ACT like a PRO // Matthew 3:8
Today’s verse simply states, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). The context is seen early in Matthew’s Gospel as John the Baptist bursts on the scene in his adult ministry. You will see the account of John baptizing Jesus if you read further into the third chapter. Verse 8, however, is John calling out the religious elite that came to look in on what he was doing because of how many people were coming for baptism. John essentially called out their motives, juxtaposing their critical curiosity with the desire of those coming to him for a life-changing turn to God.
There is a word to define that life-changing turn to God — repentance. Repentance gets a knock for being a very “churchy” word in this day and age. Some think of judgmental Bible thumpers when they hear the call to repent. I get it, but I also think it’s quite unfortunate. The word, repent, is simply a verb that means, “to turn away from.” The idea is everyone needs to turn away from their old worn-out, burned-out way of living to go God’s way. Repentance requires a person to act. Let’s use that word, to ACT, to help us understand it better.
A: acknowledge that you aren’t going God’s way
C: confess the tendency to want to go your own way
T: turn back to God
To repent means to ACT…to acknowledge, confess, and turn. Not so scary, huh?
So what is the fruit of repentance? What produce do we produce when we live lives of repentance? It calls us to ACT like a PRO — take Personal responsibility for your sin; seek Restoration and/or Restitution; then look for Opportunities to make God’s mercy and grace known.
Will you ACT like a PRO today? We all need to turn away from our worn-out, burned-out approach to living. So acknowledge your sin, confess it, and turn back to God. Then, take personal responsibility, look to restore what was violated/broken, and seek out ways to make God’s merciful grace known to all. ACT like a PRO and see what produce you produce.