to be a repenting for what we have done to stray from following God and to turn our hearts to God and He in turn promises to change our mind, our way, our heart by casting our transgressions as far as the east is from the west, giving us new hearts and new lives.  The design of the gospel now begins to take shape in our lives

We should see ourselves engaged in being more devout, pious, holy, humble, meek, sober, loving, just, honest, charitable, kind, and good toward others, having patience, self-control, joy,  mercy, grace and possibly all these giving form in expression to what people call – happy.

I will settle for those same people to look at me and say that I have my Father’s eyes.

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