UV 2873/10000 Matching Words, Works and Worth
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Matthew 3 v 8
A newer translation of this uni-verse puts this uni-verse in these words spoken by John the Baptist to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to him to be baptised, “Produce fruit that is suitable for those who have repented.” Our words and our works should be matching with the words and works of the good root of our faith- Jesus. Our thoughts and atttitudes and motives should be apt for a believer and follower of Jesus. Our obedience and striving to live a righteous life giving up our former lifestyle of sin and rebellion against God should be the evidence that our repentance is genuine.
Our faith should not be for lip service or eye service but genuine. Repentance comes from humility and godly sorrow. In humility, we acknowledge that we are no good and that God is all good. Godly sorrow leads to a firm resolve in our hearts not to speak or do anything that would grieve the spirit of the Lord. Godly sorrow should lead to godly change in our thoughts, words, deeds, habits, decisions, behaviour, aspirations. We cannot return to our sins as a dog that returns to its vomit. It should produce revulsion and distaste in us, causing us to change for the better. Our motives thereafter should be not to satisfy our lusts, our whims or our egos but to please the Lord and to walk in obedience but to glorify the Lord. We need to excel to make the word of the Lord credible in this world.
The fruit of the indwelling spirit of God of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control should grow and be more abundant and evident in our character and responses to various stimuli in our daily lives. Our lives should truly show that we are followers of Jesus. We have a responsibility to undertake a plan for lifelong learning, lifelong improvement in all that we are, do and speak. We cannot take the stand that Jesus is the same, yesterday and tomorrow and try to be ourselves the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. As the Holy Spirit points or focuses His light on different areas of our lives where we need to change, we must do so post haste and with reverence and a spirit of obedience. It might mean that we give up bad or unproductive habits and patterns of thinking, speaking and behaviour and replace these with ways modelled or patterned on Jesus. We need to aim to be as tall a pedestal as possible to hold forth the light of Jesus so all can see and find the truth themselves. We need to be problem solvers who make a positive difference to wherever we are placed, harbingers of hope and dispensers of justice, pitting our weight on the side of the weak and hapless against the mighty and well placed.
Prateep V Philip